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January 20th, 2008

01:28 am: Update Photoblog: Done.
I've updated my photoblog, for the first time since mid-November. I completed 71 posts for 69 days (with 2 Special Bonus photos). My photoyear is now two-thirds complete. Yeah me.

November 4th, 2007

10:25 am: Paco, Rico, Tuco, Veco, Xoco.
I've now finished my first draft of the communication spec for the Puerto Rico computer game.

It's ASCII message based; it reminds me of GPIB, if you know what that is, and you probably don't. I am not certain of the wisdom of this decision, but it should make it easier for a hu-man to read it when it's necessary to debug things.

Anyway, I've documented the protocol in an HTML file, a link to which I have graciously provided here: Here it is. I'm soliciting comments on it from all interested parties.

Current Mood: inspired
Current Music: The Wiggles - C'est Waggs, C'est Bon
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October 30th, 2007

01:49 pm: Bienvenidos a Puerto Rico!
I've started a new project, because I'm a putz.

Do you know the game Puerto Rico? Well, it's the #1 rated game on GameBoardGeek. And, despite the fact that it reminds me of Settlers of Catan, I've decided to create a networked computer version.

I have decided to do this for two reasons. The first is that I'm a putz, as I mentioned before. The second is that I'd like to play it, and this seemed like the easiest way to make that happen.

I'm implementing it in Java, because it's cross-platform, and I don't know or have access to tools to create Flash.
I'm currently drafting a first pass at the communication protocol, which I have decided will be message-based.

I'd like someone else to look at it as a sanity check; if you're interested, I can let you see it. if you're really interested, you could implement a client to use it, and then, when I get the engine done, you'll be ready to play (test)! Doesn't that sound exciting?

Seriously, though, the rules are pretty simple and the set of allowed actions is pretty constrained at any given time, which is a stark contrast to my 1000 Blank Cards project, which has to do everything and then some. I could probably implement a MOO version over the weekend, but I've forgotten my password.

Anybody a talented graphic artist who'd be willing to make some graphics for this thing? Otherwise, I'll be forced to use my MSPaint skillz to solve the problem, and no one wants that.

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October 19th, 2007

05:59 pm: Go Me
I set a goal of catching my photoyear blog up by Allansbirthday. Now, I have done that. I cannot fall behind before that time.

I set a goal, I met a goal. In your face, allanc!.

Also, I'm over 40% done with my photoyear.

Current Music: Cake - Mr. Mastadon Farm
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October 8th, 2007

03:11 pm: Checkpoint.
Time for another project update.

Current projects:
* HAL - Home Automation (Linux) - No change.

* 1000 Blank Cards computer game - No change.

* Critters - No change. I can still blame Allan for this.

* fvwm2.rc updates - Next question.

* Garden -
The onions are still not brown. Hopefully, they're getting bigger.
The cole crops didn't produce too well, but I did eat some cauliflower that I grew myself.
The peppers did set fruit, although it was all about jalepeno sized when I picked it, and the plants never got more than about 10 inches high
The tomato plant eventually ran out of gas, although it did make lots of tasty little tomatoes.
The cukes set about 4 small-to-medium sized fruit; one was good, one tasted like styrofoam, and the other two rotted before I remembered to eat them.  The vines each only produced one fruit, which was annoying.  Maybe they'd have done better if I'd given them someplace to climb. 
We pulled the shallots when the tops turned brown and fell over; we got about 2 pints of shallots from 1 pint of sets.
The watermelon never sprouted.
The birdhouse gourd put out lots of vines that climbed up the fence, but only ever set 2 gourds. The vines started dying last week, with one acceptably sized gourd, and one small one. I didn't know you are supposed to let them stay on the vine until they turn tan, so I cut the big one off, and the little one broke off in my hand at the narrow part of the neck. They're in the house, drying on the counter. We'll see what happens.
I need to till under the stuff that's done, and do some prep for next year's planting. The onions will stay in the ground until spring, in hopes that they'll make actual onions and not just onion sets (we started with seeds.

* mp3 CD project - No change.

* 14 models - I fixed my helicopter, but it's not going back to work.  I painted one color out of about 10 of the HMMWV models. My workspace is taken over at the moment by other projects.

* 24 Hour Comic - No change.

* Hypatia replacement - This is moving more toward a file server and/or an Amarok box for the workbench. I bought a PowerMac G4 450 from EPC for $55, and got Kubuntu installed on a spare hard disk. I've managed to get my shitty TV tuner card installed in it and working, if I could get a decent signal to it, I could watch TV on it. Hypatia has the dreaded bad mobo cap disease, and I'm waffling on either parting it out or getting a more recent motherboard and processor and dropping that in it. If I part it out, the largest hard disk (or two, if I sac the Zip drive) will go in the G4, and I don't know what I'll do with the LCD screen. If not, the parts will stay in it, and it will be the Amarok box, putting the G4 in an as-yet-undecided role. Maybe a MythTV box, if I can get a good signal to it.

* My-Life-on-a-Thumbdrive - I'm declaring this done. Woo!

* NaNoWriMo planning - This is my year. TTFS!

* Re-organize, categorize, tag and upload photos - I stand before the abyss, it's yawning emptiness threatens to consume me. Seriously, the picture-a-day project makes this impossible as long as I am gainfully employed.

* Picture-a-day project - It's debatable how well I'm doing. I manage to get a picture more than 9 times out of ten, but I'm not doing well at uploading and posting them.  I just uploaded 55 days of pictures. Fun Fact: the first of those 55 and the last were exactly 900 exposures apart, based on the image names generated by the camera, and I'm sure I deleted no more than 3 or 4 of the intervening images, if any. Hence the abyss.  Allan is going to start a picture-a-day starting on Allansbirthday, and I've set a goal of being caught up by then.

* Lose weight/get in shape - Still fat. I'm pretty sure that I've actually lost ground on this one.

Current Mood: lame
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August 5th, 2007

06:48 am: IntroComp: Failure
Last night, at 11:59 Eastern was the deadline for IntroComp. I didn't send my entry. I fail at IntroComp.

Let's check some state:

Current projects:
* HAL - Home Automation (Linux) - No change.
* 1000 Blank Cards computer game - No change.
* Critters - No change. At least for this one I can share the blame with Allan.
* fvwm2.rc updates - I actually looked around at some screenshots this week and got some ideas.
* Garden - This is currently my most successful project, probably because it will coast awhile without me intervening. The cherry tomato plant has set a ton of little green fruits and is attempting a takeover of the shallot's territory. The peppers actually have buds on them. The birdhouse gourd is climbing the fence, and the cucumbers have little teeny tiny cucumber wannabees on them. The spinach is brown (too hot; planted too late), and the cole plants aren't bushing out any (also too hot and too late). The onions are like blades of grass, but they're not turning brown yet.
* mp3 CD project - No change.
* 14 models - This is actually like 14.5 models now, since "somehow" my helicopter model "fell down" at work, and I have to repair it.
* 24 Hour Comic - No change.
* Hypatia replacement - No change. I'm not sure I need a desktop machine anymore. This may morph into a headless file/HAL server.
* My-Life-on-a-Thumbdrive - This is pretty well taken care of. I'm not sure what I was hoping to accomplish beyond what I've already done.
* NaNoWriMo planning - This year I'll do it. This Time For Sure.
* Re-organize, categorize, tag and upload photos - This is an ongoing nightmare, a swirling whirlpool that just keeps getting deeper. I don't know where I am on this.
* Picture-a-day project - Not doing so well. I've missed about 4 days in the last 2 weeks.
* Lose weight/get in shape - This has new impetus. The doctor wants to put me on medication and I can only stave him off if I lose some weight.

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July 22nd, 2007

08:12 pm: Well, I did it.
I really did it.

I submitted my intent to enter Introcomp. Despite the fact that I haven't touched the source in two months, and I still have basically no idea how to do the most fundamental and necessary verb in the game (no idea what to call it, or how to introduce the player to it in a way that doesn't violate memesis). Despite the fact that I did not reach the bar that I set for myself (3 adventures done before intending-to-enter).

I did, however, pick the set of adventures that I want to implement for the actual comp.

What I have now would be a shitty but technically acceptable entry. This is not helping me.

I now have less than 14 days to implement 9 more adventures. So screwed.

Current Mood: screwed
Current Music: The sound of me being totally screwed.
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June 12th, 2007

02:10 pm: Movement on the Introcomp Front
The Intent To Enter Deadline for IntroComp is July 15, 2007.

I have until then to shit or get off the pot, so to speak.

I haven't written 2 words since my last update to this project. I've either got to get to work, or go ahead and give up.  If I decide to enter, I have until August 4, 2007, 11:59 PM EST to actually "finish" my introduction.  I think I'm going to try to work on this while I'm out of town the next couple of weeks.

What I'd like to have before I commit to enter: at least 3 adventures fully coded and working.
What I'd like to have before the entry deadline: as many as 10 adventures coded and working, and some sense that the whole game has a superstory that's not immediately apparent when you start out.

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June 2nd, 2007

07:26 pm: Garden State
State of the garden:

The ground is tilled and amended.
The anti-rabbit fence is up.
The onions, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, shallots, cucumbers, tomato, and watermelon are planted, though since only the tomato is from a seedling, it's the only thing you can see right now.
Amelia's birdhouse gourd is planted in the indoor seedling pot. We'll transplant it when it's a few inches high.

To do:
Yet to plant: gourd (see above) and bell peppers (the plants haven't arrived yet.

We may need to get some anti-bird netting when everything sprouts (if it sprouts. We just got it planted Thursday).

Oh, and all the weeding, watering, fertilizing, bug repelling/killing, harvesting, and post-season prep for next year that's yet to be done.

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May 28th, 2007

06:35 pm: That's one done.
Woo! I've finished a project!

Planning for my trip to DC is finished. Also, my trip to DC is finished, too.

Current projects:
* IntroComp entry
* HAL - Home Automation (Linux)
* 1000 Blank Cards computer game
* Critters
* fvwm2.rc updates
* Garden
* mp3 CD project
* 14 models
* 24 Hour Comic
* Hypatia replacement
* My-Life-on-a-Thumbdrive
* NaNoWriMo planning
* Re-organize, categorize, tag and upload photos
* Picture-a-day project
* Lose weight/get in shape

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May 26th, 2007

08:41 pm: Why would I do that if I have a perfectly good blog, and a perfectly good project blog?
So, yeah, I've decided to do that take-a-picture-a-day-for-a-year thing.

Having decided this, do you think that I decided to put it on my regular LiveJournal, or my projects LiveJournal, or even my mystery third LiveJournal that used to be all secretive and emo? Why, no. I decided to put it on my disused, BlogSpot blog that I only made to keep somebody else from getting my preferred name. Anyway, here it is: http://capned.blogspot.com.

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May 4th, 2007

10:44 pm: Map!
Yesterday:
I marked a crapload of locations using Google Map and Google Earth.

Today:
I mapped out the Tourmobile paths and stops.

Tomorrow:
I need to do more on the Itinerary front. Also, the "vital information that we will need" front needs some attention, too.

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April 30th, 2007

07:22 pm: Not about IntroComp at all
I've been slacking off from IntroComp, and I'm going to blame it on planning for my trip to DC, which happens on May 18th.

Things to do for DC trip:

Print a shit-load of maps and papers and the like.
Figure out what to pack.
Pack.
Go.
Take lots of pictures.
Come back.
The end.

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April 24th, 2007

02:26 pm: It's MAGIC!
I've updated the IntroComp, because I'm home from work with a sick baby.

Updates today: A magic word.

That's all. And I'm not telling you what it is.

But, I have cut a new beta: http://www.capn-ed.net/media/chekhov.z5

Go and get it, and play it.

...

PLAY IT!!!1!

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April 23rd, 2007

10:55 pm: Huckabee!
Progress!

I've come up with a way to start the quest that's not totally reprehensible and offensive to the nature of a narrative flow. This is great. This is great. This is so great. Because it will allow me to actually implement my ideas. My BRILLIANT ideas.

I've also come up with a way to prevent re-trying a completed quest (<-Good), and a way to handle that properly. Now I just have to make it apparent how one actually initiates that activity.

The quest that I sketched out last week is not done, by which I mean, you can't complete it. Which is bad.

I've also filled in a few more uses. So that's good.

No new beta uploaded yet. I'm building anticipation.

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April 20th, 2007

08:49 am: Suddenly Yesterday's Donut
No progress yesterday. I didn't even get around to posting. Today looks better, though. Excelsior!

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April 18th, 2007

09:30 pm: Resolved: No More Cutesy Titles
Today's progress:

Wheels were spun. Rooms were re-arranged. Outhouses (for small values of "plural") were roughed in but not plumbed. Some (but not all) descriptions were written. Two (mildly) clever lines were inserted.

I still haven't come up with a nice way to begin the quest. I've got a kludgy way that would work alright if I had a switch-case. Guess what construct Inform 7 doesn't support nicely? I'd have to do it as if blah otherwise if bloh otherwise if blue... 90-some times.

Also, and much easier to solve if I wasn't a slacker, is how to start a quest with less than 4 plotty items. I could just have "tell attendant go" or something, but I'd like to think of a more obvious way to do it, aside from a button or the like. It's the first room; I don't want that to be a puzzle, because if you didn't figure out that you could do less than 4 items, you might not do those quests until you had done the other 50 quests and tried the other how-ever-many invalid combinations. I'd like the Attendant's speech to give a hint toward the correct command. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Belligerent, rambling letters to the editor?

(16 rooms. 53 things. 5765 words.)

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April 17th, 2007

09:15 pm: Opposite of congress
Woo! Progress (kind of)!

19 rooms, 51 things.

Updates:
Mapped out the location for the first (real) quest! I've got ideas for the puzzles, and I know where I'm putting the plotties for that scenario. I still need to hammer the rest of it out, and do descriptions.

Very important TODOs:
The quest selection code. I can't even test the new quest until I can get it started.
Figure out the mechanism for starting a quest without needing 4 items in the kettle.

The latest version has not been uploaded, because nobody's running it anyway, and you can't get to the new area without cheating or something.

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April 16th, 2007

09:55 pm: Up-Date.
Today's IntroComp game update:

Changes relative to yesterday:

Still 4 Rooms.
Still 44 Things.
4938 words of source (not a metric as such, but fun to know.)

Uses that need to be thought up:
Fish: 82
Clip: 7
Book: 8
Can: 2
Coat: 16
Pencil: 6
Ball: 11
Box: 13
Com: 10
Gun: 0

Other changes: One message changed. No functionality added. I did read an article about IF design, though.

By the by: Beta-testers wanted! http://www.capn-ed.net/media/chekhov.z5. You only need a Z-Machine interpreter (for instance, Frotz). And you can give me feedback, and I can change things!

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April 15th, 2007

06:29 pm: State of the IF.
Current status of my (notional) IntroComp entry:

METRIC!Collapse )
The latest beta can generally be found at http://www.capn-ed.net/media/chekhov.z5, at least until it outgrows the z5 format.

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05:11 pm: First Post!
This is my journal of current projects.
Current projects, in no particular order, that I can remember right now:

  • IntroComp entry
  • HAL - Home Automation (Linux)
  • 1000 Blank Cards computer game
  • Critters
  • fvwm2.rc updates
  • Garden
  • mp3 CD project
  • 14 models
  • 24 Hour Comic
  • Hypatia replacement
  • My-Life-on-a-Thumbdrive
  • NaNoWriMo planning
  • Re-organize, categorize, tag and upload photos
  • Washington trip planning
  • Lose weight/get in shape


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