Fsck you, theif!

As my way of saying fsck you to who ever has my laptop, I’ve revived the MS-DOS build of DreamZZT, and decided to pit it head-to-head (or xdosemu window to xdosemu window) with the original ZZT:

It still needs a bit more polishing before release, but it works well enough (even saving / restoring!), and I’m not gonna let the loss of my laptop stop me from coding. I’m hoping to do another release within a few days.

DreamZZT status

Because I no longer have my laptop with Visual Studio, I will be unable to produce Nero or DiscJuggler CD images, and will be unable to do any further Windows releases for DreamZZT. In place of the Windows builds, I will be releasing MS-DOS builds compiled with DJGPP in dosemu. Unfortuantily, these will not be able to access the DZZT.NET homepage, and will run slower because of the way Windows 2000 / XP handle DOS applications.

As for Dreamcast CD images, I will continue to release plain files, and probably BIN + CUE images. If anyone knows of a way to generate SBI files from linux, please let me know.

The next release of DreamZZT, which includes saved game support, should be out by next week.

Yesterday between noon and 3pm my apartment, along with several others in the building, was robbed by someone with a master key, you can read more about that in my journal. They took all our laptops, including the one I use for doing Dreamcast and Windows releases. I’m very very luckey that they left our desktop computers, since that’s where I keep all my source code.

What this means is that until I get access to a Windows machine again, I will be unable to produce Nero or DiscJuggler images, and will be unable to do any further Windows releases for DreamZZT. In place of the Windows builds, I will be releasing MS-DOS builds compiled under dosemu. Unfortuantily, these will not be able to access the DZZT.NET homepage, and run slower because of the way Windows 2000 / XP handle DOS applications.

As for CD images, I will continue to release plain files, and probably BIN + CUE images. If anyone knows of a way to generate SBI files from linux, please let me know.

The next release of DreamZZT, which includes saved game support, should be out by next week.

  • Life

Welcome to Newark, Part 2

Well, today was certainly exciting.. it started out pretty normal. We left the apartment at around 12:30 to get an x-ray of jayyy‘s lung that’s been hurting him for the past week. When we were done, we went to shoprite and it started snowing. Hard. And then it stopped. So we’re putting the groceries in his car, and it thunders! Sky is cloudy with a bit of blue, it’s still kinda snowing, and it’s thundering. I said to Jay, “Wow, you must have pissed someone off..”. But apparently that wasn’t the end of our bad omen..

We come back home as usual around 3, unpack groceries, and jump to our computers for the usual chatting. First person I jump on is Sohail, ’cause he owes me money and I’m broke.

(15:51:18) Sam Steele: think you could mail me a money order or something? I really need that money..

Timestamp is here for future reference if I need it.. anyway back to the story. So I’m waiting for him to reply, and I glance around my room, and stop at the heating vent / window sill. On this sill sits part of my collection of stuffed animals, my clock radio, and an old laptop I was planning on turning into a digital picture frame. At least, it used to. Sitting there now, however, is just the frame.. no laptop.

So I look at the floor next to me, where Kento’s laptop was charging.. it’s gone too! I’m thinking.. ok, maybe Jay wanted to use Kento’s laptop and ended up taking mine by mistake, and not wanting to wake me, just took both of them. So I walk into Jay’s room and ask him “Hey, you wouldn’t happen to have my Compaq laptop, would you?”.. he glances around.. notices the laptop Scott gave him is missing, and says “hey yeah, where is it?”. At this point I realize what happens, and think “fuck!”. I walk into the living room.. my personal laptop is gone too! We’ve been robbed! We start looking around for anything else that’s missing, and I tell Jay I’m gonna go talk to the security desk while he looks.

I get to the desk, and the guard tells me someone else got hit last night, and he calls the police. I get tired of waiting, go back upstairs to talk to Jay. He tells me that they emptied his change jar (which is a freaking huge glass jar) and took all the change off his desk. Luckely my change jar was safe, apparently my desk is too messy for crooks to consider stealing from 🙂 Anyway we go back downstairs and wait some more, get tired of waiting, and decide to wait in our apartment.

Finally the police officer arrives, asks questions, fills out a report, etc. We think there might be some prints on jay’s jar since it’s glass, so we wait around for the fingerprint guy. Apparently, there’s only 1 person in the entire city of Newark that can do fingerprinting, so we had to wait a few hours. He finally gets here while I’m making spaghetti, so he and Jay do their fingerprint thing, doens’t turn up anything. But he does notice the poster of two guys hugging on Jay’s wall, so as he’s leaving, he referrs to me as Jay’s “partner”. Hah! Jay’s already taken by codymah 🙁

Anyway, we get a call on the intercom from the front desk asking of the police were still there, apparently another apartment on the 22nd floor also got hit. Apparently this guy has keys to the entire building, ’cause there’s no signs of forceful entry, and our door was locked when we left.

It’s not so bad I guess. Luckely they didn’t take my desktop computer, which has a very very very large amount of important stuff on it, like code, and code, and more code. Most of my code is stored on my server at home, but both DreamZZT and the e-commerce project we’re working on are stored up here for quicker access. I guess it’s time for another backup, eh?

Anyway, as I said to Jay as I realised what had happened.. “Welcome to Newark: You’ve been Robbed!”

  • Life

Blah

Dear Sam,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider you for employment. It was a pleasure meeting you at the interview for the position of Lab Consultant for Academic Computing. I regret to inform you that you have not been selected for the above position mentioned. We appreciate your interest in Academic Computing and we wish you success in your job search.

Sincerely,

Liz Abraham
Assistant Manager, PC Labs

Wow. Thanks. I may not have a job, but at least I’ve been “wished success” in my job search. You know what would wish me even more success? Hiring me!

Also, a half hour later, NJIT Public Safety felt they needed to inform me of this:

Today, Friday, January 9, 2004, Homeland Security announced national threat level has been lowered from High (Orange) to Elevated (Yellow). As always, you are encouraged to report any suspicious activity to NJIT Public Safety at x3111. As in the past, we will keep you advised of any changes.

Chief Michael Kirk, Director of Public Safety

Wow. Yellow. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind when I’m sitting at home not caring.

-Sam

  • Life

You’ve got Rejection!

Well, I didn’t get the job that I interviewed for on the 6th. They
said, “If you recieve an email tomorrow, congradulations. If you don’t,
well, don’t give up hope..” Well, I didn’t.

How do they not hire someone with over 4 years of past experience
(doing a lot more than they wanted me to do, I might add)?
The website says there are 15 openings available, so that’s pretty sad
that I didn’t get one of them. I didn’t even see 15 people there for
the interview, but I suppose the lucky people got there late.

Perhaps next time I should show up an hour late for my interview, too.
Anyway, NJIT Federal Work Study = teh suck. Now I have to find another
job. Financial aid refund checks don’t get mailed ’till February, so
I’m stuck for rent again this month.. I suppose I’ll have to sell more
of my stuff 🙁

In better news, DreamZZT can now save your game. The save files are
almost compatible with real ZZT, except I’m too lazy to calculate some
values that DreamZZT ignores and real ZZT requires (for the technical
users out there (probably just Kev), I’m ignoring the “size of board”
value, because I don’t know whether it represents just the RLE data, or
the entire board + info + objects), so ZZT just gives you a nice
runtime error 🙁 Oh well. DreamZZT can load real ZZT saves just fine,
so at least it works 1 way. A new release will be out eventually, but I
have to write a file browser first, ’cause not everyone wants to save
to “town.sav” every time..

  • Life

OMGOMGOMG

Ok, I was browsing an uber-expensive japanese import site (hey, just ’cause I’m broke doesn’t mean I can’t window shop!) and I found the CUTEST thing ever:

iDuck

Yep, it’s the iDuck, fresh from Japan! Not only is it a 16MB USB mass-storage device, BUT IT’S A FREAKIN’ DUCK! And it lights up! And comes in multiple colors!

I want one, but it costs too much. Damn expensive japanese imports.

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