What I’ve Learnt about Coffee Lids

When I first moved to the US over eight years ago, I thought it was very odd that people put lids on their take-away coffee. I found it quite strange to drink through a hole in a lid rather than to just drink directly from the cup, and routinely discarded the lids in order to…

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HD DVD Emulator for Xbox 360!

It’s finally here! The Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator went live today, enabling content authors to test their HD DVD content in a real-world consumer player before committing it to a shiny disc. This can save a lot of time and a lot of money for those folks building advanced HD DVD titles. It might…

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“Open Season” Hits #2; World Scratches Head

If you follow the High-Definition format war at all, you’re probably familiar with the weekly sales breakdown published in Home Media Magazine and other places. If you checked them last week, you would have seen something strange. Something very strange. At #1, you have Live Free or Die Hard on Blu-ray. This makes sense, since…

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Maintaining Callback Semantics

One of the key programming concepts in HDi is the use of asynchronous processing with callback functions. The HDi platform exposed to title authors is not multi-threaded (which helps reduce the complexity of writing applications), but many of the functions of the player are asynchronous in nature. For example, all the I/O in HDi (both…

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Sliced bread ain’t got nuthin’ on this!

Forget being the best thing since sliced bread – this is the best thing ever. Well maybe not quite that good, but it’s still darn cool! Finally – FINALLY! – you can get decent IntelliSense for JScript inside Visual Studio! Holy hotcakes, Batman! This is so awesome you have to download Visual Studio 2008 Beta…

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Wikipedia editing

Short post: In the interests of full disclosure, I’ve started editing Wikipedia on various topics related to HD DVD. Initially I made several “anonymous” edits, but decided to create an account for transparency and so I can “watch” pages as they change. Basically I am just posting this here so nobody “discovers” my edits in…

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Why Old Films Still Benefit from High-Def

Every now and then, I hear people make comments like “Movies more than 5 years old won’t look any better in HD because they were shot before HD was invented – the movie studios are lying to you about better quality!” This is horribly, horribly, horribly wrong, and I’m not quite sure where this idea…

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Using Timers Effectively in HDi

The use of timers in HDi applications is very common, and there are a few things you should keep in mind when using them to avoid performance issues when playing back your title. I will categorise these as: The autoReset problem The closure problem The re-use problem The general-abuse problem   The AutoReset Problem This…

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Simple ACA dumper

Quick one today – if you have an ACA with some files in it, you can use the createaca tool (provided as part of the Jumpstart Kit) to list the files inside it. Trouble is that the output is not very helpful; it contains too much information. So here is a simple JScript file you…

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Helpful Tracing Routines

Last time we looked at conditional compilation, and how using it with HDiSim could aid with interactive debugging of runtime exceptions. But as useful as interactive debugging is, there are three major cases where it is impractical or impossible: When the bug is timing related, and using a debugger masks the bug; or Reproducing the…

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