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Real Name Frans   
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Nickname Xymph
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Signed On Aug 22, 2002, 01:01
Total Comments 377 (Amateur)
User ID 13939
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
12. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 16, 2010, 11:36  Xymph 
Akuinnen wrote on Apr 15, 2010, 16:53:
kxmode wrote on Apr 15, 2010, 14:25:
Very cool! Most days it's 0 / 30. What gives?
It comes and goes in waves. One minute it's 10+ people then a bunch leave and it's only 3.
Yup. In looking back over the player count history, almost every day it hits 20+ at least once, occasionally twice, and sometimes even maxes out at 30. It might be possible to graph that, except I don't think there's much point to it.

Akuinnen wrote on Apr 15, 2010, 16:53:
We need a Blues News Trackmania clan.
Go for it. Race
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General Discussion > To-do^W Done List
6. Re: To-do^W Done List Apr 9, 2010, 14:14  Xymph 
Enahs wrote on Apr 8, 2010, 22:02:
You know that really popular Old Spice commercial?

Enahs wrote on Apr 8, 2010, 22:02:
Your efforts have turned BlueNews from the analogy of being the woman's man to the man her man could be!
Heh, thanks.

Enahs wrote on Apr 8, 2010, 22:02:
You are da man....thought I still hate you very much!
I'll take that as two compliments. I guess.

Thanks everyone else for their kind words as well.

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2010, 14:26.
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General Discussion > To-do^W Done List
1. To-do^W Done List Apr 7, 2010, 16:54  Xymph 
Following the server switch and related changes last Fall, Blue and I set out to compile a list of new and updated features for the site with the overall goal of increasing its audience and usability. I've worked on this with varying degrees of intensity for most of my available time from November through last weekend.

As Blue mentioned yesterday, the last major entry on that list was completed with the Screenshots Archive. He's given me a lot of credit for everything as have plenty of you, for which I'm grateful, and it's been a lot of fun and often a good learning experience for me to build all these things. Blue also thought it might be useful to post the entire To-do Done list here, which I've agreed to somewhat reluctantly (as I don't like to beat my own drum), if only to show some doubters (hi Ray!) that yes, the forums have been updated -- quite a few times actually.

So here goes in more-or-less chronological order, mixing five minute tweaks with multi-week projects:

  • fix post sorting bug
  • banned users cannot edit profile anymore
  • fix add article timestamp
  • fix list/view article timestamps
  • fix lanparties mail & targets
  • fix admin mysql queries count
  • fix input sanitation in cgi-bin/*.pl
  • prevent user rename to dupe
  • enforce unique new fullname/nickname
  • tune Analog
  • install/tune AWStats
  • install/tune Webalizer
  • add new ads throughout site
  • sync board post/edit/delete/report/deletethread code/layout
  • remove story from report post
  • mail deleted post
  • quote in reply
  • rules reminder in post message
  • compartimentalize Apache vhosts
  • static StoriesOfNote insert on RoS
  • move screens/logos/tracker admin
  • move blue,credits,logos/archives/index-old.shtml to articles
  • implement {more} tag
  • implement SSI module
  • articles admin bugs
  • logos archive cgi
  • logos admin update DB
  • swap title tags
  • reorganize layout templates in Layout module
  • subs test format: header, archive header, sidebox, below1day
  • subs test: archives/, screenshots/ templates
  • create/code additional forums
  • overhaul
  • mail edits if by admin/mod
  • mail posts w/ 8+ links
  • mail post 2+ weeks after last post
  • edit in locked threads by admin/mod
  • merge edit/delete into
  • mailuser truly private
  • feed to twitter
  • set canonical domain
  • main sitemap
  • quote="Author"Date /quote
  • Apache deflate .html/.css
  • remove Share form, add Related Links widget
  • add popular non-news threads
  • title in story & article links/slugs
  • add/fix <title> on edit/delete/report confirm
  • add canonical meta tag to articles, stories
  • meta descriptions in articles, stories, rest
  • link to oneday in viewstory
  • rebuild story header w/ addthis toolbox
  • SEO code roll-out
  • SEO story & article URLs in all stories
  • Atom feed (News sitemap)
  • age gate for embedded YouTube movies
  • minor edit time window
  • repair posts relativeid/indent/threadposition
  • fix sidebox fixed width/spacer
  • mark read threads in DB
  • feeds & services page
  • fix view mode propagation
  • user ignore list
  • headlines insert in sharestory
  • add/replace/delete avatar
  • disable avatars option
  • admin avatar moderation
  • add new ads throughout RoS
  • set up TMNF/XAseco server
  • block long urls/words in posts
  • search box radio buttons + Go
  • monitor tmnf players in sysmond
  • screenshots archive cgi
  • admin site logo duplication

    From now on, I'll still be around helping with minor changes and fighting fires if needed, but in a few weeks I'll be starting a new full-time job which will affect my ability to work on bigger projects on this here site. But no worries, I won't be completely out of the picture.

    Cheers! W00t

    This comment was edited on Apr 8, 2010, 02:10.
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    PC Gaming > TrackMania Server
    6. Re: TrackMania Server Apr 5, 2010, 10:36  Xymph 
    Blue wrote on Apr 5, 2010, 10:10:
    Hey Frans(berg), as the resident TM expert, perhaps you can address his question about the advantages of the registered version?
    The highlights of the retail United edition are outlined through the Discover United button on the main menu. Bulb

    But in a nutshell: six times more content (besides Stadium there are six other environments each with its own unique physics model that you may or may never get used to ); three additional modes (Puzzle, Platform and Stunts to go along with Race mode); hundreds more Nadeo tracks are included for these envs and modes, and nearly half a million user-built tracks are available from TMX; the ability to use custom skins and models for your car; an in-game currency system called Coppers; and more.
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    PC Gaming > TrackMania Server
    4. Re: TrackMania Server Apr 3, 2010, 04:44  Xymph 
    Numinar wrote on Apr 2, 2010, 09:29:
    I finally got this because of Blue's post, which pushed me over the edge after reading about a Warthog skin on HBO. Gave it a roll last night but couldn't touch Fransburg's times!

    Anyway, glad you like it. The server's been pretty packed this past night, so it seems there's a decent uptake in the TM community, and perhaps also the BN one.
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    News Comments > Out of the Blue
    13. Re: Pink's News? Apr 1, 2010, 13:05  Xymph 
    nin wrote on Apr 1, 2010, 11:16:
    Frans, manipulating the time stream for the sake of "I told you so" is no laughing matter...
    If that's your idea of an AF joke, it's not working. Bored

    nin wrote on Apr 1, 2010, 11:16:
    God knows what else you changed on your trip to the past...
    You'd have to ask Doc the next time your time paths cross. Wink
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    News Comments > Out of the Blue
    6. Re: Pink's News? Apr 1, 2010, 11:10  Xymph 
    nin wrote on Apr 1, 2010, 10:29:
    We've not had Pink's News for several years now...
    Uhm, we had it last year as well.
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    PC Gaming > Choosing a multiplayer server
    7. No subject Mar 30, 2010, 04:42  Xymph 
    Sepharo wrote on Mar 30, 2010, 01:03:
    I should have specified that I was referring to the lack of collision.

    Unless I'm mistaken and it actually has that.
    It doesn't, and collisions totally wouldn't work in TrackMania. The main purpose of the game is to achieve the fastest times, not to get in eachother's way. The roads aren't wide enough to allow for overtaking either.
    If you want collisions, most other racing games fit the bill, but TrackMania isn't and never was that kind of game. Race
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    PC Gaming > Choosing a multiplayer server
    5. No subject Mar 29, 2010, 12:30  Xymph 
    Sepharo wrote on Mar 29, 2010, 01:14:
    Time trials are boring...
    We wouldn't need to switch to another game to try other modes. TrackMania also offers Rounds (all players start at the same time and points are awarded according to finish order), Cup (Rounds across multiple tracks), Team (Rounds, but in two teams), Laps (all players start together on a multilap track), and even a Stunts mode.

    But these only work for more experienced players, and TimeAttack mode is the most accessible for the general public, hence I picked that for the TM server.
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    News Comments > Out of the Blue
    15. Re: Out of the Blue Mar 26, 2010, 17:33  Xymph 
    Acleacius wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 13:20:
    Blue getting an Error about Word to Long, whether I use the URL button or just copy the link in.
    Yeah, my regexps obviously weren't doing the right thing yet. Fixed now.
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    PC Gaming > Choosing a multiplayer server
    3. Re: Latency Mar 26, 2010, 15:19  Xymph 
    Hoop wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 13:46:
    Will there be too much latency for people out side the US?
    Since you didn't ask this in the TM server thread, I can only assume it's a general question -- to which no single answer is possible.

    In other words, it really depends on the pertaining game. TMF is pretty lenient about connections (it normally uses UDP and only falls back to TCP if needed). I am playing from the Netherlands, and have no lag or anything.

    For other games, I have no idea since I don't have time to play any.
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    Hardware > Nvidia 400 Series
    2. Moved Mar 26, 2010, 12:29  Xymph 
    Moved topic to the appropriate forum.  
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    News Comments > Out of the Blue
    7. Re: Out of the Blue Mar 25, 2010, 16:21  Xymph 
    Speaking of games, right now you can race Blue and myself. Race  
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    PC Gaming > Choosing a multiplayer server
    1. Choosing a multiplayer server Mar 25, 2010, 14:06  Xymph 
    Why did we choose TrackMania Nations Forever for our experiment to host a multiplayer game server? It's not because I have been a very active member of the TM community for the past several years, although that certainly helps in setting up the server.

    The server that hosts the Blue's News website has spare capacity and bandwidth, and Blue and I thought this could be a fun way to utilize it.

    We figured that a team-based game isn't very suited, as those aren't much fun when there are too few players to fill most roles. So it has to be a free-for-all game, like a deathmatch FPS or a racing game. This rules out titles like TeamFortress 2, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and golden oldie Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. A four-player game like Left 4 Dead (2) is also not very useful as a website's game server.

    Secondly, it should be a game with a low entry barrier, so preferably a free game or a demo with sufficient content, though demos rarely get dedicated servers. A retail game with a large active player base could work too, but otherwise the game server is likely to remain fairly empty most of the time.

    Thirdly, it needs to be a game for which a dedicated Linux server is available, which drastically reduces the number of options, especially in contemporary games. For titles from the past few years, we're aware the following meet this requirement:

    America's Army (free)
    Battlefield 2
    Battlefield 2142
    Call of Duty 2
    Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
    Call of Duty: World at War
    Counter-Strike: Source
    Crysis Wars
    Doom 3
    Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
    Far Cry 2
    Half-Life 2 DM
    Left 4 Dead
    Left 4 Dead 2
    Medal of Honor: Airborne
    Quake 4
    TeamFortress 2
    Unreal Tournament III
    TrackMania Forever (Nations free)

    Did I miss any?

    It's hard to tell without current stats, but most of these titles don't appear to have the large player bases that they once had.

    Lastly, while not a server requirement as such, setting up and testing the server typically requires the client, so a retail game that we don't own is less likely to get its multiplayer server here. And to be honest, I own only seven of the above titles (not counting AArmy).

    For a gaming news site that originated in the first-person shooter scene, a racing game is not an obvious choice, so we have no idea what the uptake of this TMNF server will be. But in view of the above considerations, and the relative lack of modern titles that meet the requirements, TMNF seems as good a choice as any.

    So what do you think, do you appreciate this initiative, or do you have a suggestion for another game we could try later down the road? Let us know.
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    PC Gaming > TrackMania Server
    1. TrackMania Server Mar 25, 2010, 14:04  Xymph 
    We've set up a multiplayer game server for TrackMania Nations Forever, accessible via this link if you already have this free game installed.

    Why TrackMania?

    This is an experiment, and for an outline and discussion of our considerations, see here.

    What do you need to try it?

    Download and install the client from this official link or this mirrors list. Next download and apply the latest patch.

    How do you configure it?

    When starting the game for the first time, a network prompt may appear so you can instruct your firewall to allow this game. Then you'll need to pick a unique player login, which will be confirmed via email. Next, you can change your nickname in the Profile section (see this tutorial for the formatting and color codes you could apply), and learn the key mapping in the Profile->Inputs tab. To chat in the game and enter chat commands (which start with a '/'), use the Spacebar.

    Where is the server?

    If you enabled the 'tmtp:' file association during install, you can click on this link to join the server directly. Otherwise, go into Play Online->All and find the Blue's News server in the United States of America->California zone of the server browser. Once you've joined, use Add Server to Favorites from the ESC menu so next time you can locate it more quickly from the Play Online->Favorites tab.

    What's on the server?

    The server is loaded with a mix of standard Nadeo Stadium tracks, the Stadium tracks of the community-built StarTrack campaign, a bunch of classic Nations tracks, and some modern Forever tracks. But you can also add your favorite tracks from TMX, the central track exchange site. Enter the "/add" chat command with the TMX ID number, and a vote starts which, if passed, will add and queue the track for playing.

    And then?

    The game's official forums are the place to discuss TrackMania, and this list of links helps you find your way around the TM community. Have fun, and race on! Race
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    News Comments > Metaverse
    3. Re: Metaverse Mar 24, 2010, 05:45  Xymph 
    Bucky wrote on Mar 23, 2010, 20:26:
    This wasn't so hard to do once blue dropped IGN,
    You mean UGO.
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    General Discussion > Avatars
    31. Re: Frans Mar 23, 2010, 20:34  Xymph 
    Ray Marden wrote on Mar 23, 2010, 19:29:
    Yes, the site finally lets me upload the super futuristic file type known as a JPEG. :)
    It did for 24 hours already.

    Ray Marden wrote on Mar 23, 2010, 19:29:
    As for the forums....meh. I honestly have to bow before everybody that even remotely manages to keep discussions consistent with a "flat" view.

    But I still think the forums are tedious when viewed as a "thread" and I don't think the "flat" view is particularly elegant.
    I know, but don't quite understand: have you never used any vBulletin, phpBB, PunBB, etc based forums? They all operate in the same "flat" way as far as I know, so I don't see how these forums are functionally so different that you can't stand them.

    Which forums software, or specific features of them, can you stand?

    Ray Marden wrote on Mar 23, 2010, 19:29:
    Without constant quoting, it's the difference between discussing and just commenting.
    At least these forums allow you to post secret text within every comment that isn't given away by a Spoiler button... that must count for something.
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    General Discussion > Avatars
    27. Re: Avatars Mar 23, 2010, 17:03  Xymph 
    Sleeeeepy wrote on Mar 23, 2010, 08:53:
    Also didn't know these other forums were even in here!
    Well, if your nickname is any indication, that doesn't come as a surprise. Dozey

    Sorry, too easy. Wink
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    General Discussion > Avatars
    23. No subject Mar 23, 2010, 06:00  Xymph 
    Creston wrote on Mar 22, 2010, 22:50:
    Now I gotta find an avatar. Sigh.
    Well, you don't have to... but I see you succumbed to peer pressure.
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    General Discussion > Avatars
    17. Re: Frans Mar 22, 2010, 19:02  Xymph 
    Ray Marden wrote on Mar 22, 2010, 18:39:
    Well, is there any hope/chance/wish/intent/plan to upate the forums?
    Not really, plenty of work has been done to them already, and I already explained a complete replacement by another system is out of the question.

    Ray Marden wrote on Mar 22, 2010, 18:39:
    Maybe I'm just too much of a dinosaur for my own good, but I find the inability to quickly view threaded discussions, at least without loading the entire page over and over and over , extremely tiresome.

    Then again, if "flat" posting is that popular or this is just a site to shout out some random message, let me know.
    Common forum systems like phpBB and vBulletin offer only flat views, the default (ascending timestamps) equating Flat (Oldest First) here. Threads view is a bonus here, but not a very practical one indeed, so yeah, maybe you are a dinosaur for using it. And Threads view with full posts is not practical either.

    Something like Shacknews or Slashdot threading is way beyond my available time, and perhaps my capabilities too. ISTR Shack's comments were rewritten from scratch several times in the past decade...

    Ray Marden wrote on Mar 22, 2010, 18:39:
    P.S. Invalid avatar type: not an actual PJPG image.
    You tried just before I made another necessary tweak. Please try again, and sorry about the hassle, I obviously hadn't done my MIME homework.
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    377 Comments. 19 pages. Viewing page 3.
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