Queer Eye and Too Many Logins

On a recent episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, my company’s software product was featured. It was only shown for fifteen seconds or so, and mentioned but briefly. It seemed like an important milestone, though, as the company continues to grow and be used by more people learning to read.

Also, we were formally assigned to our game prototype projects. I think of it as a bit of a contest, myself. I made up some graphics for the game, and even lent my voice talent to its narration. One of our programmers will be making the game in Flash, another in Authorware, and I will be doing a version in C++. We each have a maximum of 20 hours we can spend on the project. If I finish mine early, I am going to try to port it to the Macintosh, just to prove it can be done. (And to show off.)

I was thinking today about how everyone has so many different logins for so many different computer programs and websites. It is simply too much to ask of an ordinary user–or any user, for that matter. It seems to me that login and authentication ought to be included as part of the fundamental protocols of the Internet, you know, so you could login once and be recognized everywhere.

I think we are a long way off from this goal, though. Microsoft tried to do it with its MSN Passport, but I think that failed because they charge outrageous licensing fees to websites who want to use it. With some of the vibrations going around now about reworking the Internet, such as the Internet 2 project, I hope this will be part of it. Not only would it make life simpler for computer users, but I think it would also help to cut down on spam.

Game Time

At work, we will soon be starting on a very interesting project which is dear to my heart. As a way to evaluate different development tools (C++, Java, Flash, and Authorware), each of us will be programming the same game in a different language. I think that I will be assigned to do it in C++, since that is my area of expertese. I have also been able to do some graphic design work for the game, which is also a lot of fun.

Some of the game requirements are that it runs on both Windows and Macintosh platforms, that it can display 2D graphics, and that it can play sound. I plan on developing my version in Visual C++ 6.0, using DirectX, since that is what I am best at. If I finish early enough (we can each spend no more than 20 hours on the project), I would like to try to also develop an SDL version to run on the Mac. I’m a little scared about that part, since I don’t know the first thing about Mac programming. But, I think I could at least do something basic.

It’s nice to take a little vacation now and then. I took Friday off, and did just that.

My wife and I went up on a vacation to Bear Lake over the weekend, with her family. We spent most of the time in northern Utah, but ventured to southern Idaho as well, which is where we went to church on Sunday. I’m not usually much for taking photographs, but I thought I would include these two that we took.

(The one on the left is me standing in front of the Bear Lake Caramel Company, whom I developed a website for. They make very good caramels.)

I got to go out on a waverunner for the first time. I am not usually very into “extreme sports” or anything of the sort, but I found the experience to be exhillerating. Most of the rest of the trip was spent watching cable TV, actually, which none of us have at home. We made it a point to buy some famous Bear Lake Raspberry Milkshakes while there, and while they were good, we were disappointed to find out that they just imported the raspberries from California.

While driving through the countryside, I reflected upon how different it might be to live a rural lifestyle, instead of the suburban one that I have always known. While I find many of the elements to be charming, such as the clean air, beautiful countryside, and tight-knit community feeling, I can’t help but wonder how I would ever find a computer programming job out in the middle of nowhere. Being part of a metropolitan area, though, is a pretty safe bet should I ever have to look for a job.

The First Light play went well, a lot of people really liked it. I am doing very well in my art class, and have been working on a 3D asteroids game, called Beyaan, with a couple of friends.