UT2004: So, progress delayed again...

>> Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I haven't been working on any UT2004 stuff for a little while now - mostly, you can blame BioShock for totally sucking me in and MAKING me play it.  Also, however, the family situation at home makes this LAN party a non-probability.  So, I haven't been driven by a deadline either.



Firefox: Plug-ins/Extensions I love

Before installing a lot of Plugins, I recommend FIRST installing MR Tech Local Install and restarting the browser. It will remove the 4-second delay in installing plugins/extensions.

Adblock: (Sweet; I rarely see ads any more. When it's installed you just right-click an ad, say "adblock this image" and put a wildcard * at the root of whatever ad server it's coming from. From then on, all ads from that server never show up.)

Add N Edit Cookies: just what it sounds like.

All-in-One Gestures: use the right-click to make symbols to do crap in Firefox. I really only use this for "Back" "Next" and "Minimize" but it's pretty nice.

All-in-One Sidebar: Me likey. Just get it.  It dumps all your downloads, bookmarks, and add-ons/extensions into the sidebar.  Keeps everything organized.  Plus, it gives a side area to stick buttons into.

CoolIris Previews: Shows you a preview of a site when you hover over a link to it (I've since turned on the feature that only shows the preview when I hold CTRL down as I roll over the link) I also use this to send links to people. I use it more than Google's Send By Gmail ability just because it's faster. I ALSO like CoolIris's ability to highlight a word, right-click it, and choose "CoolIris -> Search Dictionary, Images, Google, or Wikipedia. Nice.

dotCOMplete: You know that shortcut of typing a web address name and hitting CTRL+ENTER to automatically add the "www." and ".com"? Well, with this you can hit CTRL+ENTER 1,2, or 3 times to add the ".com", ".net", or ".org" instead.

DownloadHelper: Lets you save movies from YouTube and similar sites

DownThemAll!: An auto downloader

FoxFilter: Basically a nanny extension; if I try to hit a site with questionable stuff in the description, it asks me if I really want to go there.

Full Screen Homestar Runner . Oh, yeah.

FullerScreen: Just get it & hit F11.

Google Browser Sync

Google Toolbar for Firefox

IE View Lite: Right-click a page or link and request it to be opened in IE.

Image-Show-Hide: Click its button to toggle images on/off

Link Alert: Wow, I've come to just assume this is built in! It (almost always) shows a little icon next to the cursor whenever I point at a link, telling me whether it's off-site, or the type of link ( i.e. PDF, etc.)

MR Tech Local Install: Lots of little details can be tweaked with this.

Save Session: Saves the current tabs & auto-reopens them next time you start your browser. This is somewhat not necessary if you install Google Browser Sync

Tab Clicking Options: Lets you middle-click a tab to close it, or whatever the heck you want to do with tabs. Useful.

ToCyrillic : Transliterates English to Cyrillic: ???? ???????!

Web Developer: Install this one.

Yoono: Bookmark synchonization done RIGHT.  Plus, there's bookmark online sharing/ social bookmarking-suggestion, and an "add to BUZZ" feature that I finally figured out and LOVE.  It lets you create your own Digg-like "what's cool" feed.  There's no "signup" page - just download the extension & restart FF; it'll prompt you to create an account if you don't have one


UT2004: Upcoming LAN party means upcoming progress

>> Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'd like to invite a couple of friends over for one last LAN Party, considering now that Practice Target is home and especially since Winkyboy 2.0 is soon to be launched.  The time is right, y'know?

Thus, I intend at the very least to have ONS-SEA-DeepSix ready by September 10th or so.  Three weeks, thereabouts.  I doubt that I'll have the SeaBass ready by then, if ever, but we'll just see.  I might release it in an alpha state with simple speed and damage modifications to the sub and torpedoes.  At least that way it will get out in the world and not be mired to my hard drive.


Thoughts: We gotta get out of this place

I really wish I lived in the Land of the Free.  I mean, I live in America, but we are really just slaves here ourselves - we just don't know or admit it.

I have a house for which I am a debt slave as long as I will ever live there.  It's easily the best house I've ever lived in and I will not-so-humbly admit that it's a fine house indeed. But like all those fancy cars that "rich folk" drive - well, at least the vast majority of them - I own this house as muc as they own their cars.  It is to admit that the bank which truly owns such things and we are but renters of the property.

I'd like to leave, but getting out of here seems difficult and intimidating. I'm currently favoring the dream of living on a sailboat, preferably one with a solar-powered motor for emergencies.  I don't suppose that solar power has quite reached the commercial stage of being able to power a boat motor, but I wish to be free of commerce and free of boundaries.

I suppose the first order of business however is to learn to sail. That will be difficult enough as I don't even know where to begin with that, either.  But it is a stepping stone on the path.

I dream about this because I imagine how delightful a life could be if my only responsibility would be to find fish enough for the family to eat for the day, much the like Mexican fisherman from the story in the Four Hour Work Week.  That story stands out quite well in my memory.  The basic point of it is that a vacationing businessman observes a fisherman in his work and suggests he embark on a corporate path to build a fishing company that would finance a life in which he could retire... to fish at his leisure.

More later.  Bus has arrived.


Family: Enough with the Nose :)

So, the "I've got your nose" game continues to this day in full force at the same fun level for the Daughter.  Not so, for me, but at least she's happy.  In addition to just swallowing the captured nose,she also goes for the ears, and as I assume inspired by the Little Mermaid, the voice as well.  That's fairly creative of her.

There is also a bevy of new things to do with said captured body parts; she finds particular glee in squishing them, grinding them, and hiding them in some new place where "I'll never find them again."

Most of the time these escapades simply boil down to a tickle session for her, which I believe is what keeps them going so strongly.


Games: Hilarity ensues for the Special Forces

>> Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Just now while playing TacticalOps 2.2 over our lunch hour, playing on the custom map I built that mirrors our current offices, SPAM was following me as I shot the window out and jumped up on the ledge, prepping myself to make the diagonal jump to the window-washer waiting one floor below and one office over.  SPAM, obviously, thought we were in the office DIRECTLY above the window-washer and followed through without stopping on the ledge like I did.

The most hilarious thing I've seen in months, I couldn't stop laughing even when Mr. Clutch came and riddled me full of bullets from behind.  Could NOT. STOP. LAUGHING.

Good times.


Family: Friends: Long time no see

>> Monday, August 20, 2007

This past, wet weekend (it is STILL wet this Monday morning), the wife, daughter, and I met with a dear friend from my high school days.  We hadn't seen her for almost three years  - it's amazing how time really passes us right by. My friend is now headed off to Japan for a years' worth of work, so we won't be seeing her again for a while.  With all luck, we'll be able to see her again before she comes back, but money and babysitters will determine whether or not we can actually travel there or not.

S, I seriously will miss you; I've always found our chats so valuable to me.  Have fun in Japan!


Programming: unrecognized tag prefix or device filter asp

>> Friday, August 17, 2007

Stupid Visual Studio somehow reset my options today, causing great havoc and not allowing me to build.  It'd be nice if it gave me some kind of warning because I forget how to fix it in between the times that it goes through this bug.  To fix it, I changed my HTML Validation.  Choose Tools -> Options -> Text Editor -> HTML -> Validation, and change the Target to Internet Explorer 6.0

Stupid Visual Studio.


Family: Daughterisms

>> Tuesday, August 14, 2007

She can turn a stack of blank CDs into a cake with her imagination.  She invents words, like paGULPat (it's an invented Russian word) based on the sound of what she wants to do. She likes to wear band-aids but not when she has an owie. She loves to pose with one leg stuck out like a ballerina. She absolutely loves to have bows in her hair and fusses when we take them out. She hates to sleep under a blanket and will kick one off in moments.


Friends: visitors from Canada

>> Monday, August 13, 2007

This past weekend really just flew right by. We had some house guests from Canada whom we haven't seen since before the daughter was born. They also have a little girl of almost exactly the same age as ours. Thus, besides the standard bickering to be expected of toddlers, the little girls had a wonderful time playing together.

The family has changed a little bit since we last saw them; the wife speaks much better English as a result of working every day with English-speaking customers at a salon, and the son has definitely made improvements for the better.  I recall that he used to seem a spoiled little brat, but now he's polite and sensible.  Bravo to the change.  I suspect it's probably the presence of his sister that has really turned him into such a nice young man; sibling rivalry, despite the age difference in this particular pair and despite the inevitable conflicts that will always arise, has a tendency to refine one's character for the better.

We went swimming more times than even our usual, which is to be expected when there are two toddlers present.  I always hate the preparation for going to the pool, but I always feel good for having gone swimming so I have to thank the little ones.  My daughter is still extremely STUCK on the Got-Your-Nose game, and now she's inventing all sorts of things to do with the stolen nose  besides just eating it. Apparently the key to the fun is just to get papa to (playfully) say NO! She can spend the entire time we swim doing this.


Movie: Stardust

The younger brother and his wife took us out to see a sneak preview of Stardust last Thursday, having won some tickets from the major radio station in town.  Apparently the time to win such call-in contests is at 2AM while you're canning  vegetables.

I knew absolutely nothing about the movie, and I have to say that I wish I could watch more movies under such circumstances but with the invasiveness of today's media, that's right near impossible.

It was an awesome and hilarious surprise, as long as you count out the gay pirate.  (A political disclaimer: I find nothing funny about homosexuals, considering what it is that defines them as such, and believe that comedy can be had equally or more funny while less uncomfortable without such characters written into the story.  I'm not on a witch-hunt, mind you, but I cannot write a review of this movie without the very least of saying my opinion.)  While slightly predictable in that you're sure the lead characters will hook up in the end, it was endowed with such a drive and surrounded with a self-aware humor that one couldn't  help but laugh. 

The attention to detail really struck me, too.  You can tell that they really spent time to polish this one up.  :)


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