Wow, WordPress – just when I thought it couldn’t get much worse…

Okay, so I’ve just seen a RED BANNER on my dashboard, which usually means that something bad’s happened. And yes, it has! It’s about my password. Normally, passwords are encrypted with a 128-bit cipher, but apparently, the gormfags at WordPress sort of ACCIDENTALLY stored my password “less securely” than normal because of some bug in some tool. “Less securely”… hmm, very vague. I’m going to take a guess and say it was completely unencrypted. I’m probably right.

So, I’ve had to change my password… well, not really, since my blog is probably the LEAST important thing that someone could hijack. I just set it back to what it was.

But that’s not the most ridiculous part, oh no. The most ridiculous part is this bullshit 15% off coupon I recieved as an apology. “Hey, we sort of didn’t store your password securely – sorry! Here’s a coupon for money off when you buy something pointless from us.” LMFAO, how about fuck off! I mean, what the hell? I wouldn’t buy any of these overpriced shitty upgrades anyway! $60 a year to store VIDEOS? And what the hell? $300 a year for 100GB of storage space?! WHAT? A 1TB hard drive (10x more space) is, like… ยฃ40 (~$65)? So where’d you get $300 from? Hell, I can get a PROPER website with my own domain name and UNLIMITED storage space for $58 a year somewhere else!

Anyone who’s paying these insane prices is either mentally retarded or one of those fanboys on the news page who say that everything WordPress does is amazing.

ULSG V13 may be closer than you think…

Firstly, let me just start with saying HOLY CRAP WORDPRESS IS SHIT. The dashboard needed changing, yes, but the general idea when you improve something is to make it BETTER? STOP MAKING STUFF MORE DIFFICULT TO USE GODDAMN IT!!

Right, now that THAT’S off my chest, onto the actual topic. ๐Ÿ˜›

I only have one piece of coursework left to hand in until I have a massive amount of free time. ๐Ÿ˜€ That is, unless I fail an exam (maths) or screw up a piece of coursework (algorithms, processes and data structures), in which case I’ll still have a little work to do. But anyway, since I do have more free time now, I’ve picked up ULSG V13 again. ๐Ÿ˜€

Big problem, though. I, um… I’m a much, much more experienced programmer now. I can pick up a piece of C# or Java code and figure out what it does, I’m a little more experienced with PHP, and I can easily recognise the vomit-inducing syntax of C++. ๐Ÿ˜› Because of this, I nearly DIED when looking at ULSG’s code.

It’s all over the place. And it’s not just limited to the code, there are other things that are really bad, as well, the biggest of which is that I haven’t set ANY objects or code to be global, and because of this, updating Challenges to allow equipment to be used is a nightmare. :S

The reason for this is totally due to the way ULSG was made. It started its life INSIDE a larger project about FOUR YEARS ago, and although I had experience with MMF2, it wasn’t a massive amount, since most of my experience came from The Games Factory 1 and Multimedia Fusion 1.5. Over time, ULSG just had features bolted to it without any real planning, because I didn’t think it would get so big. Now, this bad planning has come to haunt me. ๐Ÿ˜›

What I’m planning to do now is get V13 finished as soon as I can, and start work on V14. That means stopping any planned new features, deleting anything that’s not really fit for the final version, and getting everything else polished. It won’t be as good as I want it to be, but it will make it less painful when I start V14, because I’m planning to start that from scratch. The more I add to V13, the more I’ll need to scrap when I start V14. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Yes, I’m gonna start V14 from scratch. I’ll still use some code from V13, because some of it was good, and I still have the assets, so it won’t take another four years to make. ๐Ÿ˜› Plus, it’ll be better, smoother, more efficient and it could use less disk space. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, if I get to work, ULSG V13 will be released within the next month or so, maybe even within the next couple of weeks. ๐Ÿ™‚ It will have some things missing such as local multiplayer, and online multiplayer might be a bit crap, but all of the single player enhancements – ships, drones, special modules, new challenges, and so on, will be there. Plus, the unlockables will be more accessible; instead of earning AP solely from Achievements, you can earn them by collecting Creditz and destroying enemies, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’ve played the V13 Alpha, you might not notice a huge difference, but compared to V12… it’s a MASSIVE leap forward. ๐Ÿ˜€ So yes, keep an eye out for ULSG V13, coming to an Internet near you very soon. I’ll also upload a guide here, which gives you general hints and help on how to unlock everything. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I might also start a Facebook page for ULSG… not sure WHY, because it’ll get absolutely no likes, but whatever. If it could help spread the word, I’ll try it. ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, that’s ULSG. Now, onto my solid-state drive…

Yes, I bought an SSD. ๐Ÿ˜› For those that don’t know, solid-state drives are like hard drives, only they use flash memory instead of platters. Hence, they’re better in almost every possible way. They have no moving parts, so they are silent, they don’t generate as much heat, a head crash is impossible, and they’re also less susceptible to shock, although I wouldn’t drop one anyway. ๐Ÿ˜›

They’re also much faster. MUCH faster. The hard drive needs to move the read/write mechanism over the correct part of the platter, and then it needs to wait for the platter to spin to the correct position. On average, this takes around 12ms, and that doesn’t include the spin-up time if the drive is stopped. A solid-state drive doesn’t need to spin up, nor does it need to wait for anything – it can just go where it wants to go and read the data it needs to. Because of this… the average access time is about 0.1ms – 120 times faster. ๐Ÿ˜€

The only thing that hard drives have over SSDs is PRICE. My 1TB hard drive cost me about ยฃ80. This 180GB SSD cost me ยฃ230. :O But oh damn, it was worth it. My PC is so much more responsive now. ๐Ÿ˜€ I didn’t believe the hype, really, I thought that SSD’s were maybe a bit overrated… but they’re not. Windows now boots in less than 30 seconds, and shuts down in about 5 seconds. Programs start loading instantly and finish within a few seconds, games start up insanely quickly and loading times are cut VERY significantly… it’s just unbelievable. ๐Ÿ˜€

If you’re looking for a way to improve your PC’s performance, and if you can afford it, you really can’t go wrong with an SSD. And if you CAN’T afford it, you could always try a hybrid drive, which are cheaper and can give near-SSD performance in some cases, but they’re not QUITE as fast as the real thing. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Don’t sweat it, though. SSDs will be mainstream in a couple years. ๐Ÿ™‚

As for games, I’ll just quickly talk about the two I’ve played recently. ๐Ÿ™‚ In a nutshell, Ace Combat is still my favourite action-flight series thanks to the amazingly fun, exciting, addictive Ace Combat 6 (it blows H.A.W.X out of the sky ;)), and I can’t wait to try Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. ๐Ÿ˜€ Brink, on the other hand, is a boring pile of poo, with stupid clunky controls, constantly low FPS, dumbass bots and a campaign mode which lasts for about 9 seconds and has the most boring story of any shooter possibly ever. ๐Ÿ˜› The only reason it got any real attention is because Bethesda published it, and the only reason THEY published it is because they wanted money for Elder Scrolls V. Which I have a feeling will be pretty average, but it’ll get a good mark anyway because it’s an Elder Scrolls game. ๐Ÿ˜›

I think that’s everything for now. I’ll probably be back soon to announce THE COMING OF ULSG V13! ๐Ÿ˜€ Remember, you can follow its progress in more detail here:

See ya lat0rz! ๐Ÿ˜€