MacBook pro battery life

I've been curious about the new Intel-based Mac laptops since they were announced, the lack of any battery stats was very suspicious.

Now that the first units have started to ship, results are starting to trickle out:

Powerpage article.
Macworld article.

Not the best testing methodologies, but it looks like the battery life is similar to the current G4 PowerBooks, hopefully with more CPU speed & a brighter screen.

Maybe be can even get iBook G3 stats (oh how I miss 4 hours of battery life) when we throttle the processor, screen brightness & WiFi.

The new Job

I'm waiting for Yet Another run of the build system at work, so I figure I should finally write about the new job.

I'm working for the quite spiffy Picsel, it seems that I'm doomed to be employed by tech companies based on poor puns. Picsel does mobile phone graphics-ey stuff, historically just document conversion, but we're getting into more interesting stuff - video and the like. If you want to see some demos of our stuff, you can go to YouTube and see some shakycam footage from the recent 3GSM expo.

I'm doing low-level C/C++ stuff involving graphics on low spec platforms, so it's kinda like games, but not quite. They seem to like game programmers here so there's quite a few ex Gremlin, DMA and Psygnosis guys. Our stuff is quite highly threaded - sometimes there's 30-odd threads running. This makes the code somewhat interesting, but threading experence might be handy in light of the new games hardware hitting the streets.

Commuting is the downside of gainful employment, the Edinburgh office is close to Edinburgh Airport so it's a bit of a trek from Gala each day. I leave at 5:30 /6am ish, which avoids most of the traffic on the A7 & The bypass. I tend to get in by 6:30 / 7am. I leave at 4 and get home at 5/5:30, so It's not *too* bad.

For the first month I was commuting through to Glasgow, which added an extra 50 mins to the morning times & a hour and a half to the evening times. Maybe that's why the Edinburgh commute doesn't seem so bad :-)


We've just been mentioned in El reg.

State of the Nerf

Happy new year to you all.

The last 3 months have been quite busy, sorry for the lack of updates.

After I found out about the new job, I tidied up some loose ends at EcoPort and took a much needed holiday. We started with week with friends in London, sorry if we didn't get round to catching up with you - our 'holiday' turned into a mad dash in the end. The other week was spent tidying up more loose ends at EcoPort and trying to do some DIY in the house.

I started the new job last November, I'll talk about it in a later post.

Christmas was fun, we had my Mom & Dad & nerfgirl's mom staying with us, so we had a nice family christmas together. This was Dylan's first real christmas, so lots of frantic opening of prezzies. I'm sure he didn't mind the doting grandparent either. It was lovely staying in Gala for the holidays, the house is starting to feel more and more like our family house.

The house itself is coming along, before Christmas we had a push on the DIY front (with much help from our parents). A lot of the niggling tasks are now done. We've even unpacked most of the books, now that the library is finished.

I've also started finding some time for gamedev and game playing too, so hopefully I'll have something to post about soon.

All in all, life is good :-).

Phone interview [updated]

I've got a phone interview today at 3.

Wish me luck.


It went well, looks like I'm through to the next stage. I'll post more details once I know what's happening. I don't want to jinx it.


Just did an online C assessment at brainbench, ouch. I'm off to shoot people in the head*

* In Second Sight a rather good FPS with some nice ideas.


I've got a proper IRL interview next Tuesday through in Glasgow. Time to catch up with the Glasgow folks!

Back from holidays

We were away on a much needed holiday last week.

We visited Chenoa's Mom - she's just moved into a mill up north of Inverness.
Some photos of the millCollapse )

To break up the journey we stayed the night in a hotel just north of Aviemore, found with the rather handy The hotel was pretty good and even had WiFi.

Before leaving, we saw Serenity in the film festival, I won't say anything other than it was fantastic.

Back to the grind...

Quake 3 Source Ideas

Need to write this down while it't still fresh in my head, and might as well do it in public to try and shame me into doing something about it!


  • X-Code project
  • Fast asset download (maybe BitTorrent/other p2p thingie?)
  • Mono bindings
  • NAT Punch?
  • Skeletal Animation (Does Doom3 have this?)
  • Level streaming
  • GTA Style modifications (distance culling etc.)
  • Physics (using external lib?)
  • Direct-X
  • Voice over IP
  • Vehicles
  • Full on MMORPG stuff

Not all of this is my cup of tea, these are just some ideas I came up with this afternoon. Any comments, ideas, interest in helping out?

Game Dev

It's been a while since I talked about game development, but to be honest that's because there's been little to talk about. Since leaving Rare in 2003 I've not had enough free time to really do anything, dayjobs, babies and moving house have got in the way.

I have been playing about with some stuff though; the bubble game, and some more work on the infamous Alien Breed Remake. Over the past few weeks I dusted off the Racing game that got me the job at rare; things were looking pretty bad at the dayjob so management gave me some work time to brush up things, should I need a parachute. So Racer's now (mostly) working on Mac OS X, in CVS & fresh in my mind.

The plan was to have Racer & Alien Breed Remake finished and released for the end of the year, with a Magic Carpet remake penciled in for start of next year. The plan was to release them under the name Green Giraffe Games (just a placeholder site at the moment), and then aim to get my first proper (ie original) game out for next Christmas.

All in all, looking quite good. Until...

Some guy happens to mention that the biggest, most shiny, tinker-toy and ideal tech-base for all my game dev, is about to hit the street.

This has got the potential to derail all my plans.

Braindump / brainstorm to follow.