Time for an update.

As school is a real bitch for me this semester (OS, Stats, Databases, Assembler, etc.), time for personal projects is at a minimum. Still, I’ve got a few things complete or in progress. The Columns are all up–or at least the ones since 2001. I’m still noticing some issues with search engines not updating the paths to them, though. But most users seem to be able to find the correct item from the simple, new navigation frame.

I also took a few days to learn some Flash “ActionScript” and coded a scrolling logo banner animation. It picks a random logo file, loads it, and moves the view around the image while tweening blur and opacity. The blur effect takes a bit of processing though, so the animation settles down after a few minutes. I’m not sure if it will be permanent, but hell, it’s still rather bitchin.

I’m also working on a new program in VB.Net. It’s the alarm to end all alarms. You can set up multilple alarms of varying types (timer, daily, one-time, weekdays, etc.) with any action you’ve defined. The actions (sound, strobe, command) are setup separately so that multiple alarms can use the same action. The time monitoring routine runs in a separate, higher-priority thread from the editor windows; it uses an intelligent sleep system to minimize polling (and thus CPU usage) when alarms are far into the future. I’m also using the FMOD Soundsystem to play various sound formats, unlike with Dark, which could only use WAVs with its pure DirectSound implementation. My alarm app is nearing a public release soon. It should be the perfect wake-up call for anyone that sleeps in the same room as their computer (i.e. college students).

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