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dream.20060821: debuggery

by Rob Friesel

I’m beta-testing, debugging, and troubleshooting some revolutionary software that’s being published by an Adult Entertainment Industry Consortium (read: Porn Studio).  The premise is pretty simple: you set a couple of variables (i.e., number of actors, general characteristics about the actors, ratio of close-ups to wide-angle shots, duration, etc.) and the software randomly generates a photorealistic video to fit your request.  It seems to work pretty well, too.  Watching the videos, you certainly can’t tell they are computer generated.  The sprites look like real actors (not polygonal computer animated things) and there’s no details lost on the sets either (not that we expect much out of the sets).

But something is wrong just the same.  I put in for two blondes and it gives me a blonde and a red-head.  When I restart it with the same parameters it gives me a blonde, a red-head, and a guy.  So the graphics are just fine but it’s having trouble keeping the variables straight.  So I’m tailing the logs while the videos render (in real-time, I might add) to get an idea of what the hell is going on.

Bear in mind, this is strictly business.  Not pleasure.

Now, the unfortunately complicating factor here is that I work from home.  And for whatever reason, there’s this big family gathering going on today at my house.  This would be OK – – I mean, I would normally just take the rest of the day off and pick up the slack tomorrow – – but our deadline is closing in fast for us to meet the promised ship date and besides, I’m on a roll – – I can nail this, I just know it.  So I have to keep getting interrupted, pausing the playback, ducking out of the little home office, and direct people to where they’re staying in the house (or at least postpone that by directing them to the appetizers).

But when my grandparents arrive, there isn’t much I can do.  They want to go straight to their room which happens to be directly next to my home office.  I pause the playback, hide the application, and direct them to the room.  I know I’m real real real close to finding that critical bug.  But right as I duck back into the room and resume playback, my grandmother follows to grab something from the hallway and catches a glimpse, muttering words of disapproval.  All I can think to say:

“It’s not what you think!”

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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