Technical Book Review

Last July & August, I was working part time as a technical reviewer for Packt Pub. The book was published on mid of October & PacktPub sent 1 hard copy to me.

Finally on last Friday, the book was here!


Oh, man! I haven’t read any (technical) book on real paper for a while. I didn’t miss at all the big & thick paper books 😀

Back then on June, a guy from Packt Pub e-mailed me. He found me through my Blog & asked me if I want to write a book about Starling Game Development. I was focusing on HTML5 development & busy with my work so I turned down the offer. A couple of weeks later, a different guy from PacktPub came back with another offer to do technical review on  “Learning Three.JS: The JavaScript 3D Library for WebGL” book. I thought it won’t be that time-consuming (no need to do spellcheck, just focus on the codes and technical content) and I would get free e-books from them, so I said yes!

I was wrong.

It consumed more time than I thought. Originally, my plan was to spend max 2 hours on a chapter (not 2 hours straight but spread over 4-5 days) but in reality, I had to spend a little bit more than that, depending on the topic & number of pages. Fortunately, the guys from PacktPub are pretty cooperative & I could negotiate the deadlines.

They send me 1 chapter every week via e-mail. By the end of August, I managed to reviewed all 12 chapters. In the end, I got 1 free e-book (I picked a book about AngularJS), 1 hard-copy of the book that I reviewed, and learn a lot of things that I didn’t know before about Three.js.

Was it worth the effort? Yes. In fact, I got another offer from them to write a book about CreateJS (which I had to turn down since I’m starting my new startup). Will I do it again? Probably not at the moment 🙂

Presentation at HTML5 Meetup

Last week, I did a presentation at HTML5 Meetup Berlin.

I love to come to tech, development, or start-up Meetups (there’s a lot of them in Berlin!) to see what other people’s doing, get inspired, and also to meet new people. But to give a talk is totally different experience and I found it quite fun to do 🙂

Talk at HTML5 Meetup

A month before that, Rachel, friend of mine and also one of the HTML5 Meetup organizers, asked me if I wanted to give a talk at the next event. I haven’t done any presentation for a long time but I just said yes. I suggested 2 game development topics: Ash Framework, or starting game development using CreateJS. In the end, we agreed with the 2nd one with additional live coding to make it more interesting.

Fast forward to the event, I finally did it!

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Berlin Mini Jam July 2013

Last July, I did my first Berlin Mini Jam. It’s a monthly event, usually on the 1st or 2nd Saturday of the month, where people from many backgrounds meet up at co.up and make games in just 8 hours.

I’ve been following their Facebook page since September 2012 but I never had the chance to do the game jam. So last month, while taking my vacation before starting my new job, I decided to join the July Mini Game Jam.

The event started at 12PM and I came 30 minutes late. There were like 30 people there  and they has voted for the themes which were Pixel Art, Retro Style, and Light & Darkness. I teamed up with Lothar Narnis and Adam Streck, both whom I just met on the game jam.

We sat on the same table, introduce ourselves (which skills and programming languages) and quickly brainstorm the idea. About 1 hour later, we came up with a simple game idea:

  • There’s a game character in a totally dark room.
  • There are a few of light sources (some kind of spot lights) which can be turn on and off.
  • The game character can only move within the lighted area.
  • The game character can rotate the spotlight until you can see the next spotlight so the character can walk towards it.
  • Explore the room until you see the exit door. Walk to the exit door and you win the level

I did the level editor using JavaScript, Adam did the game coding using Java and Processing library, and Lothar did all the pixel art. We worked 8 hours intensively.

Berlin MIni Game Jam July 2013.  Me on the end of the table with Lothar on the left and Adam on the right side.

Me on the end of the table with Lothar on the left and Adam on the right side. Making game is a serious business 😀

The development ended at 9PM and we managed to finish the game 🙂

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Ashteroids JavaScript

Remember my Ashteroids demo with Flash? I managed to port it to JavaScript!

Play the game here

The Ashteroids project is an example project using the JavaScript version of Ash Framework which I’ve been playing around lately. Just like the Flash version, you can switch between 2D and 3D mode. Ash framework allows you to easily switch between renderers while using the same game logic and other game components.

For the 2D renderer, I use HTML5 Canvas and CreateJS. For the 3D/WebGL, I use Three.js. I’m planning to add more renderers for the next version, maybe PIXI.js or native DOM renderer.

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Upgrading My Android

Last month, I was having vacation in Indonesia, visiting my brothers & parents. I used my phone a lot! From taking pictures, videos, browsing, social networking, games, to online flight check-ins. That’s when I realize that my smartphone is pretty slow, laggy, and crash more often.

Morning at Arai beach, Bangka Island, Indonesia

Morning at Parai Beach, Bangka Island, Indonesia

My Samsung Galaxy S is just 2.5 years old but it’s quite obsolete if you compare it with new phones out there. I was temped to get a new one, like Samsung Galaxy Note 2, but I prefer to buy tablet device first.

Then I saw the news about CyanogenMod 10.2 came out & I decided to try to install it on my phone when I got back to Berlin. My phone came with Android 2.3 & I always wanted to install custom Android OS on my phone. I thought if I made a mistake & bricked my phone, I’d get a new one anyway.


Somehow, not all contacts on my phone were synced with my Goggle account. So I had to export them into CSV file using Samsung Kies & import them manually to Google Contacts.

I backup my photo files to my laptop hard drive. I decided to just abandon my SMS & only noted down a few of important ones.

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