Jornal Moves

Date Posted: 24th Jul 2010 at 1:17 AM

I'm moving my Journal to my own web-server so I can update it a little more efficiently.

It is now here
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Bugzilla For Custom Launcher

Date Posted: 18th Jul 2010 at 7:23 PM

I've added a new bugzilla bug tracking system for the Custom Launcher.

Please go to this site to report bugs, problems, enahancement requests, etc.

I've also added a phpBB Forum here to allow for better support and more open discussions.

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Progress Update

Date Posted: 17th Jul 2010 at 7:16 PM

Well kind listeners,

I've been working on improving the Custom Launcher, and seem to be making good progress.

Things I'm currently getting together:
  • Sims3Pack support This is a tough one since there are files we don't know anything about that need to be read/written.
  • Package Identification I've got several examples of how to determine what "type" a package is. Just need to get it integrated.
  • Package file Library I've been working on writing a library to read/write Package files to improve speed and memory integrity. Almost finished!
  • Rebuild Speed Using library from previous item, shortens rebuild times to about 1/5 of previous method.
  • Installation Program I've been getting questions about how to install the program. This will take care of that automagically.

I expect to release a new version of the launcher on Sunday 7/17/2010.
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Package File Management Code

Date Posted: 14th Jul 2010 at 11:33 PM

I've been working on improving the performance of my Custom Launcher, and as part of that process, I've been writing a custom Package File management tool-kit.

I've just gotten that to the point where it tests out fine with 3 or 4 sample packages. I know it is going to blow up on some package files, since I haven't implemented some of the IndexType codes yet.

In any case, I should be able to update the Custom Launcher to use this new Faster code sometime in the next week or so.
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The pain!

Date Posted: 13th Jul 2010 at 8:45 PM

Well, for those of you who are following along at home:

You know that I had some really strange goings-on with my primary computer this last weekend. I've gotten back up and running using an older computer that I had sitting around.

Unfortunately, that machine is a ***DOG***. It is extremely slow! In fact, I'm remembering why I bought the new one very vividly now. :p
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Computers Hate Me

Date Posted: 12th Jul 2010 at 10:51 PM

Over the past weekend, I had planned on firming up my Sims3Pack support in the Custom Launcher as well as finishing the implementation of my package file management code.

However, sometime early on Saturday morning, my main development computer decided to fry a power-supply. Needless to say, this derailed my development plans somewhat.

Now, as of Monday morning, I've got a backup machine running and all of the software tools re-installed. Since I run two back-ups a day of my development projects, I only lost about 3 hours worth of actual development work, but I put in something like 30 hours of recovery work in the meantime.

So, now I can finally get back to work on the project itself.
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The Programmer's Dilema

Date Posted: 9th Jul 2010 at 7:18 PM

As I've been working on the Custom Launcher project, I've found that there are times when I make a rather subtle mistake in how I approach the design of some part of the program.

This mistake has to do with when I have to work with a file structure from the game.

Basically, in a nutshell, when I see a file structure on the disk I start writing code to store *all* of the fields in the file. For some things, this is the appropriate action, for others it leads to much over-complication and leads me down blind-alleys.

So, the correct thing to do in these cases is this;

Design the code structures to store only what is actually used. Any index offsets, CRC values, magic numbers, etc. should be left out of the main code and only regenerated or tested during import/export operations.

I'm only bringing this up because I've lost almost 2 days of work running down a blind alley and decided to share the learning experience.
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Custom Launcher Progress

Date Posted: 8th Jul 2010 at 6:11 AM

I've decided to update my journal so that people can keep track of upcoming updates to the Custom Launcher.

Over the last few hours, I've been working on getting a couple of BIG updates in place.

I've added support for .Sims3Pack files. It isn't quite what I wanted, but since most of the Store provided .Sims3Packs are encrypted, I can't build them in to the normal package system.

I've also added a couple of semi-minor bug fixes and a couple of new features.

I've still got 2 fairly big items to finish up on before I post this.
  1. Faster (and more memory efficient) package file operations
  2. Support for encrypted .package files (Currently they are ignored)
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