9 January 2006, Darrell @ 8:19 pm

Welcome to the Windy Weather Website.

Cape Arago Lighthouse
Click for a larger view.

These are musings from my vantage point on the Oregon South Coast.

A long-time software engineer and general geek, I continue my exploration with Photography, 3D Graphics, Linux and other nonsense. Come along for the ride.

My Photo Gallery is here.

Look on the left for links to topics of interest as well as my other personal sites.

I no longer recommend WordPress for websites. Services like Weebly and Squarespace are much better these days. If you have questions about building a website, I can help you get started. Contact me.

Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to drop me a note at djduffy at windyweather dot net if you have a question or comment that you don’t want to just leave here on the site.

20 June 2014, Darrell @ 7:50 am

Level 80 Human Warrior in Crafted Rare Gladiator Armor

We are all level 80 now. The last push for most of us was with crafting. It’s pretty easy, and not that expensive, to level from 76-77 to 80 by leveling a crafting discipline. We have an Armorer, Weaponsmith, Leathercrafter, Huntsman, Tailor, Artificer and Jeweler among us.

We are all wearing crafted armor and most of us have crafted weapons. All Rare level 80. Not yet Ascended gear, but we will be working on that.









15 June 2014, Darrell @ 10:21 am


My friend is hard of hearing. He has problems with dialog especially when there is background music in movies. He saw “Her” when it was at the movies and got the gist of the plot, but did not really hear the dialog. I rented the movie and we watched it with subtitles and this time he got it. He was able to “see” it all. (more…)

21 May 2014, Darrell @ 9:48 am
Level 90 Death Knight

Level 90 Death Knight


Now, before you decide I’m just a whiner, give me a moment. I’m not new to Wow. I played many toons up through Cataclysm and two into Pandaria. I left it behind a while ago and now I’m back trying the Public Test Realm [PTR] in preparation for the Warlords of Draenor. No WoD content in the PTR yet.

I created a Level 90 Death Knight, a class I’ve played a lot in Wow, and started out with the quest that I was given. I was toast. The template toons are created to allow someone to play the new content right away to test the new things. And from looking at the stats you would think that this template toon was tricked out. But as soon as I went to the Timeless Isle – where the quest sent me – I was toast.

Why is that? (more…)

19 May 2014, Darrell @ 8:45 pm
Your New Reaper

Your New Reaper

Great. So now you have a Reaper. And after you finish the starting area, you find that you have no gathering skills. What’s the best way to get going? Well you might start with a gathering guide. But it might be out of date. I started with this one. But I found some hints to get going.

First of all, the Fey Forest may not be the best place to start actually. You might want to start your 0-100 gathering on the Island of Dawn. The nodes seem to be closer together, of all types and you don’t have to mess around with fighting anything, as easy as that is.


16 May 2014, Darrell @ 12:54 am
Santia's Robe Template

Santia’s Robe Template

As of the update on 13 May 2014, the whole costume and Fed Bills system has changed. The templates available previously in the Fed Bills store are no longer available. The remodeling system is no longer available. The looks are still there, but there is no way to pass them along to new armor. You are stuck with what you have. See previous post.

There are some really strange items in the Fed Bills store called things like “Design: 24-Karat Robe” which is described as “Craft a permanent 24-Karat ensemble”. This is a crafting recipe that combines Robe, Sleeves and Shoes to create a “Costume” that will fit in the costume slot.


17 April 2014, Darrell @ 6:36 pm
Santia's Robe Template

Santia’s Robe Template

Federation Bills have been a daily login-reward for a few weeks now. But when you check the vendors in cities, nothing seemed very interesting. But then I saw a player with a neat new outfit, and looked it up on the template site. Wow. A level 50 robe being worn by a lower level character! Wonder how that happened? Check out the robe I saw here and look down for set 19.

Well now I know. Use your Fed Bills to purchase templates. And they are reasonably priced too. 35 bills gets you all three pieces. There are two styles – Santia’s and Quandary Bazaar. The templates are marked level 60, but if you go to the re-modeler in The Hunter’s Plaza of Velika, anybody can remodel their equipment to these templates. It cost me about 1 G 50S to remodel my level 33 gear to the new look. And of course, I can remodel new equipment to the old things to keep the look for future items without buying new templates.

You get 5 10 bills each day you login on each server on your account. Back to 5 per day. These templates are gone with remodeling in 13 May 2014 update.


15 April 2014, Darrell @ 6:09 pm

For my kitchen upgrade I’ve decided to upgrade the drawer slides to “Soft Close”. It turns out that it’s harder to find soft close that will work with older drawers. I found mine made in the USA by Knape and Vogt. I selected model 8419 so that they provide full extension with “Over Travel” so that the drawer will extend beyond the new counter top. Have a look on the Knape and Vogt website.

New Drawer Slides in Cabinet

New Drawer Slides in Cabinet


14 March 2014, Darrell @ 2:14 pm

I’m redoing some of my kitchen.

Counter tops in this. I’ll post a picture of the actual granite lot when I get it.

English Brown Granite Counter tops.

English Brown Granite Counter tops.

Most folks stock 3cm [1.3"] rather than 2cm thick granite these days. I’ll get 3cm with full bullnose edges and short 4″ splashes. I’m wondering about a 4″ high splash that’s 1.3 ” thick. Not sure if we do something else for the splashes. Update: The fabricator will cut the granite thinner for the backsplashes. Problem solved. (more…)

27 November 2013, Darrell @ 9:47 pm
Sale in Wow

Sale in Wow

All of the battle chest with all but Pandaria for $5 and then Pandaria for another $10. It might as well be free.

It seems to me that this not so much a sale as a desperation move to avoid going to free to play. All the other games have gone F2P. So why not Wow? They appear to be clinging to the teat of those $15 / mo subscriptions, while all the other companies are doing just fine with F2P or Freemium.

Perfect World has always been F2P and has made so much money that they bought their own game studio – Cryptic Studios. There is clearly plenty of money in F2P, but Blizzard apparently cannot yet bring itself to cut the cord and go there. Once the cost of the entire game is $15, it would seem that it might as well be free. Uh Oh? What about all those physical boxes on store shelves? Seriously, are they going to bring the price back up to $25 / $40 where it used to be after the holidays?

I have never seen details of the economics of F2P mmo games on the PC. There have been some articles about F2P games on mobile, but those use a different model, since you do Pay to Get Ahead with those games. With MMOs you cannot pay to get ahead or play better. But many companies are making great MMO games, far better than and more modern than Wow, and they are using a F2P model. Consider Tera, Guild Wars 2, Rift, Neverwinter, etc. etc. All released as F2P or converted to F2P. And all with much more modern graphics, more efficient game play style and many other advantages. (more…)

23 November 2013, Darrell @ 2:52 pm
QtSSA Version 1.2

QtSSA Version 1.2

I have lots of screenshots from the games I play. I used to use screen capture programs to do this, but almost all the games use PrintScreen now to save the images. Most tag the images with unique names based on the date and time, but Guild Wars 2 is not doing that. They tag the files with sequential numbers which makes it difficult to archive the images.

The problem is that the names are not unique if you delete the files in the screen shot folder and take more screenshots. In that case they start over from gw001.jpg again. So I wrote a program to archive my screenshots from my game programs.

I back up my screenshots to folders in the form yyyy_MM, like 2013_11 so that I can easily find them and so that not too many files appear in a single folder. Also, since my system drive is an SSD, I don’t want screen shots to accumulate there to excess and use up that valuable space.

Update: 11 Mar 2014 – Get Version 1.5 to add zoom/pan and reorder pairs. Read more below.

Update: Get version 1.2 with a fixed installer and screen shot image review. Read more below.

Update: Get version 1.1 that supports sub-folders. Read more below.

If you want to skip ahead , you can get the program on SourceForge. (more…)

16 November 2013, Darrell @ 7:46 pm
The Nightmare Tower

The Nightmare Tower

The recent content for Guild Wars 2 is not well balanced to be fun for any but the strongest players. Here’s an example.

The first installment of the Tower of Nightmares spawned an evil tower in Kessex Hills and some recurring events around the tower and in other places. It was ok if you were with a very large group and were above level 40. Kessex Hills is a 15-25 area. But for one thing, you can’t play that area until you are about 35, and if you go near any of the new content at less than 40, you are instantly dead. I’m talking with Green [Masterwork] equipment, not just white or blue armor.

These events were so scary that it was very fitting that they occurred during Halloween.

So in early November, the second installment is up for this content. The Nightmares Within. (more…)

2 November 2013, Darrell @ 9:25 pm
Kaetlin Stormcaller

Kaetlin Stormcaller

Guild Wars 2 was developed with new ideas like eliminating the Holy Trinity, no backtracking to quest givers, everybody is a healer and so forth. But one thing they haven’t eliminated is “Grinding”. By Grinding I mean repetitive game play that is the most efficient way to move forward in the game.

I’ve played 6 characters from level 1 to level 40′s and recently started one – an Elementalist. When I reached level 17, I wanted to level to 20 to wear armor that I’d crafted so it seemed that Grinding Champions in Queensdale was the most efficient way to level quickly. I kept track of the progress and here are those results.

This is not a complete description of champion grinding in Queensdale. The GW2 forums or wiki will provide better descriptions. It’s an overview of what’s required to level in this way, with examples and my observations about how GW2 really does seem to include a lot of Grinding. (more…)

2 November 2013, Darrell @ 8:33 am


The last update from WordPress.Org has left us all with less trust in WordPress. They released 3.7 with a nasty bug that caused images in the “Visual” display of the edit post windows to be displayed wrong. Easy issue to test for.

They have now fixed the bug with a 3.7.1 update.

We all trust WordPress.org a little less this week.

- ww

2 November 2013, Darrell @ 8:20 am


Every post should start with an interesting picture.

Ok. Now for the article.

I’m using a Linux Mint system hooked to my TV to watch Netcasts from the Twit.tv network and other things. It’s built using an Thermaltake Armor 30 case and a Core i5 Haswell processor, 8GB RAM, GFX 640 graphics, and a 250GB HD.

But the system is slow. So I’ve decided that the best approach would be to get a cheap SSD for it. I found a Refurbished 60GB SSD on Newegg for about $40. That should do the trick. Given there aren’t that many apps installed on the Linux system, it uses far less than 60GB, so the small size is no problem.

Migration to SSD

I don’t want to completely rebuild the system. I’d rather migrate it to the SSD. A forum post led me to using gparted to migrate the partitions from the 250GB hard drive to the SSD. Also, it seems best to test this scheme using a virtual machine before I actually migrate the system. One of the VMs I keep current is a Linux Mint 15 system in a 60GB VM disk on my Windows 7 system. I use Virtual Box.

After I did the experiments with the VM, I successfully migrated a 250GB HD – 9GB used- to a 60GB SSD with no problems using this scheme. (more…)

25 September 2013, Darrell @ 8:38 am
Asura Mesmer

Asura Mesmer

Guild Wars 2 is hard to play. Compared with World of Warcraft, or Tera, both of which I love and do not complain about.

The reason appears to be that ArenaNet is designing the game for the end-game players. For example, the recent update notes stated that they have upped the health of the champions [bosses] and reduced the time required to kill them. These are the events that show up in all areas, including low level areas and that you can do once per day, per account to get mid level loot and exp.

I think the problem is that the “Down-leveling” math is not fair and they are compensating in other parts of the game rather than fixing “Down-leveling”.

The ArenaNet folks are not happy with any criticism on their forums, so I need to post this here. (more…)

21 September 2013, Darrell @ 10:54 am

Rant – It’s still all about some hack or other



I played GW1 for 2 years. All my 9 toons [of all classes] have done Ring of Fire. So I’m not saying that I’m the coolest player, but I have some chops.

So here’s my Rant.

With Arenanet, it’s not about careful design, it’s all about the hack.
They may think they are doing careful design. But by hiding that design and making it non-obvious, it’s really all about the hack that we eventually discover and document.

BTW: By hack I do not mean any exploit of the game. I mean an obscure play style, or path that allows you to solve a game problem. A solution that is totally legal and in keeping with the terms of service of the game, but is so obscure that you are not likely to find it without help.


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