Old Windows Mobile Game

A while ago, I created a game for Windows Mobile all in Win32 using C++. It was a puzzle game along the same lines as Bejeweled and many other match-three-or-more-in-a-row type of game. It did have a unique mechanism where the rows and columns acted as dials and the tiles wrapped as they were dialed to the edges of the game board. I had never seen any other game use this mechanism.  Windows Mobile has died and Windows Phone has been a much better platform to use as both a device and a development platform.  But that means that I had no way of playing my game.  I dug the code up and did a half-hour port to Windows desktop just to see it again.  There are a bunch of bugs but the game is fairly intact and marginally playable.  I do not plan on fixing any of the bugs.  I just wanted to save something of the game for posterity.

Sully?

I can totally understand how the closet monster came about. Tonight, Jillian had been down for bed for just a little while when we heard her door open. I went to see what was wrong and she was fairly shaken up. When I opened her door, I found one of our cats was in her room. I looked around and noticed that the closet door was open even though I closed it before. I figure that Gunther (the cat) got himself closed in her closet and waited until it was quiet before trying to get out. Jillian actually opened the closet to find him coming out of it. What a brave little girl! I can’t imagine facing a closet monster at her age.

New-little-man

Calvin was born on March 22nd at 5:26 pm. He was 6 lbs 13 oz and 19 inches long. Just like his older sister, he started with a full head of hair. We can’t help but love him. Jillian was kind of confused when she first met him but that could very well be because Mommy was in a hospital bed recovering and she missed her. I got it on video but haven’t watched yet. Our little family is complete, now. :]

As a side note, if at some point in the future he comes up to me with a clipboard and lets me know that I’m not doing that well in the dad polls I will be completely happy with that.

More Music…

Jillian and I had fun with a Nintendo DS running the Korg DS-10 synthesizer. I set things up and let her fiddle with a drum beat and a bass line I started. She did the rest. Once we were done, I recorded her while she listened to it; then I mixed it in. It turned out pretty neat for music “written” by a two-and-a-half-year-old.

Hello Mama

Studio Stuff

I took some digital music survey classes at Edmonds Community College around 1995.  I created four musical pieces and they have been sitting on a DAT since then.  I decided to pick up a DAT player off of eBay and was able to rip it.  Here are the MP3s:

 

 

Feel free to make fun of me for the names.  I was terrible at trying to think up names for music.

Particles everywhere!!!

I have been thinking about making a fireworks screensaver for a bit and one of the things I thought would be really cool to have is a good particle engine for generating and drawing sparks and such.  I spent a few evenings working on it and came up with a good modular engine that can be used in other projects very easily.  Here is my sandbox app for playing with it:

(Note:  I have been told that this requires the .NET Framework 4.0.)

I just attached it to the mouse pointer for the sample since it really doesn’t do anything by itself.

I decided I would have all the interaction through a main class called “ParticleEngine” which would manage all the particles and I made it extensible by having particle effects.  The effects are added to the engine and apply to all the particles when the engine is updated, normally due to a request to draw the particles.  Currently I only have two effects: Gravity and ColorDecay.

I think it turned out really cool and can’t wait to use it in some other projects.  Please let me know what you think.

Windows Phone Stuff

I’m having fun with Windows Phone at work. Made me think it might be fun to try some personal project at home. I started a Silverlight project and it is going to take a little more learning to get that going full bore but I’ve got a good start. I also started a game project using XNA which is going really well.

I’d just like to say that after using my iPhone for the past year, it is nice to be able program for a phone again.

End of an era in my life and the beginning of a new one…

I have been at my current job for over six years, now.  It is where I spend most of my time away from being at home.  I have really been confused about how I feel about the fact that after tomorrow, I won’t be going to work there anymore.

I guess I should explain a little more.

Apparently, my manager at work has been fighting to keep our office open for a number of years.  I was blissfully ignorant of this fact because our office was consistently the most efficient and the quality of the software and processes that we produced were of note across the company.  Unfortunately, the CEO, or whatever title they made up this year, has wanted to close us for a while.  It seemed counter-productive to me but it made sense to someone since this past January we found out that the end of March would be the end of the office itself.

That was a pretty big blow.  I was concerned because the job market has been poor for quite a while and I was not looking forward to job searching.  Fortunately, there were a lot of opportunities available and I seemed to have gained the skills over the past six years that a lot of companies were looking for.  I was initially contacted by more contract agencies for agency positions at Microsoft than I was aware existed.  After letting many of them know that I was looking for more permanent employment, I got an interview at Microsoft for a vendor position that seemed somewhat promising.  This was fairly early in the game, though, so I was expecting it to be a good opportunity to practice my interview skills.  I interviewed with three separate people over three-and-a-half hours coding on whiteboards and enjoyed it, really.  I struggled a bit with some of the questions but did come up with answers I felt solved the problems they gave to me.  Shortly after that day, I was contacted by recruiters from Microsoft, HTC, and Amazon with opportunities for permanent positions.  Then I got word that the team I interviewed with at Microsoft wanted me for the vendor position and I had an actual offer on the table.  That was a tough decision.  After lots of worrying and decision making, I let the contract agency know that I was not comfortable accepting the vendor position until after I explored the permanent possibilities.  HTC seemed to be the first to pan out.  I had the first interview which went well and things looked really good.  I just had to wait for the decision makers to get back from overseas business trips in order to interview with them, as well.  I was then contacted by a recruiter at Google but my phone interview didn’t go so well so I didn’t actually get an in person interview there.  I then had a full-day interview with Amazon which was pretty interesting.  I thought it went well but I found out that same day that they were “not going to go forward with giving me an offer”.  That was a blow.  I felt pretty un-hirable at that point and was pretty miserable for almost a day.  Then I got word from HTC that they were going to give me an offer.  I was very excited.  That fixed my mood pretty well.  I just had to wait for the paperwork to get processed in Taiwan for the offer.  In the process of waiting, I had an interview at Microsoft.  It was a full day.  I thought it was over at about 2 or 3pm since that was as far as the itinerary they gave me went but I had three more interviews after that.  Well, Microsoft came back on Monday to tell me that they were going to be making me an offer and I would receive it on Tuesday.  I received it on Tuesday and it was so amazing that I couldn’t pass it up.  I waited until Wednesday to give HTC a chance to get back to me but they still had not received the offer back from Taiwan.  (It might still be there…) I let the HTC recruiter know that I was going to go with the offer from Microsoft.

I then filled out the paperwork for my background check and once it was finished (it took a week) I put in my notice and tomorrow is my last day at my current job.

I don’t really know how to feel right now, though.  It doesn’t seem real yet I know it is.  This job has been my sun coming up each day for so long that it seems weird that it is coming to an end.  It has been a great place to work.  My co-workers have been great and I am going to miss working with them.

I’m looking forward to working at Microsoft again, but this time I’ll be a full-time employee which is exciting for me.  I’m also looking forward to working with the Windows Phone 7 Series.  I love gadgets so much and these are truly the latest and greatest thing.  It will be fun to be part of this project.