2016 September Mileage

Oct 1, 2016

  • Cycle: 165 miles
  • Run: 44 miles

Goal: 300 miles on the bike.


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How-to: Create an OSA Character Profile for Skyrim

Sep 26, 2016


Let’s say we’ve created a custom NPC for TES V: Skyrim, or we just want to add some story backgrounds to existing characters. “OSA - Skyrim Ascendancy Engine” framework by CEO provides a means to view character profiles, create personas, employ animations, set character expressions, and more. Potentially this framework adds more interactive storytelling and personality to Skryim, which could extend replay value as we wait several more years for the next The Elder Scrolls chapter. A player could add profiles to followers for personal use such as role-playing value or to simply keep track of preferred armor and weapons, or follower-mod creators can add more background for players using OSA. It’s simple to provide extended information using the OSA framework as we’ll do in this exercise.

First, we need OSA installed. Take some time to look over the description page to get an idea of what OSA is about and how to interact with it in game. If using “FrostFall” by Chesko, include the Frostfall patch. Also check if “PapyrusUtil” has a more recent version. After installing OSA, remember to run FNIS generator and after each time adding an OSA animated module. Additional modules add gameplay functionality, but all we need is the OSA framework to access character profiles.

Go ahead and try OSA out to see how it works. Aproach a non-player character (NPC), and press numpad-plus key to reveal a menu including character persona, configuration, and equipment assignments. Use numpad-8 to move up the menu, numpad-5 to move down, and numpad-7 to select. The persona is empty, which we won’t cover here. The lack of a profile is the subject of our task. The OSA file downloads includes an optional example of a character profile for Camilla Valerius (of Riverwoood). Grab that to use as a working example to modify.

Copy Camilla’s profile as a template

The file we need is profile.xml which goes in a folder based on the character. In the Camilla example, we find the file located in ..\Data\meshes\OSP\npc\Skyrim\01347B folder. Profiles for default NPCs go under this Skyrim folder, and a profile for a custom NPC goes under a folder name matching the esp-file without the “.esp” extension. 01347B is the last 6 characters of Camilla’s identifier. Look up identifiers using the console help command, or on The Elder Scrolls Wiki for default NPCs such as Camilla’s page where you’ll find her ID listed as Base ID.

I’ve picked a custom follower NPC, “Selene Kate” by Kasprutz and Hello Santa, as an example. Using the console command, “help selene” I find her NPC ID to be 19000D62. The plugin is, Kate.esp so the XML file needs to go in ..\Data\meshes\OSP\npc\Kate\000D62\profile.xml. Copy Camilla’s example file to this folder and begin editing. Use Notepad++ or XML editor of choice, preferably with syntax coloring. My assumption is reader familiarity with XML, but if not, I’ll go over my edits to turn Camilla’s profile example into Kate’s profile. Keep in mind that breaking XML formatting will cause the game to freeze when using OSA to interact with a character. (Those greater-than and less-than signs are important reserved characters and can’t be used inside other text.) So, if the game freezes, check for errors in the XML file.


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Site Migrated to Octopress 3

Sep 17, 2016


How the menu appears on my phone.

I updated this website for a cleaner look, nicer video embeds, and to include an auto-generated blog series index. Most important management is easier using Jekyll and Octopress 3. Currently Octopress 3 lacks an official release website ( still on version 2), but the Octopress GitHub page includes basic usage. The nice part of version 3 is that it is a plugin for Jekyll so everything Jekyll works, and the management is cleaner than Octopress 2. Even if Octopress 3 isn’t quite ready for prime time, I’m liking it. Before taking the plunge, I looked up posts on migration to see how it went for others switching from 2 to 3. Check out what @dgmstuart and @samwize on GitHub have to say.

Migrating from Octopress 2 is dead simple by creating a new Octopress 3 blog and copy all the post and page markdown files over. Then choose a theme, or customize base Jekyll to your liking. I enjoy being able to organize my page markdown files as a like and setting the YAML permalink to where it needs to go. Let’s go over key components and customizations I made.


Your system needs tools to get started. If you’re migrating from Octopress 2 like I did then you likely have these.

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Big News for rFactor 2

Sep 16, 2016

Today ISI, creator of rFactor, and Luminis, a Dutch software group, announced a partnership to accelerate rFactor 2 development with a new company, Studio 397. This is big news since rFactor 2 has been far less popular as its predecessor with few online racers and light on third-party modded content even though rFactor 2 is pitched as a modding platform. The “partnership plans to release an ambitious roadmap” including user interface improvements, work in the modding community, and updated graphics engine supporting VR on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. See for details.

I’ve tested the rfactor 2 demo twice, once during early beta and recently, and found a good experience with solid physics and detailed races including penalties and caution flags. The light content kept me from purchasing, but with this new announcement, the title is back on my radar. The latest demo comes with a fun track and two cars. Drive full race, including practice and qualifying sessions, day or night. You may links to the demo on Purchase via Steam.

Bathurst-14.png image from

Hat tip to James at for alerting me to this announcement.

.NET Core

Sep 7, 2016

In 2016 we’ve seen some exciting new tech things arrive: VR head-mounted displays from Oculus, HTC, Sony with VR games we dreamed about in the 1990s; PS4 Pro; nVidia 16nm Pascal chip. What I’m most excited about, though, is finally here after a decade of waiting: Microsoft .NET Core cross-platform support. Now I can write, build, and run .NET software on macOS, Linux, or Windows. Use the console, editor of choice, or Microsoft VS Code to write C# code, test, debug, and target multiple platforms. It’s about time! (Sure, Mono is nice, but this is cool!)

To get started with .NET Core, check out the guide at and try out some tutorials. Find the SDK at

How to setup .NET Core SDK on Mac

Follow the .NET Core installation instructions, which are a bit out of date as of this writing, so I’ll summarize the steps and note the difference here.

1. Use Homebrew to get OpenSSL

Enter the commands in console as shown. Then enter the following (missing):

sudo install_name_tool -add_rpath /usr/local/opt/openssl/lib /usr/local/share/dotnet/shared/Microsoft.NETCore.App/1.0.0/System.Security.Cryptography.Native.dylib

2. Use the installer

3. and 4. Follow the instructions to test everything is working.

Creating a new application using “dotnet new” may be run immedately and should output “Hello, World!”

mkdir hwapp
cd hwapp
dotnet new
dotnet restore
dotnet run
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