It’s been a while…

So it’s been a while since I last posted. After taking a couple of months to just sit back and relax, it’s time to get back into it. I start back at uni in a couple of weeks, February 24th is my first day of classes, starting with some Database Development. Alongside Database Development, this semester is also have Advanced Programming, Network Services and eCommerce Systems. Then next semester I will have Analysis and Design, IT Project Management, Systems Security and Dynamic Web Solutions. As you might be able to tell from the classes I have this year, I am aiming for a specialization in Systems Administration (the Systems Administration paper will come next year.)

So, what have I been up to over the last couple of months? Playing Skyrim mostly, while spending some quality time with my lovely girlfriend (when shes not at work!) I would love to have been able to play EVE, but sadly my internet was too crap to allow it. That has now changed, as we have recently changed ISPs, so now I have a stable enough connection to be able to play EVE. It’s just a matter of finding some time to actually log in and play, as my PC is in the living room, so I can’t play in the evening when the girlfriend and kids are home without disturbing them. Which actually works out quite well, as it means I’ll mostly be playing during the day, in US prime time.

It’s my birthday in 10 days, and my amazing girlfriend is getting me the EVE: Source book (among other things). I’m really looking forward to getting my grubby little mitts on it and reading it cover to cover several times over. I’m also planning to get myself the EVE: The Second Decade Collectors Edition in a couple of days, so it’s going to be some fun and exciting times ahead.

Work on the web site should be resuming soon, so expect an update (and possibly some new pages!) around the end of the month, provided things aren’t too crazy. Now, I’m going back to watching Superstock Teams racing videos on YouTube in preparation for this weekends big meeting, Go Panthers!

And Now For Something Completely Different

This next post is going to be a little different. This is a fictional interview I wrote back in January 2012 for the now defunct Tech4 News. It helps to explain a little bit about my character and his views on ship crews.

//
Originally Posted 2012.01.16

A couple of weeks ago, I gave an interview for a young journalist looking to make it big in the media industry. That interview has been published by Tech 4 News as part of a new series of articles and interviews on Capsuleer’s. The full article can be found here. What follows is the transcript for the interview itself, provided to me by the person who conducted the interview, Mila

Mila
Why do you pay your crews so much?
Darth Skorpius
Why not? I mean, there’s no shortage of people volunteering to crew a Capsuleers ship, as even the shittiest among us still pay their crews, even if they don’t know it and the ISK doesn’t come out of their wallets, the crews are still being paid. I honestly have no idea where the ISK is coming from, and nor do most Capsuleer’s, but one theory is that CONCORD pays them. I decided to take a more active role, as a result, turn-over rates have dropped dramatically. Even when the ship is docked and not doing anything, the crews are still being paid, so there is no desire for them to find other income sources.

M
What do you mean by other income sources?
DS
[Laughs] Well, there’s no point in them sitting around in station not earning anything is there? So some of them might turn to illegal activities, drug smuggling and dealing, that sort of thing. But most of them just go and find another ship to crew, so then you have to replace those crew members who have jumped ship. By paying them they way I do, they are more than happy to sit around in station twiddling their thumbs.

M
What sort of things do your crews do to keep themselves from going stir crazy while in station?
DS
Most of them are actually studying, so they can be better at their jobs, or so they can move up the ladder to another position. Others just play Holo-vid games. One is actually writing a book. I have no idea what the book is about, but I have been promised a copy once its been published. Oh and there’s a rumor that some of my Raven’s crews members are putting together a movie that will be based entirely within the confines of my raven, with a cameo by yours-truly!

M
Sounds like you let them have a lot of freedom
DS
Yeah, when we undock, everyone has a job to do, until given the stand down order. after that, they have a bit of freedom, as long as they drop what they are doing when the alarms sound. In station, after they have carried out their assigned duties, they are free to do what they want, as long as they return to the ship when required.

M
Why go to such lengths? Is it really worth the cost?
DS
Yes it is worth the costs. I have an almost zero percent turn-over rate, its less than 1%. And I only have a turn-over rate because losing ships is inevitable. If I could fit all my crew members with cloning tech, I would, but that’s not possible. Yet.
M
Yet? care to elaborate on that?
DS
[Laughs] There’s not a whole lot I can say really, just that there is some new tech in development for ground based combat, “Drop-suits” with some pretty basic cloning tech in them, there aren’t a whole lot of details available at the moment as those involved with the development of the tech are keeping tight lips. Hopefully more details will become available in the next 6 months.

M
So the Empires are about to get some new toys to kill each other with?
DS
As far as I’m aware, some of them already have these new toys, but not at a level where they are willing to talk about it yet, Capsuleers will be getting these new toys to help them fight their wars at some point I would imagine, it would be hard to keep Capsuleers from taking advantage of the new tech, although I’m sure CONCORD and the Empires will do everything they can to keep us from getting our hands on it.

M
Talking to some of your family and friends from when you were a child, you were a bit of a dick when you were younger, what changed?
DS
Honestly, I got bored. Somewhere during my second year as a Capsuleer I realised that my attitude and acting like a dick wasn’t achieving anything, and that even though I fit right in as a Capsuleer, it just didn’t feel right to me. So I made the decision to change. I started taking a more active role in the welfare of my crews, and noticed a big improvement in ship performance. Before, my crew were a bit sluggish to respond, nothing major, but sometimes the warp drives would take a second longer to kick in than they should, and the guns a second longer to reload. Little things like that. After the change in my attitude towards the crew, those little things went away. I also noticed that the crew were a lot happier, I used to avoid them as much as possible when in station, often just staying my pod, but after the change in my attitude, I started to interact with them more, which made the crew even happier.

M
Wow, it really makes that much of a difference?
DS
It really does. I got to know the guys guys running the crew, the crew chiefs I call them. They are the ones that actually keep everyone in-line, as I can’t just step out of my pod and pimp slap someone who isn’t doing their job now can I? If it wasn’t for the crew chiefs, I don’t know what I would do. And one in particular I owe my life to, as when my pod malfunctioned back in YC 110, he made sure the Sisters of EVE got to me in time.
M
I’m guessing he’s retired now.
DS
Sort of. He still works for me, but he doesn’t work on any ship’s anymore. He is the head of Human Resources for 352 Industries, overseeing all of their personnel. He’s a real people person, so when he came to me in November YC 112 and said he was, and this is a direct quote, “getting too old for this shit”, [laughter], I asked if he was still interested in working for me and offered him a desk job with 352 Industries, which thankfully he accepted.

M
Your sister used to work for the Sisters of EVE, did that create any tension between the two of you?
DS
Not really. If it wasn’t for the accident back in YC 110, I don’t think we would have ever got back in touch with each other. I was only vaguely aware that I even had a sister until the accident, and she had no clue what my Capsuleer name was. While I was waiting for CONCORD to give me my Capsuleers Licence, we kept in touch, but once I got my licence, I was so busy being an immortal that I kinda forgot about her. After the accident, I was so messed up that I didn’t know who I was, let alone who anyone else was, and it took a while before I truly remembered I had a sister. Now that we have reconnected, I’m hoping that we can get to know each other.

M
Thank your for taking the time to sit down with me and answer my questions. Is there anything else you would like to add?
DS
Not a problem. For anyone interested in following my adventures, please visit my personal Galnet site.

Pod and Planet Entry – After Action Relaxation

The following is based on actual events within the game, slightly altered to maintain OPSEC and because my memory is not all that great, and expanded on from an IC perspective.

YC 116.11.26
Aideron Robotics HQ
Fliet, Essence

0110
Beep Beep Beep
Jaron checked his datapad. The message was marked as urgent.
“All available pilots X up, we need frigs ASAP!”
He grinned as he made his way to his hanger, it had been far too long since he had last seen combat and he was eager to get back into the action.
As his Merlin class frigate hummed into life, the grin got wider. “Something is about to happen that has not happened in an age,” he spoke into comms. “I’m undocking and ready to engage!”

0121
“I have him pointed.” Jaron informed his fleet.
As his railguns started stripping away the enemy Tristan’s shields, it returned fire.
“I’m pointed. Shit, he’s got neuts! I’m capped out.” As his armor becan to bunckle under enemy fire, he prepared to warp his pod out.
“I’m down.” He calmly informed his fleet as he warped his pod back to station.

0128
“Point.”
“Point.”
“Web.”
Jarons fleet swarmed the enemy catalyst.
“Point, web.” Jaron spoke clearly into comms as his fleet started stripping away the catalysts defences, causing it to explode in short order.
Jaron was finally letting himself relax, having been on edge for most of the last 10 minutes. That first kill quickly wiped the loss just minutes earlier from his mind as he focused on what the FC was saying and following the instructions he was given.

[REDACTED] 352 Industries Facility
[REDACTED]
Sinq Laison Region

0530
The water was warm and the bubbles smelled amazing.
Beep Beep Beep
A hand reached out from the bubbles and pressed a button on the datapad sitting next to the tub.
“Dammit, can’t a man relax after a hard day’s work?” Jaron swore.
“Sorry bro. I thought I’d let you know that all my paperwork to have my license reactivated is ready.” A womans voice drifted through the datapads speakers.
“Oh, hey Mar. Cool, do you need me to sign off on anything or is everything sorted?” Jaron smiled.
“Just waiting for your approval. Want me to bring them to you?”
“Nah, I’ll jump in a ceptor and come to you, Still stuck in Niballe?”
“Yeah. They revoked my access to corp funds, so I can’t risk paying for a shuttle out of here.”

Niballe System
Soliude Region

0715
Jaron smiled and looked out at the empty space around him as the Raptor class interceptor’s warp drive engaged, enveloping him in the glow of a warp tunnel.
“Solitude, it’s been a while.”
The station loomed large in front of him as the warp tunnel dissipated and he laid in a course to the docking perimeter.
“Docking Request Accepted” Aura informed him.

0745
Stepping out of the shower in the quarters assigned to him, Jaron grabbed a towel and started drying off just as there was a knock at the door.
Wrapping the towel around his waist, he jabbed the button to open the door and headed to the kitchen.
“Hey sis, did you bring the documents?”
“Put some clothes on will you?” Marrada giggled.
“Ha! I only just got out of the shower! You didn’t even give me time to get dressed. Luckily there was a towel nearby.” Jaron chuckled back at his sister.
“Yeah, I brought the documents. Are you going to be here for long?”
“Nah, gotta get back to Fliet ASAP. Marcel only gave me a couple hours leave.”

Mmm Tasty Fiction

I spent some time over the last couple of days using The Wayback Machine to see how much of my old blog was still preserved in archive. I was initially saddened because the copies I was able to get seemed to have large gaps in them, meaning I was going to lose content

However, after saving every piece of fiction I could, with the date it was published in the file name, I can now happily report that I have 21 pieces of original fiction (almost) ready to be re-posted here. I’m going to read through it all and correct any errors (spelling mistakes, missing words, grammar that doesn’t make sense) before re-posting it. Each piece will be checked prior to being posted here. I’m hoping to have the first piece ready to go by the end of the week, just in time for an end of exam celebration with the revival of Fiction Friday. Most of it will be posted in the same order it was released, but some of it can be release out of order, without spoiling the rest of it.

AFK – RL Intervenes

As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t posted much. RL has decided it wants my attention so I am busy dealing with assignments, exams and some personal matters. No ETA on when i will be back to posting regularly. Work on the site has also been stalled adn their is no ETA on when that will resume, probably when school slows down again.

Organizational Skills. Or lack there-of.

I need to organize myself better. I have a nice long list of things to do, but no idea what to do first. And some of those things require me to do others on the list first. Others require money that i just don;t have, so they get to sit there looking sad because they aren’t going to happen anytime soon. I still intend to put up an about me post sometime soon, and am working on a post/page detailing the “projects” I am currently “working” on, as in, I have started them, but don’t know when I will next get around to working on them or if I will ever finish any of them. But that’s half the fun!

Until next time!

New Beginnings

I’ve decided to start blogging again, and to start my own website. This blog is where I’ll talk about my latest adventures in Tech, Web Design and Software Development. The blog and web site will be a work in progress and will be used to experiment with HTML and CSS code. I may even try my hand at some Javascript later in the semester.

I’ll throw up a proper about me post later in the week and will be tweaking the design/layout of the blog over the next couple of days. For now, I have a Software Fundamentals exam to study for! Wish me luck!

Anyone who has stumbled across this site before today will have now noticed that all the posts have gone. I had imported all the old posts from my original blog, which is still up and hosted on WordPress.com. Over time, I’ll probably resurrect a couple of those posts here to show off some of my past work but for now they will remain in the post graveyard here, and available on WordPress for anyone who cares to go looking for them. I also had a self hosting blog running wordpress for a while, but have sadly lost a large chunk of the posts from it as I have lost the backup I made of it when I ended my hosting for it (Internet Archives only had a partial copy of it sadly). If anyone knows of a way to recover it when the original hosting is long gone, let me know.