The summer is here. After a day in the sun with friends and beers, I’m as red as a lobster. I never learn.

I think I’m spending today in the shade. With aloe vera and the remote.

64 bit OS + bochs

I want a 64 bit OS to play with. Trouble is, I have no 64 bit CPU.

But since bochs now apparently emulates AMD64 CPUs, shouldn’t I be able to run e.g. the 64 bit version of ubuntu on it, while running on my old 32 bit hardware? It seems to me that that’s possible, but I can’t find a whole lot of documentation on it.

A simple HOWTO would be real nice 🙁

The days are too short

The days are way too short, and the nights are even shorter.

I want to port Anarchy Online to DirectX9. It’s built with DX7, which means I can’t use PIX, and I get really jealous each time I see Morten play with that. I also want to improve the background streaming code for AO even more (I’ve done some changes for the 16.0 patch, but there’s so much left to do). And I want to work more on the NPC scripting language.

Of all the things I’ve done this year, the few small NPC logic changes have been by far the most rewarding. Seeing Colin and Yngvild pick up the ball I pass them and run with it, stretching the limits of what we’ve previously done with NPCs in ways I didn’t even imagine is making me feel really proud. I have at least two radical ideas to increase the potential there – but there’s just no time!

I bought yet another brand of climbing shoes (my fifth), Scarpa. Leif-Henning wears them, and according to Yvonne they are “very agressive”. It’s funny how everybody has their own marketing speak, and uses it without thinking anything of it. I’m sure I do the same with games – casual, FPS, immersive, …

Of course now it’s been raining for almost a week.

[ music | Amadou et Mariam – Politic amagni ]

Does your boss read your mail? Should he?

According to a recent proofpoint survey, 36% of all U.S. companies emply staff whose job it is to monitor the email of their employees. Yes, that means snooping through outgoing mail to see if you’re using your email for evil. A further 26.5% say that they will employ such staff in the future.

There are more scary numbers in that survey. It’s another item in a long list of things that make me feel I can never work in that country. I’ve got to stay in Europe, where snooping on email is illegal (well, in some countries at least – not in Denmark, apparently).

[ media | Amadou et Mariam – Beau dimanche ]


Yesterday I checked out a 3 year old version of Eressea and compared it to today’s code. In those three years, the game has gotten almost four times faster! The old code took 10:20 minutes to run a turn, and the one I use today was done after 2:50. This had to be done on an old data file, smaller than the one we have today.

I knew I had been doing the occasional optimization – run the code with gprof, fix the worst offenders, rinse and repeat – but I had no idea the gains were that big. I’m sure that 3 years ago I considered the code pretty compact and fast…

I wonder what it will be like in three years.

[ media | Creedance Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son ]

Making Wrong Code Look Wrong

Here’s a very good article by Joel Spolsky that you should read. It talks about why hungarian notation is a Good Thing, and how almost everyone uses it in a Bad Way.

I was rewriting the recruiting-rules for Eressea last weekend, and the rule there is that “for each peasant in a hex, players can recruit one person, except orcs, which can recruit 2 orcs per peasant, up to a limit of peasants/20, and if players want to recruit more, then the peasants in the hex are distributed evenly”.

The codes ends up looking a bit like when you’re trying to split your bills and you’ve been paying with 3 different currencies… I had a bug in that code, and only found it after I prefixed all my variables with p for numbers that represented peasants, o for numbers that represented orcs and d for numbers that represented the demand of a player – suddenly you see that you assign between them without the proper conversion.

Mini Software review: TrueCrypt

I originally had a category for software in this blog because I wanted to rant and rave about little-known software that I use, and I seem to have forgotten about that lately.

So this post here is dedicated to TrueCrypt. Truecrypt is a Windows program lets you encrypt drives on your PC so they can only be accessed after entering a keyphrase, very much like PGPdrive, only better and free.

Why do I need something like this? To tell the truth, not everything on my work PC is work-related, there’s quite a bit of private information on my PC. Why should that priate stuff be readable for anybody who can get my computer? I’ve taken over computers from previous employees myself, and found their personal data still on the hard drive.

TrueCrypt has two different ways of drive encryption. You can either create a virtual drive inside a large file in the regular filesystem and mount it, or encrypt an entire partition (which is what I do). It offers a wide range of encryption methods, and even lets you create hidden volumes which provide you with plausible deniability.

Final Rating: 6 points.

Using TrueCrypt drives is very smooth. They are a little slower than regular hard disk access, but I’m not storing swap files there, so it doesn’t really matter at all. The only thing I would like is remounting of drives after login, and a way to keep shared folders on the drive shared from one session to the next. Right now, when Windows boots, it finds that the drive no longer exists and removes the share.

[ media | Ananda Shankar – Snow Flower ]

Yesterday was a sunny day


I found that I remember all the movements, but the body isn’t in the same shape as it used to be. Morten was having similar trouble, although he still did slightly better, I think. We did Halvveis (5) and Zappfes smørbrød (4-) to warm up, and later Hit og dit (6), and Ingen heksekunst (6+) to see how much we remembered. It was the best day of this week.

Now my other pair of shoes has holes, too; I need to go shopping. Preferably before the I go again (which could be with Mona on saturday, although the forecast now says it won’t).

One Less Car

Guess what I got in the mail? A new sticker for my bicycle helmet. The one that says ONE LESS CAR in big letters.

I have had the same helmet for 15 years, mostly because I really liked the sticker on it that I picked up in Vancouver. It’s from an organization called BEST, and the message is exactly how I feel about my bike – my bike is the reason I don’t have or need a car. And I’d like people to consider bikes a real alternative to cars, whether in their private life or in city planning.

Anyway, it was really hard to part with that sticker, so on a whim I sent an email to BEST, asking if they remembered the stickers and maybe, just maybe still had one. I didn’t think there’s be any chance at all. Most advertising campaigns like this last for a summer, and after 10 years, there’s no chance of still finding any scrap of them. Imagine my surprise when I got a reply the next day saying that not only did they still use the stickers, but they’d send me one to Norway!

It’s such a small thing, but it made me crazily happy. I’ve got to get a picture of it (update later).

[ music | Hotel Costes Volume 4 ]


I tried getting my climbing shoes repaired today, they need re-soling. There’s a shoemaker in Oslo that fixes climbing shoes, and I called him on monday. He has given up the shop, I was told, and is now working in Sandvika – a 20 minute train ride outside of town. So I called the shoemaker in Sandvika, told them what I needed, and they told me what office hours were. Fine, I thought. This is going to be easy.

Today I was there. The shoemaker shop exists, but the particular shoemaker who fixes climbing shoes doesn’t work there – yet. He bought the shop, and he’ll get the keys in july, they told me. Why in bog’s name didn’t they tell me that over the phone the day before? I specifically told them I wanted climbing shoes re-soled, something you need equipment for that they didn’t have. What was the point in making me waste my time and money on that trip? I really don’t get it.

So now I have pair of shoes that isn’t getting fixed until july. Luckily, they were an impulse buy I did when my old Boreal shoes were still pretty good, so I’ve got those. The feel a little wide, the toes have lost all their pointiness and I don’t like the rubber – basically, the Red Chili shoes are excellent stuff, and anything else just isn’t the same.

The good news is that there might be a chance for climbing tomorrow. The forecast is optimistic, and promises sunshine with some clouds and 15°C. It’s about time we get a day without rain.

The game continues to progress slowly, but it’s progressing. Today I finished the work on rivers and simple fortification (walls, gates and loopholes), and added them to the movement rules. I had to move the movement rules (haha) to another place in the code, the original design wasn’t good enough to share the code between some different places, but it’s still easy enough to make changes in the code while it’s so little.

Another piece of advice: Keep a log of your ideas. You can do that in a textfile, but I use an outliner (old-fashioned software to organize your notes hierarchically) that I keep on my palm to write down ideas. I have a lot of ideas which I cannot immediately use, and I am getting forgetful, so I like to write them down. Before going to sleep, or on the bus in the morning, I like to go over those notes and think about them, which can lead to implementation ideas that I add, and I refine that list of notes constantly. When a feature feels like I can implement it, I sit down and try it out. Next up: probably more unit types, like the phalanx.

[ music | Elvis Costello – tramp the dirt down ]