Archive of: computers

  • Real Life Tron

    One day, when Marco and I were playing against two computer opponents, we forced one of the AI cycles to trap itself between its own walls and the bottom game border. Sensing an impending crash, it fired a missile, just like it always did whenever it was trapped. But this time was different – instead of firing at another trail, it fired at the game border, which looked like any other light cycle trail as far as the computer was concerned. The missile impacted with the border, leaving a cycle-sized hole, and the computer promptly took the exit and left the main playing field. Puzzled, we watched as the cycle drove through the scoring display at the bottom of the screen. It easily avoided the score digits and then drove off the screen altogether.

    Shortly after, the system crashed.

    Our minds reeled as we tried to understand what we had just seen. The computer had found a way to get out of the game. When a cycle left the game screen, it escaped into computer memory – just like in the movie.

    Daniel Wellman reminisces about the day his program went awol and life started imitating art.

  • Virgin America's new inflight entertainment system

    Artur Bergman over at the O’Reilly Radar has had a chance to look at the new Virgin America planes. The inflight entertainment system sounds amazing!

    Developed internally at Virgin America, the system is named Red and provides live satellite tv, movies, mp3s, games and plane-wide chatting. Yes, chatting. There is a general chatroom, a private invite channel for your friends, and direct user-to-user messaging. When watching television, you have the option to chat with everyone who is watching the same event.

    There are also some other smart touches like USB sockets for charging of peripherals, and being able to order food via the system which keeps track of what’s been ordered so ground crews know how much to restock…

    …oh, and it has Doom on it…

    …yes, that’s right, Doom.

    Update (9th August): Xeni Jardin from BoingBoing writes about the experience on the Virgin America Inaugural, and Artur Bergman blogs about the flight on the O’Reilly Radar, including a screenshot of Doom on the IFE. Cool stuff.

  • OS X keyboard shortcuts

    Incredibly comprehensive list of keyboard shortcuts in OS X. Some of these I already knew, but there’s a whole load I had no idea even existed. Using Option-Apple-drag to force a program to open the dragged item has already become a massive timesaver.

    Useful info for keyboard jockeys everywhere.

    Hat tip: Lifehacker

  • Does anyone else see this?

    Apple just played their hand. An iMac with a remote control and home entertainment software. Why is no-one else talking about this? All the feeds I’m looking at right now are talking about the video iPod … fuck the video iPod, look out for the updates to Front Row, here comes the digital hub, and it’s going to be as easy to use as an Mac.

    Update: Mr Gruber has his groove on, as usual.

    The full-screen UI of Front Row is just begging to be hooked up to a TV. Begging. Now that there exists a “video iPod”, the next new “Apple has to be working on this” mega-rumor is going to revolve around how Apple plans to bring this Front Row UI to your TV. What’s interesting about this is that while Apple has a reputation for making spectacular announcements, their long-term strategy for a media entertainment platform is unfolding incrementally.

  • More IE7 Details

    Chris Wilson has posted some more details about IE7 on the IEBlog, and so far so good. Looks like it’s more than just a security fix with better standards support on the way. So far he’s confirmed alpha channel support in PNGs and fixes to the peekaboo and guillotine bugs.

    In other news Dave Hyatt is rattling through Safari’s Acid2 bugs. I’m beginning to think he doesn’t sleep you know.

  • O'Reilly Radar

    O’Reilly have launched the O’Reilly Radar blog. An insight into what they’re looking at and what’s getting them excited in the technology world.