Secret Project, Part Yi
Forenoon watch, 8 bells (12:15 pm)

The first picture of my new secret project:


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Broadsides to the Script Kiddies
Posted in Tech
Afternoon watch, 4 bells (2:05 pm)

Today I fired off a broadside blast against some annoying script kiddies that have been defacing a vBulletin site I have the unfortunate misery to manage. I finally tracked their crack down to a PHP file that was uploaded under a previously vulnerable version. I had no idea it was there, but these evil files kept showing up despite my keeping the software updated.

These people are not hackers, but tiny-minded people trying to up search engine results and send out spam. If you want to know what a real hacker is, read 2600 Magazine.

Anyway, I deleted their exploit, then realized I was missing an opportunity, and replaced the page with this:
Middle finger cat

Now if they ever come from an un-banned IP address (yeah, I shut them out, and the rest of their ISP's network, too!), that's all they're going to get…

Afternoon watch, 3 bells (1:55 pm)

I was lucky enough to see Jonathan Coulton and They Might Be Giants play in Spokane WA last Sunday. On their way to Seattle, they offered to have JoCo answer questions, and mine got answered:

Jonathan Coulton question answered

Would You?
Posted in Creepiness
First watch, 4 bells (10:20 pm)

Creepy place for free hugs

I for one would take that chance.

(Thanks to Eric Trueheart for posting this picture where I could see it!)

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A Taste of Sarcasm
Posted in General
First dog watch, 2 bells (5:24 pm)

If you have ever had to download anything from Cisco you may appreciate this:

Cisco feedback

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Where Does the Time Go?
Forenoon watch, 8 bells (12:19 pm)

Now that my MUD (which I've recently settled on the name ForeverMUD) is getting more stable, I thought I'd run some profiling tools on it. Valgrind is a very cool utility made to do this very thing.

When I first started developing, I wrote in a loop timer that keeps track of the longest processing time as well as the average loop time. After the introduction of a large (16,200 room) world map, the loop times jumped from 10-30 µsec to over 190,000 µsec—no bueno.

So last night I ran Valgrind and used kcachegrind to view the results, which showed me this:

Valgrind and kcachegrind results

Put simply, most of my time is spent manipulating mutexes. I'm going to have to rethink my design, because that's way too much time…

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Nice Job, Microsoft
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:47 am)

I have several subscriptions to Microsoft services, such as MSDN, TechNet, etc. I realized that they expect people to use their browser to access their site, but do they have to make it so other browsers can't access?

Case in point:
Microsoft without Explorer FAIL

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Might Morphin Power Daleks!
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:42 am)

It's the Mighty Morphin Power Daleks!

They reminded me of this old User Friendly iMac parody, too.

This Amuses Me
Afternoon watch, 8 bells (4:10 pm)

People and pictures of poor grammar and/or misuse of apostrophes really amuse me. For example:

Bad apostrophe

The part I enjoy most is both the appropriate and inappropriate use of the apostrophe. I see this truck around town from time to time. I finally had a camera handy and snapped a picture of it. I also submitted it to GrammarBlog.

Posted in Warm and Fuzzy
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:45 pm)

Meta-Cat is not amused at your Internet humor…

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Well There’s Your Problem
Afternoon watch, 7 bells (3:49 pm)

I thought I had a copy of this lying around, but couldn't find it anywhere, so I had to go find it again. This kind of humor cracks me up:

Your mechanic is a pony

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Morning Visitors
Posted in Warm and Fuzzy
Forenoon watch, 2 bells (9:10 am)

We had visitors this morning:
two deer on Mt. Scott in Portland OR

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Some New Textures
Posted in Hobbies
Afternoon watch, 6 bells (3:09 pm)

I created some new textures and added them to my MaJiang program. I also added a few more tiles to the view.

Majiang tiles rendered in OpenGL

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More OpenGL Progress
First watch, 6 bells (11:09 pm)

Today I had a cow-orker create a chamfered rectangle in 3DS Max (it's extremely simple, the chamfered box is a primitive object with its own button) and save it as a .obj file.

I wrote some code to import the format and display that instead of the simple cube that I hand-coded to get started. Anyway, the new object looks awesomeway better than the perfectly square edges of the old model. Enough chatting, see for yourself:

Chamfered rectangle rendered in OpenGL

Old model: 12 vertices, 10 faces
New model: 104 vertices, 204 faces

OpenGL Progress
Posted in Hobbies
First dog watch, 4 bells (6:16 pm)

I had a lot of quiet spare time at home today, so I thought I'd work on my OpenGL Majiang program. Here's where I'm at:
Three Majiang tiles rendered in OpenGL

Today I added multisampling to get rid of the worst of the aliasing, I computed all the surface normals and added diffuse and ambient lighting, and set up the specular and shininess attributes of the different materials I use.

I've also been working on some new textures, so when I get around to rendering the whole game I'll have a good bunch of images to mix things up. It took me a couple of hours to track down some old Chinese fonts, toss out the bad ones, and create new images for the tiles. I'll save the rest of the work for next week.