I have a vague memory that in one episode of ST:TNG Data was asked for his operating characteristics, especially his neural net. And I have a vague memory that his memory was on the order of 100 terabytes. Does that sound right?
Interesting; they came up with a very reasonable number there. 10^18 bits is a good guess as to what advanced technology could encode comfortably within the space of a human head, neither too low nor implausibly high.
Wonder if they did the numbers (there have been some good scientific advisors on ST over the years) or if they just lucked out.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Saturday, June 30 2012 03:41 AM (PiXy!)
You should be using Fusion-io's ioDrives instead of traditional SSD. :-)
Posted by: dkallen99 at Saturday, June 30 2012 04:36 AM (2lHZP)
We have a few ioDrives, and they're nice, but they run about 10x the cost of regular SSD.
We're looking at Intel's new SSD cards, which aren't as fast but are much more reasonably priced.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Saturday, June 30 2012 05:13 AM (PiXy!)
For some reason my Japanese acquaintances are way more enthusiastic about Fusion-IO's wares than European and American ones (and I basically have just one Australian). Cost-no-object culture, better marketing, or a statistical fluke, I cannot tell.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Sunday, July 01 2012 05:23 AM (5OBKC)
80TB of SSD? Holy crap how did you made the money to buy all of these expensive things? Which SSD models do you recommend for RAID and professional use?
Posted by: Privatkontakt at Thursday, August 02 2012 08:39 PM (+sEGT)
My Kindle Fire doesn't have an SD slot either, micro or any other size. I was a bit surprised by that. It's got 8G of memory, but if you're downloading video that can get chewed up really fast.
For me, since all I'm doing is books, it's huge. And it does have a USB port.
I think the reason for not including an SD was user interface, not hardware. The bookshelf metaphor for the GUI doesn't really easily represent an external storage device. If you add an SD, you need some way to move things onto it and off it again.
I think they probably could have fit the hardware in; it isn't really all the complicated. But it would have made the GUI far more unclean and confusing.
Steven: In theory, you have a point, but in practice, the SD card is for advanced users, and is only for side-loaded content; anything you buy through the B&N store gets downloaded into the internal flash. The book reader application simply scans both the internal flash and the micro SD card and puts the content in a single list. I should qualify that, this is true on a first generation Nook, I suspect later Nooks continue this practice. (I have a Nook Color, but I've barely used the stock firmware, I'm using it with mod firmware as a basic Android tablet--the most used app is the Kindle app *grin*)
If the display quality on the Google Nexus 7 tablet is up to the standard of the Kindle and Nook tablets, I expect Amazon and B&N will have to drop prices significantly to be competitive; most other cheap ($200-$250) tablets have much lower quality displays.
Posted by: Kayle at Thursday, June 28 2012 05:29 PM (M7tH0)
Thinking it over, I suspect it's simpler than that. At $199, Google are probably making next to nothing on the 8GB model. But with no expansion slot, a lot of customers (me, for instance) will opt for 16GB model, paying an extra $50 for about $5 worth of flash chips.
I'd be more upset if it wasn't still amazing value for money. Back in the day, I ran an entire phone company on less hardware than that.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Friday, June 29 2012 12:32 AM (PiXy!)
They don't care about selling units with more memory, either. They don't want you using these devices stand-alone. They want you using them to get online, because when you're online then there's a good chance that Google is making money off you.
That's the entire point of the Android project. It's the reason Google spent a lot of money developing it, and then gave it away to anyone willing to build and sell hardware underneath it.
"I think the reason for not including an SD was user interface, not hardware."
I can't speak to Kindle and Nook, but this makes no sense for generalized Android hardware: there's already a simple UI in the system settings for mounting/unmounting an SD card. Google would have had to actively disable the feature in the OS. Pixy's probably right in comment #3.
Stephen, bear in mind that on Android phones, large apps--typically games--are frequently designed to go onto an SD card instead of in the device's internal memory. My phone has ~1GB of free internal storage but comes with an 8GB micro SD.
Posted by: RickC at Friday, June 29 2012 08:50 AM (WQ6Vb)
The UI for mounting-unmounting is there, but UI for data manipulation is not. There is no File Manager nor Finder.
Lack of GPS in Kindle Fire was a bit of a problem for me, and surprisingly, too. Getting a WiFi GPS to work was kludgy and expensive.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Saturday, June 30 2012 10:36 AM (5OBKC)
I also updated my license for Filter Forge, a framework for building Photoshop filters. They offered me a 70% discount on updating from version 1 to version 3 (I skipped 2), and I have this terrible weakness for 70% discounts...
This time I also coughed up the extra $30 for a backup disk (actually a 1.3GB download file) of the collected filters. There are over 8900 different filters available, and the alternative is to download them one at a time.
After a certain amount of that, $30 starts looking like pretty good value.
Today I spent $330 on renewing domains (ac, io, sh and vu were up for renewal, and I went for the 2-year option), $225 on jQuery plugins on CodeCanyon (they're nominally very cheap, but I need the extended license option to integrate them with Minx), and $49 on a collection of web UI elements (summer sale, down from $349).
Not one of these items has any packaging, shipping, or other physical components at all. Over $600 for electrons. That's more than I spend on regular electrons in an entire quarter.
These better be some damn shiny electrons!*
* Actually, they are. One of them was an image gallery I really wanted for integration with Minx, but wasn't previously available with a suitable license. The UI element collection was tempting at $349, and a steal at $49. So I'm pretty happy with my little ion cloud.
Two questions, then: First, is it any good; second, is it a replacement for Master of Magic?
And the answer is, first, yes, and second, not really.
As I said, it's a turn-based fantasy strategy game, with a hex-grid map that looks a lot like Civ V. You build cities, and then add buildings and defences in the hexes surrounding them - one building per hex. The cities produce units depending on the available upgrades, from basic foot soldiers up to dragons and elite paladins.
You send your units out to explore and patrol the world - or, as the case may be, worlds, up to seven in all - and conquer it before it conquers you. You can select up to eight computer opponents, but perhaps the most dangerous opponent of all is the world itself, which is filled with neutral cities, spider nests, ogre dens, kraken lairs and whatnot, all of which spawn units to attack you if you don't wipe them out first. At one point one of my coastal cities was surrounded two deep in krakens waiting their turn to attack.
As a warlock, you can research and cast spells. The research tree is relatively shallow, and if you select a larger-sized world the game will take long enough that you end up with access to every one of the standard spells. There are some extras you can unlock by building temples to the various gods - also the only way to get access to the strongest units - but even so it seems to lack some depth.
Combat is pretty straightfoward. There are no stacks, no hero units, just one unit per hex, so you move your armies around and arrange your formations as best you can. Since there's only one unit allowed in a hex, moving armies into position can be frustrating; the game won't allow you to order an army to an occupied hex even though you know the hex will be vacant by the time you get there. It will automatically generate a path through known free hexes, but that could unexpectedly take your elite were-paladins five turns out of the way. Units can move through hexes occupied by allies, so with a bit of planning this is generally manageable.
Spells are a mixed bag. The direct attack spells seem underpowered; I just didn't bother using them after a while. On the other hand, by applying a combination of experience-earned perks, purchased upgrades, and enhancement spells, you can turn a small number of your elite troops into unstoppable killing machines that can take down enemy cities single-handed. Every permanent spell has an upkeep cost, so you can't run wild with this, and you'll find that you need to keep a good assortment of lower-tier units and defensive works in play to keep your industrial base safe as you expand: An enemy dragon or a kraken hit squad arriving at an undefended town can really ruin your day.
Like Master of Magic (and this game is clearly inviting the comparison), Warlock offers the possibility of parallel worlds, indeed, not just one, but as many as six. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be particularly distinctive (as the alternate world in MoM was); they're just more of the same. In the one complete game I've played so far, by the time I found a gate to the parallel world it had been entirely overrun by neutral forces; the area I arrived in was quite literally wall-to-wall fire elementals.
On the plus side, the game looks very nice. Graphics are clean and detailed, and the game only stuttered once (after I switched from full screen to windowed mode, I had to restart to get it to work properly). There are a few details in the user interface that need some attention, such as the flickering if you bring up a monster details popup right on top of the monster itself, but on the whole it seems very competent and well-tested.
So, classic for the ages? No. Master of Magic for the new age? Sadly, no to that as well. But worth ten bucks on Steam if you like that sort of thing? I'd say yes. There are already two DLC upgrades available to add further units, which would be questionable for such a new game if they weren't priced at (with the current sale) $1.49 and $0.99 respectively.
Overall, a solid game engine just needing some more depth and variety to the gameplay - more spells, more city upgrades, more units, and please, more distinct worlds. A worthy start, and if the creators keep pumping out cheap DLC to extend the game piecemeal - or bring out an expanded sequel with the same engine - I'll be there.
Hmmm...The game sounds like it would be disappointing when compared to Age of Wonders, let alone Master of Magic. It would probably be inferior to Elemental but given the mess that game was released as (Being gradually patched by Stardock to acceptable mediocrity, if with some glaring flaws still remaining from birth.), Warlocks probably sounds like a better game to play.
Still waiting for a true successor to MOO. Oh, Kickstarter, where are you?
Posted by: cxt217 at Thursday, June 14 2012 11:15 AM (hEbnX)
Yes. In this case the technical execution is sound, and they just need to add more options to sustain interest. I expect that's a lot easier than scrambling to fix a bug-ridden mess.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, June 14 2012 12:05 PM (PiXy!)
I think I might have some reservations about the game design, probably identical to your reservations about Warlock, and the need for more and more varied content. I am interested in it but probably not enough to buy it before there is a sale on it again, and with more than two DLC. Then again, the number of turn-based strategy games of either sci-fi/space opera setting or fantasy is not exactly overflowing at the moment, and the number of turn-based RPGs is only slightly larger.
Heh, maybe time to play Xenoblade to distract from how depressing the gaming scene can be...
Posted by: cxt217 at Thursday, June 14 2012 01:54 PM (hEbnX)
I picked it up, too. It was billed as a spiritual successor to the Majesty series, but really is only shares the same fantasy setting (Ardania?). Aside from the magic and multiple worlds/maps (very much like MoM), it's Civ5.
So far, the closest I've seen to being Master of Magic 2, are the Age of Wonders series and, recently, Stardock's Elemental series. Granted, Elemental: War of Magic was a dismal failure, but I'm playing the beta for the sequel, Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, and it is measuring up relatively well. (At least, not a dismal failure, :-D )
Posted by: Mark at Friday, June 15 2012 12:53 PM (cVJnl)
I picked up the Age of Wonders series on GOG, but haven't had time to play them yet. And I was intrigued by Elemental, but never got around to trying it.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Friday, June 15 2012 01:31 PM (PiXy!)
Age of Wonders, especially Age of Wonders 2 and its stand-alone expansion pack/sequel Shadow Magic, is the closest any fantasy turn-based strategy game has gotten to being a MOM2 in my experience. My only complaint is that there is not nearly enough of MOM's city building/Civ features in any AOW title - otherwise AOW would be perfect.
Elemental had some nice ideas for a fantasy turn-based strategy game, but woeful execution, along with questionable design choices, crippled it. I bought it the day it came out, and while each version of the patch has made it more playable, I still find it lacking, both from problems in execution and problems with design concepts. As mentioned earlier, some of the more objectionable features of the game have been left untouched by the patches.
I find it strange that Warlock is a spiritual successor to Majesty, since Majesty is a real-time fantasy strategy game - which I quickly came to loathe and drop after buying it.
BTW, I should mention that with the possible exception of Civ3, any Civilization or Civ-like game developed by Firaxis after Alpha Centauri - which is my favorite computer game ever - does not exist to me. But I am eagerly awaiting their XCOM game.
Posted by: cxt217 at Friday, June 15 2012 02:31 PM (hEbnX)
Posted by: RickC at Sunday, June 10 2012 10:13 AM (WQ6Vb)
At least they recognize that the open online world will be full of griefers, and offer you private and friends-only "regions". If they dropped the always-online requirement for the private multi-city regions, I'd be willing to play. If they did that and allowed offline saves, I'd be eager to play. And if they allowed self-hosted servers with access controls and mods, I'd wonder what they slipped into my medication.
Posted by: J Greely at Monday, June 11 2012 07:31 AM (2XtN5)
Y'know, the SimCity Original Flavor was one of the first three games I ever played on my 286 (Wing Commander and Civ I were the other two). Since then, I've pretty much upgraded my computer whenever a SimCity sequel came out.
Not this time. Never. Even if it does look great.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Tuesday, June 12 2012 10:40 AM (V/OLv)
hmm seems like someone dropped the ball here. Will give it miss also
Posted by: Tile at Friday, June 15 2012 06:05 AM (aQha/)
I previously wrote about this series back in January, and then a spaceship crashed on top of me and I died.
Or something like that.
Anyway, I just finished watching it, the first series I've finished since, I think, A Channellast October. It's been that sort of year.
So, inconvenient spaceship collisions aside, what about the show?
It's pretty good. Enjoyable. It's a slow-moving nostalgia warm-fluffy one-hanky piece (has to be some drama involved) with cute girls (the boys are outnumbered eight-to-two among the regular cast), lush rural scenery, a weird little mascotty thing, and railcars. So all the essentials are covered.
Not much in the way of any actual plot, though. That's not necessarily fatal; A Channel skated by on charm and won my heart. Ano Natsu de Matteru is... Well, it's nice. It's a pleasant watch. It's not going to set the world on fire, it's not a classic for the ages, but it's well-crafted and enjoyable, with some genuinely funny and surprising moments.
The ending doesn't try to resolve everything, but it does provide closure; I found it satisfying. Watching episode 12 I couldn't remember if it was a 12 or 13 episode series, but no, that was it, no episode-long coda. (Not that I would have minded.)
So recommended, yes. You don't need to put it on the top of your watch list, but just the thing for a rainy weekend.
Three out of four little mascotty things, the same as I gave it originally.
The 5-person (!) love scrum was a bit artificial, but hey, it's all in good fun.
Also, you know what?
The "old" Mio was way more moe than the "new" one. If I were in Tetsurou place, it would disadvantage her, ironically. I'm not talkig about the haircut specifically, but actually yes, that too.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Friday, June 08 2012 10:34 AM (5OBKC)