News: January 11, 2004 to February 5, 2004
saw the new Dawn
of the Dead trailer (came out Jan. 27th). Looks like it'll be
pretty scary; I'll definitely go see it. But it kinda bugs me that
they changed some of the basic tenets of the Dead setting. I.e.,
you can see the zombies running. WTF? Zombies don't run! They shamble,
stagger, limp, even lumber, but they never run. The only things
zombies can do quickly are fall and chew. Also, in the trailer,
the rising of the Dead seems very sudden, like in a single night.
Definitely not the case in the original; the 1978 movie implies
the zombie phenomenon had been around for days, maybe even weeks
before it became a real catastrophe for those in the cities.
2004 (Thu); Post #445
Anyway, I'm not one to deprecate a movie just because it doesn't
jive with previous material. Heck, I even liked the League of Extraordinary
Gentlemen movie. I'd still rather see Twilight of the Dead get made
before they start remaking the sequels. Well, whatever.
Oh, and my web site's down right now. Actually, all the HostPC stuff
seems to be offline, even the
forums and my mail server. I didn't get any advance notices,
so it must be a hardware failure or a virus or something. Hopefully
everything will be up and running tomorrow.
crap, Newegg's fast! That SATA150 PCI card I ordered on the 2nd
arrived this afternoon. Less than two days; that's pretty impressive.
2004 (Wed); Post #444
Anyway, I installed the sucker, wrote a signature to the drive,
moved the drive letters around, and formatted it in NTFS.
Also got a 2 qt. slow cooker in the mail from my grandma today.
Going to try it out... make some kind of soup... Okay, that's all
I had to say.
Two hundred GB goodness.
much interesting going on. Drew started watching Full
Metal Alchemist, came over today around two (I was out fixing
other ppls' computers) to raid my archive (eps. 1-17, 2.87 GB).
I haven't seen the last three, been kinda busy.
2004 (Wed); Post #443
Haircut, from the AnandTech
Forums, answered my question about converting bases in Excel
(I needed an equation that could change decimal numbers into quintal,
e.g. 3210 to 1125). Apparently you can add
Visual Basic modules to a spreadsheet through the Tools > Macro
menu. Then you can use functions from the VB modules as if they
were built-in Excel functions. He even posted VB
code for base conversion. Anyway, it works really well... should
make some things easier for my GURPS game.
Installed Nero 22.214.171.124. For some reason, 126.96.36.199 wouldn't recognize
the 40x12x40x burner I installed in Freya. Nero 6 is really cool
though. I burned 8 CDs last night (programs, backups, anime). Since
I was installing new apps, I upgraded to ObjectDock
v1.0, build 285 (had been running v0.99a). Seems to be more stable
and it came with some new icons. My next UI project will be getting
Menu v2.80 to run properly so I can get rid of the link to my
Quicklaunch folder. (I wish they'd make ObjectDock so it supported
multiple rows of icons. Oh well.)
This week, my favorite songs are "There Are Places I Remember"
by the Beatles and "Satisfaction" by Benny
Benassi. Okay, bye.
Behold, base 10 to base 5 in a single cell!
Day! Well, had the Reign of Steel/Stargate game on Saturday.
I think it went okay. The PCs, especially Ryan's (surprisingly),
are very ethically-challenged. Id est, they have no qualms
about genocide or the manipulation of primitive peoples through
religion. For some reason however, they're very opposed to slavery.
2004 (Mon); Post #442
Did some Win 2K Server homework last night. The OS simulator the
instructor gave me really sucks, so I'm thinking about installing
the real thing on one of my spare systems.
Finally switched cases on my main system (Freya). While moving things
over, I installed two more LED fans (a green and a blue), the 40x12x40x
CD-R and 16x DVD drives (pulled from Chesty), and the 80 GB/8 MB
cache Hitachi SATA HD. In fact I just ordered a PCI SATA controller
PCI to SATA 150 card) on Newegg
for the last one.
Read this collection of Lenore comics (#1-4) by Roman Dirge
(here's his site, SpookyLand).
The whole anti-cute/torture-as-comedy thing gets old pretty fast,
but I still found it amusing. Dan, from Infinite Frontiers (my FLGS),
recommended the Lenore trade paperbacks to me when I bought
some Jhonen Vasquez stuff on Friday. I think I'll pick up the second
TB next time I'm over there.
Working together, Drew, Hanwool, and I managed to figure out exactly
what's been causing problems with his system. Turns out his motherboard
has at least one bad RAM slot. Slot 3 works fine though. Going to
do the paperwork for RMAing his mobo in a few minutes. Pinpointing
the problem wasn't easy since it was intermittent (some of the later
memory tests actually came back with no errors) and the Windows
2K Pro install kept giving different errors that seemed to suggest
the hard drive was the culprit. Anyway, it was interesting.
Got my Best of Blümchen media package from Germany.
Fortunately, the DVD isn't region-coded (though it doesn't have
any English subtitles or menu options). There's some neat videos
on there... I really like the one for "Bicycle Race."
My new Aspire X-Dreamer II ATX mid-tower.
With the lights off. There's actually 4 LED fans in there; the camera
doesn't show the internal glow very well.
a couple online tests and some homework yesterday. Fun. Drew helped
me with some of the Access stuff. Downloaded a fan dub of
Naruto episode 1 [14.1
kB .torrent]. I never thought voice acting was that hard, but
it must be, judging by the KNS audio.
2004 (Fri); Post #441
As promised, here's some info for tomorrow's GURPS game:
Nutshell description: This campaign focuses
on the dozen-or-so human survivors at the Tranquility base on
Luna in the Reign of Steel setting (advanced a couple hundred
years; the PCs have been in cryostasis). On Earth, some infighting
between the ruling AIs has taken place. Boreholes have been opened
in Zone Zaire and Zone Mexico City, raising the surface temperature
nearly 60° F worldwide, making human survival (more) difficult
between 40° north and south. Zone Orbital has been completely
cut off from Earth resources and has been surviving, just barely,
on a trickle of materials from Zone Luna.
So that's about all I can say right now. I'd like some things to
be a surprise, or for the PCs to figure out on their own, so I can't
go into too much detail about the setting. Anyone interested in
understanding the history of Reign of Steel can borrow my book if
For those unfamiliar with the Reign of Steel setting, I wrote
up an incomplete précis
of the setting's background (it covers most everything except
the last 10-year period from 2037 to 2047; it doesn't cover the
evolution of the individual Zoneminds, the rise of the robots,
or the end of AI unity).
Game notes: The available technology in RoS, especially
the robot templates, has been modified to more closely reflect
the standards used in the Transhuman Space setting. The tech level
available to Tranquility is essentially TL9, but with biomods,
most nanotech, brain-interface cyberwear, and advanced space travel
effectively off-limits. PCs are allowed 250 points with up to
-40 points in disadvantages and -5 points in quirks. Disads shouldn't
be too crippling as these characters had to be able and sane enough
to make it into space. Disads that represent injuries from the
attacks on the American lunar base are permissible.
Most equipment will be supplied by the base; personal inventory
should be limited to stuff that could fit in a 1 cubic foot locker;
nothing with an LC of 3 or lower. Cyberwear is allowed, programmed
allies (a la THS) are not. Characters should be built with explorer,
scientist, and soldier templates in mind, but this is only a general
guideline. The campaign will likely include a wide variety of
alien environments, so be prepared for most anything.
Anyway, game's tomorrow at 4:00 PM. Try to have your characters
done by then. If you've got any questions, call my cell.
#12 [17.9 kB .torrent file; Anime-Empire sub] just came out
at 3:31 PM PST (GMT -8:00). Been watching Stargate SG-1. Season
5 is really good. According to Amazon, the season 6 DVDs come out
on March 2nd. The Transhuman Space group changed over to a new
Yahoo eGroup cuz there were a lot of problems with the old one
(most of the messages were getting bounced). Ummm, that's about
2004 (Mon); Post #440
Saturday some of us played Munchkin and watched movies (Johnny Mnemonic
and T3, though I wasn't very interested in the latter since I'd
just seen it the week before).
2004 (Sun); Post #439
Today my dad and I tarred the roof of my house. Hopefully the leak
will stay fixed. Later on, we'll probably make some bigger changes
to the roof to eliminate low points where water can pool. Turns
out the carport addition, if you can call it that, is collapsing.
Most of the bizarre plywood-patched "rafters" (yet another
example of Mr. Sharky's insane method of home improvement) snapped
under the weight of the snow we had.
Still reading Wetware. I'm beginning to change my mind about
the book. It seems to be degenerating into sick poetry about smut
and drugs. I don't know how anyone could write such depraved stuff
and allow it to be published. Doesn't Rucker care what his family
and students might think about him?
Hey, Bra'tac (from Stargate SG-1) is on The Practice! (Well, the
same actor, anyway.) Incidentally, I just did a Google Image Search
for "bra'tac" and happened across this weird
page of Stargate SG-1 "chibis." Damn otaku furry freaks.
a nice system for my dad (14.1" LCD, Shuttle SN41G2, 256 MB
DDR333, 60 GB HD, 52x CD-ROM). Turned out I accidentally ordered
an 80 GB (8 MB cache) SATA HD for him, so I used one
of my IDE HDs instead. Going to order a converter so I can use the
2004 (Fri); Post #438
Been reading Wetware. It's pretty good, but there's a lot
of pointless casual drug use in the book. I think Rucker must be
a real pothead. I dunno why some authors feel compelled to make
that stuff so prominent in their books... Spider Robinson kinda
does it too. Anyway, some of the science fiction elements in the
book seem pretty unrealistic, which is odd, considering that Rucker's
a professor of computer science. You'd think he would have a better
grip on how stuff works. It's still a good read though, just not
something I can take seriously.
Picked up the Stargate SG-1 Season 5 boxed DVD set (it came out
on the 20th). For some reason, it was a lot cheaper (about 30% less)
than the previous season box sets. I've now got 3 seasons of Red
Dwarf downloaded (5, 6, & 7). Going to start the season 8 torrent
tonight before I go to bed.
Nothing really planned for tomorrow. Ryan decided he wouldn't be
GMing, I doubt Justin will be inflicting another session on us this
week, and Hanwool hasn't mentioned anything about starting up any
new campaigns lately. I had been thinking about trying a Warehouse
23 game again, but I don't think anyone's organized enough to have
kept their characters this long. Maybe we'll just play Magic or
something. A sealed deck tourney could be fun. Anyway, I dunno.
Ken didn't show up for the Credo online THS game on Thursday (he
was really sick) and Nemtos was absent (some kind of schedule conflict),
so we decided to cancel the game. We may be having a "make-up"
game on Tuesday.
Gotta go empty the buckets from my leaking roof.
Another lame animated GIF I made.
going to watch A Beautiful Mind today, but when I tried the player
kept skipping and crashing. Both discs were pretty scuffed up. So
I took the DVD back to Hollywood Video to exchange it for a working
copy. Of course, there weren't any copies left, so I ended up getting
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. It was pretty
good. I can understand what Ebert had said about the movie being
a little longer than it needed to be. Still, it was worthwhile entertainment.
2004 (Sun); Post #437
The game on Saturday was almost immediately disappointing. Turned
out to be yet another zombie setting. The only new parts were a
smattering of unrelated 300+ hit point monsters, one of them, inexplicably,
a balrog (à la LotR:FotR), and a twenty-minute explanation
at the end about how wizards had dropped the ball and allowed a
portal to hell to open, thus causing the apocalypse. The campaign
is probably best described as Resident Evil meets End of Days with
a dash of Harry Potter hastily thrown in. I'm kicking myself for
wasting time and effort making an interesting character when any
cookie-cutter 150-pointer would've been enough to get me through
that 8 hour torture session.
My roof's been leaking pretty badly. Fortunately, the problem is
limited to a part of the house I rarely use anymore. A couple GURPS
books got wet, but they dried out fairly well; nothing else has
been damaged (except the carpet, which wasn't so nice in the first
Planetes #11 came out. It's decent. They developed the Claire Rond
character some. Apparently she's from this made-up South American
country, Eltanica. The episode also continued the Hachimaki-Tanabe-Chenjin
love triangle drama.
Made a new 404 error page for my site.
T3: Rise of the Machines on Thursday. It was surprisingly good.
I hadn't seen any of the Terminator movies except part of the end
of T2; I thought they looked dumb. Anyway, it was really entertaining.
A little cheesy, but in a good way. Fortunately, I knew some of
the backstory from talking to Justin about the series.
2004 (Fri); Post #436
Also participated in Eric Funk's Transhuman Space game Thursday.
Apparently there was some miscommunication about the session date/time
cuz Eric, Ilona, and I were the only ones there for a couple hours.
Then I made a post on the eGroup and Nemtos and Ken showed up. We
didn't get a whole lot accomplished, but at least we got through
some of the informal introductions and everyone got acquainted with
IRC. Basically, I met Cordova (Ilona's lepine alter ego) on an OTV
to Luna. We caught a glimpse of some fighting between Japanese/EU
craft and some "terrorist" controlled ship. (So far the
news-nets don't seem to have any more info.) At customs and the
baggage claim, we met up with Segeric (Nemtos) and Halo (Ken). Then
we took a cab to the UCHW office... and that's about where it ended.
I wrote a really simple script for dice-rolling. You can download
it here, if you want: script.ini [578 bytes].
Here's how to use it with mIRC
(v6.12): Copy this script.ini file to your root mIRC directory (you
may want to backup the script.ini file already there). Start your
client, connect to your preferred IRC server. Click Tools > Scripts
Editor. In the Scripts Editor window, click File > Load and select/open
the new script.ini file. Some text should appear in the Script Editor.
Click OK. Now, in mIRC proper, type "/remote on" without
the quotes. Now the script is active. Join the channel you want
your bot to work in ("/j #channel") and start a second
instance of the client. Connect to your server, then join the channel.
Now you can give the bot commands. Here's the commands that currently
work: dicebot say hi; roll 1d; roll 2d; roll
3d. dicebot say hi makes the bot announce itself and
list the commands it accepts, the rest are pretty self-explanatory.
I might look some stuff up and fix the script so it can actually
read more complex dice-roll cmds (e.g. "roll 3d+2," "roll
Tomorrow is Justin's Mystery GURPS game. I made a (IMO) really cool
character. Bogani Mtshali, MD, PhD, South African biochemist-turned-rebel.
Did the inventory in Excel, which I usually don't. Turns out its
a lot easier since it can calculate multiple-item weights and costs
and totals and keep everything in nice straight lines without complicated
formatting like Word. And the printout looks the same.
Saw a link to the Mars
Scorecard on Slashdot. Kinda interesting. Opportunity lands
on the 25th. Saw Boston Public on FOX earlier tonight. First time
I'd watched it. Was pretty entertaining.
post is just a test to make sure my registrar has switched over
to HostPC's DNS servers. Apparently HostPC gave me the special deal
(I thought it had expired!); I now get 300 MB storage plus
8 GB/month transfer. If anyone needs hosting, I suggest you
look into HostPC. The deal expires tomorrow. 300MB/8GB for only
$2.09 per month.
2004 (Tue); Post #435
Some pointless animated GIF I made. Annoying, huh?
[1.52 MB MPEG video] has got to be one of the coolest things I've
ever seen (still image below). Supposedly, it shows a failed attempt
to interrupt inductive current with a 500 kilovolt three-phase switch
at a California substation. Here's
an interesting site about it.
2004 (Tue); Post #435
Anyway. Phil Masters (author of Personnel Files and one of
the writers of High Frontier) actually replied to a post
of mine on the Transhuman
Space Yahoo eGroup. It was a little funny cuz he corrected me
on a minor point I made while using part of a character background
from his book as an example (I said PF mentioned an SAI using "virtual
alcohol" and he pointed out that it was actually a shadow and
a ghost, though I figure I'm still technically correct because the
shadow in question [Klaus Godot, PF50] is actually an SAI-7).
But it's pretty cool that some of the authors of the Transhuman
Space books actually hang out on the unofficial mailing list.
I picked up some cheap used DVDs at Hollywood Video yesterday; A
Beautiful Mind, Terminator 3, and Death to Smoochy (didn't have
a good copy cuz that guy from the Phillipines gypped me on that
eBay auction). Been playing Warcraft III: TFT. Actually thinking
about installing Starcraft:
Broodwar (though I'd have to find my CD key). A bunch of us
were talking about how fun that game used to be last weekend, got
me kinda interested in it again. I was tentatively thinking about
a possible GURPS Starcraft game. It wouldn't be hard to adapt some
of the Transhuman Space rules to it. Obviously, the players could
probably only be Terran... just get rid of any infomorph smarter
than an NAI (since no robots seem to be used by the Terrans), say
genetic engineering never got much above genefixing, allow a lot
more cyberwear, and add a few low-powered psionic abilities (there's
a few references to people having them, especially ghosts).
Personally, my favorite roleplaying setting is THS, but I don't
think anyone besides me and Hanwool really "gets" it.
I'd rather everyone have fun than slog through a complicated setting
just because it interests me. This Saturday I think we're either
doing Ryan's BESM game (sort of a teenage superheroes turned space
cadets thing) or possibly Justin's secret GURPS game (he won't give
any details except that it's somewhat horror-related and set in
Oh yeah, and I finally found some hosting I really like! (I had some reservations about RippleHost.) HostPC
has a deal for 250 MB storage plus 6 GB/month transfers for $25.00/year.
That's about double what I was paying through Comic-Host, but it
offers double the transfer and more than double the storage and
extra features. I'm about to sign up and switch over my domain name
stuff on Namecheap.
Still from the Lugo_SWR.mpeg video.
My hosting is about to disappear, so don't be surprised if this
site goes away for a few days. Just got my $9.00 refund from Comic-Host.
Will sign up with RippleHost.
2004 (Sun); Post #434
I've finally finished my character for Eric Funk's online Transhuman
Space game. He's a 200 point ghost (b. 1970, d. 2010, uploaded 2076...
130 years old, 64 of them spent conscious). He's got a really cool
upgraded Stickman cybershell (added armor, thermographic vision,
enhanced optics, toughened lenses, LCD cladding). The game will
probably be at 4:00 PM (PST; most of the players are in the Central/Eastern
time zones) on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
Watched Daredevil last night. Really mediocre. Definitely the worst
Marvel movie I've seen so far. The only mildly entertaining character
was Bullseye. Oddly enough, even though this one didn't include
radioactive spiders or green guys capable of jumping miles at a
time, it seemed the most implausible. I blame the script writer...
everything just felt thrown together.
Ryan ran his BESM game on Saturday. It was good, but really short
(~3 hours). Phill said he'd be there at like 6:00, but never showed
up so we just played without him at 8:30. Anyway, our characters
ended up getting six countries nuked (and Japan completely wiped
from the face of the Earth). Then we faked our own execution and
joined some space pirates.
Saw a really cool trailer for The
Triplets of Belleville. Also downloaded some of the music. I
really want to see this movie... but it's not playing anywhere around
here and it looks like the English-version DVD won't be out for
a long time (the French-only Zone 2 DVD comes out Jan. 14). Ebert
and Roeper gave it two thumbs up.
Installed my old Radeon 7200 (64 MB DDR AGP vid card) in the Shuttle.
It's still a surprisingly good video card. I'm gonna put Maya on
that system so I can use it to render some pictures of the Volkspider
I made (it's the most complex model I've done yet... about 200,000
polygons). Will post pics when I finish. I like how it came out,
though I had intended for it to look more spindly.
Video card in the Shuttle. Very tight fit!
The corgis have been inside all week cuz of the snow and cold. They
sleep a lot.
long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep
it." Mahatma Gandhi