Monthly Archives: December 2013

DogeCoin Part VII

The database I was speaking about earlier this week that has grown a bit faster than I expected, I originally set up to store various algorithms I was having the software use for various tasks. What I was trying to accomplish was to build a command and control function that is basically a massive decision making tree to determine which algorithm is most appropriate to the task that needs completing. I knew the database would grow as the mining software got better, new algorithms could be added, compiled in as necessary and used nearly on the fly. It is really a pretty good idea, I wish I could take credit for it, but it came from a white paper written by a Russian programer. So once the database file  got so big I had to offload it to a 1 TB hard drive, I decided I needed to have another look at it. Most of my own algorithms were written in C, now I see a variety utilities written in different types of scripting languages, running the gamut; PHP, Javascript, Python, awk, sed, and the previously mentioned LISP, you name it, its probably there.

More Friday Night Dice

Picture no longer available

This is a picture of my desktop while I was playing HackMaster Friday night. When I posted this to FaceBook during the game, someone messaged me and asked why I have dice on my desk when you are playing online and have an electronic die roller. The answer is fairly simple, occasionally I like to roll dice and I was goofing off with the dice boot you see on the left.

On a different note, we had our annual Christmas themed game on the 20th. Rather than buying card and sending gifts to my players, I give them their presents in game, usually in the form of a magic item. Jerard (The Fighter) got a flaming sword named Firewolf, which in fact has the intelligence of a dog. Mercer (The Magic User) got a Staff of Striking for when he runs out of Magic Missiles. Tyenvinith (The Thief) got a Cloak of Elven-kind for skulking and sneaking. Legome (The Cleric) got a Pixie fairy sized suit of Elfin Chain Mail, which puts his AC down to -1. Finally and most amusingly is for Dorj-son (The Monk). I gave him what is called an Armband of Human Frailty. It is actually a cursed item, when worn by anything with a strength that exceeds 18/00, it reduces their strength to 18/00 or human level strength. It was designed to hamper Giants and particularly brutish Ogers, by reducing their strength and making them more manageable. The side effect of this is, anyone whose strength is under 18/00 is raised to 18/00, the height of normal human strength. When giants wear it, it is usually worn as an arm or wrist band, when human sized people wear it, it is worn as belt and is often mistaken for a girdle of hill giant strength.

DogeCoin Part VI

I am amazed at how far it has progressed without my intervention. Apparently the self optimizing code has been doing its job, everything is working nicely and has not needed any bug fixes for a couple of days. It seems to have recompiled itself at some point, which is exactly what the anthropomorphic bot code was suppose to do. The program has stopped writing log files, the program probably optimized this function out and I will probably have to go back in and re-add the code and blacklist it from removal. However, looking at the source code, I see a lot of added assembly language in here, since I am not familiar with ARM assembly language, it will be sometime before I can figure what it did.

My only concern is the amount of storage this project is taking up. A few days ago when I was adding the 4th node, I noticed, all the 4 GB SD cards I originally used for this project were full, so I replaced them all with 32 GB cards. Those cards are pretty cheap and I figured that would take a while to fill. I was wrong, so today I have attached the spare 1 TB drive I removed from PezWitch’s system several weeks ago and off loaded the sql database files onto it. When I have time later I will have a look at that database and see why it is expanding so fast.

DogeCoin Part V

This morning I mentioned an odd influx of DogeCoin on Christmas day according to the program logging. I did not have a chance to actually check my DogWallet prior to going to work. However, I checked it when I got home and found only 14 DogeCoin. I went back and looked at the logs and sure enough, it looked like I was acquiring coins at a ridiculous rate. My only explanation at this point is perhaps a decimal error in the logging function. I will look at the source code this weekend and see what’s up.

DogeCoin Part IV

I am very concerned this morning, I have a lot more DogeCoins than I thought I would have at this point, and I do mean A LOT. I think this might be a bug in the reporting, but I am not sure yet.

Beyond that, my rig has been running pretty well since I added the node and setup a dedicated network. The code seems to be doing what it is designed to do, which is mine DogeCoins. The code has become very low maintenance, the memory leak seems to be under control and CPU usage, while high is not pegged out.

I am in the process of cleaning up my code, making sure I have given credit where it is due and that I am not violating anyone’s copyrights. It is interesting that there is code in here I don’t remember adding in, for instance there is a call to a LISP based module. I don’t remember installing LISP or compiling any modules that used LISP. I have to admit, I did a couple of long nights running on nothing but coffee and code, so I suppose I should be happy I didn’t try to drive during that time.

 

Early campaign map

I found this map in the same folder I found Brandon’s character sheet. This is a very early version of my Caldoom game world. I am thinking I made this in 1980 or 1981. The map has evolved over time and only vaguely resembles this map. If I remember correctly, the scale of this map is 5 miles per hex or 20 miles equals about 1 inch.

 

My favorite D&D character

Its no secret that Christmas makes everyone nostalgic. For me that nostalgia takes the form of wanting to play D&D like is 1979. So while looking through an old notebook, I discovered a copy of my first successful character Brandon. By successful, I mean, survived passed 2nd level, although he met his untimely demise at 4th level at the hands of an assassin hired by another player character named Rufus Kraki. I suspect the reason he hired the assassin was so he could get Brandon’s magic items without having to fight my character, although he was 5th level, he was not much of a match for Brandon. I had the last laugh, because with my dying breath I prayed Byzangi, the god of practical jokes, to deny everyone in the party my magic items. Byzangi, being who he was obliged a dying man his request to screw over his friends and enemies. Here is what Brandon looked like as a character the last time I played him in 1981.

Brandon – Human – Fighter – 4th Level – Age 22
Attributes:
Str – 18/33 (18/00 w/Helm of War)
Dex – 12 (18 w/Helm of War)
Con – 12 (18 w/Helm of War)
Int – 9
Wis – 8
Chr – 11

Experience Points 8122
Hit Points 28 (44 w/Helm of War)

Skills:
Language – Common
Secondary Skill – Hunter/Fisher

Proficiencies:
Bastard Sword
Battle Axe
Light Crossbow
Club

Special Abilities – Race
Vision: Normal
Unlimited level progression

Possessions:
Banded Mail + Medium Shield AC 3 (AC -1 w/Helm of War)
Bastard Sword – Damage 2d4/2d8
Light Crossbow + 25 Bolts – Damage 1d4/1d4
Backpack
Iron rations – 4 weeks
Wine skin + Wine
Flask of Holy Water – 1
Flask of Oil – 4
11 Foot Pole
Rope – 200 feet
Hammer + 10 spikes
Tinder box w/Flint & Steel
Lantern, Bullseye

Magic Items:
Healing Potions – 6 doses
Mitherial Bastard Sword (+4 to hit and damage)
Helm of War (Str 18/00, Dex 18, Con 18)
Gauntlets of Fire & Ice (Makes weapon either a Flame Tongue or Frost Brand)

My life miscellaneous

I seem to be going through one of “THOSE” periods in my life. I seem to have lost interest in TV. Up until a few weeks ago I watched several shows, The Mentalist, Person of Interest, Blacklist and quite a few others. For whatever reason, I found I was forcing myself to watch these shows, that they really provided me with very little entertainment. So I did a test, I removed all the shows I generally watched without PezWitch from all our DVR’s. I figured after a couple of missed episodes, I would go back to check on them and see what was happening. More surprising was what actually happened, it was weeks before I even thought about any of those shows again. The only reason it came to the foreground was I happened to catch an episode of the Mentalist and decided to watch it, I fell asleep less than 10 minutes in. This begs the question for me, how much TV are we watching simply because we are in the habit of doing so?

DogeCoin Part III

So I have the software mostly going now. There were some very problematic bugs in the software, including a nasty memory leak, that kept me from finishing up this project and moving on. I went to a programming forum for some help, several people suggested I try some sort of anthropomorphic self model subroutines. Frankly, this sounded like a lot of bullshit, I figured they were pulling my chain, but with a bit of research, I discovered that self optimizing anthropomorphic software is actually a thing. I found a lot of useful code on the blog of a  software developer in Norway.

So after another lost night of working various blocks of code into my mining software, I have finally gotten a successful mostly warning free compile of the binary. This code is getting huge, I am not sure I have enough bandwidth for this, so I am buying another Raspberry Pi to add to the cluster. This thing also seems to take a lot of network resources communicating between the nodes, so as not to interfere with Netflix or World of Warcraft, I have purchased another router and setup a dedicated network to the DogeCoin Cluster. The two networks are linked, but all the node communication is done on the dedicated network and only connects to the Internet when necessary for the mining operation.

DogeCoin Part II

Step one of my project is completed. I got the Beowulf cluster up and running, ran some quick benchmarking tests on it and found it operates at approximately the speed three clustered Raspberry Pi’s. Not being a particularly brilliant programmer, I scoured the net for bits and pieces of code to help me do the optimizing of the mining software for a clustered environment. There is actually quit a lot of code snippets out there I found very useful. Digital currency programming is not really a popular subject among serious computer science researchers, so I did not find anything really pertaining to this, but rather oddly enough I got a lot of solid code I could integrate from a couple of AI research papers I found. It took me several hours properly integrate the new code and fix the strange little bugs, but I have successfully compiled my new mining software. There still seems to be some bugs, I am working them out and as soon as I have a reasonably functional binary, I will release it back to the community.

Once again, I am amused

Yesterday I found out about DogeCoins, and as everyone knows, I love a good parody. So in honor this awesome flipping of the finger to BitCoin I am going mine me some DogeCoin. However, I am not going to just run the mining software on my main machine until I get one, no, I am going to goto absurd lengths. I have 3 Rasperry Pi’s which I was using for various projects that I have finished or gotten bored with. So I am going to build a small Beowulf Cluster of Raspberry Pi’s to do the mining for me.

This morning I am assembling the hardware and configuring the OS for parallel cluster processing. This afternoon, I will have a look at the source code of the mining software and see if there are any modification I can make to optimize its use for a cluster environment. I figure, if I get this up and running before Christmas, I should have my first DogeCoin by summer.

Posting Comments

I went a head and enabled comments. I had them disable for a couple of different reasons. First, I prefer the discussion take place on Facebook and Google+, that way everyone can enjoy my brilliant writing and discussion afterwards is not fragmented too much. Second, blogs tend to attract Spam and it is a bit of a hassle to deal with sometimes. Blogs also tend to attract Internet trolls and jackasses who demand that I pay for the soapboxes they stand on to spout their crazy to the world and claim 1st Amendment rights to do so. These idiots can be a a hassle to deal with as well. I will leave comments on as long as my time dealing with this is minimal.

Ghosts of Christmas Dungeons Past

Christmas time is always nostalgic, it reminds of the things we loved most about our childhoods and we in turn try to pass this on to the next generation. For me, Christmas is the time of year I pull out my old AD&D Players Handbook (PHB) and browse through it, remembering those early games. My Mom gave me this PHB for the Christmas of 1979 and this paved the way for a life time of happiness and enjoyment. I remember very little about High School, I have no idea who our class president was or the quarterback of the football team or even the name of a single cheerleader. What I do remember is the D&D games. I remember those over crowded nights in my Mom’s apartment, the Vortex games in Bruce’s parents basement and Stomper’s game at Frank Steven’s house. I remember amazing amounts of detail about these games.

More specifically, I remember Christmas vacation 1979, there was a butt ton of snow on the ground and we stayed in most of that time, playing, you guesses it D&D. I remember my first character dying after running into giant centipedes. I remember we fought Tiamat and after killing her, we razed her treasure horde. It was a complete Monty Haul game, we were the paragons of the Hobo-Murderer-Thief character type, although I personally prefer Transient Genocidal Kleptomaniac term. These games were also a ton of fun to play, none of us over thought anything, we simply bashed down the door (sometimes the lock was picked), killed the monsters and took their stuff. In other words, we gamed like it was 1979.

These were the games we played, when we were Munchkins, young and proud.

How to be a good RPG player

1. Know the rules of the game you are playing. You don’t have to memorize every book, but you should at the very least be able to roll up a character and understand the basic dice mechanics of the game.

2. Know how to make a decent character, know what constitutes a good character. Building a D&D character that averages less than 1 point of damage per turn is a useless character, on the other end of that scale, a Call of Cthulhu character whose primary skill is shooting/punching things, is likewise useless.

3. Know your group. Try to get to know everyone in the group, try to find out what they want out of the game and what their strengths and weaknesses are. If you are not a good fit for the group, politely drop out of the game.

4. Know your GM, know what kind of game he wants to run. Find out what his expectations are, does he like a fast paced shoot em up game, or does he prefer a slow burn plot. Build characters that play to your GM’s strengths, don’t build characters that exploit or highlight the GM’s weaknesses.

5. Be a player that other players like to be around, play characters other characters want to be around. If you find yourself uttering the words “I am just playing my character!”, you have failed this one.

Lifes little things.

My friend Wade found this blog entry a couple of days ago and posted it to Google+. Yes, I am on Google+, yes, I have friends who are Google+, yes there are actual living human being responding to posts on Google+, now shut up and let me get on with this story. So anyway, here is the blog post;

http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2006/03/this_week_in_se_6.html

Now go back and read the comments, specifically the post by the guy named Ryan.

So anyone who has known me for any length of time, knows I worked at Miss Kitty’s Adult Bookshop in Bozeman Montana in the mid 80’s. The guy “Ryan” talks about does in fact sound a lot like me. I expressed many of the same things about working there. Mostly boring, hate cleaning the video stalls, etc. The clue here that it is not me, is I don’t play the bango, nor was I commissioned to write a love song to a dildo. So one of two things has happened, either at some point another Chris worked there or this “Ryan” has merged me with another employee.

Miss Kitty’s changed owners a few years ago and is now Erotique. The new owner is Billy McWilliams, who managed the store for many years prior to acquiring the store. When I post a link to this on FaceBook, I will tag him and see if he can clarify the situation for us.

Carnifex on BitCoins

So, BitCoins? Where shall I start? Okay how about this. BitCoins are a scam, it is made up shit that an awful lot of people are buying into. This is a classic con game and I am pretty surprised no one has really figured it out yet. This is called “Pump and Dump”, it is a very easy con to pull off on stupid people. How this scam was done in the past is our ConMan would invest money in low priced stock. He would then pump up the price of the stock by pointing to his own large purchase as proof that something is happening there. He would also get stock brokers via payola schemes and kick backs to sell the stocks to unsuspecting buyers and finally, through Internet sock puppetry, get some excitement going about the stock. Our ConMan would then dump his stock at or close to its peak, doubling or even tripling his money practically over night. This worked beautifully during the day trader days of the late 1990’s. This con really does not work anymore in the stock market. So what do we do, we come up with a variation on a theme, and BitCoin was born.

My guess is the guy who came up with this scheme has hundreds of thousands of BitCoins hidden away. Seriously, he wrote the software and designed the algorithms, what was stopping him from creating his own BitCoins out of thin air, all he has to do is write a program to create the digital hash we call a BitCoin and place them in his wallet. It is possible he can create them at will. Now that BitCoins are worth $1000, he can slowly start dumping the things at his leisure and make millions dollars at the expense of all the late comers. Sure a few people will make money, but when it is all over, there will be more BitCoins than people who want them, they will be worth nothing and just like the Dot Com Bomb, a few people will be very rich and a whole lot of other people will be broke.


Update: Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin reputability has over 1 million Bitcoins.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/6/4295028/report-satoshi-nakamoto