Mischiefblog
I make apps for other people

Pets

Arnold’s stitches are out

Posted by Chris Jones
On March 25th, 2008 at 09:47

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Posted in Pets

Two different antibiotics, four trips to the vet, and a lot of time spent watching him eat (and defending his food from the other cats) have finally paid off. Our Pirate Kitty, Arnold, has his stitches out and his eyelid looks to be cleanly folded over and adhering.

I’ll get pictures of his progress later. We need to pull them from the camera.

Arnold’s home

Posted by Chris Jones
On March 10th, 2008 at 20:24

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Posted in Pets

After his eye surgery . . .

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Weekend update

Posted by Chris Jones
On March 10th, 2008 at 11:45

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Posted in Pets, Tech

I got my new laptop on Friday, an ASUS G1S-B1 from NewEgg. It was the best deal on the hardware that I could find, and it’s a strong performer, over five times faster (in terms of 3DMark 06) than my desktop. Lenovo wouldn’t have shipped a laptop to me until March 20, so it was worth going with such a consistently well-reviewed piece of hardware. I spent a lot of time playing Waffle in Warsong Gulch over the weekend. This week, I’ll be receiving a Zalman notebook cooler and a SIIG USB Soundwave 7.1 Pro USB microphone and audio adapter. The cooler is for obvious reasons, and this one reviewed well. The USB audio is because on my last Cardinal laptop, a Dell, the solder on the audio card and audio jack was defective which caused the audio to fail. Since I only plan on using headphones and a microphone when playing in a different room from Becky, I’ll plug the audio adapter into a USB hub (a poor man’s docking station) and use it that way.

The afternoon after I ordered my laptop, Arnold’s eye started weeping. He apparently developed glaucoma in his right eye, the feline iris melanoma finally progressing to the point where, during our vet trip on Thursday afternoon, Dr. Wrycha recommended enucleation. I dropped Arnold off at the vet for surgery this morning: he gets the last of the tax refund money and all of the pet savings account for his medical care. Arnold spent the weekend feeling no pain as I’ve kept him doped up on Torbugesic syrup, 1.0 cc’s every twelve hours.

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Brody and Rose are getting alone. While Becky and I played online games, Rose babysat Brody.

Rose and Brody

Brody is a very sweet, cuddly dog. He’s going to be a total nightmare when he gets to be a “teen” in three months or so.

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Is there a name for this relationship?

Posted by Chris Jones
On March 6th, 2008 at 21:26

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Posted in Pets

Are my dogs half-brother and half-sister? Or siblings? Or cousins?

Both Rose and Brody share a father, Jojo. But they come from different mothers who are sisters. They’re from litters approximately seven months apart (May 26 and December 22).

We tell Rose that she has to watch her baby brother, which she interprets as an excuse to chew on his face.

No, really

Posted by Chris Jones
On February 29th, 2008 at 16:17

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Posted in General, Pets, Work

So, Sandesh moved on to an internal tools team, and Paul is getting his hands on S3 code. Aaron is moving out of his team leadership position and voluntarily going back to being a designer. Jim and I now split ownership of our project’s servers, services, databases, and code. With only two software engineers, we’ve been facing some serious challenges in scheduling, support, and development. On the other hand, this is a great opportunity for me to shine.

I’ve been pretty tired lately: work has taken a lot out of me, and when I get home, I get to puppysit through the evening.

Rose, Brody, and Pyewacket

As you can imagine, I don’t get a lot of playtime unless you count sitting on the floor and interacting with dogs. I haven’t played any MMOs in over a month (except to yank mail in WoW), so I told Becky that I was considering canceling WoW and CoH. Her reaction was something along the lines of, “You need to make the time if you want to play those games, but don’t you cut into the time I spend with you in the evening.” But that’s why I set up the Ventrillo server, so we could game in different parts of the house but still talk to each other. I think the luster wore off that solution.
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Magnuson Park dog beach closed

Posted by Chris Jones
On August 31st, 2007 at 15:35

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Posted in General, Pets

I found this as a note in the Seattle Times today: Magnuson Park’s dog beach is closed due to excessive fecal coliform and “swimmers itch” parasite.

This is unfortunate as it’s happening over Labor Day. We probably wouldn’t go there this weekend because of GWEN, but it’s still disappointing.

New headphones for everybody!

Posted by Chris Jones
On October 16th, 2006 at 17:16

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Posted in General, Pets

My wife had a set of Macally mTune iPod Nano headphones. They were too big for her had (we had to wrap the headband in bright pink foam to make it stay on her head), but she liked them despite that–she even wore them in public on the plane to Seattle. They lasted about a week or two in the temporary apartment in Belltown before the delicate wires on between the ear cups and the headband were eaten by ravenous cats. A couple months later, today, I ordered a new pair for her.

In the meantime, I got the iPod headphones from her Nano and used them with her 20 GB iPod that I would occasionally take to work. They served me well until one night, I left them sitting out (I had been using them to listen to videos on the laptop and not disturb her TV sound) and they were also eaten by ravenous cats. Since Apple charges an arm and a leg for replacements (and they already had a buzz in the right ear sometimes), I ordered a pair of Sennheiser bud earphones. We’ll see how they work out when they arrive this week.

And the ravenous cats? Somehow, they aren’t to blame.

Minor update

Posted by Chris Jones
On June 13th, 2006 at 14:27

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Posted in General, Java, Pets, Python, Work

I’ve been preoccupied with a few things lately, so I haven’t had much creativity left to spare on the blog, game design, or development. Someday, though, I’ll come back with a vengeance.
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Ticks and bugs

Posted by Chris Jones
On May 31st, 2006 at 20:08

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Posted in Pets, Work

I’d rather remove ticks from the dogs than debug the problem we had at work. It takes about five minutes in 70% isopropyl alchohol to kill a dog tick. I didn’t know that, and got lucky enough to pull the head with the tick with the tweezers.

The problem at work turned out to be all my fault. 🙂 I put code in the setters for the Address class so that no fields could be larger than the database fields. Two of those, for latitude and longitude, were one character too short: the database stored the fields in DECIMAL(9,7) and DECIMAL(10,7), and appended zeroes to the ends of each field, while the class stored those values as Strings. The audit interceptor saw that the values were different and caused a loop (without going into too much detail).

I, erm, filled the production database with over 2.2 million duplicate rows before we managed to get the workflow scheduler process killed.

It took a couple days to find the problem, although I knew exactly what was wrong from the beginning because the audit entries in the database told me. I just didn’t understand why until I traced the whole process.

My CD-RW drive ate my WinXP CD

Posted by Chris Jones
On April 20th, 2006 at 09:30

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Posted in General, Pets

I upgraded the gaming machines (Athlon 1.4 GHz/133 FSB and Athlon 1.6 GHz/133 FSB) to Athlon 64 3200+ (Venice) with ASRock motherboards (transitional, with both PCIe x16 and AGP slots) and 2 GB RAM each. They run a bit faster (roughly 2.5 times) than what we’ve been using for the last three or four years.

The hardware installation was a breeze. The first snafu was a problem WinXP which required a repair installation so that the machines would boot into Windows. I performed this on mine, using my aging CD-RW which doesn’t like to eject disks if they’re in it when the machine reboots. I regularly have to use a paper-clip to force the CD to eject, and never had a serious problem until yesterday. My only original WinXP OEM SP1 disc now has the outer quarter inch of the disk surface scratched and unreadable. Buffing hasn’t helped very much and I can’t get a new ISO or CDR image from it yet. My other install of WinXP was based on an original XP CD which would only install onto Dell hardware.

I need to go out and by new DVD drives for our PCs, and I’m afraid I’ll also be in the market for a new copy of WinXP. I’ll need to restart the repair installation and hope that my wife’s machine isn’t too trashed.

Speaking of buying new things, Bilbo the wierd little rabbit my wife keeps in her knitting room lived up to his species’ reputation by slicing through one of the wires to my wife’s Sennheiser headphones. I’m in the market for bluetooth, IR, or RF wireless headphones for use with an iPod.

I’ll write more on game design or implementation later. In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about message oriented middleware, how it works in web, mobile, GUI, and remote client applications and considering how to make it work in a game. I’ve also been considering how to prototype some of the systems designed for a cyberpunk MMO. Some simulations can be run as scripts or small apps, but some systems need to be playtested and evaluated with real user feedback. What would work best? A web app? A text MUD/MOO? A partial game implementation with a custom client? A serverless networked (peer-to-peer) client?