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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

SSD Trials and Tribulations

This is Steven Petrick posting.

I have been doing this now for more than 20 years. You would think I would be near perfection, but sadly, this is not so. As such, I am always grateful to those who check my work, even if often embarrassed by my errors that they find and report.

One of the problems is reports on things found that arrive late in the process, when I am trying to do other things at the same time. Suddenly, something that is done and complete and I do not have to worry about it, has to be fixed now in the final crunch to get the rest of a given issue of Captain's Log finished. And once this last correction is made, there is no time to send the item out for one last check to make sure some other mistake did not occur.

Thus in this issue of Captain's Log (#52), the heavy armed freighter does not have its movement cost, HET cost, and EM cost data.

When the SSD was done and sent to be checked, that data was on the SSD (in roughly the same position where it appears on the jumbo armed freighter SSD). Then a report came in that the jumbo and heavy armed freighters did not account for their use by the Carnivons (disruptor cannons) and Paravians (Quantum Wave Torpedoes). These SSDs were already jammed with other tables, and trying to add the Paravians and Carnivons involved a lot of moving things around, not just simply adding those tables. (The box of "weapon check mark" boxes, for example, had to be expanded to include check off boxes for these weapons.)

At one point, I "temporarily" deleted the movement data on the heavy armed freighter (because it is already as small as we will make an SSD, so I could not shrink it any further) in order to move other data. I know I had intended to later copy the movement data from the jumbo armed freighter and paste it into the heavy armed freighter, but at the point I deleted the data it was the only way to have space to move everything else around. (Pasting something over it, if what I was pasting did not fully cover it, is more cumbersome, as you then have to "trim" around the edges of what you have pasted in to delete what the thing pasted in did not cover.)

Things were in a rush and hectic, and something distracted me (obviously, probably a phone call or having to go check orders, or Lord knows what) before I finished and by the time I got back to it and finished it, I had forgotten that I meant to paste the movement data back in. And looking at the SSD it did not jump out and hit me that the movement data was missing because I "know" what the movement data is.

Then there are the errors that are so blatant, no one notices them. The Seltorian advanced technology light cruiser should have a movement table of 0.67, same as the non-advanced technology ship. The SS was obviously created by taking an advanced technology heavy cruiser SSD and deleting one of the booms and adjusting the data (crew size, BPV, etc.). Again, I was probably distracted by something. In this case, that is no excuse. The SSD was done months before (literally before Captain's Log #51 was done). But even though it was sent to be reviewed by the various individuals at the same time as the other SSDs, no one noticed that it was a light cruiser with the movement cost of a heavy cruiser. Everybody looked at it, but no one caught the huge mistake.

And so here we are.