Sunday, February 12

To find my current journal, please head to Economy of Effort.

I also have a LiveJournal mirror, a Xanga mirror, a MySpace mirror, and a MindSay mirror of the journal - for people who use those services and prefer to read the journal with the "friends" functions of those sites.

-- *Legion*
(Brendon Rapp)

Wednesday, October 16

Best quote ever:

"C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot; C++ makes it harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg." - Bjarne Stroustrup

(Stroustrup being the original designer and implementer of the C++ language)

Tuesday, October 15

While I know that I didn't do well on my C SCI 112 test, I am happy that I got a perfect score on my Assignment #1 in there. Also, I just finished Assignment #2, and while it's not perfect (there's an error or two that I've been unable to track down), it should definitely show that I'm on the "right track" and have the problem essentially solved. If I don't get full credit, I should lose only a very minor amount of points. So I'm doing well on that as well.

Been playing Metal Gear Solid 2. About 4 1/2 hours into it. Pretty fun. My biggest complaint is the game's eagerness to break the suspension of disbelief and include references to "game" things in the dialogue (such as the CO telling you to "use the Action button", or another character telling you to "utilize the First Person View". That stuff doesn't belong in the game dialogue). Like the first Metal Gear Solid, the storyline seems as though it will inevitably diverge from the path of pseudo-realism and attempts at plausibility, and into more comic book realms. I don't necessarily dislike those kinds of storylines, but when it comes to games about tactical espionage, politics, etc., the closer that it sticks with "realism", the happier I am.

I really, really, really want S.O.C.O.M.: U.S. Navy SEALs. Stacey, meanwhile, will throw a fit if I get any new game before Kingdom Hearts. I do want Kingdom Hearts, but I want to get online with S.O.C.O.M. even more. Deary dear....

When my brother finds out about the mech game for Xbox, he's gonna be wanting an Xbox.

P.S. Radio Massacre International, which is spacey e-music, is excellent. Looking very forward to them at ProgWest.

P.P.S. Saddam Hussein is looking to improve on his 99.96% showing in the last election. Since the other 00.04% have no doubt been hunted down and killed by now, Saddam's prospects of a solid 100% this election remain high.

Yesterday was not too fun. I went to classes, and then I came home and worked on my C SCI 60 and 112 assignments. I also spent a loooong time on the phone with Stacey, helping her with a paper she's writing. I half-watched the Monday Night football game (49ers vs. Seahawks), which was a good game but I didn't really focus on it enough to get into it.

In better news, I noticed last night that my toe has regained pretty much 100% of its range of movement. A few days ago, my toe would hurt if I tried to curl it. It's stopped doing that. There's still a "strange" feeling to it, but at least the pain's gone and the movement's mostly there. So I can probably forego physical therapy. Hopefully it starts to "feel" even better with time. I'd like it to straighten out a bit more (my toe now curves inwards a little more... it's slight, but there's not much room between toes, so it kinda rubs up against my second toe), but that's probably asking too much. Oh well.

I've got to finish my 112 assignment today, but for right now, I'm playing some games.

Sunday, October 13

The Miami vs. Denver football game tonight was AWESOME.

Only way it would've been better is if Denver had actually won.

Things to buy:

1. Ticket to ProgWest.
2. Dual hard drives for my server (for storing my music collection)
3. Satellite TV stuff
4. Half of the cost of the flat-panel monitor that I want for Christmas

Too much darn stuff to buy!

Kingdom Hearts is gonna have to wait for a bit, Stacey. :)

My PS2 game collection has increased by three (well, sorta).

I went to Software Etc. and bought a used copy of ICO for $19.99. I also got a used PSX memory card.

Later, Derek and Shelby came over (for like 15 minutes - F1 racing was coming on, and they had to go watch) and Derek brought his copies of Metal Gear Solid 2 and Dark Cloud for me to borrow. Excellent.

Shelby asked "which beanbag is it that Stacey says is hers and nobody else can sit in it?". I told her it was the gray one. She then grabbed that beanbag and sat down in it.

I also got my DirecTV equipment today. Satellite TV pending soon...

Unfortunately, Jacksonville's defense was nowhere to be found today. That, paired with a head shot taken by Brunell, led to a Jaguars loss. :(

Saturday, October 12

I got a PS2!

I got the package at Costco, which includes the system, an additional controller, a memory card, and two Greatest Hits games (Gran Turismo 3 and ATV Offroad Fury). I used my mom's $75 Costco "coupon", so in all it came out to just over $200 (which is what the system by itself would've cost elsewhere).

Gran Turismo 3 is a game I definitely wanted. I wasn't excited about ATV Offroad Fury, until I found out it was developed by Rainbow (same guys that did the Motocross Madness games).

Some comments to Greg (if you don't understand these, read all the comments for the October 11th post):

* I will probably drive to Porterville and watch the Jaguars game at my parents' house. I need to pick up my DirecTV stuff at my grandmother's house in Visalia, and get myself set up to have NFL action at my place. Tidbits on the upcoming Jaguar game: Starting Jags linebacker T.J. Slaughter has been re-instated after serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's "substance" policy (he tested positive for steroids - he wasn't careful enough in double-checking the supplements he was taking). He'll play against Tennessee. Tennessee currently sucks pretty badly, but they always create matchup problems against the Jaguars. This time around, though, the Jaguars defense is probably the best it's ever been, and I expect them to harrass Steve McNair quite a bit.

* Xbox is sweet. After playing my first couple of PS2 games, it's VERY obvious that the Xbox is a much more powerful and better looking console. It doesn't have the same kind of game library as the PS2 (which is why I just got my PS2), but what it has is great. NFL2K3 is awesome, naturally. :)

* The new Sam & Max had better rule. :) I was more or less pleased with the most recent Monkey Island game, though I liked the first three games even better.

Friday, October 11

Here's a cool article: Older gamers now the norm.

Meanwhile, my mom obsesses over crappy FreeCell...

Thursday, October 10

I love the NFL/United Way commercial with Jake Plummer taking kids around a zoo, and a Brooklyn-esque girl (reminds me of the girl in "Life With Mikey") challenges Plummer's claim of the cardinal being fearsome.

Girl: "What about eagles?"
Plummer: "Cardinals eat eagles!"
Girl: "What about falcons?"
Plummer: "They eat them too!"
Girl: "It doesn't look so tough!"

The following are my comments, sent to the Senate Committe on the Judiciary, on the topic of Digital Rights Management (DRM):

"The larger and more intrusive something is, the more cumbersome and unwieldy it is. This does not seem like the direction to go in when the thing being installed is ultimately destined to be defeated. No protection scheme is bulletproof, and the defeats of the scheme eventually are homogenized into a "crack" so simple that any user can use it. Consider how widespread PlayStation game piracy was, and that involved the physical soldering of a chip to the game system's motherboard. No one could have predicted that such a large percentage of the userbase would go to that length for piracy, yet the "hacks" became so simple over time that any 15-year-old could borrow Daddy's soldering iron and do it himself. And when the "hacks" involve only software, it eventually becomes as easy as double-clicking an .EXE file and *poof*, you're done.

Whether piracy is wrong or not is not the issue. The issue is that piracy will not be defeated. There are crackers who will tirelessly work night and day to defeat protection schemes until they're cracked. And once they're cracked, all that's left are the hassles that the system push on the "legit" user.

The issue now is that new business models need to be devised. Some business models don't even need to be touched - compressed video footage from someone's HandiCam, downloaded to a computer, isn't going to replace Friday night dates at the theater. Music's a little more touchy, but an association whose members operate as a money sponge (soaking up most of it, while allowing a little overflow to drip below to the artists) really needs to be brought to justice of their own before "pressing charges" (so to speak) on the public whose money they hoarde.

At this point, I don't understand how a Senate committee could take the current "old world" industries very seriously. Even a cursory glance at the track record of the RIAA (for example) reveals that these associations have far more to answer for on their own part, before they can be in any position to push their agenda onto the public.

The public has been able to copy VHS tapes for years. It's been able to copy audio cassettes for years. While these are no longer the cutting edge of media, they once were. And while copying them was always an easy possibility, it never met any of the doomsday prophesies that were offered then, and are being offered all over again now. History has a curious way of repeating itself. "
I've had a pretty good study session so far today. I just hope that it translates to good test performance. My instructor is so cryptic and vague that I have absolutely no clue what to expect, except that I know what "range" of material the exam will cover. And she said that what we write on one portion of the exam will then be used on the following problems, so I have a feeling that we're going to write some basic code and then proceed to optimize it in the problems that follow. This class is all about reducing the number of instructions it takes to perform a certain task. Where it gets hard is in the "pipelining" of the SPARC architecture, where one instruction is being copied into memory while another instruction is being executed, making for all sorts of weird possibilities when the program jumps to a non-consecutive line of code.

Today's listening: Orbital's The Altogether (CD1), Thievery Corporation's The Mirror Conspiracy (cool down-tempo electronic with strings and horns and touches of ethnic influences added in), and Monolake's Bicom Remoteable Cut EP (much more machine-like and less human than the Thievery Corporation album). Now starting: Dvorak's String Quartets #10 and #11.

Heh... I'm logged on to CSUF's "Triton" server (which runs SunOS Unix on the SPARC architecture, so I can write all my assembly on there), and I used the Unix command "users" to see who else is online. Practically everyone is using a class temporary account (such as "cs112a04", which designates the class - cs112). There's one person from C SCI 115, three from ECE 71, one from C SCI 40, and four from C SCI 41. There's only one person online using a permanent account (something that I need to go and get soon).

Assembly language exam tomorrow. Fun fun fun. Currently studying a tutorial on SPARC architecture assembly.... someone on the Fresno-CSCI list posted a link to it, and so I added it to the group's Links section. Pretty good tutorial... I should print out a hard copy and keep it in my CSCI 112 binder.

I got my summer temp work money yesterday! $133 for updating (and rebuilding in parts) a department's website over the summer. I now call this my "PlayStation 2 money", for it will help pay for a PS2 sometime after the 15th.

I installed and played NHL 2003 on my PC, and I must say that I'm mightily disappointed. The gameplay is very slow and jerky.... not at all fast or fluid like NHL 2002. I like that they "shrunk" the rink so that it's more like an NHL rink (even though I hate NHL regulation ice, and wish that the NHL would go to the large international-sized playing surface). I know I could use a better video card in my PC, but I think most of the slowness is just in the gameplay itself. I'll try the game on console, but I think Sega's NHL2K3 might be this year's hockey game to play. I kinda miss my old copy of NHL FaceOff '97 for the PlayStation... one of the first PSX games I bought.

I asked Derek if he wants to go to the Fresno State football game this weekend. He said he might be going to Santa Cruz for the weekend, but isn't sure, so he'll get back to me later tonight. Stacey's babysitting that night, but we get to go out Friday night. :)

I love having my wireless network. Ever since I got it, I've been roaming around my apartment with my laptop. I'll sit on my couch and watch the hockey game (LA Kings won their opener last night, 4-1 over the Phoenix Coyotes) and do some coding or Internet stuff. I'll go upstairs and be online. I can access MP3s that are on my desktop computer right now, but once I put those big hard drives into my server, I'll have my entire music collection online (part of Project: Integration).

Once this week is over, I think I'm going to get one of those Blockbuster cards that lets you rent however many games you want for a month. I'll need that. This exam assault has sucked. I hope my next exams are spread out a bit more.

OK, back to studying.....

cmp %c_r, 5
bg done
add %c_r, 1, %c_r
mov %a_r, %o0
mov %b_r, %o1
call .mul
move %o0, %a_r
ba test