Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sometimes all but knocking down walls is therapeutic.

Odd mix

  • A mood that would peel paint
  • Grilled cheese and old popcorn
  • Choice of Army of Darkness or Dear God
  • Six sectors to clean / organise
  • A lot more code to get done
  • Kill a few thousand zombies, eventually.

This is some funky weather!

Just got out of a Hard Rain campaign in L4D2 with some excellent teamwork going on. Once we hit the end game however, our luck resoured.

First the tank smashes one of the teammates into the roof, incapacitating him while two of us leap off the side and the fourth man dives down the hole in the roof; who summary gets tackled by a charger moments before rescues due to arrive.

I'm one of the two dreebs who leap off the roof, because it hurts less than being hit by a tank lol. We kill the tank and pull a quick split: he goes to save the charged guy while I go zap the teammate on the roof back into action with my defib. kit; not exactly something I would want to do during a real thunderstorm. That goes out the window when my fellow pigeon gets himself whacked by a charger from behind, and I have to save his bacon instead.

Another tank suddenly comes stomping through the middle of the building as the charged teammate finally dies - we get our butts bounced out onto the lawn by the tank. Now this is where it gets silly.

Taking an adrenaline shot (speed booster) and making ready to fight the tank 2 on 1, while hacking my way to the roof: I ended up slipping off the peer and getting water logged — as the rescue boat runs me over and the tank flings my sole surviving teammate into it, killing him instantly.

Then the hard rain campaign plays it's end video clip, as the boat floats away. Miraculously Spidey01 who almost got drowned before being run over by the boat, was the only player to survive the campaign!

There is just something so wrong with that, lol.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Some days I really get the thought that living here is roughly equal to this algorithm:

    while here:
        me.darkmood += stepping * / rare(fun)

One happy thought in a sour bunch

The radio stream was complaining how it's supposed to be hot as heck today. Walking to the mailbox and back on interrupt, I can't help but think how "Nice and comfortable" the sun shine feels compared to the A/C inside.

According to the weather service it is currently 93 F (33.9 C) outside and is supposed to be feeling like 100 F (37.8 C). Just a pleasant environment if you ask me ;).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

An example of why I hate my memory

In the ever continuing effort to obliterate crap and consolidate space -> where books win out! I came across an old Star Trek figurine that I got a zillion years ago, which spent most of its time in a video game draw next to boxed SNES games until finally getting "Jarred" sometime around the PS2 era.

Here's what sucks about my memory: I can remember....

  • The scene (and borg) it was obviously modelled after, doubt I've seen that episode in 6 or more years.
  • The look and feel of the store it was bought in, doubt Suncoast is still in business the way it was in the early 90s.
  • The mall it was bought in and part of its layout, wonder if it's even still there... lol.
  • I can almost remember the sales associates face but I'll be damned if I could remember his name tag or pick'em out of a photo stack.
For some reason french fries also come to mind, maybe we hit the food court that day too.

Also looked at the bottom of the plastic figurine, it's copyright date is 1992. I assume it was bought around cica 1993 but my head isn't that good with date/time groups, or names... :-/.

In sorting through old high school stuff, I can't help but think: "Oh how I wish I could throw more of this shit in a bonfire"

And then dance around it singing burn baby burn!
Hmm, I never new that these Erdbeerschn├╝re could be so addictive... lol
Well, while I'm waiting on a subversion command to finish (on another project), I may as well flush my train of thought, in between wondering how any large project can bare to use subversion lol.

One of my open loops is a component called the "Data Browser", it's meant to provide a view into data extracted from a projects source code, and present that data to the user: while bridging that browser interface into the rest of this programs peers. In less abstract English, it's a tags browser. Go figure.

Something I love about programming, you can often express a notion in 3 words of code, what would take 10 words of English to describe. How that works? You can reduce the English word count with the use of insider jargon, but being a programming language, outsider is redefined as those who can't read the language rather than those who don't comprehend the associated tech speak. There fore the word count falls significantly.

My present train of thought however, is concerned with how the data should be presented: what is most suitable for the user. The fact that the program is designed first and foremost for my own convenience is aside the point :-o.

In search of the holy grail of user interfaces: I've found this the most optimal method.

|  [-] Classes                    |
|      [+] Foo                    |
|      [-] Bar                    |
|            someMethod()         |
|            ....                 |
|      [+] ....                   |
|  [+] Functions                  |
|  [+] Macros                     |
|  and so on                      |
|                                 |

where as much information about the individual items has been omitted for the sake of brevity ^.

Properly expanding the tree for a given type of data should display information unique to it. I.e. what is most pertinent to *that* type of data, rather than a common subset that applies to everything.

Columns for a methods display might look like:
| name | signature | return value | visibility |
where as the columns for classes, as opposed to 'Bar', might look something like this:
| name | visibility | in namespace | 

In a perfect world we could do this over a sandwich without much coding. Using the GTK+ TreeView widget and friends, grepping the manuals suggests that life is just going to be waaay easier if each element (Classes, Functions, Macros, etc) of the tree becomes a separate tab holding a specialised treeview as part of a Notebook widget! I'll look into it closer when I have more time for that.

Now of course the tree view could simply show the lowest common denominator for info, and rely on a "Properties" button to show the individual details for the currently selected item, or we could (barf) just have expanding the trees spawn a new window customised to that type. But nether are to my taste.

Enough rambling, time to get a move on while subversion continues to (ab)use my networks bandwidth.
Here's to subversion: so damn slow that you can play galaga while you wait.
Sometimes I wonder if my mother is the most insulting person I know, or merely a runner up to the human race in general. I don't care to computate that further.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

O.K. this is definitely a double whammy of why I prefer FreeBSD.

A few days ago I installed KDE on Ubuntu, which added the Kubuntu boot splash. When I installed the *rest* of KDE via synaptic: on the next boot it broke GDM and my Gnome session until I did an apt-get remove followed by an apt-get install of the gdm and ubuntu-desktop packages. This is deffo one of the reasons why the distinction on BSD between /usr and /usr/local is a good thing (tm).

This after noon I clicked through one of Gnomes settings bit for languages, and thought perhaps it would have a way to merge my preferences for U.S. and ISO formatting. It asked if I wanted to install a few dozen more language packs for English and German, since I had taken the liberty of adding the German language packs. Also told it to prefer the British English and standard German languages above standard English (rather than ignored); American English being the primary. Being American, you never have to worry until you start spelling in different dialects. That added export LANGUAGE="en_US:en_GB:de:en" to the end of my .profile; which I moved to an /etc/profile.d script.

'lo and behold on reboot, the entire Gnome desktop is in German.... and despite that being very different than my limited reading vocabulary, I still can figure out what the frig I'm looking at! Just don't ask me to pronounce it properly lol.

-1 for Java

Now this is just so damn funny (for me as a programmer), that it hurts!

Oracle's Java Company Change Breaks Eclipse

edit/postscript if you want to know why it does that, you should look at the first bug report, than RTFM and play Sherlock.

Black Tides

Found a reminder that life was once in a positive state, which reminds me just how crippling an effect the years in between have had. Knowing that families bled me every step of the way towards correcting that, doesn't help along side having most of a year wasted.

One solution to a radioactively bad mood: turn off comms and bury myself in code up to the eyes.... until it subsides.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the day I get an honest to goodness break, I'll probably be hit by a car for kneeling in the middle of the street.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Somehow, I think idiots like my mother who can ask the same question repeatedly of an invariant and expect a different answer each time, need to repeat high school mathematics or have their diploma revoked..

Sunday, July 25, 2010

You know, if it wasn't for having to read things like ToLongADamnTypeName toLongAVarName = new ToLongADamnTypeName() like constructs in all three languages, I could really get to like C# for cross platform work.

^_^ If only because Novel(mono) and Microsoft have each produced C# compilers that are 100 times faster than Suns javac, while still compiling faster than many C++ compilers. ^_^

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A small victory against pack ratism

I do believe that my mother has finally realised that she has an *insane* amount of crap hoarded — after finding books apparently left over from high school.

You know, I may not always right but I'm sometimes I'm not wrong either ;).

github and filter-branch fun

In between being driven crackers, I've been *attacking* just about every TODO and item in my backlog. Staying insanely busy has the benefit that there's minimal time to feel or think, until passing out cold >_>.

Except for a minor issue with power save, and tools for a couple programming languages to be installed, work on my laptop is virtually complete.

One thing I have finally accomplished is preparing my personal git repository for the hub. For almost two years now, I've kept the important stuff in my home directory under revision control. Now I at long last have an off-site backup of it, reduce need for pastebins, and I could care less if anyone finds the repo helpful 8=). I'm more concerned about freak system failure here... lol.  Somethings, like my vim files represent like 4 years of work so there is a wee bit of life/time investment here.

Projects get their own repositories as needed but top level stuff in $HOME shares one. Originally I used CVS, since my file server only came with that and RCS, and I didn't want to bloat it with Subversion. About five months later, I switched to git ;).

Here things are still very simple. The file server has a mirror of any important data, plus it has bare git repositories for various projects: backed up independently of my personal data. Plus project repos on several hosting sites.  It's good insurance: now my most important files have the same.

And of course being me, it's obvious that I generated a patch set and skimmed through the 17,000-18,000 some lines of data representing over 200 commits, before I would allow the repo to get pushed into a public place.  I tend to be cautious in what I commit, to much so in fact. This repo however was always meant to be "Private", and programs sometime become probmatic. I only found one instance where this was a concern, minor but still rather something that should be compromised.

The solution of course is to just rewrite history:

$ git filter-branch --tree-filter 'git ls-files -z "filename glob" |xargs -0 perl -p -i -e "s/secret stuff/Censored By The Git History Cops!/g"' -- --all
$ git gc --aggressive --prune
$ git push --force origin
$ git remote add github
$ git push github master

Also being myself, I made sure to first test the filter-branch in a fresh clone into /tmp, back up my .git directory, as well as verifying the log and format-patch output that it worked. Plus since I made a tag of a commit before updating master to reflect it's current machine: I also made sure to check that the tag remained unchanged from the filter-branch.

and now... I'm to darn tired to do more than pass out.

Friday, July 23, 2010

To say that I love using git for managing source code, would be the understatement of the year.

The first tool I used was Subversion (around late v1.4/early v1.5), and I rarely had any trouble using CVS either. I can basically pick up and figure out any tool given a decent manual or enough kick around time.

It's like having a freaking swiss army knife of managing changesets, having git in hand :-S

This describes my mood to a T-shot.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

You know you need a new life when you dream of the zombie apocalypse like it's just another work day.

This really did make me laugh out loud

"If I had a nickel for every time I've written "for (i = 0; i < N; i++)" in C I'd be a millionaire."

- Mike Vanier

Even more so because for stuff I've in mind to write, involves noting that inescapable fact of C programming :-o.
He that teaches himself has a fool for a master.
—Benjamin Franklin

Ugh 3.0

In addition to yesterday, or should I now be saying yester-yesterday... being one heck of a day it's own right, things have been busy.

I was awake non stop from Sunday to late Monday afternoon. When I finally crashed from the days exhaustion, even if only for an hour or two.

Started with the system backups on Sunday: ensuring that my impeccably backed up home directory is safe, along with less commonly used things—plus a full "local" backup. That is, everything that seperated the FreeBSD install there from a simple install FreeBSD, install updates. That includes about 6-7GB of applications, system wide configuration, custom kernel configuration, and an archive of /var; where the database of installed packages are. Life without the Windows registry, is so sweet ;).

While that was getting done, I rigged vectra to fetch the current ISOs for FreeBSD 8.0-Release and Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop. The plan being to reformat the laptop (dixie) with GNU/Linux and be ready to set it up to dual boot with BSD, which could be restored easily from the backups I made. Simply put FreeBSDs file system can be grown larger, but not shrunk smaller \o/. Out of the ~30 GB of data there's about 10~12 GB in backups. The rest can be done from install media or network.

My main reason for the switch has to do with XFire support in Pidgin, and being able to use better file sync software. All of which work on just about everything quite smoothly, except for the BSDs :-(. I'm happy enough with GNU/Linux but do actually prefer a BSD unix system.

Monday was riddled with it's own affairs, plus having to *fix* crap with the laptop. Assuming my instant messenger has stopped crashing (blasted xfire plugin), most things are stable now. The closest I get to sleeping, is being staring at my computer screen all morning: listening to 94.9's radio stream and hoping to pass out eventually. With luck I get a few moments sleep spread across the late local-morning 15-20 minutes at a time.

Tuesday (what's now "Technically" yesterday), my brother finally showed up. Not that the combination of Lady Gaga and cigar smoke is not my idea of perfection, I did get some driving time on his car. Although admittedly, it is well past the point where hours matter. It was however nice to get to see my brother.

Broke the "Cease fire" today (eh, yesterday, whatever), very much needed a good walk after everything on Monday. Price justified, even if my mother will likely make my life a living hell if she finds time to think about it. Went to the library. Started to read the Aeneid but only bored my mind clear enough to get work done. Started on a few C++ files before heading home in the thunder. Having done enough walking and running for my sides to hurt and my head to swim, I think I can say: I'm starting to hate running! Walking however is quite relaxing. Rather than make it home to a much needed shower, I instead got dragged across two stores. I definitely hate shopping.

Had a string of messages on my PC by then, and ended up joining someone for a little bit of Raven Shield. Took a break to perform surgery on the laptop, after about 10-15 minutes of that. I rarely play RvS these days unless I'm invited or it's someone I rarely bump into otherwise.

Laptop is almost done... just a question of whether or not I'll actually sleep tonight. And tomorrow I get the spend the morning in the vets office bright and early \o/.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

After all these years, I really do not want to know what percentage of the day I spend in front of a computer.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Thoughts on Left 4 Dead 2

Lately I've been playing a lot of L4D2, the sequel to Left 4 Dead. I was never able to acquire L4D, so I was of course happy to find part two on sale :-D.

At first glance it is a fairly typical game: the objective is to reach the levels end (safe house or final evac point) alive, while killing anything that gets in your way. Then again that pretty much describes most games on the planet, doesn't it? Even most of the original Rainbow Six was that way really, until the patches came. For joe smuck, L4D2 is certainly enjoyable enough from the perspective that you have like a good 150-600 zombies per map, the average is closer to 300 I would say.

What I have found, is an incredibly well designed game!

Left 4 Dead works off the premise that a rabies like virus has plunged the world into a zombie apocalypse. Unlike the more graphic depictions in the original Night of the Living Dead, or the flesh-eating norm in most zombie flicks: L4Ds infected "Zombies" just beat the loving crap out of people, no eating. The weak of stomach will be happy that there is nothing remotely resembling the whole truck/gas station thing from NotLD. Gore mongers ofc being made happy by what happens to the zombies ;).

Four "Survivors" are thrown together in the plot, and multiplayer tends to recreate this feeling through a lobby oriented way of hosting games, as well as a "Quick match" function. Gladly, they avoid the brain damage behind SWAT 3s massive lags. Rather than being strictly round based, killed survivors may respawn in a "Closet" somewhere and are stuck in spectator mode until "Rescued" by living survivors. Even going this far, they work to help bring that survival-horror flick mood to things. You just never know who your going to meet during a zombie apocalypse ;).

At it's heart, Left 4 Dead is a game for people with a different "Taste". It's not going to satisfy simulation fans and it isn't just another DooM clone in a CoDs skin either. The game play and design tends to attract a different crowd, enough so that I have been impressed by some of the teamwork you can get going with a random crowd of survivors. We can only hope the same happens if there ever is such a zombie take over \o/.

The control layout at first glance, just breaths of a console games influence (it's also on the XBox 8=). In actual practice though, it works flawlessly: it is simple, consistent, and almost intuitive. I say almost intuitive because it's more consistent than most preceding games on the PC lol. At its core, you simply shoot everything as normal or shove things around using what's equipped. When medical items are in hand, holding fire uses it on yourself, where as holding shove uses (or give) it on(/to) the team mate you're looking at or shoves. More normally that would've been an action/use-button kind of thing. Once you get used to the item model, you've mastered the only "Thinking" required. There's also few controls, which makes my old-side happy, since I grew up where six buttons and a D-pad was a lot of keys. Whoever worked through how to play test this thing, must really have earned their pay cheque IMHO.

Since each level is riddled with a ton of common infected, having four guns firing is a great help. With a little applied thinking and the fact that you are so much stronger than a single infected (zombie), team mates are not needed so much as they come in handy. Namely with that much bullets and limbs flying everywhere, someone is going to protect you or draw off attention from you, sooner or later ;). A basic application of tactics can also be useful, but needs to be adapted to fighting swarms of melee-oriented targets rather than an armed attacker.

Most game modes are little evolved past single player, so there is no real reason not to play in Campaign (co-op) or Versus mode. The difference between co-op and versus mode, is that one team controls the "Special" infected and their spawn points (under tight control). In the strictly co-operative mode, everyone is a survivor, and bots fill in for missing or idle players. Having players as the special infected in versus mode, generally results in a more challenging game than co-op, if not quite as plausible as the one driven solely by the "A.I. Director". You can't spawn to close to the survivors, or to fast, but the positioning can still be a bit much at times. Such as a bathroom that's already been swept clear.

Something that really makes the game, is the special infected: most posse an attack that once successful, is effectively a death sentence unless another player saves your bacon. The rest are mealy a recipe for mopping the floor with everyone. It's been done to such an exquisite balance that loose cannons are still found, but you will almost always find *team* games! No one can survive alone indefinitely, and statistics tend to add up when a campaign takes nearly an hour (or more depending on pace). The shortest game I've actually had, was about 35 minutes for one campaign, but we blew through it like four lighting bolts, hehe.

I've never seen a game that so well balances individual skills along side the need to work together, let along one that feels like your knee deep in zombies gone wild.

The game can be rather gruelling at times from the horde, but it's rather enjoyable. Where as most games have fairly limited replay value, L4Ds use of a "Director" to drive the gameplay takes things to the next level. At the very least, randomising the location of items and enemies is a pretty damn simple thing to do in terms of game design, if so often ignored. In L4D however, it goes as far as giving the A.I. Director control over enemy spawning, item placement, and can be unforgiving at times. In the end the game play is always slightly different, and tends to flow with how well you're doing. One of the most impressive moments (from my developers perspective) was playing through The Parish campaign, and noticing on the previous attempt: we found a weapons cache in a store room, second attempt it was totally barricaded off - because we were doing well that time around.

I wish every game could take advantage of such technology. It would make things so much nicer, and sure as hell beats Raven Shield. The closet I've seen to L4D, is SWAT 3s best maps, but L4D takes it to many more levels of gameplay.

My only gripe with the game has been it's fairly short: about 6 campaigns (Dead Centre, The Passing, Dark Carnival, Swamp Fever, Hard Rain, and The Parish), ranging perhaps 3-5 levels each. Realistically you could clear the entire game (online) in 3-4 hours time with a solid team, and a rapid pace of attack, sans failures of course. That and the game crashes if I set the shader setting to a higher quality setting than my graphics card apparently supports >_>

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Finishing up my laptops backups and prepping for an overhaul of the software setup.... why do I feel like my stress levels are about to climb a dozen rungs?
For the first time in quite a bit, I've opened my Private Airport kai map, watching tangos climb up a drain pipe today was a good memory jogger ^_^.

Almost everything I had worked on was complete, except for the question of what to do with the terminal buildings now accessible roof. I need to redo a lot of the maps original layout there, because of how the fake backdrops were done (creating distant scenery for unreachable areas). The amount of work all that represents, means I need to decide whether or not to make the second tarmac area and associated grounds accessible to the player. Well, technically it is accessible since you can walk through a fake backdrop but the HOM effect isn't welcome lol. I've also modified a few things to reward an inquisitive player, rather than making it as obvious as first planned.

I've added a set of rooms on the terminals roof, meant to simulate a small office like environment that is rather missing from the stock maps architecture. Minor tweaks to the backdropping there, extra spawns, and some finishing touches in the administrators office, then my map is basically RC ready.

Today I also had a rather interesting idea: while adding that office space, it occurred to me that it would be practical to put a small catwalkesque bridge over to the air traffic control tower would be a nice idea. The ATC of course, is just a big static mesh, which is fairly normal (modern) practice for such scenery - but surprising for raven shields level designers. That means there is no way to make a habitable ATC without building one from scratch. Since the fake backdrops in the area are associated to the ones near the new offices, there is a fair bit of work to be done in that area anyway. The only problem with building a proper ATC however, is the fact that I've never had to climb one before lol.

Friday, July 16, 2010

At least Random is consistent, he usually proves my train of thought correct once he opens his mouth.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I've spent most of the day cleaning stuff out, circumstances being as they are, ma finally decided on cleaning out the hallway closet - a prelude to deeper cleaning. I always knew she would find someway to enlist me >_>.

The thing that irks me is that of course, my mother hates to throw anything out. My family are pack rats, among other things. Out of the entire closet, I would say that the keep pile outweighs the chunk it pile. At least plenty got done for a change, I could swear some of that stuff was older than I am!

People go through life acquiring a lot of stuff, to some people their "Stuff" is everything. In my honest opinion, if it's no use to you: then either find someone who can use it or throw it out, and skew this years landfill calculations in a more accurate direction lol. I offered suggestions where I know a better home for some things (generally accepted), even noted that others like the useful "Collections" of encyclopedic or more scientific materials should be donated to the library. Of course, she wouldn't hear that and those had to be chucked 8=). They were the kind of books you would go to a library for anyway (or grep several websites per topic).

When it comes to cleaning things out, I default to THROW OUT!

From the entire closet, of which ma has probably kept at least 1m2 or closer to it - there were only four things I would've opted to keep. Two boxes of comic books because you never know when you'll run out of real books, and two dusty old children's books that are "Time before time" kind of old. Only reason I would opt to keep those, is because I'm sentimental. When I was very, very young and long before her Alzheimer's set in, one was a book my grandmother always read to me whenever we visited. So they invoke my more 'fond' memories of her. I don't have many childhood memories to be fond of either. Yet, if there was no place to put it, I would still put that in the out pile if absolutely necessary: because I don't need  the book to remember, my memory is to close to photographic to forget that sort of thing. It'll be on my book shelf.

My mother on the other hand, if there's so much as a 0.001th chance it could be useful, if it cost plenty, or if it took effort, she won't throw something out. Even if the damn thing was never used in the first freaking place \o/.

Generally I'm more sentimental than not, but first and foremost... I'm a practical son of a gun. Space and usefulness generally outweighs most other concerns when you have to set priorities. I don't think my mothers ever been good at that either.

Finally looked at Randoms remarks

I heard a while ago from friends (firstly one in [SAS] uniform) that Random had been banned off NTFs Raven Shield server(s). I also had decided not to look up the threads mentioned. To be honest, I hadn't stayed up to date with either clans forum for several months, nor really cared much about doing so. Those close to me, likely have some understanding of my point of views -> this thing doesn't change that! What has, is I can't say nothing.... after reading that thread. Y'all said it was bad but I didn't think it could be THAT bad.

A few days ago, I was playing a mod that was mentioned a long time ago in NTFs forums and I wanted to make a reply now that I tried out the mod. Did that. Since leaving [SAS], as a matter of respect (since I have friends in each), when I check one clans forum I tend to check the other as well. While I was on [SAS]'s forum, I checked Randoms thread in clan topics and was appalled.

When I was an [SAS] member, if I had posted anything like that, I would have been eaten alive. It's the kind of stuff that could get a member banned from the entire clan!

Since seeing the clans commanding officer, in my honest opinion managed to disgrace everything [SAS] members have been demanded to uphold in their conduct, I posted a "Thank you" message addressed to Random. Publicly because he disgraced the regiment publicly in his own forum! Why a thank you? Because having to see just how low things have been allowed to sink, when the CO pulls that off and gets away with it unquestioned, it makes me happy to be out of the picture once and for all.

A [SAS] member questioned me about it, and since he has offered no objections to it when prompted, I will quote myself as a brief explanation of my logic:
Spidey01: If NTF, Rouge, and Medic each fall into the set of "other players and organizations" in the [SAS] Code of Honour, where it is clearly understood as other than an "[SAS] member", does it follow that Randoms conduct in Clan Topics is "therefore a demotable, and potentially a bannable offense if any member is caught being disrepsectful in any online server, forum, chat room, or game room." --> ?
Spidey01: I would act the same way if it was Tom, Dick, and Harry from clan Fools Horde.
Spidey01: Since all [SAS] Members are bound by the [SAS] Code of Honour, and Random is an [SAS] Member, it surely follows that Random is bound by the [SAS] Code of Honour. Yes?

And of course I mean no disrespect towards NTF, Rouge, Medic, Tom, Dick, Harry, or Fools Horde by that remark ;).

In my opinion Randoms conduct in [SAS]'s public forums, does constitute major breaches that code. It may even be the single biggest violation of Article 1 that I have ever seen in my life. Public and in-front of the mebership is the only areas I've seen GCHQ enforce the clans code of honour, so it is deffo applicable to a public forum post in Clan Topics.

If you have ever been inside [SAS] for more than a brief stay, then you know how members are supposed to resolve "Issues", if you are or were ever of Sgt grade, then you have probably read the Moderator guidelines (last stored in the policy forum afaik), all you should have to do is read the [SAS] Code of Honour and Randoms thread, to conclude that it is a violation of [SAS] CoH. I don't give a crap if NTF justified such action or if they gave him every possible concession, no [SAS] member is above the CoH. There is __N_O__exception to that, and even that is all but coded into the CoH! The CO has the final authority in holding members accountable: but who holds the boss man accountable, hmm? When I joined [SAS], that kind of thread would never have gotten past Randoms first posting before being obliterated as a CoH violation. The member responsible for posting it would've had head on a chopping block. Being a red blooded American, you could say that notions like that, may as well be tattooed on my hind end, and proud of it.

Considering that my membership in [SAS] amounts to about a quarter of my life thus far, after reading that thread, I really can't avoid saying Random blew a nuclear sized hole in the CoH and appears to be getting off scot free.

It's not slanderous either, it's as factual as a speeding ticket.
I may hail from the Inner Sphere, but even I know the meaning of Zellbrigen.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

QOTD 2010-07-13

'A true friend is someone who
knows you're   a good egg
even if you're a little cracked.' 

Something More

Monday, hard to wake up
Fill my coffee cup, I'm out the door
Yeah, the freeway's standing still today
It's gonna make me late, and thats for sure
I'm running out of gas and out of time
Never gonna make it there by nine

There's gotta be something more
Gotta be more than this
I need a little less hard time
I need a little more bliss
I'm gonna take my chances
Taking any chance I might
Find what I'm looking for
There's gotta be something more

Five years and there's no doubt
That I'm burnt out, I've had enough
So now boss man, here's my two weeks
I'll make it short and sweet, so listen up
I could work my life away, but why?
I got things to do before die

There's gotta be something more
Gotta be more than this
I need a little less hard time
I need a little more bliss
I'm gonna take my chances
Taking any chance I might
Find what I'm looking for
There's gotta be something more

Five years and there's no doubt
That I'm burnt out, I've had enough
So now boss man, here's my two weeks
I'll make it short and sweet, so listen up
I could work my life away, but why?
I got things to do before die

Some believe in destiny, and some believe in fate
I believe that happiness is something we create
You best belive that I'm not gonna wait
'Cause there's gotta be something more

I get home 7:30 the house is dirty, but it can wait
Yeah, 'cause right now I need some downtime
To drink some red wine and celebrate
Hey, Armageddon could be knocking at my door
But I ain't gonna answer thats for sure.
There's gotta be something more!

There's gotta be something!

There's gotta be something more
Gotta be more than this
I need a little less hard time
I need a little more bliss
I'm gonna take my chances
Taking any chance I might
Find what I'm looking for
There's gotta be something more

Five years and there's no doubt
That I'm burnt out, I've had enough
So now boss man, here's my two weeks
I'll make it short and sweet, so listen up
I could work my life away, but why?
I got things to do before die

Got to be,
Got to be,
Got to be something more!

Something More—Sugarland

Monday, July 12, 2010

To sleep or not to sleep, that is the question...

Currently in that irksome to active to sleep / to tired to focus another 6+ hours frame of things. Oh how I know it.

It just feels like the everything is moving so damn slow! I like speed. Name any flight sim I've played and you can bank on it, that I've done a lot of nap of the earth flying at the crafts maximum flank speed. Hmm, think I might reach into the draw and shuffle around for one of my flight sims.

If this phase of moving forward can be stretched on for a factor of years, courtesy of family, just think how many years a positive impact will take \o/. I don't have the patience left. It would be nice to get something done on this rock, while I'm still young enough to piss under my own steam.

Everything depends on a few core invariants, and that's exactly what I'm being blocked from reaching. Block has a different, more technical notion to programmers, than what it should have to regular people. You can't build out of thin air any more than you can build without a foundation.

Having to put up with morons in lead overshoes, constantly increases the probability that the rest of my natural life will be effectively equal to the present. Unlike certain fucktards I'm not satisfied with the status quo. Life isn't meant to be an unchanging constant,

I should be free to get more done than twiddling my damn thumbs for months on end!!!!!
Today I've had to get used to living with Subversion again, as much as I simply love git, setting up a repository is easier with svn then git-svn :-S. Aside from the obvious problems that chop up from their different mental models it's not that bad.

The lights flickering as the thunder blares outside on the other hand, tell me that I should probably *WAIT* to merge this vendor branch into the trunk - and go look up how atomic svn copy src-url ... dst-url actually is in terms of network and power failures! If I was using git I would just say screw it and do the merge, because I know already that git doesn't phone home to the repository, because the working copy is a repository.

Oh well, to the manuals!
While it's definitely time for bed, I'm in no mood for sleeping. Todays largely been a mixture of ghost recon and getting things sorted for a project. With luck the pace will be ready to accelerate shortly, so at least that will be something to focus on.

For tonight, I guess it's more L4D2 and clearing out something like 150-600 zombies a map. I've been sleeping a bit easier lately, but whether that's due to how exhausting zombie slaying gets or the first of two major-annoyances on the license matter being done, is debatable.

Slice, dice.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I dozed off and had the most awesome if strange dream. Of course trying to get anything through a certain someone's thick skull doesn't work even in dreamland 8=).

Oh well...
Some how I thoght the time was a few hours later than this, how could I ever dream that I ould sleep that long :-S

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Somehow after joining Timbo for a game, and compiling a list of links to their map list... I can't help count how many of these maps I already know :-S

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

After more than 18 hours of Left 4 Dead 2, I must admit the game is addictive.

Servants Creed

Some how I can't help but remember what I told a friend and [SAS] member on my way out of [SAS].

"Lived in shadow, died in shadow"

Such is the nature of someone who follows orders and serves without seeking their own political benefit.

What is an [SAS] WO1? It's a SAW, not a CO or NCO.

Tonight a somewhat annoying thing actually occurred, I was referred to as an "Officer" in regard to my time around [SAS]. The rank I last held was "Warrant Officer Class One (WO1)", but this is not a commissioned officer.

I was never a commissioned officer in [SAS], and generally sought to avoid becoming one!

In [SAS], there are six rank groups: GCHQ, SAW, NCO, Trooper, Recruit, and Veteran. Only people inside formally GCHQ constitute the officers. Other wise everyone above Trp would constitute an officer. That's because of the terminology (CO versus WO versus NCO). Troopers used to be Privates. Veteran, well the morons in GCHQ could never decide whether it was to be treated administratively like a rank or a status. Recruit isn't really a rank but is treated like it was in that regard.

In real militaries, they generally follow either of two models: one in which warrant officers are classified independent of the Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) and Commissioned Officer (CO) ranks. This is the American system, at least it is what are army in the United States has been using for a long time. [SAS] WO1 is not comparable to the U.S. WO1 or CWO* ranks. CWOs tend to hold a commission rather than a warrant now. The other system is one in which Warrant Officers are classified as part of the NCO corps. Otherwise WOs are absent.

[SAS] generally models itself after the British army in most ranking issues, and NTFs undisclosed ranking system appears to mimic the American system for Enlisted/Commissioned from what I've seen of it. In regards to WO1s in [SAS], it more a thing of it's own creation.

The WO1 rank in [SAS] is classified as part of the "Special Assignments Wing (SAW)" created along side it, and generally replaced the (S)NCO rank of Staff Sergeant (SSgt) for someone being given a long term "Desk job". WO1 is not an NCO rank and it is is not a CO rank in [SAS]. It created a distinction between the training and technical work for senior members, it also moved the desk jobs to a higher spot on the mighty page, but that's only because GCHQ made me "Fix" the glitch that placed me at the very bottom of The Mighty page 8=). I found that fitting actually, to be listed last.

In terms of [SAS]:

If you have a COMMAND related responsibility within the clan as a Non Commissioned Officer, you hold a rank with "Sergeant" in the name. Other wise you are in GCHQ and hold a Commissioned Officers rank to match.

If you have a TECHNICAL related responsibility, you are in the Special Assignments Wing (SAW). When I left that meant WO1 and in effect, a trooper whose job is to make sure site backups happen rather than play RvS all day. Thus seperating the weight of an SNCOs authority from the administrative tasks of an [SAS] SSgt, which held both.
As an SAS_WO1_name, you follow orders from GCHQ. That is it. 
There is not an overlap between the two jobs, unless someone isn't doing THEIR job. 

The relationship between WO1 and RSM in [SAS], is similar to that between SPC and CPL in the U.S. Army. Same pay grade, different level of responsibility. However an army SPC has much more "Authority" over bossing the Privates around than a WO1 has over any rank in [SAS], comparatively speaking. The RSM gets all the authority and the WO1 gets all the paper work in [SAS].

As RSM, I had to do the jobs of three ranks: I fulfilled the responsibilities of a WO1 (technical matters), an RSM (managing trainers), and several CPLs (field trainers) worth of work. Basically I was the 2nd most overworked member in the clans entire history. The last one because of a smattering of inactive or lazy gits causing a major shortage in man power until more were groomed, and the first one because of a shortage of people willing to WORK behind the scenes on the website to make sure there was a website for everyone to use for free. All that on top of "Assignments" thrown my way that had to get done in the middle of all that. I had a similar level of being overworked when I was a CPL, as did my peers; that was due to our Sgts, for the same reasons.  When the whole WO1 thing came up, WIZ kept me briefed and Rouge was sent to deliver the formal message. I was moved to the WO1 rank to focus on web maintenance (you have no idea how much I ****ing hate that websites internals!!!) that no one else would touch, and Valroe was promoted to RSM, where he did basically half of what his rank required.

As WO1 while I was above most of the clan on the roster, all the command authority was vested purely in the hands of the RSM and GCHQ. If it was a website problem, you talk to the WO1, if it was a training schedule you talked to the Sergeant Majors. If it was a clan problem, you talked to the Major.

That was the whole idea. Spidey01 gets to focus on the website instead of spinning three wheels at the same time. Valroe gets his chance to be groomed for upper management. I enjoyed having time to "Play" games again. When it didn't work that way, someone didn't do their clan job. You know how I am about abusively multitasking when things need doing.

In point of fact, it was precisely that arrangement or divestment of WO1/RSM that eventually lead to my resignation becoming necessary. If you want to see something that makes what the [SAS] Major did to NTFs officers on their way out of [SAS] look like a very tame side show: become a WO1 and be ready to issue an order to the ranks below you, because your officers won't get off their fat asses and do what's required of their ranks according to the clans formal rules ;).

End Of File.

The Ultimate Zombie Fighting Kit

This is in my humble opinion, the ultimate kit for fighting zombies, in the event that you should ever find yourself stuck in such a horror flick:

2 x Swords in scabbards across the back. A pair of wakizashi or a wakizashi and katana pairing would work perfectly, or something else along those lines. While technically caring for a katana in some form of post-apocalyptic zombie invasion would be a major drag, such a weapons cutting ability would be seriously useful. Either way a single sword is more than likely going to be overwhelmed and shorter blades are less likely to get in the way in doors. Using a chain saw is more likely to get you or a friendly killed than the zombies.

4 to 6 x Knives. 1 or 2 along side each boot for backup; plus another pair along the waist/legs for use as needed. Personally I think a Kukri or two would be handy, save the rest for emergencies or quick throws. You can never have enough knives in a zombie fight. Include some shuriken if possible (needle type are probably more relevant).

2 to 3 x Semi-automatic pistols. Capacity is more important than stopping power, as long as  it handles head hunting sufficiently. Although going akimbo (bring a 4th pistol) might be useful against a zombie swarm, using your strong hand to fire until dry then swapping it to the weak, as you draw the next pistol with your strong hand is likely better. Few people can reload like Lara Croft and head shots tend to be more reliable in such dire straights, unless having a minigun would be the only thing capable of saving your bacon ;). Probably best if they all can share magazines as well as cartridges, for obvious reasons: reloading on the run and through a rare lull in targets is easier that way. Arguably the main limitation is weight. If dual wielding, make sure to use tracers so you leave a round chambered by reload time. The reason? Because if you've got to slap in two mags and rack two slides, you're gonna be zombie chow.

1 x A primary weapon. An assault carbine or SMG is probably the best balance of accuracy/ammo. Shotguns are useful against swarms but limited in ammunition capacity, and the "Dream" weapon for zombie fighting doesn't exist. Namely a double barrelled, semi-automatic shotgun fed from a bag of shells. Save the scatterguns for when there's a well rounded group of people to fend off zombies with. Personally I would fancy an H&K MP5 or an old M2 carbine, both being much lighter all around than the CAR15/HK416 family and more than powerful enough, unless again it's time to reach for a minigun. If not using swords, slinging an uzi or a sawed off shotgun across the back for backup, is a good idea.

+ Explosives and Water. Always useful in a pinch, and sometimes an incendiary would be useful. Exposed hand grenades would be unwise, or anything else that could be "armed" by a zombie yanking at it, or pulling/crushing. This makes something like dynamite more valuable, but has the downside of course being that you might be dead before it gets lit and blown. At least one canteen is useful, in case of being separated from other survivors or temporary stranded.

+ Steel tipped boots. 'nough said.

You now weigh at least 15-20 lbs heavier without counting the ammunition, explosives, or water. The ability to take on a good 80+ zombies without stopping on the other hand, is worth it. Just be sure to get in shape before dooms day.

When you consider how unlikely it is that you'll be able to find a hill top surrounded by motion-tracking minuguns and a mega load of ammo/power, let along reach it alive for one reason or another: it is a very good thing that need for such an "Arsenal" is only needed in Hollywood or video games! Besides, if such a thing could ever happen in the first place, you would probably be infected by a virus turning you zombie before you would have time to worry anyway :-P
Freaking internet connection having a nice bleep out, would've erased the last post if it wasn't for bloggers autosave.

Monday, July 5, 2010

So far in the past few hours I've done enough exercises to leave my counts in the dust, cleaned and organised this place, and am wondering if I'll get a chance for a morning run later :-/

An ultra rare spider splurge

Trying to sleep is a bloody useless affair, so I got up and spent about 5 minutes on exercise. Something like 30 each of push ups, rows, and situps/reverse crunches. That doesn't even work off dinner. If I could have peace long enough, I could do an order of magatude more than that in an hour without breaking a sweet.

Booted up the computer after trying to explain to Willow, that it's a bit impossible to do a situp with a 6kg dog sitting on your chest lol. In going through my usual login ritual, I decided to do something that I rarely ever do: splurge. I've bought a copy of Left 4 Dead 2, and at 66% off, it is such a great deal that even I can't refuse lol. It's been what, like 2 years since I've bought myself something more than an odd pound cake? I've still enough left over for my license and fuel needs, so I shouldn't feel guilty about having a treat.

Ok, maybe it's weird... survive six months of going nuts because I'm trying to move forward after ~7 years of hell, then I buy a game involving an apocalyptic swarm of zombies just as things start to resemble hopeful. Yep, that's me in a nut shell.

Now back to exercise.... while the dogs fallen asleep :-)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

My original reason for joining hulu, was actually to catch up on lost years of Stargate SG-1. Some how though, it's got a better selection than cable lol.

Robotech @ Hulu

Yippee ki yay! has the entire set of Robotech sagas from the 80s. *Happy dance*

It was watching the original Macross Saga about the first Robotech war, that threw my interests in 'mechs and technology tooo many years ago. I was impressed by Robotechs depth  and more realistic way of telling its tale. Some how I find it fitting that again, the years line up. 

To top it all off, they even have the third saga: which I've never seen, let along heard of it being syndicated here in the USA. It actually took buying an art book with all the episode synopsis in it, for me to even learn about the third sagas existence. I've always said I would tape the original series if I ever caught it on reruns, or snag it someday on DVD. Looks like Hulu to the rescue ;).

1990s Robot Jox, 1985s Robotech, and 1979s Mobile Suit Gundam, and of course dear old MW2 back in '95 all served to systematically addict my mind to the concept. Probably 80% or more of what I know about mathematics, science, aerospace, and engineering - was all learned out of that interest in 'Mechs. Not to mention taking a meticulous geeks nature to figuring out the details behind making such a machine in real life. 

Ironically, I've had the design details for such things again on my mind, for a game designs bible lol.

VF-1 Valkyries here we come!
Yesterday was generally, as uneventful as they get, didn't even get any night driving—which likely means I'll have to wait until Tuesday or later. Knowing my mother, more likely the week after next :-(. Courtesy of my nations independence day, I'm assured of being stuck here staring at alls all weekend.

A friend suggested a very interesting idea yesterday, and probably the most positive thing to come up in ages. Although it would likely take a year or more in saving ahead before I could act on it, I must admit that she is a very smart cookie. Knowing how my family tends to negatively impact my plans, with my luck it would probably take another decade to bring that matter to fruition. Hmm, at least a spider can dream on occasion. Still, I'm a realist at heart: and I know peace is not in any of the cards that I'm likely to draw. It would also, undoubtedly cause a year or two worth in delays on realising my long term plans: but it is definitely getting the green light. It's worth it. Like everything, it's just a matter of time: be it 1 year, 5, 10, 25, or more. Whenever my family's impact is included in plans, it usually looks like a multiplier that makes landing on mars look more feasible than moving forward \o/.

Once I've gotten a suitable income, because I've so few expenses from living here: most of my wages can go straight in the bank. Unlike my mother, I actually learned what the word S A V E means. While I'm also, likely the cheapest bastard on earth when it comes to spending money on my own benefit, saving for and working towards the things I want to obtain, is called a fact of life.

Heh, that reminds me. The other day while Her Royal Pain was noting that once one of her credit cards is paid off, the cost of it will likely be able to cover whatever the increase in car insurance will be from me getting a license. The company can't say what it will be, until I have my full license. She agreed to cover that cost ages ago if I jumped through the hoops needed to get a license, but I expect her to slip out on that. Either way it is and always has been, fully in my intention to take over that cost when I'm working. I took the opportunity to check up on what my mothers actual expenses are running now: most of which fit two classes: need to be paid, have to be paid, and simply being starved off the balance sheet until they no longer remain in the equation. That's how she's always divided her finances. I can also remember telling her years ago: "I told you so", before she even got into any debts, again.

Here's the rub: if you are surviving on much less income and paying more bills now, then when you started building up a debt: then you didn't need to accumulate that much in debt in the first place.

Where past & present factors represents the realistic state of the accounting equation at their respective ends of sampling: if present factors are less than the past factors and the absolute value of the present factors are still far greater than the failure point, such that the failure point is so far below ends meet that ones life style is no longer realistically sustainable; then past factors are also greater than the failure point. Well than guess what that means to anyone who survived even elementary maths, let along the topics I've enjoyed studying over the years? The difference between the past and present factors, is representative of how much you could of had "left over", based on what you could have lived on in the past, versus what higher level you actually lived on in the past. Representative here meaning, that (/ (- x y) m) or (* (- x y) m) would be more precise than the given (- x y), where the expression m is needed to more accurately convert (- x y) to match a given step in time, rather than a generalised result; which would take even more words to write out, and could be done in either way depending on how one figures m. Or in short, spending to much is a bad idea.

I've kept an eye on my family's various goings on since the mid nineties and the study of computation ruled my early two thousands, for all intents and purposes. Both are likely subjects dentimental to human sanity.
Well, I'm awake \o/. Still got up at an ungodly hour but instead of getting started on exercises and code, I forced myself to stay put and try and go back to sleep... took a few boring hours. To top it off, I've still been up since near dawn lol.

Much like the last time, this lead to an odd style of dream, best described as Metal Gear Solid meets Transformers meshed with a show down against the this beast from Mobile Fighter G Gundam.

Friday, July 2, 2010

For some reason my instincts tell me all hell is about to break loose...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tuesday was an annoyance, spent on stair cases, and practically falling down them. I've no freaking idea who the hell needs a four story house. Wednesdays cleaning client at least has the decency of one staircase!  Spent most of that stiff as a board. Ended up being dragged through a super market again, *groan*, but at least I'm walking properly. Starboard ankle still has it's moments, which always leaves my mothers voice ringing in my minds ears: as she always complains about having weak ankles. Me on the other hand, my body does what it's told or I beat it until it does, period.

After a fourth day of compiling software, my laptop is finally up to date and fully equipped for development again. I just need to get the XFire plugin fixed. Either I need to revert it (again) to an ancient version, or port the modern versions to FreeBSD; and hope the developers accept the patches. It's all because some stupid moron couldn't look up whether some function_like_this() was part of the GNU C library, or POSIX; which is silly because those functions tend to look likthis().

On the upside, this week I've gotten another 80 minutes driving time after dark. Giving a cycle since January, of: 60, 40, 40, 40 minutes. For a grand total of 180 minutes, or 3 hours out of the 6 required hours. It will likely take another 2 or 3 weeks... grr. The only good thing I can really say, is that modern lisp lets me express the arithmetic as:

> (+ 1 2/3 2/3 2/3)

Which is kind of handy.

Yes, I like lisp.

You know you're a programmer when...

you can think: "Parse error, unclosed parentheses", at seeing '(comedy, ' at the end of the cable boxes on screen info for the current film....