Boy van Amstel

Technology, programming and 80's hits.

Computer Components

I have been planning to buy a new computer (not a Mac). To play games on and maybe start some Windows projects for Danger Cove. I’m having a hard time to just go ahead and purchase the components though. This is the list I’ve been staring at for a few weeks now.

Conan & Christopher

Conan O’Brien reviewed “Hitman: Absolution” this week. He’s talked about quite a few games now and mentioned this was his favorite. Which says more than you might think.

Carmageddon iOS

I backed the Kickstarter project and the iOS game is just the right appetizer. Plays wonderfully (or at least just as crappy as I remember) and looks great.

Carmageddon on iOS.

Finished Gabriel Knight 2

(Right, I ignored this part of the internet for almost a year.)

I just finished Gabriel Knight 2: the Beast Within; the best FMV game of the 90s (I don’t think they were made in any other decade). When it came out, it blew my mind. Now it looks pretty dated, but it offers such an immersive experience. The story is awesome and most of the acting is pretty good. The game’s depiction of Germany, German people and American actors talking in German is especially memorable.

The intro and some gameplay.

Boxer and gog.com

The EA games discount that gog.com ran a little while ago allowed me to buy some of my favorite games from the past (Theme Hospital!, Wing Commander!) for a pretty good price. The problem with gog.com for Mac users is that all games are Windows-only. Or at least they were. Gog has teamed with Alun Bestor, the creator of Boxer to bring the games to OSX.

Boxer makes it super easy to bundle old DOS games into neat .app packages; ready to play with the click of a button. Bringing that to gog.com means I can simply download the games and start playing. Awesome!

Boxer App

Fiddling With NeXTSTEP

I bought my first Mac just 3 or 4 years ago. Before that I used to alternate between Windows and Linux, mostly sticking to Linux. The flexibility and complexity was something I liked most about Linux. Compiling a new kernel each time I inserted a new piece of hardware into my computer and fixing errors until a game or application would compile and install successfully used to keep me entertained for days and nights on end. The absence of these exact things is what made me buy an Apple later; it just works.

This week I realised that while I’m quite familiar with the history of DOS, Windows, Linux, Amiga, C64, BeOS and so on, Mac OSX’s predecessors are a mystery to me. A few brief experiences with NeXT workstations and iMacs in public places aside, I’ve never used the system before OSX. Obviously exploring this makes for a perfect spare time project. I managed to install NeXTSTEP in Parallels and tried to get past greyscale graphics, which proved to be difficult. After reading some experiences by others I swithed to VirtualBox, which allows you to customize hardware properties, like ethernet cards and sound devices. VirtualBox with OPENSTEP (NeXTSTEP with OpenStep) and the latest update almost provides a plug and play experience due to much improved driver support. I took some screenshots running OPENSTEP 4.2 at 1024x768 pixels with 32bit colors (a setup that cost about $ 15,000 when it was released).

Apps for the Planet Talk

I gave a talk a the Apps for the Planet event. It’s about doing rapid creative projects and contains a couple of examples of projects I did, a more extensive walkthrough of a particular project and a rundown of tools and principles I like to use.

Html5-boilerplate Gem and No More Posting/deleting Etc.

For no apparent reason all the post/delete/put requests I was doing in my brand new Rails project where failing… Forms would not create anything. The problem only appeared occurred on my live server running Phussion Passenger. No issues on WEBrick.

After a little searching I found the issue in the .htaccess files. Created by the html5-boilerplate gem in /public/.htaccess.

Comment the following lines on line 348 and the problem goes away:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(\.[a-zA-Z0-9]{1,5}|/|#(.*))$
  RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /$1/ [R=301,L]
</IfModule>

I’m guessing the other rewrite rules are problematic as well. A better fix would be to only rewrite when using GET.