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  •  
    Howdy. This is Bob. The Bob of Bob Blog. This blog contains about five minutes of my thoughts each day. A record. A history. And occasionally worth reading.

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    Bob Blog
     
    Wednesday, April 30, 2003  

    NHL will let you listen to hockey playoff games on the internet. NBA won't. Guess which one I am paying attention to tonight? Go Ducks. In reality though, I'll watch the live update (play-by-play) for the Lakers tomorrow though. Radio would be nicer...

    9:04 PM  0 comments

     

    I shouldn't rant about this bug. But it has taken me most of the evening to set up a server and two clients to test. I think tomorrow I try to pawn it off onto someone else. Or create a theoretical fix for the potential bug instead of trying to reproduce it first. And it might be 5-15 minutes before the characters go link dead and the "potential" crash happens. Hopefully I added enough logging. Hopefully...

    Nope. Not that time. I may have to cheat. Force the condition. Then check the solution to the forced condition.
    I really don't know how to reproduce this bug. Going to kill me... Going to drive me over the edge... Nope. Once I find it, I'll do a little victory dance and move onto the next most important bug.

    Supposedly 15-20K downloads of the beta from FilePlanet. We have close to 50-100K beta accounts.

    8:47 PM  0 comments

     

    Today felt like April 1st. I wanted to laugh and make practical jokes and be silly. My list of bugs jumped back up again. But after a long day I've whittled the "immediate" ones back down to a single crash bug. What day of the week is it? It doesn't seem real how close we are to being there. There referring to GOLD. The there will refer to launch. Then there will refer to 10.000 subscribers. 50.000 subscribers. Maybe 100K. There is no end to the word "there." For now, there means -- Monday. Then the following Monday and some time to enjoy before the storm. We're nearly there...

    8:31 PM  0 comments

    Tuesday, April 29, 2003  

    My 10 year college reunion is this weekend. I haven't given it much thought yet. I guess the crunch will do that -- strip your mind of all throughts but the game. I hope to make it back to Mudd. I hope the game doesn't take that from me.

    I'm chasing after a crash bug right now. And a bug that prevents some resizing to happen. And 47 other issues (and 25+ that haven't made it to my task list yet) need to be resolved in the next 2 weeks. Less than 2 weeks. Exciting.

    Sleep?

    6:11 PM  0 comments

    Sunday, April 27, 2003  

    I honestly forgot what day of the week it was. Welcome to crunch mode.

    In at 9am on a Sunday. I hoped to get out by 1pm. 8:30pm and I'm still here. I did manage to make it out for lunch to see Sophia. But I'm going to be here really late because they forgot to tell me to merge onto the branch. It took me 3 hours yesterday to merge into the core. So tonight? Paranoia is required for merging at this point. So I honestly expect it to take 3+ hours again once I get the green light. That means after midnight before I even have a realistic chance of making it home.

    And an 8am meeting tomorrow.


    8:29 PM  0 comments

    Friday, April 25, 2003  

    What happens when one of your blog topic takes up all your time... but you can't say much about it and programming is essentially dull to the outsider. And the other...well, it seems the fighting bit of the war is over. Was it tactical genius to decide not to fight? And does North Korea really think blackmail will work -- OK. So maybe it does when dealing with Russia and China and some of the other people Korea trades with.

    Am I allowed to say that art gets locked down on Monday? And the GM date is < censored >?

    Guess not.. Hopefully I will get outside this weekend. Art walk. Earth day. Sunflowers beginning to bloom. Weeds. Or: coding.

    Mighty Duck took the first game: in five overtimes. Good thing I didn't decide to watch an 8 hour game. Or to record it on TiVo.

    My cat needs knee surgery. I don't know what I should do. Wish me luck.

    1:44 PM  0 comments

    Sunday, April 20, 2003  

    What a great zoo day! the best part about having a year-long pass is that you can go back whenever you want and can stay for an hour and not feel bad.

    The orangutangs are in the new exhibit. The big guy won't go out with the other monkeys (sim...?) that are in there. But there were 3 and 3. The little ones were alternately teasing the orangutangs and then trying to stay out of their way. Lots of swinging. And popcorn. But the highlight: orangutang sex. /blush

    Then I went to see the gorillas. Long time since I've gone that way.

    And down to the hippos, who were getting their enrichment. So I got to see them play with the water cannon and eat mellon. Having them active is a treat. Very cute.

    That isn't all... Baby red river hogs! The condors eating the easter bunny (ok, just a regular rabbit.). I also saw the giraffes and the big cats, including the lions.

    Overall -- wow! Except I left to go to Little Italy for the Art Walk. Too bad it is next weekend...

    7:32 PM  0 comments

    Friday, April 18, 2003  

    Wow. Sometimes I feel strongly about what side of the grey area I want to be on. Today is one of those days. I can't really talk about the realities.Advertisements in games would be the most sane way. I vote YES if the ad is non-intrusive and the player doesn't think it is an ad. I vote NO if the ad interferes. I'm going to have to go vote. But what happens if the grey area is a $100K. What if the grey area is a million dollars. And that million dollars means your game breaks even earlier and you (me) get royalties so breaking even is a magical point.

    I vote NO if the ad interferes with the game.

    12:58 PM  0 comments

    Thursday, April 17, 2003  

    The war is slowing down. I'm not reaching out for the media every hour anymore. Perhaps because their information flow has slowed down.

    But the game is beginning to take off and the NDA has been lifted. We got our BETA disks yestereday. I turned disk one into a clock. I think the plan is to put up the mega patch tonight. We'll see how the frontend holds up. We are getting freaky close to being ready to ship this thing.

    I feel like such a proud parent.

    9:01 AM  0 comments

    Tuesday, April 15, 2003  

    Bug of the day: Another lost blog.

    Or... Not stretching the textures in the new frontend, leading to a polycount of 75K per screen. Basically this made the screens unusable for some people (test server only) because they couldn't interact with anything.

    Note to self: always pay attention when something seems wrong. That sluggish mouse meant something.

    2:40 PM  0 comments

    Monday, April 14, 2003  

    Videos I'd like to see...Scenes From the Surreal. Led to it from the Honda commercial.

    11:00 AM  0 comments

    Saturday, April 12, 2003  

    Sophia and I watched "Because Why" tonight. It is a 1993 Canadian film about the people in an apartment building. Quirky. Talks about the need to be part of a family. Don't bother renting it...

    I dug the stump out from the front today. Lots of work. It'll be nice to have sunflowers instead of the shrub.

    No work on the game. I didn't have the energy. Tomorrow. I did play for a bit. 1500 others were playing the beta.

    8:50 PM  0 comments

    Friday, April 11, 2003  

    My car didn't really die today -- it just called in sick. I'd planned on taking it in for several months, as soon as I could find the time. Not while working on a game will there ever be a good time. So finally I decided it should get its 60K tuneup. They find lots to tuneup. Sophia said it best -- pretend the cost was your car payment and divide it into monthly blobs. Doesn't seem so bad. And if I can get another 7 years from it, this is a wise investment. In addition, the blue book value goes from $6900 to $7700 if the quality is good instead of fair. I expect the car to be "good" after this tuneup. The upgrade cost is not covered but at least reduced mentally by that exercise. Lesson learned: maintenance is important.

    Smedley said that he is playing PlanetSide 2-4 hours a night and that we are beginning to hurt company productivity with our 24/7 beta. I'm trying to be realistic about the expectations. I also need to ask if I will be part of the royalty plan; I'm in the credits as part of the team.

    10:32 AM  0 comments

    Thursday, April 10, 2003  

    I called the car shop today. Good for me. One task at a time.

    Nothing much else to report. Going hiking this weekend. Working on the game this weekend. Not going to Iraq this weekend.

    4:50 PM  0 comments

    Wednesday, April 09, 2003  

    I'm beginning to find reading blogs is quite addictive.

    7:26 PM  0 comments

     

    Yikes. The images from Iraq are amazing. I'm still a little paranoid that it isn't all over. The power struggle is definitely just beginning as the void opens up. I don't want to comment on the apparent collapse of the Saddam regime. I'm too tired.

    I think I'm done -- burnt out. It is that dreaded week when nothing seems to go right. I spent several days trying to get the frontend windows to resize. And now I think I can just lock in on a single resolution and be done with it. And to make matters worse, I feel like I am unable to do the things outside of work that need to be done like call for a car appointment, call the doctor, call... The phone seems to be my problem. I hope the exhaustion just has to do with daylight savings time. Stealing that hour is mean.

    7:22 PM  0 comments

    Monday, April 07, 2003  

    The end game may be upon us. One report of barrels full of chemical weapons. One report of US troops taking souvenirs from a Baghdad palace. Several reports of civilian uprisings against Saddam. And more reports of casualties on both sides. Did the Ministry of Information expect the the Iraqi people would ignore the US armored vehicles in the streets -- as they continued to report that the US was not in the city, was not at the airport?

    Taking the airport was a very smart manuever. Lots of space, normally somewhat protected. Inside space and likely working water/sewer, a good point to attack from, a landing strip (obviously), and necessary for bringing in supplies and reinforcements and aid. Brilliant.

    1:03 PM  0 comments

    Sunday, April 06, 2003  

    Bounce out: 114,076!

    10:52 AM  0 comments

    Saturday, April 05, 2003  

    Went to see the movie Adaptation with Nicolas Cage. Odd is probably the best description, including on set scenes from Being John Malcovich. My summary would be "guys with obsessions are strange and interesting." That's me.

    "His narration creates the desperate agony of a man so smart he understands his problems intimately, yet so neurotic he is captive to them." That's a quote from Roger Eber's review of the film. Takes me back in time...when I was captive to the voices in my head.

    I liked it.

    9:48 PM  0 comments

     

    Last night Sophia and I started reading and answering questions from a book of questions. The type that asks big life things. Somehow I volunteered to chop down the bush in the front yard. It will help make the house more approachable.

    If you believe the western media, the US has taken over the Baghdad airport and has started making ground strikes into the city. Hard to imagine. But still no signs of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). A few potential leads. A few signs that the military might have had some chemical weapons (or expected the US to use some.) I just hope no one is getting overconfident yet.

    The Iraqi Ministry of Information said the US was copying the movie "Wag the Dog." I don't think the images are from a sound stage in Hollywood.

    I have 56 bugs on my list. At 3 a day (the target rate) I may just get through them. But I expect 10-20 new ones every week. So I may be able to get through my immediate and high items. The game will ship. The game will be fun. I just hope it sells...

    4:15 PM  0 comments

    Friday, April 04, 2003  

    The cats survived. Together was easier than Cecil alone. However, the vet thinks Chaucer could lose up to 5 pounds. But then he'd be so little...

    Shock and Awe? Will the Iraqi government shock us with their brutality against their own people tonight. If it works, I think taking over their airport was a brilliant strategy to get them to attack us with all their forces. The best article I have read so far was about some British marines playing soccer in an open field and within minutes playing against the towns team and losing in front of a large crowd that gathered to watch. People are people. Or the story of the Iraqi who risked everything to help save our young female POW. Or... War is hell but life is what you make of it.

    One month. Yikes.

    11:23 AM  0 comments

    Thursday, April 03, 2003  

    I wonder how many blogs there are. One million. Ten million. One billion. Mine has to be at the bottom - tied for last in terms of readers. Intended for now.

    [ paragraph censored ]

    Well, I take the cats to the vet today. Wish me luck.

    7:53 AM  0 comments

    Wednesday, April 02, 2003  

    War is about winning. But how do you fight when the other side decides to use hospitals and shrines as positions to attack from? I still think of the Revolutionary War. What were the colonists doing? How did the British perceive our failure to follow the Rules of War? In the end, it doesn't really matter... war is hell and the weaker side is always going to be looking for an advantage.

    I knew I was going to look foolish when I couldn't get my build to work last night around 7pm. I knew it was something I was doing. It was, I needed to restart Dev Studio. I needed the rest though so the half hour wandering the bookstore was nice. But strange to be doing normal things like shopping... I'm at the point of exhaustion and expect to be until the end of May.

    The rumors are up to 10,000 Beta testers this weekend. Finally a whole server filled? I'm scared. I'm excited. I feel the end.

    [ paragraph censored ]

    9:33 AM  0 comments

    Tuesday, April 01, 2003  

    Sophia is home from Monterey! Yah!

    10:23 PM  0 comments

     

    I think I get to go home early tonight. Got the latest source and it doesn't build. Link error. /cheer

    7:55 PM  0 comments

     

    Expectations are very important. Review time is a tricky time to be a manager. Well, tricky unless you have been diligent for the previous 10 months about talking with your people and setting expectations and then fighting for your team. I think we are going to start seeing the fallout from neglect and poor management. The rumors have started...

    1:37 PM  0 comments

     

    OK. I give up. I'm basically uninteresting. I browsed some blogs today. Some by some very creative people.

    It is very good to ask yourself who you want to become. Right now, I need to become a worker again and head to the office. But that is the essense of where I may be wrong. Am I doing what I need to be doing? Am I growing? Am I becoming the person I want to be? Do I even know who I want to be?


    11:23 AM  0 comments

     

    I've come down with the stomache bug that Sophia had last week. I'm debating staying home. But I'd like to show up for the company meeting and I need to pick Sophia up at the airport tonight so I can't just sleep all day -- which is what my body is telling me to do.

    PlanetSide has a fundamentally flawed key input system. The engine spits out two keydown events (and more if the key is being held down) and one keyup event and possibly a Character event. That's fine. The problem is that if the UI decides it wants keyboard input on the down event, it will still get the up event. If it decides to give up the keyboard on the down event, the game will get the up event. There is no way to say -- I already used that.

    But that is just one of my focus problems. HoverIn and HoverOut happen if you turn on/off the cursor. These trigger some windows to ask for focus or toggle the cursor back on. Ack!

    I want simple bugs.

    9:09 AM  0 comments