Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

It would be nice to actually keep a few resolutions for a while, since I often have the same ones -- on the other hand, I often have no resolutions to keep (seems simpler).

For 2009, I'd like to do the following:
  • Get Healthy. Not "lose weight", but definitely lose a few (tens of) inches from the belt.
  • Write more. Blog more, write more stories, write some articles perhaps.
  • Get frugal. I read often, but I'm terrible with money. I make a nice amount, but after mortgage and bills come out there isn't a huge amount left over.
  • Have a holiday. Go up to Brisbane for a few days or a week even, with wifey and my kids.
  • Play better. I play Magic the Gathering and love it. I'm not very good at it (although I have had my moments), and it would be nice to get better.
  • Get known. Articles, discussions, helping out online -- these help you get known, get your name out there. It isn't going to just 'happen', I need to make it happen.
  • Love more. Do more things with the wifey and kids, especially wifey, she has to put up with me after all.
  • Live better. Do stuff around the home, garden (yerk). Clean out that overfilled granny flat out back and turn it into a workshop and den.
  • Get things done. I've had the books for ages, but I drifted away from GTD -- too much effort. I never did the cleanup of things to do at home, so that didn't help either. Make an effort on this in the new year.

Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Internet filter in Australia

The Australian government, in an effort to emulate the liberty and freedom held in such democracies as China and Saudi Arabia, is hell-bent on introducing a country-wide web filter.

That the filter is easily stepped around (proxy servers, anyone) is beside the point: The ALP needs the support of the Christian Fascist, sorry Family First party in the Senate, and this was their thirty pieces of silver. Australia will go from having a less-than-world-class internet access to having .. a less than third-world internet access.

Arguments against the filter are coming from all sides of politics, and even the geeks (such as myself) are up in arms. Do you realise what this will mean to our ping times? Well, probably nothing, but still. It will slow down internet access for everything and it won't prevent the thing it is there for. And... noone knows what is to be on the "list". If the Christian Fascists can get this in place, what is next: "We want sites that educate about contraception on the list. And gun control. And abortion. And feminists. And teh gay. Especially Teh Gay!!! And witches. That new Harry Potter site, ban it!!!"

Arguments for the filter look like this:

Chief executive of child protection group Child Wise, Bernadette McMenamin, said most of the criticisms levelled at the internet filter scheme were founded on misinformation.

"It's disturbing that people are getting hysterical about all the misinformation that is being spread about the internet filter," Ms McMenamin said.

"Instead of hearing hysteria from the minority we need to hear from the Government and exactly what it intends to ban."

Ms McMenamin was equally critical of the past weekend's protests and the DLC's plans for future action.

"Let the 300 people march on Canberra because it looks pathetic," he said. "It looks pathetic and shameful because most of these people are not fully aware of the facts and secondly, those who are aware are, in effect, advocating child pornography."

* People protesting over a badly conceived invasion of privacy and infringement of rights equals a hysterical minority.
* You should never listen to a minority, the government is always right
* People who complain about censorship want child porn. Won't nobody think of the children.

Ms McMenamin, this is a truly poor argument. Casting aspertions that the protestors are a bunch of hysterics is hilarious given who is supporting this abomination. If anyone is not fully aware of the facts, it is you. Every group involved in the coalition (the Digital Liberty Coalition, who staged protests against the filter) has put out statements supporting the protection of children, but all of them have pointed out that this is not the cure. This isn't like pulling out your own eyes to stop you from seeing what might offend you, this is pulling out everyone else's eyes too.

And they wonder why we want a Bill of Rights.

Friday, November 28, 2008

WAR update

Well, I've played through the Heavy Metal event on my alt Individual, which was fun and amazingly fast to complete. I guess they want lots of Empire Tanks. I'll be tanking up once the event finishes. I haven't played a Tank before so this should be interesting.

I'm playing a Rune Priest (my main), Khalid; a Bright Wizard (Telansa) and a White Lion (Individual). All are fun, but I'm not out of T3 on Khalid yet (only level 24). Scenarios are great fun, but I think it is too quick to level on Scenarios alone. If they pop rapidly, and you consistently get a good group, you can get around 10K xp each time -- not including the extra xp you get for the repeatable "go do this scenario" quests. Tie that to the "kill x enemies" quest and you can get 15-20K XP every twenty minutes or so.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Warhammer Age Of Reckoning starts


Warhammer Online starts now, although I was in the closed beta (err.. thanks for not emailing me guys, so I didn't realise until the open beta was almost on), open and the non-collectors edition headstart (yeah, I loved the two day wait as well).

Unfortunately I only got one play session during the open and maybe won't continue on my Dorf Engineer. He's still pretty cool, but apparently some of the guys I know have Destruction characters on the same server. Game looks pretty cool and the open grouping feature is great.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

TechEd Sydney 2008

Well... I'm bad. I haven't blogged in six months, which for me isn't that unusual. Given this is a pretty much unread blog, that's not so much of a problem, but the idea is to post regularly... I also use the ellipsis a little too... much. ...

Anywho, I'm here at TechEd 2008, slurping down a load of microsoft. I've had some interesting stuff so far: some good info on Windows 2008 Server Core, and Branch Office DCs, read-only domain controllers that only have the credentials for the users at that site -- great idea. If you lose the DC, you only compromise the local users and you can delete the DC which triggers a "do you want all the users to reset their passwords" function.

I'm also hitting every PowerShell session I can: not happy that I missed out for one instructor led lab though, got there a couple of minutes late and found the room overflowing -- not enough computers to go around. I've done most of my scripting work in vbscript, but powershell encapsulates .net programming (oh noes) and can do some pretty cool stuff.

Windows Server Core is a cut-down server with no pretty gui... only, there is one because you get a command prompt in a window, and can open notepad and regedit on the box. However, even though you can run IIS on the box, .net isn't there and so neither is powershell, which would have been cool. I wonder if you can slipstream .net into a core box, maybe hacking in the binaries and the registry keys?

Anyway, I'll try to keep updating in the future, but I'm pretty slack.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Gary Gygax gone

E. Gary Gygax, creator of D&D, dead at 69.

Nerds worldwide mourn one of their legends. Gary's rules became D&D, AD&D and on.

Some tributes: Order of the Stick
, Penny Arcade, Something Positive, GU Comics
update: xkcd

Yes, I read a lot of gaming webcomics, why do you ask?

When I was young, I collected many role playing games. Strangely, I hardly ever played them, but I did have D&D (Basic and Expert editions), AD&D, Tunnels and Trolls, Traveller, Runequest and others. And Gary started it all off. Okay, Dave Arneson had a huge input into the first edition, but welp.

TSR went on and had ups and downs, and was eventually acquired by Hasbro, who gave the intellectual property to Wizards of the Coast, who soon will put out Fourth Edition D&D.

I want to see a Dragon Special Edition, with a tribute to Gary. Unfortunately, Dragon was cancelled.

Gary, you lived the life many of us would live. Roll high.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

And back...

Well... long time no post.

This seems to occur on occasion, I go for a few months without a post. Then I have to do catch up.
Anyway, I've still got the beard, which I'm mostly used to now: I hardly ever look in the mirror and get surprised by it now.

I've stopped playing World of Warcraft, mostly because I'm playing a lot more EVE Online. I'm in a Corporation that is part of the Goonswarm alliance, beating on the Band Of Brothers alliance for the control of the galaxy. Or, more accurately, for them to NOT have control of the galaxy. Then us goons will be off drinking and partying.

I've started work on a novel, and have the outline down already. A first for me, I usually have no idea what I'm writing, get the first couple of chapters down and then choke. Then I forget how it will end and stop writing. I have a few stories like that sitting in my google docs, rotting away.

hopefully I'll update a little quicker next time.