Dec. 12th, 2011

piranha: red origami crane (Default)
first my new iomega external 2T drive conked. that's the second iomega drive that died way too soon, and i am not using these drives a lot; just for backups. needless to say, i won't be buying iomega anymore.

then my mac pro lost its video output. since we have high-end graphics cards just laying around the house, that didn't seem like a big problem. but with the new card (which is confirmed to be working) the mac didn't even boot. put the old card back in, nope, not booting either. i swtched everything to the mac mini, but that would'nt even turn on -- i had originally started using the mac pro because the mini was flakey. so the mac pro went to the shop. last time we used the shop, maybe 2 years ago, we got the machine back the next day. now we were told it could be as long as 10 days. macs are either getting very popular, or are breaking more. this is the only mac shop in town, so there's no alternative either.

not only are we lucky that we have high end graphics cards laying around, but we also have spare computers. no spare mac, no, but a spare PC dual-booting into win2000 and fedora. i don't care for fedora, and especially not v11, which screwed up the sound. debian is my favourite, but i figured this was a good time to try out ubuntu, which has been praised far and wide.

downloaded ubuntu, burnt it to CD, and tried it. looked clean and simple if a bit too kawaii with its large, colourful icons and all. it offered an install while leaving previous installations intact, so i started that process. during which it needed to resize the partitions on the drive so it could add itself on a new partition.

i usually repartition with partition magic, a reliable work horse which never once screwed anything up for me. but since symantec (bastards) killed it after buying the developer, powerquest, that option is running out now; it can't handle ext4 filesystems nor newer windows systems. so i let ubuntu handle the repartitioning.

bad idea. somewhere during the process the screen went a sickly bright green and ubuntu hung. and of course when i finally shut the machine off and tried to reboot fedora from disk, that wasn't possible (just into windows, which is on its own drive). the monitor remained green (i knew the monitor wasn't the problem since it still displayed normal colours when turned off and then on again).

rebooted ubuntu off the CD, but the monitor was still green and ubuntu hung.

i cursed a little.

then shut the machine off again, unplugged the power, unplugged the video cable and restarted, fortunately that reset everything and ubuntu came up in full colour. allright. finally i could get on with it.

it's ... i can see why a lot of people would praise it; it's quite simple, pretty, and user-friendly -- for people used to windows or to no computers at all. to somebody who knows linux, it's kinda "linux for dummies". i'm pretty much gonna change everything in the GUI because i find the unity desktop insipid; it stands in my way more than it facilitates what i want to do. and the file manager isn't much to write home about -- what is that, nautilus? anyone know of a GOOD file manager?

but first to see whether it can read hfs filesystems without too many gyrations.

but i am feeling good about not losing all my mojo during the obstacles, and keeping at it instead of retreating to my room to read escapist novels. and minecraft runs on it. ;)
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
now, why i've been so quiet since the *poing* got here. it's all their fault -- the *poing*'s and the paramour's. because they introduced me to a game by the name of minecraft, and i've been playing it obsessively since then. and because the depression hasn't gone away (ha! if only...), i either have energy for a social life, or for the game.

it's a wonderful game, and the first game since arcanum that's sucked me in so fast. but it's way better than arcanum; more immersive, more creative, more expandable. it's a sandbox game, its primary focus is on building, but there's also exploring, acquiring stuff, farming, figuring out how items in the game work, and fighting for survival -- if you want to. you are not locked into any specific mode, and you can freely switch between them. you can play the game without ever fighting a single enemy and with unlimited resources to build anything you want, where health and hunger are of no concern, and where you can't die, or you can battle it out in hardcore mode, where death lurks around every corner and means the end of your entire world, and you have to start over from scratch. or anywhere in between; explore an abandoned mine today, build an automated underwater sugarcane farm tomorrow, and trap poisonous spiders the next day.

it can be played by children, teens, and adults, by parents with their kids, without either getting bored or finding it too difficult. you can play it alone, or on a server with your friends, or on a public server with hundreds of people under a particular theme (like recreating middle earth, or lost, or anything the server owner comes up with. you can save your world and share it with other people.

it's also expandable, and since it's been played by millions of gamers since its beta release a year ago, there are lots of extensions (called mods) available. some only change a small aspect, others add a whole new dimension. you can "skin" it with texture packs so everything looks like the world of tron or victorian steampunk. you can make your own texture pack; it's easy -- didn't take long til i started my own, of course. ;)

and it's all done with cubes.


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

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