Internet Access Upgrade
Posted in Tech
Afternoon watch, 4 bells (2:06 pm)

I've been working for a real long time on this, but today finally got an upgrade to 10Mbit fiber 'net access for our office. We're leaving the world of the T1 behind, finally. Best part of the whole deal is we can do it without a big out-of-pocket cost to our company.

Pardon me while I pat myself on the back, but this represents a lot of work that is finally paying off.

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Intel C++ Compiler
Posted in Tech
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:31 pm)

I installed the Intel C++ Compiler today, perhaps I'll get some better mileage out of it. I hear it's supposed to be real good. Plus, it's free-as-in-beer for non-commercial use!

This ought to work well with VTune, the code profiler, too. I've been meaning to check out how my MUD looks to the profiler…

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Posted in MUD Development
First watch, 2 bells (9:22 pm)

I just finished adding code to handle autosaving for the MUD engine. I'm afraid it takes a lot longer than I want. Due to disk I/O overhead, my loop processing time jumps from 4-6 microseconds on a normal loop to 750 microseconds or more with just two rooms being saved. I realize that I have 200,000 microseconds per loop right now, and I have 5 loops per second, but still...I want tight code! I wonder how the MySQL server handles this? I'll have to switch over and test the MySQL storage layer and see which one is quicker.

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Modern Pirate Must-Have
Posted in Pirates
First watch, 2 bells (9:17 pm)

Here's something every modern pirate needs, a treasure hunting robot!

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Slice of Thumb
Afternoon watch, 4 bells (2:17 pm)

First thing today after getting in the office (and having to fix a brand new computer that had no working USB ports), I sliced my thumb open on a sharp edge inside the computer case. Right on the inside of my right thumb, perpendicular to the knuckle. It was quite a bleeder for a minute, but stopped quickly with a little pressure.

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Very Busy Day
Posted in Tech
First dog watch, 3 bells (5:46 pm)

I had another very busy day—so busy I never even had time to eat lunch. I'm starving now.

I had a lot of issues upgrading a mission-critical server's version of MySQL and all the fallout that came from updating it. I then began to run in to problems with PHP (new parts and things I've never used before such as PDO) and it took me more than half the day to work them out. Mostly because I've never bothered with them before, but we had some software written specifically for the newest version of MySQL and that used PDO in PHP, so I had to get it all working.

I'm heading home now. Tonight's goal: get containers saving their contents in my MUD project, and learn Boost's regular expression stuff.

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USB Shutdown
First dog watch, 3 bells (5:49 pm)

I just plugged in my new USB memory stick (8Gb!) and my system shut down. Not off, but down. I don't like that.

Best Commercial Ever?
Forenoon watch, 2 bells (9:13 am)

Snickers would have my vote for the best commercial ever. Specifically, Snickers' Barky the Dog commercial made me laugh like few commercials have ever made me laugh before. And I still laugh about it. I had to dig it up and link to it because it hasn't been played for a long time now.

Conflicting Google Ads
Afternoon watch, 3 bells (1:46 pm)

I thought this was so funny I had to get a snapshot:

google ad: child sponsors vs. sponsorship scams

Julianne Won
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 1 bell (8:36 am)

My cousin-in-law, Julianne Hough, won Dancing With the Stars last night, the entire Hough clan was gathered at The Roosevelt for the finale show party. A news crew came out and filmed the celebrations at the end (I wonder if they didn't already know who won…) and interviewed my mother-in-law for the evening news as well as a spot this morning (Good Morning Northwest, I think). Anyway, since this kind of thing really just doesn't interest me, I was off working on my MUD project. Unfortunately, I stayed until it was over, which meant around 11:20pm, past when I'm usually in bed. I was asleep long before Lorien even got home, I never even heard her come in.

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My New Best Friend
Posted in Tech
Afternoon watch, 8 bells (4:14 pm)

I just found my new best friend in the realm of realtime bandwidth monitoring, iftop. I know I've seen it during various installs, but have never explored its capabilities. Now that I have, I love it.

Now to find out who's downloading naughty stuff (music, streaming video, etc. I assume nobody's downloading pr0n) over the corporate network…

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Speaking of Patches…
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:09 am)

Remember the post about patching a fresh copy of XP I wrote a few days ago? How about the post I wrote about the stupid mac laptop that's become an office status symbol?

Well, today we fired up a new MacMini (sounds like a kids meal at McDonald's) and it needs to download 500 Mb of patches.

That, and they're having trouble connecting to our source code repository (Perforce)—I thought these things "just worked".

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Automatic Temperature Equalization
Posted in MUD Development
First dog watch, 2 bells (5:16 pm)

One thing I've really wanted to get in to my MUD design was a temperature model. Every separate room would have it's own ambient temperature. People could do things to affect this temperature such as light a fire, stoke a furnace, etc. Objects entering the room would slowly equalize to the room's temperature, plus any insulation factor they may have. This requires some more code on the living-object side, since I have temperatures I should have a comfort zone and a "damage" zone. Anyway, to make a long story short, here's what I've got so far:

MUD Terminal with Temperature Equalization

You can see that I've taken some damage (my state went from feeble to faint), and my comfort level went from freezing (I started at 0 degrees) and went all the way through Cold, Comfortable, Hot, and Blazing. Things are really working well. This all happens automatically, I just set the temperature of the room and forget about temperatures after that.

Login Attempts and Some Loading
Posted in MUD Development
First watch, 5 bells (10:45 pm)

I just called it a night on the coding, I didn't write much today, I had a bunch of other things to do, but I did want to spend an hour or so writing some more code for the MUD. I added a maximum limit to the number of attempted logins, with a forced disconnect if you hit the limit. Log entries are made on every missed password, as well as at the max-attempts threshold.

After finishing that, I tackled some basic loading issues I've needed to work on for quite a while. I got most of the basic data loaded back in to the system. Specifically, the location the player last saved at is now restored at login. Some other data is also restored, such as height, length, width, weight, temperature, etc. I have to fix the brief and verbose description loading next. It's turning out to be a bit more complicated than I thought it would be, but I guess I should expect that by now.

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The Status Symbol
Afternoon watch, 6 bells (3:17 pm)

Some things I just don't get. A while back, I had to purchase a Mac laptop so we could test our website on a completely different platform with different browsers, and have something to take to trade shows and let people see our software running on it (using virtualization, not natively). When not at shows, it was going to be in an empty cubicle to be used by anyone that needed. it. At some point shortly after it was purchased, though, it because the status symbol, and whoever held on to it was somehow cooler than everyone else. Now it is being taken home nightly (and sometimes forgotten to be brought back) by people that don't even have VPN access. I have concluded that the only feasible reason they would do this is to "be seen" with a Mac. Is Apple's marketing really that good? Am I just not "hip" enough to get it?

I know they use some form of BSD on the backend, being a UN*X guy, that appeals to me. The price tag, however, doesn't. I can put Linux or Solaris or some other UN*X on a cheap laptop and run just fine. I don't give a hao zi pigu who makes it, or how "cool" it makes me look&*8212;just as long as it works okay. I'm going to have to lock that stupid laptop to a desk so people don't take it home just to keep other people from using it.

To quote Maddox, who I won't link to and isn't a very nice guy but can be very funny and poignant sometimes: One thing PC users can do that Mac users can't is shut the … up.

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