archive for October, 2004

Gigantic on Sundance

If you have the Sundance Channel you’ll be able to catch Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns on November 20th (more info).

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Interview

Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is one of my favorite games of all time. The world that you can explore is huge and loaded with quests and possibilities. The next game in the Elder Scrolls series, Oblivion, is starting to get some press. If if Bethesda is able to keep the best parts from Morrowind, and fix some of its flaws, then Oblivion should be great.

Alice

A few weeks ago, Jesse and I went on a bit of a shopping spree at Barnes and Noble. One of the books I picked up contained Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Both stories are frequently referenced in modern culture. The Matrix, for example, has several obvious Alice references.

Alice is so old that it’s out of copyright (I’ll try to avoid the lecture on copyright terms and people still buying works after the copyright has expired). This means that anyone can do anything they want with the work, including making a version of it available online. If you’ve never read these two great stories, why not click on over and check them out.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed while reading them has been the noticeable differences in the English language. I’m not sure if I would expect there to be more or lest changes in the last 150 or so years, but either way it’s fun to read.

New Computer Heaven and Hell

I bought a new computer on Friday. Unfortunately, the mother board was a little flaky. Unfortunately, it took me working on it for hours on Friday night, and the great people at PC Club hours on Saturday to localize the problem. It by 3:00 we’d figured out what was wrong, but I had to leave for the Noriega Hotel in Bakersfield for dinner with my family.

I was able to pick up my computer from PC Club (they swapped out the motherboard for me for free) at about noon today. Windows installs in about 15 min on this speed daemon, but within a few minutes of getting it online it had been infected with about 10 (no joke) different viruses. I knew I’d never be able to fully clean them all out, so I reformatted and reinstalled. This time I installed Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 from a DVD that I luckily brought home from work. Unfortunately, there were still too many Windows updates to download that I didn’t have time to finish installing before I was infected again.

I guess the third time really is the charm. I used the Service Pack DVD, and downloaded about a dozen updates on Jesse’s computer, and transfered them over out home network. Once they were installed I was able to connect and download 30 or so more updates. I got Spybot Search & Destroy and Norton AntiVirus installed too, and it looks like I’m clean.

I’ve started reinstalling my apps. It looks like my backup of my Firefox and Thunderbird were successful. I can’t wait to try out some games on this new system.

In case you’re curious (and for historical purposes – it’s fun to look back on this kind of stuff), here are the specs for the new system:
AMD Athlon 64 3500+
1 GB DDR 400 RAM (dual channel)
2 160 GB* Hard Drives in a RAID 1 (mirrored)
and miscellaneous parts from my old system (sound card, video card, DVD ROM, CD-RW, etc…).

So, that’s about it. I haven’t had time to do any benchmarks yet, but I expect this system to be about twice as fast as my last one.

* Drive makers have a really weird way of labeling hard drives to make them look a little bigger that they really are. Mine are actually closer to 150 GB.

Recipes Category

I love cooking. I love experimenting. Creating my own recipes is a natural outgrowth of those two facts. I’ve decided to create a new recipes category so that I can share what I’ve created in one easy to find location. Who knows… maybe it’ll generate a little traffic for my site too. Now, I just need to write about something other than ice cream.

Update: (July 1, 2005)
I’m moving my recipes into a food category.

Recipe: Apple Spice Ice Cream

This is yet another ice cream recipe. It’s a little too sweet and sour (and I like sour!). I think I’ll try just 1 packet of cider mix next time. Still… it’s pretty good as is.

1 pt. Heavy Cream
2 packs Alpine Spiced Cider Mix
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp. Allspice
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg (freshly ground)

Mix all ingredients throughly. Chill for 1 hour in refrigerator. Freeze in ice cream maker.

Project Syzygy

It looks like Project Syzygy (another Alternate Reality Game) is complete. From what I’ve seen so far (mostly rumors) this could be the highest quality ARG ever. Some of the pre-game content used the book Pattern Recognition by William Gibson that I throughly enjoyed.

This might sound like simple self deprecation, but I hope I’m smart enough to play. I’ve already had to read spoilers just to see what should have been obvious.

Rain

I love the rain. It has been raining off and on for about two days so far. This, after months and months without a decent rain storm. I can’t remember the last time we had a good rain, but it must have been last spring. It’s not raining too hard either, so we shouldn’t have to worry about mud slides. Hopefully some winter grass will take hold before it really starts coming down.

Half-Life 2 Gold

Half-Life 2, one of the most anticipated games ever, has finally gone gold. (Gold means that they have a final version, and they’re ready to start burning it on CDs for distribution.) The expected release date is Nov. 16, so I have a little less than a month to build a new computer.

I am interested in the HL2 game itself, but I only expect it to keep me busy for about a week. It’s a single player game with a story line, so once I finish it, I’ll be about as likely to replay it as I am to re-read a book. What I’m really looking forward to are some great new games based on Source, the game engine HL2 was designed with. Hopefully there will be some great single and multi-player games to really make the purchase worth it.

Google Desktop Search

Google has introduced a new application called Google Desktop Search. You can download and run this on your own computer to let you use Google search to find your own files. The interface is as fast and easy to use as the original Google.

The one drawback I’ve noticed is that it’s one more application in memory, and one more icon in the task tray. Of course, if you’re always searching for files, email, or even your browser history, this is the tool for you.

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