iPhone Game Review – Geo Defense

Well nuts. I was all set to write up a Geo Defense review, but gosh darn it if the game doesn’t keep FREAKING OUT ON ME
It’s your standard ‘creeps trying to get to the end, build the towers to stop them, yaddayada”, but with a nice twist of having a retro 80’s look to it (glowing lines, mechanical computer voice, etc).
However, at least once a game, it goes bananas. Stuff flies all over the screen, your defenses stop working, and the game becomes unresponsive. It sorts itself out in about 30 seconds, but by then I’ve probably lost the level. I’m beginning to suspect that this may be heat related, as I’ve seen an occasional twitch in other games as well, generally after I’ve been playing for a while, and cupping the phone in my hand certainly gets it warm. Hmmm.
If these bugs gets fixed, I’m all over the game. But right now I have to say “hold off until an update.”
Edited 8/2/2009

My Day, Let me tell you of it.

Generally I don’t post “my life” sorts of things on the blog, but it’s been quiet lately, so might as well chatter a moment.
Today was supposed to be part of a quiet weekend. Zach and Cat are up in Maine, and I have the house to myself. I figured I’d do a couple small projects, some gaming, some normal Cohousing socializing, and generally take it easy.
Today I:
* Dug a pair of holes where we’ll be putting up poles for clotheslines. I had some help, but boy digging through our rocky ‘soil’ ain’t easy. And the job isn’t done yet.
* Hauled out the weedwhacker and cleared grass from all around the hottub.
* Drove the pickup truck to the town transfer station to get a bedful of wood chips for the walkway to the hottub. Laid down cardboard and spread the chips out for the walk (thanks John and Kim for help!)Hay bales for Mosaic
* Drove same said truck to Malden to buy and haul back a new couch for the common house living room (Thanks Kim and Stephanie for help!)
* Stopped by Arisia storage to dig out one of my badge printers so I can run badges for a convention I’m providing reg services for.
* Helped unload 3 truckloads of hay bales Beezy got for various horticultural projects around the community.
* Had a tasty dinner with John and Judy across the way (thanks guys!)
* Tested out the hottub to make sure it didn’t have sharks in it. (it didn’t). Ahhhh.
* Took a shower and now I’m relaxing.
Yikes. If this is a relaxing day, I’m worried what a busy day will be like.
I have to comment on the above picture. I grew up on a horse farm, and in horse and cow country. Driving, loading, and unloading truckloads of haybales were a fairly regular occurance. I certainly had some flash backs here, particularly since the truck in use there (not Mosaic’s truck, a different one), is probably circa 1978. Got to drive it a bit too. Was an automatic, but boy it had all the fixens of the old country, that’s for sure.

Server Maintenance done – we have a new home

New server rack
This morning we moved Homeport’s 3 servers, plus the blog host, over to their new home in Mosaic’s Common House. This is something of an experiment, as we’ll be seeing how well the Charter business cable handles hosted servers. So far so good.
The move went mostly okay, with a time overrun of about an hour and a half due to a mysterious firewall problem that we finally got resolved. All services are up and running now.
It’s nice to have immediate physical access to the boxes. I know I can go into the server room and make configuration changes, add new machines, whatever. The only real problem that has cropped up so far is noise. The 5 existing servers + network hardware makes a heck of a racket (though I suspect the Rackable server is making the lions share). We may have to do some sound remediation – I mean more than the blanket I nailed up over the door.

CONGO Coding session. Phew.

I had my first decent coding stretch on CONGO tonight in quite a while. I put in 4-5 hours to work through some issues that have come up while running the v2 code for a ‘live’ event. This is the first time the new codebase has been exposed to ‘real’ customers, and so far things are going okay.
There haven’t been any showstopper bugs yet (knock on every available source), but there have been a few rocks along the way. The fellow running the conference has been very supportive, knowing it’s new code, and I’m looking forward to a post-event debriefing. “What should be done differently?”
Overall, I’m quite proud of the v2 code. It’s still missing a lot of functionality from the first codebase, but I do enjoy having everything in Java in a sane build system and a rock solid database layer.
And now… bed.

A tractor for Mosaic

image1478373640.jpgWe’ve been hunting around for an inexpensive rider mower for Mosaic ever since we moved in. Since the playfield is getting close to mowing length, I was beginning to worry we wouldn’t find something in time.

We found this little fellow at a roadside mechanics house up here in Maine. He always has snowblowers, mowers, and other small tractors out for sale. He finds, fixes, and rhen sells them out in front of his house.

I just used it to mow the small field up here at the Maine house, and it worked great. I’ll be hauling it home on Sunday and, weather permitting, I’ll start working on the grass that’s out of range of our electric pushmower.

Pidgin Tidbits : Trouble with Yahoo? Updates are in the pipeline.

A recent series of changes at Yahoo have made the Yahoo Messenger portion of Pidgin misbehave. There have been various workarounds (such as using some of Yahoo’s non-converted servers), but finally the ‘proper’ fix is in the pipeline.
I just did an Ubuntu update, and it included the patch that has been working through various versions. Thanks bigtime to the Pidgin team and the Ubuntu maintainers for backporting the fix into Ubuntu Jaunty.
For full details on the patch, see this page which discusses the issue and gives good suggestions.