It’s.. been a really long time since I posted here. I swear I’m not abandoning this blog, I’m just busy.
Anyway. This is pretty awesome: Wil Wheaton (yes, *that* Wil Wheaton) designed a shirt for shirt.woot. Naturally, I ordered one :)
For those not familiar with the site, shirt.woot (a spin-off of woot) offers a single t-shirt each day. If you order before they run out, it’s only $10 with free shipping. Otherwise, you’ll be able to buy it for an extra $5 as long as the shirt is popular enough for them to keep printing it.
ETA: And while I was writing this, the shirt sold out. I’m glad I checked the site this morning before work :)
Apparently this month is “Author August” at the Science Fiction Message Board. Each day, they celebrate a different SF writer.
(To those people who will inevitably complain that so-and-so is not on the list, maybe you should go nominate someone next year. They pretty much just fill up the list as people suggest names.)
I’ll admit that I’m not familiar with many of the names on the list, but I was absolutely thrilled to see that today’s author is Vernor Vinge. I’ve been a huge fan ever since I read A Fire Upon the Deep in 2004. As an added bonus (well, to me anyway, because I find that sort of thing hot), he’s a computer scientist and a former mathematics professor at SDSU.
The full list…
Level 20 of Mystery of Time and Space is *finally* out! *glee*
I should have some time in the near future to make a proper post. Until then, here are some useful links :)
Jay is Games and lazylaces are my favourite online gaming websites. The second is particularly heavy on “escape the room” type games (yay!). Both sites are updated regularly with new games, though if you need a fix *right now*, you can always dig through the archives. One of the best parts is that if you need help with a game posted on either site, you can ask for help in the comments.
Most games are flash-based, and will therefore run on any modern browser, on any operating system. As a Linux user who is also a gamer, this makes me very happy. On weekends, JiG mainly features downloadable games. A select few of these will run natively under Linux (mostly interactive fiction, which I’m perfectly fine with!), and I think most will run on a Mac (though to be honest, this isn’t something I’ve really paid attention to).
Previously: WarGames: The Dead Code
Well, there’s a trailer now. I have to admit, it seems *slightly* more exciting than I’d originally expected. In all honesty, I’ll probably end up watching it some day, assuming I can find it on BitTorrent (which is pretty much a guarantee, seeing as misery loves company.. evidenced by the fact that several people uploaded The Pet *twitch*).
Ratatouille won an Oscar for “Best Animated Feature Film.” I don’t usually pay attention to such things, but I was a total refresh monkey on the Academy Awards website Sunday night, because I knew it’d been nominated in a couple of categories :) (It’s also won a variety of other awards.)
It’s such a great movie, and I’m so pleased it won. This was one of two films I bothered to go see in the theatres last year (Stardust was the other one, which I also highly recommend!), and the first DVD I’ve purchased in years. Pixar + rats + cooking.. what’s not to love?
Pixar’s next film, Wall-E is scheduled to be released at the end of June. I can’t wait.. it looks so good! *bounce* In the meantime, you can watch the trailers at the official website.
EDIT: the SO says we saw The Fountain at the theatre in 2007, as well. But it was the very first week of January, at a small local cinema (versus seeing it the previous November when it was released in major theatres), and everything is a little hazy, because I was incredibly sick at the time.
Coming out sometime this year: WarGames 2: The Dead Code
Oh god, why?
The movie will star Matt Lanter as a computer whiz named Will Farmer who engages a government super-computer named Ripley in an online terrorist-attack simulation game. Little does he know that the online game he plays is actually part of a sophisticated piece of government spyware designed to find potential terrorists. Homeland Security, now believing Farmer to be a terrorist, sets out to apprehend him.
Found on IGN: “Ripley is a paranoid nutjob who’s hell-bent on placing pretty much everyone on Earth in a 3×3 cell, lest they turn unpredictably hostile.”
So.. it’s basically the same plot, only updated for the “War Against Terror”, and with a computer who appears to be a cross between his predecessor Joshua and HAL 9000?
Supposedly the original name was “The Re-Deadening” (à la The Simpsons?).
While I’m on the topic of computers/hackers in film:
I came across this Hackers reference recently on I Has a Hot Dog, which led to me needing to watch the relevant clip on YouTube. I haven’t seen this film in years, and I’d somehow forgotten how incredibly, painfully bad it was.
“What code DOESN’T do in real life (that it does in the movies)” by Matthew Inman
Bonus points to anyone who knows where my avatar is from. :)
I’m a big fan of interactive fiction, aka “text adventures.” They have the particularly nice feature that I can play them in my downtime at work, and not have anyone notice ;)
Recently, I stumbled across this game called 9:05 by Adam Cadre. He does host it on his own site, but I suggest playing it at the Z-machine preservation project because it’s less buggy and allows you to save/restore your game. (Note that I said “less”.. I suggest saving before you switch to another window, or even another browser tab.) Alternatively, you can download the game and play it with an interpreter.
I’m not going to say much more about the game, except that you will probably want to play it at least twice. The game play is short, but it can be tedious. If you need item X in order to do action Y, and you already have the item, many games will just let you go ahead and use it without specifying that you take it out of your pocket or whatever. This game requires you to be very explicit with your actions. (Adam says he chose to do this to slow down the pacing. The whole point is that you’re trying to get out of the house quickly, so it’s a special kind of frustrating that there are all these things holding you back.) For this reason, I recommend saving your game before you drive anywhere. On the other hand, once you’ve reached the first (and obvious) ending, you may want to start over and pay more attention to things.
Seriously, the game should take under 10 minutes to run through all the endings (that I know of, anyway). If you have a couple of minutes, I think it’s well worth it :)
I also played another of Adam’s games, I-O, which has the lovely subtitle of “jailbait on the interstate.” I wasn’t as impressed with this one, though. *shrugs* The beginning is kind of cool, and you have to really think out your actions because you only have a limited number of turns. There are some other bits later on that I liked, but overall.. eh. The successful ending I managed to reach was pretty lame. If you decide to play, I suggest saving early and often.