The Duty of the Firstborn

14. January 2011 11:33 by gogman in Random Thoughts, Family  //  Tags:   //   Comments (2)

Tuesday, January 4th started like any other day does for me. I got up at about 4am, hit the head, grabbed a couple of cans of diet Red Bull, and sat down at my desk to began another day of working on “the game”.

The morning proceeded normally – I had breakfast with my wife, showed her some of the progress on the program I had made earlier that morning, gave her a hug and kiss as she left for work, and returned to my desk where my cat had been waiting eagerly to return to “her” lap.

About 9:30am there is a knock at the door. We weren’t expecting anyone or any packages so I got up to see who was there.

I looked through the peephole and saw two LAPD officers.


Happy New Year All!

1. January 2011 08:27 by gogman in Culture, Microsoft  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last months. We’ve done a lot of traveling over the holidays and when not traveling I have had my nose to the grindstone with my new business. I’ll be getting back to more regular posting this week starting with a look at the Windows Phone 7 OS – an OS that I think is a real gem hiding in plain sight.

Here’s to 2011 being a better year for everyone than 2010 was. Cheers!

28 Days Later - Windows Phone 7 and the Samsung Focus

30. November 2010 00:56 by gogman in Technology, Development  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

ATT_i917-Cetus_front1_400x400November 8th was a good day for lovers of smartphones, social networking, and the Internet. AT&T and Microsoft released three new Windows Phone 7 phones in North America. The HTC Surround, LG Quantum and Samsung Focus.

I picked up a Samsung Focus and have now been using it for 28 days both as a consumer and developer. I decided to take some time and post some of my thoughts on Windows Phone 7 OS, the hardware, and the reaction from the technology press.

This is a long post that I hope you find is not a complete waste of your time.


Change is in the Air

7. November 2010 12:03 by gogman in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (1)

After staring at the same old blog design for most of this year, I decided to do something new.

So here it is!

The quote in the upper right is my all time favorite quote by anyone, anywhere. I first read it when I was about 13 years old or so and it has stuck with me ever since. Life is an amazing gift and one should experience as much as possible while you are in this world and not get stuck in any one part of it. DO THINGS! DO MANY THINGS! Master some, do some well, and fail at some. The most important thing is to experience life.

In other change related news, tomorrow is Windows Phone 7 launch day! I will be getting a Samsung Focus and about five minutes after that I will be testing my top secret new game on it. It’s been difficult at times to test things using the emulator in the WP7 SDK since the system it is running on is about 100 times as powerful as the phone and garbage cleanup is handled much differently on the PC side versus the phone side. There was an interesting session at PDC 2010 discussing optimizing garbage collection on WP7. I think I have implemented the best practices mentioned in the session, but the proof will be when it runs on the actual hardware.

I’ll be posting some thoughts and demo code for WP7 later this week, so stay tuned!

Oh, and about the election? How's that for change! 

The Bestest Windows Evah!

22. October 2010 18:56 by gogman in Microsoft  //  Tags:   //   Comments (3)


Today is Windows 7 is one year old! Happy birthday and great job Microsoft!

Out of my gaggle of geeks I am usually the guy who has to have his old, dead operating system pried out of his hands.

Being a developer, I really hate upgrading operating systems because it takes so long to get it setup with all the tools I use. This time however, I did something rare for me – I got involved in the Win7 beta and installed it on a second hard drive in my primary laptop. From the install screen on, I knew I was going to ditch XP and Vista and go full Win7 as soon as I could. I had fallen in love.

So, to share the love, I will present you with my 7 (clever, eh?) favorite Win7 features.


Windows + left or right arrow snaps the active window to the left or right side of the screen. If you are like me and run multiple monitors, it will snap and move the windows across all your monitors.

Windows + SHIFT + left or right arrow will move the window from monitor to monitor without snapping it to the side or changing it’s size and shape.

Windows + up arrow maximizes the active window. Windows + down arrow minimizes the active window.

Windows + Tab will do the 3D document flip. A nice replacement for ALT + Tab.


This handy feature puts all your OS settings and tasks in one place. It’s a clever implementation that nobody is likely to stumble on. Here’s how to access it:

  1. Create a folder anywhere on your system.
  2. Name that folder GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
  3. Enjoy!


It does EVERYTHING. Conversions, statistics, you name it. Check out the view menu on the calculator app for more detail. The calculator really is a gem.


Microsoft had been struggling to make this concept work in previous versions of Windows. They finally nailed the implementation in Win7.


It finally works right and the wife and I LOVE the “play to” feature. I really love being able to access my media securely from the Internet as well without having to setup a VPN.


Oh how I love the taskbar and the way it combines shortcuts and live apps into a single icon. I wonder how it was that we ever got along with the old taskbar.


And my favorite Win7 feature?


Win7 just seems to run like butter.  It’s snappy, doesn’t crash, and is just a pleasure to use. After a year plus a few months, I am still in love.

Happy 10.10.10!

10. October 2010 22:28 by gogman in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

It’s a day to drink to your private LAN subnet, the Internet, the IETF, and marvel that endianness seems to be going away thanks all of the above.

Keep nerdin’ on my fellow nerds!


Stargate Universe is Back!

30. September 2010 01:49 by gogman in Sci-fi  //  Tags:   //   Comments (1)


Just got done watching episode one of season two and it was quite satisfying. This truly is a great show. SyFy has a real gem on their hands.

SGU avoids all the campiness of the other Stargate shows, is paced extremely well, and is incredibly deep in character development, interaction and growth. The balance between action, tension, and character development is perfect. The story arcs are well thought out and quite deep. It is great to watch a show that actually gives a crap about developing characters that are believable, with real flaws and issues, and not 2D cartoonish stereotypes out of central casting. Mind you, I did like the other Stargate shows (I’ve literally seen every episode of every show), but this one just blows them away on so many levels. Heck, I even love the music – though it makes me miss my old Moog quite a bit. If I had one complaint about SGU it would be that there is only one new episode a week.

A highly recommended show and one worthy of adding to the ol’ Blue-ray collection.

UPDATED ** The Revenge of Summer 2010

27. September 2010 12:05 by gogman in General, Pacific Ocean  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Fall_2010_Its_Hot Fall officially started here September 23rd but I don’t think Summer got the memo.

We live on a large hill next to the Pacific ocean and it’s so rare that it gets hot here that we don’t even have air conditioning.

The wind from the Pacific usually keeps us cool while the hill blocks any heat coming from inland.

Not today!

I am sitting at my desk with a fan blowing on me and I am sweating like I’m in a sauna. My poor little primary computer is suffering too. Right now as I type this, the GPU is sitting at a toasty 55c and the CPUs are a very toasty 58c. Those temps are with me doing nothing on it other than writing this post and watching the latest TWiT.

I am so tempted to join Neko and go lay in the shade on the cool concrete of the patio.

The best part? It’s only 11am and will most likely get hotter today.

UPDATE *** 1:30pm

As I expected, it’s gotten even hotter.

Fall_2010_Its_Hot_2According to the LA Times, it looks like a record breaking day everywhere in SoCal.

Please make it stop.

Silly Tar - er - Intellectually Disabled Folks

24. September 2010 08:37 by gogman in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (1)

So Stephen Colbert is to testify in front of Congress today at the behest of the Democrat majority. It seems the hearing is about illegal immigrants and farm work. Colbert recently spent one day working on a farm. WTF?!? Seriously? So he’s an expert? Wow.

Hey! I just boiled an egg, can I be the new head chef at the Whitehouse? Does anyone with half of half a brain really think one day of farm work or boiling an egg makes you an expert on the particular subject? Nah... That would be retarded! I mean come on!

In other news, yesterday the very same Democrat majority changed the federal language defining mental retardation.

I guess ya gotta CYA.

Yes, I am Still Alive

23. September 2010 02:21 by gogman in Development  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (2)

I’ve been very busy spending about 10-12 hours a day learning XNA for the PC, Windows Phone 7 as well as learning 3DS Max 2011.

It’s been 15 years or so since I wrote a videogame and never one in 3D. I have to say, I am enjoying it. 3D is not so bad. In some ways it’s actually easier than 2D game development. And oh, the tools, oh the lovely tools! It’s amazingly nice to have to NOT write all the low level code. The last game I wrote utilized Mode X graphics and the display code was done in assembler. It took a very long time to build the tools and libraries required to build the game. Now it’s so nice to be able to concentrate on the high-level code and object management instead of writing all the low level tools and libraries – and do it all for 1920x1080 pixels. What a difference a decade and a half makes :)

Hopefully I’ll have some tech demos up here soon. I didn’t have to deal with pixel shaders, vertex shaders, or frustum culling 15 years ago so there is a lot to learn and catch up on.

About The Bloggers


gogmanBorn naked, unable to communicate, walk, or feed himself, Gogman overcame these handicaps to become a technologist, decent open water sailor, pretty darn good cook, husband, cat lover, and mediocre blogger.

Gogman works as the CTO at Atomic Goat Studios, an independent game studio start-up located in Southern California developing games for the PC, XBox 360, and Windows Phone 7.

Member Hawaii Yacht Club


dantwoFound in a universe that probably exists, Dantwo prides himself on his ability to use the laws of nature to perform complex tasks; such as operating a keyboard.

A graduate student and teaching assistant by trade, he is also found enjoying games, technology, rudimentary philosophy, and observing the universe.

We miss you Andrew

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