Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: It worked for me, running a game server (Score 2) 45

by Hadlock (#48656435) Attached to: Using Your Open-Source Contributions To Land a Full-Time Job

I ran five Battlefield 3 servers on two continents for a group of about 3500 registered users, and before that a Bad Company 2 server in America for a year or two. We had a Steam chat bot (IRC is Dead in this era, especially for games) that you could interact with and kick unregistered players. The first version was crude PHP run off of a godaddy account to register your account for Bad Company 2. The steam chat bot was some ruby glue code triggered by an AutoIt script/executable.
But later with Battlefield 3, we rewrote the whole system from the ground up. ChewieBot was a C# program that used an OpenSteam API dll, and called a URL via json which authenticated against another guy's custom Steam Authentication db (he handled the backend registration using the offical Steam API) and then we ran a python script from there to actually connect to the server and kick the guy(s). This actually ended up being so successful that we were blacklisted by the reddit guys on multiple occasions despite being a top 10 server. Another guy did the website redesign including custom CSS work. I didn't do very much of the coding, most of my skills were in project management and having the technical knowledge to pull together resources and people and make them work.
Over four years I worked with about 20 people in total to make the system happen and keep it running, plus bringing in regular funding to pay for the servers, mumble servers, and the actual game servers (never pay for your own servers, you're already giving them your time). All in all the project spent about $3500 in hosting, mumble server fees and the lion's share, top notch game servers (about $114/mo each) over four years.
I ended up getting the job with those project management skills I learned while putting everything together. I write a lot of server scripting/automation and also project management working with business analysts and our appdev team(s) for various internal groups' dashboards, interfaces and whatnot.
At least one other guy used the ChewieBot project to get a job as well, he added the json capability to give him a talking point in interviews. The guy who did our db back end already has a job doing C# stuff at an advertising data mining company in the UK but is pretty fantastic at what he does. With all the API hooks, free or nearly-free VPS hosting and a popular game it'snot difficult to build a reputation and portfolio (not to mention the real-world skills of dealing with true nerds) that will take you places.

Comment: Re:Like many inventions ... (Score 2) 248

by Hadlock (#48650549) Attached to: The Magic of Pallets

The Ford Transit was designed specifically to hold two euro-size pallets. Apparently the american pallet is about 30% larger than a euro pallet, but the euro-pallet is a lot easier to get up narrow stairways common in the ultra-dense cities of europe, south america, india, china etc and the smaller size allows the vehicle to get down streets and alleyways that a standard UPS van might not be capable of.

Comment: The New York Public Library Desk Reference (Score 2) 93

by Hadlock (#48650471) Attached to: Librarians: The Google Before Google

This is an actual book, you can follow the guy's instagram or you can just buy the book. I had the 1993 edition (thanks, Scholastic Books!) in elementary school and it was basically google-lite, especially for a kid in a town of 10,000 and > bicycling distance from a major city with a Real Library (back when those mattered).
Old editions (1990's-early 2000's) of the The New York Public Library Desk Reference go for the cost of shipping.
  It's a huge tome of information, roughly 8x10" pages and 500-600 pages of them, a couple inches thick. Many rainy saturdays were enlightened as a kid waiting for dilbert cartoons to load via dialup.

Comment: Re: Best of 2009? May be, but we live in 2014. Rig (Score 3, Insightful) 132

by Dixie_Flatline (#48633845) Attached to: Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009

I haven't found this to be true. I've tried swiftkey and swype for weeks at a time, and I've found that they're generally slower than me tapping words out. The problem is that the worst case--that the system gets the word wrong and you need to replace the whole thing because none of the suggestions are correct--comes up surprisingly often for me. I also find the flow of tapping to be a lot more comfortable. I never stop tapping until I'm finished, while with the swiping methods, I have to pause in between words before I start swiping again.

Mileage varies, but I'm considerably faster with the built-in Apple keyboard unless I'm walking and typing with one hand. In that case, the swiping method has an obvious payoff because I can be less accurate with my movements.

Comment: Patents (Score 0, Troll) 217

by Groo Wanderer (#48620029) Attached to: What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

Until they stop playing games with hidden and required patents, their talk is just BS. They have shown they have no intent to change that model time and time again, this round is no different. You can open source something that requires a DX call but if you don't open source DX and threaten anyone who does with patent suits, is there a point? It is hollow BS for all the same reasons. Don't buy the PR meant to distract, the underlying mechanics are still the same. They are antagonistic to open source and that won't change at a level deeper than the public messaging.


Comment: Re:Have Both (Score 1) 567

by Hadlock (#48575133) Attached to: The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

Most first gen 4K displays are 2x 2k displays sharing an uncut panel requiring funky software and/or driver gymnastics to get it to work well. 2nd gen 4K displays generally have the two separate display drivers condensed down to one input, but third gen 4K displays where it's a true "plug and play" single display device through-and-through are still fairly rare. This is changing though.

Comment: Re:Uh huh (Score 4, Interesting) 207

by Hadlock (#48575043) Attached to: In Iowa, a Phone App Could Serve As Driver's License

If you can access the data with a PIN wirelessly, why does the "owner" of the license even need direct access to it? At that point it's the issuing authority's responsibility to be able to access it using the owner's given PIN.
To condense the argument down, "why do you even need a phone app? why can't you just give your last name and PIN to the officer?" All the phone app is doing here is validating that you know the PIN.

Comment: Re:Southwest Airlines (Score 1) 48

by Hadlock (#48573065) Attached to: Army Building an Airport Just For Drones

As they're finding out, the military drones are actually better at landing themselves, instead of letting the pilots land them remotely. Under ideal conditions it's very likely that a computer will be better than humans when taking off and landing. Computers can read and process sensor data a lot more efficiently than a human's eyes and ears. We're just made out of meat, after-all.

Comment: Re:XBMC Finally? (Score 1) 140

by Hadlock (#48568579) Attached to: $35 Quad-core Hacker SBC Offers Raspberry Pi-like Size and I/O

The onboard PWM for the arduino is fantastic, but there's not enough dedicated PWM for robotics unless you're just doing a 4DOF robot arm or something, which is why I mentioned the 16 channel PWM, which allows you do do 4DOF per limb. I have the PWM shield from adafruit, just picked up their non-denominational daughterboard (same chip, more generic mounting format) for the A+ this week.
And yeah those CH340G based Arduino Nano clones you can pick up off of ebay for $4 shipped are pretty amazing, they run for over a day off of an old nokia candybar cellphone battery, I have one running an SSD1306 OLED and temp sensor that stays charged off of a tiny solar panel.

Comment: Re:XBMC Finally? (Score 1) 140

by Hadlock (#48564973) Attached to: $35 Quad-core Hacker SBC Offers Raspberry Pi-like Size and I/O

The Raspberry Pi A+ is a good Arduino competitor; I2C, SPI, PWM, the PCB is actually smaller than the Arduino Uno R3 (standard Arduino footprint), and uses 100mA at idle (compare to 35mA at idle for the Arduino idling in non-sleep mode).
I haven't measured the A+ with the HDMI port turned off but at 100mA it's very competitive powerwise and runs a full linux stack, but has enough horsepower to do computing like OpenCV, encrypted wifi, and has full access to mathmatica and it's API now for highly optimized computing tasks, making it ideal for a robotics project. The Native PWM isn't so great but with I2C you can talk to a 16 channel PWM daughterboard for about $15 more.
Oh, and it's about half the weight of a BeagleBone Black, even if it's less powerful.

"Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come." --Matt Groening