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demo parties - pfister_
June 17th, 2008
01:43 am

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demo parties
Uploading all those demos got me interested in the current whereabouts of the Green Grapes, which led me to zsazS's livejournal, which led me to gd's livejournal, the latest entry on which was about a mini demo party he was hosting in San Francisco on Sunday. I.e., the next day. So I ended up spending the bulk of Sunday hanging out with about twenty sceners.

Was pretty cool. zsazS and Prodos were there. zsazS and cuthalion had built a demo for the party running on Peggy, a 25x25 LED display operated by a microcontroller with flash ROM.

It beat out the other two submissions to the competition by a wide margin. Sylphin's short demo built on Processing came in second and gd's competition voting form, deployed on the paper platform, came a distant third.

I'd talked to Chris on AIM the night before. He was wanting to make a series of songs utilizing the ST sample disks, but the samples all came in raw 8-bit unsigned format, and Impulse Tracker previews raw samples in 8-bit signed format. It can re-sign them after you load them into the module, but it makes finding the sample you want really awkward. I ended up taking half an hour to write a batch converter for him. It was the first time I'd touched C in ages. Felt really good.

The funny thing is, when I was testing using Schism Tracker, a nearly-bug-compatible IT clone, the pre-conversion samples previewed properly and the post-conversion samples didn't.

When I told Chris about the party, he said we needed to make an entry for the demo competition, but at that point it was about 12 hours before the party would start and I was already short on sleep. Hell, I wrote the code for Ekornet in about three hours, but that was back when I was very comfortable with the appropriate tools and techniques.

All this has got me slightly psyched-up to build something for NVScene '08 in San Jose in August, but I don't know how motivated I'll feel a week from now and I don't even know if the weekend of NVScene is free in my schedule.

I was poking around at the possibility of building a demo in Python, but pyOpenGL gives me bizarre errors when I try to use extensions, and without extensions, GL 1.1 or 1.2 or whatever it is I have doesn't support shaders, or render-to-texture, or cube mapping, or multitexturing, or a bunch of other stuff I'm sure I'll end up wanting. I'm currently looking at Panda3D, but it seems a little heavyweight for what I was thinking about making. Procedural stuff seems clunky, especially if you want to change the model arbitrarily every frame.

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From:bneely
Date:June 19th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
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where's chris these days?
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From:pfister_
Date:June 20th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
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I think he's between semesters at UCSB. Was visiting his girlfriend in Brazil a couple weeks ago. He's actually supposed to be visiting the bay area this weekend! I was trying to schedule a dinner or just general hanging out with him and zsazS and Prodos, but scheduling is difficult because I haven't been able to nail down anyone's itinerary.

He doesn't have much of a web presence at this point. chrisjh.com has been down for a few years. His myspace is the extent of it as far as I can tell, and I don't think he logs in often.
http://www.myspace.com/cozamalote

If you want to get in touch with him... I guess I shouldn't put his address here without asking him. I'll email it to you.
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From:bneely
Date:June 28th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)
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> I don't even know if the weekend of NVScene is free in my schedule.

NVScene will actually be Monday through Wednesday, which I consider unfortunate.
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