Thursday, July 31, 2008

I think if I have to look at one more dependency chain, I'm going to start hex editing stuff.... At least I've managed to get my notes compiled, now I just need to work on the dang charts for this weekends meeting. I'm much less prepared then I would like to be but hopefully I'll have enough done :\

Man, I think I need a few clones lol.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The dumbest product I have ever heard of, Microsoft BOB. And I thought I had some, 'crazy' ideas 0.o

Ok, this is like a new low in dumb fucko-stupidly...

I'm sitting here reading a link with a friend, when I see something funny about a certain Microsoft character that we were laughing at earlier, and I'm a fast reader. So I figure, right click on it, view image, and send him the URL to it directly.

When I went to right click, I got a popup saying "Sorry folks", this image is copyright of /or it's respective owners, blah. This is what I can dumb as using nails to bake a cake. A quick look at the HTML sent to my browser revealed the location of the image on the server. A little light path (de)mangling later and volia!

clippy on the trac

I should note that the image is copyrighted 8=) and that whoever designed that popup is a dumb fuck of the first class idiocy brigade, if they think it actually would work. And if they actually did it by choice, rather then being forced too, oy vey, they are just to stupid to deserve any future traffic from me ^_^.

Like, Duh, the browser needs public access to the image to display it! So why put up a noob-screen when any Tom, Dick, and Harry knows where to track it down. Although, as my friend also commented, I could have just disabled Javascript in my browsers settings, but why should I have to do that?

Honestly, some of the things I see on the web.... Makes me just want to shout


Because I can't think of any other non-arm twisting excuse to warrant it lol.

Opinions on tactical FPS

Rants, Rambles, and Raves... On Tactical FPS games

From a person who has been gaming since he was in diapers, using a Nintendo, and all the way into the future.

More realistic ballistics:

In old times, weapons were little more then you hit target, you do damage. And each hit from a given weapon doing so much damage, like 10% of life bar per bullet from SMG, 20% from rifle, Which is a piece of crap to start with, even by modern standards. More modern implementations might take into account mass, velocity, and hit modifiers.

Objects are generally boiled down to objects that can be penetrated and objects that can't. In Raven Shield they take it a step even worse, an object that can be penetrated is usually limited to a destructible one. I.e. a bullet may penetrate a pawn (rainbow, tango, hostage), a window, or a door. But it won't go through a carboard box, a cereal box, or wood fence, because these are all "solid bullet proof objects".

When a bullet hits something, the mass of the bullet and the velocity it hit at should be taken into account along with the type of material hit and the density of it and the bullet. For example compare trying to penetrate a strong tungsten alloy and a tin can, which takes more punch?

SWAT4 essentially operates on the concept that if an object may be penetrated, the bullet has M mass moving at V velocity used to calculate it's momentum. While the object being hit requires a certain amount of momentum to penetrate; if I looked deep enough into the games SDK, I wouldn't be surprised if "momentum" was just a synonym for velocity to the developers... When the momentum is exceeded, the the damage caused by the bullet on it's way through is modified by a modifier range or factor of how much damage it can still do.

What should really happen, in my opinion?

There should be several types of impact material, e.g. liquid, wood, concrete, metal, plastic. The idea is pretty simple, let's say you take a gun and fire into a pool of water. For an object to occupy a space within that water, it has to displace the same volume of water out of it's way, to move through it, it has to keep displacing water out of the way. Shooting through block of wood that is as thick as the water (e.g. same volume of) works about the same way, but the density is different, taking more force to displace the wood out of the bullets way in order to 'penetrate' the wood.

For the sake of performance it would make sense to have several known (common) densities with known properties and tune accordingly. It would still fall short of accuracy with the real world but make it easier to apply ballistics to all objects within the game.

The biggest problem with ballistics in modern FPS games, they continue to use the "can penetrate" and "can't penetrate" stupidly...

Proper damage models:

Shooting a the representation of a human in a tactical FPS should have similar effects to the real world. Most often, you get a set of hit boxes based on superficial anatomy. A head, a torso, arms, legs, etc. And if your lucky a modifier that adjusts damage done based on the hit box, e.g. head shots fatal, leg shots minor damage or something like that.

I think they should take it a step further and apply more things based on the hit boxes. For example, why not take a leg? Break it into 4 hit boxes, the foot, the crus, the knee, and the thigh. If the target gets hit in any of the leg hit boxes, they should die! Bleed to death or fall into shock awhile later maybe... but not die out right as in games. Getting hit in the crus or the thigh should effect ones ability to walk, getting hit in the knee or the foot should probably force the target to crawl instead of walk.

The torso should be split into h8it boxes based on internals, the "general torso", the heart, lungs, maybe the kidneys, e.t.c. A human might be able to survive several shots to the chest but I would think a double tap to the heart would have more (quickly) lethal effects, even if not as much as going for a T-Shot, I would think it more likely to disable the enemy in the sense of more games, and kill the target more readily.

Compared to games like Raven Shield (last patch) where it doesn't really matter where you shoot a tango, just hit them 2ce and they are as good as dead, pardoning latency and the FN Five-Seven. And SWAT4 where the only side effect is it pays to follow the Mozambique drill -- just to do enough damage quickly to put the target down. While in real life, the idea is if the double tap to centre mass doesn't stop the target, taking down their nervous system will put'em down for good.

Weapons Attachments and kit restrictions:

I think AAO:SF has the best in terms of realism but makes for a too oft abused configuration, M4 with aimpoint + suppressor + M203. Raven Shield limits you to one attachment but that sucks, especially since it makes weapons like the AUG, SA80, and G36K more powerful (built in scopes) -- further pissing off people who know about the Tavor Assault Rifles!

I think the proper solution would be to allow 2 attachments for all primaries, such as an barrel and an receiver attachment. So using the M4A1 carbine as an example. One could have an M4 with a scope and a suppressor or with a M203 and scope but not a bipod and a suppressor or an M203 and a suppressor, e.t.c. That would at least keep it fair.

Load outs, I really think a merger of the "package" and "individual" item ideas would work. For example, so many slots, like something like this:

Player Kit:
-- Primary Weapon = None | SMG | AR | SG | SR | LMG | LAW
--------- Front Attachment: None | Suppressor | Grenade Launcher | Bipod
--------- Rear Attachment: Default sights | CQB scope | Magnifying scope | Night scope | Laser aiming module
--------- Ammunition: FMJ/Slug | JHP/Buckshot
-- Secondary Weapon = None | Pistol | TASER | Special
--------- Pistol Attachment: None | Suppressor | Laser aiming module | Tactical light
--------- Ammunition: FMJ | JHP | Cartridge

-- Specialist item = None | Binoculars | Radio | Laser designator | Night vision goggles | Spy gizmo | Gas mask

-- Demolitions item 1 = None | Breaching shotgun | Door breaching charges | Plastic explosive | Satchel charge | LAW ammunition | Breaching hammer | Breaching bar

-- Protective Gear = None | Light | Medium | Heavy

Where light = Level IIIA, medium = level III, heavy = level IV on the NIJ standards.

And allot like 3 or 4 slots for grenade "packages", say 3 slots holding a "two pack" of grenades.

-- Grenade slot 1 = None | 2 x Fragmentation | 2 x Flashbang | 2 x Smoke | 2 x CS Gas
-- Grenade slot 2 = None | 2 x Fragmentation | 2 x Flashbang | 2 x Smoke | 2 x CS Gas
-- Grenade slot 3 = None | 2 x Fragmentation | 2 x Flashbang | 2 x Smoke | 2 x CS Gas

Which in my opinion would be the most flexible and much faster then having to equip each slot individually.

Breaching methods:

Ballistic breaching with shotguns, any shutgun capable of destroying the door and frangible breaching shot as well -- in effect making hinge and knob side breaching possible. Explosive breaching with any suitable explosive, as well as dedicated door breaching charges, using shaped charges to blast through doors and windows, etc. Mechanical breaching with bars, sledge hammers, and even fire axes that just happen to be sitting handy.

The ability to break down doors, blow up walls, come crashing through windows, is just a requirement. You can't have a tactical game unless you can conduct a full breach. Not having to use the "door" is also more realistic, why send everyone through one door... When we can sneak a team into the next room, frame charge through the damn wall. And employ snipers to pick off X-Rays through the windows -- after coordinating kill zones ahead of time that is.


One of the big problems with games is the "vehicle" selling point. In games like BF2 or Halo, they often become the gods of the battlefield, you have to use the vehicles to win.

By nature of things, vehicles make good transport and are very useful. But have to be controlled to avoid them becoming all powerful monsters of destruction in adversarial games. Having stuff like personal motorcycles and dune buggies or HMMWVs for transporting troops would be nice.

What I would like to see is AI controlled support vehicles that can be called in by team leaders using a "radio" item. So for example, a squad leader could call in an attack helicopter or a gun ship and have it circle in a radius overhead, attacking every enemy in sight.

To make that even sweeter, in some maps the enemy could have AAA and shoot the thing down !!!

That would open up so many possibilities, such as vaulting a few DPVs into the target area, send a group/groups to secure the objective, while the other members of the patrol set up a parameter, guards the cars for egress, and calls in a few helo's for backup. The possibilities for hit and fade runs are infinite when that is combined with a map editor...

Game Types:

Round based Cooperative, following "mission" and various special coop types, e.g. search and destroy, recon, hostage rescue. Round based and respawn based team death matches in "objectiveless" team with the most points wins, capture the flag, and search and destroy games. Heck, you could probably convert coop levels over for use as player Vs. player missions by using some form of squad based spawn points for the defending team.

Mission Planning:

It's imperative to be able to play the mission ahead of time and adjust in combat. Raven Shields F4 map sucks horribly but at least you can draw on it. A real planning map that can accommodative multiple floors would be perfect.

Team leaders need to be set, teams organized, mission objectives reviewed, and assault teams synchronized on their objectives.

Human Capabilities:

People can walk, run, crawl, roll, jump, e.t.c so why why not do like wise in game? One of the most annoying thing in Tactical FPS games is when you get killed in one of those, "I could have just ... like in real life" moments. Walking should be quick but not to quick, watching a SWAT team on the moves a perfect example. Running should be quick and really jumble your aim around. The ability to crouch and crawl is a requirement IMHO, and on top of that. When going prone while running or dashing, one should go into a dive.

If your walking and drop to the ground, odds are you want to get on the deck eh? But if your running like a bat out of hell, odds are you might not want to stop where ya are and lay down!!! I think to avoid the bunny hopper problem, jumping should be limited to a very short height and while running, just enough to be useful, yet realistic for someone in ~15 plus kilograms of combat gear.

That would allow one to still move quick, jump quite short heights, and avoid the usual crap of not being able to jump at all, because nubs and pansies abuse it so often online.

One thing I would really like, is a special "physical" action button. One that changes what it does based on the situation, whne close to people, go for a rifle butt/pistol whip/CQC attack, when close to objects, try to push, throw, kick, or otherwise employ them. Such as kicking a chair across the room or flipping a table over -- be versatile.

Team Organization:

It should be kept simple, AAO is a perfect example. Platoon leader, Squad/Section Leaders, Squad members. I think it's useful to occasional have specialists but when it goes to the extent of say, BF2 or other class based configurations. I think you really loose all of the flexibility gained by having a tactical FPS modeled on anything beyond the general infantry...

Kit selection should define specialization options, not soldier "class".

A perfect example, in RvS if we need more grenades, we bring more grenades, if we need a demolitions man, we bring demolitions! We don't limit the demolitions man to a special class, we equip for the job. I think SWAT4's split of grenades, breaching, and protective gear is the right style but the devs chose to divide it wrongly in terms of a Tactical FPS. But for simulation of Police SWAT environment, quite well since there are less, uhh... Fun toys to play with in most police departments >_>.

Graphics and Performance:

An Intel or AMD chip with performance comparable to a Pentium 4 in the 2.0-2.2 Ghz range, 768MB, and a 256MB Graphics card supporting OpenGL or DX9 decently would be an ideal minimal spec IMHO.

If you have a super gaming rig, you should get what you paid for within reason. If you only have a common gaming rig, you should at least be able to play the game smoothly with lower graphics. Games should look as *nice* as you can make them on your hardware but you shouldn't need a $300 graphics card and double your RAM just to play.

Hell, a good make of GeForce 6800 is dirt cheap now and one of the best graphics cards of it's generation.

Communication Functions:

Text chat, V-Commands, and Text Macros.

Text chat is the lowest common denominator of the internet, and most games require a keyboard and mouse to use properly ^_^. Pre recorded Voice Commands like that used in MOHAA, RvS, SWAT3, SWAT4, BF2, and such are great. The only problem is game developers almost never choose decent stuff and many gamers never bother to use them.

V-Commands should be a quick pop up menu and issued through keystroke OR mouse gesture and drop a HUD or on screen indicator that says WHO, WHAT, and WHERE. Like in SWAT4, you can see a marker of WHO issued the V-Command, you can hear the WHAT part, and when orders are given you can see the WHERE part marked on screen.

In game VoIP has always been a pile of shit, no matter what game that has implemented it, it has ALWAYS been shit. Striking a deal with the TeamSpeak or Ventrillo people for a dream-team setup that allows the game to auto-join certain servers/channels from in game or when just joining the a given team on the server.

I've always liked TeamSpeak because its channel commander feature offers a lot for serious team gaming.

The ability to record text macros in game, without having to use keybinds like in Unreal 2 games, I think is something every FPS should do. SWAT3 is one game that really got it right, text + sound bites. Although, being able to open your configuration data in a text editor and adjust things to taste is, like the hugest perk ever created.

User account and Points / Rewards system:

Having any kind of spend your life playing this game and racking up kill points, and we will reward you with unlocks. Is just a crock full of shit, it's a marketing gimmick to make you play the game longer and an excuse to sell you expansion packs that add features that, often in my experience -- should have been there in the first place. Or freely able to be made by a modding community.

Game Mods:

SWAT3 was perfect, download ZIP file, copy ZIP file to folder, flick the on/off switches for what mods you wanted to play. Launch game, and play. The mods you had on got used when hosting the game but when joining OTHER peoples games, WITHOUT RESTARTING. The game would load the required mods for joining other peoples games, as long as you had them installed.

That is the way it should be, having to restart the game to swap mods or worse, having to use a conversion utility (e.g. MW4:Mercs) are just piles of crap, unless of course. You want to appear to be a company that would rather lock people into buying expansion packs or sequles that your not obligated to make, rather then letting people extend what hopefully is a decent game, and make it better!

User Accounts and Anti-Cheat:

The games got to have some way of ID'ing users uniquely, PB generally does a decent enough job of it. While I don't care much for PB, and in fact have never had much use for it as anti-cheat (aside from the spying part). It does do one good thing.

It helps enforce server policy.

Level Design:

Missions need multiple ways of completing it, unless the game is a "quickie" that you'll play once and then chuck on a CD-Rack, which means there is no point in paying more then ~20 bucks for it.

Problems should be approachable from many different angles, there should be multiple paths available on most missions. Objective and enemy placement should be able to be randomized, one of the greatest things of early SWAT3 was that the missions placed some "mission" specifics in a normal set of spawn points, then placed other stuff in more random locations. No playing from memory, you know X, Y, and Z are choke points, you know hostages may be on Level 2, but only the machine knows what you will find in between ^_^.


A customizable hud, the ability o change colors and whats on it works best.

The ability to have a small tactical map or SAI like element is ideal. Having helmet cameras and UAV feeds available and the ability to reorganize the HUD and toggle cams on/off based on position in the team -- is even more fun ;-)

Cross hairs should be used but be able to be disabled (I for one prefer no cross hairs on my HUD, unless I've got grenades). Iron sights and scopes should work on every weapon available but allow for proper shooting. In CQB, you don't aim with the sights for every shot, learn how to use the weapon.

When it comes to ammo counts, I think the traditional rounds in the magazine counter is nice, although not really necessary once you get used to how the game tunes the rates of fire. What is important is knowing how much ammo you have left. I love how SWAT4 implements it, you know how many rounds are in your current magazine. You can see how many magazines you have on the HUD and how "relatively" full they are. Magazine based ammo tracking is much more accurate the the old NNN total rounds remaining ammo counter anyway.

I think moving some features that would really improve the value of a HUD, into a separate "PDA" screen would be useful. B ecause then one could really stretch things to realistic limits, targeting people like Robocop or a T-800 are a bit futher off for most troops in the 21st Century.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cought an excellent movie on tonight, one I haven't seen in quite awhile as point of fact: Auntie Mame with Rosalind Russell as Mame.

The film starts out in the 1920s with a man writing his will, that when he passes on. His sons future would be well taken care by his banker. But his son would end up in the care of his sister, something that he wouldn't even wish on a dog! But of course keeping himself in good shape, he figures that there will be no need to worry for while. He dies at an ironic time during PT, making the papers with the shocker ^_^. Which send his young son Patrick and servant Norah Muldoon off to live with his living realitive.

Patrick's "Auntie Mame" mistakes him and Norah for the new dishwasher when they walk in on a party. Setting the entire film in motion as they adjust to life together. The character of Auntie Mame is without a doubt, one of the best. She is arguably a first class screw up, party animal, and a lune but a very good person. Nuts as a mad hair but a good person lol. They have a near non stop stream of parties or as Norah puts it when groaning with the decorator. They've had 13 parties in two weeks, would have been 14 but the bootlegger couldn't come that day, hahaha.

When the stock market crashes as the great depression looms, Mame and all of her friends are totally wiped out. Her best girl friend Vera (who is usually passed out drunk at Mames place) hooks her up with a two bit part in one of her plays. Mame is almost literally there with bells on and ruins the show when she gets her bracelet stuck on Vera's dress. Although it is probably a great way to get fired on the first night, she actually cracked up the audience and livened up a really dull drama. In search of a new job, she ends up as a switchboard operator on a PBX and bungles it horribly.

While working as a sales girl at Macy's, Mame walking around with the worlds most horrendous sales book in history (practically trailing behind her). She meets a fine southren gentlemen, whose out buying 24 pairs of roller skates for an orphanage. After Mame gets fired, he chases after the manager to explain things; she shouts a reminder to get the skates, and "get them at Gimbles!". Fast forward a bit and "Beau" has brought her home to the plantation to meet his family. Where an jealous ol'filly suckers Mame into riding in a fox hunt, side saddle atop of a killer horse. The plantation sequence is bloody hilarious, even more so perhaps if your an American. Every one but Beau is expecting Mame to die in the process, even young Patrick who offers to trip her, "You'll only break a leg Auntie Mame". Not only those that zany woman manage to survive the fox hunt, while riding side saddle!!! She passes the hounds, she passes the fox! And ends up flying off the monstrous horse and into the bushes, holding a steering wheel as the only thing keeping her from flying back to blue belly hell >_>.

Beau purposes and she excepts but little Patrick just has one question, who the flib did she stay on that horse!? It seems that just like in the play, she got "stuck but at the other end" looool. Mame and Beau take a honey moon around the world, where Beau is always trying to get to the highest places to snap a picture of his bride, until he ends up falling off the Matterhorn in the alps. Mame eventually returns home to friends and family, only to find out that the growing Patrick is getting married. And even worse, to the most stuck up snob on two legs. Patrick manages to convince her to write her memoirs and play it "sane" long enough to pass in front of his snobbish fiancée. Before the wedding, Mame invites everyone to her place for an intimate family dinner.... Masterfully planned as only "Auntie Mame" could "accidentally" arrange ^_^.

She redecorates the place to beat the bands and what a perfect idea it is. She drives Patrick's in-laws to be and fiancée crazy, invites every "riff raft" friend who helped raise him over. And totally sets off utter chaos -- if anyone can get through this part of the movie without laughing at it, they must be a part Vulcan. Mame succeeds in destroying the evil engagement, driving the matchmaking banker insane, and making Patrick realize hat a doomed course he was set to, rather then actually living his life. Several years later, Mame is entertaining the son of Patrick and her (now former) secretary, and scheming a way to show the youngster India!

At first glance it might be a boring idea for a movie but in actual watching. Auntie Mame is a great movie, funny, entertaining, and the best rendition that I've seen. It's been made into a movie at least 3 times, who knows how many times on stage as well. But the first film outing is the best IMHO, and most funny :-)

Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!

Coming on at 0100Q is a movie that my family has enjoyed for ages, The Trouble with Angels. A really long time actually, my parents first saw it on a date in the '60s. It was a drive in double feature of Cinderella and The Trouble with Angels, and the entire family has enjoyed the movie since lol.

It follows two girls at a Catholic boarding school run by a group of nuns. The two of them get in enough hilarious trouble, that the poor Mother Superior is lucky enough to survive the movie! From bubble bath in the nuns tea, the smoking affair, making a plaster mask of another students face, and oh... what pranks those two brats play! It's like watching a little demon and her stooge at work lol. It's also the film that introduced my family to the expression,

"I've got the most scathingly brilliant idea"

Which usually occurs before they get into more trouble ^_^. You've got to admire the nuns, for not beating the ever loving crap out of them for all of the torment they are subjected too...
Finally a decent nights sleep, even if I've gotten absolutely nothing done. My dreams falling into a more positive realm and ending on a much nicer note then other dream streams of late.

Not that this morning has been especially nice though. And to make it worse, I have to start getting ready for work in about 5 minutes :-(. At least though it is a fairly light week, I didn't have to work yesterday -- so that's a light week! Hum bug, already being off'ed to do something else before work. And quite conveniently, if I don't get dressed for work before doing, I'll be late lol.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to be in a business where it wasn't such a repressive pain in the ass, to actually have to do it? Wait a minute, Guy Fieri is the only guy on earth with a job like that...

What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again, y'all

War, huh, good God
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

Ohhh, war, I despise
Because it means destruction
Of innocent lives

War means tears
To thousands of mothers eyes
When their sons go to fight
And lose their lives

I said, war, huh
Good God, y'all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again

War, whoa, Lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

War, it ain't nothing
But a heartbreaker
War, friend only to the undertaker
Ooooh, war
It's an enemy to all mankind
The point of war blows my mind
War has caused unrest
Within the younger generation
Induction then destruction
Who wants to die
Aaaaah, war-huh
Good God y'all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it, say it, say it
War, huh
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again y'all
War, huh, good God
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

War, it ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
War, it's got one friend
That's the undertaker
Ooooh, war, has shattered
Many a young mans dreams
Made him disabled, bitter and mean
Life is much to short and precious
To spend fighting wars these days
War can't give life
It can only take it away

Ooooh, war, huh
Good God y'all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again

War, whoa, Lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

War, it ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
War, friend only to the undertaker
Peace, love and understanding
Tell me, is there no place for them today
They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But Lord knows there's got to be a better way

Ooooooh, war, huh
Good God y'all
What is it good for
You tell me
Say it, say it, say it, say it

War, huh
Good God y'all
What is it good for
Stand up and shout it

Sunday, July 27, 2008

last couple days

I think over the last few days, I've probably have had the most sleep I've had in months but still miserable rest if any. I keep having strange dreams that are, should I say a bit distorted? And each usually less pleasurable then the last... I'm always waking up, going back to sleep, or not able to keep sleeping w/o being bothered into getting up :\

My most productive day in awhile actually. Got some work done on the website for Wiz, managed to drop into the Proving Grounds on the RvS side. Scope out some of the current regulars and check in on the NCOs. I also managed to duck in for a few rounds with Duke before dinner. It's been a good while since I've played SWAT4, since I took the Drill Instructor position for a Raven Shield recruit. I have been focusing my own activities on RvS as well, after all -- what good would I be as a DI if I wasn't up to par myself?

It's also quite nice to be able to play RvS at night again without lag. The only sad thing, I thin I miss my old "lag step". I get an occasional spike of warpage in both game snow but that is probably because the aerial on my [new] wifi card is bent... As opposed to before, when I used to play RvS and lag-step to an extent that taking two steps forward felt like warping half of one backwards too. Now once the first-round lag is over, I wouldn't even realize the server is in another country lol. Hooah for cable.

Tonight I was also on Element Leader duty in SWAT4 for the first time in a long time. I generally have a standing policy of "If no one else will, I will" when it comes to EL. I try to avoid it though, in favor of letting young Cpl/LCpls take command of the mission. That's how my generation learned, practice !!! With how long it has been, I was actually presently surprised that I didn't fumble any keys. Probably because I was concentrating more intently on a safe mission plan for my element, instead of what key to push. Planning about three quarters of it before hand also helped >_>. I still prefer taking EL of elements that are mostly compromised of [SAS] though, rather then a superposition of pubs and members. For one thing, it is much faster to plan things without having to go over details covered in our training regime.

I think I did fairly well for a rust bucket, I don't consider a headache the size of Russia and much time spent coding instead to be a decent excuse for shotty work though. Not with how many hours of server time I've got lol. As long as I can keep my eyes on what I'm doing, I can generally handle room clearing in my sleep. But one thing that really threw me off though was our rear guard, a pub. Who had a great knack for taking up good spots for covering the rear. But almost no talent for actually securing the rear, often I'd end up crossing his/her Line of Fire (LoF) and that's not good, but I suppose it was faster then having to teach the pub how to do a better job...


Tomorrow is my last day off and I've still got so much shit to get done :\

Writer's Block: Last Call

You are on a plane that's about to crash. You have time to make ONE phone call. Who do you call and what do you say?
Submitted By lovelylette_x3
Live Journals Writer's Block

I'm not married, so fuck'em all :-P

Just kidding lol, I'd probably call home, leave my will and say good bye. Assuming lifes little different from now, probably something like: distribute the computer stuff between Justin and Stevo, [SAS] gets any cash left, E-Mail Wiz and send him a copy of all my [SAS] related files, E-Mail miles, then post on the forums I frequent most. The rest being taken care of by the usual flow of communication to people on/off the net who should know.

Considering my families general technical literacy and the strength of my system logins, I best stay healthy for a good long while lol.
Can't sleep

Can't rest

Can't work

Why the fuck am I here?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Burned my 3rd coaster ever :\

Maybe I should just not be lazy and fire up my laptop so I can burn the disk with cdrecord. For one reason or another, burning CD-Rs with Nero Express 6 seems to get pissy if I don't verify data properly. If this burn session fails, I'll just have to open a new pack of CD-R and use my laptop.

I need to get a PC-BSD test machine set up for some work, so it helps to not have to have to wait on patches to install. My previous disk set was v1.5.0, the current PC-BSD release is v1.5.1 + auto updates. Since my test machine is also my regular desktop, she has dual monitors. I've spent some time reading through various X.Org manual pages and it looks like it should be fairly easy to get things set up the way I like it, pardoning any KDE issues I guess. Once I've got the monitors sorted out, I can get started hehe.

I can't help but wonder though, how much fun it might be to take one PC, a couple monitors, graphics cards, mice, and keyboards. And experiment with concurrent users running X sessions. As far as I know, the only limitations involved are PC related. X seems to be fully capable of it, Unix like systems are more then capable of multiple users and the design of X follows suit. Why does all of this thinking make me wish I had more equipment to play with >_>

Friday, July 25, 2008

Well, I made a posting on daemonforums about the smart phone / pda idea, personally I think I'm toast as far as finding something suitable, and they will probably think I'm an idiot lol.

But, I ain't been able to find anything on my own so far and it's basically this... Or continue to suffer :\. One thing I dislike about my life, no one here understands the difference between a compiler and a weed wacker, let along how much annoyance they are. Is it to much to ask, to be able tow ork on stuff when I'm not at work? It's really getting to the point where I may have to bring my own projects to work in order to get them done, without having to kill anyone in the process: speaking of course!

Why bother or just die trying?

Fuck heads driving me fucking nuts....

It's almost 0130 and I've still gotten nothing done !!!! Like, who the hell do I have to kill just to get some work done.... Damn blast and unfuck it all ! This is driving me out of my skull. I can barely write a post....

I had an interesting idea at work today, mobile device in the smart phone / PDA family. Ideally something between slightly bigger then a traditional cell phone and a little smaller then a Game Boy of yore, and with a QWERTY keyboard of course. Something that I could edit text files on and transfer data to and from a PC via USB or through a memory card.

The idea would be to use my "idle" time at work to work on writing code, there's usually gaps of time where I can't complete my remaining work until something else is done, so I'm stuck waiting (and usually pacing much to my mothers extreme annoyance and threat to crack my skull open, etc). So why not fiddle with a text editor instead?

As annoying as it would be to 'thumb' across a keypad, as painful as it would be to put up with no Vim, as expensive as the device would be.... I would probably be more productive then ever, like today. I had to wait about 20 minutes until I could finish, standing at ease, to avoid argument over pacing back and forth inpatiently -- I hate having my time wasted.

So why not work on some code while I wait? At least at work, while I'm usually annoyed at least I'm not as *annoyed* as when I'm at home... Giving my family more chances to abuse my time. Maybe it is a crazy idea but at least, it is worth thinking about :\. I do admit my friends are right, a phone for me is more of dead weight then a feature >_> Although people would actually be able to call me for a change, not that I like phone calls to start with lol.

"Why the hell did you call me when your sitting at the computer!" <<-- me. I hate phones with a passion but if it would fill the gap, I'd live with having a (more powerful) cell phone again. All I really care about is a decent text editor and a way to transfer files to/from the device with my FreeBSD laptop. Crap like mobile phone capability or internet access would just be a luxury. It would really be nice to be able to write programs for it without losing an arm or a leg financially just for a few custom apps (read creating a minimalist Vi editor or porting nvi) So far, I haven't be able to find anything suitable... but one can always dream of productivity, no? I haven't been able to find anything inside or outside of my price range that foots the bill yet though :-(. A few models of Zaurus PDA's actually would be nice... but seem to be rather lacking in availability here lol.

Crud, if I had the right supplies I could build something my self... Probably electrocute myself in the process but hey, it would be interesting >_>. It would also be a way to pass the time. The thing that really pisses me off? I've had computers with less computing power then many of the smart phones in the American market, and they would fill my needs better if they weren't so dang big.

Maybe I should just get some sleep... worry about it in the morning, I ain't got a snow balls chance in hell of getting anything done tonight anyway. And to top it off, the dog has stolen the entire bed!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Writer's Block: Phobias

Do you have a remarkable phobia? Does your phobia have a large impact on your life?
Submitted By bitter_melodee
Live Journals Writer's Block

Well, I do have a mild fear of heights: not strong enough imho to count as acrophobia but it is still there. My fear of heights usually has little effect on my life, I'm rarely more then a few meters off the deck. I'm very uncomfortable in high places and tend to avoid certain areas if at all possible. Such as houses where the upstairs is heavily separated from walking off the edge by railings instead of walls. The kind where it is wide open and if you wanted to go off the deep end, all you need to do is climb over the nearest edge and break a leg lol. I can't stand being in such an area, makes me nuts.

Although oddly, the concept of flying does not bother me in the least! Maybe because it implies that one would actually have some control of the situation, rather then purely reliant on merciless gravity :\.

I don't really know why I have a fear of heights but I only have one guess. When I was little, my brother (10 years senior) would sometimes pick me up by the ankles and spin me around the room. Luckly I eventually got to big for him to get me off the ground so easy >_>. And I remember once when a friend of my mothers came to visit along with his wife and a few friends. I don't remember what I said, maybe I told him to F off or something? I dunno but he picked me up by my feet and dangled me in the air until I apologized for whatever I had done to the poor guy lol.

I was generally a good kid and stayed out of trouble as a child, e.t.c. but some times I could be a brat if I tried lol. I was the peaceful couch potato in training, while my brother was the obsessive defiant hell raiser ^_^. Hmm, It's kind of amazing how far back one can remember, my memory goes about as far as being 4 years old and encompasses most of the time between now and my very first memory.
Just got out of Chesters Live Op, I've done the map before, as EL in fact lol but I wound up EL on this one anyway.

The Mogadishu mile map is a large but quite dark indoors. The first time I played the map, we had been deployed on a Live Operation that the scenario was to rescue a pair of captured Danish army sergeants. Chesters op was a search and destroy for X-Rays, intel, and weapon caches.

All went well until the second entry, Red team had a strong base of fire from where they covered us. So when Chester and I cleared out of the first building, we formed up on the second, leaving Red team to keep their angles covered. Chester tried the door and alerted a tango, so I ordered a breach.

We blew the dang door open and entered, the X-Ray must've fallen back when he heard the commotion. Because on entry, I saw him on my 12, checked my corner (3), and fell into the bastard hard... I figured, hey maybe we can take a prisioner and get intel for the next Live Operation.

X-Ray in the corner pocket (9) tagged me, the X-Ray, and Chester, then fled outside and mowed down Fury before Big12 could gun him down :\

Leaving just Big12 to carry on alone until finally being shot in the kisser slicing the pie into a hornets nest :-(. All in all, things went well until that one X-Ray. But the actually went better in the first trip we did a year or two ago. When we did rescue op, we took %50 casualties within the first 5 minutes, one from an ambush and another through the house to house clearing. But in the end, on that Live OP it was me and Lazko, critical on ammo and blood red up'n'down the health gauges but still completed the op. This trip wasn't so fortunate... but it was still a Live Op lol.

Can't clear them all I guess.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Finally home for the night.

Working morning to afternoon done, home for lunch done, working the evening done -- even better, done early :-)

Ahh with luck I might be able to get something to eat and start coding around 2400/0100, emphasis on "with luck". I think I'll try to start a little work done on NPMs settings module before chow time, dunno if anything will come of it though. I figure that I can work on the front end elements a bit right now and hopefully fill in the backend parts later tonight.

Hey, at least I'm still breathing !


[project classified]
If I have to look at one more undocumented magic number tucked away... I think I am going to hunt down the original programmer(s) and force feed the code down their gullets one byte of code at a time....

I generally don't pick on other peoples work but sometimes, it just royally pisses me the **** off. If I was the jackinape who wrote this shit, I think I'd burn it rather then run it. Is it to much to ask, that people leave code behind that will not antagonize the putz stuck maintaining it a few years later? Like, /actually/ appear like ya now wtf you were writing? lol.

I could have better spent my time working on my own projects..... And saved the headache of tracking stuff down.
[/project classified]

One thing I actually like about my work on Neo Ports Manager, other then that it is one of my projects which makes me the bastardo in charge of what gets committed. When I write something, I always assume someone will have to read it later... In NPMs case all code eventually hits a publically viewable subversion repository, with my name on the commits I might add! So it's fairly obvious that I ain't prone to submitting toxic waste.

Unlike a few people I've known...

Same laptop, much nicer box

Well, I've quite enjoyed using the x11-wm/fvwm2-devel port on FreeBSD... But it looks like I've finally gone back to an old love...

(click to enlarge)

blackbox chix

Running FreeBSD 7-Stable, Blackbox 0.70.1 with a customized theme, fbpanels for a system tray and pager. GKrellM system monitor and the X-MultiMedia System (xmms) blasting music. I don't care much for task managers or window lists, so switching between windows is done purely via sloppy focus (focus follows mouse) and alt+tab through bbkeys. The toolbar is disabled and I keep the slit empty, I have no need for them.

Since my laptop boots straight into GDM for the login manager, I've set a custom session in it that will execute my ~/ by default. That kicks off all the fun stuff ^_^. The blackbox theme is a tweaked version of a "Corvette" theme for one of the blackbox for windows ports. I made a few changes and stripped out unnecessary crap (like the toolbar). Set my XMMS and GKrellM themes to something more matching. The wall paper was my first 'experiment' at making one, hence the lack of quality :-P But I generally have my wall paper rotated to a different randomly through a python script and hsetroot.

I guess decking out my box is as close to relaxing as I'm gonna get :\

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Day dreams

Hmm, an interesting idea but one that would take much more skills then I have and a few thousand bucks to even play with :\

When stuck in traffic in front of a "road closed" sign, I was thinking about how we could possibly find out how far it goes without having to go around the other way and have a look see. The city does have a webpage for listing such things, but uhh it's a bit of a joke -- both in design and upkeep. The first thing that came to me was a satellite but that's not really feasible.

Then it hit me, what about a UAV? It's a very nifty thing to be able to send a UAV in advance to scout things out but this isn't the US Army lol. Then I thought about something else... What about an radio controlled helicopter kit? If one could be modified with suitable sensors and communications link, you basically would have a poor mans UAV for short range aerial recon hehe.

Figure, if you could get an aerial on the kit that can establish an encrypted ad-hoc network connection to a laptop, it would be a way to send a video stream between the two devices. Heck, if one knew enough about electrical engineering, a cellular smart phone could probably do both internet and video, if a VPN could be sorted to connect to the phone or something.

Getting jiggy with a smart phone like that would also save having to figure out a main board that can run a conventional wireless adapter. *Sigh*, it is a really nutty idea any way you think of it but it would be a cool idea, even if it's just a day dream :\

Maybe I'm just a crazy spider lol.


Looks like a company actually makes stuff like this hehe.

RC Helo turned UAV

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ahh, sometimes I love having a laptop.

I'm sitting here, just sorted the volume on realplay and posted an entry on LJ. When lo and behold, there is a flash of lighting, a stroke of thunder, and the power fails. Just long enough to cut the internet connection, reset every clock in the house, e.t.c. I've reset the clocks and pulled my laptop off the A/C, probably should shutdown in a few just in case I need the battery power later... Well, can't say I'm not paranoid!

I know ya can't win'em all but wouldn't it be kind of cool to have a fighting chance? Or am I just managing to get intoxicated on bottled water, to even think of such an idea >_>. Coding until I pass the fuck out might not be much of a night but hey, it beats a lot of the alternatives right now. It's not like I'm going to have any rest before work tomorrow anyway :\

Another day older and deeper in insanity.

Another day as good as gone...

Managed to get through work in one more or less antagonized piece. Had a few grapes on the way home but otherwise skipped lunch altogether. Joined TG#1 for some of Snipers training, managed to spend some time with Ghost, Jonsi, Nick, and Caern. Really, it's the most gaming I've done all month :\. One thing I am glad of though, in the rounds where I was the "last man standing", I generally did good !

I think Caern was a little surprised by the speed of my pistol whippin' backhand hehe. A tango popped the door behind me in an area I was being cautious about clearing, snapped around and plugged ~5 .40 Caliber rounds into the threat and slammed the door shut in an eye blink >_>. I'm proud to say though that in the end, Nick, Caern, and Me managed to complete the mission without casualties hehe.

I was quite delighted to have a few time to join a few old friends in my "office" on XFire. Hmm, them were some good days (y). But sadly, I didn't have much time to spend with my friends... As the Chief FH decided it was time to monopolize my time on a project. Why bother though? By my experience and mathematical capabilities, I estimate the supplies stored int he car will be just as shitty and disorganized within 3 years or less the way things are.

Honestly, I'll never understand it... She creates her own problems and wants the rest of us to deal with it, then applies it recursively... FFS at least be consistent in a purposeful manor. Wait, wtf am I saying? This is my mother we're talking about lol.

Had triple helpings of dinner... About the only real meal I've had all day +S. What can I say? I'm like a camel: living on flumes but still workin' like a dog. Shit, I need a vacation!!!

But this isn't the kind of business where you get a vacation, without having to work your ass off along the way; let along a vacation alone.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A green organge

I really need a vacation, one far far way... Away from fuck heads like those that surround me.

Is it to much to ask to be respected at least as much as a person with an IQ of 5? Heh, lving here I wouldn't be surprised if my IQ was less then that ^_^. I'm just so dang tired of suffering fools...

I don't like to repeat myself, repeatedly; I don't like tobe treated like a recursive function when not given an algorithm that can be solved by recursion -- you ask me a question 10 times with only 2 answers, you're likely to get the *same* answer 10 times, or given the bird. I've actually never seen a spoken question that would fit well with recursion, other then to annoy people.

I'm tired of FucKheads who think I have absolutely nothing to do, that could possibly be more important then what they want done, instantly! I'm tired of being bossed around by those without any competence on the subject... (Flibin' parental unit). After 20 years on earth, I'd rather think I have something called a brain by now?

I'm just so fucking tired of this fucking place.......

Earlier when questioned about my 'short temper' and 'disrespectful' attitude of late, I rathe felt like shouting:

"You don't respect me, why the hell should I respect you fool?"

I don't suffer fools well!!!!

People that never learn, piss me off royally... How many times do you have to annoy someone before you find out your annoying them ^_^.

What is incontrovertible is that for all of humanity, there are people that you would rather not have to deal with, and those people, throughout history, are the Fuckheads. -- David R. Kendrick

There is a very large element missing in my life, if my life could be classified as a life these days... Maybe if it wasn't for that, this hell would be more bearable?

I'd probably still be RPTFO 90% of the time but at least 10% of the time could be worth while >_>. There's just nothing I can do about it, short of shooting the mother fuckers and going to jail... That actually might sound preferable to some people but I'm not willing to do anything like that.

I just want so peace in my life without getting drastic, is that to much to ask for?

To be treated like a damn human being, not some kind of sub-human slave creature..

To be free to do as I need, not ordered about by incompetent dip shits.

To actually be able to use *my* free time as *I* see fit, as I've often said/thought:

"GOD is the only person allowed to control my life without my permission and your not GOD !!!!"

I don't want to have a damn headache every day -- fucking fuck heads !!!

One thing I like about my times around [SAS], I'm a *person* who *makes* himself *useful*... Around here, I feel more like an *asset* waiting to be *used*... Maybe [SAS] has spoiled me by actually treating me kindly? I dunno anymore.. but they sure beat this place lol.

My ~/Documents/Personal folder fills up every now and then, because generally when I'm miserable or have strong feelings... positive or negative, I usually write what I feel. It's not like anyone around this place listens or cares, just another fact of life in this rats nest.

I'd rather leave it behind, sit around a campfire, and mutter "just another memory to burn" but I know I'll probably never be free.

Wouldn't it be nice, not to walk through hell each day, for no purpose other then the 'joy' of others at watching the thrashing about.

I think I'm going to bed, the config, settings, and search modules can wait for another time... And I also need to dig out my last PC-BSD disk, I downloaded the last release ISO just in case but don't want to burn a disk if I don't have to. Over this weekend I want to get to work on those articles for Olander.

Another week of working like a dog, without rest in between... But at least this weekend, I'll be off work 3 days... So the only problems should be the fuckheads that like to monopolize my life without permission and keep me from getting stuff done during my free time. What I *want to do* is work on NPM, [SAS], the articles for Olander, and tie up a few loose ends...

How much time I actually get to spend on any of it over the 26-28 'th remains to be seen, knowing my family :\

I need a freaking vacation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tired... I think my sleep/work patterns of late are starting to get to me :\

Manged to get some time in on TG#1, even if it was some 'solo' dynamic assaults.

I've also gotten another module imported, and another that would be ready if I didn't have to port it from using the Qt3 Support library... lol.

It shouldn't take to much work to get the portconfig module ready for import but, my brain needs some rest :\. And I'm stuck going back to work soon (an ~hour) on top of it :-(
Oy, I dunno whats worse....

Having to be at work by 1000 or being home from work before 1000 :\

crasheed, caught the end of office space while waiting for Matrix Reloaded to start, and slept through most of it looool.

Well, at least I have whatever portion of the day my family doesn't monopolize free...

the nights antics

I was rather happy to see that SourceForges SVN services were back up to a decent speed, other wise I probably would've gone to bed instead of getting back to work :\

I managed to finish the work on the project file, I had inhaled the qmake manual before dinner ;-). I knew exactly what I wanted, test works all been done in a 'one lump sum' directory... Which is the style that I really hate, to much crap to visually grep through when looking for parts of the project.

The build format that I desire is basically like:

Makefile -> top level, non recursive make
doc/ -> documentation files
dist/ -> files ready to install (all done)
obj/ -> object files and crap from moc / building docs, etc
src/ -> source code files
src/module/ -> source code files for module

Which is basically what I've setup, maybe I'm just spoiled by the layout of FreeBSDs source tree and build system... hehe.

I was quite happy to find that as usual, Qt makes life easier not harder xD. It only took the fine (if short) manual and a little bit of trial time to get more or less what I wanted out of it, all the better! Without having to worry about a recursive trail of makefiles. When it comes to recursive makes, I have no problem with the concept, I just don't care much for it.

I figured that if I couldn't get what I wanted out of qmakes project files that I would have to do things manually. I don't really have a problem with hand crafting makefiles but I really prefer not to have to maintain them, let along risk leaving something behind that needs a Bachelors of GNU Makeology to understand fully.

I did manage to get one module (essentially) imported into the SVN tonight and I've almost got another ready to go in. But before I commit it, I want to get the things refresh() slot sorted out. To do that, I just need to clear the m/v I guess but that can wait until tomorrow'ish.

As I often have said, laptops make poor pillows !

There's about 5 more modules to import, as soon as they are adapted and ready to roll that is. Right now I'm in advantageous territory code wise but as usually, my working environment is, uhh... "Hostile" to say the least to productivity.

Maybe if anyone in this fuckin' family knew an ounce of computers, let along programming, the bastards would let me work in peace rather then in pieces !!!!!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Source Forge SVN slow !!!

Bah humbug !!!

Tried to checkout a working copy of Neo Ports Manager over SVN, that took twenty minutes or so... Created an independent branch and the starting directory structure for the work I need to get imported, plus copied a few files from the trunk that I also want there.

That took at least 10 minutes to commit..

Looking on Source Forge, I can see that two other people have filed about the SVN services being so dang gum slow.

Looks like it might be awhile before I finally get my latest stuff under revision control +S.

Refusual to live with half my network offline

Muahuahauhauahauha!!! It works, it works !!!!!

To make a long story short, in order to setup ur phone lines the cable company had to put the modem where there was a jack within reach. Which meant my room, because it's the only one you don't have to route a cable from here to timbuktu!

They also hooked up a second modem in the living room for us to hook up our router to, only problem? I need the router in my bedroom to avoid the OpenBSD 4.3/WPA issue or make some drastic changes instead of hooking her up via wire.

I've been mentally thinking about switching them as soon as I noticed that the cable guy didn't leave anything hooked up to the jack, then it clicked in my head.

The set top (cable) box is probably just a signal repeater taht relays information without concern for routing information. They probably had to have the modem hooked up to the land lines in order to dial into the modem and tell it the setup information for the phones.

We are totally land line less until the phone company gets off their fat asses and forks over and the land lord gives the cable company written permission to hook up, which is unreliable at best.

I yanked the stuff, disconnecting the phone from the one; then the cable and power from both, and switching modems. Plugging them both in to power and then setting up the rest. Hooked up the phone and sure enough, it worked without issue.

Hooked up the other modem in my room and moved the router but I couldn't et any external routes :-(. So shifting from plan A to plan B (guessing the modem was tied to the cable box), I went to switch set top boxes until I saw what happened, the cable must have fallen when I tied off the Ethernet cable at the modem and I forgot to plug the dang thing in ^_^. Ok, so I'm schlemiel...

But I was right the first time hehe :-)

And now as soon as I get the power plug (read lack of) situation sorted, I'll have my file server back online! And once I've got the booting issue sorted on the other computer, I can get slacking at installing linux on that one and jetting ovr the wifi drivers.

I hooked the CD-ROM back up to the machines secondary EIDE channel as the master but no luck, even as secondary slave. Since I've proven it's not the cable, I'm going to have to take a look at the jumpers and probably see if I can google a manual.pdf of some sort. If screwing with those settings don't work, well I guess I'll need to dd myself a floppy disk to start the install.

As long as the file server gets back online, I can live without a 4th system running. Heck, once upon a time... Any body having four computers at home would probably have to be another Warbucks to afford it hehe. But in my case, 2 out of 4 PCs were free, pardoning the cost of a a sprig of PC2700 to get the one girl functional.

You know, technology is insanely simple -- it just takes a lunatic to realize it!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Virus Alert !!!

To damn tired to work... To wide awake to sleep :\

Ended up stuck workin' instead of attending Medics live op, and working like a Beaver in the hopes of getting done early lol.

Stuck working the weekend as well... but only light hours thankfully. And next week is a three day weekend for all intents and purposes, no work that Monday :-)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I recently heard that they are making Terminator 4, I can't help but be interested ^_^. Action flicks and Science Fiction are of course two of my favorite types of movies.

Earlier today, I was thinking about it. In general the Terminator Universe has always presented me with some what of a paradox, in Terminator John Connor and Skynet essentially create the impetus for their own creation.

Yet, how could they possibly exist in the future: in order to create themselves in the past!

Let us postulate that such a thing is impossible and that at some point their creation must have come apart through the natural flow of time. I admit, while it is quite possible for Sarah Connor to have had a son named John. It is rather improbable or quite probable depending on your frame of mind, that an artificial intelligence or super computer the likes of Skynet could have crept into existence [yet] but hell, it is a movie after all !!!!

In which case when Skynet sends the first Model 101 back in time to assassinate Sarah Connor before its greatest enemy, John Connor can be born. Is 'time line 0' the first part of the time flow.

John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, altering history in the process: thus creating a new path in time, 'time line 1'

John Connors father is now Kyle Reese from the future in time line 0, Sarah Connor is now warned of the future and tries to prepare John for it, potentionally creating an even more effective form of John Connor, who will lead the human resistance in time line 1's future against skynet, then that of time line 0.

The crushed arm and CPU of the Terminator find their way into Cyberdyne Systems hands, leading Miles Dyson to create Skynet, bypassing Skynets original creation in much the same way as John Connor.

Now that John Connor of time line 1 is more effective then the John Connor of time line 0 at fighting Skynet. The new Skynet sends a more lethel killing machine back in time, the T-1000, in an attempt to kill the young John Connor. John Connor sends back a reprogrammed Model 101 to protect himself but this too ultimately changes history, creating another alternate flow of time, 'time line 2' when history is changed in time line 1's past.

Learning from the Terminator about the history of Skynet in their own flow of time, time line 1. The Connors embark to destroy Skynet before it is completed, changing history themselves...

The creator of Skynet is destroyed, the data is destroyed (although for us more computer savvy types, the probability of backups on or off site surviving is quite high). The arm is destroyed, the CPU is destroyed, both Terminators are destroyed, and John Connor is further prepared to lead the resistance against the machines.

This leads to a fork of time line 1, creating the aforementioned 'time line 2' in which the method of creation from time line 1 for Skynet no longer occurs.

However the method by which Skynet was originally created in time line 0, is still uncertain... Now if we postulate that the original creation of Skynet within time line 0, leading to Kyle Reese and the first Model 101 being sent back in time to change history. Was in fact a Department of Defense related project, like the Cyber Research Systems work under General Brewster in Terminator 3...

Skynets birth has merely been delayed, Judgement day occurs late, John Connor and Kate Brewster's future in time line 2 leads to the Skynet of time line 2 sending back a super weapon, the 'T-X' back in time to time line 0s past, before Skynets own creation... In effect changing history again when the 'T-X' begins killing off members of the human resistance, in an attempt to cripple the resistance before it is even created.

Thus causing a fork of time line 2 resulting in 'time line 3' being created when the T-X begins killing off people. The third Model 101 sent back by Kate Connor to protect John Connor and herself in the past is ultimately succesful, into which they are now much more formidable foes for Skynet in the *new* future or time line 3.

Where time line 3 is the superposition of all the events within time lines that lead to it's creation, except for elements not merged because of the alterations or 'created' time lines caused by said events.

e.g. 2004 in time line 3 is different then that of time line 2, where the T-X does not exist yet because it is created in the future, which is a future that does not exist yet because Skynet was created by Cyberdyne Systems in time line 1, which occurred because of events within time line 0 that caused a change in history...

You could say I believe in the possibility of destiny but not paradoxes, even if the concept of a paradox is more then occasionally abused by sci-fi writers.

And I think people are right, I just think to damn much lol. But hey, in lack of interesting things to try and analyze... Whats wrong with a little TV to supply the input?

It's not like anyone has invented a time machine yet or a way of proving the dynamics of time travel, if such a thing is even within mans capability.

Besides, unlike in real life (if time travel ever occurs) you can't foul up the space time continuum if you don't get it right because it's only a movie :-).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Writer's Block: Food Loves and Hates

What foods can you not live without, and what foods can you not stomach?
Live Journals Writer's Block

can't live without:

cheese burgers
french fries
ice cream
little debbie snacks (lol)

and a fair bit of pasta based dishes ;-)

Food that I can't stomach?

I find egg salad and some kinds of pasta salad to be 'uneatble" after a certain level of consumption.

Food with so much salt in it that it tastes like Bender cooked it (Only encountered one steak marinade like that; thanks bro for trying to give me a stroke ^_^).

Any thing with strong caffeine or aspartame taste to it.

Since I wasn't allowed any soda with caffeine in it as a child, when I was finally free to have it, I can't stand the taste of it !!! After 20 years without it you really taste it in soda like Coke or Pepsi. Luckly caffeine and aspartame are less common in food stuffs then drinks.

Anything that makes me want to gag or barf from the look, taste, or texture of it -> ain't found anything like that yet, hehe.

I do however have a policy of "I eat just about anything that doesn't try to eat me first"

Ahh crap... this makes me hungry !!!


Sitting here day dreaming of a sexy lady...

Dual (2 x) Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 CPUs (Yorkfields) running at 2.66Ghz clock / 1333Mhz FSB --- these chips are to drool for!!!

6~8GB of PC2-5300 *ECC* Memory for good measure ;-)

4 x 250GB Seagate SATA hard drives in RAID 5

Dual (2 x) graphics cards with twin dvi ports per card; twin nVidia 8600 or 7800s would be nice if possible.

4 x LCD Monitors -> 17", 19", 19", 17" or larger.

1 x Floppy disk drive, old tech but still valuable.

2 x DVD Burner

1 x CD Burner

1 x 5 button laser mouse

1 x standard issue PC keyboard

Running FreeBSD 7-STABLE AMD64 for the operating system of course.

Shit load of fans and one hell of a powerful PSU not to mention a huge desk !!!!!!!!!!!!!

The only problem, other then that the mother board needed for something like that would cost an arm and a leg alone.... Is that nVidia's drivers for FreeBSD 64-Bit (amd64) suck and there's only so much ram addressable by 32-bit systems without hacks like PAE.

Oh man, I think I need a cup to catch the drool, this calls for a song

Slap ya grandma that would be one beautiful rig !!!

I think my laptop is ready to disown me ^_^

Monday, July 14, 2008

Return of the files

There's more then one way to skin a cat baby or in the words of John McClane: yippee-ki-yay, mother fucker.

If I'm going to be stuck waiting until AT&T gets off their lazy butts and sorts the last of it, so that we can get our land lines hooked back up rather then routing everything through the cable modem, until I'll be able to get all the equipment moved to their final operational positions...

I'm going to access my files !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The servers good to go, ready to rock and roll, except for one problem! OpenBSDs support for WPA is gonna take -CURRENT and using my 3Com Ethernet XL card means the box needs to be near the router, which it can't right now...

So I had an idea, hook up my digital camera with the extra 2GB SD Card for storage and use the USB cable to mount her on the server. Then jet it all over to my laptop on the camera right?

I packed up ~/code, ~/Documents, and a few .dot files for stuff I use a lot into a couple of archives. The only problem? Trying to mv the archives to the camera on sd0i caused the machine to lock up! So that idea was toast, total waste of time spent fscking my drives.

Plan B.

Working off the advice from Daemon Forum regulars I managed to transfer my NIC over to it's new home, found my last power cable and plugged the system in on the deck, right next to the router.

Hooked her up and walked off for a drink, booted Dixie and sure enough I was able to ping her, ssh in to make sure she was fully on the LAN. Then I mounted my home directory and set about copying my files over to a 'makeshift' home directory in /usr/Projects/Terry,

As long as I have a brain 'tween my ears, I ain't gonna be kept from my objectives so easy. Now if I could just do something about the lack of sleep :\

Return of the files

There's more then one way to skin a cat baby.

If I'm going to be stuck waiting until AT&T gets off their lazy butts and sorts the last of it, so that we can get our land lines hooked back up rather then routing everything through the cable modem, until I'll be able to get all the equipment moved to their final operational positions...

I'm going to access my files !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The servers good to go, ready to rock and roll, except for one problem! OpenBSDs support for WPA is gonna take -CURRENT and using my 3Com Ethernet XL card means the box needs to be near the router, which it can't right now...

So I had an idea, hook up my digital camera with the extra 2GB SD Card for storage and use the USB cable to mount her on the server. Then jet it all over to my laptop on the camera right?

I packed up ~/code, ~/Documents, and a few .dot files for stuff I use a lot into a couple of archives. The only problem? Trying to mv the archives to the camera on sd0i caused the machine to lock up! So that idea was toast, total waste of time spent fscking my drives.

Plan B.

Working off the advice from Daemon Forum regulars I managed to transfer my NIC over to it's new home, found my last power cable and plugged the system in on the deck, right next to the router.

Hooked her up and walked off for a drink, booted Dixie and sure enough I was able to ping her, ssh in to make sure she was fully on the LAN. Then I mounted my home directory and set about copying my files over to a 'makeshift' home directory in /usr/Projects/Terry, which thanks to vipw is now my current roost for the time being..

As long as there is a brain 'tween my ears, I ain't gonna be stopped so easy from reaching my objective... And in the words of John McClane,

Yippee-ki-yay, Mother F***er

Now if I could just do some thing about the general lack of sleep... lol

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Ahh shit... been up all night again.

Well, at least this time I *might* get a decent amount of sleep :\

*passes out, head hits keyboard, and snores loudly*

Charting a new course

Oh man, what a day!

I logged off for some shuteye around 0600 and awoke about 0836 or so when the people from our new ISP/Phone provider (we just bundled with the cable company). Managed to talk a little with the supervisor of the two about the setup involved, you could say the feeling that the other knew their ass from a hole in the ground was mutual >_>.

Because the cable boxes and the computer are on opposite sides of the rooms from the computers -- that's how the apartment was originally setup by a previous provider (Which was thrown out of the complex when the owners cut a deal with another company 0.o). So we had to go out and get some wireless cards, I paid for them as I agreed to if it would (and likely would) come to it.

So far, I've been cursed with shopping, practically stabbed in the eye, wondering why the bleeding heck our modems refuse to talk to my laptop or our router, and cannibalizing a pair of PCs, cut my finger, and I've been doing it all on ~2 hours sleep and a can of root beer !!!!!!

After drinking a bit of a root beer, we went out to get her shoppin' done and grab the cards, the plan was to be home in plenty of time to spare to get her and my (gaming) desktop hooked up so I could make it to Medics Live OP.

I was leaning over to put the water down when ma made an unexpected move of the arm and I nearly got the end of the car keys tip in my left eye. It must have only jabbed towards the point closer to the nose because I still have an eye left, it didn't hurt, and there is no sign of damage -- as much as I like MGS3, I really don't want to end up in an eye patch like Big Boss someday.

Thank GOD for protecting fools and star ships named Enterprise ;-)

While we were talking with someone at Best Buy, I asked the guy if they carried any RAM in the store and he sent me over to the Geek Squad (y). I got a 512mb dimm of PC2700 for Ma's computer along with three LInksys WMP54G PCI adapters and we hit Krogers.

I had a plan, I really did dang nab'it ! Check the manual for the ram speed to make sure the new chip was compatible (I bought PC2700 going by memory). Copy my Wifi data to each PC, setup the router, install each wifi card, and be *early* to the live op but it didn't work out that way.

First thing I did was plug in the router and try and set it up using DHCP instead of PPPoE but that didn't work. So I took the CAT-5e and hooked up the modem directly to my laptops on board Marvell Yukon and wondered, wtf is my modems address since it isn't offering DHCP services?

About 1930-1600Z I remembered the tenth commandment of C programmers*

Thou shalt foreswear, renounce, and abjure the vile heresy which claimeth that "All the world's a VAX", and have no commerce with the benighted heathens who cling to this barbarous belief, that the days of thy program may be long even though the days of thy current machine be short.

I ripped apart my desktop setup and hooked SAL up on the floor near the living room modem and plugged her in directly. Booted windows, opened IE7 just to be sure for compatibility, and sure enough got a welcome message from the modem! Oh go fsck yourselfs!!! But it works.

Setup the modem over HTTP, got a really fucking fast connection compared to AT&Ts aDSL line. A quick speed test out of Atlanta showed like 3-5 times the data rates we were getting!

After that I shutdown and used my now cleared desk as a work table. Cracked open Ma's Dell 4550 for a little cleaning, install the WMP54G, upgraded the RAM from 512mb to 768mb and took the desktops original stick of PC 2100. I found that her PC was running a PC2100 and a PC2700 sprig of 256MB at 266Mhz.

Then I cracked open Vectra (an HP Vli8 500+more PC100 ram) and my brothers junked Dell 4500 PC on the "operating table". The Dell is missing it's CD-ROM drives and Ethernet NIC. There were two EIDE hard drives when I first salvaged it, a 40GB Western Digital and an 80GB Hitachi. The 80GB has been in Vectra for awhile now as a secondary disk but I left the smaller 40GB due to lack of space.

I tried the 40GB to see if there was a working install of Windows left on it before formatting it, the BIOS couldn't boot off it. So I pulled the CD-ROM drive out of Vectra and popped myself in the head. I only had one set of mounting brackets left for the Dell case -- which while compatible with the hard drives don't fit the CD-ROM drive !!!

So I did something that is probably stupid but effective. Hooked up the CD-ROM to the PSU and secondary EIDE port on the mother board, sandwiching the drive between the case and the lid before I booted her. Then popped myself in the head again when the CD tray ejected 'upside down', I wondered why the power dongle needed to plug into the wrong side.

Flipped it over, rebooted and loaded Knoppix LiveCD but still couldn't access that 40GB drive. I know Live CDs are slow (and that drives dated 1999 and 32X max reading speed) but it was actually a _lot_ faster then I thought it would be on 256MB of PC2100. Then I took out Vectra's root disk an 8.4GB Maxtor hosting my OpenBSD installation and switched mounting brackets.

She still wouldn't boot, so I tried my boot floppy from OpenBSD 4.1 (I didn't use a floppy for the 4.2/4.3 upgrades). I shutdown and switched the cable to the other mate on the EIDE line and rebooted, worked perfectly. Then I stuck in the 40GB drive and hooked it up on the previous one. That way I could boot knoppix and scope out the 40GB drive.

I've read about Master/Slave issues with (P)ATA/(E)IDE based systems and what not like this before but it's actually the first time I've ever seen the BIOS fail to detect and boot a drive, maybe previous systems I've worked on were just well cabled to avoid it ^_^.

There is a legit copy of windows on the drive and some files, so I may as well back that up just in case I need it later. 'Cuz I didn't get a copy of the restore disks from my brother when he gave me the PC, several months after he stripped it for 'parts' to use on his new custom PC. Right now I've got both of Vectra's hard drives installed, I would have put all three in it as there is enough space but I just don't have enough mounting brackets.

And while I'm willing to use a CD-ROM drive without mounting it in the case -- a hard drive is full of data so I take precautions. So I can dump it later if ever, right now it's on my desk. I had to get the drives sorted to move Vectras OpenBSD install cleanly over and install the PCI card for the wireless. That system is good to go as soon as I figure out how to get it working on my network, since OpenBSD 4.3 doesn't support my networks level of encryption and I'm not sure if my network supports the next ideal solution lol.

Afterwards I setup my desktop (SAL1600) with the last of the WiFi cards and for the heck of it, hooked up my spare monitor and configured Dual View on my nVidia 8400GS. I find it some what disorienting especially because the second monitor has very shitty colour compared to my primary. I also don't have another power cord to use with the other two PCs lol.

If I buy another power cable or two I can get all 4 computers running. I'm just itching for the phones to get sorted on the land lines so I can switch the modems and move the router to my bedroom, that way I can hook up one PC via Ethernet.

About 0000GMT I finally got to sit down and eat, took a nice long nap after that !!!!

* Ten Commands of C Programmers, annoted edition

Friday, July 11, 2008

Note to self, don't use GNU m4 on Win32

Bah, humbug !!!

the focal point of the entire operation is a suitable pre-processor.

The idea:

defined test substitution macros generated by front end for pre processor

template file that relies upon said macros

output to be generated from preprocessing the macros from in the template.

The problem?

Target platform: MicroShaft Windows NT 5.1 (XP)

At first I figured I would use the C Pre-Processor since MinGW is on the target box, along with several other development tools.

Then I remembered I have GNU utilities for Win32 installed on this machine. So I took a look and found that a port of GNU m4 v1.4 is installed. I learned enough of the m4 'macro' language just for tasks like this but guess what!

m4.exe fails to expand all macros in the template file.

Being more then somewhat disappointed, I ssh'd into my OpenBSD machine and fed it through the m4 implementation it comes with (not GNU), and guess what?

That freaking works fine.

*unzips fly, pisses on m4.exe*

Odds are the 1.4.11 version of GNU m4 I have on FreeBSD installed from ports works, hell scripting OpenBSDs sed works for this task, let along custom perl !

So I've just used vim to quickly :%s/m4 defines/cpp defines and seem to have to use that in order to get it working. Nice, simple, and effective.


task list:

modify that module wiz wanted worked on ;-) --- tonight

finish neo ports manager --- on going

write article(s) for BSD Mag --- weekend, ongoing

write front end for a pre-processor and template based idea for work. -- now

Medics live op --- tomorrow

work on kde4 --- as soon as people let me

write specifications and carry out planning for project black widow -- classified until further notice.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ahh another late night...

Spent about a half hour adjusting last nights work to use a more snappy display. I've also gotten the rest of the module done except for the final output to file, since that connects to a module that doesn't exist yet (note to self, create a dummy).

I've been spending a lot of time with C++ and Qt4 lately... I must say, it does grow on you! Although I do personally find Python and Ruby better suited for building prototypes but whatever works.

My heads telling me, I could stream roll a few more things that need trimmin' but I know if I did that, I would either end up going to bed about the time I need to report for work or worse, end up using Dixie as a pillow >_>. So I guess I'll have to do those the next night I work on this codebase, rather then tackle the next phase by then :\

Sleeping with your head propped on a laptops keyboard is probably not comfortable!

Hence it's bed time...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

misc thoughts

Well some progress, aside from spending an embarrassing amount of time trying to find a problem starring me right in the face shouting "this is wrong you moron!", I suppose exhaustion can do that...

To be perfectly honest I think one of my biggest problems is my multi-lingual nature when it comes to programming. In the past couple days, I've used Bourne (with best buddies SED & AWK of course), Perl, Ruby, PHP, and C++ for various tasks.

In a large way, a language is just pretty much a language to me, a standard syntax, types, and subroutines if you will. Generally I think about solving problems in a way that doesn't really connect to a specific language. Sure I tend to write and think in a language of the moment but at the end of the day, the implementation is the language specific part -- not the solution.

When it's something that takes me a bit of thought, I usually write it done in a form of pseudo code that relates to how I read code.

Then start thinking about that, i.e. it's behavior: I dislike needing debugging aids when a brain will suffice. Then I start thinking about how to implement it, which often tends to lead to what language I'll be using if not already knee deep in it.

For example, when it comes to regular expressions I very, very greatly prefer Perl and Ruby for such tasks. Python in particular has always felt (to me) a bit chunky at regexes compared to Perl but to each their own methods. Heck, a lot of times a scratch and run Perl script is my way of testing regular expressions for things.

Tonight I needed to figure out how to process a programs output, I quickly found the QProcess class to be increasingly *annoying* so I threw it out in favor of popen() and the usual methods -- works like a charm. Then took a quick sample of the programs output, wrote a perl script to handle the operations upon it that was needed.

Then used the QRegExp and QString classes to implement the program using those regular expressions: skipping the compile time frustrations and indexing issues. Then proceeded to expand it into something able to meet my required behavior, after checking enough scenarios to validate it (to me). Then tested that to make sure it still behaved properly and moved on to using it to work on the next problem.

I've been using C++ a lot lately, really odd because I mostly quit using it after picking up C and Ruby a couple years ago lol.

0400, time for bed... but first it's snack time!!!

believe it or not but a few hours of working on the computer has a few side effects ^_^

Monday, July 7, 2008

Ahh... home from work.

The jobs about two times the size of our others but it wasn't really as bad as I originally thought. That's probably a good thing, now if only it was possible to get more work done when I'm not at work :\

Between family and work I'm falling even further behind schedule !!!

Writer's Block: The Best Thing You've Done

If you were to die now, at this moment, what would you think of as the best thing you've ever done in your life?
Submitted By weyyytictacs
Live Journals Writer's Block

To have loved.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Live Free or Die Hard

Great movie for the fourth time out :-)

It's like John McClane arguably has the worst luck of any character to ever grace the action flick scene. They send him to pick up a computer-noid and I'm thinking back to a scene in Mindnight Run when the bond guy tells him to whack'em over the head with a hose, toss'em in a bag, and drive back.

of course in McClanes case he gets shot at and almost blown up!

Live Free or Die Hard really depicts a horrible scenario for cyber terrorism. It's utterly horrifying when you consider how much American society has become reliant on technological networks, satellites, quick como between emergency services, geeze.

Still, it was some fine stuff at work hehe. The traffic jam in the tunnel, ramming a car into a helicopter because he's pissed off and out of bullets! Smashing through a building in an SUV, into the terrorist chick, and down an elevator shaft after being chucked out a window. A joint Strike Fighter trying to swat his stolen terro-big rig on the highway haha.

The ending, I just couldn't help be chuckle through it between how they finally took out Thomas Gabriel -> must've known plenty about computers but jack crap about geometry and physics when it involves bullets hehe. Not to mention the ending before they all end up on the way to a hospital >_>

****spoiler warning****

Thomas Gabriel: On your tombstone it should say "Always in the wrong place at the wrong time".
John McClane: How about "Yippi-kay-ay, motherfu - "

[ later ]

Lucy McClane: Daddy, you're out of your mind.
John McClane: What're you talkin' about?
Lucy McClane: You shot yourself!
John McClane: [groaning] It seemed like a good idea at the time.

*** end spoiler warning ***

Honestly, it's like if John McClane ever took a vacation and let "someone else" handle it, he would probably end up sitting on a beach somewhere sipping a margarita and then terrorists pour in with machine guns -> it could only happen to him! lol

You could say, he really is always in the wrong place at the right time ;-)

Happy trails.

Speed Learning -- m4

Was on my way to bed (read sitting in front of my laptop <_<) and caught The One on TV just 10 minutes into it. I had seen part of it before but never got to see the second half :-(

Now in search of something else to watch, I noticed that Live Free or Die Hard starts in at 0140Q, it's currently 0112Q -- so...

Early today I found out that the m4 macro language processor is not a 'GNU Thing' although GNU m4 is used as part of the gnu tool chain. Since it's a language dating back to the 1970s and I could rather use something like m4 from the looks of it.

Let's see how much I can learn from FreeBSDs m4 manual page before the movie starts hehe :-)

Tick tock

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue

One song on yee old favorite radio station that I felt was aptly appropriate today:

American girls and American guys, will always stand up and salute.
We'll always recognize, when we see ol' glory flying,
There's a lot of men dead,
So we can sleep in peace at night when we lay down our heads.
My daddy served in the army where he lost his right eye,
But he flew a flag out in our yard 'til the day that he died.
He wanted my mother, my brother, my sister and me.
To grow up and live happy in the land of the free.

Now this nation that I love is fallin' under attack.
A mighty sucker-punch came flying in from somewhere in the back.
Soon as we could see clearly through our big black eye,
Man, we lit up your world like the fourth of July.

Hey, Uncle Sam put your name at the top of his list,
And the Statue of Liberty started shaking her fist.
And the eagle will fly and it's gonna be hell,
When you hear Mother Freedom start ringing her bell.
And it'll feel like the whole wide world is raining down on you.
Ah, brought to you, courtesy of the red, white and blue.

Oh, justice will be served and the battle will rage:
This big dog will fight when you rattle his cage.
An' you'll be sorry that you messed with the U.S. of A.
'Cos we'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way.

Hey, Uncle Sam put your name at the top of his list,
And the Statue of Liberty started shaking her fist.
And the eagle will fly and it's gonna be hell,
When you hear Mother Freedom start ringing her bell.
And it'll feel like the whole wide world is raining down on you.
Ah, brought to you, courtesy of the red, white and blue.

Oh, oh.
Of the red, white and blue.
Oh, hey, oh.
Of my Red, White and Blue.

-- Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue., Keith Toby

They also had a lot of Johnny Cash tunes on hehe ;-)