What is that?
It's a duck pond.
Why aren't there any ducks?
I don't know. There's never any ducks.
Then how do you know it's a duck pond?

Tuesday, February 14


Signed, Sealed, And Soon To Be Delivered

Bumped and updated.

I'm getting a complete signed collection of all seven volumes of the Order of the Stick from the OotS Reprint Drive on Kickstarter.

Also (as at last count since the bonus goodies are mounting by the day), 8 new limited edition OotS comics in PDF format, a set of original high-resolution OotS wallpaper, a Roy Greenhilt fridge magnet, an 8x10 art print, two sheets of OotS stickers, two OotS-themed notepads, and three OotS colouring books, the OotS Deluxe Edition Adventure Game, and a new limited edition expansion set.

In other exciting Kickstartery news, Tim Schafer (Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, Psychonauts) was looking to raise $400,000 to produce a new old-school adventure game after being turned down by publishers because there's no market for old-school adventure games.

Update: And now Erfworld is in too.  If you're a fan of strategy games, particularly fantasy wargames, you'll love Erfworld.  Or if you just like interesting stories and neat artwork.  Or cuddly dragons.

So, that's PDF and hardcover copies of Book 1, an armoured decrypted red dwagon plushie, Blu-Ray/DVD of the Erfworld animated comic, and a Stupid Meal.

It's a good thing I didn't spend any money at Christmas, because I'm spending it all now...

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All the parts for Shana and Lina have now shipped, except for the black Lian-Li drive bay adaptors (convert one 5.25" bay to four 2.5" bays) which are expected late this month, and the Sapphire 7950, which is now in stock at the distributor and should arrive this week.  (Update: Shipped!)

I also added a Lian Li EX-503 to the mix - a little (7x9.5x10.5 inches) USB3/eSATA RAID array which nicely complements my existing Lian Li cases and gives me somewhere to put all my spare disks.

So Shana will be configured with a 4TB C drive, a 4TB D drive, and an 8TB E drive, all RAID-5 - something of a step up from the 1.5TB C and E it now has (with E mostly set aside for the daily backups).

All that remains is to cart it all home from the office and put it together.

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Monday, February 13


I Liked It So Much, I Bought The Source Code

I mentioned in my recent post on InnovaStudio's Live Editor that while it was a great improvement on the already good Innova Editor, it no longer came with source code, which was now an extra fifteen hundred smackers.  In fact, that was the only thing I didn't like about it.

I think they may have been listening, because they just cut the price for the source license from $1500 to $600 - and then offered a 50% introductory discount on top of that.  Since that also includes another year of support and updates for the editor itself (which I was due to pay pretty soon), that's not too bad a price, and I paid it.

Another piece of software I was looking to license for mee.nu costs $24 for a single-site non-commercial license, $199 for a 100-site commercial license....  And $75,000 for an OEM license that would allow me to integrate it into Minx.  Nice though it is, we won't be seeing that one any time soon.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:54 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Saturday, February 11


Luvin' It

Luvit is Node.js for a language that doesn't suck.

Unless you carefully pronounce it as loo-vit, though, the name is pure cheese.

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Friday, February 10



Given the runaway success of the Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter drive, I wonder what it would cost to produce new games like the original X-Com, Master of Orion II, or Master of Magic, with exactly the same gameplay but higher resolution graphics.  

Or Syndicate, or Populous, or...  Ooh, Cannon Fodder.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:50 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Thursday, February 09


5 Accessories Every Man Should Carry

  • Hedgehog

    You never want to be without a hedgehog; they make great company, and in dire extremis, good eating.

  • Deck of cards

    Handy if you need to make friends and they're allergic to hedgehogs.

  • Can of spam

    You can feed it to the hedgehog, and the empty can has a huge range of uses, such as a hedgehog bathtub.

  • Clawhammer

    Fight off zombies, drive nails, pull nails, light fires, catch fish.

  • Towel

    For wiping up incriminating evidence. May also have other uses.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 07:27 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Tuesday, February 07


All I Want For Christmas...

Is a database with the structure support and low latency of Redis, the document support of MongoDB, the indexing of Lucene, the robust persistence and map/reduce views of CouchDB, the compact on-disk representation of Kyoto Cabinet, the datatype support of PostgreSQL, and the scalability of Riak.*

Just put a stamp on it and mail it to me, you don't even need to wrap it.

* I've been testing Riak for a new project.  Scaling from 1 to 10 threads, throughput grows by a factor of 12.5.  I can't explain it, but I'm not going to complain.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:59 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Sunday, February 05


My Life Is Now Complete

I just learned that there's a .இலங்கை TLD.  I wonder if I can register mee.இலங்கை...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:33 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Design Refresh

I'm doing a new design for the next version of Minx, based on the 960.gs / Skeleton / Bootstrap CSS layout libraries.*

The rounded corners are likely to go at this stage; form design will improve, and blogs will resize (at least in theory) to fit your device, but in discrete steps rather than one pixel at a time.

The idea is that you'll choose a 12- or 16-column layout, and then assign a certain number of columns to each element on the page, so you might choose 12 columns, and allocate 8 to the content and 4 to the sidebar.  But you could also have a headlines area (between the banner and the content) with three items each four columns wide.

The new base widths will be 700 pixels (for smaller devices like tablets and phones), 940 pixels (for older PCs and notebooks), and 1180 pixels (for larger screens).  All of those work out evenly whether you choose a 12- or 16-column grid.

There will be a pair of new, interactive menu bars above and below your banner image, the top one for the mee.nu system as a whole, the bottom one for your site.  The current ads (which I haven't sold any of yet anyway) will shrink down to fit in the top menu bar, rather than sitting above it, and will expand out on mouseover.  I think that's the best compromise to make them as unobtrusive as possible while still giving advertisers a useful amount of space.

Sample Images

Update: Damn arithmetic!  One problem with the above layout is that to fit ads neatly in the sidebar you'd want it to be 240 pixels wide - the same as the ad itself.  But the maths just doesn't work out.

With a 940-pixel standard layout, you have 12 columns each 60 pixels wide, and 11 margins in between each 20 pixels wide.  12 x 60 + 11 x 20 = 940.

With 16 columns, it's 16 x 40 + 15 x 20 = 940.

This works because we're ignoring the rightmost 20-pixel margin - if we included that, the widths would be 720, 960, and 1200 pixels - all multiples of 240, with lots and lots of useful factors.

So if you have a 3 column sidebar in a 12-column layout, that's 3 x 60 + 2 x 20 = 220px.  4 columns in 16-col layout is 4 x 40 + 3 x 20 = 220px.  Either way, too narrow for the ad.  4 columns in 12-col layout is 4 x 60 + 3 x 20 = 300px; 5 columns in 16-col layout is 5 x 40 + 3 x 20 = 280px, which leaves a fair chunk of space over.

I'm not sure how bad that will be in a live design, so I'm not going to tear up the fundamental principles of mathematics just yet.  And you could force the sidebar into a 240-pixel layout within a 280/300 pixel division if need be, with a larger than normal gap between the sidebar and the main content.

Real-world testing is indicated here.

* Most likely Bootstrap; I had some issues with version 1.4, but the newly released 2.0 cleans up most of the things I didn't like and adds even more features.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:04 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Saturday, February 04


Some Other Days

Just bought a license for Highcharts to integrate with Minx.  It's slick and polished and reasonably priced and the fine print in the license says:
Allow Highcharts to be used with an unlimited number of SaaS projects, web applications, intranets, and websites for you or your customers.
That's what I like to see - and exactly what Fontspring and Fonts.com prohibit.

So Highcharts gets my money and Fontsploosh do not.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:45 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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