Waiting for genus

I hate when I am stuck on some problem.  I am very stubborn when it comes to fixing some problem.  I’d often just power though problems.  Just keep trying ideas even if I know most of them will not work hoping I would just stumble on to the solution (or often stumble on to the real problem).

However this powering though often does not work. Sometimes you are just waiting for genus.

For example on FIFA I often have to fix some of our hardest bugs.  Some of these bugs take days if not weeks or months to fix.  Most of the bugs are hard to fix as they are rare and hard to find.  Reproduction steps for these bugs are hard to figure out.  So when you get one of these bugs you really want to go deep.  Release builds… no problem I debug the ASM.  Full symbols are a luxury items often.

This type of work takes time… some time you get luckily and you can see how you can shake the system to cause bugs like this and you can make your own easy to reproduce version of the problem.  But other times I feel I am just waiting for genus.  I have got all of the information I can get from this crash or hang and I am just waiting for some idea that will lead me to understand the problem and the eventual solution.

In this case if I don’t understand the problem yet I just try and keep the problem moving forward.  Can I find out the last few things that happened before this problem?  Can I find a way to see the problem 2 frames before the crash or hang? If you can write this code checking code and you can at least move the problem a step forward.

It is often best not to work on a few of these bugs full-time. You need to keep a few of them up in the air.  Just write enough code to make sure the next time you see it you can move it forward.  While you hope QA gets lucky and finds them again for you.

The worse time for me however is not on these bugs where mostly the problem might be hard to figure out why it is happening but it is when you want to do something like making games more fun.  These are the worst when the problem it’s self is just gooey and you can’t just keep breaking it down. You have to tackle the whole problem head on. If I don’t know what to do here I think you go to gym, or walk, get some tea… all you can do is wait for genus to hit you with some idea.


Didn’t have too much time tonight but started looking at haskell.   Reminds me a lot of lisp so far.  With First Last Rest and the like.  Haskell’s list comprehension is cool.  Maybe I can finally remember how to use list comprehension  in python.

New Mac

Well I bought a new Mac… not sure if this is a good idea or just learning experience.  I bought a 11in air so at least it is as cheap as a mac laptop can be.

So far I am having fun. Here is what I have installed so far.

  • Drop Box (to get my vim setting)
  • Chrome
  • MacVim… though I am finding this was not that useful…
  • VLC and Microsoft Silverlight (Movies and Netflix)
  • Xcode (well it seems like I need this to do anything…)

Now it seems that I need MacPorts or homebrew.  I am going try MacPorts as it seems more my style.  IE it works first try even if the versions are older.  I don’t mind being cutting edge but only when I see it as advantage.



Well a little while ago I asked for SSH access to my website and forgot about it.

As anyone can see my website does not get updated often.  I feel it must being hacked as bluehost my host company sent me an email telling me I am taking up too much space on the SQL server.  I don’t think I am using much…

With this issue was a good time to try to learn some SSH.  So I learned puttygen and putty.  I found that my unix command line skills are lacking… however I was able to set up VIM to a reasonable level.  So I can do most of my vim-ish things.  Yes I know it is weird to be a VIM/dos hack not a VIM/unix hack… maybe my mac can switch me.

Well I bought a mac

I kind of feel like my world is slowly moving more and more mac.   This is quite weird for me as a programmer for 17 years most of them on windows.  Mind you most of the time was cross development for other platforms like ps3 or xbox360 so really I don’t know that much about PC programming.

I am in the mood to try new things like OSs and hardware. Good thing with all of the changes going on in the world.

Anyways about this mac.  It is a mac air 11in so bottom of the heap in performance and price.  I did get 8GB of ram and Intel i7 and 256GB SSD however so it is as fast as 11in mac can be.

What I have learned.

  1. Mac setup news and web sites are mostly out of date.
    1. I couldn’t print the boot camp installation guide.
    2. I just read CNET installation guide but it was so different I wasted a lot of time.
  2. You can tether with blue tooth a iphone 3GS, a ipad 3 and mac air.
    1.  Not all at once mind you.
    2. You have to select connect on the ipad  or the mac NOT on the iphone.  If you connect on the iphone it thinks the iphone wants a feature from mac or ipad.
    3. iphone can’t use a mac or ipad connection .  But mac or ipad can use the iphones.
    4. You will probably have to phone your cell phone company and get it enabled.  I did and they gave me 2GB of extra download.
    5. It is no wonder with all of these got-ya that no one seems to know if it works or not.
  3. I really have to switch to mac like way.
    1. Setting up Win 7 on a mac is a pain… mostly because I was following out of date instructions.
    2. Running Win 7 is a waste because  Win 7 will kill the mac’s good battery life

The last point I think is kind of funny.  It makes me think of HP and Microsoft in a room complaining about battery life and how they will stop people from switching to apple.  HP saying it is because Microsoft software sucks and Microsoft saying it is because of hardware.  Then Microsoft says I will prove it you will see with windows 8 I will make my own hardware.

My guess is a mac sleeps faster and more and probably do less.   However maybe they are doing less like RISC does less then CISC.  Time will tell.


Food at my Dad’s Cabin

This one for Seiko who likes to take pictures of food everywhere.

Karen kept us well fed with very Canadian food. We did the dishes most of the time and Seiko did cook some eggs.


My Dad’s dog “Lucy”

Here is Lucy my Dad’s dog and one of his play mates.

Weekend at my Dad’s Cabin

I just wanted to create a post to thank my dad for letting Seiko and I go up to his cabin.

It is north of Logan Lake near Tunkwa Provincial Park.

View Larger Map

Another day learning VIM

I have been learning VIM for a little while now (about 2 months) but I have started to get serious about it.

For the most part I really like VIM but one thing has really slowed me down. One trick I have always done is cut a word from one place and paste it over top of another. This deletes the 2nd word. But in VIM this didn’t work like it does in windows programs. I finally figured out why. In unix if you highlight something it also copies it to your clipboard.  I have VIM set to use unix keyboard layout even though I am in windows. IE “behave mswin” is off.  It seems you’d have to be crazy to use “behave mswin” as most help on the web assumes unix style. (well probably mac style I bet.)

These are the setting that make me happy. If you select some text it is like you went in to visual mode (not the wacky select mode).

  • ” use the * clipboard IE the OS one
  • set clipboard=unnamed
  • ” use mouse in all modes
  • set mouse=a
  • ” don’t auto clipboard select text like a unix shell
  • set guioptions-=a
  • ” don’t use select mode use visual mode when you select with mouse.
  • set selectmode=