Thursday, August 31, 2006

Guitars, Hedgehogs and Packing

Time for today's countdown post I believe, we'll conveniently ignore the fact that it's nearly tomorrow.

I was randomly improvising on my guitar earlier and accidently came up with something I actually like the sound of, which was a surprise with me not exactly being amazing on the thing yet :-P I messed around with it a while and then recreated it in Guitar Pro for further messing around without having me screw it up. Added a bit of percussion to it and extended it some and I'm quite fond of it now, it may be sucky compared to almost anything out there but it's mine :-)

As for packing... yeah... it's kinda moving along at about the pace of a sleeping snail. It'll be done of course, but it may require some last-minute chucking of things into bags. Then we have to fit it all into the car, which is a task in itself as no matter how much I leave behind there's always more than the last time, I think my stuff gradually expands to fill the available space in the bags. This one looks like it may be the first two-trip job ever despite me not bringing anywhere near the amount of junk I normally do :-S

Changing topic again, I saw a hedgehog today! A real one. I can't believe I've never seen one before (well, not one that is in one piece anyway), but I have now :-) It looked to be quite young and it was pretty damn fast too, I was quite amused at the way they walk with the legs frantically moving under them and how they almost seem to glide despite the aforementioned frantic moving.

And changing topic once again, for the last time and strangely enough going pretty much back to the first topic, I'm moving to my new place on Saturday (or Sunday possibly) so Friday will be my last countdown update. Ciao until then guys and girls :-)


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

More bits

Extra (and entirely coincedental) discussion of dubs versus subs here. Also, I just realised all the options for the dubbing and subtitles in both english and japanese were available to me if I'd have bothered to look *slaps forehead* Guess I'll just have to watch it again with japanese dubbing and english subs ;-)

I'm currently in the middle of packing (or trying to be bothered to pack). I really can't find motivation, I have waaaay too much stuff hanging around here and once I've sorted out the stuff I'm taking with me I need to make the stuff I'm leaving behind all neat. Speaking of money (how many would notice the incorrect bridge if I didn't point it out?), I went to the bank and increased my overdraft limit a bit so now I only need to scrounge together £30 rather than £380. That's rather a large difference and so much easier, I can once again cease worrying about where money's going to be coming from. Just need to make sure I get paid before the end of October :-P

Think that's about all in terms of today's updates. Stay tuned for more soon.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bits and Pieces

I finally got to watch the first episode of Standalone Complex (Ghost In The Shell's series) and I have to say it was everything I expected it to be. The artwork and plot were as good as ever, and the rendering in the intro credits is beautiful. The only problem was that it was the english dub (well, american I guess) rather than the subbed version. I much prefer subtitles to redubs as they tend to completely screw up the character's voices and I don't mind reading. It wasn't too bad though, none of the voices made me cringe except for the first time I heard the Major speak. Is it just me or is her voice a bit too soft in the dub?

In terms of the PSP it's all go.
Homebrew on all firmwares, check; Ability to launch (almost) any firmware fully working from 1.5, check; Several modchip designs, check. Anything you wanna do is pretty much there between that lot :-) My own personal favourite is emulation though, and N64 emulation is getting pretty damn good thanks to Daedalus.

I think that's about all for today, much packing to do and probably much packing still to do the day before I move.

4 days to new place, 21 days to enrolment, 24 days to Gina, 25 days to everyone else

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Soon to be departed

Just a heads-up in case my lax updating schedule becomes even more so. I'm going to be moving into my new place next Saturday (the 2nd September) and I won't have a net connection for at least a month probably while I sort it out. In the freakish event that I don't even have a phone line to shove ADSL down I'll make a post from somewhere else to let you know (the two or three people who occasionally glance in here). It's going to be wierd without my own net access (obviously I'll still have it in the labs or library basement in the worst case, I hope at least). I went a single night without it when the router messed up and I couldn't be bothered reseting it and probably waking everyone up in the process, and that was annoying as hell. I didn't realise how much I rely on the net as an information source and a way of having contact with people at strange hours of the day/night. Simple everyday things like grabbing some guitar tabs or checking the news weren't possible, and I lost count of the number of times I did something that relied on having a connection without thinking. Oh well, guess I'll have more time to spend doing other things, though exactly what these things are I have no idea. Addicted to the net? Me? Never.

On the coding front I've been getting back into writing things for my OS, once again in order to teach me things outside of OS deving. In this case it's the idea of lock-free linked lists (concurrent traversal/insertion/deletion without the overhead of locking access to the list) and fine-tuning some of my C++ techniques (it may not be apparent, but I do have techniques =P).

Anywho, 7 days til I move into my new place, 24 days til enrolment, 27 days til I see Gina again, 28 days til I see most of the rest of the crowd again, the countdowns continue.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Games Workshop

About time for this post I think. I play various games produced by Games Workshop (though some not any more, but that's another story related to broken rules and power gamers) and I continue to be amazed at the number of people who have no idea what the games are even about and yet still try to make jokes about them and fail horribly at it due to said lack of knowledge. If you want to make fun of something then you need at least a basic knowledge of it in order for the jokes to actually make sense and thus be funny, so here's an intro course into what doesn't make sense.

I see you play Games Workshop then

This one should be the most obviously nonsensical and yet still pops up. I wish I had the money to buy sufficient shares to be able to control GW policy and make their success or failure my own private game, but unfortunately I don't. There is no game called Games Workshop, it's a company.

Got your Warhammers in that case then?

Kinda related to the above, where they use the name of the company for a game, here they use the name of a game for the miniatures. They are called miniatures, models, figures, in fact anything you want that makes sense. This question is likely to prompt a response in the vein of "Yes, I have a medieval armoury at home and figured that it'd be fun to lug huge weapons of war around all day."

That's a game for kids

Ok, fair enough, some aspects of it are designed to appeal to kids. Thing is that people often relate it to the toy soldiers they had when they were younger, ignoring the fact that this is an actual game with rules (occasionally far too many of them), tactics and whatever else that elevates it above the level of walking little plastic men around saying "bang, bang, he's dead." A lot of the background is a lot darker than the stuff most young kids will be reading, the rules can get quite complex, and you have to have a grasp of maths and tactics if you want to actually get anywhere with it. These people probably wouldn't walk up to some historical wargamers and say that, but because GW games are easier to get into and have a sci-fi/fantasy (depending which game) aspect it apparently is an entirely different matter.

There you go, three often encountered phrases and why they're wrong. So now that's out the way, what do I actually do myself? Well I used to play 40K (short for Warhammer 40,000) but I'm not too fond of the rules system nor the local people who play it so I mainly just get the occasional nice model for the modelling/painting aspect of it these days. I started on Fantasy (short for Warhammer Fantasy Battles, you can guess why we shorten that =P ) and that's on hold for now, but I do like the system as it encourages proper tactics as long as you avoid certain things/people. Then there's Inquisitor, a larger scale system at 54mm compared to 40K/Fantasy's 28mm though it does seem even larger than that, which is set in the same universe as 40K. This is interesting as GW designed it as a role-play game with a focus on combat and it certainly succeeds at that and some of the models have great conversion potential. The game I currently play is Epic (short for Epic 40,000), which is also set in the 40K universe but is far smaller scale with a human-sized figure being barely a couple of mm high. This allows battles involving huge armies and the rules system certainly favours the use of tactics involving entire formations rather than individual squads (as it should be really). There are also various other games set in both the 40K and Fantasy universes, but these are the ones I've had direct involvement with at some point.

And there we go again with the big posts, and this one didn't even really get anywhere in terms of making a point. Oh well.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I had to go to the dentist today to get a couple of fillings, which wasn't really a surprise considering I made the appointment 6 months ago. Luckily, unlike a certain person, I live here and thus don't have to jump through a million hoops to get seen to. Treat her already! Anywho, this is actually the first thing I've had to have done, which you wouldn't expect given the excessive coke I drink all the time, but there we go, fate does indeed move in strange ways. The teeth in question are lower right 3 and upper left 4 (though it feels more like 5, I assume it's just on the far side of 4). I have to say that when your first experience with anaesthetic is having both sides of your mouth numbed/paralysed, along with half your face once it works its way up, it's pretty damn wierd and strangely cool. I spent like 15 minutes just sitting there poking/pulling my lip and being unable to feel it at all :D And that's today's news, move along people.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Last Couple of Weeks

Iris Murdoch : Every man needs two women, a quiet home-maker, and a thrilling nymph

Amen to that :-)

Anywho, onto the actual post... I can't actually remember much properly so I'll just stick things down and hope they are in some sort of sensible order.

First up would be my new place for at uni :-) I went down to look at a place on Lower Ford Street being sorted by Bluewood Letting (nice people btw) but it was kinda small, like really small. So anyway, I'm flicking through their properties list in the office wondering where to go next and suddenly I see Priory Place. The same Priory Place as I've spent over a year looking at thinking "If I had the money I'd be in there." Then it occurs to me I have got the money now. Guess what the next place I looked at was... The apartments in that place are lovely, compared to some of the student housing I've seen they're huge, though you'd hope so for the price tag on them. So anyway, I put in an application for the place and waited, this was wednesday before last I believe. Monday rolled around (last monday, a week ago tomorrow) and I got a call, my application all checked out and everything was good :-) Went down on thursday to finalise it all and put down my deposit and the place is now mine :-D That place literally had everything from my "wants" list, double bed, all the appliances I need, fully furnished, close to uni and my mates, not mention I'd been wanting to live there for ages. So all's good in that department, now I just need to make sure my first two months don't take me too far into debt.

What else? Ah yes, the LAN party at Ben's. I end up at about one a year these days, and play about as many games :-P I spend most of my time on the trampoline (those things rock) and the others alternate between pool, deathmatches and trampoline. I'm not one for FPSs you see, the only way I could be entertaining to kill would be to give everyone rifles, stick me in a trebuchet and launch me across the map. I did join in with the usual game of Risk II though, which is always fun, even if a certain unnamed person quits early and thus prematurely ends the game... Also entertaining was the young'un (2, nearly 3, something like that), even if she did step on my face on the trampoline once, not maliciously I assume (hope). She was fun though, especially when she made comments that she didn't quite catch the implications of, or started telling birds to go away, or ran in circles around the trampoline for hours on end without getting bored. I'm not getting broody or anything, lol, at the risk of sounding sexist that's for girls (don't hit me please =P). Anyway, thanks to Ben for hosting us all and providing much munchy goodness in the form of pizza and lasagne.

Hmmm... what else is there? Oh yes, I went to Lincoln to hang out with Hastings on Wednesday and Thursday. That was fun, I haven't seen him in like a year or something crazy like that. Caught up on random things, met people I'd only heard stories about previously, and went to the Big Wok (all-you-can-eat Chinese place) :-D Though as Hastings mentioned guy in that show saying, it should be "all you want to eat" not "all you can eat", too much competitiveness implied in the latter :-P Didn't get to speak to Gina that day though (Thursday being our usual phone day) as I was on buses at the usual time and no-one picked up when I was finally free. She should be down in a week and half or so though, so all should be ok :-)

Anything else? I guess there's the various tech support calls I've been on for friends and stuff, but that's all boring so I'll skip them. Guess that's all for now then. Longest blog post evar!


Just seen the video for Evanescence's Call Me When You're Sober, and I am so very much not impressed. It's probably good music, but far far too generic for my liking. Must resist comparing to Avril Lavigne...

Probably a real update about the last few weeks later tonight if I'm in the mood.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Overlord made a post today about yet more ridiculous patents that are being used as the source of lawsuits. I completely agree with him, the US patent system is completely broken (no idea about other countries) when someone can get a patent on the wheel. The fact that you can get ones related to products that you know people are going to make, without even needing to make as much as a prototype yourself, brings the suckage factor to Extreme.

Mini-rant over.