Posts tagged computer

Stuck in the Nether


Just like me to get lost in the Nether…at least I had some pigman friends to keep me company while I searched for my portal…


5 years ago


I bought it 12 hours ago!

Problem Steps Recorder


I’m stealing this directly from the article on lifehacker, because absolutely anybody who has had to help anyone with a problem on Windows needs to know about this!

Here’s a good use for an otherwise unknown feature of Windows 7:

Windows 7 contains the Problem Steps Recorder (PSR). Hit the Start button and Search Problem Steps Recorder, or go to Control Panel and search for Problem Steps Recorder. Stupid name for a program if you ask me, Problem Parents Recorder would be a better name.

You can use this both ways: from you to daddy or from daddy to you. If dad is proving particularly obtuse when you’re trying to help him over the phone you can start PSR on your own machine, do the required problematic task and close PSR. PSR records everything you do except what you type but includes mouse clicks, programs run, menus opened etc. and it grabs a screenshot of every action. It then adds a commentary about what your action was at each step, bundles it up in an html file inside a zip file for you to send to the errant parent. The parent can then see what is supposed to be happening as you yell down the phone at him.

Conversely he can run it himself to record his feeble attempts at mastering the computer and have it automatically emailed to you for corrective action. Above all keep calm, remember: you share genes.

It’s also good to have it running to keep a record yourself of what you do or steps you take to resolve your own problems—like when you change something in the registry then when you go to change it back you can’t remember where the hell it was.



In my experience this could also be quite useful to create screenshots and documentation for assignments at school/uni.


Once again, this article (and other cool stuff) can be found at lifehacker.



Turn out @nathcarruthers and I have a couple of Apple products between us…



So apparently I haven’t even posted here in 3 months, not that I’ve really noticed that much of the time go by, everything has just sort of started to blur. I understand why, there have been a few changes going on over the last few months as well. Firstly, I’ve moved up to the ever so feared 3rd year at uni.It’s not all that bad, but there’s just a level of commitment expected that I never used to have to give them. That and project. CSCI321 is a compulsory subject in Computer Science, generally taken in 3rd year (which is normally the last), it doesn’t introduce any more content, rather draws from everything we’ve already learned (plus a bit more) and asks us to do something most of us have never done before; form a group and over the course of the next 8 months, create a real, useful program. My group has decided to create a carpooling program, you can find out more about it and follow it’s development at (in particular the blogs).

Another thing that has brought a pretty hectic change to my life is my new job as an IT Administrator and Programmer at a local financial group. This job has affected me in many ways, both good and bad, stealing almost all of my free time, but giving me the cash to not only survive, but to enjoy any free time I manage to wrangle up. From the first day I was dropped into the deep end, being asked to manage a system of 5 servers (4 linux, 1 windows) with an array of programs I’d never used or never heard of with only a fairly brief overview of the whole setup and a root password. Regardless, about 2 or 3 months later I’ve got a decent grasp on the system and am making some changes to one of our two in-house programs. I’d have to say that the last few months at work have taught me things that I’d never have learned during my 3 years at uni and while I’m certainly no master, my tab-fu has become much stronger, as has my knowledge of so many important sysadmin things like apache, bash, openvpn, nagios, dirvish, exchange, postgresql and hell even java! Even as I’ve settled in though they keep bringing problems to me that fit into a few categories:

a) Easy solved. Just a simple code change, a reset or showing them what to do.
b) User Error. I’ve always heard it in jokes and in comics but seriously, a lot of people really just have no idea what they’re doing. I guess they can’t help that sometimes, but some of the problems have been pretty weak. (I also don’t want to even think about how bad some of their passwords are).
c) I have no idea. None. Whatsoever. Either I don’t know how to do this but I’ll get on figuring it out or just plain old “Uh…yeah, I’ll try and do that”. Some of the stuff really just doesn’t make any sense.

I was talking to a friend on IRC last night and he said something that seems really true and exciting and daunting at the same time:

[23:05] <TimmyRt> Haha, as my power grows I only realise how little I know :p
[23:05] <~TSeeker> and that’s good :-)
[23:06] <~TSeeker> we are *always* noobs :)

At the same time as work is really filling up all my spare time, it is giving me the money that I need to be fully self-sufficient. I’d never really believed it when people told me before, but living completely off my own back kind of feels good, especially when there is some money left over for gadgets! I’ve managed to buy myself a couple of cool little gadgets, some that I’ve wanted for a very very long time, but that’s for another post.

The other new part of life that takes up so much of my time now is just that; life. Now that I’ve moved out of college and into a house with 3 of my mates (and kitty), there are so many little things that just add up to fill in my entire day. Make breakfast, clean up after breakfast, go shopping, make lunch, clean up after lunch, do my laundry, hang my clothes out, make dinner, do the dishes, clean the house, watch tv…although more often than not it turns into skip breakfast, buy lunch, eat dinner, leave dishes for a few days and then do a LOT of them. I don’t know, there just isn’t enough time in the day.
At the same time, living in a house is great. Apart from all the little issues like “Who’s turn it is to clean up!?” and “Who used the last of the toiler paper!?” it’s really great having your own little slice of the world that you can do what you want in and with (within reason) without the full might of…the head of college coming down on you. It’s fun just to live the day by your own schedule which is made difficult by uni and work, but yeah…fun stuff.

So yeah, I’m currently writing this while lying on my queen-sized bed using one of my brand new gadgets (teaser!)  listening to my next door neighbour pull up in his ute (I’m already over real-life neighbours) thinking about how I never really have any time to get anything done, but at the same time I’ve managed to sit here and type this, after a long day of doing not much at all. I guess some of it comes down to a bit of time management, but I think another important thing is too, that I need some time to do nothing, just to  chill out and do nothing but what I want to do, which I think at the moment is to sit down with a beer, play with some code and maybe fire up a game or two using my new headset.



When @nathcarruthers got his HD5970.

(Click any photo to enlarge)

Battlefield Bad Company 2


Legacy Worlds Beta 6 Milestone 1 is open


Legacy Worlds Beta 6 Milestone 1 is now open for registration. The game will actually begin on the 15th of July, with 18 players already registered.

To read about the new game, check out my preview, or head over the the Legacy Worlds Blog to see an introduction to the game, the announcement, a post showing off the administration interface and in a few days an explanation of the software Milestone 1 is running on and some insight into some of the decisions made in it’s creation.

To sign up, head over to

Legacy Worlds: Beta 6 Milestone 1


Legacy Worlds has changed dramatically since I started playing in Beta 4 about 5 years ago. Since then the much improved Beta 5 has been released, greatly enjoyed but sadly forgotten. Over the coming months several milestone releases of the long awaited Beta 6 will be released for play and testing in a new development model described in this post.
As TSeeker’s post explains, Milestone 1 (M1) “will include a basic, Beta 4-like game”, which sees some of the features introduced in Beta 5 left out in the place of simplicity, but also includes some fundamental differences and upgrades to the way the game is played.

Milestone 1's Overview screen. Click to Enlarge.

One change noticeable immediately when you sign into M1 is the much simpler interface; gone is the full-screen navigation bar with its drop-down menus and quick-access icons which has been replaced by a much smaller window displaying much of what is to be seen of the game. All of the games pages are accessible by using the large buttons to the left, although more content can be shown on each pages by using the ‘tabs’ shown at the top. This interface is obviously just a basic version of what is to come in later milestones, but it remains clean and well-designed making it easy to read and use.

Before I get into the changes that have been made to the actual game, I’ll quickly go through the major features that have been included in M1 as well as those that did not make it into this release. Firstly, most of the basic gameplay elements familiar to Legacy Worlds players are back including very recognisable Fleets, Map, Alliance and Enemy List pages as well as the usual happiness system (which has been tweaked significantly since B5). While the planet page has been changed slightly, players will be able to pick it up quickly using a similar Build/Destroy buildings system as well as a shipyard used to build, well, ships. This early release of the game however does leave out some features including the in-game forums, the marketplace, hyperspace beacons, rankings, trusted allies and donations as well as a little percentage I’m sure many of us won’t be too upset to miss; corruption.

While M1 has been primarily built to test the game engine with a basic version of the game, several improvements have found their way into the milestone including Battle Intensity, the Battle Viewer, Notifications and changes to the building process. In short Battle Intensity is a background feature that influences battle computations by slowly building up intensity as the battle starts; battles start at about 25% intensity and build up to 100% over the course of half an hour.
The battle viewer is a very useful tool new to Milestone 1, providing a detailed overview of all forces at each stage of the battle, even allowing you to look at the history of the battle as it took place. The viewer also gives a written history of the battle in which it explains the fleet movements of all empires involved as well as who switched status’ (Attack and Defence) giving a tool to spot traitors in a way that battle reports have never been able to do. One of the best parts of the battle viewer is that it allows you to retroactively view any battle that you have been involved in giving an insight into the tactics players and alliances have used in the past.

A very simple battle shown in the Battle Viewer. Click to Enlarge.

Notification are a quick and easy way to keep up with the game without needing to log into the game, also providing a useful warning to get back into the game if something is going on. Simply put, notifications come in two main customisable flavours; instant and daily. In M1, there are 4 different conditions and three options. For each of Admin Messages, Alliance Messages, Internal Messages and Alliance Messages you can specify whether you would like to send you an email instantly, to bundle all of the information into your daily recap, or to not notify you at all.

Finally, there is a slight change in the way that the building infrastructure works in the game. Rather than the conventional ‘pay for ships/factories, see them in the build queue, they come out’, you pay for them as they build instead. One way to look at it is you commission the creation of new ships and the game will tell you how much this will cost in total; your investment. Then as the ships are created, you will pay for them piece by piece until your investment is gone and your ships are built. Another slight change in the building system is that when you build or destroy factories, they must actually be constructed or deconstructed. That is, they do not just appear or disappear from your planet, but rather take time to build/destroy just as they would in the real world. Another nice addition is the inclusion of a ‘Jobs’ field in building descriptions which shows how many jobs the new building will produce, allowing you to compare your employment numbers with your total population.

The last significant change to mention is the movement away from ticks. Anyone who has played Legacy Worlds or any similar game would understand the concept of ticks, special times during the day when certain actions take place, say battles computations, income payments or planet control changes. In M1 and in fact in LWB6, ticks have been completely redesigned. Instead, a ‘tick’ occurs every minute in which all of the games calculations are made, just on a much smaller scale. This gives the game a more realistic atmosphere as the game updates in almost real time, also allowing you to make changes that take effect immediately rather than, for example, 7 hours later at the next cash tick.

All in all, despite the drawbacks of this only being the first of many milestone releases including a limited technology tree, excluded features and possibly the occasional bug (that’s what the bug tracker is for!), Milestone 1 seems to be a very solid core of what promises to grow into a complex “online intergalactic war game”.



So, I haven’t posted in ages, and people with tumblr have shown me that apparently I don’t actually need to have anything to write about so:

Yesterday I got judged. It’s funny because she was right to judge us.

Yeah…blog judged.

7 years ago

I ordered the gear for my computer the other day, this is what’s going to be sitting under my desk by next weekend.

  • Intel Core i5 750 – 2.66GHz Quad Core with 8MB Cache
  • Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3R Motherboard
  • 2x2GB 1333MHz DDR3 Dual Channel RAM
  • Radeon HD5850 – 1GB, 725MHz Core Clock, 4000MHz Memory Clock. DX11
  • WD Caviar Black – 1000GB, 720RPM, 32MB Cache, SATA HDD
  • CoolerMaster CM Storm Scout
  • Logitech G500 Mouse
  • Logitech G110 Keyboard
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