The Cranky Sysadmin A world of technology, fun, and ignorant rants.

May 25, 2009

Bluetooth GPS with Ubuntu 9.05

Filed under: System Administration — Cranky Sysadmin @ 12:09 pm

While going through my junk throwing stuff out or making excuses for not throwing stuff out, I came across a bluetooth GPS unit which I had forgotten about. This unit is the Holux GPSlim 240. It’s compact and it picks up sattelites pretty quickly. I decided to try connecting it to my laptop which runs Ubuntu 9.04. The most useful references I found were this Ubuntu forum post and this post for a holux specific problem. Below are the steps I took to get everything working:
Keep Reading about Bluetooth and Ubuntu…

May 22, 2009

The Cost of Standing

Filed under: Eve-Online — Cranky Sysadmin @ 8:50 pm

After doing some COSMOS missions and some Data Center tag turnins, I have the standing do level III missions with all Gallente corporations. The good news is that if I ever decide to do research, it will be easier to grind up standings. The bad news is that I was almost broke from purchasing tags for the turnin quests. I got back from an overnight trip to Vermont around noon and my wife didn’t have any particular demands for me, so I did 3 level 4 missions: Serpentis Vengeance, Attack of the Drones (har har), and Serpentis Massive Attack. Look them up here if you’re interested in the details.

I was a little worried since I haven’t done a mission in a couple of weeks. The missions went smoothly. I never had to turn on the second armor repairer so it’s pretty clear that in many level 4 missions, that slot is wasted. For the easier missions, I’ll probably replace the repper with a magstab or something. I’ll probably also swap out some mid-slots with some drone upgrades and/or an afterburner. I am also consdering a faction or complex armor repper. They run 125M ISK for most faction ones up into the billions for the best complex reppers. Clearly, I’ll be going “low end” as I rarely have more then 200M of cash at any given time.

The total haul from all three missions looks like about 20M in bounties (for the serpentis missions), 6M in mission rewards, and around 30M in loot and salvage. I need to get my damage up so I can finish these missions faster. As I’ve written before, my skill plan focuses on drones and gunnery support skills up through august. This ought to move things along.

May 18, 2009

COSMOS and data center missions

Filed under: Eve-Online — Cranky Sysadmin @ 11:38 am

Now that I can do level 4 missions comfortably, I am looking for ways to raise my faction standing. With higher faction standing, I won’t have to run lower level missions to gain standing with a corporation. I can just run level 3 and 4 missions and collect loyalty points for the gear I need. The usual way to gain faction standing is to run missions and then do the story line missions that come by every 16 regular missions. I don’t have the patience for this.

COSMOS missions seem to be a good way to gain faction standing quickly since they’re all considered story line missions. There are some problems with COSMOS. You need varying amounts of standing to participate in the missions depending on the level of the agent. Some of the missions are bugged (at least for Gallente) and some folks can’t complete them because of these bugs. If you decline or fail a mission, you won’t be able to get that mission again and the chain can’t be completed. Many of the missions are simple courier or kill missions, though they are harder then the usual mission of the same level.

The data center missions are mostly item exchange for faction standing, eg. for Gallente data centers, trade X serpentis tags for some small reward and an increase in faction. The tags are pretty expensive, so you’ll want to run some level 4 missions to fund their purchase. The data centers also have tag exchange for faction ship BPC’s, but I don’t have the standing to participate yet.

There is a german site which lists the agents, locations, levels, and standings needed to participate. It’s pretty easy to follow for non-german speakers, but there is always bablefish if you don’t understand it.

May 12, 2009

Another New EVE Player.

Filed under: Eve-Online — Cranky Sysadmin @ 8:27 am

Well… potential new EVE player. My sister is trying out the game. It seems to work well for her even on her slow dialup connection. She probably won’t be part of a blob any time soon, so the connection speed probably won’t be a factor. She even travelled to Jita to see if dialup caved in there… It held up well.

It’s interesting to see the learning curve of a new player from this side. If I were one of the game designers, I would take a bunch of noobs who are interested in the game and observe as they stumble their way through the tutorials. I don’t know how to fix it, but the new player experience probably still needs some work. Rookie chat, for instance is almost unusable because of the noise. Maybe it needs to be split up into several pieces.

It’s exciting to see a new player try out the game and look around. At this point, my sister has no clue what profession she wants to follow, so she’s checking them all out. She’ll probably waste spend a million skill points travelling down different skill paths. That’s ok. Those skills may be handy later. I suggested that she do all of the tutorial mission series to get a feel for the different aspects of the game, so she’s going through all of that pain. She picked up the new player guide at BattleClinic. It’s a pretty hefty read. Not much fluff there.

Good luck and fly safe new pilots.

May 5, 2009

The Final Frontier

Filed under: Eve-Online — Cranky Sysadmin @ 11:06 am

It’s not really the final frontier, but exploration in EVE is pretty interesting. Now that I can use a covert ops ship and a covert ops cloak, I went ahead and bought a helios. I’ve been using this to probe down exploration sites in hi-sec until I can get up the courage to do my work in low-sec. Even the hi-sec sites are pretty good. The radar sites seem to produce about 10M ISK worth of invention goodies on average. The salvage sites have been pretty weak. The combat sites are usually pretty pedestrian, but I did get an escallation from one site called “Serpentis Vigil”. The escallation sent me to a site about 17 jumps away. That site didn’t escallate, but it did drop an implant worth 20M – 30M, and a 5 run blueprint copy for something called a “Shadow Control Tower, Medium”. Wow, that’s the best loot drop I’ve ever seen in this game. It seems pretty rare and the going rate for a 1 run blueprint is about 130M ISK. With a discount, I think this one will go for 350M – 400M, maybe even more. I’ll sit on it until I figure out exactly what to do with it.

I’m doing most of the work inside exploration sites in an Ishkur. I’m beginning to like this ship a lot. My DPS with the drones is respectable and the tank is perfect for all of the serpentis rats I encounter. It’s fast and agile compared to my mission Domi, so no slow boating to the warp gates and no long wait to warp after undocking. If you’re a droner, I recommend the Ishkur with almost no reservations.

Where are the blue lights?

Filed under: System Administration — Cranky Sysadmin @ 10:12 am

Last night, my wife mentioned that she didn’t see the usual blue light in my closet…. Oops! Apparently, the power went out and the server on which this blog resides died. I still haven’t attached an APC, so every power fluctuaton brings the server down. I should add that to my list to fix.

May 2, 2009

EVE Trade and Exploration

Filed under: Eve-Online — Cranky Sysadmin @ 4:26 pm

No, trade and exploration don’t seem to be related directly. They are both occupations that I have tried recently though.

I figured my miner alt should probably have some trading skills for the high volume selling that miners seem to need, so I tried trading for a couple of days to see how the mechanics worked. Unsurprisingly, trade works very much like real life (to my untrained eye). Your prices adjust based on demand, competition, and location. The market UI is robust and allows very detailed views of historical data and current prices in locations in the region. The various trade skills have an impact on different aspects of trade; what distance you can sell or buy at, how much tax you pay, how many orders you can have in flight at the same time, etc. I can’t trade for a living though. I find it way too boring. Maybe that’s why I haven’t had luck building a startup. My sister is thinking of trying out EVE. She does a lot of trading in WoW, and I think the robust trade system in EVE will be attractive to her. Sadly, I can’t paint a pretty picture of it because it just ain’t my bag.

Exploration, on the other hand, is fun. The new scanning system takes a little getting used to, but it feels less arbitrary. It also takes less time. For practice, I pressed my ishkur into service launching probes. It’s nice because it can handle all of the rats. With my low skills though, it seems that there are some sites which are impossible to scan down (ishkur has no scan strength bonuses). I’ll be buying a helios soon though. I’ll get to see how much more effective scan strength is in scanning sites down. I’m working on archaeology for the mag sites, and I already have hacking for the radar sites. My miner will have gas mining, so that should complete the list of skills I need to fully utilize these sies since I already have salvage.


Filed under: Games — Cranky Sysadmin @ 4:01 pm

After seeing all of the ads, I finally tried out Civony. It’s a fun game. It reminds me of “Heroes of Might and Magic”. Other folks say it reminds them of “Age of Empires”. The noob chat is as bad as rookie chat in EVE, only without the helpful people. It’s free to play, but you can buy coins which can be used in the “Shop” to aquire various power-ups.

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