Monday, January 31, 2011

Epic Battlefield

I was amazed recently when they were so many of us online and playing BC2
We had 5 of us, too many for one squad (yes, we did eventually make it to the same team)
I'm not sure if and when we had all been gaming like this last
Especially given how busier and globally distributed we are now (different time zones and schedules)
So to be able to find time to play without constant lag/ping complaints is a miracle

I was also able to take advantage of my veteran status finally
This has mostly amounted to use of the defib and M1 garand
Sadly, despite being able to drop ammo or use the defib now, I still have to earn them to progress on to other items
My best class is definitely engineer, since I rack up so many points with repairs (and also vehicle points)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Guild Finale and Community

Finished watching the Guild season 4
Nice to see the Big Bang Theory mashup in the finale episode (s04e12) , as the Kevinator:
If I see another forum post about inflated herb prices I'm gonna start destroying things. And I can do that. Because I am a God here.
Yeah? I'm gonna perma-ban you if you don't. I can do that. You wanna dance with me?
Also enjoyed the gag reel at the end
And what's next, a gaming convention?

Really liked s01e23 Modern Warfare, especially all the movie references

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Battlefield Veteran: Part 2

I was finally able to login to the EA customer service page
And leave a question about veteran status and games not showing up
Less than 20 minutes later, I had a response:
I am sorry to know that you are experiencing inconvenience regarding veteran program rewards in "Battlefield: Bad Company 2" and I apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused to you. It's always a pleasure to assist our customer's in any possible way that we can.

I would like to inform you that I have thoroughly reviewed your account and after making necessary adjustments I have manually entitled the missing Veteran Rewards on your account. Now you will be able to find out the veteran rewards in your game.
Now my games and veteran status are showing on my stats page!

Battlefield Veteran: Part 1

I've attempted to obtain veteran status for Battlefield, but at the moment this is still unsuccessful.

Lately I've been playing Bad Company 2, but haven't played Battlefield 2 in a long while.
I linked my old BF2 login with my new EA account.
Then I played the Battlefield Heroes online game. BF Heroes installs through a Firefox extension and launches through the browser. It was fairly quick to download and easy to play.

Last night the veteran site didn't show any of my statistics, but after maintenance this morning, my stats are showing but without veteran status. Neither the BF2 or Heroes games are showing on the account, only BC2 (although these all show in my EA profile page)

So I decided to play BF2 since I still have it installed.
But I don't have a CD/DVD drive at the moment, and the game requires the disc.
But I did find a workaround. There is a torrent for a Battlefield 2 mini disc image that is only 4MB (downloads fast despite the few seeders). Loading this image with Daemon tools lite allowed the game to start.

Third time was the charm when I attempted to join a game.
The login was slow each time it was "connecting to account server", took about 2 minutes.
On my first attempt I tried just joining a random game.
After loading to 100% and joining the game, the screen went blue (no not that blue screen) and I had to kill it.
On my second attempt, I tried to select a game (with again the slow login)
I found only 8 servers listed, and of those only 2 had a decent number of players.
This time it crashed while the game was loading.
On the third attempt, I chose a random game again and got in successfully to a server in Germany.
I only played this one game. My team lost and I died 3x more than kills, but I got decent point and was the best medic.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Zambie Gaming

Reinstalled and played Zombie Master finally last night
Nice to see there are still people playing on the servers
Also played Left 4 Dead 2
Surprisingly, we had a full group playing
Not sure when that last happened
Maybe we'll play Zombie Panic again sometime too

Friday, January 21, 2011


There has been a lot of talk about HTML5 (XHTML5) for a while, and I've heard it come up again recently.
I previously looked at it briefly but dropped it after seeing the spotty browser support (which is still true today)
But here I am giving it another chance because of all the hype to see if it lives up to it.

First off, HTML5 is not a W3C recommendation yet. Almost 3 years since it's first draft and it is still in a working draft state.
This version of HTML/XHTML is long overdue considering the last versions were about 11-12 years ago.
The spec appears to be updating frequently (almost daily lately) and includes this warning:
Implementors should be aware that this specification is not stable. Implementors who are not taking part in the discussions are likely to find the specification changing out from under them in incompatible ways.
The major browsers are part of the HTML5 group but that doesn't help support for the spec.

There seems to be a lot of new features but most seem to be JavaScript or Flash related.
Such as trying to reduce the repetitive JavaScript input validation or remove the need for Flash to provide video/animations/graphics.

So here are the interesting areas I see (most from my favorite html reference):
  • New elements for providing video/audio/canvas (as opposed to Flash)
  • Raw access to video and canvas images
  • Official client side storage using Web Storage (sessionStorage/localStorage act as map)
  • Storage security is domain based, so insecure on shared hosting sites
  • Better access to elements using Selectors API (document.querySelector/querySelectorAll)
  • New selectors resemble functionality in libraries like JQuery
  • New form controls (only Opera seems to support at the moment)
  • New input types such as number and dates (also email, url, color)
  • Date inputs include date, time, datetime (utc), and datetime-local (also month and week)
  • Required attribute for validation on input
  • Min/max attributes for numeric range validation on input
  • Pattern attribute for regex validation on input
  • New javascript events (such as onerror and oninvalid)
  • Last but not least, removing elements we grew up using (font, center, frame)
Definitely some tempting new features, especially the form validations.
The selectors api and web storage are already available across all browsers, but little else.
Browser support would make this all seem more realistic and worth the effort of learning, and it will be someday.

I just don't think it is worth the hype right now.
For example, I see lots of HTML5 examples including this one that attempts to show the new features. No browser fully supports the canvas element in HTML5 yet, so this page uses the partial WebKit canvas support in Google Chrome Frame (designed for IE) to display it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Evil Book and Guild

Watched s01e01 of Todd and the Book of Pure Evil
it's silly but still fun, even though i'm not a metal fan
like the prosthetic arm flying off from the drummer
and flying evil book like the necronomicon in evil dead
nice to see jay from clerks/silent bob as jimmy the janitor (didn't recognize at first)
what made it even better was the audio editing in the version i watched
vulgar words were replaced with chord off! jocks! bags! stoogecake! out your hatch!

Started watching season 4 of The Guild
Here's a quote from Vork I enjoyed in s04e04 that makes me think of Minecraft:
'if you're not mining, you're dead to me'

The Cape pilot

Watched the first episode of The Cape tonight
Liking it so far
Although I'm debating about giving up on Hulu
Tried to watch the show there but eventually gave up
Recently videos have been choppy and commercials have regularly appeared stopped (unbearably slow)
Also some of my regular shows are now only available paid with Plus account
Not worth it at the moment, I can't watch the shows online and already paying for Netflix

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Recent Games

Most recently been playing Battlefield Bad Company 2 on PC
I've actually gone back to playing some Counter Strike source
And also hop on our Minecraft server sometimes (originally started playing on the zombie survival servers)
Sadly no Left 4 dead 2 in a while. I also feel like playing Zombie Master again, but not sure how many still play after dev stopped on the mod.

Enjoyed playing my new zombie board game on new years, Last Night on Earth
I made a visio flow diagram to summarize the rule book and help me run the game (still need to update with some missing info)
But sadly haven't played it since
If I do play it more, then I could pickup the expansion packs someday


Saw Inception twice recently
Although long, I enjoyed it both times
but wondered about the ending
On first seeing it, I thought the top continued to spin at the end, meaning he was still in Limbo and the entire happy ending was just a dream
But on the second viewing, it appeared the top was wobbling enough and was about to fall over, meaning the happy ending was reality
Apparently that's the point of the ending, to be wondering
but also see that regardless of the outcome, Cobb has changed and could go home

Story of a Dying Computer: Part 1

A mix of old and new, broken by time
Part replaced within the last 3 months, including cpu/motherboard/memory
This was assuming either the mobo or cpu was dead
It was freezing randomly, more often
Then no video and would not post on startup, also mobo led counter stopped working
After these were replaced (just parts, didn't clean and reinstall OS), it worked fine again for a bit
Have not replaced hard drive, power supply, fans, or dvd drive since original build over 5 years ago

Initially I noticed viruses had infected it
These were caught and diffused but they left a trail behind them
Random names that could not be identified, installed as services/drivers
Remaining in the registry and logged as errors (failing to run on startup)

The system would reboot at the same time daily apparently, and also at random times
I noticed the daily reboot was during the virus scan
The blue screen at this time said 'kernel_stack_inpage_error'
The system even viewer had the details for the error with a code for 'status_no_such_device' (00000077: c000000e), leading me to wonder if the hard drive was finally failing
The event viewer also showed other warnings (apparently for the dvd drive):
'error detected on device \Device\Harddisk1\D during a paging operation'
and 'system failed to flush data to transaction log, corruption may occur'

Running chkdsk tried to resolve some issues
'repairing usn journal file record segment' and 'replaced bad clusters in file'
But this did not fix the problem, and the system would shutdown during a virus scan

For a few more days, it continued to unexpectedly restart (with an error in the system log) or shut down (without any logged error)
Then it finally shuts off and won't turn back on (no post, no fans, nothing), causing me to wonder if the power supply has finally failed
No obvious power going to the mobo (leds)

To be continued...

Recent Comics

Read the guild comics #1-3
A nice prequel to the show
I started but haven't gone back to finish watching season 4

I enjoyed that I read it turning a snow storm last week and there are huge snowflakes falling in the comic. There was also another snow storm today.
Setting up some problems inside the community (including love triangle), so it may not be the huge zombie horde that kills them

Read tron:betrayal comics
Also watched youtube videos showing gameplay and story scenes from tron:evolution
Haven't seen tron:legacy yet, but these prequels fill in the story since the original tron

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Aquaman Sucks

Watched the Big Bang Theory 4x11 episode "The Justice League Recombination" and I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud SO much, especially about Aquaman sucking.

Also funny since we recently watched Smallville 10x9 episode "Patriot" which featured the much tougher and more serious Aquaman.

Big Bang is such a great show and it makes reading comics cool, just like Hackers and the Social Network made programming cool (oh and Tron too)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lego Walking Dead

I stumbled upon this lego alternate ending (and its own alternate) for episode 1 in season 1 of the Walking Dead tv show, where Rick is attacked on horseback by a zombie horde in Atlanta.

Looking forward to seeing season 2, despite the CDC blunder at the end of the first season, since I am a committed reader of the comics.

Glad to see issue #80 finally out this past week, in a different month and year than its original release date. This just reminded me to go grab it now that it's available.

I haven't read it yet, but I did check the letter hacks and was a little disappointed not to see mine. Not that it was all that interesting, here is the first part of it:
Dedicated reader writing in for the first time. I just finished issue 79 and I am excited for No Way Out. I especially enjoyed the snow since it hits home for me. I could never see enough zombie survival in winter. On that note, have you seen Pontypool?
I noticed that the first snowfall was in issue 5 which ends in line with the latest episode 4 of the TV show. Coincidence? Robert, awesome job on episode 4. Sina, I agree the show is great and the casting is spot on. Glad to hear it is being received so well and even featured as best new show on the cover of EW.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Open Source Contributions

So I've been contributing to open source projects for the last couple years, especially the OpenMRS project. The majority of my work has been around converting the project from Ant to Maven. The trunk code base has already moved to Maven and will soon be releasing this first version since the change.
Most recently I've continued work on a bash script to convert OpenMRS modules from Ant to Maven and started a Maven branch using this script for one of the modules I've worked with, Idgen.

Here's a list of issues I've either actively worked on or been involved in discussions (ordered roughly by time spent):
TRUNK-241 Add Maven Integration
TRUNK-1686 Create openmrs module maven conversion script
TRUNK-1690 Add coding conventions to maven
TRUNK-1712 Rename modified dependencies in maven repository and project
TRUNK-1682 Add maven module for checkstyle
TRUNK-1705 Add distribution section to pom for deploying to maven repository
TRUNK-1713 Fix dependencies in maven project for move to Spring 3
TRUNK-1830 Duplicate dependencies in poms
TRUNK-1747 Fix maven build to not fail if .svn folders not present
TRUNK-1704 jetty resource filtering prevents running mvn eclipse:eclipse
TRUNK-1703 jetty:run locks static resources on windows
TRUNK-1726 Allow jetty context to be configured
ITSM-450 Install a Nexus Server for Maven Repo
ITSM-463 Update CI plans to new maven trunk
TRUNK-12 Fix @Should tags in Generated Javadoc
TRUNK-434 Multi Level Database Caching
TRUNK-1734 Logic is not included in openmrs trunk anymore after maven switch

Another project I became involved with is the Maven Java Code Formatter project on GoogleCode.
For the OpenMRS project, I was looking for a way to format Java source code with a Maven plugin using either checkstyle or Eclipse formatter config files. There are a lot of developers on the OpenMRS project using different IDEs (Eclipse, NetBeans, Intellij IDEA) and also different OS, and this can result in ugly code (spacing, newlines).
This GoogleCode project fit what I was looking for and I was granted access as a committer. I cleaned up the project, added new features, added site docs, and released the new 0.2 version to the Sonatype and Maven central repositories (all documented in the issues and on the Features Wiki).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

PAX East 2011 Registration

I have finally registered for PAX East 2011, which will be from March 11th to 13th in Boston.

During registration it asks whether you want to be part of the Omegathon, and after much thought I selected No.
Initially I thought I would want to participate in it, but after reviewing past years I realized:
  1. I probably wouldn't do well under pressure, especially if I somehow made it to the finals
  2. There are classic games I haven't played (I'd rather not look like an idiot and get booed)
  3. This is my first year going and I'd rather just watch and have a good time
I mean the Omegathon is epic, just look at last year's finale with a relay including Super Mario 3, reminds me of The Wizard, and who wouldn't love that?

Jira Error and Comments

I came into work and found this error on Jira:

It's apparently a known issue (supposedly fixed), but I enjoyed the comments in the related issue I found:
I love the two "I'm out of the office" auto-replied comments left at the bottom. What's even better is that these types of comments have apparently happened earlier by the same user., since two comments were edited to be "Deleted out of office".

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

XBMC Initial Setup

Thanks to Euicho, I downloaded and installed XBMC (version 10.0) to try out for a flashier movie and tv experience, since my normal mode of operation has been to just use Media Player Classic (Windows only) and uTorrent (no automated downloads, little use of RSS).

My first concern before even downloading what organizing the video files to what XBMC expects. For movies, I just put them all in a directory called Movies. For TV, I created a directory called TV Shows with subdirectories with the TV show name and possibly sub-subdirectories for each season. Otherwise, the files themselves, if from torrents, usually have the expected format. I added in both these directories as sources with Videos -> Add source.

My initial reaction was unimpressed. I did see the show information was being retrieved, but it didn't appear that the posters and images were. Eventually (after finally loading), I realized image loading was incredibly slow, as was updates on the weather page.
After reading forums, I found a couple solutions.
One was to create advancedsettings.xml in the AppData/XBMC/userdata directory with:
The second was to use: Settings -> System -> Video output -> Use a full screen window rather than true full screen. Both allowed the image and weather loading to be bearable.

I continued to strive toward getting a setup that looked like the screenshots I saw for XBMC, using the default skin Confluence. I went to Settings -> Skin -> Home window options, and hid all options except Movies, TV shows, and weather. Under the now visible Movies menu, I set the view as FanArt using the hidden menu that pops out from the left side. For TV shows, I set both the show name and episode list screens as the Media Info view, and Media Info 2 view for the season list screen.
Here are the results:

Now I can only hope to someday have a dedicated media Linux box using uTorrent and XBMC.

Emailing Post

I initially tested created this post through email (with an image). But apparently the new post editor (recommended) cannot edit this post. It just sits with a spinning icon, attempting to load the post for editing, possibly because of the image. Thankfully the post can be editing in the old post editor, as I am doing now. So I can use the newer post editor, but expect that some posts (especially by email with text) will need to be edited with the older post editor.

UPDATE: Apparently the newer post editor (yes recommended) cannot edit ANY posts. Here is all it does:


After years of having a private Livejournal, I am experimenting with this "web log" for non-personal topics, especially programming and entertainment related. I debated about which journal/blog service to use, but in the end it doesn't really matter too much. If private, every site would have a login or password required. If public, every site has an RSS feed available. So I chose this since most people already have a gmail login, to avoid myself or others needing to create another account to manage. Otherwise, this is just a new space to try out.