ALEX BEVILACQUA

my little corner of the interwebs

Just Finished - Robotrek

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I was planning on writing this review a while ago, but it turns out I nuked my phone and lost my progress so I had to start all over again. I originally started this on 2014-09-26, but I kind of lost my motivation … and I started playing Terranigma, which is pretty awesome so far.

In my ongoing series of articles about old games that I never got around to playing, today I’m going to tackle Robotrek.

Robotrek is a silly RPG that revolves around “getting to the bottom” of a situation involving a group calling themselves the “hackers” who are disrupting the peace of your home town of Rococo.

The story follows your character, who wants to be an inventor, and right off the bat learns how to make robots. As you progress through the game, you’ll eventually be able to build three robots, which can be swapped in an out during battle.

Gallery Tag for Octopress

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While working on my post about finishing Robotrek, I found that I had taken a lot more screenshots than would fit nicely with the amount of copy I intended to write.

I hope to be done the just finished … article soon-ish …

Since I didn’t really want to discard any, I figured I’d just throw the execss screenshots into a carousel or gallery.

I found an exellent example, but it didn’t quite produce the results I was looking for.

Second Royalty Statement

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Although I haven’t really had much to write about lately, I just got another royalty update from Packt Publishing about Redmine Plugin Extension and Development so I wanted to share the latest sales figures … sort of :P

In the table below, I’ve added the latest numbers to those from my previous post in order to show the running total of units sold this year.

Ebook Mini Subscription Packtlib Mini Print Book Mini Subscription (3rd Party Mini)
Q1/2014 18 3 18 0
Q2/2014 73 1 33 2

Just Finished - Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

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I’ve played a lot of RPGs over the years (JRPGs mostly) but have somehow managed to hear little to nothing about the Fire Emblem series.

My focus was mostly on the Final Fantasy series, as well as other Square-Enix properties so it’s possible this is why :P

This post isn’t really meant to be a review; it’s more just my thoughts on the game right after I finished it as (a) I didn’t take any notes, and (b) I started this playthrough over a year ago.

Pipe Command Output to Logentries

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I’ve been using Logentries for a couple of months now to manage variou project logs and have found it to be extremely convenient.

If you want to retrofit a crontab or any other process to use the Logentries Token-TCP type log, just do the following:

COMMAND | while read -r line; do echo "aaaaaaaa-bbbb-cccc-dddd-eeeeeeeeeeee $line" > /dev/tcp/data.logentries.com/80; done

Where aaaaaaaa-bbbb-cccc-dddd-eeeeeeeeeeee is your log token, and COMMAND is whatever your like.

For example:

lsblk | while read -r line; do echo "aaaaaaaa-bbbb-cccc-dddd-eeeeeeeeeeee $line" > /dev/tcp/data.logentries.com/80; done

Hopefully this helps someone other than myself :)

First Royalty Statement

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Just a quick update on Redmine Plugin Extension and Development. I received my first royalty statement today, which basically just inidicates that not enough books have sold to exceed the advance I received initially.

(I probably didn’t need to redact anything from the image, but it seemed appropriate.)

The deal I had with Packt was that they’d front me $600 against future sales, of which my cut is (I believe) ~ 16% of the list price.

Still a ways to go (sales-wise) before I would consider this a “profitable” venture, but it’s nice to see that there is at least some initial interest.

I was approached by Packt a little while back to author another book, but based on the amount of time I invested in this one as well as the sales figures I’m sharing here, I don’t think it would be a good choice :P

Should I consider writing another book? Any thoughts out there from my fellow denizens of the interwebs?

Troubleshooting a Mongoid Connection Issue

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I’ve been struggling with an issue for a while now regarding Mongoid connections just freezing when the host is not on localhost. I’ve tried posting this on stack overflow and GitHub, but haven’t really gotten anywhere.

I’m now trying to dive into the issue using GDB directly, which I’m starting off following the NewRelic blog post about debugging hung Ruby processes.

First, once the process is frozen, I connect using:

sudo gdb -p <pid>

and then tried to get some info from the C-level backtraces via:

(gdb) t a a bt

This resulted in a lot of information that didn’t really help me (at least not immediately):

Accessing a running process’ STDOUT

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I’m currently doing a lot of scripting at work. Although the primary environment is Windows, I have to manage some Linux processes as well.

One example is a series of PowerShell scripts I’ve written which abstract away various ETL tasks tha we need in order to get legacy data extracted, updated and inserted into other databases.