Cardinal directions in Minecraft

Tomorrow, the full release of Minecraft will be available. In it, the sun will now be rising in the east and setting in the west. Some people might wonder “hasn’t it always been rising in the east?” No, not really.

The sun rises in the east on Earth. This does not mean that it rises in the east in every world, since it’s not the same sun, and it isn’t in the same position. (Also, Minecraft is a game, not an accurate emulation of the world. :P) The things that hint on what kind of cardinal directions Notch intended for the world are coordinates and maps. The z coordinate decreases as you move north and increases when you move south, while the x coordinate decreases as you move west and increases as you move east. Mapping directions to cardinal direction like this is common for 3D worlds. Maps are oriented with north up, which in incredibly common for modern maps.

In case you don’t believe what I said, Notch has actually stated that the sun rises in the north, so it’s pretty clear that the sun does not rise in the east in the old versions of Minecraft.

In the full release (as well as the 1.9 pre-releases), this is going to change. The sun is now going to rise in the east. Some people interpret this as “the sun is still rising in the east but the maps have been fixed so that north is up”, or similar statements which imply that the sun has always been rising in the east. This doesn’t make sense, unless you arbitrarily choose which direction is east (which is possible, since “east” is just a word that was designed to be used on Earth, not in other worlds). The places where the sun rises relative to the game world is changing, but everything else, like the movement of the clouds relative to the game world, the coordinates in the debug menu and the appearance of maps are identical to the way they were before.

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I’ve started playing Minecraft

I thought that it wasn’t going to happen, but I’ve started playing Minecraft now. I guess I can blame Humble Indie Bundle 3 for making me start to play it. Earlier, I was trying to avoid this game so that I wouldn’t get too addicted to it, but maybe I will now. It’s lots of fun to play on an SMP server with only a few people playing, and it feels like I never want to stop…

However, since I didn’t actually purchase Minecraft, I can only play until Sunday (which happens to be around the time when ZFG ends, so that I can play Minecraft during all of it). I might not be able to purchase Minecraft after that since I don’t have a lot of money right now. Maybe I’ll buy it later instead, so that I can wait a bit with getting addicted.

I need to build more tunnels around my house now. They’re so fun. :3

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Prizm tokens

The guys over at Cemetech have started researching Prizm tokens and the layout of BASIC programs. I’ve been involved somewhat – mainly with writing stuff into my Prizm and reading it with a hex editor. I haven’t done much yet, but the others seem to have worked a lot! I think Kerm is also planning to integrate this into SourceCoder. Let’s hope that this will be useful for Casio-BASIC programmers.

On another note, we should probably add this to the wiki. And there are other things to add to the wiki too, like the syscalls… I’ll have to talk with the others and see if we can figure out a way to organize the wiki content. If you haven’t visited it yet, you can do so here: http://prizmwiki.omnimaga.org/wiki/Main_Page

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Prizm contest!

The third part of Omnimaga’s programming contest has been revealed, and as many of us guessed, it’s for the Prizm. However, unlike the other two parts, it’s not necessary to write a game. The kinds of programs that are allowed are “Casio PRIZM game[s], Programming Tool[s] or Media Player[s]”. I want to enter, but I don’t really know any C, and I’m still busy with Mr. Mudkip 3. Maybe I’ll be able to create something anyway…

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Seems like my Guitar Hero controller is broken

Today, I was going to play a bit of Rock Band 3 with my family (lineup: good guitarist, good bassist, horrible vocalist) on PS3, just as usual. But when scrolling through the menus, the cursor started behaving oddly… Sometimes when I strummed up, the cursor moved back down. I went through the menus anyway, picked Lasso, started alt-strumming, and… Well, my guitar (it’s a Les Paul) was overstrumming. I failed the song. ;_;

I’ve had issues with overstrumming guitars before, on Wii (it was also a Les Paul). I didn’t know to fix it, so I sent it in to Activision. They didn’t know how to fix it either, so I got a WoR-tar for free. It was useless (because I already had a WT-tar, and the SP button placement sucks), and then my disc drive stopped working anyway.

After figuring out that something was wrong with the PS3 guitar, I attempted to find out what was wrong.  Luckily, I had written a PC program for connecting to PS3 GH controllers a while ago, so I started it and connected the USB receiver. At first, the guitar was strumming down every time I pressed a button hard enough, or when the controller itself was pressed hard enough. After I had pressed it a few times, the strum bar started to report the down status even when I didn’t do anything (except for strumming up).

In short: Time to play more PS2!

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TI loses again!

Well… It doesn’t seem like the 84+ Pocket.fr is even released in France yet, and the community has already managed to counter it. I’m not totally sure about what has happened, since most of the things are kept secret… But this time, someone (Brandon?) found an awesome exploit. It’s not just one of those “install third-party OS”-exploits (we’ve been able to write to flash on the Pocket.fr since the beginning) – it’s something that almost defies the laws of calcs…

The 84+ boot code has been written to.

Yeah.

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TI-84 Plus Pocket.fr

MoTI-84 Plus Pocket.frst of you who are in the calculator community already know about this… TI has released the TI-84 Plus Pocket.fr in France. It’s a new model that fits into a pocket, doesn’t have different hardware, and doesn’t have different software… At least that’s what’s what TI wants us to believe. In fact, they have changed the boot code, which is responsible for receiving the OS. It’s now at version 1.03, and the changes are horrible! As usual, no new features, but there is a nasty surprise. OSes that have been signed the normal way do not work anymore! This doesn’t just include all of the third-party OSes (I will miss you, WFRNGOS ;_;) but also every official OS, except for 2.55MP which has some kind of special signing. Thus, TI has killed support for nearly everything that matters! (Other than programming itself :P) The MathPrint OSes are horrible to use, and no real programmer or gamer would want to be stuck with one.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that TI has won. The 8x calculators are still under control of the community. The flash unlock exploits are still there, so we can write whatever we want to flash – the boot code only checks that things are OK at install, not at launch. Still, this is far worse that what TI has done before. I’m much more worried about the fact that they want to do this than the fact that third-party OSes can’t be installed the normal way now. TI is not only crippling the Nspire to ridiculous degrees – they’ve now started doing it with calculators that were once ours!

There’s also the question of why this was done. The answer is probably simple – TI wants to have control. They can’t accept that we install a third-party OS that does not have PTT or has CAS, etc. They also want to block things like our fake PTT screens and RAM clears, but they have not gotten any closer to that. But there’s something that’s strange – isn’t the reason for why TI wants this the standardized tests in America? The standardized tests that don’t even require you to clear RAM, and don’t require you to use a TI calculator with PTT either? (I could use Casio if I want to!) TI is doing more than what they should… And what really worries me is that even though TI wants this control in the US, the 84+ Pocket.fr is exclusive to France. What does this mean? The boot code has to be intended for more than just the Pocket.fr. This means that TI will start to force boot code 1.03 into EVERY SINGLE NEWLY PRODUCED 84+.

Screw TI. I like my Prizm.

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