6 October 1998

I’ve been messing with my bot lately… and no, that’s not some sexual mastabitory thing. It’s an Eggdrop IRC bot, a Win95/NT port of a Unix bot. In any event, it normally runs in a DOS window. I got tired of seeing that stupid window on my taskbar, so I got one of those TrayIt programs that will allow you to minimize any program to the System Tray… but it sucked, it was eating up all the memory. So I whipped out VB5 and wrote a small program that called the bot to a hidden DOS window, then unloaded itself. This makes the bot run like normal, with no extra overhead, but there is the drawback that I can only see it running in my Task List or on the IRC server. No icon, no nothing. The only way to kill it is to either access it from IRC (either DCC chat or Telnet login) and give it the .die command, or end the task from the Task Manager. So for the last 2 weeks I’ve been trying to figure out how to embed a DOS window into a VB form. That way I could make a one form program that can minimize to the system tray that runs the DOS window on it, with a few buttons for starting and stopping the bot (perhaps even a small telnet embedded window for doing all the commands).
After reading a bunch of those “Hardcore” VB books I have come to the conclusion that they are a bunch of morons. Not stupid, mind you, they do know their stuff. They write great programs and bits of code, but when I buy an “Advanced VB Programming Techniques” book I expect to find a book that shows me the advanced features of the environment and language, and new tricks of the code. Instead, I get a book full of code that totally ignores the current environment and functions, where the author totally starts from scratch and essentially makes his code non-Object Oriented because I have to use 20-30 of his small functions to use one of his advanced ones, most of which are simply replacements for existing functions included with VB. It’s a crock of shit.
Now I’m considering just starting from basics myself and learning what is needed to write my own bot for the Windows environment. I think it would be easier.
Today’s Movie: Anything by Andy Sidaris. Starting way back with “Malibu Express” in 1985 up to the recent “Return to Savage Beach” in 1998, Andy has had a way with film that few other directors have. Sure, they are straight-to-video schlock, but it’s the way he does it. In any other movie, the guns would look real and do real things. In any other movie, the fight scenes wouldn’t look staged. In any other movie, when the large breasted Playboy Playmate heroine says, “Wait here and I’ll change into something more appropriate.” it means the camera will either stay here or do a time-lapse and she’ll return in an actual fight-appropriate outfit instead of having the camera follow her into the bedroom, watch her change (maybe have sex with someone) and put on a thong or something leather to take down the bad guys. These are truly bad movies, but you gotta admit, beautiful often naked women, guns and explosives, ninjas, bad acting, and laughable story lines make for great popcorn munching fodder.
TV Highlight: I thought I was going to hate Hyperion Bay (WB, Mondays, 9pm) when I read about it. I mean, come on, I didn’t like Mark-Paul Gosselaar in Saved By The Bell (the original or the college years) or any of his movies (although I haven’t seen Dead Man on Campus yet), so I didn’t think I’d like him here. But I watched the first episode because I always give any show one chance, and then I watched the second, and now the third. I’m hooked.
Trivia Answer: Tim Robbins. The movie in question was “Fraternity Vacation”. And if you didn’t catch the other hint in there, I put the “Top Notch” in CAPS on pupose because Tim Robbins was also Merlin in Top Gun. More trivia than you cared to know.
Trivia Question: Speaking of Top Gun and Tim Robbins, what Top Gun costar would later appear with Tim in a movie about love and… Albert Einstein??

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