Archive for the ‘Raves’ category

Code is Poetry (Screensavers Edition)

September 9, 2006

“Code is Poetry” is the slogan for wordpress.org. I’m a longtime user of wordpress software, and I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment. Sometimes, after a long, hard day of coding at work, I go home and code some more, because I just have to see how something would work.

For example, back in the days of Windows 95 and Windows NT, there were some beautiful screensavers. But at the time, there weren’t many screensavers with interesting behavior. I wanted to see a little self-sustaining ecosystem: an aquarium where the fish would hunt and eat each other. So I wrote one. It is butt ugly. But it behaved exactly as I wrote it, and I couldn’t have been happier.

After a frustrating period of work, I wanted to punish the computer. So I wrote a screensaver to put the bugs in there to work. I made them perform a Sisyphean task of stacking balls that would later scatter, over and over again, forever. Butt ugly again. But I love it, it’s mine. I made it.

Code is my conduit from idea to reality. It’s essentially my modeler’s clay. It’s my art medium, and the medium has very exacting rules. Following the rules is difficult, but the results are so very rewarding. It is poetry.

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I’ve Got Mail

August 8, 2006

Here’s an email love story between a studio user and a member of our development team. Well, OK, it’s only messages from the user in crash reports, and there’s no love of which to speak…

Crash Dialog

Here’s what he actually wrote over the course of three consecutive crashes:

Num Message
1 I was making a music video, then it crashed.
2 I was making a music video again, then it crashed again. You suck!
3 This thing keeps crashing when making music videos! I want to punch your faces in!

The poor guy hit a bug, and Studio crashed. Then he tried it again a couple of more times, and every time, Studio crashed in the same place. It rightfully made him angrier and angrier.

We fixed the bug, but not because of his vitriol. But (partly) because there was other useful diagnostic information in the bug report.

So, in case you’ve ever wondered: Yes, we read what you write. And yes, sending us those crashes does lead to fixes.

You don’t have to send in the crash reports, of course. If you do, you can choose to helpfully let us know what you were doing when it crashed, or you can vent. We’ll read it. We regret the bug regardless of whether you vent.

Finally, there’s a secret feature where if you put the email address of a developer (Mine is the subdomain of this blog with @pinnaclesys.com.) in your feedback, that particular crash will go directly to their email inbox. So, yeah, you can send me hate mail.