Tuesday, 15 May 2012

And now for something completely different... Cufón sux.

So... I've started seeing a lot of this JavaScript library called Cufón. Fonts for the People it says.

UGH! Please people, stop relying on JavaScript DOM hijacking for delivering web fonts. It's notoriously unreliable and requires just too much work to manage.

HTML5 and CSS3 are where web development is at, and both are fucking reliable and gracefully degrade. If you have not read HTML5 and CSS3: Develop Today with Tomorrow's Standards by Brian P. Hogan (Pragmatic Bookshelf) and have not read chapter 19, Using Real Fonts, please, if you use Cufón and/or you're a web dev, stop reading this, click the above link and get rid of Cufón.

Right.

Now.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:09 AM in nerdery

Monday, 31 May 2010

Memories of gaming: TMNT&OS

I really like the new TMNT movie. I wrote about the release of this movie... damn, three years ago! My review stands and I might even raise it a star, giving it 4.

More recently though this blog has been about RPGs, so I wanted to talk a bit about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness by Palladium. 

As RPG systems go, Palladium's Megaversal System has a rap: it's broken or it has too much crunch, etc. But I really liked the TMNT&OS, and many of my friends did too. We played a lot of TMNT&OS (and Twilight: 2000 or WFRP) in those heady days above Dragonware Hobbies in Conyers, GA, or in our living rooms.

My TMNT&OS campaign was a good one. I remember the randomly assembled mutant "anti-heros" called themselves the "Peacemakers" (before the ideas of a "group template" received mainstream appeal). The problem was the team tended leave anything but peace in their wake. I played in a couple of games where the GM was rotated in the same campaign world (and lost a character to a merciless headshot after being overcome by an NPC and used a bargaining chip for escape with the NPC's gun against his temple; the Peacemakers were not ones that played nice with heavy-handed tactics of this kind, and my character was dead1).

I have great memories of TMNT&OS as a game. The game system though was one that honestly did sour my feelings for most other Palladium games. I never picked up Rifts, by far the most well-known title in the Palladium library, but I did own Recon, not sure if I owned the RPG, Inc. release or the Palladium release (the dates are pretty telling that I owned the Palladium release though).

Good times... ~o)



  1. [1] As a GM I think that headshots like the one described are instantly lethal. No save. No hit points. No "to-hit" roll. Bam. You're dead. How do you play it? I do concede if the system provides a "save mechanic" e.g., WFRP Fate Points, then maybe a survival is possible. TMNT&OS did not provide this mechanic, as I recall, and I accepted the ruling of the GM.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:57 PM in nerdery

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Penguicon announcement

I just learned that a table opened at Penguicon for running a game.

It's been 20 years since I ran at a con (AFF c. 1989). It was a rocky game of Shadowrun 1st ed. I think I had 20 minutes to prep.

Here's my primer:

Warhammer Fantasy Role Play, 2d edition

WFRP is Games Workshop's groundbreaking RPG set in the epic, grim and perilous world of Warhammer Fantasy Battles. WFRP 2d Edition expands and builds on the 20 year old system that won accolades in 1986.

Poisoned Borders, an ongoing personal campaign, is spun off in this  one-shot as local heroes bravely pickup where transient heroes left  off...

"Three days ago, an elf, a dwarf and a priest of Sigmar returned with  two men-at-arms and the dwarf high priestess of Valaya. Without as much as a word, they left Helmgart for Bretonnia in the west. In their  wake: joy and mystery. The priestess, regaled as a hero for returning with a lost tome of healing that promised a cure to the racking cough plaguing townfolk and garrison, decended into madness. Her ever public rantings foretell  greater dangers lurking in the steep mountains above Helmgart."

The party of 4-6 players are locals of Helmgart. Mostly friendly to  each other and very bored with scratching out existence on the  Empire's rocky western edge, the mystery of just what would shake a  dwarf's sanity begs your attention. And now Leo brings his father's  journal: greenskins!

Greenskins aren't so tough. Then again, there is the matter of the priestess...

I would like to record the 4 hour session. Maybe just blog/tweet the hell out of it. I'll play it by ear.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:42 AM in nerdery

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Panzerblitz: Hill of Death released!

My copy arrived last week.

After a vacation in the mountains, I finally set up the game, cut the counters and ran through one of the scenarios.

Wow... Excellent game!

I poked good natured fun at the "removal of the gameyness" but I see the balance of complexity and approachability is met.

I have some rule questions, yet otherwise a great show by MMP.

Posted by caffeinated at 11:53 PM in nerdery

Saturday, 21 February 2009

PostgreSQL upgrade complete

I just finished my psql upgrade. It went flawlessly for a DBA hack.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:31 PM in nerdery

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

SSH on the iPhone

I am typing this in vi over SSH on the EDGE network on my iPhonr. Sad isn't it? ~o)

Posted at 4:08 PM in nerdery

Sunday, 21 December 2008

NetBeans 6.5

I downloaded NetBeans 6.5 last night.

They fixed the problem on Mac (and some Linux platforms) where the cursor would lose focus in the editor, making the intellisense nigh unusable. NetBeans 6.5 remains easy to use and new features look promising, especially the JavaScript library support.

I'm a NetBeans adherent. I work amongst a cadre of Eclipse advocates. Understand, nothing wrong with Eclipse, it's a fine IDE. Except I find the Eclipse website and "perspectives" mind numbing.

A visit to Eclipse.org leaves you wondering, "What exactly do I need to download to write Java?" NetBeans.org has a prominent link on the homepage and a very simple chart. BAM! IDE ready to go.

Once you have Eclipse, navigating through "perspectives" can leave a developer lost as the entire interface might change. Forget remembering where "that button" is, it was sure to have moved in the perspective.

My two cents. Give NetBeans a spin. You won't be disappointed.

Posted by caffeinated at 3:12 PM in nerdery

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Spent the weekend getting my nerd on

I went to NoFluffJustStuff this weekend with coworkers. Spent the weekend in Reston, VA, USA (near Washington, D.C.).

While the nerd level remained high across all the sessions, we spent the nights enjoying live music in small bars in Georgetown and Alexandria.

Downtime consisted of trolling for coffee and reading source material for my WFRP campaign (that is about to get underway again after 4+ weeks off). ~o)

Posted by caffeinated at 11:40 AM in nerdery

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Blog migration plans

With my new PostgreSQL backend, I'm planning some migration of ACD and other services currently “in production.”

Some downtime will be expected, but it should be short. Everything is conceptual at the moment, because there will be some feature loss with moving to the new blog platform series. I'm hoping to improve some resource management on the server at the some time by consolidating the engines running on the backend.

This is a peek behind the curtain how a geek's mind works... ~o)

Posted by caffeinated at 9:41 AM in nerdery

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Getting your IP address

There are a lot of "What's your IP" services on the net. This is not about those.

I had a need today to load a shell script with the IP address of my interface at work. ifconfig told me, but it was noisy. So I crafted the following one-liner on the command line then used it in the shell script (depending on your distro, you might have better ways, but this solved an immediate need):

IP=`ifconfig en0 | grep -w inet | cut -d ' ' -f 2`

Posted by caffeinated at 12:40 PM in nerdery

Friday, 10 October 2008

PostgreSQL installed... lurking plans

I just built PostgreSQL. I'm about to install a wiki for my ongoing WFRP campaign... and I'm playing with Stripes, a JSP view-controller framework as I continue to study for a professional exam.
Posted by caffeinated at 10:46 PM in nerdery

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Panzerblitz: Hill of Death box art release

After almost two years on a pre-order queue comes the promise of a December 2008 release. Panzerblitz: Hill of Death.

Not your father's Panzerblitz? How about not my Panzerblitz... :)

Panzerblitz:Hill of Death box art

The box art is very evocative of the legacy of Panzerblitz/Panzer Leader. I even like the color. Alas though it is not with critics. And at least one very valid criticism... the photo is a Photoshop'd very well known one from the Battle of the Bulge. British, yes. Period, late, but passable. Operation? Not even close.

British Tank Patrolling The Meuse At  Namur

But if finding a photo from the Battle of Hill 112 means delaying this game. I say, eh. So what.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:04 PM in nerdery

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

REH's Conan the Cimmerian

The library delivered Robert E. Howard's The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, the first of a three volume set published in 2002–2003. It is a definitive collection. The first thirteen stories in the order they were released by REH, not a perceived order by those that came after, or a forced chronology.

The Forward and Introduction are alone worth reading. The opinion of pastiches by authors that came after, or of those that attempted to finish the unfinished is raw and frank. An opinion to which I heartily agree.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:38 AM in nerdery

Friday, 4 July 2008

Coffee, Donuts, and JavaScript

The Fourth of July. A US holiday.

I'm having a donut, some coffee, and exercising some of my JavaScript acumen today sipping on some coffee. The YUI library docs at hand, the Stripes JAR on disk, webapp loaded, and thinking about bagels.

“Bagels? You're having a donut!,” one might query.

My job is such that I have to evaluate tools for improving existing applications. Some quiet time on a holiday let's me do just that. I'm building a bagel club prototype to demo some of the advanced features of the YUI, the Stripes MVC framework, JavaScript, and the DWR for talking to the backend.

Normally, I might devote the day to thinking about Warhammer Fantasy Role Play, the campaign, &tc. I'll do that tonight. I'll probably, finally, tackle that annoying IE 6/7 display bug in Inns of the Empire. Finally. ~o)

Posted by caffeinated at 10:57 AM in nerdery

Thursday, 29 May 2008

The Maven Kool-aid

I'm sipping from the tub of Maven kool-aid being passed around at work.

mmmmm... my favorite, java flavored.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:32 PM in nerdery