Late To The Party

I know, I’ve come very late to the party.

Back in May, Bob Foreman posted this little wonder on Vista and Clarion 6.

Both things I had never bothered to try and fix, because I figured Vista was magical and I’d heard these things were just the way it was. I’m very inquisitive .. not.

1. The massive borders in Vista, Aero-Glass styling. This is obviously changeable. Makes a big difference. I changed them to a 1 size.

2. The Help file issue. This has miffed me no end. Turns out, following the steps Bob lays down allows me the glory days of F1 in Clarion 6. For the times when I needed it, i really missed it.


Compare This

Reading my ClarionMag feed this morning, I noticed that Mike Hanson has knocked up a chart, "Clarion Sharp Comparison". Tis here.


Nice and meaty, but more than a comparison, it’ll no doubt be a good reference for just working in the Clarion# language.


I still haven’t got myself onto the .Net subscription. We have until mid December now to get in on the Discount act.

Not sure I can justify it at the moment, having a very small income from the business. When Jaymoe is done, and four hundred gazillion Sporting Clubs sign up, then I won’t have to worry about missing the discount.

Pirates Are Just Cool!

We began watching the third "Pirates of de Caribbean"  movie last night.


(Picture snagged from the official site, here)

What a blast! I love these movies, the first two just got better (unlike the Matrix films, of which the first will always be some of the best filmmaking ever done)

One thing that became clear to me last night was the bits of "unreal" ness about the film. The way characters do almost silly things, like a monkey firing off a firecracker. It’s just a little bit left of center. And the whole film, well, the first two, and what we’ve seen of this one, are this. This world they have put together, this world of pirates and lords and death and kraken, it’s a _magical_ world.

Really, for me, they’ve nailed storytelling. I’m not an expert, but I know what I like. And this I like.

More Sleep Needed

We had a pretty large weekend. When you’ve got 4 kids, that might only consist of going out three or four times .. heh heh. But still. It was tiring for an old old man like myself. Shopping for a present, party for friend giving said present, dinner with friends, election watching with friends, leading Church sunday morn, lunch sunday with friends, folks arriving Sunday afternoon, birthday party for Dad .. ahhhhhh.

So we have a new government. Here’s to them providing strong and capable direction, wisdom and fortitude and all that.

Did a bit of work on a mini-app on Friday night. Came up with the idea on Friday. Very small. Just a testbed really. Will post more about it sometime, if it gets finished.

Jaymoe, A Work Still In Progress

For the past couple of months, I’ve been working, a few hours a week, on Jaymoe. It’s a Sporting Club Web System, "basically". Ha ha.

jaymoeversion1-001Anyway, Version 1 took me about 7 days to slap together with Clarion, NetTalk and some use of Lightbox (javascript image effect library, built on Scriptaculous). Version 1 isn’t much to write home about. You can see the demo here.


At this point in the development, I discovered Ext. This changed what I thought I could achieve. If I could pull out the UI of NetTalk, Ext can give me awesomeness in a bottle. But the beauty of NetTalk is that it provides me with a bunch of template driven windows (like Forms, Browses, Dropdowns) and all I have to do is fill in some template fields.

Given the amazing demos of Ext, I decided that it was worth it.

And it was, to an extent. Jaymoe V2 is well on the way to becoming something special.

But it’s too much. Not only did the entire UI change, but the Database underwent a massive overhaul.

In Version 1, Jaymoe had a database who’s data entry was driven both by the end user, and by myself (or someone at the server end). In some situations, this is a strength. But for Jaymoe, it’s a weakness. I would have to upkeep all the backbone stats for the Clubs. From their Division information to each Round’s Games. Crazy. Absolutely crazy.

So what could I do?

Take a leaf out of the social networking sites. Move everything under the control of the User. Well, not everything .. just .. everything.


So now, the DB is a different monster all together. Almost everything (for the purposes of this post anyway, heh heh) sits under two important files. One is the User file. This cannot be directly affected by the User themselves. The other is the Entity file. Underneath the Entity are all the User interactive files. Stats, News, Images, and so on. The User logs into their Entity, and controls what Sport they are playing, when the Games are, who scored how many tries.

Of course, there are problems with this approach. Designing a Lazy system is best. With the database strong, it falls on the implementation to make sure the User doesn’t have to do too much. Entering every single Game in a Season might be considered too much.

How do you solve this problem?

One way is to provide a template (say xml in this case) which is for whatever data they are populating. This would have to be maintained at the server end, and we return to the same problem as before. Why should I have to maintain this data?

Another method would be to "share" the data across Entities. So that certain data entered by one User (for an Entity), is shared across other Entities.

This idea works when you have a few teams in one division using the system at once. But if you’re the only team in your division, noone else is entering the relevant information for you. Which leads back to you entering all the info yourself.

I haven’t solved it yet. But will chew away for a while.

There is more I’d like to say about Ext and problems I’ve encountered along the way. Another post. Seeya then.

Five Cool Games


Now, these games aren’t AWESOME. Well, not all of them. But they are good enough.

In certain aspects I find them as much fun as Bioshock or Half-Life 2 .. in fact _more_ fun at times. Course, I’m an RPG man at heart. Always have been. Always will. I think Tolkein is to blame, along with Salvatore creating Drizzt, Jordan with his world, and GRRM with .. well, with every word written in the ASOIAF epics.

Heroes V Gold

This is a keeper. Definately gotten better with the expansions and patches. Lots of fun. Takes me back to old school Heroes 2 days.

You need a fairly decent pc to run it properly though.

Hellgate London

This is a cool game. I’m not going to say anything that hasn’t been bashed around half a hundred times on the web since it was released. There are some problems, chief amongst them being it’s lack of setting change.

Also, I think there is something about the Tolkein Fantasy that makes for global access. Diablo had the medieval thing going on. Cane. Tristram. Then the different Acts. Mmmm, { slips into a daze, drool running down the corner of his mouth }.

The Witcher

This is a different game. Combat is fun, story is engaging. Characters are well done, so far. Of course, as is talked about in every review, sex is more prevalent than usual. It’s something that’s encouraged by the game. It’s something to be aware of. I’m not making any judgement calls here, I’ve played the game, so am not going to be throwing glass into any stone houses.

Gothic 3

This sucker has been out for a while. Taking all the patches, including the Community Patch, makes the game a good bit of fun.

What I liked about it was that I could roam around for ages, fps style, and just take pot shots at stuff. Course, got absolutely smashed a few times, but that was part of the experience. Pity the development team got ousted by the publisher. Stupid politics with the stupid politics.

Neverwinter Nights 2

Haven’t really put much time into this one. Probably will fire it back up on a rainy day, in twenty years time when the kids are all at school. Heh.

So there you go. Lean and mean. This post was actually meant to be long enough to take away from the Song posts, so they didn’t look too "self pimpish". Soon enough they’ll be gone from the frontpage.

Not Very Fantastic Voices

My oldest son recently showed interest in a Fantastic Four cartoon (dvd) that showed up in the shops. I think there’s two out, with four episodes each.

My interest was piqued somewhat. The Fantastic Four have never been top of my list, but I would read them because they were a comic. The one particular light in their world (for me) has always been Franklin. I’ve got a comic (an Australian copy, they used to be cheaper, same stories, but published over here) which at the end has Franklin doing some crazy stuff with a rubix cube. Always sticks in my memory. Found out much later, when reading over the Onslaught Saga, that he really was a cool dude.

Anyway. The Fantastic Four cartoon dvd.

Starts out pretty cool. The characters are drawn bigger than life (not bigger as in huge, well, Grimm is huge, but accentuated), and the start theme sticks in your mind.

Then Reed spoke. LAME with a capital Stupid. Both the Storm siblings are alright. Torch especially. Grimm is okay. But Reed. Man alive, they really lucked out. Not that I’m casting nestersions on anyone’s abilities, but the guy talking just sounded so .. blah. I understand Reed is a nerdy scientist, but even the guy in the movies did a better job with the voice. And the movies were some of the most cardboard Marvel adventures ever. Not that I didn’t enjoy them, I did for the most part. Like I enjoy CSI Miami sometimes. It’s stupid, but that’s part of what makes it fun.

My son loves it though, the dvd. So that’s good. I have at least one comic loving progeny :). Wait. Is progeny plural? Looking up