Monday, June 30, 2008

Long live PC games!

It seems that the attraction to a special breed of casual gamers* that consoles have has made them look like the future savior of gaming. In comes Gabe Newell to defend the future of PC gaming.

*That is... 5-12 year olds who don't have the practice to keep their computer running properly and older games who want an out of the box solution

Thursday, June 26, 2008

eat scathing hate Mac OS.

ok, the title might be a little over the top. Personally the only thing i have against macs are their price tags, difficulty in user upgrades, major lack of games and the failure to support 80% of the hardware and software on the market. Ok, that was not a list that should be prefixed with only, basically they meet almost none of my needs. I guess over the years I've been pretty mean to Mac users.

So as an apology, and to prove that I'm completely open to other peoples way of thinking. That you are all perfectly free to chose what OS you like. Here is another persons completly different reasons for hating Mac OS. :P and you thought i was gonna give the mac people a break.

wow, i love these people.

and of course Orson Scott Card. Who originally released Ender's game for free online (till his publishers hassled him out of it, but i appreciate the thought.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I love XkcD, sometimes it scares me though.

and now all you people know why i randomly jump out windows. O_o

Saturday, June 21, 2008


This is beautiful... Not only is it the most clever WOW thing ive seen... note the "vegito.... ITS OVER 9000!" dragon ball Z qoute worked in and the Counterstrike Source Office level use....

astonishing, all that stuff we invented actualy works.

Don't take this article the wrong way. As always I'm really glad to see technology advancing, especially when its advancing in the areas that happen to overlap high high end gaming with life saving medical modeling abilities, and the (sometimes life saving) most accurate weather reports to date. so my point isn't that any of this is any less great. I'm just a little confused. at this point, probably so are my readers. (except nick, he's already figured it out and is cross referencing with the nvidia press release)

The recent bit first. Technology news the past week has been flooded with stories (which im too lazy to reference, take my word for it, or look it up, or dont.) about new "single machine" super computers. they explain that protein-folding-scientists/financial-analysts/supercomputer-labs/video-game-designers have made amazing 100X improvements overnight in computer technology simply by utilizing the core processor design built into modern graphics cards.

This is all true, its the overnight part that loses me.

what actually happened is this. about 10 years ago a couple of big computer companies (namely AMD, IBM, Toshiba, and Sony) realized that the smaller faster processor architecture had logical limits too it. So they figured they had better find a different branch for computers to improve by. Years later, about the same time Intel was catching up with the realization (which is amazing since they brought the most competitive product to the marked, admitadly 2 years after the viable cell processor.... and at least a decade after the first ARM processors.... but thats not really relevent.) anyways, what intel and these other companies came up with was the idea of multi core processors. not the dual processor or quad processors of the late 90's. They had thought of putting hundreds, maybe even thousands individual logical units on a chip. (and in computer history, saying numbers this early in the game is always a bad idea, so ill say it now, yes, someday a processor may have a million cores on a single waffer.)

So thats the history lesson, and anybody who owns a modern console, or a core2 or X2 or cell processors, is using the results. so why didn't every dual core processor have these results? Well, simplifying a lot, nobody was really ready for their programs to work with multiple processors, in most cases this meant that buying a dual core processor (assuming that it runs at a slightly slower speed than a single core of the same cost would and has less cache per core) would actualy run... almost everything slower.

All these breakthrough technologies have accomplished is speaking to the new processors in a way they understand and can excel at.

Yes, its great that were finally seeing the results we expected... but didn't i already pay for that?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Further proof that half life 2 is awesome

Bellow is a rube golberg device designed completely within the half life 2 game engine.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Credits to XKCD.

and just to make myself the king of piracy, here, i steal their Legal Disclaimer.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.
This means you're free to copy and share these comics (but not to sell them). More details.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Voice chat destroyed my inner child.

So Many of you will know I've been an avid fan of the half life games for about 9 years. The strong point for these games is that they let users change the universe almost however they want and release the new game online for free (to anybody who alreayd owns the origonal).

One of my current favorites of these is called "Eternal Silence". In it you play a marine on a large ship in the middle of a feild of astroiods. Each team has its own capitol ship, 3 support ships and an unlimited number of smaller fighters, bombers, and interceptors (the last three being controlled by other players). The result is an epic space battle in which you launch wave after wave of fighters (one of which is controlled by yourself) at the enemy ship, weakening its defences untill you can land a carrier inside loaded with marines and tear apart the internal systems.

So what does this have to do with voice chat and my inner child? The latter half first. Ever since seing starwars there has always been a romantic notion of the grandure of fighting in a large space battle. ES does a good job of fulfilling this desire. Then the voice chat comes in...

*** The clak, clak, clak of military boots sounded rhythmically as the five marines ran from there deep sleep chambers to the hanger.
"If we make a good first run we can take out there corvetes while our shields are up." the leader yells.
The first two two to reach the hanger jumped into the sleek looking bomber, one in the center of the ship, focusing on the main thrusters and the large payload bombs, the other in the crane like turret has the job of shooting enemy fighters and missiles out of the air with the twin vulcan cannons. Two more jump into boxy looking fighters loaded down with cluster missiles till they look like some sort of bizar antenna array. The last marine swung himself into the cockpit of an interceptor, low on fire power and looking a remarkably lot like a stainless steel gillet razor if not for the 6 foot arc of plasma out the back. The interceptor is so fast that fighting it is alot like trying to kill a fly with a 22. rifle. For most pilots of the interceptor, lacking force powers, flying it is just as challenging. We would shortly find out that this pilot didn't just the have reflexes of a 14 year old (without all that uncourdinated walking into walls business that comes with the rapid growth of that time.) but also the bedtime of one. For the time being however, he may have been the only one in a parsec that could handle the ship.

As one, all four fighters thrust out of the ship, twirling hullwards as the artificail gravity gave one last tug on there aft sections. They began to accelerate, space appeared tranquil, they were on the wrong side of the mothership. The behemoth mass rolled past them and beams of searing heat appeared in a cone pattern from an area miles away. The cannons on their own ship glowed in anticipation of their own next volley.

"lets sneak in on the glow from the cannons" the leader shouted over the voicecom. the exuberant pilot of the interceptor was already shooting ahead in a blur of blue when the first lance of light shot outwards. Their own ships cannons were powerful but this early on in the battle the enemies shields were still holding. The rays of orange light faded and then abruptly disappeared in the distance as they intersected blue ion shells. Still, the light show was sufficiently bright to hide the incoming ships and with nothing else to worry about the pilots had an easy time bobbing away from the beams as they arced across the sky.

Suddenly a voice squeaks "Incoming!!" over the radio. The interceptor had spotted three enemy fighters trying to hide in the same firelines.

The two missile fighters which had been hugging the bomber peeled off, lurching at incredibly speeds behind a cloud of asteroids that felt almost as if it were there just for this purpose.
seeing an unprotected bomber, the enemy fighters thoughtlessly unloaded all of their own missles. a round dozen set of particle propelled explosives zipped towards the bomber, who's own gunner immediately began picking the projectiles out of the air with a nearly solid stream of magnetically accelerated metallic flechette.

before the bays on the fighters could be loaded with another volley of missles the two friendlys from the astriods swept out of their cover and peeled in besides them. at nearly point blank range the enemy fighters had no chance to destroy the oncoming projectiles or even dodge. they disappeared in a series of short flashes.

Unfortunatly for the bomber ship these fighters demise did not mean the end of there missile atack. The pilot had rolled out left and shot past the missles, burners at high, a single missile exploding off the left side of the ship leaving a black scar accross it. but the missles were manueverable and flipped almost instantly to follow it, the gunner picked off one, then two more but it was obvious that at least some of the remaining missiles would impact, probably with deadly results.
Just when it looked like the groups bombing run would be left hopelessly bombless the interceptor zipped in. green lasers, generally too weak to take out a ship, flashed out, superheating the shells and vaporizing them in an instant.

This was starfighting at its best. coordination, deadly speed, combined with the beauty of billions of killowats of firepower unloading accross thousands of miles of space. Then the unbearable happened.

"hey guys," the interceptors pilot squawked, "my mom says i have to go to bed, c'yall".

Suddenly without any physical harm the interceptor vanished from the world.

"oh man, is it that time" the bombers pilot intoned in a decidedly more marine like voice. "i better get my kids off to bed too." suddenly the bomber dissapeared also, accompanied by the shrieks of his copilot who had been sent back to await respawn when his ship had dissapeared from around him.

The two fighters drifted on forward, but the charge was lost. I was consumed by one thought as a second wave of enemy fighters, enabled by the intelligence of the first group and now outnumbering us left my digital vehicle a pile of high speed scrap in out space. Irony, we were killed by real life.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


This is just to make the flashing picture move down the page so it wont bother Jeremy anymore.



Monday, June 02, 2008

Shameless nespotism

I thought I would put a plug in for my brother's new album. He plays with the band Romak and the space pirates.

There are playable versions of their songs there as well as a link to buy there album. It's a bargain at 12$ and it comes in an awesome format. Namely, it comes as a USB armband with the album title printed on it. the armband snaps open to allow you to plug it in, as any USB flash drive and it has over 400MB free space for you to used for whatever you see fit over and above the songs, album art, movies, and lyrics that comes preloaded on it.

(Profanity warning)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Why I'm holding out on replacing my phone.

Sophomore year of high school, my friends Lucas, Jeremy, and I were talking about palm pilots. We all agreed that the whole market was moving to smart phones (to my own dismay, dedicated palm pilots would still have application if they were being produced) and further that apple would inevitably get in on this market (The iphone was of course announced 3 years later).
About a year later, rumors were flying that google was making its own operating system. Lucas and I discussed how cool it would be if it was a mobile operating system based on the same slimmed down functional design that made googles home page dominate search engines everywhere.
For those of you who haven't been following this ... ANDROID.