Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Not quite as good as the 'Take On Me' parody, but good nonetheless.
For an alternate approach, check out Joe Cocker singing "With a Little Help from My Friends" at Woodstock, with captions for the clear headed.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I wasn't going to run in costume but when I saw my registration number, how could I resist. Beer@heart wore his Star Trek as well and together we received quite a few laughs, so it was worth it.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Right now I'm playing N+: The way of the ninja. I first came across it as a flash game on a web page a long time ago, but it's still around. In fact you can download the full game for free from their web page, in either Mac or PC flavors.
I bought a copy for my Nintendo DS Lite so that I could play it anywhere around the house, and I wasn't disappointed. It has a huge number of levels, and the levels for each version of the game is different. (It is also available on the PSP or Xbox360 if you have one.)
The plot is simple: You are a ninja. Grab all the gold you can and get to the end of the level before the time runs out or you die. This can involve navigating mazes by running and jumping, and avoiding traps and enemies. There are no health bars or power-ups - if you touch anything dangerous you die. There's no penalty for death, aside from then having to restart the level you are in. To add to the challenge, you have to complete 5 levels in a row before you can save your progress. You have no weapons, and you can only run and jump, with the added ability to cling to walls to a degree. It's a 'timing and reflexes' challenge.
Give the free version a try, it's really entertaining. But be warned, the difficulty curve is a wall, and it's literally the hardest game I've ever played.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Tiny Flash Drive
Originally uploaded by Maximum Occupancy
I found a flash drive on sale at Canadian Tire of all places. It was on clearance. I didn't really need one but the combination of 2gb for 14.97 and being smaller than a piece of gum sold me. It works great, with a fast transfer speed. And it's ridiculously small.
Grab yours for 1GB for 5.97 or 2GB for 14.97 until Thursday when the sale ends.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
The entire sequence is just over 2 minutes long, but it's the part that stuck with me for a long time afterwards. I also think that it was the first time I had seen CGI. Although it is possible to do this using old-school (really old-school) tech.
For years I wanted my own light cycle, possibly the coolest vehicle ever conceived.
My father once found me a shareware game for my Tandy 1000SX that was exceptionally cool, but it didn't have any AI built in and was strictly a two player game. It took a simplified top down view of two lengthening lines and threw in some random obstacles which for the time was pretty slick. I don't recall what it was called and can't find it now but it was very similar to Flash Tron which you can play within your web browser. A similar (but not as good) game is BMTron,
Another game of a similar feel is Tron 2.0 for the Gameboy Advance. The light cycle part is simply a minigame included with the main game but for my money it's the best part. (Click through the gallery here for a look.)
I hadn't thought about these much for a long time until recently when browsing the iTunes app store. I came across the free version of LightBike, which is pretty much what I had been hoping for when I was nine. It's fun but doesn't have a lot of staying power. I upgraded to the paid version in the vain hope that someday another of my friends will happen to have it as well so I can try multiplayer, but until then it's a nice diversion.
It did get me curious however to see if there was any other newer 3D cycle games out there. I had heard Tron 2.0 included a light cycle part but due to lag concerns it was 1-player only, which is never as fun. It turns out that there is a huge variety of games out there, most of which are free for the taking and community supported.
I tinkered with a few but the best by far was Armagedtron Advanced. It is incredibly fun, fast paced, addictive, and free. It comes in Linux, Windows, and Mac versions and runs extremely well on my home network. I tried it on my 7 year old Compaq (Win XP, 1.9 Ghz, 768Mb Ram) with a 6 year old video card (Radeon 9600 Pro, 128 Mb), and it works amazingly well with all of the graphics options cranked. On my ancient Dell laptop (1ghz, 256Mb, embedded crappy video, Ubuntu Linux) it runs smooth as silk (so long as all of the graphics are set to the absolute minimum).
You can play several people on one computer split-screen, or multiple people over a network / the internet, or any combination of these. You can customize anything you like, including creating maps, custom cycles, game physics tweaks, etc. So far the only changes I've made include decreasing the default cycle speed and making the computer controlled opponents really, really stupid. Even so, it's still blindingly fast and very hard. The trailer below captures a lot of the feel, but trust me when I say that it's a lot faster and significantly more intense when it is you making the turns.
Some more videos showing gameplay details are here (try to ignore the narration), and here.
I think that this would be an excellent choice for a LAN party. No weapons, no advantages, just reflexes, strategy, and picking a bike color (harder than it looks). So seriously, go download it and give it a try. And if you like it let me know, and meet me on the grid.
"You've enjoyed all the power you've been given, haven't you? I wonder how you'd take to working in a pocket calculator." -Master Control Program, Tron
Monday, February 09, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Oddities and incongruities: I was 100% certain that this was a Canada Film Board project, but that appears to be incorrect as it was rather an HBO short. Also, while it is clearly the film I watched, my memories do not match. I remember the story and most of the imagery, but the point of view, the layout of the set, the order of events and timing all do not match what's in my noggin. Clearly I'm remembering the 3 years of dreams that were based on the movie, and the director there must have used some creative license.
The up-tempo piano jazz was certainly a surprise as well.
"We are born charming, fresh and spontaneous and must be civilized before we are fit to participate in society." - Judith Martin
Friday, January 30, 2009
They have just recently made their archives available online - This is more than 700 films, many are excellent. Of course many are bad, and many more just bizarre.
There's one in particular that I have vivid memories of, but so far haven't found on the archive: A person receives a videotape in the mail with a note from a friend recommending that he watch it. But the video tape eats him, and writes a note to another friend, and mails itself, etc. I think it gave me nightmares for three years. If I find it I will post a link, once I'm done hiding under my bed.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
This is a photo I took of our old smoke detector after we lost our apartment in the Lakeview fire some time ago. It was made a 'favorite' by a flicker user who I don't know. All of his favorites are other smoke detectors. Very odd.