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Comments

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Sony Develops a Universal Game Console Controller

Solra Bizna Re:Awful (62 comments)

The stick is ideal for games where you need the ability to move both quickly and precisely (say, to whip to the left and shoot the damn torpedo coming at you) with both hands, but not so much on platformers, for instance, where you want to move precisely before jumping to the next spinning, fiery climbable wall while some demonic dream-dad is throwing knives at you.

I played it on PC, with WSAD for movement, and it was still a pain.

-:sigma.SB

P.S. You forgot to mention that the knives were on fire, too.

more than 4 years ago
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Graphic Novelist Calls For Better Game Violence

Solra Bizna Re:He is correct. (465 comments)

"Reality isn't fun. If it was we wouldn't play games."

I'll second this and say that those people who want realistic games are a stupid minority who don't understand game design.

I'm a game designer/programmer who still spends a lot of time playing the original Ghost Recon with his friends. Often with respawn time set as long as 60 seconds, or respawns disabled entirely (and ALWAYS limited in quantity). This is a game where at least 70% of all bullet wounds are instantly fatal (and the rest are no joke), and where aiming usually requires you to hold still and aim carefully.

I also play games like Worms 3D, Spaceward Ho!, Harvest Moon, Starcraft, Tetris Attack... pretty wildly varying levels of realism there.

I'll have to say that people who relegate entire other groups of people to "stupid minorities" are stupid minorities who are sure not understanding something, not least of which that other people might have different tastes than them.

-:sigma.SB

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Plans Largest-Ever Patch Tuesday

Solra Bizna Re:...Patch Tuesday (341 comments)

Complaining about WGA is as stupid as people complaining about having to put the cd / dvd in to play a game. It's a very minor form of copy protection that causes no inconvenience to users - well, users that don't like to bitch about the massive effort of having to put a disc in to play a game.

The only reason I have a working optical drive between the three computers that I A) use regularly and B) have a monitor for is that a replacement for my most recently deceased one arrived today.

All the effort in the world won't cram my Brood War CD into the empty space that used to hold my G5's DVD drive and make it work.

I'm pretty much the biggest anti-DRM person that there is.

I think the fallacy in this statement is so blatantly obvious that I don't even need to point it out. (Which I did anyway. Go figure.)

-:sigma.SB

more than 4 years ago
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Wordpress.org Warns of Active Worm Hacking Blogs

Solra Bizna "Clever?" (103 comments)

There have been widespread worms that did this sort of thing before (phpBB comes to mind). Does this one do anything novel that makes it deserve the adjective "clever?"

-:sigma.SB

about 5 years ago
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Kernel 2.6.31 To Speed Up Linux Desktop

Solra Bizna Re:ATI mode setting, well, sort of... (360 comments)

I have a Rage 128. I'm still hoping, but somehow doubting, that KMS will get ported to my card...

-:sigma.SB

about 5 years ago
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Game Companies Intrigued By 3D Tech

Solra Bizna Re:special effects become an issue (23 comments)

Would you need dual double/triple-buffers in the graphics rendering system?

Yes.

-:sigma.SB

more than 5 years ago
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HTML 5 As a Viable Alternative To Flash?

Solra Bizna Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (541 comments)

When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page?

I haven't made a website with a table-based layout in seven years. The only thing I use tables for nowadays is presenting tabular data.

In fact, just thinking about table-based layouts made me feel a little sick.

Of course, I've also been incredibly lucky in that I don't have to support IE, so the stuff I do in CSS actually works. (Just thinking about supporting IE made me feel a little sicker...)

-:sigma.SB

more than 5 years ago
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GPS Accuracy Could Start Dropping In 2010

Solra Bizna Re:How much is actually going to be lost? (210 comments)

I find it funny that you're almost dead on for me. It's pointing north east.

For me, it actually WAS north. (Fine, a couple degrees west of north, but who's counting?)

-:sigma.SB

more than 5 years ago
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The Survival of Survival Horror

Solra Bizna Re:ah, they learn (57 comments)

Really? I honestly don't recall ever having to preserve ammo in Half-Life. Maybe it's just been too long since I've played it but...

During the parts where you're still in the Black Mesa facility, there's never a shortage of ammo. Even the nuclear weapons are well-stocked. In fact, I remember thinking, "This game has WAY too much ammo."

Then I got to Xen, and the ammo supply all but dried up.

Through excessive use of the crowbar, I managed to still have a reasonable quantity of ammo left when I reached the Nihilanth. I ended up finally killing him by zapping him with the (infinite ammo) bee gun continuously for a minute or two after pouring all my ammo into him. (I imagine it's easier if, unlike me, you manage to survive his "teleport" attack; the rooms you get teleported to are full of ammo, the problem is just surviving the floaty death that comes with it long enough to teleport back.)

-:sigma.SB

more than 5 years ago
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RIAA Argument About Streaming To Be Streamed

Solra Bizna Re:*Nelson Muntz* (92 comments)

It's called "karma bonus." People who posted high-quality posts in the past get it by default. The +1 disappears once any "real" moderation takes place.

-:sigma.SB

more than 5 years ago
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Apple Mac Mini 1TB Upgrade — Not Easy But Possible

Solra Bizna Re:Why am I not surprised? (95 comments)

I have had to restore from a Time Machine backup and I will never use it again. It was so much work because it does not backed up most of the system and ---

Whoah, whoah, whoah. Hold it right there. By default, Time Machine backs up every single file on the hard disk. If you were cheap enough to deliberately exclude system directories, you should expect that a full restore is going to be less than painless.

Not only that, but doesn't it pop up a scary warning dialog if you exclude system dirs?

-:sigma.SB

more than 5 years ago
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Setting Up Ubuntu On a PS3 For Emulation

Solra Bizna Re:VM hacking? (81 comments)

Very, very few programs require x86 assembly nowadays.

Unless you're talking about emulators, in which case it's very common.

Very, very few programs are emulators.

-:sigma.SB

more than 5 years ago
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Setting Up Ubuntu On a PS3 For Emulation

Solra Bizna Re:VM hacking? (81 comments)

The Article (yes, they are not just a myth) explicitly tells of Ubuntu running on (err, op top of the hypervisor on) the PS3. Now, I for one do NOT want to go through and compile EACH AND EVERY SINGLE Ubuntu app I desire after being spoiled with apt-get (and dpkg before that) and repeating the process with EVERY SINGLE UPDATE/FIX. Further more, tracking down EACH AND EVERY library/dependency for said apps without the help of a packaging system would be a living breathing hell (and yes, some of said apps either use assembly or target the x86 architecture so closely that there is a speed loss on others due to instruction/stack/register differences brought up by gcc switches in the makefile, or intentionally by the coder).

You've... never used a non-x86 Linux distro, have you? It's pretty much exactly the same as the equivalent x86 distro, except with a PowerPC/SPARC/MIPS/Alpha/ARM/etc. CPU instead. (And usually more sloppy QA, but that's another story.)

Very, very few programs require x86 assembly nowadays.

And as mentioned above (in a less derogatory manner, you insensitive clod) the PS3 hypervisor would only offer a framebuffer to the PPC kernel hypervisor to pass to the guest x86 kernel to use (wasn't over-engineered brought up above, as well?) for video - so yes, you won't get HD performance on the box as I'm aware of now, but I'm sure the framebuffer at least offers something, you think? Oh thats right, nobody has taken the time to satisfy all the dependencies in the universe to compile a worthy app by hand to test it with. Yes, I've gotten a little spoiled since the green-screen days, but software has also gotten more complex (we still use C and its libraries to write ideal modern software/VMs, right?) so what do you expect?

You've... never used a "fast" computer with a plain framebuffer, have you?

You know what, replying to you is a waste of time.

-:sigma.SB

more than 5 years ago
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Fusion-Fission System Burns Hot Radioactive Waste

Solra Bizna Re:Sustainable? (432 comments)

If we harvest the fuel faster than nature makes it, it's a finite resource.

Guess that means solar power is unsustainable too, since our poor sun only has a few billion years of fuel left. Wind power too, since that ultimately comes from the sun. And geothermal power, because without any energy input from the outside the core of our planet would get too cold for us to usefully exploit a heat gradient...

-:sigma.SB

more than 5 years ago
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Building a Better CAPTCHA

Solra Bizna Re:No workarounds? Really? (197 comments)

Do they fill forms faster than humanly possible?

I type between 100 and 180 words per minute. Not only am I faster than some programmers might think is "humanly possible," but it's trivial to bypass protection like that.

msleep(200 * number_of_characters_typed); // Now, we are a moderately fast (60 WPM) typist instead of a bot

-:sigma.SB

more than 5 years ago
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Green Is In At CES, But Is It Real?

Solra Bizna Re:Really? (165 comments)

Honestly, I don't know anyone that takes into consideration how 'green' something is before they purchase it...especially gadgets.

Me.

I won't even consider buying a computer that will use more than about 300W of power at any time, because it's too much. My current Linux desktop uses about 20W, and my server about 10W.

-:sigma.SB

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

Solra Bizna hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Dude, you have a blog!

Solra Bizna Solra Bizna writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I should be writing here more often, jotting down miscellaneous thoughts and...stuff.

So here goes.

*ahem*

I want hardware OpenGL! Not hardware accelerated OpenGL, hardware OpenGL. A complete OpenGL server implemented entirely in hardware. Think of the performance benefits!

Failing that, at the very least some way to use DRI without X11 on my Mach64. I think DirectFB can do that, but, um, it seems rather buggy on this hardware.

-:sigma.SB

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Ice Cream - Deep Space Nine

Solra Bizna Solra Bizna writes  |  more than 8 years ago

So we got Deep Space Nine season one from the library this week. I haven't gotten around to watching it until now; when I'm thinking of getting a quantity of ice cream (to eat).

Now, isn't this odd? Because I always used to eat ice cream while watching DS9... my grayish heuristic engine is operating in obvious ways again....

-:sigma.SB

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Spree!

Solra Bizna Solra Bizna writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I went on a Nebula writing spree last night / this morning. Pretty much uninterrupted coding for four hours straight. I refactored the audio file loading code, and implemented Ogg Vorbis support. Then I found out that something I'd done had broken Lua automix... :(

So that pretty much ended my spree.

-:sigma.SB

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rlwimi

Solra Bizna Solra Bizna writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Most people get songs in their head. I, on the other hand, get S3TC DXT1, DXT3, and DXT5 in my head. Seriously.

I've also discovered the rlwimi instruction, which is definitely my favorite instruction now.

-:sigma.SB

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Nebula!

Solra Bizna Solra Bizna writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Yes, that's right, I actually did some work on Nebula! As soon as I have game package management and Lua export discovery set up, I'm going to implement my [in]famous "Hello World," "Fight!" I should come up with a better name, preferably Japanese or Chinese, to make it sound classy. Hmmmm...Ikusa?

Anyway, this means I'll finally have something to show Admiral. And the guys who have been waiting to betatest Desperation 2 (or even TInvaders 2) for... too long.

Hm, just noticed my build of Firefox has some issues with tables, divs, text alignment... I should rebuild the bugger.

-:sigma.SB

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Can we get some real work done, please?

Solra Bizna Solra Bizna writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I was working on Nebula... I had just got package loading, class exports, pretty much everything except actual drivers and game package management working... and then Admiral comes over with Geordi, the server which was then going to replace Ebling Mis. (Just before he brought it over, I successfully repaired Ebling Mis, losing 8GB of disk space in the process.)

Being the Gentooite that I am, I downloaded the x86 install CD and popped it into the drive, started sshd, logged in, screened onto the CRT, and started pounding away.

But, of course, it was boring. After all, I had done several Gentoo installs without incident already. I needed a challenge. So I decided to have /etc be on a separate partition, and a few other unconventional things. After a few hours of playing around with it, I got it working. Great fun.

But, I still felt unsatisfied. So no sooner did I start to write my own webserver when I realized I was fed up with Arkady (my iBook) having such an outdated Linux distro installed. (I was running YDL 2.3, vintage 2002... it was even using kernel 2.4!)

"But Solra!" I thought. "You don't have a working CD drive! How will you install a new distro?"

At this point, of course, I knew I had found another excuse not to work on Nebula.

Thus:

sudo su
cd /
mkdir new
cd new
tar xpjf /stage3-ppc-2005.1.tar.bz2
cd usr
tar xjf /portage-latest.tar.bz2
cd /
mv bin bin~
bin~/mv new/bin /
mv lib lib~
cd lib~
LD_LIBRARY_PATH=. ./ld.so /bin~/mv /new/lib /
cd /
mv sbin sbin~
mv /new/sbin /

Then I proceeded to move all the other directories into place. After a few hours' build time, I again had a fully functional work environment, running faster than before, and with up-to-date documentation!

Not only that, but I had my old Home folder in a squashfs image, so I wouldn't lose anything.

BUT I WASN'T DONE SLACKING YET!

I happened to notice that the x11-drm ebuild purported to provide a mach64 DRI driver, which would allow me to finally(!) experience accelerated OpenGL on my iBook under Linux. But then I realized I had to change my xorg-x11 USE flags to include "insecure-drivers"... which meant a complete rebuild! (Last time I built xorg-x11 on this computer, it took over ten hours.)

BUT...

I had recently installed ppc64 Gentoo on my father's G5. (On a small corner of an external FireWire disk which he didn't need...) I decided to try a small experiment:

sudo su
cd /
mkdir ppc32
cd ppc32
tar xpjf ~sbizna/stage3-ppc-2005.1.tar.bz2
cd usr
tar xjf ~sbizna/portage-latest.tar.bz2
chroot /ppc32 /bin/bash

To my semi-surprise, it worked. After setting up a few config files properly (and hardlinking a few distfiles... we must respect DataPipe's bandwidth):

emerge --onlydeps xorg-x11
emerge -B --nodeps xorg-x11

(The entire build process took about an hour and a half. Apparently, a dual 2GHz PowerPC 970 is faster than a single 300MHz PowerPC 750...)

I then copied the newly made binary package to Arkady, did emerge --usepkgonly xorg-x11, and I was done! I now had DRI (at least when I start Xorg in 16-bit mode), and glxgears was chugging along at a whopping 182fps!

I'm now using the same principle to build binary packages for the Linux install my sister wants me to do when I finish reformatting her machine.

You know, Linux rocks, especially Gentoo.

-:sigma.SB

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Cocoa is better than any caffeine

Solra Bizna Solra Bizna writes  |  more than 9 years ago

For the past few days, I've been trying to advance my schedule so as to flip it completely around in time to be back to normal for school. No matter what I do, though, I find staying up longer than 0400 or so extremely taxing... except today. Today I managed to stay up until now without realizing it, almost feeling no fatigue at all. The reason? I was developing a Cocoa application; and not a terribly exciting Cocoa application, for that matter...

Why can't I get this into writing something that I'm being paid for, like Nebula?!

-:sigma.SB

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Heard this one?

Solra Bizna Solra Bizna writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Once, during the failed attempt of the Qikalk to attempt Mu Geminorum VII, an army of Qikalk was marching toward a vital Geminorian complex. A single Geminorian ran out from the complex and yelled "Turn away, or you'll be sorry!" He then ducked behind a boulder. A few Qikalk in exosuits followed him, and their commanding officers watched expectently. To their surprise, the same Geminorian poked his head above the boulder and said "This is your last warning!"

And the voice of a Qikalk came from behind the boulder, saying: "No! It's a trap! Run away! There's another Geminorian hiding behind this rock!"

-:sigma.SB

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Grrrr!

Solra Bizna Solra Bizna writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Okay. Get this. I hid my alarm clock in a box last night so I wouldn't just turn it off and go back to sleep. Guess what happened? I turned it off and went back to sleep.

Tonight I hid it inside the case of my server. We'll see what happens tomorrow morning.

-:sigma.SB

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SRT 3.0.0 RC

Solra Bizna Solra Bizna writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Now that the SRT3 release candidate is out, I can't decide what sort of simple game to make to test it. It doesn't help that my modeling program (Wings3d) broke when I upgraded my X server from some ancient XFree86 to the latest Xorg.

I'll probably end up just making a simple model-shooting thing.

-:sigma.SB

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Wheeeeee...

Solra Bizna Solra Bizna writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I'm actually writing in my journal. Whoo.

Lately I've been working on way too many projects at once. I'm doing a patch for nethack, designing a webpage for a Vendetta Online guild (forums, trade database, voting system, user administration, finances, the WORKS), creating a secure protocol for beta distribution, writing three games, doing the graphical frontend for AI visualization of some kind (okay, I haven't started that yet), tweaking SRT, creating a library for fast SRT copies on diverse systems, integrating SRT with at least one third party game, repairing a laptop, working as network administrator for a 13 machine IPv4 network (not counting b0rken b0xen), avoiding school, babying a box that's slower than frell (and a box whose hardware is so funked out it might as well be), keeping my software up to date, and maintaining my sanity. And that's nothing compared to the projects I haven't started yet. (But I'm going to have to soon, oh no...)

Maybe I'd get more relevant work done if I could just get this bloody ray-plane collision detection thing working. After collision detection, physics is relatively easy to implement, then I can get a good RBD engine worked up, then I can actually get work done on Desperation 2, then the betatesters won't think I'm some sort of elite slacker, then I might actually finish before I die of acute gingivitis and make a buck or three.

Hm. I must sound like I'm high. But I'm just listening to an unpanned FastTracker Module in stereo on headphones.* Honest.

-:sigma.SB

*Disclaimer: Stereo overseparation shock can cause severe damage to your sense of balance, your ability to concentrate, and the focusing capability of your eyes. While such damage is usually temporary, I will not be held responsible should anyone try stereo overseparation shock as outlined above and suffer permanent damage from it. I do, however, recommend occasional doses as a cheap substitute for caffeine.

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