Ooh! My gu-uts, my guts.

Thursday, August 30

Anime

The Melancholy Of Tari Tari Connect

With many sadnesses, I gave up on Moyashimon Returns after three episodes.  It's just not the same.

What I have been watching is that show about the high school club with no clearly defined purpose that  has two boys and three girls as members and one of the girls ends up falling off a bridge and/or horse and landing on her head but then gets better.

THAT are following both Kokoro Connect and Tari Tari if you are seeking detailed reviews.  Well, mostly they're shipping for Inaban x Taichi and any girl x any other girl, but they post reviews as well. 

Both shows are solid if not groundbreaking (though Kokoro Connect at least has that potential), but involve Japanese teenagers, so a default Category 2 angst warning applies.

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Wednesday, August 29

Cool

Samsung Galaxy S3 Rawr Edition

No, that's not a typo.

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Monday, August 27

Cool

Timesunk

Oops.

Kairosoft (makers of Game Dev Story) have been busy updating their games to work on Android 4.1 (a.k.a Jelly Bean, which is what I have).

This is bad news, because I love little simulation games like these, and they have 14 of them out on Android.  And it looks like 32 in all.

IGN have a nice roundup of the most popular Kairosoft games.  A lot of them came out years ago on DoCoMo phones and are now getting Android and iOS ports.  They still sport the original 8-bitty* graphics, which now makes them retro and stylish, but have been adapted fairly well to the touch screen.

This is the one I'm playing right now (well, not right now, but last night): Grand Prix Story.


Grand Prix racing not your thing?  You could manage a football** team:


Or a hot spring:


Or a computer game studio.  Wait, what?


Update: Completed a playthrough of Grand Prix Story last night.  You get 14 years and 3 months of game time - I don't know why that number, but it seems that most Kairosoft games have limits of 10-20 in-game years.  After that, you can continue playing but it no longer counts to your score.

It also opens up a "New Game Plus" mode - you can take the designs for one car and one upgrade that you've unlocked with you into a new game.  My first inclination was to take my V12 supercar and just clobber everyone in the early races.  Problem is, you only get to take the designs with you, not your money or your team.  A good V12 supercar costs around $2 million and requires a team tech score of 250 or so, and you don't have anything like that at the start of the game.  Maybe the buggy and the V6, then...

* More acurately, 16-bitty.  It's easy to forget how crappy the graphics were in the 8-bit days.  One of the things I love about Kairosoft's games is that they could - with a bit of squishing - have come out on the original Amiga.  A bit of fiddling with a screenshot suggests that the underlying resolution is 320x200, probably in 256 colours.
** Soccer.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:17 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Cool

Knock, Knock

Who's there?

Gwendolyn.

Gwendolyn who?

Two copies of Gwendolyn and the Underworld, your free M is for Mutt, and your second set of Building an Elder God.


Kickstarter goodies are showing up on my doorstep on a regular basis now.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 03:19 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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World

Better To Remain Silent...

Oh dear.  Two of the jurors on the Apple v. Samsung patent trial have opened their mouths.

Can you say overturned on appeal, boys and girls?

(Some are speculating on the possibility of a mistrial.  I don't know enough about the US legal system for informed comment.)

Update: Groklaw's analysis.  I stopped reading Groklaw regularly after SCO burned to ashes and blew away in the wind, but they've had no shortage of material since then.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 01:00 AM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Cool

Usage And Abusage

Of, in this case, obsolescent computer hardware.


(Give it a minute.)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:41 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Sunday, August 26

Geek

Dem Bones

This is nuts:


Massively effective, though.  I mean, I want to give them money, and I have no earthly use for nor desire to own miniatures.

It's how it is with Kickstarter, though.  Some projects ask for $30k and get a big raspberry, others find themselves spending the next month trying to dig their way out of an avalanche of cash.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 01:08 AM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Saturday, August 25

Geek

Nexus 7 Wishlist 7

Needs
  1. 32GB or more of Flash storage. My 16GB model is filling up all too quickly. The current models are 8GB for $199 and 16GB for $249 (US). The 16GB model sold out. A 32GB model at $299 looks like it would pick up a lot of customers.
  2. MicroSD slot. Really. Even if only in the new "pro" 32GB model.
  3. See if you can tweak the colours on the screen a bit. The screen is very sharp, but the colours are a bit dark.

    Wants

  4. Make the screen even sharper - go to 1920x1200. Yes, at 7". Typography at 1280x800 is good, but not quite there.
  5. Micro-HDMI out.
  6. Stylus.  Don't let the Galaxy Note have it all!

    Critical

  7. Help Kairosoft get Game Dev Story fixed on Jelly Bean.  Done!
Update: Asus (who make the Nexus 7 for Google) have a 7" tablet which matches most of my needs.  Still 1280x800 and 16GB, but it has micro-SD, micro-HDMI, and a stylus.  Loses points only because it's funny-looking.  If they can make it a bit more Nexusy, I'll buy it.

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Cool

Superscription

I now have subscriptions to Analog, Asimov's, and F&SF.*

I used to buy Analog and Asimov's at the newsagent when I commuted to work on a daily basis, since they were very convenient reading material.  I've been working from home much of the time since early 2010 and so fell out of the habit.

So what changed?  The Nexus 7.  It's small enough to be comfortable to hold, large enough to read easily, and the display has enough pixels to render text almost adequately.**  I have about 150 books and 150 apps on it already*** and find myself using it for a couple of hours a day - sometimes four or five.

The subscription process couldn't have been easier: One-click on Amazon gives you a 14-day trial period, and you have access to the past three issues for download (just one for the bimonthly F&SF).

Most ebooks are sorry affairs, with low-resolution covers, 1995-era blue underlined chapter links, and very often, no page numbers.

All three of the magazines do a better job at presentation, with full-screen cover art, styled, hyperlinked content pages, and some (not much, but some) internal artwork.  There are a few glitchy bits - try, for example, to flip back to the cover from the contents page - but on the whole they show a clear progression to what ebooks (and emagazines) should be - without becoming irritating interactive multimedia monstrosities.

$2.99 per month for Analog and Asimov's, and $0.99 per month for F&SF.  That's a little cheaper than the cover price, but it's only one third what I was paying for the paper edition here in Australia.

They're DRM'd, unfortunately, such that you can only access them on a mobile device.  I wouldn't accept that for my books, but it's something I can live with for a periodical.

What I want now is the entire back-issue catalogues of Byte, Dragon, and Scientific American to land on the Kindle store.  Oh, and Unix Review.  I used to buy it every month just to drool over the workstation reviews.  Eventually, I got myself a Silicon Graphics O2.  Oh, and a Sun Ultra 5, but the O2 was my true love.****  Of course, these days the O2, even the R10000 version I had, is outclassed in every way by the entry-level AMD Bobcat, but I can assure you that in 1996, it was shiny as all get-out.

Aside: I don't recall the exact power consumption of the R10000, but it was somewhere in the vicinity of 20 to 25W, low by modern standards, about mid-range for even a laptop CPU.

That was for a 150MHz 4-issue out-of-order (OoO) CPU.

AMD's current A10-4655M also uses 25W.  It offers two 2GHz CPU modules, again 4-issue OoO, each with two sets of integer execution units and two 128-bit floating point vector units.  (But with a shared instruction decode unit, which limits the throughput.)

The O2 had a single 128-bit vector chip called the CRM, running at 66MHz.

The AMD chip has a built-in GPU with 384 shader units (each a 32-bit FPU with MADD) running at 360MHz.  That's 96 times the width of the CRM at 5 times the speed.

The O2 was fast and elegant.  That AMD chip is considered slow.

* Yes, they're all still alive.
** I'm fussy about typography.
*** Google, get a 32GB model out STAT!  Better yet, a 32GB model with a micro-SD slot.
**** I seem to recall they were named Akane and Kodachi.  Haven't booted either one up in years.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 04:26 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Friday, August 24

Geek

Gentlemen Prefer Dodecahedrons

A Kickstarter project aimed at producing those missing dice - i.e. d14 and d18. (And now d22.)

I've signed up for a full set: d3, d4, d6, d8, d10, d% (d10 but numbered 10, 20, 30...), d12, d14, d16, d18, d20, d22, d24, and d30.

And they're talking about a followup project to offer d5, d7, d9, d11, d13, d15, d17, and d19. For hit dice for your demi-barbarians (d11), and damage rolls for your two-and-three-quarter-handed sword (d13).

Unfortunately, no-one has discovered any new Platonic solids in the past couple of years, so some of the new designs are a little outré. d14 and d18 look simple enough, and d16 is similar to the well-known d10 design, just with more sides. But that d22 is... Funny-looking. Computer modelling has been applied to make sure all the designs are fair, however odd they may look.


And if you're looking for a game to play with your fancy new dice* why not try Numenera, from P&P RPG industry veteran Monte Cook?

Monte, you had me at "Gene Wolfe, Michael Moorcock, [and] Jack Vance".  A weird-out far-far-future science-fantasy setting like Vance's Dying Earth or Wolfe's Shadow of the Torturer** would make a welcome change from the approximately-medieval standard we've fallen into.


Both campaigns have already exceeded their modest goals, so all is right with the world.

* I have no actual idea if Numenera does or can use d14 and d18.
** Both are set billions of years from now.

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