14 Apr 2010 The Swirling Brain   » (Master)

I had my 45th birthday! Sounds old, doesn't it? But I still think I'm mentally young. Probably immature is more the right word. My body is another story, but oh well.

Before my birthday, I got a free Droid phone and a free Sprint 3G/4G USB device from Google! Woohoo! It was because I created an Android app, had enough downloads, and enough stars that they considered me a worthy Android developer! Little do they know, right! My app is a speedometer that uses the GPS and time difference between samples to calculate the current speed. It displays in analog and digital. No big deal, right? But it got me a phone! Woohoo!

I played with the Droid phone and wanted to keep it but it doesn't work with my T-Mobile. Droid is CDMA and meant for Verizon and T-Mobile is GSM. So the simcard don't fit. :-( Boo! I got the wifi going and surfed the net a little. Wow that phone is fast. The screen is bigger. Oh, how I wanted to keep it. Well, since I can't really use it for phone, I feel it's not really enough to keep it just to try developing on it since I already have the other phone for that.

The 4G dongle I got was for Sprint only. That seemed weird that the phone was for Verizon and the dongle for Sprint, but oh well. So I can't really use the phone or the dongle. They were nice gifts though and worth a lot! Thanks Google! Really!

So anyway, I sold the Droid phone and the 4G dongle on ebay. The phone went for $350 and the dongle went for $142. After the hefty ebay and paypal fees I probably ended up with $390 or so.

For my birthday I spent that money on a laptop! That should be coming soon. I figure I can do my android development on it so the gift might still be a nice developer type thing. I got some additional money for my birthday from my family. So I also bought a refurbished Xbox 360 off ebay. So those were my two big birthday presents, a laptop and an xbox 360!

My daughter and I play the old xbox and we love halo 2. We played through the campaign again recently and did it in less than a week. So we really wanted the xbox 360 so we could get halo 3. Oh, we can't wait until we get it!

The refurbished xbox came with halo3 and gears of war. I also bought guitar hero world tour that comes with guitar, drums, and mic. Bethany already said that wasn't the one to get because of the drum layout. Oh well.

At ROSS (discount store) they had a Halo Warthog RC car. Since we like halo so much, Natalie just had to have it. I helped her buy it. We've been wearing it out around the living room the last few days. Now she has it like a trophie displayed on her shelf right next to the my little ponies and littlest petshop pets. How messed up is that? ;-)

For my birthday we went to Denney's and got a free breakfast. Then we went and saw "How to train your dragon" in IMAX experience 3D. It wasn't the huge wraparound IMAX, just the downgraded cheaper imax. The movie was great! We really enjoyed it. I recommend it. We then went to Mr. Gattis which was the first place I ever had a job when I was 15 years old. Then we went to a Video store and bought two xbox 360 games: Bioshock, and Halo Wars. We went to ROSS and bought the Warthog RC for Natalie. Then we went to Chilis and ate with my Parents. It was a really good day!

I can't wait to get all my stuff I have on order. Perhaps we will check out xbox live at some point.

I've been working some more on another android app. I've been trying to figure out the opengl stuff and writing my own graphics engine which is quite a challenge. I Started out writing my own. I got pretty far. I could draw faces, and shapes, and the world, and I was able to get textures on faces, and music going. But there was so much left to do. Then I found someone else had already written a nice graphics engine. I took it and tried to update it to how I wanted it. There's all sorts of quirkly stuff with android's opengl. I think it's mostly because of the limited amount of memory allocated to it really makes it limited. Complex models seem to be right out. Large textures seem to be out, and any asset filename with underscores seems to make it go wacky, so no underscores. You can't load too big an mp3 for music or it'll freak out. Etc, etc. So it looks like I'm limited to really little games. I figure I'll put data up on my website and have the game download assets periodically. That will add to lag but at least it'll give me a little room here and there. Anyway, I've blown a lot of time on that. It's a love/hate to be learning new stuff sometimes. OpenGL is quite a steep challenge too. Anyway, I got the graphics engine doing some stuff now and it's starting to look acceptable so probably now I can try make something. I'm looking forward to it.

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