Thursday, 28 June 2007

Game horizon

All quiet on the east coast? Not really.

I've posted in the past about coming out as gamer at work (following up to Dr. Rotwang! excellent post over at I Waste The Buddha With My Crossbow). No question my RSS Feed screensaver of Treasure Tables is opening the closet, but my Panzer Leader counter plates from Imaginative Strategist have been the boon. The number of board game geeks around me are legion! I hope to get together for a few clashes in cardboard soon.

Then there is this gem from an interview of Patton Oswalt, the comedian, in this month's Wired:

Wired: You're nearly 40, and you've 
       returned to playing Dungeons & Dragons. 
       Please explain.

Oswalt: It's a benign way to 
        have a midlife crisis that doesn't involve 
        sports cars.  My wife is probably hoping, 
        "Maybe tonight he'll just go to a strip club..." 
        Instead, I'm out rolling dice and saying 
        things like, "I don't know if a Wall of Fog 
        spell lasts that long!"

I read that aloud to my wife. She doesn't know how good she has it. ;)

This weekend is a meeting of the WFRP party. One short, but two strong. What happens to everyone at the gates of Ossino that the party is split? I want the story to go on... maybe I'll opt for a one off. ~o)

Posted by caffeinated at 9:59 PM in d10

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Another part of my hidden geek

The boardgame, war.

This is going to date me: Avalon Hill. Panzer Leader.

No question my favorite wargame. I owned quite a few Avalon Hill games back in my heyday, including Squad Leader and Panzerblitz. There was Blitzkrieg and Tactics (I and II) as well. Avalon Hill was one of the best. I enjoyed SSI too, but AH always had a special place.

I have my parents hunting for my copies of these games in their attic. There is real promise that they have one or all of them. Panzer Leader is the only one I hope they find though.

I was recently talking with my neighbor, 10 years my junior, so the interest--in Avalon Hill, their games, or game play--quickly waned. As a WWII history buff, there was my interest in military-in-scale to fuel my fire for such simulations. Truly, part of the attraction of Panzer Leader was the box art: two Tiger tanks approach along an anonymous European dirt road, the lead tank's commander scans the horizon for threats or targets. There is something even today about the minimalist design of the box art that is evocative of the game, the theater, and the war. It is box art that would hold its own even in today's market. The font is the perfect bold sans-serif, white on a field of black.

So I'm looking for my copy of the game, and thinking about eBay options just in case, even just foregoing it all and using the rules--available online--and making my own counters (using the Imaginative Strategist's outstanding counters and maps).

I love being a geek.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:52 PM in nerdery

Testing MarsEdit

Looking for a good blogging tool.

I like the admin interface for blojsom, but I would like less web-based tool.

This is a test post from MarsEdit.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:58 AM in experimental madness

Apple Genius?

My peeps know me as a huge Mac Fanboy.

The Mac OS is the fabled “Linux Desktop”: debate over. Ubuntu? Nope. Beryl and Ubuntu? Nope. Let the flame war start. I'm the final arbiter of all comments, so bring it on.

That debate settled, let me say that the “Apple Genius” I had last week at the Christana Mall Apple Store was anything other than a “genius.” Poser is more like it.

The sole purpose of his training by Apple was to be able to use “I’m a genius.” in a conversation. Or was it to refine innate condescension. Actual conversion to a customer query:

Customer: Can I get some assistance with checking out?
Apple Genius: I’m a genius. 
              You’ll have to get someone on the floor.

Translation: “Please get one of the untrained peons on the floor and do not bother me.”

And just like that, my pretentious meter pegged. I suddenly couldn’t see him for anything other than a freckled-faced, ginger-kid with a mop cut and all the trappings of a young, college know-it-all elitist, right down to the green and yellow “Global Warming” wrist band to clash with the black “genius” tee.

But first impressions should not set the tone. I would allow him to perform his magic with my iMac. What was wrong with my iMac?

A documented power supply failure.

The iMac functioned, but the power supply would intermittently fail and the system would restart.

How do you diagnose this? Well, there are a couple of ways, but the common one is: document the restarting, then examine the logs for AppleSMU -- shutdown cause = -122. Having found this, you can learn, with Google, that the code is linked to a power supply problem, and from there you can trace this to the power supply recall by Apple.

How does an Apple Genius diagnose this problem? By overloading the CPU and VM/Swap. Dumbass. Disk I/O and CPU load is not a method of diagnosing a power supply problem. The iMac could have been idle, no user logged in (save root), fresh from a restart, and restart again. Never did I ever see this problem described as a processing problem. Now, assuming that Apple has a database for a genius to turn too, you would expect that performing some log analysis would have been recommended. No. I was left pondering the reasons I was there for 30 minutes while he busied himself with something behind a terminal and my iMac was dutifully swapping memory for the 40 or so applications launched. Whatever. Not one time did he look at the logs. He just said, “I’m going to turn on all the applications now to duplicate the problem.”

WTF? I thought. You just determined my iMac was qualified by looking at the EMC No., so what else needs to be done? You could look at the logs, maybe.

All said, I got a case number for the power supply. It’s user-serviceable. Thank God. I wouldn’t want him cracking the case of my iMac.

He’s an idiot, not a genius.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:45 AM in kaffehaus

Monday, 11 June 2007

Safari on Windows passes the Acid2 test

Three words: Safari on Windoze.

Okay, a few more: I’ve already got it running. I could see that piece of shit Internet Exploder being shooed stage left, of course.

Safari 3.0β passes the Acid2 test

Just thought I would update this post from Safari on Windoze. Nice, a very Mac-like experience. Let’s look at the User-Agent string:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en) AppleWebKit/522.11.3 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Safari/522.11.3

Did I mention it passes the Acid2 test? Safari on Windows passes the Acid2 test! Now, that’s news.

Posted by caffeinated at 6:10 PM in nerdery

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Die Tee Die Open

Die Tee Die is open with a few offerings. Don’t be afraid of the “hotwear.”

A simple website is up too; design blog to come (gotta build the template).

Best enjoyed with purchase. Someone has to be the first action shot, don’t make it me!

Posted by caffeinated at 10:14 PM in d10

Monday, 4 June 2007

Die Tee, Die!

How do you roll?

I suspect if you’re a regular visitor of this mixed topic blog with a decided bent to the hobby of roleplaying, my bet is you roll with a d20, or a pair of d10s (maybe even a d4 for those special magic missile occasions).

So, with an impulse of putting some of my pro-am digital art skills to work and living like a gamer that means it, I sought to create some simple, stylish designs for t-shirts with a focus on “old school” roleplaying.

What I didn’t want was a rehashing of the overused gamer clichés. I wanted to find a place where pop meets geek culture, and Die Tee Die! was born.

I think my first offerings come out of the starting gate with promise. Colorful and direct, with a twist on what it means to “roll.” Let me know what you think!

A website and blog (of course) are in development. To my amazement, Die Tee Die!, the perfect word play (and pop culture reference) for this endeavor was available as both a domain and a CafePress store. I couldn’t have rolled for that kind of success… ~o)

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Posted by caffeinated at 8:00 AM in d10

Sunday, 3 June 2007

McCain drops 20 points

My wife and I, opposites on the political spectrum on many issues, meet in a hypothetical middle on Senator John McCain. My wife might say, “He’s crazy! and gets my vote.” Today, I read, first on slashdot, then the article, that McCain is a) against Net Neutrality and b) wants Microsoft CEO Steve “I’m-going-to-fucking-kill-Google” Ballmer for his cabinet if elected.

McCain might have dropped off our collective radar.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:27 PM in kaffehaus

Friday, 1 June 2007

Free RPG Day is June 23, 2007

Free RPG Day is June 23, 2007My FLGS reminded me today of Free RPG Day. Sponsors include Chessex, Green Ronin, and many more.

Spread the word and “Give A Little Game!”

Posted by caffeinated at 6:47 PM in d10