Archive for the Downtime Category

A Tale of Two Upgrades

Posted in Downtime, General on June 25, 2010 by Erbo

Okay, you all know about the big move and upgrade that CCP had planned for the Tranquility cluster, and how it all turned to worms on them, resulting in them giving us a slug of skillpoints each to make up for it.  (They mentioned that the CSM signed off on this particular mode of compensation.  So, thanks, Mynxee! 🙂 ) I’m sympathetic; just tonight, the development team I work for just managed to properly deploy an important piece of software for the first time in about a month.  As with everything else, it’s always the details that come back to bite you in the ass.

But, on the not-so-negative side, I’m fascinated by the description of the technologies involved.  In my previous job, I worked for a company that sold high-performance cluster computing systems; Tranquility is just one of those clusters writ large, and the way the EVE server system is structured is one of the more interesting applications of distributed computing I’ve seen.  The only thing I can compare it to is Second Life, and EVE’s cluster is just a bit more advanced.  SL basically requires that each region, or “sim,” comprising 64K square meters of virtual territory, have its own dedicated CPU core (with some exceptions), while EVE can load multiple lightly-trafficked star systems on a single CPU core, while able to assign heavier-loaded systems to dedicated CPUs, either statically (in the case of Jita et al.) or dynamically (in the case of fleet fight reservations).  This allows EVE to run a larger “world” on a smaller cluster.  (Admittedly, SL has to cope with high degrees of user-generated content, while EVE does not.)  And, looking at that picture, it looks like CCP is putting its equipment in APC racks, just like the ones the company I used to work for assembled and shipped our clusters in!

. . .

Meanwhile, one of the things I was up to in the gap between when we suspended operations in EVE and when we reactivated things, once I had secured gainful employment, was a much-needed program of system upgrades here at the Ralpha Dogs Orderhall.  Both my and Selena’s workstations got an almost total overhaul; each of us is now running quad-core, where we were single-core before.  Selena is now running an Athlon II X4 630 on a Gigabyte motherboard, while I have the Phenom II X4 955 Black, on an Asus board that turned out to be one of the better motherboards you can get for the money.  We went with 4 Gb of RAM each, which is usable by Windows 7 64-bit edition, which replaced Windows XP on our systems.  (Mine dual-boots to Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 64-bit as well, which I use for work and for serious hacking.)  With the OS upgrades also came drive upgrades; we now each have over a terabyte of disk space at our disposal, divided across three spindles in my case, two in Selena’s.  My old 21″ CRT monitor has been replaced by a pair of 21.5″ widescreen LCD displays, HD-quality, driven by a new nVidia GeForce GTS 250 card.  The resulting system runs EVE buttery-smooth, with little or no display lag and gorgeous quality.  (I’m not done yet; I want to replace the keyboard with a Logitech G19 and the mouse with a Razer Naga.  Basically, I want to intimidate the hell out of anyone else that tries to sit down at my desk…)

With well-balanced systems like these, no power in the ‘verse can stop us.  Unless it’s another bout of extended downtime… 🙂

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Incoming Transmissions

Posted in Downtime, Meta, Storyline on May 24, 2010 by Erbo
...FROM RALPHA DOGS CORE COMMAND...
...CIRCUMSTANCES PROCEEDING WELL...ECONOMIC SITUATION IMPROVED...
...PLANNED CORE SYSTEMS HARDWARE UPGRADE PROGRAM NEARLY COMPLETE...
...ESTIMATED CRYONIC REACTIVATION TIMES FOLLOW...
...TO BE ON OR AFTER 20.06.YC112...BUT NO LATER THAN 30.06.YC112...
...ALL RHO ALPHA DELTA MEMBERS...DIRECTED TO STAND BY...
...AND MONITOR OFFICIAL FREQUENCIES FOR FURTHER NEWS...
...END TRANSMISSION...
MACHINE SCORE REVIEW BELOW:
4 8 15 RHO ALPHA DELTA 16 23 42

On Ice

Posted in Downtime, General, Meta, Storyline on January 1, 2010 by Erbo

Erbo paused a moment to look over his ships as he was about to leave the hangar.  Neat rows of battlecruisers, frigates, mining ships, and others, dwarfed by the long oblong bulk of the Janne Wirman and the massive Tuomas Holopainen.  All of them had been “mothballed” for the time being, as it would be an unspecified time before he would need them again.

His eyes fell on the newest ship he’d acquired…the Zephyr-class exploration vessel, I Walk Alone.  She was graceful in a way that few ships were, her slender body connected to taut cables that supported her revolutionary light-sail propulsion system.  Pity I didn’t get a chance to actually fly it, he thought.  Maybe once I wake up.

He took note of the huge station warehouses off to the side as well, labeled with the Greek-letter monogram of the Ralpha Dogs.  The contents of the corporate hangars of this, the Ralpha Dogs’ sole remaining office, had been transferred here for safekeeping…not that anything would happen to them, hopefully, but you never know.

He thought of the bulletin he’d sent out to corporate members:

Suspension of Operations

Due to financial crisis and unemployment in Real Life, the Ralpha Dogs are temporarily suspending operations, as Lexx, Selena, and I will all have our accounts suspended. As of now, any corp member who wishes to leave us and join up with a new corp is free to do so with our blessing, and, if/when we resume operations, we’ll gladly take you back.

We apologize for this and we hope to be back as soon as humanly possible.

Clear skies to all!

– Erbo Evans, Abbot, ΡΑΔ

Hopefully that would explain the situation to everyone adequately.

The corporate office was silent and dark.  Selena stood there waiting for him, in front of three cryonic suspension tubes that had recently been installed.  Inside one, Fanchon’s sleeping form could be seen.

“Looks like that’s everything,” said Erbo.  “There’s enough in the corporate account to cover the rent here for awhile.  Either things should still be good when we wake up…or it won’t matter anyway.”

“Not quite everything,” said Selena.

“Huh?” asked Erbo.

Selena grabbed Erbo by the front of his uniform, dragging his face down to hers, where she kissed him long and hard.  She let go, and backed into the second of the cryonic suspension tubes.

“See you tomorrow, sweetheart,” she said.  She triggered the mechanism, and the tube swung slowly shut.  Within seconds, she had dropped off to sleep.

Erbo gazed at her for a long moment, before he climbed into his own suspension tube, last of the three.  He took a deep breath, then pressed the button to activate the mechanism.

As the glass top of the tube swung shut, he murmured to himself, “Whenever ‘tomorrow’ may come…”

. . . .

Sadly, this post is not entirely fictional.  I’ve been out of a job in Real Life since the beginning of December, and we’ll have to suspend operations in EVE until such time as I find another one.  As such, there will probably be no further posts on this blog until such time as we do reactivate everything.  I pray it’s not a lengthy interruption, but we do what we must to survive until then.  Thanks for reading.

EVE is Down…

Posted in Downtime, Expansions, General on February 18, 2009 by Erbo

And poor Selenalore is at a loss for what to do with herself. 🙂

So, while we wait, have a look at this rough cut of the new intro movie that will be in the EVE client as of Apocrypha, which is made out of 100% Pure Grade-A Certified Mil-Spec AWESOME:

Two words: Boo. Yah.