EU Referendum

On the plus side, if ever there was a good day to have a paternalistic, patronising, patrioteer government who doesn’t believe its citizens should be trusted to operate the heavy machinery of government, it’s today. Maybe they will just ignore the will of the people. An announcement in a year: “After negotiation with the EU and a number of concessions, we have decided that leaving would not be in the interests of this country”
Nah. We’ve lost today. Dollar to Pound is at its highest rate since 1985. UKIP’s grinning. Stock Market’s going to be absolutely awful. And we haven’t even actually lost any of the protections, agreements and treaties that fall into our EU membership.
Scotland went remain, but almost every district in the UK went Leave. As ever, the binary final decision at the local level doesn’t reflect the closeness of the result. This isn’t a clear win.
I think there should be a 10% gap in the middle of referenda. Maybe for all elections, where “None of the above” lives if not as a choosable option, than as an inference that the decision’s close enough that the result cannot really be assumed to be representative.
Maybe that’s just the bitter tears of the losing side though. Today, though, I think we’re all the losing side.

Game On

In 9 weeks, 79 hours, it will all be over.

In 79 hours, this one will be over.

But in 34 hours, Odyssey 12 – The Golden Ram – will begin.

There are over 150 plot threads going out this event. That doesn’t include battles, continuing tensions, a metric fuckton of IC relationships and drama, over 200 player status effects, dozens of magical scrolls of fathomable power, fated artefacts of various levels of mystery and mayhem. It does include the largest shakeup of our central mechanics since we started, and a number of interesting ways to affect and effect the end of the world. It doesn’t include the things the players will think up that we’ll jump to react to, the swerves and tight cornering of steering a massive vehicle on a steep downhill slope.

That the final game is coming up is a distraction. A large looming distraction on the horizon, a terrifying responsibility to stick the landing of a years-long project. But tomorrow we have this game to run first, and this game to run well, so we have a landing to stick. A team of awesome, dedicated people who will go to incredible lengths to make this work the best we can.

Game on.

computing windows

Backup Awareness Day

Life goes on.

Family stuff’s been on my mind recently, and there’ll be a deep post about the last couple of months at some point. It’s been a while since I did deep personal here, and that’s probably good for my life in general, but I can’t help but realise that I’ve got archives of my life going back 16 years here and 10 on livejournal, but for the last four or so anything of deep import’s gone to Facebook. I mean, I archive my facebook posts to machines I control, but it worries me a bit how much goes up there.

Anyway, Odyssey’s next week, and I’ve been spending evenings reviewing and recoding in prep for that. Work’s ramping up a bit, so that’s a lot of my head, and I was looking forward to spending this evening putting all of those things out of my head for a couple of days and brain-reset with the aid of some mindless pixel shooting.

Mindless pixel shooting was suffering from some performance issues, which I traced to my primary hard drive pegging at 100% with no applications running. A reboot sent windows into a cycle of “Attempting repair of C:\… 18%”… reboot “Diagnosing your PC” … “Attempting repair of C:\”… An hour or so looping through this, and it was obviously not going to work.

Resigned to the death of my hard drive, I dug out an old spare drive and set my old windows test laptop to download the Win10 media to a USB key, and found a Linux-based boot CD with a drive checker on it. Happily ever after, that came back with no problems, and rebooting into Windows worked again. So I’ve installed SSDLife and upgraded the firmware on the drive, and now I just hope it doesn’t happen again…

Well, more than hope, really. My system is designed so that almost everything I care about is on a different drive, the different drive is actually two mirrored hard-drives, the contents of that drive are backed up to Backblaze, and most of the important stuff is also synced with Dropbox. Losing my SSD would mean some hours redownloading a couple of games (though most are on a third drive), a while reinstalling software, a pile of irritation and a significantly less relaxing weekend. But it wouldn’t be a disaster.

I had my disaster about 15 years ago, and a lot of my documents and music went with it, and my setup was tested last year when an errant bit of software deleted the contents of my dropbox (which calmly resynced the now-empty folder to all the machines that once held it).

But yeah, today is National Backup Awareness day. Ideally your backups should consist of something local, something connected, and something nearby. I use an external drive for local, Backblaze connected, and Dropbox sync for nearby.

It’s worth doing.