This is the homepage of Aaron Bentley
I found that there are very few references catering to the North-American, PC-Owning, C coding, novel-writing, Mod-composing, university student, Internet Newbie, so I thought I'd remedy that. As I find out more useful things, I'll keep passing them along here. Don't worry if that list excludes you; worry if you don't understand the list.
So, without furthur ado, here are the links:
If you like what you see or you have a suggestion...MAIL ME!
A MOD file is a type of music file. If you have a MOD player, you can hear the song. Compared to MIDI files...There is no comparison. At least, not if you have a Sound Blaster 16 or below. Here's why:
MOD files incorporate samples of actual instruments. What you hear is not a synthesized imitation of an instrument, (a la Sound Blaster) but a digital recording of that instrument. MODs sound much more realistic than MIDI, because MIDI uses the synthesizer chip, and that doesn't sound much like the real instrument.
On the other hand, MODS only permit four channels, i.e. four voices/ instruments/sounds to be played at once. MIDI files allow many more instruments. I think it's thirty-two. Also, MODS are processor-intensive. For beter sound quality, you need a faster computer, unless you get special hardware.
Speaking of hardware, you don't need any to play a MOD. You don't even need a sound card; most MOD players will output directly to your speaker. Depending on your speaker, and computer, this kind of output can range from poor to acceptable. The four-voice shortcoming has been remedied in the S3M format, which allows sixteen channels.
Of course, to get good sound quality, you need a good player. I recommend Dual Mod Player for DOS use (this also plays all kinds of other files, including S3M) and I'm presently using WinMod PRO for windows, which is still a bit beta. Still, it's the smallest I could find.
Have you heard of wavetable synthesis? It's the latest thing on high- end sound cards. Their sound quality is much better than old cards, because what you hear is not a synthesized imitation of an instrument, (a la Sound Blaster) but a digital recording of that instrument. Sound familiar? Yes, that's exactly the way MODs work. The biggest difference between playing a MOD and owning a wavetable synthesis card is that the MOD does its sound processing with the CPU and the wavetable card does sound processing on the card.
It is interesting to note that very few (read: NO) commercial games provide MOD sound. Because I'm a cynical individual, I think it's because if games had MOD sound, no one would want a wavetable synthesis card. On the other hand, it may be because MOD sound eats up too much CPU time. My responses to this are:
1) I can play an animation AND use MOD sound on a 16 MHz '286 computer. So it's hard to believe that a 486 or Pentium, running at 2 to 6 times that speed, MOD sound wouldn't work.
2) If speed is really a problem, why not make MOD sound an option? Presumably, anyone whose computer was too slow could select synthesized sound for a faster game.
3) DOOM already uses multiple-channel digital sound, it just uses it for the sound effects, instead of music.
4) Most 'demos', the freeware sound and graphics shows produced by independent programming groups, use MOD sound, and these can look better than commercial games.
A less credible excuse for not providing MOD sound is that it would be hard to do. Why less credible? Because there are several toolkits available through the NET and BBSes to provide MOD sound.
I am nearing the end of my novel, IF. It and my other swords&sorcery-type fiction are set in the world of Ehrwynd. Other Ehrwynd fiction includes:
Bastard (a short story)
Ehrwynd is a fairly unique place. Where our world has seven wonders, Ehrwynd has 36. Principal features of Ehrwynd are The Drunken Ferret, a world-famous tavern in the country of Hakitt, Warren the Wise, the omnicient man with a penchant for exaggeration, and, of course, the three surviving Great Mages: Clarion, WindyMoon and MorningStar.
What happens when a wizard, mercenary, politician and armadillo farmer get together to search for a quest? Silliness abounds in Book One of the Chronicles of Ehrwynd, If.
When Fimbel the messenger braved the dangers of the tavern called The Drunken Ferret to summon Bastard the Brave, Bastard thought it would be a straightforward mission. What could be simpler than rescuing a beautiful (redhead, no less) princess from a ravening monster? he thought. Bastard was in for a surprise.
The C programming language was originally developped to make it easy to create versions of UNIX on various kinds of computers. It is presently standerdized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and has seen broad commercial use, although its descendent, C++, has supplanted it to some extent.
C is neat because it is not a high-level language or a low-level one; it can be used at whatever level the programmer desires, from the high-level printf() command to the #asm directive which allows the programmer to insert low-level assembly-language program code.
Although BASIC is somewhat easier, C is not difficult to learn. A simple
"hello world" program would look like this:
I'm at Carleton University, in the Journalism program. Carleton may not have a good reputation, but it has great internet access!