Sunday, January 29, 2006

Woozle Wisdom

Our first job is to make this world a lot of fun to visit. It is a high energy raucous musical romp. It's a lot of silliness. It's wonderful.
However, the second thing that we're doing with this show is saying something. The show has a direction and point of view. This will be beneath the surface, and if anybody becomes very aware of it, we will have missed.

- Jim Henson, in his original sketch book where he brainstormed a show called "The Woozle World," which latter was renamed "Fraggle Rock."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I Would Tell You, But Then I'd Get Sued

I always want to post lil' work snippets in this blog, but I can't. Not that my job is all that interesting, but weird crap that I like to bitch about to Rocky does come along. The fact is... I can't. Why? 'Cause I'll get sued.

Someone found out about my unfortunately brief work with PlaneShift (motto: "Will someone get rid of that freaking Flash animation!") and then found out my handle. So it wouldn't be a big stretch to see them finding my blog. And then for it to show up in our proxy server logs. And then for someone to get cheesed at me (again). Then find ammo to arm an exec with. Then down I go.

For example: one local legal council to businesses advertises on NPR that "blogs can create a host of legal problems for employers." I can understand that, as these are public forums... but I don't need to give someone a reason to can my butt.

Then again, you start talking too much about your personal life and you become a target for identity theft. It happens way too easily and is way too irrevocable.

So that's one major reason I just gab about random tech stuff. It's pointless, it interests me, it bores others, and won't get me fired.

Go free press.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Pixel Named Gobo

I received a beautiful 19" Dell LCD UltraSharp monitor as a very generous gift recently. I adore the monitor aside from one tiny thing - a pixel that has problems with blue. Its subpixel is whack... so if the pixel attempts to turn white it actually turns red, and if the pixel attempts to go black it shows green.

It's not a big deal... but because it's so bright with an opposite color and right smack-dab in the middle of the screen you can't help but notice it. I've tried everything to remedy the problem. I've run endless loops of red, green and blue video hoping that quick color changes will snap it back into place. I've tried rubbing the pixel. I've tried applying pressure with a warm cloth. Nothing.

I tried to replace it with Dell, but since it was outside of its 21-day unconditional return window, all they would give me was a reconditioned part. I initially took them up on their offer... but when it arrived it appeared to have been delivered drop-kick express. The case was cracked and couldn't be put back together, metal parts of the frame were bent, it was an early revision model and the backlight bled through.

So I've kept the original new model and have been trying to come to terms with my one stuck pixel. I think in order to come to terms with it I'll give him a name.

Looks like Gobo is here to stay.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

ConsultComm Lives Again

I actually received a donation to one of my open source projects. No joke.

Up to that point I was considering marking the project as abandoned, but now I'm picking it back up and working on a new Java 5 version and clearing my outstanding bugs list. So thanks to one user's attaboys, the project lives on.

That's kinda how development on ConsultComm has worked for me... I'll let it go for months at a time, then a user will send along a supportive e-mail or a lil' something for a pizza. After that I'll get into the code to help the user out, find a million things I'd like to do with it, then end up writing a whole new version.

So if you notice a project you really like but no one has worked on it in a while - send 'em something nice. Like cash. Or a "you are my everything" e-mail. Or kiss them on the forehead. Works wonders.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I Give Too Much Credit

I gave Path of Neo waaaay too much credit in my earlier post. I thought they were going for some cool adventure-game-throwback genre in the first tutorial level... but no. They play controls just sucked. I was right - it ended up being Oni in the Matrix.

Which isn't bad - in fact the hand-to-hand mechanics were pretty well done. Animation was nicely framed... but models were hideous. I mean... abhorrently ugly. Everyone looked like they had a goiter if they bent their neck too much to the side.

The end was just as bad as the beginning. How bad you say? They played Queen's "We Are The Champions" over top of the ending film clip. Yup, that bad.

The Wachowski brothers did have an interesting little dialog towards the end that explained why the ending was designed to make absoulutely no freaking sense - which was rather humerous. There were a few good lines in the beginning - such as Neo talking about how crates all over the place are a reeeaaaal original idea.

Now on to Quake 4 and Darwinia. Thankfully both have native Linux ports... so I can stay in SuSE and game. I've been dual-booting into my wintendo for so long it's nice to be able to have such loving, generous companies that allow me to stay in my OS of choice. Thanks kids! I promise to buy a lot of impulse items from id, Raven and Introversion from now on.