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Good bye, iOS 4

I'm planning to go back to iOS development, and I got the newsflash: XCode does not support iOS 4 anymore. Bad news for anyone who believes in iOS 3/4 market share. This means the end of torture to me. I can freely use Storyboards, Shaders, iCloud, Facebook and such.

I did not find anything official, but kind developers have graphs e stats. Numbers are depressive to iOS 3/4 fans. These devices does not reach 4% of market share. I doubt these users will pay dev's salary. On the other hand, cool features and brand-new iOS 6 users will probably pay for a cool app.


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Ludum Dare 23 submitted

After one day and a half, I finally submitted my game to Ludum Dare 23. Theme was "Tiny World". I guess this was number one in "abstraction". Lots of people said bad words in the IRC chat when it came out. Playing other entries, I saw a lot of people gone for "tiny" or "world", but rarely both. My game (that I hopefully joined both "tiny" and "world") was about molecules. You build them in either a sandbox level or in "challenges" I made. And I put a funny tutorial, too.

You can play it at Ludum Dare (and know other contestants), or click here.


Ludum Dare 23

Ludum Dare 23 starts today, 21 o'clock BRT. I'll dig in, but, due to a miscalculation (thanks God I do not work launching satellites) I did not prepare myself for the battle. If you don't know, Ludum Dare is a game development competition. You have 48 hours to make a game from scratch (including sounds, graphics, etc). The theme is something abstract (ex: LD 22 was "alone") and you make something based on it.

Markus "Notch" Persson took his chances with a "minicraft", but didn't hit top 20 - and he got a lot of fans! I'm going like a marathon. This means "if I finish it, I'm happy".

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Tower Defense using Unity3D

Blender and Unity3D made my life so much easier. In less than a day, I created from scratch the basics of a simple "Tower Defense":

Blender takes care of the map (i.e. the Hulk-colored blocks) and Unity takes care of enemy proximity detection. I made a couple of simple scripts and I'm done.

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Hello Unity3D World

After weeks studying Unity3D's tutorials, I finally made my own "hello world" game. It's a remake of an ancient game of ping-xong. The name I can't tell, because the owner of the copyright will sue me for good. Believe me - this happened when I published a game like this in Apple's App Store. Oh, and the game was 100% free...

This (also free) game is only an experiment. I made nothing more than base mechanics and some funny FX. I guess there are so many bugs that they can unite themselves and conquer the Earth. Anyway, click here to play. BTW, talking about suing me, this game is provided AS-IS. No warranty that it will work and I'm not responsible if evil overlord bug blows up your HD. One thing I assure: my HD didn't blow up...


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How to make your employees happy, Minecraft-like

It's really hard to make your employees happy. Seems like an ancient kung-fu technique that you learn from an old master living on the top of a really high mountain with a long sadistic stairway leading to him. For Notch, A.K.A. Markus Persson, this is child play. His employees are happier than a small kid holding a huge lollypop while hugging Goofy in Disneyland.

His technique is really hard. You must go thru the eight circles of hell and rip off one of devil's ear to learn. The first step is easy: build an success enterprise and profit $3 million. Secondly, prepare your mortal soul, because it can bleed your eyes: get all this profit and distribute to other employees. Oh, boy. Any burning sensation? Dizziness? No? Great. That's all about it. You just learnt the ancient technique.

Yes! That's what I said. Don't put the profit in your pocket and waste with cars, Malibu houses or such. Just give it back to the people that made the money happens. Doubt it? Read Notch's tweet:

Easy as that. Uh, did I mention he is profiting three million and is still working with his colleagues? Yes! You will not find him in the roof of the building, with a huge office, hot hooker/secretaries serving 21-years old scotch. No! You will find him working with other employees, playing with nerfs, and such.

By the way, Mojang (the happiest place on Earth to work) has only 25 employees. Yup! Only 25 human beings profiting $3 million. This means a "Christmas Bonus" worthing ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. I don't know about the evil taxes on your country, but even an abusive 30% tax means they have $80 thousand dollars to play with.

Lord have mercy. This is how you can make employees REALLY happy without distributing Xanax. Now, if you excuse me, I'm going to a dark corner of the room and cry like a baby.

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Sweet Child of Mine

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Why I love to be a nerd

I love my "nerdy" condition, because I can find this example in a Node.JS lib and laugh:

  if( !err ) {
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Taking a Dump

I'm still laughing after reading this:

Vince the PM burst into Rick's office like a blister. "Have you replied to ticket 178843 yet? No? Why not? How could you not! This is urgent! It's a failure at the customer site!"

Rick calmly checked the ticket manager. The ticket had arrived only 45 seconds ago, so no, he had not replied to the ticket yet. Rick calmly and silently read the ticket while Vince hyperventilated over his shoulder. The customer reported that the database client failed with the error "Segmentation Fault - Core Dumped".

"Someone probably screwed up a decimal point," Rick said. "It's always some little thing like that. I'll have them email me the core file so I can tell where the application crashed."

"We can't do that," Vince said.

"Sure we can," Rick said. In small words, he began to explain how adb and the symbol file would let him interpret the core dump, but Vince cut him off.

"Don't treat me like an idiot," Vince said. "I was reading cores before you were in diapers. But that core is a binary file."

There was a long gap in the conversation as Vince was sure his point was clear, and Rick was sure that Vince had no intention of actually making sense. With a huff, Vince warned, "We might get a virus from a binary file!"

Rick rolled his eyes and explained why this was an extremely unlikely possibility. For a half hour, each one of his attempts seemed only to make Vince dumber. "You cannot have them send us a binary file through email!"

"Fine," Rick said. "We can have them take a hex dump of the core file, and send that. I can convert it back and extract the data-"

"Data? We can't have them send us data!" Vince shrieked. He gave Rick a deep look of betrayal, as if to accuse Rick of wanting their network to get destroyed. "We could get-"

"-a virus?" Rick finished. "No, we won't."

Vince was having none of it. Rick, obviously, did not have the faintest idea how network security worked. "You really need to read more trade magazines," Vince said.

Rick focused instead on proposing new ideas. FTP? Virus. SFTP? HTTP Upload? Morse code? Virus. Overnight the file on a thumb drive? Too slow and still, virus.

"Look, we don't have time for all these foolish ideas," Vince said. "Just have them fax it to us. They can take that hex dump, print it out, and fax it to us. We'll use the interns to type it back in, and then you can load it up in the debugger, and then there's no way we could possibly catch a virus. Call the customer and tell them to do that."

The fact that Vince left the conversation with his skull still attached to his neck was either a testament to Rick's restraint or Vince's exceedingly high dodge bonus to armor class. Rick called the customer, and over the sound of his teeth grinding together, he explained the situation.

There was an extremely long pause at the other end of the line. Eventually the customer said, "You work for a group of morons."

"The customer is always right," Rick said, "but I'm still going to need you to fax that over."

They used enough paper to deforest a small South American country. The first few faxes didn't come across as fully legible. Then one of the interns dropped the stack of un-numbered pages. After getting the pages distributed the interns miskeyed a few characters. A careful page-by-page check found all of the mistakes, and Rick was finally able to use the debugger to analyze the core file. The problem was an unitialized variable.

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Felidae Erectus


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