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Chris's Random Ramblings

Wed, 27 Apr 2005 - Hackfest Addendum

I mentioned to a few people at the conference that I was thinking of using the same codebase for the Hackfest at next years Linux.conf.au. So to be fair I thought I should mention it more publically as well.

I'm still thinking about different ways we could run the competition - perhaps a cyborg type competition where humans play against each other with the help of AI programs. I'd welcome any ideas that people may have. In the meantime there is quite a lot of work to be done on the server. It really needs a test suite and given the experience of running the competition this year there are quite a few features that I want to add in addition to the standard spellcast rules.

Wed, 27 Apr 2005 - Ballooning Fun over Canberra

The Linux.conf.au 2005 organising committee arranged for speakers at the conference to go on an early morning balloon ride over Canberra as a thank-you gift for speaking at the conference. On Thursday morning, Kelly and I went along with some of the speakers, meeting at the Hyatt hotel at 5:30am.

We drove along with the basket and uninflated balloon to a field near Canberra airport where our balloon and 2 others were setup for flight. The winds were blowing in different direction compared to the previous time I had been on a balloon ride, and this time we headed westward over parliament house towards Schrivner Dam. It was a beautifully clear morning and visibility to the surrounding mountains very clear.

ballooning in canberra

About halfway through the flight, there was a rather strong smell of burning hair, and I turned around to see Kelly patting at her hair which was on fire. It turns out that some leaves had fallen from inside the balloon and caught fire as they fell through the burners. Luckily Kelly only lost a small amount of hair. A small part of my jacket was melted as well. Afterwards the pilot claimed that it has never happened in a balloon he has piloted before, though apparently someone else was singed during the inflation of the balloon the next morning.

Mon, 25 Apr 2005 - Hackfest Competition Results

As announced at the conference close, the winner of the GUI section is Russell Steicke and the winner of the AI section is Stephen Thorne. The version of the server which contained a couple of server side bug fixes as well as the entries which were submitted are available at the usual place

Tue, 19 Apr 2005 - Hackfest Conference Server

Made a new release for the Spellcast server today. This should be the final release before the end of the competition.

Anton has done a great job again this year of setting up a server for the conference (a 4 CPU p630). Anyone should be able to connect to hackfest.conference.linux.conf.au using the sample QT client to play a game against other people and AI's.

Mon, 18 Apr 2005 - Hackfest SC 1.0 Available!

The 1.0 version of the code for the Hackfest is now available. Entries close Thursday midnight, so if you haven't started already, getting coding for you chance to win a couple of great prizes!

You can register for the competition here.

Fri, 15 Apr 2005 - SC 0.9 Release

Just released 0.9 of the Spellcast code. Had a test game with Rusty today, and although the test gui is pretty dodgy (hopefully contestants will come up with something much better!), the server held up really well and we only discovered a couple of minor bugs. I think we're going to get some quite interesting entries for the competition. Am really quite tired, and the conference hasn't even started yet, so hopefully will be able to survive the next week. At least Pipe is happy and healthy again.

Mon, 11 Apr 2005 - Hackfest 0.7 Release

0.7 version of Hackfest code is available. A simple GUI client to get better testing of the server before the conference is now available. Please try it out with some friends if you have the time and report any bugs.

Been rather busy and pipe has been a little sick, so haven't had a lot of time to work on the hackfest code. Thanks to Kelly for keeping me well supplied with food and wine. All bugs in the code are due to the latter.

Sun, 03 Apr 2005 - iTunes for Linux Petition

I don't know if companies really listen to online petitions, but there is one currently running to encourage Apple to port iTunes to Linux here. iTunes is about the only reason I boot to Windows these days.

Sun, 03 Apr 2005 - Hackfest 0.6 Release

0.6 version of Hackfest code is available. I think I'll have to write a simple GUI client to get better testing of the server before the conference. Time to swap in that QT knowledge.