thoughts, ideas, code and other things...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Better than stealing...

Remember way back when your were that kid whose only tools of trade in teh bag o' tricks were pencil and crayons and stuff like that, ah the small bricks of water colors, the cheap blue color box or color bricks where you'd brush the watery brush and ... blah ends here.
So, yes, better than even copy pasting, not caring about copyrights, etc why not trace the stuff you like as in the old school days :). After all there's no harm/copyright violation in getting inspired from an artform. So for (crap this is 3rd day in making and its not yet out)... I needed some logos, some cool graphics for gmail, twitter and Lenny itself. Here's how I got it done -

1. Load original image/photo into ArtRage or MyPaint (on linux)
2. Start drawing... draw ... draw... draw some more
3. Resize into iconic/useful proportion, and smile.

Lol I might just have mislead you... but hey this obviously sounds like a safer practice than outright copy pasting media content from here and there.

Anyways so this is what I could get out of it (zoom to see brush strokes) -

and finally ->

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Nincompoop goes Linux

Ah! more than a year ago I wrote this yet to be finished 2d sidescrolling game with very crappy collision detection and pretty poorly programmed, blah blah called NinCompoop - The Unfinished Quest.

I felt like porting it to linux today. The good news is that allegro is already in the Ubuntu repository, so all I needed to do was a sudo apt-get install liballegro4.2.-dev

Porting again, was dead simple, just change the windows styles slashes to linux style slashes - \\ to /

So here we are, time for a demo -

Fork it here -, a request plz don't complain about ze lameness of teh code.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Hackfest @ Directi #1 – 31st January, 2010

It all started with this, when Manish DM'd me for a small hackfest. We were looking for a small space where we could sit together, access internet and write some code for straight 5-6 hrs. Thanks to folks at Directi and @codechef, we no longer have to wander / crib about it.

Here is a late recollection of the first event -

This time 4 of us could make it - Manish, Rohan, Ishan and I. We were joined by Mr. Sandeep and Naresh from Directi. Though the initial plan had 9 people, many couldn't make it due to exams, other personal commitments, etc

Ishan's talk was pretty in-depth and eye-opening for any Computer Science student. I think we should've recorded it. The talk dealt with problems that Geolocation based Search faces these days and his focussed on Geolocation disambiguation. He discussed some ways to solve it, ways to store and query your data efficiently (tries, ternary trees), ways to quickly find nearby places (quadtree decomposition), and even few new algorithms (bloom filter, etc).

It was eye opener in the sense that one could actually see the application of Data Structures and Algorithms apart from the only kind of good exposure we get in our college life - Programming Contests.

Then Manish gave an Introduction to Codeigniter, a popular, powerful yet simple mvc framework written in PHP. Though this was meant to be an intro, it actually went in-depth and all of us who had merely tried out Codeigniter once in a while came to know about even more features that it has. The discussion extended to various other issues pertaining to mysql, php, unit testing, etc

It was 2pm already and we were quite hungry by then. Rohan also wanted to give a short talk on his own project on centralized authentication, but we couldn't schedule that along with lunch and work to be done.

By 4pm after lunch the headcount was 3 - Rohan, Manish and I. We started working on apt-offline, in order to make a gui for it in PyQt4. I gave a quick walk-through to what apt-offline does, what it is built upon, and how to use it. Then we saw the code in order to figure out best way to proceed with the task. Manish drew some mockups and discussed on how to make the ui more user friendly and he actually KISSified the current UI into something much straightforward and easy to use.

So far we started designing the new looks in QT Designer, while Rohan shared his in-depth knowledge on Qt (C++) time to time.

As it was 8:30pm already and everyone had college or office to attend to on Monday, we had to leave by then. But boy we wished to stay more.

I think as even folks at Directi suggested, a Saturday would be better time to organize the next hackfest. A night-out is pretty much possible on Saturday as it does take time start working along with everyone on a project.

Last but not the least, the Directi office is a perfect hangout for such weekend coding and geek get-togethers. While meetups do happen in Bangalore, but they mostly comprise of talks and discussions, for instance the bangpypers and ilugb meetups. But a hackfest with such great flexibility and freedom is a totally different learning experience.

Here's Manish's detailed account of the day.

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