Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The cycle continues

Long weekends rock. It should be monday, but in fact its tuesday, which means the lost finale is tomorrow. (I had previously been mistaken, i though the lost finale was last week)

Good long weekend, got lots of gaming in, and a bbq over at jeremy and lauries place. fishtanks are now cleaned out and have fish in them, although i think one has a slow leak. kind of annoying.

saw starwars, and hitchhikers guide to the galaxy this week. starwars was good, it was the story i was expecting with great special effects and visuals. hitchhikers guide wasnt as good as i thought it would be. but its not a bad movie. because of the length of movies, they had to cut a LOT out. unfortunately most of the funny bits were in the dialogue they cut out, so it doesnt have the same effect. but it is cool to visualize, and the selection of actors was good.

more about starwars.. they created an animated series to fill in the gap between episode 2 and episode 3, so some people might have been lost as to where the movie was starting, but i understood :) "clone wars" the animated bit was annoying to watch on tv because of the short animated bits preceeded and followed by annoying commercials and animated intros and outros. a lot of filler and very little content. but when you download them from the internet, with all the crap edited out, it makes for a better viewing experience :) i can only hope the starwars tv series is going to be good, but i have my doubts.

So after lost is done, tv is done for the summer. thats all ive been watching anyhow. not many shows worth watching these days. the new family guy episodes and office kind of interest me but not enough to actually go out of my way and turn the tv on.

I've been doing a lot of scripting work lately. writing visual basic document automation for the project at work. there tends to be a lot of monotonous tasks that can be performed by VB quite easily in our documentation work. and the more automated we can get the documents, the better, because it eliminates the human typos... or at least, it propagates them exactly as they were :)

And in other projects ive picked up someones project called php:irc from sourceforge. its an irc client that runs server side. so the jist of it is that you can still irc even if your network administrator doesnt allow irc ports out from your network. its quite a mess, so theres a lot of work to be done, but its a good pet project to work with, and it gives me some practice working with a streaming page that i havent really done before. the project is loosely based on cgi:irc, but thats perl (yuck), and written using un-portable unix socket code. hooray for stinky, bearded, smug unix nerds. you can take your unusable OS and stuff it.

I'll post a link to the project when im done. and some other stuff im working on like my adventures in CSS. soon.

in other creative news, i took the old keyboard that someone had left from the other apartment, and got a midi to usb interface cable.. and hooked it into fruityloops. now all i have to do is learn how to play the keyboard again. fruityloops is really really great though for sequencing, and it makes the keyboard extrordinarily useful, as it has a ton of drum synths, samples, and other stuff that make the creation process very easy. and enough features to make it very flexible as a professional production studio.

And i bought myself a pen tablet. i dont know if ill use it much, but i have been doing some pixelart and other things, so im going to try and do some drawing on the PC and see what i can come up with. also a lot of practice there to be done. but maybe someday ill come up with something good, who knows :)

Monday, May 16, 2005

I thought it'd be fun and exciting, you know, like that movie, "Spaceballs"

It's going to be an exciting week i guess. :) Lost season finale, starwars episode 3, and battlefield 1942.

Lost: WHATS IN THE GODDAMN HATCH ALREADY?! the writers have danced around the hatch for enough episodes. just open it. it better be open the next episode or im going to stop watching. ok well, theres not going to be anything to watch all summer anyhow, but it would be nice if they got a little bit of resolution going in that dept.

I say evil clones of everyone that died on the island are going to pop out of the hatch, so they can work boone back into the plot somehow. I also have a theory about the whole island and the giant monster rustling the trees. if youve ever played the game "black and white" it seems there could be some similarity there. some greater being leading locke around, a giant monster, etc. sort of seems similar to me.

Starwars ep3: again, resolution. everyone needs to know where darth vader came from. the only issue is now, what is lucasfilm going to work on after this series is done? are they going to re-do episodes 4-7? maybe if they take long enough re-doing each episode, and as technology advances warranting another re-doing, they can create an infinite loop. constantly releasing newly redone episodes, and making money. oh wait, theyve already been doing that.

Battlefield 1942: another match, this time omaha beach. its going to be rough, but i think we can pull off a total victory with the right strategies. allies are the ones going uphill this time, so we really have to make use of the artillery on the ship to clear the way for us to get up the hill. and acheive the right balance of snipers to assault classes. sometimes its hard to convince people to give up the sniper kits, but taking assault kits is really the only way to make progress up the hill.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Winning streak

Yes, that's right. the allies at iplay are on a winning streak! 4 games in a row now and counting, thanks to our new player "lachesis". shes the suprise talent that gives us the edge, and everyones talking about her :) just finished another round last night. it seems these days every single match is a drag-out dirty battle. its very even talent-wise now, so its more or less whoever comes up with the best tactics for the map wins.

battlefield 2 is coming out soon, i can't wait. also, i should pull out battlefield vietnam.. i bought that game and its just been collecting dust. ive been on a bit of a gaming spree lately. i finished off command and conquer generals, all 3 campaigns, and ive been tearing into star wars: kotor, and im about 40 hours into that one. its really enjoyable, and very similar to bioware's other d20 title: neverwinter nights, except with a better graphics engine, and everyone has voice actors. after that, kotor 2 is kicking around somewhere and needs finishing, and maybe ill work my way through some old snes roms.

Speaking of starwars.. the new movie is out soon, episode 3. which should wrap up the whole series quite nicely and answer all my questions. everyone wants to know how darth vader came to be, and what hes got that life support suit for. i know im excited, and i cant really say that about many movies these days.

i think i finally figured out a use for the psp. i haven't actually found it good for anything, because as far as an mp3 player goes, i've already got a better mp3 player (ipod shuffle), and as far as a video game system goes, ive already got a big pile of those with nicer graphics.. and i'm never really in a position to play a portable system: i never ride the bus... if i go on a roadtrip, im stuck driving... and if ive gone camping, i've got better things to do. so here goes, here's the only use for the psp.. bringing inappropriate internet videos to work and showing them to coworkers. that's it, that's all. it serves no other useful purpose in my fleet of technological gadgets that something else doesnt do better. and for that one purpose, i still can't justify 300 bucks. sony is off their rocker. i think as far as gadgets go, the people who buy those gay segway things, and the people who buy the psp, are an overlapping market. people who buy technology just for the sake of having it, not because it serves some actual useful purpose.

apparently Q6 is over now. its unfortunate that they closed the contest already, as our team was rising in the ranks. i think it should be a continuous thing, reset the standings every month or something. especially since it had a rough start, and now theyve got all the servers they need to handle the load, and like a week after they get it set up its done. our final rank is something like 172 out of 41,380. not bad, but we could have done better. i demand a rematch :)

my experiments with CSS are going fairly well. i was able to duplicate a couple example site layouts without tables almost exactly as they were. as with everything new though, theres catches. things dont work exactly the same as their html predecessors, so you have to make adjustments. also, theres browser compatibility, not every browser interprets CSS and html to w3c standards. mostly IE is the one with the bugs, and firefox seems to do ok. anyhow, the best part of doing all the formatting and layout in CSS is that it makes your content easier to deal with. scripting inline php with basic html, and then doing all formatting in CSS is so much easier on the eyes. its also more efficient code-wise as you consolidate repetitive formatting into classes and things actually inherit properties from parent objects.

Work is interesting these days. 3 people got laid off yesterday, so thats a bit of a shake-up. i dont think they were really happy here anyhow to be honest. i was assured my position was more long term, so thats good news. its hard to plan your life around your work in 4 month intervals. such is the life of a contractor.