just another web log

31 Aug 2019:
whats that minesweeper mega mode
While being stuck on a Windows computer I started to play Minesweeper, except it does not come with Windows 10.

Luckily Google had me covered

The browser based game has EASY, MEDIUM and HARD

minesweeper browser game from google

The three different modes are

10x8 grid
10 mines
45px tiles size

18x14 grid
40 mines
30px tile size

24x20 grid
99 mines
25px tile size

Minesweeper is surprisingly fun and engaging and I was already proficient in HARD mode. In the past, I believed it was mostly luck when things got difficult, but I now have a number of rules that make almost any game a 100% certainty.

So where do I go?

What if I could make the game run with a larger grid, more mines and small tiles ...

It was not easy and the biggest problem is clicking on the wrong tile because it is too small, but here is MEGA mode

50x50 grid
400 mines
10px tile size

minesweeper browser game from google in hacked mega mode

I could not find any way to make it any easier than ...

Google minesweeper

Open dev tools for Chrome

Find the file with "s_Qe(" and then set a breakpoint after the line
a.Ba = a.Hf[a.Ga];

minesweeper browser game from google hacking in debugger

Change the game mode to HARD - which will trigger the breakpoint
and enter the following into the Console
a.Ba.width = 50
a.Ba.height = 50

Continue out of the breakpoint.

Where "a.Kh.HARD" is the number of mines and "a.Lh.HARD" is the tile size.

The "a.Hf" was a function so I could not update it in the same way as the Tile size and Number of mines.

Originally I tried 200 mines with my 50x50 grid and with one click I had uncovered 80% :D

Totally impractical, but immense fun!
31 Aug 2019:
child of xbox pwns windows companion
I really thought it was going to be a good day for Sharks, how wrong could I be?

In fact, I do wonder if I should be banned from owning and operating computers :(

As a family, we have a Windows machine for "homework", that is, no games, work and investigations only.

As such, it had only a local account. It did not have a Microsoft account i.e. email and password. It did have a local password.

All was well until one of the boys wanted to record himself play Xbox games and recording a voice over.

To record game play on the Xbox we had previously used an external recording device for the voice track and then used Blender VSE to combine it with the video.
This involved purchasing a USB thumb drive and formatting it to NTFS so the Xbox could record longer than a few minutes. It also involved recording the voice over via a phone and then tripping over ourselves to copy the right file to the PC.

But this seemed all over the top when we were using a headset with a Mic on the Xbox. But, no that is not how Xbox Captures work for some reason.

The way you are supposed to do it is to stream the game play to a PC using the Xbox companion app and record your voice on the PC.

Started up the PC and find the Xbox app is built into Windows 10. Start the app and it asks for the Xbox account that you are connecting to.

Ages ago I setup a Xbox specific account to use, but as I and my older son wanted to use it unrestricted I also created a child account which then made my account a family account. Which I only ever use for logging on to the Xbox.

My son signs into the Xbox app with his child account and we muck about, but end up with some footage recorded with voice over.

Then I tried to open Google Chrome, "Access restricted, ask a Parent", wait, what?!

The computer was logged in as child account even though no one had logged out the local account.

I tried logging out and was presented with my normal login screen with my local account details, enter password, login and ... same issue.

Go to Settings and Accounts and child account is only account and is also Administrator!

Found the child account was still logged into Xbox app, so signed out and rebooted ... same result, login as local account but then find child account is the user!

Remember I cannot Google anything, so I try the Help button and unsurprisingly find it very lacking, but what's this? A Chat option? lets try that...

2 hours later and multiple Microsoft technicians have remoted on to the machine, but the I now have a local account once again.

It would have been a lot quicker if it was not for every time they tried to open a browser window they got the "Access restricted, ask a Parent".

In the end the fix was to create a new local account set it as administrator and remove all the data from the original one.

Imagine if I had had no clue what I was doing and had not found chat.

Being stuck on a Windows machine waiting around did mean that the next blog post came about ;)
28 Aug 2019:
opps up shave your head
And ... flog system still needs a followup post to correct any errors ;)

Still, if that is the only downside to have a static blogging server ...
28 Aug 2019:
seriously why can i not watch spiderman
Why can I not watch Spiderman?

No, not the latest films. Saw Into the Spider-verse the other day, very good and saw Far From Home in the cinema last month.

I am talking about the original Toby M. Spiderman film from 2002. Why was I trying to watch that?

It was Super Hot and watching TV was the only thing I was capable of. Having just finished off Spiderman 3 I wanted to watch all the early ones and Spiderman was listed as only have 4 days left on Now TV.

We have had Now TV for many years as a streaming service. It is provided by Sky, but you do not need a contract, just pay monthly. Avoiding buying DVDs when they are released and be willing to wait a 6 months, means the Now TV bill pays for itself!

But something weird happened. I finished watching Spiderman 3 and selected Spiderman. The movie started and after 5 mins the TV gave me a message about HDMI [em]Enhanced[/em] mode, then the screen went black but the audio stayed. Also a [em]Dolby Vision[/em] logo popped up momentarily.

No idea what that was, just need to change the settings on the TV ... and so it began.

The TV is only 2-3 months old and has just worked as a TV, I had not ventured into the settings. So press the .... Hmmm no Settings or Menu button and the ⌂(home) button does nothing ...
Maybe I need to use the controls on the TV itself ... nope.

Turn everything off and on and again and movie plays fine ... for another 5 mins, then the issue repeats.

Finally find I can switch sources to analog and then the ⌂(home) button gives me the option to go into settings.

Settings -> Sources -> HDMI 1-> and change from [em]Enhanced[/em] to [em]Regular[/em]. Laugh at how easy it was and start watching again ... for another 5 mins, then the issue repeats.

Strange, it says [em]Enhanced[/em] again. Make the change, exit out, go back in, still [em]Regular[/em]. Start watching again ... for another 5 mins, then the issue repeats.

Start investigating. Dolby Vision appears to be a HDMI 2.0 feature that the Now TV box is invoking, but ...

The Now TV box only does HDMI 1.4 and has no options that could cause/enable this.

Toshiba TV (CT-8541) happily reports it is switching to [em]Enhanced[/em] mode from [em]Regular[/em] but has no option to disable the function.

I tried swapping HDMI cables to no effect and got all grumpy about the TV. Started Googling customer services and complaints, to find Toshiba has been rebranded, supposedly only for PC parts but regularly got redirected to [em]DynaBook[/em] support sites.

There is something else about the TV I have not mentioned. It is a Smart TV, which means it is really REALLY dumb. I tried to set it up with Wi-Fi, but the password box is not long enough, so it does not get any updates. Maybe this issue would be solved by downloading a firmware upgrade and transferring it via USB thumb drive.

Well, if it can, I cannot find any instructions and ...

I noticed that if I was not trying to watch Spiderman, there was no issue. I was mucking about in menus for ages and nothing happened, so ...

I selected movie at random "Star Wars A New Hope" and watched 10 mins, no issue. I left it running and went to do some chores. Came back 20 minutes later and ... still no issue.


except I can, I just gave up and used the TV in the bedroom.

So, is Sky broadcasting old 2002 films with hidden HDMI enhancements, no idea.
28 Aug 2019:
super hot x3 ++
We are Super Hot! X 3
Well, yesterday and a few days ago we were, today is 25℃s-ish and quite pleasant.

When I am Super Hot I really cannot get anything done and it was 32℃+. So I feel lazy but excused ;)

That is Super Hot #1

Super Hot #2 is the game on the XBox one. It is game that is not like any other and yet...
Imagine a first person shooter that lasted 8-15 seconds but those seconds were drawn out to 3-5 minutes and you control everything your character does. This includes dodging bullets, fists and katanas.

The game has been around since 2016 and always tries to portray a veil of mystery and that helps with the story line. The game has a lot more to it including lots of replay options. It is difficult to talk about it in any depth without spoiling the experience.
A must buy!

And Super Hot #3?
We went to Rush VR and one of the experiences was Super Hot in VR!!!
Cannot express how much fun this was, especially as I already knew so much. The mechanics are different and the immersive VR dials this up to 11.
If I ever get to the point where we can play the HTC Vive in house, we are buying this game.

Speaking of Rush VR. Most of it was networked HTC Vives and worked beautifully. There was a two player racing game the staff kept encouraging people to try that did not have Vives. Not sure what they were but that made me feel so sick. Guessing, due to the lack of head tracking, only roll, pitch and yaw. Did not help the car shook violently.


Wikipedia entry on Superhot, lots of interesting stuff about how, what, why and where.
19 Aug 2019:
password fields unbound by jquery 3
Had a fun day with a company with lots of automated processes that should have worked, but didn't.

Then had to brave all the support options that were setup for the sole purpose of telling users how to use the automated systems and had no way of reporting or dealing with any actual issues.

Fast forward a few hours and I had a new account and password reset link.

"Enter your new password"

/me opens up password manager and generates a long and random password.

/me copies new password and switches back to web form.

/me tries to paste the new long and random password into the form ... nothing happens, try a few times, including from other places.

It is blocking me pasting my long and random password.

/me is not happy.

But a quick look in the source and it is clear a jQuery event handler is blocking the paste event.


/me pastes in long and random password, looking very smug.

It seems to be a common thing for big companies to either disallow or ignore long passwords or pull this kind of stunt which serves no purpose other than to restrict the use a password managers and difficult to guess passwords.
17 Aug 2019:
shark attack sonar sighted
lots going on slowing shark development, but finally an update.

I have completed a basic sonar with blip and the shark models.

You can see them on github

The Sonar works with some interesting gradient tricks and a Clip Path. The green circles are actually a repeating gradient with tight Stops. This took sometime to get working due to all the centers, offsets and rotations.

The Sharks did not have tails in the original, but I could not help myself. In fact, the biggest problem was stopping myself from making them more realistic. They will only every appear long enough to grab a tile.
The jaw-less shark is there to have the tile show as in the mouth.
I also set the eyes to white for the attack.

Now I need to just get on with the game. I was debating trying to get all the auto scaling working first, but that is a pain I will leave until the end or until it becomes an issue.
02 Aug 2019:
inkscape mouse scrolls the shark with no snapping
In shark news ... OK Inkscape news ...

I was hitting a few interface issues, nothing major, just a pain. So I stopped and fixed those rather than creating my shark.

No. 1 Mouse Wheel not zooming (scrolls the canvas up and down)

I believe this stems from Inkscape having such a long heritage, when wheeled mice were not that common? (quick bit of Googling shows this as false, but I remember the days).
There are number of ways of zooming and handling the canvas scroll, but all I want is to zoom in and out using the mouse wheel.

The fix is to find the secret setting.
Edit/Preferences/Behaviour/Scrolling/[X] Mouse wheel zooms by default

Inkscape preferences menu
Inkscape mouse wheel scrolling preferences

No. 2 Control Nodes auto snapping when near Nodes

Seems to be a useful setting, just wish it was not on by default.

Inkscape uncollapsed Nodes
Inkscape collapsed Nodes

Click the Snapping icon in the top right toolbar to disable All snapping or try toggling the snapping options individually.

Inkscape snapping toolbar enabled and disabled

I only resorted to this when none of the Node type seemed to revert the snap, but now I can undo it with the Smooth icon every time?!

Inkscape node smooth icon

maybe now I can do some shark-ing
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