Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Cat Just Shut Down EXP IV


The UPS is at floor level and evidently she just stepped on the power switch.


To make matters worse it appears to be hung. It's starting up read-only.

This is NOT the first time this has happened, but it is a first for the cat, that's for sure!

Bear with me while I bring it back to life.



Since Miss Kitty kicked the plug, /etc/mtab was not deleted so the system thought all the drives were mounted. The "remount" option would not take and a shutdown with "-F" would not check the partitions on reboot. I had to force a check on the root system while it was mounted, which is normally a HUGE no-no. But it's a JFS partition so evidently that doesn't matter (try it with ext3 and see what happens).

So I finally mounted it read/write, deleted /etc/mtab, and brought the system back up.

Now I have to figure out where to put the UPS so the cat won't step on it again.

Epic FAIL - Hinky Style!

Back in February I updated Chat-O-Matic to include a "feature" that turned out to be a bug. It was an incredibly sublime bug and I spent a lot of time tearing my hair out over it. The bug manifested itself in three ways:
  • The admin name stopped changing on EXP IV
  • The admin stopped harassing the top player
  • The "feature" never worked worth a damn
But, it didn't break Chat-O-Matic.

I only looked into the first problem, which was incredibly annoying. You might recall that "Eddy" was the admin on EXP IV for a long, long time. It changed once or twice when I was debugging, but I could never make it change automatically.

So WTF happened?

I broke all the functions dealing with score-tracking when I added the new feature. The aim was to kick the bots into high gear whenever a player (assumed to be a cheatz0r) had a lead of half the winning score over the next highest player. There was already a variable called HISCORE and I added another variable named 2NDHI to calculate the point spread, like so:


I suppose anyone who knows BASH sees the error and here we get into the difference between RTFM (Read The Fucking Manual) and UTFM (Understand The Fucking Manual).

You can RTFM and never UTFM a lot when it comes to Linux.

It turns out a variable name cannot begin with a number.

I did not know that!

And nowhere in the BASH manual does it explicitly say "You cannot have a variable that begins with a number".

But it does say that "[n]" is interpreted as a file descriptor. Every time the interpreter ran across "2NDHI" it spit out a "command not found" error.

I changed "2NDHI" ti "HI2" and everything worked fine again.

Sixteen years banging away at Linux and I never knew that.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cameroonian HUSTLAS

Although they've stopped bothering me about UK proxies (see the chatter on this page), Cameroonians still represent almost two thirds of visitors to my Proxy List page.

Notorious for their Puppy Scamming activities, the 'roonians are branching out into social networking, according to this article at TMCnet. Nowadays they are exploiting the lucrative Lonely Hearts market.
"An American girl created a Facebook profile to escape the loneliness created by the break-up of a relationship. Being of Cameroonian origin by her father, she began adding people from Cameroon to her profile, although she had not visited the country in over 15 years. Less than two months ago, she was contacted by one of the Cameroonians on her profile who is based in Kuala Lumpur. She was taken in by what quickly became a love scam. She fell head over heels for the scumbag, who knew just the right words to tell. Hard working and a brilliant student, she soon promised to sponsor his entry into the United States and to help him get into the same university where, of course, she would be paying the fees for him. After buying a plane ticket to spend vacation with her new lover in Malaysia, she gave access to her scammer lover to collect money from her account to book a hotel and rent a car for her stay in Malaysia. The girl later realised huge sums of money was taken from her account with the new lover no more in existence."
Poor girl.


Of course, the traditional 419 "Business Opportunity" remains popular. The same article also notes...
"Some foreign businessmen have been found wandering in some streets in Cameroon after arriving in the country to realise that their Cameroonian business partners are not real."
I don't know about you but I get a chuckle out of that visualizing it in my tiny little punkin head.


Sunday, July 11, 2010


What can I say? I've had "I" (to be precise, "^I\$") in the Ban-O-Matic list for a while now but it just doesn't seem to hit on him.

He was just too good to be true.

He's from Greece, according to his IP address. A very small ISP. If he shows up again the entire subnet is outtahere.

If you're gonna cheat, don't do it while I'm playing.

Thanx in advance.

Monday, July 05, 2010


There's a new bot in the house!

Magnificent Bastard has been laid to rest (I never did like him much) and MASTER_B8 has taken his place.

MASTER_B8, if you're slow or a complete n00b at BOT House, is a play on MASTER_T6, a long-timey BOT House playah. T6, the original (I'm not sure the current T6 is him, you guys are always stealing each others' monikers), showed up back in 2003 when the original BH went online (completely by mistake of course... it was originally put up for my kid, Inky, and his pals... but other people showed up and the rest is history).

T6 was also Thummy's first cyber love. At least, her first on BH. The old logs are long lost but, my, how they carried on!

If Mrs. T6 only knew!

He disappeared for a long time and then after Thummy disappeared, he showed back up! She had, of course, broken his heart and he couldn't stand to see her getting all slutty with new players.

And she went on to break many more hearts.

It's only fitting he be honored with his own bot.