awfulhorrid: (WoW Mailbox)
I was having trouble getting an online game to connect to its server tonight. I asked [ profile] bookwurm if she was having any speed issues and she confirmed that there did seem to be some lag time in loading pages. I pulled up some Internet tools, did a speed and ping test off a server about 60 miles away and got great results. Swapping to other servers in the US got slightly slower, but still good results. I switched for a server in Nuremberg, Germany and finally got a download speed of 3.2 Mbps and a ping of 128 seconds. (By this point I had very clearly lost interest in connecting to the game and was having a great time speed testing ...)

"That's pretty slow," I said, as I started to say something about the ping taking nearly four times as long. That's when I trailed off as I realized that it's still barely 1/100th of a second for a round-trip communication with Germany. I think I muttered something about packet loss, but actually that was measuring at 0 out of 250 data packets lost.

The worst part is that I actually did start my time on the net with dial up and a 2400 baud modem. (Which was just coming out as the top of the line standard when I got it ...)

awfulhorrid: (Spore Clown Building)
I've had a Steam account for some time now. I'm sure you can guess my user name. (Or you could just click the link, I suppose.) I first signed up last year to take advantage of the free Portal offer, now long defunct, of course. For several months, I downloaded the occasional free game or demo, so I was unable to add friends directly and didn't really bother. About two months ago, I sprang for the $10 offer on Plants vs. Zombies. A month later, I handed over another $10 for Bejeweled Twist. These purchases make me a paid member, so I can add friends now. If anyone else is on Steam, please feel free to add me, although I rarely play competitive games.

Today, I bought another game. I dug deep and coughed up $1.75 for Tropico Reloaded. Oooo! Maybe I'll go as high as $12 for my next game.
awfulhorrid: (Love my coffee)
I've been learning a bit of JavaScript and playing around with CSS. (No, the class on JavaScript hasn't actually started yet, but reading the textbook it looks like I'm already past what we'll learn. Oh well.) At least part of it was the fact that I had an unused Tripod account sitting out there. Now I know Tripod is barely a step up from Geocities, but it is free hosting and it'll do just fine for my purposes. (I just wish they'd let me run PHP!)

So, for absolutely no reason at all, here's The Glorious Predictions. Note: content changes daily, CSS changes four times a day. I'm still making some minor changes and will probably extend some of the JavaScript code in the background a bit more, but I think it's ready to trot out for display.

Two final warnings: first, you'll need your JavaScript on for the page to operate. You'll get a warning message if it's not, which you might see flash by when it first loads. Secondly, if you visit the page with any flavor of Internet Explorer, you'll get a slightly less politely worded message and a suggestion to use a better browser - complete with a few suggestions.
awfulhorrid: (Bella on Computer)
I thought I was making a stand for my routers and some other computer equipment. (Essentially I'm trying to reduce the footprint of some of the equipment and give myself a little storage space to boot.) However as soon as brought it in from the garage I found out exactly what I had made:

Although really this should come as no surprise to anyone.
awfulhorrid: (Bacon!)
At least this weekend, I'll be playing on Pinnacle. That seems to be where my most played characters live at least. My universal chat handle is (surprise) "Awfulhorrid" so feel free to ping me. I might even be able to figure out how to respond!

I spent some time today poking around and seeing what characters I have scattered around. I could remember my main character of Guye Fawkes, of course, but I'd forgotten some of the others: Tanstaafl (android or battlesuit? No one knows for sure), Nail Hazard the Spike-throwing scrapper, and several characters off on one server that I won't ever log in again, but I just can't bring myself to delete. (BondageBoy, The Magic Fluffer, and Rawhide Chew ...)

I played with the new costume options with several of my characters. I may as well, they each have 15 - 30 free costume redesigns! I really like some of the options, particularly the ability to tune the colors of at least some of the powers. I had to scrap all of my keybindings since I couldn't remember how to use ... well, much of anything. My highest level character, Guye Fawkes, just has too many powers available for me to remember how to use them all right now. I'm starting small: I have a low level hero, Small Big Bob and a low level villain, Baneful von Baneful. I'll play each of these guys for a while until I remember more about just what the heck I'm doing!
awfulhorrid: (Gotthold)
I let my City of Heroes account expire several years ago -- quite a while before I moved from Kenosha to Bristol, actually. Of course I'm still on the email list to get notices of updates and special offers and the like. Sometimes you get notices like the current one where they're having a "Play During the Free Reactivation Weekend" offer ... which means for a few days I can play for free, return to the game, see the changes, etc. Heck, it's free so it's not a bad deal even if I only play for a few hours, right?

Of course there's the little matter of reactivating my account. First of all, what was the name of the account again? I made a guess at it and tried the 'reset password' option, but kept getting an error. Eventually I started an email conversation with tech support where I had to provide everything but a blood sample to verify my identity. There were quite a few items of information that I no longer have access to due to changes in my life or the fact that I don't have archives of five year old email. Honestly, I've had less trouble convincing my bank of my identity and right to access an account! In the end it turns out that one of the key pieces of identity -- my date of birth -- was wrong in their system. Really, I promise you that I've only got the one date of birth and it hasn't changed in the last five years. How many other bits of identity do you need? Luckily I convinced the support dude that I really am the original owner of the account and he issued a password reset so I was able to login and update the information.

Friday I get to see if I can actually access the game itself. I remember the last time I tried it out I couldn't remember half of how the powers worked, so I think I'll just start a new character to play around a bit. I seriously doubt that I'll reactivate my account (can't really afford it right now, for one thing), but this is particularly good timing since [ profile] bookwurm and I are planning this as a 'recovery' weekend. Yay for mindless comic violence!

Key 16

Feb. 6th, 2009 12:59 pm
awfulhorrid: (Bajoran Communicator Pin)
54 6F 6F 20 6D 75 63 68 20 74 69 6D 65 20 6F 6E 20 6D 79 20 68 61 6E 64 73 3F
awfulhorrid: (Worship the Coffee)
I recently ran across a reference to programming as a sedate and quiet activity. Sedate, I'll grant them ... unless it's full body contact programming!

The text was actually in a GURPS rulebook. It was in a section on a skill (Autohypnosis) that allows a character to put themselves in a bit of a trance that grants them a bonus to a mental activity at the cost of a penalty to other skills (or to even notice distractions.) Fine and dandy, heck I'd even consider it a fairly realistic skill! Then there's this bit of text ..." This must be a relatively sedate one, done in a quiet place (library, lab, monastery, or placid wilderness)."

And now for a short musical interlude ... )
awfulhorrid: (Spore Clown Building)
(I'm waiting for someone to get back to me with some very important data revisions. So far I've been waiting about two hours. I may as well do something to entertain myself while I'm sitting here ...)

The day after it was released, I made the mistake of trying out the free trial of the Spore Creature Creator. A few hours later, I paid for the upgrade to the full version. A day or so later, I placed a pre-order on Amazon. This arrived late last week and ... well, we (mostly Bookwurm, Bella and me) spent a good part of the day yesterday creating and playing with some really weird creatures, buildings and vehicles. It's a lot like the Sims, except the beings and places they live are a lot stranger.

I've set my profile to where I only download content from my buddy list. If anyone else plays, I'd love to see your oddities!
awfulhorrid: (Bella on Computer)
I have no details on the project, but one of the departments here at my client site sent me this email on Friday:

"Can you do or do you know any good .NET 4.5 web developers for a e-commerce web portal with SQL Server backend database?"

I have SQL Server background, but not in a web environment. While I could probably still do the job, I have too many other projects on my list to take on a new one, particularly one with new to me elements.

If anyone's interested, please let me know and I'll put you in contact with the right people. (Which would probably be subcontracting through the same company for which I am.)
awfulhorrid: (Kinky Goblin)
... or at least a good part of my bank account. (Of course, I suppose they do own the soul of Sciffy-Circo.)

First, my own system:

I finally have a good video card. No, it's not the latest-hottest, bleeding edge card, but it's a modern card and probably about the best I can run without upgrading the rest of the system including the power supply.

New processor: by raw clock speed, it's just a wee bit faster than my old one, but more powerful overall. (Faster bus and I maxed out the RAM.)

And Hallskegg (the computer), now has all the drive bays full. I've never had that before! With the addition of Gird, I now have 1.2 Terrabytes of storage space. (Which may go up at some point if I swap one of the IDE drives for another SATA.)

Of course, I'm still struggling with Bookwurm's computer. Hopefully the second motherboard exchange will take care of the problem. It won't be a gamer system, but it will definately do the jobs it's asked to perform!

My only complaint: backordered??? Augh! That surprise was supposed to go out last week or Monday at the latest. At least it's only about 80 miles from the warehouse to ********!

OK, back to work. Gotta pay for all this technology somehow!

February 2013



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