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Jan. 16th, 2016

I made the mistake of trying to download a game using Steam on my Mac - never done that before.

I normally stick to Nintendo consoles (main benefit of Nintendo consoles: nobody except Nintendo ever makes games for them, so you don't have too many games to play). I've also occasionally downloaded indie games that run on Mac, ones that you can get as normal downloads without stupid clients. But this one was at the urging of some online friends so we could play together, so I agreed to give it a try.

So I was expecting the client might be a bit annoying. And it was - a 2MB download, leading to a 150MB download (some minutes on my connection), expanding to 670MB on disk. (I've got an SSD, so it isn't huge. 670MB? For a launcher? Sheesh.)

Downloading the game itself was annoying only because games are so big these days; I don't have fibre, and it took four hours. Presumably it's all textures but somebody did invent compression; how many textures do you need for a £15 game anyhow?

What I wasn't expecting was that it totally doesn't run. Click it, it shows a 'launching' window, disappears, nothing happens. Nice.

After looking in system log I found a crash log. And based on that, after another hour or two (mostly fruitless Google searches) I was able to work out a solution to the problem. Here it is:

cd ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/steamapps/common/Deathtrap 
export DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH="[Same path as that]/DEATHTRAP.app/Contents/MacOS/"
echo 310510 > steam_appid.txt
./DeathTrap

(You can possibly tell from all that what the game is - suffice to say I don't recommend it. Haven't really played it, I'll try next week. But however good it is or isn't, nobody should have to go through that.)

Seriously what the actual. This is a perfectly standard three-year-old Mac, one of really not very many models they even make, and it's all updated to latest OS etc. Given the fix I had to do, I can't see how it would possibly work on any setup (the way they've packaged it is a complete bodge) although presumably it does or did. Maybe there's something weird with my system.

Even so, I used to play PC games back when you had to edit your config.sys and autoexec.bat to get enough memory left out of the 640KB for it to run. I didn't expect that the future would actually be worse.

OS X Yosemite

I've just upgraded to the latest OS X version. While I was causing problems for myself, I also upgraded to the latest Tomcat version. So I thought I'd throw out a couple of cautionary tales in case anyone else cares (probably not):

OS X:

Apple have now got rid of ipfw - it was deprecated before, not that I had noticed. So if you were using it to port-forward requests (which you would do, at least if you're me, so that your web server doesn't have to run as root - or use the weird daemon thing to run as root initially and then downgrade itself - just so it can bind ports 80/443) then you're going to have to change to use the 'pf' program, which is a pain in the backside. (But appears to work fine once you eventually figure it out 2 hours later.) If anybody needs to know how to do this let me know and I'll write it up properly. There are various things already on the internet but some of them are wrong.

Random: The new OS style is probably a slight improvement (it's nothing to actually care much about but hey, it's free).

Tomcat 8:

Prior to Tomcat 8, you could use the function e.g. getRealPath('resources') to find the filesystem location of a 'resources' folder within your unpacked web app. Now for some reason unbeknownst to anyone - sticking closer to spec, maybe? - this will return null, and you have to call getRealPath('/resources') for the previous behaviour. As a result I had to recompile web apps that I wrote years ago and have never touched since, simply to add a slash at the start of one function call... (I would've gone back to Tomcat 7, except that by this point in the afternoon, I couldn't actually get my Tomcat 7 install to work any more. Even though it totally was working fine before I started. Anyway, the 8 one worked apart from the above NPEs so I persevered.)
New walk pics! And my first LJ post for, uh, five months or so.

St Albans to Hatfield from late July. Includes some pics of a working watermill. (Inexplicably, I appear to have more or less documented the mechanism in this selection.)

Also includes some other pics of St Albans from last month. So I'm not quite as far behind as it looks! Think there's one more set from August that I need to do, though.

I also notice I didn't ever post the last few sets to LJ. Just for the record, here they are:

Easter walks near Staines
A couple of days of Capital Ring (London) walks
Grand Union Canal walk (repeat) from Denham to Watford.
Holiday in Devon, part one and part two.

May. 24th, 2014

Another set of photos. This time, something a little different: a work conference (last month). Exciting! It was in Edinburgh, which is a nice place to visit, but I didn't really have much free time. Still, I took some photos.

31 photos. Also yellow things and at least two stupid jokes.
Another LJ post, another photoset. Predictable as ever. Sorry. :)

This set's from a walk between Hemel and St Albans in late March, meaning I'm now less than a month behind. Woohoo.

Pics and text

St Albans looks quite nice, but we didn't see much of it, because we arrived in the evening (we sat in a coffee shop for a bit then got the bus back to Hemel). I need to go there another time. The Roman wall remains we did walk past in the park were pretty impressive already.

By the way, the text mentions an impressive water tower but I didn't include photos (they sucked). I searched for it afterwards, because wtf is that thing, and found this video/slideshow from the estate agents when they were flogging it off after redevelopment last year. Yours for £1.6m, although it's sold now, I'm afraid.

Apr. 28th, 2014

More long-distance path photos: Grove Park to Crystal Palace (Capital Ring part 3).

I didn't include many pictures of it, but if you haven't been before (I had, but only as a kid so had forgotten it), Crystal Palace park is actually pretty interesting. It also has a hedge maze, for instance - I didn't mention it in the text but yes, we finished the maze. Overall there's quite a high level of 'uh, cool, why on earth is that there'. Probably worth a visit if you live in or near London. It does have some kind of sports centre in the middle through - but this doesn't seem to be infectious, so it's probably okay.

If you're wondering why there are never any pictures of R, this is only partly because I've been asking her to move out of the way so I can take my normal people-free snapshots. :) I did actually take a quite nice picture of her during this walk, but it's not included at her request.

I'm catching up with my photo backlog - these are from early in March. Will have some from St. Albans (later in March) next, then Edinburgh, Staines, and Greenwich (all April). Not quite sure which month those will be posted...!
Ages since I made an LJ post and you won't be surprised that this one is walk photos from Bath (we went for a weekend break at the end of February). Tourist snapshots, mostly!

There's one picture with a couple of skeletons in, specially for hedgegoth :) Other highlights include scaffolding in the Royal Crescent, scaffolding in the Roman Baths, and an awesomely ugly orange/pink boat in the canal.
Yes, not surprisingly it's yet more photos! I guess I could post something different to LJ but...

I'm still catching up - the two sets I'm posting now complete July. (The end is in sight, as I haven't actually taken any photos in September so far.)

Tring to Wendover and back - a circular walk I did once before.

Bletchley Park - pics from a visit to the museum there, mostly outdoors and a couple of the rebuilt Colossus. (By the way, I say this in the text but for those who don't bother looking at the pictures - I'd recommend the museum, it's really good. Even if spying on people's encoded messages is not such a popular profession right now. :)

Sep. 7th, 2013

I have a bit of a photo backlog! Here are some from June and July. Chronologically:

Ivinghoe Beacon and Bridgewater Monument - shortish walk through pretty countryside near here. (14 pics)

Chester - I visited the city for a long weekend. We also took a day trip to Flint, in Wales, which has a nice castle. (38ish pics.)

Greenwich - Pics from a trip to London, mostly walking around in Greenwich on a sunny day. (15 pics.)

There are more pictures to come that I haven't put online yet, too (another couple of fairly local walks with R, then lots from the holiday I just had in Thirsk, North Yorkshire). Don't worry, it will probably take me ages to get those online. :)

Jun. 14th, 2013

Here's some more walk pictures, from a short walk around Berkhamsted last month. (It's near the place we walked the time before; next station on the railway.)

The area was a bit too pretty for taking photos, but I did my best. :)

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