July 2007 - Posts
In my opinion the future of games and other interfaces will be one where motion detection will be a key element.
What we are seeing at the moment is that the Nintendo WII is outselling the competition, why is this?
Well for one it makes for quite a good party machine meaning that a lot of non standard gamers are picking it up to go out and play with it.
I've actually bought one myself a while back and I must say it's quite entertaining to wave your hands and see stuff happening and it's a lot more engaging then hitting keys on your keyboard.
The tapping of a whole new public also means I can occasionally play computer games with for instance my dad, which would definitely stay clear of any other type of active computer games. By that I mean things which require fast responses and the like.
It means that the playing field is leveled for the first time in a while, because everyone can make natural movements to do stuff.
This means a revolution in gaming, people will love the new thing, the hardcore gamers because of the newness of it, everyone else for the leveled playing field and the rewarding experience. The whole thing isn't limited to motion sensing controllers but can also be done by webcam.
A very high percentage of laptops for instance are shipped with a webcam at the moment which means that the webcam has more penetration now than it used to have :)
I think that the penetration will be around 30% amongst students / IT enthusiasts etc it will be even higher.
Everything is pointing to this fact, the WII is the revolution and everything else will probably be more evolutionary, the WII controller is already usable on PC's through a .Net library and a C++ library. There are also some applications out there using this controller like a WII mote drum kit and a few other applications, there will probably be more and more out there soon.
For webcams there is now a bit of support for flash which should mean that there will be quite a few games popping up using that in a while.
After that there will probably be a surge in applications using the motion detection theme from the webcams to do other things.
Time will tell what all the applications for these newly mainstreamed technologies will be.
PS. There is also a lot going on with multi touch interfaces like Microsoft Surface.
This also has a lot of promise but, I like the odds of motion sencing better.
What do you think ?
Viruses and Spyware are annoying to deal with that’s why the following is a bit of a guide to make sure you don’t have to deal with them and if you do need to battle them what the right way to do so is.
A bit of advice to help out with not having to deal with this in the first place.
When you’re doing things like surfing the web you can make use of a lower privileged account to make sure that the websites / web ads can’t install any stuff on your computer that you don’t like. This also goes for programs and utilities which you run which can in turn install other programs which you don’t want.
How to create a limited account, this is the easy part :)
start -> settings -> control panel -> users
Create New user:
Give the new user a name -> select next
Select limited user -> create account
control panel -> user accounts -> manage another user account -> create a new account
Give it a user name and select standard user then hit create account.
The hard part is actually using these accounts when doing your computer work.
There are a few programs which won’t work these programs can be run through using “run as” which is available when you use a right click on whatever program you want to start being in the start menu or in through an explorer interface.
There is also something more powerful to do the job namely which is called Make me Admin, more information about that tool can be found here.
Ok now that we got that out of the way, next point of attention: Virus scanners are performance killers, I would go so far as they are just a little step better then the viruses which they protect you from. Mr Atwood was so kind as to give his opinions on the matter here.
When looking at this article you can see that the top 2 virus scanners in use today are also the ones which suck the most performance out of your system.
Namely using 20% of your CPU and slowing your hard drive down 20 fold. The review of the Symantec NIS 2007 version was supplied by Symantec before it was available in the shops so that’s why I’m quoting the numbers for the 2006 release (not sure if the 2007 version was a special sample).
So first step in combating stuff you don’t want running on your computer, know your taskman
Ok now you know, how to do the task switching stuff in the standard windows way, now your ready for the next step which is a better task manager for even more powerful features called process explorer.
This does the same as task manager from windows only it allows you to do a lot more.
You can use this when you want to delve a little deeper into what is happening in your computer. So what about when you do get infected by nasty little viruses and other things, you can use a combination of autoruns and process explorer to clean everything up.
The how to for this can be found here . Some added notes. Determining which files are spyware / viruses can be helped by taking into account the following:
- They usually doesn’t contain an icon
- They are often packed (outlined in purple) to avoid detection by anti spyware / virus
- You can look at the strings in the files to see if they contain suspicious text like: www.blabla-poker.com or something like it
- When files are packed look at the memory version of the strings tab to find the decoded version of strings
- Microsoft signes almost all their code so if it says it’s from Microsoft and it’s not signed then it’s probably a fake.
- When going after the software suspend all the processes first before killing them. This way they won't be protected by each other.
After you have cleaned out the normal spyware and other vermin, your next stop is Microsoft’s own rootkit revealer .
This program will help show you which viruses and malware / spyware has hidden itself from you in a way that you can’t remove it.
When you know which dll / exe it is which has hid itself it’s just a matter of writing down the names and removing the files from your hard drive using either something like a linux live disc or safe mode. All the programs mentioned are free of cost and free of spyware, they are just simple no nonsense applications which do their job :)
One of my favorite productivity tools has been open sourced :)
It has been placed on source forge with a BSD style license which means you can use it in open source, non profit and for profit applications.
The project can be found here.
More information taken from: http://www.theserverside.net/news/thread.tss?thread_id=45842:
This is not the end, but a new beginning for MyGeneration. You can easily sync up and compile MyGeneration right out of the box. You will most likely just need to remove the MyMetaVistaDB3xPlugin project unless you happen to have VistaDB on your system.
I created a folder called C:\MyGen and mapped my TortoiseSVN to https : //mygeneration.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/mygeneration and did a full sync. Using this example you will find the overall solution here C:\MyGen\trunk\mygeneration\Zeus.sln.
This should mean that you can get this up and running in no time :)
Hopefully this project will get the attention it deserves and taken to the next level, whatever that might be in this case :)