09 Nov 2015 - Back in Blues
Sadly it's been almost a year since I've done anything here. For those of you not aware I'm not in the best of health and been on doctors orders not to work for years... After a stay in the ICU back in February most of my projects have been on hold -- including Paku Paku 2.0 for DOS more on that in a bit -- but I'm slowly recovering. Figured it's been WAY overdue for me to give this site some loving, so here we go.
New Page Theme, again
Not really new, I just swapped the colours back to blue. I was trying for C64 tans with the last one, which looked great on my IPS, but when I saw what it looked like on my media center using a TV (purple instead of tan?!?) I figured it's time for a revamp. Last time people complained the blues were too "bright" even though they were darker than the greens before it (that people complained were too bright) -- Is google too bright in whites and blues? I don't hear people bitching about white backgrounds so... blue and white it is.
Paku Paku 2.0 DOS Coming ... sometime
I've slowly been pecking away at the new codebase. Shortly after the release of version 1.6 I found that on an unexpanded PCJr the game left a lot to be desired, and in general found a lot of new ways of doing things and improvements across all platforms. Originally this was going to be a version 1.7 release, but I figured if I'm gonna do it, let's do it right.
31 Dec 2014 - Disqus added and Code Progress Update
Disqus now working, I think...
Holidays took a bit more of my time than planned, then had some 'issues' with getting disqus' comment counts to work right. Turns out they demand a full URI (which is stupid as HELL) to auto-process links on a page. I ended up using the span targeting with the data- attribute method. Not a fan, but it's just too damned stupid the other way around... so, now we have comments at least on the blog parts of the site. I'll be adding comments to some specific sub-pages as I'll likely start adding more article-like content to the site.
Site Back End additions
I've added a method of creating 'breakpoints' in my articles so I can manually set where the "read the rest of this article" link gets placed. Automating this usually sucks and is a headache, so simply having a 'comment' that says "stop here for the summary" seems a far, far better way of handling it.
When/if I turn this simple "poor man's CMS" into a real content management system, this may be a pretty big feature... though I will still likely require that articles be written in HTML simply because it is the only guaranteed way to have proper control over the output from an accessibility and SEO point of view.
8088/8086 DOS Game Engine Improvements
I've been working for, well... years -- mostly in my spare time -- on "upping my game" when it comes to writing games for DOS. My new approach uses a great deal more assembly language and is built towards building monolithic "single executable as the distribution" games instead of a "directory full of files".
I've made huge strides in terms of faster audio with a more 'modular' way of adding sound devices. I've been working towards adding new devices as well as fixing bugs. Likewise my video support is seeing some optimizations, bugfixes, and a whole new way of storing game data and buffering screen output.
24 Dec 2014 - Site Reskin and status update
It has been almost two years since I've done any work on this site. Between my borderline health and the variety of other projects I've been working on the site has been on the back burner for far, far too long.
Site Redesign in progress
First as you can likely tell is I reskinned the site. I'm not entirely wild about the "Noctua" browns, but the joke overly bright blue and needlessly dark green before it were never really "serious" designs. If anything that bright blue -- which laughably was DARKER than these browns -- was a kneejerk overreaction to people's complaints about the "retrocomputing green". I've also gone through and written an all new responsive layout handler using more modern techniques that should be a better showcase for all those things I keep talking about on web development forums like accessible design, semi-fluid elastic responsive layouts, and so forth.
Second I'm going to be adding Disqus to the news article/blog pages and a few select subpages. I'm not 100% happy with how big the scripting for it is (I suspect if I bothered I could do it in a quarter the code or less) but it's functional enough and of all the choices out there seems the least crappy. Not exactly high praise, but what can one expect with scripttardery. Likewise some social media links (probably just FB and G+) will be added as several projects are going to be approaching completion soon and it might help get things into the hands of interested parties. I figure I'll be implementing it this weekend (aka after Christmas).
More DOS games coming soon.
I'm going to start writing up progress reports on updates to my DOS game engine, which will first be used on an all new version of Paku Paku. There are three other games currently in development but since i'm using an all new codebase for audio and video I figured first I'd stick with a known quantity on gameplay and game logic. So stay tuned for updates on that.