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.

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