Tag: C

I’ve started on the C++ Windows eBook

I’ve started on the C++ Windows eBook

C++ Code listing photoI made the mistake of starting by trying to convert the final version of Asteroid; all 2,200 lines of C into C++.

It got very messy because I was trying to have all the moving objects (Player ship, asteroids, bullets, aliens ship) all based on a common ancestor class but then was trying to manipulate those instances of the ancestor class and downcast back from the ancestor instances and I don’t think you can in C++. Compiler errors galore!

It was the wrong approach and I wasn’t using virtual functions. So instead I’m doing it step by step, adding on new features. Much like the original C development in 13 different steps.

Here’s the slightly shorter asteroids.cpp:

// Asteroids C++ 2020 Chapter 27
#include "game.h"

int main(int argc,char * args[])
	Game g;
    return 0;

There are other classes used from Game. I haven’t put everything in one “God” class!

Identifying a Linux system in code

Identifying a Linux system in code

Since I got asteroids running on a Raspberry Pi, I have decided I want to incorporate the temperature in the window caption when you switch it to debug mod by pressing Tab. Currently all that does is display position info on moving objects and bounding boxes.

But if I include that code in, I want to be sure that it only works when running on a Raspberry Pi. So I need some code to identify the system. A bit of digging and I discovered the Linux uname command. That link goes to an online man page for uname.

If I run uname -a on my Ubuntu 18.04LTS I get this.

Linux david-Virtual-Machine 4.15.0-96-generic #97-Ubuntu SMP Wed Apr 1 03:25:46 UTC 2020 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

And on my PI.

Linux raspberrypi 4.19.97-v7+ #1294 SMP Thu Jan 30 13:15:58 GMT 2020 armv7l GNU/Linux

In fact the uname -n command gives david-Virtual-Machine on Ubuntu and raspberrypi on the PI. These are the names though names are often changeable and what if someone is running ubuntu on a PI? Yes it is a thing. But the uname -m identifies the CPU.  x86-64 on my Ubuntu and armv71 on the pi.

I did a bit of digging and found a C program on stackoverflow that will do the same as uname.

#include <sys/utsname.h>

int main(void) {

   struct utsname buffer;

   errno = 0;
   if (uname(&buffer) != 0) {

   printf("system name = %s\n", buffer.sysname);
   printf("node name   = %s\n", buffer.nodename);
   printf("release     = %s\n", buffer.release);
   printf("version     = %s\n", buffer.version);
   printf("machine     = %s\n", buffer.machine);

   #ifdef _GNU_SOURCE
      printf("domain name = %s\n", buffer.domainname);

   return EXIT_SUCCESS;

And this is what it outputs on a PI.

system name = Linux
node name   = raspberrypi
release     = 4.19.97-v7+
version     = #1294 SMP Thu Jan 30 13:15:58 GMT 2020
machine     = armv7l

So that bit is easy to do. Next is getting the temperature, but that’s for another blog entry…

That Clang C compilation

That Clang C compilation

I spent about five hours trying to get the timing code to compile before I got it compiling and working. Now I’m used to the concept of include guards in C. Those are the #ifndef that you see like this:

#ifndef _timeh
  #include <linux/time.h>
  #define _timeh 1

But in the hr_time.c file these include guards are on steroids. Not only did I need to include <time.h>, I also had to include <linux/time.h> but with a couple of extra #defines in there. It doesn’t seem right and wasn’t needed with the Windows version.  I’d welcome any comments on this.

#ifndef _timeh
  #include <linux/time.h>
  #define __timespec_defined 1 
  #define __itimerspec_defined 1
  #include <time.h>
  #define _timeh 1

The sdldemo program with timing whown in the window caption.Without these, I’d get compile errors like __timespec redefined errors.

I’ve uploaded the source files and Visual Studio Code JSON files for this in the file asteroids_ch25.zip in the new repository for the Learn C on Linux Ebook

So feel free to try it. The only difference between this and the version shown in an earlier post is the time (in the window caption) to draw all 100,000 rectangles,  You’ll need to install SDL2 if you want to compile and run the program.

Learn C Games

Learn C Games

Learn C Games Programming Book coverThis blog is about C and Games programming (in C mainly). It’s written by David Bolton, author of the Learn C Games Programming for beginners EBook. This is the Windows version, with a Raspberry Pi/Linux one due out in September 2020.  

The first 20 chapters introduce and teach C programming with many examples. This link is to an .mp4 of the asteroids game from the book. It’s about 90 seconds long and demonstrates all of the features of the game. High score table, rotating asteroids (four sizes), sound, explosions, ship hyper-jump and shields.

The remaining 30 chapters builds up to full source code, about 2,000 lines, in 13 stages and I explain how each feature works and is implemented.  All of the book’s source code is on GithubMore about me. Buy it on Amazon(UK), Amazon(US).