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Month: January 2019

Lemmings

Lemmings

I’ve always had a thing for lemmings. It’s my go to Amiga game and always one of the first ever things I fire up when I plug the Amiga in or Amiga forever. There’s something oddly satisfying about getting those little guys from the entrance of their hazard filled world to the exit.

I got to thinking the other day, I played a lot of lemmings during my early computer stages. The game came out when I was 10. I loved the puzzles. And I still love them now.

It teaches you to think quickly, it teaches you to manage resources. It teaches you logic and sometimes it teaches you to defy logic. You’ve got a limited amount of climbers and builders so you may well have to change your strategy part way through a level or start again.

Found this really interesting article on it today.


Anyway. The reason that lemmings has come back to the forefront is that Sony have recently released their mobile version. It’s laden with in app purchases but it is possible to play without spending a penny as long as you’re willing to limit your time playing to 20 mins here and there (actions cost energy and energy is limited).

The levels aren’t as clever or intricate as DMAs were. I’m pretty sure that they’re randomly generated to be fair. But they work. And they’re fun. Rather than assign roles to lemmings you assign them to squares on the screen. Tell it where you want stairs and the next lemming to hit that square will build them for you. Floaters with umbrellas? Just stick a floater space in. Every lemming that falls through it will glide softly to the bottom. Be careful though, effects wear off as soon as they touch the ground again so you might find yourself needing tiered floaters to get down safely.

At first I didn’t like the new control system. After a little while I realised there was no other way this could be done on a small touch screen.

Lemmings on iPhone

Lemmings is available here on the App Store and I heavily recommend it.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/lemmings/id1238114713?mt=8

For me, it’s the quintessential puzzle game that helps to teach you how to think, how to manage things under pressure and how to know when the only option is to hit the nuke button.

Oh no!

One week to go!

One week to go!

Just one week until I start my new job. Excited is an understatement. Can’t wait to get going. My playing around with bamboo was in preparation for this, and it seems to be running pretty well – it’s updating and rebooting both of my ec2 instances nightly using AWS tasks and emailing me using SES to let me know whether the job has passed or failed.

Everything seems fairly stable. Bamboo itself is the biggest server I’ve got running in ec2, but it’s Java – and Java likes to eat all of the RAM so, it is what it is.

Note to self

Note to self

Make sure that bamboo isn’t backed off to the RDS instance you deleted, and if it is, make sure you take that final snapshot so that you can easily move it over. Oh, also be aware that mariadb isn’t compatible with bamboo unless you throw in some startup arguments.

It was a fun couple of hours at least. Yay.

DB backups

DB backups

Since we’ve got a dedicated DB server, not running as a spot instance now (so it shouldn’t just disappear whenever the hell it wants) and we’re not running RDS, I’ve re-implemented nightly sql backups to S3.

Gosh technology, isn’t it great?

Testing DB migration

Testing DB migration

Yet another DB migration – this time to a dedicated box running mariadb. Testing to make sure that posting a new post works and it appears in the right database….

Certbot and Let’s Encrypt

Certbot and Let’s Encrypt

The only way to use Amazon’s free SSL certificates is if you pipe them through something like cloudformation, use them with cloudfront or a load balancer.

Tried that for December and it turns out its fairly expensive to run an ELB for a month – it’s all fine and dandy whilst I’ve got EDU credit to burn through but I can’t afford $20 a month to shortcut an easy way to SSL cert up the site.

I started to look at certbot and lets encrypt as an automatic way of getting a cert in place, changed my apache config and here we are – running through a straight connection on port 443 to the web server.

To be fair, it was a little silly having a load balancer in front of a single web server, but I didn’t have the time to do anything else with it.

I’ve got a little bit of time now, so setting things up properly.

Helpful tip

Helpful tip

It’s always a good idea not to forget your password. Especially to your blog, especially when you haven’t posted to it for months.

So, yeah, it’s also a good idea to not remember your password and then be fooled by it not working because you’ve locked your account out yet there’s no visual feedback of having done so.

I find more and more that I’m just letting my phone randomly create a password for me/store it in my keychain – seems better that way, plus when I do actually start forgetting important things it won’t matter, because my phone will for all intents and purposes be me anyway.

Happy New year everyone!