Friday, May 23, 2008

New Map, Old Blog

Back in the early days of BIT House I tried to run a blog here on DinkNet. It was on a very old, slow box running Windows 2003 Server. Waiting for it to load was painful. I tried to move it to the GoDaddy site, but I couldn't get it to work.

Well, something happened. It started working. Or rather, the test blog I was hacking away on started to work. I suppose it started to work after I "upgraded" to .Net sometime last year. Whatever the reason, it's back online now and you can select it from the Ye Olde UT Blog link over there on the right side of the page under Hinky Links.

It's a nice little package called Pretty Cool Blog (PCBlog). It never caught on, but version 1.0 is still available at SourceForge.

It's very likely insecure as Hell. I imagine I'll find out sooner or later.

Last weekend I started hacking away at the map. All I wanted to do was change the color of the damned markers. A different color marker for different servers.

It sounded like a simple idea at the time.

It took all fucking day to figure it out. Google was a lot of help, but for as Google-able as the Google Maps API is, it was a nightmare digging up the exact details. I searched all day. Got a tidbit here, a snippet there, but nothing worked.

I discovered you just can't change the color, you have to make your own markers (and forget the Web sites that claim to make them for you because they're the wrong format - learned that the hard way). So armed with Gimp (another program I'm not an expert at) and a few screen captures, I rolled my own.

But it still didn't work right.

I finally found the right code on a non-Google site after a full eight hours of trial and error and, although I've said this before and been proved a liar, it works better than ever.

Knock on wood.

The EXP /// players are shown with yellow markers, BOT House players are in red (a much nicer red than the old default color). After watching it run almost flawlessly for the past week, I think I finally have most of the bugs worked out.

This weekend I'll bring up BITCH House and maybe Classic ]i[ just to see some green and blue markers for a change.

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