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Hot Spot - 11/17/2013 8:15:00 AM   
Missouri_Rebel


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Recently bought the game along with HTTR. Where can I get that hot spot program? Seems very useful.

Thanks
Mo reb

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**A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have-Gerald Ford
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RE: Hot Spot - 11/17/2013 6:07:57 PM   
Missouri_Rebel


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Every site I go to that says it has the filr looks suspicious. Different names/file sizes etc. Can someone upload it for me?

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RE: Hot Spot - 11/17/2013 11:02:08 PM   
navwarcol

 

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I am not 100% certain that the person who made it updated it to the new engine. The other thread that you posted on, you may want to try (assuming you have not already done this) sending a private message to the guy.He may still have a copy, I think that he was the one who made it.

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RE: Hot Spot - 11/18/2013 4:16:46 AM   
MarkShot


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M-Reb,

I have responded via email.

It works for HTTR/COTA/BFTB as they all have the same basic map UI architecture. Thus, my code makes hardly any distinction between the three.

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RE: Hot Spot - 11/18/2013 4:24:45 AM   
MarkShot


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I have it in two flavors:

(1) AHK as a script running under Auto Hot Key (a free Windows scripting language). As a script, you can read the code for yourself and see if I am looking for credit card numbers and uploading them! :)

(2) EXE you can compile an AHK script. That's generally how I run it for myself. AV engines that look at EXEs based on common community numbers always find custom software to perilous. Software developers are always having problems with these engines. Every time you write a C program with "Hello World" ... it is a scary threat that no other community members have.

I am not saying you are wrong to be cautious ... you are very RIGHT to be cautious. I am just explaining how a false positive happens when one writes custom software used by just a few hundred people at best. Of course, you can get a signed certificate from an authority to prevent such false positives. But why would I bother when coding for myself? I just tell my AV engine to ignore my EXE as a threat.

< Message edited by MarkShot -- 11/18/2013 5:25:59 AM >


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RE: Hot Spot - 11/18/2013 8:22:54 AM   
Missouri_Rebel


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No. Not your file looks suspicious but every site that has a file named like yours looks suspicious. They are not even the correct file.

Thanks again. I wish it were inherent into the game. Many games use this exact function for quick navigation and it's very helpful.

< Message edited by Missouri_Rebel -- 11/18/2013 9:24:23 AM >


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**Those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul
**A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have-Gerald Ford

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Post #: 6
RE: Hot Spot - 11/18/2013 10:02:16 AM   
MarkShot


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Well, you have the objective list to jump around (and I know you can hit a key to go to the last message). But many times, the action isn't right at the objective.

In Geek Speak, the pixel size & location of the Strat Map hasn't changed in 3 games. What PGE is doing is recording your mouse pointer location (by pixel position) on the Strat Map. (which you can later nudge to your heart's content) Recalling a hot spot, is simply replaying a mouse move/click and normalized zoom setting faster than the eye can see. But it gets the job done!

As such, PGE isn't a mod or patch. Instead it is utility which interacts with the games via display/mouse/keyboard. Thus, it is pretty much immune to changes in the engine. :)

But I will admit that the code is inelegant. However, many years ago (pre-Internet) I did two rounds of development of PC software for Game Ladder management. The first round I used all the best practices of my industry. After six months, I was still coding and not close to being done! With the second round, I hacked it together in a few weeks and got it deployed to various ladders around the country.

Thus, I learned when coding game utilities by your lonesome you code one way, and when you develop for Fortune 500 accounts with a team of developers, you code another way. So, please don't snicker when you see the code. It is more than 1500 lines of obvious cut/paste/replace that no one would want on their resume!

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RE: Hot Spot - 11/18/2013 10:11:11 AM   
Missouri_Rebel


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To this tradesman, it's all black magic to me. Give me a set of blueprints and the material and I can erect whatever it is that needs to be built. But the only code I know are building codes.

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**Those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul
**A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have-Gerald Ford

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Post #: 8
RE: Hot Spot - 11/18/2013 11:01:05 AM   
MarkShot


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Have things been picking up the last year or so? I've read that they have, but having sold my USA house and no longer trading stocks, I haven't really been tracking the economic data. (I was better at computers than I was at stocks.)

Construction here is booming like a shark feeding frenzy. It's partly due to GDP and partly due to culture. Chinese traditionally feel that real estate is a good investment. They are more likely to invest in housing which they hold empty than stocks or other financial instruments. Personally, I think this is a housing bubble, but my wife says I don't understand that the Chinese love of real estate makes a crash impossible. But Japan saw one in the 90s.

As to technology ... I am surrounded by friends ranging from 45-60 who struggle with laptops, iPads, smartphones, cloud computing ... For the most part, I don't help them much, since my Chinese is not good enough to configure their routers or explain tech to them. In reality, some are so lost that language skills would not matter.

I agree with Gates, Zuckerberg, Jobs and others who supported code.org that American schools need to teach kids to program. Like reading and math, it is an essential skill for this day and age. My friend's daughter loves computers. I taught her the basics of programming this Summer, age 10 ... she is now one of Taiwan's youngest computer engineers. And this was not kid's game-like programming a la SCRATCH from MIT. It was Microsoft's SmallBasic (a starter language). Not only programming, we covered computer components, the basics of home wired/WiFi network, and the basics of the Internet. Her mom, an ophthalmologist, also sat in on our Sunday computer sessions as well. Now, we just practice English on Sundays as she is too busy with school to do programming projects. But it was great fun to see what a 10 year old could achieve in a foreign language (she does attend a ritzy bilingual school).

hardware + software -> magic

as I told her father, also an ophthalmologist, school wasn't teaching her anything much about computers. They were teaching her to drive a car, but I was showing how to build one.

... anyway, glad you got the game and PGE ... I guess I get carried away, since I never talk to gamers anymore ...

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RE: Hot Spot - 11/18/2013 11:57:44 AM   
Missouri_Rebel


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It has gotten better. For how long I don't know and it will never be as it was, or at least not in my career imo.

mo reb

ps I found that email. Somehow it got sent to my junk folder.

< Message edited by Missouri_Rebel -- 11/18/2013 2:35:44 PM >


_____________________________

**Those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul
**A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have-Gerald Ford

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Post #: 10
RE: Hot Spot - 11/18/2013 2:32:43 PM   
Missouri_Rebel


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It's incredible what these young minds are exposed to at such an early age. I'm in my early forties and I can remember a teacher in 7th grade setting up communication between 2 computers using a standard phone receiver. Lol. Seems so primitive looking back. Where does it go from here I wonder? I don't know, but one thing is certain, our pupils better get prepared.

Sadly it is a cultural problem in These States. The ones behaving the worst seem to be elevated the most. That has to change first. We should exalt those who are truly worthy of praise instead of always seeking those that would shock their way into mainstream life. But where to start?

Quite possibly with an initiative such as theirs.

Ps. The stock market is very bullish. Unfortunately, not always an indicator of economic stability.

_____________________________

**Those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul
**A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have-Gerald Ford

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Post #: 11
RE: Hot Spot - 11/18/2013 9:39:53 PM   
Arjuna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MarkShot
... I guess I get carried away, since I never talk to gamers anymore ...

So I don't count as a gamer these days hey?

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www.panthergames.com

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Post #: 12
RE: Hot Spot - 11/19/2013 1:25:08 AM   
MarkShot


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Oops ...

Dave, do you want me to email you the files for the Members Area?

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Post #: 13
RE: Hot Spot - 11/19/2013 1:41:05 AM   
MarkShot


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Dave,

In any case, I have just emailed it to you.

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Post #: 14
RE: Hot Spot - 11/19/2013 6:44:53 AM   
Missouri_Rebel


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Was able to use the PGE tonight that Mark sent me. Fantastic, straight forward program. Very easy to use and lightening quick. The setting of the zoom levels are icing on the cake.

Thanks a lot. Works wonderful.

_____________________________

**Those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul
**A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have-Gerald Ford

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Post #: 15
RE: Hot Spot - 11/19/2013 11:32:21 AM   
MarkShot


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Now, I am just waiting for Dave to move his first million units of BFTB so that I can piggy back on it ... come out with PGE-Pro ... and make a mint! :)

Thanks for the feedback!

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Post #: 16
RE: Hot Spot - 11/19/2013 11:41:16 AM   
MarkShot


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Oh, Dave ...

I think you stickied the wrong thread as this one is not the PGE announcement/development thread. It's this one:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2512508

< Message edited by MarkShot -- 11/19/2013 12:53:45 PM >


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RE: Hot Spot - 11/19/2013 9:21:05 PM   
Arjuna


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Hey you're right. Fixed.

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www.panthergames.com

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Post #: 18
RE: Hot Spot - 11/20/2013 7:15:36 AM   
Phoenix100

 

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Hey Markshot. I'm keen to teach my 7 year old to program. (I haven't a clue, so would have to learn 'with' him) - have you any recommendations for doing that?
(Apologies - for continuing really off-topic)

< Message edited by phoenix -- 11/20/2013 8:16:24 AM >

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RE: Hot Spot - 11/20/2013 12:04:34 PM   
MarkShot


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*** Introduction ***

Don't worry about side tracking ... this thread will drift into obscurity anyway.

Well, I can send you the lesson notes I did with my friend's daughter (PM an email address) to give you some idea what I thought was worth doing with a child being introduced to computers. We just did it over the Summer. If we had continued, then:

We would have covered a few more basic programming constructs. The constructs are like standard tools programmers use to construct software. Like: input, output, variables, conditional statements, loops, and subroutines ... Then, we would have gone on to do projects (build bigger things). Additionally, I would have continued getting deeper into other concepts like networking, remote control, servers, security, ...

Prior to starting with her, I did a search to see what might be appropriate for a child. These were the two finalists I came up with:

*** Scratch by MIT ***

http://scratch.mit.edu/

This developed specifically for teaching children and has a large following. It is highly graphical and you use graphic building blocks to construct programs. (Most programming done by professionals and amateurs tends to be textual.) Programming with Scratch is like building interactive stories. As you'll see from the Web site, the focus is very game oriented for children. Of course, in constructing games, you do learn to program.

*** SmallBasic by Microsoft ***

http://smallbasic.com/

This was developed as intro to programming for both adults and children. Back in the early days of micro-computers BASIC was truly that and a good intro language. But it got quite complicated over the years. SmallBasic goes back to the roots. It has a minimum of language statements. The coding is textual, but it handles creating graphics nicely. It is really the same kind of programming professionals do, but with less power. However, you may also see as a clever means by Microsoft to "up sell" Visual Basic. Visual Basic is professional level, and is not free. By getting large numbers of children started with SmallBasic, you could say that they are seeding the future market.

*** Selection ***

My student's mom was very firm about "no games for my daughter". About 10-15% of Taiwan's youth show addictive behavior when it comes towards their mobile devices. So, my choice was pretty much made for me there. In any case, her daughter loves computers and is smart. I didn't really want to treat her as a child with a toy language, but see what she could achieve given her prior knowledge and intellect.

Still for a 7 year old, I think would recommend Scratch over SmallBasic. I think the graphic building block nature of Scratch will be easier than trying to get a 7 year old grasp abstract concepts.

Disclaimer: This was a learning experience for both myself and the child. I am not an educator and don't even have children. My main qualification was a systems background and I was willing.

*** Problems Encountered ***

I had to come up with novel ways of presenting various concepts given that she had only completed the 4th. grade.

Examples (concepts):

Windows/iOS (what is an operating system?): a government that rules the hardware

PSU (power supply unit): instead of explaining how voltage is stepped down we looked water flowing from a faucet and reducing it to a manageable trickle

Variables: not having science or algebra, I came with shoe boxes to represent the abstract concept of containers for things.

Variables was by far the hardest concept she had to grasp. We struggled with it for a couple of weeks. Also, I gave her mother permission to go over it a few times with her in Chinese. All instruction/examples/definitions were generally intentionally restricted to English.

I also learned from her mother by mid-Summer that no matter how motivated and smart a kid is that they need frequent breaks. As she said, "it's not medical school". Watching the clock and taking breaks got her refreshed and engaged again.

---

You should realize that just like human languages computer languages all share common constructs. Thus, by teaching your son one language, you'll make the next much easier to pick up.

A fantastic thing for you to do as a parent! Good luck!

< Message edited by MarkShot -- 11/20/2013 1:07:21 PM >


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RE: Hot Spot - 11/20/2013 12:29:47 PM   
MarkShot


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BTW, learning with your son should be great fun.

Our first lesson went like:

Question: Where do you find computers?

...

Answer: Everywhere.

Question: What can computers do?

...

Answer: Anything.

...

Question: Why should kids learn to program?

Answer: It is like math and learning to read. Essential to understand today's World. Computers unlike all other tools produced by humans are the one and only tool which is totally general and can be used for a myriad of purposes.

---

So, her mom sat in with her and I think also learned quite a bit. As a treat for her mom on graduation day, I gave her three very different implementations of a program ... each produce exactly the same output. But V2 was better than V1, and V3 was better than V2. With the riddle of "Why?". (I felt having a doctor attend a kid's computer class ... that she deserved a worthy riddle just for her.) The answers were by no means obvious, but would give her a hidden view as to how the programmers screwed up the next time she sees a hospital brought to its knees by the new release of a patient clinical management system! :)

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RE: Hot Spot - 11/21/2013 7:07:56 AM   
Phoenix100

 

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That's very of kind of you, Markshot. Many thanks. I'll try the Scratch thing, I think. He's very much into Minecraft (and I'm afraid we haven't prevented him playing games at all, unlike your Chinese friend - we limit his access, for the sake of his eyes and his imagination, but don't prevent it).

I would very much appreciate your lesson notes, for ideas. I'll PM you. Many thanks, again.

Peter

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Post #: 22
RE: Hot Spot - 11/21/2013 9:35:59 AM   
MarkShot


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Peter,

Sent. If you don't find it, look in your SPAM folder for a title "Programming Materials".

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RE: Hot Spot - 11/21/2013 11:23:27 AM   
Phoenix100

 

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Got it, Mark. You sure you don't have a teaching qualification? It looks very professional! I'll peruse with interest, though most of the technical points look way over my head. Thanks so much. Much appreciated.

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Post #: 24
RE: Hot Spot - 11/22/2013 2:21:51 PM   
MarkShot


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You are very welcome!

No educational credentials.

My background is systems design, development, and staff management ... I was running my own business before relocating to Taiwan acting as a CTO (Chief Technology Officer) to startups.

Right now as a favor, I teach my friends daughter some English (now Sundays over Apple's Facetime) and her sister-in-law over here once a week. The 11 year old is a fascinating story. She was incredibly shy (in English or Chinese), but once we started with LINE messaging and then Facetime video, she totally came out of her shell. The impact of an iPad on children is amazing. Maybe the next time I see her in person, I will bring a 10" piece of glass to hold in front of my face!

I could make quite a bit of money teaching English if I wanted to here. I can legally work based on my resident status. I have quite a few friends who are doctors or are connected to doctors which puts me in touch with a client base with money to pay premium rates. (most of those teaching English here are 20 something Americans who are also studying Chinese ... the difference in background, maturity, and knowledge is a stark contrast) Working full time and considering the cost of living difference with the USA, it would be like making about $200,000 USD tax free (a cash business). A las, time is very precious and I am not really eager to forfeit my retirement to start a business. However, many doctors here will rotate to the USA for additional training, and it could be interesting to learn some medicine by virtue of teaching.

At the moment, I am just doing it as a means to bond with friends. Of course, it doesn't hurt (getting older) to have friends who are doctors. About two months ago, I hurt my shoulder and my mobility rapidly fell to only 10%. Proceeding through the normal channels, it could have been 2-3 weeks to get testing, diagnosis, and correct treatment. A few calls from friends and I was on the path to mending in just a couple of days.

---

Well, get your son up to speed! Dave could always use some help with the game engine. :)

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