ultranos: kino and hermes on a coffee break (i need a coffee break)
I had an exercise in...frustration today that at one point left me wanting to murder EA, burn down their HQ, and salt the earth on which it stood.

It started innocently enough. )

Look, I am not a Steam apologist. I like the platform. I like it because it works and is the best currently out there that I've used. I would like it just as much if Steam had an actual competitor. (Things were great when AMD and Intel were hugely competitive.) But they don't, not really. And Origin is almost 10 years late to the party, does it worse than Steam, and acts like it's going to win this fight. I'm just not impressed by it. I wouldn't use it if I had a choice.

At least I have the game now.
ultranos: ashley from Trace Memory (white-haired girl) sleeping (sleepy)
Yes, I'm alive. To some definition of "alive". (A week of 6 or less hours of sleep per night is starting to catch up with me.) I spent last weekend in Milwaukee with my parents, since that's probably the last chance I'm going to get to be in that city until next year (I'm not currently planning on flying into Milwaukee for Christmas and/or New Years). Plus, you know, seeing my folks.

Problem is that I did this without taking any vacation days, so it went "get into work early, work, go to airport for 5pm flight" and then "get up early, go to airport for 7:45am flight (and make it with 3 minutes to spare because of hour-long TSA line), get into work by 11:30, work full day". Yes, sometimes, I do wonder if I was dropped on the head as a child.

One thing the flights were good for is chewing through A Song of Ice and Fire, because I'm impatient and can't wait until next year for s2 of Game of Thrones. If the little tick marks on the progress bar in the Kindle omnibus of the first 4 books mean anything, I'm about 75% through A Storm of Swords. I've just been chewing through it, after I finished the nonfiction book I'd been reading.

(Said nonfiction book is For Us Surrender is Out of the Question: A Story from Burma's Never-Ending War by Mac McClelland, who's also the human-rights reporter over at Mother Jones. It's about McClelland's time as a young twentysomething when she went to a Burmese refugee camp in Thailand for six weeks and got a hell of an education. In between her own story, which is written in the wry kind of "god, I was an idiot" voice at some points, are the stories of the people she met, which are heartbreaking and rage-inducing for their sakes. It's not an easy book, but I do recommend it.)

In non-media consumption news, I did get myself a Google+ account (it helps having friends at Google). Yes, this still means I do not have a Facebook, and I'm perfectly alright with that. I kinda like it so far. The interface design does not make me want to claw my eyes out, the asynchronous circles are nice and remind me of DW, and the multi-way video chat is not only neat, but nicely integrated into the entire thing.
ultranos: greyscale photo of laptop and coffee mug filled with some beverage (coffee and data)
I got distracted from DA:O a few weeks ago and am now attempting to get back into it. It's surprisingly difficult, mostly because I shed the all-consuming "MUST PLAY NOW" feeling, and am probably on a more normal play schedule. Just mildly frustrating since I'm near the end of the game and should just really dedicate a weekend to finishing the damn thing in a single go. Then I need to get through Awakening, because my pile of games to play is growing larger. Portal 2 is already pre-purchased, and I know THAT's going to eat my life. Possibly want to replay Portal beforehand.

I also downloaded the Dragon Age II demo. Haven't yet decided if I'm buying it at release or if I'll wait a bit for the DLC packs. I've also been eying Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, since I've heard it might be the best KH game yet, and I guess I'm willing to give Square-Enix a chance to redeem themselves. (I still have my friend's copy of FFXIII sitting unplayed on a shelf) But I need to finish P3P first.

Got my 3-day pass to PAX East this past weekend (along with the rest of my house). I'm a little grumpy that they changed from the Hynes, but that's just because it was stupid-easy to get to. Looking forward to playing Steel Battalion again and seeing what indie games are around this year. Also hoping to try out the 3DS, if it's there, because I want to know if I'll need to actually buy one or if I'll be happy with my DS for awhile yet (please note: my DS is a first-generation. Yes, the one before the Lite. It's a solid little beast). I figure I'll be visiting the GAMBIT booth a bit, though.

And I bit the bullet and finally bought Bahamut another 2GB of RAM today, bringing the final total to 8GB. I noticed DA:O starting to hang a little during play with Firefox and LyX running in the background (probably more Firefox than anything else) after being on for a long while. Honestly, Bahamut probably just needed a reboot (it might have last been rebooted sometime last year...), but it really shouldn't be doing that. And for some stupid reason, I started looking at graphics cards on Newegg. Can't afford a new one yet, and I don't exactly need one since Bahamut plays all the current games just fine with all the parameters turned all the way up, but it's good to keep an eye out since I'm about 3 generations behind (Bahamut's running with an NVidia GeForce 9800 GTX+). Of course, finding one that'll fit the motherboard is the tricky part. Or buy a new processor, because 2 cores isn't enough (it totally is right now, but that's because it's got the tail-end of the Intel Core2 Duos at 3.0GHz. Which is still respectable these days, even with the existence of Quad Core and I7)? Yeah, would be an expensive proposition, and I'm pretty sure Bahamut's got quite a bit more life in itself yet, as it's only 2 years old.

This is why I like building my own computer. I know exactly what's in it, how long it'll last, and how to replace things piecewise. It's awesome and budget-saving.
ultranos: greyscale photo of laptop and coffee mug filled with some beverage (coffee and data)
I know there are a couple of people on my flist and circle who might care about this:

[via Lifehacker]

Someone (Mihai Parparita) wrote an open source web tool that will painlessly import your Delicious bookmarks into Google Bookmarks.

How to Import Your Delicious Bookmarks into Google Bookmarks in One Easy Step

I just tested it. It took 10 seconds and imported all my tags.
ultranos: Actual MIT hack of roadsign. "MASS AVE BRIDGE CLOSED / SUNDAY 04/22/07 6AM-3PM / TO APPEASE GODZILLA" (have you appeased godzilla today?)
1) It's that time of year again. I spent a portion of last week watching LoadingReadyRun do their annual internet telethon OF PAIN, FOR THE CHILDREN. That being, of course, Desert Bus for Hope, where they play the most godawful boring game ever, Desert Bus, for as long as people on the internet donate money. This year, they had to play for 5 days, 21 hours, and raised probably over $200,000US (after the e-checks clear), all for Child's Play. Child's Play is probably my favorite charity, ever since they started in 2003. The goal of the charity is to provide childrens' hospitals all over North America and the world (it started in Seattle; now, there are hospital options in Egypt and they want to add more) toys, games, books, and movies for sick kids.

If you're interested in giving to a charity, but not sure which, I encourage you to check this one out. They've been doing fantastic work, and there's nothing quite like the feeling that you might have made some hospital-bound sick kid's holiday's a little brighter.

2) I took advantage of Steam's one-day deals this weekend and picked up two of their indie games packs. I'm becoming more and more of a fan of indie games, as they do some pretty interesting stuff. So far, out of the 9 new games from the packs, Beat Hazard (shmup that uses your music to generate levels), BIT.TRIP BEAT (chiptune Pong on speed and acid; you can tell your life by the audio fidelity), and Shatter (Breakout on acid) are the big winners. The Polynomial is cool, but screws with my spatial sense something fierce. ("There are the instructions in front of me! There are the instructions behind me! Oh god, there's a dude who's going to EAAAAT MEEEE! WHAT AM I DOOOOOOIIIING?")

3) Friend and I managed to secure ourselves copies of the super-rare Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzanoha vs. King Abbadon, complete with Jack Frost dolls dressed up as Raidou. They're super cute. I'll get around to playing it after I finish Mass Effect 1, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, Assassins' Creed 2, and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 1: Raidou Kuzanoha vs. the Soulless Army. (You would think I was making those titles up. I'm totally not.)

Also, I suddenly want to cosplay as Raidou. I don't even cosplay! What is this I don't even

4) I have spent the last 4 days being incredibly sleepy. I have no idea why.

5) I should go write things! Or something. Thing is, I have about 4 things I want to write, but can't decide, so end up reading fanfic or playing indie games instead. <-- My First World Problems, let me show you them.
ultranos: sam carter looking up, text: "oh crap, the retroencabulator needs a new marzelvane." (technobabble handwave)
1.) A combination of theatre teching for 5 weeks and a salvage attempt at work that had me using vice grips to poke +100 0.02" holes into copper and aluminum with 0.02" steel wire has left my wrist a little busted up due to stupid torque points. It's current wrapped (along with part of my hand) in sport tape, because a wrist brace leaves me with not enough freedom of movement and an ACE bandage is too elastic. Oh, RSI...

2.) Speaking of work, it is awesome. I got to feel like Serious Researcher today, because we're now moving towards finding better ways of making the fiber optic neural implant arrays the researchers use in their experiments. We reached the limits of milling out the metal baseplates, so the next step is going into microfabrication. Which makes me really glad I took that nano/micro fabrication processes lab last semester, because, get this: I get to spend time in the clean rooms! With a lab coat and everything! Combine this with the amber-tinted laser safety glasses I sometimes wear, I look like a crazy scientist/engineer.

Not only that, but we're going to be talking with some people in the Media Lab to see about designing and building our own mills. Where the person building said mills would be me.

3.) I'm still getting used to the idea that I am the go-to person in my lab for "making things". I still don't see myself as any sort of expert, despite the degree.

4.) I'm apparently writing a 10-day LARP. I'm starting to wonder if I'm a masochist and/or have a god complex.

5.) I might have discovered religion last week. It's called Grooveshark, a music streaming site like Pandora, except you can actually pick the songs you want, upload songs, and build playlists and the like.
ultranos: greyscale photo of laptop and coffee mug filled with some beverage (coffee and data)
Remember how I said I didn't do software?

Yeah, apparently, I lied. A little.

I can't take the boredom anymore, so decided to attempt to teach myself Python. I have a project and everything. (I am ridiculously excited when the tiniest things work, too.) Although I fear the project is actually a giant exercise in dictionaries, lookup functions, and pickling. Oh file I/O, you are, in fact, the bane of my existence. Let's not even think about when I have to make this Do Things with GameTeX.

Once I finish this, I'll go on to something even crazier, like tabletop writing. Again. Oh, and write that fic for [community profile] 36_stratagems, that little ficathon I'm supposedly running.

Right then.
ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (the world in my hand)
I seem to have acquired a Kindle. This was deeply baffling and shocking when it occurred.

It did, however, let me consult between Housemate Who Knew What The Heck Was Going On and the Internet technician when the 'net was down in our apartment. In a hilarious fashion. So, despite my "I loves physical books!", I'm pretty fond of the thing already. And it nicely helps solve the "I'm out of bookshelves?!" problem I recently discovered.

Anyway, anyone got any good resources/tips on how to get the most out of this thing? (I'm already planning on talking to a friend who's done some serious Kindle-hacking about some of his tips/tricks.)


ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (Default)

Memoranda from the Usual Suspects

Media List:

Currently Watching:
-- Supergirl(hiatus)
--Pitch (hiatus)

Currently Playing:
--[null] (PS3)
--[null] (PS2)
--Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
--[null] (PSP)
--[null] (XBox360)
--Endless Legend (PC)
--Fallout: New Vegas (PC)

Currently Reading:


-The Rook, Daniel O'Malley
-Fortune's Rising, Sara King

-Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy, David Daley


"So she's good cop, he's bad cop, you're morally-questionable cop, and I'm set-things-on-fire cop."

"Sounds about right."


"WARNING: When attempting to be clever, make sure you not actually just being stupid."


"Did you remember to sacrifice the goat before burning the ISO to the DVD-R?"

"Crap! Um, I've got a charred piece of meat here."

"That's called a steak. That's dinner. What about the sacrifices?"


"I escape through quantum-tunneling. What do I need to roll for that?"


"Why is it called a 'Monkeylord'?"

"Because it looks like a spider."


"I have a moral objection to this problem. It implies microwaving a steak."


"Did you eat the crazy cookies this morning?"


"The GPU goes 4 by 4, hurrah, hurrah."

April 2017

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