• Spotify

    Mar 20, 2010

    Whilst using Spotify since it was first released officially in the UK for free, without an invite. I have found many different bands and genres to be to my taste. The ability to just click on an artist that you like and view the entirety of their available catalogue and a small bio about them is only outshone by the 'Related Artists' section. This instantly tells you what other artists sound slightly like the one that you are currently viewing. Using this feature I have found many new artists.
    Another interesting feature for discovering new music and artists is the Artist radio feature. This acts much like Last.fm, which I discovered a while ago, and I am on.

    I extensively use the playlist feature, however I do not use it to construct a playlist as such. I use it more as a music library than anything else. Like I use WMP on my computer. Generally when I listen to music I'll listen to albums rather than one-off tracks.

    I have shared one of my playlists with Pete, another Computer Science Student here at Reading. Some isn't to his taste, but then I don't know many people who have the same taste in music as me, I doubt you do either. I think music is something that is appreciated differently by everyone; it is a way of expressing yourself and it can also help to influence or change my mood. Music can also be very distracting, so when I am working or studying I generally make a little more effort to not listen to the music that I know distracts me.

    I thought I would share some of my music tastes with you. I'd be interested to know what you think, not sure many will like it though. I've made two playlists so far:
    Possibly Distracting/Aggro Busting

    They will update if I change them at some stage. New bands I find will probably vary considerably. Enjoy.

  • SE1SA5 - Programming, Final Project (Card Game) Review

    Mar 15, 2010

    The usefulness of objects and classes when using a vast amount of repeated objects was made clear during the implementation and development of this program. The idea of ‘wrapping’ these classes into an easier to use format was greatly used. It allowed actions to be performed more easily, without the extensive use of pointers, along with making the code far more readable. This was especially helpful when it came to the debugging stage as it clarified all of the functions in comparison to the array of objects originally being used.

    Only seeding srand() once throughout the code allowed successful generation of random numbers. Multiple misplaced calls to this would result in the same ‘random’ number being generated.
    The importance of user testing also became clear as one user suggested that it would be a good idea to reveal the computer’s hand after the game had either been won or lost. This provided the user some form of satisfaction that they had either not been cheated or allowed to win.

    Program flow control statements had to be used extensively in order to ensure that the program’s output and processing made sense and was correct. This taught a logical way of ensuring that calls to functions were in the correct places along with teaching methods that can be used to debug in situations where many functions are called to produce outputs.

  • Assassin's Creed 2

    Mar 11, 2010

    I had borrowed this game from a friend for just under a week now. I'm a little ashamed to say that I have completed the main storyline already. However the first few minutes I didn't enjoy the game. I already found a non-repeatable glitch in the game that once I jumped towards a beam in order to land on it I seemed to 'magically' hit an invisible wall right after jumping, which caused me to fall to my death and feel like I sucked for a bit. Much later in the story I found myself attempting mounted combat, which you would think they would ensure worked correctly to include it. I found myself stuck in the jumping position on the horse's back with sword drawn and ready. Then I could no longer control the movement of my character or anything. The guards just ran around like headless chickens hacking at my horse shouting 'Where is he?' 'There he is!' a lot. The only solution was a console reset. Quite frustrating as it hadn't saved in a while and I certainly didn't want it to save whilst like that.

    Some of the animations I found to be a little bellow the standard I was expecting, mainly in cut scenes where a weapon was in a characters hand but seemed to move independently from it. Still far better than I would manage though!

    Now onto positives. The gameplay itself is much smoother and free flowing that the previous game, a great improvement is in the climbing. It no longer feels jerky whilst climbing up the side of a building. The storyline kept me far more amused than it's predecessor too with varied missions on it's way up to the main assassination of the memory. I admit that I didn't play the game to it's full extent. I left out most optional quests as I felt that as they were repetitive in the previous game that they would be the same in this version.

    The combat is much improved and more free flowing. It is now actually possible to attack rather than relying on counters, which I found rather frustrating in the first one. The action sequences of being chased really made me feel as though I had to get away. Usually though I found myself trying to escape in a way that actually looked good for a bit more of a challenge. I occasionally found myself plummeting from a roof top as a result of this, but that's half the fun!

    All in all I found it to be a great game. They also seem to have left it open for a sequel, however I have a slight feeling that it would be in present day. If it is I wonder if they would keep it sword based or whether it would go in the direction of Splinter Cell.

  • T2 Practical 5 With Alpha Sting

    Feb 25, 2010

    The objective of this practical was to practice the use of classes and instantiating the classes. The alpha sting was to create 100 PiggyBank instances and perform transactions on individual PiggyBanks and on each of the PiggyBanks.
    Syntax highlighting thanks to pastie.org