Sunday, December 17, 2006


I have never claimed to be anything more than just a regular guy running a UT server in my family room. And as such I am subject to the whims of my ISP (RoadRunner). Every now and then they like to play with their network. Usually it slows things down a notch and some people (you know who you are) experience some serious lag.

And I'm also subject to the vagaries of my power company. To some extent I have that taken care of since BOT House runs on an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). The UPS handles brownouts quite well, but if the power goes out for more than an hour that's a Bad Thing™.

The other night, BOT House suffered a double whammy.

First, the power went out.

Then the UPS's battery ran down and shut down the server.

When the lights came back on, I discovered that RoadRunner had decided to re-IP our area and my IP address had changed. If you had BOT House bookmarked, you were out of luck. It was kind of slow here for a couple of days while people rediscovered the place.

Since the place was slow I decided to do some much needed maintenance. Primarily, taking the server down and blowing the cigarette ashes and cat hair out. But also taking some time to rehack Robo-Hinky.

R-H will now talk to spectators. I know, who cares? Apparently the spectators care. Not long after I turned that on I found one guy conversing endlessly with R-H. No other players, just the one spectator and Robo-Hinky.

Need a life? Me, too.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


The BOT House World Domination Map now updates automatically every 30(ish) seconds. I don't claim to be an expert on the Google Maps API, but I managed to hack it together from sample code and it seems to work. You will get better results with FireFox (or any Mozilla browser). Internet Explorer works, but you will need to fiddle with IE's default settings to get it to refresh properly. And if you're behind a proxy, all bets are off.

You may experience a memory leak or two. If you know how to fix that (something to do with JavaScript closures), contact me. Just do a "View Source" on the page. The code is there for all to behold.

If you're curious, the latitude & longitude coordinates for the map come from GeoIPCityLite, courtesy of MaxMind.

Robo-Hinky has been upgraded to version 2.01 and now will now converse with spectators.

Clan Ban is working out nicely and a few minor bugs have been fixed. Clan bois are dropping like flies and the user base is starting to even out. It has entirely exceeded my expectations. This doesn't mean the aimbotting problem is over, but if you don't want to turn these people in, you can live with the botters left over from the Clan Ban.

If you ever wondered about Thumbalina, check this out.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


I have decided I don't like UT clans much.

You can't tell the "good" clans from the "evil" clans.

You never know if they're good or just cheating.

Half the clans don't even exist anymore.

The other night a couple of clan clowns from Germany showed up at BOT House. I couldn't kick them with the usual program, Ban-O-Matic, due to their use of high ASCII characters, so I settled for dropping the whole /16 subnet while I figured out what to do about them.

The answer was Grep-O-Matic and that took care of them right away. Ban-O-Matic was just a simple string match. If someone got banned they could change their name by adjusting the upper and lower case characters in their nicks. It was due for an overhaul.

Once Grep-O-Matic was working, it got me to thinking about the clan boys. I figured what the heck - no one would miss them if they were gone, so I threw in a regex to catch all the common prefix styles I've seen.

Now, they're dropping like flies.

No great loss.

Here's a roundup of the first day's action:


Tuesday, June 20, 2006