Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Almost Home

Hello Fraggers, I am almost done with this vacation. We are currently in Reno NV visiting with my Wife's Brother. We will be leaving on Thursday morning and it is a leisurely 8 hour drive to our home. So if all goes well I expect the SERVER to be back up and running by Friday afternoon. See you all in the games. D.A...............

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dead coming home

Hello Fraggers, Dead is headed home. We are leaving Victoria BC this morning on the ferry to Port Angeles WA. Still have to clear customs in WA. We will visit briefly with Wife's girl friend and hubby in Olympia. In a few days we will head further south for more visits with family. We think we will be home around Wednesday or thursday(21st). We have been having a great time seeing all the local sights in Victoria. Almost everything is within walking distance. Did take a Grey Line tour yesterday to get bigger view of the land here. This is a very small part of a very large island. I see that GameMonitor has deactivated my server updates. That's ok, I will get it back up soon after we arrive home. See you all in the games soon. DEAD....................Dave................

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dead on Vacation or Deadman driving

Hello fellow Fraggers

As you can tell, the Deadz-Zone is down, for about two weeks. I regret to say that there just isn't anyone home to keep the server running. Dead and the Misses are away on vacation. We left in the family hearse early Wednesday morning. We made it to Fairfield Ca, about 3PM. We took a tour of the Jelly Belly, jelly bean factory and saw how they make them. It was very interesting and there were free samples to try the many flavors. Then off to find a tomb for the night.
Thursday morning was a late one for us as I was a little ill during the nite from my allergies. Allergic to tomb dust ya know. We decided to blow off the other places to see locally, and started up the freeway toward our intended destination, Canada. We made it to Grants Pass, Oregon and settled in to a really nice place for the nite.
I received some very sad news before we left on our journey. My very best friend in the world, called and told me his Sister died, very suddenly, earlier in the week. We have been close for more than 40 years. He is the "Brother" I never had. I offer him my dearest sympathies and wish him a safe journey to attend the funeral this Saturday. He lives relatively close to me and will be driving the same route I am on now, to Grants Pass, Oregon. He and his wife will drive straight through, tag-teaming the driving. He is not retired like I am and still has the responsibilities of reporting to a boss next week. Drive safe my friends.
I will report more on our whereabouts soon. DA....................

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Zone Goes Green

I had a chance to go a little Green. I put a (PV) Photo Voltaic system on my roof. Now this is purely a economic maneuver. And with the rebates from the government, it is a no-brainer. The system is comprised of 20 panels of 216 watts each, in 2 arrays of 10 each. The output of 330volts is converted to AC at 220 volts and connected to my electrical panel. There are a bunch of switches and fuses to protect the equipment and any service person. Output rating is 4.37 Kilowatts peak. Nominally the system actually puts out about 3.6 kilowatts, but when the clouds go by quickly, I have seen spikes to 4.2 Kw.
The economics of it go like this. The Federal Gov. gives me a 30% rebate off my taxes at end of the year. The California Solar Initiative pays the installer $2.25 of installed wattage(3.51 x $2.25). After all the rebates the total system cost was $17K. Now in California, electricity is not cheap. The lowest Kilowatt/Hr charge is 0.12 cents. The highest tier is between 0.28 and 0.32 cents. And, I was in the highest tier a lot. The PV system lowers my overall usage by about 75% average for the year. My first bill after install was near zero. The second bill was $1.03, next one will be about $20. You have to understand that the system can make more power than I can use in the Summer months(about 32 KwHr/day) and less than I use in the Winter months(about 15 KwHr/day). My average daily use is about 25-28 kwhrs. During the day the meter runs backward and at night it runs forward.
More economics of the game. The gaming server costs me about 104 kwhr per month to power up. That's 104 times the lowest cost of 0.12 cents per KwHr or $12.50. At the highest cost per hour, it was more than double that. So this game was costing about $25 per month to keep running 24/7. Plus I have to reset the game at least twice a day due to game limitations. Lots of money, lots of work and lots of fun too.
In the long and short of it, the system will lower my yearly electrical bill of $1400 to about $300 or so. The pay back time, with no increases in electricity cost, will be about 12 yrs. But around here the costs increase about 7%/yr, so that means the system could pay for itself in about 7-8 years. After that, free electricity for me.

FRAG on Mates

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hello Fraggers

I must admit that I am a bit honored by my loyal players. A small group of them have come together and thought up a CLAN name for themselves. The CLAN name they chose is "Dead Beats. I guess that makes me the "Dead Beat". Thank you for thinking of our group.

DA

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hello again Fraggers

I apologize for the game server outage yesterday. I was inputting a block to permanently eject a nasty player, when the whole system froze up on me. In attempts to figure out what caused the lockout of the internet, I caused the router to get brain scrambled. But, I didn't know that, so I started taking apart my intra-net and it's routers and cables. Long story short the main router went stupid and I ended up doing a hard reset. Then I managed to put enough of the system back together and reset the DMZ protocols to get the game up, late in the evening. As a result of all this fumbling around, I just put up the 10/100 router. When I get time I will reinstall the Giggabit router and things will improve some more. I also found a bad cable in the walls. I had inadvertently terminated the cables at the walls using two different RJ45 connectors. I use the TIA/EIA 568-B standard. Lesson learned, you can not necessarily mix and match brands of terminators, even if you appear to be wiring them to the same color code. As soon as I realized the error, I changed the terminal, to match at both ends, and the cable tested good.

Make note, my IP address has changed as a result of the hard reset.

It has been some time since my last blog. I have kinda become disenchanted with the game lately. I don't know why, I have been having such a bad time playing the game. It seems as though, all of a sudden, nothing in the game seems to be real. And I have three different computers to play on. Now I know you're gonna say how can that be with a ZERO ping. I don't know but it is. I do not consider myself a pro gamer but, I have been playing for some time. I have noticed that I can not beat very many players. I have also noticed that my kill shots do not correspond to where I shot. Now this has changed because, not long ago, where I shot is where the kill was. Something is lagging in my video. This lag carries over to playing in all the games servers. Possibly I need to reload the whole OS. I am leaning toward the bad cable causing a bad impedance and upsetting the balance in my Intra-net. I'll let you know if things improve

DA.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Testing new software

I have been testing some new software. A program from P C Tools, called ThreatFire ( www.ThreatFire.com ). It is suppose to supplement your installed anti-virus program. It was suppose to provide "Behavioral Virus and Spyware Protection" for known and unknown virus, trojan, worms, rootkits, buffer overflows, and spyware, before a virus definition actually comes out. It also had a anti-rootkit program in it. I can not actually say that it works as I had no detected rootkit infection. This program was previously known as CybeHawk by it's previous owner. This program will only run on 32bit and is not compatible with my two X64 machines, so could not test it on one of them.
Unfortunately a few of my players were complaining that the server has been lagging lately. So I have uninstalled ThreatFire for the time being. I will evaluate weather things improve and post my results later, as a add-on to this post.

D A

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More New Looks

Well, great things just keep on coming. Courtesy of my Daughter, The "Deadz Zone" blog site now has a custom name header. She is also very handy with a web page. HTML and Graphics are her business now.
Hopefully I will learn some of these tricks myself soon. They say "an old dog can still learn new tricks".

Dead, thanks you.

D A

Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Domain Name

Hello Fraggers

It is certainly a great day for the "Deadz Zone" Quake 4 Demo server.
Courtesy of my son-in-Law, splorp! Evil Bastard, I now have my own Domain Name.
You can now go directly to my blog via this link "http://www.deadz-zone.com/"

I Thank You

Monday, March 16, 2009

"Deadz Zone" Administration

Hello Fraggers

The previous post is a set of rules for play in the "Deadz Zone" server. Please read them !!!!

I have now set in motion, some protections for the server and for the enjoyment of all players equally. I can now not only eject a player, but also BAN that player, at admin discretion. I now have the ability to block a players access to the server. The admin of this server will do so at any time they wish, for violations of the rules. I have also instituted remote admin of the server. You never now when ADMIN is watching.

In addition, Any player who intentionally crashes the GAME, will be reported to their ISP for a violation of their TOS agreement. This has the possibility of you loosing your ISP service.

Enjoy the game and please respect your fellow players.

DA

"Deadz Zone" Gaming Rules

Hello Fraggers

The "Deadz Zone" server has been experiencing a high incidence of abusive behavior lately. Some players think that hiding behind anonymous names give them that right. WRONG!

This has been perpetuated most by one player that we all know, too well. For this reason I have instituted a set of rules, for the server. This is for everyone’s enjoyment.

They are as follows:

Server Rules

Offensive/Abusive behavior: If you are caught being offensive or abusive to other players, you will be played with like a toy at the admin’s discretion, if you continue we will ban you from the server. People play the game for fun; they do not expect to receive abuse.

Racism: If you are caught making racist comments on the server then you will be banned from the server.

Cheating: If cheats such has aim bots, wall hacks etc are detected installed on your computer, or you are caught using cheats you will be banned from the server.

Team Killing: Anyone caught by an admin for intentional Team killing, in a way to destroy a game, will be banned from the server.

Use of Offensive Player Names: If you are caught using an offensive name on the server then we will ban you.

No Camping (excessive Sniping): Anyone caught by an admin for intentional camping (including spawn camping) for long periods of time will be played with like a toy at the admin’s discretion.

In Game Chat: Please do not spam the in game chat facility, it is there for your benefit, please do not abuse this facility. Also please do not use foul language; same principles as Offensive/Abusive behavior apply.

If your have any questions about this please email Dead Again at “deadzzone@gmail.com” where a server admin will try to answer your question.

DA

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hello again Fraggers

It has been a challenge lately to keep the server up and running smoothly. I have been experiencing a number of problems. Every now and then the server locks up or crashes if you will. The most annoying error message is FreeCurrentPVS. This is the most frequent error. If anyone has a remedy for this please let me know. On a few occasions the game is just gone when I get up in the morning. I have recently installed updated versions of my spy ware programs, so that may be the issue. I will disable these until I need to use them and then put them away again.

I have been seeing a new group of players lately. Most are brand new to the game. Although, everyone is welcome to play, I have an issue with several players who think this is a place to be foul mouthed and belligerent. This is not appreciated and will not be tolerated. As the host of the game, I reserve the right to eject any player, at any time, for bad behavior. I will also note, that as the host, I can see everyones IP address. So just changing your name will not hide who you are. I am also trying to find a way to block or permanently ban players, who continually offend or harass others.

DA.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hello Again fellow Fraggers

Well, it appears that I have been the victim of an annoying E-mail virus. It has mailed out a message to my personal address book, twice now. I thought I had gotten this problem taken care of, but apparently not. So for that reason, I took down the Game Server and all of my computers, for some maintenance. I ran a myriad of virus programs and spy-ware programs to route out the problem. The arsenal, I choose to run, consists of two virus programs. Both are excellent in my opinion. AVG Free is of course free to the individual user. The other is Kaspersky Anti-virus.

In the way of spy-ware programs, I use several. All of these are free to the individual user.
Spybots Search and Destroy.
Ad-Aware by Lavasoft
Malwarebytes, Anti-Malware by Malwarebytes Corp, found at Malwarebytes.org.
Another excelent program is Mail Washer by Webroot, although not free. It clears all the hidden caches and active memory. It is a, one click, clear all program.

Firewalls. There are several firewall programs out there. And I am sure that they try to do an ample job of it. But, only one I use is 100% free and has all the features that most users need. That is ZoneAlarm. Unfortunately, two of my new computers are running Windows XP PRO 64 and ZoneAlarm only has a "beta" for these. I had not installed them of late, and will be researching that very soon.

There are a great many, "Look A Likes", out there that pretend to be each of these programs, I just listed. So, be sure to get the originals only. The others will run a free program and then ask you for money to fix the problems they find. When, in fact, they actually put the problem in your computer to find. And, they later start bugging you to purchase a program, that you can otherwise get free.

I have since determined that the source of my infection is posibly two of my regular E-mail buddies. I have deviated in my routines and relaxed a bit. I will be more diligent, in the future, to route out that source. I never send out or forward SPAM mail. You all get them from someone you know and love. They are those funny and sometimes very sad little stories about some unfortunate individual or animal with a problem. More lately, they are coming in the form of political messages about the economy. You don't even have to click on any links in the mail these days. Just opening them, to see what they are, is enough to launch an attack.

I am sure that this will spir many a discussion on how to prevent attacks and they are all welcome. It is only through awareness that we can stay ahead of the game. If only by a small portition of caution.

DA

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Humble beginings

Hello fellow Fraggers. I am Dead Again. I run a game server for Quake 4 Demo, commonly know as "Deadz Zone". I am starting this blog so that some of my regular followers or players can keep track of what is going on with the server and some events of my life.

I was given Quake 4 as a present from my children. They thought I might like to play a faster paced game. Up until then I had a small network of computers in my house and the kids and I would play Quake 3 Demo for fun. I did not get to start playing Q4 for some time due to the fact all my computers were still Windows 98SE machines. Q4 will not play on SE, so that led to the build of a new computer.

I built a system as follows: ASUS Striker Xtreme MB, E8400 intel CPU, EVGA 8800GTX video card, 2 GB of memory, 2x 500 GB hard drives in aray, and a 360 GB Seagate HD for install of Windows XP Pro 32 bit version. I combinded all this in a Antec 900 case with a ThermalTake 750 watt PSU. The PSU later turned out to be deffective, but not before causing a good deal of unexplained shutdowns. I used this rig to play the game only. And, soon learned how to O"clock this beast.
A easy reach for this rig is 3.6 GHz on air cooling.

I did not like the full ver game so much, so I loaded up the Demo to start playing more of the arena style games. I did have a little exerience early on with Q3 and Unreal Tournament games. The earliest game I played of this FPS style was an old MAC game called Marathon. I did not start playing till I was in my 40's. Yes I am an old guy.

Now, you say, what does my name mean? When I first started to play, I was not very good. I was always DEAD and always last Again.. So it was the very first name I played under, "Dead Again". Albeit a long time, I have improved and can hold my own with many players. But, I am by no means a pro. Something to remember, when you decide to learn a new skill, there will always be someone better than you.

I will continue this post as time allows.

DA..........