Tag Archives: Lego Star Wars

A Special Happy, Fun-Time Holiday Post

As is customary for an after semester post, I will say how the semester was a bitch and report my grades. Well, it was a bitch, and I didn’t get anything below a C, so woot. The biggest bitch part was a recommendation report for an BS required English course; unfortunately, it was a group project and I chose a topic that my group was completely incapable of working on: parallel computing. Although a couple sections are missing, the paper is in a refined enough state that I’ve decided to post it here. I’m now a self-taught expert on parallelism, at least.

On my final exam day, CNET Download.com finally got around to approving my submission of Cursor Lock 2.0. It got a couple hundred downloads in the first few days alone, but has since slowed down to about 20 downloads a day. Of course, I never really expected it to be a hot, must-have app; it’s more of an awesome, there when you need it app.

For my next programming project, I’m looking into finally doing a Trillian log converter, which I first mentioned this time last year. Trillian’s native bastardized XML format does not scale well (the more you chat with someone, the longer it takes to access their log) and can only be read with the built-in log viewer. I think that any features which necessitated the use of a proprietary log format over HTML format are of questionable value. I’m sure I can replicate all of the most important features in simple, universal HTML format: bookmarks, search (via Google Desktop Search or something similar), calendar (from splitting into different files by date), and masking different message types (through some delicious CSS and JS). It has the added benefit of extensibility, too; I plan on giving all the page elements their own class, so users can change log formatting to suit their preferences.


Duber the pet monkey from Siberia says hello.

I’ve only written a specification outline for the program so far. Mostly, I’ve just been relaxing to some gaming. The AOE3 expansion, Asian Dynasties, has renewed my interest in Age of Empires. I skipped the War Chief expansion because, frankly, I’m tired of fucking Indians. But the added map locations, high-level home city cards, and civs of Asian Dynasties is just what the game needed. Although China’s unit training differences are too odd for me to handle, Japan has really killer unit upgrade cards plus powerful units already that compliment my turtling style.

Of course, I had to play Portal and Half-Life 2: Episode 2 also. Portal was so fun that I finished it in one sitting 😕 –it was a truimph. Episode 2 was also pretty good; there are some really intense firefights and well-crafted environments. However, as with Fortress Forever, locking issues started creeping up again. Lowering the sound acceleration in dxdiag seemed to make some difference in the time it took to lock, but ultimately they were still completely random. Monitoring component temperatures showed that the CPU temperature was a little high (but still nowhere near the 140F I reached over summer), so I cleaned the HSF out again. That further decreased the frequency of locks, but alas the problem remained with Source Engine games. My latest hunch is that the CPU is just getting tired of the overclock of 100Mhz (2.15 to 2.25Ghz) I imposed years ago. So I’ve been lowering that by half with nVidia’s old nForce2 system utility before playing. So far, results have been promising.

As for games that don’t lock my system up, Kaylen and I finally reached 100% completion in both Lego Star Wars games during her recent visit. It’s clear that the second game is by far superior, but going back and playing the first game from the newer trilogy was still kickass lego fun. Next year: Lego Indiana Jones. Oh, hell yes.


Lego Star Wars


Stud fountain with 3840x score multiplier and Santa disguises.

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What’s been going on

So the fall semester of school is finally over with–oh, when will it end. I managed to pass all of my classes, albeit busting my ass to do so. Next semester, I’m trying for a lighter after-school (homework) workload, so I can finally get to all these projects I’ve been meaning to do. Or at least the ones I don’t get started over break. Those include my alarm program (still some bugs to work out and polishing); calculator RPG (working on the combat system); a program to convert Trillian logs to HTML (just an idea right now, but something I’ve been meaning to do); the links, photo album, and feature archive sections of this site (probably more coding from scratch in PHP), and fixing up dad’s old computer for a local server.

I’d really like to use Linux for the server, but I’m unsure of what distro, filesystem, and other settings to use to give it the best interoperability with the Windows machines. There’s also concerns about what upgrades I can manage to spend on it. It’s a five year old Pentium 3-based machine, desperately needing an upgrade from a 10GB hard drive if it’s to be a media server. I’m also thinking about using it as a testbed, especially for this site. As I said, it’s a project on its own.

Kaylen has been staying with me for the last week. It’s been a good time for the most part. We’ve been trying for 100% completion on Lego Star Wars II (currently at about 85%). That game is surprisingly fun for how simple it is. I’ve also been back at Red Orchestra since the last free weekend. I’ve been playing offline with a cracked steam dll since then, but I really wanna buy it and make Kaylen drive tanks while I man the gun. 😉

I’ve been trying to play NWN2, but that’s been an ordeal. I was getting locks in the game with the Catalyst 4.12 drivers that I’ve been so adamant about for two years. So I tried just upgrading to the newest version of Catalyst (6.12). That did better with the locking, but then I would get some BSODs on Windows startup. After much fuss with safe-mode and restore points, I finally got the old 4.12 drivers installed back. I hear people saying all the time that the WinXP system restore feature is crap and a waste of drive space, but that shit is really useful. But, I digress. No NWN2 for me, I suppose. I really need a new system.

Kaylen and I were cleaning out my room yesterday, and I had decided to finally get rid of a majority of my box collection. But before I threw out the hardware boxes, I snapped a pic for memorabilia’s sake. The pictured Diamond Viper II and SBLive! were the first video and sound cards I bought. I still have the SBLive in my rig, but it’s soon to be replaced by an X-Fi, courtesy of Santa.

Boxes from my first Sound, Video, and TV cards.

Boxes from my first Sound, Video, and TV cards.

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