It’s been a while but hello again

It’s been ages since I’ve posted anything for you good people that follow me (or the lurkers, you’re welcome too) but I just got something put together on my home site about a night market I was at a few night ago in Koh Samui. It was amazing and I loved the food and the scene. Something I could recommend to anyone that visits this fine island!


Koh Samui night market


Using your raspberry pi as a quake server

Being an admin on your own server is bad ass. Quake is bad ass. Therefore running and being an admin on your own quake server means the most bad ass things of all. Only topped with being put on a raspberry pi.

Well for this one, it’s just something to fill in while I’m on holidays. All credit for this post goes to the good people at quake Ireland for their ongoing support of the quake and the Irish community.

If you wana set up you own quake server on you pi. Check out guide 1 and guide 2 on two different set up and give those guys over there some love. They’ve been at it years and have earned it

Procedural Planets

Came out looking pretty cool

Flashy Programming

I recently heard about the upcoming game No Man’s Sky and was intrigued by the concept of procedurally generating planets. So, I threw together a much, much, much simpler version. Every planet is unique and generated entirely in code.

First in 2D

Then in 3D

The 3D one ended up leading me into a small study of bloom filters, which did a pretty good job of simulating an atmospheric glow. I also implemented some simple physics to simulate gravitational motion.

Here’s a clip of it in action.

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Hackers gotta hack

I’m a little tired of hearing this. Hackers can and will get through any system. You can not store anything on a server for any period of time and expect it not to he hacked. This is a story every country does to every country and until data is stored in a why where the data isn’t contained in one place, this will always happen

Russian hackers reportedly breached the House of Representatives’ email system

Learning Rust: More Modules! More Tests! More Types!

Rust seems kind of cool

Stewart Charles

Since the last post, there have been several incremental changes made to the game module. First, the module has been expanded to include sub-modules for the network component, and an additional module for testing. These sub-modules have yet to be implemented, but are declared for structural reasons. The tree view of game module is shown below.

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 6.35.56 PM

Revenge of the Modules!

As you can see, the complexity of our project is increasing! While it’s tempting to try and cram the entire program into a single file (actually, it’s not tempting…), we would be better served breaking our project into sub-modules. This is a convenient way of dissembling our project into it’s elementary but related components, which allows us to sensibly navigate our rather complicated hierarchy of related data types, functions and items.

Sub-Modules are ‘linked’ to the parent game module by declaring them from the entry point of the crate…

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How I Debug things

I like insights and this covers a good one

Mike's Tech Blog

One day, while I was writing some C#, a coworker commented on a line I wrote:

var foo = getFoo();

“Don’t use var!” he exclaimed. “Use a concrete type. Otherwise, how would I know what foo is?”

I was willing to accommodate him, so I updated the selection:

Object foo = getFoo();

He was not amused, however, if the only way I’m using foo is:

Object foo = getFoo();

Then what is the problem? My code will compile, after all.

Two different modes of thought

His basic issue came down to trying to debug my use of foo. Let’s say foo.toString() wasn’t doing what it supposed to, here is how he would look at the code before testing it:

  1. Determine the specific instance of foo by inspecting getFoo
  2. From this, project what state foo would be in at runtime (variables, fields, and whatnot)
  3. Trace out how the…

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Reasons I won’t install Windows 10 for at least a year

Every few months we’re met with the hype train. It pulls into the station and offers free tickets to take anyone for a ride. It shows you the beauty shots and all the flashy brochures but lets face it. It’s still the bloody hype train. It’s not the year of the Linux desktop, it’s not the year the Apple add anything new to the iPhone that will warrant the price of it, it’s not the year EA straighten up and fly right, Liverpool are never winning a cup.


And they will be fore a while


Same rules apply with Windows 10. It’s just Windows, it’s just a new release, it’s not optimized, there are always teething problems and we’ve seen this all before. It will be a full year (in fairness I mean that at the latest, a lot of fixes will happen before then) before we get updates addressing most of the issues and the forums everywhere quieten down with repeated questions like “dose dis wuk wit windoz 10”.


As you can tell, I’ve been hit in the past with some of the hype and left feeling like a fool (dam you alone in the dark 4!!!), here’s why I wanted to make this post.



As of release day, windows 10 user base has just shot up, and as BIG would say “Mo money, mo problems”. With this user base increase come an influx of weird issues not seen before, new errors reported and poor forums a wash with new threads, making anything you ask about lost in a wave of other random silly issues. Despite what they may say about “official release date”, it’s still in beta….. to me. Certain issues are not known just yet that will affect a lot of people and  these are the kinds of patches, I want to come with the release, but, when certain issues don’t float to the top until release, no one knows they exist.


Developers also have to keep up with making the new features stable as well as fixing the unknown errors they now have. Anything they have included that may have so much as a little bug needs to be addressed. Already the battle is tearing them between random errors and maintaining new features, which in itself, maintaining the new will be a task for them.


Then there’s also those features that have been removed. There will now be pressure put on the team to bring back certain features or drop current ones. This can be seen with Aero that came with Vista or the last of a start menu in 8 that didn’t come out till 8.1. Some people have become on certain features or tool being in certain places. This is another area they must give time to and to reconfigure and test.


Then there’s rule 3 of optimizing. Windows will have to face the uphill task of taking the OS they’ve made and making it perform better as an OS. Gamers, 3D graphics renders, hardware manufactures, these will all be expecting better performance and will want more improvements soon. If they want their sales of Windows 10 to climb, then they’ll need to make those benchmarks improve to show the OS is improving over time and is a wise investment.


I know that they will have this ironed out to a great system but for me, I want to wait for a patch. It just makes you feel let down when all you can do is focus on a feature or issue you need an update to fix and all you can do is wait and think about it. Let the testing to the testers and the using to the users. I’ll be waiting for one of the big patches (which will come with it’s own hype) before I’ll install windows 10.

Real time 3D programming

This is an amazing real time programming language that I came across some time ago. It’s been a while since a post but assured that soon I will have made up content after I’ve everything I want sorted on the site itself. For now, revel at the awesome that is Tao3D

Also just a reminder to follow on wordpress, twitter, facebook or old fashioned RSS. All the links can be found on the side menu and the facebook page has just been started so will be empty so please, show some love, thanks

I’m back! My FYP overview

Yes I’ve found time to write. At long last! It’s been an intense few weeks. I can safely say I had no idea that would be as tough as it would be. I’ve time to do things for just me again.

I am of course talking about what every 4th year at my University must take part in. A two semester long, put 3 years of teaching into practice, give it everything you have, all out, Final Year Project. The project we spend from the first semester of first year thinking about, right up to even after we’ve started. It’s a project that defines our worth of ability and where our curiosity has buried it’s face. All is our own work and for the vast majority of us, are ideas we picked from our own weird factory of imagination.

For my FYP, I built a secure Peer to peer money transaction system that used NFC, QR and SMS to make transactions happen. The project consisted of an app and 2 servers written in android and php.

Users could opt to sell and item. They would fill out a form and add an image of the item. The app then sent the encrypted information via HTTPS post where a server saves the item information (only enough to preform a transaction later) and have an SMS code generated and sent back to the user. The the user could display the item and anyone wishing to buy the item. They can then scan the device using NFC, scan an encrypted QR code or, text an SMS code to the server. All of those methods are just ways of connecting buyer and seller and the three will preform the transaction in the same way regardless of method.

The project included an SMS server, QR reading in threads, my own design patterns and lots of scripts and small concept classes to show off. A lot was learned in Android and PHP and as always I just want to take that code out, class by class and break it down here.

It was an amazing push and really took a lot of time and effort. It was a journey and race that made the degree feel earned in one year alone. It taxed in as many places as it could and made project management a delicate thing.

While the year isn’t over, there is time to check in and write a small blog to talk about it. It was bursting with features, some Android, some PHP, both will be talked about in their own posts as there’s quite a lot to most of them. It was a project that made a lot to share with you