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New post on Space Games

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DuncanmaMSFT committed Jul 5, 2019
1 parent aa263e2 commit 15572c0aea47b3196c91ef73b7fb077dfa304d48
@@ -8,7 +8,6 @@ tags:
images:
- /images/beer_tourism.jpg
description: Finding interesting beer while traveling
featured: true
---
I like travelling and I like beer.

@@ -1,5 +1,5 @@
---
title: "Moving my google fonts local"
title: "Moving my Google fonts local"
date: 2019-06-07T08:43:14-07:00
updated: 2019-06-14T17:03:00-07:00
type: posts
@@ -10,11 +10,14 @@ tags:
featured: true
images:
- /images/performance/Baseline_New_Waterfall.png
summary: Moving my google fonts local seemed to be one of the remaining
summary: Moving my Google fonts local seemed to be one of the remaining
---

As you may have read, [I've been trying to improve the performance of my site]({{< relref "new-blog-performance.md" >}}) and I have gotten it to a pretty low set of #s, but one possible area for improvement has always been in my use of external fonts.

```html
<link href="https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto|Source+Code+Pro&display=swap" rel="stylesheet">
```

It seemed that moving these fonts (Source Code Pro and Roboto) local would improve the performance of my site. Benefits would include the removal of the additional external CSS file and the delay it adds before the browser knows about my external font information, and it would also remove the need to go fetch that font from yet another domain. The negative though, is that the user may have had the Google font(s) cached on their machine already from another site, and if I host it locally then they'll end up downloading it again. Running pure synthetic testing, like WebPageTest, won't be able to help you understand which of these two are better for your situation, because it is always running from a clean browser instance that definitely will **not** have any existing fonts downloaded. The extra load on my server and my CDN is another downside, but I'm more concerned with the negative impact of loading some large font files into the GitHub repo for my theme.

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---
title: "Space Games"
date: 2019-05-15T10:45:12+08:00
date: 2019-07-04T18:49:12+08:00
type: posts
tags:
- Gaming
- Elite Dangerous
images:
- /images/path.jpg
description: The first time I really became obsessed with a video game was in my first year of college, playing an online game called 'Fed' ...
draft: true
featured: true
---
I have played a lot of games over the years, going back to the C64 and our Intellivision, to a huge amount of time spent on the Xbox since it launched, and if you were to ask me what types of games I liked, the answers would really vary. I really enjoy RTS, I've played a lot of first-person shooters, I like 4X strategy games, racing, and even some platformers.

I have recently discovered though, that there are two basic kinds of games that are my **absolute** favorites. My first passion was for D&D, writing more adventures up and creating more backstories than I ever actually played the game, but almost every video game I've **really** liked (Baldur's Gate, Skyrim/Oblivion, KOTOR, Divinity) has been an attempt to recreate the enjoyment of D&D in a computer form. I can tell that I still love that type of game. The second type of game I am into though, was the first type of video game I was completely obsessed with, and yet one that I have almost never played for the past 25 years and that is space games.

When I was in college I joined the Genie network and would dial-up to play a game called Fed (for Federation). This was an early online multiplayer game, with an all-text interface, but it still completely captured my attention. You were the owner of a ship, flying around the galaxy, ferrying cargo from place to place and occasionally fighting off pirates.You would play by typing in commands to move in different directions, fire weapons, land, buy/sell commodities, and chat with other players.
When I was in college I joined [the Genie network](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEnie) and would dial-up to play [a game called Fed (aka Federation II)](http://www.ibgames.net/ibinfo/ibhistory3.html). This was an early online multiplayer game, with an all-text interface, but it still completely captured my attention. You were the owner of a ship, flying around the galaxy, ferrying cargo from place to place and occasionally fighting off pirates.You would play by typing in commands to move in different directions, fire weapons, land, buy/sell commodities, and chat with other players.

There was a 'client' for the game, called FedTerm, but I wrote my own (in Pascal) because I had decided to automate the trading process. I had an app that would scan all of the commodity prices across all the systems and then do the math to figure out the most efficient trading routes throughout space. Shortly after, I took it to the next level and I automated the process of having my ship fly from place to place, fill up with the desired cargo and then fly to the destination and sell it. Basically, I made it so I could leave the game running and my 'bot' would happily make money all day. Not really playing the game at that point, but it was an intellectual challenge and I had to learn all the ins and outs of terminal communication code through Pascal on a Mac, so it fit in well with my future profession as a developer.
There was a 'client' for the game, called FedTerm, but I wrote my own (in [Think Lightspeed Pascal](https://wiki.freepascal.org/THINK_Pascal)) because I had decided to automate the trading process. I had an app that would scan all of the commodity prices across all the systems and then do the math to figure out the most efficient trading routes throughout space. Shortly after, I took it to the next level and I automated the process of having my ship fly from place to place, fill up with the desired cargo and then fly to the destination and sell it. Basically, I made it so I could leave the game running and my 'bot' would happily make money all day. Not really playing the game at that point, but it was an intellectual challenge and I had to learn all the ins and outs of terminal communication code through Pascal on a Mac, so it fit in well with my future profession as a developer.

After a few weeks of _playing_ the game for hours and hours a day, mostly while I slept, I received a bill for around $1200. Turns out, in addition to the monthly fee for the GEnie service (which I was completely aware of), there was also an hourly connection fee of around $5 that I had no idea about. My fault for not reading the terms of use correctly I suppose, but it meant that I **immediately quit playing this game, and never went back to it**.

Flash forward nearly 30 years (wow), and I recently discovered a game called **Elite Dangerous**, and it is the spirtual successor to Fed in every way I can imagine. It is described on Wikipedia as a Space Flight Simulator, but that is fairly misleading. It **is** a flight simulator, because your primary UI is always as if you are sitting in the cockpit of your ship, but you are doing so much more. You can take passengers on sightseeing trips, transport people from place to place, buy and sell cargo (with an active commodity market on thousands of stations across thousands of star systems), land on planets and drive around, fight pirates in space combat or just fly around and discover new worlds and experiences. It has such an active user base that tools and information for trading, navigation or exploring are available all over the web.
Flash forward nearly 30 years (wow), and I recently discovered a game called [**Elite Dangerous**](https://www.elitedangerous.com/), and it is the spiritual successor to Fed in every way I can imagine. It is described on Wikipedia as a Space Flight Simulator, but that is fairly misleading. It **is** a flight simulator, because your primary UI is always as if you are sitting in the cockpit of your ship, but you are doing so much more. You can take passengers on sightseeing trips, transport people from place to place, buy and sell cargo (with an active commodity market on thousands of stations across thousands of star systems), land on planets and drive around, fight pirates in space combat or just fly around and discover new worlds and experiences. It has such an active user base that tools and information for trading, navigation or exploring are available all over the web.

Imagine Fed, but with high-resolution graphics and even the option to use a VR headset! Once I tried it out, I immediately went and bought a larger monitor and a joystick/throttle combination to use with it. I'm not quite ready to jump to VR, but otherwise I'm trying as hard as I can to make my desk at home feel like I'm flying Serenity or the Millenium Falcon around (you can have a friend fly with you and operate turrets on your ship by the way, "Don't get cocky!")
{{< lightbox id="elite" big="/images/spacegames/EliteDangerousScreenShot.jpg" sml="/images/spacegames/EliteDangerousScreenShot_sml.jpg" alt="Elite Dangerous ScreenShot, showing outside of ship with ringed planet visible" >}}

Imagine Fed, but with high-resolution graphics and even the option to use a VR headset! Once I tried it out, I immediately went and bought a larger monitor and a joystick/throttle combination to use with it. I'm not quite ready to jump to VR, but otherwise I'm trying as hard as I can to make my desk at home feel like I'm flying Serenity or the Millennium Falcon around (you can have a friend fly with you and operate turrets on your ship by the way, ["Don't get cocky!"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN9xsFUsPqM)).

{{< lightbox id="setup" big="/images/spacegames/MySetup.jpg" sml="/images/spacegames/MySetup_sml.jpg" alt="Shot of my desk, with a large monitor and a joystick/throttle setup" >}}

I don't really have any deep purpose in this game, which is probably for the best, given that it is a game :). I'm happily crusing around gathering up credits, buying nice ships, and generally enjoying myself.
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