Halo 3

So I got Halo 3 today (my dad bought it from the Microsoft company store :)). I just started the Halo 1 campaign a few weeks ago though, so I'm not going to try Halo 3 campaign until I finish 1 and 2.

Anyway, first impressions of it from playing multiplayer: the graphics are of course very good and the new weapons are really fun to play with. But — and I don't know if anyone else has experienced this — my eyes get really tired from trying to play Halo 3, and I'm much more confused and disoriented in battles than if I were playing Halo 1. I have the same problem with Halo 2. This could be because the FOV has decreased since Halo 1, or maybe because the graphics are more complex. Or it could be because I'm just generally tired today. Time will tell...



For the robot this year, we have to use the accelerometers, gyro, and gear tooth sensors, if only for the fun of using them. I was thinking maybe next meeting (2007-09-19) we could add them onto the existing robot experimentally and start programming it a bit.

For example, we could add the facility to run in a perfectly straight line at an exactly constant speed as long as a certain button on the joystick is pressed by using the gyro to check and compensate for rotational error, and using the gear tooth sensors to compensate for speed error.

Or maybe we could implement collision detection using the accelerometers (this would be pretty hard, since how do you tell what's a collision and what's a quick stop).

We could implement bounce detection on the joysticks so things wouldn't be so jerky.

Maybe an emergency stop button that uses the accelerometers to compensate for the robot's momentum by canceling it out with force on the motors in the other direction.

Maybe a button to do a perfect 90° in-place turn by constantly integrating the gyro data until 90° is reached, while simultaneously using the accelerometers to make sure the robot doesn't move around too much (this last part would probably not work, since the accelerometers would always return some acceleration even if the turn is perfectly stationary).

Maybe even something as simple as using the front panel lights as a speedometer (this would of course be collected by integrating the accelerometer data).



I've been using an application called GridMove for a few weeks, and it's pretty good. It's an application that lets you snap windows to a grid, so if you have a very high-resolution monitor like I do, you can have several windows visible at once without having to customize their positions manually. GridMove is really flexible because you can define your own grids. Here's a screenshot of one that I've defined, called "Main, 2 auxiliary":


New Facebook account

So after a few friends recommended Facebook, I thought I'd give it a try. And now, 15 minutes after I've signed up, my Gmail inbox is filled with "Foo Bar wrote on your wall" and I'm overwhelmed by Facebook's information-rich world.

People who otherwise have no online presence are completely free on Facebook. Every action they have made on the site is public to all their friends. It's the sort of openness that I like, but taken to an extreme in one sense (all information is exposed to your friends) while very closed in another (nothing is shown to outsiders). This is exactly the kind of closed group–forming that I don't like...but now that I'm part of the closed group, will it matter so much to me?

It's also, unfortunately, even more distracting and time-consuming than IM. I find myself enjoying the slow, convenient nature of blogging. And now I will go to sleep.