The blog of roncli blog
Houston, Texas, United States
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Trax in Space Beta
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Secretly, you wish you could've done what I did
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Current Posts
Monday, July 28, 2008
The Joys of Being a Guild Master
Posted: 2:18:00 PM 0 comments
As many of you have either been told or otherwise found out, I run a guild in World of Warcraft on Korialstrasz called Six Minutes To Release, a play on the message you receive when you die (6 minutes until release). Solitha helps me run it, and I think that together we do a pretty decent job of it. That's not to say that it doesn't come without it's stresses.

Internet drama is something you can't get away from, no matter how hard you try. Minimizing the effects of it has proven to be an interesting challenge this far. Whether it be two people fighting over something not related to the game, that one player everyone seems to hate, or the player that you wonder when they're going to go emo on you and suddenly bail out of the guild someday.

Then there's making sure everyone is happy with their raiding schedule, which in and of itself is a fun challenge. The people playing alts because we don't have two of three people of a particular class on want to play their mains, so it's hard to balance people's wants with the guild needs. Then what do you do when you're short a few players? PuGing is a great source of finding raiders, but out goal is to be able to run the raids within our guild, and when you're as far out as we are from doing so, finding regular PuGers that know what they are doing can me impossible.

And of course there's running the raids themselves. Our guild had been easily clearing Karazhan for months, and it seems that these last few weeks we've just been unable to focus enough to get full clears. It's difficult to see where things are going wrong sometimes, and that makes running raids particularly frustrating.

The rewarding part is seeing our guild grow, working together better, and starting to see some real progress, both among the players and the guild as a whole.

Black Temple before the patch seems pretty unreasonable at this point, but I think that once we get into 25-man content, we'll start rolling pretty good.

Posted with LifeCast

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Posted: 1:57:00 PM 0 comments
In checking out the many applications available for the iPhone, I've come across LifeCast, which is compatible with Now I should be able to better aimlessly chatter when I'm at lunch or otherwise out be about.

Anything to get me to post more, right?

Posted with LifeCast

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Friday, July 25, 2008
Of tigers and clowns
Posted: 11:54:00 AM 2 comments
You would think that from the title, I'd be talking about a circus. Yet, isn't that what Trax in Space has come to recently?

It still seems as though the whole Space Walk ripping deal is still fresh on the minds of many artists. The major concern is over how I named and shamed SW, supposedly without any evidence. Well, I had more evidence than just an image embedded in an mp3 file, and ultimately I got the evidence requested of me that made the accusation undenyable.

So I indirectly called him an "attention whore". Man up, I've used worse language in situations far less serious. People seem to think that I broke some kind of ethical code by using such horrible language while administering a site. Well, there is no code of ethics I get to follow, so expecting me to act a certain way isn't very reasonable, especially when it means something to me.

I really believe that Saurin unintentionally set me up for a confrontation like this, giving me admin privs, but not coming around to support me in situations like this, and then pulling the rug of credibility out from under me by changing the rules altogether at the least opportune time. But that's the hand I've been dealt, and in life you gotta roll with it.

So yah, I get worked up over these things, and I don't apologize over it. That's just not how I roll. If you feel that's just cause to leave the site, you're expecting more of me than I'm willing to give as a volunteer. I'm sure you'll get over it.

Now, if you want to talk about attention whores, look no further than the scores - and I don't exaggerate - of fake artists that have cropped up over the past month or so. Can anyone please tell me what the appeal of using these false avatars to spread mostly crap creations, make meaningless forum posts, and insult and poke fun at other artists, all while claiming you care about the future of the site? There are even two such artists that have volunteered to code. It's embarassing for the site, and I hope that something is eventually done to eliminate the impact of these fools.

Anyway, that's my rant for the month, back to coding.


Monday, July 21, 2008
Ajax Security & User Friendliness
Posted: 6:25:00 PM 0 comments
Currently, I am going through the Six Minutes To Release website and making all sorts of updates and changes to the input interface. Basically, I've decided that UpdatePanels are far too slow for my needs on pages where user interaction is heavy, and I decided to instead go with implementing the ICallbackEventHandler.

I think I discussed Ajax security a while back and came to the conclusion then that it wasn't ready for prime time. Since then, I've been doing a lot of reading up on the subject, and have found that ICallbackEventHandler provides a way to keep page state through your Ajax calls, thus resulting in the important things that I have stored on the server controlable by me, such as whether or not the user is logged in and so on. The added bonus is that I can update the page through JavaScript and THEN send the data to the server to update the database. The result is an instant update as soon as you click on something, and it's very nice.

Now, in reality, things aren't instant, but the user doesn't have to know that. This is also only really useful for non-critical functions... I wouldn't trust any account information with this method. However, signing up for raids, having a raid leader change a raider's raiding status, things that aren't going to make or break the site... these are acceptable to me to use this "instant update" method.

And the main reason I did this was to improve the slow method of using UpdatePanel. I like UpdatePanel for one-time deals, like submitting a form, but when you're using the page's controls over and over again, UpdatePanel is too slow for my taste, and Solitha found that the page kind of sucks to have to wait to update something, wait a second or two, update again, wait, update, and so on. User friendliness is something I know I need to work on with my web sites, and using Six Minutes To Release as a learning ground for this is going to help me in that department a lot. I look forward to being able to use stuff like this.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008
More coding
Posted: 12:53:00 PM 0 comments
I just can't seem to get away.

Saurin finally gave up access to the code at Trax in Space, and it couldn't come soon enough to be honest. The retard party has fully taken over with seemingly no end in sight. To be honest, I thought about just saying to hell with it and just leaving the site altogether. As it is, I've given up Artist of the Month interviews, and much to no one's surprise, Saurin has shown no interest in picking it up again. Whatever.

Anyway, he gave me access to the code about 2 weeks ago with the intention of letting other people access the code (but not the server itself), but now he wants to do an NDA, so this might take longer than expected. In the meantime, I've got prospective coders helping out with finding what bugs there are, so that when I do turn over the code to them, they have lots to do.

Today, however, I added my first bit of code to TiS: the ability for forum moderators to lock threads. How sad is that? That the community is so fragile it requires forum moderation before features that actually relate to the site? It says a lot.

But, hopefully - finally - help has arrived.


Posted: 12:27:00 PM 0 comments
When I first heard about the new iPhone G3, I'll admit I wasn't too terribly excited. I already had a Blackberry, and I had no reason to give it up.

That is, until I saw the price.

I was paying nearly $40 a month more for the Blackberry than the iPhone's monthly cost. And at $299, the price was right. Plus, Kathy has the old model, so I had a good idea of what to expect.

Well, I've had it for a few days now, and so far it's lived up to my expectations pretty well. The only thing it's really missing is a decent RSS feed reader that notifies me when there are new feeds available, so I'm stuck manually using Google reader for now. But that's not too bad.

If you were thinking about grabbing one, I would definitely recommend it, it's pretty nice to have a browser that actually works, as opposed to the gimped stuff that comes with most other phones.

Nevermind the fact that my typing sucks on this thing.

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