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Ego: The Final Temptation

May 1, 2013 10 comments

Oh dear.

Harb is doing a 20 days of blogging thing which he got from IHTTS, which percolated down along a chain I’m too lazy to list (and I don’t read those blogs, at least not yet*).

My ego finds the idea very interesting. The rest of me is trying to beat it into submission and silence. I still love the idea of blogging, but I’m having a devil of a time finding the time to do it. Add the fact that I’m not really playing any MMOs (or any other game) right now and you get a big fat nothing to write about and very little time in which to write it.

Sometimes Facebook is just easier.

I can’t believe I just wrote that.

And yet my ego wants me to tell you all about myself (again) for no particular reason other than its own pleasure. Perhaps confessing the kinky temptation will make it go away. Thirty lashes for the ego and get back to work, dammit!**

cat-red-dwarf

 – – – – – – – – – – – -

*As an aside, the demise of Google reader appears to be spelling the demise of my blog reading. Feedly is okay, but it’s not as clean as Google Reader. There’s also the fact that I don’t have time to read blog posts these days, which might be the more important factor. Still, I don’t like change. Boo hiss. I’ll get used to Feedly but I’ll complain about it first.

**As another aside, one of the characters in a play-by-mail game I ran years ago (or it may have been one I played in) was a Spanish knight called Ivor Hujego. Loved that name. Still do. May have to steal it for a game someday, even if it means I have to transgender it to Iva Hujugo or something.

Categories: Misc., Site Tags: , , ,

No Google Reader for YOU!

March 14, 2013 13 comments

Yesterday when I went to read my RSS feed, I got the same popup most other users of Google Reader got: the service is going away in a few months, apparently for lack of users.

Which is mildly ironic. I have a blog, a lot of people I know have blogs (which is how I got to know them) and a pretty large proportion of us seem to use G-Reader to keep track of each other’s posts. According to one article I read yesterday – I didn’t bookmark it and can’t find it now, so you’ll have to take this on faith – RSS feeds are for nerds and nerds don’t need dedicated stuff because they can find other ways to do what they need. And they’re nerds, so they can suck it up. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, direct RSS feeds aren’t “sexy”, apparently. Ah, right. I never realised that what I want from my software is sexiness.

The author did have a point. RSS is kinda nerdy and there was no easy way to explain what Google Reader does. Or did. But just because something isn’t easy to explain (or grasp) doesn’t mean it’s useless or that it shouldn’t be used. If that’s the equation we’re making today, then it’s not just MMOs that are dumbing down.

Anyway, I’ve been looking for alternatives. A friend kindly pointed me in the direction of Feedly, so I’m trying them out first. They were slammed yesterday but seem to be doing a little better this morning. I have to say, I do kinda like the magazine-like presentation. I could like this service. And if not, there will be others out there.

Because if there aren’t, I’m not going to be reading very many more blogs. It may work for some, but I cannot and will not use Facebook and Twitter to keep track of what 100+ people post and when. Yech. I want my feed to be there when I need it, and I don’t want to have to ‘llike’ a bunch of FB pages and trawl through my timeline.

If you ask me, it had nothing to do with popularity, or not directly. Ultimately Google Reader went away because it couldn’t be monetized.

Categories: Misc., Site Tags: , ,

I can haz RAT?

January 28, 2013 6 comments

I’ve been using the same mouse for almost a decade. Why? Because I’m left-handed, which means a good mouse is hard to find; they’re all ‘ergonomic’ now, except that they’re anti-ergonomic for the 10-20% of the population who isn’t right-dominant and can just STFU and learn to mouse right-handed. Also, because it was a wireless mouse with instant response in games, because it was really heavy (I hate light mice), because the clicky buttons (all 3 of them) were soft and easy and because I’m resistant to fix something that ain’t broken.

However, it did broke. The rubber covering on the mouse wheel eventually developed cracks and, try though I might to remain loyal, things just weren’t working anymore. It gets annoying to be constantly wheel-clicking when you mean to wheel-scroll. I wonder how much gunge is in there, too, after almost 10 years of near-daily use. Ewww.

I did some research and started out by getting a Razer DeathAdder because it’s one of the few that comes in a left-handed version, but it’s too big for my hand. (Specifically, the left- and right-click buttons are too widely-spaced for short fingers, so beware if you’ve got smaller hands.) So yesterday we trekked into town (instant gratification > cheaper Newegg) and, with some trepidation, I got myself a Cyborg RAT 7, figuring I could return it if it didn’t work for me. I didn’t really expect it to work for me, but I wanted to try it.

RAT7

It’s a weird-ass mouse. It looks like something out of a computer game, or a normal mouse that’s been assimilated by the Borg collective. But ERMERGERSH! it’s freaking HEAVEN. Despite its rather intimidating and very right-canted appearance, it’s actually easy for me to use left-handed. The thumb-rest has become my pinky-rest and I don’t need a stinkin’ thumb rest, so we’re good there. I can even reach the side-buttons (for a right-handed thumb) with the bottom part of my pinky finger, so they’re not entirely out of play. You can alter the mouse’s weight by adding or removing little round weights underneath, though it’s pretty much perfect for me out of the box. It glides easily, the buttons click easily – perhaps too easily for some, it takes very little pressure – and it looks BADASS.

What more could I want?

Well actually, I could wish the two primary click buttons were interchangeable. What’s with this new trend of not letting people switch the main left- and right-click buttons? Is this another FU to left-handed mousers? (The Death Adder was the same.) Is there some deep and meaningful hardware reason why, with a million other programmable buttons on the damn mouse, the primary buttons can’t be altered? Seriously? I’m already considering removing the RAT-specific driver to see if the basic Windows mouse driver will let me swap those buttons around; I’ll lose some extra functionality, but it might be worth it.

This would be the absolute, never-use-another perfect mouse for me if I could only switch the primary buttons so the left-click is under my index finger and not my middle finger – which is odd, actually, given that I’ve been mousing left-handed with right-handed button configs for over 20 years now. I think it’s because the RAT is that good and that comfortable… and ironically, I can’t.

That aside, I can already recommend this RAT for anyone who wants a rodent that’s on the heavier side. The extra buttons are not intrusive and I haven’t hit any by accident yet – which, as any left-handed mouser will know, is quite a design feat.

Oh, and I also got a keyboard yesterday. It’s mechanical (anyone remember the old IBM keyboards?), sounds like I’m directing a firing squad as I’m typing this, is backlit (enough to be seen from the moon if I turn the brightness up to 100), and is already a million times better for typing than my old keyboard was, even if the keys are a tiny bit smaller. I can’t wait to see how this stacks up the first time I have to type 8,000 words in a day – the old keyboard used to give me meatsack hands at the end of crunch days. I’m told mechanical ones won’t, so we’ll see.

razer-bw-2013

Categories: Misc. Tags:

A very merry un-blogday

September 14, 2012 7 comments

Whoops. The actual blog ‘birthday’ was a month ago, August 13th. I noted that it was coming up a couple of days before the day itself and meant to do a long and involved post, but in the end Real Life took over and… I didn’t.

TAGN sort of reminded me the other day, because his blog-birthdays can’t be counted on the fingers of one fingerless hand and he posts regularly – more than Syp at the moment, and that’s saying something!

Happy belated also to Harbinger Zero, who I’m pretty sure has almost the same anniversary as me, since we both started blogging through the crazy CoW crew (should that have Ks in it to make it more hip?).

So anyway, I started this blog 4 years ago in honour of Warhammer Online. I’d be happier doing a HBD post-type thing if I’d actually posted much of anything in the last year and a half, but I haven’t and it feels sort of like cheating to claim a blogging year when you didn’t do any blogging.

Nevertheless, I’m not gone yet, this blog isn’t quite dead yet, and I’ve resumed posting, albeit sporadically and without a great deal of content. Thanks to those of you who have stopped by in the last fingers-but-no-thumb set of years.

Categories: Misc., Site Tags: ,

Jiggety jig

August 25, 2012 2 comments

No fat pig bought, but a busy 10 days spent in France both to sort out the usual sorty-outy stuff following my dad’s death and to catch up with my step-mother (who had to be there for the same reasons). And yes, we did go to the market; French markets are ace. Much bread, cheese & meat was bought, along with giganormous bouquets of whatever the hell flowers are seasonal – I don’t garden, but most of them were purple and orange – and some hand-made soaps for gifts to people here which had every single security check between Blois and Albuquerque (3 to be exact) examining my carryon for explosive residue. Oops.

It’s amazing how much you have to run around in France just to get the most basic things done; the only thing we’re even marginally efficient about is food, and even that takes time if it’s to be done right and properly enjoyed. I also managed to forget that in August, EVERYONE in France goes on holiday, or vacation as you Americans like to call it. Offices run on skeleton staffs when they don’t just close outright for 2 weeks, people don’t want to give you appointments (too many Facebook updates to catch up with then they do make it back to the office), and overall somehow WE were the inconsiderate ones for needing to do annoying stuff like, you know, let various entities know that there had been a death in the family and all the other stuff that comes with it. Dad, being French himself, really ought to have had better timing.

Nothing happened that warrants posting in what is still mostly a gaming blog, apart from a much-delayed flight back to the US (5 bloody hours) and further delays on connecting flights once I was got there. I am now officially too old to be awake 26 hours in a row – granted, I dozed in various planes, but in some cases (and yesterday was one of them) that dozing only seems to end up making you feel even more tired.

Currently the proud owner of a juniper-offended nose (welcome-home allergies for the metaphorically-challenged) and 2 perfectly poached eyeballs. Someone pass the Hollandaise sauce and some Canadian bacon.

Normal service may or may not resume next week. I haven’t played anything (even Freecell) in the last couple of weeks and the GW2 launch happened while I was sitting in the Charles-de-Gaulle airport lounge trying to convince United Airlines people that mere hydraulic & pressure issues shouldn’t prevent our plane from flying 5000 miles. Initial reports on GW2 seem pretty favourable so far – going only by FB and twitter and whatnot. My RSS feed too can wait another day.

EDIT: Oooh and WordPress’ quote for the day when I posted, which needs to be reproduced here because I’m so concise and to the point. Always. Yep, that’s me. Shorter is better. More matter, less art. Anyway:

I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Categories: Misc. Tags: ,

Thought for the day

August 1, 2012 12 comments

To all you other bloggers out there — do your older posts seem a whole lot more interesting than what you’re writing now? Because I scanned through a few old entries (no reason, just passing some time) and that’s how it seems to me.

I used to actually have something to say about games, the universe and everything. Now, not so much.

Of course, 50+ hour work weeks might be cramping my style.

Or maybe I’m just nostalgic today. One random thing that did occur to me last night is that “long ago” doesn’t seem nearly as long ago when you get older. When you’re 5, 3 weeks is prehistory and 10 years ago means nothing. When you’re 15, you can just about grasp 5 years ago but 20-30 seems like another epoch. For me, now that I’m past my second score of years, 50 or 100 years ago doesn’t seem as distant as it used to.

Eh, maybe it’s not as interesting a thought as it seemed. At 1AM when you can’t sleep, everything seems profound.

Categories: Misc.

Blogstuff – Search Engine Terms

July 19, 2012 4 comments

Every now and then I look at the search engine terms people use to get to my blog, and some of them are priceless, so I’ve decided to keep track of them. Yes, I stole this idea off someone though I can’t recall who. I’m thinking maybe TAGN? Anyway it’s an homage, not outright plagiarism.

(And then I found the handy-dandy link that lets you see all the search terms for your blog, evar. If you don’t hear from me inside 2 weeks, someone come rescue me.)

In no particular order:

  • great old ones (my fave, with about 7 different entries including THE great old ones, lovecraft, cthulhu great old ones, etc.)
  • ysharros (no shock there)
  • boss don’t ever leave me in charge again
  • ack i’ve gone to look for myself
  • getting old
  • surprise cannibalism (this is a pretty high-up result. I’m wondering what I ever wrote to lead to this… mmmm BRAINZZZZZ)
  • thoughtless people suck (my mantra!)
  • do want (my other mantra)
  • marmite (4th all-time search term leading here. That’s several thousand irritated searchers…)
  • hungover
  • captain hindsight
  • group hug
  • persistence of time
  • nothing
  • very tired
  • صور خيالية  (if you can read this, do let me know what it says – according to Google translate, it’s “fantasy”. I’m disappointed)
  • kindness (awww)
  • internet addict (shaddap!)
  • katana woman (I am slicey, hear me rawr!)
  • The Beatles’ Happy Birthday (only about a million times… I guess I used a picture?)
  • no
  • not tonight Josephine
  • various Iain M Banks & Culture search variants (from a single post, years ago, IIRC)
  • animaux cute (Well ‘ello my British chums!)
  • stop posting shit

Guess I’d better follow that last piece of advice…

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