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Blogs / Re-living the Glory Days of BASIC
« Last post by Dragon on November 28, 2016, 01:08:34 »
I just came across something that is SO AWESOME! This is the kind of book, maybe even the same book, that I saw and used as a kid to first get into some computer programming. I was with my friend Brian in Hastings and I think he was the one that owned this book. We would flip through the book and find something that looked interesting and start typing away. I can't remember if we had much success getting it to work, and we probably went back to playing Yars Revenge after much frustration as a kid, but it was something that always stuck in my head... Now it looks like it's been updated to use Microsoft Small Basic.

Quoting ComputerScienceForKids.c om, "...we can re-live the glory days of kid-friendly BASIC programming.  Isn't it time to show your kids and grandkids why we all fell in love with computers in the first place!  Microsoft Small Basic makes programming fun again for kids of all ages!"

I can't wait to show this to my kids...  ;D ... Even though they'll probably just look at me and say "Dad.... but I want to make the cool looking video games."  :-\ 

Here's a link to the Atari Archives page for the Amazing program, which will randomly generate a maze each time it's run:

And here is a link to the Computer Science For Kids page mentioning the 2010 edition of David H. Ahl's Classic BASIC Computer Games Book:
Blogs / More Work To Be Done
« Last post by Dragon on November 20, 2016, 20:46:18 »
I finally got my Supra home from the shop after it had been waiting on all the new parts necessary for about a month. At the end of September I had ordered some parts to fix my AC and then took it in to my current favorite mechanic at McCleary's Auto And Truck Repair. Unfortunately, the condenser that I had ordered had been for an '85 Celica, not a Celica Supra. The issue with the names makes something that might be a simple search in some cases, a bit more confusing. Anyway, it took ordering the condenser 4 times before I got that first one, since every place that said they had a part matching my car soon after said that it was out of stock from there warehouse. I'm guessing several of them are using the same warehouse and don't get daily updates for their inventory.

After getting a replacement condenser ordered from a different place, along with a new alternator, fan clutch, shroud, and a few other AC parts, the car was finally finished and ready for me to pick up. Unfortunately, a day later, we discovered that there was a fairly significant fuel leak, which apparently is coming from the point where the filler neck attaches to the fuel tank. Since it's so rusty, the mechanic recommended that I get a new filler neck, and I should probably get another fuel tank too. At least it's still driveable until those parts are tracked down. I've looked around online a little bit, but haven't come across what I need yet.

Now, aside from my car needing repairs, I have a tooth that completely broke today too. It was partially broken for a while, but it felt strong enough to handle waiting a bit longer before seeing another dentist about it. Obviously I was wrong - the rest of it broke off today when I was taking some chewable vitamins. Sometimes taking some preventive measurements end up causing something else to fail.

This comes only a couple weeks after Anna had split open her chin while and had to get 5 stitches. My wife is still fighting with the insurance company multiple times a week, multiple hours for each phone call that I've heard, and we still don't have any health insurance that we can use... even though they say that we'll be able to get reimbursed for any of our out-of-pocket expenses since October 1st. (One nurse at the hospital chuckled and said that my wife was being naive if she thought that we would actually get reimbursed.)

I'd like to be able to say that we'll just take care of all these problems right now. Unfortunately, there is way too much work to be done, and not enough time or money to take care of it all at once.
Video Games / Re: Online Play (board games ported)
« Last post by Dragon on November 20, 2016, 04:53:09 »
If you're interested in Looney Labs Pyramid Arcade, or just abstract games in general, you might be interested in checking out ... I came across that site a few years ago and I enjoy getting on there to play one of my favorite Looney Pyramid games - Homeworlds. Actually, it's been nearly a year since I was last active on there, but I found the site again, so I got started with a couple games. Similar to my Conquest Online game here on Dragons Hobbies, the Super Duper Games site has asynchronous games, so you can join several games at one time if you want. That site is rather slow loading, and the interaction with the games is similar to playing an old-school text based game, but there is also some work being done to redesign that site, so who knows what will be up next for the Super Duper Games. 
Video Games / Conquest Online Bug - Generals Alone
« Last post by Dragon on November 18, 2016, 19:02:49 »
Hey guys, I'm going to start documenting the bugs that I've seen here with the Conquest Online game. If you come across other bugs, feel free to upload screenshots or discuss the issues here.

I noticed this one today in Game XXIX - Enemy Generals in a territory that was previously unclaimed couldn't be captured. The two Orange Generals were in the territory of Rhetia before Green moved in with Infantry. Before the Battle phase, the Orange Generals were still listed on the territory, but the Green General and Infantry had disappeared from the map view. After the Battle, all of them were visible on the map - the Orange Generals hadn't been captured, which they should have been.

General Discussions / Avoiding common eBay scams
« Last post by Dragon on October 25, 2016, 19:48:30 »
One member of our forum wrote an article about avoiding common eBay scams on his site. Although I'm much more of a board game collector than an R/C car collector right now, I'm sure that this article could apply to collecting any type of products. He has lots of articles about vintage R/C cars, so be sure to check out more of the site while you're over there... if you've arrived here looking for the R/C cars anyway, you'll probably find more of what you're looking for on his site.

How to avoid two common eBay scams
Since my local hard drive had gotten filed up quickly, I had to change where my staging directory was going to be at. I have a 2TB drive mounted at /media/dragon/BluePortableDrive/ with a folder in there called PhotoStage. All of my files were copied there, then gthumb was used to remove the duplicate files which I did after copying smaller batches of files to the PhotoStage directory. Now that I've had some time to get all the files copied into a single directory, it's time for me to put them back to my storage drive with my consolidated location.

Code: [Select]
rsync -avh "/media/dragon/BluePortableDrive/PhotoStage/" "/mnt/toshiba/Photo/"
In order to handle the same process simply with our other Windows computers in the house, I've looked around for some "rsync for Windows" programs, but the ones that I found were just too cumbersome for what I wanted. Options like DeltaCopy and cwRsync were a couple that I noticed, but ultimately xcopy seemed to be the answer I was looking for. After using the Windows Map Network Drive to connect "V:" to my PhotoStage folder, I ran this simple command from Windows Command Line to start copying all of the files from my PhotoStage to the current directory of that PC:

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xcopy V:\ *.* /e
Check out to see more about the options and examples for using Windows xcopy.

Since I have another computer on our network that was able to connect to the root of our storage drive using "T:" having the slash at the end of the directory path to Photo caused a problem finding the path, so that xcopy command was just slightly different:

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xcopy T:\Photo *.* /e
I've also found that robocopy is an updated version of xcopy that is also built into Windows. Syntax is slightly different, but I'm trying this another computer to copy the same files:

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robocopy T:\Photo C:\Users\Public\Pictures /e
Since robocopy shows much more, such as percentage of file transfer, if it's a new file, and file size, just with this simple command, this is probably going to be the best method for setting up my automated tasks.  I also noticed that robocopy was able to complete the task more quickly, possibly because it was a different path, but even after twice as much time, the xcopy process hadn't completed and appeared to be hung up on transferring one specific video file. Looking into the new directory, I see that the subdirectories hadn't been copied at all, which was location of a majority of photos, so I just cancelled the task and ran robocopy on that computer instead also.
I found another Linux program for browsing images which looks pretty nice too... it's called gThumb Image Viewer.

Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get install gthumb
It has a Presentation mode, for running a slideshow, an Organization option, for grouping photos by date or other criteria (without moving them to new locations), and even a feature to Find Duplicates. Since I'm still moving files over to my laptop from my storage drive, I haven't tried all these features out yet, but I do intend to check them out soon.

One thing that I have already noticed about gThumb is that it loads up pretty quickly, much faster than the Nautilus File Manager when viewing a directory with hundreds of photos. On the flip side, it appears to have a delay detecting new files. Since I'm in the middle of copying 11 GB of images from one drive to another, I've noticed that several directories came up with a message of simply "(Empty)" even though I could navigate to the same directory through Nautilus and find plenty of files.
Earlier this week, a backup drive of mine crashed... it doesn't seem to be recoverable without sending it to a specialist lab with a cleanroom. (I didn't know what a "cleanroom" was before this week, so obviously this isn't something that I'd have access to at work.) Anyway, I'm pretty sure that I've lost very little overall, if anything. It was one of 3 backup drives, but it failed the day after I had run an rsync process to copy over some files that were still missing from one of the 3.

Of course, I noticed that on my personal computer, I didn't have all the family photos that were available on the storage drive, even though I have plenty of space for them. To remedy that, I thought that now would be a good time to consolidate some photos, since they had been collected up in all different locations over the years. My personal computer is running Ubuntu Desktop 16.04 currently, while several other computers in the house over the years have primarily been Windows computers. Fortunately, two primary folder names have been used, regardless of which OS they were on - "Photos" and "Pictures".

To begin, I decided to create a text file containing all the paths with either of those names. Since I have my storage drive connected to my laptop under /mnt/toshiba, I opened up the command line and started the search there.

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find /mnt/toshiba -name Photos >> DirectoryList-Photos.txt
find /mnt/toshiba -name Pictures >> DirectoryList-Pictures.txt

After creating those two files and verifying that the directories listed, I went on to creating the Bash script which would read through the files and, then use the paths listed on each line to copy everything to my Pictures directory on my laptop. One thing that I noticed before starting this part though, is that files with duplicate names are going to get overwritten. Since I want to due some purging of duplicates anyway, I'm not too concerned with that, but I am still going to tackle each list separately at least for partial separation between running my backups. Here is my Bash script:

Code: [Select]
# Copy files from the Photos and Pictures directories of the Toshiba backup to my Sony Vaio HD.


while read LINE; do
[ -z "$LINE" ] && continue # skip blank lines
rsync -avh --exclude='.*' "$LINE/" "$DESTDIR" --log-file=/home/dragon/rsync-toshiba-to-vaio.log
done < $SOURCES

Once that was done, I was able to jump into my Pictures directory and start up my slideshow with these commands:

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cd ~/Pictures/
eog --slide-show ./
Feel free to write to me if you are still looking for the HiLux, and let me know what level of condition you are looking for. I have sold a couple of them over the years, and may have another in coming months.

Buy/Sell/Trade / Re: Mint in box baja bandit and Hammer
« Last post by R/C Toy Memories on October 11, 2016, 02:02:13 »
Hi there 9.6v,

Would like to see some pictures of your Bandit. I also have a few items for sale at the moment (as I often do) just in case any of them are of interest to you.

I will be listing several more in the lead up to Christmas too, all vintage.

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