WebGL, Firefox and Ubuntu 12.04

WebGL is rather cool (as is Ubuntu 12.04 and Firefox). Recently I followed the instructions at http://www.ubuntugeek.com/howto-enable-webgl-on-firefox-4.html, only to find that
does not exist on my KUbuntu box after I sudo apt-get install libosmesa6.

In an attempt to try to find libOSMesa, I decided to install the release deb from https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/precise/i386/libosmesa6/8.0.3+8.0.2-0ubuntu3.2. This puts libOSMesa at

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Holly Madison Autograph

Things have been a bit quiet on the autograph front, but I did manage to get Holly Madison’s autograph when I watched Peepshow in Vegas on the 17th June. Apparently she is leaving the show at the end of the year to start a family.

Holly Madison Autograph
Holly Madison and Me

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InformIT #17DaysofGiveaways

InformIT is giving away prizes every
weekday in July beginning Monday, July 9. Every day we’ll be giving away our
daily prize to three lucky winners.Each day
you have four opportunities to enter:1. Be an
InformIT fan on Facebook2. Follow
us @InformIT on Twitter

3. Retweet
InformIT’s daily twitter post containing “#17daysofgiveaways” and a link to the
Giveaway blog post

4. Post a
link to the Giveaway on your personal blog

We hope
you’re looking forward to our themed weeks. Here are the prizes!

Web Development Week

July 9: Core HTML5
by David Geary

July 10: Joomla! Programming
by Mark Dexter and Louis Landry

July 11: $25
Amazon gift card

July 12: Programming
in CoffeeScript
by Mark Bates

July 13: HTML5
Developer’s Cookbook
by Chuck Hudson and Tom Leadbetter

Software Engineering Week

July 16: R2D2
iPad case

July 17: Java
Application Architecture: Modularity Patterns with Examples Using OSGi
Kirk Knoernschild

July 18: Disciplined
Agile Delivery: A Practitioner’s Guide to Agile Software Delivery in the
by Scott W. Ambler and Mark Lines

July 19: Geek

July 20: Elemental
Design Patterns
by Jason McC. Smith

Mobile Programming Week

July 23: PhoneGap
Essentials: Building Cross-Platform Mobile Apps
by John M. Wargo

July 24: Bookshelf
iPhone case

July 25: Android Wireless
Application Development Volume I: Android Essentials, 3rd Edition
by Lauren
Darcey and Shane Conder

July 26: Sams Teach
Yourself Windows Phone 7 Application Development in 24 Hours
by Scott
Dorman, Kevin Wolf, Nikita Polyakov, and Joe Healy

July 27: $25
Amazon gift card

Microsoft Week

July 30: ASP.NET
Dynamic Data Unleashed
by Oleg Sych and Randy Patterson

July 31: System Center
2012 Configuration Manager (SCCM) Unleashed
by Kerrie Meyler, Byron Holt,
Marcus Oh, and Greg Ramsey

More details on the official blog post at http://www.informit.com/blogs/blog.aspx?uk=17DaysofGiveaways-Here-are-the-prizes.

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SOPA Strike

SOPA Strike

On the 18th Janurary Roaringmoon.com took part in the SOPA Strike. If you tried to visit on that day you were greeted by Zachary Johnson’s anti-SOPA page from Github: https://github.com/zachstronaut/stop-sopa

Pierre Far provided details of how to do this in a search engine friendly way: https://plus.google.com/115984868678744352358/posts/Gas8vjZ5fmB; and a small mod _rewrite rule accomplished the task for us:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !/robots.txt
RewriteCond %{TIME} <20120119000000
RewriteCond %{TIME} >20120118000000
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} /.*
RewriteRule (.*) /stop-sopa.html [L,R=503,QSA]
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Cartoon: The Cloud has a silver lining

Noise to Signal Cartoon

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Freecell version 2.2

Anyone who tried out my version of Freecell for the Blackberry Playbook will have realised that it was very basic. In order to get it submitted in time for the promotion I had to leave it at the bare minimum. During a few hardware upgrades I managed to delete the source code, so I decided to completely re-write it for a version 2.0 release. Over the past two weeks I have released another 2 updates, bringing the version count to 2.2. Hopefully this version addresses many of the deficiencies in the original release.

Version 2.0:

  • Complete re-write.
  • Added ability to move groups of cards.
  • Added kingOnly option.
  • Added card remaining count and game timer.
  • Added sound effects for card move and game completion.

Version 2.1:

  • Minor bug fixes.
  • Added double-click logic to send card to home cells or free cells.

Version 2.2:

  • Added safe and aggressive auto play logic. Safe auto play mirrors the moves made by Microsoft Freecell and Freecell Pro. Aggressive auto play mirrors the moves made by NetCell.

You can find the app in Blackberry AppWorld here:


Or by scanning the QR code below:


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Freecell for Blackberry Playbook

As part of RIM’s recent Playbook promotion, I wrote and submitted a free Freecell app for the tablet. If you’re lucky enough to already have a Playbook (mainly the USA at the moment) please feel free to download the app and leave me feedback.

You can find the app in Blackberry AppWorld here:


Or by scanning the QR code below:


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Kudos to Mashable for alerting me to Onswipe:


If you’re lucky enough to have an iPad (or iPad 2), you can now view WordPress blogs in a true iPad app style interface. Even self-hosted blogs (like this one) can join in by installing the Onswipe plugin.

Now all I need is an iPad 2 to try it out. 🙂

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Clickable, Transparent Sprite in AS 3

For the past few days I have had a problem. In ActionScript I wanted to do the following:

	public class TableauPile extends Sprite
		public function TableauPile()
		private function setImage():void
			width = 74;
			height = 98;

This draws a nice “empty” box, allowing you to see the background beneath it. Oddly though, it doesn’t respond to mouse down events. Not unless you are lucky enough to accidentally click on the thin border. Attempting to write a FreeCell clone in Actionscript, as I am, it would be useful to receive mouse down events for empty boxes.

After much head scratching, Googling, and experimentation I have discovered that the only way to get the sprite to respond to mouse down events, is to fill it with a solid colour and set the alpha to 0. This can be accomplished by adding the following line before the endFill statement:

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Thinkup on Amazon EC2

For the last couple of days I’ve been playing with Thinkup on Amazon EC2. I already have a Thinkup install at www.roaringmoon.com/thinkup, so I thought I’d try it on EC2 just out of curosity. There is an excellent guide to the process of setting it up here: https://github.com/ginatrapani/ThinkUp/wiki/Installing-ThinkUp-on-Amazon-EC2

Sadly my email host doesn’t seem to like emails originating from EC2, so I had to manually activate Thinkup by editing the tu_owners table.

There seem to be workarounds that can be used to enable EC2 originated emails to be received, but it’s not really worth it if you’re just experimenting. Details can be found here: http://shlomoswidler.com/2009/07/sending-email-from-ec2.html

The original Tweet from Gina that brought the tutorial to my attention is here: http://twitter.com/thinkupapp/status/22795648973676545

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