Wayback Machine: PCFormat

From 2008 to 2013, I was responsible for administering the internet forum of the South African “PCFormat” magazine, which — to put it politely — consisted of a whole bunch of mostly friendly and well-meaning nerds who developed a rather tight knit community. I ceased this role due to losing the time and inclination to do so; shortly afterwards, the magazine ceased publishing, and the forum died a slow death before having the plug pulled on it in late 2016.

It may be gone, but it is not forgotten by those who used to frequent the place. For those people, I’ve managed to put something together…

I managed to obtain a copy of the forum database at the time of its closure, and have decided to put up a read-only copy of the data as an historical archive. There’s no user registration, no posting, no private messaging or anything like that: just a read-only version of all public posts, including all of Tribble’s posts (especially all of Tribble’s posts). There’s nothing stopping people logging back in if they can remember their credentials (if you can’t, you’re on your own!), but it would be a rather pointless exercise (except for the old moderator team, who can access the old private moderator sub-forum if they can log back in).

The archive can be accessed over here.

I intend on maintaining this indefinitely (which will simply involve applying security patches when necessary) as a service to the forum’s membership: giving them a way to go back in time to relive both the forum’s heyday and its slow decline into oblivion.

Well, this is rather awkward…

I rent a PO Box from the local post office (a remnant from when I stayed in a flat with no post boxes of its own, and when I moved out of there, I decided it was more convenient to keep it and pay the Post Office their yearly school fees than inform all and sundry who still live in the Stone Age and send me snail mail about the change of address).  I’m also terrible at remembering to empty out said PO Box.  It’s almost as terrible as me remembering that I have a blog…

Anyway, for the first time in several months, I made a detour on my way to work and emptied the damn thing out.  I was running a tad late, so didn’t check the contents there and then.  A while later, when I arrived at the office, I then quickly filtered through what I’d obtained.  There was the usual junk mail and bills pointlessly sent by various companies (who e-mail their bills to me anyway, and my efforts to educate them about the wastage thereof have so far been futile).  But that wasn’t all.

There was also a traffic fine.

Someone else’s traffic fine.  Approximately two months old.  And sent all the way from Beaufort West.

Which the Post Office had, in all their infinite wisdom, placed in the wrong PO Box.  My one.

To the intended recipient of said traffic fine: I’m so, so sorry.  I’ll make sure it ends up your PO Box on my way home this afternoon.

Fear Not This Night

Fear not this night
You will not go astray
Though shadows fall
Still the stars find their way

Awaken from a quiet sleep
Hear the whispering of the wind
Awaken as the silence grows
In the solitude of the night

Darkness spreads through all the land
And your weary eyes open silently
Sunsets have forsaken all
The most far off horizons

Nightmares come when shadows grow
Eyes close and heartbeats slow

Fear not this night
You will not go astray
Though shadows fall
Still the stars find their way

And you can always be strong
Lift your voice with the first light of dawn

Dawn’s just a heartbeat away
Hope’s just a sunrise away

Distant sounds of melodies
Darting through the night to your heart
Auroras, mists, and echoes dance
In the solitude of our life

Pleading, sighing arias
Gently grieving in captive misery
Darkness sings a forlorn song
Yet our hope can still rise up

Nightmares come when shadows roam
Lift your voice, lift your hope

Fear not this night
You will not go astray
Though shadows fall
Still the stars find their way

And though the night sky’s filled with blackness
Fear not, rise up, call out and take my hand

Fear not this night
You will not go astray
Though shadows fall
(Still the stars find their way)

Fear not this night
You will not go astray
Though shadows fall
(Still the stars find their way)

And you can always be strong
Lift your voice with the first light of dawn

Dawn’s just a heartbeat away
Hope’s just a sunrise away

Coding terminology explained

Mailed around the company this morning:

What we say: Horrible hack
What we mean: Horrible hack that I didn’t write.

What we say: Temporary workaround
What we mean: Horrible hack that I wrote.

What we say: It’s broken
What we mean: There are bugs in your code.

What we say: It has a few issues
What we mean: There are bugs in my code.

What we say: Obscure
What we mean: Someone else’s code doesn’t have comments.

What we say: Self-documenting
What we mean: My code doesn’t have comments.

What we say: That’s why it’s an awesome language
What we mean: It’s my favourite language and it’s really easy to do something in it.

What we say: You’re thinking in the wrong mindset
What we mean: It’s my favourite language and it’s really hard to do something in it.

What we say: I can read this Perl script
What we mean: I wrote this Perl script.

What we say: I can’t read this Perl script
What we mean: I didn’t write this Perl script.

What we say: Bad structure
What we mean: Someone else’s code is badly organised.

What we say: Complex structure
What we mean: My code is badly organised.

What we say: Bug
What we mean: The absence of a feature I like.

What we say: Out of scope
What we mean: The absence of a feature I don’t like.

What we say: Clean solution
What we mean: It works and I understand it.

What we say: We need to rewrite it
What we mean: It works but I don’t understand it.

What we say: emacs is beter than vi
What we mean: It’s too peaceful here, let’s start a flame war.

What we say: vi is beter than emacs
What we mean: It’s too peaceful here, let’s start a flame war.

What we say: IMHO
What we mean: You are wrong.

What we say: Legacy code
What we mean: It works, but no-one knows how.

What we say: ^C^C^X^X^X^XquitqQ!qdammit[esc]qwertyuiopasdfghjkl;:xwhat
What we mean: I don’t know how to quit vi.

One Ring to rule them all

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne,
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie,
One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them,
One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

The One Ring

(She did, after the initial shock, say yes.)

Tips for tankadins in the Walled City

I realize that I haven’t put anything up here for a good long while, and for that, I apologize.

While I’ve been slacking with the blogging side of things, over in the World of Warcraft, we’ve had a new expansion, and with it, new raids!  (Thank goodness for that; while Siege of Orgrimmar was a decent raid, we went way too long between the raid releasing and us heading off to Draenor.)  In the spirit of the old “The Light and How To Swing It” column on WoW Insider (may it rest in peace), I’ve put together some tips for tankadins that they might find useful when taking on Highmaul.

I’ll be grouping these posts as per Raid Finder Wings, so for now, I’ll be covering Kargath, The Butcher and Brackenspore (before people write in to tell me that you can go straight from Kar’gath to Twin Ogron and skip the bits in between if you really want to).  Don’t worry, these fights will be coming soon.

Continue reading

Arrival of the Dovahkiin

“Skyrim legend tells of a hero known as the Dragonborn, a warrior with the body of a mortal and soul of a dragon, whose destiny it is to destroy the evil dragon Alduin.”

Meet Emily:

Emily is my one-month-old niece, and the most adorable little child ever.

We’ve already picked up that she has a keen ear for music — it calms her down whenever she’s a bit upset, and even puts a smile on her face (she’s getting old enough to do that now).  Last week though, I was over at my sister’s place visiting, and put on the Skyrim soundtrack for her: she pricked her ears up, listened for a while, and then started conducting to Jeremy Soule’s fantastic score.

Long story short, I’ve now organised the Skyrim soundtrack for my sister — and the Last Dragonborn (the Dovahkiin) may indeed be amongst us.

(Further proof: she also loves the soundtrack from The Hobbit — especially the Smaug themes.)

Honey Badger Houdini

This has been doing the social media rounds lately, so I’m guessing most of you have seen this.  Still, here it is for those who haven’t: by far, the most amusing thing I’ve seen lately.

Stoffel’s home was the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre near Hoedspruit; their own blog recounts the story of Stoffel being a rather unwanted house guest.