Got a question about my website in general?


Last major update: Apr 23, 2006
Level 5 update on Jan 17, 2007 - Added questions 1.5, 5.15, and 5.16 - also made a few other changes here and there, mostly minor
Level 3 update on Apr 30, 2011 - Added question 3.7.
Level 2 update on Sep 29, 2008 - Added question 5.19.
Level 2 update on Jan 12, 2014 - Added question 6.3.

The FAQ page contains all the most frequently referred to items that don't fit most categories to being a document or are asked a lot from E-mails I get. These are mainly just general questions I feel that users may come up with. If you have a question not listed, feel free to E-mail me. Not all questions will be answered, but most will be.

FAQ question index:
1 Updates
1.1 How do I know when there's an update?
1.2 Sometimes, I see that you you have an update that is later than the site's general last update. Why?
1.3 Why do some documents like your Status System hardly ever get editted while your dreams and blog get updated almost every time?
1.4 How come some future updates seem to take months for you to implement or do something with?
1.5 What does "level 4 update" mean and how does it compare to a level 7 or 12 update?
1.6 Do you have a newsletter or RSS feed for updates?

2 Mathematics
2.1 I'm bad at math and have no idea how to use those formulas you mention. Can you explain how they're used?
2.2 What is meant by "nearest common fraction"?
2.3 What are all those large number names past a trillion?
2.4 Why do you use a lot of math and numbers?
2.5 Why do you use a different style for your math formulas?

3 Videos/animations
3.1 Do your videos you have available have any sound?
3.2 Are the videos safe for anyone?
3.3 While viewing your videos, your images appear pretty dull and detailless. Why?
3.4 What codec(s) do you use for your animations?
3.5 Your animations seem to very realistic with perspective and movement. How do you accomplish this?
3.6 Are your videos streaming video? If so, what kind of connection speed do I need?
3.7 How do you get such high quality for your YouTube videos?

4 Paginated documents
4.1 What's with the +10, +25, -10, etc. on the paginated documents?
4.2 Why, when I click on the +x on paginated documents, do I end up with 404 errors?
4.3 If you have paginated documents, why don't you just script it?

5 Website
5.1 Where do you get all those unique chracters like the † and ‡ in footnotes and math symbols like the × and ÷?
5.2 How does your pronunciation key work?
5.3 How can I print something without the light text color?
5.4 What's with all the footnote markings?
5.5 Usually, many websites are decorated. Yours isn't. Why?
5.6 Why do you seem to mix up GIF and PNG files seemingly at random?
5.7 Why is the blog arranged in reverse?
5.8 When a robot crawls this website, why do a lot of 404's come up?
5.9 What does the term "slope ratio" mean?
5.10 What do you mean by a "raw estimate", "random guess", "calculated estimate" and others?
5.11 What is the difference between "±x" and "±x%" and what does it mean?
5.12 Why are some webpages HTML and others SHTML?
5.13 Do you have a forum or message board?
5.14 What's with the x.x.x-x stuff in the links for documents?
5.15 In your screenshots where you explain how something is done, I noticed the song being played in Winamp rarely changes. Why?
5.16 I was looking at a document containing FAQs that aren't here. Why aren't they listed here?
5.17 What does a compatibility and motive of 40 mean? What are affectors and gradual neutralization?
5.18 What do you mean by "30% certain" or "standard minimum"?
5.19 What do you mean by a "class 5 bug" and what is the full scale?

6 General
6.1 How do you spell and pronounce "ulillillia" and where did it originate?
6.2 I want to hear FF6 World or OWTLI - could you send me a sample?
6.3 What are the 6 requirements for you when choosing a video game to play?

1 Updates



This category will let you answer questions relating to updates and future updates.

1.1 About updates



Q. How do I know when there's an update?

A. Updates are noted in two ways. More recent updates are on the main index in their appropriate categories. Older, past updates are in the blog. On the main index, there are 2 headers: "Updates" and "Future plans". It should be easy to figure out from this.

In the blog, the bold part gives you a hint on updates. If you're looking for updates around, say, April 2005, then read through the bold parts and look for update-related things. For details, read what follows.

1.2 How the update dates are noted



Q. Sometimes, I see that you you have an update that is later than the site's general last update. Why?

A. This is because I manually insert this data and I may forget. Because I don't know javascript or any other scripting, I can't write up a small script to do so. Though I do have the fundamentals of scripting, it's not enough. Yet, if I were to make a tiny change, such as to fix a broken link, this date can be misleading if scripted anyway as it'll be a later date than it more should be. Minor updates are noted on the individual page.

Another cause to this is likely that the document had such a minor change that there is no importance in increasing the last updated date. Fixing a grammer error wouldn't really count, but if a big enough change was made, then the date would be updated and declared as minor. If the dates still don't match and such a big update is noted in the blog, let me know about it so I can fix it.

1.3 Update frequency



Q. Why do some documents like your Status System hardly ever get editted while your dreams and blog get updated almost every time?

A. Motive. Adding to my dream journal has a high motive (80). The count is so high and the high count adds motivation on keeping this up. The blog is just basically what I've been up to and will always be updated. For other areas, like the mind game report or tips and tricks category, there is sometimes negative motive of updating these documents and their accuracy doesn't change considerably. Though, being six months old or older adds to my motive for updating it. For some things, updates aren't meant to happen, except for maybe a few bug fixes. In general, you can expect an update to my website to occur every two weeks or so, but it depends on what I've got going. If, for example, I'm hooked with a game I've been playing, my motive for playing the game would be higher than that of updating my site and it would mean a longer delay. I do whatever has the highest motive.

1.4 Future updates



Q. How come some future updates seem to take months for you to implement or do something with?

A. Motive is the main reason. If I have a low motive for doing something, it may be months before my motive gets high enough. Another reason is my addiction with forums I frequent such as howwhatwhy. I visit them practically every day and it's very hard to go a day without visiting them. I've been with online forums since July 23, 2001.

If the compatibility to something is very high, the motive will also be high. Something with a motive in the 100's, even the low 100's (100 to 120) will almost certainly be implemented, and soon. Something around 10 will still likely be implemented but take longer, but if motive is negative (even -1.1, the first step into negative territory), there's no chance of it being implemented at the moment, but it may, sooner or later, get out of negative territory.

A second cause is where I have a problem that prevents me from implementing it. One excellent example of this case was the plan of converting my AVI animations into animated GIFs. The motive at +150 wasn't the issue, even though something like that would otherwise guarentee it. Until early April 2006, I had no way of converting my AVIs into animated GIFs without manually opening and saving each BMP frame as GIF one at a time which is extremely boring (and for 300+ frames, it's not worth it). Despite searching for two years (21 months more precisely) for such a converter that actually worked properly, there was a strong negative motive to doing it, but the priority was considerably high which kept it on the future plans list. Once I got the BMP to GIF batch converter, I converted away and was done with it within an hour with little concern of mistakes (if I made a dumb mistake, the fix is easy, rather than repeating the whole process from the beginning again).

1.5 Meaning of "level 4 update"



Q. What does "level 4 update" mean and how does it compare to a level 7 or 12 update?

A. This indicates the strength of an update. The higher the level, to up to 10, the more of a change was made. Level 0 is where the document is virtually unchanged but a bug fix was made (such as forgetting to or improperly closing the bold tag causing all text after it to remain as bold). Level 10 means a complete document rewrite in that it was rewritten entirely from scratch. Organizing an entire page may only count as a level 3 update (4 if there are a lot of sections or 2 if there are very few). The update value is exponential meaning that the difference between level 9 and 10 is much greater than that of 0 and 1. Updates from levels 2 through 5 are the most common. Levels 6 and up are special. Levels 9 and 10 will guarantee that the document's main "last updated" notice will be changed with level 7 having a good chance of this. It can happen with a level 6 document update, but isn't likely. Levels 5 and below don't cause this. This table gives the idea of the approximate changes made:

LevelPercentage
of page
changed
General idea of changes made.
00-0.2%Typos fixed, broken links fixed, and other small bugs fixed.
10.2-1%A sentence was added or changed to a small page or a small paragraph to a large page or several fixes were made.
21-4%A small section was added or changed to a large page.
34-9%A medium-sized section was added or changed to a medium-sized page or a simple image or table was added.
49-16%A large section or a section with a few short subsections or maybe a table was added or changed.
516-25%A few large sections were added or several images or a single complex image.
625-36%Several new sections have been added or changed.
736-49%The page was read through and quite a few changes all over were made leaving quite a bit unchanged.
849-64%The page was read through and several changes all over were made leaving some unchanged.
964-81%The entire page was rewritten from scratch but some of the content from the old version is still used.
1081-100%The entire page was rewritten from scratch with little or no content from the old version remaining.


The system for the main index is a little different and is based mainly on how long it took to make that change but the amount of change to document(s) within the category also plays a role. If it takes me 5 minutes to update a section, it'd be a level 1 or 2 update on the main index (even though it may be a level 3 or 5 page update), but if it took 40 hours working at it, you're looking at a level 9 or 10 update. The main index also has the updates from levels 6 to 10 as large-sized text and colored to highlight major changes. Levels 2 through 5 are the most common update sizes for the main index. The date of the update is also included and updates of higher levels replace those with lower levels. For levels 9 and 10 (rarely 8), it is considered that the whole page was rewritten replacing all other updates.

1.6 Newsletters and RSS feeds



Q. Do you have a newsletter or RSS feed for updates?

A. Unfortunately, no. The reason is that I don't know how to do it. It would involve javascripts or whatever is needed, and I only know HTML and it's not possible with just HTML. If I knew javascript, I'd allow you to configure your own settings such as colors and font sizes, and many other things along with it. I've heard about RSS feeds, but I don't know what they are....

2 Mathematics



Because I'm a math whiz, I tend to use a lot of numbers and stuff as it's the best and most reliable way for me to describe something. This section will give a basic explanation of some of the common things brought up.

2.1 Using the formulas



Q. I'm bad at math and have no idea how to use those formulas you mention. Can you explain how they're used?

A. The most basic of mathematics you need is low-level algebra (especially the order of operations and knowing what variables are and how to use them). In recent times, however, I've been using more advanced math functions like cosines and logarithms. The order of operations goes as follows (think PERMDAS):

  1. Replace the variables [which are always 2 to 4 letters long and always in all caps] with numbers you wish to use.
  2. Parentheses - Do all things in the innermost set of parentheses first before anything. [note, a fraction in a formula is considered division inside parentheses, do those first if they are inside the innermost parentheses.]
  3. Exponents and Roots - Do all exponents and roots [these are numbers that are smaller than normal and raised from the main level of the main font.
  4. Multiply and Divide - Do all multiplication and division from left to right. You can change division into multiplying the reciprocal. The questions 8÷4 and 8×1/4 mean the same thing as well as 300÷100 and 300×0.01.
  5. Add and Subtract - Do all addition and subtraction from left to right. You can change subtraction into adding the opposite. The question 15-8 is the same as saying 15+-8. This is useful when subtracting negatives, just add a positive instead.
  6. Fraction bars are like parentheses. Do the question as if the top part [numerator] was in parentheses and follow the order of operations there. Then do the bottom part. You may work both the top and bottom parts at the same time, but do only one step on each side though. Only reduce when one number is on the top and bottom, of which you divide.
  7. Absolute value bars are also like parentheses. When you encounter these, do all operations inside the innermost set first until a single number remains. To perform an absolute value of something, just simply remove the negative sign if there is one, but leave it as is if there isn't.
  8. Anything under a radical is done first before applying the root. When only a single number is beneath the radical, then perform the root operation.


Given a simple formula like the simplified 3D formula, of which is what I use to calculate where a vertex would go on a 2D image given a 3D coordinate (offset from the vanishing point):



XY represents the X or Y coordinate of the 3D coordinates and Z represents the Z coordinate of the 3D coordinates, the depth or distance. IW represents the image width (in pixels), and AF represents the adjustment factor for the field of view. 2 for the AF variable gives a 90° field of view. To work out this formula, all you need to do is substitute numbers for the variables then work it out from there. If X was 5 and Z was 10 with SW at 640 (as for a 640x480 image) and AF at 2 (for a 90° field of view), your result is whatever the two fractions multiply out to, which is 160. Your vertex would be placed at 160 in the X position and then the formula is repeated for the Y coordinate.

A little more complex formula is the formula when you add all numbers from 1 to our random number, RN:



First, as with all formulas, substitute what the variable will represent. Let's say we want to add 1+2+3+4+5+...+49+50. RN, in our case is 50. We substitute 50 for RN replacing the RN variable. Next, we do the content in the top part of the fraction inside the parentheses first. 50+1=51. Remove the parentheses as (51) is the same as 51. Next, multiply 50×51. This gives you 2550. Now you have a fraction. 2550/2 is the same as stating 2550÷2, which happens to be 1275. If you were to actually add all those numbers from one to fifty, you'll get 1275. Now, how about a more complex formula, like the formula to calculate the impact on neutral for the compatibilty given (note: this uses the outdated compatibility system, but is still used with the dreams ratings - the newer system is much easier to understand and use)? With the negative exponent, nested parentheses, and vertical lines, it seems confusing:



It's not as confusing as it seems. The vertical lines indicate absolute value. Absolute value is the distance from 0, or, simply put, if you have a negative sign, get rid of it, otherwise, leave it as is. If you had -120, you'd have +120. If you had +330, you'd leave it as +330. Negative exponents and roots seem confusing, but they aren't. First, work them out as if they were positive. For 2-3, do 23 instead, which is 8. When negative, just find the reciprocal or, simply put, put a fraction bar on top and a one on top of that. 2-3 is 1/8, or 0.125. The same applies to roots. 2-0.5 is the same as doing the square root of 2 then taking the reciprocal of it, which gives about 0.70711. When lots of parentheses are present, always do the innermost set first. When you get a single number in the parentheses, you can then remove only those surrounding it thus "8×((3)+6)" is the same as "8×(3+6)". The parentheses around 3+6 cannot be removed without first simplifying the stuff in parentheses, giving "8×(9)", which is "8×9" or 72.

As with any formula, replace the variables with numbers you want to use then work it out from there. To give an example, we'll have COM at 988.2, the value with my top favorite song and we'll work it out. Here's the formula worked out:



Let's follow along from top to bottom.

  1. Start with the original formula.
  2. Substitute COM with 988.2.
  3. Since fractions and absolute value areas have to be reduced to single digits, we first subtract 988.2-500 to get 488.2.
  4. Fractions cannot be simplified with other objects in them so we need to perform the absolute value of 488.2. Since 488.2 is positive, we leave it as is.
  5. Now that the fraction has no other objects, we do the division as fractions mean division. 488.2÷500 gives 0.9764.
  6. Since we now have a single number within parentheses, we can remove the parentheses.
  7. Next, we subtract 1-0.9764 to get 0.0236.
  8. Since a single number is within parentheses, we can remove them.
  9. We finally compute 0.0236-2. That is, we square 0.0236 (multiply it by itself), then take the reciprocal of it. Rather than the equal sign being straight, it becomes squiggly as the answer of 1795.4610744039069232979029014651... has been rounded off. This, to the nearest common fraction, is 1795 11/24.


Instead of having to work out the formulas as they are on paper [with a calculator], once I gain control of writing javascripts or maybe a downloadable EXE program (written in C) that does these calculations, I'd write a calculator where all you have to do is simply type in what each variable is equal to without any math knowledge required. The next best alternative to scripting is an Excel Worksheet. Here, all you gotta do is just change the value of one variable and you'll see the result immediately. It's almost as good, except that you'll need Excel installed on your computer. Instead of working out this very complicated formula like this, the computer does it in a split second. In our example, your friend goes from a compatibility of 980 to about 940, not a bad drop, but it could be worse. Once you meet your friend again, this is almost immediately brought back to where it was.

With formulas that depict a range, noted by the "less than or equal to" symbols, you work out each side individually. Mainly the damage range formulas are like this. Whether the equal sign is straight, squiggly, or a comparative symbol, the arithmatic is just the same.

If you run across division by zero, 6÷0, 00, zero to a negative exponent, 0-2, or a negative number raised to the 0.5 power (or any power with an even denominator), this is where trouble starts. 6÷0 is not zero as some think it is. The solution to any nonzero number divided by zero is the empty set as there is no valid answer, or undefined. The solution to 0÷0 is the set of all real numbers, or indeterminate. 00 has two valid answers, 0, and 1. 0x is 0 and x0 is 1. 0-1 is the same as 1÷0, which is undefined (no solution). 0-2 has the same case. -40.5 is different scenario. The square root of a negative number gives the imaginary number, something I don't know much about. -40.5 is 2i where i is the imaginary number. The first three cases will be the most common.

More recently, starting around September of 2006, I've been using other math functions like cosines or logarithms. With the ever-increasing complexity, my motive for making a calculator on the page has increased and it seems like a simple C program is all that's needed and I have the skills and know-how for doing this (just a simple command prompt window is needed as well as the keyboard - no need for Windows).

2.2 Nearest common fraction



Q. What is meant by "nearest common fraction"?

A. Unlike typical rounding, rounding to the nearest common fraction is just as simple to understand, but is often more accurate. A value of, for example, 13.6273 would round to 13.63 if to the nearest hundredth. If as a nearest common fraction, it'd be 13 5/8 (which is 13.625), closer in this case. When I scan a value, I compare it to common fractions and decimal values. Looking at the .6273 almost immediately gives eighths as the base. If you were looking at the square root of 2, about 1.4142135..., twelfths catch my attention and I almost immediately think of 5/12 (which is 0.4166666....) If I can't come up with anything that well, though sort of rare, I tend to use the priority chart for this case. If something can be reduced, such as 16/90, you'll see odd denominators as this would reduce to 8/45. Here is the priorities list:

Denominator valuepriority of use
Whole numbersonly if very close to a whole number
210
39
49
59
68
76
88
97
109
112
128
144
155
165
184
208
245
258
307
407
508
606
702
805
904
1002
above 100never used


2.3 Large number names



Q. What are all those large number names past a trillion?

A. I know all the numeric names from the millions and billions you know to some rare and complex ones like "quattuorquinquagintillion" or "quinquasexagintacentillion". Yet, you're almost guarenteed not to find "unvigintillion" and beyond in the dictionary [with the possible exception of "googol"]. This site lists all of these numbers from the basics to the extremes as well as some other information. For a simplified version of this, you basically only need to memorize 27 prefixes and some rules (of which, I don't memorize the rules, but the site will answer that by looking at the way the words are spelled):

onestenshundreds
oneuntendecione hundredcent
twoduotwentyvigin(ta)two hundredducent
threetre(s)thirtytrigin(ta)three hundredtrecent
fourquattuorfortyquadragin(ta)four hundredquadringent
fivequin(qua)fiftyquinquagin(ta)five hundredquingent
sixsex (ses)sixtysexagin(ta)six hundredsescent
sevenseptenseventyseptuagin(ta)seven hundredseptingent
eightoctoeightyoctogin(ta)eight hundredoctingent
ninenovem (noven)ninetynonagin(ta)nine hundrednongent


You can then combine these (in reverse order) to form with the base to form the actual word. There are various bases available:

baseextentionbaseextention
number-illion
-illiard*
multiply by-tuple
set oftupletsact of multiplyingtuplicate
fractionillionthgroup of-tet


Table footnotes:
* The -illiard is for Europeans.

Now, usually, you hear about rare cases of a mother giving birth to septuplets or quintuplets, but, can you just imagine a mother giving birth to novenonagintanongentuplets? 999 babies being born nearly at once is next to impossible unless they were the size of a quarter or something!

I rarely use much past the trillions. For large numbers, I express them as 9.23185E14 or 1.5338E-19 instead. This is referred to as "shortened scientific notation". The important parts are the decimal and the number after the capital E. E14 means that, after the decimal in the given value, there are 14 digits until the decimal is reached or 923,185,000,000,000. Note that, after the 9, which is where the decimal was, there are 14 digits. The E-19 item isn't that much different. From the location of the decimal, there are 19 digits to the left before the decimal in the actual value. That is, the sample means 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 153 38. Note that there are 19 digits to the left of where the decimal is located. A thousand, 1000 is 1E03. A thousandth, 0.001, is 1E-03.

2.4 Lots of numbers



Q. Why do you use a lot of math and numbers?
A. Everything in the universe is goverened by mathematical laws and relationships in some way or another. Numbers are very flexible and allow for many advantages when I can put numbers into things. For example, take colors. Given word names, I can't add two colors that well with sufficient precision. If I can turn colors into numbers, I can calculate colors and more and with astonishing accuracy. Look at my 2D game once. The lighting, fog, and the strong 3D feel the 2D game has, are all due to lots of calculations. I can draw 3D-appearing scenes using nothing more than calculations. Even my animations I make have lots of calculations which makes them seem to appear to be realistic (Mountain Fun is the one with the most complex calculations used of all). I'm bad at art, but since I've found so many formulas for working with colors and even the scene, I can do a lot more. As long as I can put numbers into something, I can become skilled at it.

2.5 Why not use the standard system



Q. Why do you use a different style for your math formulas?
A. Mainly for simplicity and ease of understanding. Rather than Greek letters and things like that being used, I use normal letters. Plus, I can't use Greek letters without having to guess what character it is with the & # xxxx ; system. Also, one-letter variables aren't all that straight-forward either. My variables use 2 to 4 letters always capitalized. Unlike the case if two variables are joined together without an operation multiplication is used, (like the pi h r squared formula used for the volume of a cylinder), I always include the multiplication sign to denote where to multiply, again, for simplicity. For functions like cosines, logarithms, they are always in lower case letters.

3 Videos/animations



This section is about my videos and animations I create.

3.1 Sound



Q. Do your videos you have available have any sound?

A. No and for one main reason: file size. In one case, a 140 MB video lasting 64.1 seconds compresses to 112 KB. Using the lowest quality MP3 available, 8Kbps (or one kilobyte per second), this could mean adding in another 64 KB for it. MP3's hardly even compress that well which could turn a 112 KB download to a bit more than 50% bigger download and I don't need to waste bandwidth on this. Also, making sounds as it is is next to impossible. I can only vocalize them. Another reason is that sound might scare you if you weren't expecting it and have "accidentally" left the speakers on a high volume.

Animated GIFs don't support sound which makes animated GIFs a much more worthy method as it is.

3.2 animations ratings



Q. Are the animations safe for anyone?

A. I strongly dislike adult content and because of it, I don't include it in my creations. Thus, they're safe for practically anyone. In the spell animations, the target is only a rock, nothing special about that. In the few spells where they'd normally fail on nonliving things, though none have been created yet, only the apparent notion of someone sleeping on the ground is used, but still, no adult content. My animations are more like cartoons, but still, there's no fighting or anything in them. It's basically just jumping around in otherwise peaceful regions, usually with mountains, rivers, or an open field with clouds above. See the previews for the best-looking frames.

3.3 Image quality



Q. While viewing your animations, your images appear pretty dull and detailless. Why?

A. The main reason is file compression. The more detail I add, the bigger the file size gets, even though the image is still the same. Save an image with a lot of noise in it as GIF. Do the same for an image that is all white. 30 KB for the noise one would be about typical for a 200-byte version without the noise. With optimized animated GIFs, now that I've studied the format in great depth, I can add much more detail without a considerable file size increase, unlike with AVI. Parts of the image that don't change become transparent and use only one color instead of a few dozen.

3.4 Codecs



Q. What codec(s) do you use for your animations?

A. None. Why? I can't find any that would compress as good as Winzip could and that are not lossy. The best lossy codec turns that 140 MB video to a little over 1 MB. The best lossless one I found still puts it to 3 times what you download (about 300 KB (Usually, lossless compression is much bigger than lossy, for me, it's the other way around.)). Plus, if a user doesn't have the right codecs on their system, they won't be able to view the video at all. Without a codec, it compresses better in Winzip, and you don't have to worry about not having the codec, but you will have to worry about the file sizes though. 140 MB can be a bit hard on old systems. To reduce the resultant file size, I use a small video area, generally 320x240, and, in some cases, especially with the spell videos, 160x120.

3.5 Creation



Q. Your animations seem to very realistic with perspective and movement. How do you accomplish this?

A. This tutorial explains everything to the finest details, complete with 19 screenshots. In short, I use a lot of planning and calculations using relatively simple formulas.

3.6 Streaming video



Q. Are your videos streaming video? If so, what kind of connection speed do I need?

A. Because I don't know how it's done, I don't have streaming video. Plus, even with a monster 8 Mbps connection speed, you wouldn't be able to download a small 160x120 video at 10 fps fast enough (and no commonly supported compression codecs are lossless, the kind that do much better with my animations). Instead, they are a direct download as a double-compressed ZIP file (the video is compressed then recompressed due to an unexplained flaw with Winzip - the ZIP file compresses 75% or better, highly unusual (and I've had 300:1 compression for ZIP files as well)). I have just two AVIs today for my animation purposes. GIFs have taken over since they have many benefits. They loop indefinitely so even if your dial-up connection is only going half as fast, you should still be able to see the entire animation at true speed, 10 fps as the base. The AVI in the video game screenshots section is only single compressed and would run just fine no matter what connection speed you have, from 5400 bps to 128 Gbps.

3.7 High quality YouTube videos



Q. How do you get such high quality for your YouTube videos?

A. I use a TV tuner for this. Video cameras (of any kind) do not properly take in the color detail from monitors causing the coloring and video quality to be horrible. The only way around this is to either use an emulator (not recommended) or a TV tuner. Here's the details on TV tuners, if you want to look into getting one (you might recognize this if you've asked in an PM on YouTube).

TV tuners come in two interface types and two encoding types. There's a lot of details to consider. They should work with pretty much any game system, even the NES from the late 1980's. Some TV tuners have problems with the Sega Genesis - I don't know why.

For the first part, there are two major types of TV tuners. Internal PCI ones are often quite cheap, typically $15 to $100, $40 mid-range. There are 3 downsides though. The first is that you must either know how to install the card itself into the motherboard (this is easier than you think though you have to consider something very important - computer components are static-sensitive). You could take the computer repair shop route, paying a fee (this is quite pricy, around $55 an hour, though it takes a pro about 5 minutes to install it (and worse of all, you won't be able to use your computer for a while - it's put in queue)), or you could get a friend who has the know-how to do it. The second downside is that PCI cards often require a direct hook-up to the sound card, which prevents you from simultaneously recording with your microphone, if you plan on adding live commentary. The third downside is that PCI cards do not work with laptops and they are not very portable.

External USB (and the less common firewire) ones are the alternative, which is the type I have. They are more expensive, typically $25 to $180, $70 mid-range. With this, you just hook up the USB cable like you would for a digital camera, mouse, or MP3 player, and go for it. Because laptops often come with USB ports, this makes a USB TV tuner the only way to get it to work on a laptop. Plus, with that, you can watch TV anywhere you take your laptop! They also have their own audio intake which means you can record live commentary with them.

Now that you know the interface types, you should know about the encoding types: software and hardware. They have upsides and downsides as well. Software encoding allows you to play the game on your computer in real time, but it's heavy on the CPU (meaning that you have to have a fairly high-end system, typically about 2.6 GHz Pentium 4 or better). Hardware encoding often won't allow you to play the game in real-time (you press the jump button, but you don't see the effects for anywhere from a half second to even 5 seconds later which can cause a lot of problems for many games). To counter that, in which you lose portability, you'll need a TV signal splitter. Hook your game up to the main end of the signal splitter then have one part connect to your TV tuner with the other connecting to your regular TV. You'll be able to play your game in real time on your regular TV this way. The upside to all this is that your CPU usage is cut to a minimum, whatever is needed to display a preprocessed image 30 times a second (which is essentially microseconds, nothing), or write to the hard disk (this can be a bit up there, but 2% CPU usage (estimate) for a 1.5 MB/sec write speed is nothing. With software, you get around 20% CPU usage for a 3 GHz Pentium 4 and 80% CPU usage for recording (using the fastest encoding method, MPEG-2; likely 30% if MJPEG is used but MJPEG is a disk-space hog).

4 Paginated documents



This category features some questions about the paginated documents, documents that are so long that they've been broken up into multiple pages to help reduce bandwidth and increase download times.

4.1 Jumping many pages



Q. What's with the +10, +25, -10, etc. on the paginated documents where the pages are listed?

A. They are to let you jump several pages forward or backward at once. The +10 simply means to jump forward ten pages, or usually a count of 100 of something as often, there are ten objects per page. -10 means to jump backwards ten pages or go back 100 objects. The numbers without a plus or minus sign simply indicate the page number to visit. Anything past 5 steps is dumped to prevent from having to have gigantic file sizes from listing a hundred links or so. A typical link takes about 60 bytes. If there were 100 pages, this could mean 6 kilobytes in links, which is merely pointless.

This feature no longer applies, except to old documents that haven't been updated since around October 2005. SHTML has given me the solution to the issue. If I edit just one file, all pages get changed. I only need to just remember to change the links. Plus, since the file has already been downloaded, there is no additional bandwidth used for each new page viewed so it also happens to save bandwidth, even if I had 50 links. My dream journal has even 5 dozen links and loads quite quickly.

4.2 404 errors when jumping many pages



Q. Why, when I click on the +x on paginated documents, do I end up with 404 errors?

A. Simply put: there aren't enough objects to reach the page count you're accessing. If, for example, there were 137 objects total (using 14 pages) and you were on page 6, clicking the +10 would normally take you to page 16, however, because there aren't at least 151 objects, there's no sense in having anything in there so I just leave it as is. It just returns a 404 error.

As from the note in section 4.1 above, this no longer applies, except to old documents which are being replaced.

4.3 Scripting pagination



Q. If you have paginated documents, why don't you just script it?

A. If I knew webpage scripting, I would, plus, I'd throw in some other user interaction as well. Unfortunately, I don't know any webpage scripting languages outside simple HTML. Sorry. I'm doing the best I can with what I can do. Although I do have a moderate understanding of some scripting, getting it to work is the hard part.

SHTML has provided me with a solution to the issue with pagination. It's 85% solved, but I still have to manually add new links, but I only have to edit one file instead of several to change all related pages. See the note in section 5.12 below for details.

5 Website



These are questions that are general and don't fit any other category that well.

5.1 Special characters



Q. Where do you get all those unique chracters like the † and ‡ in footnotes and math symbols like the × and ÷?

A. These unique characters come from a program on all Windows operating systems [as far back as 3.1 to what I know of [Windows 95?]. To see this complete list of 224 characters (more in XP, but those extras don't work on webpages), many of which you might be familiar with, click on Start, then run. Type in "charmap.exe" and hit enter [or click okay]. That's it! In Windows XP, you get far more than 224 characters, but most of which cannot be used in plain text documents, but they can be used in word-processing documents, however. If you get a "file not found" error or something, see the bottom of this section. Select any font you want that's in your system and the extra characters are displayed. Just left-click on the character you want, click select, go up into the text area, highlight the characters and click "copy" (or use control+C). Paste it on the text editor that you wish to use the special character on, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Word, almost anything with text-editting capabilities.

5.2 Pronunciation



Q. How does your pronunciation key work?

A. Pronunciation is only available on possibly hard-to-pronounce words/names, or if they're meant to be said in a special way. The full key for the whole alphabet is as follows:

A as in apple ---> A pl ---> a
A as in age ---> AYJ ---> ay
B as in big ---> BIHG ---> b
C as in cow ---> KOW --->k
C as in city ---> SIH tee ---> s
D as in dog ---> DAWG ---> d
E as in cent ---> SEHNT ---> eh
E as in scene ---> SEEN ---> ee
F as in fog ---> FAWG ---> f
G as in giraffe ---> JRAF ---> j
G as in gold ---> GOHLD ---> g
H as in hot ---> HAWT ---> h
I as in igloo ---> IH gloo ---> ih
I as in ice ---> IS ---> i
J as in jug ---> JUHG ---> j
K as in kite ---> KIT ---> k
L as in log ---> LAWG ---> l
M as in mop ---> MAWP ---> m
N as in not ---> NAWT ---> n
O as in odd ---> AWD ---> aw
O as in ocean ---> OH shuhn ---> oh
P as in pot ---> PAWT ---> p
Q as in quilt ---> KOOIHLT ---> koo
R as in road ---> ROHD ---> r
S as in seen ---> SEEN ---> s
S as in as ---> az ---> z
T as in tan ---> TAN ---> t
U as in ugly ---> UH glee
U as in use ---> YOOZ ---> yoo
V as in vacuum ---> VAK yoom ---> v
W as in water ---> WAH tr ---> w
X as in extra ---> EHX truh ---> x
X as in xylophone ---> ZI luh fohn
Y as in yet ---> YEHT ---> y
Z as in zebra ---> ZEE BRUH ---> z
SH as in wish ---> WIHSH ---> sh
OO as in boot ---> BOOT ---> oo
OO as in foot ---> FUT ---> u
OO as in floor ---> FLOHR ---> oh
[schwa] as in ago ---> _goh ---> _

Any sounds that are familiar to some letter above will be like the examples above. Accented syllables are noted by capitalization and italics. Heavily accented syllables are noted by ALL CAPS, accented syllables are noted by italics, and unaccented syllables are noted by normal type. Sounds barely noticable are noted with the underscore. This represents that upsidedown e you see in dictionaries and is called the "schwa".

5.3 Printing



Q. How can I print something without the light text color?

A. It's not that easy. I have it this way for a reason, and only those who know computers well enough will be able to figure this out. For those who aren't knowledgable about computers, NEVER USE THE BROWSER'S PRINT ICON, as it prints the document as it is with your printer's defaults [in color is the most likely which makes the text barely readable]. To print it normally, use the file menu and select "print". On this screen go to "properties" for your printer. Change these options so that the printer prints in grayscale, not color. In addition to that, if you want to save ink, choose the lowest quality printing possible or whatever it is that's of a lower quality than "normal". Though the quality is barely noticable, especially with text [and the formulas I have are text], the printer may print twice as fast, if not faster [inkjet printers only, laser printers questioned as I've never used one]. You'll have to print each page individually, but the summary is a shortened view and it is recommended that you print that instead of the report as a whole. However, if you do want the whole report, the main report, you can get the complete report by highlighting all the text pressing control+C to copy this text to the operating system's clipboard, then opening up your text editor [preferrably not notepad as it's obviously glitched when you get to about 30,000 characters and it's likely there's about 100,000, so MSWorks or Word are highly suggested, even Windows Wordpad is useful] and pasting the copied text into it. Open up the second page and repeat the process of copying and pasting the text [only, you don't need to open up your text editor again]. Repeat the process for all pages. With MSWorks, you should be able to copy and paste the images too which are the formulas. This, however, won't get the images.

Also, since version 4.0 of my site, all things that are cross-referenced to this report and all other reports outside the main report you're reading are defined if necessary. The links are there only if you want more information on the cross-referred topic.

5.4 Footnotes



Q. What's with all the footnote markings?

A. Footnotes are used for two primary reasons:

  1. To denote a possible cross-reference to another report [New to version 4.0: the meaning of the term involved is defined or explained on the page with the cross-reference without the need of going to the other reports, but sometimes, this is not possible mainly when the cross-reference references an entire document or report. New to version 5.0: Cross-references now point to which section a piece of information can be found if more information is requested.]
  2. To explain something [i.e. the large number names, what antimatter is, etc.]


There are two places in which footnotes occur as well: tables and the page in general. Tables mostly have explanatory footnotes [2nd reason from above; like the footnotes at the bottom of the table near the end on large numbers], and page footnotes mostly are cross-references to other reports [like the footnotes at the bottom of this page]. Table footnotes have "Table footnotes:" preceding the actual notes following just below the table and page footnotes just have "Footnotes:" preceding the main notes. All footnotes follow the same order on every page, and all footnotes appear at the bottom of something [table footnotes appear at the bottom of the immediate table they were used on, and page footnotes appear at the bottom of every page just above the main cross-references [the home page and FAQ page as well as the current category's index you're in [features index, games index, tips and tricks index, etc.]]. Sometimes, though somewhat rare, table footnotes have footnotes in them as well. These are page footnotes and appear in the "Footnotes:" section. The order of the footnotes is the same as it was in version 3:

  1. *
  2. **
  3. ***
  4. †
  5. ‡
  6. ††
  7. ‡†
  8. †‡
  9. ‡‡
  10. †††
  11. ࠠ
  12. †‡†
  13. ††‡
  14. ‡‡†
  15. ‡†‡
  16. †‡‡
  17. ‡‡‡


Going beyond this point is very unlikely to happen. If it does, the symbol "§" appears at the beginning and the cycle continues again. So far, only one page has more than 17 footnotes.

Since version 6, footnotes are rarely used, except with tables.

5.5 Undecorated website



Q. Usually, many websites are decorated with graphics. Yours isn't. Why?

A. "Speed is the name of the game". This quote from Speed in my script is true for me. If a lot of images were used, the time needed to load the website will increase quite a bit, and, if a few dozen images were used, even if they were just 200 bytes each, it could easily add another 5 seconds to the load time. Having a bunch of images means having to send requests to the server then receiving the request back which takes time. For 30 different images, for example, this adds up to several seconds. Repeat this for about twenty page views and you're looking at a minute used up from this. For speed reasons, I don't have my site as being highly decorated. My site, because it was originally designed when I was using dial-up, was focused toward speed. Even though I now have DSL, I'm still keeping with my original intent. In fact, my site is fast enough, you can see the text in under a second upon clicking a link, provided that the server isn't bogged down with traffic. When I was on dial-up, it was merely just a half of a second at the fastest that it took for the text to begin appearing.

If you want to know just how fast it takes to request something, just do a ping. To do so, open Command Prompt (or MS-DOS Prompt in older Operating Systems like Windows 98) and type this:

ping www.ulillillia.us

and press enter.

The average time is what is used to send requests to the server. For 30 images, take this average time and multiply it by this value. Keep in mind though, the value returned is in milliseconds, or a thousandth of a second. If you got 150 ms, for 30 200-byte images, that means having to send and receive requests for 4.5 seconds and downloading is about 1 second (on dial-up). Not having all these images trims 5 to 6 seconds off of download time. With about 8 seconds download time (approximate average) per page, 5 to 6 seconds is significant.

A second reason is because of what my site is. My site is basically like a journal in a sense. Journals are in the form of a word processing document only in a browser instead. Journals almost never use much in the way of decoration as it is. Though there are occasional images scattered here and there, the count isn't anywhere all that high. Most of the high counts come from screenshots (such as the "how I process my music" article which has 17 screenshots).

5.6 GIF versus PNG



Q. Why do you seem to mix up GIF and PNG files seemingly at random?

A. I cannot tell whether GIF or PNG will compress better. PNG does better in some cases than GIF and GIF sometimes does better than PNG. I use whichever has the smallest file size (for speed reasons). I use a base BMP file (bitmap image) then save that BMP image, when finished, as GIF and PNG then upload the one with the smallest file size. PNG does better with gradients and is used in screenshots (for true color). GIF is used only when PNG doesn't compress as good, when animations are involved, or if 256 or fewer colors are used. JPGs are rare on my website. Photos and screenshots from my games are the only main JPGs on my site. Outside these, there's like two or three others, the rest are GIF or PNG.

5.7 Mixed up blog



Q. Why is the blog arranged in reverse?

A. It comes down to three reasons: bandwidth consumption, amount of work needed to make an update, especially a year later, and .... As of Aug 21, 2005, the blog, in just the HTML files alone, uses 411,000 bytes and by the time 2005 is over, it could be as high as even 600,000 bytes and this is just the HTML (text) alone, not including the images. This poses a major bandwidth issue. The solution to this is to paginate the document, breaking it up into multiple pages (details in section 4). However, upon doing this would bring up another issue. With a paginated document, if I were to place something at the top, what would be at the bottom would have to be copied and pasted on to the next page, deleted from the old page and what's on the bottom of the second page is copied onto the third and so on. After one year, this could be painful in terms on the amount of work involved. The solution is to have it in reverse order as doing it that way, all I gotta do is paste it at the end.

Note: Since September or October of 2005, this no longer applies due to using a more optimized style.

5.8 Search engine robots



Q. When a robot crawls this website, why do a lot of 404's come up?
A. The 404 errors robots return are due to any of four reasons. These reasons are, in order of the most common to the least common:

1. The page has not been created yet (most common case). Normally, it's because I haven't gotten that far. This is common with paginated documents formatted as HTML. I have it set up so that the pages extend out, in a continuous count, to 5 before and after the current page. Bigger jumps are indicated by +10, +25, -10, etc.. (see section 4.1 for details) Each page consists of ten objects. If the last page is page 8, you won't have page 9 available (or any of the higher pages) until there are at least 81 objects in that list. However, on page 9, you'll have another set of pages, following that same rule, that extend out 5 beyond that thus any robot crawls through these nonexistant pages will always return 404 errors. I don't know any scripting (except some HTML) so this is the next best way that I can think of to simplify the work load needed. When the page count gets to, say, 60, having to add a lot of -25's, +10's, etc. to pages and stuff can take a long time to process and there's a moderate chance I'll forget a page or two. This helps minimize this chance. The move to SHTML prevents much of this but there are still old HTML documents that haven't been converted yet.

2. On some pages with pages with a finite limit, I haven't gotten that far yet. As with the stories page, for example, currently, I'm only to scene 11. Scenes 12 and above have not been created and thus will return 404 errors. Due to the changes in the way I'm doing this part of my website, it's unlikely I'll go much further. With 3D Gamestudio or, more likely, C programming, I could just make the story myself and post screenshots to replace these. I'm not advanced enough with 3D Gamestudio or C programming to make a movie yet, although I'm getting close to that point now.

3. In the case of some images, it's because they haven't been created yet (short on ideas and low/negative motive are the main reasons). Sometimes, being too involved with the online forums adds to this.

4. On rare occasions, it's due to a typo in the URL or the website linked to (external ones) is no longer available (or has moved). If you find such links (almost always to external websites), let me know about these. This is more common with documents that are rarely thought of or updated, but less common on frequently updated documents.

5.9 Slope ratio



Q. What does the term "slope ratio" mean?
A. Slope ratio is just an indicator on how steep a slope, stairway, or any slanted surface is. It is depicted in the horizontal:vertical fashion. A slope ratio of 1:1 means that, for every one foot you move horizontally straight up the slope, you move one foot higher. A slope ratio of 4:1 means that, for every four feet you move horizontally straight up the slope, you move one foot higher which isn't as steep as a 1:1 slope. Level ground has a 1:0 slope and a truly vertical slope has a 0:1 slope. A slope ratio of 8:3 means 8 horizontal adds 3 vertical. This is the best alternative to giving an angle of the slope. Although I could still use actual angles, using slope ratios makes calculations much simpler to work with as well. Normally, I give simple fractions to denote a slope ratio (See section 2.2 above for details on this (I generally use values with those marked with an 8 or higher on that scale, mainly the lower values.).). Here's a simple diagram depicting various slope ratios and how they appear:

slope ratios and how they appear


Compared from exactly flat, a 1:0 slope, this table explains the angle of a turn there is for such a slope (slope ratio is based on the very steepest direction of travel up or down a slope; values rounded to 3 decimal places), now that I've got some knowledge on triginometry:

Slope
ratio
x:y
AngleSlope
ratio
x:y
AngleSlope
ratio
x:y
AngleSlope
ratio
x:y
Angle
1:08:320.556°9:1048.013°1:475.964°
100:10.573°5:2*21.801°4:551.34°1:578.69°
30:11.909°2:1*26.565°3:4*53.13°1:6*80.538°
15:13.814°5:330.964°2:3*56.31°1:8*82.875°
10:15.711°8:532.005°5:857.995°1:1084.289°
8:1*7.125°3:2*33.69°3:559.036°1:1586.186°
6:1*9.462°4:3*36.87°1:2*63.435°1:3088.091°
5:111.31°5:438.66°2:5*68.199°1:10089.427°
4:1*14.036°10:941.987°3:869.444°0:190°
3:1*18.435°1:1*45°1:3*71.565°400:10.143°


Table footnotes:
* This slope ratio is commonly used.

The formula, if other slope ratios are mentioned, is atan(slope_y÷slope_x). As an example, given a 10:3 slope, to put this into Windows' calculator, type the slope Y value, 3 and divide it by the slope X value, 10 which gives 0.3. Then click in the "Inv" check box to put a check in there then click the tan button and that's the angle of that slope, of which should be 16.699 to three decimal places.

5.10 Types of estimates



Q. What do you mean by a "raw estimate", "random guess", "calculated estimate" and others?
A. When something is not certain or not measured, estimates are used. The notation "raw estimate", "calculated estimate", and the related indicate what type of estimate it is:



Raw estimates and calculated estimates are the most common types I have. My accuracy depends on what I'm trying to estimate. These charts explain this (on a scale from 0 to 8).

Estimation accuracy for types of estimates
Weight (pounds)Distance (feet)Speed (mph)
<1
2
1-100
1
>100
0
<1
5
1-100
3
>100
1
<5
6
5-200
5
>200
3
Loudness (decibels)Time (seconds)Sound pitch (hertz)
<20
4
20-60
5
>60
3
<100
5
100-10,000
3
>10,000
2
<200
4
200-2000
5
>2000
3
Color (per channel)**Count (number)Angle (degrees)*
Dark
4
Mid-tone
4
Light
4
<100
5
100-10,000
3
>10,000
2
0-30
5
30-60
4
60-90
5


Table footnotes:
* Based from being right angles. A 20° angle can be estimated just as good as a 160° and a 55° angle is about as accurate as 125°.
** Based on the hex triplet system where each channel (red, green, blue, and alpha (alpha is transparency)) has a value from 0 to 255.

The scale is as follows, with the margin of error indicated:

High accuracyMedium accuracyLow accuracy
8Below 1/2%52-5%220-50%
71/2-1%45-10%150-100%*
61-2%310-20%0Over 100%*


Table footnotes:
* 100% off doesn't mean from 0 to 1000 when the actual is 500. The high end is 100+estimate of the original and the low end is (100+estimate)-1 or the reciprocal. If it was 100% off, the actual range is from 50 to 200% of the estimate. 50% off is the same, from 66 2/3 to 150% of the estimate.

These are only approximations though and there are variations.

5.11 Margins of error



Q. What is the difference between "±x" and "±x%" and what does it mean?
A. The "±x" and "±x%" indicate ranges for uncertainty. You often see it in my blog for the times I wake up or go to bed. The difference between the two is from the scale. If a linear scale is used, such as with the time something happened, "±x" is used. "±5" means that the actual value is most likely to be within 5 units of what I've given, or a margin of error of 5 on either side. If I gave "32 (±5)", the actual value is anywhere from 27 to 37 with at least 95% certainty. If a logarithmic scale was used, such as speeds of songs the distance of something from me, I'll use "±x%". "±5%" means that the actual value is within 5% of what I've given. If I gave "32 (±5%)", the actual value could be anywhere from 30.4762... to 33.6. You might be thinking that it should be 30.4 instead. A notation of ±5% means that I multiply by (and divide by) 105% or 1.05.

In general, the more uncertain I am with something, the bigger the margin of error will be. A raw estimate could easily be ±300% (or 25 to 400% of the value given).

5.12 HTML and SHTML



Q. Why are some webpages HTML and others SHTML?
A. HTML is used for the old versions of my website. They haven't been updated since July of 2005, sometimes even longer. The SHTML documents are the newest updated. Why SHTML? SHTML gives me many advantages:



The update has been going on since July of 2005 and has been slow mainly due to negative motive. The most commonly updated parts of my website are converted first. The other areas are very rarely updated.

5.13 Forums and message boards



Q. Do you have a forum or message board?
A. No. The reason is because my site lacks any considerable traffic and I can't monitor them 24/7. I once did using PHPBB2 back in 2003 (for version 3.x of my website (this is version 6.1)) and again during the last half of 2006, however, they didn't get a single post (except spam) in very long periods of time. I otherwise dropped it. Even to today, I don't get much traffic. Of course I do get spikes in the amount of traffic I get (a spike is a very sudden but short-lasting rise in something), they are very unpredictable and spread out over months. The last spike (as of Jan 17, 2006) was during early March of 2005 followed by December of 2006. From the time, I was getting 20 times my normal traffic, but it very quickly faded to normal after 3 days. Until I can find a way to get more traffic to my website, I do not intend on having a forum or some kind of message board. I cannot watch over it 24/7 and I otherwise lack usable moderators.

5.14 Page links and x.x.x-x stuff preceeding it



Q. What's with the x.x.x-x stuff in the links for documents?
A. This relates to the category and subcategory organization on the indexes. For example, on one page, you might see 9.1.3.7-2. This means category 9 (game development index), subcategory 1 (my projects), sub-subcategory 2 (The Supernatural Olympics), and the 7th page within the report. The number before the dash represents the page within the report, if it has multiple pages. The number after the dash is the section. This is here because the indexes use this and to prevent from forgetting to update the indexes after adding new pages, merging two or more pages, or deleting some, the indexes and document links are updated automatically by changing one file. To keep the formatting of the indexes without having to use multiple includes (and forget to update them), I include this formatting into the main document.

5.15 Same song in Winamp



Q. In your screenshots where you explain how something is done, I noticed the song being played in Winamp rarely changes. Why?
A. This involves my history with music. 20 plays of the same song is hardly a step and I regularly have over 1000 plays before changing the song. My record is 46 days straight and a close second at 42 days straight. See the "my history with music" page for details and other FAQ related to me and music.

5.16 FAQs not included here



Q. I was looking at a document containing FAQs that aren't here. Why aren't they listed here?
A. FAQ's involving a certain category such as me and music or TV are unique to that page/document and thus don't need to be here (otherwise this page would end up being extremely large). This FAQ only covers things commonly found on my website in many categories such as slope ratios, footnotes, or what "nearest common fraction" is.

5.17 Compatibility, motive, and related terms



Q. What does a compatibility and motive of 40 mean? What are affectors and gradual neutralization?
A. Compatibility is merely a measure of how much one likes something. Motive, though related, is a measure on how likely I am to do something. It's based on scientific concepts and methods. Neutral, a rating of 1, indicates that one neither likes nor dislikes something. A rating of 2 means that something is liked twice as much. What defines this is that one can sustain doing it four times longer (the square) than that of something neutral ranked. A rating of 10 means 100 times the sustainability. That is, if you can sustain doing something of neutral compatibility for 1 second (this is an example, but it's variable), then you can keep at doing it for 4 seconds if the compatibility was rated as 2, and 100 seconds (1 2/3 minutes) if the compatibility was 10. When compatibility is below neutral (disliked), negative values are used, but mathematically, they are actually fractions and positive. A -2 rating, like +2 means that one would dislike something twice as much making sustaining it 1/4 as much (or 1/4 second). -2, mathematically (when comparing compatibilities) is actually 0.5. Much beyond 25 is rarely seen and the highest I've recorded is 3190, so extreme that I could sustain something for over 10 million seconds (that's over 3 months instead of 1 second). The lowest recorded is -5100.

Motive is based strongly on compatibility. The more you like something, the more motivated you are to being involved with it. A common term with motive is "affector". An affector is some attribute that affects the motive of doing something, usually as small positive or negative values, rarely going above 3 or below -3. If, for example, you were searching for insurance but there were 4 different companies to choose from, each with pros and cons. Positive affectors would be things like low prices and high-quality service. Even something like it being the law is a positive affector as it boosts motive for getting it. Negative affectors would be something like a poor payout system or a company with a bad reputation. By combining all affectors, the net motive is obtained and according to my theory, one does whatever has the highest net motive and one will refuse to do something with a negative net motive. The stronger a particular factor is, the more extreme of an effect it would have. If the insurance was a dollar a day rather than 5 dollars a day (as an example), the extremely low cost would have a strong positive affector. If that company has horrible service, then it would have a strong negative affector. If both companies had identical payout systems, then a neutral affector (1) would be applied and that attribute wouldn't affect your decision. Things giving a 1.1 or -1.1 have an effect but is barely noticeable but can still make or break a decision. If it was the law to get insurance, then a positive affector would be added to everything, all the same amounts.

Another term is gradual neutralization. It is a special type of affector, often with a negative effect. By repeatedly being involved with something for extended time, you get bored of it and want to change. This is gradual neutralization taking it's effect. Let's take going to the pool at your favorite location. When you first go there, you are strongly motivated and you find you like the service and pricing, adding more positive affectors. The first day, it's very strong. The next day, it's still strong but slightly less interesting. Over a week or month, the effect becomes noticeable and you lose interest in going and look for another pool to go swimming at. The motive from the price and service is almost unaffected by gradual neutralization (provided they remain the same). Because the location doesn't change and the pool doesn't change, gradual neutralization can affect them. Also playing a role, of which no one has control over, is repetition. By remaining at something four times longer, the overall motive is reduced to half of what it was. How rapid it really is has yet to be determined and it varies from individual to individual. From what I can tell, the rate is about 800 to 2500 parts per billion per second. For me and music, it's about 600 parts per billion. In 46 days, my record streak, motive for listening to my record-setting song dropped by nearly 11 (reducing 3190 to just below 300 (the record-setting case added positive affectors causing it to be higher than this, more around the 700's)). Conditions like OCD will reduce the parts per billion values, often outside the main range. The formula goes like this:

Reduction = (1+Rate/1,000,000,000)^time;

The rate is the parts per billion value and time is in seconds (a standard in science). 1200 parts per billion means 1.000 001 200^time. One day is 86,400 seconds and the change is only about 1.109 (divide original motive by this). I've been able to make predictions quite well using this system but I have yet to get more out of it.

5.18 Certainty



Q. What do you mean by "30% certain" or "standard minimum"?
A. Certainty is simply how confident I am with an answer. The number is the probability that I feel that I'm correct, thus, the higher, the more likely I feel that I'm correct about an answer. Certainty ignores probability meaning I can be 10% certain on an answer in a true/false question even though 50% would normally be the minimum. A 10% certainty on a "true" answer would result in a 55% chance of being correct and 45% chance of being wrong. A 60% certainty would mean an 80% chance of being correct and a 20% chance of being wrong. The "standard minimum", the point at which certainty is high enough to be reliable, is 95%. With 95% certainty, and the true/false question example, I'd have a 97.5% chance of being correct, which is very substantial. 98% certainty and above are usually quite rare. If the certainty is at least 99.5%, I'd note it as "> 99%". Less than 0.5% would be noted as "< 1%". Here's a table for the general idea.

Certainty notationtypical type of responseReliability notes
< 1%Random guessCompletely untrustworthy - do not use at all.
1% to 10%Wild guessVery untrustworthy - do not use at all.
10% to 30%Weak educated guessVery unreliable - check with known sources, if available, first
30% to 60%Educated/reasoned guess, mostly forgotten direct answerUnreliable - check sources
60 to 80%Strong educated guess, somewhat forgotten direct answerNeither unreliable or reliable - check sources
80 to 90%Slightly forgotten direct answerSlightly reliable
90 to 95%Direct answerModerately reliable
95 to 97%Direct answerStandard minimum - Somewhat trustworthy
97 to 99%Direct answerVery trustworthy, somewhat rare outside basics
> 99%Direct answerCompletely trustworthy, very rare outside basics


This is just a rough guide. For my dream journal, you are expected to see more of the lower certainty values. Sounds often have less than 60% certainty making them unreliable and the main reason they're left out. Most details provided in my dream journal are at least 95% certain, and I may mention some details, noted though, that are less but above 80%. Unless is it essential to the story line, those below 80% are avoided. Only basic things are expected to have at least 99.5% certainty, such as the fact that 1+1=2 and 15/3=5. I avoid noting of "100% certainty" because I can't guarantee that I'll be correct as one is prone to the occasional dumb mistake here and there. I memorize "pi" out to 17 digits, but after that, the certainty drops significantly: 3.1415926535897932(3). The "3" in parentheses, without checking, has about 15% certainty and looking at the scale, it's very unreliable and is a weak educated guess. I have varied certainty values on each possible digit. I have very low certainty (3%) that it is a 0, as an example. The certainty for each digit doesn't actually have to add up to 100% (they must not go above 100%, however) as it only offsets the probability of that answer, of which the probabilities, however, must add up to 100%. That is, in a true/false question, I could be 10% certain on a "true" answer and 30% on "false". While I'm not sure how to work out what the adjusted probabilities are, but it may be something like 40% on true and 60% on false.

5.19 The bug severity scale



Q. What do you mean by a "class 5 bug" and what is the full scale?
A. Bugs are rated on a 0 to 8 scale with 0 being completely harmless bugs and 8 being destructive. It's based on a difficulty scale I used since childhood where 0 was "given" and 8 is "said to be impossible". 4 was "medium", 3 was "easy medium", 1 is "very easy", and so on. The scale is as follows, with examples:

Bug
class
SeverityExamples of such a bug
0HarmlessMisspellings, small typos, and not-so-easily noticed misalignments
1Very minorPoorly worded sentences, somewhat inaccurate information in text, colors slightly off, great misalignments, inconsistent styles
2MinorText overlapping, a rarely used feature doesn't always work properly, easily-noticed inconsistent styles
3Moderately minorDistorted sounds and graphics, character action different from intended, a commonly used features not always working properly, text doesn't display properly
4ModerateSounds and graphics don't play or appear, falling through the land in tough-to-reach areas, faulty collsion detection
5Moderately severeFalling through the land in many common areas, crashes with nonstandard but allowed settings, "file not found" errors upon loading
6SevereCrashes caused with usage of common features, rarely occurring infinite loops, save files frequently not saving properly, blank/not updating screen
7Very severeCrashes where pressing the reset button on the case is the only way to recover, game refuses to run at all, frequently occurring infinite loops
8DestructiveDoes physical hardware damage, bugs that force you to have to reinstall the operating system (and everything else) in order to recover


Bugs from classes 2 to 4 are the most commonly encounterd bugs. I've encountered a class 8 bug with text input in an advanced graphing calculator around 1994, which prevented me from using that calculator ever again. I've encountered plenty of 6's and 7's during both testing of my own programs, but also with software on my computer.

6 General



6.1 The term "ulillillia"



Q. How do you spell and pronounce "ulillillia" and where did it originate?
A. Spelling "ulillillia" seems tough with all those l's and i's, but it's easier than you think. Note that there are four different letters. In order of occurrance, they are: u, l, i, and a. See how they are in reverse alphabetical order? Also, because I have a big mental problem, I'm "ill", a synonym of "sick". Copy it twice as my mental problem is big and place the copied stuff in the middle. This, in return, gives, in all caps for easier identification of the L's and I's: U + L + ILL + ILL + I + A. Add it all up and you get ULILLILLIA.

Pronouncing it may also seem tough. It's tougher to figure out how to pronounce it than it is to spell it. In short, think of it this way:
ul - as the "ul" in "ultimate";
ill - the word "ill", rhyming with "bill" and a synonym of "sick";
ill - the word "eel", a fish-like creature and rhymes with "peel";
i,a - the ending "ia" in "encyclopedia" and in "media" and rhymes with "see ya" when contiguous. The comma separates a syllable in this part as "ulillillia" has five syllables.

If you add up the sounds, and using the pronunciation key (see section 5.2 above), it's like this: uhl ihl EEL ee uh.

As for the origin. It relates to my past. Around 1998 or so, I began writing the story "The Story of the Wonderful Adventure III". In it, there was a character with this exact name. I've used this since my first online registration - at Hotmail. This was around June or July of 2001. I've since used it with everything else. If you were to choose a common name, you'll almost always get an error saying something similar to this: "We're sorry, but that name has already been taken". With this, I've never had this happen, except to sites I've already registered at but didn't know I already did earlier (this is quite rare, however). In that case, I just use the "request password" or "forgot password" button, one use of it.

6.2 Music samples



Q. I want to hear FF6 World or OWTLI - could you send me a sample?
A. In short, no. I've been getting a lot of E-mails about this and the primary reason for why not is simply copyright. Regardless of the format requested, I will never send any samples, even just 2 seconds' worth. If you want to hear the songs I listen to, there's a few ways available. The best is getting the console and the game itself, reaching the point where I specified the source (or using cheat codes to get there very quickly), and listening to it that way. Another way is searching the internet, though I do not recommend this outside YouTube and other copyright-conscious sites. While my YouTube videos do contain some of my higher favorites, sound effects and other things are mixed in and they are also downsampled quite a bit. What about the speed changes? That's a lot more complicated and I can only do it with WAV files using a hex editor which is beyond what most can do and understand. The formula is very simple:

TargetSpeed * TrueSpeedSampleRate = TargetSampleRate;

After using a microphone near the speaker to record the sound in Audacity, click on the arrow on the track and choose "set rate". If recorded at the typical CD standard of 44,100 Hz, to simulate the Talkboy tape recorder going from normal to slow (80% true speed), use 35,280 for the new rate. For being recorded in slow going back to normal with the Talkboy, the result is 0.8-1 or 1.25 (125%) true speed, or 55,125. It's the closest you can get.

6.3 The 6 requirements for a game



Q. What are the 6 requirements for you when choosing a video game to play?
A. There are 6 requirements that a game must meet before I even bother considering to play it. Here's the list, complete with rich detail:

  1. It cannot be rated M or AO by the ESRB in the US. Games with these high ratings tend to be against my nature or just way too extreme. T is the highest I'll go. If it's rated T or lower, then it passes this requirement.
  2. It must not be a computer-only game. It seems that, nowadays, almost everything is for the computer and not for consoles. With a 100% loss rate on save files (not a single save file has survived to this day), awkward controls (all I have is a keyboard and with as little income as I get, even a $20 USB controller looks expensive, about the equivalent of you buying a new mid-range fridge). Unfriendly EULAs, and rumors of possible viruses and hidden spyware coming with the installation of a game are a big concern. Why am I developing a computer-only game, Platform Masters? Easy: I have absolutely no choice. I'd migrate PM to a console (the PS3 at the earliest generation) very easily if I could. The only computer-only games I will play are those that don't require saving, such as card games (like FreeCell), board games (I have yet to see any but an example would be chess or checkers).
  3. It must not be for handheld-only systems. Handhelds have limited battery life, a tiny screen, and awkward control handling. When you play 12+ hours a day for several days in a row, this is really a nightmare for me. If the game is for a regular console like the PS2, NES, or Sega Genesis, it passes this requirement.
  4. It cannot require the Internet in order to play the game. 20 years down the road and you'll never be able to play the game again because the server gets shut down because it costs too much to maintain it. Some games even require a monthly fee to even be involved with it, something that will guarantee me never bothering with it. Pay once and be done with it - forget the need for continuous payments. If I can play the game without need of the Internet, it passes this requirement. The game can have online-only stuff present, but these will be ignored entirely, as if they didn't exist. If certain items are only available with the online-only stuff, I'll be less likely to play the game for long.
  5. It must be for a system I have. This is quite obvious. If I don't have the system, I simply cannot play the game with getting the system. If I have the system, then the game passes this requirement.
  6. It must be a game of interest. Why would I play a fighting game, a sports game, or a shooter when I have no interest in such games? I have the most interest in platformers but they seem to have disappeared. I have great interest in RPGs when I can powerlevel to the extreme without having to bother with annoying stories (game stories are usually at the bottom of my priorities). The more limiting the game play, the less interest I have in it. If I have enough interest in the game, it will pass this requirement.


If all 6 requirements pass, then there's a good chance I'll get the game. Only my near-zero funding will cause lengthy delays.

Footnotes:
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