14/01/2011 @09:11:56 ^10:04:44

Nothing much is going on that's worth posting about but I'll try anyway

hacx I'm replaying Hacx. This was a late 90's game based on the Doom engine (really just a wad + deh) which was sold but didn't do well and eventually released as freeware, which I played about two years ago I think. It has a lot of good stuff about it but a lot of annoyances as well. Good: everything is destructible, you can shoot all the chairs and computer monitors and stuff. Bad: too many puzzles and the cyberspace levels look awful. It's a good example of one of those modifications for which all the effort has been put into the graphics and code and the maps aren't really great. Anyway I'm replaying it as recently some people came in and made a bug-fixed version. It's still impressive but to be honest I forgot just how incredibly annoying some of the maps are.

hardware Trying to install an operating system from a CD when the computer you are trying to install it on has a tendency to hard-lock when (I think) too much data goes across the IDE bus is annoying. You can read and write the hard disk, you can read the CD, but not at the same time. So how do you do an install? On the other hand, maybe it's a kernel bug, since a hard drive install of grml or a debootstrap of some version of Debian from within same fails, but installing DSL worked, but the latter is based on a 2.4 kernel and doesn't support the machine's wireless card, so it's right out. Oh and I just remembered, for some reason the ethernet port on the back is really unreliable, well more like broken. Really frustrating, why is hardware so bad?

NTFS however I did discover that you can resize NTFS filesystems from within Linux (yeah I guess I'm massively behind the curve here, I don't know) and more specifically the aforementioned grml live-CD, so I could then resize the underlying partition and install Linux to the remaining space (grml again, I like it, it's mostly Debian with a few extra bits, very command-line oriented - no stupid GUI environment on startup - and comes with the non-free ralink firmware blob on the CD so the wifi card works.) This was on a different machine, not the one that crashes as described above. Don't ask me why I'm doing all this stuff suddenly, it's just a whim I guess.

rwadtools rwadtools is supposed to be a suite of small command-line utilities for messing with Doom wads and maps and stuff. Its interface is one of those where you have a bunch of subcommands ("rw lswad" etc.) which I totally stole from git. And Busybox (you can symlink rw to lswad and rw will pretend you ran "rw lswad", an idea I totally stole from Busybox) But because I don't really know where I'm going with it, development is very slow. It's kind of stalled my working on rboom and PrBoom as well, I should take a break and go back to what I know. My comfort zone or something.

Damn there was something else, I can't remember what it was now, oh well

sid oh yeah I have this desire to run Debian's unstable branch (a.k.a. "sid") and I promised myself as a new year's resolution that I would try it. I keep putting it off because I'm scared but it won't leave me alone. grml doesn't help as it's based on sid. I keep finding desirable features in newer versions of software I run and I'm like I wish I had that on my main system. So I think that's what I'll do next. I've always been scared I wouldn't be able to cope but I have a history of underestimation*. I'll take a full backup first of course.

* Like that time when I wasn't going to do A-level further maths because I didn't think I'd be able to cope with it, until that one parents' evening where we talked to my maths teacher and I said I was only going to do single maths because I didn't think I'd cope with double maths and he basically laughed at me and said there's no way you shouldn't do both. And so I did and further maths was easy, probably easier than single maths actually. And it got me out of General Studies which was a load of bollocks if ever I saw it. So let's hope it's just me underestimating myself as usual.