< Piro >
Wednesday - May 2, 2001
Well, i don't know if the past few weeks qualified as the 'train wreck' that people alluded a few weeks ago as most of the characters and story threads in megatokyo descend on Piro at the MegaGamers store, but I really think the new format is helping move things along. Today's strip, for instance, would have been impossible to pull off in the old format. I'm a bit of a moron - do i settle in and try to learn the ropes of comic panel layouts before i start experimenting? nooooooo... of course not. I think i need my head examined. I'd like to say a quick thanks to my old friend Ben for his very VERY helpful critique of the new panel layouts. He wasn't afraid to thwack me a few times and tell me what i was doing wrong. :) Largo and I are pretty confident that we've almost got this beast of a comic under control... or at least we are enjoying the illusion for a few more days.
Last night, right around the time the comic updated, something went screwy with the megatokyo server. Unfortunately, both largo and i had crashed early last night, so the site was essentially down all night. Oddly enough, it wasn't a stuck process in the UBB code that did us in, it was something that affected Apache. Largo restarted Apache this morning (he tells me the server was so bogged down that it took 20 min just to type the simple command to restart) and that seems to have done the trick.
sempai.org has been really good to us. This box has withstood the weight of a rather remarkable number of folks beating it with baseball bats and http requests for pages for almost 9 months now. Each month, it gets worse, but the box (which is a FreeBSD box, btw) just keeps on ticking. Kevin, someone who i owe a case of good beer and perhaps even a few bottles of liquor, has handled each problem that has cropped up with a level head and almost perverse joy in fixing the problems. Even so, sempai.org is a community server, and when we munge the server, a lot of people are affected. Everyone is real cool about it, but even so, i feel pretty bad when stuff goes plooie.
If you are wondering where largo has been for the past week, he's been sitting around buck naked putting the new megatokyo server together. I'll let him fill you in on all the technical details, but it's a pretty sweet setup. When it's finished and in place, MT will be sitting on a larger pipe with a machine that should have no problem dealing with traffic and CPU usage, and will even have a level 0 raid setup, so we can stop worrying about a pool of melted metal under the rack where Sempai used to sit. Oh, and in case you were wondering... yes, largo really is that scary when working with parts and equipment. I'm glad i live up here, and he is far far away...
One of the biggest problems with the new format has been the fact that my poor AMD K6 3 450 machine just hasn't been handling the graphics files very efficiently. The old format took 15 minutes to export from illustrator. The new format was taking 35 minutes. I decided that the problem might be that i don't have enough memory. Yesterday i stopped by the local computer store and picked up a 256 meg stick of memory, popped it into the computer and tested it out. I really worked! It only took 11 minutes to export the same file. Very much worth the hundred bucks. I should be ok for a while now.
Last night i uploaded some of the graphics for the IAC shirt, and i'm almost done with largo's 'j00 d34d f00' design - they SHOULD be ready by tomorrow. I'll let everyone know when.
Tsubasa has been working hard with the folks from Device High to translate the songs on the album for a re-release of their 'let's install' disk. A lot of people have been asking where they can purchase copies of their CDs. Right now, we're going to see what we can do to make these CDs available for those who are interested. Their next album will feature the two Megatokyo songs that they are currently working on. I'll post more information about this re-release and other information for Friday.