Friday, May 04


Captain Harlock

Okay, so this one is not actually part of the current season.  Or the previous season.  Or the one before that.  Or...

Okay, it's 30 years old.

But, unlike Toward The Terra, a 2007 animation of a 70's manga, this 70's anime doesn't suck.  Even though it has much worse artwork and animation, even though it's 14 molar melodramic acid, it's still a good show.

I'm not sure exactly why, but it is.  Possibly because Harlock is an archetype rather than a stereotype.  (Whatever that means.)

But how does that chick with no mouth drink all the booze?  That's what I want to know.

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Hayate The Combat Butler

Hapless highschool student Hayate* gets fired from his bicycle courier job, and through Plot Contrivance 3B gets hired as a butler for super-duper-rich family.

It's a very standard anime comedy so far, but I do like his shoulder angels.

* Actually, it's more his parents who are hapless.  In fact, his parents should be shot.

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Thursday, May 03


Master Of Epic - The Animation Age

The break-the-fourth-wall show of the season.  It's a show set in an MMORPG featuring characters who know that they are in a show set in an MMORPG.

It's largely just a send-up of RPG and anime tropes, with no sign of a plot, but it does this well enough to be worth watching.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 07:34 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Heroic Age

Beautiful space princesses.  Grizzled space captains.  Deadly space ants.  Skintight space suits.  Cliched space opera - well...

Actually not too bad, judging from the first episode.  Nice character designs, artwork, and animation.  Big spaceships.  Biiiig spaceships.  Giant robots too.  Appears to be a straight action series, but as long as it doesn't take itself too seriously, it could be quite good.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:45 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Quads ahoy!

top - 08:36:44 up 19 min,  1 user,  load average: 0.02, 0.05, 0.01
Tasks: 128 total, 1 running, 127 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu0  :  0.7% us,  0.3% sy,  0.0% ni, 99.0% id,  0.0% wa
Cpu1  :  1.0% us,  0.3% sy,  0.0% ni, 98.6% id,  0.0% wa
Cpu2  :  0.7% us,  0.0% sy,  0.0% ni, 98.6% id,  0.7% wa
Cpu3  :  0.0% us,  0.0% sy,  0.0% ni, 100.0% id,  0.0% wa
Swap:  2096472k total,        0k used,  2096472k free,   105208k cached

I have three of these coming - two today and the third tomorrow.  Between them I now have the equivalent of two Sun E10Ks to run grin

Well, not the memory or the I/O bandwidth, but the CPU.

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Still To Watch

Missed a few items in my current season viewing: Romeo x Juliette, Heroic Age, Master of Epic - The Animation Age, Reideen, Hayate the Combat Butler, Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, and the OAV Murder Princess.  There's still a lot more out there, but the rest hasn't been fansubbed yet.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 04:32 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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On Fanservice

Watching Rocket Girls has led me to some ponderation on the subject of fanservice.  When you think of fanservice in anime, the first thing that comes to mind is panchira and the like; gratuitous T&A.  But more generally, fanservice is something put in, not essential to the story, that makes fans happy.

There's are fair bit of fanservice of the latter sort (and a certain amount of the former) in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, which has certainly contributed to its popularity.   Admittedly, Haruhi's awareness of Narrative Causality makes it hard to say what is and isn't important to the plot...

The scene with the HP-41 in episode two of Rocket Girls is pure engineer fanservice.  The same character is back in episode three, describing his childhood dreams of going into space, which began when he watched the moon landing (he's in his early forties; I know I watched it myself, but I was too young to really remember it).  He ended up a salariman, but left his job at the age of 40 to join the SSA, an apparently private but government-assisted space project.

The reason I wanted to discuss this is that if you are delivering engineer fanservice, you must be assuming that your target audience will include engineers, and you need to understand that they will suffer from engineer's disease.  And when you put in scenes that just plain wouldn't happen - the helicopter scene in episode one; the catalyst scene in episode three - purely for the comedy value, you do rather irk your fanbase.

Not irked enough to stop watching, not by a long shot, but still irked.

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Wednesday, May 02


HP, You Assholes!

I have a new Compaq notebook, the hardware of which is quite good except for the battery life (which sucks) and the trackpad's habit of jumping every so often.  And it was cheap, so I can live with those minor points.

The software is mostly Microsoft, and is as you'd expect.  The delivery of that software, though, is all HP.  New HP, not Old HP. In other words, total crap.

HP is too cheap to provide install CDs with new computers, so they take up 8GB of my 80GB hard disk with a "recovery" partition... something that is really useful if what you are recovering from is a disk failure.*  Because it's a separate partition, you can't recover the space even after you've taken the two hours or so to burn the recovery DVDs (plural).

And because it's so important (because you don't have install disks), it's protected from normal access, so you can't install software from it.  So HP put another 4.5GB of files on your C drive for actually installing from.

Even if you burn the recovery DVDs, you have no options whatsoever on reinstallation; you get the recovery partition back whether you like it or not.  I'd just blow the whole mess away and install standard Windows XP, except that I just replaced the drive with a 160GB model, and the XP install CDs I have are all pre-SP1 and won't recognise it.  I have three valid, unused activation keys, but they're useless.

Now, the one saving grace, I thought, was that HP had generously bundled 30 little games with the system, things like Bejeweled and Insaniquarium.  Nice touch, I thought, even though they're probably paying 20 cents for the lot (if that).

Turns out they are timed demos.  You get 60 minutes of play, then they die.  Yeah, way to go HP.  1.2GB of frigging ads.

Update: It would appear that at some point I had the presence of mind to make an... archival backup... of a certain piece of software to which I already hold multiple licenses.  Yay me.

* This is just an example; the disk didn't actually fail.  It was just full.  Not least because the 80GB disk comes with about 50GB of available space.  So I bought myself a 160GB replacement and a neat little 2.5" USB/eSATA drive case.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 05:38 AM | Comments (17) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Tuesday, May 01


Build Your Own Manabi-Style Datapad!

With the handy-dandy i.MX31!

It's the latest ARM chip from Freescale (nee Motorola).  ARM11 core with clock speeds up to 665MHz, includes vector coprocessor, hardware MPEG-4 encode and decode, camera sensors (two) and LCD interfaces (also two), 2D and 3D graphics hardware*, SD, Memory Stick, CF, PCMCIA and ATA interfaces, USB 2.0 host/device/OTG support, and a whole bunch of UARTs for various purposes.

All in a package 14mm square and using a mere... actually, they don't seem to specify the overall power consumption anywhere... and costing just $20 in 1k quantities.

No built-in networking or chip interconnects, but that seems to be the only real downside.

I'm thinking 128MB of memory, 512MB of flash, and a 6" 640x960 screen.  I'll take two.

* Though the 3D hardware isn't great by modern standards.  Somewhere between PS1 and PS2 performance, and closer to PS1 at that.  On the other hand, the graphics module uses 40mW at full speed.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 01:18 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Rocket Girls Ep 2


What are the values of Δv
1 and Δv2?
But some of those numbers have seven digits...
You have a calculator, don't you!?
Right, right! ... the heck is this!? There's no equals key!
Of course not! Don't you know Reverse Polish Notation?
Of course not!
Oh, really?  In that case... I'll take five minutes to cram its operation into your head. When I'm done with you, you'll never be able to use a regular calculator again!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:39 AM | Comments (16) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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