Brainblast

I actually took some time and continued with the small game that I once started on, see previous posts:

  1. Game programming
  2. The game

Quite fun when you get the time. Now the player can pick up items and throw them around and jump. There is also a draft of the playing fields visible, and there is music playing in the background.

I still use the ugly gimp-sprites 🙂 so the paprice is the player and the yellow stars are the game pieces. The next step would be to make the playfield workable so you could place items in the slots. Then of course when playing is working as it should the look needs to improve, currently I just use the simplest graphics I found to check that the code is working as it should.

When the game is actually playable, it would be fun to add networking. The original game that I based this on did not have that, you played two on the same computer (and that is why there are two playfields visible). A global highscore would of course also be fun. But yes it’s quite a while until I get that far 🙂

1978 – The Deer Hunter

So I watched The Deer Hunter.
It’s a 3 hour long movie about three steelworkers in the US that are called in to the Vietnam war and how they change due to their experiences. Although some scenes were quite drawn out without anything special happening, I did not feel that the movie was that long. In the beginning I was left with a feeling that the actors showed a bit too much feelings, to me they seemed kind of ”fake-happy” and cheerful. I have no idea if that was the intention or perhaps people were happy in that kind of way in the 70s ? 🙂 Anyway I am not a movie reviewer and do not intend to go into any details here, just expressing my general thoughts about the movie, and The Deer Hunter was to me a movie that I will remember but nothing that spectacular in any way. It must have been quite a different experience to see this in 1978 when the Vietnam war was so near. Anyway I’ll give this 7/10.

Movie project – pre-premiere: Suspiria from 1977

I had an idea recently that I should watch one movie from every year since I was born (movies that I have not seen before obviously). I thought about this 2 weeks ago when I watched Suspiria from 1977. That’s one year before I was born so the real project will start with a 1978 film. One famous film that I have not seen that is from 1978 is The Deer Hunter, so I thought I should start with that.

The only rules will be that it must have been released that very year and that I have not watched it before.

By the way Suspiria was a nice movie, quite odd but the atmosphere in this Italian movie is very well created, it plays a lot on color and the visual. I think I have seen 3 of Dario Argentos movies now and liked them all. Although I would not give Suspiria any top rating. My plan is to put a simple rating on the movies, and I give this ”pre-premiere” movie to the project 6.5 / 10.

The new Opera building

I took a walk down to the city today and I also walked past the new Opera building. Not the one I work in though 🙂 It looks quite finished at the moment, though there are still a lot of construction all around the area. I guess it will look really nice when it’s finished. The building itself already looks nice.

Commodore 64 – Amiga – Games – Nostalgy

This post was initially going to be about my early computers, but after a while I just happened to find myself surfing around youtube watching videos of old amiga games instead… well now I should go to bed but I’ll post this random talk anyway 🙂

I thought I should try to list the computers I have owned or used throughout the years.The first real contact I had with computers must have been when one of my friends dad bought a Commodore 64.

I do not know exactly which year this was but I know I had started school and it was probably some of the first 3 years, so ca 1985-1987. I know we tried to do some simple programming by manually typing in basic code that was printed in computer magazines, it took forever and when we did not know how to code of course there were often errors. But when it finally worked it was really cool 🙂 Loading a game could also take forever, often we played with something else while a big game was loading from the datasette tape recorder. We could for example play Pong on something close to this:

while we waited which did not require any load time.Later several other friends also got the C64 so alot of time was spent with it. I remember when one friend got the fancy floppy disc reader, that was cool 🙂

Personally I did never own a C64 as I had a Nintendo 8bit instead. But I was later the first among my friends to get a Commodore Amiga 500 (1988 as a wild guess):

That was a really great machine. I am not going to go into any detail about any computer here, there are tons of such information around the net anyway. But so many things were great with this machine, the graphics was way better than anything else and the music as well (well a few people used Atari ST instead, but I never really tried that so I can’t compare them really). There were so much nice music created on this machine, I was never a big composer myself but I did spend many hours in Protracker and similar programs; too bad I did not save anything. There is a video of it here.

Thinking about all the old amiga games with great music I started to browse around the net and I ended up spending quite some time watching game videos so I thought I should list them here. First out some really great games with both nice music and graphics:

Lotus
Turrican II
Shadow Of The Beast
Battle Squadron
Supercars 2
Cannon fodder
Rock’n’Roll

And then I ended up finding a bunch of other nice games too, so I list them as well. Some are just fun to play, some just happen to bring back some memories and so on so here they are:

Pinball Dreams
Lost Patrol
Defender of the crown
North & South
Sensible soccer
Syndicate
Another world
Flashback
Populous 2
Jaguar XJ220
Hostages
Moonstone
Silkworm
Chase HQ
Wings
Wings of fury
Hunter
James Pond 2
Stunt car racer
Monkey island
Elite II

Opera Mini

Did you know that about 10-20% of the foreign internet traffic in Norway are Opera Mini traffic ? You can check out Operas server room that handles all this data in this Norwegian article.

Opera Mini is Operas mobile web browser that can be installed on almost any mobile phone. It’s also completely free and there are no ads, you will probably even save money (and time) as if you are paying per kB your built in mobile browser will not compress the data before it’s downloaded to your phone; but when you use Opera Mini it’s compressed on Operas servers before it’s sent to you. As an example the NY Times website is about 660 kB, but when using Opera Mini it’s compressed to about 85 kB.

You can read more and download Opera Mini at operamini.com.

Image Stacking

I experimented with a technique called ”image stacking” for removal of noise. And this image shows a crop of the stacked image to the left and one unprocessed image to the right. And as can be seen it’s a significant improvement, and unlike normal noise removal filters this can actually increase the details in the image. This stack was created from 10 images which were all handheld at ISO 6400. I used the burst mode to get them as quickly as possible while trying to keep the camera in the same position. Then the resulting image is simply the median of the 10 images. The result was actually better than I thought.

Useful if you are in a situation where it’s dark and you can neither use flash or tripod.

By the way, larger versions are available on flickr by clicking the image.

No sun ?

Up here in Scandinavia there are not so much sunshine in the winter, but I just read about a small town in Austria that has no sun at all in the winter. Sounds a bit weird but as the town is behind a large mountain and the sun is much lower in the winter they are in constant shadow. They were discussing installing som huge mirrors to get some light there but apparantly it was too expensive. So it’s not too bad up here 🙂 And now with the snow it’s all much brighter.