Shawn Driscoll's Tech Blog


Stuff That Happened in the Past

Thursday, September 3, 2015

"DD" Damage

Today I decided to add "Damages" to my Skill Check app. This is an app I wrote that performs die rolls for Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition game sessions. I don't use it much because I have dice right here on my mousepad (within reach). But some people own zero dice. So maybe this app comes in handy for them?

Technically, I'm not sure if I can even release this app. So it may just be me using it for awhile.

So anyway, version 2.0.0 (beta) now has a Damages section. I had to shrink the bar graph to make room for that new area, rather than increase the footprint of the app. I haven't decided though if I should rename the app to something else, now that is does more than just task checking for Traveller. But, we'll see.

I still need to design what the Damages section looks like, as far as what die roll buttons to place in it. By the way, damages are the dice one rolls to determine how much damage a Traveller does on something or someone (or both). For now, I'm testing the new DD die rule from 2nd Edition for scaled-up damage against vehicles and ships. So far, so good.


Virtual Dice

I was debating if I should post this here, or on my CG Blog.

Recently, I made some virtual D6 dice. And since I am a DiceStream user, I was curious if there was any way I could use my dice with the G+ Hangout plugin.

So I contacted Mike Hasko, the programmer, and was told that the dice are actually stored on an active web server to prevent cheating. I thought that was interesting, since I don't have a criminal mind.

Mike told me that if the dice were stored locally on a user's drive, the user could easily copy a 20 over a 1 for the D20 die. That would mean when they rolled a 1, for example, a 20 could be displayed instead. And since his plugin shows no die roll total, and has no way of checking what numbers are on the actual die images...

Long story short, I showed him what my virtual dice look like (see example). I've not heard back.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Windows Techs Need Our Credit Card Numbers (as if)

Everyday for a little over a week now, I've been getting a call from a "Windows" tech company regarding my Windows computer. Today it was some guy named Alex, with a hindi accent, who wanted my credit card number, etc. I just tell them I don't have a Windows computer and they hang right up.

This has been a thing now all summer I'm finding out. And my name is coming up on their "to-call" lists now it seems. It's weird that they call me everyday at 10:30am. I guess I'll be expecting another call tomorrow from them.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

These Dice Aren't That Bad on the Eyes

AKO makes dice. The quality is iffy though. And the colors are not standard. Standard, as in, a standard Traveller color scheme. So I made some virtual ones to play around with for apps I've updated to work with Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition that's coming out soon.

Anyway, I didn't realize just how quick I would get used to reading the numbers off the faces after a roll. Now if only someone made these dices for realz.

Friday, August 21, 2015

NASA is Missing the Moon

NASA 360 talks about going to Mars. I think they're missing the Moon on this one, because an asteroid is no substitute for playing in space dirt. But if the whole purpose of a Mars trip is to just land a couple people there for a few hours and then head back to Earth, I can see why NASA is skipping over the Moon.

The Moon is only three days away. Habitat building on the Moon can give us the experience needed for building them on Mars.

As it stands now, the best NASA 360 can do is a 180 for its Mars trip.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

SCI-FI: AIs are Hand-Wavium Technology

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E0ot9iJm_k https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eedXpclrKCc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjAoBKagWQA

Friday, August 14, 2015

TECH: Ambient Audio Test

So, some of the sounds did not pick up on the mic all that great. But I have a good idea of what kind of sounds will work. Just have to mind the auto-level recording that the mic does.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Looking Forward to Robotics

In the end, machines replace people simply because it is cheaper for business. Humans have too many political excuses for suing everyone. And the government control and paperwork involved in dealing with humans is a b*tch. So replace them. Humans are really only good at consumerism anyway. I'd be curious to see which robots in the future get the most richest, and which get the most dangerous. And if they even bother with politics or governments at all like humans seem to hang onto.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Life After Computers

Simulated intelligence can be used to replace customer service and sales people. Then later used to replace managers and IT people. The more advanced creative intelligences would replace hardware/software developers. This is the point where machines are making themselves better, and leaving humans out of the loop. Humans would be delegated to whatever it is that humans will still do that machines won't or don't do.

But the even more advanced creative intelligences... who's to say what they will be thinking about. Maybe a completely new form of life. Not biological. Not mechanical. Not chemical. God atomics, maybe. The guiding hands of planet building for infant stars.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

TECH: Computer Programming for Kids

Python for Kids
http://www.amazon.com/Python-Kids-Playful-Introduction-Programming/dp/1593274076

Teach Your Kids to Code
http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Your-Kids-Code-Parent-Friendly/dp/1593276141

Thursday, April 2, 2015