Archive for 2011

I'm Still Here... Still

I haven't forgotten about this website, I promise. I have just had a lot going on in my life. Lot's of stress at work, computer problems at home, generic "life" stuff. This website is only a hobby project that I use to apply what I learn in my spare time. I'll think, "I wonder how to do this" then I'll research whatever "this" is, design, and impliment it on the site. Making it based off of something instead of just using generic "hello world" snippets makes it easer to keep it fresh with legit content.

That being said, I currently have leven generators in development. They used to be in the form of an excel spreadsheet, but I'm trying to convert them over to PHP as I'll have much more flexibility in what can be done, albeit with some limitations. So don't worry, I still haven't forgotten about this site.

New Server Up

The website has officially migrated to it's new home at GoDaddy. Just Host wasn't doing it for me and I already had a VPS so I said fuckit, let's move the Homeworld site to the server.

Anyway, everything should be as it was except for the downloads section. I took down all the generic downloads so I can organize them in a fashion that's easier for me to keep track of, and easier on your eyes. I also uploaded a shit ton of multiplayer maps, although I haven't uploaded any for Homeworld 2 as of yet.

But yeah, those are the major changes since the last update/server migration so enjoy!

Updates On Hold

Just giving everyone a heads up: updates are going to be on hold until I get the site up and running on the new server. I got the LightBox issue fixed, and a few other things added, but I'm not going to upload them on the old server when Just Host is going to delete the files in 4 days. I'll let you know when the new site is up! :D

Lightbox Issues

Well, I rarely use my Internet Explorer, but when I do, it puts me into automatic rage mode. Today, I loaded up my website (backgrounds download page) to make sure my spacing was correct for displaying the thumbnails of the backgrounds. Everything was all fine and dandy until I went to click on one of the thumbnails to see a bigger picture. The Lightbox failed. I'm assuming this is also the case for the currently installed Lightbox for the tutorial pages, so I have no idea how long this has been going on. So, currently on the todo list:

  • Transfer the Domain Name to Go Daddy server (half way there actually)
  • Fix the Lightbox issue or just remove Lightbox for the time being
  • Upload more multiplayer maps
  • Upload the map backgrounds
  • Upload mapmaking tutorial

Domain Name Renewal Time


Well, it's that time in the life of a website where a decision must be made. And since I get regular traffic to this website, I'm going to continue it's life. However, I am not too fond of justhost's plans, and I want to transfer the domain name to godaddy. So, if the site goes down, it's in the process of being transferred.

Bad News & Good News

I just got an email yesterday. It appears my domain name is up for renewal. I want to transfer it, but Just Host is being a bitch about the whole situation (as usual per their unwritten contract of having as unhelpful customer service as possible). The site will be up until 17 Jun 2011 when it expires. If it's down after that, I still didn't get the domain transferred to Go Daddy just yet, but fear not, it WILL be done.

Also, as promised, I am coding the maps download page as I type this. However, it's 1 a.m. and I'm getting tired. I may just finish up the maps download page tomorrow.

DIV Layout Complete... Sort of...

Well, I have my template file complete that converted all the table layouts to div layouts. According to my calculation, this saves me about 8,000 lines of code of the so far underdeveloped website. I didn't have time to go through and change all the pages (because it's a lot of code to sift through) so no uploads to the live site. But, whilest taking breaks from coding, I did finally manage to stock-pile some multiplayer maps for homeworld and cataclysm. Those should be up within the week. This time I won't break that promise. Even if I just have to load a basic html page just so you can download them. <3

I love you that much.

Breaking My Promise

Well, I won't be breaking it completely, as I will still be uploading as much new content as possbible, but as I was coding the new pages I realized that how I have the site designed as-is is, well... for lack of a better word, shitty. I, despite having failed at many attempts, decided against using a <div> for the more frowned upon <table> layout. Yes, this was bad, and because of it, it's making other things a tad more difficult, namely how my styles are being displayed by different browsers. Another thing is that whenever I mad major modifications to files or moved files to a different directory, I left or renamed the originals just in case I screwed something up. So, in an effort to clean up the site inside and out, I'll be dedicating more time to that instead of adding content, because adding content will be easier in the long run if I do this now.

Right. About actually working...

Yeah, it has been a couple of months since I've updated the actual site, because I've been incredibly busy. But, some good news: as I type this blog I actually have 12 new pages open that I am coding for the website. Right now I am porting everything off of the Map Makers Archives site that doesn't have a broken link. It has the most information in regards to map making still on the internet, albeit the organization of the data is somewhat... non-organized. I guess an ETA on the new upload will be around the end of this week.

Comments added to News Section!

I have added comment functionality to the news section! I must say that once again I am proud of myself. This site is a learning experience as it grows, and I enjoy being able to create something out of nothing. To add a comment you just click on the "comments" link and a box will be displayed to write a comment in. It's very light-weight so it isn't fancy or anything. But it gets the job done. A link to the news section (which is also the home page):

I do have a confession.

I'm using tables for formatting. I should really fix this... Maybe later...

Secret Project Pt. IV

Technical Difficulties.

I had to get a hold of technical support b/c my DNS still wasn't resolving. They helped me out and it should be up within a couple days time. Hopefully...

Secret Project Pt. III

Here is what the should look like. Of course the DNS still hasn't resolved yet so it's still not "public" yet. I wonder if I did it wrong... I may call customer service if it isn't resolved by tomorrow.

Secret Project Pt. II

Well, my side project is done and is up. However, at the time of writing, the DNS hasn't resolved yet so you can't get to the actual website without using a "back-door" method. The default Go Daddy page loads exceptionally well though. Here is a link to the site:

If you really want to see it, you can use the back-door method (different for all OSs, this is for win7/Vista):

  1. Go to the C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\ directory
  2. Open the hosts file with a text editor
  3. Add a new line with the following text:
  4. Save and close the file, and you should be able to go to the website now.
If you do this, make sure to delete the entry later because if the server changes IP addresses you will no longer be able to view the website.

    Secret Project

    Sorry I've been neglecting updates, I've got a secret project that I got commissioned for. Deadline is the end of the week, but if I don't sleep I could probably get it done tonight...

    - Secret Squirrel.

    And thus I replied, "FUCK YOU PHP!"

    All I wanted to do was to have a download counter for my download section, but nooooo, the powers that be had to shit on my dreams; but nay sayeth I, and down thy wrath cometh, a fiery storm of programming fury that hath no limits.

    But seriously, it took me quite a few hours to figure this one out. I won't bore you guys with the details, but let it be known that there are some magical properties in my script; I know not how it exactly works, just that the particular ingredients in their particular order magically work. It's nice when things work.

    The code is so disgusting to look at; 184 lines of code and I know that only around 40 or so lines are actually needed to make it work, but everything is interacting in such a way that I don't want to clean it up and make this house of cards crumble to the floor, ruining my hard work with nothing to show for it, so it's staying as is.

    Anyway, now I can check out how many times my files are downloaded. It's nice to say the least. I can't track how many people do this with analytics, so doing this allows me to see how much use I'm getting, as well as allowing users to see how many times a file was downloaded.

    I notice I neglect to post actual URLs in my posts (although the URL to my website is in the page banner thing) so here is the link to the download page, complete with download tracking as well as sorting options:

    Comments & suggestions always welcome! :)

    Downloads Up

    I got the download section functioning now. I have available the most recent patch as well as the No CD file so you can play without the hassle of a disk. More to come in the future.

    A note from a programmer's perspective:
    The download section proved quite interesting to design and construct. It is very php heavy in script, but I wanted it very lightweight if you will, so i wouldnt have to mess with any sql databases or such, so I came up with an idea modifying the news script for the downloads.

    What actually is going on in the download directory is I have to sub-directories: files and database. In the files directory, I of course have all the download files, but in the database directory is where the magic is. Each download file has a corresponding text file that contains all the information about it, the file name, what game it's for, the type of download it is, url for a screenshot (if any), and even the complete description. I can then load the file data into an array, and have every new line a new entry in a secondary array, effectively making a database from a two-dimensional array, all with minimal scripting. Granted, doing it like this is not as powerful as an actual database, but I don't really need any intricate sort functions or the like; this will do just fine, if not better for my purposes.

    Up & Running

    Finally got everything squared away. Only took forever. I'm glad to see everyone back in the blogging community. My life is super busy right now so let me give you the short 411:

    • Inspection coming up at work
    • Satisfying my minecraft withdrawls
    • Archiving the internet
    When I say "archiving the internet" I really mean I'm going out and saving every last piece I can find involving Homeworld. The purpose of my site is to make a one-stop-shop for everything Homeworld, and many of the sites that are currently hosted haven't been touched in years, and I'm afraid that things will start disappear (or rather, continue to disappear as there are shittons of broken links anyway). So as of right now the website is semi-on hold, but I'm still cleaning up some things with it and what not. The next major update will be the download section. It will have all the patches, tools, utilities, etc. needed to play Homeworld, among other things.

    In the Mail

    The replacements are in the mail and should be here by the end of the week! :D

    RMA Update

    Just got the shipping notification from EVGA. Who know how long it will take to get here. Also, my processor may have been the culprit too so well see what happens.

    I'm going through minecraft withdrawals...

    Broken computer

    Motherboard died. Waiting for RMA number. I'm posting this from my cell phone because I have no other way. I am just letting you guys know I didn't die. ;-)

    Less PHP Issues

    I got the whole issue sorted out with my server. Now I can properly pull crap from the root directory. A bad side effect of this is now I have to reorganize my sub-folders so I can have my navigation work properly. Here is an example of basically what I was doing and what I am doing now:

    Moral of the story: do it right the first time lol.

    PHP Issues

    Okay, work on the website is going to screech to a halt until I can figure this issue out. I have some main pages that I use for formatting and things of that nature, and I've got them in the main directory. An issue I'm having is I can't go into sub-directories and call these main pages because my document root isn't set to the main directory where all my stuff is.


    This is my sad face.

    Also, if anyone knows anything about PHP and this DOCUMENT_ROOT var, let me in on the secrets lol.

    Quick GameRanger Guide

    So you got Homeworld installed. That's all fine and dandy, except Sierra shut down the WON servers years ago. What do you do now? Install GameRanger! With it you can again play against your friends in an epic battle across the galaxy! [online gameplay not rated by the ESRB]. But no, seriously, GameRanger isn't that bad at all. It's a very lightweight program and has a ridiculously easy to understand interface. The only thing I don't like about it is that you can't use the command-line options (as in you cant use triple, so the front menus will most likely flicker and give you seizures).

    Anyway, GameRanger can be found at the following link, which was cleverly named:

    Install Tutorial

    Finally got it done. Had some video issues, but found the command-line settings to automatically change it so it's all good. This is a short post, but it's info is invaluable (to those who want to play Homeworld at least).

    Next on the agenda: VPN tutorial so we can all start playing online.


    Figured I'd throw in a "+ Miscellaneous" post since so far it's been all Homeworld stuff (that and even though the Homeworld install worked, I ran into some problems. Somehow I fixed them, but I don't know how, so I don't want to post up a tutorial just yet). I talked to a buddy of mine who is extremely in the know of what's going on with Egypt because I couldn't really grasp all the bullshit on TV and the lengthy articles were too long to read. So, to sum it up as much as possible:

    Dictator of Egypt (whom we [the USA] sell lots of weapons to) hates the fact that his economy is shit, so raises the prices of commodities: food, water, etc., which was the straw that broke the camel's back. People started rioting, but then turned on each other (old government vs new government [the Muslim Brotherhood]) which is kind of stupid but whatever. So, this unrest is spreading throughout the region, and if the Muslim Brotherhood takes power, they are most likely going to go to war with Israel. Egypt is pretty much the major military in the region (as USA is to the world). Isreal doesn't have a large military, but they do have nukes. And they would probably use them without hesitation. And once people start using nukes, it's pretty much game on.

    WWIII, coming soon to a "theater" near you. (lol get it? theater? it's a pun!)

    Your thoughts are always welcome. :)


    Good news for all you people wanting to get back into playing Homeworld: the install worked (after some issues here and there):

    Tutorial coming soon!

    Website "Refurbished"

    First major update complete. I've got the major functionality of the site worked out for the most part. You will get some 404 errors but as long as they are in the same "theme" as the website it's okay. Those are pseudo 404 errors I stuck in the PHP code so it wouldn't freak out when it was trying to find something that didn't exist. You will notice on the news page there are a lot of "Untitled" posts; those are the reason why I made this blog, because I couldn't get the code to take the stupid data lol. Once I get around to it I'll have this blog feed into the site.

    Next step: get a tutorial on how to install homeworld on windows 7. I don't know if you have to do compatibility mode or whatever, I haven't google searched it yet, so we'll see how that goes. Anyway, poke around a bit. It's mostly Lorem Ipsum, but as of now the site is really kind of in proof-of-concept mode.

    Also, I don't know if people thought I made the video for the game in the last post, so just to clarify: I didn't. :)

    Just a slightly quick update and a video.

    Today is my day off. Lots of coding for the site. So much, in fact, that my eyes are currently twitching while I type this. Honestly, this isn't easy for me. I've been working on this on and off since '06, and by now I'm really wanting to get it up and running. The only programming class I had was sophomore year in high school, which was in 2002, so everything I know now was basically learned from w3schools and Google. I'm actually quite proud of what I've accomplished, seen as how it's an off and on project. Had I not commented like a good coder I probably wouldn't even be this close to finishing, since I would probably have a lot of "WTF does this do?" instances that would undoubtedly lead to delete-this-to-see-what-it-dooOOH-SHIT-I-NEEDED-THAT moments, so I can thank my coding teacher for that.

    Anyway, progress on the site so far is I completed my dynamic page banner script and also the script that is pulling php files from sub directories. The ladder may need to be modified a little bit if I want to go deeper, but as of now things work. I'm throwing in Lorem Ipsum pages to ensure functionality is correct whilest "acquiring" a copy of Homeworld.

    And here is a (terrible quality) video of gameplay with the credit song by Yes:

    First post evar!

    I'm giving this a try since I was having crazy issues trying to get the "news posting" junk on my site to work. Eventually I'm going to have this publish to the site, but for now it will just be my blog for Homeworld related stuff and site updates until I get it all up and running. The reason I want to make this site is to have a one-source place for everything Homeworld. If you search around Google for things involving the game, the net is littered with broken links and missing files. I would love to resurrect this game to it's original potential, but whatevs, as long as I can just get a game in every now and then I'll be good.

    Right now the site is pretty much worthless. I'm building it on my computer and uploading it as I make "large" strides. I'm holding off on uploading anything else until I can get the basic functionality completely figured out. I'm having some small issues pulling files from sub-directories but I'm almost done. The main things on the list of to-dos are:

    • Get the website functionality working properly (no broken links & easy addition of information)
    • Get a tutorial up on how to install homeworld/cata/hw2 on win7
    • Get a tutorial up on how to get a VPN up and running to play other peeps
    • Get a tutorial up on how to make multiplayer maps to keep the game new...ish.
    Once I get those four things accomplished (homeworld 1 install only for now) I'll upload the site again. No worries, I'll give updates as I progress.