Answers From The Past

I’ve been playing around with Oracle’s VirtualBox for a few weeks now. I have a Windows XP 64-bit Professional virtual machine and a Windows Vista (don’t ask) virtual machine. I had some trouble when I set them up with audio — none in Windows XP and choppy audio in Windows Vista. I gave it a night and then walked away. Last night I decided to work on it for a bit and after some crawling on the VirtualBox forums, I found a solution. I now had perfect audio on each install.

So why make these virtual machines? Simple — games. I have tons of Windows games and no system to play them on. I’ve been playing some old Windows games using a Wine Skin, but some games just don’t work with it. But, I ran into an issue with my Windows XP install.

I really want to run the games under Windows XP since that is how I used to play them. I installed Vista after I couldn’t get the audio to work in Windows XP. Audio is kind of important when you’re playing games. So once I got the audio up and running I decided to get XP ready for some games. That’s when I hit a major snag. The default installation of Windows Xp came with Internet Explorer 6. Those of you in the computer scene know the abomination that is IE 6. I downloaded Firefox but to install it I needed Service Pack 2. I went into IE and every site I went to to download SP2 came back an error that IE couldn’t connect. This was total bullshit since I tried to go to Google and it gave me the same error, even thought I could go to and without issue. I was at a standstill. I tried different things for about an hour and then had to walk away. I booted up the virtual machine tonight to see if I could make any headway. Nothing. I got frustrated and decided to walkaway for a little bit. I opened up Firefox on my iMac and decided to read my blog. There I found a post from 2013. In this post I talk about getting rid of AOL back in 1996 and getting a real ISP. There was a passage that lit the virtual light bulb over my head.

The new service came with a few disks of software, one of them being Netscape 1.0. It was the first browser I had ever used and it was pretty much the only browser I would use for the next 6 years.

Netscape!!! I used to use Netscape back in the day on Windows XP as my primary browser! I loaded up IE 6 and attempted to get to a site that had an archived copy of Netscape Navigator. As luck would have it, I found a site that I was able to connect to and downloaded it. A few minutes later I installed Netscape and was able to download the service pack that I needed. Unfortunately, the only way it seems to get the service pack for 64-bit Windows XP is via an ISO. I downloaded a free ISO burner but VirtualBox seems to only let you use a CD/DVD drive as a read-only drive, not a burner. So, I went back to OSX and downloaded the same ISO and will burn it from there and then install the service pack. Victory will be mine!!

Taking A Walk With Math

I’ve been working on a special Minecraft project for the past few months. In this project, I am recreating something. What am I recreating? My neighborhood. I started out with the house I grew up in and have expanded it from there. The house was the focal point for me. Since I lived there for 14 years, I knew it quite well. Scale was very important to get the feeling just right. It took several attempts, but I finally got the scale right where it needed to be. Using the house’s scale as a reference, I started creating some of the other features and buildings around it. However, I had reached a point where the scale of the house was becoming irrelevant since I was getting farther and farther away from the house. So how do I solve this issue? I took a walk.

How can a walk help me determine scale? Let me explain that to you. First, I went into Minecraft and found out that the front of the house was 21 blocks across. This was my starting point. I grabbed a small pocket notebook and headed down to the house. I paced out the front of the house and discovered it was 15 paces across. A little math told me that every step was worth 1.4 blocks. Now that I had a very simple formula, I took the next hour and walked the entire cemetery (did I forget to mention I grew up in a cemetery?) mapping everything in my notebook with locations and paces. I even decided to map the entire walk home since I have decided to recreate as much of the neighborhood as possible. I must have looked like a madman walking around with a notebook in hand, counting to myself, and then making little notes as I randomly stopped.

Once home, I printed out some satellite pictures of the cemetery and the road from there to my house from Google Maps. I then sat down, drew my distances from all of my notes onto the maps in steps. Then I printed out another copy of the same map, make the same exact distance markings, and then calculated the steps in to blocks. Yes, this might be a little extreme but it does feed my OCD. Now I had a map of the cemetery telling me how many blocks I needed to go to major features of cemetery. There will be a need for a few more walks once I get closer to completion to nail down some specifics, but I have the majority of the numbers I need to do what I need to do for now. The only thing that is a real bitch is that I don’t have a proper way to do elevations. Even if I could accurately measure the elevations in the hills, I cannot accurately reproduce them since I am dealing with a set block size inside of Minecraft. Oh well.

I know this project will literally take me years to complete but it’s a passion project that I get to do every once and a while to relieve some stress and just chill with some music playing.

So how is it coming so far? Well, if you’ve never seen the cemetery then you have no clue what it’s really supposed to look like. But, for those of you have spend a lot of time there with me growing up, or living there with me (family), here are a free screenshots to show my progress so far. Most of the interiors are about 78% done, but I didn’t take screen shots of those. That’s another show.

Not Happy

After a few weeks, (probably months) I have realized that I am not happy with the layout of this site. Even though I was going for a simple site I have realized that it is in fact too simple. It need more flare!! Then again, I am drunk, so this may not make much sense. But regardless, I am not happy with this layout. A new one MUST be found!!

And I Stay Home

So after seeing me and taking my blood pressure several times, my therapist begged me to stay home tonight and take care of myself. Even though the thought of texting my boss to tell him I can’t make it in exacerbated the panic in me, I heeded her advice and took the night off. In fact I just ate 2 bowls of cereal so I could take 2 Klonopin. My plan for tonight is to relax. That’s going to include fixing a few things around the house and then working on my drone. Even though relaxing is key, I need to keep my mind focused on something else I’ll end up in that downward spiral that I’m trying to avoid.