Gonzo blogging from the Annie Leibovitz of the software development world.

Month: January 2004 (Page 1 of 4)

I’m just not cool enough

Well, I was told I need a “cool sites” section or something there. Fair enough. I’ll work on that. This coming from the same man who used the term “blog” correctly in a sentance today mind you, so it bears some weight. The jury is still out on the Honky Tonk Geese though. I did manage to struggle through my disshelved existance of stuff today and found a good pair of warm bear slippers (Pooh style of course). No, they don’t “RRRROAR” when I walk. That’s just wrong on so many levels. They do keep my feet happy so paired with my brand new $14.95 Merckley toque, life is just grand. I think they’re coming to work with me tommorow. I can be so much more productive in a comfortable pair of slippers.

I have discovered some nice PHP stuffy to put on the site here and not only make updates more easy for those that have no time to play building websites (me) and those that want to get content out to the masses that care (again, me). Actually looking at the web logs, either some spammer is hitting my site with a denial of service attack (yeah, that would be useful as I have 0 content here) or people are actually coming here. For whatever reason for, I know not, but they say if you build it they will come. They came. I’m still building it. Something not quite right with that logic.

Walked home tonight (20 minutes, -30 degrees, you do the math) after what seemed like a pretty tame cab ride this morning. The driver however was a bit whacked. As we raced toward the office at 4am this morning, I had to suffer through a blaring rendition of Mandy from Barry Manilow, on AM radio no less. If that’s isn’t pain I don’t want is (well, listening to Honky Tonk Geese over and over right now comes a close second). I still think the walk in this morning would have been less hardening to my inner body parts.

Brrr…. it’s cold in here

I don’t know about you, but my cold tolerance is non-existant when the temperature outside reaches below what it is on Mars right now. Yup, good ol’ Calgary clocked in at -35 this morning at 3 when I got up (don’t even ask why I was up at that hour, my sleep patterns are akin to those of a lemur). With the wind chill it bumps it up (or rather down) to -44. That’s just unfit for humans to wade through, no matter what coverings they have on their bodies. No wonder it took so long to discover this country!

I have been slightly distracted by various things so unable to get my Sims work completed. It’s the butterfly effect for me. The butterfly flaps past (in this case, gobs of source code I had kicking around that was just begging to be looked at) and off I go with a crusade in mind. Anyways, it’s a diversion for me from the boring stuff writing Sims tools. Yes, programming can get boring so I have to have some time to play. I am updating my personal site, bilsimser.org, on a regular basis just because I can’t hold peoples attention here for more than a few nano-seconds and there really isn’t even going on in the Sims world (well, outside my realm of it) to keep you entertained every day. So over there I blather on about whatever rocks my boat because I don’t intend to have a captive audience. Anyways, feel free to drop by and see what’s happening in my gray matter if you choose. NOTE: As I don’t cater to anyone on my personal site, it’s not fit for kiddies. There’s no porn there (I wish) but I don’t constrain myself like I do on other sites where age may be a factor. Caveat emptor.

I’ve been asked a few times if in the updates to the tools, will there be a .NET version. My reply is pretty basic and universal. No. Don’t get me wrong. It took me awhile, but I’m hooked on the .NET thing. When you peel back the covers, there’s a nice framework there and it’s been put together with some smarts (some, Microsoft still has to learn that one ring does not rule them all, especially when it comes to user controls). I use it daily at work building .NET web apps but I really don’t see any benefit for the desktop user. There’s no real improvement on a fat app that would justify anyone installing the .NET framework and I really haven’t seen any .NET apps that are worth it. Some day when there’s some kind of object hosting service out there, maybe it’s value added to have .NET and expose Sims functions through web services, but until then you’re stuck with a bunch of big fat clunkers that work pretty good.

I haven’t got the commenting system working 100% correctly here, but it is updated and running now (instead of producing nasty JavaScript errors). The service (formerly known as BlogSpeak) has been moved/migrated over to another one now. There’s some adjustments to make but it’s pretty much working. Thanks for the feedback as that does keep the creative juices flowing here.

Brrr… it’s cold out there

I don’t know about you, but my cold tolerance is non-existant when the temperature outside reaches below what it is on Mars right now. Yup, good ol’ Calgary clocked in at -35 this morning at 3 when I got up (don’t even ask why I was up at that hour, my sleep patterns are akin to those of a lemur). With the wind chill it bumps it up (or rather down) to -44. That’s just unfit for humans to wade through, no matter what coverings they have on their bodies. The forcast courtesy of Yahoo. Today: Bitterly cold. When the weather guys use the term “bitterly” they’re not just cashing on those 25 cent words for showmanship. No wonder it took so long to discover this country!

I’m still wallowing in the BBS stuff. Now of course I’m stuck coming up with ideas. Gobs and gobs of source code, so many options and too many decisions and can I make just one? Without an active community out there it’s hard to gauge what people are doing. Let me rephrase that. There’s no active voice for what seems to be an active community of users. There are hundreds of BBS systems out there, some with thousands of users and dozens online at once (for example, x-bit.org). While that may sound pathetic compared to the thousands of hits a website gets, these people are those that will stay around for more than a nano-second and actually contribute content. Trouble is that while there’s plenty of activity, there’s barely a peep being said on any BBS oriented newsgroups that are out there so all you have on places like alt.bbs.sysop is spam (and we all know how great that is). With nobody talking about what’s hot, what’s not, and all that jazz it’s hard to figure out what is in the public eye and thus, what you shift your efforts to. Oh well, it’ll come to me eventually.

At least the geeks at work look like they’re still alive and kicking. John got his proverbial ass kicked in a Warcraft III tourney. Of course now I just have to pull out my copy of the game and hook up to see how much of a wuss he really is (although I’m no expert when it comes to the game). He’s the only one that’s updated his site since I joined the geekring at work, so at least there’s hope for that boy yet.

Too much source code… like that’s a bad thing?

I spent most of the day inside going through about 15,000 files (500mb) of source files for old stuff that I’ve had for years. This is either old BBS doors I wrote, MBBS/WorldGroup modules I created, comp.source.games files I’ve collected and a ton of old MUDs in various stages of disrepair. The exercise was to weed out stuff that I could take and write new BBS doors or new WorldGroup modules out of. Yes, I’m still ranting on the BBS scene and still think it’s a viable platform. I’m just looking to breath some new life into what some may consider a dead art.

One of the neat things that came out of this excerise was trying to put together an ANSI version of curses. Curses is an old UNIX library that would allow you to define windows and draw text all over the screen (terminal mode only, no fancy graphical stuff). It was ported to the PC as PDC (Public Domain Curses) a few years back so you can take any curses program and recompile it to run under Windows now (natively). There’s some work to do if the original program uses other UNIX calls like pipes and forks or something, but most stuff ports pretty cleanly. The problem is that it uses direct screen writes to interface to the Windows console API so there’s a lot of rewrites to do if you want to output the stuff to an online user via a BBS which uses ANSI escape commands. I think I almost have a stripped down ANSI curses ready that will do the same thing as it does in a console window, but now you can write BBS games with it. I’ll put some games together on my test system for trying this out shortly.

Of course everyone just calls me crazy for liking these old text based games. I like blowing up guys in Unreal Tournament as much as the next guy but text games are great to just escape for a few minutes and go off rummaging around in a level of Rogue or NetHack.

« Older posts