The Geek Biker

Rambles of a geek that rides a bike

Monthly Archives: August 2010


Yesterday I received a SanDisk e250 v1 mp3 player in the post.

It was a cheap one (assume not new) I got off ebay and I originally didn’t have much hope for it working at all. I plugged it in and it worked a dream.

After spending about…mmm..10 minutes browsing through the original firmware’s UI, I switched it off. I bought this little mp3/video player not to use/replace my over commercialised but to change. What’s that? Yip, I bought it with the intention of replacing the firmware and UI with another….because I can.

The most popular firmware/OS for this kind of surgery is RockBox.

Apparently it has been around for years and has gone through a lot of changes. So I decided to take on the easiest installation method. The installer.

Downloaded it, plugged in the SanDisk and viola. just followed the steps. The bit that took me the longest was probably to search the web for a SanDisk original firmware file as it isn’t included in the installer (legal reasons).

After that, I selected the theme, selected to install rockboy and the games….done.

Restarted the SanDisk…finished.

A bit of an anti climax with happiness as I found it really easy….a bit too easy.

Give it a go…most iPods not surrported:


Walking into walls

Another game post.

So after numerous pages on collision detection and trying to implement some examples, I decided..screw that.

So I’ve decided to use a the simplest bounding box collision detection for my upcoming 2D game and rewrote it so I actually understand it.

It still didn’t work, taking into consideration that I haven’t touched C++ in 4 years, I re-tried and re-tried…but nothing.

No collisions are detected. even the simplest of (object1.x + object1.w/2 > object2.x – object2.w/2) didn’t work…fuck’ol!!

So I sat there/here and looked at my screen…for a while and thought to myself….”Myself, mybe you should try passing the object pointers to the function….”.

And vio-fucking-la….(object1->x + object1->w/2 > object2->x – object2->w/2) worked a treat.

So I uncommented the rest of my miserable code and suddenly my little rectangle sprite was walking head first into walls.

What is next???

Two things to do:

1. Create a sprite (box) that moves from side to side and make sure both my movable object and the auto-movable one stops when they collide. Or at least make the auto-movable one change directed.

2. Implement a virtual screen and let the screen scrolling begin. Since I want a retro look and feel, I decided that the screen resolution will be 320×200 (or 640×400 depending on my patience) and make it scrollable to at least twice the size. So I will have a 320×200 screen displayed and scrollable to a bigger “arena”.

…But first I received an el’cheap-o mp3/video player which I will strip of it’s ROM and attempt (once again) to install RockBox on it.

The pixel…it moves!

After struggling a good while to get c++ and netbeans talking, and figuring out how the netbeans ide is supposed to work, I finally got my hello world to compile.

Next stop, graphics initialization. Luckily with Allegro that is quite easy. And left me another hour trying to figure out how to get keyboard input working.

Once I got that under control, I start moving a pixel…that’s right…I got to move a pixel in the direction of my choosing. Some say I don’t have control over my life…well, I do over that damn pixel.

So I created an object : movealbeObject (good name hey!). Which now has a speed, direction, x and y coordinates. I assigned a new rectangle to another object called, gameCharacter which extends my moveableObject. Currently this one has a few more properties to be extended, it has bullets and a weapon.

I then did some work on getting my rectangle to shoot a pixel. This pixel will travel to the end of the screen and reset.

O yeah! So that is where I decided to go to bed. I got a rectangle that can move forwards and backwards, move direction and shoot one bullet.

I think the next step will be to create a bullet object. This should extend moveableObject and have some other properties like damage.

I will also need to start thinking about a weapon object. What kind of properties?

magazine size, fire rate etc.

But first, food.


I forgot about collision detection!!! Right…that will be my first task.

Game in the making

Right….so it is time I go back to school days of writing games….try to.
Got an old laptop running Ubuntu.
Downloaded Allegro and installed NetBeans….
So here we go!

Need inspiration … WTF!

Usually I would get hit by a grand new revelation and I would put finger to keyboard, resulting in a blog post that has a lot of words but makes no sense at all.

But not lately.

Inspiration can come from anywhere I’m told. While walking, watching TV, sitting on a thinking throne, smoking pot etc etc etc.

But I have been struck by black space which is where my brain should be.

So I thought fine, I’ll just type about not having anything to type about.


I was browsing my blog dashboard and saw the most searched item bit. That is a stat of what some users typed into a search bar (may it be google, bing or wordpress) and get sent my blog as a suggested site.

I’ve attached a screenshot of what this would look like (Screen shot is pretty shit when in a blog, click on it to see it propperly):

Notice something quite odd??? Read it again. Yip, it is there right in front of you. Bioshock big daddy porn .  WTF!!! Let me say (type) that again. Bioshock big daddy porn.

Some idiot actually typed that into a search bar. And what is worst, my blog (Bioshock retro land thingy… ) was sent as a suggestion. Let me make a clear statement for the record. I DO NOT PROMOTE SEX WITH A BIG DADDY. You will get drilled in more way than one. Here is a quick recap of what I mean:

Then I saw the next bit of gold on the most searched items : whales singing we are family. I have no idea what this is linked to so I thought…mmm….maybe a funny youtube clip, so I searched it in good old google. Here is a how to search for it : click here.

The first suggestion, a face book page: yo momma so fat, the whales started singingwe are family

Now that is pretty fucking funny!

*Again, I do not promote sex with people in deep diver suites and drills for arms, neither do I promote making fun of some one’s fat mother or comparing whales to them. But I do promote singing whales!

My PS3 got PMS!!!

What to do!! What to DO!!! And actually, thinking about it now, it isn’t just my PS3, it’s my laptop…well 2 of the 3 anyway….

Not that I got your attention, you will want to give me a kick for even coming to this post. PMS is not what the picture to the left depicts and is not that bad…for laptops/desktops and PS3s.

PMS is in fact : PS3 Media Server

The best and easiets Media servers to run on your laptop/desktop and stream movies and music across your network to your PS3. I love it.

Best bit (actually not even), it is platform independant. Yip, you can run it on Windows and Linux and stream all your *legally downloaded* media to your favourite PS3.

You launch it, it detects your PS3 and your PS3 instantly got access to the shared folder (full drive if a shared folder is not specified in the settings).

Now that is PMS I can live with 😉