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Why and how to become a (better) programmer?
by Bikonja, 2014-07-23 18:12 in category General
Today I received an e-mail from LinkedIn inviting me to publish an article. So I did :)
It's the begging of an answer to the question "Why and how to become a (better) programmer?". It's the first article I've written and I've decided to write it even though I have a complete lack of time, but since I got such a nice invitation I couldn't resist :)
Click here to read the article.

Download bug fixed
by Bikonja, 2014-07-05 13:59 in category Website
If you've downloaded anything from my website in the last... quite some time, you may have noticed there was a bug which appended ", attachment.zip, attachment" to the download name. I've now noticed that and fixed it, now all your downloads should be downloaded as intended.

Added rant categories
by Bikonja, 2014-07-04 23:48 in category Website
I've added categorization of rants. Now you'll be able to see which category the rant is in and stop reading before you even start if you don't care about that category. I intend to add the ability to filter out categories you don't want to see and do other stuff, but for now, this is all.

Google login
by Bikonja, 2014-06-09 22:16 in category Website
You can now use your Google account to use this website! Not a whole lot of benefit yet, but when I get some free time I'll add content for registered users (which up until now were only manually registered in the database by me).

MCPD & Maldoria PC version
by Bikonja, 2012-11-28 20:59 in category Personal
I am proud to announce that I've achieved my MCPD status! :)
I've passed the 4 exams and now I can say I am a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer.
Now that I've passed all the exams, I have more free time and I've decided to develop a PC version of the board game Maldoria and I'm very exicted to do this! As things unfold, I will create a page for this project and post updates so stay tuned!

Fireworks updated
by Bikonja, 2012-09-04 19:31 in category General
I was bothered by the fact that the fireworks sometimes came out rectangular, and even more so when using a large number of particles, but I was lazy to implement some kind of algorithm to smooth that out from the start. Soon it dawned on me how stupid I was. Instead of specifying a min and max velocity vector which gives a rectangular area for particle positioning, I should have just specified a min and max radius and angle (where angle was ofcourse zero to two PI).
Unfortunately, I didn't have time to fix this embarrassing mistake, but I finally found a few minutes to fix that and now I'm a lot happier with my particle system fireworks. There's still a lot of room for improvement, but since I am verry happy with this one, I give you:

Fireworks V2

I forgot to mention that since this is an XNA app, you have to have the XNA framework 4.0 installed.
Also, the fireworks start automatically when you run the app, but you can also start clicking where you want a firework explosion to appear. Everytime after you click, the next 10 seconds there will be no activity other then where you click, then the automatic fireworks display resumes.
For now, I didn't implement any command line switches for turning off the FPS/#ofParticles display or changing of parameters (fullscreen, screen size, number of particles - min and max, size of explosion min and max, etc.), but if anyone is interested, I can add that, just contact me if you're interested.

Fireworks!
by Bikonja, 2012-08-19 18:45 in category General
I don't know why, but I never tried out XNA until now. Boy, was that a mistake. Downloaded it a few hours ago and tried making a simple particle-system powered fireworks display and I love it!
It's nothing fancy, it's not optimized, but it was so easy to make this firework display app. This particle system has an emitter location, a gravity force, an air resistance/friction force, a texture for the particles and min and max values for particle life time, initial velocity and decay. The particle then has values for those properties in the specified ranges plus a color. It's a nice, object oriented system. As it was just a quick play with XNA, it's not extremely flexible, but it's still great. I believe I've found the technology I'll use for my next game ;) Just have to figure out what my next game will be now :)
If you have any suggestions or comments on either what I should make or the fireworks display, feel free to contact me.

Hackquest Regex
by Bikonja, 2014-07-04 23:46 in category Personal
I finally cracked the "The Password is Regular" challenge on the Hackquest website!
If you don't know what Hackquest is, it is a website which provides a nice set of challenges for programmers, sys admins, hackers and general all-round smart people. The particular challenge I mention is a JavaScript challenge in which there's client side (JS) validation of the password and you have to figure out the password. Sound easy enough? Think again! The challenge throws a plethora of regular expressions at you and lets you figure out the phrase that matches all of them. I love regexs but for a really long time, this challenge just managed to throw me out of my game (mostly because, to make it formidable, it has parts where you have to use educated guesses because there is not enough info in the regexs themselves). No more, today I sat down and said - you won't put me off anymore, I'll make those educated guesses (the minimal amount I can) and I'll see what pops up and to my great pleasure, I finally solved the challenge - the last challenge left for me in the Javascript category. Now I've got another shiny gem (which you get for finishing all challenges in a category).

If you like logic/programming/hacking/stegano challenges, be sure to visit the website, they have some great challenges on there. I'm not sure if the community is alive and how much, but the site has been running for years without a problem so you can surely play. If you want to find me on the site, you can search for me by my username Bikonja or here's a direct link.

This is my 60th hack on HackQuest, yay! :)

EDIT: I just finished another challenge - a Java applet with a password hash. Got to use C++ after a long time, forgot how great a feeling it is when it just gobbles up anything you throw at it without breaking a sweat :) I actually went to make the code less optimized just to enjoy the speed of C++ :)

Welcome
by Bikonja, 2012-08-01 15:13 in category Website
I would like to welcome you to my playground!
For now, you can browse the projects and about me parts of the website, but in time, I will also ocasionally write something in this section. I plan to modify this section for it to allow filter rants by categories so you can filter out rants you don't care for and still be able to easily see rants you actually care about.

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