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The One Man MMO Project
The story of a lone developer's quest to build an online world :: MMO programming, design, and industry commentary
So Much I.T.
By Robert Basler on 2015-05-26 00:24:17
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com

I was fortunate to receive an SSD as a gift last week. I had long heard that using an SSD made no difference to build times with Visual Studio. But, everyone raves about them so I decided to use the SSD to replace the main drive in my dev laptop. Better boot times are always appreciated. I was able to install the new drive, image it with the standard Dell factory image, reinstall all my software and then wait through 200+ Windows updates. That took about 14 hours. The result though, was well worth the effort. Boot times are under 20 seconds and I got an amazing 44% reduction in build time from 10:06 to 5:41.

After installing the SSD, I noticed that the hard drive was making the click of death. It was relatively new and working fine before the drive swap, so most likely I damaged it during the swap-out. Despite the worrying noise, it wasn't giving any errors in Windows' event log. I won't risk failing storage so I had to swap that out as well. It took 12 hours to backup the drive to an external USB drive, then another 12 hours to restore it back onto the replacement. USB 2.0 sure is slow. The silver lining is that I was able to get a bigger drive with an SSD cache.

I had one last IT task this week: the UPS that powers all of Secret Lair Games' servers started beeping incessently. Sadly a whole new UPS was cheaper than another new battery for my old UPS.

Speaking of servers, I've been working on setting up the first real game server the last couple of days. It seems like it should be pretty straightforward, but like everything, when you dig into the problem, it has its complexities. I've set up scripting to automate everything, been fighting with firewalls, and fixed a bunch of installation and security issues. It really won't do to have the database login credentials printing out on the server console.

It's getting close now, the server software is crashing, and apparently possessing a keen sense of irony, the crash reporter is also crashing, but the server hardware is up, power is clean, firewall is good, and updates are automatic. Once I fix the crashes and set up the CDN for the client it should be good to go. The toughest part of having a live server is going to be not being able to do database wipes every time I fix something.

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