Plandemic is a 24 minute “preview” of an upcoming documentary. Good luck trying to find it. Google, Facebook , YouTube, Vimeo, and Twitter have all decided you should not see the video. The video is gone. The thing you will find instead is lots of websites, articles, and videos telling you why Plandemic is wrong.
Any time someone tells me I cannot watch something….that is what I want to watch.
I “attended” the virtual Microsoft Build conference this week. Here is what I found interesting.
I had no idea anything like this existed. MakeCode Arcade is a website that lets you build old school 8-bit video games using blocks. In the above image, the game is running on a simulator on the left. In the middle is a list blocks you can use to build your game. On the right is where you connect your blocks to create your game.
This is a fantastic way to learn how to program. Blocks include…
Game (game loop)
Info (score, player lives, timers)
Loops (for, for each, while)
Logic (if/then/else, comparisons, Boolean)
Math (basic math, random numbers, clamping, rounding)
Text (string operations)
Console (log file)
Here is the part that puts it over the top… Once you have your game ready, you can download it to standalone hardware and play your game without a computer.
The example above is called “Meowbit” and it goes for $40. There are other options listed under hardware on this page.
I know this is for kids, but I’d love to spend some time playing with this.
Windows now has a package manager called “winget.” This means you can easily setup a box to have all the apps you want by running a script. Eventually winget will be part of Windows. You can try it out now from here: https://github.com/microsoft/winget-cli/releases
Not all the apps I want are there yet, but many are. They are adding more apps quickly.
Here is the current list of supported apps as of today (5/21/2020):
The idea behind Codespaces is great: one click on the upcoming “Codespaces” button in a GitHub repo and get a VS Code editor running in a browser with everything configured and ready to go for development and debugging. The Codespace VM can also run in Visual Studio 2019 or VS Code.
Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) lets you package up an app and run it with the OS and hardware it needs in the cloud. Users can access it on their desktop as if it was locally installed. It can be used for running 3d apps like Maya, 3ds Max on underpowered machines.
WinUI 3 is the latest/greatest UI toolkit for Windows. What is new is that it is decoupled from the OS so that you can use the latest UI controls with older OS’s. Also new, is this toolkit can be used by UWP, WPF, Windows Forms, and MFC. The idea is every Windows app should be able to access the latest UI components.
.NET MAUI (Multi-platform App UI) is Microsoft’s solution for cross platform UI development. This is going to replace Xamarin.Forms. Microsoft will support macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. The “community” is supporting Linux as they have for Xamarin.Forms.
The 1.0 version of Windows Terminal was released. There is a lot to like. It is missing one feature that I use all the time: using Ctrl+Space in PowerShell to see parameters and the options for parameters. There is a bug report for this and it sounds like it is not a quick fix, so I may be waiting for a while before I switch to Windows Terminal.
NVIDIA put out an impressive demo at GTC 2020 (GPU Technology Conference) last week.
It is called “Marbles RTX.” It is a game that looks photorealistic because it uses ray tracing. Ray tracing has traditionally been used in movies, but was too slow to use in a game.
Not anymore. Check out this 3 minute video of Marbles RTX…
This game is clearly inspired by the 1984 arcade game Marble Madness. I loved that game. It had a unique 3D look and TRON-esque soundtrack. Here is a 4 minute video of someone playing from start to finish. I had never seen the later levels before.
Braid is an older game, from 2008. I started playing it recently on my Xbox and finished it…without any help! It has the qualities I like: easy to pick up, unique/different, short. It is basically a Mario platform game, with the twist you can go back in time. You only have a single life. When you die, you reverse time to avoid the thing that killed you. Watch the trailer above to see what I’m talking about.
There is a lot of story to go along with the game. To be honest, it was lost on me. Once I finished, I had to search the internet to understand what just happened. The finale is not what you typically get in a game.
I was heading to pick up dinner when I noticed a guy bumming money from anyone walking by. He started walking in the same direction I was going, just ahead of me.
I watched as he approached an elderly lady. She was at least ninety. He asked her for money, and she was startled by him. Then he noticed she had money in her hand.
He grabbed the money and started to walk away quickly.
I yelled at him, “HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!? GIVE HER BACK HER MONEY!”
He looked surprised. He immediately gave her money back.
I was in disbelief. I asked him, “why would you do that?”
He said, “I need money for beer.” Then he walked away.
I called 911 and asked them to drive around the neighborhood and look for the guy. He is an older white man with a white beard and looks homeless. This happened at Scott & Chestnut by Hole in the Wall Pizza around 8:30pm.
The lady stayed with me until the guy left. She told me she has lived in this neighborhood for a hundred years and had never seen anything like that.
One of my goals during this downtime is to work on a fun programming project and try to get it into a demo-able state. I am currently working on a project I call “DDD.”
I wanted a simple, short name that sets the focus of the project. Originally, I called it “3D.” I wanted to use the project name as the namespace for the project. The namespace must start with a letter, not a number. So how do you express “3D” starting with a letter? I could go with “ThreeD”, “Three-D”, “TD”, “IIID”…. but none of those felt right. Then it occurred to me that “3D” is equivalent to “DDD”. I like that it is a single character 3 times: easy to remember, easy to type, short.
So what is DDD? DDD is a command line tool to import/modify/view/export 3D data. Another way to put it…
I want this project to work on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Above you can see the logo I created for the project. I wanted the logo to imply 3D without drawing any 3D text. If you cover an eye, your brain uses other queues to determine depth. I tried to use several of those queues…
Distant objects are smaller
Distant objects are lighter
Distant objects are closer to the horizon
Distant objects have less detail
Distant objects are overlapped by closer objects
Linear perspective/vanishing point
Got the name. Got the logo. Next up: make it work!