to prototype or not to prototype, that is the question

It looked as a simple task: make a simple html prototype for a potential client. It then ended up like a horrible nightmare of html delicatessen: ooooh we must convert this png into gif because it would be smaller… why don’t we make the border of the tables fancier? … oh let’s put px instead of % … no… better put % instead of px, and no pt … and by the way let the tables use the 100% of screen width (even if I repeated once and once that reading small 10 px text along a 21” screen is like a harakiri).

Finally it ended like it started, gracefully, as a simple prototype. Remember: don’t even let the prototypes get into final applications (specially when the deadline is very very close); don’t go into unnecessary details and focus only in the really important things…

Thanks, Spöntz!

My laptop crashed some weeks ago. I brought it back to the vendor to get it repaired. Then past week an unknown number showed up several times in my mobile, but I couldn’t answer any of those times. At last, past Friday I could pick it up and then … surprise! My laptop was repaired.

I could hardly believe it. Liso’s laptop had the same problem than mine; that is, any kind of program that used the gpu more or less intensively made the screen go completely crazy, showing lots of garbage instead of the expected output… At the beginning that only happened when the computer was running for a long time, but at the end it even happened by just using Notepad! Don’t laugh – it’s true. So in Liso’s case the entire motherboard had to be replaced because the graphics card was soldered to it (apart from being almost burnt).

It had only been one week since I left the laptop for it to be repaired, and they had spent more than three weeks to repair Liso’s computer. So getting those calls so early did indeed sound very strange.

Anyway, I went there and asked them which was the problem in their opinion, of course. Laugh: the bios. They had updated the bios! Can you believe it? I looked at him, completely skeptical, and said … what?…. That guy was smiling and saying that aberration completely unashamed! I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I took everything, went back home under the pouring rain… really hoping that it was the last time that I had to send the laptop for repair.

I arrived home, plugged everything that had to be plugged, and turned the laptop on. Windows starts popping up stupid dialogs boxes regarding some new hardware found. What the f…? What had these people done to my computer? I was beginning to get angry, but I still hadn’t made the computer pass the-definitive-test: play a demo!

So I clicked on spontz_dieanderung.zip, uncompressed it, executed the demo and everything was ok. Die Anderung is loading, it said. It was like a kind of illusion … but it only lasted the loading time, because just when the demo started, the computer turned crazy again. Lots of garbage and shit spread all around the screen! Arghhh! That was when I really got angry angry…
After a complete weekend to meditate, I decided to use Die Anderung for my profit. How?

Well, I have taken the laptop back to the shop and I have shown what the issue was to the guy in the repair shop. He was looking at the screen like: you babe… hahaha … what are you going to demonstrate me? bahhh … until the rubbish-screen has appeared. His face has lost all colour, he has stopped talking nonsense and then I have pressed ESC.

The computer’s desktop was a mess, it was almost impossible to distinguish the windows from the background. Rubbish, rubbish, shit all around the screen! And I have said to him: do you understand NOW what is the problem?. Amazingly, he still doesn’t believe me, so he reboots the computer to verify it’s not a software problem …. AND EVEN THE BOOTING SCREEN APPEARED GARBLED!

So it has taken a long while, but he has finally admitted he was wrong: We… we … well… mmm … yes, I think this is not a software problem… it seems to be something more serious…

So I want to thank Spöntz, because without their demo, I would still be with a crashed laptop just because that clumsy guy did not believe me – and did not want to make his job, by the way! I hope that the meaning of die Anderung is like a kind of premonition and I have my laptop with the entire motherboard replaced very very soon!

And once again … Thanks, Spöntz! you rule!!!!!

enjoy the ride

That’s the title of marlango’s first single (if I’m not wrong). I’m really happy. It has been a long since spanish music market had something really interesting to offer to my ears (more concretely, since I listened to kindergarten).
Now I have found this group and I will recommend it to you without any kind of doubt. Very well worked melodies and lyrics – nothing to compare with those boring and excesively typical spanish shitty songs that we are used to suffer. Great arrangements, complex atmospheres with lots of nuances – that’s what I call a real production, superb!
Is it not strange that almost 50% of the band is not spanish? It’s composed by a very well known face: the singer Leonor Watling -also actress-, and two great musicians: pianist Alejandro Pelayo and trumpetist Oscar Ybarra.
Now it’s the time to enjoy the ride 😉

housemade benchmarks

Past friday I could make a project -or experiment- that I had in mind for so long. I bought a cheap Geforce4 MX440, agp 8x with 64mb of RAM. And I changed my old ATI RageIIC/4MB with the brand new card!! The best of all is that … it worked!! Now I can view a lot of demos (specially the ones that really take profit from the accelerated hardware), while I wait for my laptop to be repaired. For the curious people, my old computer specs are: Pentium II 350 MHz, 192 mb RAM, 32GB hd, sblive! and some more peripherals that do not make sense in a graphic benchmarks talk…
The installation and setup was so quick. Just take away the old card, plug the new and it was immediately detected by w98 (oh yeah! old flavour! ;)). I installed the drivers and everything was working instantly.
Of course, then I wanted to test it … so I went to my demoscenedemos folder and clicked over one random file. The chosen one was "kunetsu", by mac, sml, drkami and others (I don’t remember exactly all the members, it was released at some mekka&symposium party, maybe 2001). After a relatively long loading time (just understand it: it’s a pII!!) compared to the ridiculous amount of time spent when I played that demo in the Pentium4, I was hoping a system failure or something like that, but IT WORKED!!
I couldn’t believe it! So I went for more demos! This way/stravaganza worked almost ok, excepting the first scene with lots of arrows: maybe they were too many arrows for my little pII. Great test too: Medium/einklang.net. It also worked very well. Variform/Kewlers did it too (and I hadn’t played it for months so this was a delicious benchmark, nothing to compare with the boring benchmarks that I am used to execute in the work and some serious tasks. I also tested some other demos and intros: please the cookie thing/aardbei (I love that orange color!!) and vip2/popsy team. Last one made my processor suffer a bit in some scenes!!
Then I went for some more: the loser/tlotb. If the computer could play it, then I would consider myself completely satisfied. And … do you guess? it worked!! woah! tlotb’s engine is incredibly optimized. I was astonished by the overall performance of the demo. Yes, it didn’t pass very well the particles scene with the daemon in the center (I think it only got 15 fps or so), but what about the rest? lots of vectors moving and interpolating in real time!! incredible!
And that’s all about my last experiment. Stay tuned!
Of course, you can download all these demos and intros from pouet.net

cleaning up the mess

Everyone of us has to undo the mess in our harddisk drive. And then we find things that we forgot we had downloaded, for example music files. I try to be accurate in their classification, but usually it ends in a complete boredom of empty folders (elektro, pop, techno, blablabla, …) and just one called “download_mp3” where every mp3/ogg goes, hahaha.
So today is the day that I have to order this mess and I have found some of that forgotten files. More concretely, these consist in music from the russian group lumeny. I don’t remember how did I find that group, maybe it was from a link at toxicosmos page. Well, the fact is that they are a very interesting pop group – although I don’t understand anything of their lyrics. So I put here a link to their page (with a really cool design, by the way) and a link to the music section, where you’ll be able to download the music I am speaking about. They are really great!