I present to you a short but sweet example of how to create and prepare zip files automatically for FZip with Eclipse using Ant. Have Python installed.

<zip destfile="bin/files.zip" compress="true" keepcompression="true" update="true">
<zipfileset dir="files/images/" prefix="images" />
<zipfileset dir="files/text/" prefix="text />
</zip>
<exec executable="C:/Python24/python.exe" failonerror="true">
<arg file="tools/fzip-prepare.py" />
<arg file="bin/files.zip" />
</exec>

Change the executable to wherever Python is located on your computer. It should work on Linux or a Mac as well.

For reasons unknown to me there is no option to remove unused files from a zip using ant’s built-in zip task, instead it only updates/adds files. In other words if you remove a file from the source folder, it will stay in the updated zip file anyway. A “clean” target comes in handy when you want to make sure there’s no extra files hanging around.

<target name="clean" description="Cleanup files">
<delete file="bin/files.zip"/>
</target>

Fuzzy the Hedgehog

September 25th, 2006

Man do I love Sam and Fuzzy, not just for the humor and fascinating ongoing storyline, but for the commentary!

So, the other day I decided I would finally give Shadow the Hedgehog a try. Sure, I knew the game took one of my favourite franchises and pointlessly injected gunplay into the mix. But hey, how bad could it be, right? Maybe the guns would not feel as invasive as I had feared.

After placing the disc in my Gamecube and powering up, I was greeted by message in a blue, innocent looking window. The message asked if I would like to create a save file on my memory card. Easy going fellow that I am, I gave the game my permission.

In Shadow, the mere act of selecting OK is accompanied by the sound of a gunshot. You don’t just approve your menu selections, oh no… you pop a cap in them.

That pretty much sums up my experience with the game.

Sam Logan

A while back I lamented the lack of attention towards decompression in Flash on Flashcoders. Claus Wahlers agreed.

FZip – Open-source Actionscript 3 zip library.

I developed a tool that added a small bit of information (an Adler32 checksum, as standard zip files only have a CRC32 checksum) into a zip file, and using some code that Claus developed for the new version of Deng, we successfully made a working unzip tool in Flash. Claus has more on how to use it.

The tool itself requires Python, which may seem like an annoyance, until you realize it’s not Windows-only and not that big of a hassle. It can easily be combined with a those ant buildfiles. I’ll try to cover more on this in the future, but for now, download and enjoy.

Webcomics – Comics with Web

September 14th, 2006

There are plenty of funny webcomics on the Internet. I read something like, half of them. It always amazes me how hilarious people with no artistic talent whatsoever manage to ignore the rules and make webcomics nonetheless. Now for no reason whatsoever, here are some examples…

  • Concerned – This webcomic uses a mod for Half Life 2 called Garry’s Mod which changes the game from a first-person shooter into a sandbox where you can manipulate everything in the game. The author takes screenshots after positioning the characters and adds voiceboxes.
  • Alien Loves Predator – Take a pun on a classic film and add pictures of action figures in New York settings. Also, voiceboxes.
  • xkcd – Okay, this fellow does in fact draw his comics, but they’re poorly draw stick figures. He instead resorts to hilarious nerdy humor to fill the void.
  • 8-bit Theater – Arguably the best sprite comic on the Internet, it uses sprites from video games instead of fancy drawings.
  • Dinosaur Comics – This is easily the least artistically innovative comic ever made, the clever individual who makes it decided to take any time he would have spent drawing the comic and instead use it for amazing dialog and advanced philosophical concepts. Since he has no time for drawing, he simply uses the same comic over and over again. There’s nearly 900 comics as of this writing.

Switch

September 5th, 2006

This is very fascinating, someone has managed to get Flash 8 (no, not the player) running on Ubuntu Linux. I made a harrowing attempt at this a while back, and managed to get a buggy Flash 6 running, but that was a long time ago and wine has improved a lot since then.

I’m going to make a (futile) attempt at switching temporarily to Ubuntu while I’m not buying a new copy of Windows XP for my new computer in a few days. The only thing really holding me back are random programs I’m completely dependent on. With wine maybe I could just avoid buying a copy of XP until it’s dirt cheap when Windows Vista has come out.

Eh, who am I kidding, I’m writing this very post in Windows Live Writer. I won’t last twelve hours.