Note to self…

July 17th, 2006 by MrDoh

Note to self and any others it may ever be of use to…  When juicing for a single glass of juice, don’t use an entire clove of garlic.

Beta 5 Update

July 9th, 2006 by MrDoh

There are some people testing Alpha 5 client and server (woohoo!) and the results so far have been quite positive.  We may at this point be running faster than it’s ever ran.  At this point, it  won’t be long until it becomes beta5, and not long after that it becomes mandatory and beta4 will no longer work.  So again, I’d urge you to act ahead of time and get your portal username/password because that is going to be the only place you can get beta5.

There’s been lots of changes and fixes, including support for the progression servers and places like Devastation.  There are still a few more to come before I’m ready for it to be beta though.  Most of it is minor at least.

Also did some work on the spawn list timer to keep players and corpses out of it.

Also made come changes so the program doesn’t have to ask for and try to process packets that we know the offsets are bad for.  This will save some time too.  Every error, or “Exception” thrown wastes a lot or precious processing time.

Also more cosmetic change and some changes that provide useful information.

The best up-to-date information is on the task list and in the bug tracking server.  The portal at www.myseq.net has links to both of these items, though the bug tracking is donator only because they have the ability to actually add bugs themselves.

I’m still sticking to the time frame on the beta5 release I announced elsewhere and I’m doing my best to make sure I meet it. (For instance, I haven’t slept in the last 25 hrs or so.)

I also hope beta 5 is so good that it can actually be called release candidate one and we can have it out and public, the final version, at last.

Just another day…

July 3rd, 2006 by MrDoh

Well, the forum seems to be back permanent like (yea), but I can tell you I won’t be relying on it nearly as much.  I really think that the owner of the server was changing hosting and just didn’t tell us about it.  I think there are a few things broken on the forum though, just like after the last move.  One thing that was reported (and I haven’t checked) is that file attachments no longer work.  I can also tell you that I don’t have any more access to make changes to the forum site than I did before (and doubt I ever do).  I can’t even fix the broken current downloads button due to lack of access, and it’s one simple <a href.

Well, for all these reasons, and probably more, I have decided to leave http://www.myseq.net directed toward the new portal.  I’m going to clean it up some more, and a nice menu system, put some sort of representation (picture or something) of the program on the main page, and I’m going to find a corner and put a box around it to show MySEQ’s status due to patches and the like.  I’ll also try to put the next upcoming patch date in the box, but I might need user help for that because I don’t keep up with it and I’m some of you do.  I may be able to automate it, but that’s way down on the priority list at this point.

One good thing to note, I went through the donator group list and have recorded each donators forum user name for future reference.  Now it shouldn’t matter what happens to the forums, we should still know you exist. ;)   One thing, when you email me for your donator area password to get into the restricted areas of the site, please, please, please include your forum user name and also your PayPal transaction ID.  I’m adding the transaction ID along side your name in the list of names so there is a no-fail way to verify whether you have donated.  This has to be done for everyones safety.  We don’t want ANYONE left out if something like the forum fails.  The forum does not define us.

There are finally a couple bugs entered into the bug tracking database, so my plan is to go in game tonight and look at the issues listed, and that includes the big ones at the moment.  Thank you for finally doing this for my guys.  It’s one less thing I have to do, and it helps with organization of code, whether you believe it or not.

I also have the new download manager up on the portal site.  Some of you may not like the way it handles file downloads, but I like it a lot myself, and it keeps the files from public view so they can’t just be linked to.  I also cleaned up the portal page to look nicer and gave the donations page a much needed overhaul as well.  They both look much nicer and the donations page finally looks like the rest of the portal site.

Also, coming soon will be a new knowledge base.  It’s already setup, it’s just being populated right now.  As soon as it contains all the data from the FAQ/ERRORS/TUTORIAL forum on the site it will go live.  I like it.  It’s very nifty and makes finding things really easy.  There is also a place to send in your own question to us if you can’t find an answer in the knowledge base.  If it is worthy, it will be added to the knowledge base permanently.

If anyone has any constructive criticism of the site involving things I haven’t already mentioned or said was coming or was about to be overhauled, I’d really love to hear them.  Personally I love the look of this site but I’d like other people opinions.  (Especially once the menu goes live!)

What’s up with the forums? II

June 28th, 2006 by MrDoh

Just a quick update on the forums…

We don’t really know much more than we did when I last posted, but there have been a couple of changes.

As of yesterday afternoon, the Rexpage.com domain name, the forum hosts domain, stopped resolving to an IP address all together.  This could mean he’s changing hosts, that he’s decided to pull the plug without a warning, or something else is up.  The whois information in the ARIN database for Rexpage.com disappeared yesterday afternoon shortly after the name stopped resolving.  If you go to whom ARIN calls the authoritative whois for that domain, which is held by, presumable, who the domain was registered with, Rexpage.com is still active in their whois database.  Also, the domain name registration isn’t set to expire (according to the above whois databases) until next year, so apparently the registration hasn’t just expired.

In the mean time, I’ve done a lot of work setting things up.  The MySEQ Helpdesk is nearly fully functional, certainly functional enough to be used, the IRC chat applet is also up so we have chat even if you don’t have an IRC client, the donators download area is nearly done, and I’m at the point of wondering what else needs to be setup, or just cleanup what I have already got.

 If the forum remains down, I will build a new forum site.

As Tiggy commented to me early this morning, the absolute greatest loss to us in all this is the fact that we lost the list of forum usernames that have donated.  We do still have the PayPal information that comes with a donations, so it’s not a total loss.  We can still determine whether most people donated or not.

Stay tuned, I’m not going anywhere.

What’s up with the forums?

June 27th, 2006 by MrDoh

We wish we knew too…

We don’t have much contact with Xeeman anymore and he hosts the site.  From the looks of it, it appears the database the forum software is running on is crashing.

I’ve looked around and it also seems to effect his site as well, not just the MySEQ site.  I take that as a reason to be hopeful that it will get fixed soon.

Until it gets straightend out, which I hope is very soon, I have redirected www.myseq.net to a “portal type” page that I threw together.  It hopefully is only a temporary change, but, in the mean time, it gives everyone a chance to more familiarize themselves with out various other offerings, as can be found on that very portal page.

“Commercial” ISP Plans

June 21st, 2006 by MrDoh

Well, (seemingly) as usual I’m pissed off and irritated enough I can barely see straight.  First some background.  I’m a network engineer/administrator by trade before I started this coding thing.  In fact, it’s till my full-time day job, so I know a thing or two about networks.

My current ISP is Cox (soon to be SuddenLink).  I subscribe to their top residential plan which gets me (most of the time) 5mb downstream and 768k upstream.  Nice speed, low latency, not down all that often, Vonage works great.

But here is the rub.  In their terms of service, you are forbidden from running ANY type of (publicly facing)server… html, ftp, irc, smtp, VNC, nothing.  Not even for your own personal use!  On top of that, they block port 80 inbound, and they block 25 in and outbound.  (They also WILL NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES UNBLOCK THESE PORTS.  Not even if you have a legitimate need, know what you are doing and allow them to monitor you for open relays, etc.)

Now getting around the web port block is not a big deal.  You can append : and a port number on the end of any browser or web link and it will take you to that servers IP address on whatever port is after the :.

EMail on the other hand does not work that same way.  In the DNS system a MX record (mail exchanger) you can only input an IP address, no port number.  Anything in an MX record is assumed, nay required to listen on port 25 standard.

There are a few ways around this, but they either cost money or you have to find someone outside of your ISPs network that can catch all mail bound for your address and relay it to your mail server on a port other than 25.

Well, MySEQ isn’t actually a business so to speak, and the new project isn’t ready to be called a business yet either.  But I’m a technical person and trust my own knowledge and equipment more than just about anyone else’s.  This is especially true seeing how GMail was down for me for about 8hrs yesterday!!!

So, I wanted to do the right thing.  I called up Cox and asked for business plan pricing.  They apparently have no SOHO package, at least not in my area.

I currently pay, approximately, $50-60 a month for the speed I have.  They offer several commercial packages in my area, but get a load of what they want for them, even from someone like me where only 2 ppl will be using the internet outbound and inbound traffic would be pretty light too.  Here are what they offered here (down/up): 1mb/128k, 1mb/256k, 1.5mb/384k. 3mb/512k, 4mb/768k, 1.5mb/1.5mb, 2mb/2mb, 6mb/1mb.  I only got prices for two and was so disgusted I had heard enough.  For the low 1mb/128k package, $60.00 a month!  For the 6mb/1mb package it’s $554.95 / MONTH!  I pretty much told him that was outrageous and unbelievable and he proceeded to tell me how it wasn’t the same service as a residential account.  I immediately told him he was full of shit!  The data runs over the exact same fiber, the exact same last mile drops, the same backbone out to the net…  The ONLY difference are their absolutely insane price, the privilege of them not blocking 80 and 25 in/out and a SLA, which I have absolutely NO use for with what I need.

Below is a copy of the email I fired off in disgust after talking to the “friendly customer service representative”:

“I just want to let you know how insane your business pricing is.  You DESPERATELY need a SOHO package or a high-end residential package for the techies like me.  Looking at business package in my area, the closets thing to compete with your best residential package (6mb/1mb) is over 550.00 PER MONTH!  I’m not a business but I would like to be able to host PERSONAL servers on my account for family and friends to keep up with my life, and your stupid terms and port blocking on the residential account makes that impossible and your stupidly high fees makes it impossible to do under a business account. 

If I had another choice of internet provider I would be switching to someone less restrictive and someone with less draconian pricing schemes and terms of service on residential accounts.

Cox, SuddenLink, call it what you want, I’m very disappointed.  Expect a single person to pay 550 a month for all of 2 people to use the access.  If I were a real business I could understand that, but I’m an individual and need the better access at my home, not a business.

I’m a network engineer by trade and this is utterly ridiculous for what is essentially the exact same server with a SLA agreement tacked on (that I don’t even need or want).  Highway robbery, but it’s easy to do when you are the default monopoly, the only game in town.

Unbelievable.  Maybe someday you’ll come you your senses, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.

Too bad I’m a mile outside DSL territory.  Anything would be better than you people right now, save dialup.

One VERY disappointed and dissatisfied customer.”

GMail… Pain in my….

June 20th, 2006 by MrDoh

GMail has been down for hours and hours now. 

I’ve seen there stock prices… surely someones on duty and they have to have truckloads worth of backup hardware…

The worst part though is not having any real word from Google about it.  Maybe it’s the tech in me but I like to at least have an idea of what’s going on.

Anyway, because of this, I’ll be moving off GMail ASAP (meaning next night or two hopefully) because it’s currently what I mainly rely on.  This shouldn’t effect anyone but me.  All and any of my email addresses will stay the same, it will just be a matter of how I get to them.

Regarding the CVS/Bug tracking server

June 17th, 2006 by MrDoh

Regarding the CVS/Bug tracking server I talked about in my last post, my mom sent me a check for $100.00 for Fathers Day, so I’m going to go ahead and take that $100.00 and buy the RAID enclosure we’ll be needing. It’s at least a start, though I still got to come up with the rest of the parts to build the server.  (About $470.00 left needed.)

Wow… how long has it been?

June 15th, 2006 by MrDoh

(This got very long… guess that means it’s been too long… sorry guys.) 

Ok, I knew when I put the blog up that I wouldn’t be very active in it.  Mostly it was less of a blog and more of a place for me to keep info so I could find it again when it was needed.  (Heck, I’ve never been able to keep a diary or journal, paper or electronic, I barely can keep my own time sheet without forgetting.) I did kinda hope that Tiggy would be better at it than I, but that’s neither here nor there.

I just wanted to give updates as a lot has happened in ways, and little has happened in others.

First, I’m not going to go into it in detail, but I’ve been having family type problems.  This has been very difficult for me to deal with and has left me very little time for much else at times.  Sorry.  I certainly hoped it would never happen. 

It’s summer time and hurricane season in SE Texas… and let me tell you my wallet knows it big time.  Me and the family are making it, but its very, very tight.  This is partly because of the extra time the AC has to run (up to $300/mth elec bill now, and it won’t stop climbing for a few months), extra food/supplies for hurricane stock piling, ever rising health insurance premiums/co-pays, and, among other things, the absolute insane amount being charged for gasoline.  (Both for driving with, and for stocking up for hurricane season.  After last years very near miss and many people in the area being without electricity for a few weeks in the dead of summer, I now have a generator and am shooting for about 40 gals of gasoline on hand.  It’s not like the vehicles and mower wont use it if no hurricanes happen.  I am also looking at a portable air conditioner cause my < 2 yo daughter doesn’t take heat well and the need to cool the servers here I feel responsible and compelled to keep up.)

I’m looking into options to better manage my time, including software.  I am responsible for so much here, the newly created company (for lack of a better word, see below), my regular day job and my family that it’s tough to get everything done.  Something invariably suffers.  At least maybe if I can’t find the time I can rotate what suffers or determine times that I’m more productive at certain things.  Keep in mind that I’ve not gone to college,  so I have not had any programming classes, nor time management classes or even project management classes.  I’ve always just got stuff done the best way I could.  Oh, I’m still averaging 3am for a bed time and 7am for getting up, so I’m still pulling, on average, 20 hr days.

We are soon going to try to raise about $580.00 to buy some inexpensive parts for a nice little “server” that can be used for CVS and a bug tracking.  For that $580.00 it has 4 - 80 gig SATA hard drives in a hot-swappable enclosure in a RAID 5 or 10 setup.  The drives are, unfortunately, manufacturer reconditioned, though everything else in new.  If we manage to get together more than that maybe we can spring for new hard drives.  Hopefully, if everything goes right, we’ll be presenting our plan to raise that money relatively soon.  Here’s hoping anyway.  Here’s hoping it goes over well too.  (It’s nothing like we’ve ever done before.)
The need for the CVS server is pretty straight forward.  The more code I write, the more nervous I get about something happening to it.  And so many things could happen.  My computer could die, the house (heaven forbid) could be destroyed, accidental deletion, big breaking code changes with only manual means of comparing previous versions that I just have in separate directories… the list could go on.  I just don’t feel it’s safe, especially since underneath, that’s what the new company is based on… the code I write.  If anything deserves to be safe, it does.

I’ve got Visual Studio .NET 2k5 now so I would expect that any new programs will be .NET 2.0.  New not meaning new versions, new meaning any program from here on out you see (that’s not already finished). 

Though many of you may not have been able to tell, I am still coding.  At times on the MySEQ replacement, at times on small pet projects, and at times on other utilities and applications, for the PC and Pocket PC, that I’d like to make public at the same time the MySEQ replacement is launched and we transition from the MySEQ Dev Team to what we will become.  (It’s still a secret!)

At the same time we are working on a new web presence under the new name, including a real home page with real product pages, news, a forum, bug tracking and problem reporting, blogs, online store, chat and much, much more.  This includes all new logos, designs, colors, everything.

I’m also attempting to read and learn more about different program styles and things.  Anything to try to make it more organized overall.  Right now I’m working with Test Driven Development.  Any extra time spent here will be well worth it for everyone.  It will benefit y’all as much as it does me.  In fact, I think I’ll get back to reading that now… 

This has been way too long.  I’ll try to be better about the blogging stuff… but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Tiggy’s Tech Support Trials

January 31st, 2006 by magictiger

Me: “Thanks for calling {insert wireless carrier name here}, my name is Tiggy, how can I assist you?”

Caller: “My phone don’t work!”

Me: “I’m sorry you’re having trouble, but I’ll be happy to assist you. Could I get your 10-digit cell number, area code first please?”

Caller: “374-9999″

Me: “And what is the area code?”

Caller:”374″

Me: “Ok, I’m missing 3 digits out of the phone number. I have 374-9999.”

Caller: “That’s it.”

Me (starting to twitch): “Ok, but I need the rest that someone calls when they’re trying to call you long distance.”

Caller: “But my phone’s local.”

Me (clenching fists… not a good sign this early in the call): “I understand, but I need that full number to pull up your account.”

Caller: “Oh, ok. it’s 111.”

Me: “Thank you very much.”

*** SKIPPING ACCOUNT VERIFICATION CRAP ***

Me: “Ok, so you’re not able to call your voicemail. What model of cell phone do you have?”

Caller: “{insert wireless carrier name here}”

Me: “Ok, what manufacturer is that from?”

Caller: “Uh… Ky… kyo… kyo… kyocer… Nokia.”

Me (ready to stab someone): “Ok. Is it a flip phone or a regular stick phone?”

Caller: “Well it ain’t a flip.”

Me: “Ok, and does it have a color screen, or black and white?”

Caller: “Well, it’s kinda green, so color.”

Me: “Does it show you blue and red?”

Caller: “Well, no…”

*** CALL DROPS AS I HAVE ALREADY WRAPPED MY HEADSET CABLE INTO A NOOSE AND HUNG MYSELF FROM THE LIGHT FIXTURES ***

The number has been changed to protect the dumbass. 111-374-9999 is not a valid number in the united states.