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The Joy of being Hearing Impaired 2011-12-04 07:35:28

Don't really have anything technical to talk about since not a whole lot has been done. I guess I could start talking about life experiences during these slow periods though...

So today my mother was talking about how little sound proofing there seems to be in our house. Apparently guests have complained about being able to clearly hear people talking inside the guest bedroom. My father and I go up into the bedroom to observe for ourselves. My conclusion, of course was that you can't hear the thing. This is the absolute joy that hearing impairment has brought to me.

Just like glasses correct impaired vision, my hearing aids correct impaired hearing. In theory, with them in, I should be able to hear as well as anyone else. But I choose not to wear them all the time. The reason is simple, I can't hear annoying sounds. Papers shuffling, the click of my keyboard, the fans in my computer, the 60hz hum of a TV, the barking of the neighbors dogs, and the music at most public buildings just to name a few.

Every time I hear my mother complain about some annoying sound I think about how wonderful it is to actually be hearing impaired. If you don't like something you see, you can close your eyes, but for some reason we don't have any means to close our ears. Naturally anyways.

Being hearing impaired is very similar to having impaired vision. For vision it's well understood that, without corrective instruments, impaired vision is blurry or out of focus. Much the same thing can be said about hearing impairment. This is because hearing impairment only applies to certain frequencies. To demonstrate what it's like all you have to do is take an equalizer on a media player and turn down certain frequencies. Hearing aids basically use compression to apply an inverse equalization and correct this.

It always surprises me how little people seem to understand about hearing impairments. For some reason seeing someone with glasses doesn't trigger the “he must be blind” response, but as soon as hearing aids are visible people immediately think “he must be deaf.” It actually took me many years to piece this together. Once I even had a kid ask me if I could feel sounds. I do, at times, wonder if this has any connection to why people don't generally talk to me. Of course with people immediately assuming deaf, I have been tempted to play along with it. Lets just say that on more than one occasion I have been given an implicit opportunity to opt out of something due to this assumption.

There are other advantages too. Besides just being corrective hearing instruments, hearing aids can serve as wireless head phones as well. In fact, my high school paid for device which I was able to use on occasion for this purpose. Easy way around the "no electronics" rule: keep the CD player in your book bag along with adapter and the teachers will never know! (Actually I only did this during lunch. Though it was funny the one time I was carrying said adapter and a teacher, thinking it was an iPod, tried to confiscate it. Of course after telling her it was property of the school I was let go.) Also, how else are you going to eavesdrop on the conversation teachers have in the hallway?

Doomseeker switches to Mercurial 2011-09-18 15:29:20

So pretty much the only noteworthy thing I've done in the last two months (that I can think of) is switch Doomseeker over to Mercurial. The repository can now be found on my bitbucket account. Thanks go out to AlexMax for preparing the conversion for us ahead of time.

Inventory 2011-07-31 21:30:39

Seeing that ECWolf got back on track I was able to do some work on some other projects. Firstly, I've significantly simplified Doomseeker's plug-in code. Hopefully the improvements I made will allow for building a stable ABI along with making it actually reasonable to expect someone other than myself to write a plug-in. Plug-ins still more or less need to be developed out of a working copy of Doomseeker, but it takes drastically less effort to get the plug-in running for the first time. Hopefully I'll be able to put up some documentation on the Doomseeker website after the next release.

Other than that of course most of my time has been spent trying to get ECWolf back into a working state. At this point the DECORATE parser is more or less feature complete. There are still a few minor syntactical features that are missing, but for the most part it is just a matter of implementing action functions, properties, flags, and of course the special classes. One thing that's a bit difficult right now is determining where to draw the line with being "compatible" with ZDoom (my main concern being with default values for various properties). To give a clear picture of where I'm at with the DECORATE code I can say that custom monsters are possible and I'm working on implementing the inventory system (custom weapons, ammo, health, and other pickups). If things continue at this rate I should be able to have a working demo by the end of this year.

Not According to Plan 2011-06-25 05:20:34

After developing the specification for the new map format for Wolfenstein 3D my plan was to have a working implementation at the beginning of this month. Well at least a partial implementation. Well as it turns out there wasn't really a way to simply augment the new code with the old so it's turning out to be a whole lot more work than expected (I was thinking it would take me a week at most). For the end user this is actually good news since not only will I have a nearly complete implementation at the start, but other systems which I planed on working on later will be done. For example it'll have the ability to handle custom actors (monsters, decorations, etc) much sooner than expected. Once that's done I'll be able to completely dump the old resource code which means the palette issues will be sorted out.

I believe this will also solve most of the issues I have with supporting Spear of Destiny as well. I suppose this means another way to look at things in the first public release of ECWolf may be happening sooner than expected. In the mean time, my planned work on Doomseeker and ACC++ is on hold until I get this major task done.

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