Jump to content
The Dark Mod Forums


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Days Won


Everything posted by woah

  1. Trust me when I say you are a long shot from what is considered typical American Mediocrity
  2. picaroon: a thief, pirate, or pirate-ship
  3. Here's a movie that I just like to watch (or parts of it, at least) now and then for laughs. I can't recommend it in its entirety, but there are some clips from it that are just priceless. Night of the Lepus I'm not going to summarize its plot, as one's unfamiliarity with it makes the following clip I uploaded of the movie all the more hilarious:
  4. If you've been out of the loop on hardware for a while, take your budget to a popular hardware forum. They'll give you a good starting point, illuminate any new variables to consider, point out what's bullshit marketing (ie designed to confuse the consumer) and what the new standards are (or where there's a lack of a standard) etc. For them, it's a hobby based around conspicuous consumption (actually, searching for new hardware is basically an effort in learning how to be a "good consumer"; it's not really that technical at all), but use them to your advantage. It's kind of hilarious, actually, but a lot of these hardware enthusiasts largely use all of that expensive, top-of-the-line hardware for ... searching for more deals on the latest and greatest hardware and posting on hardware forums. The only time you really hear them talking about games (or any other application that demands that much power) is when they're benchmarking. But when interacting with them, take note of two things: 1) Let go of your pride and don't take their petty attitudes seriously. A lot of these types are predisposed to anti-social, antagonizing behavior. You'll get a lot better results if you don't respond to that behavior and permit them to remain on their imaginary pedestals. 2) Watch out for the fanboys. Some forums are littered with these guys, and they're a terrible source of good information. The steampowered.com Hardware forums seem pretty impartial to me. Also, if you can stomach their attitude, try to make connections with a member who seems to have some pretty high hardware turnover. You can get some great deals this way, and--while they may largely be assholes--they are almost always honest.
  5. Springheel, you should check out my thread here (which I created a little over a month ago), where I review the "Novint Falcon." It's the best idea/concept I've seen for a 3-Dimensional, force-feedback "mouse," but the implementation fails in the most important aspect. And it's really a shame, because the possibilities from a developer's standpoint would have been very exciting.
  6. Sorry, but I've gotta digress back to vampire films once more ... First of all, I'll say that one thing I hate about movies these days is that 99% of those dealing with science fiction or fantasy cannot help but render themselves unbelievably corny in just about every facet. In the case of vampire films, one usually sees at least one of the following: Gothic, vampire-exclusive night clubs; unnecessarily acrobatic fight scenes, usually involving swords and/or dual-wielded pistols; tight, and sexy leather outfits, accompanied with stylish shades (all jet black, of course); melodramatic disputes between vampire royalty ... (and this is all in addition to terrible acting, laughable scripts, and poor directing). Let the Right One In: But I did a bit of research to see if I could actually find a good vampire film (in addition to the original, which I really enjoyed). Turns out, there's this 2008 Swedish film, "Let the Right One In", and it's very good. If I were to compare it to another recent and similar movie, Pan's Labrynth is the first that comes to mind. It has nothing similar to that unforunately all-too-common shit I've outlined above, and takes a pretty interesting approach to vampires. Without spoiling too much, I'll just say it's a romance that more or less addresses the struggles of vampirism (ie morale dilemmas, from several standpoints). I'm not saying the film will blow you away, but if you enjoy vampire films at all, do not miss this one. It is just shy of being the best ("the best" being the original. Though, if we're harshly critiquing by today's standards, then I would most definitely say "Let the Right One In" is the best there is for vampire films).
  7. I was in the mood for a vampire film (I've yet to see a good one), so I took a chance with this. Overall, it was pretty entertaining--if a bit drawn out towards the end. What I particularly enjoyed was the goofyness aspect of it; from time to time, I like movies that don't take themselves too seriously (ie those Batman movies from the early 90's and late 80's; they're pretty funny).
  8. I just came back from "Shutter Island" It's definitely not one of Scorsese's best, but I was pretty intrigued until about half way in (after which it took a turn for the worse). Dicaprio does his best to make the most of it, but, alas, "garbage-in, garbage-out". This is not to say it's horrible ... I mean, I would never go out of my way to catch it, but it's one of those films I wouldn't mind stumbling upon on a lazy Saturday afternoon--on one of those commercialess "Encore" movie channels or something (but I suppose that's not even possible, granted I don't have television).
  9. I'll simply present a list, and fill in observations here and there: There Will Be Blood: This is currently my greatest movie of all time. Daniel Day-Lewis is my favorite actor, and his presence in this movie is stunning. Also, I highly recommend checking out the associated classical music soundtrack, composed by Jonny Greenwood (who is also a member of Radiohead (though, there's little similarity to the music styles)). The Good Shepherd: This one's only for the patient and the mystery buffs. It necessitates more mental engagement than your average movie (don't plan on languishing during its events, or you may be left completely clueless by the time you reach the end), but--if that's not an issue--the movie may sit amongst your best. The Aviator American Psycho: Christian Bale's best performance, by far (if you've read the book it's based on (also "American Psycho"), his ability to capture the "protagonist"'s persona and transfer it to the screen is insane. It's a shame what sort of hollywood crap he's been dabbling in over the past few years. On the other hand, based on some audio from an outburst of his on the set of that recent Terminator abomination, I'm beginning to think his actual personality may not be too far from the Patrick Bateman character himself ... which could explain a lot of things (ie why he was chosen over Leonardo Dicaprio to play the role) 12 Monkeys Miller's Crossing Alien: (and hated each and every sequel) About Schmidt The Truman Show Rear Window The Man Who Wasn't There Apocalypto: The jews may have torn this movie apart in the reviews (an unusually large portion of well-known movie critics are Jewish)--or at least tried to (it's sort of difficult to make this movie look bad), but I don't care if Mel Gibson is a nut. He's a great director (most of the time, anyway). Gangs of New York Capote Taxi Driver A Prophet: This is a movie that will be remembered, perhaps amongst other big-name crime dramas like The Godfather. I also made note of this in the "2009 Movies" thread, but I feel obligated to include it once again. Das Boot: (the original, 1980's "Das Boot") This is my favorite world war 2 movie, and if you've got 3-4 hours to spare (it's that long), I highly recommend it. Das Leben Der Anderen The Prestige Vertigo The Big Lebowski Solaris (I really enjoyed the original and the remake) Good Will Hunting Insomnia O Brother, Where Art Thou? No Country For Old Men Being John Malkovich The Last of the Mohicans Burn After Reading The Last King of Scotland The Green Mile The Royal Tenenbaums The Departed Charlie Wilson's War Cast Away Memento Catch Me If You Can Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon That's good enough for now, I suppose. I'll come back and update it later. There is also an upcoming WW2 movie based on my favorite WW2 book, "The Forgotten Soldier". "The Forgotten Soldier" is a true story from a German's perspective on the Eastern front, and it is probably the closest reference through which one can understand war in that time from a soldier's eyes--without actually having to experience it one's self. I really hope Paul Verhoeven doesn't mess this one up, but his past record (good: Soldier of Orange, Black Book; bad: Starship Troopers, The Thomas Crown Affair, Hollow Man *shudder*) is questionable. The fact that it's in spoken English doesn't bode well either; that's just wrong for this sort of movie. Get German speaking actors!
  10. woah

    Movies of 2009

    A Prophet: This movie came out of no where and blew me away ... along with everything else from the past few years. I dare say this is one of the best movies I've seen of this decade, and among my top 5 crime dramas in existence. The most I will say is that it's a "prison crime drama," and--as lame as that may sound--it's unlike anything else I've ever seen. This is not just another movie I'm casually recommending. If I could force you to watch this, I would. The movie is not in theaters yet (out on Feb. 26th, but I doubt you'll ever see it in your average, everyday theater anyway), but I've watched the screener and I plan on purchasing it on DVD the moment it's available. I'm tempted to share the torrent link to the screener (because there are a lot of hoaxes out there), but I'm assuming that's not permitted on this forum. If there's no issue with that, let me know and I'll post it. Otherwise, you can PM me I suppose.
  11. Nice eye If you find any other similar curiosities, I'm interested!
  12. woah

    Fox News

    I really can't stand to watch Fox news. It is just so depressing knowing that millions of ignorant Americans gobble up those utterly ridiculous lies and accept it with a merit of truth that is second only to the sermons of their pastors and their bibles. Not that the northern US is much better, but I will just say that I am so happy I don't live in the south. It's seriously difficult to find a sane person amongst that surge. In many blue-collar work environments in the US, there are LCD screens in the break-rooms/cafes hard-programmed (in that they can't be changed by employees or by request) to Fox News (one such example is my brother's job at a pharmaceutical plant). This scares the hell out of me.
  13. I've always felt really limited by the mouse in games; there's only so much a developer can do when bound to 2-dimensions (while keeping things within reasonable complexity). There are a lot of other 3D motion controllers out there, but they've never really impressed me: they're low in resolution; their response times are awful; they don't provide haptic feedback; the method(s) by which you manipulate them severely limits their applicability. For these reasons, when I saw the Novint Falcon, conceptually, it seemed like just the thing I was looking for, and I was psyched. Here are two images of the Falcon (I did not bother to take my own): How it's used: One moves the actuator/grip (either the standard "ball attachment" or the "pistol grip" attachment) in the 3-dimensional volume permitted by the extents of the 3 arms attached to it. This amounts to a 4"x4"x4" volume registered by the device, and there is also some leeway of movement beyond this conceptualized cube (which I'm assuming is registered as a constant directional stimulus--almost like the extent of a joystick). The 3 arms can also provide haptic feedback, capable of exerting over 2 pounds of force in any direction (and, naturally, these forces are induced in any which way the application desires). Yes, the concept is absolutely awesome, as the possibilities such a device permits are very exciting. This is definitely the direction I'd like to see PC input devices go. But before I continue: I must stress that I've assessed this input device from the standpoint of a developer. There are several games for which there is actual code (usually through mods) utilizing the Falcon's API (any of the orange box games, Crysis, Penumbra, etc), but only a few actually utilize the 3D functionality (essentially, Penumbra and some gimmicky "Monkey Business" games). The rest simply support the device within the constraints of the actual game. What I mean by this is that today's PC games are designed with the mouse in mind. Thus, only the X and Y dimensions of the Falcon can be made use of in these games, and the force-feedback is only utilized in, for instance: simulating recoil from shooting a gun, simulating gravity when you pick up an object, etc. Personally, I see no value in a device like the Falcon for these sort of implementations. My evaluation of the device was purely from the standpoint of a developer looking to trascend the limitations the mouse has imposed on one's own creativity. Therefore, I will not be looking at particular games (even if no current game supported the Falcon, such a deficiency would be irrelevant to me), but only the device's performance. There are also so called "Fgen drivers" released that permit the Falcon to be used in any game, but, again, this is none of my concern. Assessment of its construction: This is not a cheaply made gimmick; the device's design wreaks of quality. It is quite heavy (weighs about 15 pounds, I believe) and very sturdy. To say the least, it's not something I'd be afraid to play a game with. Now, I wouldn't go thrashing the arms about, but--for the purposes of a game controller--it is durable enough. Performance: Unfortunately, the implementation itself is not as good as the concept. I will preceed the positive aspects with '+' and the negatives with '-'. + Strength and flexibility of motors - The amount of force this thing can induce is amazing considering the size of the device. If one resists its full output, the device will slide back before it gives way and, if bolted down, I believe it would break (and, again, this device is quite sturdy). The Falcon can quite easily throw your hand around, and it may even hurt a small child's wrist. When you're not expecting it, it can be quite surprising. Think of it like this: If there is a flat and hard surface, and the "virtual you" "inside" a simulation presses against it, it will feel solid. If one were to receive a blow from an enemy's sword onto that of their own, the force could throw your own hand back in a precise direction and force. Other things, such as swinging a flail about one's head and feeling all of the intricate forces of its motion, are conceivable (in fact, the tech demos have something similar to this). - Resolution of motors - Unfortunately, the issue with the motors is that the forces they exert are not fine enough. Indeed, one can literally "feel" a surface's texture, but it is a vague approximation (and, if you're wondering, it is not due to an inaccurate computer representation. ie, I could, for instance, define a perfect sphere (mathematically) with collision tests, and the result is the same). Smooth surfaces cannot be simulated; they feel slightly bumpy, and differ in smoothness depending on the configuration of the varying forces of the motors. Their own tech demo demonstrated very well that sand cannot be simulated; it felt more like sticking one's hand through a cereal box stuffed with granola. Of course, there is also the issue of game performance itself and the forces exerted. If the time it takes to compute the forces affecting the Novint Falcon's motors (and these forces are obviously dependent on many other aspects of a game) is too high, it is a given that the results will be coarse. This was not the case in my tests, so the issue truly is a hardware limitation. - Smoothness of actuator manipulation This is the biggest issue of all. The negative point prior to this is a big one, but I could live with it if it weren't for this. Movement of the actuator is not smooth whatsoever. While it is expected not to be smooth when forces are applied by the motors, I am referring to completely "idle" movement (with no forces applied). This issue can be generalized by two things: 1) There is a general coarse feeling of movement on the Falcon, in that there exists an initial level of resistance that, once overcome, gives way to a much greater than intended movement. This makes it near impossible to perform precise movements. 2) The resistance varies depending on both the direction one is moving the actuator and where the actuator is in the maneuverable volume. There is, therefore, no consistency in movement, and this is the biggest issue. The lack of precision and consistency in movement makes the device very frustrating to use. The sensation/experience could best be described as something similar to using a somewhat dirty ball/mechanical mouse. The Novint Falcon is often criticized for not being applicable to competitive shooters (and I'm sure, with enough time, you could get use to it, but that would be training your hand to adjust for all of these inconsistencies), but it is beyond that (and it's not as if I'd ever demand a level of precision and tractability such that it would entertain the expectations of the competitive scene). It has been simply rendered uncomfortable and unengrossing by this debility, and I doubt many could truly immerse themselves in a game while affected by this irritation. There are other things that could be better about the Falcon (ie the 4x4x4 volume could be bigger), but the above two issues really are what prevent this from being a successful implementation of the concept. It's not necessarily a bad device, but--without overcoming its issues--it will never take off and become what it is intended to be. I can't help but stay positive, though, granted that the ideal is within Novint's grasp. "Tom Anderson" (mainly known as "Tom Novint") is the CEO of Novint Technologies. Anywhere online that you see discussion of the Falcon, you're likely to see him commenting (this is how I came into contact with him ... and, if this forum is indexed by google, I fully expect he'll eventually show up here). He is a very nice guy, and he gave me a great deal on the Novint Falcon after I expressed my interest in it (and, no, this was not an incentive program thing ... I mean, I'm giving the product a largely negative review ...). If I wasn't in such a financial pinch, I would have kept the device (there is a 30 day money back guarantee policy) simply because I'm supportive of the concept. Novint isn't there yet, but I truly want to see them improve and truly realize this awesome concept.
  14. woah

    Movies of 2009

    Another movie: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans: I just want to say that--after watching this movie--I redeem Nicolas Cage of all of the shit he's been involved in over the past few years (and that even includes "Ghost Rider" and the "National Treasure" crap). If you are so adventureous as to give this one a shot, don't approach it with a serious mindset.
  15. woah

    Movies of 2009

    I like movies. Good movies. Recently, I've been catching up on some I've made note of over the duration of this just passed year, and I'd like to share my [one or two or three line] thoughts of them. I've also had the displeasure of sitting through some very horrible movies in 2009 (due to friends and stuff, etc), and I'll warn you of those. Recommended: A Prophet: This movie came out of no where and blew me away ... along with everything else from the past few years. I dare say this is one of the best movies I've seen of this decade, and among my top 5 crime dramas in existence. The most I will say is that it's a "prison crime drama," and--as lame as that may sound--it's unlike anything else I've ever seen. This is not just another movie I'm casually recommending. If I could force you to watch this, I would. The movie is not in theaters yet (out on Feb. 26th, but I doubt you'll ever see it in your average, everyday theater anyway), but I've watched the screener and I plan on purchasing it on DVD the moment it's available. I'm tempted to share the torrent link to the screener (because there are a lot of hoaxes out there), but I'm assuming that's not permitted on this forum. If there's no issue with that, let me know and I'll post it. Otherwise, you can PM me I suppose. Moon - The best science fiction movie I've seen in a long, long time, and a very original (as far as I know) plot too. If you plan to see this, do not watch the previews; it is best to go into it without any prior knowledge of the plot. A Serious Man - Typical Coen brothers dark humor and genius--perhaps one of their best to date. If you enjoyed movies like "The Man Who Wasn't There" or "The Big Lebowski," I'd say you should take a good look at it. The Road - Very gripping and sobering. Explores the inner and external conflict a father faces when struggling for his and his son's survival in the hopelessness of an apocalyptic world. This movie has acquired many negative reviews for simply being too depressing (amongst many good reviews), but I'm glad I took the chance with it (well, glad, except for the nightmare I got). Without doubt, it is the most convincing representation of what such a future may actually be like, and it is scary. Based on a book by an author whose name escapes me. Goodbye Solo - Also very good, but this post is getting longer than I had intentioned. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans: I just want to say that--after watching this movie--I redeem Nicolas Cage of all of the shit he's been involved in over the past few years (and that even includes "Ghost Rider" and the "National Treasure" crap). If you are so adventureous as to give this one a shot, don't approach it with a serious mindset. Decent: District 9: There is nothing revelatory about this movie, but I enjoyed it (and can look past the stupid stuff) simply as a result of a personal curiousity with the atypical protagonist. While watching it, I get the impression that the director is trying very hard to "escape" Hollywood (but they're not quite there yet). Not recommended: Avatar - A very boring (the script, the characters, the plot, the acting...), predictable, and cliche story (using blue aliens (yet still humanoid, in appearance and emotion?) this time does not make it original--who "it" is does not really matter). One good thing about this movie is that now I feel completely desensitized to special effects. Terminator Salvation - Another embarrassment to the originals (for the first 10-15 minutes, I was pretty hooked, though). Book of Eli - In a post apocalyptic future (this is really getting too buzz-wordy), Denzel Washington is a blind ninja on a journey across the desert (walking in "dramatic" slow motion for half of the movie, mind you), where he regularly encounters and righteously slaughters bands of meandering ruffians (quite spectacularly, and only after letting them encircle him, naturally), while sermonizing and listening to a FUCKING IPOD ... to a deliver a "weapon" (the fucking King James bible) to a library on Alcatraz island (the supposed stage of "the new beginning"), guided by the fucking VOICE OF GOD. I think having to sit through this movie might have induced a hernia. Bruno - This is trash. * - Probably some other stuff that wasn't worth remembering. Still on the list: O'Horten Crazy Heart Red Cliff The White Ribbon The Messenger
  16. Man, that is hilarious. Two personable Japanese guys having back and forth commentary, set to elevator music. Doesn't get any better than that I've actually been on and off studying a bit of Japanese myself. I will shamefully say that this is because I like to read their manga and play their RPGs (pikingu up Valkyria Chronicles 2 for the PSP off the Japanese PSN store in a few weeks ). By the way, I just got the desktop computer up and running again, so I'll have my first go at The Dark Mod pretty soon! (Well, hopefully, anyway ... Seems Steam won't let me download Doom 3. Whenever I click to activate the game, Steam disables my wireless adapter (And why in god's name would some random userspace application have the authority to mess with such a device? ... then again, this is windows ... )).
  17. Well, I can't say I'll make the transition until a vimperator-esque plugin is released for chrome. Mouseless browsing is far too awesome (and so much faster). I don't ever want to go back to the ludicrousness of alternating between mouse and keyboard when browsing. On the other hand, I plan to write a vimperator plugin for google chrome pretty soon (as soon as I finish a different project, that is ... you know how that goes). Once I get to that plugin, I'll gladly relieve my system of the resource hog that is firefox. Gladly.
  18. woah

    Thank you.

    Congratulations on your release! I only pop in the forums now and then, but I've definitely been following the mod. I can't give it a shot at the moment due to my desktop PC being down (been that way for like 6 months ... needs a new power supply), but now I've got more of an incentive to get it up and running.
  19. Well since we're all sharing our current game system stories (and considering how different mine is from the rest of the crowd), I'll cover my most recent endeavors. Prepare for a long post. A friend of mine gave me a broken (red-ringed) Xbox 360 which he no longer wanted (he had bought an Xbox 360 Elite afterwards) but it was still under warranty. I could not convince him to rethink his decision on giving it away--to instead take advantage of the warranty. He just didn't want to bother with it. So I took advantage of the warranty and got it replaced. Unfortunately, there are no games on the Xbox 360 that I'm really interested in (I haven't been impressed by the 360 game libraries of whatever friends of mine who own the 360) and I have no intention of paying for an online service. I ended up selling the 360 to my brother for something reasonable (he wouldn't take it for anything lower than $140), and--with the additional funds from a few PSP's I had bought, fixed, and sold on ebay--I decided to treat myself to something. It just so happens that there was a PS3 deal at the time on Dell.com, which brought it down to $320. I've always been a fan of games like Wipeout, Tekken, Metal Gear Solid, God of War, Twisted Metal, Gran Turismo and many others (all of which have or are soon to be getting sequels) so it seemed like a great idea at the time. I can sincerely say that I've been very happy with the system for the past months in which I've owned it. Naturally, I have to stress that I'm not a "Sony fanboy" or anything at this point (I highly doubt I would have bought the system at full price, and I've never even owned a PS2--just borrowed it), but--after my own experience--I'm sort of baffled by all of the bad press the PS3 has been getting (at least in the United States) for god knows how long. I've found a lot of excellent games for the system consuming my time--perhaps too much of my time--and I've yet to touch any PC games in quite a while now. Wipeout HD, in particular, has blown me away and now stands among Thief 2: The Metal Age in my most favorite games of all time (It's too bad Wipeout is not too popular in the United States (I've heard this is a result of the difficulty). Seems like 90% of the online Wipeout HD games are hosted in Europe and Japan, which means some lag for me. On the other hand, I get to meet a lot of interesting people and more challenging competition. There are times when you'll have a room of 7 or 8 players, all from different countries--something very foreign to my experiences). Playing this game to the tune of custom French House playlists is nirvana for me. The Tekken 5 online play is an absolute blast, even if I always get my ass kicked as Yoshimitsu. Metal Gear Solid 4 is, needless to say, absolutely amazing, and I hear Kojima still has further MGS games planned for the PS3. I've come across some RPGs--namely Valkyria Chronicles and Demon's Souls--which have had me up well into the morning hours and skipping classes; I actually need to put these on suspension until the summer as a result. I've also come across a bunch of great small-titles on PSN, ie Bionic Commando: Rearmed, Outrun Online Arcade, and Twisted Metal 2 (had to buy this first. Another favorite game of mine). I hear there are a bunch of other great titles I should get into (ie Little Big Planet, Killzone 2, Ridge Racer 7, next month's PSN game "Trine", and many multiplatforms), but I'm sort of overwhelmed at this point, so they'll need to wait. Likewise--even if they may have great ratings--I don't ever plan on buying a first person shooter for a console, and I've yet to understand all of the hype behind the new Call of Duty games (they look and play like nothing out of the ordinary from your typical early-to-mid 2000's PC shooter ... and with the handicap of a controller?). So while the PS3 has provided a great gaming experience, first person shooters (and sneakers) will remain on the PC. I wouldn't even think of playing Thief on a console. That would be blasphemy (with the exception of the unlikely case in which the console game supports the mouse and keyboard functionality offered by the PS3--ala Unreal Tournament 3). I've also had the chance to install Linux on the PS3. I took the Gentoo route as I heard Ubuntu or Yellow Dog Linux are a bit too bloated for a system with 256mB of ram (and I come from an Archlinux background, so I don't really think I could stomach Ubuntu anyway) . As far as I know, Sony has locked out access to the Nvidia graphics card (RSX) and 256mB of GPU ram in the PS3's "other OS" mode (a shame), so things can get quite slow at times (especially with firefox easily consuming a generous 150+ ram on only a few tabs), but it has served me quite well over the past few weeks considering the power supply in the desktop PC I own died. On the other hand, access to 6 or 7 of the Cell processor's SPUs is granted, and while very few programs take advantage of them, I've compiled mplayer with SPU-support (which makes viewing high definition media possible with a lack of access to a GPU) and I've also heard there is a MesaGL Cell processor implementation in the works (sounds exciting). This is not to say the PS3 is (currently) a reasonable platform for Linux when compared with PCs, but it's quite fun if you love messing around with linux and programming for an interesting (and quite powerful) architecture. So this is what I've been up to regarding gaming and my PS3 endeavors over the past months. There isn't really anything on the PC that I could care to play for the time being, but the announcement of Alien Vs Predator (3) and the possibility of another Thief game has me hyped for the PC platform in terms of gaming. No doubt, the PC will--for me--take the forefront again some day.
  20. woah

    LCD Monitors

    If the image quality were my only concern, I would definitely stick with a CRT. I have tested a very large variety of LCDs, many of them new (my roommate is always buying these things, and always at the high end) and they simply can not produce a satisfying black when compared to a CRT (If you're into the Thief games--and obviously you are--I can say that a monitor unable to produce a good black will take you right out of the experience), and the colors are not accurate. In addition, the response time does not compare (CRT response times are measured in ns, LCDs in ms). I've often been told the human eye is incapable of telling the difference at very low ms on LCDs when compared to CRTs (I have no idea if this is a legitimate statement or not), but I can tell you--without a doubt in my mind--there is a significant difference, and if you're into shooters like Quake or Counter-Strike, you'll notice a perceivable handicap (of course, I can only make this judgement based on my own eyes. Yours may be very different). You will adjust to this (as many people do and then unfortunately claim there is no difference, and I often suspect so they can further justify their pricey screens). On the other, I have substituted the CRT I use to own for an LCD for other reasons (one being it was 7 years old and becoming blurry). Of course, there is conservation of space, but this is rarely a consequential factor considered. The main game-breaker (advantage)--for me, at least--is the reduced strain on the eyes; I can last quite a bit longer when coding and reading (though I still prefer reading from a book), and any subsequent strain is minimal in comparison to the CRT. In addition, there is also the issue of power consumption, which we try to keep at a reasonable minimum in our home. Another thing to consider is the new OLED technology on the rise. Supposedly the response time can be less than 0.01ms; produce a wider range of colors, brightness, viewing angle, and contrast (dynamic and static); can simply turn "off" to produce black (there is no backlight); are flexible; and can literally be printed. The main obstacle is currently the limited lifetime of the materials, but there is apparently progress being made in this area. I'm assuming these won't be mainstream for the next few years, but it's something to consider. Also, I don't know how long you plan on waiting, and some of this OLED stuff sounds too good to be true.
  21. http://www.moddb.com/mods/blind-monks-society This is a very interesting Half-Life 2 modification, and it is among the best I've played. The premise is unique and something very new, so I think it's right up the alley of this board.
  22. I just got a chance to play the mod. I bit the bullet and installed windows, but only after it decided to overwrite '/' (when I instructed it to write over the area that was once a fat partition. Luckily, I had my home files on a separate partition) and then refused to install because I had "too many partitions" (I had only 2 other partitions, so I'm assuming "too many partitions" just means "too many non-windows partitions"). So then I installed an old harddrive and figured I'd just write it to that, but it then complained that the other drive had non-windows partitions, and I'd have to either remove what was on the other and write windows to it before I could write windows to the blank hd, or write nothing at all (so I disconnected the hd with linux on it, installed windows, reconnected the hd, and--of course--everything works fine now (after writing grub back to the mbr, of course)). So on to my impressions... The team has come a long, long way. I really enjoyed the demo. I particularly enjoyed the puzzle solving instances. At times, they brought me back to my Thief 2 days. The readables interaction is a key element of this. One thing I would recommend is to remove any music and play an ambient sound similar to the sound played in Thief when viewing readables. I think this allows the player to better focus and absorb the information; the stimulation on the periphery can be a distraction to one's mental visualization of what they are reading. I don't recall if the outer edges of the screen are dimmed when viewing readables (I think they are), but this is also something to take into consideration. The light gem is flawless from what I've experienced, as is mantling (though mappers must be careful, as it is very powerful), and it's also great to see shouldering in. I must say, though, that the ragdoll physics are quite dispiriting, and, whenever I see them, the game's aura--that which permits the mind to, at least partially, unfix itself from the knowledge that what you are currently experiencing is a simulation--is curtailed. I understand this is an area of the game that can only be modified to a limited extent with your resources, but I would even go so far as to say that ragdolls should be completely removed, and death animations be implemented. But again, with your resources, this doesn't seem feasible, and it's not even that big of a deal. There are only two things that really caught my scrutiny, the foremost of which is the nature of sounds. I understand that the sounds used are currently placeholders, but I found that it was not so much the particular noises used to pose, but the believability of their interaction that detracted from the experience. Adjusting things such as sound attenuation, echo (in hallyways), muffling/soft-pedaling (when on the other side of doors), and the intensity of the sounds could really change the experience (and I understand a lot of this is either up to the mapper or can be changed through the doom 3 configuration files). This also made it quite difficult to tell where AI are coming from, whether or not the guard you're sneaking up on is going to hear you, or even whether or not that which was making a noise was your own boots or the guard's way down the hall. I understand this is one of those areas that may be reserved for "finishing touches," though. The other thing that really stood out to me is the level of ambient light. I had turned the brightness way down, both on my monitor and in the game, yet I could not produce a convincing effect. Passage ways that would have been devoid of any light could still be navigated quite easily and without the lantern, and dark corners where the light gem goes completely black are really not that black at all. In my experience with other engines, this is something that is modified from the mapper's level, though, and I'm not sure what the trade off would be (perhaps the dynamic shadows are too hard). Overall, it is great to see this team continue to progress, and I hope my comments will be of some help.
  23. Sounds great! Is there a video walkthrough/showcase of the demo, or at least parts of it? I don't have windows, and I don't really have the spare time (or money) to get Doom 3 working on linux at the moment.
  24. I've played a little bit of guitar over the years, and then stopped completely for 4 years or so. I'm now taking interest in guitar again--still as a side hobby, but I'd like to truly understand the theory behind music, rather than just attempting to replicate what others play and what I conjure in my brain. It is not so much that I want to become "better" at playing a musical instrument, but rather that the study of such a thing interests me. Unfortunately, I have no reliable contacts that can lead me in a direction other than going to school or taking a few classes on the subject, but I've found that this route usually leads to a waste of money (which I have little of, and very little ambition to acquire) and time (and also results in a disinterest in the subject due to various reasons, but I am already ranting) . In any case, I find it much more enjoyable and effective to study on my own (with the aid of a book where fitting, of course). So now that I've put you through enough text to justify this thread, are there any books that members here can recommend on music theory, perhaps books even suited to guitar? Don't hesitate to offer things that may have drove others mad due to excessive details/complexity, not because I take pride in any patience to set aside time to understand such things, but rather I am very bothered when one tells me to assume something without understanding it (by "understand," I don't mean this in a "mathematical proof" sense. There are many mathematical proofs that rely on techniques that I can not so easily visualize, and thus I look for or try to derive other arguments so I can develop a true harmony between what I knew prior and the new concept). Disclaimer: I am not a pretentious asshole (this is required, because--in my society at least--when one shows interest in knowledge, they are automatically labeled a pretentious asshole). Also, if there are any books members know of that can relate mathematical concepts to music theory, I would very much enjoy those. I am not mathematician, but I am well versed enough mathematics to understand a good deal of things, and I have no qualms with setting aside a book to understand a concept that is assumed (this last sentence almost sounds like a contradiction with what I've stated before, but I can only afford so many books. Reading too much text on a computer screen tends to hurt my eyes; for some reason coding doesn't have such an effect).
  • Create New...