Saturday, November 27, 2004

Sharpreader vs WordPress

I chose Sharpreader as an aggregator - but there are a number of blogs whose feeds verify but fail to load with a red

The underlying connection was closed: The server committed an HTTP protocol violation.

The problem — WordPress emits a maformed HTTP header "Last Modified:", which should be "Last-Modified:" and the default paranoid setting of .NET rejects this.

The workround — create a sharpreader.exe.config file alongside sharpreader.exe ; this is a plain text file containing:

      <httpWebRequest useUnsafeHeaderParsing="true" />

The fix — To fix this problem in Wordpress, search for the following line in your PHP and add the hyphen

@header('Last-Modified: '.$wp_last_modified);.

Thursday, November 25, 2004


Hit 4000 miles as I turned off the A428 on the way home from work today. After the first gym work-out for too long during the day.

More memes

RPG meme

  1. What is the first RPG you ever played?
    OD&D up to Eldritch wizardry with Pasadena cleric system
  2. What RPG do you currently play most often?
    Burned out years back; last as player was using the WEG Star Wars d6 system; as GM varAD&D2.
  3. What is the best system you've played?
    I was never really a player, much more a GM. In terms of enjoyment hours, the old var-D&D c1978, follwed by Champions (3rd).
  4. What is the best system you've run?
    I would have liked it to have been HeroQuest - but that didn't quite manage to rekindle the embers. In terms of the players having a good time for a reasonable number of sessions - AD&D2+house rules, followed by Champions (3rd).
  5. Would you consider yourself an: Elitist/ Min-Maxer/ Rules Lawyer?
    Uh? You what? I'd consider myself a gamist with simulationist leanings.
  6. If you could recommend a new RPG which would you recommend? Why?
    HeroQuest, even though the 25 year wait was just a bit too long, because I liked the feel as I read it.
  7. How often do you play?
    Not at all for the last 5-6 years. Was monthly before that. GMd weekly for a good bit in the early 90s.
  8. What sort of characters do you play? Leader? Follower? Comic Relief? Roll-Player/ Role-Player?
    If there is a theme, it's characters who walk up to opponents and hit them; and if they do develop as characters to role-play, they are ones who wonder why they're not doing something safe instead.
  9. What is your favorite Genre for RPGs?
    Fantasy, followed by 4-colour superhero. I couldn't get into the dark style of games that seemed to be everywhere in the 90s; and SF games always had "which sub-genre" and "how to justify 1950s technology" issues.
  10. What Genres have you played in?
    Fantasy, superheroes, a little bit of "'60s spy show crossed with Dr. Who", a number of abortive attempts at SF. Once each Paranoia and CoC (and never again).
  11. Do you prefer to play or GM? Do you do both?
    By far the most as GM. Play got less and less comfortable. Before I GMd I wrote SF for my own amusement; and since I stopped GMing, I went back to that. Not that characters are as amenable when they're your own :)
  12. Do you like religion in your games?
    In fantasy games, yes. It's what makes Glorantha such an appealing setting. I could even do the generic-Catholic quasi-mediaeval setting. Other settings stay secular, by tacit consensus.
  13. Do you have taboo subjects in your games or is everything "fair game"?
    The tacit consensus was very much PG-13 style play, staying away from the areas not to be discussed at dinner parties - sex, religion, politics (No sex please, we're British)
  14. Have you developed your own RPG before?
    Yes, back c78, as a codification of the complete rewrite of D&D we'd been playing.
  15. Have you ever been published in the Gaming Industry? If so...what?
    Yes - in WD50 (RQ and some D&D stats for the Citadel WD special figures collection) and 78 (planetary system accretion program based on Stephen Dole's ACRETE); a review in Interactive Fantasy, with credits for assist on a number of Phil Masters' GURPS or Hero publications.

Senior moment

The following meme has been propagating through the blogosphere

  1. Open up the music player on your computer (if you have one -- the music player, I mean. Clearly you have a computer, because otherwise you couldn't read this).
  2. Set it to play your entire music collection.
  3. Hit the "shuffle" command.
  4. Tell us the title of the next ten songs that show up (with their musicians), no matter how embarrassing. That's right, no skipping that Carpenters tune that will totally destroy your hip credibility.

And I'm sufficiently old fashioned that the collection to draw from is old stuff I ripped from vinyl that never made it to CD, a few cheesy J-pop anime OP and EDs ripped from DVD plus whatever's on the CD in the CD-ROM drive at the moment, so forms a highly unrepresentative - if off-beat - sample. Bad experiences with cassette tapes 30-odd years ago has made me generally leery of music in "soft" storage, so I've not really gotten into the whole .mp3 thing.

Later - results:

  1. Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells (boxed edition) side 2 with the drunken Viv Stanshall voiceover on the final hornpipe
  2. In Love With Thrills (DP Flash Mission 2 intro track)
  3. Lynsey dePaul, Surprise, side 1
  4. Summer Time (Original Dirty Pair OAV outro track)
  5. Roky Erikson, I Think of Demons (side 2)
  6. Roky Erikson, I Think of Demons (side 1)
  7. Blve Öyster Cvlt, Dr Music/Flaming Telepaths (Unknown Origin EP side 2)
  8. BOA, Duvet (Serial Experiments Lain intro)
  9. SE Lain Outro
  10. Inner City Unit, The MAXIMUM Effect (side 1)

Fairly representative, really, of the two strands of .mp3s

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

A very healthy corpse

A very ironic outcome of recent events — I'd taken Smoke to the vets last Thursday for a routine blood test before a repeat prescription of his thyroid pills. And the test result came through yesterday - we had finally achieved a regimen that had stabilized his condition.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Smoke - as a kitten with paws five sizes too big for him, the then generation of local kids saying "Oo! Look! A kitten" as he bounced around on the living-room window-sill. Growing into a big tough cat whose paws did fit - and was determined to mark the world (and the house) as his territory, leading to an almost lifetime ban from upstairs. As top predator in the neighbourhood, the cat who slept out in the middle of the lawn in warm weather, while the others sunned themselves in more sheltered spots.

Even just this autumn, in old age, when a strange cat made the mistake of wandering into the garden, all the others stayed about 10 feet away, looking, while he just strolled out, gaunt as he was, not puffing himself up, just keeping on approaching until the intruder started the ultra-slow-motion retreat that cats do when wishing to disengage without being set upon.

LATER: Friends reminded us of their first meeting with Smoke as a new kitten, who went out into the garden and promptly got stuck up a tree. So I had to get a ladder up to try and detach him, all the while being “assisted” by Shen, our then current Burmese, who was climbing up down and around, as if to try to show the n00b how you did trees.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Smoke 1-Mar-89 — 22-Nov-04 RIP

Well, we're now down to three cats. After months of slow decline, getting scrawnier, pickier and hungrier, Smoke pleaded to be let out this afternoon, and then didn't come pleading to be let back in. So, after we got back from dinner, I went out, fearing the worst, to find him curled up under the rhododendron by the conservatory door, cold, but not yet with rigor set in.

So the blood test and pills I paid for on Thursday will all be entirely theoretical.

I guess he knew it was his time.

More about Smoke.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Senior Moments

Friday night, I'd come home and declared my intention to drink too much beer, after a stressy week. As it was, I had a couple of (500ml) bottles, and didn't feel like taking any more fluid. And then settled down to sleep just after 10pm.

Friday, November 19, 2004

What a week

This morning I looked out and there was snow!

Patchy, only on the grass and cars, but snow nonetheless.

That wasn't on the program, at least according to the weather forecast the night before.

So take the long way around to work on main roads that won't be seriously icy (as opposed to the ones where last night's rain would have turned into streams that freeze on the road, to face two interviews (incl. pre- and post- meetings), and another meeting that seemed to be saying that our deadline was now moved up another 2 weeks, so they had two weeks in which to figure out if we'd finished or not.

So, after 4 interviews this week, 4 last, hardly any progress because all the team were tied up in various interview activities, this went down like a lead balloon. I'm having a weekend off this weekend, 'cause I don't think I will have another until 25-Dec.

Saturday, November 06, 2004