Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pairings are fun

Just before writing this, I joined my second character pairing club on myanimelist. I don't think I'll be joining any more of them, simply because there aren't any other character pairings I really like. They both happen to be yuri pairings, and one is a lot closer to being canon than the other. (Edit: well, perhaps they're both almost canon.)


Also, of note (in case you didn't know for some reason): 4chan is back up. There are rather brief instructions on the status blog telling you to clear your DNS cache. Well, most people aren't going to know exactly how to do that, so here's a quick how-to, for Windows. I'm not familiar with VistAIDS, but the following will definitely work under XP: (things you should type are in a fixed-width font)
  1. Open a command prompt. Easiest way is to click Start, then Run..., type cmd, and hit enter.
  2. In the command prompt, type ipconfig /flushdns and hit enter.
  3. Wait for it to finish.
  4. ???
  5. PROFIT!
DNS changes take a while to get around the internet, so it might take a while for your ISP's servers to be updated with the new addresses. If you get impatient like I did, you can always switch your DNS server. Also, Comcast's DNS servers suck balls, so if you're plagued with having them as your only choice like I am, you'll probably want to do this setup anyway. Once again, these instructions work on XP and may need to be modified for VistAIDS.
  1. Go to your control panel (classic view) and open up Network Connections.
  2. Select your network card (probably "Local Area Connection" or similar unless you've renamed it).
  3. Right click and select Properties.
  4. Select "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" and click Properties.
  5. Click the option "Use the following DNS server addresses"
  6. In the Primary box, type You won't need to click in the separate areas of the box, pressing the . key will automatically move the cursor over.
  7. Click OK.
  8. ???
  9. PROFIT!
Now, if you couldn't access 4chan before, you should definitely be able to now. You may end up needing to flush your DNS cache again after changing DNS servers. If Windows tells you that you need to restart, tell it to fuck off because you don't actually need to restart after changing your DNS server settings.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

How opinions morph (also, pacifico is a fag)

I had been trying to avoid directly mentioning 4chan on this blog, but I've used some decidedly *chan-culture-based word phrasing in the past and am currently suffering from severe withdrawal because pacifico is a fag.

But that's not what I planned on writing about when I started this post.

I was watching the ROFLcon video of the Internet Leaders panel with Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics), Randall Munroe (xkcd), and moot (4chan). Towards the end they were discussing topics that for whatever reason got me thinking about how I got into 4chan and how I'd respond if I was ever asked.

I had heard about it almost from the very beginning, I think I was shown 4chan by a friend sometime in 2004. It was still widely filled with name/tripfaggotry and the whole concept of Anonymous hadn't taken hold yet (because forced anon hadn't been introduced). I didn't regularly browse the site by any means and actually struggled to remember the URL.

Later on (in 2006), after 4chan had pretty much grabbed its place in society (probably by the balls, yanking as hard as possible), I kept seeing more and more people pasting a link to an image on 4chan and discussing it, laughing, saying "that's horrible", often about the same image. I finally broke down and visited /b/ for the period of a week. I did nothing but lurk that week, as for whatever reason my internet connection was horrible (or maybe it was 4chan, I dunno) and while I could access the server /b/ was on (img.4chan.org), I couldn't access the server that processes its posts (dat.4chan.org).

That was very brief, I saved no images, laughed at a few things, and generally felt stupider at the end of the week.

It wasn't until I got tired of having the shitty wallpaper I had that I really became a regular 4chan user. My wallpaper, for the longest time, had either been nonexistant, an official wallpaper from some company (SPAM, for instance), or more recently, screenshots taken from in-game events in Guild Wars.

My concept of a good wallpaper is the opinion that the title of this post refers to. When I first started sifting through /w/, aimlessly searching for images, I had been used to wallpapers that had logos, text, and other things that I now consider to be sacrilege. Almost immediately I noticed the anti-text sentiment on /w/, as detext threads are common.

After a while of building up a collection, and finding that I had enough stuff to start being able to fill requests, I noticed a complete 180 in how I thought about text and logos on wallpapers. I hate them. Whenever possible, I photoshop them out or ask /w/ for a detext. A few good anons (and some name/tripfags) have been the source of some awesome detexts that I'm very thankful for.

I have this thing about wanting to contribute to a community while benefiting from it. I guess that's why I like BitTorrent, and also why I joined the staff at MAGFest, but I'll save those subjects for another time. So, I boned up on my clone tool skillz and started doing detexts. Not as a huge project or anything, but if I see a wallpaper posted and someone asks for the detext and I think I can do it, I'll give it a shot. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya album on my Google Picasa account contains one example of this, someone posted a wallpaper that was originally severely infested with text. After looking at it for a bit, I said "I can do this!" A good portion of the wallpaper could actually be detexted by using the rectangular marquee to copy and paste portions of the wallpaper and superimpose them over the text, but that's what happens when there's a grid pattern.

Another case was a wallpaper of Yomi from Azumanga Daioh, dressed in all black, pants slightly unzipped to reveal black lace panties. Pretty damn sexy even before the clothing is mentioned. However, she was wearing a cross on a necklace. I don't subscribe to that mythology, yet I wanted the wallpaper badly, so in about 50000 hours, I clone stamped it out and posted my version up in the thread.

Most detexts and other wallpaper edits I do are primarily for myself, but I try to contribute them back to /w/ whenever possible. There's a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside when you go to post an edit of a wallpaper you did several months ago, the thread you posted it in is long gone, etc., only to be stopped by the "Duplicate File Entry" error, meaning someone else posted it already.

Think about that. Someone else liked an edit of a wallpaper I did (fixing a weird background color, removing as much of the JPEG loss as I possibly could, and saving the result as a PNG) so much that not only did they download it to their hard drive, but they reposted it. I've always liked when I can see some sort of verification that I've had an impact on society, no matter how small.

From /w/, well, I always had /b/ open as well. But after getting used to /w/, I decided to branch out a bit and see what else 4chan had to offer. I don't remember the exact order of events, but I've come to lurk (and post on) /b/, /ck/, /gif/, /r9k/, and /w/. From doing even just this little, it's very easy to notice that within 4chan's culture, it seems like every board has its own subculture(s).

/w/ has people who clean up scans to make wallpapers out of them, people who gank somewhat decent wallpapers off of animepaper and release them into the wild, people who do detexts, and people who do vectors. Occasionally there's some original content as well. Also, there's a sense of dependency from one subculture to another, that I notice whenever I see a wallpaper or "post your desktop" thread anywhere on 4chan other than /w/ or /wg/. A good portion of 4chan users, while not regularly browsing /w/ or /wg/, nevertheless depend on those two boards for wallpapers.

I speak primarily of /w/ when documenting 4chan's subcultures because it's still the board I like the most in all of 4chan. /w/ alone has changed me. I went from maybe having an unorganized folder containing two or three random wallpapers that had logos, text, credits, etc. that I'd manually change between once every few months to having a dedicated "wallpapers" directory filled with very many wallpapers, organized into subdirectories by source, very few containing text or logos, and rotated once every 4 hours by WinWall. I'm in the process of looking for a better way to organize and rotate my wallpapers (pImgDB is going to be awesome whenever the fuck praetox finishes it), and have remnants of not one but several personal projects aimed at organizing and rotating them saved in various places on this computer as well as on my server.

Now that I think about it, all of 4chan has changed me. /b/'s inane activities, the memes, stupid sayings that will get you strange looks should you utter them in real life, even in the company of other channers, and much more have all become an irreplaceable part of my life.

So in summary, fuck you pacifico. Even if what you say is true and it's not currently raidchan continuing the DDoS attacks. If you want to DDoS something worthwhile for a change, why not fchan (furries), deviantart (furries), gaiaonline ('nuff said), livejournal (emos), somethingawful (fags), anontalk (cancer), ebaumsworld (cancer), the RIAA/MPAA (cancer/cancer), or PETA (cancer)?

Hell, DDoS the WoW realms. That way I get my friend back (until you stop). I guess he's not much of a friend if he only contacts me wanting to get together and do something when WoW is down (though strangely, during WoW's regularly-scheduled server maintenance, he's still silent).

Monday, July 21, 2008

Guitar Hero again

So, I finally got to the battle with Slash on Expert. I managed to be just over half-decent on the solos in Same Old Song and Dance, and I managed to stay alive through the bullshit intro to Holiday in Cambodia. I was flashing red at the end of it, but the entire rest of the song is comparatively easy, so rock meter built back up fairly quickly. Slash, however, kicks my ass with his second powerup. Looks like I've officially ground to a halt in all difficulties.

The stopping point on Hard is Raining Blood. I've cleared the rest of that set, but can't get past Mosh 1 in Raining Blood. I suppose it'll happen eventually, but not anytime soon.

I also three-peated my feat of getting through One on Hard, just to further tell myself it wasn't a fluke. Four stars once again, but the highest score yet.

What I haven't managed to repeat, however, is my gold stars on My Name Is Jonas. I was hoping to get 'em in quick play as well as career mode ;)

I think I'm going to pick a DVD out of my collection and go watch it. Last night was Dodgeball (awesome physical humor comedy with great cameos), tonight shall be Attack The Gas Station (awesome Korean action comedy).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fucking hair cuttery

I went to the nearest Hair Cuttery for a haircut today. I know, I know, overpriced haircut is overpriced. My mom was paying, so I don't really care. Anyway, the person who cut my hair did a fantastic job once I got it across to her that I wanted an inch of hair left, instead of an inch of hair cut off. But did she have to take the electric trimmer and scrape the back of my neck with it? Shit, woman. It's been red since she did that, and it itches. I need some lotion or something I guess.

IT'S POSSIBLE TO TRIM HAIR WITH AN ELECTRIC TRIMMER WITHOUT SCRAPING THE SKIN BELOW. Fucking hell. I can trim my own beard without turning my face red and causing it to fall off, why can't someone who's gone to school to get a license to do this thing trim hair without gouging all the skin off the back of my neck?

Other than that, it's been a rather uneventful day.

I had what I call triple S for dinner: sushi, sandwich, and sapporo. Sapporo goes surprisingly well with sushi (as could be expected of a Japanese beer), and the sandwich was pretty awesome. I ate this while watching Sekirei.

I think now I'll go get some sleep. I've been going fairly strong on the 4 hours I got last night, but the Sapporo is making it hard to stay awake much longerhujISAZE MUJh riuHiuge

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sleeping inspiration

Dreams are weird things, you know? Especially when you get the feeling that you have some element of control over what happens. I've had some strange and interesting dreams in my time, but last night's was actually rather normal.

I was hiking through the woods, across streams, etc. with my parents. At this point I realized I was dreaming and immediately thought of climbing a rock wall with large flat rocks poking out, so it was somewhat similar to a ladder. Sure enough, that was what we encountered at the top of the next hill. We climb up, and we're in a green field just outside of a town. And then the typical RPG "peaceful town" music comes on.

I woke up during this, remembering the music. I got dressed somewhat quickly and went to my computer. There I opened up MilkyTracker and composed the music I'd heard. Speed was of the essence because at some point I'd remember a Guns and Roses song or something and forget it entirely. I succeeded in getting it all in there, played around with effects to get it sounding closer to what I'd heard (adding vibrato, playing around with a trill at one point), and saved.

Just a few minutes ago I rendered the result to .wav format and encoded that to Ogg Vorbis. It's available for download here. It's 384KB, so it shouldn't take too long to download. The music itself is 30 seconds long and you'll get the best effect playing it on repeat. If you're about to whine because it's not .wav or .mp3, consider that all modern versions of Winamp can play Ogg Vorbis, as well as pretty much every other decent audio or multimedia program out there. If you need something to play it, I recommend Foobar2000.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

D2X-XL rocks

So if you read the description over on the right, you'll know I've played Descent. What that doesn't tell you is that I own the Descent 1 and 2 Definitive Collection, which has D1, D2, D2:Vertigo, and Levels of the World, along with the official Descent Mission Builder.

That's nice, right? You totally care. Well, apathy aside, there's a reason I told you this information.

I installed D2X-XL the other day. It takes a bit of setup, as it's just the core engine for Descent 1 and 2 (which was open sourced a while back). You need to copy the Descent 1 and 2 files into the appropriate subdirectories for it to actually do anything worthwhile. Fortunately all of this is laid out in the readme.

D2X-XL combines Descent 1 and 2 into one game, allowing you to play the official single player missions from each, as well as any custom missions you may have for each, all from one program. Of course, there are tons of multiplayer options. Its aim is to add as much as possible to Descent while still maintaining backwards compatibility with the original games, meaning you can join multiplayer games created with the original games using D2X-XL. Any feature you're using that isn't supported in the original will be disabled, to prevent you from effectively gaining the upper hand just by running the game with a different engine.

It gives the graphics of both games a facelift via OpenGL, adding colored lighting, even where it's not specified (because it couldn't be specified) in original D1 and D2 levels. It figures it out from textures, so keyed doors, with those lights on the wall next to them that tell you what color key you need, will actually glow the proper color now.

It also adds some stuff not present in either D1 or D2, such as smoke trails, which like everything else in the game, are highly configurable. When you fire a missile, it leaves a smoke trail. These can be disabled if you'd rather be able to see the battle at hand. Or, you know, if you'd like to be able to move backwards and still be able to see forwards.

D2X-XL adds one thing that makes the game a LOT more playable: Higher mouse sensitivity. Turning the ship in vanilla D1 and D2 took for-fucking-ever. Not so in D2X-XL.

There are other solutions for playing Descent 1 on Windows XP and VistAIDS, such as running it under DOSBox, which I did for a while. It had weird graphical problems that could only be prevented by running the game windowed. Descent 2 had a Windows 95 version, and thus wasn't really affected too much. In the end, don't we all prefer a system architecture-native method of running any given program?

D2X-XL has support for playing custom music during the game, using the Ogg Vorbis format. It's only appropriate that one open source project make use of another, right? Plus, you know, Ogg Vorbis is awesome. It's all about having higher audio quality than MP3 with smaller file sizes.

The list of enhancements and new things is too long to go through here. The overall point is: D2X-XL is good. For Windows users, it offers a way to play both games within your OS without having to emulate another environment (i.e. DOSBox), and play them both at higher resolutions, with better graphics overall. For Mac OS X and Linux users, it enables you to play the games period, in addition to everything else it features. Can we get a round of applause for open source projects in general?

Accompanying D2X-XL is DLE-XP, an enhancement of the Descent Mission Builder to support all the extra level-building features and raised object limits that D2X-XL has.

The verdict: install, use, keep, and cherish.

Now if only there was an open source engine for Duke Nukem 3D. Holy shit never mind, a little googling eventually found me EDuke32. I guess that'll be a later post.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The things that happen when you don't have water

My dad turned off the water coming into our house before going to bed. Why? Because the pipe bringing it into our basement is leaking. Completely reasonable, logical reason.

Except it seems to have brought out the clumsy in me. Since he turned it off and went to bed I've gotten cheese salsa in my beard not once but twice, and dripped the same cheese salsa both on the counter while pouring it into a bowl from its jar and again onto the floor as I was enjoying it with some chips.

Just a few minutes ago, I accidentally knocked over my can of diet Dr. Pepper, sending Dr. Pepper across my desk and onto the floor.

I improvised a solution involving paper towels and ice cubes from the freezer, but I still think the floor's going to be sticky.

Also, on a completely different subject, I've noticed this while making the past several posts on here. If you stop typing for a while, it automatically saves your work as a draft with Web 2.0 faggotry. If you continue to not type, and then go back to typing, it inserts a line break where you started. Why do we need this? I'm capable of pressing Enter myself. I don't need Blogger going "LOL I R HELPING".

Another thing that I've noticed is that the bar it puts up at the top of the page never shows me as being logged in. I click "Sign in" and it takes me to my dashboard without prompting for username/password, so obviously I'm logged in. I'm allowing blogger.com and blogspot.com to run javascript, so that isn't it. I've tried clearing my cookies, that hasn't helped. Maybe someone can answer that for me (doubtful though, this is yet another site of mine that nobody reads). Either that or I get to bug the other admin of desudesudesu.org to make me a separate database so I don't have to pollute the forums database with my shit, and just install wordpress or something.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Florida finally does something right

Jack Thompson is facing permanent disbarment and a $43,675 fine!

While I wish the fine was higher, it seems the video gaming community is finally getting some justice.

Nobody's forcing M-rated games into the consoles of children. It's the parents who begged for the ratings system that are now ignoring it. No, your child is not mature enough to handle that. No, your child is not an exception, special case, unique, "mature for his/her age", etc. I'm a single 25 year old virgin and I understand that, why can't today's parents?

Personally, I'm all for legal enforcement of the age guidelines on the ratings. Why do I care if 12 year olds can't play Grand Theft Auto? They shouldn't be playing it anyway. Parents who buy these games for their kids ought to receive some sort of penalty.

As previously stated, I'm 25, any legal enforcement of the ratings that does get enacted won't affect me one bit. If I want to shoot gang members, hookers, taxi drivers, cops, and random people within a video game, I should be able to. First person shooters actually help me (and others) safely vent anger without causing harm to those around us. If I get pissed, I just fire up UT2k4 and pretend the enemy bots are people I hate. By the end of the session, I'm having more fun than anything else.

Rockstar and other companies that make M-rated games are not targeting these games at children. There is no effort whatsoever to make these games appeal to children. If you think that because it's a video game, it means that it should be appropriate for a child to play, well, you're living in the past. This is the present. There is entertainment of all types available for people of all ages. Some material is of course going to be inappropriate for certain age groups. That's just the way it is. If your 12 year old kid wants to play Grand Theft Auto, tell them no. Simple as that. If you discover your child has been playing it at a friend's house, bitch at their parents. Video games aren't at fault, bad parents are.

In the past, parents actually punished their kids. Often severely. Without worrying about possible "psychological effects" or other bullshit that the punishment might "cause". This feel-good, the-kid-is-always-right, don't-hurt-their-feelings approach to parenting is the cancer killing society.

In other news, I finally passed One on Hard in Guitar Hero 3. Twice. Four stars both times.

More anime

Quick update, since I watched Telepathy Shoujo Ran and Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto: Natsu no Sora.

Telepathy Shoujo Ran is rather interesting. The main character, Ran, as you might suspect, can use telepathy. She also seems to have other telekinetic abilities. She encounters another girl who can use telepathy, who generally tries to make life miserable for her. She's also got a friend named Rui. For whatever reason (I suppose revealed later on?) she can't read his thoughts.

Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto: Natsu no Sora, or "Long Title" as I'm calling it, is a strange show, and I'm going to have to see more before I can really formulate an opinion. It's got a weird mix of live action environments and animation. The first episode is rather slow, I'm hoping it picks up once Sora gets to Tokyo. Once again, I'll have to see more before knowing if I really like it or not. Episodes are available in high definition from a number of groups. Everything looks fantastic.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I'm a moron

Last night before going to bed, I changed my configuration for Minami-ke Okawari in Azureus' RSS Feed Scanner, to look at the feed coming directly from scarywater instead of the one coming from animesuki. When I get up, I notice it's downloaded episodes 7-9. I go "wtf, I already have those" and tell it to delete, then immediately facepalm as I realize I just deleted episodes 7-9 off of my hard drive. So now they're re-downloading.

Otherwise, I'm just surfing the internet and listening to Guns and Roses. I found FLAC of four of their albums (Appetite for Destruction, Lies, and Use Your Illusion I and II) a while back. They're in that weird .cue+.flac format, but I don't really care seeing as how Foobar2000 can read the .cue and burnatonce can be made to burn a proper audio CD if I ever need one.

So this new season of anime is interesting. I've watched the first episodes of two shows now, Sekirei and Strike Witches. Strike Witches apparently had an OAV a while back, but whatever. Sekirei is one of those "master and servant, battle royale" series like Fate/Stay Night. Strike Witches, well, none of the females seem to wear anything below the waist, they can use magic, and when they do so they sprout ears and tail. I'm kinda used to ears and tail from watching Kanokon, but it still surprised me. There's this whole post-apocalyptic thing going on, where a mysterious enemy came in and went "RAWWWWR YOU DIE". The only way they can be defeated is through these mechanical combat suits that amplify the wearer's magic, and of course the only people who wear them are female. Oddly reminiscent of Mai-Otome in a way, except I'm guessing there'll be less yuri.

Still up to watch are the first two episodes of Telepathy Shoujo Ran and the first episode of Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto: Natsu no Sora. Long title is long.

Also, I wish Doremi would release Mnemosyne 5. I know, you're like "eww, Doremi, a Chinese speed-subber?" Here's the story. I downloaded A-E/Ureshii's release of episode 5 just so I could watch it, but their video quality is atrocious (also xvid, this is probably why). Doremi's subs are getting better and better, and their video quality was awesome (though it was divx 5, so... better encoder settings I guess. It would be truly orgasmic if they'd JUST FUCKING USE H.264). Also, why did they have to make both episode 4 and 5 of Mnemosyne end on cliffhangers? Regardless, eagerly awaiting episode 6.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Random ranting

So, another anime season has started, and the question begs itself even more: When will we get The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya?

Anyway, I've downloaded a few random episode 1s to watch and see what intrigues me. I might watch them tonight, I might not. It's been storming here, and our power is rather flaky.

My dad was watching some western movie on tv today that had Alan Rickman in it, so now I've got him on my mind. I think I'll have to watch a few movies with him (Galaxy Quest, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) just to put my mind at ease.

I've discovered a rather fun and hectic setup for playing Unreal Tournament 2004. Instagib CTF, with the Game Speed, Air Control, Quad Jump, Low Gravity, and Slow Death mutators. Game Speed and Air Control are turned all the way up. It's rather random who wins each match, as it's really hard to get a flag out of the enemy's base. The bots are especially mean, even on the lower difficulties, because they have much better aim and can make decisions faster.

So for breakfast today (at 4:30 PM or so) I had a diet dr. pepper, and then my dad made mojitos. Awesome breakfast was awesome. Then around 6 or so we had dinner. We were going to grill some chicken, but the weather was all like 'RAAAAAAWR SCREW YOU' and was raining profusely. So we had to cook the chicken inside. Oh well. We also had pinto beans cooked with Thai green curry paste, which was excellent as always, and some random frozen vegetables my mom warmed up.

Recent game announcements have been nothing short of awesome: Diablo 3, and Chrono Trigger for the DS. Chrono Trigger is going to be revamped to take advantage of the touch screen, and have an extra dungeon added, which sounds a bit wonky, but maybe they'll add some random new item to the game that you can only get by clearing the new dungeon or something. I'll start a new paragraph for Diablo 3.

Diablo 3 looks way too much like World of Warcraft, and fails to give off the same dark and gothic feeling of the first two. The gameplay itself looks sweet as hell though. The Witch Doctor looks like it's going to be a fun class to play, and the Barbarian got revamped. They've fixed a number of my issues with Diablo 2 in various ways, fixing potions by having enemies drop these health items that heal the party when picked up, thus allowing you to actually heal yourself in the heat of battle without having to burn a rejuvenation potion. They're also finally instituting a reserved drops system for multiplayer, so no more drop stealing is going to happen. It remains unclear as to whether or not they'll support DirectX 9, and my email to their support asking about it was met with a standard "We're not gonna tell you anything, screw off" form response. And then, a few hours later, I got a "Customer Service Survey" email asking how the guy who sent the form response did at customer service. I just laughed at that.

The art in D3 sucks so bad that there's actually a petition to get it changed. When I signed it, my signature was number 5200 something. It's over 34000 signatures as of this writing. Sign it, even if you don't particularly care for Diablo, just because the world does not need more games that look anything similar to World of Warcraft.

Since Diablo 3 was announced, I got all nostalgic and started playing Diablo 2 again. I updated to patch 1.12 after reading the notes and seeing that if you copy d2xmusic.mpq from the Lord of Destruction disc to your hard drive (obviously, if you live in a hole and don't have Lord of Destruction, this will be d2music.mpq instead), the game will no longer require the CD to be in the drive to play. I did this immediately, because I hate having to track down a game disc and stick it in my cd drive just to start up a damn game. I've been ripping ISOs of games and mounting them with Daemon Tools so I don't have to find the stupid game disc. Instead I just look in my ISO directory and mount the appropriate image. To not even have to do that (and be officially sanctioned, nonetheless) is awesome. Now if there was just a hero editor that was compatible with 1.12, so I can get some high-end set items that require 25 hours a day of farming to get normally.

I encountered something strange that, after googling around about it, other people are encountering as well. Whenever I try to start Warcraft 3 or its map editor, AVG pops up saying "Threat Detected!" about SIntfNT.dll, saying it's "Trojan horse Proxy.ACKA". I dunno what SIntfNT.dll does, but telling AVG to either heal it or move it to the virus vault does nothing, because it's back the next time I try to start the game. Also when it happens the game bitches at me to put the cd in the drive, even if it's already in there, which leads me to believe that it's part of the copyright protection bullshit. I sent an email to Blizzard's support about it, but they haven't responded yet. I'm tempted to uninstall and reinstall the game, just to see if that fixes it.

I think I'll leave it at that.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I'm getting better at Guitar Hero...

Just a few months ago it seemed like I was stuck on Medium. Somehow my brain couldn't process the whole 4 fingers - 5 buttons thing in a favorable manner. But then, suddenly, it clicked. I think it happened during MAGFest 6, when I accidentally started up Message In A Bottle on Hard instead of Medium. I didn't do too well, but I passed. I got some tips on breaking into Hard from the guy who sat down after me, which basically amounted to "learn where to have your hand for each part of the song and when to shift it". That's the nice thing about MAGFest. Anywhere else, I would have just gotten "OMFG UR A NOOB GTFO", but at MAGFest, those with the knowledge are happy to pass it on and completely non-patronizing while doing so.

Another barrier to getting better at the game was that for quite a while, I depended on other people to be able to play it, i.e. I didn't own a copy myself. I mean, I have that crappy PC clone called Frets on Fire with the GH 1, 2, 80's, and 3 tracks imported (via the internet, yay torrents), but it's almost completely different from Guitar Hero while still trying to imitate it.

I think what finally made me get the art of hand shifting was actually by not playing the game. Instead, I unplugged the USB keyboard I had been using for Frets on Fire and started just making up stuff to whatever was playing on my playlist, making sure to use 5 buttons while doing so. After doing that a bunch, I noticed I could handle 5 buttons a lot more easily in Frets on Fire.

Just recently, I got my hands on a copy of Guitar Hero 3, and I've played the hell out of it. Just about everything is unlocked and purchased. All that really needs to be done is the monotony of playing Easy/Medium in co-op, getting 5 stars on everything. In single player career, I've completed Easy and Medium, I'm at 39/42 on Hard, and at 23/42 on Expert.

Also, just today (well, by the timestamp, yesterday), I reached another landmark by achieving my first full combo on a difficulty other than Easy. I FC'd My Name Is Jonas on Hard. I bet I could do it on Expert too if the acoustic bits decide to be nice to me, as they're the only real semblance of difficulty in the entire song.

In other words: Go me.