Second Life at the University of Sussex

The team that I work in – University of Sussex Web Team – have just created large portions of the campus in Second Life. Well, when I say “the team” it was mainly down to our graduate intern who has done a fantastic job… So much so that it’s been reported in a local newspaper, on the radio, on a tv news broadcast (both morning and evening editions), and is also now on the BBC News 24 homepage as well as various other sites:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/sussex/7290762.stm

If you get a chance, swing by the campus in Second Life. The SURL is: http://slurl.com/secondlife/University%20of%20Sussex/75/16/38

Anyway; congratulations to Tom (the intern) for such a great job and Beth (the previous intern) who assisted!

Did you like this? Share it:

The lesser of two evils?

A few times I have been asked at work to decide on whether we should build an application or use something that’s out there already. Unfortunately, it’s never an easy choice for us… On the one hand something can be built that’s geared exactly to what is needed, but nothing else, and it’ll take time to plan, design and build it. Yet on the other hand you can have something that’s already been built so all the designing is not required, but it may have a lot of extra functionality that you have to rip out or things don’t work just as you want it to so will have to alter it anyway.

At this point I bet you’re thinking, “Andy is now going to give us the answer on what the best choice is, you just see…” Actually, no. No, I’m not. I can in all honestly say that I don’t know what the best course of action is. On one side I really favour creating the application myself because then I know exactly how it’ll work. But on the flip side of that, I’ll then have to do all the work and might not be able to put in all the features that are able to go in applications worked on by many people.

I suppose there is no clear winner here as it would probably depend on budget and deadlines, but I thought I’d open it up for debate anyway. Anyone want to comment?

Did you like this? Share it:

Portal (the game from Valve)

A couple days ago I bought Portal via Steam, and even though it’s probably one of the shortest games I’ve played it is undoubtedly one of the best! The premise is pretty simple; solve puzzles by using the portals that you can shoot in to the floor, ceiling or wall and walk through (or in some cases, fall in to or be shot through!) But a simple concept doesn’t mean it’s a simplistic game. It’s great to look at (considering it came from Half-Life 2 this is no surprise), has a fantastic sense of humor running through-out, and will sometimes mess with your head (“…OK, so I have to shoot this wall, to fall through that ceiling and.. woah! I can see me walking through the ceiling from down here!”)

The only downside to this game is that it’s very short – completed within a few hours easily. And that’s only a negative because the game is so captivating that it really leaves you wanting more.

There is a hack to integrate the Portal gun in to Half-Life 2 game play that I am looking forward to trying out because it’ll add a whole new dimension to the game play.

$20 well and truly spent well!

Did you like this? Share it:

Is this what being starstruck feels like?

Right now I’m sitting at a table with the likes of Cal Evans, Ben Ramsey, Sara Goleman, and Derick Rethans – all big players in the PHP world. And here I am, lowly ol’ me who does a bit of PHP at work. Wow. I feel a little starstruck (in a geeky kinda way), I have to admit!

OK, to be honest, I’m not saying anything, but, hey! I’m here. It’s a start. 😉

Did you like this? Share it:

php|works

Today I’m flying to Atlanta for the php|works conference. I am really looking forward to this as there seem to be quite a number of good talks – so many, in fact, that I had a hard time deciding which tracks to attend.

As part of this conference package I also had the opportunity to do the Professional PHP online course run by php|architect. I enjoyed that, and learned a fair bit, so I’m hopeful for the conference. 🙂

Did you like this? Share it:

First post!

Hello, friend, and welcome to my new blog!

Currently there is not much to see here because I’m in the process of moving all of my projects from my other site, php.amnuts.com, to here. If you want to get any of the classes of view the forums then it’s best head on over to the other site. Eventually, on this site I will have documentation and examples for all of the code, plus I’ll also be able to post up snippets, highlights and bug fixes much easier. And that can only be a good thing, right?

As this is so far a rather pitiful excuse for a first post (but it is almost 1am, so forgive me!) I thought I’d list some of those “can’t live without” programs and extensions I use for my development or just in my day-to-day computer use. Please bare in mind that I generally use a Windows-based system and so most of the applications I mention are likely to be for that system.

So, in no particular order…

Continue reading “First post!”

Did you like this? Share it: