* Posts by Sean OConnor

23 posts • joined 22 Sep 2014

Microsoft Store adds ‘private audience’ apps to its Store

Sean OConnor

It's a real-time WW2 game and needs as big a screen as possible, so I've actually been surprised how many people play it on a relatively tiny iPhone screen!

I think the problem with the Windows Store is it doesn't get much prominence hidden away in the Start menu thing for a start, and they only seem to give any prominence to big name titles. The AppStore used to let *every* new title appear in the 'new' section, until you'd be pushed off after a few days by the next batch of games, so as a small developer you'd at least get a shot of getting some coverage and then maybe spread by word of mouth. And if the Windows Store doesn't highlight new stuff that people might be interested in, what's the point of them going there for a browse?

Sean OConnor

I just got my (successful) iOS game onto the Windows Store. Sales have been non-existent. Dunno how MS have managed to make the Store that bad?

Microsoft says 'majority' of Windows 10 use will be 'streamlined S mode'

Sean OConnor

I can totally see MS's thinking. Maybe for us nerds on these forums we hate the thought of restrictions, but if I was to get a Windows computer for say my kids I'd definitely go for Windows S.

I love that my iPad is totally locked down so when I hand it to them I know there's nothing they can do to bollocks it up.

Before you slag off MS for Windows S you ought to realise that people do exist outside our nerdy Register bubble - and they're a danger to themselves!

Games-mart Steam halts Bitcoin payments

Sean OConnor

I guess if anyone's bought my games on Steam then Valve would have converted those Bitcoins to US dollars straightaway, rather than hang on to them until I redeemed them? Dammit.

French activists storm Paris Apple Store over EU tax dispute

Sean OConnor

Re: Vive la France

Corporation tax for US corporations is due in the US. There's a clue in the name if you can be arsed to look. Dunno why some people find this so hard to grasp?

'Trash-80' escapes the dustbin of history with new TRS-80 emulator

Sean OConnor

DirectX

Great, but why does it need DirectX?????!

Google risks everything if it doesn’t grab Android round the throat

Sean OConnor

I guess if you only make hardware you've got a disincentive to ever bother allowing the software to be upgraded (rather than the punter flinging the device away and buying the latest)

I haven't had an update on my LG TV or Humax PVR in years and I doubt there will ever be one now. Suppose I'll just have to go out and buy a new TV and PVR....

Uber Australia is broke: 'We don't pay tax because we don't generate revenue'

Sean OConnor

I make most of my money selling my games in the US. But I pay zero corporation tax there. Cos it's a UK Ltd company.

The big problem here isn't companies not paying their "fair share" of tax, it's commentards not understanding how tax law works and getting all whiney.

Please re-hire Tim Worstall.

Hands On with Windows 10 Mobile build 10572

Sean OConnor

Re: Books

"...but weren't MS working on some technology to allow you to port apps easily from iOS / Android to WP?"

I'm not remotely interested in that. Or Xamarin, or Unity or anything else. I just want a book on how to write apps natively. God knows why Microsoft and Google spend so much time and money on their OSes and then don't bother tipping some author a bung to go write a book on how to actually program on it.

Sean OConnor

Books

"...and everyone else releases apps for Android and iOS, but not for their phone"

If Microsoft could be arsed to get a book made that shows you how to write a Windows 10 app in C++ with DirectX (or OpenGL if it's guaranteed on every device) I'll get started porting my 11 iOS games tomorrow.

Same with Google and Android Studio.

Seems to me that iOS is the only one to have any decent books written for it.

Foxconn to hire a million Indian staff in major base shift

Sean OConnor

> Feel some sympathy for the Chinese workers that may lose their job

They are already moving up the value chain. That's why their wages are increasing.

Looks like it's India's turn next.

Apple to tailor Swift into fully open-source language – for Linux, too

Sean OConnor

I've got no problems with a bewildering array of different languages. It'd just be nice if we could choose one that's pretty good (I don't care which one) and each platform implements it.

I can see a need for other languages on very different platforms like the web, but iPhones, Windows phones, Android phones and desktops all do basically the same job. It'd be nice if I didn't have to port my code over from Objective C to Java to C#.

Sean OConnor

Could we please lock Microsoft, Apple and Google in a room and only let them come out when they've all agreed on ONE language they're all going to use?

OECD nations gang up on internet retailers, tax dodgers

Sean OConnor

Don't we do this already?

Am I missing something here?

I've been selling apps online for years and VAT and other sales taxes have been charged on those sales by the RegNow.com style companies since I think 2001ish. And just a few years ago the rules in the EU got changed so that the sales tax rate was the rate in the customer's country rather than the app store's country.

Isn't Australia just catching up with what we've had here for years now?

Cheap Android phones? Bah! How about a $29 mobe from Microsoft?

Sean OConnor

I currently use a cheapo Nokia phone (no idea what model). This one just looks way better.

Sean OConnor

Looks like a perfect phone for me and I might go get one!

I'm sat in front of a computer all day at work so I've got a nice big screen for all my internetty needs, and iPads and laptops at home for the rest of the day. All I want from a mobile phone is a phone, something that fits easily in my pocket and a battery that can last at least a week when I go on a holiday.

And just $29 ?!?!?!? Amazing.

Pity the poor Windows developer: The tools for desktop development are in disarray

Sean OConnor

I'm sure Unity is amazing but I'm wary of committing to one technology like that. I write my games now so all the game and user interface code is device independent, and there's just a tiny bit of device specific code that does nothing more than start the app and send screen taps and timer ticks to my device independent code, and knows how to load and draw a PNG.

I've been selling my games since 1994 and I don't want to hit a dead end. Who knows if something will better Unity in 10 years time and Unity will stop being developed? I'm banking on C++ still being around when I come to retire in 20+ years time and I'll just keep porting my games to whatever device(s) are popular over the coming years.

If MS could make a simple way of doing that small amount of device specific stuff I need I could start porting for their AppStore tomorrow. But maybe they've given up caring and they're relying on Unity now cos there aren't many old fart programers like me left?

Sean OConnor

Re: @Sean

But according to Wikipedia:

According to an email sent on 31 January 2013, XNA is no longer actively being developed,[2] and it is not supported under the new "Metro interface" layers of Windows 8 nor on the Windows RT platform.[3]

Maybe I'd have gone for it if I hadn't been so busy moving away from Windows to iOS, but maybe I'd be kicking myself now as it looks like yet another technology that has hit a dead end.

Sean OConnor

I'd love to get back into developing games for Windows but it just seems to be a swamp of bewildering technologies. All I want really is a way of loading a PNG and drawing it on the screen with hardware acceleration of some kind, and I want the game to run on any version of Windows and be available in some sort of App Store. I don't think that's too much to ask for!

But as far as I can tell I'd need C++ for DirectX and hope the user has the correct version of D3DX9_nn.DLL installed that I'm asking for just so I can simply load a PNG, or C# if I wanted to use Direct2D (not sure, there doesn't even seem to be a single book on Amazon on Direct2D). Should I stick to the Windows API I'm so familiar with, or learn Windows Forms or WPF? .NET? Glad I never bothered with MFC. And do I really need to make separate .exe files for a desktop and an AppStore version FFS! Using different versions of Visual Studio!?!?! I could have a look at Unity but it seems overkill for simple 2D games, or I've read up on SlimDX and SharpDX but do I want to risk committing to some technology that might go obsolete in the future?

I think whoever is in charge of this at MS should be told their number one priority is to make sure that it's a piece of piss to be able to write some simple game and the choice of technology is a no-brainer. Otherwise their AppStore is going to look like a ghost town. Oh, it does.

Rant over. Back to iOS development now for me, because Apple have made it just so easy.

Windows XP market share fell off a cliff in October

Sean OConnor

Win7 AppStore

Now that Windows 7 is well over 50% (and growing) isn't it about time MS gave us indie developers a break and came out with an AppStore for Windows 7? You know, like MacOS got *years* ago.

Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all

Sean OConnor

Re: Security

My 9 year old daughter installed a load of malware when she was left alone on my laptop and tried to install Scratch.

Now that normal human beings use computers and not just us geeks anymore like in the good old days, this really ought not to be possible.

Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...

Sean OConnor

Misery

I model human behaviour for computer games and I think there are two separate parameters here that get confused. I think "happiness" is largely genetic: you're either a happy person or you're not, and that's why piss-poor Anglo Saxons scrabbling round in the dirt would have been just as "happy" as we are today.

The other parameter is "abject misery" such as when your daughter is raped and killed by a Viking, or you watch half your children die because of some hideous communicable disease.

We've worked wonders to improve on our "abject misery" parameter but there's nothing much we can do about the "happiness" parameter and that's why it never really changes in these surveys, however rich we get.

Dotcom owns up: my name was 'poison'

Sean OConnor

> "he originally funded with millions of his own money"

Shouldn't that be "he originally funded with millions off the backs of the hard work of other people's original material" ?

Yeah, yeah, flame away, but unless you've seen work you've spent years crafting stuck up on a pirate site for nothing you may not appreciate what a kick in the nuts that is.

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