Thursday, July 30, 2009

MAL h4x

A while back, I wrote a GreaseMonkey script for to allow me to easily search IQDB for any given club picture. This was necessary because MAL resamples club pictures to a smaller size and doesn't keep the full size version (kind of like Facebook). After perfecting the script, I put it up online so that anyone who wanted it could get it, and linked it from both my MAL profile and a thread I made in MAL's forums with a few screenshots.

Today I was bored and said to myself, "Well, the IQDB search is currently hard-coded to happen in a new tab. But what if some random user using the script would rather it happen in the current tab?"

I investigated a solution, and a victory was had. GreaseMonkey's way of handling user script preferences is rather cumbersome (first prompt for what it should be, get new input, validate new input, store new input, and the functions to get and set a variable can't be called from anywhere other than the user script for security reasons), I avoided the issue entirely by integrating it into the site just as smoothly as the original "Look up on IQDB" link was, and storing the preference in a cookie.

That's right, I added a field to the Edit Profile page. It's a dropdown that lets you select your desired behavior. By default it uses the old behavior of searching in a new tab, this works even if you haven't visited your preferences page and set your cookie yet. To set it, you change the dropdown and hit Save Changes at the bottom, just like with any other preferences change. Pretty neat, huh?

To accomplish this, I had to inject a small bit of Javascript into the page. This small bit is simply a remote script load from my subdomain of That script hooks the onload event so that it can hook the "Save Changes" button's onclick event, and takes care of getting the dropdown's value and setting that in the cookie when the button is clicked.

The only real issue with the cookie implementation is that all cookies have an expiration time and date, and some users run extra software to further mess with them. Currently the cookie expires one year after it's set or changed, which I figured was far enough into the future. I was going to try to set it to the end of time, i.e. 3:14:07 AM on Tuesday, January 19th, 2038; but that would take more effort and might trigger any anti-tracking cookie stuff people might have installed. Oddly enough, this is what cookies were meant to be used for.

If you're a MAL user and want the script, you can get it here. Just to remind you, you'll have to install the GreaseMonkey Firefox extension linked above to actually use it. Enjoy.

Holy shit I just found out that, defying all logic, instead of bringing in their backup/test driver Marc Gene, Ferrari is bringing in none other than 7 time world champion Michael Schumacher to replace Felipe Massa. Now, logic has hardly ever applied to Formula 1 or Ferrari, but... Schumi coming out of retirement to sub for Massa? Really? I knew he still worked for Ferrari, but... This ought to make the rest of the season interesting.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wallpaper Update (already!)

Right after I go back to /w/... as one might expect, a wallpaper update!

I kinda cheated though, I only downloaded one of these today. The rest I found in my "unsorted" directory. I guess I'd been neglecting them. A couple needed detexts/decredits, and I cropped one from 1280x1024 to 1280x960, only losing some flat white background. The one where Konata has a katana (which I'm pretty sure is actually a zanpakuto as the whole thing looks like she's cosplaying someone from Bleach) I had to pull pixels out of thin air to make the image a standard wallpaper resolution. I think I did a decent job.

See if you can guess which one was the one I downloaded today. It shouldn't be too hard.

Monday, July 27, 2009

back to /w/ I go...

...since 4scrape is officially dead. There is an upside to this. Since I'll be browsing /w/ regularly once again, there will probably be more wallpaper updates. I wasn't really using 4scrape much, which showed in the distinct lack of wallpaper updates.

I guess I can delete all my greasemonkey userscripts I wrote for 4scrape.

On a side note, I figured out why one specific wallpaper of mine had its colors all messed up when Winwall resampled it. Opening the wallpaper in Photoshop revealed that it was using indexed color instead of RGB color. Converted it to RGB and saved, now the colors look correct when Winwall resamples it. Indexed PNGs have always irritated me since photoshop basically won't let you do anything with them other than convert them to RGB. This doesn't change my desire to write my own wallpaper rotator, but it does push back the necessity a bit.

Another Winwall tweak that's useful is enabling B-Spline in its resampling. Without it, there is an ever-so-faint grid pattern over the resampled image that may vary in how noticeable it is depending on the wallpaper. With B-Spline=On in C:\Program Files\Winwall\patch.ini, this grid pattern is gone. Kinda sucks that the only way to enable this is via the config file, but hey, I'm no stranger to editing config files.

awkward subject change #1

Normally over the summer I have two small fans running in my bedroom nonstop to help circulate air and keep me cool overnight. This works quite well, but one of my fans died recently and I didn't get around to buying a replacement until today. Technically the old fan still works, but it won't spin the fan blades very fast unless it's adjusted to be pointing almost straight down, which isn't that useful since I need it to move air horizontally.

The new fan is pretty neat. It takes both wall power and batteries, meaning it's usable when outlets aren't available. It takes 8 D cells (remember D cells?) and claims a battery life of (up to) 40 hours when the fan is set to low. I was kind of annoyed that they only tested the battery life on the low fan speed, but I've had it sitting here for a while now on low and it seems to move quite a lot of air. Normally I get rather warm in my computer area (let's face it, computers generate heat and I've got two of them right here) but I'm rather comfortable right now.

The battery-powered-ness of the fan is what led me to buy it instead of the one that was sitting next to it that looked similar to the old fan that is of no use anymore. The day before fall classes at UVa begin, they have an activities fair where clubs can get a table and promote themselves. This day, regardless of when it actually is, is practically guaranteed to be a warm day. I'll be at the anime club's table for the duration of the activities fair helping promote. With a battery-powered fan, we'll stay nice and cool at the table. Even with the battery life only being rated on the low fan speed, I can't imagine it being reduced so drastically on the high fan speed that 8 D cells would be drained in less than 5 hours.

awkward subject change #2

During qualifying for the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday, Felipe Massa was severely injured by an 800 gram spring that had fallen off of the rear suspension of Reubens Barrichello's car. This happened just before the fastest corner on the track. I have found a video of it here. Commentary is brazilian portuguese or spanish or something, but they play back the spring hitting him in slow motion. It's almost impossible to see at full speed, showing how he basically had no warning it was about to hit him in the head. He ended up with a fractured skull and was air-lifted to a hospital where he's currently recovering. No word yet on who will replace him at Ferrari, but it will most likely be Ferrari test driver Marc Gene. I had kinda hoped it would be the recently-released Sebastian Bourdais so he could give Toro Rosso the middle finger, but if they've already got a backup driver, I guess it's set.

This happens in the wake of another open-wheeled, open-cockpit incident that killed 18-year-old Formula Two driver Henry Surtees. He was struck in the head by a wheel assembly from a crashed car. It's pretty safe to say that Formula 1 will be studying these two events very closely to try and improve safety. The FIA pretty much dictates safety equipment in the world of motor racing, so I expect most open wheeled racing series to have new improved helmets fairly soon.

Safety in motorsports is pretty good considering how dangerous the sport is. Drivers do get injured every now and then, but deaths are rare and I've seen drivers walk away from crashes that looked to be really serious, with only minor bruises to complain of. Sure, the cars become mangled wrecks, but that's because the car is absorbing the force of the impact so that the driver doesn't have to. It's pretty much exactly opposite of the rigid frames used in consumer automobiles. Maybe that's why there are considerably more fatal crashes in consumer automobiles than with race cars. Just sayin'.

awkward subject change #3

I finally passed Play With Me in Guitar Hero: Smash Hits. Song is frickin' crazy. Frickin' crazy. This now means that I've passed all of the songs in Smash Hits on both Expert Guitar and Expert Bass. Now if only I had a drum controller :( Do they sell them individually?

Wait, think about that. I only just today passed Play With Me. After having passed Raining Blood and Through The Fire and Flames. Twice each. I passed the Smash Hits versions of the only two songs in GH3 that I can't pass before passing a song taken from GH 80s, which I've never played. Now I know the difficulty of GH has been on a steady decline since GH3, but still, the SH songs are all easily on par with if not harder than their original versions, mostly due to Beenox overcharting things, but also due to all the tracks being master versions instead of shitty Wavegroup covers.

Wavegroup simplified many things in their covers and added extra bits (i.e. the last half of the solo in Heart Shaped Box on GH2, completely made up by Wavegroup) just to fuck it up more. Some parts I don't mind really (thinking mainly of Message In A Bottle Guitar Solo D which is a really fun solo that I can 100% in performance mode) but others are ear-grating (whoever sang their cover of Sweet Child Of Mine sounds nothing like Axl Rose).

I'll stop rambling now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

DVD rant

It's been a while since I had a good old-fashioned rant. Now you may be reading this scratching your head saying "but you just posted a rant about ADV's no-longer-existent manga division!" That's true. That's a rant. But it's not a "good old-fashioned rant".

A good old-fashioned rant is one that's well thought out and is generally guaranteed to be a wall of text. Furthermore, I consider each point a lot more than with a regular spur-of-the-moment rant. There are positive points as well as negative ones. I present examples. There's less random fucking cussing. And I ignore the "rules" of grammar and make bad jokes. There's also text formatting such as boldface, italics, and strikethrough for emphasis in various parts, and some things have a dotted underline to indicate that you can hover your mouse over them to view more info in a tooltip. So if you're reading this as a Facebook note, keep that in mind since Facebook removes all of that. View it on my blog for the full experience.

The subject for today's rant is DVDs. This was inspired by James Rolfe's "You Know What's Bullshit?" episode about DVDs, since I have many of the same complaints. Just warning you, if you watch that before reading any portion of this, you may very well read a complaint that's almost the same as one of his. It doesn't change the fact that I have the same complaint too. I hate bandwagoning so much I jumped on the paradoxial bandwagon hate bandwagon. Then I got off with everyone else that realized they were bandwagoning.

So let's dive right in, shall we?

I own a fair number of DVDs. I don't have pockets lined with cash, or I'd have more. Which I guess is my first point: the price. $30 for one DVD. It seems to be the norm. Yeah, I know, only losers pay MSRP, buy at a sale or get them online where you're practically guaranteed a better price. Deep Discount is awesome for that. But what you get for that $30 or more seems to be random. Most of those things lead into other points in my rant.

Liner notes. When was the last time you opened a DVD case and saw a decent set of liner notes? I'm not asking for something like a game manual with pages upon pages of information with pictures interspersed. A simple piece of glossy paper with movie pictures on one side and a bullshit chapter list on the other would suffice. You can even take it a step further and have it unfold into a poster. That would be awesome, and I have a few that do that, but none of them are American movies. Hell, none of them are even movies, it's all anime.

One series that actually has decent liner notes is the complete season releases of The Simpsons. Each season has a booklet listing every episode with various useful bits of information such as the run length of the episode, its guest stars, which disc of the set it's on, and a summary of the episode so I can read it and go "Oh yeah, I remember that episode! Let's watch that one!" Those right there are good liner notes. But for the most part, a piece of paper with pictures and stuff or a fold-out poster would suffice.

Moving on, the packaging itself. It's so random what you're going to get. Sometimes the case will stay closed by itself, other times it will randomly open while you're carrying it. The bit of plastic holding the disc in will either be lenient and let you remove the disc without trouble, or it'll be like the one in the case for the éX-Driver (im)Perfect Collection that holds on so tightly the disc is cracking from me having the audacity to try to remove and watch it a few times. Then there's those weird cases with the extra snapping bits. They're just redundant.

Now that we're inside the case again, the inventory control tags annoy me. They're almost always the same color as the plastic, and every single DVD case has one, even in a box set. Even if you ordered the damn thing online. Now I actually have an explanation for that. Since the production company packaging the discs up and shipping them has no easy way of telling if the recipient is a warehouse for an online shop or a 3D shop, they stick all the security bullshit on all of them. Better that than stolen merchandise. But still, I went on a crusade a while back and removed all of them from every DVD case I own, and I still find them in cases I swore I looked through before.

Before we go any further into the contents of the discs, let's talk some more about the cases. Normal DVD cases are thick. Then there's those thin ones that do pretty much the same thing but take up half the space. Those are awesome. I even have one anime series that has dual disc thin cases. But why in the shit do they remove ALL THE EXTRAS from the discs when making the thin-case sets? Does putting the disc in a thinner case reduce its capacity? No. Bastards.

Now that I can plausibly segue to the contents of the discs themselves, let's do so. Since I was just talking about them, I'll continue: extras. Sure, they're nice. Extra things like "making of" features, the occasional deleted scene or outtake, hilarious alternate endings, and much more are really great things to shove in a DVD release of whatever.

But why, in multi-disc sets, are the extras separated out per disc? It makes no sense. The case doesn't usually say "oh this disc has these extras on it" so unless by some shred of luck I actually remember which disc a specific extra I want to watch is on, I have to pop them all in and check. If you know you're going to have a multi-disc set, do us all a favor and put the extras on a disc all to themselves. That gives you more space on the feature disc for the actual feature. That translates into more episodes per disc of anime.

Don't give me this bullshit 3 or 4 episodes per disc, or worse, Furi Kuri, which was two episodes per disc for a 6 episode OAV. Yeah, I know anime DVDs in Japan are, with the exchange rate, approximately $RAPE for two episodes. I don't care. $10/episode is no. Try $5/episode. That gives us 6 episodes per disc, which DVDs are indeed capable of (ever hear of dual layer discs?).

There's the next thing. Dual layer DVDs are nice in general since they can hold twice the amount of content as a single layer disc. However, some of them I guess aren't manufactured as well as others and have a slight pause at the layer transition. I have plenty of dual layer movies where there is no pause at all at the transition; I don't even know where it is on all but one of them. Attack The Gas Station's layer transition is readily apparent and is extra annoying since it happens just as a police car starts moving out of the gas station. You expect it to keep rolling butPAUSEokay now it's going. I don't know how avoidable this is to the DVD player from a technical standpoint, but as previously stated, I have other dual layer movies where I don't notice the transition at all. The Last Samurai comes to mind.

Mentioning movies with foreign language dialogue reminded me of this: subtitles. Now, I'm not complaining about translation quality here, rather, the subtitles themselves. I know you have captions for the hearing impaired, but holy shit they're the worst subtitles ever. They just leave things out. Words, entire lines, etc. It doesn't make sense. What also doesn't make sense is that they put in sound effects. Like a deaf person is going to know what something sounds like.

Captions for the Hearing Impaired® also have extra things such as character names when a character's line starts while they're offscreen, and hyphens indicating the beginning of each line of dialogue. That's nice if you're deaf, but isn't needed if you can hear. Do us all a favor and include proper English subtitles in addition to the captions. Some of us turn the things on to try and understand what someone's saying on the more difficult lines. Sounds kind of strange being that English is my native language, but a lot of people butcher it in speech, sometimes unintentionally. So I go and turn on the subtitlescaptions and discover that whoever did them decided that line didn't need to be captioned. FFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUU--

Moving right along, we've got the disc in our player, so what's it doing? Playing unskippable logos, trailers, ads, and warnings describing just how badly you would have been sodomized if you had pirated the movie that you've legally obtained. Sometimes these things can in fact be skipped, sometimes you have to hit Next to skip them instead of Menu, and sometimes they're not there at all and the disc starts right up with the main menu. It's completely random, even within production company. Sometimes they put the warnings and capitalistic unskippables at the beginning of the feature instead of at the beginning of the disc. I'd actually prefer them not present at all, since I didn't pay money to be treated like a criminal or a consumer whore.

Anyway, so you get to the main menu. If it's anime, you may at this point be headed to the setup menu if you happen to prefer your audio in Japanese and your subtitles, which are 99.999999% of the time real subtitles instead of captions, in English. Or maybe you've already gone into your DVD player's settings and changed it so that it automatically chooses the language settings you desire, so you just hit Play or whatever and discover that it's ignored your player's settings entirely. This too is completely random even within production company. I used to have a database of all my anime DVDs just to keep track of this, but I lost it when I hastily reformatted when my network card died and I'm too lazy to reinstall mySQL and re-build it, so the PHP frontend just sits there nonfunctional on my server. It's another story entirely as to why my server wasn't holding the database.

Aside from the disc being full of itself and ignoring your language preferences, sometimes the disc is fubar'd to the point where the setup menu doesn't work. I first encountered this on the Read or Die OAV. Its setup menu doesn't change jack shit. I have to change the options quickly before the first line of dialogue.

Another thing I'm just reminded of happens on the Hand Maid May discs. The menus are dubbed over entirely, as in when you have Japanese selected, you hear May's Japanese voice, and when you have English selected, or are just starting it up and haven't had the opportunity to change it yet, you get assaulted with "THIS IS THE MAIN MENU!" from May's English voice actress. Once you get it into Japanese it's a much less shouted "main menu desu". What's weird is during the logos before the menu you can set the audio and subtitle languages using their respective buttons on your remote. So if you're fast enough, you can avoid the show's English audio adaptation entirely.

Depending on the movie, there's something I also notice that drives me crazy. I think I'm just a part of a small portion of the population that sees things like this, because I can see the DLP rainbows too. Single chip DLPs are unwatchable for me. Anyway, this generally happens with older movies made before DVDs came around that have been given DVD releases, and I guess is just an issue of the transfer or remaster or whatever. I can see the flicker of the frames being illuminated. Off the top of my head, I've noticed it in Blazing Saddles as well as Monty Python and The Holy Grail. Generally it's easy for me to ignore since it's most noticable on flat textures like walls, floors, ceilings, tables, etc., but it's there and I see it. These are official DVD releases, not bootlegs.

Blazing Saddles, and as I've found, many other Warner Brothers movies, if not all of them, also exhibit an interesting phenomenon. The movie will start automatically after the main menu loops precisely four times. I guess maybe they think you're sticking the disc in the player and then heading to the kitchen to get popcorn and root beer, so they give you time to do that and then start the movie for you so you don't have to touch a thing after putting the disc in. I've actually started using it for that purpose, though I have Coke Zero (sometimes Cherry Coke Zero) (sometimes with rum added) instead of root beer.

I actually meant to mention this back up near where I was talking about dual layer discs, but I segue'd into something else instead. I already forgot what it was and I'm too lazy to scroll back up there to see. Dual sided discs. WHY? Now both sides of the disc are susceptible to damage, and you have to inspect a tiny ring around the middle of the disc to see which side is which. What's worse is in these cases usually both sides are single layer. Just make it a dual layer disc and get it over with. Also in most cases movies released on dual sided DVDs don't have liner notes.

Sad thing is, most often dual sided discs are used to hold both the Widescreen version of a movie where you can view it as intended, and the Fullscreen version, where you get shit cut out off the sides of the picture. Why put the fullscreen version in there at all? Oh noes the widescreen version gets letterboxed on 4:3 televisions. So what? It's better than having portions of the movie's picture brazenly chopped off just so all the pixels can be used.

Furthermore, I own a DVD version of It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, possibly one of the best comedies out there. It was originally released as a dual sided disc, but mine isn't and has a proper label on one side. You'd think I'd be happy, having just read the bit about dual sided discs, but the main menu says "For special features turn disc over". I'd care about actually being able to see the special features a little more if I watched the movie regularly, but the thing is TWO HOURS AND FORTY ONE MINUTES LONG. Seriously a comedy just drags on if it's longer than an hour and a half or so. Cut out five or six of the useless subplots before releasing it.

No good segue here, but now we're talking about region restrictions. As far as I can tell these only exist to protect the profits of companies whose execs' pockets are already lined with gold. In all honesty, tell me why if I buy a movie in or from another country that happens to be in another arbitrarily-defined region, why I can't play it on a DVD player I purchased in my home country. In your response you are not allowed to mention the following words or their synonyms, other forms, or any euphemisms or rephrasings thereof: "rights", "distribution", "profit", "sales", "revenue", "piracy", "copying", "theft", "illegal", or the phrase "just because". "Piracy", "copying", "theft", and "illegal" are disallowed because it's so easy to just bullshit a response containing them.

Can't do it?

That's because it's impossible. Outside of different video standards (those wacky Europeans and their PAL video standard), there's no legitimate justifiable reason, and there can very easily be a separate flag on the disc for that. Or if you design your player properly you can have it convert so you can actually watch the movie.

Last but not least, some (most?) DVDs contain software that they try to install on autorun when the disc is inserted in the DVD drive of a computer. This usually installs some bullshit DRM scheme and a custom player full of glitzy graphics and lacking such essential features as fullscreen mode that's made to use it. Sometimes they don't give you a choice, the shit is installed without your will or desire. As you can readily see by popping the disc in your DVD player, the movie is perfectly playable without this crap, and it's trivial to avoid. Simply disable autoplay.

Companies: I don't care what you think your best interests are, they're not in my best interests, nor are they in my computer's best interests. I already have a software player to watch DVDs that I like and would like to use with everything thank you very much. I don't need your DRM'd bloatware clogging up my computer. If I want to skip warnings, trailers, commercials, logos, and watch it fullscreen with the ability to screencap in the full resolution of the video frame at opportune moments, I have that right. You hear that MAFIAA? It's my right, not my privelege, and nobody can take that away.

Holy crap I started writing this at 7:14 AM and now it's 9:26 AM.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

ADV manga sucks

It's been forever since I last bought a volume of manga produced by ADV. This would be directly related to them halting production of all of their manga licenses. It's rather hard for your manga division to make money when they're not fucking doing anything.

Because I know you care, here is some relevant information about the manga I was reading that they were releasing. I would like the last two volumes of Steel Angel Kurumi. I would like to see how it ends. There are no scanlations online anywhere, hell, I can't even find raws.

Similarly, I want more Yotsuba&!. A google search for "yotsubato volume 6 scanlate", however, brings up a yahoo answers page where an answer that isn't the asker's chosen answer says that Yen Press has acquired the rights and will be releasing it beginning in September. Indeed, this appears to be true. The asker's chosen answer is, surprise, about scanlations, however I'd already found the site they linked to and tried to download the first chapter I don't have and discovered that trying to download anything off of it results in an HTTP 403 Forbidden error.

So in summary, fuck you ADV. I hope Yen Press doesn't fuck up the translation.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Music is fun

A while back, I wrote a quick 30 second loop called "Peaceful Town". Since then I've had some more ideas on how to extend it. My goal right now is to get it to a minute and a half, right now I've got it at a minute.

You can grab the extended version here. It's 695KB, and encoded in Ogg Vorbis just like before. If you need something to play it, I recommend Foobar2000. In addition to lengthening it, I also added proper key_offs for stopping the notes in the main melody whenever they stop, as opposed to using the note cut command. It sounds better this way, though they kinda fade out which I don't like but couldn't find a good solution to.

Just in case you're wondering, I wrote this in MilkyTracker, an open source cross-platform FastTracker 2 clone. I forget where I got the samples from, so I've uploaded the archive they came in here. It's a rar archive, so you'll need Izarc or 7-Zip or something to unpack it. Yeah, the directory and file names are in spanish. Whatever. I used the grand piano and flute samples.

Friday, July 10, 2009

bittorrent bullshit

I'm thinking of switching bittorrent clients. Wikipedia has a comparison of them that's kind of hard to use as it's approximately five million tables on a page and you have to determine the relation of a row of data from one table to the next.

Anyway, here's my story. I currently use Azureus (now called Vuze, whatever) in the classic UI. It has a ton of features, including several which I just don't see the point of.

I've used uTorrent before, and I don't feel inclined to go back to it. Especially not since it sold out to the MAFIAA. There are other, more operational reasons as to why I'm not going back to it. First off, it seemed to blatantly ignore the upload cap I had set. Second, its RSS feed reading/automatic downloading feature only supports simple wildcards as opposed to regular expressions. Regular expressions are approximately 9001% more powerful than simple wildcards and offer much more fine-tuned matching of releases. Perhaps I'll go into the difference at another time.

I will say this now: The RSS bit I mentioned above is really the only thing keeping me on Azureus. After having set it up, I have come to depend on it automatically downloading things for me. It's a pretty nice feeling to wake up, get on the computer, and discover that it's downloaded the latest episode of whatever series I'm watching. To quote Ron Popeil, it's "Set it, and forget it!"

I've been looking at alternatives, but it's tough to find something that fits my basic criteria:
  • Open source (i.e. not uTorrent)
  • Has to play nice in swarms (i.e. not BitComet/BitLord)
  • Freeware (shareware/adware sucks)
  • Available for Windows (otherwise I'd just use rtorrent)
  • Light on resources (number one complaint about Azureus, however Firefox uses way more resources than Azureus does)
  • RSS downloading with regular expression matching is a must
  • Must have the ability to cap upload (most clients do these days)
  • Protocol encryption (most clients have this)
  • Having an indicator of whether or not I've got my NAT set up right would be neat too, but not required.
  • Needs to close when I click the Close button in the upper right corner. None of this "minimize to tray on close" bullshit.
  • Could show time left to a configurable seeding goal
  • Ability to disable automatically updating the client, "anonymous" usage statistics, or other bullshit
Things I don't need:
  • Glitzy user interfaces (i.e. not Vuze)
  • Torrent "labels" (what are these even for? is figuring out what you're downloading by looking at its name really that difficult?)
  • Chat (I've got IRC and Pidgin for that)
  • Built in features that aren't removable such as most of Azureus' plugins (why are they plugins if they're required?)
  • Torrent search engine (I've got google for that)
Of everything I've looked at so far, Deluge appears to be one of the best candidates. Halite looked neat but lacks the critical RSS feed feature (at least, they don't mention it in their feature list). I'm not using the official bittorrent client for obvious reasons (spoiler, it's uTorrent reskinned).

I'm not all that motivated to switch, as Azureus is still 100% functional, and if it ain't broke don't fix it. Yet at the same time I'd like to know what else I could switch to and still use in the way I've become accustomed to using Azureus.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

omg yay

Through The Fire and Flames really is easier in GH:SH. I know this because I can get through the intro. It's slider notes, which means I can just tap it and not have to worry about my failure of an elbow strum.

I have to SP hoard because I never know which phrases I'll get and which I'll miss. When do I use it? Just after Twin Solo, on what was once the Red Snake. I'm always in the red at that point, and after what was once called So Far Away III I'm back in the green.

"What was once called..."? Yeah. For whatever reason, Neversoft handed GH:SH over to Beenox, who didn't see it fit to keep the same section names or section marker locations. So instead of it being So Far Away III like we're used to, it's something stupid like Chorus 3A and 3B. I don't know why they subdivided the sections, but they also did it to the intro, which caught me off-guard the first time I loaded it up in practice.

The point of this post is because I finally passed the fucker on expert guitar. 264,063 points. A really shitty 3 star, but it's better than no stars.

The intro has changed ever so slightly, I guess just to fuck with everyone's muscle memory on the tapping pattern. I use iamchris4life's tapping method, modified for the new chart. I'd show the differences and stuff but:
  1. Dinner's ready
  2. and Facebook'd fuck up the formatting and I'd have to reply saying "OMG TEH FAECBOOK FORMATTING FIAL VIEW ON MAH BLAG" like usual.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It's raining outside.

I used the subject "HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK" too recently to use it again, but it's definitely applicable here.

Guitar Hero Smash Hits.


Lead guitar.

Raining Blood.


Smash Hits' Mosh 1 is a lot easier to hit. I didn't think moving the bottom note of each orange descending slide from red to green would make much of a difference, but... yeah. It did.

I even hit the 5 note chord at the end, even though I dropped red a little bit thereafter.

Also this is one for the "shitty run with an exact score" record as well since I got 160000 points.

PS2 crashed from the awesomeness. Thankfully it saved. I think it was actually trying to prevent me from playing Rock and Roll All Nite. Why didn't it do that for Miss Murder, the other song that shouldn't have been in the game?