The Daily Grind

Random ramblings from a random admin.

Browsing Posts tagged RPoL

Sometimes I forget about how funny a man I am.  Really, I do.

For those not in the know, I programmed the WingedMonkeyBot that’s featuring in todays exciting instalment.

[00:00] *** Daz is now known as Guest6224848
[00:00] *** Guest6224848 is now known as dazzer
[00:00] <dazzer> SmileySmileySmileySmileySmiley
[00:00] [dazzer:#RolePlay SOUND] laugh.au thinks that’s very funny…
[00:01] <dazzer> talk
[00:01] <dazzer> 0
[00:01] <jase> yakidy yak.
[00:01] <dazzer> 6
[00:01] <dazzer> yak
[00:01] <dazzer> hi
[00:01] <dazzer> hi
[00:01] <dazzer> hi
[00:01] <dazzer> hi
[00:01] <dazzer> hi
[00:01] <dazzer> hi
[00:01] <dazzer> h
[00:01] *** dazzer is now known as Guest6224852
[00:01] <Guest6224852> ih
[00:01] *** Guest6224852 has been kicked off channel #RolePlay by WingedMonkeyBot (flood)
[00:01] *** me (java@IRChat-44619219.lns2-c8.dsl.pol.co.uk) has joined channel #RolePlay
[00:01] <me> ha ja
[00:02] <me> he
[00:02] <me> he
[00:02] <me> he
[00:02] <me> he
[00:02] <me> he
[00:02] <me> ehe
[00:02] <me> he
[00:02] <me> he
[00:02] <me> he
[00:02] *** me has been kicked off channel #RolePlay by WingedMonkeyBot (flood)
[00:02] *** me (java@IRChat-44619219.lns2-c8.dsl.pol.co.uk) has joined channel #RolePlay
[00:02] <me> ha
[00:02] <me> ha
[00:02] <me> kick me
[00:02] *** me has been kicked off channel #RolePlay by WingedMonkeyBot (Hey, they /asked/.)

Ok, so those with IE might notice I’ve been playing with embedded fonts. (c:

The complaints continue.  And not just about the font!

I received a nice little email from Managed.com (it doesn’t take much to find out where the server is now hosted) forwarding me on a complaint and asking me to deal with it.  Vaguely similar to a certain LJ abuse complaint, tho Managed are a lot more amiable in their approach than LJ.  Then again, I am paying them so one might expect that.

Anyway, the tech and I had a polite little chat and.. well I don’t really need to divulge what we said or agreed upon, I’d rather you all leaped to your own conclusions.

Along a vaguely similar vein; the new server is running bloody well, touch wood.  I’m surprised at how quick the site now is, both in terms of the rendering and delivering of the pages.  I only opted to get the server with one disk in it at the start because I didn’t want to spend a lot up front if the service didn’t perform, but now I’m thinking of upgrades, and it hasn’t even been a week.

Well due to fairly fortunate timing of a RAID meltdown RPoL (and thus this little page of ramblings) is now hosted in America.

Some of you may be aware that times have been rather interesting for me of late, least of all being Internet stalked.  Oh yes, and what jolly fun it is.

Unless you’ve had your head in a bucket you’ll also know that I recently got my arse fired, without any warning I might add.  Now one wouldn’t be surprised to find that I was a little put out by this and have been trying to pursue what I believe is fair compensation.

Besides random crap I like to post stuff here that keeps friends (whether they be real or virtual) informed of what’s going on.  Rather than email all about my latest trials and tribulations I opted to post it on my blog spot, or whatever a thing such as this is called these days.

Considering the server migration had not yet taken place I thought I’d best post such an entry in my LiveJournal.  I didn’t think much of it as I only know of about 6 or so people that know of it, let alone read this thing or my LiveJournal… but considering I was posting it on the Internet I decided I best encrypt the names of those involved.  I didn’t think I was breaking any laws by posting it, I still don’t, but I felt “better safe than sorry” and all that.

It was a pretty straight forward post, basically a copy any paste of what I entered into my unfair dismissal application.  No huge rant and rave, no “what a bunch of…” or anything, just the facts.  I think the worst thing I typed was “not so innocent”.

Now it was on the Internet, for sure, but considering I don’t publish it anywhere, don’t announce or advertise it, and have only told a few people about it, I thought it was pretty private.

Alas it wasn’t private from the artist formally known as dollsteak.

Aha, he spotted it, and wouldn’t it serve me right if he then emailed as many people at my ex-work as he could think of about my entry warning them of litigation.  Like I’d post it on the Internet before I served the papers on them.

Maybe he’s hoping that he’ll teach me a lesson for not publicly apologising to him (after all, the second to last correspondence I had from him utilised the phrase;

“All I want is my reputation back… and I will have it one way or another.  Best to do it your way and take credit for being the better man than let me do it in some underhanded method.”

Maybe he though that jeopardising 6 months salary was the best way of getting his reputation back.

After all, his last message to me did say “We are mature adults.”, and that’s certainly a mature thing to do.

But it doesn’t stop there, of course not.

So I removed my post.  Fine; it’s not private, I’ll remove it.  Of course, I had to give him credit, so I publicly did.

Ooops, bad move, somebody made a complaint to LiveJournal.  Heh.

From: abuse@livejournal.com (LiveJournal Abuse Team)
To: <myemail>
Subject: Your LiveJournal Account [77-303926]
Date: Sat, 3 Jul 2004 06:10:55 UT

Dear LiveJournal user jaseisonlj,

It has been brought to our attention that you have posted a full name in your post located at http://www.livejournal.com/users/jaseisonlj/557.html. Please remove the name T….. J D… on or before 12:01am, July 6, 2004, or face further action taken against your account. Thank you for your cooperation.

Regards,
LiveJournal Abuse Team

I couldn’t and still can’t see anywhere in the LJ where it states that a full name cannot be used, so I didn’t see any problem with mentioning T….. J D… at all.  So I queried them back asking about it stating I’d leave it until I heard back from them.

In the meantime someone had suggested tagging the entry viewable by friends only, meaning only other LJ users on my friends list.  I had previously decided not to do that as there’s only four people on the list, but then I realised four people being able to read it was better than none, so I restored the old entry.

I guess it was just as well, because LJ abuse never got back to me, slackers. (c:

I give up!

1 comment

RPoL’s been extremely hard on the server it shares, utilising quite a bit of the CPU (and I’d guess other resources).

I’ve been thinking that I should probably move off Berkeley DB, so I decided to port the user database to a mySQL one.  I then ran some benchmark tests to see how much better one was from the other;

Benchmark: timing 1 iterations of 1 mySQL, 2 Berkeley...

   1 mySQL:  5 wallclock secs ( 2.10 usr +  0.30 sys =  2.40 CPU) @  0.42/s

2 Berkeley:  1 wallclock secs ( 0.67 usr +  0.23 sys =  0.90 CPU) @  1.11/s

Both benchmarks read in 10,000 random user DB entries one by one, with Berkeley DB showing it’s some 5 times faster…

So now my current thought is along the lines of the fact that each game has it’s own lil Berkeley DB for the public threads in it, and another for the private threads… and then one per user in the game for their private threads.  Each of these lil DB’s is its own file, so maybe it’s all the file opening and closing… perhaps mySQL would come into it’s own when it’s just one open DB with the above mentioned thread stuff in a table each.

Why can’t some DB expert see my plight and decide I’m in need of rescuing?!

I shall now commence the beating of my head against a wall.

I am evil!

3 comments

We’ve always known you should keep small children away from me, but here’s an e-mail I just received…

I’m writing on behalf of Sir Apple Strudle, GM of Strawberry Flan, who has been somehow blocked from accessing RPOL.NET from China.  Apple is on the last few months of teaching English in Shanghai.  Access was blocked approximately two weeks ago.  What we’re trying to determine is whether there was some change on your end that might have resulted in this blocked access.  China’s firewall restrictions are what originally recommended moving our game to your site from 2d10, which was also blocked.  Any thoughts or suggestions on how we might proceed would be greatly appreciated.

Names have been changed to protect the oppressed.

And here I was thinking China would dig my totalatarian dictatorship gig!

6:30pm I was napping on the study floor, I kid you not.  Bed probably would have been a more comfortable choice, however if I’d done that I would not have made my 7:30 squash game.  Setting an alarm is just way too complicated.

So now it’s 1:30am, and of course I’m awake.  I knew this would happen, ready to fall asleep on my feet in the afternoon, wide awake at night.  It’s part of being a techie I believe, but really, I don’t enjoy it overly much.

It was Australia Day on Monday.  A day of national pride, where we can all get together and celebrate our Australian-ness and what makes us and our Island/Continent so damn excellent.  In Western Australia this all comes to a head at 8pm when we have the fireworks over the river, and event watched by pretty much everyone in one for or another.

However over one thousand individuals thought rather than feel proud and stand tall it’d be a better idea to have a mass brawl while another group thought it’d be jolly great sporting fun (wot wot) to throw beer bottles at each other (as IronSite asked me, how does a fight involving throwing bottles start?).  So rather than national pride, I’m now filled with a deep sense of shame and embarrassment on the behalf of those involved, because I’m sure they don’t have the decency to have any such notions.

Lastly, the more I work on RPoL the more I get the feeling it needs a proper database administrator, a proper web developer, a proper coder and a proper graphic designer.  I don’t fit into any of those categories.

I’ve been working on a few things on the site of late, but this one has annoyed me the most.

While looking at changing to XHTML I discovered/realised that my document type at the start of the HTML was actually incomplete, currently saying;

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">

When what I really need is

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd">

Though what I had before was valid, the lack of ‘dtd’ file puts most browsers into ‘quirks’ mode.  So I added it in, surely the full thing would be better, hopefully more uniform rendering across all browsers.

So I added it in.  Now every single table cell defaults to centre aligned, rather than left.  I blamed this on XHTML at first, but then I realised it did it with HTML when I specified the dtd.

So I can either go through and tell every table cell with no alignment that it’s now left, but there’s a lot of them, and apparently that’s not what you do any more, you use style sheets.

So I can set the default in the style sheet so the cells are left aligned, easy.  Except for the small fact that the style sheet takes precedence over the “align=’center’” and “align=’right’” I had to align the cells, so they’re all left aligned regardless.

I can, of course, make two special style sheet cases to align the text to the centre and right, and (having called these ‘centre’ and ‘right’) go through and change all instances of “align=’center’” and “align=’right’” to “class=’center’” and “class=’right’”, respectively.  However I cannot do a global search and replace because “align=’center’” and “align=’right’” occur in more than just table cells.

Anyone want a job of manual search and replace?

And did I mention that the nice nifty CSS command to hide the side scrollbar (unless it’s needed) no longer works when I specify the dtd?  I’m really beginning to question if it’s worth it.

Massive thanks to those who recently sent me emails of support, plus to those who don’t need to `cos they express their support in other way.  Though the whole thing is ridiculious and without merit, it’s extremely disheartening to know that someone is actively trying to ruin your career and a web site you have spent four years of your life developing.

I did receive even more email at the same time, though on a different vein.  However I’m quite comfortable with the current state and size of my dick, so thank, but no thanks.  I get dizzy as it is.

@_; - I bet you’re not happy with how underused it is.

This is a fun read.  Honest.

It all started on Tuesday morning (my time) when I read my morning mail…

One “Thomas J Dawe” sent me the following:

Ok, colour me confused… again.

My last public post on RPOL was October 9, a harmless off-site advertisement in a message section made just for that purpose.

Before that was my big upset with your moderational tactics, September 12th – nearly a month previous.  A whole month of near silence from me, except for one small off-site advertisement.

Now, I try to update my off-site post, more than a week after my last one I might add, and I find out I’m bad because I’ve been a bad boy?  Can you explain this to me?  You don’t really see me as a threat when I’m not posting in the General nor Community Chat boards, do you?  Is there some fear that my little Yahoo! Group might steal all your players away?  Not very likely.

No really… I’m dying to hear the reason behind this.

dollsteak

 
I simply replied:

Simply; it took me a month to get around to the ban.  Ban’s are hard coded, so it took effect when 1.4.43 was implemented.

j

 
I then received the reply:

You banned me from general boards because I was insulted enough to leave?

Whatever helps you sleep at night.

 
Once more I simply replied:

Whatever snide comment you want to make.

 

I knew I’d get another reply, somebody really had something to get off his chest…

Thomas J Dawe replied:

Your banning me was a classic example of your over-moderation principles at work.  It doesn’t suprise me… though it saddens me to see you act so petty about it all.  As you are so fond of telling everyone, it is your site to run as you see fit.  Of course, I did nothing ban-worthy except defend my honor.

You know, Ironsite had a good point about allowing people into your house only to have them shit on your couch.  However, people you allow into your house don’t appreciate you shitting on them as well.

Enjoy your life, and sorry you had to royally screw up any chance at a decent parting relationship with your need for an ego trip.

 

See!  Evidently we had to have this out, and by this stage I was happy to oblige.

I replied:

… or possibly I don’t see why I should pretend that what transpired on RPoL never happened and let a disrespectful, ungrateful, insulting user utilise my bandwidth and the web site I have worked so hard to develop, purely for his own needs.

I don’t trust you to keep a level head, thus I don’t trust you with posting privileges.

Your last antic on RPoL was your third strike, you’re out.  I have taken measures to make sure it was your absolute last antic.  Blame me all you want, but I gave you more chances than anyone else thought you deserved, I’m disappointed you proved them right.  Yet extremely relieved it’s now all over.

Tata.

 
Thomas J Dawe replied:

You’ve lied to yourself well.  You allowed Ron to insult my integrity and attempt his character assassination – then you allowed others to sling their insults at me.  Many of them are still there for everyone to see.

Then when I expected moderation to treat the situation evenly, you admitted that some people are treated differently because they are less liked.  You’ve admitted to an inner-circle, and uneven moderation. Instead of working to get those who insulted me to apologize for their unacceptable behavior – the same behavior you claim I exhibited – you gave me a lecture and told me in essense “You deserve to be treated like shit”.

Now, you ban me when I’m not even posting there as an method of silencing me?  Isn’t that sort of redundant? Hard to silence someone who’s not saying anything. All you’ve proven to do is discriminate against me personally for no good reason.

You think you’ve struck a blow against me, taught me a lesson … like it matters, jase.  I left your site. Ban me all you want. I can’t say I won’t miss it, but I’m not reliant upon you and your blessed web site or my happiness.  I’ve gone to a professional site where they treat their customers with respect and courtesy… and even-handed moderation.

Your responses are not welcomed unless they start with an apology for your behavior towards me.  Any other responses will be reported as unwanted spam from your beloved web site.

Ciao

 

Remember kids, once you’ve initiated contact and have had your say, it’s ok to block your ears and go “nah nah nah can’t hear you!” Dob `em in to your parents if they try to retort!

I replied:

You’re funny.

You’ve reaped what you’ve sown, don’t come crying poor to me now.  I allowed you and Ron to bitch at each other plenty of times on the site, initiated by both parties, you’re no saint.  I think I clearly stated I wasn’t interested in being some mediator between the two of you, that I’d had enough. Strangely, whether he felt he was justified or not, Ron always emailed me an apology, all I ever got from you was deluded abuse such as the e-mail you’ve sent me.  You should read your initial e-mail you sent yesterday, what a polite piece of poetry that was.

Sure people were bitching at you a whole lot in the CC thread, I could see that.  But while you were digging your heels into the ground, and refusing to budge or address their issues (yes, you did make compromises initially, but then you dug in) I saw no reason to come and bail you out.  I’m through trying to single out users, now I just post messages such as “Not even cute kittens can save this thread now” because I’m not your fucking mother, and I’m sick of spanking the bottoms of users.

Wow, I’ve certainly admitted to a lot of stuff.  I’ll admit something right now; I don’t like you.  At all.  Emails such as the ones I’ve received yesterday and today are the reasons why, I can’t find one fucking polite thing in the whole lot.  Your comment about a “parting friendship” was rich, yet ironic, and all the while; a completely hollow statement.  I’ve never read a sentence that someone meant less, what are you trying to do, dredge up sympathy with a blatant lie like that?  Regardless, hell would freeze over before I ever called someone who sent me all the emails you have a friend. “Sure, you can be a friend, just make sure you send me abusive emails once a month.  And don’t forget to be condescending!  That’s great shit!  Oh, and before I forget, always outline how everything I do is wrong, and mention that I only invite you over for dinner because I’ve got a nice house and like to lord it over you.” You’re funny.

How many people have flooded with you to the Yahoo groups this time, Mr Dawe?  Very few?  Could it perhaps be because this time you’re completely and utterly fucking wrong?  No!  What a silly man am I!

It’s not that I want to silence you, I don’t want anything to do with you.  If you think that I’m going to let you benefit from the hard work that you treat with such disdain… well… I suggest next time you take the blue pill.

Kind regards,

Your dedicated spam source,
The leader of the clique group that’s everyone but you.

 

Interesting, though blunt, insulting and clearly fed up, there I was still trying to explain stuff.  Idiot.

Thomas J Dawe replied:

I warned you.

 
I replied:

You’re funny.

Knock yourself out!

 

Mr Dawe then sent an e-mail to the GM & BGM of the company I work at.  The e-mail was sent to an information address as to get past my ‘defences’ (which wouldn’t be hard, I had none).

The e-mail accused me of sending abusive and insulting spam.  It detailed my name, my e-mail address, the bandwidth, visitors and hits from the site, accused me of running a ‘dedicated server’.  The e-mail went on to accuse me of suspicious activities, implied I was stealing from the company, stated I was in violation of my network’s acceptable use policy (which I wrote part of).  If that wasn’t enough it also claimed RPoL contained p*rn*gr*phy (I’m not getting that word indexed by search engines!).

The e-mail was clearly an attempt to get me fired and the site shut down, not just an “I’m getting Spam” complaint.

Fortunately, without any prompting from me, the Business Development Manager reported the e-mail to SpamCop, and after a brief chat with the General Manager, he requested I block the offending e-mail account from sending mail to the Perth iX network.

It was a good try, and though it could have had catastrophic effects for RPoL and myself, all in all it was a failure.

I don’t really think I need to detail my thoughts on Mr Dawe.  Besides, I think words would fail me.

Messages of appreciation can be sent to thomas_j_dawe@yahoo.com.

@_; - …

My faith in humanity has been restored.

No, wait, I’m wrong.  It’s all gone to shit.

Once more friendly users have struck.  Those who demand a mile but won’t budge an inch.  Those who cry unfair while managing to be insulting.

It’s a finely crafted skill, I’m convinced of it.  People can’t be this pathetically successful at … well, being so pathetic.  It must be something people actually plan out and do rather than just successfully stumble upon that winning irritating formula again and again.

It does really make me wonder why I bother to run a web site, and the biggest driver behind continuing is that I’d be letting a lot of people down if I quit.  I know there are a lot of silent but happy users, and the crap it is often briefly punctuated with periods of enjoyment; either stemming from vocal grateful users, good RP’ing, or implementing a particularly nifty or well received feature, but when the shit really starts to get me down, the one thing that stops me chucking a hissy fit and throwing in the towel is all the users, and that’s kind of a sad state to be in.

It also makes me wonder where I get my patience from, and why I don’t ban more people more often.  Why I insist on try to explain this to users, why I persevere with trying to be helpful to those who just won’t accept any help.  My patience amazes me, but I’ve got to impress someone, no?

Are you 1337?

5 comments

No, I’m 31.

Rather than going elbows deep into the code for RPoL today and yesterday I’ve instead been wresting with this thing `ere.  After a long, bitter and hard fought struggle with HTML tables I’ve surrendered and can’t get the thing to do what I want, so I’ve done the same thing a different way.

Code wise you can now all add in your thoughts, which will make a pleasant change from my lack thereof.

Of course I don’t need to threaten you with ‘be nice’ etc and mention the fact I can remove it at a moments notice, or force posting to be done via a RPoL account.

@_; - I’ve got your IP address right `ere, chum.