amnesiack: (uber die)
I got my iPhone 4 yesterday. This may make me seem like a crazed gadget junkie, but in my defense, this is the first smartphone I've ever owned, and it's only been a year and a half since I got my first cell phone, period. So there, non-existent person to whom I feel compelled to justify myself!

This also marks the transition for me and Lesley into full-fledged cell phone independence. I've been riding on a friend's family share plan (thanks!), and she's been on her parents' plan up until now. We've now got our very own family plan, with just the two of us. Independence is expensive.

----

I've been playing around with D&D character apps for the iPhone, since updating character sheets sucks and having a bulky laptop on the table is the pits. There are two that seem pretty good, though neither is the 100% perfect machine. Both allow you to upload Character Builder files to the web and then access them via the phone in a cool, streamlined capacity.

iPlay4e
Pros:
* Translates the character builder files very well, so you have to do little or no any after-the-fact tweaking.
* It has a built-in die roller both for general rolls and on a per-power basis with all mods calculated in advance.

Cons:
* It's a web app, which makes it slower, and means it's constantly using up data capacity and battery life at a quicker rate.
* Powers don't include the effect descriptions beyond attack mods and damage; you have to follow a link to the Compendium for that.
* Manual tweaks are impossible for most parts of the character.

i4e
Pros:
* Power entries are more robust in their information, and there is a description field that will let you fill in any information that you want, so there is no need to check the books/compendium.
* It's a native app that just downloads characters from the i4e server when you ask it to, so it's not using up bandwidth or a lot of battery life while in use.
* Virtually everything in the character can be tweaked manually if you desire.

Cons:
* Only the bare skeleton of the character gets imported from the character builder files, so you end up having to do a lot of manual updating and tweaking before the character is playable. This is a huge pain.

I'll be playing around with both, since we've got a game coming up on Tuesday, and I'll probably learn pretty quickly which I prefer.
amnesiack: (Default)
I'm sure that, by now, most of you have heard about the Mooninite attack on Boston. Personally, I find the situation to be both funny and tragic. Regardless of how you feel about guerrilla marketing, this sort of reaction to what basically amounts to a Light Bright (see pictures here) highlights how ridiculous things have gotten in our country due to our obsession with terrorism.

Also, my ipod stopped working correctly this morning. It still plays, and it still syncs with my computer, but it looks like the headphone jack is no longer transmitting to the headphones. Most likely, it's become unsoddered to the motherboard inside. It's a fairly common occurrence in the older model ipods (I have a Gen 2). I'm going to see what the cost is for getting this fixed, and then I'll decide whether or not to buy a new 80 GB shiny, shiny video ipod, retaining my old one as a portable firewire hard drive. Happily, I will be receiving a $300 bonus in my next paycheck, so if I do decide to upgrade it won't be a stretch financially.

I felt like my 7th Sea game ran more smoothly last night than it has for a while, despite the players doing several things that I wasn't expecting. It looks like we'll have one more session (maybe two, if something very unexpected happens next session), then we'll do a planning session for Future Imperfect, and then we'll likely start the new game in mid-to-late-March.
amnesiack: (american astronaut)
While I am a dual-platformer, I am no Apple fanboy (nor am I a pc fanboy, for that matter). Add to that the fact that everyone in the world knows that I hate cell phones with an unbridled passion usually reserved for nazis or kitten-stompers, and I really shouldn't be this excited. Still...

The iPhone looks very shiny.

EDIT: And how can you tell it's definitely an Apple product? It costs $600.

0_o
amnesiack: (Leaf Shakes the Wind)
Life continues and things occur. Most of them are boring are to read about.

Saturday night I wrangled together a significant portion of my local friends for a three week late birthday celebration. We had dinner at the Capitol Hill Tea Pot Vegetarian House, a vegan Chinese food restaurant that specializes in Buddhist-style fake meat cooking. Though the restaurant didn't seem quite as prepared for us as it should have been (considering I had made a reservation for 22 people a week and a half in advance, and we only actually had 19 people come), the food and company were fantastic, and I was glad I had done it. Thanks to everyone who came!

Earlier on Saturday, Lesley joined as the new player in our bi-weekly Exalted game, re-completing our circle after the loss of Jesse, whose new responsibilities as full-time bus driver and human spawn generator have forced him to cut down on his gaming activities. This is Lesley's first tabletop rpg; she's doing really well with it so far, though we have to work at times not to overshadow her character, simply because the rest of us are used to diving in, taking charge, and expecting everyone else to do likewise.

Neil Gaiman's new short story collection Fragile Things hit last week. I picked it up along with my copy of the new Compass of Celestial Directions Volume 1: The Blessed Isle at The Dreaming on Friday. I started the first story on the bus this morning; it combines Sherlock Holmes and the Lovecraft Mythos and promises to be irrevocably awesome (in addition to reminding me a great deal of our bi-weekly Adventure! game).

Saturday night my Microsoft ergonomic keyboard (one of the really old-school off-white models with no padding or special features) stopped working properly. I attempted to take it apart and fix it, which I think only exacerbated the problem. Of course, I've been using the keyboard for 8 years, so it's not a terribly surprising occurence. So, on Sunday, I bought a new Microsoft ergonomic keyboard, only this one does have padding and weird extra buttons (which I thought would be worthless, but I'm actually enjoying them). Of course, since I entered Best Buy, I had to also look at other things, and I ended up buying volume two of Basilisk, Iron Monkey, and Kung Fu Hustle. I'm such a sucker.
amnesiack: (angelpuppet1)
I've been re-reading my old LJ entries for a while, and I came across this one about my iPod being broken. I hadn't realized it had been that long since it occured. Anyway, in the realm of pointless updates, I had it fixed by a mail-order company in Michigan about a month ago. It only cost me $15 including shipping.

In your face, Apple.
amnesiack: (Default)
Jason recently turned me on to Pandora.com. A side-project of the Music Genome Project, Pandora starts by asking you to suggest one band that you like. It will then play a song by the band you chose that is considered to be highly representative of its overall style. You rate whether you actually like the song or not, and when the song is over Pandora plays another song by a different artist that shares musical qualities with the song you just heard (if you liked it). Every time you tell it you do or don't like the song that's playing, it refines it's choices for you, and will often re-direct Pandora back to songs by artists you have said you liked before, in order to try to home in more on the qualities that you actually enjoy. Any song you say you don't like will never be played again, but other songs by that same artist may, since songs are chosen by stylistic similarties, not by genre or artist. You can even ask the player to display why that song was chosen for you. For example, the song playing now on my station is "No Friends" by The Adolescents, and it was chosen because "it features punk roots, mild rhythmic syncopation, and minor key tonality." The most obvious use of this is that it can be a cool way to help you find new artists who are similar to ones that you already like. You can also share the station you have created with other people so they can listen to it as well. After playing around with my station for about 4 hours, I've got it tuned to around 90% accuracy in relation to what I generally like. Obviously, it doesn't completely reflect every artist or style I like equally, but I'd say that if you were to listen to my Ipod set on shuffle, what you would hear there would be quite similar to what you'd hear from Pandora. If any of you are curious, here's my station:

http://www.pandora.com/?sc=sh3534696
amnesiack: (rar)
Be your own portable wi-fi hotspot: http://www.popsci.com/popsci/how20/6a278ca927d05010vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html

Tech-lust

Jun. 25th, 2005 03:39 pm
amnesiack: (Default)
We're using a new computer system at our new work location, including lovely 19" LCD monitors. I've been perfectly content with my old 15" IBM CRT for the longest time, but coming home from work every day and looking at it after being in front of the lcd all day is absolute torture. It's not even really a matter of wanting a new gadget; it actually feels like an unpleasant physical adjustment to use that screen after 8 hours in front of this one. To make it worse, if you check that link I posted above, the very monitors that we use here at work are currently only $229.99 after rebate at Tiger Direct. So tempting...
amnesiack: (Default)
This is fun.

The program translates what you type back and forth between English and seven other languages (English - Japanese - Eng - Chinese - Eng - French - Eng - German - Eng - Italian - Eng - Portugese - Eng - Spanish - Eng). I think it might be even better if they didn't put Portugese and Spanish back to back, since they're very similar languages.

Still, it's very fun, especially if you take the results of the first round and run it through the system a few more times. For example:

1. You do not know the power of the dark side.
2. The dark method of the resistance of the function does not know.
3. They had not known that the resistance of the function is "dark copy".
4. Which his the function worries about the resistance of " Dark Copy" Ingualmente you did not know this, he who you are.


Link yoinked from [livejournal.com profile] hillarygayle

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