Dwarfsoft [GPA]

Author Archive

Updated GTD-PHP POP3 Inbox Import

by on Aug.04, 2009, under Uncategorized

So I have been using the new script this morning, and testing adding new actions from the GroupWise account at work. Here is where I encountered some issues.

GroupWise decides it wants to MIME Encode the email, which brings about my first problem. I need to account for multiple MIME Parts. After resolving this my next issue is that the corporate email gateway decides to append a massive disclaimer at the bottom of the email, bloating my item by at least 1000%. So I implemented the ability to cut out disclaimers based on a stripos call. I can have a list of different filters here and it will cut them all out.

After fixing this up and resolving the functional issues I logged this addon as a ticket in the GTD-PHP Trac system.

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GTD-PHP Import from POP3 Mail

by on Aug.04, 2009, under Home, Scripting, Tweet

I have been attempting to get a fully working system set up for David Allens Getting Things Done. To this end I have set up an install of GTD-PHP.

Being the kind of person who likes to adapt, change, and implement better solutions, particularly for myself, I created a list of features I would like to see in my GTD-PHP installation. One of the first problems I had with the existing system was that it does not support importing Inbox items from a real mail Inbox.

I did some research and came across an existing mail importer, however this required directly piping mail from SMTP into the php script, which I could not do on my host (or would prefer not to do).

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GroupWise Audit and Batch/Cmd Escaping

by on Jul.27, 2009, under Novell, Scripting, Tweet, Uncategorized, Work

I was required recently to audit passwords on all the Novell GroupWise accounts in the cluster. This was not too much of a problem using existing solutions, except that all the existing solutions limited searches to either Users, or to objects with the “NGW: Object ID” attribute.

The Solutions I found include Check GroupWise Users for Password – Batch and Check GroupWise Users for Password – Exe, both of which made use of GWSend. Being an avid scripting aficionado myself I opted for the first, so I could make changes.

First step was to export all User Objects with NGW: Object ID into an Excel sheet using DSReport. Then export all GroupWise External Entities with NGW: Object ID to a different Excel Sheet. Finally I needed to export all GroupWise Resources, which do not have an NGW: Object ID, but their CN is effectively the NGW: Object ID for which we can log in and try to send emails. Upon completing this I compiled a single list of Allusers.csv which had the NGW: ObjectID/CN in the first column, and the DN for the Object Name and Location within the tree. This makes it far easier to track down the location of generic accounts (Something that none of the scripts account for).

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Back Behind the Keyboard

by on Jul.20, 2009, under Home, Scripting, Study, Uni, Work

It has again been some time since my last update. I have been quite busy getting used to balancing my new life with my daughter now nearly 3 months old. Fatherhood has obviously taken a lot of my time that I previously used for development, and learning.

The past few months have also seen my University Graduation 3 days after my Daughters Birth, Family Visits, Job Applications, Job Interviews, and finally Permanency in my Servers Position.

Aside from that I have been working with some friends on converting the old TA Server to the C# .Net/Python version (PyTA). I have also been busy in mapping out my development goals and objectives for the coming months and years.

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Preoccupied

by on Apr.11, 2009, under Home, Work

I have been a little preoccupied of late, and this is due to some of the most hectic things requiring my attention, and therefore interrupting my development attempts.

First, I have been travelling a fair bit for my wife, as we are getting many scans and specialist appointments. The pregnancy has not been going as well as it could have been, but at least things are looking positive now. Understandably the requirement to have enough “stuff” set up for baby, who should be here very soon, has taken much of my time.

Secondly, the job in which I am currently sitting has been advertised for Permanency. This of course requires my time for writing the application. Hopefully the fact that I sit in the position currently will put me in a good position, especially considering in the current economic climate that there might be the newly skilled unemployed seeking to get into my role.

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Project Procrastination… Causes and Cures

by on Mar.15, 2009, under Home

I find myself sitting at the Computer attempting to start the redevelopment of Breakout, and find that the Procrastination that has set in seems to be linked almost entirely to the blogging side of the development.

I have actually done a fair bit of work on the design, even to the point of having a UML model and having the class inheritance already worked out, and all the class shells having been created in the project. The issue is with explaining where I am and how I got to this point. So, in order to break the drought I started talking about the procrastination that is present in order to force the flow of ideas to continue.

Procrastination is one of my demons, both in initiating a project, and completing a project. The causes are usually to do with planning, scope, or being otherwise occupied. Scope is the simplest aspect to resolve in that features can be cut so as to reduce the required workload. Planning is where the majority of decisions regarding the direction of the project can be considered with regard to the desired scope of the project. A properly planned project should have adequate (and achievable) milestones, and a clear scope outlining desired functionality, and most importantly the undesired functionality. By identifying “features” that you do not want in the final project you can help to avoid feature creep.

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Renovation

by on Mar.13, 2009, under Home

Real life has intervened again in my plans to get on with creating a well-designed Breakout Clone. I spent most of yesterday either commuting between the Hardware Store and the Apartment trying to get as many things fixed in it as possible. It was in a right state before hand, but now has new carpet laid, the old shower screen has been removed and replaced with a rail and curtain, and the Venetian blinds in the Kitchen and Bed 2 have been replaced with new, clean, white ones. I am still awaiting the Vertical Blinds to go into the Lounge and Bed 1 though.

Next things to consider doing will be: kickboards in the kitchen need replacing, carpets upstairs need replacing, a fresh coat of paint – and a more sophisticated choice of colour, stairwell needs to be sanded back and properly varnished. It will probably be another 6 months to a year before any other works can be started, so it may be a while.

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Laying a Cable

by on Mar.07, 2009, under Home

I haven’t had a chance yet to go back to designing Breakout properly, or any other game related projects. I have, however, been cabling up the house so I can start using my new office.

Doing a cable drop in this house was a nightmare. Firstly, it’s on a slab so I couldn’t run cable below the house. Secondly, there are too many beams in the roof that cover cavity space, so I had to drill through about 4-5 inches of timber before reaching the cavity. Thirdly, there is not 1 noggin in the wall, there are two, so I had to do some massive drill bit extension to do the boring. Lastly, a couple of the extension bits I bought SUCKED! When you pull them up they ‘press’ the release mechanism, so I had extension bits in the wall with my spade bit – not fun to get out >:( .

I had never run Network cable myself before (except Coax) so crimping the RJ45 ports was a new experience. Ended up being just as easy as using the Krone tool on the phone frames at work. I figured it would be. Hopefully now that I have moved into my new home-office I can get back to work on my XNA Game Development work.

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XNA on the Second Day

by on Mar.05, 2009, under Game Development, XNA

Breakout after XNA on the Second Day

Breakout after XNA on the Second Day

So I started attempting to write a game within a Day and blogged about it in “XNA in a Day… Almost“. Firstly I feel the need to explain some of the decisions that were made: I really didn’t have any preparation time, no prior experience with the Framework or the Language. I came in hacking things together instead of planning what I was going to do. I tried not to refactor code too much once it was in place.

The reason for this was that no matter how bad the game ended up, it would do mostly what it was told, and in the process I would have completed the project and have gained some valuable insight into both my own programming methodology, and into the XNA framework from start to finish.

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XNA in a Day… Almost

by on Mar.03, 2009, under Game Development, XNA

A screenshot of Breakout during development

A screenshot of Breakout during development

So, after starting my look into XNA under the guise of “Forays in XNA”, I was able to determine that the core code for developing a Breakout clone was achievable within a day. Considering that I work full time, and currently my wife is heavily pregnant, the fact that I can achieve this within a day should motivate the rest of you to do the same, or at least work harder ;).

My fantastically crafted White Block

My fantastically crafted White Block

So, the first thing I did was I went out and created my images. I used the template from the previous image, which was created by creating some shapes in MS Paint, and then making the background transparent and saving as a PNG using The GIMP.

My fantastically crafted White Ball image

My fantastically crafted White Ball image

My fantastically crafted White Paddle image

My fantastically crafted White Paddle image

I have also created a blank project as before and from the main project Window in C# I create a couple of classes. The first class is called Sprite.cs, the second is Wall.cs, and the third is Collision.cs. The biggest issue I had out of the creation of my Breakout game was the Collision detection. I used some primitive collision detection algorithms that just failed to rebound the ball correctly when it hit the side of an object, and as I am also using blocks with transparencies (and the ball has transparencies as well) the collision detection needs to account for that also.

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