The random rantings of a concerned programmer.

Archive for August, 2008


August 31st, 2008 | Category: Random

Despite having a working toolchain and emulation environment set up, I haven’t done any actual DS development yet. I’m still trying to figure out what kind of game I want to write — I mentioned before that I was somewhat interested in writing a danmaku framework, but honestly writing frameworks is absolute shit because you spend all your time making the code pretty and have absolutely nothing to show for it in the end (“OH THIS WOULD MAKE A GREAT GAME”).

Instead, I spent most of the day drinking and browsing the internet, with a brief pause to go shopping and eat cake. Oh, and I bought a Slicehost account — didn’t spring for the full 2GB slice like I’m probably going to need, but rather just went for the 1GB one. The fucker still cost me $210 (since you have to pay for 3 months in advance). Running a Gentoo install on it, hasn’t been too bad so far. Hopefully I’ll get 4scrape ported over to it and get everything running nice and smoothly.

I also learned that a game I played a couple years ago has risen from the dead — their new open beta started a couple of days ago. Like all MMO’s, it’s still got a grindmill but the PvP system is fucking brilliant and made the game entirely worthwhile (this coming from someone who doesn’t normally enjoy PvP).

Happy Labor Day (woot).



August 30th, 2008 | Category: Random

Had another nervous breakdown (existential crisis, really), then spent the entire day beating my brains out with fucking autohell to get the emulators/desmume port updated to v0.8. Finally got the damned thing to work and submitted a PR to get the update into ports.

Just fired off an email to the maintainer of devel/cross-gcc to see if I can’t get those patches in, and potentially get the ball rolling on a port of gcc 4.3.0 (so that I can use the latest devkitpro). Considering rolling all this shit together into a devkitpro port so that other people don’t have to go through this bullshit just to get the toolchains to run, but I want to hold off on that until I can get a cross-gcc-43.

I agreed to put my non-existent artistic skills to work and produce an entry for the anime club’s used-to-be-biannually-but-hasn’t-happened-in-a-long-time shit comic publication. Trying to put my non-existent writing skills to work coming up with a plot which is neither too long nor shit (and failing). I’m strongly considering just illustrating some old fanfiction I wrote and calling it a day.



August 29th, 2008 | Category: NDS,Random

Regarding DS development, DeSmuME runs fine on FreeBSD — it’s even in ports (emulators/desmume)! The catch is that the ports version is currently at 0.6.0, whereas the latest version is 0.8. I sent a poke to the port maintainer to see if he can’t get that shit updated (since I suck balls at getting software to build with autohell).

Getting v0.8 is kind of important because v0.6.0 supposedly doesn’t have 3D emulation (which is a bitch because I wanted to set up a danmaku framework which used 3D mode on both screens (by cheating and making one screen a framebuffer and rendering to each screen every other frame) to get some cool effects). I could probably do it without a functional emulator, it’d just be that much more of a pain in the ass.

Not to mention v0.7.1 supposedly includes a fucking gdb stub (fuck yeah gdb).

this isn’t /lounge/



August 27th, 2008 | Category: NDS,Random

So the recent post about DS development was ample kick in the bum for me to relook over my attempts to get devkitpro working on FreeBSD. Where we last left off, there was an issue in the last stage of the linker. Since devkitARM-r23b uses gcc 4.3.0 and my arm-eabi gcc compiler is 4.2.1, I suspected that the version difference was fucking it up.

Quickly checking the release notes, I found that the first step down was devkitARM-r21, which is built with gcc 4.2.3, so I moved the old devkitARM over and untar’d the new one. Or, I guess, moved the new one and untar’d the old one (fucking semantics). Anyway, then I had to go through the usual procedure to strip out the version of gcc it comes with and use my shit –

  • rm ./bin/arm-eabi-*
  • brandelf -t linux ./bin/*
  • For each binary in ./arm-eabi/bin, remove it and replace it with a symlink to the corresponding tool on my system.

Then hacked in some hard-coded paths to the appropriate shit (I think I tried last time to dick around with LDFLAGS to get these into the search path, but couldn’t figure out how to do it. Might go back and look at it later to clean shit up since hard-coding paths is fail) –

$ diff --from ./arm-eabi/lib/ds_arm9.specs.old ./arm-eabi/lib/ds_arm9.specs
< %(old_link) -T ds_arm9.ld%s
> %(old_link) -T /usr/local/devkitPro/devkitARM/arm-eabi/lib/ds_arm9.ld%s
< ds_arm9_crt0%O%s crti%O%s crtbegin%O%s
> /usr/local/devkitPro/devkitARM/arm-eabi/lib/ds_arm9_crt0%O%s crti%O%s crtbegin%O%s

And that’s basically where I left off last time. With this configuration (r21 of devkitARM) I get a much more palatable error –

/usr/local/libexec/gcc/arm-eabi/4.2.3/ld: cannot find -lsysbase

A quick find shows that this library is located in ./arm-eabi/lib (which was not in the search path in the command), which is easily fixed by tweaking the LDFLAGS (which should be set the project’s Makefile) –

LDFLAGS = -v -specs=$(DEVKITARM)/arm-eabi/lib/ds_arm9.specs \
   -L$(DEVKITARM)/arm-eabi/lib -g $(ARCH) \
   -Wl,-Map,$(notdir $*.map) 

With that in, the 16bit_color_bmp compiles and produces binaries! Unfortunately, I don’t have my hardware on my (and there are no emulators for FreeBSD LOL!) so I won’t actually be able to test them until I get home. I imagine that they’ll work, and if they do then FUCK YEAH SEAKING.

Update: the binary runs fine on the hardware. I want to compile the rest of the examples with my hacked toolchain (and clean up the hacks a bit so it works with their vanilla makefiles, I guess). After that, I’m not sure if I want to set up a debugging environment, say “fuck it” and just start coding something, or rig up a framework to develop on the DS in Haskell (kekeke).


Dear Diary

August 25th, 2008 | Category: Random

Today was the Student Activity Fair and I charged my weeaboo lazor and brought my manga collection to our club’s booth. I mostly squinted in the sunlight (ugh sunlight) and read manga farted etc, it was fun. Anyway, enough of that bullshit.

4scrape really needs some real hosting (rather than the under-the-desk shit it’s got now), and I’m really bent over whether or not I should bother looking for it. During peak usage, the damn thing easily chomps through the 1MB/s line it’s on (though the average usage is probably around 200-400KB/s; I’m too lazy to set up SNMP+MRTG or whatever). Those averages come to 500GB-1TB monthly bandwidth, which is a shitload (and will probably only continue to go up).

The other consideration is that 4scrape is currently running on a dedicated 2GB quadcore machine. The load average typically hovers around 0.10, peaking around 0.22 (and scrapes are timed to hit during low-load periods). This is pretty damn good — if the database is offloaded to a dedicated machine (with another 2GB of RAM) it should scale beautifully and not eat up too much CPU.

HDD space isn’t too bad either (at least, not yet). It’s currently using 40GB of disk, and grows between 400-600MB/day. The RAID array it’s currently sitting on has 219GB left, which (at this rate) will last over a year.

Obviously, moving to a shared host is completely out of the question. Not only would that shitfest probably not give it enough power, but 4scrape is written in Python (and raw mod_python, not using any of those faggy frameworks) which means a shared host will probably just stick me with some slow-as-balls FCGI solution. And there’s the SSH fetish I have which is impossible for shared hosting to accommodate.

So a Xen-based VPS is the ultimate solution, I think. The problem here is that they’re either expensive as fuck or, more commonly, just don’t provide enough fucking bandwidth (and charge up the ass for overages). I’m not really willing to ram a stick up my ass to monetize the thing, so aside from donations (before Paypal closes my account for having pr0n) it’d all be coming out of my pocket.

tl;dr good hosting recommendations?


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