Archive for the 'Technology' Category

The Last Shuttle

March 15th, 2011 — Wordman

When the space shuttle Atlantis returns from its final mission later this year, the space shuttle program will officially be over. A group of documentarians from the San Diego Aerospace Museum are trying to capture the last days of the program in a film called The Last Shuttle, using a number of different technologies. They have started a Kickstarter project to raise some of the money to do this. They are a bit far from their goal, but still have a couple days left. I’ve kicked some money their way. Please do the same.

Rebuilding a RAID

January 14th, 2011 — Wordman

A while ago, I showed how to build a 1TB backup RAID in ten minutes. But what happens when a drive in this RAID goes bad? This is easy enough to deal with, but contains a few landmines along the way that can get you if you are not careful.

A few weeks back, I upgraded my backup RAID to use quiet, cool, 2TB disks. After working for a few days, one of the disks started throwing SMART alerts, which (in this case) signaled imminent failure. Soon enough, the drive became non-responsive. (This often happens with commodity components like drives or RAM: either they fail right away, or not at all.) As the drive was still under warranty, I got a replacement drive and swapped it into the RAID, and now all is well.

But, back up a bit. What do you actually see when this happens, and what do you need to do? Well, first of all, remember that the R in RAID stands for “redundant”. The whole point is that if one disk fails, the data remains safe on the remaining disk. At first glance, the RAID looks totally fine. If you run Disk Utility, though, it will tell you that the RAID is “degraded”, like so:

Missing disk

Note that if you have a problem, one of the disks might say “Damaged” or some other status instead of “Missing”, but the idea is the same. So, first land mine: you might be tempted to remove this damaged disk from the RAID set in Disk Utility. Do not do this. Instead, you want to get this disk out of the machine entirely, leaving the software part of the RAID alone for the moment.

Which brings us to the second land mine: how do you know which disk to remove? In the list of disks on the left of the Disk Utility screen, if you click on one of the disks, it should tell you what bay contains the drive at the bottom of the screen. If you still can’t tell, take a look at the RAID information for something like “disk1s2” on the damaged drive. Then run System Profiler. In the “Hardware: Serial-ATA” section, you should be able to find the matching “BSD Name” for the drive and figure out which bay the disk is in.

Once you know what bay to empty, turn off Time Machine, then shut down the machine and remove the drive (follow the link mentioned at the start of this post for how to do this). I should point out that, if you need to, once the disk is removed, you can restart the machine and use it for a while. The RAID will still be degraded, but will function with one disk if needed. (I ran in this state for a while while waiting for my replacement drive.)

Once the disk is removed, you have a couple of choices: you can try to repair the disk, or you can replace it. If you want to try repairing the disk, you should do so using a totally different machine. The reason for this is that once a disk has RAID information put on it, there is a chance that it will try to sync with other RAID disks as soon as it is put on a system with them, which could blow the information away.

One tool that helps immensely in messing with drives and moving them around is something like the NewerTech Voyager Q. This is a box that has several different kinds of disk interface on the back (USB, FireWire, eSATA) and a slot on top into which a SATA disk can be plugged, without messing with screws and mounting brackets and such. It’s totally worth the $70.

Anyway, however you do it, mount the drive on a different box and try to repair it. In my case, this didn’t work, and I had to replace the drive. If you must do so, it is crucial that you get a drive with the same capacity as the good drive in the RAID. Ideally, you want the same exact model of drive.

So, now that you have either a repaired or new disk, you hit the most important land mine: if you try to install this disk into your RAID, and it has some residual RAID information on it, it may hose your data. So, you need to reformat the drive before you add it in. Again, this is best done on a totally different machine. Being paranoid, I reformatted mine to FAT, then reformatted again to HFS, doing a single pass zeroing out of the data.

Now, install the drive into the main machine and startup. Once you are up and running, launch Disk Utility again. Get to the RAID section. As far as the software knows, the old drive it knew about is still missing, so you’ll see something much like the screenshot above.

If you click on the “Missing” part of the RAID in the UI, the buttons at the bottom should change to “Delete” and “Demote”. You should avoid the first one entirely, and only use “Demote”. This will pull the bad disk out of the RAID, but leave the original disk as part of the RAID.

You can now also drag the new disk into the RAID list:

Dragging in new disk

Once both of these are done, click the parent item in the RAID list. One of the buttons on the bottom will change to “Rebuild”. Hit this button. You will get a confirmation dialog:

Rebuild?

Click “Rebuild”, and then watch the progress:

Progress

Rebuilding takes hours, so read a book or something. Once it is done, the RAID should be just how you left it, but in full working order. Turn Time Machine back on and away you go.

A television in every back yard, mark I

September 30th, 2010 — Wordman

With football season starting, it’s important to get in some quality outdoor viewing before it gets to cold and nasty, particularly if you just spent way too much to redo your back yard. So…can you see the television stand in this back yard? Can your spouse?

No you can't

No, you can’t, because it isn’t there. You need a sturdy place to mount a TV outside, but one that doesn’t blight the landscape when the TV isn’t in use.

This post details my first attempt at producing such a stand. The idea is to build it out of sturdy piping that slides into anchor holes embedded into the ground. This gives the TV a sturdy base when you want it, but lets you pull the whole thing out and store it in a shed when you don’t, leaving almost no trace. I’m still experimenting with it, but this first attempt works pretty well so far.

Preparation

LayoutMost of the materials for this stand can be found at Lowe’s or Home Depot, and are not hugely expensive. Most of these you will probably need to adapt to your particular needs, but here is what I used:

Even before gathering all of these together, though, you need to think your plan through. If you have a particular place you want the TV outside, before going through the trouble of building this stand, just set the TV up on a table close to where you want it and see how the picture works outside. In particular, does the glare from the sun obscure the picture? If so, you probably want a different spot.

Also, can you get power to where you want the TV? How about a signal (cable, satellite, etc.). Make sure you have all that figured out before you dive too deeply into this project.

Anchors

The PVC pipe should just barely slide around the galvanized piping that you’ll use to make the main frame. The idea is that this PVC will be buried so that the tops just stick out of the ground, anchored in cement. There are probably easier ways to do this, but here is what I did.

Take the J-bend and connect the 12″ PVC pipe to the longer end. Mix up one of the 10 pound buckets of cement. Sink the J-bend as far as it will go into the cement, so that it is totally submerged, but the straight pipe sticks up out of the cement. Look down into the pipe and you should see at least of bit of cement that has oozed into the bottom from the submerged end. This is fine, and should anchor the pipe even better. The idea of using the J-bend here is that it should let the cement grab onto the whole thing better than just a straight pipe would.

Set something to hold the open end of the pipe up as straight as possible while the cement dries. I cut a cross in the lid of the bucket, but boards or something should work fine.

Repeat the process with the other J-bend.

I suppose you could just pour cement directly into the ground instead of using the buckets, but I found the buckets were pretty useful in making the frame, as you could test the fit, move it around, and the buckets were heavy enough to hold the frame up for painting, even without being buried.

Frame

Looking at the picture above, you can see how the galvanized pipes form an “H”, with the 36″ pipe at the center. Since this is precut pipe, it should all screw together easily, and the long pipes make good levers to get it assembled tightly. It may still twist a bit, but don’t worry about that so much now. In case it isn’t obvious, the left side of the picture below shows a close up of the T connections.

Detail

Once assembled, test out the fit of the frame into the anchor buckets. The bottom legs of the “H” should just slide into the PVC pipe sticking out of the cement. Try to avoid jamming the frame all the way in, as it can be hard to get out if you do.

Remove the frame from the anchors and lay it out on the floor. Position the TV mount onto the top section to see how it will fit. One caution here: make sure to position the TV mount such that, when the TV is on it, no part of it collides with the cross bar of the frame’s “H”. I didn’t think about this, and it turned out that the TV’s built-in stand (which lets it stand on its own on a table) wound up at the exact same level as the crossbar, so I have to remove the stand to mount it outside, and put it back on when I bring in the TV. Sort of annoying.

To connect the TV mount to the frame, you’ll need to drill holes into the pipes. The TV mount should give you a lot of choice on running a bold through the mount, then through the pipes. The right side of the picture above shows an example. Drilling the holes is difficult. You’ll need a 3/8″ drill bit capable of penetrating dense metal. I would drill the top holes first, then position the mount again for marking the bottom holes. Once the holes are drilled, leave the mount disconnected.

If your pipes are like mine, they will probably be a bit greasy. Wash them with soap and water, WD40 or whatever to get them clean. After they dry, prime the frame. I put the frame into the anchors to do this, wrapping painters tape around the PVC to keep the primer off of it. Painting it like this allows you to get all sides at the same time. Once the primer is dry, add the textured paint. The picture above shows the texture I used. I also gave a light coat of glossy black to the bolts, nuts and washers that will connect the mount to the frame.

Once everything is dry, connect the mount to the frame with the machine screws. Now you’re ready to take it outside.

Planting

PlantingPut the anchor buckets on the ground approximately where they should go, and slide in the frame. Mark the spots on the ground, then clear everything away and dig some post holes. You want them just deep enough that an inch or so of the PVC pip will stick out of the ground when you are done. As always, beware when you dig in your yard. Is there a gas line or a power cable or something running where you are about to dig? If you don’t know, find out first. This is the part of the job where the wrong chain of events could kill you.

Maneuver the anchors (frame still inside) into the holes. You’ll probably need to fine tune here, adding and removing dirt to get the frame level, or to make the holes slightly wider and so on. The key bit here is to keep the frame slid into the anchors. Doing that should ensure that the frame will line up correctly with the holes and slide out cleanly. Once you are satisfied, the whole assembly should probably be standing on its own in the holes (this is another benefit of making the anchor buckets separately).

At this point, I decided to add some more cement into the holes. You could probably use rocks, or just really good dirt packing instead. After filling in the empty space around the buckets with dirt, I mixed a 20 pound bucket of cement and poured it equally into both holes. Again, I kept the frame inside the anchors the whole time.

When it was dry, I filled the rest up with dirt and covered it in mulch. As planned about an inch of the PVC sticks out. I bought some capping to keep these covered when the frame is not in use. (If you look at the picture at the very start of this post, you can barely make out these caps in the ground.) Getting the frame out of the anchors the first time might be a bit difficult. Best way is with two people, standing on the anchor spots and pulling hard. You may want to try putting the frame in taking it out a few times, just in case.

Mounting

The Peerless mount works using two basic pieces. One is a sort of rail, which is what you connected to the frame. To connect the TV onto this rail, the mount will come with something that screws into the back of the television (usually two bars that run vertically). These can just be left on the TV, even if the TV you use isn’t usually wall mounted (mine isn’t). Connect them according to the instructions that came with the mount. If your TV gives you a choice of mounting positions, connect the pieces as widely apart as possible.

With everything in place outside, test the strength of the frame. Mine is pretty sturdy, barely budging. I’m only using a 36″ television, but I’m fairly certain the stand could handle a larger one, but I haven’t experimented with that yet.

Connect the TV onto the mount. Typically, the parts of the mount slide together loosely, then you tighten some screws up to hold everything solidly. Follow your mount’s instructions.

TV back

Now run the power and signal to the TV. In my case, I can feed both through a window behind the stand, so there are no cords for people to trip on.

Cords

When it is all set up, it looks like this:

No you can't

Conclusions

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how this stand turned out, with only three caveats. First, the mistake I made with the built-in stand hitting the crossbar makes setting up the TV and taking it down again more painful than I was planning. I might move the Peerless mount down slightly. This will leave some ugly holes, but I can live with that.

Second, I don’t have a great solution for holding the cable box yet. It would be nice to attach a shelf in some way to the frame to hold the box. I’ve thought about cutting slots for shelf brackets below the crossbar, and adding a shelf that way, but cutting the precisely into metal is hard. There is probably some type of shelf designed to clamp to piping, but I have yet to find one. If you have a great idea for this, leave a comment below (with links, if possible).

Lastly, the mount might be a bit too high. For something like a party, with people standing and milling around, it works pretty well. For sitting, it is just slightly tall. If the TV was bigger, this might not matter, as it would hang down slightly. I could easily take a hack saw to the legs of the frame, but I’m leaving it as is for now.

If you try building a stand like, let me know how it goes. And tell me what you changed. Cheers.

Cheers

Reasons to heist Shove Box

November 6th, 2009 — Wordman

You may have heard that there is a new MacHeist in the works, this one offering six applications for free. While I don’t post about these things very often, the peculiarity of one of the apps in this bundle warrants some explanation (and praise). After warming up to it a bit, I use it quite a bit, so thought I’d recommend it to everyone, particularly iPhone users.

The application is Shove Box, and it is a little hard to explain. It is pitched as a “nicknack box”, where you put stray stuff that you want, but don’t have a great place to store, like text snippets, sticky notes and that kind of thing. Personally, I don’t really find that all that interesting. Instead, I’d pitch it like this: it provides an extremely easy method for syncing random stuff for viewing on your iPhone.

So, for example, say you have a PDF or e-mail of a hotel reservation, or your flight information, or whatever. You drag it into the Shove Box, launch the companion iPhone app, the data syncs, and you can view whatever it is on your phone. So, when the check-in person asks you for a confirmation number, it’s right at your fingertips. Maybe there is a single paragraph of text on a web page (like an address or confirmation number or something). You select it, drag it into the Shove Box, launch the companion iPhone app, the data syncs, and you can view whatever it is on your phone. This also works with webarchives, rich text, images (for some reason, I use it for maps a lot), URLs and a bunch of other stuff. I keep webarchives of reference material on HTML entities, web colors and so on.

Naturally, the iPhone app costs extra (normally $4, but only $2 until 9 Nov 2009), but getting the Mac side of it for free makes this a much better deal. The interface element is built around a menu that is added into the right side of the menu (with the clock, wifi status and so on). The menu works like a typical menu, but also as a drag and drop target. This pretty jarring at first. It’s definitely not like other apps. Just like my experience with Quicksilver, I wasn’t that enthusiastic about changing my ways to use it at first, but it has now changed the way I work for the better.

Civilization Revolution on Deity

September 14th, 2009 — Wordman

Civilization RevolutionIt took me about a month to win each type of victory at each level of the iPhone version of Civilization Revolution.

Playing on the highest level, “deity”, took a while to figure out, but is more doable then the same level of Civilization IV. Some of the things that helped me:

  1. A FAQ for the XBox version, which covers basic strategy, tips on each civilizations and tips for each type of victory. Its advice on winning deity is not very helpful, however.
  2. A detailed tech tree diagram. There is more to this than meets the eye (see “Know your tech tree”, below).

The strategies used by the AI on deity are about the same as on the “easier” level of the game (“emperor”). The main difference is that the computer civilizations are given flat bonuses (for example, their rate of learning new tech seems accelerated) to the point that they are effectively cheating. To compete, you need to take every advantage you can and tolerate no mistakes, especially early on.

The butterfly effect

Avoiding mistakes means that you need to make a lot of use of saving the game. At this level, it is not uncommon to realize that you made a single mistake thirty turns ago that totally screwed you, particularly at the beginning. For example, which direction do you move the very first warrior you build? This might actually turn out to have a huge impact on the game. So, don’t be afraid of going back hundreds of years when you need to. Similarly, save every round. On easier levels, you can tolerate instances when you, say, move a unit a space in the wrong direction or answered a dialog box incorrectly, because your finger slipped or missed the button you wanted. You can’t afford it on deity. Be prepared to curse a lot and restart a turn. Even more if you forget to save a given turn.

An even less “pure” technique for making use of the save feature is to “cheat back” by learning about the map of the game, then starting over on the same map, knowing where key points are. Especially important are the relics. Finding these before your opponents do provides you with a great benefit and denies it to your opponents.

Barbarians

One of the keys to victory on deity is to defeat as many barbarians as you can as quickly as possible. It’s even better if you can reach and kill barbarians around your opponents before they can. While these victories will gain special abilities for your warriors, these are mostly useless. The real reason you do this is that each barbarian village you defeat provides some kind of bonus, and these bonuses make much more of a difference in the early turns in a game. These include:

  1. Gold, usually 25 or so. At the very start of the game, may be one of the few ways you will be able to make money. The more you grab yourself, the less for your opponents. The main advantage of early gold is that you get your free settler earlier, and that can make a huge difference.
  2. A caravan. These are useful for quick gold, but they have other uses to the early game, particularly mobility. They are the fastest ancient units (three squares per turn), and they can move through enemy territory. Use them to explore the map, make contact with other civs and find other barbarians. Once you have nowhere else to go, head to the nearest city for 50 gold. The risk here is that the caravan can get nabbed by civs at war with you or the occasional barbarian.
  3. A galley. The benefit of a free early galley depends on the map. Usually, it will let you find at least one relic before your opponents do. It’s also good for exploration or, if you wind up starting on a small island, claiming some choice continental land with your free settler.
  4. A horseman. Mostly useful only for faster exploration.
  5. Technology, usually Horseback Riding. Rare, but happens sometimes.

Free stuff

As you reach certain high-water marks in total gold, you get free things. Know what these are and how they factor into your strategy, particularly if you are shooting for economic victory. The first of these (free settler at 100 gold) is the most important. Hit this as soon as you can. The other levels are listed on the tech tree PDF linked to above. Speaking of that…

Know your tech tree

The basics of the tech tree are clear when playing on any level, but a few things about the tree are not entirely obvious. First, some of the bonuses awarded if you are the first to develop a technology are really nice. Producing Communism first, for example, reduces the cost of any factory you build by quite a bit. Factoring that into your plans can make a big difference. The PDF mentioned above lists what you get for being first with each tech.

Next, the era you are in (e.g. ancient, medieval, etc.) isn’t controlled by the year count, but rather the pace you discover tech. Research five techs, no matter what they are, and you are in the medieval era. Each era changes things like road cost, cost to rush units, initial city population and so on (all shown in a table in the PDF). You can tweak some advantage out of paying attention to this.

The third thing is tech overflow. What happens to the excess science when you discover a new tech? Turns out that it gets converted to gold. So, you can obtain huge sums of cash by watching how your science is accumulating, if you can tune it correctly.

Lastly is tech jumping. The way the techs you can research “unlock” is confusing, but not random. There are set rules that define when you can discover tech without learning a prerequisite first and when you automatically gain the benefit of tech you’ve never actually researched. You can make these work for you.

All victories are domination victories

Peaceful victories are possible on lower levels of difficulties, but barring very unusual circumstances, you’ll need to be fighting on deity. The main reason for this is that your opponents will be advancing much more quickly than you can ever hope to so, unless you can pull off a really early win, you need to take some (most) of their cities to remain competitive.

Another reason is that your opponents will declare war on you at the drop of hat, even when it is stupid for them to do so. (Interestingly, this counters the “peace-nik disadvantage” of Democracy slightly, as you can pretty much guarantee that someone who forced peace on you will declare war again in a few years.)

Peaceful victories might be possible, but I was never able to manage non-domination victory without taking down at least a couple opposing capitals first.

Fleets

Naval domination is extremely important on deity. Usually cruiser fleets are sufficient. (If you are not basically winning by the time Steel comes around, you are probably screwed. And if you are winning, battleships are probably not necessary.)

This is one area where you have an advantage, because computer opponents rarely collect ships into fleets, which is just stupid. A fleet of ships is much greater than the sum of its parts. I’ve only run into an enemy fleet once.

One drawback is that civs on deity are often smart enough to build cities away from the coast, but this has the effect of limiting the number of ports from which they can build ships of their own. Plus, unless you are going for domination, you can usually be picky in what cities you attack. And, if you are going for domination, all capitals will be on the water.

Plain and simple: naval support wins combats.

Spies

Spies are another great equalizer in combat, able to rip down fortifications. This turns a +100% for your opponent into a +50% bonus (or +50% into nothing), so can totally change combats around. On the flip side, other civs on deity will use spies against you like this, so use some spies (or, better, spy rings) for defense of important (or targeted) cities as well.

Don’t be afraid to use the spy’s other abilities as well. Kidnapping great people gains you advantages and removes them from your opponent. Destroying buildings or production also have their uses. Enemy civs will not react to your using spies against them, even if you have a peace treaty (and, face it, they’ll be at war with you soon enough).

Caravans can be used as cover for spies used against friendly civs. Lone spies will get captured, but opposing troops won’t mess with caravans unless you are at war.

You are pretty much guaranteed to run into a situation where the culture of a holdout civ near you is threatening to turn your cities. A spy rush usually works against these cities fairly well. You get a whole bunch of spies within striking distance of a city. The city will usually be defended by its own spy, so build a spy ring out of three of your spies. Hopefully, it takes down the defending spy, leaving no defense against spies. Then send your spies individually into the city. First, keep kidnapping great persons until no more remain. Then start destroying buildings. Usually the cultural buildings get destroyed last, so you need a lot of spies for this.

The only time I’ve seen a computer civ use spy rings is after I did this to a particular city.

Combat

Some non-obvious tips about combat. For one thing, the random number generator is seeded. When you save a game, the seed is saved, and restored when you load the saved game. What this means is that if you save a game, then run a combat that doesn’t go your way, if you reload the saved game, the combat will play out exactly the same way the second time.

Second, the big green “advantage!” that shows up in the combat screen is mostly useless, essentially just meaning “this number is bigger than the other number!”. If these numbers are close, you have a chance. If you want to go the save/fight/restore on failure route, it’s worth attacking even if your attack value is a bit less than the defense. This, in fact, is the only way to get great generals, and just one of these can win you a close game.

Other random note: the Oracle of Delphi can really save you some time. In one game, I got the Oracle from discovering the Angkor Wat relic. It radically sped up my game, because you can just always attack, and the Oracle will stop cases where you would lose (not by the odds, but based on the numbers that would actually be rolled). You could do the same thing with the save/fight/restore system, but it is tedious.

Wonders

You know those strategies that have worked for you that involve getting certain wonders? Like, say, using the Magna Carta for cultural victory? Well, forget them on deity. You are extremely unlikely to be the first to build any important wonder. Pay attention to where they do get made, though, as you may be able to capture them.

Ten days later

August 28th, 2009 — Wordman

Through a chain of unlikely events, my wife’s iPhone 3G wound up in the toilet ten days ago. Fortunately, this was prior to using said toilet. Even more fortunately, my wife developed cat-like reflexes and managed to grab the phone almost before it hit the bottom, so, it was only immersed for a couple of seconds.

Ten days later, here is what we learned:

  • At the time of the accident, a search for “iphone toilet” discovered over 2.5 million hits. Apparently, this happens all the time.
  • The iphone contains at least two “liquid damage indicators”. These are litmus paper-like strips that turn red when they get wet. Once they get red, they don’t turn back, and this voids your warranty (though this may be changing slightly). One of these is at the bottom, under the device connector. The other is at the bottom of the headphone jack (shine a light in there). In our case, the bottom one is pretty obviously triggered, but the one in the jack seems fine (air bubble saved it, maybe?).
  • People will sell you various ways to keep these openings closed.
  • Water doesn’t damage electronics. Water plus electricity does. So, the usual move is to take the battery out of the device to save it. That doesn’t work so well with the iPhone. In addition, to really turn the iPhone off completely, you must first turn it on. In this case, everything actually seemed fine with the screen on. All icons showed up, time was correct, etc. In a lot of the posts on the net, the screen is borked at first.
  • Next step is to wick the moisture out of the device. People offer a bunch of choices on the net here. Someone suggested using a vacuum cleaner to suck it out. We didn’t try that, but it made me wonder: if I put the phone in one of those jars you see in science class, where the bell stops making noise when the air is sucked out of it, wouldn’t the resulting vacuum make the water evaporate? We didn’t try that either, though. Instead, we threw the phone into a airtight container filled with dry rice. Since the sensor on the bottom was more damaged, we pointed that end downward.

After a day in the rice, we took it out turned it on. It still had a decent amount of battery life left. This is a good sign, as the battery would likely be drained if there was a short in the machine someplace. I backed it up, charged it, even updated it to the most recent patch.

After ten days, the phone has been completely normal and working fine. Looks like we were fairly lucky, but you can find stories of iPhones that seemed more water-damaged that pulled through. And, also some that didn’t.

Decline from Civilization

August 14th, 2009 — Wordman

This is probably a big mistake.

I just bought Civilization Revolution for the iPhone. Past evidence suggests that I’m in for a general productivity decline for the next year or so. At least with the desktop Civ games, I had to be near my computer. Now I can suck time anywhere. Perhaps this 100% accurate graph can paint a picture of how well this series of games sinks its teeth in:

sunrise

I like Civ so much, I’m even willing to put up with some of the more ridiculous shortcomings of the iPhone implementation of Civ Revolutions. For example, there is no auto-save feature. Some of the reviews claim that getting a phone call in the middle of a turn forces you to go back to your last saved game when you return to the app; however, this is is no longer true (if it ever was). The behavior is a little odd, as the app starts from the beginning, with splash screen and so on, rather just restoring the state like other apps do, but there is a “continue” button that brings you back to where you left off.

Anyway, in an effort to break out of my usual strategy (Greeks for the cultural victory!), I’m going to (eventually) get each type of victory on as many levels as I can. The following grid will detail my progress. On one axis is the difficulty level, on the other is the victory type. Cells will either be empty (no victory) or will contain the name of the civilization used for the victory, in what year it occurred, and the total score.

Cultural Domination Economic Technological
Chieftain Romans
1970 AD
13,151
Zulu
900 BC
9,677
Zulu
1964 AD
37,311
Chinese
1984 AD
15,177
Warlord Greeks
2020 AD
24,566
Japanese
850 AD
9,052
Spanish
1970 AD
24,788
Aztecs
1970 AD
17,214
King Greeks
1994 AD
22,540
Germans
850 AD
9,105
Spanish
1990 AD
49,214
Americans
1970 AD
12,101
Emperor French
1998 AD
17,007
English
1200 AD
10,088
Spanish
2040 AD
16,905
Mongols
1968 AD
24,700
Deity Romans
1998 AD
20,950
English
1780 AD
13,062
Russians
2004 AD
44,770
Americans
1998 AD
26,280