Sunday, February 28, 2010

where are symbol-based domains

It occurred to me that I've never seen a symbol-based domain in use. For example, why haven't I ever seen a symbol in a domain - especially some domain like http://www.i♥

As a side note - I've read that Windows people would see the Windows logo in this domain and Mac people would see the Apple logo. What do you see? http://i♥.com/.

From my late-night skimming (I'm saying I didn't really read much - this is what I've gleaned) it looks like in 2005 DNS switched from ASCII to Unicode. The support for Unicode domain names appears to be there in all common browsers. I tested Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and IE and all of them behaved the same way.

It seems like people should have started using symbols for fun. No doubt there are non-US domains that require unicode but I'm just thinking about the vanity type stuff. It looks like Network Solutions briefly allowed symbols in .com domains (£.com and ♥.com) but doesn't anymore. Out of curiousity, I attempted to register i♥ at a few registrars and was consistently blocked. I then attempted to register i♥ at 3 registrars and 1 allowed it (GoDaddy). Interesting.
Safari hits symbol-based domains nicely.

Safari hits symbol-based domains nicely. My version of Chrome hit my play domain correctly but then munged the URL. Silly.

Speaking of silly - let's say that people were using symbol-based domains for vanity stuff or marketing - in both cases, they'd probably want to use the vanity names in social sites. Why aren't usernames allowed to contain unicode? I only checked a few sites and they only wanted simple ASCII. I wonder if there is a reason that I'm unaware of or if it is just easier for devs to not think about more complicated usernames.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ike and Spence getting started with Game Maker 8

Isaac and Spencer have been playing Club Penguin and Build-A-Bear-Workshop a lot lately. One day Spencer decided that it is time for him to write his own game and he started sending me ideas in IM. I asked around and looked around and decided that Game Maker 8 looks like a good tool for Spencer to use. I had the boys read through a tutorial on their own and then yesterday we went through a tutorial together and created a simple game.

Isaac and Spencer working hard. They each liked different speeds, sounds, and backgrounds but ended up with basically the same game.

Asher was pretty impatient with us working on the games. Asher loves playing Club Penguin so not only were we not playing with him - he couldn't use a computer while we worked. He went around taking picture of just about everything in the house. Here's the only decent one though :)

So for a simple game, you pick out sprites and sounds and identify them as resources. Then you set up objects and boards using the sprites and sounds. The objects are given events and actions associated with the events. For example, a create event is used to start some objects moving around on the board. A collision event just gets a bounce in our game. There are more events and actions than I could ever have imagined.

I hope the boys continue forward and do more playing. I imagine I'll have to work with them some more but I think they could do some more simple stuff on their own.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

started soldering protoduino prototype

I had planned on testing with a breadboard at the next FTH test but then I decided that parts would probably jiggle loose. Michael and I discussed options and Michael found the Protoduino. For $13, it is a spectacular deal and very convenient. I started soldering the components to it tonight but this bit goes quite slow.

I've got the boost interrupt (rectifier and long blue wires), 5V voltage regulator, and reset switch in. I attached a 3 pin molex connector to the pressure transducer. I still have to put the servo connector, power connectors, data logger header, and 6V voltage regulator on. It'll be tight but everything will just fit.