Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Arma 3 - Coop Play

The wife and I have spent sometime, getting off of our dearth of playing PVP games, and we've been playing a lot of Arma 3 in cooperative mode.

We have also started to stream regularly on twitch,, so catch us there.

We bought Arma 3, as I think Arma 2 and it's mods are starting to look very old... It's been a great experience so far, however we are getting random crashes from the game client.

Proper nasty C++ object reference null pointer crashy horribleness.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

My Surgery - True Experience of an Epidural & Arthoscopy

I'm back, I've had my surgery, and I'm feeling fine...

I had an arthroscopic investigation, which is key-hole surgery, to go into my right ankle joint and remove a load of gunk and file the bone away.

It has left me, absolutely elated, I can walk again!

The above is an image of my bed in recovery, I was the only guy in there that day whom didn't have a general anesthetic, I had a spinal block, or epidural.  And I thought I'd come to these pages and let anyone out there having to have an epidural how I got along.

First of all, I was very squeamish of their working on my spine, I told them so, but really, I was panicking over nothing, if I had to have any work done on my legs or feet again, a spinal block would be my first choice, having a baby?... Get a spinal block!

The injections into the spine start with skin numbing, I had to have alcohol sterilization of the skin too, but you may get iodine (yellow) sterilization.  You then get a plastic cover taped into place and they work on the skin, numbing with a ice cold freeze spray... these are perhaps the most immediately shocking things, they're cold, they're on wide aware skin, and you're heightened by anxiety, but really they are the worst bits!  Which is fab, because the rest is so easy compared to being prepared.

Next you get the injection into the spine, you have to hold very still, let your shoulders be very slack, this is very important, you will be on a heart monitor, so listen to it beeping and try to breath slowly and deeply to slow that beep, you will feel strong pressure, just them pressing on you... It doesn't hurt, but they're pressing you... Get someone to press their finger as hard as they can into the palm of your hand, same thing, but in the bottom of your back... it's uncomfortable.  And this pressure will leave a nice bruise later.

The needle going in, you should not feel, if you do, just say and they freeze spray again, but generally you can't feel a thing, if you're lucky they go in once and you start to not feel anything.

The key feeling is your bum going warm, a hot flushing feeling going down your body, it's very peaceful, and they remove the sticky wrapper on your back and lay you down quickly, because your legs are about to be paralyzed... but it feels nothing but warm and fine.

You get to wait now a moment or two, and they will check you again by spraying more of that freeze spray; I had three stages with the spray, I felt it and it was cold, I could feel it but had no idea if it was cold, and I couldn't feel it at all... At this last stage you can not move your legs, which is a really strange feeling... 

You don't feel anything, you don't know you have legs, there's no feeling of phantom limbs, nothing no weight, nothing... You can reach down and touch your legs, they're warm soft yours, but immovable, but you cant' even feel your own touch.

I couldn't feel my privates, nothing... 

They did the surgery with my awake, I could watch, but felt nothing.

Recovery, well that took longer, nearly 2 hours... As you sit to recover, you start to feel the reverse, the warm feeling starts to wash down out of your bum into your legs, you can feel your buttocks again, make sure you clench them a bit to make sure you can feel them...

About an hour later you can pull your knees up and down, but not lift your foot up at all.

Next you can flex your knee and lift your foot of the mattress.... and finally you can wiggle your toes.

Plenty of fluids is key, hence in the image above, unlike the other patients, I got a saline drip.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Female Developers

I've just read this on BBC news....

And I'm sorry to say gals, I've had the opposite experience with you female coders, I've worked with three in my current job, this is closely worked with them, I've also worked with a very good web developer whom was female, and female testers... The tester was mediocre, no real grasp on how development worked, but would get the job done.

The developers however, the more recent I worked with had come from over seas, had come into the role alongside myself from an academic background.  Her idea of good code is still being stripped out of the system whenever it's found; remove by myself I'm afraid to point out.  I was not part of hiring this person, but personally, if I had had a veto it'd have been used, they were simply not very good, and I've spent more time than they worked at the company combined, undoing bad ideas she implemented.

The other main female developer I worked with, was not a bad programmer because she was female per say, her main problem was she was a rude, arrogant, obtuse, and above all close minded fool.  She'd come into a high-speed embedded electronics based system, and thought a good idea for signal propagation, you know the signals that have to go really really fast, was to insert them into a database table, and then have another threaded application running to query them from said table and post them off to where they were required.

Needless to say, this system was always fatally flawed.

This is again not to say the men I've worked with, or I myself, have always been the bests in the world, far from it, I've built some total crack pot program in my time, but as I've matured as a programmer I've made better and better software.... Just the two females I mention here, neither of them seemed to learn anything from experience... It was very much "if A does not work, blame B where B is not Me!"

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Gerty - Lunging

Gerty has been doing very well with her lunging, and training.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Solder, Short Circuit and Surgery

I started the weekend finally trying to sort out a little board for ken to mount in his blacksmith shop, using three LEDs to give a flickering flame effect...

I can run nice pinned wires from the arduino to the header I've included here, and it allows me to change the intensity of things, the resistors help keep the different channels dimmer for the LED's and so the light is not over powering.

However, whilst working on this board I found the soldering iron was being a real pig, it took forever to get to temperature, solder would not really melt - despite being fine previously - and then I found the handle to be very warm, and the solder would instantly vapouriser if touched on the iron's shroud.

So, I powered it off, let it cool, checked the tip... Nothing seemingly wrong, I plug it all back in, and as I flick the power switch the whole house goes dark.. Yep, I tripped the house's main fuse.. WHOOPS.

But, this freaking iron, I think it's dead.... I may have to start researching and flutter my eye lids at the wife to let me go buy a proper nice, temperature controlled soldering station.

And now finally, I have my date for my ankle surgery, yes they need to go back into the right ankle joint and have a tinker around, I went for my pre-op on Friday, and they operate in a fortnight... However, right now I have an appointment with a respiratory doctor and a stinking cold... Gah.

Gaming wise, I've been playing lots of World of Warships, but I'm also still playing Crown of the Gods, a clone of Lord of Ultima.

And project-wise, for code at least, I've started working on my own SDL2 based, XML driven 2D UI, for adding overlays or creating tools in C++, this is going to be useful for high-speed customisable and internationalization tasks I need perform; both at home and at work.

Friday, 5 February 2016

World of Warships

I'm enjoying World of Warships, here we see a lovely shot over the forward turrets of my new Kongo class Battleship.

DCC Train Test Bed

I've spent some time this evening actually getting around to setting up a length of 00 Gauge railway track, in order to test my DCC base station and sniffer builds.

I've lots of electronics lying around and to be honest I need to knuckle down and play about with them more.

You can see I have a reference DCC station here, a Gaugemaster unit, I'd much prefer to have the actual ESU Ecos system on the real-layout, but Ken wouldn't let me bring it home... not least as it'd leave him with nothing to play with.

Anyway, you can see this is actually longer than my desks, so it goes way off into the ether, and I've propped the left end up (just to stop it sagging under it's own weight) with a cardboard tube I had lying around.

Then, in the center above the mini screw drivers you can see the pile of Arduino Uno boards I have, and then the mess of electronics in various re-purposed glass jars.

And my quality £3 volt meter just poking into view... Hey, hey, it's not a Fluke, but it does the job for now.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

WarThunder: That's It I'm Done (I Quit)

After experiencing this... Ludicrous situation in "Realistic" battle in WarThunder, and recording, and reporting the issue... I finally, got a reply...

And you know what, I'm tired of getting replies which tell me I'm a fool.  First of all they keep insisting on a DXDiag report, despite my playing on Linux and hence using OpenGl, but I indulge them and provide the graphics report... Quite why my having a GeForce 770 GTX or a 260 GTX2 or whatever makes a difference in this situation, I'll never know, but it all just seems they obfuscate dealing with the actual problems by asking other questions.

And then for the chap to say to me "I'm not going to given an opinion without all the information"... After giving a 500 word explanation, I gave up, I quit...

Yes, I've quit WarThunder... I had a good run, I enjoyed parts of the game, but I find other parts so frustrating, and the main problem is the Russian attitude to everyone working there, the customer is most certainly the bottom of their feeding pond, and that attitude is just wrong.

Which is a shame, it's by far the most accessible and prettiest flight-sim out there, just their accuracy and attitude stink.  Their grasp on history for the era is very much tainted by the post patriotic war teachings of the Soviet Union, but that's understandable they were brought up in that era in that academic stance and culture, so they're going to be defensive and re-write the truth.  But I've heard them even opinionated that English people have a "Different Memory" of the second world war to the Soviets, well aside fom fighting it for longer, and supplying them with arms, which they conveniently deny, yes of cruse we did, we're a small island nation who were beaten on land, you are a huge land nation beaten to a bloody pulp through the paralytic effect of despotic leadership, the purges he'd carried out and the cult to which you all had to cow-tow in order to keep your life, let along fight the invader, even General Zukov had to cow-tow to Stalin in the end... But to let that still tarnish your memory of the truth is just beyond me.

So, what am I going to play?... Well, I've already re-installed World of Warships, and I'm enjoying it, and yes I know WarGaming; like Gaijin; is a Russian company, but unlike Gaijin they have head quaters at least in Europe, Cyprus to be exact.  They support the same dog shelter the wife and I have been supporting for years!... For example.

I'll therefore be spending more time there, I've already unlocked the Kongo Tier V Japanese battleship, and I'm back in the swing of things.... As my stats tell you in Co-op at least.

I've also got Crown of the Gods, Special Ops, Sniper Elite and a bunch of other stuff in the pipe-line to enjoy.

IL2 Cliffs of Dover, Battle of Stalingrad and DCS World will also have to step into the place for flight sims I have.

That's all.... MagzTV said it better than me... "WarThunder, fix your shit".