Farewell Sir Terry

It was with sad news this morning I heard that Sir Terry Wogan had passed. He was old when I was young, and he was older now that I’m old. Okay, when I was a kid he was a bit of a joke, thought of as a bit of an Irish tosser who did the floral dance. But as I grew older he was always there and certainly in recent years he was there during the Sunday morning decorating. He had a distinct style, especially when interviewing, you had the feeling he really could’t give a shit about the answers that 95% of his guests gave. Michael Parkinson is similar, he would ask a question and then say ‘yes’, as if the answer was just an inconvenience to the next question. Don’t get me started on talk show hosts or we would be here all day. But it was his radio show where he was king. I was never awake for his breakfast show, but the Sunday show was a staple. He was a stalwart of Radio 2. You always got the feeling that he was only presenting to one listener, you. His Janet and John stories were so rude and full of double-entendres that you were pissing yourself laughing. His Eurovision commentaries were legendary. Also lets not forget that he did twenty odd years of ‘Children In Need’, plus the added controversy that he was the only one who got paid for his appearance. But it was his one appearance on ‘Never mind the Buzzcocks’ that was the epitome to me. No rehearsal, and I’m bloody sure he’d never even seen the show before, but he absolutely nailed it.

He’ll be up there interviewing David Bowie and Alan Rickman now, ignoring their answers and trying to get another Alison Moyet record on. Sundays with Emily will never be the same again.

The queue for death was far too long, mostly populated by the living

Had a nice lie in. Jamie got up in the middle of the night and went to work. Dillon replaced him on the bed. At about half ten Sasha was getting really edgy about food. So breakfast was made for three, the dogs skipped the coffee option. Sat in bed and read the paper. Looked at the weather at Staverton, wind was okay, but there was a tempo about gusts up to twenty-eight knots, so thats a bit of a no-go. Got up and edited a new helicopter video, thats uploaded to YouTube now and just needs the annotations doing, I’ll make it live tomorrow. While it was doing that I took the firewall apart and set it up on the bench. Put the memory test USB stick in and let that run through. Walked Sasha. Then headed into town. Thought I’d pop into the museum and catch the new ‘Death’ exhibit, but the queue was massive. I did get to see the mockup of the ‘Dignitas’ room though, that was a bit creepy, but I think mother would be happy there. Will try again in a few weeks for the other exhibit. I have a feeling the wind at Staverton will not be gusty, but it’s saved me a few quid I guess. Bought some more model cars for my stop-motion video intro and some poo bags. Memory test was fine. So installed a new version (latest) of pfSense. This is running from a USB stick. The odd thing was, when it booted, it started reporting DMA and config errors, it appears it was still picking up stuff from the CF card. I removed that and it all started working. So now I’m running the latest pfSense, but booting it from a USB stick. I’ve taken the timer off the power cable, so will see how stable this version is. So far, so good.

Must say a thank you to a special person who sent me a valued message today, much appreciated, even though I know you have your own problems to deal with. Much love.

Congrats you put the oven on to pre-heat, and only turned the light on

Started early, which was impressive as I didn’t go to bed until four and I’d drank almost three bottles of wine. Spent all day again testing crap, no end of issues with build tools. Weather was shite, walked Sasha at the only point it wasn’t raining. Worked really hard, got really stressed, had lots of chest pains. At one point I was planning on going to A&E, but subsided after I called the tools programmers complete cunts. Walked to the gym, it was threatening rain. Did Pump, followed by Laverne, it’s true we are having a torrid affair, once you’ve gone black there’s no going back. Walked home, in the pissing rain. Worked more hours than I was planning. Put the washing away. Now waiting for pizza to cook, joys of ovens with more than one button.

Am I the next ‘Q’? Probably not

Started vaguely on time. Spent all day building data near enough. Very dull. Everything is beginning to work though. Weather was nice for once. Walked Sasha. Worked quite late. As data was taking forever I downloaded that GCHQ Christmas puzzle, got well into it. Was going perfect until I fucked it up. Printed it out again and I’ll give it another go. It’s a bit like a sudoku puzzle, but more complex. Went for a run, it rained. Torture porn night, last one for a while I think, just cancelled my LoveFilm membership as to be honest the price hike is taking the piss.

Map/Unmap or UpdateSubresource, oh the fun of my life

Started late as I had a total crap nights sleep last night. I went to be very late, very tired, watched TV, and still didn’t sleep all night. Still finishing off little bits of the new shader system. Today was very cold, but dry. So walked Sasha. Walked to the gym, did Pump, walked home. Then had a bit of a crises about weather to do UpdateSubresource or map/unmap on constant buffers. After much research, the map/unmap seems to win the day. To be honest it’s all a bit shit anyway, if I was allowed to just allocate my own buffers without all this buffer renaming crap going on in background. I’m back on the wine tonight, I need to sleep. I now have to go through a ton of emails that were sent to my mother as she’s managed to sign up to some spam mailing list and it’s overloading my server.

I think the ram on the firewall is on it’s way out

Started late as I drank too much and went to bed far too late the morning before. Had a load of shadow stuff to sort out. Found an interesting issue, don’t early out of a shader and not write to a colour buffer if you have alpha to coverage enabled, it will never write anything. All sorted now and runs without a single DX warning, so pleased with that. Weather has been shocking all day, Sasha went nowhere. I drove to the gym and ran eight and a half miles. The firewall is doing some weird shit and rebooting, I think the memory is on the way out, I’ll run a full mem test on it over the weekend, so there will be very intermittent server access during that time, be warned.

In the shadow of shadows

Cracked on, considering it was a Monday. I spent the best part of nine hours today tracing one bug and it was a strange one. Had a fence that wasn’t casting a shadow properly. After all those hours of tracing I found the problem inside the shader, the program string for the pixel shader was always being set to ‘null’, even though the actual compile program was set. Nasty bug, will have to add something to the compiler to detect this. Now have another issue that all my trees have vanished, well their shadows have. At least now I have a good understanding of the whole problem. I’ve also found that VS2015 has a pretty good built in GPU debugger, which is very much like PIX, came in very handy today. Has put me a day behind though. Sasha had a bit of a weird walk as we had to avoid another dog, so we shot down a side turning and ended up on a new route, Sasha enjoyed it. Walked to the gym. Did Combat. Had an interesting chat with my sister, everything is indeed my mothers fault, we now have professional confirmation. Came home and worked far too late. Think I’ll have a glass of wine and watch Donald Trump make a twat of himself.

I always thought ‘Superkings’ were a type of fags

So yesterday we got up eventually and managed to end up in town. Went to a toy shop and failed to buy anything. Went to T.K Maxx and bought items for the holiday we don’t actually need. Came back home and shit, showered, shaved. Headed out. The less said about that probably the better. But we ended up going to bed in the late hour of this morning. I was perfectly okay, actually my lager consumption over the period of time meant I was actually below the drink-drive limit. I went to bed with a nice half bottle of wine and an episode of ‘Air Crash Investigation’. Jamie said he was going to sit in bed and order some shoes, I didn’t think anything of it. We eventually went to sleep just as the sun was getting up.

So this morning I kicked Jamie to let Dillon out, he brought me breakfast, which is a world first as I didn’t actually ask for it. He then checked his phone and said, ‘Shit I bought two pairs of shoes last night’. He had no recollection at all. I had a phone message from mother last night, together with a creepy text, “I do hope you can help me with my curtains…’. Freaky bitch. I phoned her eventually and she’d, managed to fuck her curtain rail up. So I went there and sorted it out the best I could. There was a limit to how many contortions I was going to pull on top of a pair of steps. She can now manually close them, she needs the fucking exercise.

This afternoon we ventured off to look at beds. We’ve decided that we don’t actually like the fifteen hundred quid memory foam mattress I bought three years ago. So we tried out quite a few. We found the best one was a pocket sprung one with a latex top. Unfortunately we found it also had some appalling reviews, so I’m a bit unsettled on the whole idea at the moment. We did find a new bed frame thing we like though. Now we have to pick a size. We have a standard double at the moment. This means Jamie and I are too close together. A king size doesn’t seem to make much sense. It’s an extra six inches, admittedly if those were on dick length it would make a lot of difference, but on bed width, not much. So we are looking at ‘Super king’, this would allow us to be intimate every four years, have a cuddle on a daily basis but then sleep apart by almost a complete time zone. Whats more it will fit. So if your in the market for a three year old fifteen hundred quid mattress, a solid pine bed that cost me two grand and a shit load of bedding, let me know, or it will end up at the tip.

Any fucker can use a pencil

Had an ‘ok’ nights sleep. Jamie killed my alarm so overslept somewhat though. Got stuck into work and basically wasted most of the day on trying to sort strings out. Someone in the past in their infinite wisdom decided it would be a great idea to output them using multi-byte, which is fine if you know what locale you’re in, or in the case of multi-player what locale everyone else is in. So I changed it to Utf8, then everyone kind of moaned (mostly for valid reasons), so I changed it back again. Spent all afternoon and all evening working on DX warnings, getting some really strange shit come up. Like we copy a multi sampled texture to a normal render target, binding it to a Texture2D, god knows how it works, it produces a DX warning saying that it doesn’t. Weather was dryish but miserable, Sasha had to make do with a shorter walk. I was kind of fuming by that stage anyway and my chest was feeling very tight.

Got a message from an old friend I worked with over twenty years ago. He was starting a new job at a media company. He was saying that artists were finding it difficult to find jobs. He was an artist, he once said, “Programmers are like secretaries without the tea making skills.” At the time I didn’t have a comeback. But twenty years later, I came back with, “Any fucker can use a pencil.” It was worth the wait.

Come fly with me

Had a reasonable nights sleep. Started work on time. Another good day on that to be honest, sorted out all my input layout crap. Now just getting to the bottom of a load of DX warnings. A lot less than it started with, when I first took this over you couldn’t run it with the debug driver as it would just spam continuously. Raining today, well spitting anyway, if somewhat warmer. Walked Sasha. Worked quite late but went out for a run in the drizzle this evening.

Made a video a couple of weeks ago when Ben and I flew to Lucknam Park for a coffee, may be it’s somewhere you’d like to visit?