Thinking Meta

For a few years I have had an idea which I haven’t really shared with anyone. While at uni we were encouraged to think differently about gaming, and the idea came from a thought session leaving traditional gaming behind.

Imagine a treasure hunt, where the clues for each item are online and the goal is to find QR Codes stuck around the place, scan them, and claim the points.

While I believe the idea is sound, I haven’t had a decent way to create, test, produce or maintain the game until last night speaking with one of my good friends, who offered to do the leg work on the project.

Between now and registering a domain name for the project, a lot needs to happen. We have to finalise the parameters and rules of the game, think of a name, build a website and test it with a group of people.

The first thing for me will be the web development. The site needs to contain quite a bit of information;

  • Entry page, information about the game
  • Registration page (to be locked down until the game is released)
  • Clues page (for registered users)
  • Profile (to see your scans, and maybe basic information)
  • Leader board (to keep the competition fierce)
  • Admin pages
    • Create a clue / code
    • Landing pages for each code
    • User Maintenance
Once we have that down pat, then we can move to a wider audience (i.e. anyone) I’m pretty excited that someone has heard and agreed with my idea. It can only go forward from here (or not, but that’s ok)

I’ve Been Thinking…

With my personal website down, and my other project taking off (hitting about 300 visits per month… That’s gotta be a Personal Best) I have been thinking about what I’m going to do with my homepage.

I was originally playing with making boxes circles, and having “bubbles” of information, but I feel that circles are a bit overdone. My latest though has been a combination of Javascript (which I really should learn) and CSS to make an interactive, but not flash, website.

Imagine loading the page and having a picture of a lamp turned off, and a chord. Click the chord and the light bulb appears in the lamp, and shows some information. Move the mouse towards the information and roll over something which flashes then disapears. You go searching and discover it’s my twitter feed.

Interesting ideas, all completely doable with a little outside-the-box thinking and googleing “How to make stuff disappear with CSS”. I love researching and interesting, but simplistic ideas. Cross-browser the idea could be hard, but if I build it for chrome and firefox, I have cornered the market.

In other news, I think I have found a midi-tower case for my N.A.S. – The NZXT Temest 410 Elite (Assuming it fits in my cabinet) would be amazing. Room for 8 HDD’s, cable management, full ATX support and enough fans to keep everything cool. Throw in an 80+ Gold PSU and away we go.

Patrice and I are also in the process of printing our Wedding photos via Big W Photos. We are doing some canvases, a couple of photo books and a whole bunch of prints. Can’t wait to see how they all turn out.

I think that’s about it from me for now. Till next time!

Andrew

Reworking the Juggernaught

Ever since high school I have had web hosting. Originally, it was through NearlyFreeSpeech until they changed all their pricing options, and started to jip me. Then, after some research, I found Arvixe.

They offered an excellent service, with the right sort of payment plans and comitments. They also offered a free Domain name. So, being a bit more mature than I was when I registered www.sodderinc.com (Patrice helped me pick it) I registered “www.andrewdor.com” – which is where I have resided ever since.

When I started the new hosting, I spent some time migrating the old sites across, however I never really did anything with the top-level domain. It was originally a portfolio in an attempt to get in to the game design industry. That failed spectacularly.

With the new lease of life I have given my Blog (over here at blog.andrewdor.com) I feel it might be time to try rebuilding and repurposing my “andrewdor.com” domain. What could it be? Who knows! Maybe a small advertisment for myself, or just links to my various other endeavours?

Anyway, I think I’m going to blog about my web design experiences here, and I can use the extra thinking time while writing to subconsciously tackle those tricky situations which always arise when cobbling together the magic that is the Internet. Amazing what you can do with a netbook, a wireless hotspot on your phone and some time on a train, isn’t it?

Mobile Computing Just Got Srs

For those who are not part of the internet, “srs” is short for Serious. “Seriously” is how much Patrice and I were excited about getting new laptops. When my tax came back we worked out that we would have enough money to get one each.

I did my research, and once I had worked out what Patrice needed in a laptop, and what I wanted in some serious mobile computing usage, we decided to go with the Samsung NC110-A06AU which came in at the incredibly affordable $312 each. JB HiFi were having a sale! The unfortunate thing was there was only 1 in Ipswich, so I had to wait two days to get one in Brisbane, while Patrice had hers and was rubbing it in.

Here are a quick rundown of the specs:

  • Dual-core Atom N570 (1.66ghz, hyper-threaded, 64bit capable)
  • 1gb (quickly upgraded to 2gb of RAM)
  • 250gb 5400rpm HDD
  • 6-cell li-ion battery
  • 10.1″ screen, at 1024×600
  • Multi-touch touchpad

The first thing I did (before I even turned it on) was format the hard drive, and install Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit. It came with Starter Edition, which just doesn’t cut the mustard. (Mustard is being able to change your wallpaper. You can’t in starter) I only installed the 32bit because Samsung only supplies 32bit drivers. Also, I think 32bit is a little lighter on the memory, and with only 2gb, you have to be careful!

Upgrading the RAM was one of the easiest things I have done in a laptop. They take DDR3 SODIMM, which as I found out, is about $20 for 2gb. I took a trip to uMart to pick up two sticks, and ended up with Kingston (cringe) 1333mhz sticks, for $23 each. I was wanting to get the G.Skill ones, however they were sold out. The actual process is about as hard as making toast.

After swapping out the RAM, installing Office 2010, all the drivers, the latest Windows Updates and running Ninite I have to say, I’m more than a little happy with the results. It’s snappy, useful, light, and looks pretty damn cool. The keyboard is even really nice. The only bit about it is the placement of the page up/down keys, and they lack of actual Home/End buttons. I use them ALL THE TIME.

I’m planning on putting basic Adobe tools on it as well, possibly Photoshop and Dreamweaver, so that I can web-work on the run.

All in all, I highly recommend this netbook if you are looking for something quick and easy to take with you. Definitely do yourself a favor and get a real copy of Windows 7 for it though. Starter is not awesome.

p.s. I am putting secrets in my blogs from now on. If awesome webcomic writers can have hidden text, so can I!

New Beginnings

First, before you ask, yes, this is a new blog. And yes I am trying to do that again. However No I don’t think it will work any better than the last time.

I don’t think that I need to really introduce what all this shenanigans is. Basically, it’s still just me, Andrew, and I am still going to be writing about what I feel like writing about. Usually technology, stuff that annoys me, and some more technology.

I started a new blog because my old one is old. It was started back when I was learning the ins and outs of WordPress, and I was studying at uni. Many things have changed. I now have a “real” domain name, and am much more mature about my thinking. (That’s a lie)

If for some reason you are still interested in viewing my old blog, it’s moved all the way over HERE.

For now, stay tuned, and we will see what hits the fan.