I have a head cold - the sort where the cough gets worse when you lie down. To top that off, Christmas (and the deluge of relatives) is only three days away. Should make for a lovely holiday (hack, cough) week (sniffle).
In the current BottomFeeder development cycle, I added binary save support to the tool. The XML file save/restore was getting way, way too slow for the list of feeds I track (1 minute on my PIII 500 Mhz box!). So I decided to add an option (likely the default in the next release) to save and restore via BOSS, while keeping the XML format as an option. Well, BOSS does not save graphics handles (i.e., screen objects). That should be ok; why would I want to save them? I don't, but the various UI level dependencies (both those set by me and those set by the framework) have hooks from the domain to the UI. Again, shouldn't have been a problem, except that the code for save/restore was a bit convoluted - over time, it had spread out across three classes. I was getting BOSS exceptions with this as a result - it was too hard to track what was going on (my first crack at removing dependencies ended up with code that iterated over all the feeds twice). So I finally sat down this morning and refactored the nightmare - yet another case where the RB made my life way, way simpler. I should have a new dev build up shortly. We have a lingering Twoflower issue with parsing that we want to resolve before we push 2.6 out, but it's getting closer.
I'm sick, I'm coughing, and I'm bored. What better time to mess with layout ideas?
I was able to get a few more things done on BottomFeeder - some bug fixes around the settiings change, and some work that tries to locate the last save file on non-Windows platforms. On Windows, we save the filename and directory (of the save file) in the registry. On Unix/Linux (and Mac), there is no such beast. There are environment variables for the these, as well as command linee arguments. In their absence, I look for a reference to the last save file in the default sav directory. Since I added binary save, this became less trivial - before, I always looked for rssViewerFeeds.rss. Now, binary saves go to .bss. So, I need to have a way to check for that possibility at startup. I'm not completely happy with what I've done, but it seems to work. I also eliminated a nasty Twoflower bug. If an html entry has embedded xml tags, Tf barfs. It seems that the MS Office tools do that, so we are only going to see more of it. The fix needs review; I basically just have the tag being willfully ignored. In any case, if you grabbed a build earlier today, the one that is being uploaded now (about 7:20 pm EST) is worth getting.
BottomFeeder is getting closer to the 2.6 release. This morning, I added a zoom mode - allowing the user to expand the html viewer to the entire right side of the interface. The binary save format issues have been wrung out, and that's now stabilized. A few lingering menu contextualization things have been addressed, and the Users Guide (Big tip of the hat to Richard Demers for that!) is now available from the help menu. At the moment, the User's Guide is online only - if we want to ship that with BottomFeeder, we really need to get an installer...
This is truly precious - go read the secret diaries of the various denizens of Middle Earth. For Instance, RingWraith Number 5:
Day 1It's worth reading the rest....
Just opened Christmas pressie from Sauron. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty ring! Day 1,000,967
Got box of chocolates as Christmas bonus from Dark Lord, again. As per usual, Sauron ate all the toffees and left the strawberry creams. How I detest this life of vile servitude. Still disembodied. Day 1,001,056
V. bored in Barad-Dur. Nothing to do but play Scrabble with Orcs. Is v. annoying as Orcs only know Black Speech of Mordor. You try spelling Azg Nazg Gimbatul for a triple word score. Yeah, I didn't think so. Day 1,001,102
Suspect Sauron gearing up for something. Walked in on him applying ceremonial sparkly mascara. Suspect he will be v. happy when he has body back and can really dress up again. Day 1,001,105
Yes, Sauron definitely gearing up for something. Have been given orders to sally forth and hunt down hobbit and close personal hobbit friend, who have somehow gotten hold of Ruling Ring. Witch-King of Angmar's suggestion to place pictures of Ruling Ring on milk cartons and wait for calls to come in was ignored
SMEAGOL: I Likes then new film...Master Peter did well for us...he did.
GOLLUM: No...Master Peter is treaterious...he destroyed Master Tolkien
SMEAGOL: But the film is good...We likes the effects and landscapes!
GOLLUM: They are filthy theives who stole the Precious story and changed it!!!
SMEAGOL: Well the evil NEW LINE Executives only gave master Peter 3 hours and that is not enough time for us we say.
GOLLUM: We could have 5 hours and they would still mess up Faramir!
SMEAGOL: We Loves it!!!
GOLLUM: We HATES IT!!!
So we just hooked up the second Replay TV, and we started recording more stuff and watching across the house network. BAM So much for the 10 mb network! Sending shows across the wire from one room to the next requires more bandwidth than I seem to have - at least, if my wife keeps using the high quality settings. Looks like a network upgrade is in my future.
Merry Christmas to all! There was apparently a power outage in Cincinnati last night, which took out all the online systems. Back up, and I'm off to help with the cooking.
The suckage started last night. The power flickered last night, and took out my server's power supply. Since that was the router, it took me offline. So today I took that in to get it fixed, andn picked up a Linksys router. That was broken. back to the shop, got a new one. This one works.... but, neither of the Replay TV's could get a dynamic address off of it. So I gave them static IP's, that worked. Then there's my wife's PC. After a lot of twiddling, I think her ethernet card wennt, likely taken by the power spike. Sigh. I can't find the spare ethernet card I have lyinng around somewhere, so I can't test that idea. And my local repository is offline, since it's on the Linux box. To make things even better, The power in Cincinnati went out at some point yesterday, and took all the services down. The web apps are back up (obviously), but - we apparently didn't put the postgres db out as a cron job, so the public Store is offline, and I can't get ahold of the admin. I should grab some eggnog....
Sorry for the inconvenience folks; that winter storm did some damage to us, but we are back up.
Introduction The goal is to create a fully functional Smalltalk implementation of the Galaxy server capable of simultaneous support of different game specifications such as Galaxy+ and GalaxyNG. I would like this to become next-generation Galaxy server which will allow people to define their own Galaxy rules without having to modify source code every time. What is Galaxy? Galaxy a free very addictive play-by-email war game for multiple players. A game usually has somewhere between 10 and 80 players and one Game Master that runs the game. Each player gets to play one nation. The game is set in a Galaxy filled with many planets. Each nation starts with one populated planet. The other planets are empty. The goal of the game is to conquer the whole Galaxy by colonising the empty planets and killing the other nations. A game runs several turns a week. Players send in orders before each turn. These orders tell what the player wants his nation to do, and after each turn runs each player receives a report that states what happened that turn. There are many programs that allow you to graphically browse these turn reports. They show a map of the galaxy, the position all ships, and all kind of other statistics, and allow you to create orders. When you play a nations you can do many things. You can design your own ships. Each ship has many parameters, drive, number of weapons, shields, and cargo capabilities. These can all be tweaked to create many different ship designs. Populated planets can be used to build the ships you designed. The ships can be used to transport cargo and colonize planets, or to fight battles with your neighbours to take over their planets. Ships can be improved by technology research. Experienced players do not operate alone, they use diplomacy to create a pacts with other players, and attack their enemies together. Back stabbing, double deals, and other treason are of course also possible, no-one is to be completely trusted, and you will find that Galaxy is a good simulation of real-world politics. It is also very addictive :) Galaxy has been around for quite a while. Many variants have been developed during that time. In random order:
- Galaxy. This is the original version of galaxy, it was developed Russel Wallace somewhere in 1991 or maybe even earlier (V2.9 has a 1991 copyright).
- Blind Galaxy. It differs from Galaxy in that less information is visible. For instance you do not know what other nations there are in the Galaxy until you encounter them. The game was developed by Howard Bampton. He frequently starts new games. The code is a massively hacked offshoot of the early versions of Galaxy plus substantial new code. The home page of Blind Galaxy is on http://www.cs.utk.edu/~bampton/blind.html.
- Galaxy PBW, a verion of Blind Galaxy that can be played via the WWW. The home page is on http://pc046b.fzu.cz/galaxywww/.
- Galaxy plus (G+). A variation of the game developed in Russia somewhat similar to GalaxyNG but there are differences. Galaxy is Big in the former soviet union.
- GalaxyNG. This is a partial rewrite of the original code to create a more stable version of galaxy developed by a number of people. It also introduces some changes to the rules and the option to create more diverse kinds of galaxies. The home page for GalaxyNG with loads of information is at http://galaxy.pbem.net/index2.html.
- GalaxyNT a port of GalaxyNG to Windows NT.
- Blind GalaxyNG. This is a modification of GalaxyNG source code to create a game that is like Blind Galaxy.
- Galaxy G.
- Galactica and Galaxy/2 are extinct varients, Galaxy/2 was the precursor to Galactica.
With a bad network cable. The good news is, the Replay TV transfers video very nicely across a 100 mb network. The bad news is that the cable running from my wife's system to the basement won't synch up, and it's definitely a cable issue - a quick test with a good cable across the floor to the office figured that out. Oh the joys of crawling around in the basment to replace the wiring....
When I first saw this story - that the town of Bridgeeville, CA was up for bid on eBay, I wasn't sure what to think. Now it's been sold:
SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- Sold: a fixer-upper Northern California town, for nearly $1.8 million -- on Internet auction site eBay. Now tiny Bridgeville waits to see who its new owner is. If the deal goes through as expected, 82 acres of Bridgeville will go to the unidentified buyer who put in a bid for $1,777,877 just seconds before the Internet auction closed Friday.I guess you can buy anything on the net...