Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Some how it figures rofl. I tried to download the .NET 3.0 framework from Microsoft using Opera and they told me the file can't not be found on their server.

I fire up Internet Explorer 7 and vola ! It works like a charm ^_^

Microsoft.com is very crippled for Opera Users I think, going by the times I've dropped in of my own free will. I wonder if they are that pissy to Mozilla or Netscape :/

Managed to get every thing up to date and even cleaned up my start menu. On my laptop I usually just open a konsole or xterm & tell it to run the programs I want (I've always got a terminal emulator handy). It's more bugger then its worth imho to do that with cmd.exe and my %PATH% is fat enough now. So I think this is a nice solution, especially since I do not like the Programs->Vendor->Product->Many files arangement used on Microsoft Windows for the start menu and file system.

Click to view image -> Warning it is a 1600x1200 JPEG !

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Techno Nightmares

Screamers.... now that is a nightmare of a movie.

In the not so far future (2078) a new source of energy was found, berynium on some rock probably in the middle of no where. It looked to be the best thing since coal or sliced bread judging by the intro. But after awhile of mining for it, the process started throwing up huge amounts of radiation. To stop it the workers and scientists banded together to put pressure on the company. Who in turn launched an all out war with the Alliance.

After being Nuked half of the planet... can't blame them for needing every last trick in their book to hold on. They invented a monster, the 'Screamer' an Autonomous Mobile Sword. That tracks targets by their plus and use the cutting buzz saw like blade that makes up most of their body to cut the enemy to death. In the opening a N.E.B. (the company) grunt trying to deliver a message got a leg and an arm chopped off before the screamers finally lopped off his head. Built by an automated factory under the Alliance bunker, they proved valuable at protecting the base and stopping the enemy. The only way they could tell friend from foe required you to wear a 'tab' on your wrist to block their sensors. When the poor sap with the message came in it was their first N.E.B. contact in like 6 months.

After the journey to respond ensures (hey I'm not spoiling the entire picture:-P) two Alliance soldiers, a green kid and a seasoned local. Meet up with a new and improved version. A little kid claiming to be a survivor in the waste land, begging to come with them. The trick? It's really a droid, so real you'd think it was human - once it get's inside the enemies bunker. It releases it's payload, a deadly 'Screamer'. A N.E.B. squad they link up with tells how effective it was. The droids murdered most of the N.E.B. forces inside their command bunker during dinner time. Also another model...

A wounded soldier begging for help, go to help him and vola ! You're ripped apart by the screamer. The things we're self manufacturing as far as the viewer is able to gather. And some how self improving, more advanced models developed by machines, as it was stated that none we're sent to the planet from command since the prototype years ago. When the scientists effectively built the factory, pushed the on button and ran like heck. In the N.E.B. base they found another model, simple lizard/reptilian like screamers. Slow walking but flast leaping buggers with a Dinosaur like look & feel, right out of a museum.

When the merry band returns to the Alliance bunker... they find out the same thing that happened to the N.E.B's destroyed the soldiers there. The voice of the bunkers 2nd in command beckons them in over the radio. A repetitive conversation and multiple personality show its a trap. Faced with an Army of droid children clutching teddy bears and having a screamer inside marching out of the base. Trust me it's not as corny as it sounds lol. Using their high powered by todays standards weapons til the ammo ran out. Then dropping down to the built in flame throwers... They couldn't hold off the onslaught. So using a recovered micro-nuke they blow the place to crap.

Only to discover one of the N.E.B's with them injured, when the green Alliance kid goes to help. He's ripped apart by the advanced screamer... horrible, not even the 'tabs' worked any more. The Screamers now could kill any one and every one. After being put down the last two people left, The Alliance commander and a N.E.B. woman set out for the one way off the planet. The 'oh crap the place is about to explode' escape system for the bases commander.

To prove that she is human the commander nearly cuts the womans arm off. To do like wise he almost does the same to his own hand before she stops him. The two apparently falling in love head out, only to be greeted by the commanders friend and the next in the Chain of Command. Another screamer !! The screamer was said to have cut off the mans face and took it, hence the appearance. After disposing of him they find another horror, the escape shuttle only has room for one.

Pulling every trick in the book the commander tries to make sure the N.E.B. woman is the one to go, yet theres some reason why she "just can't go". When a duplicate shows up, we know why ! Another screamer... the most advanced yet. The two fight to the last fembot standing, the victor gets a blast of rocket engine as the other dies. Leaving the poor guy to use the shuttle and hope he gets back to Earth... and meets HUMANS !!! It's made clear that his and the fate of earth may be undesirable...

You'd have to see the movie to really appreciate it but it is really horrifying. Man kind is deadly enough without machines surpassing us. The screamers evolved to the point that they killed their own side. Then to the point that they killed each other. It's pretty dang sad when your own governments weapons try to kill you !

I hope that People are never removed from war, unless war is removed it self. One can argue that there is no such thing as 'honor' in a war. If one see's the goal as to live to see the end in victory. That's one thing but there is some point. Where a line is crossed, it's not a matter of honor or fairness but of right or wrong.

Killing the enemy is one thing but murder is another. In screamers you can't tell if the person next to you is on your side or even human. The chap you've played cards with for the past year might try and rip your arms off the next. It's a sick idea... when machines have evolved past their creator, all but destroyed their creators, and start killing themselves too.

The Terminator is a scary idea but this is worse, just watch the movie and you'll find out why lol. I think it's a good thing when you can have some one sit out of the line of fire. Control a robot and have it drop a bomb on the enemy, thats good. But when your toaster oven is modified to kill the enemy while you go on a smoke & coke break. You're going to be pretty dang sorry if it tries to kill you after getting an upgrade !

SAL1600 todo list




.NET Framework

Check for updates:

GNU Emacs

Ok, back to cleaning up the system.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Writer's Block: In The Money

If you won $100 this afternoon, what would you do with it?

Hmmmmm, probably bank it for next months bills. If I had $100 laying around and nothing to spend it on, I'd probably find some one that needed help with money or get setup on paypal and send it [SAS}'ward.

My incomes basically $0 until December... so I wouldn't mind finding $100 on the side of the street :/
Trying to work around here is ridicules unless every one else is asleep...

It's like in the Man and the Iron Mask (98) when Aramis is trying to pray and Porthos comes roaring through with two wenches.

*shakes head*

Thursday, July 26, 2007


*drool* I wish I could get one of these babies.

Looking at the custom options, 1.66Ghz Core 2 Duo. 15.4" Display, 1024MB DDR2, 80GB HDD..... $895.00 man I wish I could get that baby.

This laptop costed $650 for a 2.0 Ghz Mobile Sempron, comparable widescreen displace, 512MB DDR, and 60GB HDD. Plus I had to put up with a $100 restocking fee, because I exchanged a $750 laptop for it -> Because it wouldn't run any thing but Windows (slowly). Which I had picked because they we're out of any other laptop in my price range... Best Buy Bastards !! lol.

But I'm lucky, my laptop works great on FreeBSD aside from shitty 3D performance

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Partition plan

I'd like a small partition in the lead, doesn't need to be big, I'll probably use OpenBSD or an old FreeBSD 6.0 disk for setup. I just want a pretty minimal install, kernel, manual pages, and required binaries. I'd like it to be a pretty small slice but with enough room to hold a few files in a 'pinch. Its basically just there in case I need to do some recovery operations and can't boot the primary OS.

As far as that goes, PC-BSD v1.4 when it is released.

# PC-BSD v1.4
ad0s2   66560MB (65GB)
/  10240MB (10GB)
/swap  1024MB (1GB)
/home/  20480MB (20GB)
/usr/  25600MB (25GB)
/var/   512MB (0.5GB)  

All sizes are approximate but I'm figuring I should have 7-8gb free space in the slice. 512mb will be more then enough for /var, my current system has /tmp linked to /var/tmp and is only using 120-150mb on a 2.5gb partition. 10GB should be plenty for the root partition. My laptops not even 10GB with /:/usr:/home all being on the same partition. So I expect roughly 20gb for my home directory and ~25gb to be plenty for /usr. I could probably thin back /var and add a nice fat /tmp/ but I figure the spare space on / will do if I need the extra room in /tmp when un-packing a file. /usr/ports and /usr/src is only about 800-1200MB so it won't make much dent into my /usr partition.

# My Laptop, PC-BSDv1.3.4 is on ad0s3, the other partitions are for storeage
Terry@Dixie$ df -h                                                         8:41
Filesystem     Size    Used   Avail Capacity  Mounted on
/dev/ad0s3a     36G    8.2G     25G    25%    /
devfs          1.0K    1.0K      0B   100%    /dev
/dev/ad0s3e    2.9G    135M    2.5G     5%    /var
/dev/ad0s1      10G    1.1G    8.9G    11%    /mnt/ad0s1
/dev/ad0s2      20G     48K     20G     0%    /mnt/ad0s2
linprocfs      4.0K    4.0K      0B   100%    /usr/compat/linux/proc
Terry@Dixie$                                                               8:41

I can finally clean up my laptops partitions... which I have wanted to do for a long while but havn't had time or wish to do to a 'stable' system. If its not broke don't fix it ! But since I'll need to reformat, may as well. I like to have issues of partitioning set out BEFORE I do any install. That way I know roughly what I want before hand. So I can adopt it to what I need when the situation comes up. As I have it now, I've got a few Gigs worth of free slice planned, more then enough for a minimalist BSD install. Plus a few free gigs on the main PC-BSD slice. So I can add another partition if I need to, it does leave me room to use growfs on my future PC-BSD install if I need to later on.

I hope the Release will be soon, that way I won't have to lose much time. My home directory is cut down to only what it needs to function with copies of the backups near by in case I need some thing. Once my little synchronizer is done I can complete my change of browsers and get Vectra (an OpenBSD box) setup running an FTP server on the LAN to felicitate it. Thus I should again be able to keep my bookmark/mail/settings the same between computers again. Since I remembered Lynx has good support for Vi and Emacs keybindings... I'm almost tempted to switch to using Lynx as my primary browser but I know sasclan.org is pretty crappy in Lynx !!! And Links doesn't work natively on Win32 yet afaik.

5 minutes to local 0500.... time to go to sleep !!!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Digital Boxes

I started the day about 0915 today, went on the 'country run' to let the dogs out. Came home, had a fast breakfast and started my backups. Went to work till after 1600. The usual crap after RTB (Return To Base), set up SAL1600 to share a folder on the workgroup. Before my laptop could see the SMB Share I had to reboot the (windows) box hosting the share.

I've finished backing stuff up and got it all moved onto SAL1600. So my darling Dixie is ready to have her hard drives wiped clean for upgrade.

 Terry@Dixie$ du -ch ./*                                                   22:28
4.6M    ./Documents.tar.gz
1.8G    ./Music.tar.gz
308M    ./Pictures.tar.gz
 33M    ./Programming.tar.gz
422M    ./Videos.tar.gz
 36M    ./dotfiles.tar.gz
288K    ./lastminute.tar.gz
2.0K    ./loader.conf
928K    ./misc_files.tar.gz
8.9M    ./root-compat-linux-opt-navigator.tar.gz
304K    ./root-etc.tar.gz
1.7M    ./root-usr-Projects.tar.gz
1.3M    ./root-usr-local-etc.tar.gz
 42K    ./root-usr-local-share-uemacs.tar.gz
 10M    ./root-usr-local-share-vim.tar.gz
 14K    ./sh.tar.gz
2.6G    total
Terry@Dixie$                                                              22:28

Backed up my Documents, my Music collection, my Pictures, my Programming directory, my Videos, my shell script/binary directory, the .dot files I want to keep and a few files sitting around my home directory. Also /usr/Projects where I have files for PBI Making stored, my loader.conf and a few things from the file system. the two major etc directories and my files for Vim and MicroEMACS, even Netscape Navigator 9, so I won't have to re download it.

When I started out my home directory was about 3.4GB according to du(1) and its -h switch. Now all the files I have archived are just over two and half GB. Its a strange feeling to see a major part of my life packed up into 'digital boxes'...

Since I'll be reformating for PC-BSD v1.4-Release I'm not going to keep most of the KDE or QT related files, just the ones I don't care to replace (konsole schemas, Konversation settings) and things for Amarok and Kopete that I can have on record if I need to 'restore' them.

For backing stuff up I really do prefer to use dump & restore for major stuff, I can get the system live and mount the disks. Then start a dump and feed in through a Secure Shell login to the server where it'll be compressed. Since a level 0 dump is pretty big for me, I tend to use bzip for compression. But for this job, since its just the files I'm interested in I've used a bunch of TAR Archives and gzip'd them. That way I can unpack them at my leazsure when the system is finally operational, Just waiting on PC-BSD to release v1.4, in the mean time I want to work on my partitioning scheme. I may also try to install a very minimal OpenBSD 4.1 into a partition. Reason? Get it set up so I can boot into OpenBSD, mount the PC-BSD slice and dump it over the network with less hassle ^_^

*sigh* time to leave for work again....1841 local, at least it's a very short run.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

High speed, low drag

Hmmm, an interesting plan.

             4 Man Element (Alpha)
 Red Team (#1, #2) -- Blue Team (#3, #4)

#2 would be EL and #4 the next in command, EL is the senior & while Blue is out of his sight, #4 will call the shots needed to complete the team.

Red Library Offices

special: Rasa Room Clearing Challenge (RRCC), so shoot tangos on sight. Skip securing civlians and weapons, at least 2/3 of Element must live. Map is 'Clear' when all areas have been secured.

Spawn: Front entrance

Gear: at least 6 Flashbang and 1 Wedge recomended.

Element: Clear the insertion zone,

Red Team: move out into the large room, keep to the right for cover (from upper level) & bang over the wall. Secure the AoR and head into the hallway system.

Blue Team: move into the hallsystem, secure bathrooms, wedge level 4 door, top of side 1 stairs and return to hallsystem.

Element: Use the side 4 stairs (level 2 door) to accend to the server room (level 3). Stack up, shotgun bang & clear the initial room -- getting the FB as far in as possible to the 12 o'clock. Clear and secure initial room.

Red Team: Secure sever area (two rooms) and head via current stair well to the level 4 entry (side 3 stairs).

Blue Team: Fall back, head down to the garage (level 1) via current stair well (side 3), secure area. Then head to Level 4, entry from Side 3 stairs.

Element: Stand by, Column Stack (Red left of door, Blue Right of door). Button hooked entry (grenade optional).

Red Team: Button hook (left) continue to clear the area, secure all rooms in said area of responsiblity (2 rooms) using Flashbangs.

Blue Team: Button hook (right) continue to clear area, secure all rooms in said area of responsiblity (2 rooms).

The Element is ONE team, yet when peiricing the enemy is not possible. We strike with the left and right hand, crushing the enemies stronghold.

EL takes control of the Red Team, His XO takes charge of the Blue Team. The EL is in overrall command. They strike together, yet the strike sperately. A very fulid flow of command & control would be necessary and a great amount of pre-planning would adopt for speed.

With the kind of set up I have planned.... And 4 good [SAS] Operators, that map would be clear pretty dang quick and professionally. Each team would have a set of AoR, in the front Red has the Office, Blue the Hallway. In the server room they strike togther, yet Blue breaks off to clear the garage as Red secures the adjacent rooms. They regroup and strike at the top floor. One team to clear one side of it. Every one should operate under the idea that they have got to clear these sectors within approx 30 seconds.

Keep a fast, agressive pace, utilize pre-planned actions while commanders adopt to what can hit the fan. Good solid team work and a well developed Command & Control implementation.

Result? One Element, and a bunch of tangos that will never know what the heck hit them!

PC-BSD v1.4 Beta Review

About me:

I am TerryP, I have been using PC-BSD since the days of the 1.0 Release Candidate #1. I've also dealt with FreeBSD 6.x, NetBSD 3.x, OpenBSD 4.x, Debian 3.x, Slackware 10.x/11.x, Ubuntu 6.x, MS-DOS 2.x, and Windows 9x/NT systems over the years. But my main computer usage is centred around PC-BSD and OpenBSD systems. The Windows machine for gaming aside 8=)

I'm an avid computer learner and have been around the PC-BSD Support forums often. Up until recent months I was perhaps the most active member of the forum. Both offering what help and advice I could and putting in my two-cents in the language and feature requests when ever possible. I have contributed a handful of PBI to www.pbidir.com, most of which I no longer maintain due to 'personal' issues related to PC-BSD and PBI development. And occasionally I submit new ones when I see a request (such as the Marvel-Yukon driver) and try to get them perfected as my free time allows.

Computer Science / Programming and related issues are among my most common avenues of study. I receive no credit (piss on high school !!) but get to learn much when I'm off work. Thus poking around UNIX systems is a lot of fun for me, both at the perspective of Joe User, having to Admin the bastard, and trying to understand the code involved. I've been using computers since the early 1990's in one form or another and discovered BSD in late 2005 / early 2006. Since then its been a wonderful time learning every thing I can get my head around.

The Review: PC-BSD version 1.4 Beta

I Downloaded both CD's with wxDownloadFast using the Metalink feature... bloody fast compared to the usual FTP methods.

Booted Disk 1 without a problem. Instead of being prompted with the old ncurses dialog script, it went straight for the installer. The old script is in /root/ as PCBSDUtil.sh if I recall the filename correctly. Could come in handy but one can do it any way without the script if you know to use a shell.

The installer asked me for a System Language, Keyboard Layout, Timezone plus checkboxes for syncing with NTP (Time) servers and submitting data to bsdstats. No reason not to, all BSD Stats does is tell them non traceable information, like OpenBSD Machine w/ CPU ?, RAM ?, e.t.c. located in 'country' that kinda stuff.

Default settings was for US English language & Keyboard, a safe default in computing since you don't need a mouse to change the keyboard layout. Assuming your rat works ^_^
Time zone was set for California, LA which is oddly appropriate considering this is an Operating System based on the Berkley Software Distribution originally developed at UCB (University of California, Berkeley). Still no apparent way to set the bloody TZ to Zulu time (Universal Time Coordinated), to do that I usually set it in my shells RC files. I opted to go with a New York time zone since its the same as mine as well as bsdstats and ntpd.

I had to accept three End User License Agreements with one 'I agree' button. The BSD style License used by PC-BSD plus the licenses imposed by the Intel Firmware and nVidia drivers included with the Beta. I expect in future versions of PC-BSD some day we will see Adobe Flashplayer make a pop in here, should the bloody thing ever become stable. Maybe even a Realplayer one should it ever be fully ported to FreeBSD (rather then using the Linux ABI).

I was then prompted to set up the user accounts for the system, providing an administrator (root) password and adding at least one user. Since my standard root password at the moment is pretty strong, it contains more then A-Za-Z0-9 it warned me that it 'normally' can only contain regular alpha-numeric charactors. Then I added my normal user, tested my old password which was week. But required non AN char's, it wouldn't let me use it so I used another. Unchecked the box to 'autologin' the first/top user account added. However I could not continue without setting a weeker root password because of the limitations on allowed charactors. So I set it to 'root', ha! I know why this is done but I still think it should be allowed once you know the language and keyboard layout used. It saves on having to run passwd or the GUI tools later.. Oh well most people would probably pick a password that would pass through it on the first try 8=)

Next phase was setting up the disk, I only have one disk (/dev/ad0) and a PC-BSD v1.3 Beta or RC in the third slice, so I installed into /dev/ad0s3 with the following setup:

Mount          Size (MB)          Type
/              17137              UFS
Swap           4096               SWAP
/home          20480              UFS
/var           256                UFS
/usr           40960              UFS

It prompted me that /home was a symlink to /usr/home and the link would be adjusted correctly... Which I am happy for !!! In older versions of KDE having /home on a different slice was a problem, I've no time to test this at the moment but will in the future. Its never had a problem with it being its own (bsd) partition through. I opted for encrypted swap space but did not set a /tmp yet. Because I didn't know if PC-BSD had kept the annoying tmpmfs. Looking in /etc/rc.conf I see it is still insufficient, tmpfs is set with a size of 800m. This should be set during installation based on the amount of installed memory. In the past (e.g. <= PC-BSDv1.3) there has been problems. That if you require placing 'huge' files in /tmp, as is the case when using ark to unpack, say huge backup files onto a mounted disk. It goes tits up and runs out of /tmp space. It is *supposed* to be backed up by the hard disk but never seems to work that way. So much for telling people and hearing that it needs to be corrected. Then shouting loudly at them for not doing, since its still ignored. Given the option to install stuff from Disk Two, I selected the KDE SDK and KOffice packages, plus the FreeBSD Source Code. KDevelop gives them a very featureful IDE ready to go for C++ work, looks like it might even have integration with the valgrind profiler. I'm sure theres plug ins for other languages but they seem to be missing as far as starting new projects from the GUI are concerned. If I had to go with a traditional IDE, it would be Visual Studio but I hate Microsoft's compiler (I'm more into C then C++). I thunk I selected to install the FreeBSD source code I see /usr/src is empty but forgot to. Popping in CD2 after the first boot, I got the old automount prompt which is nice, thank you HAL. I also see on the disk that theres a ports tree on it too. I can install them later or download more recent ones.

The usual software is installed and a full list can be found here. Its still a pretty standard KDE system but its a little lighter then PC-BSDs older releases. Yet you can still install the stuff thats missing and more from CD2.

Support for Linux Binaries is on by default, as is cups (printing), samba (SMB file/print shares), powerd (for laptop power management), hal/polkit (HAL daemons to appease KDE), NTP & BSDStats since I opted into it during install, PF the OpenBSD Packet Filter / Firewall. Also the SSH server Daemon (a secure remote login), USB Daemon (you really want this), The Device State Change Daemon / Devfs, and a Console driver for the mouse... So you can use the mouse on a Virtual Console.

After logging in with my user account I was told to set up my graphics card. The default was suitable, 1024x768@60hz. It also went up all the way to 7680x4800@95hz. I had to chose 'intelligent' answers my self. I also picked the latest nVidia drivers. System works but the max refresh rates the LOWest supported for my resolution as far as Windows XP SP2 is concerned with much older nVidia drivers. Needless to say, my eyes are uncomfortable. when using my preferred resolution on this monitor (1600x1200).

The users home directories still have Document, Image, Music, and Video folders but no sample content. This has always been lacking since these were added. Not essential but always a 'nice touch'. With most PC's setup with Windows XP, you usually find a handful of sample pictures and a sample track or two for Windows Media Player.

Less needed stuff like Games and Toys have been moved to Disk 2, so the clutter after boot is a lot less. Yet you can install stuff you may want from disk 2. Like other languages (many choices), KDE based Office, Development, Educational, Games&Toy based packages. Also PBI's for Firefox, K3B 1.0, OpenOffice 2.1, and Opera 9.2 are on the disk.

dmesg shows both my Audigy 4 (detected as an Audigy 2) and on board AC97 (disabled in BIOS) based sound cards. But reading /dev/sndstat only shows an Audigy 2 installed. I have no sound but the PC's system bell thingy. This is normal with the emu10k1 driver the system has loaded. I'd need to install the emu10kx driver to get audio with my system.

Networking is fine out of the box no need for setup. Taking a look at the control centre its nice to see that theres a Software & Updates menu where we can add/remove PBI and stuff from Disk 2. Also configure the PC-BSD Online Updater, which is turned off -> Probably because this is a Beta and it won't have updates to download. Theres also the old never used for much PBI Updater checker/downloader. Sadly you have to login to root 3 times to view all 3 sub-modules. This sucks, imho it should remember it in a more 'cookie' like fashion... but that's a KDE thing I'm sure.

There are now *TWO* service managers, the KDE one (kde components->service manager) and the PC-BSD one (system administration->services manager) these should be merged IMHO. If not literally into one screen then into a tab bar where you can select 'KDE' and 'PC-BSD' oriented stuff.

Splash screen on boot is off, probably for the beta since its more help to have the messages during testing (imho). Its nice to see that the SMP Kernel was loaded, since I have a Dual Core EM64T Processor.

linux_bas_fc-4_10 provides the Linux Application Binary Interface, Linux xorg, gtk20 runtime, and flashplugin7 packages are also installed into that. Nice to see that not only is there support for ZIP but RAR archives. This is good because you never know when you will encounter an odd .rar or .7z file, to bad theres no 7-Zip support.

The usual GTK+, QT3, and KDE libs are here, C/C++/Python centred development with Perl and Ruby on hand with less tools.

Kaffeine is still the default multimedia player but Amarok is installed (yay!), the existing AllCodecs PBI should work with both. Because Amarok is only setup for the xine engine (which kaffeine uses too).

Its very nice to see the 'start' text gone from the K-Menu button and that the menu is staying lean & mean. Icons are pretty basic and a good set for a desktop. Beryl is installed.... so people can have their eye candy and hopefully not shout on the forums "Why won't feature foo work right with card bar that beryl hates on FreeBSD' hehe. The tray icon icon is on by default and its very in depth. It looks like its some thing I would like but most of the options at first seem to deal with appearances more so then user interaction. Most stuff of major importance seems there. Maybe I'll play with Beryl later.

All in all, PC-BSD's v1.4 Beta looks like a very good overall improvement over the v1.3 Release. Strangely the under the hood FreeBSD system has changed from 6.1-Release to 6.2-Stable, this is the first time I've seen PC-BSD use a FreeBSD -Stable instead of -Release. I find it some one supprising but at this point, I would expect 6.2-Stable to provide more then enough.

Theres still room for improvement but I think in a few years they will get it just right. Ether that or it will become Microsoft-BSD (very strange expression....) and by that I mean, a Pain In The Arse to do any thing to. I think through they will make a very fine Desktop System, not very BSD inspired in the end.... but still BSD under the hood. I'm no mind reader so I'll stop thinking about PC-BSD's release in the year 2012 lol.

I think when the release is made. I'll probably take a weekend, to let any major issues blow by before hand. And dump my home directory and configuration files to the winbox (big harddrive) and any thing else I might want to save, like most of the crap I've done in /usr/local/[dir]/*. Reformat the drive all together, its about a 60GB one. So maybe a 18GB Recovery/Storage partition plus 40GB for PC-BSD v1.4.

Do a clean install and restore my home directory some where and get things working again. To be perfectly honest, even if the 'upgrade' option in the installer is working, I don't trust it to do the job *right*. And every now and then, because my laptop is a PC-BSD v1.1 install that's been updated over the releases, I run into occasional issues that only come from updates from older versions. Not new releases. It also seems like /usr/Programs/ is officially 'the' place to place the PBI. Because /usr/local/MyPrograms links to it instead of /Programs now, which is still a link to /usr/Programs (which I had to create my self as a symlink to /Programs on my laptop).

I think I'll get my laptop hooked up with PC-BSD v1.4 Release and ditch all the PBI and just live with traditional software management... less risk of FUBAR"ing my workstation. If I ever get another laptop, it would be a toss up between OpenBSD and PC-BSD for it. I've never tried OpenBSD under X11 and why I use PC-BSD these days is mainly because I don't want to screw with Xorg+KDE on FreeBSD. Compling it on a Sempron 3300+ (2.0Ghz) and 512MB RAM != my idea of fun.
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Hmmmmm, I might want to take a look at that later.

Raging Spider

Ok, so I started installing styles for Kopete. Found one I liked and started making changes to it to fit my screen size. I need to resize an image file for one of my tests.

Since kolourpaint sucks at it just as bad as paint.exe I hopped over to www.pbidir.com and downloaded the latest gimp PBI, a development version. And what do I find !? This bastard PBI has no libraries in its installed directory and tries to run pkg_delete on a bunch of packages it DID NOT install. The way FreeBSDs package mangement works I don't think it would do any serious harm since its not forcing any uninstalls. But still, its a pile of buffalo pucky -- wtf does it need to run that in the first place ??


So I logged into the forum for the first time in a long while. And lodged a compliant as directed by the website.

I've lived with the idea that getting a PBI made, approved, and hosted is a pretty slack-jawed yokel of a process. But for the love of petes grandma -- at least audit the fucking thing before you give it your 'blessing' of approval.

Some day if I ever make another PBI, I think I'll give a pop up during install.

"Erasing all files on your hard drive -- the drive will self destruct in 13 seconds"

Then give another pop up after a few seconds:

"Just kidding, this was just a test to see if you're doing your job!"

And see if any one gets scarred lol without causing any harm to their PC.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Ahh home from work and waiting on dinner.

Time for a quick game or three. I'm stuck working an extra two runs every day & on the weekend but their short, maybe 30 min each. Just have to let the two dogs out, feed'em, feed the fish, and RTB (Return To Base).

Lovely place... about as close to out in the country as you can get. Without having a long drive to go any where. Most places out this way are in or near town. But out there, man the lands beautiful. I'd love some day to live out in the country, with the usual techologies of course (PC's + Broadbanned). I've always been in apartments since I was little... So maybe thats it, unless being born in the South has some thing to do with it. One thing I do like about where we live, its in that sweet spot. Where you get heavy weather but not to much damage (usually). Yet you can drive out and within 10-15 miles you can basically go any where. In to town, round the major centres of business or towards the country.

Only trick is its about 30 Miles to Atlanta and the traffic makes it a couple hours drive. I'd love to visit a big city like NYC to see what its like but I wouldn't want to live in a City, just not my bag.
Today I'm getting back to work on my primary goal. Seeing to the completion of the SOP Rewrites/Updates.

GCHQ has the final say and will probably have plenty to say about it (if I get demoted to Recruit, you know why :-P). But before that, I want to get it set up for the SNCO's to review.

So I'm screening through it section by section marking them as 'ready for snco review'. Once we're done, we can let the SNCO's review things. When we're done with what ever that tells us. Then we fix it up and pass the buck to GCHQ.

Thats where I'll probably need a stiff drink or a room to pace in.

Also to day I want to start working on some changes to the Room Clearing sections. Notes about dealing with rooms where the idea of going opposite the dork infront of you won't work. I remember seeing a Video of the IDF Training, and dealing with the same situation. And I've seen us pop into the same online often enough.

I'm happy enough if Potential Recruits break PoD/AoR selection down to going opposite the man infront of you. And if Recruits and young troopers develop what I call the "Four Corners Syndrome". i.e. they think the PoD's are getting to the four corners of the room. Which actually.... I think thats how I was trained as a Recruit. Its ok with me if thats how they start out, its better then a lot of other things I've seen.

But I expect them to evolve past it, learning concepts about the lines of fire, reading the room, improvising to the situation at hand. Selecting good PoD's and not setting up a crossfire with friendlies with them being the ones getting shot e.t.c.

I really like the diagrams from the United States Army Field Manual 3-06.11, Chapter 3, Section III (Clearing), 3-22.

First mans entry

#1 Goes in

Second mans entry

#2 Goes in

Third mans entry

#3 Goes in

Fourth mans entry

#4 Goes in

And theres one that shows some good adoptions of its final Points of Domination.
Points of domination and sectors of fire

Thats basically how we do it in the [SAS] too. But thers some rooms where thats not a real possiblity. While I wouldn't expect a Recruit to be perfect, I would expect Troopers to learn to adopt as they gain expirence. What Rasa and I have in mind, might be more suitable to LCpl / Cpl 's but I think it is important enough to include it within the SOP's. Less it be forgotton and people end up bumping into each other in room clearing and wonder why the heck they shot each other by mistake 8=)

You know... I could be spending my Saturday gaming all day before I have to stop at work. But blasting Country Music and working on the SOP's over lunch works fine by me for today. Keeps my mind occupided and curtails boredom even if its not chill'n on TG#1 & TG#3.

My family really makes it hard to concentrate on my work.....

I wish the local park had free Wifi and A/C Power.... lol Then I could work from there with my laptop.
Hmm, got to see some thing refreshing, a western where they actually used sound tactics. Leapfrogging, stealth movement, the 'Tin can on a fense post quick draw' drill, and some proper room clearing techniques in their basic form. Not bad for a simple Western, probably made in the 1960s.

Also got to catch most of Hackers, movies as fake as a 80's action flick but just as entertaining. It's after 0600Z, thats like 2am local time... and I just get back to the PC.

You know, I really should stop tying with 10 fingers! I can type about as fast as I can think the words.... It's quite fast when its my thoughts and not just reiterating some thing else. On typing tests I usually score about 70 some words per minute. In general work, I can type English very fast if I'm not one eye on the 'original' text. With how much time I spend on the computer I guess you kind of learn to type quickly when talking... eh chatting, posting what ever.

If I don't do it quickly, by the time I finish a five minute post... Like an hour has gone by because of being interrupted / sent AFK e.t.c. So I learned to type FAST when I have some thing to say.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


For as long as I can remember, Thursday has been a monster day of the week ever since I started working.

While we were working upstairs I heard a commotion below. Macy (one of the bosses dogs) was having trouble walking. It was like she couldn't flex or was trying not to flex her rear starboard leg. When she fell over I thought it might've been broken because she couldn't get up at first.

I fetched the phone so Ma could call the vet... Macy fell over and started to lose control of herself, I thought it was fear of not being able to get up. She was able to get upright and running again...

By the time we got to Kira and the Vet, Macy was all ready spread out on the deck. Having a seizure of some sort. Locked our dogs in the bedroom upstairs so they wouldn't get in trouble while we rushed her to the vet.

Macy was about 45-50lbs (20+ kg), basically just a Mutt. A bit of pit and chow in the mix I think. Beautiful dog, red'rusty fur and a very sweet temperament., The kind of dog that just sits on you and licks the skin off your face.

Heart beat was rapid during the trip but she couldn't really control her locomotive functions, she went stiff as a board... mouth clenched shut, eyes following shortly. A short while bit she went slack... no heart beat but my own beating in my ears.

She basically died in my arms half way to the vet. We have no bloody idea what the PhL|©|< caused it. Wasn't us though, the chemicals and supplies we bring to work are kept far away from the dogs. And we(/I) are nearly pathologically paranoid about making sure they don't get into any thing they shouldn't.

Cause of death.. I'd guess would be shock followed by the heart giving out but I'm no doctor. And what started it is beyond me. There was nothing we could do other then rush her to the vet, at best if we had more information before hand. We might've been able to wrap her up and roll out faster but its to late.

This is the second time I've seen some one I care for die in front of me. It may have been a Dog but its still a living creature. This makes me hug our own dogs all the more tighter....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Memory lane

Booted up SWAT3 just for the heck of it and tried brentwood.

Made sure every thing was set up right.

You know its harder then I remember ! But all the more fun training on it again.

My first run at the insertion, I was mirroring the back window. Had visual contact on a suspect facing away. I swapped to my MP5A3 -- while still standing near the window, the blinds for concealment.

Sure enough the suspect turned around and shot me through the blinds when he heard the rustle of metal and plastic ! Now THAT is a smart tango. Later when I turned on the [SAS] Realism Mod. Suspects started to hunt for me and try to attack after they knew I was there. But with an HK53 there was a bit less gap between our armourment then with the 9x19mm Cartridge of the MP5.

Hmmm, time to get training again xD

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Days log

While the automatic update between Netscape Navigator 9.0b1 and 9.0b2 was not so automatic on my laptop, it was still painless. Just had to download the Linux tarball and unpack it. I saved it to /tmp as I usually do when I download files I'm not going to need much.

Dixie# cd /usr/compat/linux/opt/
Dixie# ls
Dixie# mv navigator navigator_9.0b1
Dixie# tar -xzf /tmp/netscape-navigator-9.0b2.tar.gz
Dixie# ls
navigator       navigator_9.0b1
Dixie# rm -rf navigator_9.0b1/

Even took a backup of the install just in case.

Today we got to meet to new dogs and a nice family. We'll be taking care of the dogs while they're on vacation.. and financially thats a pretty good thing for us.

Managed to launch part of my continuation training today. Was just Hellfish, Duke, and Me.. Chester and Lake seem to have been lost in the reboot. For the most part we failed the missions, although all but one was completed..... We went into over time on all but 1 and the other, was neutral. We had met the conditions before time was up but didn't know it till 40 seconds later.

We did pretty good if you ask me. Because when I sat down and made the list of scenarios. I had plotted the times figuring on 6-8 players. And trying to find a flexible border between the impossible and the possible. Well, I had planned there to be a fairly good sized [SAS] presense and some good applicants. On one mission we went just a wee bit over. But I know if we had two 4-man Elements and proper pre planning. We would've taken the mission in half the required time.

With just 3 people I didn't really expect to complete any successfully. But I think it showed Duke and Hellfish a bit more about me. You see, when I was young and had time to train myself harder. Well I still do, just not as often as I'd like.

I set high goals to obtain, make the as good as impossible or highly improbable a completed mission. Not always successful... but I would train till I got better, till I could do no better. I remember my own little 'personal' one man training sessions in SWAT3. I would set the map to Brentwood residence. Which is a large 3 floor house, back and front lawns swimming pool. With a Den, Bedroom, and Bathroom on Level 1. Kitchen, Family room, Library/office'et, Bathroom (2 rooms), Huge Living/Dinning room, and garage on Level 2. And 4-5 Bedrooms upstairs including 2-3 closets and 2 bathrooms. Huge house, kinda nightmare to clean... lol. Mission was simple, 2 Adults and 3 Children that needed to be evacuated and maybe 5-6 suspects in body armour with light assault weapons holding them hostage.

The [SAS] Record time was like 54-67 seconds or so. 10 Men, no team casualties, every thing pre-planned. Mission complete 100%. My personal training op was to try and break that record. I never succeeded, not once but I learned greatly.

To make things harder on my self, I would take my usual S3 training loadout. A Compact primary for working in close confines. Usually the AKS74U with Kobra sight or if running the [SAS] Realism Mod (which included a large weapon mod). I'd bring my HK53 which used the same sight overlay as the MP5 family (I didn't like the Aimpoint scopes). I'd load it with a SINGLE magazine of FMJ, pack a pistol with a suppressor. Normally a HK MK23 .45 Cal or HK USP.40 Cal with ONE magazine of JHP loaded. A single CS Gas canister, one Flashbang, and a lone C2 Breaching Charge. And my favorite uniform, the Guardian duds with Navy Blue pattern. Later on I would do it with [SAS] PTE uniform.

To make it even harder, I set the AI to the max and the difficulty to the hardest mode. Level 1, rear poolside entrance. I'd head in stealth to first contact then go dynamic when necessary. Or when I decided a loud tactical aid was just to good to pass up. I'd make use of the Opti-wand when I wanted to be extra cautius, like coming up into the blind hallway on the top floor. Or making entry on the back door, where a Suspect might be lurking on the near by stairs.

I made the level as hard and realistic as I could. Secured the area and even after the game gave me the mission complete. I'd keep going till I had personally cleared every room. After awhile and a lot of getting shot at. My average *best* clear time. Was 1:07, far from my mark but the best I could do. I had learned some valuable lessons and how to 'rough it' without good equipment. Later on, I'd learn how to master any weapon in Raven Shield. When I was a bucking recruit, you could hand me a Mac-9/11+SD or SR-2 off the rack and I could put a two-round burst in a tangos head from quite a distance away as fast as I could think fire.

Today, well I'd probably miss by a mile at that range on my first try. Lack of hours in the shoot-house but it was great fun training to my sharpest edge. I looked for the impossible situations and I tried to best them, usually I couldn't or it would be close. But I would do so and try to walk away the better for having tried.

As a Recruit I had a lot of fun, my typical day consisted of going through the map list like 3 or 4 times. Usually I'd start off in an Element with Rasa and Leon, then end up alone several hours later to keep on going. Being able to complete a mission on my own was not to far off. As a trooper I pushed my self even further then that. Completing a mission on my own was not a problem.. just an inconvenience. After awhile... I got rather bored, what else was their to do? I even started to do less then 'as perfect as I could get' things. To make it more challenging -- instead of taking the most professional, safest, most effective routes. I would take the most dangerous, insane ones. I learned how to handle them as best as I could. It even got to the point that I thought about leaving the [SAS], boredom set in.

Then some day some body decided to make me an SAS_LCpl_Spidey01. In my opinion I was the worlds biggest failure as a LCpl... Lazy good for nothing bum with often no one to train. Eventually they made me a Cpl, I took it as a second chance. It was during those days that I got to see a lot of close training time (Trp->LCpl->Cpl). Later on I was to become an SSM.. and now I'm the RSM. As I look back on my past, I think Recruit, Corporal, and Squadron Sergeant Major are my favorites. As a Rct I got to learn so much and wanted to help pass it on. As a Cpl, I could work on passing it on and as SSM. My mind started to grow tactically to make up for the slack in my shooting skills. I'm not sure if I enjoy being the RSM more then I did SSM, it's to early to tell. But right now I find my self situated just where I want to be.

I'm an SNCO and able to help in more business matters that I would like to be of service in. Yet I'm also close enough to the front lines to keep limber and have fun. I don't really know if theres any one more active then me thats above Cpl. I love the fact, that I've trained personally with almost every one in [SAS]. And those that I have not, I'm on familer enough terms with. Like me and Random, we're not exactly bosom buddies or any thing. But when it comes to server time, we're not strangers ether. How many people in [SAS] can say the same? I've trained with all of the Rct personally, I've helped the Troopers during their Recruit time. And I've seen many of the NCO grow since pre-rct times. Most of the people who trained me are gone... But those I have trained with know me as Spidey01.

I'm not chained to a desk, yet I'm not glued to the field; It's awesome. I remember when I was a NCO, my favorite past time was to try and get the younger generation to one up me. If I could do it to Gold Star perfection, I'd try and get them to go for the Platinum one. When ever people have been able to surpass me, I have been very greatly pleased.

I hope some day, to see the outcome. Being a member of the [SAS] has had an impact on my life, for the better in my humble opinion. And I hope it does for others, I found a group of kindred spirits when I stumbled on [SAS] Training Grounds #1 one day. Looking for a smoke-free zone I could play RvS with a realistic frame of mind. I've learned much, grown much, and have seen a lot since then. Here is part of my home... And I'm happy enough with it. In years to come maybe the same or similar will shine true for other Members.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

In search of Eldorado

Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old-
This knight so bold-
And o'er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow-
"Shadow," said he,
"Where can it be-
This land of Eldorado?"

"Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,"
The shade replied-
"If you seek for Eldorado!"

--Edgar Allan Poe, published 1849

I always liked that poem.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A little BattleTech

Just getting a few things out of my head. It does remind me though that while I have a great imagination for things I can't really write worth a dang.

The simulator had created a battlefield much like the streets of Avalon
City. Yet it was totally horrific, while the capitol of New Avalon was a
beautiful metropolis this place was hellish. Many buildings lay in ruin and the
streets were aflame. The sounds of Artillery strikes could be heard in the
distance as James Midnight sat in the cockpit of his Simulated 'Mech. A 50 Ton
ENF-5D Enforcer, Medium weight but typical of the Armed Forces of the Federated
Suns. It was not unlike the 50 Ton Centurion his Father had used when He
fought in the Davions service. What the Enforcer lacked in Speed it more then
made up for with stronger armour then the older Centurion chassis.

A quick check of his sensors displays told Midnight that his Battlemech was
ready for action. The large extended range laser in the left arm and central
Small Laser battery both showed 100% charge. The massive LB 10-X Auto Cannon
built into his 'Mechs right arm was raring to go with a ton of standard shells.
Backed by another ton of cluster ammunition. Accelerating to a quick 45
kilometre per hour walk James set the 'Mechs scanners to sweep ahead.

"I hope this sim doesn't include infantry...."

Obviously there must be people alive, I just can't see any one he thought to
him self. As scans showed little hope for those poor retches in the city. A few
battered hulks lay strewn about, leftover from what ever battle that ravaged
this place? But still no enemy 'Mechs.

Working his way through the streets James Midnight pushed the Enforcer up to a
faster 50 KPH trot as he headed North-West in search of survivors or the enemy;
which ever was to be found. Still nothing on sensors...

"Control, this is Star Six I'm reading some signs of life here. My current
position is"
"Roger Star Six, we will dispatch rescue teams as soon as you've cleared the
mission area"

"Damn, I guess they will have to wait" the aspiring MechWarrior muttered to
himself. While the young man had learned much at the NAIS College of Military
Sciences, James Midnight still hated to know innocent civilians suffered during
war time. With the force of a rocket the 'Mechs cockpit shook viloently as
alarms blarred. According to Bitching betty and the Enforcers damage sensors he
had just been shot in the back.

Hooking hard right he took shelter behind the nearest building. No serious harm
done but his rear armour was critical along the left and centre sections. The
enemy had drawn first blood and this made James Midnight all the more ready to fight
back. Shifting footing he poked around the corner and reversed back into the
buildings cover. Nothing there but ruble

"What the hell, missle lock!?"

Imcoming fire, dead aft according to the Battlemechs threat indicators.
Rotating his 'Mechs torso to present a simmer target profile to the incoming
missles. As the Multi-Functional Displays showed impact was imminent he hunched
over hoping some of the missiles would go over head without hitting.

James rocked in the pilot couch as the missile volley struck the 'Mechs left
arm, his ER Large Laser dropped to 80% charge. The cockpit was hot now maybe 40
degrees Celsius, cool for a Battlemech but not for a human. Standing tall James
brought the Enforcer about, AC level along his line of sight attempting to
track the shooter.

"Control, this is Star Six I've engaged the enemy"

Nothing but static came back.

"Blast they must have been listing in... Com's are jammed."

Throwing the 'Mech into gear he pushed forth at a brisk 62 Kilometre Per Hour
pace. Sensors active and scanning for any signs of Metal, Heat, or Movement.
Thermals and Sonar was mostly useless here due to the fires in the destroyed
buildings. But motion sensors would still be helpful once he tuned the
resolution for some thing the size of an APC.

Heading South-West between some half collapsed buildings James Midnight set his
jaw in prepriation for hostile contact as he toyed with the Autoloaders.
Cluster ammunition would be perfect for this situation, the target would be
trying to avoid his weapons. By hitting hard and trying to quickly fade away
into the thermal abyss.


Movement to his 3 o clock, 45 Metres away. Firing his 'Mechs jump jets Midnight
assailed the building in front of him, Landing on the other side of it as any
good fool would. He drove the 'Mech right into a small apartment building.

"Shit, hope it was empty"

Following instincts and instruments he looked for his target, nothing but ghosts on
sensors. A quick check of systems showed one of the jump jets was damaged from
the initial shot. Attempting another jump could risk an internal explosion that
could cripple the Medium 'mech. Missile warnings blared again, kicking the
Battlemech to full speed James sought cover. These buildings would be good
enough to shield him, most were severely damaged but most still stood a couple
Metres taller then the Enforcer.

There, stright ahead stood a 35 Ton Wolfhound, probably targeting his LB-10X.
Pre-empting fear James let a burst go, Cluster shot rocked the lighter 'Mech
hard stripping armour off its left torso. As he worked the 50 Ton Enforcer into
safe cover, A close call but he had managed to avoid being hit.

Side stepping around the corner, James could see the enemy had fled. Another
round of hide and seek it would be. There was just one problem, the Woflhound
was a Battlemech that relied on energy weapons, Lasers and PPC. Not on missle
weapons. So ether they were not alone or his enemy had a Customised 'Mech.
Heading South-West he grep'd at his sensor displays, one eye looking out
the Enforcers cockpit. No contacts visable or detected electronically.

Again missile warnings sounded, pivoting his 'Mechs torso he saw them flying in
from the East. Crossing behind another building spared him the damage of the
missile volley. James pushed the 'Mech around the other corner of the building
he caught track of the Wolfhound again. Advancing to the next building he
brought the Enforcer to a halt. The large laser had dropped to 65% charge...
not good but the LB-10X Autocannon still was in good shape.

Soon the Wolfhound would be within firing distance to ether side of him.
Putting his back to the wall he waited for a blip on the Motion Sensors he knew
would be the enemy coming for him. A massive spike whited out Midnights thermal
sensors to his Right side.

"A Valkyrie in midair!"

Twisting about he fired the Autocannon, cluster and normal ammo spitting forth
a deadly salvo. No hits made as the Valkyrie landed in a nearby building.
Accelerating his 'Mech he brought the Enforcer around the right side of the
building ahead of him. If the Valkyrie was to his 12 o clock that Wolfhound
must be some where along his left flank.

A heavy laser blast tore into his Right arm, twisting his torso right James, saw
the Wolfhound was advancing again. Not wanting to risk using the AC he let his own Large
Laser answer the enemies shot. The beam struck the Wolfhound in the Left torso,
while it still burned off molten chunks of amour his Laser dropped to 48%
charge. The Cooling systems hissed trying to dissipate the heat buildup from the shot. This was
not going well at all, the Laser was generating huge amounts of heat but
doing little damange. Throwing his 'Mech to full speed he rushed the Wolfhound
head on.

" It's all or nothing baby!"

James Midnight shouted as he ignited the Enforcers jump jets. Lashing out with
Autocannon and Small Laser in midair, the Wolfhound blasted away at his left leg
with its Medium Lasers. The Wolfhounds right arm was blown clean off leaving
sparking wires in place of the Battlemechs heavy laser. Hammering away with his
Autocannon and kicking the Jump Jets again for more attitude. The injured
Wolfhound turned attempting to flee. As James brought the Enforcer down upon it
in a rough execution of the "Death From Above" technique, toppling both 'Mechs
to the street.

The Wolfhound must be bleeding bad, James own 'Mech had sustained moderate
damage to the legs. The smaller 'Mechs Medium lasers fired point blank into the Enforcers chest. The cockpit temperature
rose sharply as the Enforcers melting armour destroyed the Wolfhounds remaining
Laser emitters. Rolling his 'Mech out of the fray he stood up, trying to put
pressure on his Left leg. The one that had sustained the most damage from the
Wolfhounds Medium Lasers before the Death From Above landing. Moving as quick
as he dared he got as clear as he could of the other 'Mech as Missle warnings
sounded in his ears.

The Enforcers cockpit was like an oven as the Long Range Missiles hit, blowing
his Left arm apart.

"Damn it, my ee ar lasers gone"

Storming his injured Battlemech into cover he knew that the Valkyrie must be
using the roof tops. A quick check of his Multi-Function Displays showed that
he was now half blind, most of the instruments damaged by the Wolfhounds death
kiss. Rounding the buildings corner at a short 25 Kilometres per hour he put
the 'Mech through its paces moving up at a brisk 70 KPH hoping to keep the
enemy from getting behind him.

"Control, this is Star Six reporting.. I am heavily injured and require
assistance, I say again I need assistance... Control do you read, over"

No response what so ever not even static. The HICS-11 communications system of
his Enforcer must've been fried. Coming around the building to his left he kept
going. Crossing the street and heading past the ruble of the next building. No
track of the enemy yet. Cooling systems started to flush the heat from his
'Mech but the 50 Ton Enforcer was still critically wounded. James Midnight knew
he could not keep fighting much longer or he would die.

Pulse Laser fire rocked him from behind striking at his legs. The Enforcer
slowed down to a limp at about 15 KPH. With an oath he pivoted the 'Mech about
leveling the Autocannon at his enemy. Firing a rapid salvo of 100mm AC shells
the Valkyrie jumped taking the hits in its own legs. Coming down with a crack
the Valkyrie stumbled but did not fall. Firing blind its MechWarrior lashed out
with the LRM-10 rack in its left torso. The missiles struck James's Battlemech
along the left torso. Not much more armour left to go as the heat level built
up still higher. Cooling systems must be damged, his cockpit must have been at
least 50C.

Fire bellowing out of his 'Mech he pushed it for all it was worth going head on
with the enemy. Not enough armour left to care about the returning pulse laser
fire. He unloaded every thing he had left in the LB-10X crippling the smaller
Valkyrie. Shearing off its right arm mounted Medium Pulse Laser the
lighter 'Mech stormed at his Enforcer. Suppressive fire from his AC
ripped apart its torso mounted ammo bin with an explosion. The Valkries CASE
technology prevented the blast from causing much Damage but its torso armour
had sub come to his might.

Out of weapons and bleeding to death the Valkrie leap into the air with jump
jets, ether trying to over jump or land on and cripple James 'Mech. Firing off
the last of his shells he tore off part of the smaller 'Mechs left leg. Landing
with a hellish sound the Valkrie rammed into the Enforcer. Ammunition deleted,,
lasers destroyed the battle was over. There was nothing else to do but go
physical! The Enforcer was very heaviler damaged but still had 20 Tons on the
Valkyrie. What next? The young MechWarrior worried as the two Battlemechs fell
to the street.

If he fired his Jump jets he might get away but if they fired at all it could
kill him right then and there. His leg was to damaged to stand up, the Valkyrie
lay underneath his Enforcer. James Midnight was out of options, he had to try
it. Reaching for the control panel he tried to toggle the last functioning MFD
to a indicate system status. Bad idea, he burned his hand badly and quickly
retracted it. There must be internal fires in the Battlemechs body. Time to
kick off or die in a ball of fire any way.

The MechWarrior in the Valkyrie ignited the reactor and ejected. James Midnight
watched in horror as his Screens went supernova. The simulator terminated the
program, the cockpit cooled and the hatch opened. Unplugging his coolant line
he stepped out of the simulator pod clutching his burned left hand. Standing
there in his common MechWarriors uniform he waited to see the other
MechWarrior in training emerge from his simpod.

To James great shock, out poked a head of blond hair and magnificent blue eyes.
Belonging to Isabella Valkyrie, one of his fellow cadets.

"Damn you girl, there was no way you would've lived through that. Your ejection
pod would've probably landed in a burning building before you burned to death"

"At least it would've taken your huge ego along for the ride"

Ivy said with that evil grin he loved so much. She had the cunning and fighting
abilities of a wolf but the body of an angel. You could say they were both
friends and rivals.

"Its no good to kill your self with the enemy, going nuclear is just a stupid idea"

"Oh shut up, you couldn't even find me til I practically buzzed by you"

"And being shot at with a heavy ae see"

"Which missed by a kilometre"


"Enough you ladies, lets get lunch"

Interjected David, running his fingers through his red hair. David was a
fellow cadet here at NAIS and one of James Midnights best friends and the Wolfhounds pilot. They had
met several years back when James attended a conference with his Father on
Tharkad. Both of their parents had been apart of the Federated side of the
delegation. They had both met the tenacious Isabella Valkyrie on New Avalon
before coming to the academy a few months ago.

"Might want to get that hand looked after first Midnight"

Chimed in Perkins, the operator of the simulation pods and a Warrant Officer.

"After that we'll go over the after action report, then you morons can have


They all blurted simultaneously. While Ivy had played quite dumb about the fact
that she would be entering the same training programme as they would. It didn't
stop James Midnight from making a delightful ass of him self explaining to her
about what He and David would be learning. Ever since then they had been trying to "one
up" the other in training. If he had to score the 1,200 Metre shot on the
Sniper Range. Ivy had to make the 1,500 Metre shot, if she missed the mark.
She'd train with such a fury you would think the idea that a MechWarrior wasn't
a perfect Solider. Was just to big an idea, they were apart of a "special"
training programme. Where the best applicants were cross trained in a little
bit of every thing. They could pilot 'Mechs, hovercraft, VTOL's, you name it
and they could shoot it like a professional. One day if they all lived through
the training exercises they might make it into the most elite part of the
Military Intelligence community. The training was both in line with that of the
common grunt and MI4 and MI6 commandos. In a 'Mech or bare handed they would be
able to strike the enemies of the Federated Commonwealth and no one would know
who it was. Yet in the end, they were to become the Elite of the Elite, the
very best that their nations military could train.



Battletech, MechWarrior e.t.c. are the property of their respective owners and what not. -- Just the short mumblings of an old Battletech lover here.

I once had been working on a short book with the same two characters. But never found time to finish. I remember the whole thing had started out as a bit of a day dream.

When I was working on the book I found it very easy to right James Midnight and Isabella Valkyrie as they we're based on two people. In Midnights case on my self, in Ivy's well... personality on the person, name a variant of a game character that shares the same first name. And the looks a mixture of both (although I'd never admit it hehe). Some day I should get around to finishing it really.

It was to be a very nice mixture of 'Mech based action on plenty of CQC, I had been an SAS_Rct at the time or got the tags some time into the project. With the possibility of a sequel and prequel but alas, never the time.

Double Deuce

Was only one or two players in our server so I joined the *DD* Tactical CooP server. On ours at least people tend to leave fast once they realise hostage rescue and mission is to hard for them. We use the tango hunts to cool off lol, 99% of RvS Coop Servers are only T-Hunt maps.

Unfortunity for me most were just common folk, the kind thats not very bright tactically speaking. Managed to kick through a HR before a *DD* Major Iceman should up for the T-Hunt and following Mission.

Needless to say, I then started to mean business rofl. With most of the other players there, it was a case of "I'll just go the other way then" to make sure I wouldn't get injured. *DD* General Dynasty is good ol'SAS_Rct_TiGeR so I know they should know a few things.

Was also fun to be able to perform as a solid [SAS] Operator, with some one from a reasonably serious Coop Clan around and visiting some ones sever. I'd of course be on the ball. Not only am I an [SAS] Member but the RSM, and much like I was thinking to my self before Iceman joined. I wished I had another [SAS] Member with me... so when ever I got shot their be some one to finish the mission. *DD* might not be [SAS] but there Officers seem good enough to be able to complete the objectives.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Got to do a bit of gaming today and some trainign with Raider.

Been thinking a bit about stuff with the crosshair and ammo counter off. I shoot good but can't toss grenades for crap, even by my normal standard !!!

I like no crosshairs though, it means I have to "do it" right the first time. Normally when I walk in game, I walk in my little version of a 'low ready'. Weapons at a kind of down angle but high enough I can see where I'm going, since in RvS/S4 your PoV is slewed to the weapons Point of Impact. If a target was about punching distance away, my weapons esitmated point of impact should I fire it. Would probably be around the belly or mid-section. While my line of sight is stright ahead along my travel path.

When I spot a threat, I raise the weapon to firing position and let'er rip. Head, knee, toe, balls what ever I can hit. Usually I'll try to aim just below the collar bone. I figure that way if I'm to far off to the side, I can get'em in the shoulder. If its DOBA it should hit in the upper torso, maybe ride up into the neck or chin area. Basically I can generally hit what I can see but not always very accurate without the crosshair. Like trying to shoot some one in the 'crew cut' thats ducked just below a box or some thing is hard. Although the tango can usually shoot me any way.... without having to have muzzle clearence in RvS !

In general I've found it more accurate, making my self have to adjust the weapon to a proper shooting posture before I can engage. And it helps make sure I don't shoot a friendly by mistake ! I have very good IFF in general, as long as I don't get the thought "I think its a tango" before they cross my LoF or I round the corner. Whats really funny... lol

Every now and then a FF issue will pop up, where I'm about to fire and have one of those "oh !@#$" moments when I see its a Friendly after all and try to throw my aim off as I pull the trigger. Usually ends up clipping some one in the shoulder or denting the wall..

And they do the same exact thing at the same time, hit me, have an "oh crap i shot a friendly" moment... and I figure "ooppse, tango after all" and shoot them by reflex =/

Also was thumbing through my early posts on [SAS], My introduction way back when and a thread on SWAT3. Interesting to see and think about how far I've come since then... in a number of ways.

never ending interuptions...

I logged on an hour ago with ONE goal in mind, to update my blog for the day...

I spent Friday cleaning my room. Got to vacuum spots that haven't been cleaned
out in near 10 years lol. /* Note to self remove laugh out loud iab from

Shifted the bed from along the North wall going West to east. To going South to North. In such a small room its a huge space saver, even if it means blocking half the closet off (never use it any way). Moved the cubby from the South-East corner to North-East corner. Moved the stand next to it -- finally can access
all 3 electrical outlets.

Shifted the book shelf by the door from the South-West corner to where the Cubby was. Moved the TV to the other side of the dresser and pushed it more to the Eastern wall. The amount of clutter is less near the door and rises up as you get to the opposing wall (doors south-west corner). Leaving a lot of space in the main areas of the room.

Finally a major improvement... best since we moved in (the room was empty them :-P). Got to throw out a lot of crap. But got stuck helping ma rearrange crap all morning !!! How nice a price eh? Oh wells all that ends with doughnuts ends well xD

# For later
Terry@vectra-$ cat lions_book.lastpage
page ?? (pdf) which is page 42 of the book.

Section: 9.1

Source Code:
        With line numbers: http://www.tom-yam.or.jp/2238/src/
        PDF: http://v6.cuzuco.com/

The sections have been dumped into two derectories.

/usr/src/sys/ contains the headers and /user/src/sys/kern/ which contains the
source.c files.

PDP-11 Emulator?

Friday, July 6, 2007

Operation Echo Base

room cleaning time...

In English to rearrange crap in a more optimal manor

IF any one missed the movie reference you've been living under a rock for the last 30 years ^_^

more to say later....

Monday, July 2, 2007


What a nice find hehehe.

I know the most about C syntactically, I even tend to think in terms of C when my brain tries to figure out how to deal with some thing. But I'd like to have the same grasp on Ruby as I do on C's syntax. Get ride of those oh joy I need to fetch a language reference moments when I'm trying to do some thing.