Star Wars Trivia: Darth Talon

I am slightly embarrassed to admit that over the New Years holiday, I flipped through a copy of Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force.  Yes, I just admitted that.  No, I’m not sure why I did it.

In any case, I now know a few new things:

  1. There is an endless supply of almost meaningless detail about timelines, people, and battles that are sometimes self-contradictory and totally separate from the movies.
  2. There is a very cool Wikia site called “Wookiepedia” that has an almost endless supply of Star Wars information, and it’s free.
  3. There is a new comic book series called “Star Wars Legacy” that takes place 137 years after the Death Star was blown up, in a bleak future where the Republic & Jedi have fallen to a new order of the Sith.

As an interesting trivia item based on (3), I also discovered what I imagine it would look like if Darth Maul and Angelina Jolie had a baby: her name is Darth Talon.  Enjoy.

SimCity Is Now Open Source as Micropolis

Very cool to see that the original SimCity code has been updated and released under the name Micropolis.

There is coverage on Boing Boing:

 SimCity has just been released as free software under the GPL version 3 license (though the name has been changed to Micropolis for trademark reasons; it was the original working title). This was precipitated by the inclusion of SimCity on the One Laptop Per Child XO machines, but no reason the kids should have all the fun. Can’t wait to see the SimCity hacks that emerge now:

The “MicropolisCore” project includes the latest Micropolis (SimCity) source code, cleaned up and recast into C++ classes, integrated into Python, using the wonderful SWIG interface generator tool. It also includes a Cairo based TileEngine, and a cellular automata machine CellEngine, which are independent but can be plugged together, so the tile engine can display cellular automata cells as well as SimCity tiles, or any other application’s tiles.

There is more detailed coverage about the open source release on this blog.

Back in college, I spent a good chunk of my junior year coding up a fast sprite library for the Mac called “Pixie” which had hand-tuned blitters, layering, and other goodies that seem shockingly dated now in a world of graphics cards, modern rendering pipelines, and modern gaming engines.  Back then, getting 30 frame-per-second animation for about fifty 32×32 animated sprites was considered real bragging rights for a 68K-based Mac.  I can’t tell you how excited back then I would have been to download and play with this.

Check it out, if you are so inclined.