Where CDN’s Fail

steam_logoSo yesterday I finally took the plunge and bought Unreal Tournament 3.

I just recently got a new desktop, with a very nice graphics card in it. I haven’t really had anything super intensive to throw at it yet. Portal, part of the Orange Box, was very pretty, but I wanted something current (Portal is about 2 years old now). UT3 is on sale until March 15th for just $12 on Steam.

I use Steam regularly for a few games. I’ve gone through the online purchase process before. Instant gratification at its best. Once I bought the game, due to the bandwidth limit at school, I knew I couldn’t download the upwards of 8GB to play right away. I did know that Steam has a nifty feature of backing up games, and they can be restored on anyone’s machine. So I found a friend with UT3 already downloaded and went with portable HD in hand to get the files. Once the files were copied (little did I know the copy was bad) I brought them to a friends to copy onto his machine before heading back to my place and installing on my computer. When I get to his room, he starts the copy. Only 4 GB. Not the full install. Turned out that Steam just copied over until it was done. The HD was formatted with the FAT32 filesystem. FAT32 has a limit of 4GB to any file. So, this copy was crap.

After a return trip to my friend’s place to get the files again, we tried running the install after copying the files off the NTFS-formatted external HD. Moments after starting the install, Steam reports that the servers are too busy to favor our request, and to try again later. What does this translate to? All that work sneakernetting the files around to my friends so that we could play this awesome new game are foiled because we can’t install the game without verifying with Steam that we can install the game. (I do want to point out that you can have the game on your computer without having a license for it. It’s called preloading. You load the game before you buy it so that when you buy it you can just begin playing.)

Basically I had to wait until this morning in order for Steam to allow me to install and play the game. CDNs, or Content Delivery Networks, are a great thing. But when they’re so messed up as to not allow a local file transfer without checking in first, that’s just stupid. I don’t know if I plan on emailing Steam and asking for some compensation, because I bought the game, and they didn’t provide me with the goods and services I paid for. They provided me with a big ol can of fail!

So, if you can put up with some annoyance, and the possibility that your game will not be ready for a few days, feel free to purchase UT3. I need someone to frag.

Header change

So I got bored yesterday, and decided to change the header on ARL.com. I basically took the default template’s banner, overlaid a picture of the sky I took, and uploaded it back to the site. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Exhaustion

The general consensus from everyone I talked to today is that this week has been tiring. I’m just now starting to feel that way. All day I’ve been exhausted, but haven’t really done much work. Except maybe the 4 hours spent working on a robot. But even then, by 11am, I was trashed. Not even caffeine would pep me up. At least maybe I’ll sleep well tonight for that test I have tomorrow.

Feedburner!

I’ve now switched the RSS feeds over to FeedBurner. With this, also comes some ads. I have to make money somehow, so I went with the ad route. Don’t worry, they’re perfectly harmless.

On Building an Ubuntu Mirror

ubuntulogoToday, at work, I began building something very interesting. An Ubuntu mirror. Virtually.

So what exactly is an Ubuntu mirror? In simplest terms, an Ubuntu mirror contains all the packages necessary to run the open-source free Ubuntu operating system. Mirrors are typically run by universities and research organizations for the benefit of the users of Ubuntu. Mirrors can also be run for home users that want a faster connection to Ubuntu packages.

I am experimenting with apt-mirror, which is Ubuntu-specific (mirror-type systems exist for a lot of things). Apt-mirror was pretty easy to install, and simple to configure. Once it pulls its initial set of packages (on the order of 50GB), I can start using it to update our Ubuntu servers.

Now as far as the virtually part goes, this computer doesn’t actually exist. It’s running on a virtual machine server, using shared resources, and shared drive space. Virtual machines are a really nice way to utilize every clock cycle and every ounce of hard drive space. They can save a lot of money in the long run.

I do apologize for the short post. I really should work on this a lot more. I’m busy though, just like everyone else.

Early Morning Labs

It adds two numbers together.
It adds two numbers together.

If you ever go to school, you may regret having early classes. Every Tuesday morning I get up nice and early to go and play with electronics. This week, I get to design logic gates using MOSFETs. Exciting isn’t it?I’m not even really sure how the lab is going to work, or if we can GET it to work. Some of the labs that I’ve done have been darn near impossible to complete.

Well I guess I should stop typing this out and head for class. So early….

Good News, Everyone!

This is me.
This is me.

Alright, so I couldn’t come up with a better name. But hey! You’re here. I’m here…kind of… Welcome to AndrewRLynch.com! Yes, I know its cheesy to have your domain name be your own name. I wanted something personal, though. And this was the best I could do. If someone out there is willing to convince the owner of AndrewLynch.com to give it up and let me have it, I wouldn’t have any objections!

So what do you expect to see here? Well, I hope to cross-post my twitter entries, bookmarked links, and any other random stuff about me that I can all over this blog. I also hope to post some pictures for my family and friends, password protected of course. In addition to my short links/tweets, I intend on posting things of content, like tutorials or guides on different products I’ve used. I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting free/open source software and services. I get bored sometimes!

On the right-hand side, you’ll see some links as well. They’re to my other projects. Feel free to check them out.  I’m going to be adding Google AdSense ads over there, as soon as I get around to it. I need to make money somehow. I appreciate donations, including using my promo code “BECREATV1” at DreamHost.com to get an addition free domain registration when you sign up for their awesome hosting! (see what I did there? it’s called a shameless plug) I’ve been using DreamHost for a couple months, and have been quite satisfied with their service. It helps that their entire staff are crazy. Seriously crazy.

Well, that’s all for now. More to come soon. Stay Tuned! (I honestly can’t believe I said “stay tuned”)