• Windows Localization and 3ds Max

    I came across an interesting quirk (I don’t know if it should be called a feature or a bug!) this afternoon that is part of the Autodesk 3ds Max “Autodesk Collada” exporter.  It turns out that if your operating system’s locale is set to somewhere in Europe (as many here in Bremen are), you will see decimal values denoted by a comma, rather than a dot (i.e: 2,03 as opposed to 2.03).

    Needless to say, this can cause some confusion, especially when you’re working with an import based pipeline.  This is just the problem we had with the jME2 importer for COLLADA, which was [not unreasonably] expecting a dot.  It instead got a comma and we got a nasty exception, fun for the whole family!

    Yikes!

    Yikes! I wasn't expecting that!

    Lukcily, we weren’t the first ones to notice this.  A helpful Autodesk employee was able to provide the solution.  He provides a reasonably concise method for changing the decimal setting in Windows:

    Go to your control panel in Windows XP and choose Regional and Language settings.  In the Regional Options tab, choose Customize next to the formats dropdown and then review the value set for Decimal Symbol.

    With this little doozy out of the way we were able to go on with our day of creating three dimensional models of Bremen for inclusion in Betaville.  The fixable problems really are the best.

  • How To Copy Text From Kindle For Mac

    Using and quite enjoying the Kindle App on my HTC Evo, I thought it might not be a bad idea to grab it for OS X when I saw it on the new Mac App Store. I was quickly disappointed to find, however, that I could not copy text from within my books!

    After a minute or two of finagling I came up with a fairly simple solution:

    • Select the text you want and click search from the menu that automatically pops up

    I wish I could copy this!

    • On the top right of the application you can see that the selected text has been inserted into the search bar. From here you can double click the text to select it, right-click (or Control-Click), and simply select ‘copy’. (The Command-C shortcut will not work here!)

    And now we can copy!

    What you do with the text from there is up to you, but I strongly encourage you not to use it to engage in plagiarism or any sort of “book piracy”! Its a shame that Amazon has doubtlessly included this functionality as a protection against piracy.. especially when I use their mp3 service mainly because it is DRM free.

  • 2011: Similar But Different

    Welcome to the new year.  I’d say I’m extremely fortunate to have rolled into it in good health surrounded by good people.  Thankfully I’ve got plenty to keep me busy this year with Betaville as well as my duties over at jMonkeyEngine (and that thing about working on my master’s degree at NYU-Poly… I always forget to mention that), but I’ve still got things I want to fit in.

    Herein I insert these ambitions to MySQL and do promise for the next 365 days not to sneakily update or delete any columns which may obfuscate my original intentions:

    • Write something here once a week (this post doesn’t count)
    • Learn to make sushi
    • Buy some new gloves and a new stick -> find a hockey league before the fall -> revert to childhood passions

    I wish I had more planned, but perhaps its a good sign that I feel like I’m sort of doing the right things already.  As I’m writing this the German sonne has decided to finally come up at 9:40 and is telling me to get out (shopping for groceries before the sun comes up makes me feel like I haven’t been out ‘today’) and do something.

    So cheers to you 2010 and hello 2011!

  • Apple Joins OpenJDK

    I’ve been fairly nervous given Apple’s recent decision to not allow Java apps in their Mac App Store.  Java has effectively been a second-class citizen on OS X for a few years now but this announcement really put the final nail in the coffin in my eyes.  I’ve also long held personal grudges against the former Sun for not taking stewardship of a lagging implementation (part of a larger problem that I feel Sun had with protecting the Java brand).

    On that rather sour note, news has surfaced this morning that Apple is joining OpenJDK and thus opening up their Java process.  Its truly a win-win for all sides where Apple is no longer developing their own Java implementation and the community is freed from Apple’s own lackluster efforts on the subject.  I’ll gladly take this news over being able to sell applications through the Mac App Store.

    And a sigh of relief is breathed throughout Mac land.

  • Tasksel gone from Ubuntu 10.10!

    I just installed Ubuntu 10.10 on my Acer netbook and went through the now-familiar routine of setting up Ubuntu the way I like it. When I tried to setup the LAMP stack I was surprised to find that it didn’t understand the tasksel command. Luckily this is an easy fix:

    sudo apt-get install tasksel
    sudo tasksel install lamp-server

    Easy as pie :)