17 October 2010

GameMaker 8.0: First Impression

Finished GameMaker (GM) Tutorial 1, the Fruit Game. The GM IDE is pretty basic and allows you to build a simple 2-D game without too much fuss. The generated executable is 2.3 MB, which is pretty good considering that the game engine is included.

After using other mainstream IDEs such as Visual Studio and NetBeans, my preferences for the IDE would be:

  • Use a tab and property sheet for each resource type instead of having a child window appear for each object.
  • Leave the IDE open when testing a game instead of iconifying it.

Not major issues and there's still plenty to explore.

See Also

15 October 2010

Automatically Update Last Row in Range Formulas

In OpenOffice Calc, worksheet formulas that apply a range of rows, such as SUM(), need to be updated when an extra row is added just above the cell with that formula. For example, if you start the following worksheet values and formulas ...

  A
1 4
2 7
3 9
4 =SUM(A1:A3)

... then when you insert a new row between rows 3 and 4, OO-Calc does not automatically update the second argument to the SUM() formula (Note: MS-Excel 2003 does). A solution is to use the OFFSET formula to automatically update the second argument like this: =SUM(A1:OFFSET(A4;-1;0;1;1)). In this example, the OFFSET returns a reference to a cell one row above cell A4.

See Also

11 October 2010

Starting Excel 2003 Faster

I start two or three Excel 2003 sessions at the same time so that I can use multiple displays and work on a couple of tasks at a time. To start a new Excel session, you launch it from the Windows Start menu instead of opening an Excel file in Explorer (opening an Excel file loads it in the active Excel session). A new Excel session has, by default, a Task Pane (a panel titled 'Getting Started') and a new workbook, both of which I rarely use, so I close them before opening an existing file.

If you don't want the Task Pane opened by default, open Excel's Options dialog and uncheck View, Show, Startup Task Pane.

If you don't want a new workbook by default, create a new shortcut to start Excel with the /e argument and open Excel with that shortcut.

See Also