just for fun, i had written this (really simple) game for Android not long ago. i decided that i should release it rather than keep it on my hard drive doing nothing. it is really simple, but still, it is fun enough to try :)
if you have an android phone, download it a shot and let me know what you think - and if you have better graphical skills than i do, please feel free to send me some images :P
so it’s been nearly 6 years since i posted here about pyboids… and since i love the idea of the boids algorithm so much (and was trying to play with core animation), i decided to try to write boids using core animation. it’s imperfect, but it works (and, technically speaking, it is 3d, although i don’t really have the functionality to rotate and such to prove it… well, not yet anyway).
the cool thing is that (theoretically speaking), this same code can easily run (without many changes) on an iOS device. core animation itself is really powerful - it helps make snazzy apps possible by making animations really simple (in many cases, core animation takes care of the animation for you, automagically and behind the scenes).
for those who don’t know, boids is an algorithm developed by craig reynolds to simulate the flight of birds. a good explanation (and pseudocode) of the algorithm can be found here.
dstar (well, death star as @wnafee chose to name it instead) is a simple puzzle game from the ti days. i posted a link to an html5 version a few days ago, and today, we’re releasing an ad-supported android version (just for fun). it was done by @wnafee and i.
it’s simple, but challenging - if you like puzzle games, try it out and see if you can beat all the 32 levels! you can find it on the android market.
here’s a screenshot of the level selector and another of the game play. graphics by @somaiagabr. levels come partially from the ti83 version and partially from gstar. as far as i know, the game was originally made on the ti by joe w, although i think there’s also an hp48 version somewhere as well.
wanted to play around with html5, so came up with this html5 version of dstar. it’s less than 100 lines of code (not including the levels and simple html). it’s based on the ti and hp48 versions of the same game. this version only has 2 levels. graphics by @somaiagabr.
source code could be better, but you can find the non-minified game logic here and the levels here. if i were to try to optimize this, i would start at the levels, since each level could be represented as 27 bytes (+2 bytes metadata) instead of 108 bytes.
if you don’t already use alfred on osx, you really should! it’s a great application launcher for osx. i switched to alfred shortly after quicksilver development stopped (although it is now back again). anyhow, alfred is awesome! the application itself is free (and there’s an option to buy some additional features via the powerpack). according to alfred, on my laptop, ”@alfredapp has been shown 2,319 times. Average 13.4 times per day.”
to install the quran search plugin, just click here. also, make sure to check out the alfred tips page for many more cool custom searches.
as people in egypt know, dst was cancelled in egypt:
“…Egypt’s interim cabinet decided on Wednesday to cancel daylight saving time after a poll posted on its website showed the majority of Egyptians would approve the cancellation.” (via almasryalyoum).
so, what do us apple users do until apple releases a fix? @vodafoneegyptsuggested that people switch to the Harare time zone. not my cup of tea. thinking about manually changing your time? bad idea if you have a twitter client.
so how do you properly fix it? here’s a set of instructions that i adopted (based off of this post from argentina and this post from new zealand) to properly solve the problem in egypt.
as people who have dealt with timezones before know, the timezones are updated via the zoneinfo database. you can see more information on the database on wikipedia.
1. download the latest tzdata file from here (currently, this links to 2011 version g, updated as of 4/25/2011, however, check here to see if there is a newer one).
2. run the following commands:
tar xzf ../tzdata2011g.tar.gz
sudo zic africa
by the way, just for fun, open the africa file and search for egypt - you’ll notice all the different times egypt’s timezone rules changed :) anyhow, at this point, your command line (terminal) time should be correct - verify it by typing date. you’ll notice, however, that your system clock is still wrong. let’s fix it…
3. so the time in osx is not just affected by updating the zoneinfo database - you also need to update the icu database so that it also uses the latest zoneinfo database. if you have xcode and want to build manually, download icu from apple (i am using 400.40, but you can check here if there’s a later one). otherwise, jump to step 4b.
4a. if you have xcode, run the following commands:
tar xzf ICU-400.40.tar.gz
# ./icuSources/tools/tzcode/readme.txt tells us that placing a tzdata# file in the tzcode directory will compile with that zoneinfo database# copy the tzdata file from step 1 herecp ~/Downloads/tzdata2011g.tar.gz .
# compile./runConfigureICU MacOSX --with-data-packaging=archive
# if you want, backup your current icu file firstcp /usr/share/icu/icudt40l.dat ~
# replace the data file onlysudo install -o root -g wheel -m 0644 -Sp data/out/icudt40l.dat /usr/share/icu/icudt40l.dat
4b. if you don’t have xcode, you can download my icudt40l.dat file from here and install it by doing:
although technically speaking, the same steps for osx apply, the icu file is a different version (icu46l.dat) - i built icu4c-4.6.1 and pushed the dat file to my iphone, but unfortunately, it didn’t fix the problem. unfortunately, i don’t have solution for this one yet :(
if you are a java developer, you’ll notice that java’s time is also wrong… this is because java also has its own timezone database that needs updating. although, sun oracle provides a tool for fixing this, it is only up to 2011e (rather than 2011g) as of the time of this post.
you can verify that the time is wrong by running a program like this:
so egypt (like many other countries apparently) requires military service from it’s citizens. as a dual citizen, you are exempt from egyptian military service. i won’t get into details of how to prove this and get your military pardon, but let’s just say that it’s a fairly long winded and arduous process (which until now, i am still unable to complete).
there was some uncertainty as to what would happen if i stayed longer than 6 months - some people said, “you need to get your passport restamped (or leave the country) if you are planning on staying longer than 6 months.” others said, “you don’t need to do anything.” i almost followed the latter, until someone advised me to go check just in case, otherwise you could have problems later on. so i went to the passport office in alexandria.
the lady said, “as long as you’re here less than 6 months, there is no problem. once you are here for 6 months, you need to give us your id card and your military status.” i said, “but i am having trouble getting my military status sorted out, what happens if i can’t bring these papers?” she said, “then we won’t let you leave.”
i was like, “seriously?” but i guess it matches up with something a friend had mentioned to me, so i could believe it. i imagined that, given that situation, i could call the embassy and say, “they won’t let me leave,” but i also have to remember that theoretically, i entered the country as an egyptian, so they could say, “we can’t help you.”
to save myself the unnecessary hassle, i booked a flight and left… i guess i’ll have to do this every 6 months until i get these papers sorted out…