Life of a Stick


  • Category Archives This Site
  • Server Upgrade

    I recently installed a new operating system on this server. For a long while it was running on FreeBSD. Unfortunately, many of the things I wanted to do didn’t run as well as I’d have liked them to do.

    The new server sports some additional security measures, which were quite fun to figure out how to work with. It’s also Linux-based, rather than BSD-based, which gives me better compatibility with the game servers I want to run.

    I think I’ve gotten most of the quirks worked out of this, but if anyone notices something not working that should, just let me know.


  • Site Upgraded to WordPress

    I’ve been wanting add a number of features to the blog for some time. From adding comments, to properly linking to and from other blogs, RSS feed, etc. WordPress is a famous pieces of blog software that lets me host it on my own servers, and still interact well with others.

    All of the old posts from my custom brewed blog software have been converted into WordPress, and are available in the archives. I’ve repaired some of the old links that I noticed, but some of them are broken beyond repair — sites or things they refer to simply don’t exist anymore.

    There is a list of things I would like to blog about. Various topics, philosophical or otherwise interesting to me, and I hope to eventually get to all of them.

    The look and layout of the site may change at various points in the near future while I find an arrangement of things I’m happy with and that is comfortable to work with.


  • Another Year in a Wheelbarrel

    Site’s paid for through next year. Long live the site!

    pid 2062 (httpd), uid 80: exited on signal 11
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    <<66>>ppiidd  22228897  ((hhttttpdp)d, )ui,d  uid8 0:8 0:e xeixtiedt eod no ns siiggnnaall  1111
    <<66>>ppiidd  22882212  ((hhttttppdd)),,  uuiidd  8800::  eexxiitedt one ds ignoal n1 1signa
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    11

    Oops.


  • Pointy Sticks and Paul Graham

    I purchased a new domain name. A friend recommended it, it was available, and I’ve been needing one for a while.

    http://www.pointystick.org

    Currently, it’s housing a make-shift portfolio. I’ve applied for an internship at Virtrium for my senior year at college. You may remember Virtrium as they released a press release that had my name on it. Don’t know if I’ll get the internship or not, but everything I’ve seen of them shows they’re really great people. So it would be awesome to get it.

    At some point in the future, I will make skaarj.com redirect to pointystick.org and ask people to update their bookmarks. Maybe around Christmas, maybe later. The redirect will likely last a significant amount of time, after which I will repurpose skaarj.com with a more appropriate thing than my personal blog and etc.

    Also, I recently learned of this Paul Graham guy. I’m sure he’s someone famous, as it certainly seems that’s the case, but I’ve only just recently been made aware he exists when Soft Linden twittered about him. He does something like I do — taking established conventions, realizing something’s horribly wrong, and puts forth the truth of the matter — except whereas I write something like bad poetry, he writes stuff like Mark Twain. Definitely worth giving some of his essays a read.

    http://www.paulgraham.com/articles.html

    I’ve only read a couple, but How to Do What You Love caught my eye, and speaks things on the subject I’ve been telling people for years, and other things I hadn’t even thought of.

    (On another note, Alex’s Soapbox on The Daily WTF has some very insightful things in the same vein as “why hasn’t anyone else figured this out already?” style of thought.)


  • Morrowind Werewolf Mod

    Hey, I found some an old Morrowind mod website and put it online.

    It’s stuck on my home machine for now (eg, slow connection) but when I get unlazy (eg, when I graduate school in a year and have a spare second) I’ll put it on my faster server and maybe remind people about it.

    http://werewolves.skaarj.com/


  • Recent Events

    Last Friday and Saturday I went to the 2D or not 2D animation festival. It was awesome. I got to meet amazing people like Barry Cook and Dean Yeagle and Michel Gange. Of course, my DigiPen professor Tony White was there, seeing as he was hosting the festival in the first place.

    After getting an exclusive first look on Gange’s upcoming game and getting a bunch of stuff signed by him, and watching some fantastic shorts like Chicken Cowboy, and listening to an orchestra at close range (they took up half the big room the final mingle was in) I went back to my car and found a car window and my backpack missing. Whoops.

    Let that be a lesson to everyone: Don’t leave tempting unknowns sitting around where someone may see it. Save yourself some trouble. Now I gotta buy a new backpack, a new sketchbook, and some new charcoal. I feel kinda sorry for the guy who stole it… he risked the law for… well, nothing.

    So I got home, and my good friend tek_hed who’d lent me a Wacom tablet for the past many years, finally needed it back. So I was now tabletless.

    Feeling sorry for myself, and a bit stupid for getting my backpack stolen, I went and ordered a new toy. A 12″ Cintiq. Seeing as it was only $400 more than the $600 for a new tablet, I figured I might as well splurge. Man, this stuff is expensive. It should get here in a week or two.

    But wait, that’s not all!

    I got an email from Rick Simmons, CEO of Virtrium LLC about a press release he was making about my Seawolf dragons..

    I think I’m getting ahead of myself, as I haven’t mentioned the dragons here yet. The dragons link above should explain a bit about them. They’re an avatar available for Second Life that use a bug (that hadn’t been exploited previously) to increase the size of your avatar. I don’t have any size references images or even videos handy, so I’m just going to give a link to an image of the vendor location. The top of the smallest dragon’s head is about as tall as a normal person. If you have Second Life, you can visit the location inworld by clicking this SLurl.

    Oh, and Left 4 Dead came out. Valve’s latest masterpiece, and more proof that finding awesome people and buying them into the company is a very smart idea.


  • Domain skaarjonastick.com Expiring

    Way back in the day, Network Solutions was the only company that could sell domain names. The lack of options was nice, and no one realized that the price was really high. But this was considered a monopoly and has since been changed so that there are hundreds of sites that sell domain names.

    This is great news! It’s never been easier to register a domain name, with competitive features and pricing to give you all sorts of places to choose to spend your money at.

    This is horrible news! It’s never been easier to register a domain name. So people do so, quickly and often, and then sit on them expecting you to doll out tons of cash since they “got it first.”

    But domain swatters are just a pet peeve. I mention them because skaarjonastick.com is expiring. (And will thus be bought by some swatter hoping that I simply forgot to register it and want to pay them tons of cash to get it back. Ha.) I did a quick check of the logs, and about the only person that uses it anymore is the IP address 89.149.195.107. Why do I freely give out this IP address in an age where people are paranoid about personally identifiable information? Because it’s a spammer. I’ve banned them from my miniforum already, but they continue to try to post three or four times a day.

    So anyway, Network Solution is the registrar I purchased my original domain from: skaarjonastick.com. And it expires on October… something-or-other. I see three options before me.

    1) Throw away US$35 to Network Solutions for their overpriced service. I had to click through four pages “buy this, too!” before getting to the re-registration information. I’m so glad it wasn’t my dad, because he would have clicked all the boxes and select things in the drop downs and ended up paying hundreds of dollars instead of figuring out how things really work.

    2) Pay GoDaddy US$10 to transfer the registration over to them (getting me another year of the domain usage). At least, I THINK that’s the cost. Their site doesn’t seem to be working right now.

    3) Forget about it, since no one uses that domain name anymore, and stick with skaarj.com.

    One of these things requires no effort. Can you guess which one I’m going to do?

    So thus, I am making this post to say that as of October something-or-other skaaronastick.com will no longer work to access my website and you must use skaarj.com, which everyone already seems to be doing already. Great job, guy! Keep doing what you’re doing!


  • DreamKeepers Happenings

    For those of you that don’t know, I’m really big on webcomics. I have several that I read regularly, and odds are I’ve at least heard of it if it’s worth mentioning.

    A while back, I came across a webcomic called DreamKeepers. It was cute, funny, entertaining, well drawn, and all around neat.

    One of the things I hate about webcomics is when they give you like five pages and then they’re all “Oh, HA! You thought this was a free comic! No, we just put five pages of our published comic online. Now you should buy it.”

    Another solution, which I find much better, is the route that Digger took. You get two hundred and eighty five comics, and then you have to pay to see the rest. BUT, if you’re good with schedules, you can see the current page every day. I would much prefer if there was some large gap in the middle that was moving, so you could keep reading you’d just be behind. But it’s a lot less evil than just putting up a couple pages.

    The least evil solution I’ve seen, which is why I purchased DreamKeepers when I’ve never purchased a dead-tree version of a webcomic before, was that not only did it offer a small sample of the book version (19 pages) but it has a pre-book webcomic that’s updated weekly.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to read the DreamKeeper’s physical comic book. It arrived and my mom saw it. She said, “Hey, I wasn’t allowed to have comic books when I was a kid,” took it, and walked off, thumbing through it. Based on the webcomic, I have no doubts about its quality.

    In other news, I still need to post my past grades. I don’t even know when the last time I posted them was. And I don’t know if I’ve posted my upcoming fall schedule, either.

    I will make a post when my Seawolf project is finished for Second Life, though. If I haven’t mentioned it, I make Boats with a friend. We’re working on something else now, though, but have been careful not to make the information public and only gotten the opinion of close friends and professionals. It’s really, really, really awesome though. Really.


  • Miniforum History Fixed

    As many of you know, I don’t use the commonly available shoutboxes or whatever they’re calling them these days. I prefer to control the code and information myself, even if it means things get done slowly or tend to not work… perfectly. So I created my own little version and I called it the “miniforum.”

    It worked fine, for a bit. Then we hit 900 posts and it got a little confused about what it was supposed to do. I knew what it was supposed to do, but apparently I didn’t explain it quite clear enough.

    Of course, the 900 posts confusion didn’t really cause an actual problem. It wasn’t until about 2MBs of posts were made that PHP decided it wasn’t funny anymore and stopped laughing.

    I’ve returned PHP’s good humor and the chatboxes/miniforums/whatever should now be in good working order. Please notify me if there are any problems. Thanks.


  • New Server, New Promises

    There was an electrical problem today and it caused the router and cable modem to be offline for an hour or two. When they came back up, my Comcast IP of some time was no longer my IP. I called Comcast and they said that the “persistent IP” feature that I was counting on hasn’t been offered for years, which means a reliable IP address is no longer something I can rely on.

    What this means to you, is that I can no longer host websites out of my house. Which makes me very sad. If you’re reading this, it means I’ve moved to a different host. And since I’m not dealing with everything myself, that has the potential to involve other people in the dangers of using Epic‘s intellectual property: the name “Skaarj.”

    In an effort to ward off any potential lawsuits, I’m going to play the “fansite” card and try to hide behind it. To begin, I’ll include the following, replayed from Epic’s fansite policy:

    Section 2 — Disclaimer

    2.1 Epic requires that a disclaimer be used in conjunction with your use of Epic IP. The required disclaimer is provided below. You must display the disclaimer on each web page of your Fan Site and on any web page containing your Fan Art, as well as on the Fan Art itself.

    “Portions of the materials used are ®, ™,(mr), and/or (mc) Epic Games, Inc., and/or copyrighted works of Epic Games, Inc., in the United States of America and elsewhere. All rights reserved, Epic Games, Inc. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Epic Games, Inc.”

    Assuming that the name “Skaarj” is Epic Intellectual Property, the above disclaimer is now displayed on the site, and will be included in the footer of every page before it scrolls off the front page updates. I’ll have to put that in the fanarts, too, it seems.

    Hope that works!

    Edit 25/09/2011: Skaarj is not a registered trademark, and you cannot copyright a name. I believe there are some laws out there specifically regarding domain names. But I don’t know the specifics.



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