May 19th, 2014

Freeing NEPTUN’s maps

Countryside map

The University of Namur’s library has some wonderful building, local, regional and national maps on their NEPTUN site. They provide a Google Map like pan and zoom functionality using a commercial Flash program called Zoomify. It’s unfortunate they chose to pay for functionality that’s freely available from OpenLayers or Leaflet. Regardless of this the data is not downloadable as a large file. I do not see why data such as this is not made easily and freely available. As a University it seems that it should be encouraging the sharing of past knowledge. In order to help them, and because a colleague asked me for a map, I have created a script that downloads all the tiles and reorganize them into one image. The script and instructions are on github. It’s obvious why it’s called Poseidon right?

December 12th, 2012

Pock Pock chicken madness

A strategy and dexterity game for simple minds

Gaëlle has been a big fan of the Peppa pig series over the last year since she received one of the DVDs as gift. One of the earlier episodes has Peppa and George playing a chicken computer game while sitting on their father’s knees. It’s a simple but exponentially chaotic game. I thought I could create something similar. I give you Pock Pock. It’s a simple and somewhat crude game but I’m quite happy with having created a game that has mouse and keyboard interaction, (some) sound effects and networking. Give Pock Pock a whirl. Gaëlle does not ever use the computer and as a result does not quite have the mouse-screen coordination to play the game yet.

Get your chickens to eat the grass and seeds as fast as possible

Action shot of Pock Pock

February 10th, 2010

Scilab & OS path slashes

Scilab is a wonderful piece of software to use. It’s powerful, stable, a free alternative to Matlab, and it’s cross platform – happily crunching away matrices on Windows, OS X, and Linux. However the old problem persists of MS Windows using backslashes ‘\’ when OS X, Linux, and Internet URLs use slashes ‘/’. Slashes are great as they are easier to type on a US keyboard. If you are doing any kind of file IO with Scilab you must be careful when using slashes in your code if you expect your code to go cross platform. The handy boolean MSDOS variable can be used early to prevent problems.