Friday, August 27, 2010

My first Xbox Live Indie Games title is now available!

Check it out: Baby Soothing Machine, the app designed by a dad, for other parents. 

I was sitting in my living room at 4AM one morning, feeding the baby.  He was being difficult about going to sleep.  I was using an app on my wife’s phone that created white noise.  As I was sitting there, I looked up at my 52” TV, and my 5.1 surround sound system, and wondered why I couldn’t use that equipment to help soothe him back to sleep.

So, I decided to make it happen.  Now, for just $1, you can do the same.  Use your Xbox 360 and your sound system to help soothe your baby to sleep.  Baby Soothing Machine has several different sounds to choose from, ranging from white noise to brown, all the way to a seascape. 

In addition, there’s a virtual mobile on the screen.  Large shapes rotate on the screen, colored with bright primary colors with lots of contrast.  The perfect colors to attract and hold baby’s attention while the sounds work their magic.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My first Xbox LIVE Indie Game is in playtest!

Ok, well, it’s really more of an app than a game.  I was sitting up one night, feeding Jace, and wishing that I had some kind of white noise generator, to help soothe him to sleep. 

I looked up, and realized there was a great audio system, and an Xbox in the room with us.  I figured there were probably more parents like me, wishing they could get their newborns to sleep (so they could sleep).

So I wrote an indie game to help out.  If you have a creator’s club membership, please give it a try, and let me know if you have feedback.  If not, look for it on Xbox LIVE Indie Games soon.

Here’s the link to the playtest site:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Holy crapola

My team has a European counterpart.  One of the guys from that European team just stopped by to introduce himself.  Turns out he’s Scottish. 

He wanted to say hi, because he fully expects to accidentally send me something personal at some point in the future.  Why?  Oh, that’s because his email address is taken from the name of a soup (apparently he really likes it).  The name of the soup?  Cullen Skink.  No lie.

And he told me about the town of Cullen, in Moray, Scotland.  Check out the picture at the bottom.  My town totally rocks!  I really want to go, after seeing that picture.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

An interesting alternative medicine site

I’m not really into the whole alternative medicine thing, though I know a bunch of people who are.  It seems to me that most of them are folks who are desperate for any hope, because traditional medicine has failed to help them.

I stumbled upon a link to an alternative medicine blog, and read a few of the posts.  They seem pretty interesting, if for no other reason than to see the thought processes behind this type of medicine.

This site interests me primarily because I can’t see anything that’s trying to sell me something, other than Google AdWords (which I primarily blank out anyway).  Hopefully this means the blog author is actually trying to share his/her point of view, rather than just trying to make a quick buck by preying on people’s fears.

Regardless, it’s worth a read, especially if you’re a hippie (hi mom!).  Check out the health blog.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Deploying ASP.Net MVC apps to IIS 6

I had to do this today, and found two blog entries that made it really easy.  I figure I’ll have to do this again at some point, so I’m putting them here for easy reference, and to give this guy another link, which he deserves.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Woot! Release date inc!

Win7 has a release date: October 22!  You definitely want to get your hands on Win7, it’s way better than XP, and a definite improvement over Vista.

More details here:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

WoW on Vista and Win7

I’ve been using Win7 and Vista to play wow for a couple of years now.  Along the way, I’ve learned a few tricks that may help other folks out.  For those that have been following my blog a while, or who were pointed here by a friend that plays WoW, you will probably know about my previous entry on this subject,  It’s time for an update, and some additions.

So, here are the steps I take to get the most out of WoW on Vista and Win7, while running in windowed mode.

  1. Update all your drivers, using the latest Vista drivers.  We particularly care about sound, video, and network drivers here.  If you are running Win7, avoid the beta network drivers.  I’m using the beta NVidia drivers for Win7, and those are pretty good. 
  2. Disable Aero while WoW is running.  Right click on wow.exe, select properties, and click on Compatibility.  On that tab, check the box that says ‘Disable Desktop Composition’.  This will cause windows to disable Aero while you have WoW running, which should result in less contention for your video card’s resources, and therefore higher framerates.
  3. The next time you run wow, be ready for a ‘toast’ message in the bottom right of the screen.  Click that message!  Once you click the message, you’ll be able to tell windows to stop alerting you that it has disabled Aero (after all, you just told it to do so).
  4. There’s a little known setting that can, generally, cut your latency in half.  WoW makes heavy use of TCP traffic (which is rare among games, most use UDP).  Windows, by default, sends an acknowledgement (ACK) every 2nd TCP packet.  We are going to modify the registry so that windows sends the ACK every packet, instead.  I’ve seen this, almost without exception, cut everyone’s latency literally in half (mine went from ~120ms to ~60ms).  There’s a catch to this tip, though.  You have to be running XP SP3, Vista SP1 or Win7 for it to work.  There was a hotfix because Vista was ignoring the setting.  Anyway, here’s an article about how to change the setting:  As with all registry changes, you should backup your registry before you do this.

Of course, all this stuff is provided with no warranty, don’t complain if your computer blows up, etc.  This has worked well for me so far, but I make no guarantee that these steps will help you.