Thursday, August 28, 2008

My first tenants

This is totally unrelated to World of Warcraft or zoloFighter. Last week we have closed our first rental property (a cheap one, thanks for the recent down housing market). And after a week of hard work to clean the place up, we posted a for rent ad and within a day got a call.

Very possibly we could rent the unit out today to a nice couple. I am both excited and worried. We still need to get a microwave, a washer,a dryer and a refrigerator, all are expensive. And everything needs to be done by this weekend! It will be back breaking to install all 3 items.

With the payments on the loan etc, this will be a tough period for me and my wife. But we hope this investment will be worth it int he long run.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

RIAA stupidity

Check out this link

RIAA is messing with the couple again. This time because they formatted their harddrive.

Not too long ago I format my hard drive almost weekly at any sign of computer slow down. Now I don't do that as often, but I am going to erase another of my computer clean and install vista on it (My server is gone bad, and need to be transferred).

I have bought 4 copies of XP and my constant installing of windows on my 3 computers has forced me to call Microsoft evertime I reinstall windows (because I can't remember which copy of windows XP is installed on which computer). So many re-formats must meant that I have tones of MP3s on my computer by RIAA standards.

Too bad I don't listen to music (I had some CDs but they are rotting in my car), don't have time to watch much Movies on my digital channels either. Every day after work and all the other junk I don't have much time for anything. Maybe I should stop complaining about RIAA and get a life pronto :-)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Got overrun by Buffer overflow!

That was a newbie mistake. I was implementing dynamic mesh grouping and vendor/waypoing calculation logic for javascript (the complicated calculation needs to be done in native code, javascript would be too slow). After exporting a large calculated vendor waypoints to javascript, program hungs on access violation error. In debug mode the error happens upon program return from a function call.

Initially I thought it is javascript error, I was trying out with JS_SetProperty, and I thought to myself maybe I should use JS_DefineProperty instead? No luck. After some tries I found if I reduce the number of elements set in JS_SetElement call, the problem goes away. That was a big hint and I started to suspect the UI has some buffer problems. Sure enough, my rastly written UI code was using a buffer of size 1024, and doing _tscpy WITHOUT proper protection! I know that was bad for a veteran engineer to do that, but it was only an amature project with very limited development time (Still big slap on me). I spend 1 hour on this with majority of time debugging and suspecting the ability of memory management of javascript, all because I saved 10 minutes of my time initially to avoid buffer checking.

Make this a lesson to all fresh engineers/coder, don't cut corners.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Didn't do anything last night

Nope, nothing. This is family politics, I let the bot run and watched some Japanese Anime with wife. The Japanese Animes are addictive, but they are very slow (If you ever watched you know what I mean). Sometimes the same sense just seems to drag on for ever. But it was a good funny one :-) No regrets. If I have finished my development I will be able to enjoy more, but this is politics we are talking about.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Testing scares

A family friend come yesterday night, and we all went out to a Italian restaurant for dinner. The dinner was good and everyone was happy. After that we go back to our home, and I have to entertain the guests. Needless to say I was died tired when everything is done.

This morning after I wake up, I wanted to start the bot and test it more. I was surprised to find WOW still open and my toon is dead. Turned out I forget to stop the bot before I leave for dinner yesterday and the bot has run hours yesterday.
Natually I click the run button and want the bot to continue. To my surprise the toon turned, jumped and bot stoped. The first thing come to my mind is my ghost waypoint is broken. After 10 minutes of debugging (everything went wrong during that time, the setup, my windows etc), I finally found out it is my sales repair. My bag is full and my toon is trying to go to the sales repair waypoint while he is dead!!

So now one more thing to fix, don't let the toon go on to the sales repair waypoint if it is dead!

(And there is no logs, the toon tries to mount, which failed, then try to fly by jumping, which failed to, without any log to indicate what it is doing).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yet another release and more testing

Yes, I released turned out I forget to put the fix over to and during a test the bot is running around again. I was shocked and found out I didn't sync the changes over (that is what happens when you don't have time and have to broken development down to pieces and multitasking).

So another release and more testing. I also got guests this week and can't do much again.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Orbiter is finally stable

Yes, after almost daily updates for zoloFighter for the past week (and I had to work over time at my real work, including Saturdays and Sundays), Orbiter is finally stable.

Expect another possible update sometime this week, as I will start AVbot work :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Huge memory problem

Yes even I was surprised. I was testing zolo+orbiter this morning before wife wake up, and zoloFighter died due to memory problem.

The first time I saw the memory foot print of fighter, I thought it was my database...

Anyway, the fix was simple too, GC the javascript from time to time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Holy crap is this real?

I would give up and just pay my taxes, but that guy got some guts :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

2.4.3 version archived

Yes I finally make a fixed 2.4.3 zoloFighter, so people in non-US countries can use the bot when US is patching to next version. In 2.4.2, I forget about it and didn't do it till 2.4.3 is released, and can't test it in any way, end up with a bad version (several people on private servers reported the 2.4.2 fighter is not usable).

It is not a big deal, but took me a long time to release it (and I still haven't tested it yet). So much stuff to do, so little time.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Attack all problems

I have implemented something to record all factions ids, the next version of fighter will save the faction ids you added to a file, and that file will keep growing every time you add a new faction.

However I am a bit conflicted on how to use it. It can be used as your own private database for what to attack, but should I used it only when attack all is used? I know some people don't like to select stuff (they use glider profiles), but attack all has several draw backs (attack snakes/npcs on own side etc).

And I don't want to add another check box so the bot can select which faction list to use. Maybe I will just destroy the attack all check box and let it use the saved faction list.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Next steps

There are several thing I need to next:
1. Figure out a way if a target is attack able. It is very convenient to use "Attack All" feature, but the bot will try to kill guards that are on my side when it goes to sale and repair.

2. Improve the bindings files. Some user raised valid points, that priests should not sit down and drink. It should heal itself. The change should be easy, but I (or someone else with good script knowledge) has to implement it.

3. Figure out a way to check if some menus are up.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Vista screen capture problem fixed

Yes, after much searching etc, I actually found a good solution. Can't believe the answer is simple and easy, when I was all over the new Vista DWM and try to check if thumbnail can do the trick. But the user better stay in windowed mode, which is much easier than turn off Aero.

I am working on Fighter now, need to finish the step with fighter to integrate Orbiter pather to sales/repair/ghost waypoints, also make the new auto login working (strongly not recommended though).

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fisher (screen capture) problems

Nope, I never have those problems, but some people (at least 2 now) have.

What happened is, on their system, fisher can't see the screen. It seems fisher capture the first screen successfully (used to find the blubber), but later on when it tries to capture the screen, it got the same screen every time??!!

And one of the really good users is helping me to solve this, so far no luck. (besides been dead tired caring for babies over the weekend. Yep, when wife gets a party, who is the best to care for young kids? The only one that seems to be playing games!)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

phpBB down again

Yep, and just in time for one of my bug fixes for fisher. I had several message with another user on the board yesterday, and after I finally released a test to him and thinking that could be the fix, I can't get any reply back any more.

After release it to the user and go to bed, I was anxious to see if the user had any feed back to me this morning. But, my forum is totally down!! So I opened a ticket to my ISP immediately, and the reply was to contact the phpBB dev team.

So I started to do debugging myself. turned out in session.php, a query was causing the problem: SELECT u.*, s.* FROM phpbb_sessions s, phpbb_users u WHERE s.session_id = 'fcc36259f92c0f8e29a87f7e4e4d55d1' AND u.user_id = s.session_user_id
The select statement is blocking the entire site!! And I can't do much else either, because the phpMyAdmin tool provided by my ISP is down as well.

Anyway, I have sent those to my ISP, and let's hope the forums will get back up soon.

(EDIT: the final solution? Restore the old phpBB2 database. The lessons learned? Take care of your databases from time to time, and back them up!)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Republican joke

I was busy for the past week, so the only update is this job I heard this morning. I was told it is a true story.

On a party, a guy asked a little girl (whose parents are liberals) what she want to do after she grew up. The girl said she want to be the president of US so she can give all the homeless people a house. So the guy told the girl, she can help the homeless people now, by going to his home, cut his lawn and in turn, he will give her $50, which she can give to a homeless man to be his home found.

The little girl asked "Why can't the homeless man do that for you and you give him the $50?". And the guy said "Now you are a republican".