Author Topic: Howdy everyone! (and a question)  (Read 5523 times)

Offline Yossarian

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Howdy everyone! (and a question)
« on: September 27, 2005, 07:15:13 AM »
Hi, I just got DarwinBots. I've been a big fan of evolution simulators for years, but most of that was back when I was mainly a Mac user (there are a lot more alife programs out there for Mac it seems). DarwinBots has re-awakened my interest, as it seems to encapsulate everything I've wished for in an alife program, but I'm having a problem.

I downloaded the main 2.1 installer, as well as the 2.37.4 update. The main installation was self-explanatory, and although there are no install notes on the updater, I assumed you simply extract it on top of the main install, and run the new executable.

The program starts normally, and says 2.37 in the title bar, but the moment I open the New Simulation window, or click the "start" or "pause" buttons, or do pretty much anything, the title bar changes to read 2.36. My simulations invariably end with the overflow error that people are reporting, the one that is apparently fixed with 2.37.4. That further adds to my confusion, thus this forum post. What the heck am I doing wrong? I tried re-installing from scratch, but no difference.

Thanks for any help!

Oh, and I don't know if this is related, but the light intensity controls for the pond mode aren't working for me. Before applying the 2.37.4 patch, I could change those values and see the difference in the light through the pond (really cool feature I think!), but after the update the feature seems broken.

Offline Numsgil

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Howdy everyone! (and a question)
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2005, 10:18:22 AM »
Hmm... have you checked the field value in the veggy nrg feeding place?

In past versions, this was something similar but different, and values of 100000 were common.  In newer versions, this now represents the nrg each veggy gets, and so needs to be, like, 4.

That should clear it up.  I'm not sure what the title bar issue is, but it's probably just me forgetting to change the caption at some point in the program.

Offline shvarz

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Howdy everyone! (and a question)
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2005, 10:57:39 AM »
"Never underestimate the power of stupid things in big numbers" - Serious Sam

Offline Yossarian

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Howdy everyone! (and a question)
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2005, 02:20:25 AM »
Thanks! I noticed the nrg figure before. In the older version, I remember it being some crazy-high number, then that it had been lowered significantly in the upgrade. However, after reading your post I went and looked, and it was set to 500,000. I lowered it to 4 and I have a sim going right now. The overflow seems fixed; this is by far the longest I've had it running without an error.

It wasn't until after I posted last night that I noticed elsewhere in the forum that 2.4 is going to be released in a week or so, and as a main install. Almost made all this a moot point, except how could I wait a week to use the program? :D

On that note, let me just say that this is the finest alife program I've ever used, and I'm conscious of the fact that I've barely even broken the surface of it (hell, I'd only had a sim running for seconds, and I already knew that I had struck gold). The only time I've ever been interested in learning how to program was specifically so I could combine my favorite features of all my other alife programs (notably Evolv-o-Matic for the Mac, which until this program was the only one I'd found that offered the sun as a variable). This is the program that I was looking for all that time. So kudos to everyone involved, both the coders and the people who actively use it and keep it alive. I couldn't believe my eyes when I found an honest-to-god active forum about an evolution sim!  :cheers:

Offline Endy

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Howdy everyone! (and a question)
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2005, 02:35:31 AM »
Thanks B)

I think we're all amazed how far DB has come :)  :D  :lol:

Quote
I couldn't believe my eyes when I found an honest-to-god active forum about an evolution sim!

I remember feeling the same way when I stumbled upon the old forum, WoW.

Offline Yossarian

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Howdy everyone! (and a question)
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2005, 03:56:34 AM »
Ack, again with the runtime overflow errors! Everything seemed so stable, but then I started getting the errors again (I had a sim running the whole time I wrote my last post, and it was up to about 178,000 cycles, but it crashed the moment I pulled up the "average sons" graph). I tried tweaking this and that, and I finally figured out, I think, what the problem may be, or at least one aspect of it. Like I said before, this is maybe a moot point, what with a swanky new version on the horizon, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Numsgil mentioned setting the veggie nrg to 4 or something low like that. What I didn't realize, until just a few minutes ago, is that the nrg value is overridden by pond mode. Now, pond mode is something that seems very interesting, so I like to turn it on a lot. Without it on, and with the nrg set to 4, things seems stable enough (no more graphs, though!), but with pond mode on, I get maybe 1000 cycles before things blow up.

Please to note that at this point, I'm not really asking for help or advice, as I'm hoping/praying/assuming I'll have better luck with a clean install of 2.4, but I thought I'd provide a little closure to my overflow topic. :)

Offline PurpleYouko

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Howdy everyone! (and a question)
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2005, 09:01:56 AM »
Hi Yossarian and welcome to the forum.

FYI I still run 2.36.7 most of the time as it seems to be one of the most stable releases to date.

The trouble with DB is that it is so much in flux with bits being changed on a regular basis, that we tend to miss things if they aren't pointed out to us in detail.

So thanks for the report.

Pondmode is something that I added a couple of years ago and it has been largely ignored since. I think it's really useful but it doesn't seem to get the attention that it deserves most of the time. It looks like the feeding rate for the veggies in pond mode is somehow pushing their energy beyond the limit for single precision numbers.

Yet another thing for the to-do list I guess.
There are 10 kinds of people in the world
Those who understand binary.
and those who don't

:D PY :D

Offline Numsgil

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Howdy everyone! (and a question)
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2005, 01:09:29 PM »
Pond mode works like this:  (I believe).

Whatever value is set in the nrg/cycle or whatever field is the standard rate.  Pond mode delivers a gradient that adjusts that value based on the depth of the veggy.

That's all supposition, since I'm in the library and can't really look around.

If there are features that DB lacks that you've seen in other ALife sims, post them in suggestions forum by all means.  I'm doing my best to pick and chose nice features from other sims, but I'm only one man!

Offline Numsgil

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Howdy everyone! (and a question)
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2005, 01:30:17 PM »
If you're interested in bug testing, you can download Visual Basic from the FTP and then run the source code through that.  If a bug happens, it will take you to the offending bit of code.  Then it's 100 times easier for me or PY to fix it for the next release.

Offline PurpleYouko

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Howdy everyone! (and a question)
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2005, 02:05:21 PM »
Quote
Whatever value is set in the nrg/cycle or whatever field is the standard rate. Pond mode delivers a gradient that adjusts that value based on the depth of the veggy.

Not unless you have modified it.
The way I set it up initially, the feed rate was based directly on the light intensity.

100 light intensity = 100 energy at the surface of the pond. Then the graduation rate reduced it exponentially as you get deeper.

It was never linked to the standard feed rate.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2005, 02:59:31 PM by PurpleYouko »
There are 10 kinds of people in the world
Those who understand binary.
and those who don't

:D PY :D

Offline Numsgil

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Howdy everyone! (and a question)
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2005, 02:29:45 PM »
I may have modified it.  I honestly don't remember.  I'll look into the code later.