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Welcome to The blog of whall

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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

Wow.  I did near zero blogging or blog reading this week.  One thing I’ve implemented in my life is better project management, both at work and in my personal life.  I’ve always been very poor at managing the firehose I drink from by taking on so much, and recently I’ve been taking advice from long time friends and really working smarter than harder if you forgive the cliche. 

As a result, my online presence took a hit.  I attribute that mostly due to the ramp-up administrative cost of getting to the point of being manageable, and that my ongoing investment is much lower, opening up time for things I want to do, like blogging and reading blogs.

Guitar Hero Stats script

As I increase in ranking on guitarhero.com, something kind of bugged me about the guitarhero.com website. 

First off, I absolutely love the concept they have of integrating a video game pushing scores and stats to a central site for reporting.  Scorehero.com did it ‘old skool’ where people typed in their own scores, and for the higher ones, you had to give proof via a screenshot, but it took too much time and frankly, scorehero has it’s elitism problems.  The whole site, including participating in the forums, just takes too much work.  But guitarhero.com integrates right with the game and when everything works right, the scores just show up.  Plus you can do online tournaments with thousands of others.  Great, great concept.

guitar hero profile whallify for 4/14/2008

In the above dashboard, you can see my ranking (30,025th place), how many performances I’ve had when connected, and other information such as how many online matches I’ve played (39).   

But something that kept entering my mind was – “how am I improving?”  Or, “if I don’t play for a week, how far down will I go in the rankings?”  Guitarhero.com either doesn’t track it or doesn’t currently display it.

I wanted to know.  So I wrote a perl script that connects to the site, downloads my dashboard and parses it, looking for the info I care about.  If the information is new, it appends a line into a csv file with the data and a timestamp.  I have cron set to every 10 minutes because I don’t want to be a load on their server, but I also don’t want to miss too much.  I take that data, get it into Excel 2007, write a couple formulas to tell me how much the ranking has gone up or down each time, then graph it on an XY Scatter graph so I can get an idea of a real timeline and BAM

guitar hero profile whallify graph for 4/14/2008

What interests me about the data is to see when the rankings go up due to improving scores on some songs (ie, when “PERFORMANCES” increase) or when I do online battles, pro face-off’s (ie, when “MATCHES” increase).  Also it’s cool for me to see when Career Score goes up vs the ranking.

Right now I’m just collecting the rank, career score, performances and matches, but the framework is there to actually collect the ranking and scores of all the songs since it’s all in the same piece of data.

Now I have a goal:

projected ranking for whallify on guitarhero.com

If anyone wants me to start scraping their profile data, just leave your profile ID or name in the comments.  In fact, I’m thinking this could easily be put into a web service where you just put in your profile ID, and the script automatically starts pulling data for you every X minutes or hours (depending on what guitarhero.com would allow) and graph it.

Oh, one more thing.  My Wii GH3 friend code is 515520260341 – if you have Guitar Hero 3 for the Wii, add me as a friend and let me know your code – we can play online together!

Best of LOLcats

pirate triplet ninja


lolcats couch calls to me



omg a caption

And lo, the people did comment thus:


  1. Absurdist says:

    Why didn’t I know you wrote PERL scripts? Hm.

    I actually like ONE of the LOL cats thingy. But that’s it.

    I keep forgetting to get you my Wii code. I haven’t even played GHIII yet, because I feel lonely playing wii by myself. Will you teach me how, since you do everything else for me?

  2. Avitable says:

    I love the Beware of Dog one.

  3. whall says:

    Abs, why, indeed… PERL is a big part of who I am, or at least who I was. I had to dust off quite a few brain cells to work on this project, but like the proverbial bicycle, it didn’t take long. I should say I enjoy PERL vs being good at it, though… Also, did you see that I mentioned you in my first paragraph? 🙂

    re:Wii I’ll have to call when we’re both free so I can get your nintendo WFC up, assuming it’s not already.

    Avi, yup

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