Well, let’s see. March has seen numerous changes to my website. If you’re reading this on my main site, you’ll notice some additional menu items: Firefox Configuration, Speed Test Results, System Information, and Winamp Info. The only actual new page is the Speed Test Results one. The others have been in existence for some time which I link to in various support forums. I made the Speed Tests page after I removed the images from my hardware page that were beside my cable modem entry.
I have also modified my NASCAR page to display the current driver standings using the data from ESPN’s Driver Standings instead of Yahoo’s. Yahoo’s page was acting kind of funky so I changed it. I also stopped pulling the data down every time my page was viewed. I run another script that collects the data and saves it to a static text file that my NASCAR page just includes. Much more efficient as the standings information only really changes once after each race.
I have also modified my MOD page to include a playlist of videos I created while playing MOD files in XMPlay. Why did I make these? A good question LOL. Just ’cause I guess. I could probably write an entire post about the tools I’ve used to generate them. But, just so you know, I used CamStudio to create the videos and I’ve tried the CamStudio LossLess, XviD, and x264vfw Codecs to make my initial capture videos. Testing the various codecs, the options within them, and how they look after being sent to YouTube is enough to drive one crazy LOL. I did a fixed region capture of 640×360 which is a 16:9 ratio and matches the default size of YouTube’s player that way you can read the text clearly.
I think that’s all I’ve done lately.
Update February 21, 2015: Thought I should mention that I cancelled my RaceView subscription a couple years ago so I don’t mess with it anymore.
(Update February 12, 2011: The information in this post is now obsolete with the 2011 NASCAR season as RaceView is now an Adobe Flash application and does not use Java or Octoshape.)
During the first 200 laps or so of the NASCAR race in Bristol, I finally got NASCAR.COM’s RaceView working on my system. Hallelujah brother! LOL. This post will probably get further tweaking after next race. Before I begin I should state that my system is as follows:
- Running Windows XP Home w/ SP3 with all high priority updates applied. I use the Windows Classic theme which explains why the dialog boxes in the screenshots I have look the way they do. Old school, what can I say.
- Have Windows Media Player 11 installed.
- Have Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3.6.8 installed.
- Running latest version of Java (build 1.6.0_21-b07)
- Using an EVGA 6800GT with NVidia drivers version 178.13. I mention this because many of the newer 190+ drivers have caused RaceView to lock the system harder than a rock in the past when it was working before and re-installing the older video drivers cured it.
- Running DirectX v9.0c
Now that all of that is out of the way. Much of what I cover here is also mentioned on NASCAR.COM’s TrackPass knowledge base. All I am going to include is what I did that, apparently, got it working, possibly in combination with what the NASCAR.COM webmasters did on their end after I told @NASCAR on Twitter my problems getting nothing but errors.
I decided I would try to get it working with Internet Explorer first. If it doesn’t work with it, it’s not going to work with anything else. Due to the length of this post with all the screenshots, I’m using the read more option here:
Now that DestroyTwitter 2.1.0 supports themes, I decided to make a NASCAR inspired theme. It’s very similar to the one I made for DestroyTwitter 1.X. You just need to download, unzip the file and install the theme through preferences.
Download DestroyTwitter 2.X NASCAR theme
Since these are just CSS files, they are very easy to modify how you see fit. Enjoy!
It’s probably a good thing I waited until today to write this; otherwise, it would have been full of many colorful words. This is a follow-up to my last post. I tried to run NASCAR.COM’s RaceView during the Michigan race this past Sunday and all I got was either a window with “loading” at the bottom or just a solid white window. This occurred in both Firefox and Internet Explorer. I opened up the Java console in both Firefox and IE and it just had a Java error of a Null pointer assignment:
at sun.plugin2.applet.Plugin2Manager$AppletExecutionRunnable.run(Unknown Source)
at java.lang.Thread.run(Unknown Source)
Yes, I did try to reload several times. So I gave up and just started PitCommand to listen to Dale Jr’s audio. I did have to start it in IE first before the audio would work in Firefox and I just didn’t care to investigate this further. I was frustrated and missing the race. Before you ask, I do meet their minimum system requirements.
Now, I don’t mind troubleshooting problems; however, I do not want to do it during the actual race! It totally ruins the fan’s experience. How can you expect fans to search knowledge bases and forums, reinstall Java, plug-ins, audio and video drivers, and do whatever else might be potentially involved? It boggles my mind that there isn’t a race simulator that we can test these applications with during the week. If I was a NASCAR website/TrackPass developer I’d scream for this. I am quite sure the website team has no desire to fix the software during races either (I only hope they at least have some internal system to do this). Normally I wouldn’t give a flying fruitcake about it, but I am paying more for TrackPass than I am for my webhosting here that my blog, among several other sites, is on. The IndyCar RaceControl works (yes, they do loose timing and scoring sometimes but that’s an issue at their end when it happens) and it’s free.
This will probably be my last season to subscribe to RaceView. If the preview works during next year’s Daytona 500 then I might reconsider; otherwise, I’ll just stick with the scanner.
I welcome any comments about other’s experiences and how you got it to work, if you did.
Update July 14, 2012: Thought I should mention that the issues I had below were under Windows XP Home/SP3. Currently, I have a completely new system running Windows 7 Pro/SP1 64-bit (hardware specs) with Firefox 13.0.1 and Adobe Flash 11.3.300.265 with Protected Mode enabled. I’ve never had a problem with RaceBuddy not working other than the Flash plug-in crashing once or twice; however, during some races, like today’s Nationwide race, no issues. This and the previous two versions of Flash have caused some grief amongst some users just watching normal videos in Firefox, Chrome, and even IE but nothing specific to just RaceBuddy.
During the NASCAR Truck race on Friday, NASCAR.COM made TruckBuddy available. It was very similar to RaceBuddy they had last year during the TNT races. You get a choice of several live video feeds along with a mosaic feed of 4 video streams at once and a live chat feature.
When I first tried it with Firefox (version 3.6 or 3.6.2), the video portion did not work and the live chat portion on the right side would not work properly either. It would let me attempt to login via Twitter and provided the typical Twitter Allow/Deny Connection authorization window; however, upon returning to the application it did nothing and acted like I had never logged in.
I solved the video problem by disabling Adblock Plus on the NASCAR.COM site. Apparently, if the video advertisement does not play first, then nothing else will or at least problematically.
I solved the chat problem by enabling 3rd-party cookies which I have disabled by default (Tools -> Options -> Privacy). Upon further examination, I could disable 3rd-party cookies again if I gave exceptions to the following:
After the race was over, I re-enabled Adblock Plus for NASCAR.COM :). Hopefully this helps anyone else trying to get RaceBuddy working with Firefox should they have it again.