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2008 May 29 terra


Guy Blade Guy Blade---17:42:00


On the Road Again
So, I'm going to be in Anderson this weekend for my brother's graduation. I'm taking the red-eye out tonight, so I'll probably be exhausted by the time his graduation actually starts. We'll just have to see I suppose.

The fun part will be seeing if the rental car places forces me to pay the $10 fee for being under 25 years old. I hope they don't since that would increase the cost by over 50%.

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2008 May 27 anthy


Guy Blade Guy Blade---11:52:00


Entropy
This following video may be the single most amazing video that I've ever seen. I am absolutely sure this is the case if we restrict "video that I've seen" to only include Mario related videos.



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2008 May 21 utena


Guy Blade Guy Blade---04:06:00


Tactical Espionage Action
So earlier today I managed to snag a preorder for the Limited Edition Metal Gear Solid 4 Bundle. I had attempted to preorder one yesterday, but the site was being exceptionally broken. In fact, in order to get one today, I had to go through bizarre gesticulations which involved tricking it into letting me put one in my cart (they used a cookie-based system that only let you add the bundle to your cart once, regardless of whether or not you actually had one in your card, have successfully ordered one, etc), then creating a new account on Konami's website in order to get around a bizarre error which told me that having one bundle in my cart meant that I had an invalid amount of bundles in the cart. Nevertheless, I have persevered and managed to preorder (with receipt!) one. Now I need to go to gamestop and cancel my preorder there.

In other news, I retired Eve and Claire and replaced them with a set of three low powered machines. The machines are actually just a low powered motherboard with an integrated processor (fanless) powered by Pico-PSUs and booting off of 4GiB compact flash cards. It turns out that all three machines can be successfully be driven by a single 12V/25A power supply (uses 310W peak). This means that I'm able to get essentially the same work out the machines in exchange for 2 moving parts: 1) one of the machines boots off of a hard drive for various reasons and 2) a small thermally controlled fan in the PSU. The whole aparatus is mounted into a 2U rackmount shelf. I'll take some pictures later on.

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2008 May 16 relm


Guy Blade Guy Blade---03:25:00


Tearing Up
So, I started ripping all of my old playstation games yesterday. I've become concerned that the oldest of them are getting to be nearly a decade old and many of them will probably never be reprinted. I fear that my current disc space may be insufficient to hold the new influx of data that this will generate, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I've also started trying to rip my ps2 games and have met with, at best, limited success. It seems as though the only tool that has had any success for me is k3b which seems to rip properly (Final Fantasy X did start successfully in pcsx2), but without a real emulator or tested ripping methods, I am unsure.

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2008 May 12 garnet


Guy Blade Guy Blade---01:28:00


This Creedo
So, yesterday I beat Assassin's Creed. If you haven't played it yet, it may be worth telling you that this game has an ending similar to Advent Rising, Anachronox, XIII, and Halo 2. Due to the relatively good sales of Assassin's Creed (something like 3 million copies), I expect things to go more like Halo 2 than Anachronox.

As for the game itself, it is rather fun, but it isn't as good of an assassination game as the Hitman games (at least post Hitman 2). The game usually feels like an open world version of Prince of Persia, but unfortunately there isn't much to do in that open world: there are essentially zero (interesting) sidequests, there are no real interaction with NPCs in the world, and there are arbitrary barriers which prevent you from ranging freely for large portions of the game.

The game does have one sidequest: collecting flags. These flags serve no purpose other than fulfilling an optional objective. Completing the objective provides no in-game benefit and is itself time-consuming since there are literally hundreds of flags. In the console versions of the game, collecting flags at least gave achievements. In the PC version, the only reason to ever pick up a flag is because they refill your health. Of course, you regenerate over time rather quickly anyway, so this too is rarely of use.

At least the PC version doesn't force you to walk to every city that you have to visit to do an assassination like the console versions do. The PC version wisely gives a quick travel option after you've been to a city once.

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2008 May 09 elly-miang


Guy Blade Guy Blade---07:03:00


Bits
So, does anyone know an effective way to drill through 2mm of stainless steel? It turns out that the bit that I have doesn't do it and the one I purchased to replace it isn't doing much better.

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2008 May 03 celes


Guy Blade Guy Blade---10:30:00


Risk Mitigation
So today, we had people visit from CNES. This meant, for me, 9 hours of meetings. During one of the meetings the CNES Mission Manager told an interesting anecdote:

So, during a particular dress rehersal for the launch of some spacecraft, CNES had food catered in. Catering in food is the modus operandi at CNES if people are required to work after hours. It turns out that the food was somehow bad, and everyone in the lauch team came down with food poisoning meaning that the dress rehersal was a total failure. Due to this, it is now CNES policy to have two restaurants from two different famalies cater during any critical operations (or pretend critical, as with dress rehersals). I consider this to be the kind of policy that is completely reasonable, but which no one would ever think of unless it had happened to them.

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