Archive for June, 2007


time for a holiday

One of the symptoms of working as a coder for too long is that you get overly organised. My daily life is all too often a list of lists.

You spend your time at work going through the list of bugs assigned to you, following lists of steps to reproduce the bug, jotting down a timeline – a list of occurances. Then you get home and follow a TO-DO list or a shopping list.

Do that for a while and pretty soon you’ll feel like a human s-expression interpreter. I suspect that time management and spontaneity are natural enemies.

So – time for a holiday. At first I was thinking Hong Kong, because it’s like a concentrated portion China, except well run. Heading off into the 3rd world for a first overseas trip seemed a little daunting, so I figured I’d pick something fairly affluent and Western for starters.

I’m having second thoughts though. It’s starting to become apparent that after I’m finished up with the Jackass project, it’ll be Hong Kong’s hot and humid rainy season. Any recommendations folks?

Update! I’m gonna take a tour through Hong Kong and China.


A day in the life of a game coder – late Beta phase

Bug #19452 – Game crashes on main menu!

Found by: Larry Tester
Assigned to: J. Random Hacker
Priority: Super Urgent
Description: When I pick 1-player from the main menu, the game crashes!

Reproduction steps:

  1. Play an 8-player multiplayer game for half an hour on the ‘Cliffs of Precipity’ map.
  2. Quit via the pause menu.
  3. Reboot the console.
  4. Go to lunch, eat a meat pie.
  5. Come back, press X until the splash screens are gone.
  6. Pick 1-player item from the main menu
Actual Result: Game crashes.
Expected Result: Game does not crash.
Comment #1 by Larry Tester:

Oh my god! It happened again, but this time I ate a curry chicken pie. Filling is not a factor. It’s the PASTRY that’s disrupting the game.

Comment #2 by J. Random Hacker

Can’t reproduce this. My software wouldn’t crash on a mere menu selection. Please stop reopening this, I’m busy enough without having to sort through these fever-addled ravings.

Status changed: Open → Closed: Testers Smoking Crack

Comment #3 by Larry Tester:

Why are you so mean to us?

Attached: VideoEvidence.avi

Status changed: Reopened

Comment #4 by J. Random Hacker

Recommending that management reduce the crack rations of the test team.

Status changed: Open → Closed: Testers Smoking Crack

Comment #5 by J. Random Hacker

Uh, I think I’ve found a fix.

I was stepping through the menu selection code and accidentally happened to step into the C runtime. Luckily Magic Kev was walking past. He caught a glimpse of the disassembly window. Something in that asm freaked him right out – he came to an abrupt stop, pointed at the listing and was shrieking “NO! NO! NO!” over and over until we managed to force-feed him his epilepsy pills.

When I took a closer look I realised I was looking at malloc, the non-threadsafe version. Turns out there was a mix-up in the project settings a couple of weeks ago. Magic Kev was right again. How does he do it??

Status changed: Fixed

I’m terribly sorry and obviously I’m rescinding my recommendation to management about crack. Test team crack rations should be maintained at their current levels, if not greatly increased.