Archive for June, 2006

Man, It’s been a while…

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

Yawn yawn yawn. Man, it’s been a while since I posted anything. I think I’m just going to post a list of things that I keep intending to post here, but never get around to it.

I’ve been playing Untold Legends: The Warrior’s Code, a PSP hack-n-slash that is a vast improvement on the first installment in the series, and is everything a PSP game should be in terms of the interface (makes maximum use of the limited number of controls in a flexible and straightforward manner) and gameplay (you can pick it up for a couple minutes at a time and come back to it hours later without losing your place).

I also just finished reading Legend, by David Gemmell, graciously loaned to me by Chris Taylor. It’s one of the best fantasy novels I’ve read in years*. What I really like about it, though, is its lack of scale. It seems like every fantasy novel you run across these days has to be about some dark villain conquering the world, bringing death and destruction and The End of All Things. Legend is about a single battle for a fortress guarding a pass, fought over the course of a few weeks. This brings the action down to a more human scale: the story is very much the same as the tale of the Alamo or Thermopylae–particularly the latter. Concentrating on one battle and the events leading up to it allows Gemmell to give the characters and events a lot more depth than you generally see in fantasy novels, and Gemmell doesn’t put it to waste: the book is full of blow-by-blow descriptions of battle to match the Iliad for bloody detail, and takes every opportunity to delve into the motivations, strategic and tactical, of characters on both sides of the wall.

The humanization of the enemy in Legend is another departure, for the better, from your recent fantasy norm. Although there is a clear line between protagonist and antagonist, the antagonist is no more evil than Ghengis Khan, Attila the Hun, Alexander the Great, or Xerxes of Persia, and the “good guys” are never entirely sure that they deserve to win, or have any delusions about the importance of their victory in the greater course of history. Fantasy isn’t the only genre with a tendency to cut its villains out of cardboard, but it’s about the worst offender, and its nice to read a book where the moral continuum of the human condition isn’t flattened to black and white.

So, yeah, a good book. You should read it if you get the chance.

I got no imacination, z’what my problem is…

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

So we moved my second computer into the studio upstairs, which kind of sucks because that means there’s no computer downstairs. We used to use the computer downstairs to look at game walkthroughs, pull things up on IMDB, look at things on eBay, check mail, check MySpace, etc. So it was a bad thing. I have significant parts of a “real” computer lying around, so you’d think I’d play it like that, maybe get some memory from Fry’s and put todgether something that worked.

That would have been the easy way to do it, but easy’s not my style. No, I went down to the Goodwill ComputerWorks (50ff Macs day) and picked up a 333MHz, 288MB, 6.4GB iMac for seventy bucks, With tax.

MacOS 8 wasn’t cutting it, and MacOS X would not run on it, so I decided to install Ubuntu on it. Since the ancient CD-ROM drive on it wouldn’t read the Ubuntu CDs I burned, this ended up being more of an epic journey than I’d planned. I had to install a TFTP server and boot files on my system upstairs, then get the iMac to boot from the network adapter. It took me a while to get all this straight, but now I’ve got some turquoise cuteness in my living room running Linux, which works pretty damned well for browsing the web…as long as you don’t need flash:

I even posted this blog entry from it, although that was more trouble than it should have been. Check out this screen shot.

Note to self, because I know I’ll forget it: Little Trini = 16″x12″ viewable exactly, Big Trini = 19″x12.125″ viewable.

Miscellanea. That used to be my nick, you know. Fitting, ain’t it?

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

Hey, haven’t heard much from anybody lately. Fuck all yall’s. t(-_-t)

Naw. I been busy. Been kinda studyin’ up for this job interview I had today. I think it went pretty good. I got free lunch at Manuel’s, at least. That’s twelve bucks right there.

Oh yeah, I got some desktop wallpaper for ya, two widescreen and one regular. The orchid is one I bought almost a week ago, and haven’t killed yet.

Anyway…I want to nominate Ghost in the Shell Standalone Complex 2nd Gig Episode 14 for both longest anime name and greatest cinematic face-off in years and years and years.

I’m really tired now.

Time to bust out the tinfoil hats!

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

Wired news has an interesting article by the former AT&T technician who blew the whistle on them for installing secret rooms in their Internet service networking facilities and splitting the light signals so that the NSA could monitor your Internet traffic.

I know what you’re thinking–you’re thinking that AT&T isn’t your service provider, so what do you give a shit? Well, the interesting thing is that most Internet traffic runs over AT&Ts network at some point, and, according to the documents in the story, those “peering points” are split as well.

Sure, this may not be a big deal for you. I mean, probably nobody in the government cares about your inane little activities, but it makes me nervous to think that the NSA knows exactly when and where I’m uploading a picture of myself in high heels and a pink tutu to pigboinkers.com. That could end ugly.

Still, it’s good this information is coming out, and only a couple years after it went down. I mean, Project Shamrock was around for decades before we heard about it. Or, you know, somebody did. I was three.