Posted a few comments on this Ask Slashdot article yesterday. Come back, and they've disappeared. They've not been deleted - I can still access them, from the recent comments area of my profile - and they've not been downmodded either. Not a Beta issue, as I'm not currently on it.
Just spotted that people are stuffing comments into various stories here for the sole purpose of complaining about the/. Beta.
Maybe it's because I only occasionally visit here, but are people really that hung up on the current design?
Hell, I can remember when/. didn't even bother with any testing, period, just shoved changes straight onto the production servers. Fun times. (Not)
Having looked at the Beta, it seems to me a damn sight cleaner that some news sites I can think of*. Ok, the comment view controls could use some refining, but that's the whole point of beta-testing, right?
(*I still have nightmares about pre-2000s ZDNet. Makes the current design look almost pleasant by comparison.)
It's been a while since I posted something here. Guess my/. craving is subsiding now that I've got the My Amigos and/. feeds plugged into my Bloglines. Been posting (and recycling) stuff to my website instead of late, as well as trying to catch up a bit with goings-on over at DeviantArt.
I've also set up a LiveJournal ID, mainly so that I can follow and reply to stuff that my LJ-using Amigos write there (hi to Leo, SW and Interrobang!) You can probably guess my username.:)
Some good news at work, the MD's wallet has opened. We've got a new CD duplicator tower, plus replacement drives for two of our existing towers, so we should have much more throughput now for those big orders. Hopefully, this means that a move on the new server box I was helping to spec before Christmas might actually be happening sometime soon. Hey, they might even give me a payrise, at this rate (I can hope!)
Just put in an order at Hard-To-Find Records for a cheap record deck with pre-amp that I can plug directly into my PC, to rip vinyl and make MP3s from them. I might have a nosey and see if I can rip some of my Dad's old jazz collection while I'm at it...
Just spotted a huge build-up of comment spam over at my website, all of it sex-related. I've added a few extra choice phrases to WordPress's blocking list, and instructed WPBlacklist to start harvesting IPs and URLs as it goes. It may risk poisoning the blacklist file again, but that's a chance I'll have to take. Just a heads-up to anyone else who has a weblog, to check in case you've been hit as well. Seems to have started very recently, so you might still be able to stem the tide before it gets out of control.
I fired up Half-Life 2 last night and got stuck in for about three hours. First impression weren't brilliant - it took a while to load up, but I suspect that may have been it detecting my sound and video cards and adjusting settings. The opening screen, with the view across the square, made up for the wait. I was playing at 1024x768 (will have a go at 1280x1024 tonight to see how that fares) and the views are awesome!
Lots of familiar faces show up during the game - the G-Man, Barney, Dr Vance and his daughter Alyx - as well as a lot of the aliens from the original Half-Life, although some have changed a bit in the interim (talking Alien Slave!)
It's a long wait before you get to put on the HEV suit, and you have to run for it at one point, but once you get there it,s like a family reunion (complete with 'pet' headcrab to muck things up!)
The scripted stuff with the citizens and the Combine soldiers is pretty good, and really makes you want to press on and find out what the heck is going on in City 17.
I've managed to get to the point where you get to take the skimmer for a ride down the river - this is quite a departure from the original Half-Life, and takes a lot of getting used to, particularly where steering and braking are concerned.
Only downsides so far have been the long delays between levels, and occasional stuttering sound in some parts of the game. But overall, I'm really enjoying this game.
You'll probably not be surprised to learn that my ID on Steam is 'MonTemplar'...:)
Finally gotten around to doing something about my moribund personal website. Chucked out the MovableType stuff, and put in a WordPress blog in its place. I'm planning on adding links to the artwork that I've put up at DeviantArt, specifically the stuff that I've got for sale as prints,:) as well as write-ups on the websites that I think deserve more coverage. Also, a few offbeat and/or unusual news items as and when I find them.
If you've got a website or blog, drop me a note and I'll make sure to link to you. Cheers!
The chainsaw is the best melee weapon in a FPS game evar! Sure, the crowbar in Half-Life was fun, and the monkey-wrench and Bowie knife in HL:Opposing Forces was even better, but they won't have that satisfying roar, and make sparks when you strike it against a hard surface. The only downside is the smoke when you fire it up, which makes it harder to see which side of the zombie you're slicing.:)
The sentry bots are so cute, whistling at you to follow them, and tenacious when faced by obstructive monsters. Brings a tear to your eye if the little feller falls in battle. *sniff* Even cuter than the Rustbits in Gunman Chronicles.
Boy, those imps are fugly! Just as rough as their grandpappies from the original Doom, right down to tearing into you at close range.
The cutscenes are pretty darn nifty, particularly with the way they pan back into your characters head at the end, so you're facing whatever gets revealed...
The zombie marines are buggers to take down, because they've still got some grey-matter ticking away. Enough to use radio links to coordinate their attack, and duck for cover when their ammo is low, but thankfully they stand still when firing so a few well-aimed shots will take then out.
Some of the audio logs and e-mails you come across are hilarious.:)
I reckon I'm about a third of the way into the game, and I've met one Boss so far. Anyone else got any progress reports?
No work to do today, apart from keep the CD printers running. *yawn*
Ordered Doom3+HalfLife2 from Amazon UK yesterday, something to look forward to in September.
Anyone here recieved XP SP2 via Automatic Update yet? Anyone? Bueller?!
Was doing some rendering work on my PC last night, good thing I've got the laptop handy, I went onto DA with that whilst the beast was busy. Took about 2 hours to render to my satisfaction - at 9000x6000! Yeah, baby!:) Only problem was that the PC crawled afterwards due to the delay in releasing memory back - with 1GB of RAM you'd think this wouldn't be so much of a problem - damn you Bill! *shakes fist* Had to restart in order to get back to a usable state.
I also discovered that DA will not allow you to log in from two different machines at the same time - log in on one, you get logged out on the other.
Speaking of which, here is the result of my labours. Not finished yet, I'm going to try hand-paint some extra details on it later this week...
Gak! Nothing really grabs my attention on the front page these days. Not even the addition of new sections for Linux and IT (in beige! the horror!) tickles my fancy. Still reading journals when I get the chance.
Apologies to RWS - I would have given you some mod points, but all your recent posts have been archived already. Must really suck to be hit with bad karma.
Mostly hanging out at DeviantArt now, along with Leo and a certain lurking shark of this parish. If you're bored of/. shenanigans, come and check out the pretty pictures.:)
I'm up for helping tire-kick any/. alternatives you guys are working on - e-mail address is in my Yahoo! profile, if you need it - ditched the firstname.lastname@example.org one as it was just getting junk mail.
Oh yeah, I got a new digital camera and a replacement Wacom tablet last week. More on that in another JE.
As announced on the front page, they've gone and mucked around with the Slashcode again. Most noticeable change so far is that the homepage exclusions are currently kaput, so you get everything now - I had the sections cleared off to the sidebar.
But wait! What is this? Apparently, there is work on convertion the site to XHTML and CSS, albeit by a couple of volunteers, not Slashdot/OSDN, so don't hold your breath waiting...:)
Today was my birthday, so I celebrated with a slap-up meal at the Flower Drum, a very nice Chinese restaurant in the centre of Watford, and the purchase of my very first mobile phone (as a gift from my Mum). Yes, I've finally lost my virginity:) and will shortly be joining the texting masses, albeit mainly to let my folks know if I'm stuck somewhere.
They had an advance screening at our local VUE (was Warner Village) multiplex this weekend - it's not due to go on general release in the UK until the 2nd of July. Went up there Saturday evening to the first show, and the foyer was packed!
For some reason, Larry King was replaced by Jonathan Ross (UK chat-show host, presents BBC's Film programme) as the voice for the Ugly Stepsister, in the UK cut. Don't ask me why, but he did a good job.
There were a few other bits in there that may have been added or changed especially for us Brits. Shirley Bassey gets a name-check (doubt that would register with most Yanks), there's a Faulty Towers moment (not surprising, since John Cleese is in it), and possibly a few more. Oh, and of course Jennifer Saunders and Rupert Everett.
Yes, I made sure to stay back while the main credits rolled. Sucks if you missed the last scene. One word - 'dronkeys!'.:)
Saw the trailer for Thunderbirds. A bit too much fast-cutting for my tastes, and only the one clip at the end with Lady Penelope and Parker (boo!), but definitely one I'd like to check out when it's released.
Several hundred civilians have been shot dead by the Chinese army during a bloody military operation to crush a democratic uprising in Peking's (Beijing) Tiananmen Square.
Tanks rumbled through the capital's streets late on 3 June as the army moved into the square from several directions, randomly firing on unarmed protesters.
The injured were rushed to hospital on bicycle rickshaws by frantic residents shocked by the army's sudden and extreme response to the peaceful mass protest.
Demonstrators, mainly students, had occupied the square for seven weeks, refusing to move until their demands for democratic reform were met.
The military offensive came after several failed attempts to persuade the protesters to leave. Throughout Saturday the government warned it would do whatever it saw necessary to clamp down on what it described as "social chaos".
But even though violence was expected, the ferocity of the attack took many by surprise, bringing condemnation from around the world.
I think I can safely say that I am now a convert to the Mozilla way, having used Firefox and Thunderbird in anger for about a week now. Still using IE at work, though, mainly because I will just confuse the hell out of people if I put a different browser on there, and someone needs to use my PC when I'm away.
I'm particularly happy that I have threaded e-mail once more - mailing lists are actually manageable now! That was one of the things I liked about Forte Agent, but I lost the installation plus registration for that, and the new v2 doesn't have enough new features to tempt me, and is still missing multi-server, multi-account support.