Archive for the 'Culture' Category

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Braid

You go back, Jack, do it again

If you pay attention to “gaming news” at all, you probably already know about Braid.[1]  And, if you’ve heard about Braid, you’ve also heard this:

Braid is a very important game, and everyone should be playing it.

I’m not sure what that means[2], but here’s what I do know.  I started playing Braid with my wife – I handled the gameplay, and we brainstormed over the puzzles – and it was really cool.  I even had a dream that featured one of the more mind-bending time effects.  Then, as family and friends converged onto our couch for a weekend celebration, I showed it off to them, and instead of dismissing it as a shiny toy, most of them jumped in and joined the brainstorm.

So, I guess it’s a party game for brainiacs?  As long as you have one platform-enabled thumbster among you?  Could be.  $15 isn’t much to spend to entertain a room full of people.  ($20, if you add in the cost of a bottle of Advil for the ones that get a migraine.)

If you care for an overview of what makes Braid work so well, I’ve described some of what I noticed after the break.  Spoiler danger: low.

Continue reading ‘Braid’

  1. I won’t get into a lot of detail about it for that very reason, but you can check out Giant Bomb’s video review (WARNING: The “S” word is used) if you need some background. []
  2. Especially since it’s only out on XBLA right now!  PC to come later, though. []

Rest FAIL

Last night, I was so tired when I got home from my IT job that I took a nap.  That nap expanded until I just stayed in bed for the night.

What did I dream about?

Troubleshooting Windows NT networking issues. Every time I woke up and went back to sleep, it was back to network troubleshooting.

When I woke up at 4:30 AM, I just stayed up, because all that troubleshooting left me exhausted.

Refactoring

Now that I have all of pikafoop.net’s services moved off to a new home, K and I shut down our network for a day so that we could refactor the network. All of the internal servers have now been replaced with a single Mac Mini running Ubuntu, with two 500 GB USB drives, and all of the network’s cables and hardware have been affixed to the back of my desk. (I’ll have to upload pictures of K’s handiwork later. I don’t think she minded helping, since she gets to reclaim an entire closet as part of the deal.)

All I have to do is move all of the data onto one machine, using my USB hard drive cable, and sort it all out. Hooray for long weekends!

Letting Go

Must Accounts Live Forever

Currently, I have my Jabber account rigged up to keep my presence alive on the “legacy” chat networks[1]. However, so many of my friends and family have moved over to XMPP networks (Jabber and Google Talk) that it barely makes sense to keep these accounts around.

Once you factor in the constant “Log into your Hotmail account!” spam[2] and “5489751621897@icq wants authorization to view your status” spam from miscellaneous chatbots, it really doesn’t make any sense at all… unless you factor in those people who might still use only the legacy networks.

So, a few questions for regular readers and members of “legacy” contacts. Are you just using a legacy network and none of the XMPP networks? Do you have a good reason why we should keep using those old networks? Tell us your point of view in a comment.

If you’ve got me set up on one of your legacy accounts, but not on your shiny new Jabber/Google Talk account, let me know! Both of us could use one less reason to hold on to old and spammy networks.

  1. In my case, ICQ, AIM, MSN and Yahoo! – networks that I’m no longer using actively, and wouldn’t add a contact to, but just lurk on []
  2. I haven’t logged into my Hotmail account in years []

Unknown Knowns

Not Knowing You Know What Needs To Be Known

I feel like a doofus.  It turns out that, for the past week, I have known the solution to Pedant’s DSL problem.  I assumed that he had to wait for some fix deep within the ISP.

That may have been the case, but by today, his issue was just like one I had a few years ago.  More importantly, I remembered the solution that Technical Support led me through[1].

Him:  (On the phone)  Can you believe that their call volume is so high that they can’t keep me on hold?  I have to call back later.

Me: Man, that’s pretty busy.  I wonder what they have to do to fix your service.  If only your modem’s DSL light was lit, I could help you.

Him:  Actually, my DSL light has been lit for days.

Me:  …OK, buckle up.  We’re doing this.

I’m glad I was able to help a friend get back online, especially since being offline vexed him so.  I’m even glad to be able to ease the load on our provider’s overloaded call centers.  I just feel kind of dumb that I didn’t help to diagnose the problem sooner.

  1. And I remembered at enough to be able to find the particulars of the solution. []