This site is discontinued – move over to my new blog: http://isene.org

This site is kept open for archival purposes. There are lots of blog posts on everything from tech stuff to Scientology on this site. It will remain open for years to come. But my new home is at isene.org. I continue blogging and sharing materials for your free use. You can subscribe at the bottom page over at isene.org to keep yourself updated on new posts.

Articles, books, my artwork and music is shared at one one of the pages on my new website, and easily reached via isene.com.

Amar Tools reaches a milestone: The 1.0 release!

After 15 years in the making, finally Amar Tools is ‘feature complete’ and deserving the 1.0 release mark.

The swiss army knife tool set for the Amar Role-Playing game is freely available on Github. Although created for the Amar RPG, these tools are useful for any fantasy RPG.

The online version is available here: http://www.isene.org/amar.html

A shortened version of the feature list:

  • Generate random encounters in various terrains (day or night): The encounters are of various races, complete with random names, sex, stats and attitude towards the player characters. You can download the generated encounters as a text file. 
  • Generate random human NPCs. All attributes, skills, weapons, armour, magic, etc. is detailed according to the Amar RPG rules. You can bookmark the URL for each NPC (for future references) and download a text file of the NPC. 
  • Generate random settlements complete with inhabitants – castles, villages, towns or cities:
    • A realistic set of house types are generated and each house populated with residents. Each inhabitant are generated with name according to its race, sex, personality and general skill level in their trade. You can bookmark the URL for the generated settlement for later reference and download a text file as well.
    • A graphical map of relations between the inhabitants is generated along with a text file representing the same. You can bookmark and download both.

     

  • Generate graphical and textual relationship maps for inhabitants of settlements you upload. 
  • Generate a month of random weather. Choose any of the Amar months and detailed weather is created for that specific month – with special religious days and moon phases. If you are a Game Master of any other RPG, choose “Unspecified” as the month and 28 days of weather is created. You can download the weather as a nice PDF. 
  • Generate random names for a whole range of races. 
  • Make “open ended dice rolls” (used extensively throughout the Amar RPG).

 

Check out the online version to see all the other features.

Thanks to all contributors – players, game masters and others that have helped push the Amar Tools with more than 30K lines of code over this milstone mark.

Cleaning your room, processes and ITIL

  • ITIL: A formalized way of delivering IT services
  • Processes: The structured actions taken between an input and an output
  • Cleaning your room: Tidying and removing dirt from your room before the guests arrive

If you never ever clean your room, wash the dishes or your clothes, water the plants or make dinner, the gap between your skills and your mother’s skills in these areas will keep widening. Your skills will be handicapped by your mother’s empathy and care.

If you establish processes in an organization that is supposed to take care of issues and problems for the employees, it wil handicap their abilities to handle this themselves.

In the ITIL framework, you are supposed to establish some 27 processes to cater for every part of IT service delivery in an organization. One such process is Problem Management. The purpose of this process is to handle the underlying cause of one or more issues so that it doesn’t happen again. When this is turned into a process where a subset of employees gets to be experts at detecting problems, conduct root causes analysis and solve the problems, the gap between the skills of these guys and the rest keeps widening. The process will handicap the employees problem solving skills.

Problem solving should be a skill exercized by every employee. It should be part of the company’s culture, their DNA. Everyone should jump at the opportunity to solve problems they encounter. It will hone their skills and keep them valuable as efficient problem solvers. Those who encounter a specific problem has more initial data about it and can usually solve it quicker… if they have excellent problem solving skills.

Don’t relegate important skills sets to only certain processes. Help everyone exercize and fine-tune their skills in fire-fighting, problem solving, change management, customer handling, documentation and strategic thinking.