taking joy in human unreason

2004 June 23

Interesting linkage–some old, some new

  • Max Thrane’s “Why I hate Gmail” – An interesting complaint (with hilarious examples) on the hype that has sucked up bloggers regarding Gmail. (On a geeky note, that is a very sexy color scheme/layout on that site…)
  • “UPN, blackspoitation of the 21th (sic) century” – Written by a Rose student (should this be advertised?), this is commentary on (as the title suggests) UPN’s choice of programming, complete with a proposed, ah, “solution”. The first half of the post has a good point, anyway. The second half is a little over the top.
  • “Donor Eggs and Stupid Names and Anal Temperatures, Oh My!” – Hilarious for the stupid names portion, in the second and third paragraphs. Actually, the whole thing is interesting and intelligent (as is the rest of the site, for that matter).
  • Keep reading >>

    Unfortunately, the difficult part is tomorrow…

    So I’ve been working on this app for Dr. M–the UV/VIS number cruncher. I’ve got it working and all that good stuff, but I need to redesign the GUI, and that gets saved for tomorrow, with all the joys of fighting with Visual C++. The big thing was getting it working, and quickly, behind the scenes.

    I ran into an interesting dilemma where the app ran so slowly it was unbearable. It took twenty to thirty minutes to crunch about seventy thousand pairs of wavelength/absorbance data (a 1.3 MB comma delimited file). It took the old DOS version about a minute. It obviously wasn’t any of the algorithms Mr. Dr. M wrote, since the DOS version worked fine.

    Two hours and much research on file streams in Windows later (my initial suspicion was that using the old iostream class to perform file IO in Windows was killing the app–but again, the DOS version does), I found two lines where I used an ass-backwards, convoluted way of clearing two vectors and inserting data into them again. And those two clearing statements are executed for every single sample set (26 * 4.5 = 117), and the two statements to assign the data are executed for every single pair of wavelength/absorbance data. See about about 70,000 pairs being in this particular file.

    A quick fix to the four lines in question gave me a sexy fast app. It’s about damn time. I love this stuff, though…

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    Recent Posts

    Exploit: Zero Day “Headless Swarm” Landing December 1

    So we’ve been working on Exploit: Zero Day for a couple of years now, but I haven’t talked nearly enough about it here. It’s a web-based cyberthriller puzzle game where you play as a hacktivist, uncovering and battling against oppression and exploitation.

    *innocent whistle* Totally not the sort of game I’d want to make or play, no…

    It’s been in closed alpha for a while, but we’re ready to offer a prelude season of paid story: “Headless Swarm”. For details on the plotline and how it relates to the continued free alpha access, check out the announcement blog post over at FPG.

    Keep reading >>

    Attending a Charlottean Protest

    I visited uptown Charlotte tonight, amidst the current protests and unrest after Keith Scott’s death. My friend and I had a few tidbits of info on where people were meeting, but nothing concrete, so we wandered along several streets.

    In areas where people weren’t protesting, businesses were closed, and the streets were unusually silent for 20:30 on a Friday night. Troops stood in clumps of three on corners, waving or saying hello when you passed them. The occasional humvee or police SUV drove by.

    Things were more lively at the Omni Hotel, where folks had covered the sidewalk in chalk. There were lots of media there: it was clearly an “allowed”, acceptable, media-consumable gathering. I’d maybe characterize it as a space for quieter expression of grief, although it was criticized by another gathering as essentially being for the white people. The writings were names of people killed and sayings that many of us are familiar with: “hands up don’t shoot”, “when will we have justice?”, etc. Religious figures were around, praying with people.

    Further down Trade St., past the bus station, a group had gathered in front of some government building. My friend and I stayed there for a while. They were chanting “I am my brother’s’ keeper!” and folks were stepping up to share their perspectives. Four National Guards and a cop stood between the crowd and the building (with the aid of crowd control barriers), utterly stoic when the crowd shouted questions at them.

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    Remastering “The Majesty of Colors”

    Folks probably know that I make video games as part of Future Proof Games, but maybe not what we’re doing at the moment. Many, many (many) years ago, Gregory made “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”, a very sweet Flash game about balloons and drowning.

    As the site stats geek for FPG, I can tell you “Majesty” remains pretty damned popular. (Hell, it just got linked by Buzzfeed a few days ago.) It’s an evocative game that continues to appeal to folks wanting to explore the soft feelings of a big, weird, sessile alien. Problem is, Flash is finally actually dying — no phone/tablet can run it, and some browser configurations require user action before it’ll run Flash.

    So we’re bringing “Majesty” to modern devices: Android, iOS, and Windows/OSX/Linux. And holy crap, this game feels great on a phone; moving the tentacle with your finger just feels real in a way that the tiny, mouse-controlled Flash version doesn’t. I’m excited to test it on tablets.

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    July 3rd 2016
    Tags: On Life and Love, , No Comments

    First Hair Highlights

    The first time I dyed my locs.

    One of the first pictures taken of my newly-dyed locs.

    I did it! I’ve had locs twice now, for a total of almost five years, and each time I’ve gone, “I should be bold and dye my hair!”

    But it’s very permanent, especially since my natural hair color likely needs to be lightened for color to show much. Plus, lightening hair can be damaging. Last thing I want is to have my locs falling out. I’ve literally spent years growing these things; I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little attached to them, even if I don’t name them or count them.

    But finally, with the aid of recommendations from friends and family on a beautician, I got my hair did.

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    Ossuary 25% Off on Steam!

    Steam Summer Sale 2016 Offer

    Ossuary—Future Proof’s first commercial game release—is part of the Steam Summer Sale and will be 25% off until July 4. If you haven’t had a chance to play yet, it’s only $7.50 (USD). If you’re on the fence, the demo, “The Hodge-Podge Transformer,” is also on Steam.

    It’s been on Steam for a year and a month now, and it’s been a fascinating experience. After watching a few Let’s Plays of Ossuary and “Hodge-Podge,” we released an update in December to improve the tutorial experience and solve some colorblindness issues.

    EZD Logo Color Our current work in progress is Exploit: Zero Day, a cyberthriller where you roleplay a hacktivist by making and solving puzzles. It’s pretty cool, and our alpha players are making really friggin’ awesome puzzles and stories. If you want in, hop on the monthly mailing list and you’ll get a key in the next newsletter.

    When a Nasal Polyp Isn’t a Nasal Polyp

    I had a pretty gross thing happen to me today.

    It started with a long, thin scope being poked into my nose — deep into my nose. They need to see where this mass in my nose was attached before they removed it.
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    Questionable Decisions: Hot Yoga

    I made a questionable decision this afternoon.

    After coffee with a yogi friend, I was inspired to start climbing back on the yoga horse. Most yoga studios in my area only have Saturday morning classes, so I had very few options for something in the afternoon.

    Whatever. I was feeling brave. I signed up for an all-levels Vinyasa hot class at a studio I’d never been to. Ninety minutes.

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