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New CVGM.net Server Upgrade Almost Ready!

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 This is the new Dell PowerEdge 2950 server that will be used on the CVGM.net website. It’s packing a nice dual quad-core 3.16Ghz CPU, 16gb of ram, and VMWare to make management and repairs easier and better. The current server only has 2GB of ram, and a very ancient quad-core 2.1Ghz cpu (one of the first Xeon quad core CPU’s released). We are still adding some bits to it, saving up our spare change and buying them as we can.

In the next few weeks, this bad boy will be shipped off to the datacenter and installed in it’s rack, so the site can receive a much-needed upgrade.

If you want to check out CVGM and listen to some great oldskool computer game music, check out http://www.cvgm.net  Thanks!

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Reversi Magic Updated For iOS / Android / Amazon Kindle Fire

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I have been spending a lot of time lately working on Reversi Magic, my Othello/Reversi game. Since the game was originally released last year, I have been spending time on optimizing the various parts of the game for AI, appearance, and also ensuring that it works on absolutely any device out there. The game has certainly come a long way since I originally started working on it!

The game’s AI functions make use of a NegaScout/PVS algorithm to determine the best possible moves based on a series of conditions, such as difficulty, board status and a few other things. The easy level is designed to be not too difficult, but good enough to keep you alert during play. As the levels get harder, the AI will step up it’s game and the Hard levels are quite tough to beat! I spent close to a full month working on AI code alone, and it was very educational for me. One day I should write up something on how the AI works, as someone else might find it useful in a different game.

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Anyways, if you would like to give the Free version of the game a go, you can find it at your favourite App Store by clicking one of the links below:

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Screenshot Gallery for Reversi Magic:

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2011 Snow Pictures

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Some pictures I took of the snowfall in 2011. Will auto-update as I add more this year 🙂

Enjoy!

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Windows 7 WGA Scare

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Booted up my laptop this morning as normal and got a bit of a scare when the built-in Windows Genuine Advantage software started telling me that it was no longer valid, and that I was a victim of software counterfeiting. After a bit of panicking about whether I could get to my code etc. the tool they made me use was quite friendly and had me back and running after a couple of reboots. Needless to say, I promptly backed up all of my code to the SVN repositories haha! And yes, my Windows 7 is perfectly legitimate 🙂 I figure one of the Windows Updates must have triggered something to reset the data in my activation. Crisis averted, back to work 🙂

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So Just How Much Shit Did Steve Jobs Spout At His Press Conference? Quite A Lot Apparently!!

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After watching the live-blog from several websites regarding the iPhone 4 “Antennagate” issue from this Friday, I was just so shocked about what happened that I had to sit and mull my thought for a few days before I could really think about it, and comment on anything properly. I mean, not many people could transform a huge fiasco of what was actually happening with the iPhone 4, into a complete diversion from the initial problem at hand. Instead of admitting the iPhone 4 has a major problem, it was played down as nothing different than every other phone, and even though there was no problem we’ll give you a free case anyways.

What started out as a simple “touch of death” of the phone, turned into a huge “Killer Grip” presentation where Jobs initially started diverting the blame from his phone, by showing still images from other phones and manufacturers having “similar” issues. These stills showed the phones being cupped by someones hands, and pictures of the antenna strength declining. Let’s not remember, that the iPhone can die with just the slight touch of your little pinky finger on the two lines; And cell phone 101 – You cover up enough of your phone, or certain key areas of the phone, you will begin to lose some of its reception. This claim was seriously overrated on Jobs presentation to the point where it was just ludicrous.

To throw in a bit of a bump, Jobs did state that he would give all iPhone 4 owners a free case if they wanted one, and those who had already bought one a refund. Mind you, that did only apply to the Apple official bumpers, and no refunds for anyone who bought a 3rd party case. To add another insult, the free case offer is only open till September 30th where they will “re-evaluate the situation” and decide if free cases are still warranted. Personally, if they are going to do the “We’ll hide the problem and just give you a free case” then it should be shipped with one. This mediocre solution however, still doesn’t fix the underlying issue.

The Q &A session at the end of the press conference was a classic. Steve Jobs returned to his original dick self as was apparent in the 90’s (and almost bankrupted Apple a couple of times) by denying any issue, being smart with reporters and not clarifying anything much more than what he had actually said. He was even fighting back at one reporter who had asked about the software update Apple has been praying will fix their problems (but everyone knows it wont) by denying that the signal issue was even there to begin with. The answer was something like “This” issue you speak of has just been explained in the last hour. So, what turned out to be a big hope for Apple (in terms of fixing the signal bars) has become a nothing now, as I guess they figured out everyone got smart at the real problem – noise interference in the atenna assembly.

The press conference itself was nothing more than smoke and mirrors. What really really made my day though was reading the response from Consumer Reports. We all know the only reason that they hosted this press conference was because of CR’s refusal to recommend the iPhone 4 in any way to its customers, as well as the other public figures and corporations who wanted a response from Apple. Well, Apple just assumed that a free case and denial of the issue was sufficient. CR’s response said that Apple was making “A great start to fixing the problem by offering a free bumber case” and that it still won’t recommend the phone. Brilliant! Some of the big corporations finally standing up to Apple!!

After the conference, of course everyone started writing their own things on what they fought. Its funny watching people write about how Apple has done everything correctly, and that consumers should get over it blah blah blah. I’m sorry, but if you release a product with a major flaw that only 0.55% of people called Apple about (lets remember, called Apple, this isn’t including going to the Apple stores, complaining about it on the web, or the millions of people who just think its a bad reception area) and you try to pretend the problem doesn’t exist, it is not OK in my books.

Jobs also has the manufacturers of the phones listed in his presentation in an uproar too, to the point where HTC officially posted numbers of their complaints versus Apple’s – the iPhone 4 had 35x as many complaints about reception quality versus HTC. thats a LOT of complaints! Some of the other guys are thinking of suing for defamation (which I think that they should!).

Personally, I think Jobs should have done a lot more at the press release. Giving away a free bumper was only the beginning. He should have admitted fully that there was a major issue and not try to deny that it occurs to everyone else. That is just completely petty and selfish. While it was apparent that Jobs was clearly aggravated, and that everyone should just accept it, he should have offered a better long time solution. Maybe not a direct recall, but a chance to replace it for a newer model later at no cost. You have to remember, as much as I would like for Apple to recall the phone, they still need to create a solution to the problem. Until they design/build it, then they wont recall. My thoughts on that are that the white iPhone will be almost immune to the problem (because of the white paint/covering on the antenna) so maybe that would be a better way to go.

Apple knew of this problem a long time ago and went well out of their way to skip the Q&A to detect it very early. Its also wierd that this is the first time Apple have produced a phone case, and my guess is they knew that they would have to give one away (because they knew their antenna was flawed) so rather than paying a lot of money to a 3rd party supplier like Belkin, they’d eat the 30c per bumber and profit by selling them at $30 each.

Well done, Apple. you have completely lowered yourself even deeper into the shithole 🙂 Nice way to treat your millions of loyal customers by denying their problems exist! Here is hoping that Android buries you into the ground! Oh wait, they did!!! Imma let you finish n’ all, but they activated 3.5 million Android phones (Activated is not the same as Sold, as they sold MANY more im sure!!) in the same 22 days you SOLD 3 million phones! Toodles!!

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Apple To Make Announcements Regarding iPhone 4 Today At 1pm EST

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apple are slated to make a big press conference today at 1pm regarding the iPhone 4, and it’s probbably safe to say at this point that 99% of the conversation will be in regards to the antenna/signal quailty issues that have plagued the phone since it was first released.

For those people who have been living under a rock, within a couple of hours of the first new iPhone being sold, many people started complaining about how the signal would drop to nothing when the phone was held in certain ways, and unfortunately for those people who are left handed it was just about all of the time. If you so much as touch one spot on the phone’s external antenna even in the slightest, your bars would go spiralling down to no signal within a very short time.

Apple have been trying to diffuse the issue with several tactics. Firstly, they ignored their users and Steve Jobs even told people himself that they should hold the phone differently. Hardly a solution and definitely not something I would have expected a CEO to say. After that fiasco, they came out with some horrible horse shit about how the signal bar strength formula for their entire iPhone line has been horribly wrong, and showing bars that are more than there should be. Thats nice, but it doesn’t seem to help with this problem in the least, as many MANY tech blogs have pointed out, however it doesnt seem to want to stop Apple from proclaiming that they have a great fix! We all know it’s a pile of shit, Apple, so don’t waste your time pretending it is! You might make the bar signal more accurate, but you still have a major hardware defect to contend with.

After Consumer Reports refused to give the iPhone a “We reccomend This” status, and everyone else started chiming in, the big consensus of people have been pushing for a recall of the iPhone. Personally, I think this is what should happen (and replaced with a redesigned antenna) however knowing Apple, they’ll probbably just give everyone a free bumber case so as not to touch the phone itself. Wankers 🙂

Well, let’s see what they have to say…

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