Train gaming

For my train journey, I ended up downloading a few emulators that didn’t work, and a few games that didn’t work, but what did work was the PC version of Prince of Persia, and the PC version of Cannon Fodder, both of which were very enjoyable.

Especially good were some new levels someone had created for PoP – a lot harder than the original ones! It did show how much work went into creating games, even back then, though, since there were a couple of subtle bugs in the new levels that led to you getting trapped with no means of killing yourself, which means your entire game is over and you have to start again, which is quite frustrating.

I did dig out the code for my track and field game, but when it appeared all on one line with weird symbols for the carriage returns, and I contemplated the idea of fixing this (and coding generally) in notepad, I decided to go back to PoP instead.

More on the track and field game later. It’s in Python…

Constantly changing passwords

I know it’s supposed to be best practice to force users to change their passwords regularly, but how are we supposed to remember them? I wonder whether anyone has done any research into passwords becoming lower quality as people are asked to change them. It just becomes increasingly difficult to think up memorable things that are not obvious, or look for ways of fooling the computer into letting you have a similar password every month.

Gaming on the move

We’re taking a 4.5 hour train ride to Leeds at the weekend, and then even longer on the way home, so I am hoping to entertain myself using a Windows 2000 laptop with no CD drive. The options I’m thinking of are:

  • Pingus
  • Prince of Persia on WinUAE
  • Continuing work on my secret Track and Field game by porting the UI stuff to Windows.
  • Booting some kind of Linux off my iRiver. Not at all sure this is possible.

The easy way would have been to run Games Knoppix, but there’s no CD drive. Gutted.

Nearing a new release

FreeGuide is hopefully nearing a new release. Alex has been working on the plugins system, and hopefully I will be able to test it this week. If it works ok, we’ll release it as unstable, and then with a few bug fixes we should be able to make the next release stable. Alex has refactored the code so that the main program is just another plugin. This is pretty cool as it means we can upgrade everything without restarting the program (hopefully, although in practice we think we may hit problems with resources not being freed). We are currently discussing exactly who should be able to upgrade what plugin when. I am keen that users be able to get a new listings grabber as soon as they need one without needing their admin to do it for them. On the other hand, probably only the admin should be able to upgrade the main app. The way jEdit does these things seems to work pretty well.