||[Monday 17th November 2008 at 11:59 pm]
C++ is probably, in some form or other, the most-used programming language in the world. It's also one of the easiest ones to shoot oneself in one's foot with, as while there are such things as type declarations and objects the compiler makes very few attempts to enforce type safety, or to enforce object lifetimes. Another failing of C/C++ is the implementation of strings: C strings do not have a defined length. Rather, they are terminated with a null byte. This means two things: one, computing the length of a string takes O(n) time, and two, you have to separately keep track of the size of the buffer. The latter is what leads to the most common type of exploit: a buffer overflow. I think the main reason I list this as an interest is because I know how to program in C++.
Hah, yes. Where would I be without computers? I've been interested in them for a long time, and grew up programming on an Amstrad CPC6128. There is something neat about being able to make a computer do what you want it to do.
Ikaruga is a very distinctive side-scrolling (well, vertical-scrolling actually, but there's an option to rotate the display) shooter. What makes it stand out is the dual-colour system used: you can either fire white bullets with a white shield, or switch the polarity and fire black bullets while having a black shield. You can absorb bullets that are the same colour as your shield, but bullers of the opposite polarity mean instant death if they touch the middle of your ship. Enemy ships come in both colours as well, and shooting with the opposite colour does twice as much damage. It's very much a practice-makes-perfect type of game: the enemy patterns are the same every time, so while there's moments when you're trying to dodge immense amounts of firepower it's possible to learn the safe route. Well recommended if insane side-scrolling shooters are your sort of thing
Probably my other big interest along with computing. I've been taking photos for a long time now. I started out with a point'n'shoot Disc film camera (anyone remember those?). Later on I got a point'n'shoot 35mm camera as Disc film started to disappear, which I think still has half a roll of film in it. A few years ago I got an old Olympus C-3030 Zoom digital camera from my dad, which I've continued to use as my main camera ever since. It's outdated and only has a 3 megapixel sensor, yet it was made for *real* photographers and so actually has full manual control. Almost all the photos in my gallery were taken with it.
Oddly enough, I've taken very few photos with a SLR. I do currently have the use of a Nikon F-301, but I rarely use it - the Olympus fits in a pocket, while the Nikon is far too big. One day I plan to get a Nikon D80 or similar.
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun is the third game in the Command & Conquer sequence of real-time strategy games. It's the first C&C game that I really played, and I've always liked it. The AI players unfortuantly cheat their way through the game - they'll build multiple buildings simultaneously, and have a photographic memory. On the flip side, the multiplayer in it is quite fun. I think the best moment in that came from ion cannoning a bunch of Nod infantry that *thought* they had won a small skirmish... the outburst from Dan upon seeing his mutants become a crater made it worthwhile!
Ahhhh.... Worms. Teams of small pink worms, armed with increasingly silly and improbably weapons ranging from the humble bazooka to a concrete statue of a donkey do battle, until only one team (or, as usually happens, one worm) is left standing. I first discovered this when my dad installed a demo of Worms 2 on the family computer. Since then I've owned quite a few of the games, and have taken to playing Worms World Party online a lot with some friends from an IRC channel. I tend to go for the more unusual tactics in the games, such as using point-blank sheep. I did try the 3D versions, but never really got on with them. My all-tiem favourite from the series is still Worms 2, partially because it had the most customisability. I never was mean enough to do the 100hp prod trick though...