Tuesday, March 15, 2011

serproxy random crashes

For those of you using serproxy.exe to convert serial IO to TCP messages for serial port communication with Adobe Flash scripts, I would avoid using a USB to Serial adapter if at all possible. Stick with the serial port on your motherboard, if you have a desktop computer that still has one.

As I found out while working on some pieces for OMSI's Design Zone exhibit, 2-4 hours of constant serial communication can cause USB to Serial Adapter drivers to raise unhandled serial port errors, thus locking serialproxy.exe, and breaking communication from the Adobe Flash Movies I created to the hardware.

If you are in a situation where you need to use a USB to Serial adapter, the next step would be to update serproxy.exe to properly use ClearCommError() to constantly clear out errors. Without this, writefile() (the function call that communicates directly with the serial port driver) will crash serialproxy.exe.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Computer Game Remake?

No blog post in awhile. From now I will try to do a better job of kicking my butt into productivity mode.

Today I listened to the first "Triangulation" podcast, and was struck by how cool Warren Spector (a top computer game designer) is. After discussing Wing Command and some of his earlier games, I was sent down memory lane to my childhoold computer games. ____ Quest, Wing Commander, Rastan, the list continues. Warren, who also is trained in cinema, talked quite a bit about movies; specifically movies based off of computer games and comic books.

This discussion spured an idea: why don't they remake old computer games? This has been the theme the past 5-10 years in cinema. Examples include Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Tron, and apparently Ghost Busters soon. Why doesn't someone buy the rights to old Sierra games and remake them? I (and several others I can think of in my generation) would snap these games up in the heart-beat. Now that I have a little 9-month old, I'd love to (at some point in the near future) introduce her to modern versions of the games I played as a child.

I don't have the time nor the money to try to capitalize on this idea, so someone with money--please roll with this.

As a side note, I am surprised to say that I actually want to buy the Epic Mickey game they discussed. It sounds super neat to go back in time to all off Disney's old school cartoons that people have forgotten and save some of the characters.