I may need help...

  06:22:27 pm, by Daveh   , 60 words  
Viewed 3767 times since 10/18/09
Categories: Welcome

As you can see from the picture below, I may very well need professional help:

I decided a while ago to go ahead and order the custom plates and finally got around to getting to the driver's bureau and putting them on my car. Feel free to give a friendly honk if you happen to see me driving around Toronto.

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In the News -- Backups!

  09:01:10 pm, by Daveh   , 335 words  
Viewed 21890 times since 10/13/09
Categories: Misc, News

A piece of news that caught my eye and interest recently. A snippet from the official customer letter:

... Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger’s latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device – such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos – that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low. ...

Wow! The short story seems to be that Danger, a MS owned company that makes the Sidekick and stores all their user's data, decided to upgrade their network storage system which somehow failed and they don't have any backups losing all data stored in the process....

Blink, blink....

I had to read it a few times to make sure I heard it right. While I'm sure there are undisclosed details to the failure to basically summarize what went wrong:

  • They were working on a system that was essentially bought for $500 million (!) in February 2009
  • They didn't make a backup before working on the system despite what seems to be a pretty significant procedure
  • They didn't know their existing backups were unusable until it was too late

There have been similar stories in the past few years of large web sites or companies having a critical failure of some sort and not having the backups to restore things resulting in a huge set back or even the company going under. I'll be writing about what I've learned through trial and error (mostly error) about backups from running the UESP in the future. Our backup strategy is far from perfect but apparently it's miles better than companies orders of magnitude larger and stories like this make me feel a little better about losing a whole day of data from the UESP's database hard drive failure in July.

What an Elliot Does

  07:12:29 pm, by Elliot   , 308 words  
Viewed 11518 times since 10/10/09
Categories: Games, Elder Scrolls, Misc, TV/Movies, Sports, Hobbies

Hey there readers! In order to keep up with the minor tradition, here is what I am playing at the moment.

  • Nothing!

I know, it is rather upsetting, but my 360 received the infamous red ring of death way back in March. I haven't been able to get a new one, but I plan to mooch one off of my parents for my upcoming birthday this week.

So to provide more insight into how I play games, here is my Top 10 list:

  1. Mass Effect
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  3. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  4. Kingdom Hearts
  5. The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
  6. Bioshock
  7. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  8. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
  9. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  10. Halo: Combat Evolved

Yeah... I don't necessarily go outside my comfort zone in video games much. Mass Effect is my top because of the depth of the game, and the fact that I nerd out hard to space fantasy (SG-1/SGU anyone?). Also, the combat game is beyond fluid, so it is comparable to reading a book. Of course, TES games are on there as well, except Arena (because it sucks). I have always been a fan of the Zelda series, even though it does predate me. And last, Halo is a great game, and the story in the first one is exceptionally done.

So more about me. I am a huge sports fan: the Colts, Pacers, Fever, Carl Edwards, and Michael Phelps are my favorites in their respective areas. I can basically watch all of the with the same enthusiasm, so I don't have a favorite except the NFL. So I might make some sports posts if people show interest (but most people who like video games and wikis... don't like sports :p ).

So that is basically my generic Welcome post, hope you enjoy reading in the future!

The Origin of the UESP

  09:49:21 pm, by Daveh   , 526 words  
Viewed 18740 times since 10/06/09
Categories: UESP

While there's a brief history of the UESP on the Wiki I'd thought I would tell it in more detail from the beginning. Ultimately I suppose it all began when I was grade 5 (1984ish) when my elementary school got their first computers. This was my first real introduction to video games and it continued on through high school and college. Up to this point, however, almost all of the games I played were action oriented: Test Drive, Tetris, Pacman, Mario, Star Trek, etc.... The only RPG I remember playing was Bad Blood which I never really understood, partly because I was playing on a monochrome monitor and couldn't distinguish anything.

My gaming experience changed significantly when I began University in 1992. One of the guys in the dorm had his own computer and among the games he played was Might and Magic III. It was love at first sight and so desperate was I play it I ended up, er, re-engineering some computers in the school's lab to install and the play game when no one was around (ahh, the follies of youth). For the next year or two the only other RPG I remember playing was an online MUD named Moosehead (sadly, it seems to be no longer around).

The summer of 1994 was the beginning of the end, so to speak, for it was then that another friend in University introduced me to Arena. I vaguely remember the scene now: a snowy portrait of a town at dusk. While we may now scoff at the game's primitive graphics, at the time it was by the prettiest game I had ever seen. A few months later I happened to find the game in a small computer shop as one of their dozen games for sale. Needless to say, I bought it.

Shortly after getting the game I found the newsgroup for it and soon after that heard rumors of Arena's sequel, Daggerfall. At the time the WWW was still in its infancy and information for most games was still being distributed as text FAQs (Frequency Asked Questions) around the newsgroups. Seeing the lack of a FAQ for Daggerfall I started decide to start one, not knowing at the time what it would eventually lead to. The FAQ was mildly popular and I had two other editors, Andrew Franklin and Michael Bodenhoff, join me in maintaining it.

After around a year of working on the Daggerfall FAQ its relatively large size and the quick advancement of the web led me to turn the FAQ into a web page (yes, amazingly its still available). Soon after this one of the FAQ editors, Andrew I believe, suggested creating a general web site for all the Elder Scrolls games: Arena and the soon to be Daggerfall. While thinking for a name it didn't take too long to come up with "the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages" or UESP for short which I thought was a decent acronym.

While the site has changed in looks, size, and type over the years its purpose really hasn't changed from that singular moment of creation: a single site dedicated to documenting all the Elder Scrolls games.

Eshe-is-playing, Eshe lists!

  07:27:39 pm, by Eshe   , 230 words  
Viewed 12668 times since 10/05/09
Categories: Games

I've been trying to come up with something to write about, so I thought I would play off Daveh's "what we're playing" post and see where it gets me. My list is short. Are you ready?

  • Mirror's Edge: This is the only game I've really played in the last couple of months. Now, I'll admit the game has a lot of problems, like the combat. I can take 30 bullets and still run a kajillion miles an hour, but three hits to the face with a rifle butt and I'm dead? Are you serious? But even with those problems, I've enjoyed this game immensely ever since it came out. It's a unique and well-executed idea, the design is great, the music is awesome, and most importantly, it's really fun.

I told you it was a short list. And because it's so pathetically short, I'm going to supplement it with my Top Five Games of All Time!

  1. Final Fantasy VII
  2. Xenogears
  3. Final Fantasy XII
  4. Final Fantasy X
  5. Kingdom Hearts

Yeah, I'm kind of a Final Fantasy nerd, but don't hold it against me &#59;). I'd actually never heard of FF until I was about 13, so believe me when I say I've played a lot of other games too!

Other games I play often but don't make the list include: Dragon Quest VIII, Portal, Heavenly Sword, Assassin's Creed, and the Legend of Zelda Series.