Archive for June, 2005

The iPod bug

Well, for those who weren’t aware I recently purchased an iPod mini. I’ve held myself distant from this phenomenon (okay, so there were cashflow problems - at 26 I’m still a student by any other name until I pass my professional final exams this autumn).

However after a few months holding back from my usual excess of indulging my basic need to read (a surprisingly expensive activity) I scrapped together the 250 Euros need to purchase the featherweight iPod Mini.

Out with the CD player and the MiniDisc Player I picked up two years ago then (my sister just finishing her Leaving Cert. exams seemed quite happy to take it off my hands for free ;-)). The first thing I noted was the severe inability to fill up the 6GB of space the iPod Mini provides. I find myself wondering how to transfer my older tape collection…hmmm. Most of my older CDs are still at my old house probably cowering beneath mothballs, I’ll dig around for them next week. No I do not have vinyls - I’m not THAT old.

I still take an unusual glee at downloading albums from iTunes. For those who don’t know, an album here in Ireland is sold at the maximum possible price (or so it appears) usually around 20-25 Euros. This is the result of living in a water locked island where everyone is in a cartel of some sort, upping their prices since there’s no alternative unless you take the Ferry across to the UK! On iTunes the same albums sell for about $12 - pennies compared to what would normally be paid. Beautiful…;-)

So far I have little to complain about - the iPod Mini has a decent battery life though I’m vaguely concerned about the overall battery lifetime and that $99 dollar charge for replacement if the battery fails over time. It sounds a little nuts - unfortunately the battery is not easily repalceable - though somewhere on the net there must be some tutorial on this. It’s some time into the future though before I need worry about that.

One complaint would be the total lack of accessories packaged with the iPod Mini. It came with only a USB cable - a non-standard one at that. No AC charger was included either. I guess these methods of trying to make even more money per iPod make sense to Apple - smart asses.

Still, I’m happy with it so far…:-)

It’s all getting so confusing…

Bit of an overview.

Roye has obtained the right to the solarempire.com domain, so the new front page and forums will be hosted with the original URI (at present attached to Endless Wars solar-empire.net domain temporarily).

GT has obtained the rights to the Solar Empire 2 [Old] code. I do not believe this is open source at the moment, but it was originally developed by MadWeaz and KilerCris, with help from GT and Morphout. GT will continue developing the code base which was had some impressive features last I checked in on it.

Mjac continues to match Quantum Star SE’s style (I think) with templating etc., with Solar Empire 2 [New]. Given the matching names for different projects - SE2 - [Old] refers to GT’s continuation of the original SE2 project, and [New] refers to Mjacs more recent SE project. Someones going to have change names - otherwise licensing and copyrights will be pretty ambiguous.

Anyway, this makes three mainline SE projects. I’m excluding SEI and other projects based on their shift from the SE norm, large level changes, and development style. These are all good games don’t get me wrong (I recommended them in earlier Blog entries!).

Back to QS, SE2[Old] and SE2[New]…

Hard to believe just a year ago we were worried about SE’s “death”. Now with 3 large scale projects underway it seems more alive than ever. Even the seeming waste by developing three separate versions makes sense. SE is beginning to differentiate (about time!) eventually offering differing experiences for the player. I’m really glad to see that the community spirit is alive and well. Unlike the similar communities we’ve maintained contact, helped each other out from time to time, and supported a centralised community site ideal.

Be interesting to see where GT goes with this…No idea what the code looks like, but I suspect it follows a more traditional pattern than Mjac or myself would use.

Mjac has already established his project is going places. Quantum Star SE 3 uses the UniGen script he kindly submitted.

QS is still the sole actively developed open-source version with a public release schedule. That grabs a large audience outside players…at least judging from the 2000 downloads during April. No sign of us faltering any time soon…:-)

In all, the future of SE looks pretty bright…