Friday, June 28, 2013

Learning From the Seat of a Tank

From the blog of James B Ramey who has recently been given the new title of Emperor at CodeWeavers. :)

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to play a lot; I mean two – to – three hours a day, every day, since the end of March inside the tank simulation of World of Tanks (WoT). Over 2,500 battles– 1234 wins, 1234 losses, and 39 draws to be exact.  Over the course game play, I’ve managed to learn a few lessons that will no doubt help me in my presidency of CodeWeavers.  It is in that spirit of sharing that I present my Top 10 Lessons from Inside a Tank (and to provide billable hours to the CEO for all the time I’ve spent in battling during work hours):

1.    Idiots Die Quickly – Within seconds of the battle starting.  , there are early tank casualties. Usually, the casualties are the direct result of running headfirst into harm’s way in the shortest amount of time possible.  My takeaway – Making rash decisions can have dire consequences for you and for the people counting on you to be a productive member of their team. It is often better to be initially cautious taking time to learn the ‘terrain’ so as to avoid making unnecessary mistakes.

2.    You Can’t Hit a Tank You Can’t See – In battle, your radar goes off identifying an opposing tank.  You can either avoid danger by squeezing your eyes shut or quickly plan a course of action to aggressively eliminate the threat.   My takeaway – You can hope to avoid danger or you can take steps to avoid danger but rarely can you accomplish both – so choose wisely.

3.    Great Teams Typically Beat Great Tanks – Teams are randomly created based on their purpose.  Teams of tanks work together to locate and destroy opponents. A team of highly effective tanks can quickly identify, locate, and disarm almost any opposing tank.  My takeaway – If you want to win, you need to build and maintain effective teams with unique but complementary skill sets.

4.    A Smart Tanker in a Bad Tank is Better than a Dumb Tanker in a Great Tank – In battle, it’s easy to make obvious mistakes.  Smart tankers win more battles because they deliberately avoid choosing the options with little upside.  My takeaway – Managing risk and being aware of your current situation is critical in creating positive outcomes.

5.    Have a Plan – It’s essential to know where you are going and what you want to accomplish to avoid distraction.  Distracted tankers often become target practice.  My takeaway – You need a plan, and you need to work your plan each time you get ready for ‘battle’.  Don’t let distractions deter you from your goals. 

6.    Failure is an Option, Just Not a Goal – In battle, you learn from your mistakes and incorporate the experience for the future.  While no tanker wants to lose, all tankers lose from time to time.  Smart tankers learn from their mistakes.  My takeaway – Failure isn’t about making a mistake.  Failure is about making the same mistake all the time.

7.   Know Your Circumstances, Use Them to Your Advantage – Your circumstances can change in a second’s notice.  Your team is ahead; then, your opponents counter-attack and your team is behind.  Your tank gets damaged, and your mobility is reduced.  Smart tankers are adaptable and adjust their plans accordingly.  My takeaway – You cannot plan for every situation to come, but you can be mostly aware of the situation you are in and adjust your plan to make sound decisions.

8.   No Tank is Perfect
– In battle, the bigger tanks have the bigger guns and the better armor, but  bigger tanks are also slower tanks and cannot turn or rotate as fast as their smaller and lighter counterparts.  Smart tankers know these strengths and weaknesses and adjust their plans accordingly.  My takeaway – Being successful sometimes depends on choosing the path best suited to your current tool set and not necessarily the path best suited to your skill set.

9.   Understand Your Competition –
In WoT, you have the opportunity to repeatedly play a battlefield as an attacker or a defender; from the north or the south; and from the east or the west.  As such, you see how other tankers play.  And you see where other tanks go and where other tanks attack and how other tanks defend.  Smart tankers work to understand their competitors so as to predict and mitigate their opponents’ plans.   My takeaway – The best defense is a good offense.

10.   Have Fun –
I enjoy WoT because I like the competition; I like the interaction with other players; and I like the concept of challenging myself to improve from battle to battle.  Sitting in a tank (for some odd reason) helps me unwind from a long day at the office.  My takeaway – When you find something you enjoy, take the time to do it.  For the fans and customers of CodeWeavers, look for us to continue development in CrossOver to better support World of Tanks on the Mac and Linux platforms.  And good luck to my fellow tankers.  I’ll be looking for you out on the many battlefields (most likely through the cannon scope of my tank).  BANG! 

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Wine 1.6-rc4 Released

The Wine development release 1.6-rc4 is now available for Linux and Mac.

What's new in this release:
  • Bug fixes only, we are in code freeze.
The source is available now. Binary packages are in the process of being built, and will appear soon at their respective download locations.

Bugs fixed in 1.6-rc4 (total 38): 
   7597  No sound with OSS driver in C&C3
  11224  Throw In (Blitz Basic game) has a memory access violation
  11675  Flatout 2 demo, Battlefield 2 demo, many others need native 
  12771  Multiple graphic problems in "The Witcher"
  13314  Winevdm displays a window when running Civilization I
  13662  dogfood: xchat-2.6.2 is very slow, while updating the window
  14318  Michisoft Reader Studio v1.5a fails to produce LIT file from HTML
  16325  incorrect font rendering for CJK programs
  16784  Babylon 7: Trial mode expires after installation
  18930  IDA Pro: Failing to allocate an enormous image
  20769  crash when exiting Microsoft Flight Simulator 98
  20771  the menu bar doesn't work in M. Flight Simulator 98
  21103  Presentation 14.2 (Neurobehavioral Systems): crashes when displaying 
video output
  21827  Photoshop 7, Slider disapear
  22291  DC++ hangs on exit
  23504  Subpixel Font rendering wrong for font MS Sans Serif
  23687  err:seh:setup_exception_record stack overflow when start Proteus7 Ares
  23945  Textures are not properly rendered in Deus-Ex:Invisible War
  24230  "Psalmen - Lieder des Lebens" crashes when clicking Next in settings pane
  24796  DIY Kyoto's Holmes fails to start
  25125  Can only print to the default CUPS printer from Visio 5 Professional
  25605  The Settlers 3: Save as bitmap crashes world editor
  26646  Worms Reloaded: sound choppy without hardware sound = emulation
  27658  3dvia plugin installer crashes
  28495  Runes of Magic: sometimes mouse cursor freezes
  29897  Lord Of the Rings Online Slow/Freezes
  29959  Zed: 3D Preview window is blank or doesn't open.
  30578  Disassembly not in fixed-width font in IDA Pro 6.2 demo
  30897  Europa Universalis III demo crashes while 'Loading Map-Sprites...' 
without native d3dxof
  31729  cl.exe: stack overflow with certain long command lines
  31772  NtQuerySystemInformation doesn't fill ReturnLength properly with 
  31812  Silverlight 4.x/5.x windows have repainting problems
  31908  Garena Blackshot does login
  32820  Offline rekening overzicht, orov doesn't work
  33283  Configuration of WM_NAME is delayed for virtual desktop
  33753  Titan Quest : Multiplayer not working
  33865  Regression in a specialized program
  33883  Scirra httpapi.dll error trying to Run a game
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Wine 1.6-rc3 Released

The Wine development release 1.6-rc3 is now available.

What's new in this release:
  • Bug fixes only, we are in code freeze.
The source is available now. Binary packages are in the process of being built, and will appear soon at their respective download locations.

 Bugs fixed in 1.6-rc3 (total 30):

  18355  Evochron Legends doesn't start
  19149  GTA2 hangs up after some time
  19938  GuitarPro: Prints empty tabs
  21238  Stranded II: Bitmap loading errors
  21749  Sierra watcher 3g crashes
  23119  Crystal Disk Mark 3.0 crashes
  23499  Opti Drive Control crashes at startup if a user has no access to the drive
  25346  JASC PSP 8 fails to install
  27628  Pride of Nations Demo / builtin d3dx9_36:  'Failed loading thumbnail game region textures' (purist)
  28078  1914 Shells of Fury: text rendering issue
  28128  Sacred Underworld 2.28 requires MouseWarpOverride=false
  28219  Multiple installers misbehave due to unresolved _BrowseProperty (TargetPath/SelectionPath property handling) (Guitar Hero World Tour, BioEdit)
  29052  Incorrect handling of lit vertices causes models to render black in The Longest Journey
  30019  The Chosen (Well of Souls) demo - terrible performance in mid-game
  30935  Regression: TextPad toolbar icons black
  31009  MS Paint does not open png and jpeg files any more
  31616  Touhou Kaikeidou ~ Marine Benefit runs at 3FPS instead of 60 and stops responding after Character Selection
  32911  Adobe FrameMaker 8 installer aborts with compressed file extraction error
  33210  Disabled buttons text is mirrored when using RTL layout
  33212  Menu font no longer changes with DPI setting
  33338  Oxford English Dictionary crashes on start
  33467  Cannot bring Mac application in front of a Wine application in full screen mode
  33496  pylotro - LOTRO doesn't shows after successful login
  33555  Peachtree Quantum 2010 Accountant Edition post-install COM inproc server registration hangs on PEB lock (process exit)
  33682  ACT! 6 cannot start under Wine 1.5.31
  33786  System.InvalidCastException when launching map in Dungeons
  33800  Naver LINE crashes after login
  33821  Command and Conquer Generals fails to install
  33824  Guitar Pro 5: Some fonts become very small
  33843  Dungeon Siege: In full screen mouse moves screen

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Wine 1.6-rc2 Released

The Wine development release 1.6-rc2 is now available.

What's new in this release:
  • Bug fixes only, we are in code freeze.
The source is available now. Binary packages are in the process of being built, and will appear soon at their respective download locations.

Bugs fixed in 1.6-rc2 (total 28):

  15493  Clamwin doesn't clear status window (dogfood)
  17325  Multiwinia locks up when you exit it
  17588  Strong Bad's Cool Game only shows black screen
  18152  lseek* without effect on file stream
  21774  Perfect World International: sometimes audio is missing
  21890  running vc2005: compiler is out of heap space
  23653  gmax crashes if you select opengl, wgl complains glBufferRegionEnabled missing from linux opengl?
  23773  No application close "cross" icon displayed for ForteAgent
  23896  SQLyog ignores checkboxes.
  24402  winegcc does not properly pass cmdline args, e.g. -Wb,--as-cmd="as --32"
  24935  Capella 7: Virtual keyboard not shown correctly
  25176  CSI: Fatal Conspiracy Demo crashes on startup
  25344  Nero 7: Crashed when installing.
  25366  Sacred 2 Fallen Angel requires d3dx9_36.dll.D3DXSaveTextureToFileA
  26598  Iconoclasts does not start
  26853  CSI: Fatal Conspiracy demo: no splash screen without native d3dx9
  30163  Arabic is not displayed correctly
  30681  Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express 2008 installer fails (some .NET assemblies are not updated/patched by .NET service packs containing .msp)
  32661  Word 2003: formulas are invisible
  32872  Compilation broken if clang is installed, but not used for compilation.
  33227  Icebreakers demo: launcher doesn't appear correctly
  33649  wine-1.5.30 - "./configure --with-gnutls" fails with gnutls-3.2.0 - conftest.c:160:15: error: 'gnutls_mac_get_key_size' undeclared
  33700  Shade: Wrath of Angels demo crashes after the intro video
  33727  Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express 2005: cannot control server service with builtin wmiutils (purist)
  33735  Soldier Of Fortune 3: Disabling GLSL required to play game without graphics issues
  33741  Xara Designer Pro crashes when selecting Text
  33748  API-MS-Win-Core-ProcessThreads-L1-1-0.dll failed to initialize
  33780  configure --without-xml --with-dbus fails because of bad AC_REQUIRE logic

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