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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 40 most recent ones recorded in Magus' LiveJournal:

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Monday, July 19th, 2010
10:54 am
Legerdemain, an "epic roguelike"?

A couple of weeks ago, xalolo linked me to Legerdemain, a free-as-in-beer fantasy game in the space where Roguelike games and what one might call "traditional" CFRPGs [I'm really feeling the Ultima here] intersect. The writing is actually rather compelling, the gameplay is in some ways excellent and really interesting, and in some ways frustrating in ways that feel like poor design to me.

We were chatting about game design elements and what we liked about it and what frustrated us, and I noticed that I'd started saying things like, "when I write my epic roguelike, I'll do this differently". I've started putting a fair amount of thought into actually attempting to write a beast like this.

And apparently my writing about it got long...Collapse )
Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/136256.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)
Sunday, July 18th, 2010
9:16 pm
Cosplay Doctor?

So it occurs to me that I have on-hand almost the entire ensemble to cosplay The Doctor from this gallery [warning, spoilers for current season finale, note, awesome photos if you haven't seen them].

So I don't have to worry about spoiling anybody...Collapse )
Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/135987.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)
Friday, July 2nd, 2010
12:18 pm
You Must Be Fucking Kidding Me

Apparently, and I'm not sure if this is a change and I haven't found any documentation for it anywhere, the "intel" X.Org driver will not permit access to hardware acceleration and the DRI unless the user is a member of the "video" group. That was a good hour of Googling to find.

So, if you use an Intel-based graphics controller such as the Intel 82945G/GZ (or any other 945G chipset controller), make sure to add your primary user to "video" if you want hardware acceleration.

I was wondering why it was using the software renderer; I thought I'd gotten this working last year. Oh, well...working now.

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/135770.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)

Current Mood: complicated
Saturday, June 19th, 2010
1:00 pm
New photoset at flickr

I've started a new photoset at my flickr account titled Out my Window. I think I might start updating a lot more regularly.

My desk is set up in the second bedroom facing the window. I seem to get quite a variety of animals wandering by that are fun to watch. The cats enjoy it too, although Mhairi seems to be a little vague on the concept of "window"--she just tried to pounce on an anole and banged her head rather adorably.

There's an anole with a broken tail who seemed to have made my window ledge his territory, but today he'd moved over to the porch (his tail is starting to grow back), and I saw another male with a full tail in his usual spot. I'm not sure what's going on there. The new guy was doing his cool mating display thing, but I wasn't able to get the camera out in time to catch it, and he was scared off by the cat hurtling into the glass.

There was also a baby anole running around inside my window the other day, which I did get a chance to photograph. Actually, the photos I have so far are all of the baby (two of it inside, a bit spooked by the noises I was making and trying to run out through the windowpane, two of it outside looking in rather adorably).

My camera seems to have forgotten its date, perhaps because it has severe battery issues. Oh, well.

You also get a freebie of shield_toad111's gecko clinging to my monitor with his amazing gecko feet. Awful flash glare, a sense of what we talk about on IM, and Twitter trending topics included at no extra charge.

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/135533.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)

Current Mood: entertained
12:19 pm
More on that intermittent Dreamwidth connection

AT&T called today to follow up on my less-than-satisfied exit survey. They're going to send someone to replace the modem/router/gateway device. I don't think this will help.

The good: they acknowledged the problem persists, they explicitly acknowledged that I'm correct that the available information suggests it's not a configuration issue or an issue with my personal equipment.

The bad: I sincerely doubt replacing this device will work either, though I guess we'll see. [My bet is still on a configuration issue with one/some of the devices internal to AT&T's network. I also still suspect this is the same as the intermittent DW->AT&T email problem.]

Connection is good today, and was good yesterday, but I expect it'll go away again in the next few days.

Also, while my appointment for the modem repair is sometime this evening in the 4-9 range, I've seen an AT&T van driving around through the parking lot for the last hour or so. They just went by again for the third time. They seem to be looking for something.

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/135206.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)

Current Mood: baffled
Thursday, June 17th, 2010
11:10 am

I've found a proxy designed to get around restrictive work/school firewalls which will let me access Dreamwidth, though it's still irritating. I really want this fixed, though, and it's going to be a source of distraction until it is.

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/135052.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)

Current Mood: frustrated
10:20 am

Dreamwidth connection is working again today. WTF?

Read more...Collapse )

I don't know how much I can do to diagnose while it's working correctly, but I surely don't trust that the problem won't resume sometime in the next couple of days.

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/134754.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)

Current Mood: baffled
Monday, June 14th, 2010
10:03 am
I'm Back!

For some strange reason, I've been unable to connect directly to Dreamwidth from any of the computers in my home network. [The whole thing was really weird in a complicated way that makes me lack confidence that it won't mysteriously break again at any moment and that made no sense and made less sense as I gathered more data.]

In any case, it appears to be working this morning, so I thought I'd post a quick update.

Life has pretty much been full of moving. We got our keys Saturday night (as in a bit over a week ago), the truck with the rest of our belongings arrived Tuesday night, we've gone out every day to do some sort of furniture or kitchen or houseware shopping [usually a bunch of stops, including picking up some large furniture item off Craigslist].

At this point, the apartment is mostly furnished and a lot of our stuff is put away, so it's really beginning to feel like a place we live.

shield_toad111 started work this morning. I'm puttering about on the internet for a bit, and then it will be job searching and putting books onto shelves and breaking down boxes.

Next post hopefully something interesting.

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/134468.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)
Sunday, May 30th, 2010
2:55 pm
A rant on partnership
My partner is not "my woman" (and $50 says I hear that phrase in the next two days and have to go off on a rant), or any other sort of possession of mine, nor a dependent of mine, nor should she be. She is an independent adult who I trust and expect to be fully capable of making informed decisions with respect to her own personal safety.

It is not wrong, unloving, rude, or failing to think in terms of partnership for me to, say, not insist on accompanying her physically through a possibly dangerous part of the world (and I'm not even going to start on the classism and probable racism in addition to the mysogyny inherent in describing I-95 as unsafe for a woman traveling alone). In fact, were she to tell me she had considered the matter including potential safety issues and concluded that she would prefer to travel alone, it would be unconscionably condescending and rude for me to insist on such.

At most, if I were concerned for her safety, a conversation in which I said that there might be safety issues she hadn't considered and offered to enumerate them would be appropriate.

This rant brought to you by my partner's mother, who had the gall to accuse me of putting "political correctness" ahead of appropriate concern for my partner's well-being.

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/134342.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)

Current Mood: infuriated
Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
12:38 pm
The End Is Slightly Delayed...

Truck won't be available until 3 o'clock.

Truck is 30 minutes away.

Some administrative hassle is sure to occur.

No point showing up here before 4 o'clock.

Sorry if that messes up anybody's plans.

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/134002.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)
12:05 pm
The End Is Nigh!

By which I mean from where I sit now I can actually conceive of a time when war and bloodshed cease everything is packed and ready to go, and that time may actually even possibly be around 3 o'clock this afternoon.

Now I just need to hear from U-Haul that they actually have a truck for me. They're supposed to call by, err, now with info.

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/133642.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)
Monday, May 24th, 2010
11:32 pm
Moving Out

So the people who have offered to help me have an idea what's going on:

I'm going to tentatively say 3 o'clock P.M. tomorrow for loading.

This is tentative because I still have stuff to pack, and because, not being sure what my schedule was actually going to look like, I haven't reserved a truck yet.

This should be exciting. I'll try to get an update out around noon.

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/133463.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)
Sunday, May 23rd, 2010
11:37 pm
CS Question

What do you call a machine similar to a Turing machine, but with two heads implementing a queue: a read head at the front that can only consume and a write head at the back?

I call it a game I really shouldn't have been spending time on tonight. The programmers call it Manufactoria

Ophanim has broken my brain for tonight, I should get back to packing.

But I really do want to know if anybody can think of the name for the machine this models.

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/133240.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)
6:13 pm

One of the exciting things about the great apartment hunt is that shield_toad111 wasn't able to take time off school for it. I went down alone with her camera, and attempted to take copious photographs, which, due to my unfamiliarity with the camera's configuration menu, ended up being way higher resolution than they had any right to be.

On each of Wednesday and Thursday, I went out looking at apartments with an agent, snapping photos of everything I thought might possibly be of interest or answer a question she might have, with hilariously varying degrees of success. I also tried, again with varying degrees of success, to take notes on what was what.

If you're ever shopping around for apartments or houses, even if just for yourself, I highly recommend if at all possible that you take someone with you to view things. They'll think of really important questions that escape your mind, especially as you fill it with more and more data on all the options.

Each evening I settled into a chair at the SBC at Borders [they offer free wifi] and sent all the photos over. This turned out to be a big pain because Borders limits upload bandwidth, gmail limits outgoing email size, and as previously mentioned the photos were ludicrously large. But it worked, and then we spent a bunch of time discussing the options.

It occurred to me this afternoon that, now that I'm home, I no longer have the technical limitations which prevented me from getting it all to her by putting it up on flickr. So I uploaded the photos of the apartment we decided on to allow my parents to see. If anybody else is curious, here's the link.

Then I realized it showed our soon-to-be address, and played with flickr's photo editing software to black it out. It's kind of terrible, and it would have been quicker and easier to just do it in the GIMP. Now I know.

We're still waiting on approval from the condo association before we're good to go. Hopefully we'll get that tomorrow.

We should remember to take more photos to accurately record the state of everything when we move in, especially if anything is less than completely perfect.

Back to packing...

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/132887.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)

Current Mood: tired
3:54 pm
Moving Help

Due to my poor planning, a lot of this is coming together more last-minute than I'd like, which also is making planning things more difficult. Fortunately, I don't have that much stuff.

It looks highly likely that my move out from here is going to be Tuesday afternoon. If people are free and willing to come help carry boxes into a U-Haul vehicle, I'd really appreciate it.

I recognize that asking for help on short notice and not being able to give details is annoying. I'll post again once I have a reservation and know exactly what's going on.

Fortunately, I don't have all that much stuff, and it's mostly of the wine box of books variety, so it should be pretty straightforward and not require too many people.

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/132805.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)
1:39 pm
Moving Giveaway

I have a bunch of stuff sitting around here that looks like it's not worth bringing to Florida, not worth trying to get to storage, not something I want to abandon and stick my housemates with, and shouldn't just be thrown out. I'm not sure I have time to list anything on craigslist and have it move before I need to be out of here. I'll probably bring some things over to Goodwill, but I'd like to give my friends a shot at them first.

Everything is free if you'll come get it or I don't have to go far to get it to you. If you want to give me money I'll take it, but this is pretty much an I'd rather people I know get things that might still have life in them than have them end up in a dump situation. I may add to this list as I continue to pack.

  • 5 piece sectional sofa, each piece is 30"x30" with a 28" high back, very cubey, 70s tan textured checked upholstery. Pieces have incurred varying degrees of cat damage to the upholstery, two are severe. Certainly functional as a 3-piece for a first apartment or a furnished basement.
  • Maytag in-window A/C unit. 6000 BTU/200 sq. ft.
  • Lakewood oil-filled electric radiator
  • A 17" CRT monitor
  • 20" CRT television
  • in-window double fan
  • a standing fan (we have ceiling fans!)
  • Honeywell humidifier (really don't need that in FL)

[For reference, house is in the Porter Square area of Somerville, MA. Address will be given privately. Feel free to pass this on to friends.]

Edit: comments now disabled at LJ to make my life saner.

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/132534.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)
Monday, May 10th, 2010
5:55 pm
What to watch?

I have about 12 hours of flight time and potentially four hours alone in a strange place with no internet ahead of me, and I want to travel light. I have about 30 GB of portable storage space.

I should use at least some of the time to explore and get to know the area I'm likely to be living in, but there's still probably a lot of downtime I'll be looking to fill (the plane, if nothing else). I figure this is a good opportunity to catch up on older television or movies I may have missed, since books really don't travel well enough for this trip with current checked-bag fees.

Any suggestions of things I may not have thought of?

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/132242.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)
Friday, May 7th, 2010
10:01 pm
...here we go

Thank you jhadania and miintikwa, I appreciate the information.

Have booked tickets and a car to fly down Tuesday afternoon, back Saturday afternoon. Appointments Wed and Thu to look at places. Extra day of buffer in case they're all terrible or something comes up, plus much of Saturday for any last-minuteness.

More time alone in the land of no Internet in the house than I'd really prefer. I suspect I may be drinking a lot of tea or something.

Dropping this kind of money (about $400) is really weird and difficult for me. My relationship with money is really quite screwed up. This is partly my father's influence, and partly my own screwiness.

Any advice on what I should do while I'm looking at apartments highly welcome, as is advice on places to go in Boca [where I'll be staying] or the Coral Springs area or people to meet/hang out with or the like.

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/132037.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)
3:10 pm
Advice from the Hive-Mind?

I'm planning to fly down to look at apartments sometime next week. We're working with two real-estate agents and may additionally try to look at direct rentals through craigslist or the like.

I have a place to stay indefinitely while looking for apartments, and plan to rent a car.

My question to the Hive-Mind is: How long should I plan to spend to have enough time to see what I'm going to need to to make a decision? I need to book flights...

Anybody who's done this and has insight on how long it took, it would be highly welcome.

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/131800.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)

Current Mood: nervous
Thursday, May 6th, 2010
1:27 am
USB->Bluetooth/other RF->USB?

I'm getting sick of cable clutter. I use a keyboard podium and the keyboard cable keeps getting caught under the wheels. I love my wireless trackball for not having that problem.

I don't want to buy a new keyboard. I like my keyboard. I do want to eliminate the cable getting in the way, though.

It seems like the obvious solution is a battery-powered dongle I can plug the keyboard into that turns it into a Bluetooth device. An alternative that used some proprietary RF signalling would work just fine too, however.

When I started writing this I was going to admit that my searching skills were failing me, but I have in fact discovered "USB extenders", all with prices well over $100, that look like they might do the trick, although the ones I'm seeing require wall power, which would rather defeat the purpose. With all the things we can put into a dongle inexpensively, I'd think this would be out there.

Anybody know of a device like what I'm looking for in not-ridiculously-expensive? Or of something close to what I'm looking for that might be adaptable to the purpose?

Originally posted at http://marcmagus.dreamwidth.org/131351.html. (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)
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