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Roll out.

Okay, I've been putting off updating and there's a lot of stuff I need to post, like the pictures of the birdies and stuff, but that's all going to have to wait. I need to make this statement:

The Transformers movie is the best action movie ever. This movie kicks ass. I don't want to hear about your complaints, your whines that it's not true to the source, or that it's too shallow for non-fans, or whatever you wrong people bitch about. This was what every summer popcorn flick should be like, and it has Peter Cullen's voice in it, so anyone who doesn't agree that this movie is awesome is wrong and deserves to be beaten by an angry mob.

Can I be more clear?
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I'm a granddaddy!!!!one

More pictures are on the way, but here's a saved image off my webcam from this afternoon.

That's my hand, and the camera is a wireless digital camera that's sitting in a hanging pot and looking down on a flowerbed.

...And those two little grey blurs in the nest next to my hand are day-old Mourning Doves. More pictures soon. Meanwhile you can go to my webcam and watch the nest at Remember I'm on Central Time here; when it's night here the cam will be solid black.
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For Guild Wars players (also a breif life-update)

Not much noteworthy's been happening for me. More hastle with lies and misdirection and pushy employers but nothing to write home about. Two weekends ago I went with my family to Fort Worth, saw the Ft. Worth Stockyard and toured the downtown, and took in a show by a country swing group called the Quebe Sisters Band -- good music, even if it's not your usual cup of tea.

So much for the update. I wanted to post some notes for Guild Wars players, about some upcoming events for the game. The latest issue of PC Gamer came packed with a bonus code to get a pet miniature in the game, and about ten pages worth of articles about the new Guild Wars expansion Eye of the North due out this Autumn, and for Guild Wars 2, due out in 2009. For curious GW players, here are the highlights that I haven't seen mentioned on line yet:

Eye of the North notes
  • Intended for L20 characters
  • Hall of Monuments feature, a record of your character's acheivements through Eye of the North, transfers honors and titles across to GW2. Will also transfer mini-pets across to GW2, and some special weapons as well.
  • 10 new Heroes, including non-human ones
  • Antagonist is "The Great Destroyer," the enemy of the Dwarf god "The Great Dwarf."
  • Plot starts with huge earthquakes through all three campaign settings.
  • Asura are driven from their underground homes by the quakes.
  • 18 multilevel dungeons
  • Story is arranged in 3 acts.
  • Four adventuring areas:

    • Far Shiverpeaks - Northern Shiverpeaks area.
    • Charr Homeland - North of Ascalon, it's actually green and temperate
    • Tarnished Coast - borders the Maguuma Jungle and is wet and swampy
    • Depths of Tyria - Underground catacombs inhabitted by Dwarves and Asura

Guild Wars 2 notes
  • Set on same world (Tyria) hundreds of years after GW1.
  • NOT as linear and storyline-based as GW1, more like an MMO setting; mention of story-arcs like in COH.
  • More and larger persistant areas, including areas outside settlements; more like CoH's system of big persistant regions with doorways to small instanced mission areas.
  • Persistant areas will be used for "Events," kind of like the fires in CoH.
  • Event results will permanently change the persistant world.
  • Level cap is 100+ or possibly limitless.
  • Sidekick system similar to CoH's people at different levels teaming up.
  • No click-and-move controls.
  • More movement options; swimming, jumping, and sliding.
  • Skill descriptions will be more vague and will not announce effects like "affects target and adjacent targets."
  • Combat is supposed to be different, but you still lock onto a target RGP-style and select a skill to attack with.
  • Multiple login servers like CoH; servers can actually war with each other in a between-server world called the Mists.
  • Server-vs-server games will be similar to capture-the-flag in GW1, with control points (secondary objectives) and no min or max team size, but grand in scale and players can join and leave at any time; battles will take weeks to complete.
  • Player can enter the Mists and complete a small task towards the main goal; it's "get in and get out at your leisure" PvP.
  • "Traditional" PvP and Guild-vs-Guild will be present with even-matched skills and weapons selection like in GW1.
  • Play will accomodate solo playes and scale upwards for groups.
  • Pets and Companions will be customizable, similar to GW1 heroes, but do not take up a slot in your party.
  • Each player can bring along one Companion on missions; if you choose not to bring one, your character is buffed to compensate.
  • Graphics engine is rebuilt GW1 engine.
  • Goal is to make the game playable on computers made in the last three years.
  • Same payment model as GW1: no monthly fee, server maintenance covered by periodic releasal of content updates for purchase.
  • No new campaigns for GW2 -- all missions will take place in the same world/region.
  • Possibility of smaller and cheaper expansions released more frequently.
  • NCSoft US CEO Richard Garriott says the GW1 pay model was a "failed experiment," mainly because it only works if the company can put out a new title every 6 months like clockwork (and ArenaNet couldn't, Nightfall was about 6 months late). ArenaNet (GW developers) say that they're sticking with the no-monthly-fee model for GW2 just the same.

Some really good ideas in there, though at this point it's really nothing more than the devs' wish list. Here's hoping they get to see all these ideas through. I'll take Guild Wars over City of Heroes, World of Warcraft, or Star Wars Galaxies any day of the week. It's good to know that there are plans for really cool things in the works for the next few years.

i R on th3 interwebs!

I'm on the internet! On my laptop!

...Which is in my lap in the passenger seat of my folks' SUV, currently driving through downtown Dallas.

This mobile internet stuff can be pretty dang cool sometimes. AIM'd with Meagen, played a little Guild Wars. Traffic jams are no stress for me right now. ^^
  • Current Mood
    amused amused
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Back online

a Draegos joint's back online, and only after abouty 36 hours without internet. Switching out the modem had no effect just like I said it would, though it does mean I have a classier black modem now instead of the bulkier, so-last-week white modem I've been using for the last six years.

The tech guy from Time Warner came out and plugged my cable line into a giant PSP thing and apparently knew exactly what the problem was. Went back outside and played with the line at the junction box on the complex wall, and in ten minutes I was block sync'ing like a crazy person. Downstream's currently almost 7mbps, that's better than it's ever been.

...I'm not fooled.

This has happened before with Time Warner, too. If the pattern holds, my internet will mysteriously break again and this time it'll take weeks to months before they fix it (once it actually took them THREE MONTHS to get a scheduled technician to my door). We'll see. But their obvious effort today deserved mentioning, I figured. We'll see if their track record wins through or if they really have cleaned up their act...

Cable modem out AGAIN

The idiots at Time Warner have managed to break my broadband service again, and now my only route to the internet is my cell phone. So no "a Draegos joint" services until they can get me fixed up, and God only knows when that'll be.

The story they told me this time is that my old Motorola SB4200 cable modem is "not compatable with Roadrunner." Aparently the modem wasn't aware that it's been working fine with Roadrunner for at least four months now. In a desperate move to get me off the phone so he could return to his porn browsing, "Larry" suggested I exchange my old modem for a new one, which I'll be doing in the morning at the Roadrunner service center down the street. When that doesn't work I'm not sure what I'll do next, aside from call the support number again and inflict my rage on a phone support rep who isn't impowered to do anything about it except log it in a ticket and file it somewhere where it'll never be read or followed up on.

At least with the new cellphone, Time Warner's incompetence no longer leaves me completely cut off from the internet. I can connect at least one of my machines to the internet. But I'm paying a substancial amount of money for this cable broadband account and I can't go two damn months without it breaking. Something has to give.

I've hated Roadrunner ever since I worked for their tech support back in '98. They're all morons who think ideal customer service is finding the perfect blend of incomprehensible phone menus and serice desk transfers to prevent people from reporting their problems but not from leaving for a better broadband service. They're slime, and when they bought out Comcast here and suddenly became my service provider, I was furious. They clearly haven't changed a bit in the last nine years, and while they're all too happy to take my money, they don't seem to think they need to provide any sort of service in return.
  • Current Mood
    pissed off pissed off

Sickness and Internet Phones

Well, I was planning on posting here this weekend about my new tech-toy, but it was pre-empted by a sudden bout of sick. Sick to my stomach, sick in my bowels, and dehydrating all around. Been miserable all day. Taking medicine for one symptom seems to aggrivate the others, and leave me doubled over. I didn't sleep at all last night.

Today I seemed to be improving until around 6pm; then I suddenly had a relaps. Couldn't even take a shower, my guts hurt so bad. I retreated to the bed and passed out before even realizing it. Right now I feel a lot better, but I still don't feel right, and this problem seems to wax and wan, so I don't know what to think.

Which sucks extra, since I was supposed to be starting a new job tomorrow. I've already put in a call with my placement agent to see about delaying my start date until Tuesday, but I can't imagine this looks good. Granted, the first two appointments I had to come see the place and meet the bosses were cancelled at the last minute due to their poor planning, so you'd think I'd be within my rights. But things don't always work that way. >.< So for now I'm planning on staying in tomorrow and starting my job Tuesday. I hope they don't hold it against me.

In other news, I got a new cellular phone Saturday, a Samsung SGH-I607 Blackjack. These suckers are supposed to be the bee's knees for PDA phones right now, and boy, the reputation is well-earned. It's built for Cingular's new "3G" network, which is a DSL-speed cellular data network. So along with being a cellphone and a Windows Mobile-based PDA, it's also an internet device that's connected anywhere there's cell coverage. It'll browse web pages and check e-mail, and even connect to AIM and MSN.

Best feature, though, is its Internet Sharing ability. Sync it with a computer and turn IS on, and you can connect your computer via the phone, at DSL speeds. It's two things I've been wanting for a long time now: mobile broadband internet, and a backup internet connection for if when my Road Runner cable broadband decides to fail for a few weeks again. This phone is awesome.

Support from Hawk Electronics, where I bought the phone and the data plan, was not awesome. They were helpful and knew all about the phone side of the Blackjack, definately, but they were clueless about the PDA side of the device. I even brought my laptop in for them to play with for an hour and they couldn't figure out how to get the laptop online through the Blackjack. They messed with network settings and virtual dialers and called lots of other stores in search of someone with a clue, to no avail. Dejected, I went home being told that they'd have to get back to me Monday.

...And it only took half an hour of searching online to find out that there's an Internet Sharing utility on the phone you can find in the \Windows directory. No fancy network tunnels or modem dialers need be set up, you just turn this feature on and it's good. Made a shortcut to it on the phone's Start Menu, sync'd the phone, turned IS on, and low and behold my laptop was cruising the 3G network. You'd think someone at Hawk would know this, since they claim to have set up "dozens" of these phones for people for this very use.

From there I worked out how to tether the Blackjack wirelessly using a Bluetooth connection, which is doubly sweet. Don't even need to connect the phone to the laptop with a cable to get it online now. ^_^ (Update: I just tested the speeds on Speakeasy. When connecting to the phone over Bluetooth, downstream is 413kbps and upstream is 257kbps. Just below hi-grade DSL, exactly what they said it'd be. Natch.)

Support issues not withstanding, the phone is amazing. I'll never be bored standing in line or waiting for an appointment again. Later on I'm going to see how well Guild Wars holds up on the 3G network.

After my stomach and bowels stop trying to kill me, of course.
  • Current Mood
    sick sick