Photo #16 – Phyllidia ocellata

Phyllidia ocellata, a species of nudibranch

Phyllidia ocellata, photographed in the waters off Pelorus Island, Queensland.

Nudibranchs (including Phyllidia ocellata) form a “clade” (meaning that all species of nudibranch descend from a common ancestor that no non-nudibranch descends from) of predatory sea slugs. Nudibranchs tend to be vibrantly coloured, and there is a great deal of variation between species in not only the colour patterns but even in the anatomy – which makes them great photography subjects!


DoW2 Retribution Last Stand: Weargear

For Dawn of War II, Gravecat posted a list of wargear unlocks for each race. The Retribution expansion adds a new last stand map (with harder waves – the original map and waves are also retained) and the Lord General as Imperial Guard hero. The other heroes seem to retain their old wargear lists. I’m yet to see a list of wargear unlocks for the Lord General, so I figured I’d start one. I’ll update this as I get new information, and if you’re ahead of me please post in the comments!

Level Description
2 Refractor field: Reduces ranged damage on you and allies around you
3 Medallion Crimson: Combat expert (+30% ranged and melee damage)
4 Master-crafted Carapace Armour: 79 armour rating, immune to suppression, can place a tarantula heavy bolter turret (25 energy)
5 Guardsmen: Deploy a squad of guardsmen (35 energy). If you are armed with a bolter, flamer, grenade launcher or plasma gun they get two of them.
6 Protective Power Sword: 10 DPS, armour piercing (to 100), clear out (knocks back and damages enemy troops), +50 armour
7 Repair: Lord General can repair structures and vehicles (20 energy).
8 Artificer Carapace Armour: 72 armour rating, immune to knockdown, can place a tarantula missile turret. Turret has difficulty with cover but has area of effect and can knock down enemy troops.
9 Sergeant: Adds a sergeant to your minion squads. Grants Battle Hardened (increased defense) to minions.
10 Catachan: Can deploy a Catachan devil squad, which has the Knockdown and Explosives Expert attributes (they have shotguns and frag grenades). They are a commander item, so you can’t use them with guardsmen (35 energy).
11 Reinforce: Reinforce nearby allied minion squadrons (seems to include allies – 10 energy).
12 Mordian Pattern Carapace Armour: 37 armour rating, can deploy executioner turret.
13 Grenade Launcher: 5.5DPS, Area of Effect, Blind Grenade Volley, Knockdown. Equips Guardsmen with grenade launchers as well.
14 Commissar: Increases the damage inflicted by nearby allies, and can be stacked with the sergeant.
15 Ogryn: Tough, resistant troops.
16 Armageddon Pattern Carapace Armor: 30 armour rating, can place Vanquisher Heavy Turret.
17 Take Aim!: Gives ally a temporary damage boost
18 Plasma Gun: 7.3 DPS, armour piercing up to a rating of 100. Equips guardsmen squads with plasma guns as well.
19 Rocket Run: Devastates a strip of ground with rocket pod runs.
20 Storm Troopers: Deploy a squad of elite troops. Can’t be stacked with other minion squads. Allows the general to make a tactical withdrawal (fast run). Also reduces his energy costs by 25%.
Achievement The Black Plate: 125 armour rating, reduces melee damage.
Unlock: Beat 10 waves in a single match whilst holding both strategic points.
Achievement Duelist Honours: Increases melee damage by 40%.
Unlock: Kill 2500 enemies as Lord General

Update: Gravecat’s listing has now overtaken mine.

Photo #13 – Great Eggfly

Great Eggfly
Hypolimnas bolina, photographed in Townsville, Queensland. This species is sexually dimorphic (that is, the different genders look very different to each other) – this is a male.

At this point, I think we can all agree that I’m rather bad at blogging. I recently moved to Townsville, and have more or less settled in by now – so hopefully I can get something a bit more regular going here!

Andtunes and RegexTester

In a sudden bout of motivation, I’ve finished up a couple of little applications. They’re both free software.


Andtunes is a music playlist manager primarily aimed at Android phones. It makes it easy to manage, sort and shuffle your playlists.
Andtunes screenshot
Download Andtunes


RegexTester makes it easy to test a series of regular expressions all at once. You give it a list of regular expressions and a list of test data (one per line) and it will check each line to see if one of the regular expressions matches it.
RegexTester screenshot
Download RegexTester

So, if you’re interested, go and download them!

Tech.Ed: Pimp my app

Twitter love: #auteched #arc202

If you read my Twitter feed (and, let’s be honest, it’s not like I’ve put any effort into promoting it), you may have noticed that, last week, I was at Tech.Ed. Anyway, I’ve got notes on a number of the sessions and I figured I may as well post write them up in some sort of coherent format. Some sort of coherent format – I’m working from some fairly disconnected dot points here.

The first session will be Pimp My App, presented by Shane Morris.

The user experience of an application is defined not so much by the designers as by the developers and their time frames. The specification usually defines the features – and if the user experience is simply one line in the spec – “and it should be usable”, that will define how much attention it gets during development.

One trick that designers use is the “squint” test – you squint at the page, and see what draws your eye. This should, ideally, be what your users are supposed to find.

User experience design is not primarily about graphics – graphics can set the tone, but they are the last part of the UX design.

All user interface elements need to be processed by the user, so remove all unnecessary elements – it makes it easier for the user to understand the page. Unlike in school essays, variation should be limited – the more consistent the user interface is, the easier it will be for your users to deal with it.

How many colours should you use. Scott suggested this simple test: rate your graphic design skills on a scale of one to five. Now use that many colours. Background colours should be neutral colours – white, grey, black, navy, blue or brown are good choices. Cool colours appear to recede in the user’s vision, hot colours pop forward. One good way of adding colour is to pick new shades of the same colour. Another trick is to pick an image that expresses the right sort of feeling, and select colours from that.

Some useful sites for colour selection:

Kuler, ColourLovers
These allow you to select and search colour pallets. If you select “Create” it will allow you to upload an image and select colours from that, or from a base colour.

Vischeck shows your UI (or image) as it would be seen by a colour-blind user – a useful check to have.

Scott also suggested a simple test for how many fonts you should use. First, rate your graphic design skills on a scale of one to five. Now, use one font.

Unwanted relationships and JPEG artifactsAlignments between document elements create relationships. This is a useful thing – but it’s no good if you create relationships between the wrong things.

There are several ways you can group elements besides groupboxes – proximity, similarity, alignment and even just by surrounding them with whitespace. You can add visual weight to an element with the use of colour, size, constrast, irregular shape, and misalignment.

This was a deservedly popular session – both the presenter and his content was great. I enjoyed it greatly and I’ve got to recommending watching Shane Morris give a talk if you ever get the chance.