Venom and Diamonds

Some things do develop

0:59 November 28th '03

This time it seems my silence has proved useful, as the thing I've been working on now seems to be in a fit state to be released! It's not the 'grand project' I've mentioned in the past, but more a side product. It's an exercise in object-oriented programming, but also more importantly an attempt to put an original game concept into practice.

So roll up, roll up, and witness magna [v0.9b], a micro space adventure. Your goal: to fire off your rocket from the launchpad so that it goes through the warp gate. Simple, eh? Add the special ingredient, gravity, and it isn't quite as easy any more. You'll have to try it to understand.

Plenty of stuff is missing, and it's rough around the edges, but that's to be expected from a beta release. Especially when it's my first OOP attempt!

So until v1.0, you'll just have to put up with things like having to refresh the page in order to restart the game. Other upcoming additions: highscore table, optimisation, better graphics. A surprising amount of work for such a simple little project...

Any feedback is encouraged. I like it, but I need to know if the idea works for other people, too!

Houston, we have launch

8:53 November 21st '03

Refering back to the earlier topic of search engines, it seems Google does fulfill its promise. Since nthposition's launch five days ago, my listing for 'terrene' has taken a boost from 53rd to seventh, which means I'm finally on the first results page.

And to imagine all it took was to sneak my URL onto every page on a popular site. Hmmm, I should do that more often. Maybe get myself onto the first screenful.

'What are we going to do tonight, Brain?'

'Same thing we do every night, Pinky. Take over the world!'

The great mystery of Western civilization solved

12:02 November 19th '03

The time has come: an end to all those sleepless nights. The answer has been found:

Estimating the Airspeed Velocity of an Unladen Swallow

The Firstborn

0:16 November 17th '03

The time is finally here: my first large-scale client project has been released into the wild.


I'm incredibly proud and somewhat astounded that I've managed to pull together a project of this size. What's best is that it's been a predominantly fantastic experience, and that I've got to try out both my design and tech chops in all kinds of ways. PHP, MySQL, XML, RSS, CSS, XHTML, Photoshop/Flash, usability, accessibility, client handling, project management... pretty much everything on there apart from the content.

So thanks do have to go to Val Stevenson, the proprietor, for giving me such a great chance to work with such high-calibre material.

There's still a short list of improvements I want to work on for nth in the future, but the main task is done. And instead of feeling like I've had enough, I actually want more.

So bring it on!

Why work

11:50 November 14th '03

...when you can use your broadband connection for gaming?

Super Bobby World is a smooth dose of retro-platformage that's incredibly simple, but still engaging to play. Until you complete it, that is, and then lose all interest. But a nice few minutes in any case thanks to some quality Flash scripting.

And speaking of n-gageing games (boo! hiss! terrible pun!), there's the more challenging prospect of the Nokia Game. A ten-day fest of online gaming starting on the 19th, with over a million participants worldwide and 50 N-Gage games console phones as prizes for each country's best players, it should be quite a blast. My only gripe is that I wish I was playing in a country like Finland (with less than 6 million people) not the UK (with over ten times that).. ah well, I suppose that means I should get back to practicing!

Contact details

23:26 November 12th '03

I've just fixed one of the most glaring omissions from all my pages, namely the complete lack of any kind of contact details or methods for me!

My main reason for being so slow is that my email addresses are currently virtually spam free (two junk emails in four months ain't bad), and I'd quite like to keep it that way. So, they're still not listed anywhere here or elsewhere.

The new contact method is simply a form that does the contacting without the need for everyone getting my address. Then if the message is legit, I can email back and regular correspondence can begin.

We'll see how long this holding action works.. for, lets be honest boys'n'girls, holding action is all it is: addresses move in mysterious ways and get out sooner or later.. but fingers crossed its later, eh.

The Google Mystery

17:36 November 10th '03

I know companies spend lots of time, effort and money on Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO if your in the in-crowd), and frankly, there isn't much need for me to do that with this site or my portfolio.

I do, however, regularly try out Google with a few keywords, just to see what happens when I make hardly any SEO effort whatsoever (apart, of course, from semantic XHTML: the best free SEO technique around, don't you know).

Cornering the market on my surname isn't such a chore, seeing as anyone with it (at least on the web) is related to me. And I know none of them are particularly web-active. The only real hurdle was beating my brother's car electronics store, and that's why I'm posting now! I'm proud to say that for the term 'aranko', I am now officially Google's #1.

More of interest, however, is the result for 'terrene'. That's the one that poses more of a challenge. There are quite a few other instances using that name, and they're the ones that get listed on the first page. Well, them and half a dozen dictionary entries. Oh the shame! I've been bested by shoddy online thesauri!

Anyway, back to the original point, the Mystery of Google, namely this: for a search on 'terrene', comes up 53rd. Not a great surprise, like I said. Then again, my profile on comes up as 31st! Both numbers are so big that no-one's going to get to them anyway, but it is a bit queer how a page that no-one links to and next to no-one visits somehow gets high priority.. I though Google was all about networking? Apparently not.. it's just enough that a page happens to be on the same server as some other popular pages. Good to know.

Maybe then once I've created my killer app, this blog'll get some hits too!

we are eternal / all this pain is an illusion