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Chernobyl, In Games and In Real Life

zhrike Re:STALKER PC Game Series (20 comments)

Thanks for the reminder. I watched the development of that, and downloaded it when it was released, so I have it somewhere, but never installed it.

about 9 months ago

Chernobyl, In Games and In Real Life

zhrike Re:STALKER PC Game Series (20 comments)

Right on, brother! I know I'm doing a "me, too" post, but my experience with the game led me to the Stalker film (only part of it isn't in color - the beginning is sepia, but the zone is color) and Roadside Picnic as well, and I've played the vanilla game and every mod I could get my hands on multiple times. I bought the game when it was an entity unknown on a lark at a goodwill. I recently bought it again on steam though I still own the original - just in case the original devs get some of that money. Faction Wars, which I think was rolled into the Supermod pack, was one of the coolest. I played OL 1.4, 2.0, 2.2, AMK, ABC Inferno, Proboi's Story, Rebalanced, and probably others I can't recall. It was the first game I'd ever played so many times through with so many mods. Probably still is.

That said, I definitely get that "been there" feeling whenever I see images or video of Pripyat and the areas around the power station. I'd still love to visit, too.

about 9 months ago

This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

zhrike Explains? (276 comments)

"This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions"

No it doesn't. Even if the image was a depiction of a serious prediction (which it was/is not); it "explains" nothing. There is no "why" inherent in the image.

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

zhrike DayZ Standalone et al (669 comments)

Loved the mod for Arma 2, got the alpha right away, have over 100 hours in. Features are still coming, but for me it's already fun. Been snowed in a lot lately, so lots of time for gaming.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution: The original game is one of my all time favorites. I like this one, too.
Banished: Cool, indie strategy/building game.

Also love FTL, and Dwarf Fortress is always on rotation.
Others have mentioned Alpha Centauri, one of my all time favorites, and it reminded me that a spiritual successor is around. Haven't tried it yet:


about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Will You Start Your Kids On Classic Games Or Newer Games?

zhrike Whatever games incite creativity (285 comments)

I don't think the question as posed is particularly valid. It's not about "classic" vs "newer." It's not even about games. It's about the philosophy of parenting and how it might involve various aspects of our culture (wherever we are, and however we define it). We each need to make our own decisions, as parents, in terms of the types of games that we might want our progeny to sample, and they are going to be derived from who we are as parents and as people. Do we wish to enforce our ideas of what games/movies/sports/music are and should be? Or do we want our children to discover themselves and the things that will excite, stimulate, and invigorate them?

Obviously these are big questions and there are many right answers. For me, as a father, I want my son to engage in games that stimulate his creativity, regardless of era. So far, that's been easy, because that is where he generally wants to be.

In terms of operating systems, I watch where his interests go, and lead him towards things that might further develop those interests. While I might explain to him, or show him, the CLI of linux/unix systems, it will always be in the context of "here is why this is cool and powerful," with a concrete example that was arrived at naturally. It won't be forced. I'm also a musician, and the house is full of instruments, and yet I never force him to play. I want him to arrive at the joy of music naturally, or not at all. Same thing with art ( and all other things). I think that there is a larger question inherent in the question posed, as I said, and it needs to be understood.

about a year ago

Myst Was Supposed To Change the Face of Gaming. What Is Its Legacy?

zhrike Re:Better games came along right after? (374 comments)

I agree with you entirely. The environment was a big draw - and by that I include the sounds and the music, but the puzzles themselves were, at the time, all encompassing. Why didn't it have a bigger impact? Perhaps because creating something so original and unique is rare. The mechanisms of the game were the framework around which the story was wrought. The story, and the puzzles and the way they were integrated, was the thing (IMO).

about a year ago

Oracle Sues Companies It Says Provide Solaris OS Support In Illegal Manner

zhrike Re:Oracle will do just fine (154 comments)

they're (sic) sales people are legendary, and that's all that matters. IBM doesn't even bother giving IT a thought nowadays. It's all about the sales people. Oracle realized that ages ago.

Nonsense. I work for a fairly large university in the NE. We were an virtually exclusive Sun hardware/Solaris shop. Due to Oracle's behavior, we've moved wholly away on both hardware and software since they acquired Sun. Good riddance. I also know of an enormous urban school district (where I used to work and still know many people) that has done the same. While this is only an N of 2, I doubt we're all that rare.

While it is certainly true in some cases that sleazy snake oil salesmen snow decision makers, there are also organizations that will make informed decisions.

about a year and a half ago

One Boston Marathon Bomb Suspect Dead, Other At Large After Shootout With Police

zhrike Re:Simple protesters were not pepper sprayed (1109 comments)

Do you have any idea of the notoriety of this incident? It was caught on video, I suggest you watch it. The officer was out of line, and he did walk up to people, who were sitting, immobile, and pepper sprayed them in their faces. They weren't "surrounded."

Here is an image:

Video: http://youtu.be/WmJmmnMkuEM

about 2 years ago

Google Reportedly Making a Smartwatch, Too

zhrike Smartwich (196 comments)

As in smart sandwich ... that's what my brain told the rest of me that word meant in the first few fractions of a second. And frankly, I couldn't care less about a smart watch ... but am now obsessing over the idea of a smart sandwich. "What you want, when you don't even know you want it! SMARTWICH!"

about 2 years ago

Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

zhrike Re:Revenue models and user behavior (978 comments)

Useful != necessary.

I contribute to wikipedia and archive.org.

about 2 years ago

Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

zhrike Revenue models and user behavior (978 comments)

There isn't a website that has yet existed that is necessary. That could also apply to every movie and television show that has even been produced, and most books. If your content is valuable, it will generate value. You just have to find out how.

If I visit a site where ads ruin the experience, I'm gone. There is no content that can justify that reality for me, so I act accordingly.

I find advertising to be reprehensible in its mass form. It conveys the very worst of us, and exists upon, and strengthens, a platform of dishonesty. There are exceptions, yes, but that is the general rule IMO.

I block ads in every way that I can - if I find a site with great content that interests me, I pay for it. That's exceedingly rare.

Point being: if you want to exist, find a different revenue model. If your users are blocking ads, that should be communicating something to you - and very strongly at 50%! Change your behavior, don't try to change theirs.

about 2 years ago

Most Kickstarter Projects Fail To Deliver On Time

zhrike Re:What incentive? (179 comments)

Many times, I've considered creating a project that is an Open Source, Apple product related, DIY bullshit thing and just taking the money. Heck, I still might.

Congratulations. You're a dick.

Kickstarter is set up in a way that there's no incentive, at all, for anybody to do anything once they get the money.

Except integrity.

more than 2 years ago

Hello, I'm a Mac. And I'm a $248 Win8 PC.

zhrike Re: I can assure you... (642 comments)

Worse, you can't leave windows box without antivirus, so you're screwed

Yes, you can. I've been using windows since the mid-90s, in addition to MacOS, linux, and unix. I've never used AV, and I've never contracted a virus. The performance degradation is unacceptable, and thus far wholly unnecessary. I used to manage an enterprise level AV vendor's product (on a Solaris server, amusingly) and saw firsthand how utterly useless it tended to be. Unless an old virus variant was making the rounds, it was effete. In that environment zero day viruses were far more common than viruses for which the software contained definitions, so what was the point? Maybe things are different now, but I fail to see how. Are the black hats sending definitions to the AV companies before releasing them into the wild?

more than 2 years ago

Researchers Try To Identify the Intelligence Gene

zhrike Re:The downside genetic engineering (254 comments)

Athletic prowess and superior intelligence are not mutually exclusive.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Good, Forgotten Fantasy & Science Fiction Novels?

zhrike A couple (1244 comments)

SF: not terribly old, but doesn't get a ton of notoriety, particularly when compared to her other books, is The Faded Sun trilogy by CJ Cherryh.


Fantasy: another book/series that doesn't seem to receive many accolades: The Master Of The Five Magics (and sequels) by Lyndon Hardy:


Others have mentioned The Foundation series by Asimov, both the original trilogy and the later sequels are fantastic, though they are pretty well known.

Another fantasy: The Reluctant King series by L. Sprague de Camp:


SF: I'll second (or third or fourth or whatever) The Berserker series by Saberhagen. Not high prose (but what in these genres is?) but entertaining:


more than 2 years ago

Correlating Psychopathy With Speech Patterns

zhrike The "popular press," as usual, gets it wrong (270 comments)

Most experts count roughly one percent of the population as psychotic. The researchers want to take methods used to analyze the language of psychopaths and apply it to the general population using social media.

Psychotic != psychopathic. These are two entirely differing diagnoses.

For the record, most experts count roughly 4% of the population as psychopathic, though a much smaller percentage actually commit violent crimes.

more than 3 years ago

Oracle Shuts Older Servers Out of Solaris 11

zhrike Another brick in the wall. (203 comments)

Oracle has been alienating its customer base (particularly small to mid-level organizations) since they acquired Sun. Our university (mid-size 'business,' fairly large university) is jettisoning Oracle as a hardware/software platform, and I know other organizations that have already done so. Previously we were Sun/Oracle across the board, hardware (including SAN), software, and DB. While our hardware refresh cycle wouldn't be hurt by this decision, I can easily see many organizations which would be hampered to adopt new functionality in perfectly functional hardware. Adieu, Oracle, adieu.

more than 3 years ago

Net Neutrality Supporters Hammered In Elections

zhrike Re:left-wing Huffington Post (402 comments)

An ad hominem attack/argument is never salient in a rational discourse, regardless of a stated bent from the source. In rational discourse, ideas are the thing.

What have the Huffington Post and its supposed bias to do with this particular issue? Nothing. The mere question posed by the respondent allows those conditioned clods to skim a few posts, see "left bias" and click "ignore" in their brains ... exhibiting one of the three C's representing the nemesis of any reasonable or rational discussion (confirmation bias - cognitive dissonance and communal bias being the other two).

Also, your wading into the next respondents past comment history is a clear indication of emotional investiture on you part, and an ad hominem attack in and of itself. His/her previous comments have no bearing on this point HERE.

You link the OP with "tribalism/partisanism/racism/sexism/prejudice" as a method to disparage his/her opinion.

Wrong. Ad hominem attacks were linked with those traits, and validly so.

In my opinion, that is about 10x worse than what the OP did.

How surprising.

more than 4 years ago

In UK, Computer Science Graduates the Least Employable

zhrike Re:Job-seeking tips for computer programmers (349 comments)

Not sure how long it would take me to get bored of that!

Not long (IMO). I had a bunch of manual labor jobs before (finally) going into IT: Tree work, construction, furniture repair and delivery, etc. There are some of those romantic notions about those jobs, and some of them were a blast, but that stuff takes its toll on your body, you do NOT get paid well, and the benefits usually pale in comparison. I also got wore down by the treatment you receive from others ... the assumptions made about intellect, etc. It was nice being outside and in the sun for a bit, but the joy of that was fleeting. Of course, IT bennies can blow too, but as much as I get bored from time to time, and get annoyed by the political jockeying and the decisions that are made based on personal relationships and nepotism, I count myself fortunate to be in this position (higher ed IT).

more than 4 years ago


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