Blog moved

•July 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

This blog has moved to blog.webicity.info

Windows does partitions wrong, but so does Linux

•July 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Back when I first installed Linux, when I had said I had a 60GB partition to use, the advice I got was: Match your swap partiton to your RAM, use 10GB for /, and the rest for /home .

Yesterday, I started getting errors everywhere. So I turned it off and on again. When that didn’t work, I actually read the errors. “No Space Remaining”. I go “WTF, I only used about 12GB”.

So after spending a while looking at the disc usage program, I notice something. It lists / as full with 9GB/9GB used. Then I realise the problem: My / partition is full. (which is presumably also the location of /tmp , hence the errors).

Luckily my swap partition was in between my / and /home partitions, so I’ve deleted that and recreated it at the end of the disc. (which took a bloody long time, and required finding that LiveCD again).

This makes me wonder: Is Windows’ system of drive letters rather than a defined purpose (which is often a point of criticism) such a bad idea? When on Windows, my C: drive filled up, I just needed to move files en masse to my D: drive. Still slow, but doesn’t require even a reboot, much less depending on where my swap partition just so happened to be because of the order that I used when installing the system.

For those of you wondering how my programs and system data are significantly larger than my files, here’s the amount of file storage I’ve used on programming:

  • Eclipse: 130 mb
  • Eclipse plugins: at least 20mb, possibly as high as another 100mb
  • jdk/jre: ~30mb
  • Apache/PHP/MySQL: ~100mb
  • Many other programming tools
  • Actual programs I’m writing now: < 20mb (Older ones are stored on a network drive)

Representing partitions as drive letters is clearly wrong, because the file system is supposed to be abstracting the actual physical hard drives out of it, but representing them for one use is also wrong. How can I predict when I get a new computer that I’ll need x gb for data and y gb for programs?

An ideal OS would abstract all of this away, so you just have storage and don’t have to deal with the actual drives you have, what partition a file goes in, predicting your disk usage, which partition is on which drive etc.

First serious Java programming project

•July 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’ve done a good bit of programming in PHP and Javascript, but up until recently, my desktop programming experience has been limted to calculators and other similar simple programs. However, that is changing as my current programming project is an IM client and server written in Java. The name is Machat (hey, I’m not very inventive) and the source code is under the GPL and available at my new github account.

Currently it is in a VERY rough state (in fact it doesn’t even send messages) and I don’t really expect it ever to be succesful, but it’s still an interesting project to learn about GUIs, threading and network programming (3 things you don’t do a lot of in PHP).

Youtube trailers can not show the quality of gameplay graphics! Deal with it.

•July 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Many gamers will point to some video of a game on Youtube, and go “Look at how great the graphics are, this is so much better than game . In your face 360/PS3/PC gamers (delete fanboys platform of choice). You’ve lost.”.

This always makes me laugh for a number of reasons:

1. A lot of those videos are pre-rendered. They might be the intro clip, or other movie clip, not actual gameplay.

2. Youtube isn’t exactly known for it’s high quality. Most of these videos are encoded on the default quality. If they come from the company, they might just be high quality, which is still inferior to the video quality actual gameplay on whatever game they’re saying it’s better than. To see just how bad it is, look at the pictures from this blog post.

Youtube

Standard Definition.

Standard Definition. (Image sized down, click for full size)

And remember, most games nowadays are 720p, twice the quality of the second picture, and scaled up to 1080p by your console, nearly 3 times the quality if you have a full HD telly.

Pricing weirdness, digital downloads difficulties

•March 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Sometimes with video games, the pricing can be ridiculous. Not always ridiculous as in too high (but it often is) but ridiculous because they defy logic.

One example of this was around 6 months ago, the Orange Box for 360 was priced at €30 pre-owned, the same store sold it new for €20. Another example was during Zavvi’s closing down sale. They claimed to have amazing offers. They did but not quite in the sense they meant. Mirrors Edge reduced from €60 to €59.99. Quite underwhelming.

Another case of bad pricing is on Steam. They converted $10 to €10 for Garry’s Mod. Another page has a TF2 + Gmod offer at $25 or €25. $1 is not €1. A quick google reveals the current exchange rate is $1 -> €0.71 .

€25 = $35

€25 = $35

Combine this with the poor broadband connections in my area (1 meg) and Steam’s frequent downtime, and digital downloads don’t look very appealing any more. And Gamestop’s PC game prices are far more reasonable now than they have ever been before. €40 for the Sims 3 or E:TW, PC games are now cheaper than even Wii games.  When I bought E:TW, that was cheaper than the price on Steam (€49.99) . And Steam is supposed to have lower costs to distribute these games… Like duty-free shops that can charge much less, but mysteriously don’t.

And so it begins…

•March 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So yet again, I am starting a blog. I’ve tried general blogs before and never stuck at them, but since I’ve done a few smaller blogs, internal to forums and stuff, and managed to stick with them, I think the time is ripe to have another go. I’m not limiting myself on topics which I’ll post on, but they’ll probably all end up being on the same topics.

So I suppose I should start with a bit about my interests.

  • Gaming. I play a wide variety of games, nowadays mostly on PC, but I still have a good few 360 games. My current favorites are Team Fortress 2 and Runescape. Team Fortress 2 is a really polished and humourous game and with the recent updates, has gotten even better. My favorite addition? The sandwich.
    Om nom nom. OM nom nom nom. NOM NOM NOM NOM.

    Om nom nom. OM nom nom nom. NOM NOM NOM NOM.

    It wins the award for most epic video game sound effect ever. As for Runescape, well, you either love it or hate it.

  • Programming. I am a hobbyist programmer. I’ve done a lot in PHP, Javascript, C# and Java. My favorite language to program in definitly has to be Javascript, especially when paired with jQuery.
  • Reading. Sci-fi mainly. My current favorite book is either Time’s Eye by Arthur C. Clarke, or The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

So that’s about it for now. Enjoy the blog, anyone who decides to read it. The title is Macha Mackha, after the username I wanted, Macha (based on the cat in .hack//sign) and the username I took (Machka) because Macha was taken. I’m not usually a fan of anime, but I really liked .hack//sign.

 
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