Java – We have the Technology

ShowRunnerOnLinux_2020-04-20 13-36-24
Java App running on Linux

We recently proved that Java desktop programs can be easily deployed to Windows and Linux. Now we have proved that other complex parts of the program to run a series of Impress Shows in a loop.

  1. Running the command line to launch the Impress program to show the slide show.
  2. Finding out when the show is complete.
  3. Clicking the mouse repeatedly so that the show ends when it finally reaches the black screen.

1 and 2 are pretty easy. In Qt there is a class that executes a command in another process. And you can wait on it or check to see if it is complete. We can’t wait of course since Impress just waits forever for a click on a black screen at the end. Soooo.

3 is not so easy on Qt. The solution differs by OS. On windows you need to call the Kernel to send events to be dispatched through the event handler. UINPUT calls. On Linux, the easiest solution I found was to launch the “xtodo click 1” command to perform a mouse click. The xtodo command is easily installed on Linux, but this is another step to make the program work. But the Java solution is much easier.

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Tera – Ruined


It had been a while since I’d played Tera. They have made some changes. I noticed that they added Popo Brawlers, so I made one. My friend joined me and we were playing together as Elin Brawlers, which aren’t new. We were both around 20 when we came back in and we noticed several changes, many of which made the game less fun.

We had some fashion coupons left from ages ago, so we were able to wear pretty nice looking costumes.

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Dustopper Is Much Better

Dust Deputy Cyclone Separator

A while back I bought and hooked up a Dust Deputy to the shop vac that I have been using to clean my pellet stove. The Dust Deputy is an after market DIY cyclone separator. And for what you get it’s pretty pricey.

The kit I got comes with two 5 gallon buckets and a hose along with the separator. But it required some ABS pipe, glue and some work to get it hooked up to the shop vac that I’d been using. Turns out that hose diameters are no where near standard on these vacuums of course. But I’ve got it going and have not had to clean the vacuum filter in over a year. I have emptied the 5 gallon bucket once in that time. But Wait There’s More. A Better Solution has arrived.

Home Depot Dustopper

The Dustopper from Home Depot is a much better solution. And Cheaper.

The left picture shows the Home Depot picture for this use of this device. Clearly a mess since you are dragging two separate canisters around your shop or other area as you clean it. That’s gotta be a pain. On the right we see a fellow who has designed a simple modification for a Ridgid vacuum to hold the Dustopper together with the vacuum. Takes less floor space and moves as one unit.

Clearly this is what I should have done. And I may yet do this.

I still cannot understand why Ridgid or some other shop vacuum company, Dyson even, has not just made a vacuum with a cyclone separator built into it. Why these nonsense add-ons? Is Dyson holding a patent that keeps others from doing it, but is not doing it themselves? Dyson does not make a vacuum suitable for cleaning shop areas after all this time.


Ok. I admit Mystic is Overpowered

Elin Mystic

Ok. Ok. While she certainly doesn’t look it, I admit that the recent changes to the Mystic don’t reduce the ability to solo level. In fact, it appears that, at least in levels from 1 – 40, the Mystic is now Over Powered like the other classes in Tera.

One of the ways that I judge being over powered is to take on a BAM – Big Ahem Monster – at the same level and see if I can solo it. When Ninja came out we were shocked at how over powered it was. And then Gunner came out and it was Over Powered. And then Valkyrie came out and we saw the pattern. The recent changes to mystic, while changing things around quite a lot, actually make the class more powerful than it was. And it was fine before.

The Thrall of Vengeance – while it operates like a totem, and looks like something from the Ghostbusters movie, actually has a lot more aggro and health than it did before. So if you give it a couple of glyphs to increase power and length of time it survives it’s quite a good BAM killer. I actually used it to solo a BAM all by itself at 32. You might have to drop another one during the fight, but the cool down is short enough that this is no problem.

The Thrall of Wrath has been Nerfed a little at these levels. While it is a good opener for a BAM, it’s not powerful enough to finish off a BAM the way it used to be.

Here are some BAM fights I’ve done.

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Guild Wars 2 – Dragon’s Stand

The Mouth of Mordremoth

Spoiler Alert. I’m going to talk about my experiences with one of the largest “Meta Events” in Guild Wars 2. This is not a “Walk Through” or a “Guide” but a set of impressions, and a link to a ton of Pictures that will give you a sense of the chaos and scale that are events in Guild Wars 2.

Let me start by saying that until you experience a Guild Wars 2 Open World event, you will probably not get it. While GW2 has Raids and Dungeons, they pale in comparison to the scale of the Open World meta events. And I guess there are those who like the technical challenge of Raids or the closed in personal challenge of Dungeons. But personally, I find these Open World events awe inspiring. I hope to convey some of that inspiration in a few words and some pictures.

Dragon’s Stand is a series of events in the Dragon’s Stand map and is the final episode of Heart of Thorns. The above picture was taken during the final phase of the event where folks are scattered across about nine islands and are attempting to weaken and finally kill the Mouth of Mordremoth, which is the accessible part of the Elder Dragon. Let me start by pointing out some of the differences between an Open World Event and a Raid. Continue reading “Guild Wars 2 – Dragon’s Stand”

Blade and Soul – Gear Repairs

BnS_2016_09_26_12_35_30_000.jpgWith my annoyance at the latest changes in Tera, I’ve gone back to some other games that I’ve played before. So I went back to Blade and Soul after trying it a while ago. So I played my character for a couple of hours and put on a couple of levels, and then found I couldn’t repair my gear any longer. So after a few chats to ask about that, I stopped by an NPC and found that the Repair tool cost about 6 silver, while I only had 2 silver. Odd that at level 10 I should be so far out of step with my needs.

I hadn’t purchased anything of note, but I had transported one time – Windstriding. So I guess that used up a silver or two, maybe. Maybe I shouldn’t have repaired my weapon each time that I came back to a camp fire. I probably repaired about 50 times in the two hours of game play. Little did I know that the repair tool would run out of repairs or that buying a new one would cost so much.

Repair tool

My funds:

My Funds

Guess I’m outta luck.

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Tera – New Quest: Memory Lost

When I logged into after the last update, a new quest appeared for my 65 level characters: Memory Lost. What’s that. It says you get a Dreadnaught Weapon. That sounds good. Do they just give it to you, or do you have to do something impossible to get it?


And the rewards:


Well let’s give it a try. On a brawler so I don’t embarrass myself.

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