Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Sometimes it gets a little complex at work ...

Virtualization is great. It does stress the systems more than non-virtualized environments, but it does give you far more options than normal on how to solve a problem. Today I was caught in one of those self-aware moments and marvelled at what I was actually doing. On top of the obligatory 10 IE windows that always seem to open up, I'm currently installing Visual Studio onto a new virtual machine so that the dev environment will be portable between reinstalls. That was taking a while so I had also started downloading the latest patch for the backup application, as well as backing up the old local VMs to a USB caddy HDD. The big thing today though will be the Library Catalogue server move.

After trying to get a proxy in place so that the library catalogue could be visible from outside the school, we've eventually caved in to giving it it's own external interface. Instead of opening up the virtual host for the library catalogue, we're going to try to move the virtual machine from one virtual host to another that already has an external interface card already in place. This will also free up a virtual host for other emergency work later if needed. To get started on the move I've also opened up another IE window with the 4 VH servers on different tabs (opening directories-at-once in IE is awesome). from here I can check out the status of each virtual machine and shut down LC01 for the move. I've also set up 2 remote desktops to the 2 virtual hosts to move the VM file to its new location.

My machine is still ticking along nicely. I wonder what else i can throw at it ...

Gamelog 37

Civilization 4: Beyond the Sword (18h) - Downloaded an upgrade for Road to War mod and restarted my scenario. The inflation eventually crippled me in the previous scenario and it was just not fun anymore straining to even support a tiny army.

ANZAC Day was on friday and it was particulary apt to play the Aussies in the Pacific theatre of WWII over the holiday weekend. There was an excellent doco on the Gallipoli Sub that coincided well with my 12 subs used to keep tabs on the Japan / China war

Trackmania Nations Forever(10h) - Found out that TMNF was released the night before the finals of CCG, so i grabbed a copy of it to use as a demo for next CCG season. I also took my box in to set up and demonstratoe how the game should really be played. Essentially the same game with more variety of tracks and dirt too. Much cleaner interface to emphasize the competition too.

There is a steam version, but I've stuck to the standalone version as i needed it to burn to CDs as prezzies for the CCG kids, as well as poo-poooing steam and it's klunkiness. Nearly downloaded it again thru steam when I found out how hard it is trying to add friends that I know are playing thru steam :/.

Dwarf fortress (2h) - Lunchtime fun at work.

TrackMania Nations (1h) - Finals of Competitive Computer Games for Summer 08. Gratz to Matthew Leacy for taking out a VERY tight finals.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

GameLog 36

Civ4: BtS (25h)
Dwarf fortress (10h)
Trackmania Nations (3h)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Zenith for Coaches

St Luke's coaches for sport picked up a set of Azuma Zenith shoes as thanks for the summer season. Although not as useful in Competitive Computer Gaming as other sports, they are a comfy shoe that should do well in touch footy.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

GameLog 34 & 35

FM08 (20h)
Civ4 (6h)
Fate (6h)
TMNations (2h)
Freeciv (1h)

Friday, April 11, 2008


Stumbled upon an old video for a song about Pi.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

UniLog 4

Wow, almost a month since the last UniLog. That's going to test the memory.

After my Monday afterschool session out at the Uni on the 17th I had come to the conclusion that it might take a little more work than I'm putting in. The amount of reading is huge! Since I'm still officially on 4 days a week instead of full time due to the PhD deal, I had a quick calc and worked out that I had enough days built up to see me through the 2 days a week teaching over the next 2 terms. I can now go back to 4 days a week for the remainder of the Uni calendar to get some dedicated time to work on the course. Finally settled on the same deal as before, Tuesday and Thurday afternoons off to work on Uni.

20/3 (3h) - First Thursday 1/2 day to head out to Uni. I've noticed it takes longer to get to Uni from Work than it does getting to work from home. Anywhere in Bundy used to seem 15 mins from the beach. Now the city seems larger.

Concentrated on Learning Management to see if I could get through the quizzes as fast as possible. The stuff is really interesting to read, but after 3 hours of flicking through text after text I'm frazzled. I've seen that the average marks on the next quizz are down in the 7's, so it's possibly going to be harder than the netiquette one.

25/3 (3h) - Tuesdays for Design of Pedagogy. 3h goes past pretty quick but at least I've finished off topic 1.

27/3 (3h) - Back to Learning Management on Thursday. I've been through all the readings and am pretty comfortable about the content. I harden up, open a couple of windows on some likely content and pop open the quizz. Some tough question in there all right. There's possibly 4 questions that I wasn't confident about because of the ambiguity. You could easily have 2 or 3 of the answers chosen and think you're right. In the end I get stung on all of them. 6/10. Warning bells time.

More concerned with the ambiguity of the questions rather than dumping marks, I wrote a rationale for my choices and submitted it to the lecturer. I was happy to find that the next day I'd received my marks back on the 2 I sent in. The reasoning being that the quizz was to test whether you understood the content, and writing a couple of paragraphs on each point explaining why one answer should be better than the given one show that I understand the topic. Since it was all to do with the "Knowledge Economy" that I work in day in day out, I knew i was on solid ground. 8/10. Should have written up the other 2 as well ...

29/3 (2h) - Turned up to the Saturday gathering but no-one else was around. Maybe the easter weekend last weekend threw them off. Spent some time trawling the forums and picking up on the progress of others. Bit disappointed in not getting to have a chat I head home early.

1/4 (4h) - Design of Pedagogy is getting more boring. Just seems to be reading and reading and reading. Some of it is Ok, but the Learning Essentials that are supposed to set the goalposts are so flimsy you could interperet them to teach practically anything and demonstrate that you "met the goals". I'll need to see some standard testing to get a true feeling of what level they are expecting. Don't know if it exists here at St Luke's so it's going to be a dive in the deep end. Finished the day thinking that 3-4 hours is my limit without talking to people. I miss lectures ...

3/4 (4h) - Set myself a goal to punch through a whole topic and the quizzes today. in the end I had ~20 windows open with all sorts of stuff I'd read and was pretty happy I had it covered in under 3 hours. Popped open the first quizz and it's all about one document. I'm a little intrigued at dedication a whole quizz to the one document, but since it really defines the "Learning Management approach" that the whole course runs on I guess it one way of stressing its importance. Blitz it 10/10. Next one is a little more spread, but it's pin the fact on the donkey to blitz another one 10/10.

I thought having all the windows open would help me get to the info I wanted, but in the end it was a hindrance. Without tabbed browsing through IE7 or Firefox it was pretty useless organising the windows into an easy to navigate order. I left Uni feeling that I might spend the next few sessions at home where I can control my desktop better and have more screen realestate to play with.

5/4 (1h) - didn't take long for the lazy gene to kick in trying to work from home. We're off car hunting anyway and that's chewing up a lot of my time.

8/4 (0h) - School holidays at St Luke's, but I still lost 1/2 of Monday thinking about cars and checking stuff online. Tuesday turned into testdrive day and we finally have a winner. Toyota Camry Sportivo. Sorry Uni, now I can concentrate more on you.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Panasonic DVD-R

We picked up a DVDR a couple of weeks ago and it's just about perfect for setting up a whole day's worth of recording, then sitting back and watching stuff at your leisure. It has an inbuilt guide which is pretty accurate, although we have missed ends of programs due to the guide not lining up exactly with what's shown. It can record away and let you browse the HDD and play anything pre-recorded, even a show that is recording. It's great for sitting down 1/2 an hour after the show has started and watching it adless and in less time. Great for House.

Only thing I'm a little miffed at is that it can't play DVD (or DivX on DVD) while recording. Hasn't happened too many times, but it does break into the "watch anytime" philosophy. One time we were watching a DivX and a recording started. I couldn't for the life of me get the recording to stop so we could get back to finishing the movie. Finally found out that the drive setting was still on DVD so all the buttons were triggering the DVD (which couldn't respond). You need to swap it back to HDD, stop the recording, then go back to the DVD. Seemed obvious in the end, but how hard would it be to change it to HDD mode if you know that the timer recording precluded any DVD access?

Friday, April 04, 2008

GameLog 33

Down a bit this week mainly due to more TV watching.

Football Manager 08 (18h) - Finally got a hankering to get back into footy manager. Gateshead push up into the middle of the league and , apart from a crazed chairman selling up and firing me in a parallel universe, we're travelling Ok for a lunge to the finals. We've lost all but the FA Trophy earlier than the board would have liked, but hopefully a good finish to the season will wipe away any misgivings for employing me.

It's interesting with the confidence screen giving more feedback from the board and fans about how you're doing in a variety of aspects. Seeing what they think of your signings makes you think twice about hiring anyone with a pulse. I found out that you can squirrell away poor acquisitions by sending them for a trip to a feeder club. some of their picks I wouldn't have agreed with, but I certainly picked up some crappy players just to get a team fielded at the start of the season. I think I'm up to 20 players recruited this year.

Warcraft 3: TFT (15h) - Easter Monday LAN led to many hours of DotA and TD variants.

Trackmania Nations (2h) - St Luke's CCG.