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Tuesday, April 11th, 2006 - 2:07pm - [Direct Link]
I'd like to welcome SithDagger to Gimpystick! He joined up a couple days ago, but I didn't make any noise about it.
He has updated twice already, so it looks like he's going to stick around. In response to his challenge, I've been practicing and adding new pictures as well. My efforts to pursuade other Gimpystick members to update have yet to bear fruit.
Wednesday, April 5th, 2006 - 8:52am - [Direct Link]
Gimpy, of Hustle fame, has begun his webcomic anew. Here's to many more updates from the great man that is Gimpy!
Wednesday, April 5th, 2006 - 8:50am - [Direct Link]
A couple days ago I posted about some goals I had. Specifically, I was going to update my comics every day, and when I felt I couldn't for whatever reason I would spend the time coloring the Morrowind Comic.
Well, I was very rash. I made that goal in about a two hour window when I was feeling well. I haven't felt that well in a month or so, and I probably won't feel that well again for quite some time. I do, however, want to keep the goal. And it's gonna be hard as nothing else to do so.
Here goes my extreme force of will. Let's see how long I can go before breaking!
Monday, April 3rd, 2006 - 6:54pm - [Direct Link]
At work I stumbled across an old product listing that was pinned up on the wall. Someone had been tracking the price of SanDisk CompactFlash cards since April of 2001. The list is missing 2005 since the guy stopped working there a while ago and I didn't start until recently, but here's some interesting pricing.
|Memory ||Price |
|4/5/2001 ||5/14/2002 ||3/17/2003 ||1/2/2004 ||4/3/2006 |
|8MB ||$34.99 || || || || |
|16MB ||$39.99 ||$24.99 || || || |
|32MB ||$59.99 ||$29.99 ||$29.99 || || |
|48MB ||$89.99 || || || || |
|64MB ||$99.99 ||$41.99 ||$34.99 ||$27.99 || |
|96MB ||$149.99 || || || || |
|128MB ||$199.99 ||$74.99 ||$54.99 ||$38.99 ||$19.99 |
|160MB ||$249.99 || || || || |
|192MB ||$299.99 ||$94.99 ||$74.99 || || |
|256MB ||$624.99 ||$139.99 ||$79.99 ||$48.99 ||$24.99 |
|300MB ||$734.99 || || || || |
|512MB || || || ||$111.65 ||$49.99 |
|1GB || ||$799.99 ||$299.99 ||$214.99 ||$69.99 |
|2GB || || || || ||$99.99 |
|4GB || || || || ||$199.99 |
Original and final data taken from esend. I'm not sure about the rest of it.
You feel that? That's called nostalgia.
Sunday, April 2nd, 2006 - 5:53am - [Direct Link]
So I bought Photoshop, as you all know. And I also bought Poser, which some of you may not know. And a friend (tek_hed) recently gave me a Wacom tablet. And I do so love art, even if I'm not the best at drawing it and find it difficult to force the pencil to touch paper at times.
And what have I been doing about it? Nothing! I've got all these neat toys and nothing is going on! I think it's about time I got the ball rolling again and started up with my comics and stuff. So I've set a goal!
Goal: Update a comic a day, round robin style. If I'm in a slump with ideas or just feeling lousy, color the Morrowind Comic instead of making a new comic. If there's no comic to color, force myself to draw at least a one-panel filler for whatever comic is next in the rotation.
For those of you that don't know, I've been feeling worse and worse the past few weeks. I've been tired, lethargic, having annoying and persistant headaches, exhausted, and I've just generally not felt well. I've been visiting doctors for months, and had an MRI (that was expensive) many blood tests, and finally I had a "sleep study" done.
According to the MRI I have a healthy brain with healthy, normal sinuses. According to the blood tests I don't have an ulcer or infection or low iron or anything, and I'm not even malnourished.
But the sleep test! Finally something that came back positive! I've got sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when one stops breathing during the night, pulling them out of REM sleep so they can fix the problem.
So the solution is to get a CPAP (That's a P, not an R), which fortunately is just a machine. Some sleep apnea requires surgery to fix, but most people only need a "Continuous Positive Air Pressure" machine. Basically a small air compressor that keeps air flowing in through their nose to keep the airway from collapsing.
It'll probably be another couple weeks before I can get in to do another sleep study so they can find out the pressure to use on the CPAP. But I might as well do what I can in the meantime. Like waking up.
Friday, March 31st, 2006 - 4:59pm - [Direct Link]
I got Oblivion on the opening day and ended up missing a lot of work that week (not entirely because of the game, I've been rather unwell lately).
Oblivion is the fourth game in The Elder Scrolls series, and is epic in such that it signifies the end of the third age of the Tamrielic empire. I had the game beat within the week, and my save file said "37 hours", which doesn't count the time I spent on other characters or the time that was lost when I reloaded an earlier save. Of course, after beating the game I realized I'd only explored maybe 5% of the wilderness, hadn't ventured into Oblivion but a handful of times, and had done only one of the questlines (there's also the five or six guilds, Daedra Shines, and numberless sidequests).
The Good: The game is huge. The forests, water, ruins, creatures, and everything are beautiful. The skills, spells, potions, and everything are plentiful in quantity and variety, and while not everything is useful to everyone, everything is useful in some light. For example, a mage is never going to need fatigue (read: stamina) potions, but a fighter should never be without one.
Everything is voice acted. The NPCs are the most realistic of any game I can remember as they go about their daily lives sleeping, eating, manning their store, talking with each other, or wandering around town begging for money. Even after you kill someone they still move realistically as you drag their body and throw it in a nearby lake!
The game is full of surprises. I was stalking a few people in this one town and got used to seeing the stables dude hanging around outside the town gate. One day when I was coming back to town I heard some weapons clanging, then someone cried "Murder! Murder!" I saw the stablehand running for his dear life with a guard in hot persuit and a dead man on the ground.
The Bad: First, almost everything "wrong" with the game can be fixed by a mod. If you don't like the way something in the game works right now, wait a week and see if someone's fixed it yet.
The voices spoken by the same person in the same sentence can range in pitch, tone, and recording quality. It doesn't happen very often, but it's annoying when it does.
The invisible walls that determine the end of the playing world could have been better done. Instead of some random location they could have been at a river a few paces ahead and display, "That water looks too cold for you..." or something more interesting than, "You cannot go that way."
The menus doesn't scale up in size the larger your resolution goes -- which is kinda neat, as everyone gets the same play experience, but it got bothersome to me as I went through the game and ended up with more and more items to sort through. Mods are already out to fix that, and I use them.
And those are the biggest complaints I have. The invisible walls will eventually be fixed by a mod. In fact, I think they already have been.
The Funny: I stole a horse once and the gate guard saw me do it. "Stop! Thief!" he cried, as I jumped the stable fence with the horse and took off down the road. About half a mile later I saw something interesting and stopped. I wasn't paying attention and apparently the guard was still chasing. He eventually caught up, yelled, "Thief! You won't get away with this!" in my ear, and I turned, he sheathed his sword, and then he started walking back to town.
The game has lots of easter eggs. But they fit in the game perfectly. There's nothing odd about them -- they're just... funny. And fitting. And there's so many of them! Like the common clothing item "Blue Suede Shoes."
The arrows stick in people. Being a marksman allows you to turn people into pincushions. "So what" you say? You've never seen someone fall after a long hard marksman battle in Oblivion. It's really a sight like no other game because the arrows are substantial instead of tiny darts. Then you go into your inventory and notice you look just as bad as the guy on the ground.
M'aiq the Liar. He's back! And has even more to say! If you can find him.
The End: I very much recommend buying the game if you enjoy single player RPGs. It's really something else.
Saturday, March 18th, 2006 - 10:56pm - [Direct Link]
Hotlinking is an evil internet practice that a lot of people are doing and think is commonplace because they simply don't know better.
For those not in the know, let's give two examples.
First, someone visits my site and finds a piece of art someone drew that they like. They copy the file onto their computer, upload it to their server, and put it on their site. This isn't actually hotlinking, but is instead called art theft, even moreso if they call it their own work.
Second, someone visits my site and finds a piece of art someone drew that they like. They go to their site and link directly to the image, making it look like the image is "on their site", but the people actually download it from me. This is called hotlinking. They may take something as simple as a small arrow graphic, but it's still stealing my bandwidth.
Hotlinking is evil, because they get the picture and I pay for the bandwidth. It skews my logs and stats as I get people "visiting" just to steal a picture, but the visitor is actually at the other person's site.
I have a handful of people out there, mostly myspace people, that are hotlinking some of my pictures.
What if you're a hotlinker? First, stop linking directly to the other person's site. Second, ask if you can copy the image over to your server and use it on your site -- it's not yours, after all, and the worst they can do is say no. If it's public domain, you don't even need to bother asking. Don't know if it's public domain? Ask.
Also, hotlinkers beware. Some time ago I added the following to the bottom of my site: "Hot linking is expressly prohibited and if done you agree to pay an unreasonable price for bandwidth consumed."
I'm going to be emailing the people taking my bandwidth with some bills. Nothing hits home how serious something is as hitting someone in the wallet.