PostScript scares me. I'd always thought it was just-another-image-format,
but oh, no. Oh, hell, no. It's a fully fledged programming language, "most
closely resembling FORTH". Basically, it's a big ol' stack-based language.
I was reading the "PostScript Language Reference, 3rd Ed" at the weekend
[or, to give it its recognised name, "The Red Book"]. It's the language
reference as published by Adobe. There's another book, "The Blue Book",
or "PostScript Language Tutorial and Cookbook" as Adobe like to call it.
I basically learned it for the sole purpose of this:http://icculus.org/jugglemaster/ps/
My application now has a print button. And not just for static images,
What scares me about PostScript, though, is the startjob function.
When you send a postscript job to a printer, it stores it's entire
internal state. Then lets you do whatever you want. As soon as the job
finishes executing, the state of the machine is restored in preparation
for the next job. Which is a pretty sensible way of doing stuff.
Running with the usual well-let's-not-restrict-what-a-person-can-do
kind of thing, it's possible to actually leave your own [protected]
space and start messing about in the machine's space.
For example, you can arrange to have a clipping box put on every job
In other words, by merely "printing" about 4 or 5 lines, you could ensure
that this top-of-the-range printer will only ever print the bottom half
of each page until it's firmware is reflashed [or another PostScript
expert recognises what's happened and codes up something that replaces
that clipping box]
It scares me that this is possible.
Two things I don't like: There is no alpha blending. You get to draw
stuff using essentially a painter's algorithm, and you don't get to see
stuff you've overlaid.
Secondly, PostScript is primarily a PDL [page description language]
[duh]. But this means that you don't get certain features like
"delay". Display PostScript [a dialect designed for visual displays]
supports a stop-execution and resume-execution-based-on-an-external-thing,
but normal PostScript doesn't. So my juggling proggie dumps postscript
that busily prints stuff out a bunch of times before moving onto the
next frame. It's not pretty, but it works.
W00t. Finally got permission to release it all, joy & happiness abounds.
And I think I'm truly honored:http://icculus.org/news/news.php?id=1763
"This might be the strangest project we host to date"
Poor baby. His mummy fell down at the weekend. No-one in the appt
complex knew her, but she's currently in hospital and we're hoping she
wakes up. In the meantime, I have an extra friend living with me for a
while. He's nice. Old, and looks like he's starting to get cataracts,
but a lovely animal anyway.
I finally made myself a decent bag for my picks, so now they're worlds
easier to get to and play with. How exciting.
I'm so proud! And geeky with it!
Last night I was watching one of the Family Guy episodes [in season 2,
the one where the guy in a wheelchair enters the wheelchair olympics]. I
know it's not much, but there's a bunch of blind guys walking around
with a big sign in braille that says "GO BLIND".
And I read that without having to look it up. Yay! I had a lot of trouble
because they do their capitalisation all funky. To capitalise a single
letter [eg at the start of a proper noun], you prepend a cell with just
the bottom-right dot in place. To capitalise an entire word, you prepend
two of those cells. In the show, they just capitalise each & every letter.
In the meantime, one of the reasons that I wanted to learn braille was
so that I can use a braille terminal. Remember Sneakers, anyone? Yes,
those really do exist. And if anyone out there knows where I can get
a braille terminal for an affordable price [or has one in a garage
gathering dust that they'd like to donate :-)], I'd love it.
See, I simply can't afford the couple grand these puppies seem to cost.
And other than that, jmdlx [http://icculus.org/~chunky/jmdlx
] compiles and
runs just fine on windows, without modification, using Boodshed's DevC++.http://www.bloodshed.net/dev/devcpp.html
Nice compiler, nice UI, free as in beer... I like this software.
Yay! Just got my new book from Amazon, that I only ordered in the furst
week of July. Ugh.
"Handbook for learning to read braille by sight", but Lelan Schubert.
In other news, you know you suck when "[the timer's] precision is
platform-dependent, but in general will not be better than 1ms nor worse
Hmmm. You know you use perl too much when the C++ toolkit you're
using provides hash tables and lists, and you use them as an
obvious-way-to-store-data. Mmmm. Dig those hashes-of-lists-of-classes.
For anyone curious, the project is http://icculus.org/~chunky/jmdlx
I've written the pattern loader, but haven't integrated it yet [I'm
storing the patterns using the above data structure]. I'm considering
myself seven kinds of lucky that my parser actually worked first time,
since debugging it wouldn't have been too entirely joyous.
Working on getting permission to open-source it, but the other two
authors are kinda hard to reach.
wxWindows still rocks, but it's timers are hideously inaccurate. I guess
I've been spoilt by spending months working on RTLinux :-)
Major pity that their website is really good-looking & easy to
use right up until the moment my desktop explodes, leaving me
without-a-functioning-graphical-web browser, and I need to download
something using lynx.
And aside from it being ugly as sin, wxWindows' documentation is
just as good as Qt's, IMHO, with the exception that wx has more
examples-just-when-you-needed-it. Which is nice.
I'm finally working on a random port that I got the source for many many
months ago, but never got round to actually porting [sorry, kids, it'll be
closed source, at least for a while... and of no interest at all to most
people out there - not really a game, I'm afriad :-)].
Since this doesn't run on Windows or Mac either, and is a generic C++
program, I've taken a stab at wxWindows... and I have to say that I'm
seriously impressed with wxWindows.
Not that it's depressing that this is my attitude, but I shaved this
morning and it's the first time I've /not/ cut myself since I got my
new razor. Yay!
See, I finally have a decent straight razor. It's niiiiiiice. In
all honesty, it's faster, easier, and does a better job than my old
Mach3. And I'm finally getting used to it, which means I avoided
lacerating myself in the process of using it this morning. Oh. And the
soap smells so much nicer than any foam I've ever used.
These are the highlights of my day.
And because I can't possibly write a .plan update without being
incendiary, I discovered yet another reason that the UK is so much better
than America - our flag looks MUCH better when it's used as a bandana.
Or any other time, now I come to think about it.
So, if "The university of York is committed to a comprehensive policy
of equal opportunities in employment", why in Hell do I have to fill in
a form that qualifies me as white, English, and not disabled, as part
of the application process?
Surely, in a sensible world of "equal opportunities", these facts would
be completely irrelevant, and actually actively avoided until /after/
one would begin employment there?
The sensible thing to do in my mind would be to hire people on the merits
of an anonymous interview where you can see neither their color nor how
many legs they've got, and based solely on their technical capabilities.
Oh, wait. I remember. Employers nowadays are forced to hire the token
black wheelchair-ridden woman, even if she's a fucking moron, just to
prove that they'll hire black wheelchair-ridden women.
Not, you understand, that I've had first hand experience of people
not qualified to do a job being hired just because they're a minority,
and then me having to clean up the broken remenants of their work...