Thursday, December 29, 2005

Icons in the Gimp

I've been trying to create an icon in the gimp. Basically, you create an image, size it to 32X32 pixels, then save it as a .ico file. I could never get my icons to come out right, they always looked messed up.

The solution? give up trying to paste in a cool image and just draw it from scratch. That worked beautifully. I think the problem has something to do with palates, but I don't care enough about it to research it now.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Classics that won't leave you Depressed

I remember from my high school days that most of the literary classics they made us read were really depressing. Here's a few classics that are happy / not totally depressing. (No guarantees anything is spelled correctly)
  • A Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare
  • A Mid Summer's Night Dream, Shakespeare
  • The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare
  • (Basically any comedy by Shakespeare)
  • My Antonia, Willa Cather
  • O Pioneers, Willa Cather
  • Brothers Karamazov, Dostoyesky
  • The Inferno, Dante
  • Cantebury Tales, Chaucer
  • Silas Marner, George Elliot
As you can see, the list is short. If you have any to recommend, let me know.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Lessons Learned from Indian Corn

I tried growing some Indian Corn that my dad gave me this year. Here are some things I've learned:
  • End of July is way too late to plant corn in Utah
  • Indian corn grows two ears per plant
  • I got about 1/4 corn flour per plant (probably would have gotten more if the ears were mature)
  • Don't dry corn ears on the stalks if you've picked the stalks.
  • Corn ears take forever to dry (about 2-3 weeks).
  • Corn dries faster if it isn't on the cob.
  • Grinding corn that isn't all the way dry is an exercise in futility.
  • Grinding corn that is dry is easy, much easier than grinding wheat.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Cancel that

This is more of a rant, but this is really bugging me.

Last Tuesday, I ordered a Furby from A little while later, I though I found a better price else where, so I canceled the order (time elapsed about 5 min.). Wal-mart did warn that if the item was packed for shipping, they might not be able to cancel it. I later wished I hadn't canceled the order because the better price I thought I saw was exactly the same. Now, since I wasn't sure if the order had canceled, I waited a few days. Since I didn't see any change in the order status, I figured the order was canceling. Then I ordered it from Toys R Then I got a warning from Wal-mart saying my item's shipment was delayed because it was out of stock and I could cancel if I wanted. Then on Sunday it shipped.

This drove me up the wall. Now I have two Furbies coming. What bothered me was that I canceled a few minutes after the order; they didn't have furbies in stock for at least two days, so it isn't like they had it packaged. They were just too lazy to cancel it. At least with Wal-mart I can return it to the store. (Which is what they so helpfully said in the email. Oh well, I go to Wal-mart a lot so no big deal.) did the same thing to me last year. I pre-ordered a book I wanted. On the day it was supposed to be released, had it out of stock and they wouldn't let me cancel. It isn't like Amazon had it in a box ready to go, they didn't have any at all. It took them a week to ship it. I think when an item is out of stock, you should let your customers cancel the order.

I suppose from the retailers' point of view it makes good business sense. If they won't let me cancel then they will get my money. They are probably banking that I'll just wait for it and keep the item rather than return it. And they are probably right (except for the Furby, nobody needs two furbies). But they reduce future sales. I now know that Wal-mart's cancel button is just for show. And I will never pre-order a book on Amazon again unless it is something like Harry Potter where they swear up and down you will get it on the release day.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My Future Gardening Software II

Well, I think my gardening game is about half to three-quarters of the way done with the real coding. I can load and save a garden (inelegantly, but it works), take pictures of the garden, plant flowers in the garden, and various native wildlife will come and visit the garden. I think it's cool. I ended up using GameMaker, some free software for quick and lazy game development. It's a great program and can do as much as you need it to. I ended up registering it because it was so useful.

I still need to come up with a clever name for the program, put together all the acknowledgements for the images and sounds I used, create some more flowers, and basically polish it.

I have great fun making little gardens with it.