When I was a child I had the opportunity to play with computers before many even realized they existed. I remember when games came on 8 inch floppy disks. I was thrilled with 3.5 inch floppies and blown away by CDs. And when I was a child, I imagined how I would make my millions.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
There has been a lot of hoopla about the supposed "agency model" for eBooks. It's a simple problem actually when you boil it down.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
It's nearing the time of year when everyone scrambles around buying presents for each other.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Almost every day I log into an MMO I see racism. Yes, video games have racism. But I'm not talking about real world racism. I'm talking about being racist against other video game races. Show me someone who plays an elf and I'll show you someone who is racist against trolls.
My Gnome wizard in EQ2 hates Frogloks and Kerran, and those horribly annoying Sarnak. Casafin, my Fae berserker constantly makes fun of Arasai and those silly fat Halflings. And does anyone want to see a female Troll or Ogre? Sure there are always exceptions, everyone loves Mooshga. We all know a Froglok caster that tops the DPS list and is nice about it. But that is still racism, disliking an entire race and only making an exception for those that we are close to.
But this sort of racism is okay. Even the game creators say it is, and many NPC's are racist too. Races in video games are very different from each other. An dwarf and an elf are very different. Different cultures, different looks, and often times even different stats. And more importantly, the player chooses what race they want to be. And of course it's not meant to harm, it's just harmless role playing. We don't actually think ill of people that play particular races (except for those people that play those awful Sarnak, right?). Do the characters have a choice in what race they are? So is it right for one of my characters to hate halflings or does it make my character a bad person (except in the situation of Frogloks, they are just so annoyingly hoppy that it's okay to hate them no matter what).
Is this what it was like before I was born, when racism was acceptable? Could someone justify hating an Irish person because of their accent, and it not mean anything personal? Society said it was okay to hate, therefor it was okay. Video game society says it's okay to hate video game races, so it's okay. Right? Now, I understand that video games are obviously different than real life. We don't actually go around killing people of other races in video games (except for that thrill you get from killing a slow moving stupid ogre on the pvp servers, right?). We don't burn crosses on their lawns, and it's not 'real'. It's all make believe, pretend, fiction, role playing... But does it mirror something in us? Is video game racism a reflection of the fact that we can never fully get rid of racism in the real world? Is it a way for us to direct our need for hate? Or is it all just fun and games?
Personally for me, I have reasons for my dislike of races. I am allergic to cats and don't like litterboxes, so kerran remind me of that. Frogloks actually I would like, except their hopping animation I find distracting. Sarnak are just big, and friggin ugly (I'm just not a fan of their particular model being used as a character race). Arasi are fun to make fun of just because of their emo /dance animation. I personally actually have nothing against any race, it's all fun and games to me.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Most folks that aren't programmers think programming is either really hard, or really easy. In truth it is both.
Programming is just language. If you speak a second language, like French or Spanish, then you know what it takes to learn another language. Programming is just language. You type out a set of instructions to the computer. That's it.
The tricky part is that it is a very picky language, and computers do not understand typos or bad grammar very well. So in order to be a good programmer, you have to really understand your language. Similar to if you want to write published papers you need to be pretty good at English.
Many programmers only learn a few languages, because that's all they need. Similarly, if you are only dealing with people in the Americas', you probably only need to know English French and Spanish. But there are those people that know 13 different spoken languages, the linguists out there. Well some of us are like that, and know more programming languages than we care to count. There are also those that study and create and read ancient spoken languages, there are also programmers that are like that.
Luckily, programming languages are much smaller than spoken languages. Much fewer ways to say things. Also, usually you are talking about very concrete topics, like math and science, and not fuzzy topics like emotions. Also, you can try running your code and see if the computer says "I don't understand". The only real problem comes up when you word something wrong and the computer thinks you mean something else.
So programming is only as hard as you want it to be. Learn a little, or learn a lot. There is always more languages to be learned, and if you run out, you can invent some new ones.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Last night I dreamed I installed linux. Ubuntu I believe. In my bed. Yes, I dreamed I installed linux in my bed. I mean, if you are going to have an OS installed in your bed, do you really want Vista on there?
But it just wasn't working quite how I wanted. Because apparently I installed linux in my bed. And my pillow was just simply not behaving quite right. Normally I like to tuck my arm under the pillow, but apparently Ubuntu wouldn't let me do that. Whenever I tried the pillow would move. It was otherwise a completely functional pillow, except that if you tried to put anything under it (besides the bed of course) it would just not work.
So, I tried looking in the man pages for info on pillow and beds... but you know how man pages are. After a good hour I still couldn't figure out what I wanted (although I did learn all sorts of other completely unrelated things I could do with my bed). I also discovered that changing the covers was a pretty easy task if you installed this other little thing. So I downloaded the RPM and sure enough, pretty cool, I could change the color of my covers. Still couldn't put my arm under the pillow though.
Looked up a few other flavors of linux, and sure enough, pretty much none of them let you put your arm under the pillow. Apparently they would have to completely rewrite the pillow in order to allow that. So I got frustrated and decide maybe I should just give up and go with Windows since I knew you could put your arm under the pillow in Windows.
At that point my alarm went off and I woke up. My arm was under my pillow. WTF.
So, now I'm trying to analyze this dream. I believe my mind is trying to tell me about the frustrations of linux. So much potential, so much power, so much freedom, but there is always that annoying little frustrating thing that you can't figure out how to fix unless you get way too deep. But yet a strong desire to go away from Windows. But... why didn't I dream about a Mac bed? That would be a nice bed. Probably really sleek looking, and all white. I would totally buy a bed from Mac.