Saturday, January 26, 2013


Well my computer is holding strong.  I've yet to see over 5% CPU utilization on my 32 cores, though my RAM has creeped up to nearly 10GB in use (out of 64GB, so I'm ok!) but I do have a lot open... I'm still very disappointed with 3*SSD's in raid 0 performance, in typical operations is the same, or slower, than my old 5 disk scsi array.

Anyway, onto Battletech stuff!

So they did another battlechat, you can see the transcripts here.  Here is what I got from it:

#1.  These are stupid.
#2.  Many, if not most, of the questions are stupid
#3.  Herb rarely answers questions.  Instead he gives vague and useless answers.
#4.  Record sheet books are now very costly, time wise, as they have no software to do it.... *I* have software, and can even just configure it to print text in spots instead of using a design system at all.  I can print a PDF from an excel worksheet of units in minutes, indexed, with a summary in the end and using unit images.  If they asked me, I could have a warship version done in a day or two.  The mech, fighter, vehicle, and dropship version is already done (see TRO 3063).  Oh well.
#5.  It has been *years*, and IO progress I get the feeling is still pretty much stagnate.  I bet we don't even see it in 2015.
#6.  Poor Wierdo, he just doesn't get enough warship love.

On to what I've been working on.

#1.  About 90% of my spare time has been spent playing, discussing, and working with Federation & Empire and Cyberboard.

#2.  The other 10% has been working on a dice roller (you can view it here).  The random number generator is the best out there, as I get the numbers from instead of relying on a computer.  I'm working on a rewrite of it that'll track turns, more detailed die formats, etc, etc.

I spent a few days in there playing the Diablo 3 campaign.  The movies alone are worth it, and very impressive.  The game, like all blizzard games, doesn't lack in polish.

I haven't entered in the updated vehicle annex, nor the stupid XTRO boondoggles stuff into my database yet.  Heck, in fact I don't think I did a database refresh since the last XTRO came out.  IIRC, I made some change thought it may potentially break stuff, so until I look at the code again and work on the major update there will probably be no more updates.

MWO is still stupid.

I'm not sure I'll get back into BT again until IO comes out, or maybe HBHK so I can finish up my cartographer app.  I think they have some leadership/QA issues over there and its very frustrating on my end.

Hell, I can sum up ONE thing that shows what is the primary thing wrong with the BTU IMO:
Even their errata has errata.... 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Reviews!

Well I purchased 4 products yesterday.  XTRO Boondoggles, Objects Periphery, Objectives Clan, and the Revised Vehicle Annex.  I was sorely disappointed :(

First, XTRO Boondoggles.  I guess the name is appropriate!  This entire XTRO is full of crap, and by crap I mean you'll never use any of that crap on your table, heck, many of which are labeled as ILLEGAL, so stupid.  The artwork isn't very good either, well, the designs aren't, the art itself is SHUDA which we all know has done some great work.  Anyway, we have mechs with equipment that doesn't work, a Champion and Scorpion LAM (ok, the latter isn't horrible).  The Matar looks cool, obviously a predecessar to the Behemoth on the cover of TRO3057, and the design isn't too bad.  Well, wouldn't be too bad if it was functional.  We have hovercraft with secondary tracked motive systems (a 50 ton condor has 2.5 tons for track, and 2.5 for hover, so basically, tracked movement is no tonnage!).  There is a Neptune with hydrofoils, though it has to pay tonnage for them.  There are a few easy to forget support vehicles, the Banshee fighter from the Somerset Strikers.  They did have an autonomous jumpship scout which was a neat idea, and the "Enterprise" which is a decent warship with a whopping 648 fighters.  Right, the other plays will *kill* you if you bring this to the table.  Of course, it can't move, so its really just a space station and its art sucks ass.  They mention monitors, have a page on them, but no actual stats.

There are 2 new quirks.  One is "nonfunctional" and is negative 5.  So something doesn't work... hmmmm... lets make it life support for -5.  

And then there is illegal.  Seriously, ILLEGAL, as they do not follow the construction system.  Not sure how anybody can ever make a unit designer with crap like this implemented.  May as well just draw it up in excel and do it yourself, as software isn't designed to let you do everything.  Oh, and illegal stuff also fails and breaks all the time, go figure.

So onto the 2 object books.  If you've bought 1, you know what your getting.  Nothing new or innovative.  The clan book is ONLY the inner sphere clans.  If you love these books, add them to your collection, but since they are missing critical info to me like production numbers, they are kinda just fluff only and not very useful.

And onto the Vehicle Annex.  I was under the impression that there were going to be serious updates to the book and format of support vehicles.  Honestly, I can't even notice a difference skimming it.  I presume lots of the errors were fixed, as when I submitted errata long ago I was told they would be.  If you have the money, and love using stuff in this books, go for it, but it is far from a necessary purchase.  Not even any record sheetsh, sheesh.

Sure hope these products weren't great because they are spending all their time making IO great, but I'm not holding my breath!

Monday, January 14, 2013

It's Alive!

Well I couldn't wait, and went and blew money locally to get my machine back up.

I purchased a dual processor AMD Supermicro motherboard, 2 Opteron 2.1 Ghz w/16 cores, 64 GB of ram, and 3 240GB SSD drives, plus a few other minor things.

The fans for the CPUs weren't available locally, so I rush ordered them from newegg (overnight, but it took 4 days, go figure).

So I got my machine up and running.  Sorta....

I installed Server 2012, as we are using it a bit at work, and since 2003 I've been using server as my primary OS at home over Vista/Windows 7/etc.  It installed ok, but everything I did had a lag.  It wasn't my computer's fault, as every machine I've used server 2012 on I've seen a lag in response.  I know Microsoft is trying to get administrators to stop using the GUI and move completely to powershell, but sheesh.  Anyway, after a lot of various issues, but mostly the slowness, I gave up on trying to run it.

So I installed Windows 8, which I've been using for a few months on my work Laptop.  I, like apparently everybody else, think the new metro UI is stupid.  Great for a Tablet/Phone perhaps, but for a workstation its idiotic.  Good news is there are start menu replacement apps out there that pretty much prevent it from popping up.  I also installed Office 2013.

Well first, I tried a few games, nearly all of them crashed to the desktop.  Did some research, turns out the entire gaming industry is looking at Windows 8 as garbage.  So forgetting that for a few, I jumped into Excel, which I use a LOT for various data input.  Its slow as hell.  I type 80wpm, and try to avoid using the mouse as it slows down productivity, but Excel 2013 is so slow as to be unusable for me.  I do some research, find out it isn't just me, and in fact even at calculations its slower.  You would think 32 cores calculations would be instant.  Nope.  Heck, even if its got high requirements that's fine, but a dual processor 32 core system with 64GB of ram running on triple raid 0 SSD should be overkill, not below minimum specs.

So, I gave up on the new MSFT OS's and Office 2013.  They just, well, suck.  This isn't just a quick opinion  of some noob either.  I've got over 20 years of DOS/windows experience and have supported it in some of the largest environments in the world.  I've used 2k3 for quite a few months, and Windows 8/Office 2013 since their CTPs.  However, their new direction isn't the right one, and if you own stock I'd sell it immediately.

So tonight I'll go back to Windows Server 2008 R2, which made a great previous desktop.  I'll pay attention to the news to see when Microsoft acknowledges Windows 8 as Windows ME 2.0, and Office 2013 as, well, an "oopsie", so I can have faith in that company again.  Since Gates left it hasn't done very well and I fear for the future of IT.

As for Battletech, I've done nothing in over a month.  Many of the forum topics, and most of the posts, are downright stupid.  Their only new product is an objectives book for the periphery, which never includes useful stuff like production numbers or all the conventional factories, and I'm not seeing anything new come out over there.  Perhaps they are all focused on the greatness that'll be Interstellar Operations.... sorry, didn't meant to make ya laugh :)

I'll soon get back into the swing of things, and be able to update everything.  Till then sorry for my lack of existence on the net, it'll get better.