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Like most programmers, I'm constantly coming up with little projects I'd like to do.   Here, I'm going to list what I'm actually working on, plus ideas I have.  If I find something that solves the problem in a way I like then I'll try to list them here.

Currently in progress

SETI@Home/SetiHide email sig and HTML output v4.5 03/JUL/03
Seti2Html does HTML, and several programs do email sigs for a single machine.  But nothing recognizes SetiHide and ties the two together.

Future projects

New RSS plug-in for Trillian
The current one doesn't do RSS 2.0. Also, if I catch something that looks interesting out of the corner of my eye, but can't click on it quick enough, often I have to open several feeds to figure out where it came from.
Features:
Meta-feeds: I'd like to group my feeds together. That way, I can open only the ones that are important to me, like my friends' blogs, and leave the others closed.
Highlight recent headlines and/or mark read headlines
Much better error reporting. The current plug-in is very fragile
Single field to enter feed address
Test button to verify I typed/copied the address correctly
Fill in default refresh time from feed ttl field
Fill CD/MP3 collection program
Basically, I want a program that makes it easy to look at a directory tree of MP3 files and help me mix and match them to fit on CD-Rs.  This will become moot when multi-layer DVD burners become cheap.  I currently have about 8 gig of MP3s (all legal,) so they wouldn't be able fit on a single layer of a DVD (4.7 gig.)
Features:
Show CD-oriented size of each folder/album and of each MP3
Gray out folders that won't fit in the current collection
Show multiple collections onscreen at one time
Allow albums in more than one collection (optionally remove them from source list if they're already on a CD)
Save sessions, because organizing this many CDs will likely take awhile
Standalone randomized MP3 playlist generator
One feature I liked in MusicMatch was the randomized playlist generator.  I've since switch to Winamp (more recently, QCD) because it's much lighter on Windows resources.
Since about 95% of my music is Rock/Pop the genre field isn't a good filter criteria.   So, I need to maintain my own lists of albums to consider for a given subgenre (Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Folkish, etc)
Set time limit for playlist
.m3u files are just a list of filenames to play.  Need to look at other playlist formats to see if I need to bother with any of them
Network MP3 player
I would like to put my MP3s on a disk server and access them easily from any machine on my network.  I'd like most of the features of MusicMatch.
(Update 08/MAR/03 Winamp makes it pretty easy to play stuff from another machine.   Though, it doesn't look like it lends itself to TV remote control)
(Update 08/MAR/03 Tivo2 may just take over this job in one room)
Features:
Designed from scratch to act as a jukebox attached to stereo
That means easy access to playlists using a sophisticated TV remote
User-defined playlists will probably be defined using a mouse/keyboard
Produce randomly generated filtered playlists, a la MusicMatch
Possibly include internet radio support
Image cycling screen saver
Why is it nobody does this simple task easily?  I've looked for this several times.   I don't want fancy transitions.  I just need a free program to pull images from a few directories and intelligently size the images to the screen.  Those directories are going to be exclusively for screen saver/wallpaper images, so I don't think I need an exclusions list.
Features:
Watch a list of directories
On-the-fly high quality zoom
Possible feature creep:
Individual image additions list
Exclusions list
Keep track of last several images displayed, probably with thumbnail display.   Provide a quick method to add them to the exclusions list
Wallpaper cycler
Very similar to the screen saver, nobody does this easily.  I want something that can convert a JPG to BMP, scale it, and quit.  I'll use the Scheduler to fire it off once a day.
Features:
Watch a list of directories
On-the-fly high quality zoom
Possible feature creep:
Individual image additions list
Exclusions list
Button/commanline option to add the current image to the exclusions list and change images.  Sometimes I dump a bunch of new images into my wallpaper directory, and then later decide that one or more just don't make good background images.
Email check program
ePrompter is okay.  But there are a coupla things I'd change.
First, I want my own sounds
Second, I don't like blinky things in my task tray.  I would pop up a separate icon for each mailbox that has mail waiting.  Or, a single count of messages waiting in all mailboxes.
3D Pool
Dammit, someday I'm gonna do this
Voodoolights replacment
I really liked that screensaver.  I went looking for it one day and apparently it's never been updated.  It would be fun to do my own, as a toy program to learn 3D effects.
Lens flare
Localized fog/haze effects
Smoke trails
Fire trails
Reflections
Backgrounds
Skybox (multi-layered cloud effects)
Rockets
Spaceships
Asteroids bouncing and leaving dust/debris
Space battles, both near and distant (Homeworld, Star Wars, Star Trek)
Over a horizon.  Over mountains.  A distant cityscape.  Down a street between buildings.
Gravitar
I really like the idea of Gravitar.   But the implementation wasn't very good.  The bit about choosing which world to try was cheesy.  Fighting the bad guys out there was awkward, and totally different from the "main" game.  And in the main game, the ships flying around are a bit too simplistic, even for that era.  The gun turrets can sometimes start spitting out so many bullets that's it's just ridiculous.  I never got good enough to get past the first screenfull of planets.  Reading the page I linked to, apparently there's a wider variety of worlds than I realized.  One good feature was the caches of fuel you could pick up.  It also had shields, albeit hard to use while flying.
Features:
Hopefully, gentler learning curve
Either a simple progression of worlds, a la Bosconian, or some sort of branching system, so that what you choose early on affects where you can go later.   For example, ramping up the difficulty and points possible more quickly
More worlds
Possibly random worlds.
Possibly worlds larger than the screen (wrap around?)
Occasional negative gravity (not all levels with reversed gravity as described for the original game)
Possibly multiple gravity wells
Possibly moving gravity wells
More interesting bad guy ship behavior (it might end up as a mini Space Wars)
Probably have articulated gun turrets, so their shots don't appear as a random direction.   The player will have a little warning as the turret traverses.
Difficulty levels/adjustments for turrets, ships, gravity, turn rate, thrust, fuel load, bad guys on/off (for a mini Moon Lander)
Possibly allow the ability to land
Possibly progressive damage (a la Space Wars) or just simple damage counter (a la FPS games)
Joystick interface, for variable thrust
Multiplayer would of course be nice
Especially cooperative multiplayer
Multiple mission types:
- Kill everything
- Kill designated targets
- Drop something off/Pick something up
- Protect fixed installation(s)
- Protect vulnerable ship(s)
Multiplayer Stunt Driver
I really liked Spectrum Holobyte's Stunt Driver.  Mostly the driving, but it was also interesting to build a creative track.
Records kept:
- Best times per track, per car
- Top speeds per track, per car
- Each user keeps same records
Track building:
- Jumps
- Flat turns
- Banked turns
- Jumps (user definable grades)
- Buildings
- Suspension bridges
- Bridge
- Loops (user definable sizes)
- Timing puzzles
- Road section that rotates to connect/disconnect
- Road section that moves you across gap
- Contour ground
Track surfaces:
- Asphalt
- Cement
- Dirt
- Mud
- Snow
- Ice
- Grass
Hazards
- Cement walls
- Parked cars
- Marbles
- Caltrops (part of the lap run with punctured tires)
Car damage
Repairs in pit stop?
Car adjustments?

Editing history:

04/JUN/04 - Added Stunt Driver

15/MAR/04 - Added a coupla "add to exclusion list" options to screensaver and wallpaper changer.  Added a coupla multiplayer ideas to Gravitar

12/MAR/04 - Added Gravitar.  Mentioned QCD in Network MP3 player


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Last modified: March 05, 2005
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