Pikadude No. 1

Servant of all things cute and fluffy

See ya at the new blog!
I've moved my blog to http://pikadudeno1.wordpress.com/! Details on the move are in this post. Comments are disabled on this end, so head over there to talk about things!

It's been a quiet year for my creative works.
Too quiet.


Every month for the rest of the year, college workload permitting, I shall release one creative work from the following list. Items marked with an asterisk are closest to completion, and yes, "every month" includes this one.

  • * Zapster Solitaire 0.8: A card game based on the standard 52-card deck. It's mostly luck-based, but there is a limited-use mechanic to keep you interested.

  • * Random Bookmark: A Firefox extension to pick a bookmark at random from a chosen folder and open it.

  • Yin-Yang It (this name may change): An arcade game that has you controlling the two dots of the Yin-Yang symbol simultaneously.

  • Wackyland v2: A truly mobile-friendly Wacky Theater with a new cartoon, plus the new location Wacky Labs, where humor is not just art, but SCIENCE!

  • Zapster Solitaire 1.0: Zapster Solitaire 0.8 + audio + original artwork for Jacks, Queens, and Kings.

  • Signs of Life v2: Many new puzzles (most of which will require payment), an easy way to compare scores with friends, and vastly-improved presentation will make Signs of Life a much more impressive game.

September 1 update: Wow, that plan worked out fantabulously, didn't it, Internet? Eh, I'm still going to have five of the above out by the end of the year, just on a slightly denser release schedule.

That's an interesting card
I was debugging a web game based on the standard 52-card deck, called Zapster Solitaire, which I'll release later this year. The game is supposed to end when you've depleted the draw pile, but due to a bug I found the draw pile empty but the game still going. I tried drawing a card from the empty pile, and the program gave me the NaN of Hearts and declared me the winner. I found that hilarious.
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Return of the Blog: Attack of the Unrelated Paragraphs
Kilimanjaro sounds awesome, and makes me more confident than ever that I went on the right path when I decided to be a plugins-free Web developer. I hope to have an awesome thing or two ready by Day 1 of the release.

I probably lack a sufficiently-outgoing personality to pull it off, but at some point in my life I'd like a good excuse to spout the line "What does the scouter say about our party level??"

Signs of Life Fun Fact #1: I was originally going to name it "Sign In", but at the time it was first released, the page it was listed on didn't visually separate the login form from the rest of the page, and I realized having a game called "Sign In" too close to the login form presented a usability problem.

Signs of Life Fun Fact #2: There is a sandbox mode in the game, accessible via this URL. You can enter nothing when prompted for a puzzle to get a random 4-digit puzzle. This helped me create some of the game's 27 puzzles, and it will probably be a big help with the additional puzzles I plan to make for Signs of Life 2.0.

Internet Explorer 8 gets a lot of hate from fellow Web developers, and I don't quite get it. Sure, it was behind the times on Day 1, but it made some important steps forward, including support for box-sizing, window.postMessage, and the speed of not just any snail, but a snail specially bred for racing! I am quite happy to support it for my less tech-heavy Web apps. (Probably because I don't have to maintain jQuery, ha ha.)

Allow me a moment of pure unabashed geekery
Oh, window.history. You've grown from a tool for blatant invasion of privacy, to a cute mostly-useless trio of methods, to an incredibly valuable asset for the upcoming new age of web applications. I'm so proud of you. ♥
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What the future of my website holds: Not Internet Channel support
I had what I thought was a neat idea once: Create JavaScript apps that explicitly supported the Wii's Internet Channel, with special controls enabled for the Wii Remote. These days, I don't think that idea is worth it, so I'm abandoning it.

Nintendo's basically ignoring the Internet Channel. They're not doing anything to promote it beyond what they've already published, and more importantly they're not updating it. That means developers of made-for-Wii content won't get any new functionality (access to the B button on the browsing remote would have been nice...) or any of the performance boosts and standards support improvements from anything beyond Opera 9.30. With the Wii U on the way, I don't foresee this situation improving.

The rest of the world seems to be ignoring it, too. There seems to have been practically no buzz about it, save some murmurs of excitement and a joke or two when it first came out. marketshare.hitslink.com reports 0.00% market share, which is probably rounded, but still pretty darn low.

Creating made-for-Wii apps accomplished two awesome things. #1, it allowed the player to play these games while holding an NES gamepad-like device. If you're the sort of gamer that I am, you know the importance of holding a controller in your two hands to play games. (Which is to say, not at all important, but we like it, dang it.) #2, that combined with saving game data on the server freed you from the PC and let you take your game experience to another device.

For #1, I'd like for Web games to be able to use actual gamepads on the PC. I'll pursue this soon.

For #2, if the buzz surrounding iStuff & Android is any indication, the best way to do that is to make my apps mobile-friendly. I shall do that, then. This will be somewhat hindered by my not actually owning a mobile device that does Web browsing, but with any luck I'll be able to borrow my mom's phone every now and then. (Hi, Mom! :D )

So yeah, those are my plans, let the past be past and ROCKET FORWARD IN BLAZING GLORY, at least when I get around to picking up the pace on my projects.

P.S.: Because it doesn't make much sense to update an app just to remove a feature, Signs of Life and Wackyland will keep their Wii-specific features until I have real updates for them.

Not even a grizzled Internet veteran always knows WTH is going on
I've seen "OTL" quite a lot around the Internet these days, particularly on deviantART. For a while, I've assumed it stood for "Oh, the lose!" or somesuch. Today I decided to look it up once and for all, and found out it's an emoticon.

I suppose the appropriate response would be OTL . Can't say I feel that bad, though. I'm more amused than anything.

The Ministry of Silly Math
nasty surprise, Braid
The Internet features among its impressively large array of fantastically fun things a "proof" that uses basic algebra to demonstrate that 2 = 1:

a = b
a2 = ab
a2 - b2 = ab - b2
(a - b)(a + b) = b(a - b) (see Difference of two squares)
a + b = b
b + b = b (remember, a = b)
2b = b
2 = 1

The flaw, of course, is that since a = b, proceeding from the fourth equation to the fifth means dividing by zero. Don't destroy the universe plzkthx.

There's a safer road to 1 = 0Collapse )

Twitter's character limit annoys me
And I don't even have a Twitter account.

Twitter's 140-character limit is so darn short and so darn inflexible that it makes every character count. Authors have to revise their posts mercilessly to squeeze in under the limit* and use URLs that completely mask their destination**. If what they're saying won't fit into one tweet and they're unwilling to chop any further, they'll split it into two, and since newer tweets are shown first this becomes something akin to Ahead Stop.

However, Twitter serves an attractive purpose - it's great for things that you don't want to dedicate a "full post", such as a blog entry, to. I wish my fellow netizens used/had something better to make these "minor posts". Delicious works fine, but only if your "minor post" exists for the purpose of sharing a link. Facebook seems good for any purpose, but suffers from its own unique problems***.

The Internet is always incrementally improving, and I'm sure our dream site will arrive some day... However, with numerous sites that are flawed, but "work" nonetheless, it's going to take a while.

* I have a taste of this - I've written signatures for forums that had a sig char limit of 255.
** Unless the destination is using rel="shortlink" and the author is using a tool that supports this. I've yet to see a tweet where this happened. Sometimes an author will go out of their way to use a short URL that the destination offered in some other fashion.
*** My pet peeve is that I can't be Pikadude No. 1; Facebook insists on a real name. I'll leave it to other nerds to rant about their respect for privacy.

You cannot comprehend what goes on in the mind of an Internet geek.
function getRandomAnimal() {
return "badger"; // Chosen from an Internet cartoon.
// Guaranteed to be random.

So, I was just thinking how Badger Badger Badger used to seem so random to me, but I've known it for such a long time now that it seems... not random. Somehow, this thought met this comic, fell deeply in love with it and got married, and now they're raising a family. That's their son up there.

Why stop a loving couple like this from getting married? Vote No on Proposition 33½.


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