If you want to understand the blog and how it's laid out, go here.
Feb 28, 2007
Feb 28, 2007: I lost all motive for learning programming for games due to one issue. My computer's power supply died - the first component that died on me. I had a major internet problem that lasted 3 weeks. The TV tuner was returned, but I got a replacement that works much better but meant having to write another program. I also got a new Playstation 1 game containing a game recalled from 9 years ago. Finally, I found a way to cut 5 to 8 minutes off my shower time. Just 10 new dreams have been recalled but two are very well-recalled.
#1 Lost all game-programming motive due to a single issue: ... and I was coming along so well, if it wasn't for that stubborn issue! What issue is this you may ask? It's been the same one plaguing me since January - how to get the smooth motion. I did manage to get the timing working and is good for 60 fps, but there were two problems. First, the motion is jerky, as I ended up getting in Gamestudio. This is supposedly resolved using double-buffering, but then there's a second issue - when I switch to another window (Windows Task Manager in my case) then switch back, the window with my test motion doesn't display the contents until the test motion is done. The text I have on my test program also doesn't show up until the motion is done, which seems very weird. I've been told that this is due to using the "sleep" instruction. Without it, the program takes 5 minutes to close in Windows Task Manager due to it using 100% of the CPU. Despite asking for assistance 3 or so times, I got no where and my motive slowly went from +1.9 at the start of the update to now -1.4. This could mean a much longer delay before making even the simplest of my programs - the interactive animation, and until I get an answer, or something, game programming is not likely going to continue. There's also the issue with keyboard input and got an okay handle on that, but again, the documentation isn't really focused toward newbies and I'm all but confused on what some of these things are or how something is set up. All I need is to find out how to tell if a key is pressed or not. For example, if I press the "M" key, I expect the call menu functions to run and thus causing the menu to come up if it's not already up (or an error if it is already up), as from my 2D game. If I could just resolve these issues, it would only take a week to have my "interactive animation" program released from the time I start. I, however, have not lost motive for writing general programs that automate common, highly repetitive tasks. #2 TV tuner returned for GameBridge: As from my previous blog, I mentioned of getting a TV tuner card, ATI HDTV Wonder. The card, however, had two issues. First, the drivers were buggy which made it impossible to have the TV showing saying it couldn't find the drivers or the device. Huh!? Then, I had to download updated drivers. That resolved the issue and I was then able to watch TV (my games), however, an even bigger issue was present. Let's say you've got a powerful enemy that can make very sudden, high-speed movements. At your current distance and the enemy's speed, he'll strike if you don't jump within 0.5 second. While I'm playing the game, I see the enemy suddenly charge at me so I jump within 0.3 second, a typical reaction time. However, due to the issue with the TV tuner card, the character doesn't jump until another quarter second later where it's too late and I got hit losing a life. In short, there's a quarter-second lag from the time I make an input to the time I see the results on the display. Not only that, but the display was vibrating up and down at around 30 or so times per second which gives a similar feel as with sea sickness. No matter how I messed around with the configuration settings, from the very lowest, worst quality settings to the very highest, best quality settings, the lag would never go away. As a consequence, I had to return the card. However, I was pointed to a device called "GameBridge" that allows me to play my games on it without lag. I saw that it was only for the Playstation 2, Gamecube, and Xbox, but not something like the NES. I debated on whether or not I should get it. A week later, I did get it and another week after, I hooked it up and was surprised. The only downsides is that the sound occasionally gets sped up about 10% (only when background tasks cause a sudden jump in CPU usage; supposedly to catch up on the samples), and the motion is a bit jerky, but is nothing compared to the previous TV tuner. The longest delay is about 1/30 second, less than 1/7 that of what the TV tuner had and I could perform my stunts in SMB2 with it quite well, after a small amount of adjustment. I recorded a few videos along the way. I then went at another system - the Playstation 1, just to see if it would work or not and to my surprise, it did. I took out Bubsy 3D and recorded my various stunts I do in the second level. I went with an even older system - the NES, and it, too, worked. I recorded gameplay of one of my favorites, Felix the Cat. Then it was the Sega Genesis, but had a problem. No it's not the color distortions as from my past screenshots, but it's actually much worse. This is probably due to the fact that I use a different RF switch since I lost my previous one years ago and had to get a replacement. It's so bad that the game is completely unplayable, although I can still make out the character and enemies, but just barely. I first thought it was my game (Bubsy), but another game (Crue Ball) also had this in the exact same way. Whether it's the RF cable, or a more severe case of the color distortions, that I don't know. I've since recorded many videos and got many screenshots. #3 That was a close one - my power supply died!: This is the first time any hardware component in my computer has died on me. This one was the power supply. The power supply, for those who don't know, is the component that gives power to all the components of the computer and is what you plug your computer to the power grid by. My previous one was 380 watts. What happened was, 2 hours before, I was running my computer just fine without any problems. I turned it off so I could eat and watched TV. Then, after washing my hands after 2 hours of eating, I came back smelling a very strong smoke-like smell. When I finished eating, the smoke smell was not present. When I came back it was. Knowing previous issues with circuits constantly tripping, I thought there was a fault with the circuits, and I checked for fires and things, but didn't see any. I woke up my mom and alerted her about it. She smelled it as well. My sister also did and we checked everywhere, even bring my dad home from work to investigate. After about two hours' troubleshooting by checking circuits and the heat ducts. The area where the smell was the strongest was 9 feet from my computer and right near the heat duct. The heat ducts were tested and... there were 6 dead mice in the furnace! Yikes! However, it couldn't have been the furnace otherwise the smell would've been all over the house rather than just isolated in one area. The smell gradually faded away to practically nothing after about 2 hours. I then, to continue my website update at the time (this particular update), I turned on my computer and it wouldn't turn on. I thought I missed the switch as I sometimes do, but even with direct contact, nothing happened at all. I checked the obvious things - is it plugged in? Is the master switch on? Both answers were yes. I smelled around my computer to see if that smell was present and it was the back of the power supply that caught my attention. I took my computer apart, as I've done many times, and took out the power supply as well. This way, I could get a better smell at the back area (the side where you plug it in at). I got others to check the smell and compare it to what they smelled earlier. They immediately identified it. Because my sister had a dentist appointment just 2 1/2 hours after the smell started, I took the opportunity to go with and get the power supply since I had nothing else to do. I later went to "The Computer Store" and got a new power supply. I asked for the best ones possible for my needs. I'm doing fine on 380 and one site told me I only needed 220 (but you should always overestimate). The lowest they had was 400 watts so I got that as my target. They had a ThermalTake one at 430 watts, but when I got there, they were out of stock for that item and the 550 was far too much for what I need, let alone a huge price tag. They had an Antec 400-watt power supply. I got the power supply and when I got home after a few more stops, I took out my old power supply. I put my new one in and hooked everything up. Due to the odd design of the motherboard, and an awkward area near the PCI card where you must plug in a part of the power supply. My sound card was there. I had to move it in order to get it positioned properly. Putting the new one in, I ran into another problem - the power cable for the floppy drive was too short for how I had it. I had to disconnect things and figure out how to get it working. I managed to figure it out, and there was maybe just a quarter inch to spare - it was too close for comfort. I then turned on my computer and checked the BIOS to see if any problems arise such as crashes, or inability to load. It all worked out just fine. It's surprisingly easy - if you can match circle-shaped inserts to square-shaped ones, then you can hook up these things - preschool type skills. You do, however, have to know a few safety precautions as well. When I booted into Windows, I got the notice saying of new hardware and it was my sound card. The drivers were supposedly reinstalled or a few slight modifications were made. I had to make a few small reconfigurations to get back to normal. This is actually the first time I've had a hardware component die and I've used computers for well over 10 years. Fortunately, however, nothing was taken out with it. #4 New game coming - it started about 9 years ago: What game is this you may ask? Well, first, let's get a background on it. Let's rewind the clock about 9 1/2 years or so. I was at an old friend's house (who since is no longer around), where two guys were at playing this old game. There was a character called "Banon" and, if he fell, it was was game over. There were numbers flying around on the enemies and characters and it was supposedly a battle on a log raft in a river. The characters were on the right and the enemy, supposedly a boss, was on the left. The two friends were having a lot of trouble with this and got "game over" twice from "Banon" falling (HP running to zero). I asked if I could give it a try, but they wouldn't let me. In a later visit, I recall them going through a town that was on fire and in some of the houses were fire sprites. If you ran into one, you had to fight it. They, too, struggled with it. They still wouldn't let me play as they claimed that I deleted one of their files, something I've never done. Ever since that day, I've always wanted to play it and scenes from it kept on popping up in my mind, but I had no idea what game it was. When I went at playing FF1 on my Playstion 1, the battles jolted my memory as they looked surprisingly similar. Still, I had no idea what that game was called. "Final Fantasy III" was in my mind, but I only had 10% certainty of it, and only 40% that was even "Final Fantasy" to begin with, certainties too low to be trusted. Then, along comes Gamespot. I make a post there asking about these very details and my 10% certainty was indeed correct as it was FF3 (or FF6 as it was actually called). Then along came figuring out how to get the game, legally of course. Since I don't have the SNES (can't find it), I checked to see if there was some other way of getting it without using an emulator. Ebay seemed like an option, but I don't trust Ebay that much. I called around town, but they don't have PS1 games, and I asked about used games as PS1 is still relatively recent (especially compared to the Genesis). No place in town even had it. A few days later, I still had no luck. A week later, I figured I should just get it off Ebay since it seems the only way of getting it and I soon did. The game I got was "Final Fantasy Anthology" which not only contains FF6, but also FF5. I wonder what new songs I could get with compatibilities of at least 1000. #5 Shortcut with my showers found: Before, the water runs for 30 minutes for my shower where I'm actually taking one for 27 of those 30. I found a way to get this down to 25 minutes of running water. What's the trick? The trick is merely basic chemistry. Try putting a piece of metal at room temperature in cold water for about a minute then take it out. When you touch it, it's very cold. What does this have to do with the shortcut? The biggest negative affector for me taking showers is being cold. Another strong negative affector is that it seems like a waste of time to me. Without warming up the shampoo and especially the body wash, the cold is what takes my motive away. To heat them up, I often had the bottles running under the shower head to warm up. This, however, was very slow and took from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how cold the bedroom is (parent's bedroom is almost always cold, another big negative). My trick is to use hot water about 1 1/2 inches deep and put the shampoo and body wash in it. Then, while that's warming up, I find my clothes and stuff, which takes a few minutes to do (having to check for stains). When done, I take the bottles just to the side of the drain to let the water drain out. By then, they'd be very warm. I do my shower normally, but instead of having to heat it up under the showerhead, I can skip to directly applying these things without having to warm up. This here saves 5 to 8 minutes of my shower time and is very impressive. It's the after math of remaining cold for a long time that still takes my motive away for taking showers, but this, alone, adds a +1.3 affector to my motive. It doesn't seem like much on -17, but that changes -17 to -13, a considerable improvement. Get rid of the cold after math and it removes the -7 affector putting this at just -1.9, and so far, I don't have a worthy solution to this. The cold parent's bedroom just makes it worse. Not only that, it also saves some water and, supposedly, energy. #6 Terrible decision mom, putting that mirror there!: About 5 or so years ago, I warned my parents about putting a mirror in a bathroom that was directly in front of the toilet. No matter what I did, I was unable to get them to put the mirror in a better location. They ignored my warning and their consequence was blocking me from using that bathroom. Later on, they got annoyed about me having to go into their bedroom, while they're sleeping. It's their fault for doing that and heeding my warning. This latest case is far worse. Sure mirrors hanging up on the wall aren't much of a problem because I can simply duck. This mirror is far worse because it extends all the way to the floor. Why is it bad? I can no longer get to the phone without having to take an extra 10 seconds to get around the mirror. When the dogs get into a fight when in front of the mirror, I can't do anything about it. When my dad asks me to let the dogs in or out and he's at the computer, he either has to back away from it or do it himself. Again, like the case 5 years ago, I warned them not to do it, but they did it anyway and look at all the trouble it's causing them. I tried convincing my mom to move it, but she didn't. As long as that mirror is there, they're just going to run into a lot of problems and get more frustrated and angry about it. If it gets bad enough, then out comes my long known tricks I've developed over the years to resolve the problem and in the worst case scenario, busting the mirror as I've done 5 times by now. So far, my motive for starting to have to use those tricks got as high as -1.8. Once it pops out of negative territory, that's when I'll get at doing so. My motive for breaking it is -25 at the moment for the highest, which means it could take quite a while. #7 Back at FF1World, and so soon!: Barely 3 months ago, I had FF1 World playing for 42 consecutive days. Only a bit more than 2 months later, I returned to it easily passing even 3 weeks at the song. As of this update, I now have 50,000 plays in Winamp. From playing it at 87.4% true speed, (or 7/8 the true speed to the nearest common fraction), I recorded a spike of 2930 for the compatibility, or 0.3% higher than the previous 2850. Such a quick turn around and going at it for almost a month is amazing. It seems like FF1 World is better than Battle Zone, all because of the part 7 to part 1 merger area (the last 2 measures of part 7 and the first 2 of part 1 in the next loop). #8 Major internet problems: Around the first week of February, I've had major problems with the internet. Any time my dad's computer was on, none of the other computers could connect, not even my dad's computer. Any time my dad's computer was off, all of the other computers could connect without problems. The router died and a cord went bad and were thus replaced, but even that didn't help. There was some spyware present - Starware. Norton wasn't detecting it as it supposedly doesn't detect browser hijackers, which is what Starware is. Spybot Search and Destroy managed to get rid of it, but the issue was still present. I then made use of a program called "HiJackThis" that gets a log of what is running and stuff. I immediately saw starware in the group but checked with the forums just to be sure if I missed anything. Yet, even with removal of starware, any time my dad's computer was on, all others either couldn't connect, or the speed was slower than 1 kilobit per second, so slow that it would take several seconds just to load this mere headline and nothing else. With a 4 Mbps connection, it takes under a half of a millisecond to load this paragraph. Despite using ping and traceroute and using ipconfig, nothing resolved the issue, not even the local ISP could (and swapping the modem). A few days later, when almost about to have to reinstall Windows, the issue was resolved due to some unknown program running in startup that caused this. I don't know what it was as I didn't do it as I wasn't awake at the time. #9 My mind game and the 90-story building: This seems to be an unusually common theme in my mind game recently. There's a 90-story building with 13 4/9 feet between floors (or 1210 feet high). Along the sidewalks are ramps that launch me straight up when I run up them (or speed blast into them). I use the ramps to get up to the top of the building where yet another ramp is. I use the speed blast for this ramp to get launched up extremely high. On the way down, I keep about 4 feet from the windows (horizontally) and watch the windows whiz by. At 550 mph, they seem to not move, but that's because I'm going one floor every "frame", or 1/60 second. At 800 mph, they seem to be spaced out every 6 13/18 feet instead overlapping and flashing very rapidly, but I'm really going 1 1/2 floors every second and from the roof to the ground is only about 1 second. The bounce, usually around 450 mph does so in about 2 1/3 seconds. I fall back down and another bounce doesn't get me high enough to reach the top floor. I continue bouncing until the impact speed is less than 100 mph where I just land, ready to do it again. Sometimes, I use the spinning board, but only target about 1200 mph going up (or as much up as possible), usually getting around 1050 to 1150 mph where I'm going about 2 floors each 1/60 second, but only get tossed up 3 floors. Along with the previous case with watching the clouds "grow" while going up, I watch the windows on the building whiz by. Sure one wouldn't want to bother jumping off of a 90-story building, but in my mind game, reaching almost half the speed of sound is possible just by walking off the edge and using the bounce ability immediately after. Adding in a 90-foot jump immediately using the bounce ability and the flash attack, enough for 206 1/4 feet, I can exceed half the speed of sound. #10 Pizza order with Domino's cancelled - first time it happened: I was bogged down with bad luck on one day. I was about to go to the UPS store to ship my TV tuner (see news item #2), but encountered one problem after another. First, my sister was supposedly going to, but due to it being extremely cold out and that the car wasn't plugged in, it wouldn't start at all. Then, on top of that, my dad had a meeting to go to (it's Tuesday, they're only expected on Wednesday), but called to mention of another meeting. When he did come home, he didn't bother picking up the pizza. I had no way of going out to do anything. I then tried to see if mom would, but she wouldn't since she was at work and it'd have been 4 hours since ordering it and wouldn't bother picking it up. As a last resort, I tried to see if I could get them to deliver, but, as feared, they wouldn't. I even offered an extra dollar or two to cover the extra distance (a mere 5 extra miles along highways taking but 5 extra minutes), but that, too, failed. On their box, they have something like "to be the best pizza delivery company in the world". Seeing that they don't bother going an extra 5 miles (round trip) beyond their outer limits, even with an extra dollar or two, and that there's several houses around my area rather than just some isolated farm house, this statement doesn't really hold true. They ended up losing out on the order all because they wouldn't bother spending an extra 5 minutes. I don't see any sense in this at all and is the main thing I'm disappointed about Domino's with. If it was to an isolated farm house, I can understand that, but in a group of 20 or so houses, it would make sense to add this area to their delivery route. It's actually the first time I ever had to cancel an order. #11 Dangerous wind chills!: When it's -20°F outside and you have light 5 mph wind, the wind chill easily jumps to -28°F. At -20°F and a 15 mph wind, it increases to about -37°F (these are just mental conversions). They are very dangerous wind chills and during the span between updates, this happened. Instead of areas getting bogged down with snow measuring in feet, my area gets hit with very dangerous wind chills. Even the highs, at -8°F and a 10 mph wind causes hazardous wind chills at around -18°F. This isn't anything new as, in very old blog entries from around 2005 or 2006, I had something similar. #12 2D RPG game envisioned: For the past 2 weeks, I've been envisioning an RPG game much like the classic 2D games. I can envision a battle and things, sort of like my mind game in a few ways. The levels and things are all designed like that of the 2D classics. However, until the issue in news item #1 above is resolved, and I've made my first C program released here and reproducing the game, this wouldn't be likely. I do have a 3D RPG-like game planned, but is currently abandoned, as it's far too complex for me at the moment and it wouldn't be until I'm a ways through George Game 13 that I may get it and this is 2 or so years in the future. 2D is more in my realm of knowledge, far more, than 3D is. #13 Just 10 dreams recalled, but two very well-recalled: I recalled just 10 dreams in 40 days. Unlike what I was getting around November of 2006 where I'd have had 33 dreams recalled or so, I only got 10 dreams recalled. However, two of the dreams are so well-recalled that they've been moved to the stories category as they're over 80% in tact. I haven't had this in a while. Also, a new rating system is used. Before, I had the confusing half-step technique. Now, I'm using the far improved "times better than neutral" system which has tons of advantages. Only the 10 newest dreams use it. The old ones before February 27 still use the old half-step method. Conversion to the new system is quite easy. I've updated the dream journal's main document to cover this.
Feb 1: It hasn't happened in a long time - an extremely well-recalled dream. It's a page of detail, but every event in the story, except one, has been recalled. I woke up to find I was completely unable to connect to the net - no computer in the house could. I, instead, began writing a document for my hobbies. I ate then returned to trying the internet. Being unable to use the net still, I returned to the document. I got bored of it and began processing 6 or so of my songs. My sister suspected going to get a special spare Cat 5 cable. Since I was at Wal-mart, I got Microsoft's Flight Simulator X and got my groceries. I returned home and sister got the net working only from swapping routers. The internet was working again! I checked forums and E-mail. I went at Flight Simulaor X for the remainder of the day. Woke up at 5:57 AM and went to bed at 1:19 AM (±1 minute). Feb 2: I woke up to find it as 66.2°F in my room, 10°F below my comfort zone. I first checked the forums and E-mail then ate watching TV. I rechecked the forums then went at Flight Simulator X again. First it was seeing how well I could fare out with the mountains west of Denver with a Cessna. I've been in a Cessna for real like 2 or 3 times and are thus the most familiar looking. 2 hours later, I got bored of it. Next, it was going from Miami to the Bahamas, Andros Island in particular. Then, the longest of all, I went from Glasgow of Scotland to London of England. One other was seeing the pyramids near Cairo, Egpyt, a place of interest in my mind game (care to fall down them from the top at 300 mph and make use of the special abilities to get up higher?). Now, if only I could use my mind game in this and the usual stunts I do, that would be very entertaining! For getting speed, there's the speed blast, flash attack, and glide. To take off, use the speed blast up a wall of a halfpipe (700 mph going straight up is nothing new). Either that, or jump up into the spinning board for serious speed (but in who knows what direction). For landing, just fall racking up several hundred mph along the way either gneerating a shockwave from the pound stomp, or just bouncing to a stop. When I was in the mountains near Denver in FSX, I envisioned my mind game where I'm zipping around at 400 mph all around the area. With the Bahamas case, I thought of just speed blast and glide across the ocean (travelling the 90 miles in only 8 or so minutes). Best climb rate in FSX - 10 feet per second. Climb rate in my mind game - 3000 feet per second and higher. Fastest acceleration rate in FSX - 30 mph per second. In my mind game it's 80 mph per second for falling, but 100 mph per second if stopping on the ground. Yeah, it's a huge difference, especially the entertainment factor. FSX didn't dominate the day. I'm still at SMB2 Title. It seems like I'll be changing songs again. I have yet to transfer the songs I processed yesterday to my MP3 player. Woke up at 9:43 AM and went to bed at 11:03 PM (±1 minute). Feb 3: I woke up to a very chilly 65.3°F in my room causing me to remain tired for a whole hour but otherwise slept for 10 hours. I first checked forums and E-mail then ate watching TV. with lots of good stuff on on TV, I processed another bunch of songs. I processed 5 or 6 songs. When done, I switched to FF1 World then returned to the forums and when cleared, I finished the "hobbies" section. After finishing it the best I know of, I began adding a category on the "about me" report. I updated the "home" section before this. I'm at FF1 World again, and so soon. I have no intentions on reaching the 42-day mark I made just two or so months ago. Woke up at 11:01 AM and went to bed at 1:11 AM. Feb 4: The forums dominate the day. At first, it was the usual - checking the forums and E-mail. Then it was eating and watching TV. I returned to the forums then my parents got me into doing a few things. One was to get internet working for dad's computer. Nothing worked. Don't tell me it's a repeat of the PCI slot swapping thing...! I later on returned to the forums then went at Flight Simulator X with seeing Yellowstone. Thinking of it means thinking of a supervolcano. I had two nosebleeds, one moderate. Also, a cabinet placed in the living room restricts some of my access causing lots of problems to my family (and it's mom's decision - see news item #6 for details). I'm still at FF1 World. Woke up at 11:07 AM and went to bed at 3:39 AM. Feb 5: A page in details for the new recalled dream. First it was checking the forums and E-mail, nothing new. Then I went at processing a 20-lap version of Desert Zone. I was hopefully going to go to the UPS store, but had to take shower. By the time I was done, I would've barely made it, but since my sister's behicle was very low on gas, it never happened. I ate at this point. Desert Zone's 20-lap version was 11 MB bigger than before, even with the differerent speeds. After eating, I returned to the forums. I went at FSX again with a flight around hawaii. I utilized updrafts to reach 20,600 feet, 35% higher than I've been with the Maule, my favorite propeller plane in the game. I returned to the forums then went to bed. Before FSX, I ordered a device called "GameBridge". See news item #2 for further details. I'm still at FF1 World - 106% true speed. Woke up at 2:49 PM and went to bed at 6:14 AM (±1 minute). Feb 6: Bogged down with bad luck almost all day - how nice. At first, I spent 2 hours watching my sister play that one game I saw several months ago. I tried getting her to go and it was until 5:15 that I was finally able to. I ordered Domino's just before leaving then got into the car. This is where my luck went bad, very bad. The car wouldn't start at all. That wasn't the only bad part. See news item #10 for the full details about this and the first cancelled order with Domino's, all because they refuse to deliver to where I'm at a mere 5 minutes extra round trip. I checked the forums an E-mail as usual, but bad luck struck again. No, it's not the net going down, it's extreme boredom. With no answer on the frame rate issue (see news item #1 for details), I can't get on with my programming stuff. I tried doing something but lost interest very quickly. Assignment Discovery, however, helped. The forums were dead and I had a hard time passing the time away. Even the part 7 to 1 merger in FF1, causing the 2850 spike, was barely enough and yes, I'm still at it. Just a bunch of bad luck got me all day. Woke up at 3:32 PM and went to bed at 5:51 AM. Feb 8: Another try at returning the card - again, a failure. I can't seem to get anyone to drop off the card or even take me so I can do it. Get this: My sister wouldn't do so as she had a "guild" to attend and guess what? This "guild" thing involved that one game she almost always plays. Forget the game and do the more important things. I now have a 0% chance of doing it myself until Monday so my parents have to. I may even have to contact Newegg to see if the RMA could be extended for a few more days. Maybe that card was cursed or something.... When 7:00 PM came, I watched TV and ate some time after. I checked forums and E-mail then went at watching "Assignment Discovery". When done, I returned to the forums and when the internet was acting up, I knew my dad's computer was one. Once turned off, all was working again. I spent quite a while trying to see how this can be fixed. I played SMB2 while waiting for anything new. I had to renew the subscription for NIS and a scan lasting 5 1/2 hours kept me awake for a much longer time. Woke up at 5:19 PM and went to bed at 11:47 AM. Feb 9: First, it was checking what was on on TV but with nothing on for a bit, I checked E-mail and forums. I ate watching TV afterwards then returned to the forums. When cleared, I went at my games - a mix of SMB2 (rare) and drowning the fox (most common). By around 6:00 AM, I was at resolving the internet issue. According to the local ISP, there's a huge amount of upload traffic. Neither Norton nor Spybot found anything though. I returned to the forums and drowning the fox. Then, I got a package - GameBridge arrived! I hooked it up and installed it. I tested for lag - 1/30 second. That is less than 1/7 that of the previous card and I'll definately accept that. I popped in SMB2 and began trying my usual stunts with it. It's a bit jerky, but is managable and takes a bit of getting used to. I recorded 6 videos in just an hours' span. I rechecked Gamespot and went to bed. I'm still at 106% true speed with FF1 world. Woke up at 8:56 PM and went to bed at 2:19 PM. Feb 10: I first checked the forums, but forgot my E-mail. When the forums were cleaned out, I made use of GameBridge and recorded bugs and stunts with it for Sonic 2, Sonic 3, Looney Tunes Back in Action. I ate watching TV. I rechecked the forums and checked my E-mail. Then it was getting more videos of the strange stunts I do do and especially from the stupidity of the fox. The bug with LTBIA is included. I took out my Playstation 1 and got Spyro 2, Bubsy 3D, and later Jumping Flash. I then took a shower, after 75 minutes to wash shirts, so I could go grocery shopping and ship the package. With tired parents, I went at my games, Jumping Flash being one. I delivered the package but ran into a major problem. The problem is that it'll be until Friday before it arrives putting it past the RMA valid times. I'll have to contact Newegg about it. I went grocery shopping as usual. I returned home to put stuff away then recleaned the forums. I went to bed right after. Woke up at 12:15 AM and went to bed at 6:40 PM. Feb 11: Only 5 lines make up the dream I recalled. I first checked the forums and E-mail. I then went at recording "The secrets of level 2 in Bubsy 3D" to show several secrets in Bubsy 3D's second level, using the bug an earlier dream hinted at (currently at dream 2-11). I showed 5 secrets in it. The trouble spot comes from Gamespot - 10 minutes maximum. I had to practice my procedure 4 or 5 times to get it within 10 minutes from my 18 I had. I analyzed my second-to-last video to find where I could trim time from 13 1/2 minutes. I got it down to 9 minutes. In addition, I also recorded many of the stunts with Jumping Flash - getting super high. With my parents supposedly gone (flea market - yuck), I couldn't eat and it was only until around 3:30 that I could, shortly before going to bed. I tried my Genesis and was disappointed. See news item #2 for details. The NES worked though. Around 3:00 AM or so, I was waken up to flip a blown circuit (it tripped). This happened again nearly 15 hours later. I'm still at FF1 World but constantly changing speeds on my MP3 player. This happened again nearly 15 hours later. Woke up at 4:51 AM and went to bed at 6:00 PM. Feb 12: First it was the forums, as usual, then processing a video of SMB2. I first needed an MPEG to AVI converter to make use of Virtual Dub since it wouldn't open MPEGs. I downloaded 3 programs with "FlaskMPEG" being the main one. I first tried the Felix gameplay, but it wouldn't save beyond 3000 frames. I tried a video of SMB2 and it worked well. I processed it with Virtual Dub and got the audio. I then went at adding in my voice. This was the first time I actually worked with stereo. I looked at the two waves and even zoomed in, there was not one bit of a difference between the two waves. I spent roughly 2 hours trying to get it to work but, because the audio was out of sync for some unexplained reason, spending nearly 60 minutes trying to troubleshoot the issue, I gave up and figured I'd just record it anyway. I got one almost perfect in terms of what I wanted to say. I got that added in. Since the two tracks from the source stereo track were practically identical, I made wise use of stereo - have the original music sound track on one speaker and my voice on the other. Next, Iw ent on to practice my programming skills to process each frame - brighten and crop. First, cropping was causing array overflow (in an array called sample, accessing sample is what) so I had to rethink the code. Next, even worse, was the brightening. It took 60 minutes to figure out that a char as is ins't 0 to 255, but rather -128 to +127 and this really messed things up. It was through making a test string and a few test variables that I actually got to figure it out. I fixed that and all was well and exactly as intended. Other than checking a previous script, I didn't need any assistance. I finalized the output video, added in my updated sound track, and updated the scene. I saved the output as an uncompressed AVI then tested each codec and with the best one, tried finding the best combo. I ate after this, briefly returned to the forums, then went to bed. I was previously at 48% true speed for FF1 World and now I'm at 53% true speed. Woke up at 5:00 AM and went to bed at 11:20 PM. Feb 13: First it was checking forums and E-mail, nothing new. I had 3 consecutive replies and answers with E-mail though, an odd scenario, but I've had this before. I ate afterwards but a circuit kept tripping making it take 40% longer to cook my pizza which, in the end, was a bit over cooked but okay. Once done, I rechecked the forums. I contacted Newegg to inform them about the package delay. Next, I returned to the forums and got XviD for compressing the videos running a few tests. I can use 40% of the original bit rates with Indeo 5.1. My previous was 1536 Kbps. I can use 640 Kbps for about the same quality. My intent seems more on the 384 or 512 Kbps ones. I then spent a while working on another video - 46 "takes" to get my vocal part to sound good and without mistakes. I found the cause for the sound to not be synchronized. The record speed on my computer through Audacity is a bit faster and by using -4.5 as the adjustment factor in Audacity reverts it to true speed. I rerecorded the audio for the first one using 50 takes and 5 hours later, I was done. I quicklyrechecked Gamespot then went to bed after this. Woke up at 7:04 AM and went to bed at 11:55 PM. Feb 14: I had a dream, but forgot it just 5 minutes after waking up. It's Velentine's Day, a holiday where I have no interest in (neutral compatibility). I first checked forums and E-mail, then ate. I returned to the forums for a bit then went at my games using GameBridge recording various things. First it was Sonic - the fox goes glug, glug, glug. Then it was SMB2 and the baseball game (with one inning having 38 points scored in it, more than double my previous known record (of 18 points) and I got screenshots of it too! I also went at the main game's challenge mode recording general gameplay in the beginner course. I also went at the advanced course. I played the bowling game as well. I then went at doing my usual stunt with inchworms - 7 straight successful runs - amazing! I returned to the forums then went to bed. I'm still at FF1 World - 56 and 64% true speed. Woke up at 10:34 AM and went to bed at 3:23 AM. Feb 16: First it was checking the forums and then I watched TV until 9:00 PM, 4 hours later. I returned to the forums then went at processing another video, the one with my gameplay of Felix the Cat. This one had almost 16,000 frames lasting 8 minutes. Then, to ensure I levelled up, I remained active for quite a bit on Gamespot. I eventually did level up and when I did, I uploaded the video of the stunt in the inch worms stage. The next one was the one with organic form. Finally, it was that Felix one. I uploaded these and went to bed. 64% true speed is now playing for FF1 World. Woke up at 2:34 PM and went to bed at 9:57 AM. Feb 17: Yay! A dream at last! I first watched TV then ate watching Apollo 13 on TV. This went on until 1:00 AM. I checked the forums and E-mail afterwards and when cleared, I played Sonic 3 & Knuckles recording the full game. I reached Sandopolis when I was forced to quit to take a shower to go grocery shopping. I found a way to cut 5 minutes off my shower time. See news item #5 for details on the method. I went grocery shopping afterwards. When I returned home, I put stuff away then rechecked the forums then began processing my video of going through the first zone in Sonic while having fun with the fox. With that done, I rechecked everything then went at recording a speed run of SMB2 in beginner mode - under 9 minutes for 20 stages (extra stages included). I finished processing it in full but didn't upload it. Also, while processing it, I watched "The Death Star" for the 16th time. I'm still at 64% true speed for FF1 World. Woke up at 7:58 PM and went to bed at 8:27 PM (±1 minute). Feb 18: Yay! A dream again! A page of detail too! I slept for 15 1/2 hours though, barely 60% of my record. First it was the forums but no E-mail. Then it was eating while watching TV. I watched "Man vs Wild" and my mind game took the various things I saw to unusual levels, as I almost always do. Instead of being in brown water in a desert, I'm going up at 1200 mph then looking at the same desert scene below where only two distinct tones are showing, but with exceptions due to lighting. This is normal to me. I returned to the forums and checked my E-mail this time. I went on to play SMB2, again, and wanted to record a video of getting a perfect game in bowling and succeeded on the second run at it (for my 4th perfect). I spent an hour processing it then tried uploading it to Gamespot but ran into weird errors and behaviors. I gave up after 5 tries at it. I remained at the forums for a bit then it hit me. I wanted Final Fantasy Anthology for FF6. I don't have any other way of getting it other than Ebay and I saw it for only $13-something. For details on why I got so tempted, see news item #4. I later listed my old Radeon 9600 XT using a new system for finding price. I first get the lowest retail price. I then get the adjustment factor based on overall age/condition. In short, if 0 to 6 months old, it's 3/4. For 6 to 12 months, it's 2/5. 12 to 18 gives 1/2, 18 to 24 gives 2/5, 24 to 30 gives 1/3, and beyond 30 gives 1/4. I multiply the retail price by this adjustment factor. The card was hovering around 12 or so months of use so I use half as the basis. $60 multiplied by half (or divided by 2) is $30 so that's what my target price was. I'm still at FF1 World and 64% true speed, but when I went to bed at the end of the day, it was at 75% true speed. Woke up at 12:07 PM and went to bed at 3:56 AM (±1 minute). Feb 19: I slept for 11 hours. First it was checking forums and E-mail. I still can't upload the video of my perfect bowling game. I ate soon after but encountered problems with the circuit tripping. The first part, 6 minutes, was good, but 5 minutes into the second part, problems started. I kept having to reset it just for it to trip another 30 seconds later (sometimes even within a time frame the human brain can't manage (20 milliseconds for example). My pizza still didn't get cooked all the way, but it was cooked good enough as I saw some golden brown on the cheese. I ate while watching something related to the technologies mentioned in Star Trek, a show I almost never saw (brief bits here and there). After eating, I rechecked the forums and this was whent I attempted at reuploading the video. I then went at SMB2 doing various things. Then, while messing around with the golf courses in debug, I recalled the stage "bead screen". I wanted a successful launch of at least 2000 mph. The 3% success rate meant I'd likely need to record 40 minutes of video. It went on for around 50 minutes but had 3 successful ones. One was 1600, another at 1200, and the last one, the monster, was 2400. I kept the 2400 one and immediately processed it. I rechecked the forums then went at FF2 resuming what I was doing. Everyone now has 7000 Hp with Gus and Mindu past 9000. This went on for 5 hours. I rechecked the forums then went to bed. I'm still at FF1 World - 75% true speed. Woke up at 4:00 PM and went to bed at 6:36 AM (±1 minute). Feb 21: First it was the forums and E-mail. I then wanted to eat but dad told me not to use the pizza cooker due to a short. I watched TV but didn't want to return to the forums cnsidering it's day 3 since I've been unable to upload my videos and I'm not getting any response on my issues. I couldn't convince anyone to get me Domino's and since the milk was outdated (and then some), I had to wait until mom came home. I ended up watching lots of space-related stuff. I ate around 10:00 PM and by then, my luck changed. The circuit that kept tripping yesterday blew again and this time, the pizza cooker wasn't even near plugged in or even used recently. I cooked my pizza as I normally did, but using a plug on another circuit. Nope, it didn't trip at all. Something must be wrong with the circuit. After eating, I returned to the forums and tried reuploading the video for the 7th time. Unlike before, I took screenshots to accompany it. Having gotten no answer, I redid my speed run with Bubsy 3D's first level. From 30 seconds, I got it to 23 2/3 seconds. This took 20 minutes. I rechecked the forums and saw nothing. I played FF2. Gus's HP is now maxed with all but Maria in the 9000's (Maria at just shy of 8000 - enemies just don't bother targetting her for some reason). 4 hours later, I quit and returned to the forums to check on things - nothing. I went to bed right after. Just 5 minutes into writing my day's events, my evil nose decided it was time for a nosebleed causing a 10-minute delay. I'm still at 75% true speed for FF1 World. Woke up at 5:11 PM and went to bed at 7:45 AM. Feb 22: A page of details make up the new dream. I first watched TV and ate. I then checked the forums and E-mail. When done, I got at updating my website processing 5 or so headlines. I lost motive as I was too tempted at Gamespot, but suddenly, it stopped working. I went at FF2 occasionally checking and both without success. I maxed out everyone's HP and had trouble getting Maria's up there, not due to evasion as before, but due to enemies not bothering to target her. I also increased the MP and had "poison fests" with the enemy called "ghost" (where both sides used poison spells on each other). It's only getting agility up that remains along with finishing the story. I later returned to the forums to find things not wanting to connect to the net. It happens from being offline for a long time (like 6 hours) and only restarting my system fixes it. I went to bed 30 minutes later. Woke up at 6:59 PM and went to bed at 10:22 AM. Feb 23: Rats! No dream! I first watched TV and ate. I then checked the forums. I still have no answer with video uploading. I figured I should wait an extra day. If nothing happens on another run at it, then I'll likely lose interest with Gamespot since it seems so riddled with bugs (my site is more bug-free than Gamespot's site, but then again, I don't have all the complicated scripts and things). I'm not doing much there any more. I went at FF2 and continued with the story. I defeated the boss before he could even attack/make a move. I even recorded this to get the best screenshot possible. I got Josef and started powering him up. I later rechecked the forums but nothing was going on. I then processed the screenshots and single video for a new section on my website. This took several hours to do. I began writing the intro page and processing everything except the actual screenshots and the pages showing them. Woke up at 8:57 PM and went to bed at 2:13 AM. Feb 24: Yay! The game has shipped at last! It'll likely be until Wednesday or Thursday before I get it. I first watched TV and ate. I then went at the forums and trying for the 8th time to upload the video getting the exact same result. I bumped the thread. Next, I went at processing the screenshots of my games. I was interrupted by mom to taking a shower, but had a problem. I had no clean shirts available and I had to leave by 12:15 PM. Having to wash shirts would easily add 50 minutes, but since towels were in the washer, this meant waiting 70 minutes for them to dry in addition to the 40 needed for my shirts and underwear. Seeing that I had a bunch of underwear in my stash where I keep them, I figured I had shirts as it's always been. Earlier, I lost 3 of my shirts due to stains and holes (2 from stains, and another had a big hole), pretty much undoing what I got from Christmas). My mom gave me a replacement shirt, but it, too, was stained. She gave me two others and the first one I found was good. Then, when taking my shower, I used the shortcut I used before to save on the time. I left for the grocery store but stopped at a shop for cars. I waited almost 40 minutes there. Yep, out came my mind game, one of it's biggest uses. I later left for the grocery store and got my usual. The exception was shirts since I really needed more (I only had 2 available). I got a 5-pack of shirts since it was the cheapest by the unit. I also stopped at Menard's to pick up circuit breakers. There's a double wire going into a single circuit when only 1 was present on all others. I returned home and finished what I was doing with the screenshots. I now only have Sonic 2 and finalization left. I'm still at FF1 World - 90% true speed rocks! Woke up at 12:37 AM and went to bed at 5:11 PM. Feb 25: TV and eating then the forums. I then went at finishing the game screenshots. I then made a few changes to my blog, but wanted to add details about the video. I ran a few more tests to maximize quality while keeping a small file size. I found a way to using an average of 192 Kbps and still not tell much of a different from the original, even while viewing the video frame by frame and zooming in on the still frame. This took 4 hours to process. I went at updating my dream journal but first changed the main document to acount for the new rating system. Near the end of the day, I finished 3 dreams of just 10 using it and, as expected, just as motivating as before, but twice as accurate. I have tomorrow and the next 2 days to finish before that game arrives. I have a feeling I'll get highly involved with that game. I'm still at 90% true speed for FF1 World. I just have 7 more dreams to add and 40 or so daily entries along with finalizaing the game screenshots page (which requires updating my website first to get a screenshot of it). Woke up at 2:40 AM and went to bed at 5:38 PM. Feb 26: I first checked Ebay and found that my video card sold. Not 1 bid, but 3! Not the original $30, but $36! I processed this right away before even bothering with the forums as it took priority higher than even my website update. I ate shortly after then returned to check on various things related to it. I then went on the forums and attempted to upload my Bubsy 3D speed run where I finish the first level in 23 2/3 seconds. It uploaded without problems. I then tried the bowling one first recompressing it to shrink the file size a bit (but improved the quality as from yesterday's tests). Nope, still won't upload. I then tried the mega stunt with bead screen but got the same symptoms. 3 attempts and you guess it - failure. I went on to update my dream journal and finished. I was interrupted by mom to making a few fixes to the duty checklist for her work place and finished that in about 40 minutes. Now only the daily entries remain, about 40 of them. On my computer, I was very amazed to record a 2930 spike with FF1 World when I had 88% true speed playing. Again, it was at the same spot as the previous 2850 spikes, the area where part 7 merges into part 1 for another loop. 86% was a bit worse. Given the logarithmic curves, I settled with 87.4% true speed which was where the peak was. I'm still at 90% true speed on my MP3 player though. Woke up at 4:24 AM and went to bed at 7:35 PM. Feb 27: Around 1:30 AM, I got woken up twice from the circuit supposedly tripping, but they weren't tripped. When I woke up, I first checked the forums and E-mail and ate a bit after. Once done eating, my power supply died on me! See news item #5 for details. After about 2 hours' of troubleshooting a smoke smell that I didn't know was my power supply, I checked it and instantly recognized that smell. Others confirmed it. Because my sister had a dental appointment and with my computer down and a package to deliver, I wanted to go with and did. First it was the dentist where a 2-hour wait was needed. I kept busy doing math (figurougn out my age in seconds - 730 2/9 million is what I got (to the nearest common fraction of a million). I then went to drop off the package for delivery. Next was buyingg a new power supply. I got an Antec power supply at 400 watts. Dairy Queen was next then it was home. I took out my old power supply and put the new one in taking about an hour. I got my computer up and running again. I checked the forums and E-mail then went at adding the daily entries finishing January in full. I now have 27 days worth for February. Final Fantasy Anthology should arrive tomorrow (most likely case), or the day after. I'm still at FF1 World at 87.4% true speed, the speed where the highest spike recorded for the song improved by 0.3%. Woke up at 5:54 AM and went to bed at 8:05 PM (±3 minutes). Feb 28: I swapped between Gamespot and updating my site. I finished the update. Along the way, I was hoping for the game. It didn't arrive, likely due to a blizzard that struck my area and now high winds are forecast, likely prolonging the delay. Oy! Toward the end, I had Norton running a scan for 2 hours (116 mins). Eating (and watching TV) was after a quick check of the forums. While the scan took place, I watched TV, spanning 3 hours. I went to bed right after. Woke up at 6:48 AM and went to bed at 1:00 AM.
The news entry headlines in bold are color-coded for a reason. They tell how big the event was for the headlines and how good my day was for the daily entries. From May 2006 onward, a slightly different system is used, of which has triple the precision. For dates prior to this that use color coding, from the white color, skipping two to red and so on is used. Here's what each color represents (for updates to before May of 2006):