MonthMay 2010

UT3 Tutorial Index

Tutorials for UT3 that might be helpful for UDK development.

http://www.icecreamyou.com/ut3

Beginner’s Guide to Unreal Using UnrealScript

This site has some good info about starting out with UDK.  The most important content on that page, I find, is the UDK class structure.

http://chimeric.beyondunreal.com/tutorials/beginners_guide1.html

New Sync Method

Apparently, my initial set up for syncing my files using symlinks was a little bit reversed.  Rather than setting the symlink to be in the Dropbox folder, I’ve now put my originals in the Dropbox folder and have now put the symlinks at where those files used to be.  The reason I did this was that my initial setup confused Dropbox.  It would only sync my files at program launch.  While the program was running it did not know how to follow the symlink to do the automatic syncing.

However, this poses a problem for syncing the desktop folder.  I wasn’t going to move everything on my desktop to the dropbox folder because that would mean I wouldn’t be able to see these files on the desktop anymore.  Also, if I did put a symlink in my user folder, network shares would be broken since other computers cant follow symlinks when using network access.  I couldn’t go back to putting a symlink in the Dropbox directory due to the problem that I just had.  So what I did was use LiveMesh.  LiveMesh has the ability to follow symlinks while the program is running.  Now I put up a symlink for my Desktop in my Documents folder and now the program just syncs that.  For some reason, LiveMesh can’t sync the Desktop folder directly.

I might just ditch Dropbox altogether so I can do all my file syncing using LiveMesh.

Creating Symlinks

Creating symlinks is pretty straightforward, but it does require some magic in the Windows Command Line.

Instructions here: http://www.windows7home.net/how-to-create-symbolic-link-in-windows-7/

I also found a GUI for doing that

Symlink Creator: http://code.google.com/p/symlinker/downloads/detail?name=Symlink%20Creator.exe&can=2&q=

Helloooo Symlinks

So apparently Dropbox doesn’t let me share any random folder on my computer.  I can only share folders that are WITHIN the “My Dropbox” directory in my documents.  My aim was to share my “users/desktop” directory.  The only way I could do that is if my Dropbox folder was somehow one level higher than my desktop folder.  Doing that would be disastrous seeing that it would share everything else in the same directory level.  I tried using Live Mesh, but it refuses to share my desktop.

However, I stumbled upon something called symbolic links (symlinks for short).  Basically it is a pointer to another directory.  I put a symlink in my Dropbox folder which pointed to my desktop and now inside my Dropbox folder there is a folder called “Desktop”.  Well, it’s not exactly a folder.  It’s a symbolic link.  When the computer follows the link when I double click it, it just leads to the destination directory that I set.  So now Dropbox has no problem syncing that directory!

EDIT May 21, 2010: Apparently Dropbox can’t actually follow the symlinks inside the Dropbox directory while its running.  The originals have to be inside the Dropbox folder and the symlink has to be put at where you used to access those files before.  At the same time, shortcuts can be used in place of symlinks.

More info about symlinks here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbolic_link

Changing the Dropbox Directory

I hate the fact that Dropbox has to add the stupid name “My Dropbox” to every directory I give it.  Here is a python script that changes that.  There is an exe for it so there is no need to actually install Python.

Discussion: http://forums.dropbox.com/topic.php?id=9665

Download: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/552/pyDropboxPath/index.html

UnrealScript Language Reference

From the article:

“This is a technical document describing the UnrealScript language. It’s not a tutorial, nor does it provide detailed examples of useful UnrealScript code. For examples of UnrealScript the reader is referred to the source code of the engine, which provides tens of thousands of lines of working UnrealScript code which solves many problems such as AI, movement, inventory, and triggers. A good way to get started is by looking at the “Actor”, “Object”, “Controller”, “Pawn”, and “Weapon” scripts.”

http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/UnrealScriptReference.html

Order of Magnitude Estimation

So I was wondering where I could find a list of how fast things go in terms of orders of magnitude, and I managed to find one on Wikipedia.  This will definitely help a lot in estimation calculations.  Other articles for orders of magnitude exist for other quantities like length and heat capacities.  Below are some links for some of these quantities.

Speed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders_of_magnitude_(speed)

Mass: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders_of_magnitude_(mass)

Robot Dynamics

This site provides lots of good info about how to perform dynamics calculations on robots.  The site is for robots, but the math and physics here could apply to other things like RC cars.  There’s lots of good information about how to calculate what kind of motor torque you need, what kind of accelerations and velocities to aim for.

The section about the robot factor is basically about DC motor selection.  All it does is do a power balance between the energy provided by the motor and the energy required to move the vehicle at a particular speed an acceleration.

http://www.societyofrobots.com/mechanics_dynamics.shtml

USB Storage over the Network

My router (DGL-4500) comes with a USB port at the back, which implies that it can be used for plugging in an external hard drive.  All I had to do was update my router to the latest firmware (that’s why I had my previous post) so that I would see the “USB Settings” page within my router configuration page.  I used D-Link’s Shareport program to share a USB External Hard Drive over the network.  I left the setting within the router page to use Shareport.  I installed the Shareport client on my computer and I was able to access my external hard drive quite easily.  However, it does take a little extra time for the computer to recognize it’s there.

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