Friday, June 23, 2006

Vdrift - Racing Simulator

After getting the FlightGear working right using DTK, I was asked to get Vdrift doing the same. Vdrift doesnt come with many command line arguments and built in programs like FlightGear so a lot of the stuff had to be done from scratch.
First I had to modify the Vdrift source to record accelerations in all 6 dimensions. This was easy enough to do. This had to be done in the same format defined in the xml file written for FlightGear. After re-compiling the source, and running the game, the car was bouncing like a bunny all over my screen! After a quick check on the Vdrift forum I found out it that it requires an older compiler than what Fedora 4 or 5 come with. I got hold on some Slackware 10.2 CDs after MvM suggested that I use that instead since most of the packages we need have a slackware version which should avoid problems. Anyway after doing that, the vdrift source compiled fine and I got all the required drivers (joystick & Nvidia) and software/libraries (Fltk, DTK) installed properly.

All that was left is to get the UDP listener I wrote for FlightGear listening to the same port vdrift is writing to. I added two new command lines to vdrift to control the frequency of writing to the UDP and the host it should write to.

I produced this screenshot while running everything together on localhost.

The scope at the bottom comes built in with the DTK-Diverse program. The blue lin in the middle is supposed to be the force of gravity (in the Z-axis) but for some reason it comes out very close to 0 from vdrift, so it never moves. This can't be right as it should move at least when I am driving over mountains or down a hill. Anyway I will figure this out later, the physics engine for Vdrift is buggy anyway and nowhere as good as the one that comes with FlightGear.

Match 3: Italy vs. Czech Republic

ahh..the Italians finally got the Czechs out of the way! Everybody was fearsome of the fact that the Czechs being ranked 2nd world wide by FIFA. The Italians got their style back after that crazy tie against the Americans. They played even better than when they played Ghana in the first game. Really the score could have been 4-0 rather than 2-0 if it wasn't for Inzaghi missing two real easy goals. To be fair to the Czechs, Nedved had an awesome chance against Buffon, but Buffon stood his grounds and made an even more awesome save. Really, that own goal against the US was major bad luck. Other than that, the Italian goal remains "unpenentrated".

Next they face Australia which is going to be a pushover (sorry it is true). The real knockout game is against Argentina at the quarter finals. That will be a really good game to watch! I guarantee it. Now don't come and tell me "..but Argentina beat Serbia 6-0.." That team did not play well at all (obviously) plus they cannot be compared to Italy. If the Italian defense stands up strong with Cannavaro, then Argentina will have a tough time breaking through. The Italians need to hold their formation exactly like how they did with the Czechs, the defense line was always there at the right place and time.

I think Inzaghi proved something to Lippi with his awesome goal against the Czechs. The guy had guts to challenge Cech 1 on 1 and beat him even with Totti (I think) around him. Might have been selfish of Inzaghi to not pass it to Totti, but he beat the keeper.

My predictions:
Inzaghi doesnt play against Australia and rests for the game after (Argentina). Italy beats Australia 3-0 and moves on to face Maradona's team in which Italy wins 3-2. The Argentinians are shorter than the Italian players, so they will have a tought time with the perfect corners and free kicks by Totti.

...Forza Italia!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Flight Simulator updates

Plenty of progress over the past few weeks in this project. The re-construction of the room in ITB is almost over and we have access to the flight simulator now. There still seems to be some communication error over the serial connection but theres progress in that everyday. Hopefully we will have the communication working right soon. Meanwhile I have been working on the user application. So far its working ok communicating with the game. It allows the user to turn the simulator on and off and provide access to the filters that are used for the motion cueing. Also some basic feedback messages are outputted to the screen.

Here are some screenshots of how it is laid out:

I will be taking pictures of the simulator soon, from the inside and out. The onboard LCD is really clear -but there are two tiny scratches on one side of the screen, wasnt me! I think it was the construction workers...or maybe the people who installed it. Who knows.

I did not take lunch today so I am going to head out shortly. I am starting a new working out schedule today so I am very pumped!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Match 2: Italy VS. U.S

This game was a major dissapointment. Italy did not play as well as they did against Ghana, and on the other hand the U.S. played much better than they did against the Czechs. Anybody who watched that game has to admit Italy was just unlucky. They were unlucky with that own goal, unlucky with the U.S. "almost own goal" when the defender almost headed the goal into his own goal but luckily for him it hit the cross-bar. The game was fairly rough, with around 40 fouls committed, more than half of them by the U.S.

I was watching the game on the abc channel, and I noticed how biased the commentator was. He was unhappy with all the cards the US received and kept saying "the ref should have taken him to the side and talk to him" Who the hell says that? Just stfu and do your job.

So Italy is at the top now, and need to win their next match to guarantee going into the next stage. In the case of the Italians losing against the Czechs, and the US losing againsg Ghana, then that would be the end of the road for the Italians this year - ofcourse that wont happen!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Match 1: Italy VS. Ghana

The first game for the Italians looks like a piece of cake - I hope I didn't just jinx them!
I just had a look at the lineup for the Italians and there are some new names. I would not be surprised if Inzaghi, Del Piero and Camoranesi stay on the bench this game and rest for one that could be tough - the Czechs. Goodlucks to the Azzurri. Im off to Quarter's to watch the game!

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Convocation is finally over and now I finally have my B.Eng.Mgmt! I can call myself an engineering graduate now. Heres a couple of pictures from the event:

...don't I look like a nun in these pics?

It has been a busy week since I last posted on my blog. Parents were here and I was busy showing them around Hamilton. I took them to Windsor this weekend and to drop my brother off over there. I rented a car for this past week, and I am keeping it for another week - thanks to my Dad! - Its a Chev Malibu like this one but in maroon:

It drives real nice and its good on gas too. I was under the impression american cars are gas guzzlers, but this car is a myth buster! The strange thing is its a full size sedan but for some reason Hertz Canada classify it as a mid-size, so I got a pretty good deal on a very nice car!
Having a car makes thing so much easier - obviously. I am seriously planning on purchasing one now, probably a shitbox since I did not find a job and grad school won't be paying much if it pays at all - there is a probability I will do an M.Eng instead and pay for myself for one year.

Its back to work on the flight simulator tomorrow. I am working on a user interface that would be used to control the machine and for testing purposes. I used Fltk to do it, since it was used for that DTK library I once as mentioning. The most annoying part of Fltk, is that some things that should be very simple to do get a little tricky but once you know what you are doing its ok.

Congrats to everbody who graduated last week and I hope you all have a fun and safe summer!

Bump into me soon!!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Meet the parents

Convocation is less than a week away and my parents are here to visit! My dad did not get here yet, he arrives on Monday because his VISA was a bit late to come out. On the other hand, my mom is here, she arrived yesterday. It was a crazy drive back from the airport, with all the rain I barely could see the lanes, yet alone the signs..but we made it all safely.

We were tidying up the house the past couple of days, and guess what people (especially the guys), your house will never be clean enough for the parents.

I found out from the Registrar's office that somehow I am not on the list of people who asked for tickets, althought I requested them way before the deadline! At least I am on the list of people cleared to graduate.

Anyway, so my mom is staying for a month, and my dad for a week or so. This will be a month full of awesome home cooked food...yum!