Forums vs IRC

It was two weeks ago yesterday I had my knee operated on. Since that day I have made two follow up trips to the doctor’s office, this past Monday was to get the stitches removed. Unfortunately, I am not experiencing more pain than I had prior to surgery on a daily basis. Of course if I were to twist wrong prior to my surgery my knee would usually give out or cause a terrible amount of pain.

Since the operation I have been on pain medication, as well as ice therapy and a movement machine that helped bend my knee. Physical therapy starts today, which is a good thing as the road to recovery is starting. There is a good chance I have been on my leg too much, which might account for some of the pain, but I have a sense that the pain is left over from surgery.

Since the femoral block and all other medication has worn off I have no feeling on the right side of my knee, I have a shooting pain, possibly from the common peroneal nerve, that starts at the lower, outside portion of my knee, down across my shin and into my toes. I continue to experience an intense stabbing (hundreds of needles, like when a limb falls asleep, but worse) pain across all five toes. I’m sorry, but this is painful, yet the doctor has said if this is a result of surgery I will be the first one to suffer from it in the 20 years he has been doing it.

So my next appointment is three weeks from today, hopefully the pain will be gone by that time, but if its not, then I expect something to be done. Hell, I don’t care if they have to cut the knee open again, I cannot go on living with the pain I am suffering on a daily basis. I might even call and request more pain medication, something stronger than the Norco I am using now, which doesn’t seem to have much effect, but the Percocet seemed to work better. I am no doctor, nor do I ever play one, but since the misdiagnosed ACL tear by two physicians, I am beginning to wonder if there is more wrong than meets the eye.

Back at CW

It has truly been some time since I put my fist on the desk and practiced the Morse Code. Yeah, I know it is no longer required in order to a licensed Amateur Extra and there are some in the hobby who are still bitter about the FCC’s decision over this. They call it a “dumbing down of the hobby.” But I am not here to discuss that, but the fact that I am still working on improving my fist.

I have been frequently an IRC channel that is for ham radio. I have spoke with another ham, AE5IR, who is struggling, like myself at, listening to the dits and dahs without counting them and be able to make out the words. If I miss a letter, I end up getting behind and miss two or three more. Before I know it I have missed have the QSO.

I found plans courtesy of N2UHC for a practice code oscillator thanks in part to K0PYB and further discussion with AE5IR. I have never attempted any home brew projects, but I think this oscillator is so simple, “even a caveman could do it.” With any luck I can stop by Radio Shack and pick up the necessary parts and have this oscillator built by Friday.

Much of the information I have read regarding learning CW tells me to get on air and make contacts. Online programs and software are worthwhile to a point, but nothing replaces the real world exchange with another ham. To date, I have not made any QSOs on any band using CW. In fact, I only have one SSB QSO (KH6) and approximately 127 PSK31 QSOs. So I would like to improve my proficiency and start using CW.

Forum Goers

I guess it goes without saying, on the Internet you can be anything or anyone you want to be. Behind an alias/screen name you can take on an entirely new persona. I should know after spend 10+ years going by “Oswald” while being involved with a development team creating an online FPS. I am sure my online persona contrasts my who I am in real life.

After spending a decade or so with online activity such as IRC [Internet Relay Chat], ICQ, MSN, as well as the worst offender, forums I have come to the realization people are all the same, regardless of the genre, activity or hobby that brings them together.

Online gaming has a negative connotation attached to it to begin with. Game associated deaths usually make the headlines, just ask Rockstar or id Software. It has happened in the past, but that is a story for another day. Gaming seems to be associated with kids, usually of the immature type. But my generation grew up with some of the first consoles and PC video games, so it is not surprising those “kids” are 30-somethings now.

I thought amateur radio was a cut above when it came to the individuals involved, at least that is how I always pictured with. Then again, I was living vicariously though my father in the 70’s and early 80’s when he was heavily involved. Everyone I met was cordial and there seemed to be a commeradie that I rarely saw growing up. Even sports teams I was on there was always competition and tempers flaring.

Forums seem to be the work of the devil, regardless of what it is centered around. It was for the game I was involved with and is also seen in amateur radio, as well as the resotration of my Mercury Cougar. The harsh reality is people are assholes! There are those who seem to think the forum is their “bitch box” and use it as such.

Gamers feel they are usually owed something or know better than those behind the game. Amateur radio seem some “troll” topics as well radio modification, band usage and of course those amateurs who are “know code” or “no code” hams. The commonality is the activity of the individual behind these rants. While their percentage is in the minority they usually cause the most headaches and trouble.

These people definitely ruin the enjoyment and “fun factor” for those involved in a community. Yeah, I already hear some of you saying, “So what? You don’t like it, don’t read it or move onto something more substantial.” You are right, but the fact remains I have lost a bit of respect for those who attempt to ruin that enjoyment. It usually is uncalled for and not necessary, but try convincing those individuals. You can’t.

Shoutcasting Returns!

Since last April, there has been no Clanbase coverage or Urban Radio shows due to my commitments to training at work. Thankfully, as you have read, I have fulfilled my obligation to training, became certified and the stress and pressure I was under the past year has subsided. This now allows me some free time to commit to Urban Terror and bringing the action to you.

Urban Radio on Sunday will mark the first show of 2008 and definitely not the last. I am planning more show coverage as the popularity of Urban Terror continues to rise. Of course, I look to the community for their interaction in making the show a success.

Next week, will begin shoutcast coverage for Clanbase Nations Cup XI. Like Urban Radio, I have been absent from Open Cup and Nations Cup action for some time. Coverage will be heard and possibly seen using Stickam Video. I am still working on getting the actual in game coverage set up.

Unlike previous Urban Radio shows, one of the unique features I introduced last year to the show was Stickam Video, giving gamers the ability to watch or listen it to. It really was a great feature and quite popular, more so than the audio side. The video side does have an IRC style channel for the show gamers can idle in, asking questions, poking fun at the host or discussion my comments.

Hopefully BladeKiller will become a regular co-host on Urban Radio, we even have the possibility to have guests online at a moment’s notice. Spellbinder will serve as the proverbial phone screener and assist or deter gamers getting air time. The ability to have guest was something that was not all that successful in years past, but we have all the bugs worked out (right Spellbinder?)

So join us Sunday for Urban Radio, it is sure to be a good time for all. Join us in #urbanterror as well on ETG or Quakenet and remember to read the topic channel for the most updated information on Urban Terror (!radio is very useful).

Urban Terror: Your Life Breath?

While Urban Terror might not be the biggest, the best or most popular mod/game in the electronic entertain industry, we have a very strong following. When it comes to gamers I feel we still have a very strong and dedicated group of gamers who make up the foundation upon which our community has been created. Many are passionate about “their game” and how it plays from version to version.

Of course there is a [usually] small contingent who are disgruntled, upset with development decisions or just never seem to get “their way” when it comes to “their game.” These gamers for one reason or another set out to ruin the fun and enjoyment surrounds Urban Terror from IRC to the Urban Terror Forums to online game play. Some attempts are rather obvious when it comes to hacks or exploits (read cheats) used by gamers for whatever reason. “I just wanted to see what this cheat would do.” Sorry, that’s a line of BS!

Some gamers and supporters of Urban Terror have gone as far as to offer support in the form of file hosting or web sites in order to support the game. Hell, we have our forums and web site hosted by a community member who has never asked for a penny from us, yet we contributed whenever we can in order to offset some of his costs. But the point I am trying to make is, gamers continue to support a 9 year old game. That in itself is just awesome.

Many in the community also understand the development is not paid for their development efforts. Many of us over the years have 40-hour a week jobs, not necessarily related to computer gaming. Some in the past thanks in part to Urban Terror have helped them ascend to a professional development studio like Bungie and Ravensoft. Those past and present put in countless hours of working and supporting the game.

Hopefully gamers can remember we are just like them, avid gamers to varying degrees. While we design,develop and support Urban Terror, it is input and feedback that help to improve the game. Many in the community are understanding when it comes to change. Yeah, we know you hate change, but sometimes change is necessary. Hopefully gamers won’t become belligerent and unruly on IRC of the forums when something they liked [read weapon] has been changed or removed [read flashlight…lol]. Many gamers will take these changes in stride and work on developing their current skills in order to acclimate their style of play to the new version of Urban Terror.

So what’s my point with all these? Not really sure, as I don’t intend to call out anyone in particular. That would be counterproductive. This has been too long of a journey in which I have met many great gamers and people who have played Urban Terror faithfully over the years. Hopefully many keep it in the back of their mind we have jobs and families and other responsibilities to tend to. While Urban Terror might be their life breath, sometimes we, as developers have to take a step back in order to catch our breath.