Thursday, February 27, 2014

What I've Been Up to Lately

It has been a slow bit here lately for posts.  Gaming has been a bit slow with both of my games being online, and with people missing, including myself, quite often.

I did receive my Devils and Demons kickstarter miniatures which are slowly starting to take shape:

In other news, the gaming room is pretty much now a collection of stuff.  I have a lot of stuff to put up on the walls still, but the basics are starting to appear.

My maps have overflowed the map box, and my miniatures table is a bit of a mess until I get some pegboard storage put up.

The countertop is still a mess with stuff to be mounted on the walls.  I also need to mount the countertop so it is nice and sturdy.

I have 4 cabinents full of books, miniatures, games, and props now.  I still have some sorting to do, but at least it is all out of the boxes.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Be Nice to Your GM

From Dale Norman over on Google+.

The correct answer is apologize to your GM, and then bribe him/her with snacks and/or drive-thru RPG credits.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Technical Difficulties Resolved!

So my last online gaming session turned into a royal fiasco when my teamspeak server started dropping out random pieces of me speaking.  I had similar problems with intermittent bandwidth issues, streaming video stopping, and even my voice-over-internet phone dropping out.

I dug in further with Wireshark and ping.  The results were scary.  I was getting a ton of TCP retransmits and about 10% packet loss.  Pings showed about every 10th ping with a time of anywhere from 300 ms to over 2000 ms, when all the packets in between were 20 to 30 ms times.  It was very bad, but mostly worked.  Mostly working is usually harder to get someone's attention with and is usually harder to fix.

I talked to Comcast and they set up a ticket, but nothing really changed.  I suspect it resulted in a modem reboot and a verification of a few packets that the ping was fine.  These sorts of problems are hard to see and even harder to fix, especially without access to machines on my side of the router, so it was no fault of Comcast that their second layer of tech support couldn't fix it.

Then we got our cable TV box (the 3rd one shipped was finally an HD box I could use), but it wouldn't work either.  So we got a cable repair guy to come out on site and fix things.  He swapped the very annoying cable modem / wireless router for a straight cable modem.  It was a much simpler problem to fix the ping problem when I could show it to him and we could retest when we changed things.  Finally my pings were clean -- all in the 30 ms range.  He also replaced a section of line and swapped digital cable boxes, and voila -- we had cable TV.

Normally I wouldn't post about such issues here, but I know somewhere, sometime, someone else will run into the "every tenth ping is slow problem" and I want them to know the solution:  replace the modem / wireless router and verify the pings are normal.  If necessary, get just a plain cable modem with no bells or whistles and add your own wireless router.  And then your teamspeak3 games can get back underway.

Thanks Comcast repair guy!

-The Relieved GM