Friday, 31 August 2012

DayZ Middleware Madness

We really are loving DayZ this end, I say we as its only the second title that the wife is willing to sit down and play along side me, acting as my spotter for all the hopping, crawling, scurrying and stumbling zombies around our collective character.

Our character whom has finally, after about a week of playing haplessly, managed to survive three whole days in game.  This is a record for us, and something of a note for the rest as its been done in the most trying of circumstances.

You see, there's some problem with the FPS, but only on certain servers.  Now the server base for the game already looks very very fragmented, with different groups running different versions of the server software (or at least versions labelled differently) with different settings in different time zones with different anti-cheat protection and different local rules and scripts.  The end result is one can spend a solid half hour trying to not only find a server which will work (the fps problem goes away) but actually a server that will let you in and stay in.

"You have been kicked because of battleye script restriction #40"... or #90... or #187... or whatever are common place, there is no explanation for this, neither from the battleye site itself, nor the DayZ team or the server hosts.  Clerver dicks residing upon the DayZ forum suggest telling the server administrator about being kicked, that they (the server host) needs to update their battleye script... But, you can't find out who these people are... I've tried to track down four different server hosts to tell them that their servers insta-kick... But I feel sometimes its a loosing battle.

Some server hosts simply keep themselves secret, they lock down their server, and only allow themselves to play on it... With all the riches of their cache going onto their hive bound character they can then jump into other servers with impunity and harvest rich murder counts and hassle other players.  I've even had one (whom I will not name) mail me back, "U winey biatch just coz we got da idea 2 keep srva 4 us an get da gears"... Its like... WTF... I just mailed you to tell you your server has a battleye script restriction and insta kicks after an embarrassingly long wait on the loading screen... Yet you mail be back admitting you are fraudulently farming gear in the game?

This attitude seems rife, the DayZ team don't seem to be making much effort with the plethora of posts regarding server spoofing going on, I think that infact they're overwhelmed with the numbers.

And there's the problem, the numbers, I remember working on the forums for "The Lordz" managing the machinations of a few hundred people each day, and there was always one moron trying to goad you, or get a rise out of you; they call them trolls now-a-days, we called them "Surfs".  So I can relate to the DayZ team struggling with over a million players gaggling at the gates each morning.  But, I can't really accept that they can't put up a post on their own forums explaining a few things.  My recent post about the servers being down, it became a really very popular post from the internets to my blog... No DayZ member ever got back to me... yet I had over 250 visits to my site... The trouble shooting section on the DayZ forum, the Bug reporting section and indeed the dedicated development bug tracker they have in place are swamped with issues, not the least of which is that if DayZ becomes a real stand-alone product then they need to polish it.

Yet there's no reply.  I've seen "Rocket" on the youtubes, I've seen his look and attitude to the game, he plays in a group, he plays on servers he controls (I don't doubt), he and his crew don't (at least I don't think) go out into the wild hillbilly world of finding a server like myself, like any player new to the game would.

I for my part am patient and look at my local kit, check its working and then select through lots of servers to find one working... Others won't, they'll just say "fuck this shit"...

Yes, the game is "in alpha", but when something is in alpha you're generally releasing it to get feedback, I just think the reaction the team have is now so overwhelming that they can't hear the sound for the noise.  And we definiately can't hear them disseminating any news.

Right now, I hope they update the server software, bringing all the servers listing different versions together into a single version which works, looking at the server browser right now I can see 95948, 96063, 96061, 95883, 95913 and 96015 all listed as the version of the mod/game servers are running... This fracturing is terrible and the main cause of my frustrations with the game.

It was also the source of my problems with the crowbar, I picked it up on a server able to give it me, 96061, but then played on servers running 95938 and 95953, meaning I couldn't use, or put the thing down... very annoying and all server side, no indication given that it was my machine, or the hive... gah for middleware madness.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Online Gaming in a Browser

It is with some surprise that I come to blog about a new service from Square Enix.  Those delightful Japanese RPG devils have come up with a new service "CoreOnline" which is to stream high end console titles (from the mid-naughties) to your web interface - via their own service.

Its only a beta right now, and unlike other offerings it claims to run in the browser, which is intriguing enough to get me to perhaps take a look.

However, the service is nothing new, indeed the partly BT funded "OnLive" service has been offering the same idea with more than just console titles for over a year.

The suprise however comes about because this new service is so much like OnLive, and only last week their CEO walked out after the company was forced to sell its assets in order to pay its venture capital firm a return.

Maybe the Japanese can do better than OnLive, who knows.  There are now two Japanese controlled services of this ilk, this new offering by Square being one, the other being "Gaikai" which was recently purchased outright by Sony.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

DayZ Web Servers Down - 29/8/2012

I was hoping to post this on the actual game forums, but I can't the service is so bad & patchy I've given up and come to my own blog, so anyone reading this imagine you're on in the troubleshooting section.

I am having a lot of problems using anything pointing to the URL, this includes the site the forum anything, I also believe the Hive is being affected.

I am based in the Midlands of the UK, and have been having this problem for days now, whenever I try to access the site I get a long pause, followed by a message from "CloudFlare" telling me that "Website currently unavailable".

I have looked at the trace information to the site and see no problem getting to the site, just that the site is clearly so busy it is unable to serve my request... Is the DayZ site being subjected to a denial of service attack?... Or are there Zombies loose in the  datacenter?

Whatever the reason/problem, this is rather infuriating, more so for the fact that there is no acknowledgement of a problem by any admin/dayz team member anywhere.

So, straw poll, anyone else getting this?

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

DayZ the Spectator Sport

I've been playing a lot of DayZ this weekend, so much so that the wife likes the tension of it and comes to watch... Making this the only spectator sport currently in our house - at least until the paralympics start.

Now, I started out Friday as an utter noob, and I've seen so much stuff going on, I thought I'd share some of my tips for playing as a utter noob.

1. Don't rush into towns, move up slowly, look for log cabins or open doors and then crawl in.

2. Don't loose guns by trying to put them into starter bags, they don't fit and just instantly disappear.

3. Pistols need to be swapped with the torch to use it, to swap the pistol into a bag takes 5 bag slots, plus 1 slot per magazine, if you don't have the slots the gun and or ammo will disappear.

4. Get a hatchet, this is the best way to sneak up behind zombies and kill them in the early game, its silent and the zombies often have food or drink on them.

5. When you get scared, and can't aim any longer, food and drink calm you down.

I'll post more as I get on with the game, I'm still very much a beginner, I've not even survived a whole day through yet... My problem is I am often very careful, until I get to have some kit, then I seem to get impatient, so rather than going slow still I get up, or I'll try to eat or drink or some stupic thing that gets my character stood up or crouching, rather than prone... I must remember to be more patient and take it slow.

A lot of players seem to like to take their utter started character to the city, tool up and go out into the wilds, where as I seem to be prefering to stay in the wilds.  The problem with their approach is, you become a huge target and often don't get back out the city with your loot, my problem is that I'm often hungry and thirsty as I'm grubbing around finding nothing but empty tins...

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Ding Dong the Dog is Gone... Briefly...

I'm going post it here... The numpty at number 9, has made an effort to contain the dog... He, according to others; I was at work; spent a lot of time yesterday banging and hammering, when I came home and went to check our guinea pig I saw he'd put up a limp sagging set of camouflage netting.  Very fetching addition to the garden, I did think this was a bit pointless because, yes the dog does jump up and out and over, but its prefered method of escape is by pushing the wire aside and just legging it...

We've all seen the great escape, they send Steve McQueen and Angus Lennie over the top of the wire as a distraction for weeks on end, whilst really they're going under.  This is what the dog is doing, a clear warning we should all be wary what we let our dogs watch on tele, it's clearly only giving them ideas.

Anyway, the dog is gone, how do I know?... I just saw a couple, a new couple... "Enter player four stage left"... whom have found the dog to be straying, have they called the dog warden?  Have they just left it? Nope, they've done what I did and tried to bring it back.

I've stayed well out of this one, I don't even know this couple, I did notice them however as they tried to bring the dog down my side alley and through my back garden, rather than walk all the way around... Cheeky of them, not least because I have my door open and my dogs free to walk in and out, and I'd not like them to meet this dog from number 9, its vicious with cats and two of my dogs are about cat sized... Luckily I've locked all my gates, so problem averted.

But it is getting on my wick now that I have to conform, my wife and I have to watch everything I do, going out, coming back, gate security, door security and dogs uniformly out and straight into the car, rather than this one numpty get his act together.  And what's more galling, his dog is the one at fault, he is the one at fault, and yet others; primarily us; are being affected.

He's made thick friends with the scum already living in the area, the gobshite old bat across the road, and the new scum renting down the way and gobbing off.  There are also always a stream of people coming to the front door of a Saturday morning, knocking waiting and then pacing up and down on their mobiles waiting for him, but he's gone out of a Saturday morning.  The guy has no car, so he's like out and about of his own two feet and buses I think... But the behaviour is very odd.

Now, my wife's ill today, she's really hurt herself and is not a happy bunny as she was meant to be at work and she's had to call in sick.  I've got to go out and sort a bunch of legal stuff out for us without her and without knowing she's safe... Do the police care?... Right now no...

The local Policing Pledge point 4 states, "Respond to every message directly... within 24 hours" I send them an e-mail last week, heard nothing, and I've sent an e-mail today, lets see what I get back, if nothing I'll be phoning them up.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Hammer and Hifi

On a different note, the numpty from down the way has been playing his music loud and has been witnessed hammering... Seems he may actually be accepting that "the pen which was perfectly adequate at our last house" is actually more of a joke than a deterent to the dog escaping.

The dog itself is back.  It got out yesterday, was missing most of the day, and as of just now (noon) its back... Maybe its longest roam to date, which may have made the moron act, who knows.

I do also love how the guy is currently marching up and down the road (which he's lived on for like a fortnight) like he owns it, dog at his side, living it up... Probably looking for customers for his infamous "eighths"... 

Glad I'm going to go see a new house to buy later today... Huzzah!

Arma2, DayZ & Juggling Real-Life

So, I bit the bullet and I've bought Arma2 & the Operation Arrowhead, just to play the DayZ mod, I'm still sold on watching all the videos being uploaded by RedReloadedHD on youtube... Check out his channel here.

Now, this is a bit of a secret purchase, I'm going to be a very good boy this weekend, I'm going to take the wife to see a potential new house tonight, and get on with sanding the new filling in the woodwork under the stairs.  Tomorrow the wife is at work, and I'm going to see a financial guy, but I might get up and do some cutting in around the under stairs area, so I can come later and do a big swathe of painting with a roller...

And then in the evenings, when the wife is home, its going to be sitting with a take-away tomorrow, she'll insist on X-Factor being on... Lets home this weekend we don't get the ass hat from number 9 kicking off again, I suspect we will, or at least hear him on his mobile on the back again talking about delivering eights to people (Yes, I know what you sell in measurements of eighths)...

Anyway, after all that I might get some time in the evening to try downloading the games to my steam installation on my machine upstairs, and I might also get to play some on my funky laptop (which its currently downloading on).

Thursday, 23 August 2012

DayZ... DayZ... Give me your answer do....

I'm so crazy, all for the love of you.... *cough*... Sorry....

I've found DayZ, a mod for ArmaII, which seems amazingly interesting... I'd not even seen ArmaII... I've had my head well out of that combat sim genre since I bought and didn't really play Operation Flash Point : Dragon Rising last year.

But, this DayZ seems really interesting, the desparation, the challenge, the free for all aspect.  It actually seems far more interesting than the original ArmaII game.

However, before I rush out and spend £40 buying the ArmaII game, I decided to get the ArmaII Operation Crossbow demo on Steam and try out the controls.  My conclusion, there are a few bugs.

First of all, this is a demo, it might be early code, but its an old (2 years released) engine, which shouldn't have these sort of bugs, I saw - Vehicles sliding side ways - like a jeep just moving left instead of being sat still... And I don't mean steering left, I mean floating left of its own accord.  I saw the shooting mechanic show lag - I'm running this on a Core i7 950 with 16gb of RAM, and dual SLi nVidia 470 GTX cards, but the bullet physics were being lagged out... I'd fire with a rifle from around 50 feet from a target, only to see the target run around in a circle, then get his, then go into a really slow looking rag doll drop to the ground.

I did also see some long range shots hit a target in the face and the model just rag doll instantly, but this was at long range, fairly low LOD.  When the target was really close, full LOD then the rag-dolling was seemingly delayed.

Anyway, I'm intriguied by DayZ... I'm watching hours of video of people just running around in the game, its almost like the perfect mix of "The Hunter" and Zombies and PVP...

Monday, 20 August 2012

R I P Tony Scott - By Tweet of course....

I've just heard the news about Tony Scott, I await to find out why he has seemingly committed suicide and can only say it is a sad day for both his family and the movie world at large.

But I must also ask, when did it become acceptable for a reporter, specifically the hacks at the BBC to just make a trifle comment and then quote over a half dozen tweets, why is that journalism?... Why is just quoting what a load of other people, on a very informal system, have said news worthy?...

I find the messages themselves fine, but why quote Stephen Fry, Robert Rodriguez, Duncan Jones and all the other peoples from their twitter accounts?... Is it just to name drop?... Something I believe is very much frowned upon in social graces, and this is my problem with it seeing so many tweets reguritated verbatim simply seems like bad form to me, bad social style.

And as much as tweeter seems to be de rigueur at the moment I think we'll one day look back on these reports and it'll sadden us that our news, solid real history happening around us, is being recorded in such a hap hazard, low brow, fashion.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Wireless... Was that A, B, G or N?

I've got a wireless router which supposedly supports N class wireless signals, I have wireless cards, which supposedly support N class wireless signals... And after all the faffing this last few days I've updated my driver on the PC to the latest (from the manufacturer) and noted something odd...

My signal strength is low, and signal integrity is poor... I am finally connected, but this is nowhere near as good as before... so, running netsh a little to show all the info "netsh wlan show all" and low and behold I see the problem...

The bloody driver might very much be called "802.11n", but the fucker only has "Radio Types Supported: 802.11g 802.11b" listed... Bastards!

A Damn Good Idea....

I've had a damn good idea, seems my employers think its work looking at, but all on my own time, they're not willing to fund it... grr... anyone want to fund software in the leisure & entertainment field?

I need a salary, rented office and a little trust for once... I'd think after working at my current employers for 10 years they'd trust my knowledge of the business and the technology I work with, but seems not. Grr.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

COM or UK?

I've just noticed that my blog, without anyone asking me, has been changed from ".com" to a "".  This change pretty much happened server side, I've had no say in this, and it resulted in my blog being offline when loaded from a cache'd copy... A refresh cleared this, but hey ho.

Right, onto todays blog post... I've had a fair bit of networking problems... My main PC, running an N Band/class wireless network card from RALink Technology suddenly could not connect to my wireless network, there was pretty much no reason for this, and windows being windows it had no idea.

My Linux laptop, and hot boots from a Live Linux CD (thank you Linux Format) worked without a problem.

I tried all kinds of fixes, the end result was I got back onto the network after:
1. Banning a local MAC address from swamping my router with requests to connect (Someone has a new machine/laptop, imaginatively called 'ASUS01', which was hitting my SSID with a request to connect repeatedly) - But, a bug in my router software was stopping me being able to see the whole MAC Address, so I trooped off down stairs wired into the wireless router and turned off the security.  This ASUS01 instantly connected, and I had its MAC Address, which I then banned from my network.

2. I turned my security back on, and since I have a swanky router, with an LED status screen built in, I could see my machine upstairs connect, so I unwired and headed back up... The machines were all on.  But not everything was sweetness.  I was getting randomly dropped, sites were showing DNS errors and worse of all I had to move my antennae way across the room to even stay connected... That ASUS01 was basically broadcasting so much wiresless noise it was breaking my tenuous link to my own network.  A painfully slow download later, and I had an updated driver for my wireless card, installed and the flakeyness stopped being such a problem.

3. ASUS01... I'm tempted to let this thing back onto my network, and to nuke it... Dunno right now, its gone midnight, and I was hoping to do some work.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Hackery to Change this Project

Its one of those days, those days where all the best laid plans get utterly screwed over... The reason for this conclusion...?... Well, there is a major project due by Friday, we're a man down and it seems of all the people here I'm the only one working delivering something.

But that's not the problem, the problems today have all been coming from elsewhere.  First thing I was asked whether I had any idea about a certain class in the code... I didn't... I looked and, it was literally called a hack and had then been commented out, but it remained a dependency within other places throughout the code.  But the person asking me seemed to think I knew about this class, seemed to think it was mine...

Lets see, its not commented, its not documented, its called "Hack" and been nastily deprecated by changing its name - telling me that it was removed by someone not doing whole system rebuilds to check themselves.... There is a person who fits just such a bill around here... So surely that direction needs looking at!?!??!!?

That's one thing, the next thing... I can't build the system!  Why...?... Seems certain branches, undocumented, without forethought have been converted to include new projects which use some horrid third party library from sourceforge... Without documentation I was asking the person whom had pointed me at this branch for advice and was informed that it should all work... "its builds for me".

I puzzle over this, finally giving up and looking at this third party project on source forge... its just a hacky project to take an XML input (a quite badly formed XML input as it goes) and produce MSI scripts... Why is this in our project branches?... And why is this stopping my build?

Basically, the build affects the Visual Studio tool chain, and allows the build of a new type of file.  Trouble is... I'm not using Visual Studio, the build system I'm using is there for automated building, its using the MSBuild  tool chain directly... This sourceforge hackery does not integrate with the MSBuild environment... Ergo, I can't build from source any more...

Now, this should ring bells, hoot alarms and at least wrangle any decent manager of a project into action... The manager on this particular project... Just shrugs and tells me to get on with "it"... whatever it is...

Someone else, someone not here, has hacked and slashed, someone not here has injected a dependency without any forethought, without even documenting anything... yet this is my fault....

I hasten to add, when I come up with an idea to add something I have to document it, get it reviewed and push it right through from end to end... this other person... just stuck this in... and to run salt into the wound made sure the manager accepted it by getting them to install a piece of software on their machine, meaning they met all the dependencies and were able to argue with me about whether the code builds or not...

Hacks hack hack, change for changes sake, yet again... I'm starting to hate this... Poor project management, no documentation and absolutely no forethought.

Monday, 13 August 2012

There's dog shit on me drive....

I'm going to do one of my rare direct follow ups to the previous post... The pitbull, its a big staffie cross with something... and it turned back up Sunday morning...

A couple from 162 Broad Land brought it home, it had "Spent the night in our bedroom, its a lovely dog".. The ass hat house sitter was all delight and relief at seeing it back...

Before it came back I spoke to the lads at number 1, forewarning them of the crap which had come out of his going off at me, and to his credit the guy from number 1 went around and put the guy straight about the dog getting out and how the area had been secured again...

So now this ass hat has my telling him, the guy at number 1 telling him, and people from broad lane telling him and the police telling him... But still no appology for my wife or I...

In fact all we've gotten so far is more and more dog shit from this dog appearing in the lane, and this morning the biggest pile of shit right in the middle of my drive, which I've returned... How do I know its his?... Well, they feed the dog a dry mixer meal, and its a distinctive mid-brown colour... the faecies is likewise this colour...

I have since spoken to the community police team about this, they already knew about the incident, it did after all include a threatening behaviour and a potentially dangerous breed of dog... I've also spoken to the council.

And the next time I find dog shit on my drive, path, garden or alley, I'll be going to a solicitor.

P.S. I have a lovely  pair of pictures of this pile of dog shit on the wife's phone.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

More Pitbull Tribulations

Some of you may have read my previous post about my tribulations with the pitbull belonging to the prior occupier of number1?... Well... Now strikes the house sitters at number 9...

Someone, we don't know who moved into number 9, they had a dog and that dog has been lonely, howling, scratching and left for hours on end (15 hours+ today at least).

Anyway earlier today this thing got out, it was roaming between the gardens of number 1 and number 3... Right next to mine, my wife and I came in and suddenly out of the undergrowth shot a cat, with this dog attached to its rear end.  The cat doing a runner and this dog whipping off god knows where after it... I assumed this dog was number 1's... Told them "Your dog's just had that cat"... Only to be informed it is not their dog.

Moments later the dog reappears and the guy from number 1 puts a lead on it, and we work out its number 9's... So, I knock on their door... Nothing... We're waiting this dog is soft as shite with humans, unlike the last one I tackled, but these two guys from number 1 have it and with no answer at the door we take it through my alley and out my garden around the back to see how it got out...

It got out because, these masterminds had decided that to stop an American Pit Bull Terrier that a piece of wire grid could be held in place by what looked like a bar stool, a pot plant and a wheelie bin.

But, anyway, with water and food, the lads from number 1 screwed this wire into place, put the barricade back up as well and we stepped away.  I then put a note through the front door:

"URGENT your dog has escaped and attacked a cat, its back safe, the lads at number 1 have secured it.  Feel free to chat about it, number 5".

The dog was there all day then, howling and whimpering.  I spoke to it twice and it was quiet for maybe half an hour, it had a couple of rawhide chews thrown in and some biscuits and the dog was there well into the dark as I visited it one last time at around 11pm... At which point it had been left from around 8am... We had (that is I heard from number 1) someone had come in a silver car to check it, and these numpties at number 9 have a silver car.  So there you go, I didn't see them come however, and as far as I know I heard the dog whimper at or around 8am and it was still howling and crying at 11pm.

So, I tried to call the RSPCA... No luck, its not a stray on an A road, its got food, water and shelter its not neglected, and it seems a lovely dog with people, so I called the police operator; this being a none emergency.

I had a lovely police operator talk to me around half 11, and she said she had three staffies and that tonight "You have to bite the bullet and tomorrow mediate with the owner, let them know you spoke to us"... so I left it there, midnight rolls past, the dogs whimpering.

I'm sat working and listening for a car, I still hear the dog whimpering at half midnight ish, I'm not going to be exact, I was working.  But I can be exact about the next events, 1am, they appear in their car... I can hear sudden crunching on the gravel (which litters the property) and I can hear a male voice calling for the dog.  So I lean out my bathroom window to say hello, and let them know the goings off...

Only to hear them realise the dog is gone... Well fuck me, the lash job by number one has held all day, but that dog is now not there... I'm trying to tell the guy I can hear (but not see, it being pitch black)... That the dog was there minutes ago... When behold, the wanker element in this knob shank crawls out...

"You've got my dig, give me my dog, its against the law to hold a dog against its will!" Fuck this and cunt that and to be frank, I've had enough of this, there's a female voice now calling from the pitch dark trying to hear me, but he's yelling over her, what is he yelling... He's on the phone to the police.

Fuck this for a game of pass the puppy, I walk away from my window and I call the police operator back, unfortunately I can't find the one I had spoken to earlier, so I explained what had gone off, how I had called and that he was now out the rear of my property f*ing and blinding at me... Oh and that now he was knocking on my front door!... Well, seems the young lady was, she had found my note from earlier and was stood with a pleading look on her face, but this tattoo'd alcohol soaked fuck wit gob shite is stood behind her seething, and I'm not doing this all over again.  So the police operator hears all this and instructs me to leave it to officers to deal with and walk away.

The officers arrive, I explain to them, invite them to view my property to see I've not got this idiots dog, and they go talk to him... Quarter of an hour later they're being kicked out of his house, with a stream of swearing floating out after them.

A few minutes later one of the officers returns to talk to me, she wants to see the dogs in my property, because this dip shit thinks he came onto the rear of my property (trespass) and called her name hearing her bark... Well if he came onto my property he'd have heard my two toy poodles and old labrador bark certainly, but not this dog I'd been left to baby sit all day in the hopes of it being quiet enough to let me sleep.

So, the officer meets my labrador and in true comic fashion the poodles parade past and I get to point to them and declare "That ain't a pitbull".  The officer bless her heart saw the humour in this, and departed, but not before telling me:

"He's [the guy mouthing off] is a hot head, he's had alcohol and is now fretting because its not his dog, its not even his house"... According to the officer "they're house sitting, and he's now afraid of his friend coming home from holiday and finding his dog gone"... 

Now, I refer you back to the barricade put in place... which he was yelling about being brilliant dog retention material... Who ever that dog belongs to, should know and needs to know, the two people he put in charge of his animal are idiots, plain dyed in the wold idiots.  Its not their fault, maybe they've never had dogs, maybe they're a bit slow, who knows.  But clearly today they've left that dog, and left it a long time without any attention.  It was lonely and frustrated and like all smart, strong dogs its got out... Despite my and the guys at number 1's best efforts.

And, I've been threatened and verbally abused in the street for my effort.  I understand he must have been shocked to see no dog, but its all a problem of his own making.  Leaving a dog for 15+ hours... Leaving it on one of the hottest days of the year with one piddly bowl of water and some dry mixer food...

Now, all that said, I also don't think the dog has been exercised whilst they've supposedly been looking after it, indeed since the dog arrived I've seem piles of dog shit in the lane, I've seen dog shit flicked over the timber fencing onto the white gravel of the properties drive and I've been woken at gone 11pm hearing someone let a dog exercise (I can't say it was them, or that dog, its pitch black) but I get the feeling they're just popping in on the dog now and then.

Today, the dog was howling at 8am ish, and certainly made a lot of noise at 8:44... I last saw it at around 23:00 and called the RSPCA at 23:17 for advice, and the police switch board at 23:30 ish, when I could still hear it... That's 15 hours... Alone, fretting, whimpering and crying... Is it any wonder its now fucked off.

Add to this the problem that we live on a country lane, there are horses in the field at the end of the lane, there are two farms within spitting distance (literally) which host horses, there are cows in the area, people keep chickens and there are even sheep from time to time... If a farmer saw this dog worrying live stock he'd be likely to shoot it... And I saw this dog go after and get that cat... horrible... Adorable with people, terrible with animals.

So it seems, I've done another good deed and had it thrown in my face, so this is it, I'm done, no more letting people out at the junction, no more helping people in the street, no more polite in difference to the scum out there; if you're scum you can get out my way, and right now this lot are scum.

In the morning, when/if they dare talk to me there better be white flags waving high and clear, else I'll detonate.

Thursday, 9 August 2012


I've been sad to read over the last few years about the woes of SCO, the once great Unix vendor; at least in my opinion.  At my first IT job there were minicomputers running a customized cut of SCO, I remember a new bunch of server hardware from Compaq coming in and the delight of the IT manager esconsing himself in the dark musty old design office (literally a dark dungeon) and getting on with installing the system.

He literally put the system together on the machine, set up the RAID and everything in the dark at the keyboard.

That job was my first taste of server operations on "medium" iron (minicomputers) and I've been fascinated with servers and setting them up ever since; not that my current employer has noticed this in any reasonable fashion.

Today though SCO are in the news as filing for the final embers of bankruptcy they're down and out and going to be gone, a shame, I remember their service as excellent here in the UK and their software... Well in two years tending the flaky NCR based minicomputer I never had it tip over and as far as I know the Compaq kit to replace it was destined to live out a life of 15 planned years...

At the same time I saw this SCO jump up a level I was introduced to the AS400 from IBM, and was woefully underwhelmed, the SCO running machine we'd just had set up cost in the region of 7K and was designed to run something like 15 sites throughout Northern England, as well as collate a warehouse, stock and tabulate sales.  The AS400 I was introduced to cost something in the region of 12K, was the near as makes no difference same specification, carried a huge service & support cost to it and was only going to run about 50 hand-held scanners and control stock in one warehouse... It literally beggars belief the different in performance.

So, with the going down of the Sun over SCO (no pun intended) I for one saulte the memory of that blue yellow and white packaging arriving, and how it brought that system alive through tender carressing, not through leaving the man in IBM white uniforms to their blackbox of tricks.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

My Weekend Planning

This weekend I have a busy old schedule for myself, beyond Friday the wife and I want to, paint the middle living room (three shades on five walls no less - paint by numbers anyone?), I want to sort all my computer kit from the back cupboard and I want to find some time to fix up my friends PC and sort out my fathers, which is blowing through kettle leads each time he shuts down....

All this is going to be a huge burden... So, here I am on Tuesday, planning for Friday evening... In my head at least, because as we all know no plan survives first contact with the enemy.

My first task computing wise is to just check if VMWare player (4.0.4 I think) runs on Ubuntu 12.04, it wasn't last time I checked... My reason for this?... My main desktop machine is running a dual boot vista & Ubuntu 10.04... That distro is now well out of date, so I want to upgrade... 

This upgrade of the desktop will then be echod on my laptop... And on my friends PC... Its going to be three installs of Ubuntu for me....

Painting, will have to be Saturday... perhaps with some code Saturday evening.

This leaves Sunday, for probably more painting... and... sorting the cupboard... and cleaning the study/computer room out.... Not a task one would relish...

Monday, 6 August 2012

Are you at work?

Irony for the day, I've had two people phone me up "Are you at work?"....

Before 5pm on a Monday... Erm... let me see... yes... yes I'm at work... I'm going to assume by the bemused calls you're not?!?!  Dear GNU compiler above help me.

Google Listen

I was an avid podcast listener, especially when I first got an iPod, however over time I have found working (code) whilst listening to material I am unfamiliar with rather distracting and stopped the habit, sticking to music I know which let me concentrate better.

Anyhow, recently I've taken to more testing than coding, which means I need to entertain myself whilst waiting on minutes and minutes long system builds, this necessitates the iPod coming back, and I need to get some stuff on there...

Now I searched for decent podcast finding software, and really came up with naught, there's a few like "Podcast Finder" and of course the channels on community sites, not to mention iTunes.  But none of them do the biz for me.

So I googled "podcast finders" and you know what never in that list of results did I see the now to be axed "Google Listen" service.  It seems they set up that software and service just to find and track podcasts, sounds remarkably like what I've been trying to do, but they're about to axe the service?... Why?....

Seems google feel no-one would notice its gone... No Google, no-one is going to notice if when you google for exactly what your service does one can't find the gods damn service!  This is so ludicrous as to beggar belief....

Even now I know the service exists, if I google "Google Listen", I don't find anything about the actual service, just the news reports explaining its demise... Google, really, if you want to know why people aren't using your whatever service, just google for it yourself and don't use any keyword jargon you know targets it, think like an every man in the street, think like me, ask me to google something for you even, because clearly you've missed this elephant in the room and gotten the wrong end of its trunk.