I spent an evening writing a cloudformation template for Counter Strike Global Offensive linux server. No, I don’t have a life. Yes, you will thank me next time you play with your friends and the laptop cannot handle more than 5 players. (AWS t2.micro handles 6 players easily, and you can always throw a c4.large at the problem which is still about $0.13/hr and handles, well, just about anything).

The template sets up a single EC2 instance of type t2.micro by default, uses the default VPC, and runs the server with “Arms Race” game in a free-for-all mode. Consult Valve’s documentataion page if you want to run other games or reconfigure the server in any way. The template also sets up a CNAME record pointing to the instance’s public DNS name, so comment the last section out if you don’t have a public hosted zone in your Route53.

Happy shooting!

I’ve been trying to hone some web-development skills the last few days, and yesterday evening I read about a particularly elegant Python microframework called Flask. I read the tutorial, did some stackoverflow searches and hacked a very simple (borderline trivial, actually) app for cheating in LetterPress in just a few hours. The code that runs the whole application is merely 50 lines long, and that’s only because I’m adhering to PEP8’s blank lines policies. Karolina contributed some CSS code and a logo, and we deployed it to Heroku in a couple of minutes. As a web-development newbie I have to say I’m amazed by how quickly and easily one can learn writing simple applications from scratch these days. And Heroku deployment can be done (for free!) by just one git push. Amazing stuff, especially if you remember coding PHP in 2004.

The Best, Most Elegant iPhone Games of 2013

For those of you having Christmas holidays, The New Yorker1 recommends some “elegant” iOS games. I must say I’m not much of a gamer (except for an occasional CS:Source), and I actually never played any games on my iPhone or iPad (except for LetterPress, in which I always lose to Karolina), but still I decided to test some of the games mentioned in the article and, frankly, had my mind blown away.