Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Blame Al Gore

It's July 17 at 10:18am, and I'm wearing a sweater because it's cold. By God, I want my damned global warming.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Portal 2

Apparently I am slow and/or stupid as I was quite clear it took me more than four hours to complete the first time through the single-player game. In my defense, though, I wasn't trying for a speed run but rather wanted to listen to the voice acting (and yes, there's actual voice acting).

This was a tremendous game. I laughed out loud repeatedly, and loved every minute that I wasn't cursing the puzzle designers. There were a couple of spots where my faulty attempts only just barely failed, which I think was a pity; I kept thinking I only had to jump a tiny fraction of a second earlier (or later), or steer a slight bit more accurately and I'd have had it where the reality is I wasn't going to succeed with that approach.

Aside from that, this was super awesome. I'll wind up playing through it again to show Kathy, and perhaps a third time if that's required to clean up the rest of the single-player achievements. I have no idea how much of the co-op mode I'll get through as the odds of me playing this with some random schmuck on the internet is just about zero. But if we can play co-op between the PS3 and PC versions (when both Steam accounts are registered to me), then I can probably talk one of the girls into playing.

In short: strong buy.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Get The Hell Out

Get up, get the hell out of wherever you are and go see RED. Completely effing awesome. Made totally of win and covered in awesome sauce. Go. Git.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


After only 33 hours, my "StarCraft II" download finally finished.

*rubs hands together*

*pushes button*

Sunday, July 18, 2010

How To Play iTunes Through Ventrilo On Mac OS X

And there's a whole bunch of steps, because, well, I don't know why. In an ideal world there would be a menu item in Ventrilo, but there isn't.

One-time Setup

You only have to do this once; it isn't required each time you want to start or stop playing iTunes through Ventrilo.
  1. Install Soundflower
    Google up "soundflower code" and it's probably the first hit. The thing was written by a company called Cycle 74, but now it's hosted at Google Code, so that's where you want to go get it. Click on the "Downloads" tab at the top, then choose your version. As far as I'm concerned, "beta" means "my time is worthless", so grab the newest version that doesn't have "beta" in its title.

  2. Start Soundflowerbed
    One of the things that you just installed is an application called "Soundflowerbed". This is what makes the magic happen, so start it up. What you'll see is a little flower-looking thing in the menu bar at the top of the display. If you see it, you're golden. We don't need to dork with it just yet, but make sure it's there.

  3. Copy Ventrilo
    You need a second copy of Ventrilo for your music-playing robot. Open a Finder window and navigate to where Ventrilo lives (probably in /Applications). There's a keyboard shortcut for that, Command-Shift-A, and there's a menu option too, "Go | Applications". Find Ventrilo and select it, then copy/paste it. Mac OS X will duplicate Ventrilo in the same directory and call it "Ventrilo Copy" which is just fine for our needs.

  4. Set up user name for "Music Robot"
    Now you need to start Ventrilo to set up a profile for Music Robot. Click on the little arrow next to the first drop-down box, which is labeled "User Name". Click on "New", then type in the name you want music robot to show in Ventrilo, then click "Ok", then click "Ok".

  5. Set up server(s)
    Ventrilo stores the servers by user name, so you have to set up all the servers you talk on again, but this time for music robot. Go ahead and do that now.

  6. Set up Ventrilo settings for "Music Robot"
    Now you need to set up Ventrilo to handle "Music Robot"s special idiosyncracies. The important parts are (1) no push-to-talk, (2) no key clicks, (3) low but not zero sensitivity, (4) the sound input device should be "Soundflower (2ch)", and (5) Outbound amplifier should be turned way down. After setting all that up, click "Ok" and, back in the main window, click "Mute Sound" in the bottom-left corner. If you don't mute his whole Ventrilo window, you'll hear the music two times, like an echo, and it will drive you batsh*t crazy.

  7. Edit Ventrilo settings for you

  8. You have to change your settings a bit from how you normally have them. Specifically you have to set the input and output devices. The input device should be "Built-in microphone" and the output device should be "Built-in output"

Starting "Music Robot"

Each time you want to start inflicting your choice of tunes on your guildmates, here's what you have to do
  1. Make sure Soundflowerbed is running

  2. Start both copies of Ventrilo
    You have to start your regular Ventrilo for you to talk, plus you need the copy of Ventrilo running so Music Robot has something to use. Connect both copies to the same server. You should be able to talk and listen just as normal.

  3. Use Soundflowerbed to redirect iTunes
    Click on the little flower icon in the menu bar at the top of the display, then select "Audio Setup". You'll get a new window for your efforts. Set the "Default output" drop-down to "Soundflower (2ch)", then click "Ok".

  4. MUA ha ha ha
    Play your "Air Supply" collection in iTunes and you should hear it normally through your headphones, along with the wailing and gnashing of teeth from your guildies. Chortle with deeply heartfelt evil.

Stopping "Music Robot"

After you've had enough and are shutting down Ventrilo, here's how you go back to regular sound settings:
  1. Stop iTunes
    This step is totally optional
  2. Use Soundflowerbed to stop redirecting iTunes
    Click on the little flower icon in the menu bar at the top of the display, then select "Audio Setup". In the new window, set the "Default output" drop-down back to "Built-in output", then click "Ok".
  3. Enjoy a well-earned snack
    Yes, go on ... have a cookie.

Monday, June 28, 2010

And Another Thing ...

Our 10-man Lich King kill puts our guild, Army of Ares, at 41st on our realm for 10-man progression and 16th in Horde guilds. Woo hoo!

I also note that says that Obamessiah is only the 68th best-equipped toon in the guild. Apparently everybody else is stocking up on 25-man loot, and yet we're the first 10-man team to take down the King. Apparently skill > gear, and we gotz mad skillz down in "group 2."

Yeah, baby!

P.S. I'm gonna advocate that we take Poxi to get his Kingslayer too, just so I can see trade chat explodiate in a hilarious fashion.

Kingslayer, Baby!

So we downed the Lich King finally. Our long-suffering late night team finally stood atop the corpse of Arthas and put on our "the Kingslayer" titles. Not only that, but we were 10/10 at the finish, and ten people got the achievement at that same instant.

The night we got it, I was driving from my home in Seattle to a new job in Austin, TX. I missed the last scheduled raid night, and they got him down to 12% on their best effort. Since that's only 2% away from the victory RP, I didn't feel like I could miss it, so I stopped early and checked into a hotel with high-speed internet. Sure it meant I had to spend a few more hours in the car over the next two days, but I didn't want to miss the first kill.

I'm just sorry we couldn't have taken Garixx, Memos, and Jaylani too; our team has been together working on this raid for a very long time, and I wish we could all have experienced the thrill of victory together.

Winsong has already scheduled follow-up raids to go back in and do the heroic modes; I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, I wouldn't mind getting the T10 shadow gear for if I ever get to dps instead of heal. On the other hand, it's a huge time commitment if I'm going to keep raiding, and I'd like to put more effort into some of my other toons and also getting our Saturday runs farther than 3/12.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wait ... What?

So there's a post on the front page of World of Warcraft today that the arena tournament ended. For the life of me, I had no idea it was so close; it would have been nice to have seen some indication that it was drawing to a close because I would have tried to get Leigha to come play some matches and get her pet and maybe get the title.

Oh well ... at least Kathy, McKenna, and I got our pets.