The Season's End

UGC Highlander Season 17 has finally come to a stop.

For the first time, I had a team I was proud of.

Having Robosane host a team was actually a great success. We had a good number of players and subs, so that we weren’t scrambling every match to find a ringer. As you probably know, I played medic, and while doing so, I found a number of tips I think all competitive players should have.

  1. Null-cancelling movement script. This made dodging and strafing much more responsive and easier to pull off, highly recommend using one.
  2. A HUD with medic in mind. I use Flathud, which has a customization option to put the ubercharge low-center screen, making it more easily noticeable.
  3. Scrims. No, I really mean it. I’ve found that the most important thing about medic is communication, and the best way to get better at it is to spend a lot of time playing with your team friends. It is much easier to get your point across the better you know your team, and will help make you less afraid to interrupt when you need to.

That’s what I felt was most important; don’t agree?, tweet me: @robobenklein

Other than UGC, I found that configs really are overrated. You might think that getting new configs could have X benefit and help me with Y. The fact is, they take a lot of fine tuning, and the truth is that there is not that much that configs are really good for.

I found that configs should not be used if you are trying to get better performance, TF2 itself is already good at managing that for you, let it do it’s work, use the built in video settings.

The best use of configs I found, was weapon management or interface customization. I admit I have done some of this myself, because I found that I enjoyed being able to show/hide my weapon based on what I’m using. It gave me a huge deal of control over how my interface worked, but not without a good sum of time spent configuring it to my tastes.

As of writing this, I am doubtful Robosane will be participating in season 18 (thanks for nothing highschool), however I am aiming to be back in the game for Season 19.

TF2 Highlander S17

UGC Highlander Season 17 is upon us!

This time we’re ready!

This season Robosane is sponsoring a UGC Team, and we’re ready to roll with 12 players currently on our roster. I’m playing medic as I usually am, with Solsane unexpectedly as demoman. You can see our full roster at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZFYt-eXi0nGt4s-VMGwXApW9UBxf-BWwuIW0eVfyxec/ which is always the first up to date.

We performed our first scrim last night against PAL, and we did well after our first round, making a two win comeback before we called a time-based mercy. The round logs are at http://logs.tf/1024498?highlight=76561198058317490

Hopefully this year we’ll have a team that actually shows up for more than half the matches.

ORNL

It’s a pretty cool place if you didn’t already realize.

I was one of lucky few who were offered a paid internship at the ORNL Computing Facility, where I worked alongside the Computing and Facilities Director, Jim Rogers.

Although I was sitting only 20 meters from the once fastest supercomputer in the world, I didn’t do much with it. Most of my work was put into web design, CMS (Drupal) administration, and only nearing the end did I begin to do work using data from Titan.

The website in question was Drupal, something I had heard of when looking for a CMS, but I decided in favor of Joomla. I now realize I made the right decision.

Drupal, firstly, had a completely different naming scheme than Joomla, which made things very confusing in my head.

For Example:
“Modules”:
Joomla: The Items which compose non-primary content spaces (like sidebars)
Drupal: Plugins which extend the functionality of Drupal (eCommerce, security, extensions)
Honestly they should just be called ‘Plugins’ in Drupal, I mean that’s what they are.

Elsewhere it was nightmares trying to get things to work like they should, although admittedly it was almost all the modules, not Drupal’s fault.

The default template had no excuses though. It was a fixed-width non-mobile-friendly page with images where they could have used a single line of CSS to get a better or same result. After a hundred line changes or so of manual editing, I was able to correct a majority of the issues and make it usable for mobile. I’m sure there’s some free template out there that fixes this, but of hours searching my team member and I were unable to find anything suitable for our type of content. With about the same time I spent on Robosane’s template, it should have been fairly simple as Drupal’s templating system is much less complex.

:non bis in idem

On Summit:
Summer 2018 Followup

Just recently I bought a Samsung 850 SSD, along with an HDD bay to replace my CD drive.

I switched the SSD to be my boot drive, and the HDD is all my old data.

My computer now boots in 4 seconds. (Not counting time to unlock the disk encryption, about 2 seconds, plus typing in my long passwords…)

My old drive has been getting old, I was struggling to pull 5 MB/s from it when I needed, and I knew it wasn’t gonna hold up for much.
Choosing an SSD to replace it was the best upgrade to my computer since I bought it.

No more I/O blocking, no more long waits on package installations, and games appear to load many times faster.
Although I still have most of my games on my HDD, having the OS on an SSD frees up I/O on the disk so I can start pulling 80 MB/s from it when needed.

Of the many things I noticed after switching drives, is that just by booting from a different drive, my HDD appears to have gained performance. I’m not sure why, possibly the deadline scheduler didn’t handle under pressure so well.

Although of course, that’s nothing compared to the just as promised 520 MB/s from the 850 SSD. If you’re buying a hard drive and don’t mind paying some 20% more for it, the performance is absolutely worth it.

TLDR; Bought an SSD, reduced time to start things by 90% and increased performance dramatically.

Yet another one of my experiences trying to get something that works on Windows to work on Ubuntu.

I’ve been using TF2center.com quite a bit recently to get in some practice matches, but it’s not as smooth a process as I want it to be. It took me awhile to get the steam:// connect links working properly, but Mumble has been manual for the most part.

What I’ve managed to do is get Mumble to at least open, but the full URL is not yet fed. Launching Mumble via a URL will only open the application, not connect you to the server you wish to be connected to, or give you a username/password.