A Friday morning ramble

27 March 2009

A slightly more pleasant mood this evening, mixed with a little regret and annoyance. The latter two simply at the fact that I didn't get anything academic done today and would have liked to. I have an overdue essay that I need to finish and am tired of not doing, combined with an overdue podcast that needs finishing. Hopefully I can make some progress on those in the morning.

It would seem one of my potential ships has sailed, at least for now, but who can truly say. Regardless, hopefully that will prevent that particular area being an issue and allow me to concentrate more on immediate priorities. There is work to be done and I know I will feel better if I achieve what I'm aiming for.

I feel apologetic for not allowing a prospect further time with me, although I feel that it was probably a sensible choice, given that I don't wish to hurt them by not being able to provide what they would like, or at least what I imagine they would like. I also can't help but think that someone else I recently encountered ought to be a prospect and how fun it would be. Perhaps another day.

It's been a fairly strange day, I've felt like I'm on something, even though I'm not. The best comparison I can make is to when I'm really drunk and have moments of clarity. My life often feels like it's made up of those with a sort of vague haze in the middle. That may be normal though. It's nice when I get a proper challenge and can achieve it.

I hope that finance won't soon become a challenge that requires my attention, perhaps after my exams though. After that it might be fun to try to arrange for some additional income, if possible. I'd really like to have some more money, although really, I think I'd rather the society have more money. I want to buy some new video cameras for the society, rather than for myself. We won best society, which is nice, but now I want to up the ante. One thing I could really do with for that though is for others to help out with the editing. I want to release an episode for example, but there's a lot of work involved with each episode and sometimes it's really quite hard to muster up the will and effort to do it. In general at the moment I'm suffering, I hope that I can pull together some strength for that though, I really do.

Boohoo, angsty rubbish.

26 March 2009

Well, that was a merry jaunt. By which I mean, as per the usual, I'm once again alone. I wonder what it's like to leave a club, event or ball with someone who wants you, by which I mean of the romantic variety (no offence, Chris!). Admittedly, even when I had someone I didn't feel I was leaving to go back to anything pleasant, merely that I'd wasted enough of their evening and would shortly after be ignored or forgotten. Yay, happy bunnies! Rainbows and sunshine!

Try as I might I cannot must any kind of false enthusiasm. We attended the (Edinburgh) Napier Sports and Societies Awards Ball 2009, technically it's still going on for at least another hour. Our society, my society, won best society. Rik, Chris and myself all were awarded society colours. M'eh.

Perhaps I should be in a sort of "I don't believe it!" mood, but really, I'm not. Yes, we deserved it, but I don't feel the competition was particularly stiff. Furthermore, by my own standards, we don't deserve to win. We're good but we're not good enough to win things, I don't feel. Perhaps that's cruel or belittling, but I am a man of high standards and consider our society to be in its infancy. We're getting the hang of doing things well, we're getting the hang of PR and events. We know what we're doing with the podcast although really it'd be nice if there was a better division of labour for things. Woo, yay. Yes, we're good. But we can do much better. I suppose winning the award is useful for our credibility and so on but I'm in this for the results, not the awards.

Ultimately, I want attention. That takes priority. I've little interest in winning awards if I'm alone when I'm doing so. Oh, wow, things can be arranged directly or indirectly to deliver results. Not news to me. I want to share my victories with someone, someone who loves me. Yeah, not much chance of that happening any time soon unless some woman appears out of the blue. To quote The Simpsons - Ribbons and trophies are no comfort on your deathbed. Perhaps not the most reputable source but it conveys what I feel. Of the several prospects on my radar, euch. I don't think I can even bring myself to blog about it. She had a date, she's got at least one date, she's not even here and thank gods she didn't find some time in her pathetic life to be here either. Bitter much? Of course, you guys know me. Well, no, a great deal of you don't.

I'd like to be able to be cheerful, sunny and loving and I'm not being sarcastic. Sadly what I find more appropriate and relevant is contempt, coldness and skepticism. In my experience people are lazy, unreliable, unkind and will at best abandon you or at worst actively work to undermine you. I don't tend to join things, I tend to found them. I can't rely on anyone else creating something appropriate for me, although very rarely I do encounter such things and am pleased. In order to live in a world where things exist that please me it seems I usually have to create them myself and to rely on anyone else to help with this dream is incredibly risky and only to be undertaken if someone very reliable can be found, only after testing them. Paranoid? Quite so. Justified? I feel it is.

I do some of my best and most impressive work whilst depressed and annoyingly angsty but I'm at my most kind and human when I have an equal to share my life with.
Well, being a twenty-something man I should probably be thinking about where I can get some, as it were, rather than who will make a good partner, but whilst in the extreme short term that might make me happy, ultimately it'll make me miserable (and not in a "I feel so shallow.." way).

..and yes, if I had the convenient and untraceable means, I would have him ended. Maybe he's a great guy, but subjectively he's entirely expendable.


I hope this snapshot does my new monitor justice, I really do. I doubt it will though as without a normal monitor next to it the difference isn’t that obvious.

What difference? This monitor is 1080P. Eh?

Yeah, it has a resolution of 1920x1080 which, as I write this, is rather high. What this means in practical terms is that the damn thing is really wide. When I’m working on an essay I can comfortably look at two pages at once, something I really like.

Furthermore, when I’m editing video or photos I have a lot of screen real estate. I don’t need to have a tiny, cramped working environment. NICE. It’s literally like having two of my laptop screens merged into one (1280x800= 1,024,000 pixels, 1920x1080= 2,073,600 pixels).

The other advantage of a screen that is 1080P is a simple one – 1080P is currently the highest "normal” consumer-grade HD resolution. Should I buy a games console at some point, even if it’s not until the next generation of consoles, this monitor should serve me well. We’ll see if it survives that long, of course, but I’ve got monitors I’ve owned since I was a teenager that are still perfectly usable, so no reason it shouldn’t still be available. Oh and it only cost £120.


In general it’s been fairly quiet on my blog recently as well as in terms of what many people have heard from me. There’s a combination of factors at work – Fallout 3, the elections, trying to film things, personal life, Fallout 3, bacon, Fallout 3. Yeah, I’ve already surpassed Chris’ play time. How scary.

It is my hope that I will quickly get things back on track as things have been drifting away from me a little these last few weeks but I feel fairly confident that I’m now in a position to actually take back control. The elections made me feel very powerless, not being able to campaign (through my own inability as well as being officially neutral) but also due to my podcasting crew all being busy.

I’ve missed a coursework deadline, I think, but I’m not hugely concerned, mainly because I’ve done the maths and it shouldn’t make much difference at all – I’m now capped at 40% of the available marks. Realistically I would have got 65% at most. Sounds like a big difference? Well, not really. You see 100% would have netted me 30% of the available marks for the module. So, had I got about 65% I would have received just under 20%. 40% will net me 12%, a fairly insignificant difference, given that the exam is worth about 50% and I far prefer exams. Oh there’s also class interaction and a presentation. Yay, marks! *sighs*

Passionate was rather enjoyable, if frustratingly confusing. Yeah, you know what I mean. Word disassociation was fun though, as was dancing to hiphop. It’s nice to get a style of music that I can vaguely appreciate in that kind of setting.

Right, wrapping up I just want to add I’m writing this using Windows Live Writer, a desktop blogging app under Windows. I’m not sure how well it works, so we’ll soon see. So far it seems fairly intuitive and I hope a similar app appears for Linux. I’m not a fan of Blogger’s lousy text box which can’t be resized. It would be fine if I only wrote a couple of lines at a time, but come on, that interface has barely changed since 2006!

Good night, my friends.

Bethesda's Fallout

09 March 2009

I've recently acquired a copy of Bethesda's Fallout (Yes, I know, technically it's called Fallout 3). I would have played it on my laptop but, like its predecessor, my laptop overheats when asked to do anything as strenuous as running a game. It has the grunt, just not the heat dispersal. *mutters*

So, I've been playing the rather buggy game on Matt's 360. I say buggy for two reasons - firstly I've managed to crash the game and lock-up the 360 several times, secondly because many of the in-game quests are broken, it would seem. What is it with me and doing things with games that the designers never planned for?

An example would be my first fight against a super mutant behemoth, this enormous critter that has a scripted encounter. Well, it was kinda scripted..
I've seen others play through and they met a group of Brotherhood of Steel dudes who assisted in the fight and provided a weapon to quickly defeat it (the "Fatman", presumably named after the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, 9/8/1945 and based on the M-388 Davy Crocket nuclear recoilless rifle). Well, I visited a city in the South East of the map and met a character that broke that encounter.

I had to fight the damn thing on my own and I can tell you it takes a lot of rounds to put that git down. Thankfully the building I was sheltering in made me essentially invulnerable and it was just a case of wearing him down. Still, well done on the game design there, Bethesda..

What I can say of the game is the following, in the style of PC Gamer review sum-ups.
It is:

  • Enjoyable
  • Fairly large
  • Pew pew pew
It's not:
  • Fallout
  • Fallout 2
  • Built on a game engine that doesn't suck
I can't fault it on being a good game but it lacks a lot of the things I loved about Fallout and Fallout 2. For example, there aren't any descriptions. If you examine an item the game doesn't tell you anything. Yeah, not liking that. Furthermore, the third person perspective doesn't work very well at all.

Then there's the engine, which gets its own paragraph..
The Gamebryo engine is apparently what it uses and I'll say this - it sucks. It's terrible. The collision detection is appalling, nothing has the correct weight and the characters seem to glide slightly above the surface of the floor. Maybe I've been spoilt by the engine used in GTA IV but the glaring issues with the physics annoy me. I've shot things and they've not just retained momentum, they've accelerated. I've walked into the carcass of a bus and had it jiggle and slide out of position.

Maybe it's just me but I don't think a 1950s style coach should be easily pushed out of position by a single person, not unless they're a super mutant or similarly epically strong character.
Right, back to work!

Svensk hiphop

01 March 2009

I thought I'd provide a bit of a less erudite post this morning, even if this one has technically been more work to provide.

Shortly before my last visit to New Zealand I got hold of a compilation of Swedish hiphop. In the past I've listened to and enjoyed The Latin Kings but I wanted to hear a selection. I can't say I adored all of the tracks but equally there weren't any I hated. I thought I'd share a few of them with you. Most are in Swedish but the last one is a Swedish rap group rapping in English:

Mange Schmidt - Giftig

Ken Ring - 2000 Talet

Petter (featuring Säkert) - Logiskt

Timbuktu - The Botten Is Nådd

Ayo - Betongdjungelboken

Ison & Fille - Lägg Ner Ditt Vapen

Finally there's one in English but I couldn't find an actual video, just a slideshow with the music:

Supersci - On The Grind

Even if it isn't of interest to anyone it's still a useful post for me. I can just look it up later if I want a few of my favourite Swedish hiphop tracks.