Today was yet another day of spending too much time on a program, but this time the reason was almost stupid. I was just writing a simple program that converts a binary number to a decimal just to get my feet wet in C#. I was taking the input as a string and I decided to use a foreach loop to traverse through the string and fill a character array with each 0 or 1. The only nuance I needed with this loop is an index that will start at 0 and keep incrementing to the end of the string. Not even thinking, I initialized and incremented the index inside the loop and then went on my merry way writing the rest of the program. Of course, by initializing a variable inside an iterative loop, it will only get reinitialized on each run. When it was time to run and test the program, I spent the next half hour looking through my code, outputting intermediate steps to the console, and scratching my heading with the strange logical errors coming up. I finally found the problem child when I was changing some other code, fixed it, and found the rest of the program worked perfectly so I went and ate lunch. I realized something; I could’ve avoided all that heartache by commenting my code as I wrote it!
Up until now, Commenting is only something I would do if a professor or classmate was looking my code or if it was a program I had spent months working on, other than that commenting was a waste of precious time. But commenting is also a way to organize your code more; it’s writing down an exact plan of what you need to do for a function/loop/snippit. Commenting makes you take a step back and actually think about the purpose of what you’re about to write. It’s easy for me to say that if I had to write the program again, I would never initialize a variable inside an iterative loop only for it to be reinitialized because Hindsight is 20/20 but maybe taking that extra couple seconds thinking about the loop would have saved me that half hour later.
I’m really not as much of a gamer as I used to be but I occasionally follow gaming news just to see what is happening in the gaming world and there is one piece of news that is worth mentioning: Cloud Gaming. Cloud Gaming is one of the most exciting things to happen to video games, probably in my entire lifetime and has the potential to completely revolutionize the gaming industry.
Using cloud services, in general, is not new to anyone and neither is using the cloud for gaming services; services like steam have been around for years now. So, what’s new now? Well, the way that steam has been working is that you guy the game digitally and it is tied to your account so that wherever you go, you have access to your game, provided you have your steam account information. That’s nice because it completely eliminates carrying a physical disk and risk of damaging that disk, but you need still need to install the game on each new machine you want to play. Not to mention the fact that you will not have access to your saved data. Gamers have long since accepted this as it makes sense that you would need to install it locally. Enter Gaikai, a company featuring advanced cloud computing technology. Now, gamers can not only store their game’s information online but their entire Game!
The cloud will now install the game and be able to render all of the graphics, actors, and special effects for you so all you will need is a descent internet connection. That is Huge! No longer will you need to go out and buy a better graphics card or processor to be able to play a next-gen game. All you will need is a 5mbs internet connection (around the national average) and something to be able to display the images rendered by the cloud. That’s right, that means that you don’t even need to use a computer or console to play games like Assassin’s Creed, you can use your TV, Tablet, or even a smart phone, provided you have the right internet connection!
If you’re reading this, you are most likely to be an enthusiast about gaming and are aware that Sony has announced this technology at CES 2014 and are expecting to roll out this service, called Playstation Now, later this summer. Microsoft is also working on a similar technology and you can bet Nintendo is also working on something. This is also a technology that has been in the works for the past few years with OnLive but has not been as publicized as much because of one important hindrance: latency. Sending commands to a server far away and having it send the render graphics to you is nice but that transaction has to seem instantaneous. Any delay will cause the entire service to be a moot point. Sony has made this transaction as smooth as possible and has reduced the latency significantly, down to a couple milliseconds!
What Do you Think?
Is Cloud Gaming the future of gaming? Let me know in the poll below