Reverse engineering
Tue 17th May 2016   
Thanks to a correct alignment of planets I ended up with a four days long weekend.

I had plenty of things to do, but I decided instead to spend the time looking at how one of my favorite Atari demo screens was done.

  STNICCC 2015
Sun 17th April 2016   
In December last year, the little city of Gouda became once again the home of some very strange people celebrating the 25th anniversary of an event almost nobody ever heard of.

  Global Game Jam 2016
Sat 6th February 2016   
Like last year I spent the last weekend of January at the Global Game Jam.

In total, about 6800 games have been worked on by more than 36000 persons across 93 countries.

  The Bright Side
Sun 2nd August 2015   
If there's one thing I've learned from the Monty Python, it's definitely to Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

I had my share of crapy moments, but it's important to try to put it perspective within the grand scheme of things.

  Noise reduction
Sat 2nd May 2015   
I'm planning to attend the STNICCC 2015 demo party later this year, ideally with an Atari prod ready in time to participate to the competitions.

Even if I'm doing most of my development on emulators, it's important for me to test everything on the real hardware!

Unfortunately the hardware in question is old and prone to failures, so it's time to get it ready and fix the issues.

  My software history (part 4)
Wed 29th April 2015   

Welcome to the fourth (and last) part of this series of articles.

The previous part was about Eden Games, this new one covers the period from when I moved from France to Norway in 2005 to join Funcom.

This article is a bit different from the others, because I am still working at Funcom. All the content of course represents my personal views, other people may disagree :)

  Global Game Jam 2015
Mon 26th January 2015   
Last weekend, January 23 - 25 2015, more than 25000 persons and 78 countries spread over 518 locations created games simultaneously.

I was one of them.

  Scandinavian road trip
Sat 26th July 2014   
After some hectic week-ends spent converting the car to a mini camper-van, we were finally ready for our road trip around Norway and Sweden.

  Here comes the leet-mobile! (part 5)
Wed 21st May 2014   

Despite all our previous attempts the engine was not working particularly well, so I decided to do something I should have done a long time ago: Check the compressions.

  Blogging about the blog
Sun 27th April 2014   

The new blog engine is alive!

It took quite some time, and probably has some bugs, but I guess it has reached a good enough maturity level.

Hopefully I will now be able to finish the last part of My Software History without feeling like punching through my monitor!

  My software history (part 3)
Sun 16th March 2014   

Welcome to the third part of this series of articles.

The second part was about my time at Adeline Software and Héliovisions Productions, now this entire article will cover the 1998-2005 period at Eden Studios (aka Eden Games).

Help wanted

I joined Eden Studios in October 1998 and immediately started to play with the Dreamcast development kit.

Soon I had my old ZBuffer house moving smoothly on the screen.

  Time Commando The Storyboard
Thu 13th March 2014   
And without further comments, here is the storyboard for the intro sequence.

  My software history (part 2)
Sun 9th March 2014   

Welcome to the second part of this series of articles.

The first part was basically about what I did before working in videogames for a living.

This one was supposed to cover my first 10 years working in video games, [1. Which also happens to be the period of time I worked in France, after that I moved to Norway], but I realized that already covering both Adeline and Héliovision was more than enough for one article.

That's a shame because I love round numbers and symbolic dates!

  My software history (part 1)
Sun 2nd March 2014   

Sometimes on IRC you find people you've not met in many, many years.

Inevitably at some point the discussion have to go round what you've been doing all these years, if you are still a programmer, where you are working, etc.. etc... and then of course younger participants start asking questions about our older stuff, probably because they are not used to interact with dinosaurs who actually programmed in COBOL, used black and white terminals, and even touched punch cards.

  Here comes the leet-mobile! (part 4)
Tue 18th June 2013   

After our first drive on the parking we were quite excited, but still there were some issues to deal with: the exhaust had to be fixed and we had to find out why the engine would die on idle.

Even more important, we had two months to fix all the issues before having to pass the EU Technical Control.

  Here comes the leet-mobile! (part 3)
Sat 30th March 2013   

So the Valp was now parked on the parking: Time to get things going.

Is it dead?

The first thing we did of course is to try to start it. Nothing happened. The blinkers and windshield wipers worked so at least we knew there was electricity going on, but since starter engines are notoriously power hungry we decided to buy a battery charger, remove the batteries, and let them charge for quite a long while.

  Here comes the leet-mobile! (part 2)
Tue 26th March 2013   

Now that we knew we wanted one of these horribly cute off-road vehicles, I started to contact the various sellers to ask questions about their state and it quickly appear that you could classify the various available models in three categories based on their prices.

  Here comes the leet-mobile! (part 1)
Sun 10th March 2013   

Been few months since I posted something, not because I had nothing to do, but because of a number of projects I committed myself to help with.

Today’s post is not computer related in any way, it’s about vehicles!

Commuting bliss

I moved to Norway about 8 years ago and have happily used the public transport system all that time.

  Minitel memories
Sat 3rd November 2012   

What's this Minitel thing anyway

Outside of France most people never heard of the Minitel.

Released in 1981, first as a small scale test in Bretagne and then extended to the rest of the country, the Minitel business plan was a stroke of genius from France Telecom: Give the choice between the regular printed White Pages and a small dumb black and white terminal allowing you to find the same thing faster; then use the large number of available terminals to allow the creation of commercial offers to make a profit of it.

  Are Cheap Androids An Electric Dream
Mon 16th May 2011   
Last Christmas was tough on my netbook. The travelling around, the trains and planes being cancelled or delayed, the packing and unpacking, the plugging and unplugging, and the occasional knocks finally killed my good old and trusty Asus eeePC 901.

More exactly, the screen decided to die.

  I'm in love with Kira
Sun 27th March 2011   
No, Kira is not the name of my girlfriend, it is not the name of my cat either, and I'm not in love with any particular film celebrity bearing a similar name.

Kira is only a small device you connect to your network, which in turn allows you to control anything that uses infra-red, kind of like an universal remote control.

  Home-automation experiments
Fri 25th March 2011   


For about two weeks now I've been working on a small home-automation project.

The inspiration came from few cool YouTube video, and in particular that one:

I'm not particularly fan of Star Trek, but the idea of controlling all the audio and video system from a touch screen using some fancy interface kind of resonated with my inner-geek.

  Communication protocol exploits
Sun 27th February 2011   
If you found this page using a search engine with the hope of finding any relevant information about exploiting things on the Internet, you are going to be disappointed. What I'm going to write about now was relevant only in a now semi-distant past.

I have to start first with a disclaimer: What you will read is related to events that happened a long time ago, when we were young, stupid and lucky. If you try to do this kind of thing now, you may very well do some jail time and have heavy fines to pay as well.

  Simple C++ threading
Sun 20th February 2011   
For some reason, people tend to think that creating multi-threaded applications in C++ is a very difficult thing to do.

It is in fact not that difficult, but there are basically two main issues to consider: How to make the code correct (it should not crash, deadlock, corrupt data, etc...) and how to make it efficiently use as many cores as possible.

  How fragile is this Internet thing
Sun 30th January 2011   
Quite a lot of people these days take for granted the ability to communicate with their computers and mobile phones at any time of the day .

  The cooking process theory
Wed 15th December 2010   
These few last weeks I've been doing a number of unrelated things: I watched Master Chef on BBC LifeStyle, finished Fallout: New Vegas then started to play Titan Quest, finished a book from 37signals and another from Microsoft Press about project management, and finally spent time reading blog posts on some various famous IT heroes.

In some perverted way it all makes sense.

So, what's the common idea between these seemingly unrelated elements? Well, the common element is the notion of recipe.

  Mini review Fallout New Vegas (ObsidianBethesda Softworks)
Sat 27th November 2010   
After 71 hours playing Fallout: New Vegas, I've finally reached the end of the story.

Mind you, I'm not done with the game: Since you can't continue to play after reaching the end of the main story line, I loaded a previously saved game to explore parts of the world I did not visit yet (I picked-up the Adventurer Perk just to get the list of all locations), which is about half of the possible locations.

Talk about a huge game :)

  Random notes about Community Management
Thu 14th October 2010   


I was really not planning to write anything about Community Management, mostly because I did not consider myself as a Manager, and certainly not a Manager of a Community.

I more or less revised this position few weeks ago when after having released 1337 and posted messages on the various relevant message boards and forums we then started to receive messages and comments asking how Defence Force was working, how such a small community managed to release such large and polished games (compared to for example the Thomson and Amstrad communities), and if we could help them by making games on their own machines!

  Hacking confessions (part 3)
Sun 5th September 2010   

First a disclaimer: What I'm writing here now is related to events that happened a long time ago, at a period of time when it was relatively safe to do it, the worse that could happen would have been the expulsion from the school. If you try to do this kind of thing now, you may very well do some jail time and have heavy fines to pay as well.

The beginning of the end

If I'm not mistaken, this article will be the last in the confessions category. After that I stopped experimenting, mostly because I had no good reason for doing them anymore.

  Hacking confessions (part 2)
Wed 25th August 2010   

First a disclaimer: What I'm writing here now is related to events that happened a long time ago, at a period of time when it was relatively safe to do it, the worse that could happen would have been the expulsion from the school. If you try to do this kind of thing now, you may very well do some jail time and have heavy fines to pay as well.

Up the ante

I wrote in the previous part there would be two parts, but considering that I miserably failed at writing, reviewing and publishing some of my longer essays, I decided that writing instead few short ones each dedicated to a particular issue would be more manageable. So here we are, expect at least a third one :)

The previous episode happened during the last year I spent in High School, this one happened three years later when I moved to Laval for my BTS Informatique de Gestion. The year is 1991, the place is the Lycée Douanier-Rousseau, a pretty Ok place to be considering how boring Laval can be.

  Hacking confessions (part 1)
Sun 22nd August 2010   

First a disclaimer: What I'm writing here now is related to events that happened a long time ago, at a period of time when it was relatively safe to do it, the worse that could happen would have been the expulsion from the school. If you try to do this kind of thing now, you may very well do some jail time and have heavy fines to pay as well.

Self made man

I'm one of these people who learnt by themselves most of what they knew about programming before working as a professional programmer. Sure I learnt a lot after I started work, but before that I did university mostly to get a diploma: Except methodology, and formal methods, I can't say I learnt much.

  Five years in Norway
Sat 1st May 2010   

Celebration time!

Yes! I arrived in Norway the 2nd of May 2005, so this Sunday marks my five years anniversary in Norway. I think it's about time to do a quick look back, and possibly discuss what I can see coming next.

Some people asked me why I moved to Norway in first place: was I unhappy in France, why not moving to USA or UK, if I was planning to come back to France one day - and when -, etc, etc...

  What happened to the story line
Tue 13th April 2010   

Recently I finished a number of games, of the types that are supposed to be bundled with a story in it: Fallout 3, Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2 and yesterday I finished Dreamfall.

Dreamfall as a game is probably not perfect, if only because it was originally a Xbox game, so some of the textures are a bit wonky, the controls on PC could have been better (damn you camera!), there's a bit too many fed-ex missions, and the fight sequences could have been more interesting... but as an engaging story, it's ace: You could watch it as a movie.

  Backups Better safe than sorry!
Sun 4th April 2010   

Do you copy?

When I ask to my family, friends and colleagues how they proceed to keep safe their important digital data, most of the time I get one of these answers:
- I've nothing worth keeping
- Well, it's on the PC/Mac so it's safe no?
- I have copies of all my files in another folder on my hardrive !
- I'm doing backups regularly on cd/dvd/exernal hardrive
admittedly some people are answering differently because they have already been burnt by the issue of unsafe backups and have solved the issue by implementing a real strategy.

So let me tell you why should you be worried about the notion of backups.

  How to not upgrade an Ubuntu server
Mon 22nd March 2010   
In February last year I decided to extend by having a secondary server in my home. That's the reason why I originally bought the VIA Artigo A2000, I wanted something small and silent I could put in a corner and forget. After a bit more than one year of usage I can say I'm globally satisfy with the choice.

Ok, the machine is not that silent, as a desktop is quite slow, but as a file/multimedia box/SVN server it's doing its job.

  Mini review Dragon Age (Bioware-Electronic Arts)
Sun 28th February 2010   
I just finished Dragon Age this evening, apparently I only managed to do about 40% of the whole content of the game, but when I'm being told that the survival of the land is on my shoulders and that time is of the essence I don't stop to do side quests...

So anyway, I killed the villain, saved the land, got the glory, and then the super long end credits.

  15 years working in videogames
Mon 25th January 2010   
Damn, that's typical of me - and of the industry - to miss a deadline!

On the 2nd of January 1995 I started working at Adeline Software, so the 2nd of January 2010 was my 15th anniversary in this interesting industry :)

  I can see the wall out there
Sat 23rd January 2010   
... yes, there is a wall.

We've been told for a while that the wall was here, and that we should prepare for it. Get the equipment ready, get the bodies and mind in good shape, this kind of thing. But well, you know how it works, we tend to wait until the very last moment before we change our habits.

But sometimes changing the habits is not enough. Sometimes you need more than that, you need to find alternatives that works... assuming they actually exist.

  Happy new year 2010
Sun 3rd January 2010   
Ok, I'm a bit late, but I guess the 3rd of January is still a ok time for giving best wishes for the new year.

2009 has been an interesting year - for me at least -: Managed to get through job related hazards, released my 20 years anniversary demo for the Atari STe - with plenty of very nice comments I was not really expecting -, met a nice gf and moved together in a quite nice new apartment - hopefully will not have to move again until a long while -, and got some family visiting for Christmas.

  Atari STe 20th anniversary
Wed 25th November 2009   

In 2005 I participated to the online demo competition organized by the group DHS (Dead Hackers Society). With other members of the group Creators we made the Conflict of Interest demo screen, and reached the 3rd position in the compo.

We are now in 2009, and yes 20 years ago - 1989 - this was the unveiling of the Atari STe. Time to do a new demo !

  4 years !
Wed 6th May 2009   

I moved to Norway the 2nd of Mai 2005, so this month was my fourth year in Norway.

At this exact moment I'm following the live feed from the French parliement (Assemblée Nationale) about the HADOPI law "Protection de la création sur Internet", and I have to say that I'm not impressed by this demonstration of democracy.

  User friendliness in the 21st century
Sat 25th April 2009   

One week ago, I got a power cut in my apartment. Nothing too bad, unfortunately it was the second time since the beginning of the year, and for one month or so I had a file server running. Obviously you don't really want the power to cut while somebody is updating your SVN repository.

The solution is simple, I just needed an UPS.

After discussing with some tech-savvy acquaintances, I finally decided to buy an APC Back-UPS ES 700VA.

  ClickSafe is dead
Sat 28th March 2009   
Yesterday, an ex-colleague contacted me, he had sad news for me:

"ClickSafe is dying, we are going to replace it by Perforce."

  Online persistancy
Tue 10th March 2009   

The World Wide Web is not that old.

At least not in the way you, me, and our parents uses it.

Sure, there was all the original military and university networks derived from Arpanet, but what I'm talking about is when the random person could get a modem, a (insanely expensive) subscription to some ISP (which will be gone in less than two years), and a large (100 kilobytes) storage for their personal homepage (accessed from an impossible to remember link using some tildes or complicated city based domain structure).

  Needs a new mobile, let's try Nokia for a change
Mon 2nd March 2009   

Yes, I needed a new mobile.

My very first mobile phone was a Sagem MY X5m, but when I moved to Norway it was not really up to the task, mostly because the battery life was almost gone, but also because the T9 did not have support for Norwegian (I don't even remember if it did English). So I got a fancy Sony Ericsson w800i for my birthday. Apparently it was a fancy present because it was kind of hard to get one, most shops were out of stock.

  Learning norwegian if you are an IT worker, you have to be motivated !
Thu 26th February 2009   
After about two years without Norwegian lessons, I finally decided to take some new ones. Waiting for the company to decide when we will have the next batch of lessons was a bad idea, as one said, better do things yourself if you want them done.

  How to learn linux by setting up a server
Mon 23rd February 2009   
As some of you already know, I decided that Windows Vista was not for me. The number of things that displeased me from Microsoft was large enough to make me seriously consider changing entirely of operating system. Which is why I considered Linux: Mac OS seems cool, but jumping from a proprietary system to another one just seemed very silly.

  Nice winter
Sun 22nd February 2009   
While some of my friends and members of family are in the areas of the world where you need a swim suit and some sun glasses, I just enjoy the relaxing view of the about 60 cm of snow that has fallen from the sky in the two last weeks

  Here we are
Sat 21st February 2009   
Hi Hi, here is a blog.

Yeah I know, most blogs really have no purpose for the vast majority of people, but I guess it is an harmful enough activity.