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Fire and Ice

Posted: 14 Mar 2019, 19:05
by yogi
I think you are going to like this one :mrgreen:

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 15 Mar 2019, 18:01
by Kellemora
You did it again, I ended up watching several video's of cool stuff.

When I was in my teens I drove an ice cream truck that used dry ice to keep the products from melting.
A number of years later, at another place I worked, we used liquid nitrogen to flash freeze fish fillets.
Needless to say, I tried freezing all kinds of things in the left over nitrogen at the end of the day.
Even a piece of foam rubber, when frozen, will shatter like glass when dropped.
Some metals would too, like cheap hacksaw blades, but not good hacksaw blades.

When I went to post under the other topic, the site went down for about half an hour or so.
Thought you might want to know, unless you may have been working on it at the time.

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 15 Mar 2019, 19:32
by yogi
I must apologize for diverting your attention away from the main topic. YouTube has some interesting stuff on it but I seldom rummage through it just for the fun of it. I could not anticipate in advance what would happen when you submerge lava into -109F ice, but I would have expected the two layers to mix more than what is shown in the video. I was more interested in that furnace they used to melt the rock. I can't imagine what actually gets that hot.

Apparently I was trying to access the site at the same time you were because it was down for me as well. We are on a shared server and I'm certain some of those other sites do things to crash the server. Every night about 11 must be some kind of maintenance because the site goes down nearly every day at that time. I didn't contact our service providers today, but would have if we were down as long as Facebook was yesterday. :mrgreen:

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 16 Mar 2019, 16:44
by Kellemora
I've had a few small kilns, most were for pouring lead to seal soil stacks.
But one of those could get hot enough to melt aluminum if we kept the lid on it.
People think of lead as a soft metal, and if you ask they would think tin was harder than lead.
Tin melts at a much lower temperature than lead. Probably only around 500 degrees F.
While lead is about 150 degrees F higher than that. My lead pot would adjust itself to around 700 degrees is all.
I don't remember the temp to melt aluminum, but it is at least double that of lead.

My ceramics kiln used cones to shut it off at preset temperatures for the cones. The hottest cone I had was around 1500 degrees F, and the coolest was around 1000 degrees F.
It would take double the temperature of a ceramics kiln to melt a rock.
I'm guessing, but I think soft rock melts around 2000 degrees F and harder rock up around 2500 degrees F.

I was more concerned about what type of container he was using to melt the lava in.
I was thinking it would probably melt too. But I know the kilns and blast furnaces used to melt steel don't melt the pots that hold the steel, so then one wonders, how did they make the pots for smelting steel, hi hi.

I'm probably getting in way over my head with this comment, and I may have misunderstood what the host provider told me.
Does this sound right? They use rolling access to the servers, so if they need to do maintenance on a bank of servers, they roll the access to the next bank of servers so those connecting have no downtime.
It sorta makes sense, because one of the games I play shows us which two servers we are on that day. This way we have a location to put in a repair request report if we have a problem.
I was on servers 3 and 208 for a long time, and it rarely changed. Lately I've been on 7 and 205, or 5 and 203.
Now all the people who play are not on the same servers, and since you can go to any other players game for interactive stuff, I may be on 203 and they may be on 209, so for me to see them, what they have on 209 is linked to my 203 temporarily. I'm sure however they do this is quite complex, hi hi.
Even so, what server we are playing the game on, has nothing to do with what server is feeding our game data to us, aka the stuff stored on the database. If we have a problem with the game playing, they want to know which game server we are on, such as 205, but if we are missing items or tools we use in the game, they want to know the database server number which is servers 3 to 9.
They gave us a special tool eons ago now, to help correct a problem of items disappearing.
I have a hunch what it does is reload or file from the database and reset the stack pointer to the top of the stack.
I say this because when you load a game to play, your last location and tool is what comes up.
But if you reset the game, location 1 and tool 1 is always what loads up first. That's why I say they move the pointers back up to the top of the stack. Also, if they move you to another server for some reason, another area of the game has a pointer that gets moved to the top of the stack also, which is not part of the area we change with a reset.
Definitely way over my head, whatever they are doing, hi hi.

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 17 Mar 2019, 15:43
by yogi
Lead has a melting point of 700° and aluminum melts at 1200°. I had to take a foundry class in high school which is how I learned about certain melting points. We did most of the castings in aluminum but one was done with some sort of iron. All I recall about that one was he tossed a green tinted glass coke bottle (common in those days) into the furnace saying it needed whatever that green stuff was.

I'm not sure about the specifics of those gaming servers. They are all different but probably share a common philosophy about access. The multiplayer games would seem like the biggest nightmare because everybody is playing the same game but at a different level. Then, they all interact with each other even to the point of streaming voice conversations. As you can imagine up-time in such a situation is critical. The rolling server farm seems like a great way to keep everybody online all the time. That means you have a lot of servers in reserve, but your customers are happy to not have any interruptions or loss of data.

The game itself is most likely coming off one server, or several servers with the same game software. The characters, you the player, are probably located in a data bank of servers. Each character has it's own attributes to indicate what level they are on and what tools, awards, and other goodies they have in their possession that build the character. The current status of the character is saved on the database server at intervals that are automatic and/or determined by the player. Thus no matter what level of development your character is at, it's all saved. It is also likely that this character status is saved in a local file on your computer. Doesn't matter where it's at. The point is that the character, its development, and the level at which it is in the game is all apart from the game itself. When you start up the game it calls this character status file from the data server farm and you are on your way.

Stack pointers are transparent to the user in most cases. You may be able to manipulate them if you have root access as administrator, but for the most part they are irrelevant to game play. They just keep track of priorities in the game. Any useful information about the game or the players is kept many levels above the system's stack.

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 17 Mar 2019, 17:03
by Kellemora
I'm sure even the slow paced simple game of Farm Town I play is quite complex.
I can go to any players farm and do work on their farm if they ask, and sometimes there may be four or more people on that persons farm all harvesting crops at the same time.
It used to be you could go off-line and do the harvesting and would get the credit for all you did.
But they stopped this real quick, hi hi. If there are four people playing, and they all went off-line so they each got credit for most of the crops, the farm we were on would also get more crops than he planted, hi hi.
So now, it is all in real time, even if you go off line, you could be doing work you won't get credit for, hi hi.
Plus we can go to other players farms to work their facilities, and each facility has several items inside.
When a player posts their facilities, that farm suddenly get swamped with people running them, all at the same time.
So, it is who comes first to each item is who gets first pick, the second player gets some, and the last player gets what's left, if anything is left that is.
Now consider they have around 6 million players, with around 2 million on-line all the time playing.
I can connect on tab one to a player in England, on tab 2 a player in New Zealand, on tab 3 a player in australia, etc. I often run the facilities on 8 farms at once. have done as many as a dozen but flash player can crash.
The game itself is streaming via flash player, with hits to the server every split second continuously. Probably around 50 to 60 times per second.
That has got to take a massive amount of server power to handle.
And that's not the only things going on either.
Each and every plot planted is on a timer. Just one of my 39 farms has 5000 planting plots, and since it is fertilized I will get 10000 crops harvested, and if I irrigate, it cuts the time down to harvest in half. So a 20 hour crop before ripe can be ready in 10 hours. Plus we have trees to harvest, trees to chop, trees for decoration, same with bushes, same with flowers, etc. Lot's of stuff going on. Plus all the different types of farming equipment. Lakes, Rivers, Oceans, etc. All with fish inside growing at different speeds too. Plus boats, fishing poles, fishing net boats.
As I said, this game is quite complex, even though it plays slow compared to those interactive fighting games the kids play.
I've been playing now for ten years, and they have never lost one bit of data after it was saved. I have over 500,000 of every crop in stock, and use about 25 million crops up twice a day. As I said, a lot going on. Multiply just what I'm doing by 2 million active players and it has to be a nightmare to program and keep working.

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 18 Mar 2019, 00:21
by yogi
I'll make up something that could be a possible explanation. I played Farm Town for quite a while when it was new to Facebook. Back then the possibilities were limited compared to what is going on there today. The idea behind the game is still the same, but apparently they have grossly expanded the functions. I quit the game after I earned a million dollars, released all my animals, and took down all the fences. I went back once to see all the critters roaming around freely but have not revisited in many years. I'm not sure I even have access anymore. My point is that I have a vague idea what you are doing because I did something similar.

The scenario I can visualize for programming is that the Farm Town game is one program. It is replicated on as many servers as needed, but in essence it is the infrastructure that allows you to conduct transactions. Think of it like online banking. You can do all your financial work from home on your computer, but the infrastructure is brick and mortar somewhere in this world. Better yet, consider the bank to be a virtual box representation of the brick and mortar.

Farmtown, the town, is on a server while you the farmer are just an entry in a huge database. Everything about you is in there. So whatever resources you gather and whatever status your character has is all part of your profile in this gigantic database.

So now we have two servers: one is the town with the farmland, the buildings available, the equipment you can own, the crops you can grow, and anything else needed to interact with this virtual farm. Then you have the data server with your farmer and all the goodies s/he owns. The two servers interact at your discretion. When you go to a farm to work, that farm and all the attributes of your character are loaded into a local version of the playing field. Since that farm is on a server of it's own, that means any other farmer can download a copy of it to their playing field. If you happen to be on the farm at the time, you get downloaded along with the plot of land. Any interactions that occur immediately updates the proper database. If your crop is ready to harvest, for example, that updates the version of the farm on the farm server. You collect the cash which updates the character database. It looks complicated because there are so many options, but it's really just updating two servers on a continuous basis. The updates are done via a third server where the game is actually being played live.

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 18 Mar 2019, 17:13
by Kellemora
You sure have a knack of making things make sense!

Back when I was working in the graphics department for a small newspaper, all of our work was done using photography.
Let's take a car dealers ad as an example.
Our Base Image was that of the storefront, that's it, no cars or people visible.
Next we had a file of the current cars they had to offer, which was divided up into left and right angle shots, plus one file of side shots. All named by make and model of course!
Plus we had the owners pictures with a hand over and imaginary car on the left, and another picture with an imaginary car on the right, and one of his upper torso standing behind an imaginary car.
We would get the order to place an image of cars M and C on the left, and cars F and L on the right, in that order.
Then place the owner standing with hand on the roof of car C.

With computers this is easy, but back then, we had to cut out each car and either affix it to a copy of the background image, or make a double cut out using white paper behind the car we were cutting out. The white paper would then be affixed to a copy of the background image, a photo shot of that to create a new background image, where we could paste the cars onto the white areas. It was done this way when we used transparencies in order to make the cars stand out brighter in the final shot of the image.

What does this have to do with computer servers?

Now that I do a few book covers for myself and others, I have access to some rather versatile images. All of these are stored on a servers database. We also have the working on-line graphics program, and we can connect to that server to use the program we need. Then it will draw from other servers the tools to manipulate the images.
In the case of graphics we are working on individual layers, with each item on it's own layer.
Farm Town uses layers also. We can turn on or off each layer so we will see only chop-able trees or harvest-able trees, or the flowers, or the crops, etc. It has come a long way since you played.

But how you described how they are probably doing it makes a lot of sense. And in addition to that, part of the game is downloaded onto our own computers each time we play, which is how we can do something off-line and we can also save the work we are doing off-line in real time, or prevent it from saving for a short while to pull off a few tricks, like planting trees over flowers and crops.
How all of this does not completely blow away their storage for our farms is mind boggling. Although in some cases, a farm may get corrupted if they try to do too much stacking of things that are duplicates for a layer.

The bad thing about Farm Town is it is too addictive and with everything timed, it can destroy your day and get you stuck going back to do the the timed things before they expire.

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 18 Mar 2019, 18:46
by yogi
I'll make some wild guesses again regarding FarmTown and memory usage. All the items you see are likely to be templates. Thus only one farmhouse, for example, is stored in the server's memory. The character profile has a list of all the items he owns or can access and downloads those items with location coordinates attached to his personal playing field. Thus, the farm you see and play with is temporary. When you close the game your local playing field vanishes (unless you copied it offline), but all the objects and their coordinates are stored in your character profile as numerical data. Each time you play the game your playing field is reconstructed from all those templates stored out on the infrastructure server. We are still talking massive amounts of memory, parallel processing, and network wizardry, but it's more redundant than it is unique and complicated.

I know what you must have been doing for the ad agency. The ad photos looked as well as they did because it was not high definition such as we have available today. Newsprint quality would hide a lot of the Photoshop effects that are clearly visible these days on HD displays.

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 19 Mar 2019, 16:49
by Kellemora
Yes, there is only one image done in vector graphics for each item. And the location we place it is stored by the pixel location, the time we placed it, and in the case of a crop, when it expires and dies, hi hi.
If you picture a tic-tac-toe board in your head, the whole tic-tac-toe board is the image of a farming plot, but the anchor point is only the top right square of the tic-tac-toe playing field.
Once we learned this, we could use each square of the tic-tac-toe board to anchor another farming plot, this causes the images to overlap, but also gives us 9 farming fields where only 1 would go before. At least until you reach the edge of your farm, then naturally two spaces from the edge you can only get six fields, and one space from the edge only three fields.
And since the game itself uses Layers like a graphics program, you can put a flower, a tree, a building, a decoration, and the farming plot all on the exact same space. This did cause problems in the beginning, and allowed a few tricks the game owners didn't like. So they made a few minor changes so it wouldn't crash the game, hi hi.

By the time we made the final photo of what was pasted on the work-up board that got sent to the printers. They in turn made the color separations on color work, and black screening for the black n white images. And being a cheap paper, the image dots were huge, very low res, so yes we could get by with murder back then, hi hi.

We may have had one of the best galley strip photographic text machines in the business, but it didn't matter if the galley strips were down tight or not.
The cardboard was waxed horizontally, and the galley strips vertically, so nothing sat flat.
However, when the printer took the a photo of the pasteboard layout, they did so from about 6 to 8 feet away.
This is what they used to make the printing plates for each page.
Newspaper printers have not worked this way in how many years now?

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 19 Mar 2019, 19:58
by yogi
I worked with graphic designers at the envelope company and had a few friends in the business along the way to Missouri. I never got into the details of what those folks had to do but we did talk about things in general. One of my friends owned his own business about the time that PC's were first getting popular. He told me horror stories similar to the ones you have written about here wherein what you design on the drawing board is not what the computer reproduces nor what the printer prints. They all use different pallets, or something.

A lot of the graphic arts techniques seem to be built into some of those older games. Your story about perverting the layers of Farm Town is funny and the kind of thing that drives developers crazy. When you create a program you try to anticipate all the scenarios the end user would encounter, and then you program solutions for them. But, as it turns out, programmers are human too. They can't anticipate everything. Not even teams of developers can imagine all the billions of permutations their software may go through as the list of vulnerabilities issued daily clearly points out.

My father-in-law was a mechanical engineer at Miehle-Goss-Dexter. He was involved in building the web presses used by the Chicago Tribune and others. He was able to arrange a tour for us behind the scenes of the newspaper printing factories. It was one of the more fascinating things I ever saw. The paper coming of those huge rolls of stock from the mills zoomed along at 50+ mph. How in all Hell anything can get printed that fast is still mind boggling to me. His role in all this was designing the inkers to make sure they could flawlessly supply this fast moving web of paper.

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 20 Mar 2019, 15:03
by Kellemora
Way back before computers, the father of one of my classmates in High School, manufactured hand-held games.
They were all mechanical of course, but still used batteries and in some cases lights.
I must have had almost a dozen of these, given to me by my classmate.
Ended up taking a few of them apart after they wore out to see what made them tick.
They were not quite as complicated as I thought they would be on the inside.
Usually just small strips of film in a continuous loop with holes to make them stop at certain places.
After the Chinese took over making them, he moved onto something else.
A mechanical telephone dialer, that used the old pulse system.
It too was nothing more than a sheet of mylar, where you wrote the name of the person, and then blacked in the squares with a special pencil so it would dial the number for you. I had two, but could dial the numbers faster than this thing ran, hi hi. Even so, he sold tons of them, and even got a few into Radio Shack if I recall.

Not to many small newspaper printers anymore. It's cheaper to take your work to a large printer who sells slots to do your work for you, often through a press broker. That's how the paper was handled the last year I worked for a newspaper.

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 20 Mar 2019, 19:49
by yogi
Growing up in Chicago I saw at least half a dozen newspapers printed locally. Then there were the ethnic presses. There were two Polish Language papers that I knew about. I had a paper route for nearly as long as I rode a bicycle on which the pappers could be delivered. As I reached my teens the newspaper company I worked for went out of business. Several others followed over the years until there only remained one, the Chicago Tribune. Even they went bankrupt but still published a newspaper somehow. By that time the only reason we bought a paper was for the Sunday Comics section. The rest of the paper got tossed for the most part.

The only handheld games I recall as a kid where pinball machines made out of plastic. They were very crude and didn't seem to last more than a couple weeks. As an adult I ran across Pachinko games that were a kind of upright pinball machine which used pea sized steel balls. This was and may still be a popular Japanese pastime which involved large Pachinko Parlors all over the country. We in the states got their rejects. They were entirely mechanical except for the lighting which ran off a heavy duty 6 volt battery. They were hardly portable and very addictive.

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 22 Mar 2019, 15:47
by Kellemora
Tell me about it, I had several Pachinko machines from the cheap ones all they way up to the recirculating you didn't have to keep refilling. I just sold my last two right before moving down here, before we had the auction.
Similar in how it worked, almost, we also had big disk drop game. Although mechanical, it was semi-automatic. You didn't touch the disks yourself to drop them. After a game, the disks were at the bottom, you pulled a bar down on the side of the game and little doors opened behind the bottom slots and the disks fell onto a chute which brought then down on the side with bar you pulled down. When you raised the bar back up, it would place the disks at the top of the game stacked.
On the front of the machine was a slider bar that went back and forth. You would grab the bottom disk from the stack and move it over to where you wanted to drop it, then push in on a button in the center of the gripper to push the disk out of the holder. It would then fall bouncing off the pins to the bottom. Each player got to drop three disks.
It was no where near as complicated as a Pachinko Machine.
Also had a bowling game with an automatic pinsetter, but it didn't work like a bowling alley because all the pins were basically stationary and fell backwards into their slots. You pulled a lever to set them back upright again. Basically a young kids toy, made of wood and tin, probably around 1910 or thereabouts. It too fetched a fair price at auction.

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 22 Mar 2019, 18:40
by yogi
A couple miles from my old house was a Pachinko game distributor. I acquired the game I owned many years before we moved into that house or discovered the Pachinko peddler. My machine was at the end of it's useful life by that time but I never had an inclination to go into the shop to repair or replace what I had. The shop seemed to be out of place. I only know of two people that ever owned one, you and me, so that I have no idea how that shop could be profitable. Maybe it wasn't, but it was there for many years before I left town.

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 23 Mar 2019, 15:09
by Kellemora
There was a store out in Ballwin called Pachinko Palace. They were open from the middle of 1970 all the way up to around 1990. Then they sold out to some place in Oklahoma I think.
St. Louis Pinball quit carrying Pachinko machines, but they are still in business repairing and selling pinball machines and video games, even a few slot machines.

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 23 Mar 2019, 19:32
by yogi
I never was very involved with games. The Pachinko game that was given to me came as a surprise. I had no idea they existed and didn't really find it all that interesting after the novelty of it wore off. It certainly was an attention grabber and I could see shops set up for playing similar to billiard parlors. I never owned an Atari or Comadore either. The games made with artificial intelligence these days do have an appeal. Then again, you need a computer for those and I do have an interest in that.

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 24 Mar 2019, 16:43
by Kellemora
You do know they are a gambling device similar to our slot machines in Japan and other Asian countries.
Dad had photo's of Pachinko parlors from WWII, and just like our casino's have slot machines lining the walls and up and down the middle aisles, they had thousands of Pachinko machines.
Every ball was stamped with the parlors own logo.

I LIVE at my computer, have ever since they first came out, hi hi.

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 24 Mar 2019, 23:20
by yogi
There is a vague memory in the back of my mind regarding an article or two that I read about Pachinko Parlors. They explained how you buy a bag of balls and go to it at your machine of choice. If you are good and lucky you will bring back more balls than you paid for and that's how you win. I used to sit in front of my game for hours and eventually tried to figure out why it was so addictive. It never did come to me, but I suppose I could also try to figure out what it is about computers that I find alluring too. It seems that something constructive can be done with computers and I like the feelings of accomplishment. Watching steel balls go round and round certainly wasn't productive and I accomplished nothing. So I don't get it. LOL

Re: Fire and Ice

Posted: 25 Mar 2019, 16:17
by Kellemora
I don't know Yogi. Watching Reels Spin is also about as productive. Yet I spent the entire cruise doing just that!
At least it was only a once in a lifetime adventure, hi hi.