Efectos Especiales

Ramblings, rants, musings, ideas and observations. Topics include (but are not limited to): programming (especially Python), books, games (especially CCGs and board games), astrology, design, writing, painting, etc.

icon:wax #879 (old comments) Wax 0.3.24 released

Not much new since 0.3.22:

Get it in the usual place: http://sourceforge.net/projects/waxgui.

/* Posted by Hans Nowak at 2006-01-11 00:14 */

icon:wax #878 (old comments) Installing Wax

OK, from now on Wax will no longer have a distutils setup script.

I won't go into a long rant, but suffice to say that repeated attempts to make distutils do what I want (collect the files I want into an archive, and unpack them correctly when installing) failed miserably. I'm sure that distutils is a great tool that works for many a smart programmer. It just doesn't work for me. So from now on, I am not wasting any more time on it. I don't even want to address all the issues here. It's just not worth it.

So, from now on, you install Wax like this:

1. Download the archive.
2. Unzip it.
3. Copy the resulting wax directory to a place where Python can see it, e.g. lib/site-packages.

This change will take effect in the next release of Wax. Setup scripts will be removed from the distribution to avoid confusion.

/* Posted by Hans Nowak at 2006-01-06 16:01 */

icon:default #877 (old comments) RSS Auction

In search for these game cartridges, I first considered writing my own program to monitor eBay search results. But it turns out that developing an eBay app, even a simple one, comes with all kinds of problems, not in the last place because of all the restrictions (developer license, etc). And while bypassing the eBay API through screenscraping is possible, this is far from an ideal solution.

Fortunately, I then found this site: RSS Auction. You can enter custom eBay searches and have the results delivered as RSS. Perfect!

(Plus, it's free. Not unimportant when you're Dutch. emoticon:wink2)

[Update #1] On second thought, maybe it doesn't work so well after all. The feeds are just sitting there in my Bloglines; they aren't updated even though a simple eBay search reveals that there are new items. Oh well. I knew it was too good to be true. emoticon:bigcry

/* Posted by Hans Nowak at 2006-01-03 15:39 */

icon:games #876 (old comments) A question...

Does anybody have a copy of Antarctic Adventure for Colecovision laying around? Or Gateway to Apshai?

/* Posted by Hans Nowak at 2006-01-02 21:10 */

icon:default #875 (old comments) Shades of gray

Robert Jordan: "As the view of the world, as expressed by the evening news and most books, has increasingly become that everything is really just shades of gray, people have grown more and more to want something that says choosing right from wrong may be difficult, seeing what is evil might be hard, but it is not only worth making the effort, it is possible if you try. Maybe not every time, but most of the time by and large. And that is the heart of the popularity of fantasy, and why it has grown. I suspect that somebody has a doctorate in the waiting simply by showing a correlation between the increase in popularity of fantasy on one hand and, on the other, the increase on the evening news and in most literature of the view that right and wrong, good and evil, are just matters of where you stand and how you're holding your head at the moment."

/* Posted by Hans Nowak at 2005-12-28 21:11 */

icon:python #872 (old comments) Guido to work on PyPy?

Update: I asked Guido, and he says it's not true. Or, in his own words: "Daar staat zoveel onzin in dat het waarschijnlijk de moeite niet waard is om een correctie in te sturen." (There's so much nonsense in that article that it's probably not worth the trouble to send in a correction.) emoticon:loveit

Update 2: Apparently Guido sent in a reaction anyway. See the article. It roughly translates to: "I do indeed work for Google, but I have nothing to do with PyPy, and neither does Google. PyPy is developed with an EU grant rather than for the EU."


We already knew that Guido was hired by Google, but this article [Dutch] says something that I haven't read anywhere else: it claims he's going to work on PyPy.

Actually, it's only the title that makes this suggestion... "Google hires Python creator for PyPy". The rest of the short article doesn't say anything new. I wonder if they know what they're talking about, or that they're confusing PyPy with e.g. CPython? Anybody got more info on this? (I don't see anything on python-dev or pypy-dev.) Have I missed something?

/* Posted by Hans "tabloid monger" Nowak at 2005-12-27 14:40 */

icon:games #871 (old comments) Gess

Check out this game Gess.

Short summary: it's played on an 18x18 board. Each player gets 43 stones. 3x3 squares form pieces, and their behavior is governed by the positions of stones within that 3x3 grid.

"The non-central squares in the piece determine the directions in which the piece is able to move; for example, if a piece has a stone in its central forward square, then it is able to move straight forwards; if it has a stone in its rear left square, then it is able to move diagonally backwards and left.

If the piece has a stone in the central square, then it may move an unlimited number of squares in any of the permitted directions, otherwise it may only move up to 3 squares in the permitted directions."

See the page for more information. It would be interesting to write a program for this. ^_^

/* Posted by Hans Nowak at 2005-12-17 04:04 */

icon:harrypotter #870 (old comments) Potter parody

Even if you don't generally like Harry Potter, you might enjoy this parody by Mad Magazine. Well, if you enjoy Mad-style humor, that is...

[Update #1] Also see this parody. (Via.)

/* Posted by Hans Nowak at 2005-12-15 20:57 */