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Civilisation 4 portsSunday 17th August 2008
There is an absolute epic on which ports need to be opened for Civilization 4 to play multiplayer.

Although it seems massively over-kill for a large number of people. Most people don't block by port outgoing, but will filter by application signature (if at all). So the only port that needs to be opened is for 'hosting'.

This appears to be 2056 (Microsoft DirectPlay) on UDP. I've been happily playing with only this open. I think it gets more complicated when more than 2 people are playing as it seems to be peer-to-peer in nature. I'll update if there are any other considerations when I play with more people.

Rush hourWednesday 13th August 2008
The drive to work is annoying, but generally I'm still too much in a daze to get wound up by things on the road. In the evening on the way home though, that's another story.

My journey home today didn't start off great, as I wasn't in the best of moods anyway, and it was pissing it down. I got in my car to watch some twit with a hole in his exhaust floor it through the car-park, as he does every day.

So I trundle along to the exit of the car-park to get caught in my first gripe. A traffic jam. I've got no issue with traffic jams themselves, it's something that will always happen while people drive. It annoys me when the cause is people parking illegally, half a mile round the corner. If it's not illegal parking, it's the same builder with a disabled badge for his car. The main route through the city has two lanes, one for 95% of traffic, the other for a few people to turn right to a suburb. Alas, as the traffic is two way, only 2 cars can turn right every set of lights - which is a good 2 or 3 minutes between changes. But, as twits are parking illegally, ALL traffic has to wait for the people turning right. This causes tail backs across the entire side of the city!

Anyway, I grumpily get into the suburbs to find somebody parked on the zig-zags by a zebra crossing; turn the corner to have another car parked on double yellows, so I have to swerve out blind to get past...

It's then fairly quiet trip to the next straight of single heavy parked road with few dipping in points (on the way home, I have priority). Normally there a few cyclists wobbling around the street at this point, which I've got no problem with, until they try to wave you past on a blind bend just to see a car come speeding from the other way. This straight is about 200-300 yards of clear street. So you make your way down it when, yes, somebody in a 4x4 decides not to wait for you to complete the stretch and comes down too. Yay! Time to mount the pavement to get past. Of course, no thanks...

At this point I wonder if I would park so close to corners on a busy route as I follow the traffic round the twists through to the main road.

A slow trundle up the hill is a relaxing break until you get to some more parked cars, this time staggered either side of the road. Does this mean people give-way to allow traffic to keep flowing? No, it's a game of Chicken - until a 4x4 comes along, natch.

I then get to the edge of the city where I can pick up the main road to take me home. Via a round-a-bout. There is generally a huge queue to my left for people exiting the city from the centre going straight across (left lane). The right lane is for turning right down the road I'm coming from. But, if you drive a BMW - or are generally just a twit - you are allowed to orbit the round-a-bout in order to skip the queue - twits.

Almost there, just the quick trip to the village. Of course, stopping for people pulling out in front of oncoming traffic and trying to force you to let them in after they skipped down a side road to try and gain 3 spaces (I've got no problem with skipping down the side roads, just the forcing).

Yes! I'm out, on the main road, a nice 40mph trip down a 60mph road to the village. 40? Well, I know it's a nasty road for people who don't know it - but on the daily commute? I don't think this person at the front is new to this road. Still... that's fine, careful driver. Oh, no, wait. Sure the road has now straightened out but we are entering a hamlet, there is a speed limit of 40 and this guy is speeding up! That looks about 50... round the corner to floor it up the hill. At this point, if a twit is behind me they attempt to over-take me (as I've dropped back by keeping to the speed limit). In this case though, it isn't the BMW drivers. It's just fools in vans or clapped out cars! It's a 40mph corner, with a 60mph limit as soon as it exits up a killer hill. So I do indeed floor it up the hill as soon as I make the corner - my car isn't slow. The twit's generally are though - why on earth they think they will try and overtake what is quite clearly a sports-car is anybody's guess.

Lastly just a quick nip through the village, avoiding kids kicking balls into the street, and negotiating the exit to Tesco and I'm home. Ah, might not be able to squeeze through to my drive due to the builder with two vans an the biggest 4x4 ever sat on the road. I think he's stopping competing skip deliveries from getting through...

6 miles - 30 minutes - chaos.

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