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My 'Easter egg'

Back on Easter Monday, I treated myself to an egg. Well, actually, four of them.

The egg box
The egg box.

These are Milka eggs, and even come in a little egg box. So cute!

Inside, they are filled. From memory, there is a hazelnut paste (their take on Nutella), something to do with Oreos, and the traditional milky filling as I have picked.

The inside of the egg
The inside of the egg.

It isn't completely filled. Once upon a time the egg box used to contain a little plastic spoon so you could break open the top and scrape the gunk out, but in our world of disposable mobile phones and other unrepairable tech rubbish, it has been deemed that plastic spoons are bad, so you'll need to supply your own spoon now.

It has obvious similarities to a Creme Egg, but unlike the Cadbury offering, this one isn't white with a yolk inside. Plus the egg has a much softer top (you can see the join in the photo) to allow a child to poke a hole with the non-existent plastic spoon. Plus plus, the other types are brown inside.

At any rate, since I failed to find a pleasing white chocolate egg, this was an acceptable substitute.


I stopped by the supermarket yesterday and picked up a box of seahorses. Not Guylian, a knock-off called Hamlet from Belgium. You'll perhaps have seen this if you live in New Zealand, since the guff on the back of the box mentions in the English ingredients an address in Christchurch 8042. ☺
Being after Easter, they were marked down 33%.

These aren't Guylian
These aren't Guylian,
but you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference.

Only 33%? Yup. That's the maximum permissable mark-down allowed in France since the Nutella Riots. Which is only a sentence you can (barely) say with a completely straight face if you know the French love of Nutella.
Does make me wonder how much stuff has to be destroyed, as, well, there was a lot left given that a third off isn't an impressive reduction.

Now comes a massive difference in consumer response to company behaviours. A few years ago, Celebrations had some sort of contamination (a piece of plastic?) and in response they pulled everything. At Easter, too. Must have smashed a hole in their bottom line. And every major holiday I buy something Celebrations as I respect that they cared enough about their customers to err on the side of extreme caution.
This year, Kinder. Certain batches were recalled, not for an errant piece of plastic but something much more serious that suggests a hygiene issue in the factory that makes the stuff. Other batches were offered for sale. But it's quite clear that the customers simply do not trust the company right now. There was a huge amount of unsold Kinder. Hell, one of the shelves (a blue bunny, if I remember correctly) looked barely different to how it looked when the Easter chocolates were first put up for sale.



I washed my car yesterday. I wasn't planning to, but a bird with explosive rampant diarrhoea pigeon had been sitting in the rafters above. Let's just say that before I could go to work I had to hose down the windscreen, and upon coming back from work, the rest of the front half. Grrr...

Sorry, didn't think to take a photo as I was already running late on account of getting the bin ready to drag up the lane on the way.

What I noticed, after taking the car around back again, and trying to carefully park away from where a bird had shotten, I noticed a disturbing amount of pollen already coating the car.


Once upon a time, this would have nearly killed me. I'd be inside, like I had flu. Runny nose, sneezing, headache, the works. I am not sure if it's from a tree or what. I would like to say colza (rape), but this has been in flower for a while already, turning the fields bright yellow. That said, it is mid-spring so there'll be a bit of everything in flower, right?



Still no joy from the leeks and carrots, but the potatoes are starting to appear. I'll bank them up tomorrow.

Potatoes starting life
Potatoes starting life.


Playing with ray casting

I spent the early afternoon wasting time, as thunderstorms were predicted. Then I washed my head, ran the washing machine, and still not a raindrop never mind rumbling skies. Hmm... I think I'd better finish this up and go mow the potager or something.

Anyway, it is known that the DDE compiler has lousy performance when it comes to hard maths. Not because the compiler is bad, but because it is still clinging on to the Acornesque notion of "an emulated floating point processor is good enough".
Well, it was in the days when RISC OS machines didn't have any FP hardware (<cough>and everybody else did</cough>), but in these modern times when hardware FP is the norm (even the Pi has it, the Iyonix is the last RISC OS machine to not have hardware floating point) it is ridiculous. The emulator does a very good job, it is very precise. But it literally takes several hundreds of instructions to perform the task, plus a trap, which makes it remarkably slower.

Raycasting, as I mentioned a few blog articles ago, is a way of creating a pseudo-3D "world" by tracing out an imaginary "ray" from the camera viewpoint, seeing what it hits and how far away that is so it knows how big to draw it on the screen. It only casts one ray per screen column (normally), which makes it a much simpler affair than ray tracing which calculates every single pixel on the screen. On the other hand, ray casting can redraw fast enough to go in real time. Ray tracing in real time requires specialist hardware, and just can't be usefully performed only in software.

Why am I saying this? Because it ought to be obvious from the description that it will make a lot of use of complicated maths. Complicated maths require complicated numbers. Complicated numbers... screw you over if you emulate them!

I think at some stage I'll need to have a crack at converting the program to use fixed point. As long as I don't need a number over sixty five thousand, then the upper 16 bits can be the whole number and the lower 16 bits can be the fraction. Or something like that. I'll have to have a think... then try it... then break it... then want to throw my keyboard across the room in frustration... that's usually have mathsy things go. :(

Here's a crappy video of the current code doing its thing. I have added an animated tile (the stars) because, frankly, that was easier than figuring out what was actually going on in the ray casting code.


Now, to fire up the mower...



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J.G.Harston, 24th April 2022, 01:23
Only four eggses? Swizz! Demand your full half-douzaine!
Rick, 24th April 2022, 02:14
Eggs come in packets of four, six, ten, twelve, and twenty. I think. There's all sorts of variety. 
Oh, and there's a big flat tray with something like forty eggs, but I'm guessing that's aimed at catering or insanely large families?

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