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It's been a while since I last posted here. Sorry. I hope you can forgive me in the fullness of time.

So Thursday the UK decided to leave the EU for some bizarre reason that I still don't fully understand. Many of those who voted to remain feel angry and cheated out of what may have been a more prosperous future than they are now faced with. However, I don't want to rant and rave about how we've made a terrible mistake. I've already done that on Facebook.

Sickeningly, there are already stories and rumours ... Read more

Posted by Matt Spraggs at 12:38, 25 June 2016

Labels: Politics; Brexit

Upgrading Mesa on Debian Stable (Jessie)

Hello! Belated merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

Right, now the social niceties are out the way let's get down to it. I play World of Warcraft (WoW). There, I said it. No Some shame. I also run Linux. LMDE 2 Betsy to be exact. That's Linux Mint but based on the Debian repositories, so I'm not shackled to the whims of Canonical. WoW is targetted at Windows and OSX, but that's okay, as Wine handles WoW fairly well.

LMDE Betsy is currently based on Debian stable (Jessie), which uses Mesa 10.3.2 ... Read more

Posted by Matt Spraggs at 17:45, 6 January 2016

Edited at 22:14, 15 February 2016

Labels: Gaming; Linux; Tech Help

How to Get Around the Telegraph's Article Limit

If you read The Telegraph online, you might have seen this appear recently:

Telegraph Article Limit

Today I discovered how easy this is to get around: just delete the cookies The Telegraph deposits on your computer. To do this on Firefox, check out this link, and for Chrome, check this link out. Finally, for Internet Explorer, click here for IE 6 to 9 and here for IE 10 to 11.

Posted by Matt Spraggs at 19:05, 27 September 2015

Labels: Tech Help

Jeremy Corbyn: One Week In

I didn't put Jeremy Corbyn on my ballot for the Labour leadership. He came across as very genuine during the leadership campaign, but I just couldn't get behind his policies. We lost the election because we didn't appeal to enough of the electorate, so running for the leadership with policies that only appeal to one segment of society seemed like pure folly.

So as you might imagine I was pretty disappointed when the election result was announced. Corbyn was of course tipped to win, but winning in the first round of vote counting with a landslide majority ... Read more

Posted by Matt Spraggs at 15:25, 19 September 2015

Edited at 23:00, 26 September 2015

Labels: Politics

Jurassic World Review

The latest in the franchise doesn't quite capture the charm of the original, but with plenty of nods to the first film, eye-popping visuals and intense action scenes, you'll be thoroughly entertained to the end.

I really liked the first Jurassic Park film, like so many others, and I'm an even bigger fan of the book. So when rumours started circulating a few years ago that another film was in the works, I was pretty excited. Naturally, Spielberg wanted to ensure that the screenplay would be great, no doubt wanting to avoid a repeat of Jurassic Park ... Read more

Posted by Matt Spraggs at 11:48, 14 June 2015

Labels: Movies; Reviews

LEGO and Arduino: This Is the Droid You're Looking For

Like any self-respecting geek, as soon as I heard about the Arduino, I wanted one. Admittedly I was pretty late to the party, way past what could pass for fashionably late, as I only found out about it a year and a half ago. But anyway, no sooner had I heard about it than I was adding an Arduino Uno to my basket and checking out on Amazon.

I diligently worked my way through the first few projects in the book that came with the Uno, which provides a nice and gentle introduction to electronic circuits. Inevitably I started dreaming ... Read more

Posted by Matt Spraggs at 21:15, 8 June 2015

Labels: C++; Web Development; HTML; Arduino

Southampton Code Dojo - March 2015

I went along to the most recent Southampton Code Dojo last week (12th March). I'd been meaning to go along for a while, and given how much I enjoyed the Game Jam in January (see here), I signed up earlier this month. The Dojo is basically a meet-up in the Southampton area for those interested in programming/coding, taking place on the second Thursday of each month. Unlike the Game Jam, which lasts all weekend, the Dojo takes place in two hours on one evening.

I managed to get off to a good start by showing up a bit ... Read more

Posted by Matt Spraggs at 20:26, 19 March 2015

Edited at 00:21, 24 March 2015

Labels: Python

Global Game Jam 2015 (Part II)

Click here for part I.

Much of Saturday was spent laying down the game code. I worked on some of the game backend, creating an object-orientated interface to the game world and levels. The world would be split into several rooms, and each room would contain a series of blocks, some of which the player could interact with. Inspired by Spelunky, we decided to store our level layouts in ASCII files to simplify level editing.

At 6pm on Saturday a mini-showcase was held. This was supposed to be an intermediate deadline to work towards to try and get something playable ... Read more

Posted by Matt Spraggs at 23:01, 7 February 2015

Edited at 08:13, 19 March 2015

Labels: C++; Gaming; SDL; Global Game Jam

Global Game Jam 2015 (Part I)

It's 10pm on Friday night and I'm sat in the computer lab in ECS at the University of Southampton. My mind is racing, full of what needs to be done and what I have to do; it's hard not to feel a little overwhelmed. No, this isn't some desperate slog in the last chance saloon to make a university assignment deadline. Earlier this year I signed up to take part in the Global Game Jam 2015.

I'd never written a computer game before, and the opportunity to get stuck in and work with others to ... Read more

Posted by Matt Spraggs at 00:27, 31 January 2015

Edited at 08:12, 19 March 2015

Labels: C++; Gaming; SDL