The Queiba Wars

My log of service under Queiba Command

Thursday, January 8, 2009


So I passed phase 12 a couple days ago. Yeah. Thrills. No more kidding myself about being young. At least Queiba Command ordered an overhaul of CENT-COM, our newly named central computer network. Hopefully they'll add progress indicators. But I seriously doubt it, what with the levels of incompetency going around these days. Maybe I'll just pick up a rock tablet and etch everything into it. It would be so much less hassle.

So my command was pulled. Again. They said it was temporary pending investigation of my alleged insubordinate altitude. Bah. Never got it back. Went back home, wrote a replacement CENT-COM server package for my own benefit, read every book in my library, and finally called up Command. Apparently my C.O. completely forgot that I existed. See if I ever work from home again. In the mean-time, they had the Qlaque shifted to control of a new Commander. Rumors say that it's Vurr, Command's new up-and-coming star officer. Without a ship to command, I've been reassigned to a development station to develop new software. Apparently my computer has been bugged and some bigwig caught wind of CENT-COM-ng. I give whoever pulled that off some points for skill; my kernel must have been patched because there were no rogue processes, and system checksums came back OK.

Bah. Being a ship Commander was getting boring anyway. Still, I'm not a formally trained software engineer; it was just a hobby. I hope I still get to fly.

-(Former) Commander Nemulo

Monday, March 31, 2008

Loadus Interruptus

If there's one thing I hate more than that central computer network Queiba Command started making us use last month, it's the software we run on it. The programs are full of useless controls that make things go completely haywire if you hit them at the wrong time.

A screen full of mission reports is loading from the database. You try to expand one. It stops the rest of the list from loading. Now you have to exit the report viewer and restart it (which takes forever, of course, because of network delay). The short answer is not to touch the controls until something has fully loaded.

There's only one problem with that advice, though: Programs on our computers don't have progress indicators. You can't tell if it's one report left to load or one thousand. Chalk it up to the overpaid, incompetent programmers Queiba Command has write our computer programs. They probably don't know try{...}catch{...} from if{...}else{...}, and certainly don't know what a progress indicator is.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to Headquarters and write the software, instead of using it. I know Queiba Command would never approve my transfer, though. I guess I'll just stay out here, writing reports on the ridiculous interstellar computer network and avoiding skirmishes with the Rorbulans.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Central Computer

I hate central computers. Not dislike, hate. With a vengeance. Queiba Command has done it again with their new initiative to link all the ships together on one big interstellar computer network. It makes doing anything a royal pain.

Take starting programs on a desktop terminal, for instance. Ordinarily, under the old system with average conditions, starting the log recorder or viewer, or opening up sensor logs, took a few hundred milliseconds to a second or two. That was with the ship handling its own processing and data storage. Now, with the single computer at Queiba Command handling every little minute task for every ship in the fleet, doing anything takes five minutes, if not longer.

Just opening the program to record this log entry (I am using my 'personal' tag for this entry, even though I know they read everything anyway) took ten minutes. First the program had to start, then it had to connect to the central computer. Next, it loaded a list of all my previous entries. Finally, and this is the longest step, it loaded the full text and audio of every entry in the list, even though it's just a log recorder and can't play the logs back. It's a flaw in the program's design, for sure, since it's loading a ton of data that it doesn't need; but at least under an on-board system the delay was tolerable.

The latency of doing anything on a central computer is ridiculously high, too. Not only do programs take ages to load, but issuing commands results in a several-second delay before any results show up. Even changing "tabs" (I'm not sure what to call them, actually; that's just a nickname) takes on average five seconds. Accessing data in the Automated Reporting, Reporting, and Reporting Interface (ARRRIn, so named because it submits triply-redundant data and wastes even more time that way) or opening a queued report waiting to be sent takes another ten seconds per request. Most of the delay time is made up of wait intervals, spent giving data time to be transmitted across the ridiculously slow radio network.

I'm thinking of writing up a petition and clandestinely (can't do anything in the open, of course) gathering signatures from other commanders whose ships have been affected. Once I've gotten enough signatories, I'll present it to Queiba Command anonymously, in the hopes that they'll see all the signatures and go back to the old one-ship-one-computer model. If only to have the performance back...

-Commander Nemulo of the Qlaque

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wonderful Travel

I hate vacation. Especially when it's enforced by idiotic bureaucrats at Queiba Command who never go on their own vacations unless their mothers make them.

What made this one worse was the ridiculous amount of shuffling and travel delays. See, I was ordered to take a few months' leave after that training incident, on account of my behavior during the reporting (bribing is frowned upon), so I decided to go to Disa, the renowned resort planet.

Begin the saga of over a year. First my transport ship was canceled, so I waited at headquarters for another month waiting for the next one. Then that one was canceled, and the third. By the time I got to Disa, I had had my vacation already in the comfort of my private room at Command, but the higher-ups said I still had to go, so off I went.

The next few weeks were uneventful, with me just lying in the sun, reading tactical and technical manuals (like I said, I hate vacations). Then I got involved with an alien explorer, who said she was looking for something but an old Fuluugo wanted to buy the map she had. I ended up finding it with her, then it got destroyed in a fight between the two of them.

So I went back to my manuals.

The day before I was supposed to leave, someone stole my baggage, and I ended up missing that transport. I had to wait another month, and then my suitcases got lost in transit. I tried telling the handling agent that I had classified papers in my baggage, to no avail. Did I mention that I hate vacations?

So without my personal belongings (at least they're replaceable; I'd never be foolish enough to bring along things of sentimental value), I set off back to Headquarters and my ship. Or so I thought.

Kachabian street thugs captured me a glinnt outside the airport, and my efforts to escape were thwarted at every turn. I spent a month underground with them, cooking meals for them, before I was rescued by Queiba Command. I do not wish to recall the experience of cooking pureed worms for a race of thieving thugs who earn their keep capturing and selling people. Fortunately they did not get as far as selling me; it is said that those sold never find home again.

Eventually, I managed to return to my ship, and we got back to our duties, and we have been assigned to patrol the Rorbulan border and warn Command of any stray patrols from their side. What a colossal waste of time, that vacation. Next time, I'll hide in the reactor maintenance access port. I won't be separated from my ship and log for so long that way (I can sneak to the computer periodically).

-Commander Nemulo of the Qlaque

Sunday, December 3, 2006

"Incident" Reported

Ok, that "Incident" finally got reported.

It was quite a ride. It should have been simple. I send a report into Queiba Command. I testify. Case closed. Well, what actually happened was the following:

Day 1: Report incident
Day 2: Incident gets misrouted and is sent to the press department
Day 3: I get court-marshaled by Queiba Command for releasing classified information
Day 4: I testify (At the court-marshal, not the incident hearing)
Day 5: I am acquitted on the grounds that I had absolutely nothing to do with the mix-up
Day 6: I re-send incident
Day 7: Incident gets bounced on the grounds that it's spam
Day 8: I deliver the incident in person
Day 9: Phase 1 of incident processing begins
Day 10: Incident report gets bounced on the grounds that I forgot to fill out the "verify ID" box
Day 11: I correct incident report and bribe secretory to "accidentally" drop the report on the unit commander's desk.
Day 12: I testify, Government overreacts and sends grade-5 fleet to site
Day 13: I am released from hearing; incident is verified.
Day 14: My ship is confiscated for evidence

So much for someone else taking care of it...

Forever hating bureaucracy,
-Commander Nemulo of the Qlaque

Friday, November 17, 2006

Red Tape

Sorry about not posting recently. After my find, I was immediately buried in red tape. Not that I blame Queiba Command in any way. Governments were made to bury people in red tape. Of course, I am supposed to keep this stupid thing updated all the time, but it's not like they can demote me now.

While on the afore-mentioned scout mission, Jorqia found a unknown ship on our scanners. Training states that if an unknown ship is discovered, to report it, attempt radio communication, then attack if hostile.

I hate training.

They attacked before we could even report their presence. Within the first minute of battle, our left engine got knocked out, and another minute in, our shielding got fried. Culuuo suggested a tactic used successfully in the Chii invasion. I thought my tactical officer was supposed to suggest tactics, not my engineer. Anyway, I had my ship skim over the surface of the ship, and by hiding between two vents we could hide until they stopped looking for us.

I had a video, but it's still in the labs being processed. I wonder if it's classified...

-Commander Nemulo of the Qlaque

Monday, November 13, 2006

Asteroid Ship Trials

I put my ship through its paces today. Our performance was grade 4. I think command stiffed me again. Jorqia was supposed to be grade 5. Oh well. Still pretty good. Very good, actually, but stiffing is stiffing no matter what spin my idiotic superiors put on it.

The trials were reasonable. Asteroid belt getting a bit too close to a remote colony. Ship blew a reactor, so we had to switch to auxilary. Culuuo did a nice job of patching the main reactor up afterwards. Must remember to give him a verbal reward.

The main difficulty in the trial was that the auxiliary reactors weren't working well. They kept overheating.

So, what happened was we were battling asteroids with half an engine and an over-estimated tactical officer. Fun.

-Commander Nemulo of the Qlaque

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Promotion. I've wanted it since I first joined Queiba command 8 [years] ago. And now I've got it. I'm a ship commander now, and I'm to keep a log of everything I do (kind of stupid, I know), so here it is.

My ship is the Qlaque, a light cruiser meant mainly for scouting. Thrills. I sure hope I can get some action, but I doubt it considering that my current mission is a simple perimeter recon that could be done by a [automated ship].

Oh well. I have a bigger income now, and I do have my own command. My crew seems acceptable. The engineer is Culuuo, an older male. Been through a few wars, too. My tactical officer is Jorqia, a young female. From what I hear, she's extremely competent (she'd better be. She's a grade 5 tactical).

The details of my current mission are to go around the perimeter of Queiba space, and report anything abnormal to Quebia Command so that someone else can take care of it.

-Commander Nemulo of the Qlaque

About me

I am Commander Nemulo of the Qlaque, a grade-2 light cruiser meant primarily for light patrolling of the border. Note the word "meant". Not "used". Important distinction there that is lost on my superiors. But I digress.
I am cynical and have no patience for stupidity. I'm a member of the Qrab political system, and fully support their doings and conspiracies.
This blog is the story of my "ship" and my crew on our mission to do whatever my hare-brained superiors (with all due respect) request.