Ankh Morpork's Finest Coder
Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Sims 2 University
Gamespot says
Watch your Sims experience college life in The Sims 2 University--this first expansion to the popular life-simulation game. You can help them move into adulthood as they settle in their dorms, party with friends, take challenging exams, and more.

Oh no! Will the insanity never end? Whats next, The Sims 2: Life as a Hobo??

Civilization 4: Can it be true?
Gamespot has a blurb that
Firaxis has announced it is planning on adding another installment to its best-selling strategy series.
WOW. Can't Wait!

My Blog Stats
OS Statistics: Please still use Win 98????

Screen Resolution Statistics:

I'm so warm
Yesterday I got a ride from KC and Daniele to REI to buy a winter jacket. Yes, I am cold. Yes, its not so cold. Yes, I'm a freak. But here it is anyways. Its a Columbia Vertex.

Monday, November 29, 2004

IL Strings - Freaky by nature
PROBLEM STATEMENT - Going through my project for work with the ILDASM tool was quite interesting. I noticed the following line:-

IL_000b: ldstr "There was a problem while trying to cancel authent" + "ication. Please inform the trainer."

Why is the IL split? My first though was that the string is being concatenated at runtime by the JIT. Then I looked up the ldstr on MSDN and found this quote:

The ldstr instruction pushes an object reference (type O) to a new string object representing the specific string literal stored in the metadata. The ldstr instruction allocates the requisite amount of memory and performs any format conversion required to convert the string literal from the form used in the file to the string format required at runtime.

So I scratch my head again and wonder why the sting was broken into two parts. First part exactly 50 characters long?

POSSIBLE IMPLICATIONS - Anytime you have a string that is more that 50 characters long, it will automatically be split when written in IL. Then during JIT, it will be concatenated. I also read somewhere that if you have 4 or more string concatenated, then you really should use the StringBuilder. Does this mean that any string 200 characters or above should be created using the StringBuilder?

What effect does this have on Resource Strings from your Resx files?

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Programming Multiprocessors with .Net
Use Mscorsvr.dll for MP Machines
For stand-alone middle-tier and server applications, make sure mscorsvr is being used for multiprocessor machines. Mscorwks is not optimized for scaling or throughput, while the server version has several optimizations that allow it to scale well when more than one processor is available.

The mscorwks.dll is the core .NET assembly for a NT/2000/XP workstation.

The CLR has two different GCs: Workstation (mscorwks.dll) and Server (mscorsvr.dll). When running in Workstation mode, latency is more of a concern than space or efficiency. A server with multiple processors and clients connected over a network can afford some latency, but throughput is now a top priority. Rather than shoehorn both of these scenarios into a single GC scheme, Microsoft has included two garbage collectors that are tailored to each situation.

Server GC:
Multiprocessor (MP) Scalable, Parallel
One GC thread per CPU
Program paused during marking

Workstation GC:
Minimizes pauses by running concurrently during full collections

The server GC is designed for maximum throughput, and scales with very high performance. Memory fragmentation on servers is a much more severe problem than on workstations, making garbage collection an attractive proposition. In a uniprocessor scenario, both collectors work the same way: workstation mode, without concurrent collection. On an MP machine, the Workstation GC uses the second processor to run the collection concurrently, minimizing delays while diminishing throughput. The Server GC uses multiple heaps and collection threads to maximize throughput and scale better.

Ambulance LTD

I've been listening to this great band called Ambulance LTD. Amazing music. Must Listen. 5 out of 5. Superb. 2 thumbs up.

Reading the review on Allmusic, they say "Ambulance LTD's full-length debut is like a guided tour through the last 20 years of guitar rock." They also say "It is one of the better guitar pop records of 2004 (and recent memory), and positions Ambulance LTD as a band to watch in the future."

So go forth and get this albumn. Buy it and listen to it. You'll love it.
Thursday, November 25, 2004

Funny Cartoon.
There's this cartoon i read off and on and I found these to be very funny. Hope you enjoy. Please check out Penny Arcade for more hilarious comics.


UFO Again
Aliens, you have been charged with breaking and entering, distrubing the peace, possession of an illegal firearm, murder and littering. You are senteced to death by firing squad.

Any last requests?

You over there, and you over here. Ready.....aim....

Corporal Tadao Yamada gets it into his head to use his bazooka in close range. "I wonder what will happen if I use this bazooka on them?"

Poor Corp. Yamada....poor alien.

Alien you are next.

Corp. Rufin Zacharov wants to use his bazooka too. Lets watch as he fires. OH...what a mess.

Victory at least is mine. We live to fight another day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Coffee Time.
Its still dark outside and inside.

I need coffee.

Stupid Kids!!
Some stupid drunk kids pulled the fire alarm in our building causing the whole building to evacuate just a few minutes ago. While going down the stairs, I saw a few people who were "stair running". Panicked?? Maybe!!
Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Outlook Calendar Reorganized
The University of Maryland and MS Research have worked on creating a new type of HCI view in Outlook Calendar so that its much easier to visualize the whole experience of using calendars.

There is also a cool video that is available. (The product is called Datelens and is available for free). See Video.

Oulook looks like this. Highly recommend the video because you don't get a good view of how this works. The video is really cool because it shows how this works.

Available on Pocket PC and Desktops.

The Return of Vomit! :-)
Nausea of Half Life 2 isn't just a problem I face. Apparently Slashdot has a article on this too.

My Ramblings
So I've been harsh in a few of my posts last week. I think I was just blowing steam. Going back and reading it I was a bit harsh towards some people I work with and they didn't deserve it. This was not at all professional on my part and I do have to say, I'm a very cranky person when I've had no sleep for 3 days in a row. What can I say, I have flaws. :-)

I got some sleep this weekend so I'm back to normal now. I plan to be awake until wednesday night so tonight and tomorrow, no sleep :-)

Lets see if I can do this and crunch the project out and finish it.

Innovative Team
Innovation Award For iCare.

This is about the Innovation Award we got for out work.

Here is the award we won.

Weekend Fun!
On Saturday night, there was a police chopper flying low over our area broadcasting a request to call the cops if we say some armed robber who was wearing a blue jacket and headband. A lot of ppl came out of their apartments to watch the commotion. Lots of fun..and we even went on to sing Kumbaya together...not really! :-)

I finished Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett on saturday. What an entralling listen (for those who don't know, I listen to the audio book that I get from Audible. The main jist of the novel is Vampires want to take over a small land where 4 very different witches practically run the show. This happen, and your also introduced to a character called Igor. Igor's are the name given to all butlers from the Ubervalt area (run by vampires and werewolves). The book I am currently reading is called The Fifth Elephent. So far, I've encountered 3 Igors who appear mysteriously behind a person when called. They are traditionalists and at one point, one of them is driving back to the city at full speed because "Its traditional to get back to the castle before sunset!" Say that with slurs and you've got yourself an Igor. Oh and you have to stitch yourself from parts of bodies. :-) The ability of Terry Pratchett to poke fun at so many "cultural" fads of our society is amazing. If there was an english class that talked about this in high school, maybe I just might have been better at Literature. :-)

Friday Night Fever!
We went to Classic Italian Pizza for dinner to celebrate Dan & KC getting married and my Bday. Well was supposed to be my Bday but since Dan got married, we thought we'd save time and money and just do it together. :-) The food was good. I bought 5 pieces of tiramisu. The bill was hefty and life goes on! All in all, a lot of fun.

Daniel is too fast for my camera. Its Neo Daniel!

Dan: "It burns...it burns!" The happy couple who got married that day. Mr. Daniele & Mr. KC Pagano.

Elizabeth and Justin.

Aww look at the love in the eyes of Daniel and Michael. :-) Jk.

Est Andy et Jessica. They were sitting right next to me so I didn't get too good of a shot.

Baron & KC's Mom.


Michael smelling the flowers!

Daniel is always so happy!

Its ME!

Friday, November 19, 2004

Daniele gets officially married today.
My good friend Daniele is getting married today. I get to be a "witness" :-) I look forward to the responsibilities that come with being a witness....hahahahahaha.

Jokes aside, its gonne get into a "modestly sized" affair. KC's mom is coming. Lots of friends are coming. Then after that we all go to dinner at Classic Italian to celebrate my Bday and Dan's wedding too. Then we shall go bowling. I've never been bowling so this should be interesting. I should take pictures.

Half Life 2 Screenshots

What the HELL!!! SO much bullshit!!!

After an hour or two...FINALLLY!!!

I hate that you have to use valve's steam to autenticate everytime.
I hate that the game is so realistic I'm getting motion sickness after 2 minutes.
I hate that my graphics card isn't as fast as I thought it would be (no 1600*1200).
I hate that Vivendi made such a cool game and sold out.

I am just beginning to hate this game. And the same goes for Halo 2. They both SUCK as games now that I come to think about it. They both make me nauseous. Its just insane graphics though.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The working horse.

You MUST read this like above. This comment by a spouse of an EA employee rings true with me. I definately would NOT want to work in this environment...especially when they don't pay overtime. I'm not working for free...for ANYONE...got that employers!!! Pay me and i'll work...else...:-)

Half Life 2
I got HL2 today. Haven't had a chance to install it uptill now. 5 cds with Steam activation. I brought my 256mb graphics card from home and put it on my machine at work. Lets see how good this game really is :-)

I'll take some shots of the game and put them up here....just for you :-)
Sunday, November 14, 2004

Best buy are a bunch of idiots.
Based on this story at slashdot I called Best buy and asked them if they were actually selling Half Life 2. They said yes so I went down there with a ride from Kc. Upon reaching there we head over to the games section, cant find HL2 so we ask the guy who works there about it and he gives us some bullshit story about it being pulled last night. DAMN YOU BEST BUY! YOU MORONS!! I WILL NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM YOU! I HATE BEST BUY! NEVER BUY BEST BUY! WORST BUY! EVER!!
Saturday, November 13, 2004

Dam this work! & Other ramblings.
My cousin and his wife are having their first diwali after getting married. Apparently this is supposed to be a big thing. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to their house for this celebration as I am at work. I hate it when things like this happen. I feel really bad not being able to make it there. Dam you my work ethic...dam you!!!

On the flip side of this coint, spending the whole day at work today has allowed me to make quite a few fixes to some major bugs. I am definately wiser now from having gone through the whole process of Requirements | Design | Coding | Maintenance especially on the design side. I really am beginning to appreciate the effort and fore thought that needs to go into making a good product.

BTW. Screw all you linux and mac users...quit your bitching and just use your operating system. I don't need to hear why you think Mac or linux is better. As far as I am concerned you can shove that computer up your dark alley.

I have had to listen to ppl from work tell me that Windows sucks. Yeah so!!! If you quit your whining and can create a replacement OS for your own personal use then I'll listen to what you have to say. My coworkers were saying that even if someone could create a product superior to windows, they won't get the market penetration that windows has because of some politics. All I have to say to that is, make an OS for "YOUR OWN USE!!!" and then talk. Its very easy to critisize but not so easy to do. My coworkers say But then how will we send files etc to others. Well MS provides you with things like COM for the very purpose of getting the files. So shut the hell up and do it. If you can't then get lost!!!

I have no patience for people who only whine and cannot perform simple programming tasks. YOU MORONS!!! You give programmers a bad name because of you don't write good code! How DARE you be and call yourself a programmer.

It comes to my attention that some companies will not pay overtime to programmers. Well, my good friend Daniele enlightnened me on this. If no pay, me no work. If companies will not pay for my time, why should I give it to them. I will put an extra effort only if I have a vested interest in some project. If not, then I'll only work the 9-5 hrs.

I've eaten Subway all of my last 3 meals. And i've even had the footlong sub. But for some reason, I'm still hungry. WHY WHY WHY!!

Well, i'm gonna go get some water now. Might as well drink more water every time I feel hungry when its not time for a meal.
Thursday, November 11, 2004

At 6:23 am this morning, I completed HALO 2..and boy did it leave me wanting more. Halo 3 is definately in the making.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Ladies and gentlemen. I am proud to show you today, the much awaited halo setup from my very own home.


The Projector: From my lab where I work, this piece of equipment is a must have for any game enthusiast. I have one of those Wall World Maps that I turned inside out so that the white back cover would allow for a nice surface for projection. I got myself approx 50" screen with that.

The Game: Halo 2 - Collectors Edition. Comes with bonus material on a dvd.

The bonus material had the following Behind the Scenes content
1) Making of Halo 2
2) Developing the game
3) Bonus Material
4) Setup & Credits

There was a lot of "talking" on this dvd. Not too exciting from a game point of view.

Friends: Dan kindly "volunteered" to play the game with me :-)

Projector Setup

I took the tv off its cart and placed the projector on top, the xbox in the bottom drawer and speakers on the side.

The projector....its ALIVE!!!

I popped the cd in, and chills run down my spine in anticipation.



THE GAME ROCKS!!!! Notice the double laser gun. A cool new feature of Halo 2 is that you can wield two weapons together. This means that you can have double the firepower, double the time to overheat of some weapons and double the fun.

MASTER CHIEF!! Yes Master Chief is still around but his suit is "improved".

SNIPING GUN...OMG!!! There are 2 sniping guns in this game. Without giving much away, oh who cares, i'll give it away. So you play as Master Chief and as the "Arbitor" (I think thats what they say..forgive my speakers). The arbitor is a Covenant (alien) and in this game, the weapons from both sides of the fence can be used by both sides. The sniping gun for the aliens is a pulse/electric kind of weapon which is very efficient and very powerful.

There are some great views in game. Here are two such views.

Another cool feature of this game is the number and type of vehicles you can use. Any vehicle can be used. Old HALO fans will remember the tanks of the aliens that you could never get into, well in this game you can.

You can also steal vehicles from others while they are moving. You just jump onto the vehicle by pressing and holding X as they drive past, you automatically jump on and then pound the driver/gunner until you get the vehicle. In tanks you can plant grenades to "persuade" the enemy to "lend" you their vehicle.

I am yet to finish this game. Its quite long, well not as long as HALO but long enough. And I am yet to try the multiplayer modes too. I am told that they are just awesome. The reviews on Gamespot give this game a 9.4/10. They were not impressed with the in game story but I disagree with their evaluation. I find that there are stories within stories and sucessfully intertwining them is a major task that Bungie has accomplished with flying colors. One thing I did find is that there is definately more "darkness" in the game than in the earlier HALO. This kinda makes it annoying because I started to get nauseated from all the sudden movements from flashes of light. But I still love the game. :-)