January 2006 in the Life of Ben (Blog)

  1. January
  2. February
  3. March
  4. April
  5. May
  6. June
  7. July
  8. August
  9. September
  10. October
  11. November
  12. December

Implementing Windows Standard INI File Format (28th January 2006)

Most of my Visual Basic applications were started before I knew about the Windows API and so my programs did not use the proper method for creating their settings files. A long time ago, my programmer friend called icey created a Visual Basic 6 INI Class which I have finally found time to test out.

I adapted my Jot text editor thing using icey’s excellent class. The transfer was really easy and it has made Jot’s code a lot simpler and reliable, so I’ll update the download soon. All my other programs will eventually use this and become a bit easier for people to work with. I also intend to release them as completely open-source software as they will never be commercial products. Lucky you!

Myriad Islands Railway (28th January 2006)

The first signs of a revival are happening in the Myriad Islands area of GTAForums. Not least of which has been in the Myriad Islands Railway topic, where Jason and I have been designing it with a lot of input from other members. Over the past week I’ve been making a draft 3D route of the railway using some rough pieces of straight track made for me by illspirit.

It looks like the route across the Northern islands will be made by illspirit while JasonB will be making the route around the illCOM island. I intend to make a public release of the 3D draft in the forum topic during next week.

Project Cerbera is Printable (28th January 2006)

For some time I have been including a stylesheet for printing pages from Project Cerbera:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="print" href="/print.css">

In most browsers (including Internet Explorer) you can use the File > Print Preview menu to view how the pages will look when printed.

This can be very useful if you refer to my GTA Tutorials frequently. Now you can visit a page you use a lot, such as the GTA San Andreas Handling Definition, then print it off using your browser. This means you can refer to it while working in a handling editor (such as CFG Studio) without having to switch windows in your screen. Cool, huh?

Helped my Sister Move House (28th January 2006)

My sister (Zoe) recently moved out from the room she rente a room in shared accomodation to a new house which she is going to rent with a couple of her best friends. My mum, dad, myself and her friend Letty moved the bulk of Zoe’s stuff into the new house yesterday. It’s a really nice three bedroom house with pretty big rooms spread over two floors plus an attic. Even has downstairs and upstairs toilets, with showers in both!

Busy, Busy Busy! (28th January 2006)

Whew, what a month! It may not seem like much has happened from the lack of news updates. Ironically, that’s because I’ve been so busy doing things to write updates about them.

GTA Modding Wiki (28th January 2006)

Over the past few weeks the GTA Modding Wiki has been steadily growing, with daily additions and revisions being written by volunteers. I have tidied up quite a few articles on there, adding my fair share of content to them. I have started a few articles as well, giving most of them a nice dollop of content to begin with.

The excellent Wiki software automatically generates a page for each registered member listing the articles they have written content for. This means you can see my contributions for yourself. I have found myself using the Wiki quite a lot for some of my recent projects, it is becoming a really useful resource.

Two Years of News (2nd January 2006)

Happy new year to everyone using the modern Gregorian calendar system!

The Project Cerbera news archive now catalogues the main computery events of my life for the past two years. When I created this news section I wasn’t sure if it would be worthwhile or not. However, now I can look back over things which have happened using the conveniant interface of an efficient Web page, so it’s been worth the effort.

It’s really brought home to me how quickly time passes when you're wrapped up in your own little projects, although it also reminds me how much I’ve learnt and how much I’ve created during that time. o{:-)

Web Developer Extension v1.0 for Firefox Released (2nd January 2006)

The infamous Web Developer Extension for Firefox reached version one on 2005-12-31 and I downloaded it yesterday. I had some strange problems with getting Firefox to install it (which I created a topic about) but it seems to install without problems by any method for most people. Uninstalling any existing version of the extension, restarting your browser and then installing the new version is your best bet if you don’t want to risk problems, though.

This update has been a year in the making and is a big development for the tool. It includes a vast number of improvements to the level of details you can manipulate with it, as well as many improvements to its user interface. It adds many new features and fixes some bugs which are listed in the history of the extenstion page on the author’s website.

It is an extremely useful tool for anyone who works with websites, whether they are novices or experienced professionals.

MapEditor (MEd) Interface Demonstration Released (2nd January 2006)

The first release of MEd Tests is now available. Med Tests is an interface demonstration I have made to let people try out some developments Tonywob and I have been talking about for his MEd program. He is currently taking a four week break from programming during the festive season, during which I’ll be continuing to develop the MEd Tests interface using the ideas we've developed together.

This test program has no editing capabilities whatsoever. I am releasing it to demonstrate the ideas Tony and I have had so that we can gather some testing from the modding community on whether they find the interface better than before. We want to encourage the modding community to get involved with the way their tools so they can tell us what features they need and how they would like them to work.

By combining these user needs and rationalising the interface, we hope to build the best ever tool for editing GTA landscapes.

MultiSlayer Complete (2nd January 2006)

After more than two yearss of development, my GTA2 multiplayer level is now complete! You can get it from the GTA 2 MultiSlayer page. Many thanks to the dozens of people who playtested the level with me and helped it mature into one of the best levels ever produced for that game.