Friday, August 23, 2013

Good News, and Not So Good News

First, the not-so good news.  My cat, Atom, had to be put down today.  He was 16, got cancer we think about 6 months ago, and this last weekend had to have 1.5 cups of fluid pumped out from around his lungs.  Difficult to deal with, and combined with my father's death 2 months ago its been a rough few months, and a horrible day.  Atom will be missed, he was a good cat who survived 11 moves across 3 states in his lifetime.

So I haven't been real productive the last week, most of my free time with hobbies was spent helping out The Machine Shop, a new online construction system with a lot of promise.  We are basically using his engine, going through my 6161 units in my database, and finding errors, fixing his system, and so forth.  When complete he should have a heck of a site out there!

I read online that the Ad Hoc Alpha Strike cards, which hopefully we can all have soon, were just on regular playing cards.  I was under the impression they would be a much higher quality (thicker/laminated).  So basically the 80+ that I printed myself as just about as good, though I'm missing the 9 or so unique character units and whatever else was in there that wasn't in the Alpha Strike book.  I'd be interested in seeing that stuff if anybody wants to shoot me a copy.  I can create/print these all day long.  Send me 1000 mechs, 1000 pics you want on it (if not from TROs), and if you want color/B&W, and I can help you get them printed.  $10-$20, plus $5-$10 for shipping, per 80 or so cards, depending on quality (yes, full plastic is an option).

Also, appears that Field Manual 3145 may not be in PDF form for a while.  Either this is a change in direction for CGL, or perhaps there were so many errors in it they don't want to have any more printed until it is complete.  Or perhaps people are a little upset since most of the mechs in it were already out in the other 3145 books.  All just conjecture, and like usual, CGL isn't saying shit to its adoring fans on the forums :(

I've updated the Alpha Strike Card Maker a few times now, but still haven't embedded the fonts.  I keep thinking I should extract the card template, fonts, and locations into a simple to edit text file.  This way you can do your own custom cards and data.  I think I'll wait for more requests for something like that.  Eventually I may update it to pull the units from my database instead of you inputting them, but I'm not done with my database yet :)  

My buddy (also a BT fan, on the forums but isn't banned yet!) hooked me up with a server that has more bandwidth than I could ever use.  Its all configured, domain setup, and ready to go.  HOWEVER, the down side.. I need to update a few threads with new links to files.  I'll have it done this weekend if all hell doesn't break loose, maybe even tonight.

I'm not 100% sure the forum will stay up forever, kinda depends on how it is used.  There are lots of places in the world BattleTech is discussed, and unless people flock to my site by, well, dozens, and stay there, I won't keep it going long term if nobody is using it.  I'm pretty darned sure all the official CGL folk are not allowed to be nice to me anyway, nor visit it.  Most of the activity on the official site seems to be those folk anyway.  Maybe I'm onto something by being "separate", maybe I'm just wasting time, we'll see.

I'm ok if they all post with a new username though and won't prevent them from doing so.  I'm going to take the high ground there ;)

The engineer site is still down, still got a major code update.  May not be done anyway until after they post some more errata.  Its in the works though, and it'll be better and more accurate next release.

So, next post, FORUM LAUNCH!  Woot!


  1. Condolences on your cat. I lived with one for 15 years and she managed to die on my 18th Birthday. That sucked!!
    Hate to spoil the other party BS but did you look up nandeck or cardmaker like i told you some time ago? If you make your cardmaker, you are basically reinventing the wheel and you make one that can only be used by pink post-carts..:) meaning you limit the software to bt only. If you have a look into nandeck you will see it does all the nice thing you do and a couple of more tricks. I know you don't play well with others, but sometimes you can easily use whats already there, giving you more time for other duties. Just my 2 €-cents. Shoot me an email if you need the links.

    1. I saw nandeck, but compared to what I'm doing it can't really do nearly as much, and not as easily.

      I actually redid much of the app last night. I made everything auto-fit, embedded fonts, added better support for transparent images, added support for all white TRO like images, made more room for move as 10"/12"j simply wouldn't fit, much less 10"/12"j/4"u.

      I also embedded support for using the canon site. HOWEVER, it has been down since last night, so I can't test my code. So in a few minutes I'll go back into code and make the app use my images and data from the last time I updated my stuff from the canon MUL (I do so every month or more). I should have a new version released tonight with a few thousand *QUICK STRIKE* (so, outdated if your using Alpha Strike rules) data from the canon cards on the canon MUL site.

  2. Really sorry about your cat and dad. Rough times.

  3. But, and that is a fact, if you would use nandeck, everyone could join in an do there own cards, drawn to there specifications, there background art and whatnot... But when you release said textfiles, i can do mine with nandeck or cardmaker which is a more userfriendly, wysiwyg editor.

    1. I thought about exporting things like fonts, sizes of stuff, and so forth to simple to edit notepad files, which is just like nandeck, but it would take me quite some time. If there is a lot of demand for it I can do it though.

  4. Had a look at today after a few months away, apparently they have forums now too. Given how they don't federate (which is kind of the point of a private forum server), I worry about the community getting too dispersed.

    As long as the software can output in some sort of vectorised format (e.g. PDF), it shouldn't be a problem to manipulate it programatically (perhaps via the SVG format).

    1. Yeah, there are a lot of forums, I'm hoping the lack of moderators and biased worshipping mine will go better, but I am probably just kidding myself.

      Well right now I just output PNG. Its a *huge* pain to output PDFs, and is very slow. I did it with my record sheets but for these cards I just didn't see the time tradeoff as being worth it.

      Are you wanting anything inparticular? I do requests ;)