The blog of roncli blog
Houston, Texas, United States
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WTF did Revival Productions just do?
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Secretly, you wish you could've done what I did
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Current Posts
Monday, February 28, 2005
No Racing!
Posted: 5:05:00 PM 0 comments
Now playing: RedHeat Sonic Soundscapes - Outer Circle (Vocal, Dance) (4:50)

Did I mention that after all this downloading and installing, my hard drive space has dropped under 2 GB, which means no racing until I clean up my hard drive? ARRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

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I Am Such a C++ N00b
Posted: 4:59:00 PM 0 comments
Now playing: RedHeat Sonic Soundscapes - Outer Circle (Vocal, Dance) (4:50)

It is true. I know little to nothing about C++. Visual Basic just works. C++ on the other hand requires all sorts of knowledge.

Granted, I could code a nice for loop in a matter of... well, however long it takes for me to look at the documentation. No, I don't know any syntax off the top of my head. God I suck!

Anyway, I'm playing with Crystal Space. For some reason I've been fascinated by the programming aspect of 3D engines. It's like the final frontier for me, 3D programming is one of the last aspects of programming I've yet to really get into. It's the closest thing I have to a hobby.

I've tried Irrlicht because it's got a .NET interface. Unfortunately, that interface is sadly lacking, simply because it gives the author double work. I can understand that, so I tried to fudge around with it in C++.

When I realized it didn't have the six degrees of freedom I'm looking for, I ditched it for Crystal Space instead, which has the 6DoF as one of its features. I've downloaded the package, got it all compiled (using VC++ 2005 Beta, you can't beat free dev tools) after a LOT of effort. Yah, I didn't have to use beta software to compile it, but I figured why not go with the latest and greatest.

Well, this all came to a head after I got it all working and started reading the tutorials. I tried to throw one together, and it didn't work. iEngine plug-in not found it would scream at me. Very well, did a Google search on it, and the common mistake is that a system environment variable's not set. No problem, set the variable, run it again.

No soup for me.

I probably spent an hour and a half researching the problem. The solutions were all the same, set your environment variable. I did. Eventually, I started zoning out, and recalled some of my recent Linux shell programming material, and how you had to export environment variables in Linux. I was thinking to myself how glad I was that I didn't have to do that.

Then I recalled a scene from Process Explorer by Sysinternals (yes, more great free software!), where a program that I launched off of the Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar (not free, but it beats the pants off of the Start Menu IMHO) would appear underneith the Shortcut Bar.

I thought about this for a second, and then realized that the Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar had absolutely no knowledge of my change to the environment variables, and thus any programs launched from it would exhibit the same problem. Including Visual C++ 2005 Beta.

Well dammit, sure enough, I close and reopen the Shortcut Bar, run VC++ again, and everything works 100%. I absolutely HATE when problems are so obscure, yet stupidly easy to fix.

And, yes, I'm listening to "Outer Circle" again. Redheat makes some fine music, and this one is no exception. It happens, I get stuck on a song, and have to listen to it for a week. Be glad my blog wasn't up when I was hooked on Dragostea Din Tei...

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Crazy Browser 2.0.0 beta 1
Posted: 9:12:00 AM 0 comments
Now playing: roncli, The Nightstalker - Everytime (Preview) (5:25)

Crazy Browser, my favorite web browser of all time, has released a new beta version featuring an optional MDI interface, even better popup blocking, and a new feature to delete temporary internet files on close. Crazy Browser is basically an extension of Internet Explorer with features that the other browsers have added to try to lure you away from Microsoft's browser. It is very well organized and easy to use, and has features that blow IE away. This is Good Software™. Grab it, you won't be sorry.

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It was a foregone conclusion...
Posted: 2:27:00 AM 0 comments
After two days of working on D3DSN, my curiosity got the better of me, and I actually sat down and opened up a can of Descent 3. 15 months of not playing's taken its toll on my game, needless to say I sucked it up for a while. I also spent a good amount of time fixing video problems throughout the game. There were some great dogfights, and the rush of excitement the game would have at times was exactly as I had remembered it.

Does that mean I'm going to play more? Probably not. We'll see. I still got stuff I want to do with D3DSN yet, and there'll be no doubt I'll be playing to see how well it works from the inside.

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Sunday, February 27, 2005
XML Web Services and SETI
Posted: 5:46:00 AM 0 comments
Now playing: RedHeat Sonic Soundscapes - Outer Circle (Vocal, Dance) (4:50)

Apparantly XML Web Services and SETI@Home don't play nicely together. Here I am thinking I have a big problem in my application, and when I turn off SETI, it's fine.

What's worse is that this is in D3DSN, an application I distribute. So if I'm having this problem, other people are going to have this problem.

Why can't Microsoft write something that plays nice with other things? Greedy corporate bastards.

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Saturday, February 26, 2005
More D3DSN Progress
Posted: 11:36:00 AM 0 comments
Well, it looks like my progress on D3DSN has continued. I am working towards an 0.5.0 BETA hopefully before the weekend is out that will fix the bugs and put all the annoyances to rest. My goal is to add all of the functionality directly related to the game servers into the application for this release, and then code the web stuff after it is released, giving the application some time to settle in.

I also went through the D3DSN Website and changed the way I draw all of the tables to match OSM's method. Not fun, but at the same time it will cut down on coding tables in the future. Useful when I add forums, web control for ops, etc.

It always has been an exciting project when I've gotten around to work on it, as the level of automation this will provide the D3 community is still to this day unprecedented. While I have not played the game in quite some time, it still is something I like to support, especially if there isn't going to be another game in the Descent series in the future.

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Friday, February 25, 2005
D3DSN Resurrection?
Posted: 10:26:00 AM 0 comments
Amazingly, I actually got around to doing some work on the D3DSN project. Which is odd because I haven't played Descent in about 15 months now, but something in me wanted to go back and take another look at it. Not only did I fix the annoying bug where you get 100% CPU utilization when running 2 servers, I actually started adding features!

There's a lot I wanted to do with this next version, though, and motiviation isn't all that high to get anything done to be completely honest. I guess it's just a curiosity I have to poke at every once in a while.

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No more spam!
Posted: 7:26:00 AM 0 comments
ASSP is now out of test mode on my server, and that means the 150+ pieces of spam mail I have been getting per day is gone forever! The filter has been working very well, making few mistakes, and even the mistakes it makes are not critical. It's a very powerful SMTP filter, and hopefully Kathy and Martin will benefit from this as much as I will.

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Thursday, February 24, 2005
San Antonio wrapup
Posted: 5:16:00 AM 0 comments
Got to see my brother's new Dave Matthews Tribute Band play in San Antonio last night. They are currently on tour, swinging the western states next month. The only venue I'm sure of is the House of Blues in Hollywood, although I know they are playing in Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Seattle as well.

It was an interesting experience. I personally thought the in house sound guy did a poor job, allowing for - and not correcting - horrible feedback in the midranges. The woodwind player also left a lot to be desired, as his idea of improvisation was weak (do basic stuff, only really really really fast!), and the non-improv stuff was done pretty poorly.

But the fiddler rocked, even if he accidentally unplugged himself in the middle of a solo twice. I couldn't get over how much he got into his solos, and he complimented the band well. The bassist and drummer sounded great as well.

And Ryan, oh my how he has matured as a musician. His guitar playing - which was non-existant up until a few years ago - is amazing, well beyond what I have learned. And - perhaps the clincher in a tribute band - he sounds almost exactly like Dave Matthews.

These guys are definitely a treat, especially if you enjoy Dave Matthews stuff. The audience was happily jamming to every song played, despite the technical problems. If they're coming to an area near you and you like Dave Matthews stuff, go see em.

Here's a tip though. If some weird guy with glasses gets up on stage before the band starts to play, and he's wearing a guitar strap around his waist, leave for about an hour or so. Your ears will thank you.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Posted: 8:52:00 AM 0 comments
Got that racing wheel I promised yesterday, and man what fun it is. I've pretty much raced away the entire day, and then some judging from the time.

However, my timing is suspect. See, I'm going to San Antonio today to see my brother's DMB tribute band play. The question is, will I be able to keep my Honda Civic under 100 MPH?

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Monday, February 21, 2005
Wrong Number
Posted: 6:30:00 PM 0 comments
Ugh.. just checked my voice mail, people apparantly are calling me during the day asking about a travel trailer that is for sale in a classified ad somewhere. The person's number is one digit off from mine, and all sorts of Texan hicks are dialing the wrong number trying to find out more about this damn trailer.

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Hard Drives
Posted: 6:25:00 PM 0 comments
Once upon a time, when I was a Mac person, I had a computer that had a 40 MB hard drive. Surely, I would never be able to fill that up!

From the 40 MB hard drive, to the 2 GB, to the 6 GB, to the 8 GB, to the 20 GB, to the 40 GB... Each step of the way, there was absolutely no way that hard drive was going to be filled up.

So here I am, staring down 5.7 GB free on my 80 GB hard drive, and yet I have 6 GB to download to complete my MAME 0.92 CHD collection. I should just get a terrabyte drive and be done with this mess! The time it takes to go through and clean up the hard drive is painfully long, and it's time I could be spending doing other important things.

Like gaming.

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Sunday, February 20, 2005
OSMusic Collaborations
Posted: 7:43:00 PM 0 comments
Now playing: DotSPF - Dreaming Louise 2005 (5:59)

Did a spot of work on collaborations today. Things are going a lot slower on this than I expected, largely because I only seem to be motivated enough to do one page at a time. This section is pretty big by OSM's standards, so this might be a while.

The compo is coming along better than expected, xylyx finished his judging. Now if I could only find DotSPF... it would be nice to have quick results, especially considering all that I had to do for the compo during that time, and fight through the flu on top of it.

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Posted: 6:30:00 PM 0 comments
Now playing: roncli, The Nightstalker - Decade (Instrumental Preview) (5:57)

After about a week of playing Miss Driller, I've finally managed to beat it. Final score 512,940, 12'57"63.

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SQL Server v Winamp
Posted: 3:38:00 AM 0 comments
Now playing: RedHeat (m0d) - Discovery (11:25)

So I'm sitting here working on my log analyzer web app, and Kathy's sitting on her computer listening to Winamp and playing AdventureQuest. The music plays along fine... until I decide to create an index on my 5 million row table.

See, my SQL server is on the same machine as all the MP3s. Since this machine doesn't have any spectacular hardware in it - just an SIDE hard drive - SQL Server and Winamp fight for drive time. The result is usually that SQL Server wins out, causing Winamp to choke.

This happening once in a while isn't bad... but I've been hitting my database with new indexes all night trying to reduce my query times from 1 minute to under 1 second. The result, lots of unnecessary interruptions.

If we didn't use the MP3s on more than one machine - and an available machine other than the server had enough hard drive space - this could be avoidable. Until then, though, I guess we're stuck just skip skip skipping away...

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Saturday, February 19, 2005
Site logs
Posted: 8:19:00 PM 0 comments
Now playing: Satya Graha - Rock & Roll Conspiracy (Bless Pirate Radio) (4:43)

I made some progress on my log analyzer web app today. I managed to speed the reports up significantly, and I also added a Page Views report, so now I know the top pages on each of my web sites.

So far it works pretty good, the only slow thing now is importing the log files from the previous days. I suppose there's not too much I can do about that unless I change the method with which the logs are imported into the database.

It'll be a while before this is really useful, but it's still neat to have all these stats available if I should ever need them.

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Miss Driller
Posted: 12:51:00 AM 0 comments

These last few days I have been completely addicted to Miss Driller. Largely because I can't beat it. The heartbreaker was running out of air at 993m. I literally will play this for hours at a time. Check it out.

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Friday, February 18, 2005 blog
Posted: 11:56:00 PM 0 comments
Now playing: David Filskov - Boulder Trash (Dash) rearr. (1:27)

Look! It's a new blog!

Not terribly exciting, I know, but I figure this is the best way to both get information on my various projects out there, and to let people know that I'm not dead.

In any case, I'm not going to be giving this much of a start, I'm just going to pick it up and post as I go. Enjoy!

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