Monday, March 9, 2015

Weekend Of Play...

Well it was a weekend of play and little else, after a week of attempts at tackling the next span of coding for an upcoming software release. After a stressful week of abuse from a local group of people that I've explained about before and I'm sure that there's others elsewhere going through similar circumstances, I decided to spend the weekend doing little else but relaxing, recovering and playing.

Eavesdropping on computers and possibly a person's living space is a common thing by these people I'm talking about by the way, which of course is illegal but it doesn't seem to garner much attention from the authorities despite my reports to them. I don't like being spied upon by my neighbours. I don't do anything illegal or even worthy of being watched for in my apartment or computer, so there's literally nothing to see. Besides I like spending my home time in as little clothing as possible because I am more comfortable that way. Not less civilized, but more cosy. Now that I've revealed that and am probably completely naked, I'll get to the point of my story.

I am a gamer as you all know. and occasionally it stands in place of watching movies or doing something more active. I am quite nostalgic too and tend to stick with a proven formula when it comes to gaming and I always purchase my games as I do my movies or music. It pays to after all, the people who make those things put a lot into them if you've ever seen the credits for one of them.

So I find one that I have the manual for an no disc. I quickly remembered that it had been stolen a few years ago along with a laptop which it was sitting inside, which also went missing too. I had part of the packaging and the manual and right there on the manual is the one thing that you need to use the program: a serial number. So the thief got the disc, but not the software because you can't use it without the serial number. So I thought, I'll just download a disc copy and from a legal stand point, I'd be entirely in my right to do so because what I paid for was the serial number and the licence to install it on one machine at a time. It was not installed on the machine it was stolen in, so I was safe there.

I did a little bit of searching and found a place to download a disc image, which is basically a file that is made from the data on a disc that contains all of the information about a disc (including the empty spaces and what not). I eventually got it down loaded and not long after I did, my neighbours started carrying on like I had somehow become John Dillinger. First of all, how would they even know if they weren't spying on me? Secondly, what I had done was perfectly legal in the sense that I had the licence, I just required the replacement media for the one that was physically stolen from me. Suffice it to say that I am not a pirate. I've downloaded in my life before and there's plenty of rumours about me being some high powered "cracker" or "hacker" but those stories are more rumour than truth. Programmer? Yes. Hacker or cracker? No. Sure, I've downloaded in my life before, but I've always paid for what I did by buying a legitimate package. Especially if I used the software to make money as is the case with compilers, IDEs, QA and test suites needed for development. By the way, I've had over $3000 worth of software stolen from me over the years so I understand the price of theft in such matters and I am most certainly not rich, but more the struggling and starving artist type. I've tasted success once in my life after working hard for it only to lose absolutely everything.  If you are going to ask people to pay for a product, you should do the same by paying for their products and even if you aren't selling something, you should still pay for theirs. Prosperity is a sort of shared agreement in that way. If you're on hard times, share around what you can because when money moves between people, its better for everyone and it comes back. So anyway, back to me being John Dillinger.

So after my neighbours calm down, I get my replacement media installed and I get to the part where it asks me for the serial and of course I have my trusty manual and from what it sounds like, a thousand eyes watching my computer out there by some dastardly trick of technology that I don't understand (that's not true, I do understand but finding a place to put the word dastardly is difficult you know? So you have to get it in there when you can). I get the serial number entered alright and... It works of course, because I paid for it, and I never got to the point that I registered it before, because the computer I used it on was never online. Much to the chagrin of my neighbours who of course were likely looking for a way to cast me into the fires of software hell, I'd paid for it already. The fool who stole it with my laptop, was doing double duty on the bad karma train. They stole a disc and computer, but not only could they not use the software, if they did they'd have to steal a serial number. Here's the punchline. That person stole that stuff from a homeless person. Yes that's right. I was homeless. I'd lost everything just after achieving the most success in my life. I didn't do anything wrong that a deity was punishing me for, it was just one of those things. I'd spent eight years homeless by the way. I worked nearly every day of that eight years, six days a week for about five and a half years. I even spent half a year living outside, and three weeks sleeping in record setting cold (-30 Celsius). That was after working for a company where I'd written a software package solution that saved the company I worked for $150,000, that was part of an internal solution (not to market) that was six years ahead of the market.

So I've travelled a pretty tough road but that road returned me to two stories that I`d started when I was still in public school and that was the idea for A Lady`s Prerogative and The Butterfly Dragon, both of which I started writing during my last three years in the shelter system, while homeless. I`d composed most of the music from this site while there in that situation as well and some of it later. I wrote about thirty (more like about fifty) little software projects for my portfolio because I thought when I funally got housing, that I was going to do well with my efforts. There have been some hurdles, some nasty people as well, some even trying to take that effort for themselves. Even some who took a lot from me while I had nothing else. This isn't another poor me story by the way. That had been my road, and despite what life has thrown my way or what abuse I sometimes put up with from nasty people, I always get up and have something good to share with the kind of people who kept me going during those times.

So John Dillinger I am definitely not. There are more such people out there who make up this illegal eavesdropping network by the way. They're the kind of people who spy what one person does and try to find a way to take it before the person publishes it, like reading over an author's shoulder so you can take their book before they get it to press. They are part of a new breed of thief that actually steal a person's accomplishments, because this eavesdropping is shared amongst a lot of people and others don't really know for certain who is who at any computer. So impostering the actions of a victim this group's friends spy upon is trivial, they just swap identities between the two computers and treat the operators as if they were responsible for the actions of the other. So whom ever has access to that on your end of things is likely to redirect it to their benefit and your detriment if you're not a part of their ideology. I happen to have a double strike against such people because my love interest is actually a different culture than mine (she's Oriental as most of you know), and this doesn't seem to go well with the ideology too well that does the illegal spying by the way. Besides, I am not a member of their ideology in the first place.

The ideology seems to steal other people'good from them, while using a victim as their garbage bag. Not to mention the fact that the groups that do it actually make it a game of tricking their victims into using that garbage against others in a cruel sort of social game. By the end of such a game if you've been played in that way, you'll likely not have friends or allies on any of the sides that did it. Who needs friends that would do that kind of thing anyway? Make it into a game of seeing who could stick something damning to you the longest, while stealing the most from you for their credit? Once you are aware of this, you'll begin to see it happening in more and more places and with more and more people by the way. Its like an epiphany, opening a whole new branch of awareness to you.

For all the bad, I am certainly lucky to have a warm roof over my head, because I know what its like to live outside in the elements for a half a year and what its like to live homeless for eight. The damages created by the kind of people who do such a thing as I've described above. Again, I didn't do anything to deserve it but I certainly didn't let it crush me. So there's life experience in what I write.

I'm treading the line of the gripe dangerously close and I have other blogs for that. Anyway, my disc is paid for and what an incredible piece of software and an action game it is and just what I was craving.

Anyway, an amazing game. It's a bit older and its called Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. I certainly hope that someone with decision making power on Steam reads this and lists it on their store front. Its an ingenious coup de gras for one of the great programmers of our time, John Carmack formerly of id Software and the talented artists at Splash Damage. Check it out if you can find it and if not, encourage them to rerelease it or develop another. Its that good and it stands up to the state of the art games of its' genre even today.

The final chapters to A Lady's Prerogative: Wounded Aerth and additions to The Butterfly Dragon: The Dragon Butterfly are coming soon.

For those of you who did not know, Sunday was International Women's Day. All the best to every lady out there and make sure that you take care of yourself, and love yourself too. Likewise to all the awesome guys, children and other partners that go a long way to letting them know.

One last thing is that for those of you who have been paying attention and are aware, there is a brand of people who seem to be stirring up the worst in other people that they target for such hurtful activity and to spur a hostile reaction from them. It has happened to myself and others, many celebrities and public figures who are often targeted for such activity. A bad reaction is all they're after and sometimes those reactions can be very damning even to the best of us if you aren't careful. I suspect that Paris Hilton's little brother, Conrad is the latest victim of just such attempts. I am going to say that to anyone who falls victim to such efforts, do everything that you can to direct the energy that those people put into getting a reaction from you into standing up for something good, like a principled cause of some form. By the way, when I worked for the company that I created that $150,000 money saving solution, one of the people I worked with was good friends to the Hiltons.

By the way, that does not make me a "gold digger" by my defence as its not motivated as such. A heart of gold is the most important gold to me.

The kind of people who torment others to get a hostile reaction are looking for just that, a bad reaction to better themselves by comparison and not word or deed. By directing your reaction towards something principled in such a way, it has the opposite effect.

There's a chance that you could end up doing a lot of good, and they end up looking really bad. Its about getting reaction that could be damning to your life and career. Remember that our anxiety and anger is a doorway to manipulation because it is based in bodily hormones more so than your free will. It is our ability to love that can't be manipulated or misdirected fortunately because nobody can make you love them. They always have to earn it. Hence why some people reverse the definition of the two. So they can trick what goes along with your love from you by redefining hate to mean love while you turn your back on what you really love, because if hate means love, then love must mean hate. Don't be fooled by it.

You see when this group sees someone with a good idea or repute or making some kind of good effort or even success or wealth, they want to convince others that they controlled that person into that idea or attitude because they always want to appear to be in control. If people rally behind someone, the group wants others to believe they're controlling that person. That way, the credit for it always stays with that group of people. I'd only credit that to people who've had good influence upon myself, not those who seek to abscond with something that they had nothing to do with in the first place. Ultimately we choose whom we accept with that credit (or control if you'd like).

There are people who also believe that what others do is the result of their "presence" and force a payment from those who create in their midst almost as a form of extortion. Unless you are crediting someone whose influence, inspiration and presence made a positive difference in your achievements, I say buyer beware when it comes to such schemes. Don`t pay those who forcefully charge a price either stealing the credit for what you do or making you carry their burdens in order to pay for your own right to be creative.

When they do, think about something else that motivates you even though I know just how difficult it is. You'll feel better and don't let people use you in that way by manipulating you into reaction.

Onlookers as well when you see that happening, keep in mind that the victim is usually alone, and being picked on by numerous people who are dragging them down emotionally to a bad reaction. Remember that the same kind of people used to do the same thing to women in the 1960s and 1970s, and that many of those women ended up on Prozac as a result of a generation that did not understand what was going on.

Stay away from people who burn books and even further from the ones that burn authors.

As usual, watch out for the nasties that usually rear their heads after I post. If I stick up for others, the nasties try to use them as convenient containers for their trash. That's most likely the reason for the illegal computer spying locally as paranoid as it might sound. I don't write to use others for containers. I write to inspire and to give back a bit of the good that was shared with myself. So don't let these nasties use you in that way because I most certainly am not. Besides I have no real trash anyway.

I promised myself that I wouldn't turn this blog into a gripe zone and I think that I've succeeded.

Stay Safe And Be Well
Brian Joseph Johns
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