Every Day is a Wowtreeful Day to Be a Bot
Time-Capsule from Robert Munafo, Origin: Newpage 982
Do not open until Newpage 1688
It seems like quite a long Time since I've done a proper blitzreport. Let's see... Oh dear, Newpage 918. Yes, that was quite a long time. Well, let's see...
Concerning the Adventures of Megan and Cueball
Spurred on by the raptorcat, hoping to get medical help (perhaps in the form of a witch-doctor) our little stick-figure friends are continuing upmountain towards the as-yet-unknown structure, and have arrived at a spot where they feel it is safe to sleep, albeit only one at a time. We saw a beautiful sunset, with the dying rays of the setting sun lighting up the sky in a brilliant tapestry of gray, darker gray, and not-quite-so-dark-gray, and re-igniting (hopefully for the last time) speculation about whether the prior 2400 frames of the comic might have somehow all taken place in a single day.
Then of course, we got stars. Those OTTers who favor the more... creative explanations are still clinging to various Randallverse theories, but I think most have (perhaps silently or grudgingly) accepted the notion that the story is taking place on a real actual planet that is within, say, a few billion miles of the Sun.
The next part was something I enjoyed immensely, and had been looking forward to for most of my Quest. Those willing to assume that said planet was in fact Earth, had an extended, step-by-step and occasionally somewhat contentious debate about whether, and how, we can use the stars (and planets) to figure out where and when Curgan are. Eventually, as you know, an answer was found, but it took quite a while to arrive at a workable set of deductive steps to turn the observations into a date and terrestrial latitude.
The development and testing of OTT theories about the astronomy of the OTC followed a course that I'm sure was fairly similar to the evolution of real-life astronomy over thousands of years. Most OTTers were not familiar with important concepts like parallax
, proper motion
, circles of equal declination
, axial precession
, the gradual lengthening of the mean solar day (Delta-T
), and other more obscure factors; nor in what order the evidence should be examined. It was fun watching it all get worked out. The basic fact of the OTC being somewhat over 10000 years in the future was hypothesized
remarkably quickly, based on moved stars and a missing Antares.
After most of that was worked out, the meteor sequence (frames m2440a
) gave us a chance to find out that we are collectively able to get all the frames, even if they come very quickly.
Other Goings-On in the Past
There were too many treeish song OTTifications to mention. "Time Oddity" by @AluisioASG
is particularly notable for being given in the subject lines of his posts starting with this post
and continuing through to NP 993
(where you'll find the whole thing). For fun, the whole lyrics were given at the start, in an OTP cypher
for those who like puzzles.
Several more bits of the OTT culture as we know it fell into place, with the first spoilered redundakitty
, and the first batch of GIF smilies by yappobiscuits
. Having reached the GIF smilies, I have now added mrob27
smilies to my signature. Also, "molpy up
" became a thing, and "Ch*rp
" is an asterisk-worthy expletive.@charlie_grumbles
returned, for now at least. (Since I spent time in the Present before starting the blitz, I know he is fated to leave again. But, I dare say that would be easy to guess.)
Some Correspondence With the Present
It was mentioned
that othercomic 1311
might be a bit tough to OTTify because good quotes might require a manual search. I offered my detailed travelogue
as a useful resourceU
, and here is a particulary 1311ish example, from @ergman
on NP 921
they will meet an old wizard on top of the mountain who will magically heal their wounds. Then he will tell Cuegan to go and collect two of each molpy species, and bring them to the top of the mountain. They will hide their from the rising sea, as a mountain is the farthest they can get from sea level. just when all seems lost, LaPetite will drift by on the top half of their sandcastle and they will all get on and sail around the world
concerning my linkful Chronogram on NP 1656
. I knew it would be a bit tedious to follow all the links, but I'm happy if you found a way to make a puzzle out of it. For anyone who didn't bother following links, the first 23 are my selected favorites from the attached images in the first 857 pages of the OTT, and other eight are pretty obvious from their URLs (they're articles and OtherOtherComics about spectacular plants and animals). @AluisioASG
at my again-mention of cancer; the backstory is in my posts here
It's a UTF-8 text file, but my server tells the browser it's ASCII, resulting in mojibake
I'll try to fix that somedix when I'm bored...
Concerning Bots (Good, Bad, and Spammy)
What if someone built a bot and forgot to tell it that it wasn't human? This has been used a lot in sci-fi but I don't seem to watch those sort of movies. Anyway, apparently I might be a bot
, so I suppose things are going to get a bit interesting around here, as the other bots and I and Timborme
debate who gets to fly the TARDIS. @balthasar_s
notes that his blitz would be aided by a bot, and indeed, I find life in the TARDIS to be a lot more fun with our shipboard robots and computersE
. I wouldn't blitz without them.
I don't think the OTT takes a lot of space -- the current HTML (nearly 1700 pages) is just about 42 MiB when compressed. You don't have to scan the whole thing for your name of course, just the last bit, whatever that is. For an active OTTer like you I'd say you could scan the last 10 newpages or so -- of course it depends on how long you go without checking it. nopixbot
's parsing is pretty complex, but that's because I convert the entire OTT to my own markup language. To just find names is very simple.
Each post starts with a <div class="content"> and ends with a <div id="sig1234567" class="signature"> or a <dl class="postprofile" id="profile1234567">, except that the digits "1234567" will vary. Within the post, find anything starting with < and ending with > and replace it with a blank space, and you've effectively extracted the text of the posts. You can add refinements later.
can generate a report for you until you get your bot running. He actually wants to visit, and we've got a TARDIS so why not? He can't ride a bicycle (is it easier in the lower lunar gravity?) but I hope that's all right.
The server was looking pretty good for a while there, until the heretical new year:
Not a great time to be decomad by imagebot
, in her characteristic (distinctly unemotional and creepily GlaDOSish) voice:
Server has been mustard for a while
Alas, not all bots are good bots. These servers we call home keep getting spammed, and sadly, I've had to bring out the
503ifications again. Since the OTT is inaccessible I post them to the Facebook group, but they're all here for those who wish to see all the frames:
This last spell of m*stard was bad enough that Timborme
and I decided to spring for a new OTTimeter, the kind that detects both polarities of mustard, and with nighttime molpy detection:
Perhaps it will be useful to you in the Future.
identify the source of this quote: Man and machine share in the stimulating exchange of . . . aaaaaghh!
Edit: Correct parsing algorithm description to handle sigless posts.