kingfox: (Brotherhood of Steel)
( Oct. 29th, 2008 06:15 pm)
Want to know what [ profile] graye's dressing up as for Halloween? MTV has the scoop!
Sorry, yeah, I know it's old. But it's MTV, so it's like sorta new and different but not really and I'm just gonna go ahead and shut up now.
I've got a long history as a gamer. Those of you who know me well, know that. Beyond early Pong/Atari/ColecoVision/Commodore memories, it was the Apple ][ that really got me into gaming. And while the submarine simulator that took half an hour to load and the Olympic games with their tinny rendition of the Soviet anthem were fun, it was role playing games that hit me hardest. Eternal Dagger, picked up on the way back from a family trip to upstate NY, really bit me in a major way. Once we got an 8088 IBM compatible PC the SSI "gold box" games wasted away many of my evenings. I still have vivid memories of clearing out certain sections of Phlan (particularly Sokol Keep) while listening to Metallica's …And Justice For All. The Ultima series, when I finally got into them through Ultima III for the NES, would end up becoming a major influence on my development.

But Wasteland was always my favorite.

It was a post-apocalyptic RPG, where you played a squad of desert rangers tasked with bringing order to the chaos and ultimately saving the world. Witty humor, beautifully written jokes and plot points, and vast improvements over the Bard's Tale engine that had already wasted so many of my evenings. Bard's Tale III was a wonderful game that kept me hooked from world to world, but Wasteland kept me hooked and replaying the same world over and over again. What originally hooked me on [ profile] cybersphere were the Wasteland references.

My first play through was rather rocky. I wandered north into Darwin Village, way out of my league. Then I tried to actually assault the Citadel instead of get around it. Finally, I found challenges appropriate to my level, and ultimately fought through the Las Vegas sewers through a painful war of attrition. When all was said and done, I was proud to have beaten that game. One summer, I played Wasteland over and over and over again, resetting the game world and keeping my characters. I had it down pat, and could cut shortcuts to beat the final area in no time at all. By the time the summer was over, my characters were a group of grizzled veterans who could walk into Vegas and beat the Scorpitron apart with their bare hands.

Years later, I was excited to hear about Fallout, the spiritual successor to Wasteland. Sure, there had been the Wasteland sequel Fountain of Dreams, but we'd all like to forget that one. Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 both came out during my initial time at [ profile] drewuniversity as a student, and I played through the latter in my quadmate's room while he and his girlfriend watched television. From the epic intro, I was hooked. War never changes under the cut. ) Beautifully stylized, full of the irreverent Wasteland humor, and open-ended in the way only the best of Ultimas were. Slaughter bad guys across the field as a sniper, sneak in and turn their own guns against them, talk your way past them, go in guns blazing, send your faithful allies in, whatever. You got to explore, come up with solutions to problems that might have been different than your friend also playing the game, and experience consequences for your actions. The endgame movies, telling you what happened to the local area due to what you did, were freakin' awesome.

The two games came out in the late nineties, then we waited. A long time. The dumbed-down tactics came out, which I enjoyed playing just because it was Fallout. We had our moments of hope. After Van Buren died, the population became angry. Moreso because all they had to play was a dumbed-down advertisement-filled console adventure game that seemed an insult to everything Fallout was in their minds. Oh were they pissed. Impossible to placate, probably. We got a teaser, the tenth anniversary passed, and today Fallout 3 is released.

The fanboys won't be pleased. I've already read their rabid angry comments on sites such as NMA. Every time someone complains about hardware issues or DRM or their game crashing, the angry rabble yells a bit more. Even a seemingly loving tribute such as this one is picked apart for its factual errors and the narrator not sounding excited enough. Even if Fallout 3 was released with the ability to fix the economy, peak oil, and climate change? They would still be pissed that some plot element they thought was cool from Van Buren was left out (or included (because they're impossible to please)).

While rabid fanboy [ profile] graye is probably shirking work to play his copy today, my Amazon exclusive collector's edition doesn't arrive until Halloween. And it's arriving a bit too close to WotLK. But I'll give it a chance, expecting no more than fun, yet secretly hoping for a game that at least tries to follow the theme of the originals. There's a shot that might happen, and Bethesda has proven their ability to do open-ended well. Worst case scenario, I've already played this. And just like watching Episode 1 after seeing the Star Wars Holiday Special, things just don't seem that bad once you've sunk that low. If things are that bad, I might just forgive Molyneux and give Fable 2 a shot.
"Long story short, if it's got a battery and a switch, it must be turned off."

"If your travels plans do not include Newark tonight, this is your last chance to get off."
kingfox: (Metalocalypse: Nathan Explosion espresso)
( Oct. 21st, 2008 03:02 am)
In a town I've never been to before in my life, thousands of miles from my roots. Dinner with two friends last night, drinks with three more tomorrow night, and meeting yet another friend the following day.

I'm just glad so many guildies live here. Between this and Blizzcon, I'll have met over half a dozen out of the hundreds. Slowly making a dent.

If someone gets you with a sticker promoting next year's SIGUCCS, take a shot.
If they say, "if it's your first time here, you don't have to go to every session. If you're returning, please try to go to at least one." Take a shot.
If someone clearly hasn't tested out their presentation's additional components (video, etc), take a shot. If it's the opening or closing speaker, take three.
If people bring up last year's tofu travesty, take a shot.
If someone talks about how cold Edmonton was, take a shot.
If two people try to relate while one's supervising 250 students for a major state school while the other's supervising 6 students for a tiny rural private school, take a shot.
If your Birds Of a Feather session runs over, take a shot.
If someone makes a snarky comment about the operating system in question when the speaker has problems displaying their presentation, take a shot.
If you see someone you've met at at least four different SIGUCCSes, talked to at least a handful of times, and you're still looking at each other's name badges? Take a shot.
If you find someone with the same exact technological/administrative/whatever problem you have, take a shot.
If you're at a presentation and think, "Wow, we did this, I didn't know I could write a paper about it!", take a shot.
If you can sum up a paper in two lines, take a shot.
If you learn far more during the Q&A session than during the presentation, take a shot.
If the presentation title is yet another refence to the conference's theme, take a shot.

Yeah, that's my SIGUCCS drinking game so far.
kingfox: (MikeMean)
( Oct. 20th, 2008 04:59 pm)
Every year, there seems to be some hot topic. The topic that there's at least a few papers about, and the sessions are packed with people sitting outside trying to hear. The "Birds Of a Feather" (BOF) sessions are all about it, and those discussion sessions again fill rooms.

Last year, it was Vista. A couple of years ago, it was student employee management. Before that, it was imaging. The year before that, it was spyware.

No idea what this year's hot SIGUCCS topic is, as of yet. We'll see.

EDIT: Figured it out. It's student employees. Those BOFs are packed, there's multiple BOFs about "managing a helpdesk", "managing student employees", "training student employees", etc. Guess that's the topic du jour.

[ profile] windexcowboy notes that one prior year, before I started going yearly, it was all about choosing or setting up a trouble ticket tracking system.

EDIT DEUX: At this conference, I'm not the only long haired fella. By a long shot. There's tons of my people here. And Canadians. Including a Canadian who cured his own bacon from pigs a friend raises. But yeah, lots of long haired university IT people.

Currently we're discussing how bad the food was last year. The horrible tofu dish is what people kept on talking about last year after it was served Monday for lunch, and it's still a hot topic this year. Wow that was some bad tofu. "Food is very important for IT people."
kingfox: (WoW Drama)
( Oct. 10th, 2008 02:11 pm)
Want to follow my fanboy gushings and snarky comments? I'll be twittering them at

Right now still on the store line, watching the opening ceremony, kinda like last year.

I'd tell you to check out my Flickr feed for pictures, but my hotel wireless keeps on bombing out mid-upload.

Ran into gamers in EWR, LAX, and everywhere I've been so far. Been enjoying guildie homebrew and cooking, and look forward to all that I'll experience here this year.

And posing for a picture on the Frozen Throne. Unf.
DSCF3955For a while now, I've done LJ polls soliciting anonymous comments before taking a flight. The idea was originally stolen from [ profile] creepingivy a few years ago, and I've kept on doing it regularly.

Fourteen months ago, while leaving for last year's Blizzcon, I did the usual. Someone let me know they were single. Immediately, a piece of wisdom from a good friend came to mind - no one lets you know a change in their relationship status unless they intend you to do something about it. Turns out, she had no such thing in mind, and was still working through things on her end. But after returning from Blizzcon, I got talked into giving it a shot and asking her out by [ profile] maidoftheshore. We discussed this after last year's MP3 Experiment, as I walked around Manhattan chatting with people on the phone. I finally asked her out, and even invited her to last year's handout party, but ultimately our first date was a day after that - a month after the LJ poll was posted.

Thirteen months later, and [ profile] jedimentat and I are still together. I love her dearly, and am really glad I posted that LJ poll. And asked her out.

As the year wraps around, I'm often reminded of last year's events. This year, she did go to the handout party, and even helped out at handout. Instead of calling everyone about her after the MP3 Experiment this year, I called her. And now, packing for Blizzcon, I've got a loving email in my inbox from her instead of a poll answer that makes me pause for thought.

But, so as not to break tradition, here's the usual poll. What's something you would regret not telling me?
[Poll #1274774]

And hey, if there's something you want to tell someone else? Don't wait.
kingfox: (LOST: Locke writes in his LJ)
( Sep. 23rd, 2008 11:37 am)
LOST spoilers for season five (Locke tricking people with Dharma technology) )

And in other news, this past Saturday night [ profile] jedimentat and I revisited our second date, and I got her a ring. See the ring! )
kingfox: (RianJohn)
( Sep. 19th, 2008 03:17 pm)
Video from handout that [ profile] caniswolfie took:
kingfox: (Mooninite invasion)
( Sep. 11th, 2008 06:56 pm)
Seven years ago today, yet a year ago I forgot while drunk. And was ashamed.

Originally uploaded by Kingfox
Holy shit has today been nutty. When the error "The User Profile Service service has failed the logon." comes up and you've done nothing except try to uninstall some printer software that was seemingly breaking Word, breaking the printer list, deleted ntuser.dat, and has created a ton of empty directories at the root of the drive? And activate the Administrator account when logins are broken? And it just gets better from there? Fun.

This morning, after a morning of dealing with shit not working like it should, a co-worker wished for an afternoon where computers did what you intended them to. I joked that he was planning on spending his afternoon on Fantasy Island, and sure enough, nothing worked for him or I all afternoon. Stuff I fixed then didn't break when I tried to break it, stuff didn't work when it should have worked, and stuff was just nutty all around.

I could really go for a stiff drink and some NRG Chips.
What do you do when your name matches someone in the news? Set up a fake blog about the person, of course!

As someone who regularly has a couple dozen tabs open at any given moment, I'm curious to see how Chrome performs insofar as the back end changes. Looks great in Aero, [ profile] windexcowboy reports that it's not so pretty in XP. Will it handle the [ profile] kingfox load? We'll find out tonight.

At the post-handout pre-handout party annual BBQ dinner, we had a seating arrangement problem that [ profile] jasonio ended up solving. He, his wife, [ profile] windexcowboy, [ profile] shmivejournal, [ profile] jedimentat, [ profile] caniswolfie, his wife, and I were seated at a table. While keeping couples together, people had to be re-seated so that four of us were close enough to have the fatty platter, in as few moves as possible. [ profile] jasonio did it in only three, which should make his algorithms professor happy. [ profile] shmivejournal joked about it being bubble sort, which left me cracking up the rest of the dinner.
kingfox: (Spider Jerusalem meets For the Horde bab)
( Aug. 30th, 2008 08:30 am)
Watch us give computers out over here.

The guy who runs that business? The one two blocks from where I live, right under the kickboxing place I go to (he complained when they jumped rope over his head)?

That's Malone. From Cheersoft. Yes that Cheersoft.

I've been punching and kicking a bag right over my former employer. This world is waaaay too small.

Also, if you're a BBSer from the central Jersey area that isn't in this group yet, you need to join. We're having a grand old reunion.
kingfox: (Jokerified me)
( Aug. 14th, 2008 06:25 pm)
White Castle finally makes it to India.

Only thanks to a guildie will I make it to Blizzcon. Who else managed to beat Failoc and the SCV to snag tickets?

Two nights ago, [ profile] csmole updated [ profile] graye and I on some CS drama. It's no [ profile] warcraftdrama, but what is? We were just delighted to hear that things are just as inbred and hilarious as ever. I stopped really coding/creating/pushing buttons on [ profile] cybersphere shortly after 9/11, but still keep tabs on things. There's some systems that still report to me, and plenty of people who still IM me when things go wrong. Many of my online friends are former or current players, mostly in the former camp these days. I'm just really glad to see that people are still moving across the country, making important life choices, and otherwise living life with CS as a deciding factor.

One time, quite a few years ago, [ profile] incognito______ and I were the only two people actively coding who knew how MOO code (and specifically, how to work with the ancient fragments of code from those such as [ profile] ogun and Quinn (beauty crafted from their genius and insanity)). We had a long discussion about how we would have to, well, find some new blood and get them rolling. We joked about what the MOO would be like if we just left it. "I'm sure I'd just log in one day, years later, and still find people playing it. long tailed rat would be the administrator logged on fixing code, as the MOO would just become self-aware.

While it's not an AI running what was once "my baby", a baby I had merely inherited from a long line of those who came long before me, it is kinda cool to see it still pooping its pants, crying, and wrecking people's lives. Long live CS, which has been "slowly dying" and "not the same CS" since at least 1994.
kingfox: (Barcode)
( Aug. 8th, 2008 11:36 pm)
Most amazing thing I've ever seen. Holy cow that opening ceremony was fucking fantastic. Every time I thought they couldn't top something, they did. Wow. The printing blocks to great wall to flowers to people? Holy cow. Mindblowingly amazing show.

Drinking game for the parade of nations: Every time the Scottish bagpipes play (7 so far), take a drink. Every time the athelete focused on is competing in judo, take a drink.

Fairly interesting political display, with the giant Chinese cheers for the US, North Korea, Switzerland, Germany and Iraq. Putin talking with Bush, probably about Georgia, before the parade...

Poor hot Chinese dancers with their little drink bottles, dancing in high heels all night through the parade.

As usual, some really awesome outfits and some really horrible ones. Bagpipes number eight, btw.

Srsly, I just want to see that intro again.
[ profile] jedimentat just out Clekrsed me. Please note the date and time for future reference.
kingfox: (Jedimentat and I: blue)
( Jul. 12th, 2008 01:47 am)
[ profile] jedimentat is so dorky, she used play Greyhawk. Not Forgotten Realms, not Dark Sun, not Ravenloft, not something home made. She played Greyhawk and then referenced it after Hellboy 2 tonight.

And then after defeating me in four person chess, she failed to defend my former pieces and let them get easily picked off, leaving her vulnerable to be ultimately destroyed herself. GG
kingfox: (Iron Maiden - A Matter of Life and Death)
( Jun. 4th, 2008 04:02 pm)
I am wearing a Batman Band-Aid® on my hand. This is much cooler than most other Band-Aids® because it looks like I was injured fighting crime.

IMG00066.jpgIn a week and a half I'm seeing Iron Maiden twice. PNC Bank Arts Center on the 14th with [ profile] mrfantasy and [ profile] jedimentat, and MSG on the 15th with [ profile] jedimentat. MSG we're front row of section 230. PNC we're near the front of the second wave of sections, still damn fine.


A certain founder of Apple bailed on the NJ show, [ profile] petemagyar bailed on the NYC show, and I find myself with extra tickets. One to PNC, two to MSG. This is no good.

If you're interested in seeing Iron Maiden, and you should be because it's Iron fucking Maiden, let me know.
kingfox: (LOST: Locke <3's the island)
( May. 29th, 2008 11:26 pm)
IMG00253.jpgI know I need to post about my graduating college after twelve years, and about the incredibly awesome surprise party that [ profile] jedimentat threw for me. There's a post written up about all that I swear.


Some random guy in Madison stopped [ profile] utini2 to let him know that I look like Daryl Hall.
[ profile] utini2: "Are you looking for city hall?"
Random Dude: "No, that dude looks like Daryl Hall!"

So now I've gotten Meatloaf, Dave Mustaine, and Daryl Hall.
As you know if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I'm graduating from Drew in eight days.

Yeah, for reals.

It took me twelve years to do so, but now I'm wrapping up this stage of my education and entering the "real world". I guess now I'll need to find a job, move out, and find a place to live. Yup.

Last weekend was pure awesome. Friday night [ profile] jedimentat and I saw Ministry with [ profile] runstaverun and [ profile] kikibird. Hemlock and Meshuggah opened for them. The latter I had wanted to see for some time and put on a damn good show, the former was rather amusing. As for Ministry? Woah. Fucking amazing. A great show. Shame it's the C-U-LaTour. Al Jourgenson had said in an interview, "That seems to be my muse; everyone seems to think I write real shitty music when a Democrat's in office. So we'll do that one, and then me and George Bush go riding off hand-in-hand, into the sunset." Though with the way the election's going, who knows if maybe he had at least another four years of music in him...
IMG00141.jpg IMG00142.jpg IMG00144.jpg
Burton C. Bell, the lead singer for my second favorite band (Just after Maiden) did some guest vocals for Ministry. I knew that, but didn't know that he would come out and sing for both encores. Holy shit was that amazing. When Al Jourgenson announced it, I had a metalgasm right then and there. Burton C. Bell singing some of Ministry's classics from the nineties? Incredible. During the second encore they played their cover of Roadhouse Blues, still with Burton singing. They closed with Under My Thumb, which was the most random song to end the night with.

The mosh pit was entertaining, but I'm getting too old. I used to jump into the thick of it when I was in high school. By college I was always on the edge, pushing people back in or firmly stopping it from expanding further. Now? I'm moving away from it like the cowardly old fart I've become. There was a huge fat guy in the pit from Hemlock on, who ended up shirtless at one point. His mass seemed to scare off a few people from joining the pit during the early part of the night. Only a stoned looking burnt out old metalhead dared to challenge him, sumo style. A couple of the ladies amongst the security force stood on a chair and cackled at him.

That same weekend we went down to Bahr's for [ profile] petemagyar's birthday on Saturday, and had dim sum for Dan's birthday on Sunday. We only went to Club KO once, down from twice the prior weekend.
DSCF3471 DSCF3474 DSCF3476 DSCF3483

It's amusing to see the first program I ever wrote in C++ (Mancala for Cheersoft) is still out there.

EDIT: Picture of mine on Hoboken 411. Yay.