F1 2019 – My F2 2018 career with A.I. @98% part #3/3

For context, start here: https://arturmarques.com/wp/2019/08/25/f1-2019-my-f2-2018-career-with-a-i-98-part-1-3/

Continue here: https://arturmarques.com/wp/2019/08/26/f1-2019-my-f2-2018-career-with-a-i-98-part-2-3/

Finally, on event #3 of 3, a “full” Abu Dhabi six laps race, you “just” have to finish ahead of your championship contender, nothing more, to win the F2 2018 World Championship.
The difference here is that the player gets to start the race on his/her own, for the first time, and has to endure the steering wheel’s force feedback for ~13 consecutive minutes.
Yet again, I failed. I managed to gain some positions, but was totally unable to catch the front-runners. The A.I. was lapping on 01:53:xxx, while my best is on the 01:55:xxx.

Do not fear: the player always graduates to F1. One of these days I’ll continue the game and try those cars.


F1 2019 – My F2 2018 career with A.I. @98% part #2/3

For context: https://arturmarques.com/wp/2019/08/25/f1-2019-my-f2-2018-career-with-a-i-98-part-1-3/

On event #2 of 3, the final laps of the Austrian GP, you have to deal with a broken front wing. The challenge is to recover the lost ground and go overtake your adversary. I failed. I lost no places after the forced pit stop, but I could gain none either. The race pace of the A.I. was just too strong for my current skill.


F1 2019 – My F2 2018 career with A.I. @98% part #1/3

Codemasters’ “F1 2019” game, which I play on the PC, features a “career mode” that consists of three events of the F2 2018 championship: Spain, Austria, and Abu Dhabi, the closing race. When a player plays the “career” mode, he/she must first complete these F2 events, before graduating to F1.
There is no “practice” mode in the game; the closest to it, is an option to race timed laps. This means that, for first time players, like myself, the handling of the car will be a complete unknown and unless playing on a very low difficulty level, success (race wins) is impossible.
My career is against A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) set at 98% and no driver assists, other than some traction control. The game should warn you that you cannot change these settings, ever, unless starting a new career. Makes sense, but the game’s defaults for the Logitech G29 racing steering wheel – my controller – feel so bad, that I had to spend significant time in tuning it to an “acceptable” state. That meant many F2 2018 Spain restarts, until I could control the car, at all.
At some point, I was comfortable enough to complete the challenges. I recorded videos of those three F2 events.

F1 2019 has great visuals, but its handling is well below the superb rFactor 2 (RF2) standard. RF2 feels “natural”. The behavior you get from the RF2 cars is just credible. Yet, because of its “social” component, including ESPORTS, F1 2019 is gathering momentum. It is “unfair” from a realism perspective, but it is what it is. I suppose F1 2019’s realism deficit versus not only RF2 but also versus iRacing, is rooted on its compromise to support gaming consoles (Playstation, XBOX), which are devices for audiences who prefer “fun” with stick controllers above “simulation”.

Today and in the next two days, I publish the “TV perspective” videos of events #1 to #3 of 3.

Event #1/3 is the closing laps of the Spain 2018 F2 race. In this first game “career” challenge, the story sets you with a “turbo issue” and a request from your team, to let your teammate pass. I did not have the pace to hold my teammate, so the request was easy to comply with :).
As the video shows, although the car was “controllable”, I was locking the brakes too often, due to inexperience, a yet poor control setup (that would improve days later, but remains still far from perfect), and because of damage that I suffered from contact against another car. “Damage” is another setting that you cannot change without erasing all the saved game data and restarting the “career”. I am playing with “damage” one level below the max “simulation”, and that means that contacts will cause handling and performance problems. The video clearly depicts the car parts that have sustained impacts.


Two months after birth, here is my plants’ status

My first batch of six plants was planted on 2019-06-25.
I published two videos from their “baby” days:

These plants grew enough to justify their transplant out of the “incubator” system, on 2019-08-07.
On the final week of August 2019, three weeks after the transfer, this is their status:

  • The curly parsley was the vegetal that took more time to grow to a reasonable size, more than any of the other species, but it is now doing well, planted on earth, on a cheap plastic vase; you can see it in the video, at the far left.
  • The basil, Taiwan variety, grew the most and the fastest out of the hydroponics system, and now lives in a special self-watering vase. All was perfect with it, until ~1 week ago, when its leaves started to show some grey spots. It is now on an obviously decadent phase. I suppose this is because of my ignorance on what nutrients to use in the water, or maybe these plants just have much a shorter lifetime than I expected them to have. I am learning, hands-on.
  • The other basil, Genovese variety, was the #2 on growth, but my culinary favorite. I have used its broad leaves three times, for soups! They taste great and its presence is obvious. This plant is now on one of those self-watering vases, planted on a substrate that is permeable to its roots, which descend to the separate water container. Unfortunately, after weeks of full health on that vase, it is also degrading, loosing leaves.
  • The dill, which was the #1 on smell, died on the final week of August 2019. It was on a regular plastic vase, on earth, not on a self-watering solution. There were no problems for weeks, but death came fast and suddenly. I read that dill “self-cultivates”, so I left it dead (?) on earth, hoping that something will one day grow from its remains.
  • The mint is alive, planted on a self-watering vase. It still grows new leaves, but it is also showing signs of decay on its older parts.
  • The thyme is a beautiful plant, now on a self-watering vase. I think it stopped growing and its leaves are turning from obvious-green to something that I describe as brown-green. I think it is also decaying.

URLs "p1" 20190824 – 83 selected readings

I am an avid WWW surfer, with hundreds of websites visited each month, sometimes daily. I bookmark them all, at least for logging purposes. These posts having the "urls" category, capture what was on my browser on a specific date. I hope you enjoy some of these shared resources.

Listening to Sean Taylor – "The Path into Blue"

Uau! Listening to Sean Taylor – “The Path into Blue”. The first track, titled “This is England”, manages to sing about Spotify, “Brexit” and algorithms in a sensible way! Amazing. Rich lyrics, sometimes even poetic. I am enjoying it via a 1024 kbps stream and, as I write, a guitar screams in superb definition, on track 3, titled “Grenfell”.

You cannot get 1024 kbps via Spotify, but this is the only way I know to share it:

PHPStorm fails refactors in symlinked files

Yesterday, while programming a solution that will automatically build some of my videos, I faced an unexpected problem with JetBrains PHPStorm v19.2.

The issue was (and is) that doing a “refactor > rename” of any method’s parameter would not work. The IDE’s “preview” would correctly show the changes that should happen, but upon confirmation, by pressing the ENTER key, while the parameter name would change, its usages would not, so the code would not work, because of the new unknown identifiers.

This would only happen with identifiers corresponding to method parameters, which are “signature” elements, together with the method’s name and its return type.
After some head scratching, I understood what is the issue: the file corresponding to the class of the method being edited, is available to the project not in a “real” directory, but via a “symbolic link”, which a Microsoft Windows file system’s feature that allows, among other possibilities, to make the same single folder seemingly available at many different points. It happens that PHPStorm will NOT change signatures for methods in files, which are not directly available to projects. If the file is available to the project as a real direct, then “refactor > rename” works; if the file is in a symlink, it does NOT.

Problem understood. This is annoying, but now understandable.

I cannot say for sure that is new in the latest version of PHPStorm (v19.2, in August 2019), but I don’t remember having faced the issue in the past, and I’ve used symlinks before.

I tweeted about the mysterious issue here:

“@JetBrains I think you created a bug in PHPStorm 19.2
Try to refactor > rename any param in a method’s param list. You will see a CORRECT preview in the body, but when ENTER is pressed, the param is renamed yet the body keeps the old identifiers.”

Then, when I understood the problem, I replied to myself here:

“Replying to my own problem: I found the issue is due to symbolic links (file system symlinks) in Windows. The project in question uses a folder which is a symlink to a real directory. Refactor of signature elements (such as params) in files at that location will fail.”

URLs "p1" 20190818 – 79 VHQ resources

I am an avid WWW surfer, with hundreds of websites visited each month, sometimes daily. I bookmark them all, at least for logging purposes. These posts having the "urls" category, capture what was on my browser on a specific date. I hope you enjoy some of these shared resources.