Thursday, 3 July 2014

I'm alive!

So life kept pounding on like normal, I've had very little interesting to report.

My parents came to visit and made me buy a bike.

And my interest for origami has seen a little surge recently, here are two little things:

Oh, the beauty of shoddy paper. I have some methylcellulose on the way from Amazon, and a big piece of mulberry paper. Might try to fold a Phoenix out of that, would be nice to have one not made out of kraft paper. And then it's time for the _big_ challenge... After I've been to Sweden to pick up some of my 1.5m wide kraft paper.

I might edit later to add something new. I'll try to bake a cake for my co-workers on my birthday.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Experiment done, celebrating

Experiment done, and people were happy with the way my co-DAQ:er and I set up our high-rate stable DAQ, so it's time to have fun.

I started a bit too early to be honest, I bought a Caparison Dellinger7 a little over a week ago. As black as my heart (not really true, I'm just compensating), with a 7 string whammy. Now how do I get hold of an Axe-fx...

I also started working on my XCB-based WM, I need to fix a few stupid bugs and get rid of the mouse even more...

That's all for now, time to hax!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

So I work quite a lot

Had nothing to do Friday evening, went to bed at ~22 and now I'm at work, trying to fix a code bug in some DAQ readout.

Discworld 2 is pretty shoddy compared to Discworld 1. Still a lot of fun, just... Ugh, a bit too thick somehow. Funny how already in the intro sequence Rincewind says 'Won't you miss these sorts of games?' Yes, we do... Bloody mainstream attention, it destroys everything :p Hipster alert? No, it's just that quirky passion is what makes things good, and mister Mainstream doesn't like that, and people with fat wallets are clever enough to know that.

I miss my guitar so much. That's one reason why I'm at work now I suppose. Still, I get to do a lot of programming here, so it's not so bad.

My life is either miserable or very busy if this is all I have to say. (It's busy, I'm doing quite alright, no worries.)

EDIT (2014-03-23): Caparison Angelus7 M3B White :p~~ I need an apartment and a spender's open wallet...

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

A big day

I'm now a proud owner of a brand new HHKB Pro 2! Yep, I finally shelled out the money, including a trip to downtown Darmstadt to pay up at the customs office... Ugh. Anyway, I got to go to Darmstadt alone for once, but most importantly, I'm typing on one of the moth revered enthusiast keyboards on the market right now. It's a very different experience at first, but it grows on you. I was a bit scared of the Fn combos for certain keys, but it turned out not to be a big problem at all. And the size of the keyboard and placement of certain keys is wonderful. The main problem I had was that the space bar was cutting into my thumbs a bit, but I knew from my forum lurking about flipping the space bar and that made everything ok again. Now I just need to test-drive it in a working environment at GSI, ala:

Been making strides with the DAQ, the one guru from Chalmers made a trip down here and showed me the tricks of the trade. I've also managed to help out with various programming problems already with smiles abound and promises of "payback", and lots of people seem to be very happy of my new job. Feels nice.

So. after I had watched Sunder blow up, I landed on Democratus. Did what I had to do, which included being a bit of a hero, and left. And they wanted to pay back, by shrinking the entire bloody planet to the size of a human and they're now floating around me as a team member. An entire planet. I love Anachronox. And the mini-game for the tractor-beam with shutting up council members before they get to spout their bs... This the reason I play.

EDIT 2014-02-14: Another big day:
I played through all of Discworld 1! Finally, after probably decades of attempts and complete restarts because my save-games have disappeared, and frustration of just impossible puzzles, I have prevailed! All the way through. Is that an evil game or what, thank goodness for the occasional walkthrough. Fitting end with two dragons in love on Valentine's Day, injected a bit of life into me as I'm spending my evenings and weekends alone in a small temporary room... I'm alright, don't worry, the weissbier here in Germany is cheaper than water. Plus I need to gear up for Discworld 2.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Another world

Sitting in the Steinhaus, at the perfect walking distance from GSI. I hope I'll get an apartment soon, although I should probably look around myself again. Had a quick look before x-mas and there are options, but they're a bit costly.

Been at work for exactly one week now, and I've been cleaning up some code to setup a VME DAQ. Some issues with the readout of a brilliant new module that they manufacture here at GSI, probably an initialization thing. The big task of tomorrow!

Contemplating the purchase of a HHKB Pro 2, with blank white keycaps. I'm typing a lot at work, so that would be nice for my fingers. Normal keyboards give me a horrible sensation when I think about my hands, I need a proper keyboard. The Filco I can't use at work, way too loud. The blank and 60-key layout would stop others from typing on my computer though, but the Colemak layout kicks them out already so they can use their own computers ;)

So the Tim Schafer game was released today, too bad I can't dl very fast, I don't want to hog the wifi. Oh yes, I am a sucker for his older games and I jumped the bandwagon from the start, when it all went down. I imagine some people are having a blast with the beta. I also did a quick checkup on Ron Gilbert and had completely missed The Cave, I need to check that out. And figured that Monkey Island is now owned by Disney, which means we'll probably never have Monkey Island 3 :(

But I need to end on a good note, so, uh... Right, I have landed on Sunder, the planet which only allows scientists! In Anachronox, in case you wonder. I just landed and walked around the first place, haven't dared to step outside yet. I love adventure games.

Update 2014-01-18:
I installed Broken Age on my Lenovo E130 with Slackware 14.1, but it wouldn't start, only complaining about "missing OpenGL features". Had a look around, the support in the forum isn't very fleshed out yet. Steam officially supports Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and if you don't have that, you're on your own. There was a tip about adding "--log", but that did nothing for me. Fortunately, I'm nuts about Slackware, so I set out to fix it.
You need OpenGL 3.2 or similar, which you can get with new versions of xf86-video-intel and Mesa 10 (I grabbed 2.99.907 and 10.0.2, respectively). Don't forget to update libdrm as well (2.4.51 worked for me). Make sure you compile for 32-bits targets and make 32-bit packages. And why not make 64-bits packets and get OpenGL 3.3 support everywhere while you're at it. But when I executed "~/.local/share/Steam/SteamApps/common/Broken Age/", seg-fault. Grr. Just for fun I ran ./BrokenAge through gdb with the proper LD_LIBRARY_PATH and that worked. Haven't thought much about it, I just gamed on. We have new games on Linux, yay!

So, my verdict on the game... Very nice, graphics are smooth and the music fits well. I enjoy single player games like these. What's up with the dad-computer hiding outside? And a bunch of other things, but we'll see in Act 2 I suppose.
Now let's bust out the real grumpy little me: even I think it was a bit short at < 3h 40m, and I talked about pretty much everything and checked out every place I could. The graphics, while nice, are a bit modern-style "hazy", I don't really feel like being part of that world on the other side of my monitor. The 8-bits era was nice because it was crisp, not for the garbage resolutionz. I use bitmap fonts wherever I can on my computers though. And the puzzles were rather silly... Too much of a ride, so I never got the feeling that I had to do anything, I was just supposed to do things. Bit weird, very little suspense, and I even killed the Mog (boo-hoo, spoiler, imho anything that can be ruined with a few spoilers is rubbish anyway, and this game had a bit more to offer).

Do you remember "Hi! My name's Guybrush Threepwood and I want to be a pirate!"?

Or how Manny Calavera was screwed over with every new client?

Game intros with class. Still, Broken Age was definitely worth the money, I'm glad Tim Schafer did this. The only other options are German and Spanish adventure games...

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy birthday Earth!

We've heard them all, so I'll just say: right on!

So what are my New Year's resolutions? I can tell, because I have none: I have none. I have ideas, but I will not promise myself anything. I am a free human being! And probably a bit high on champagne, lobster and cheese.

So how do you pass a Mephad'in Doorlord on the planet Anachronox? You cannot. But you may learn that there is some "generic incriminating information" about a brother of that guard, with no details. Confronted with your vague black-mailing, the guard may reply (para-phrasing) "I see you have incriminating information that I wish to not be spread. I will let you know about an alternate entrance." And that is one of the most important reasons I play games. Not for tea-bagging, I do that with my morning tea and that is sufficiently boring. Not to climb a high score chart, I do that with every aspect of my life already (I use the Colemak keyboard layout and am a master at traversing flights of stairs, oh yeh). No, I play to be entertained, either by comedy, gore or taste. Anachronox delivers quality comedy. Old school shooters provide pure gore. Taste, uh, we don't have much of that in the gaming world. Doom 4, please provide gore for us!

Figured today that I had forgotten to remove the gamma curve on our source textures, no wonder everything looked incredibly washed out. What happened was the dynamic range of the texture data was compressed upwards the gamma curve and was therefore saturated, so everything looked very gray and lifeless. Some time ago I asked our artist to remove the gamma curve, but that in turn reduced the "perceptible" dynamic range. And doing the ka-pow in the shaders is cheap enough so I'll just keep doing that.

One New Year's eve, I'd love to carry a Marshall stack outside and blast the neighbourhood with my ax. In recent years they've pulled the cool big fireworks here in Sweden, so someone has to provide something heavy.

I've watched some of the Indiana Jones and Back to the Future marathons on Swedish TV in the last few weeks. My goodness are they great or what. I feel sorry for today's kids who won't get the "hype" which is then surpassed by the product. Doesn't happen anymore. Just like the ad for the coco-puffs Bailey cups introduced in an 8 out of 10 cats Christmas special one year, "they are f-cking amazing". Yep, getting old.

Edit 2014-01-01:
A few friends dragged me to the cinema a while back, first time in many many years: The Hobbit 2, the desolation of Smaug. People seem to like the depiction of Smaug in that movie, and tbh it's kind of what I wished Skyrim would've been (who wants to fight dragonS with a sword and shield from the ground? Bah.). But, am I the only one who thought Smaug lost all power and intimidation after about 3 seconds of talking? "Oh but he rants in the book" you say. I haven't read it. And according to numerous sources, the movie doesn't follow the book all too well _at all_. He should just have shut up, possibly said "this treasure is mine to behold" or whatever, contemplate the intruders and then just roast everything.
I saw the Wizard of Oz from 1939 for the first time today. I wouldn't mind defining "cinema gold" to be when Dorothy breaks out into one of the most wonderful songs ever made in the first part of the movie. *sigh* Slightly more touching than the scene with Luke dreaming about adventures in space, standing on the plains on Tatooine watching the binary stars setting at the horizon, but maybe not as empowering.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

So this is Christmas

Right, another Christmas.

So we boiled the Swedish style Christmas ham, made our own chicken liver paté, kalvsylta with proper big chunks (jellied veal according to the almighty Wikipedia, sounds horrible) today, and we have a few other things in store (sill, our own spiced up snaps and so on). Oh the feast that shall commence tomorrow will be a vivacious sight to behold, ho-ho! And in a few days we will have lutfisk, om-nom-nom (what's the hate all about, it's lovely).

And I couldn't hold it any longer (I haven't even started a game since mid-August or so!): Saturday evening I installed Anachronox and had a go. My goodnees do I love good single-player adventure games sooo much or what. The times when game developers took risks and thought "let's make a fun game!" instead of what they seem to do now which is "let's make a fun game that everybody will want to play!". Any type of media aimed at a broad audience is going to be bland. Maybe people are happy with that. Bland and mediocre. Bill Hicks, please come back :p

So Anachronox, what can I say about it? It's silly, it's funny, it seems to be pretty large, lots of characters, a plot and story that is still lingering and teasing in the shadows, pretty good production overall. Bad things include RPG-style fighting which I'm not a fan of, and the occasional slowdown in certain areas. Deus Ex 1 is a slightly better game, but Anachronox is better than anything that comes out these days anyway, so there.

I'm moving to Germany on the 6th. I wonder if I'll ever find a home. Oh well, a new adventure awaits!

Went to Gothenburg on the Friday the 13th (st Lucia day in Sweden!) to see Francois Englert speak about his work for which he received this year's Nobel prize in physics. Nice man, good talk, I felt like I almost understood what he did.

I wanted to learn some Christmas songs on my guitar, and figured that the tabs online are all rubbish, so I made my own version of Deck the Halls. Pretty nice, I have been thinking about recording it, but I haven't found the peace to do that quite yet. And now it's a bit late, eh?

Aerial perspective on the terrain, yay! Cool, now I have to fix all the graphical bugs.

I received my Ph.D. certificate today, finally. Refrigerated beans, I'll have it copied to be safe. And I've been seriously contemplating a small change of career, I'll work on that when I've moved to Germany.

Woah, this became a jumbled mess. And now it's past midnight, it's the ghost hour, and I'm actually now on Christmas Eve, so here comes the warmest chant of the year:

To everybody, not a single individual excluded:
Happy Christmas! Go' Jul! Frohe Weihnachten! Joyeux Noël! Meri Kurisumasu! (I haven't installed katakana input on my Lenovo yet, sorry.)