Sunday, November 30, 2008

Yay, new work shift

They introduced a new work shift and chances are I'll get it as people who have kids/wife wont want it.

The shift is from 12:30pm to 9:00pm.

My current shift is 7:00-3:30. It's nice as I finish early, BUT, I'm not a morning person. Also, I'm not a go to bed early person, so it's very hard going to bed at 10:00.

Now I'll be able to go to bed late (starting tonight) AND sleep in a little. I will also get much more work done on ServerWeave as I tend to code way better at night. In the day I tend to loose focus and spend more time browsing the internet then actually code. But at night I'm more focused.

Expect a beta for SW by end of December :)

Once I am satisfied with the state of SW I will then start revamping Age of Valor. Even debating on recoding the entire thing in C++.

We're talking over 417,000 lines of code though, so that would be a huge task. Mind you RunUO has tons of redundant code so I could probably cut it down to like 100 thousand lines. True story. Hardest part would be figuring out some of the packet stuff like encryption and compression.

Right now SW is at a measly 2,651 lines of code. :P

Friday, November 28, 2008

Every cup tells a story

As office workers, Tim Horton's is a big part of the work environment. With that, lot of trays get accumulated. After a bit of messing around, we found a great use for them after having enjoyed many coffees, hot chocolates and other beverages.

Having that said, here is our Christmas tree:

I also bought out all the plastic candy canes at Wal-Mart to decorate the rest of the office. At 94 cents, they are a steal.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Network info

Just for those curious, these are some stats on Age of Valor's server. This server also does mail and DNS for all my sites. The bulk of the bandwidth is actually offsite backups.

Bandwidth usage (speed)
Bandwidth usage (totals)
Network Layout

Friday, November 21, 2008

Network troubleshooting 101, the epic fail way

I found this on a forum and thought it was funny. I reworded the whole thing to protect the innocent.

user: "My internet is always slow, I lag in games all the time. The cable company checked and everything looks ok at their end."
other user: "Try to do an ipconfig /release then ipconfig /renew"

me: FAIL

Yeah, renewing your IP is going to speed up your connection. Suuuuuure.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yay! Snow!

It's finally here! Looks like it's staying. It's not much yet but it's still coming down nice and slowly. I say it's probably about 2 or so inches so far.

Snow really helps bring a Christmas spirit. Christmas is just not the same without lot of snow.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Windows Vista... for a SERVER?!

Yes, I've seen people do it. WHY?! Why do people even THINK about doing that?

It's like paying 2 grand more then you should for a low end server when you can get a higher end one for that price. A server OS should have very low foot print so it can run the applications and give them the most resources possible.

Vista wont do this. It will hog them all instead.

Windows for a server is bad enough in most cases, but at least use Windows Server if you must use Windows. Some server applications are simply better in Windows, and that's what Windows Server is for. Win2k3 is actually not too bad of an OS. But it all depends on the needs. Something like web or mail will be better in Linux. Mail in Windows is actually pretty bad, they really kill you with all their licensing restrictions. It's YOUR server, Microsoft should not have a say in how many mailboxes or users you have. Linux won't limit you like that.

My "rant" of the day.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yay snow!

It's very late, and it's not a lot, but at least it's finally here! Snow!

It's not Christmas season without at least 3-5 feet of snow! Global warming has taken it's toll on our weather in past years though as our winters have been starting later and later every year. Instead, we get non stop rain. In fact, it has not stopped raining since June. Literally, we had maybe 10 days from June to September, of no rain. From September to now it's been maybe 80% rainy days. SICK OF IT!

Hopefully this cold weather sticks around for good till spring, so we can at least enjoy a few months without rain.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ServerWeave sneak preview / screenshots

I added lot of packet handling and UI stuff to the web client so far. I'm not really concentrating on prettiness at this point, only consistency like assigning right CSS class to right elements, and so on. I will probably come up with better colors then gray, though it's kind of growing on me... that logo has to go though. :P

You will also notice on the left, the debug info outputted while displaying that page. At debuglevel=5 all packet contents is shown. In fact, I just noticed now, my log is 9MB big.

Anyway, on with the screenshots!

Module list - this will probably show up as icons (sorta like cpanel)
Errors - packet handling issue
Table - the heart of the system: tables.
More stuff in a table

These are all generated in the back end, the client simply knows how to read the packets and how to display them. The beauty of this is that a C++ class will be able to generate tables on the fly and send to client to display variable data.

The downside is that all data will be stored in memory during this time... but I can probably make it so variable data has pages, so for example when displaying a list of virtual hosts, it will only show 50 at a time, or something.

All in all, there is good progress going on. Tomorrow I should be able to work on data submission so server can get data from the client.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Money money money!

This is what happens when you accumulate change and then come to realize: it's time to roll it up...

I asked my cat to help, but she just wanted to play with the paper rolls and she gave me the most evil look...

Then she went to bed. She looks so peaceful there.

After rolling all the money, this is the end result:

That totals to $325.

In other news, I hope this was safe to eat, because I ate it anyway:

Some minor technical difficulty at the smarties factory eh.

Lastly and most importantly, a big Thank You to those who served for the country to give us the freedom we have today! Many lost their lives, were physically and emotionally injured to give us the freedom we have today. Shall we never forget!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Crappy software

Why is it that so many businesses use some of the crappiest software? It's seen in all sorts of industries from telecom to travel agencies. Usually they are very hard to install apps, very complex, badly documented, non standard (unlike many MS apps that people tend to hate - at least it's standard and has lot of support)

Today I had to deal with an app suite called Galileo, used by a travel agency that is our new customer for IT managed services. Transfering this thing to a new PC is quite a beasty task. First off, they have no install files for it and their support says it's on their site, but it has about 20 "sub apps" that are required and they are nowhere to be found.

A full day, hardly no progress done. I pretty much went nuts, literally...

It field can be nice, but it sure comes with some nightmares sometimes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Irate customers

If you've worked in tech support you've talked to these people at least once I'm sure.

There are several types, some are just plain assholes, others are very clueless about life, and are assholes about it. Some are just plain crazy and don't even know what they even want. They'll just call and rage.

Today I had one of the clueless ones. This guy calls in saying someone keeps faxing his phone every 5 minutes. He used *67 to trace the call which ended up coming from somewhere in Toronto area. WAY outside our territory. This guy is getting pissed off at us because it's happening. I advise him there is simply nothing we can do as it is not even coming from our systems. It's not possible to do anything about it but wait, from a technical side of things, and even if we could, we would not legally be able to do anything about it. Something like this, you get the police involved.

So he hangs up. Later on he calls back saying it's still doing it, I advised him again, there is nothing we can do. He started raging and wanting to talk to my supervisor. This was at 7:30am. Managers along with 95% of every other person out there starts at 8:00 or 8:30. This guy rages even more when I tell him he is not in.

He starts raving about how he's losing business over this.

First of all, who in the world will be calling a business at 7:30am? This is in a town with a population of like 300. I doubt they even get more then 2 calls a day. Go to bed!

Then this is the funny part. I told him I'm guessing it's someone who set their fax to auto send and left for coffee or something, then he's all "what? so you guys only deal on a guess basis and not on facts?" Oooooooooo Kkkkkkkkkk, so I'm suppose to just KNOW, what some guy 900km from me is THINKING. I did not realize mind reading and other magic tricks were a requirement for tech support, but apparently people think we have it.

Then you got people that call and think we can see their screen, or their desk. WTF people? Or people think that we can remotely fix a physical network issue such as an unplugged cable. "Can't you just remote in and do it?" Yes, I can remotely move a physical object I can't even see. If I send the right signal to your modem it will generate the proper atomic reaction that will cause the molecules around to move in a certain way to plug the cable back in. I don't even know the IP of the modem because you're too stupid to know how to give me it and unwiling to do ipconfig, but if I just say a few magic words while moving my wand, it will automatically get punched in my program! The joys of modern technology!

Maybe if they took warning labels off stuff, we could get rid of people like this. These are the people that keep this job interesting though. It may be frustrating while on such a call but it's something to laugh about later.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Misc ServerWeave progress stuff

I'm still in slacking mode and not coding at 100% speed but getting somewhere at least.

I've completed the logon process handling. Everything works great and is very stable so far.

You can see [here] a sneak preview of the (still very basic looking) login screen and some logging on the side of a few attempts which I purposely failed.

There is about 1500 lines of code so far in the back end. As far as the client goes I probably wont be running an inventory system to track the development of it as it is not really counting. I am also trying to make the client as simple as possible so all the work happens on the back end portion. The idea is I want to make it possible for people to write 3rd party clients such as a windows/linux GUI one that connects directly, just to keep the options open, and stuff.

The client will basically receive packets on how the data should be displayed and what data should be displayed, then client will send how to change it (ex: changing a setting and submitting it). I may even throw in some ajax at some point. I want to make it slick and easy to use.

There's one major bug I have not had a chance to look at yet though. Say the SQL server connection is lost, you're dead in the water and have to restart the daemon...


Nasty stuff. I can probably find a function to check connectivity before performing a query though.