Feb 12, 2010

QA - Daunte's Inferno

Location: Checkpoint just after talking to Virgil for the second time. (Virgil's Dialog: Into the Blind World)
Difficulty: Hellish (likely doesn't matter)
Health on respawn: last 1/6 (like doesn't matter)

The player is to pull a lever to extend a time limited bridge (there is a purple mana restore just left of the lever). After dieing to the wave of skeletons and flying beast, respawn and return to Virgil, and jump up onto the platform below the soul wall. Move screen right until you touch the invisible wall, then return to the switch. The R1 click event is not available.

It appears the only option for the user is to jump off the bridge to cause a respawn.

I have not checked to see if this can happen on the first walk up without being at the checkpoint. There is also the possibility that there is a specific scenario just before the checkpoint required for this bug to occur.

Feb 10, 2010

Remember, Remember the Event You Need to Remember


Gmail and Google Calendar together can help you remember important events without resulting in tons of unread emails spamming your inbox. How? That is what this post is for.

You Will Need

I must first assume you:
1) Have a Gmail account: www.gmail.com (bottom right "Create an Account >>")
2) Have Google Calendar: calendar.google.com (you should already have an account from step one)

Step One

Within Google Calendar, create a calendar specifically for reminder events. Once the calendar is created, add relevant email reminder events to that calendar. I use 1 hour, 1 day and 1 week reminders. The email address displayed on the top right of the calendar screen is the address that will be receiving these reminders.

Okay, the more commonly know side of remembering key events is started. You will still need to create events, and set them to repeat as often as they do.

Step Two

The second step is from within Gmail. Setup a filter for the reminder emails to be added to a label when they are received. Use "calendar-notification@google.com" as the "from" of the filter, and apply the label "Reminder" on the second step of creating a filter.

With the filter and label created, change the reminder label's color to something that stands out, like red.

Step Three

Finally the last step that makes this method really shine. If your not a micro manager of your emails like me, you won't want to delete this massive number of reminders one at a time. When you view the messages of a label, you can select all of the messages (just above the messages is the line "Select: All, None, Read, Unread, Starred, Unstarred") and deselect the few still relevant reminders. Hit delete with the unwanted remainders selected, and you have successfully reclaimed your inbox (at least from your own reminders).

Buzz link

Feb 7, 2010

PPP: Alpha Counter

A Programing Practice Problem where the user provides a string and receives a single number back based on what each letter of the string is.

1) Alpha Counter

Provide me with a program that will satisfy the following curiosity. If each letter of the alphabet is represented by it's slot number, where A is 1, B is 2, and so on, what is the sum of the letters for your first name.

The program should take the name "Levi" and output 48. Any unrecognized chars shouldn't add anything to the total (such as the apostrophe in "O’Reilly" or the flem sound in Achmed").

2) Key'ed Alpha Counter

I recall going to lunch in second grade, and as a class being put in alphabetical order. With a last name of Watts, this was only enjoyed when we were in reverse order. To this end, this gives me another idea.

Add a means to our program to change the alphabet order with a key. Any letter not specified is added to the end in alphabetical order. For example, if we say "cat" then the three letters c, a and t are moved to the front, leaving the rest of the alphabet behind it. eg catbdefghijklmnopqrsuvwxyz

There is at least one sticky ambiguous decisions to be made. You are free to deal with it as you see fit, but document those choices. (If you are unsure what I speak of, I will be using my last name as a key to test your app.)

To see my implementation of this PPP, as well as a means to check your code's output, see my alpha counter. Use it as a means of checking your output, and point out any errors you find in my output. I'd hate for my errors to end up on prod.

Feb 6, 2010

Sallie Mae

I pay money to three different companies for my college loans. Of the three websites I access to pay these loans, I dread using SallieMae the most. The payment process for SallieMae is often at least eleven pages. (Salliemae.com, Make payment, Not goverment loan link, Login page, contact info conformation, offer page, offer page 2, summary page, make payment (several pages)).
Of these pages, I find the login, summary and payment pages acceptable. I also find the contact conformation page acceptable once yearly. I find it discerning that SallieMae uses people's impatience to thrust upon them legally binding actions each month. It is both annoying and uncalled for. Unfortunately for myself, I know not how to get my loan moved to another company so that I no longer have to deal with SallieMae. I imagine this is a banked on assumption of SallieMae (no pun intended). Carry on.