Wednesday, May 31, 2006

books of interest

Java: The Complete Reference, J2SE 5 Edition (2004) by Herbert Schildt

Java After Hours: 10 Projects You’ll Never Do At Work (2005) by Steven Holzner

3D Game Animation for Dummies (2005) by Kelly L. Murdock

Java Puzzlers: Traps, Pitfalls, and Corner Cases (2005) by Joshua Bloch and Neal Gafter

Java Cookbook, 2nd Edition (2004) by Ian Darwin

Faith and Fire

Faith & Fire (2006) by James Swallow

“The first action-packed novel starring humanity’s most fanatical warriors, the Sisters of Battle.”

This novel is set in the Warhammer 40k universe.

Nuns deal with a moral threat to the Imperium.

No victims in this story, only heroines. They travel into darkness, and the survivors emerge transformed.

None of the bad guys survive. This is my kind of story.


Inheritance (2006) by Steven Saville

Book One in the Von Carstein Trilogy

This novel is set in the Warhammer universe.

If you are looking for a book where heroes suffer and villains prosper, this one is for you.

If you are also looking for a story lacking logic as a feature, then this is a twofer.

It does have a couple of interesting characters mixed in with the victims pretending to be protagonists.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Developing Games in Java

Developing Games in Java (2004) by David Brackeen

Very interesting book. Deals with threads, graphics, animation, interactivity, UI, sound, multi-player, collision detection, path finding, and optimization.

Also has a section on, "The Future!"

The link above is for the source code.

Java 2D Graphics

Java 2D Graphics (1999) by Jonathan Knudsen

Excellent treatment of Java 2D Graphics in 1999.

More than a little dated, but still some good background for understanding 2D graphics.

The above link is the code examples from the book.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Fell Cargo

Fell Cargo (2006) by Dan Abnett

This novel is set in the Warhammer universe.

A very fine pirate adventure with cursed treasure and undead.

Lots of combat and a tremendous body count.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Java Neural Networks

This link leads to an online version of the book:

Introduction to Neural Networks with Java (2005)

by Jeff Heaton

convert applet to stand alone

This link leads to an interesting article dealing with the non-trivial problem of writing Java code that performs as both applet and stand alone app.

Maybe I can use this knowledge to learn how to routinely transmogrify Java applets to stand alone applications.

The problem is that so many online tutorials are for writing applets.

Java games programming books

Beginning Java5 Game Programming (2006)
by Jonathan Harbour

Killer Game Programming in Java (2005)
by Andrew Davison

Advanced Java Game Programming (2004)
by David Wallace Croft

Practical Java game Development (2004)
by Dustin Clingman, Shawn Kendall, and Syrus Mesdaghi

Java 1.4 Game Programming (2003)
by Andrew Mulholland

Developing Games in Java (2003)
by David Brackeen

Java 2 Game Programming (2001)
by Thomas Petchel

Java Game Programming for Dummies (1998)
by Wayne Holder, Doug Bell

Developing Java Entertainment Applets (1997)
by John Withers

Black Art of Java Game Programming (1996)
by Joel Fan, Eric Ries, Calin Tenitchi

Cutting-Edge Java Game Programming (1996)
by Neil Bartlett, Steve Simkin, and Chris Stranc

Teach Yourself Internet Game Programming with Java in 21 Days (1996)
by Michael Morrison

Saturday, May 13, 2006

t-shirt slogan

I observed an interesting t-shirt the other day:

"My dog just got neutered, now he is a liberal."


The Writer at War

A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army, 1941-1945 (2005)

Edited and translated by Antony Beever and Luba Vinogradova

This is a mostly incoherent, and therefore mostly incomprehensible, book about WWII.

Maybe the fault lies in the translation, but I suspect that the problems run much deeper than that.

There is no question that Vasily Grossman was severely traumatized by the war (his own family was massacred by the Nazis).

Grossman got into trouble with the Stalinists because he wanted to tell the truth about the war. Soviet officials tried to destroy every copy of the manuscript for this book, but one was smuggled out and eventually published.

I would rate this book as not worth reading with one possible exception. If there is someone who has never learned a thing about the Hitler-Stalin conflict in WWII, this book will convey just how horrible it was for everyone involved.

Ancient Life

The Complete Guide to Prehistoric Life (2006) by Tim Haines and Paul Chambers

This is an outstanding survey of fascinating creatures from the Cambrian to the Pleistocene.

It contains gorgeous full color “photographs” (based on artists conceptions) and very interesting speculations about behaviors.

This book would be on my short list for a coffee table book.

Among the most interesting entries are:

Anomalocaris (the world’s first super predator)

Cameraceras (the largest carnivore in the Ordovician) [looks like a cousin to Cthulhu]

Brontoscorpio (the biggest scorpion of all time)

Meganeura (an eagle sized dragonfly)

Andrewsarchus (the largest carnivorous land mammal)

Carcharodon megalodon (a whale-killing shark)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Witch Finder

Witch Finder (2005) by C.L. Werner

This novel is set in the Warhammer universe.

Mathias Thulmann battles against undead, skaven, and a deadly chaos plague.

This is the second novel in a series.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Rivers of Time

Rivers of Time (1993) by L. Sprague DeCamp

This book is a collection of short stories describing “The Adventures of Reginald Rivers, Time Traveller Extraordinaire!”

These are classic prehistoric safari stories, including, but not limited to, hunting dinosaurs with an elephant gun.

Dark Adeptus

Dark Adeptus (2006) by Ben Counter

The author’s mother should have named him Bean. But I guess Ben is close enough. Heh.

This novel is set in the Warhammer 40k universe.

Justicar Alaric and the Grey Knights deal with a moral threat to the Imperium.

They are aided by Magos Antigonus, a most impressive character that just refuses to give up.

No victims here, only protagonists.

Straight Silver

Straight Silver (2002) by Dan Abnett

A Gaunt’s Ghosts Novel set in the Warhammer 40k universe

The regiment gets thrown into a WWI style meatgrinder featuring trench warfare and artillery duels.

If you are looking for a novel where the good guys suffer and the bad guys prosper, this one is for you.

Blues Party

New Millennium Blues Party (2000)

20 tracks/blues

This CD features an eclectic mix including Eric Clapton, Robert Cray (the supercomputer guy?), Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, and many others.

If I were going to pick blues for the new millennium, it would have been a lot different mix than this one, but that it part of what makes it interesting.

Including Bad to the Bone by Thorogood and the Destroyers is odd. Ditto for Runaway by Bonnie Raitt.

Including Tuff Enuff by The Fabulous Thunderbirds goes beyond just odd.

Definitely worth listening to, more than once.