mcwalter.org and mcwalter.net
The homepage of Finlay McWalter.
Website news and weblog
Apparently Anonymous, that vaguely extant hacktivist group that lazy journalists like to write about when they're Googling for news rather than going out and doing their actual job, has threatened to declare "cyberwar" on the fancifully named Democratic People's Republic of Korea [link].
Cyberwar on North Korea? That seems as likely to be effective as declaring cyberwar on House Lannister.
It's at this time of year that millions of college-age Americans return to the family home and to their childhood place in the family structure. Some can decide whether to sit at the kids' table or the adults'. If they choose the adult table, they'll hear an hour-long lecture about how Barack Obama is an evil alien who is out to destroy America; if they sit at the kid table, they'll hear an hour long lecture about how Megatron is an evil alien who is out to destroy America.
Does this mean that Barack Obama is really Megatron?
- in the beginning the people meet
- in the middle they argue
- in the end they get together
- in the beginning the people meet
- in the middle they get together
- in the end they get eaten by dinosaurs
Older news and blog entries
The photo archive contains a number of photos of landscapes, buildings, nature, and animals with silly expressions on their faces. There's also some high-resolution digital pictures of various natural and artificial textures, which may be of use for texture mapping applications.
New: I've added some of my favourite closeup photographs, prepared in nice large sizes, to the new backgrounds section.
The source for a tiny java web server (HTTPd), together with some commentary, is available under the GNU General Public Licence (GPL). With some help from various people I've gotten this down to just over 15 lines of (horribly unreadable) java code. Can you make it any smaller?
Are you tired (or embarrassed) of that uncomfortable delay between launching a large java application and it actually appearing? Help overcome your feelings of inadequacy by wrapping your application in this handy java application splashscreen application, which can show a logo or other graphic while the main application loads.
This page also contains a few weird tricks you can do in the java programming language (but shouldn't).
A discussion of optimisation, in the context of a simple java text processing program is presented in the the java hexdump page. Surprisingly, this shows we can write text processing programs (which are generally IO bound) as fast as decent C language programs.
I've made some notes on webdesign, including:
- Some advice for the novice website creator and designer.
- What do I think of the website of british furniture retailer Habitat? Not much.
As almost any user of UNIX and its workalike environments knows, there's really no point in writing your own utilities - as soon as you're finished you'll find someone already wrote a better, simpler, faster solution to the same problem, probably in about 1970. Here are some UNIX shell programming gems that I discovered, shortly after writing my own versions.
Like its ID Software predecessors, Activision's game Return to Castle Wolfenstein contains a number of secret areas, cunningly positioned throughout the game to divert the player's attention from how interminably dull and criminally derivative this rather average game is.
Tim Schaefer's Day of the Tentacle is one of the best computer games of the lost "second age". It worked (with an unpleasant amount of that nasty
config.sys wrangling) under DOS and older versions of Windows but it really doesn't work properly under
Windows XP. One might think Lucasarts might have released a DirectX version for windows, but perhaps moths have eaten the tape their only copy of the sourcecode is on (or something like that).
This site contains some mystical instructions for playing DoTT on Windows XP and (I think) on Windows 2000. Kindly multi-lingual readers have produced translations of this page into norsk, and nederlands. If you'd like to contribute a translation, even into something mad like Klingon, then I'd be happy to host it.
Although it's not very hard, and it's impossible to get it "wrong", some folks have asked me for a walkthrough of DoTT. As it rather spoils the game, I'd strongly recommend you read it only if you're really really stuck.
For your convenience, there are also the answers to some DoTT frequently asked questions.