on...topic: computers, video games, internet

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Hey, I've actually joined a social network!

In this case, it's twitter. I figure that it's easier for me to write about stuff if I have to confine it to 140 characters or less. With big entries, I pore over spelling and grammar and other stuff (is this as funny as I think it might be? Is it saying what I'm really trying to say?) With this, there isn't a whole lot to think about, which is good for me.

Of course, when I have something more substantial to say than what I'm currently doing, or if I post pictures of London and Austen (oh, yeah...I owe you all some pictures of the new dog), I'll still post on the main area. But at least you can look at the twitter feed on the left-hand side to see if I've microblogged recently!

Thursday, June 1, 2006

new server!

For the third time in 1122 history, we've moved servers. This new one seems to be much faster, and we have a gig of server space, so we're good to go for a while, I think.

We've been working on migrating everything, so if something doesn't look right, let me know...

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

I'd be for it

For what I do in my job, this would be useful.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

living the dream

I have a wireless connection at home now for the first time in my life. And I'm lovin' it!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

step right up...

So I was just about to go to bed about 30 minutes ago, when I decided that I'd check out a web site that I hadn't been to in a while. The webmaster put up a note about a video game conference they had been to recently, and in the midst of reading about a bunch of games that I knew I wouldn't really be interested in, he mentioned Rollercoaster Tycoon 3.

3? I didn't even realize that they had 3 in progress. I still had 2 on my wish list.

Now, as Kelly can certainly attest to, I loved the original RCT. I beat all the scenarios (many of which she played co-manager in :) ), unlocked Mega Park, had a good old time. But when I got the new computer, I never really bothered to put any of my old games on it. Partly because of the hassle, partly to keep myself from being too distracted from my work. But recently, I pulled out my old CDs...and came this close to putting them back on.

Anyway, seeing the info this guy had on his site piqued my curiosity about what the game was going to look like, so I went to the official RCT site to get the low-down.

Oh, man. It looks awesome. 3-D graphics of everything in the park, including the peeps themselves. (They all look different now!) Rides you can test out yourself. Night-time views of your park. "Sandbox" mode for those who'd rather do that than scenarios (I fall into this category, but I really wanted Mega Park in RCT1...). Even fireworks shows that you can choreograph!

I'm not really one of those fanboy types who has to rush out and buy a game they're interested in as soon as it comes out, especially if it doesn't seem like much of an improvement over a predecessor (RCT2 fell into this category for me). But I make this vow here and now, for the whole reading population of pressing on (all six of you) to read...this game shall be mine. Oh, yes. A whole new generation of peeps to amuse, with my beautiful co-manager by my side.

Okay, I'll go to bed now.

Thursday, October 9, 2003

stupid, stupid spam

Well, the day finally came.

First, my sincere apologies to all of those who came to the site today and saw a new comment pointing to a web site not endorsed by yours truly. I had to clear my browser's cache to delete the images; this irritates someone who visits a lot of websites and will have to get all of their associated graphics reloaded.

Furthermore, in getting rid of the offending comment, I somehow lost all of the other comments associated with the entry! Go ahead, try it...it says 9 comments, right now, but if you click on it, you'll be the first to post a comment. This is infuriating to me.

I can't stand spam. I have one of the best e-mail spam filters available (and it's even free) on my main e-mail accounts, and as a result it doesn't bother me much on that end. But going on my website and spamming it with links to sites of ill repute that I am certain are of no interest to any of my normal visitors really makes me mad. Especially when deleting it inadvertantly takes out multiple good comments. A note to all smut spammers: I have your IP addresses when you post. Consider yourself blocked from now on.


Tuesday, December 3, 2002

the laptop

This thing has already been a blessing for me. I have already used it to study for a final, work on one of my projects, and check my e-mail.

I went ahead and picked up a wireless card, not realizing when I bought it that it didn't come with XP drivers on the installation disk. After getting my first Windows XP BSOD, I found out that that was the problem. So a quick trip to the card maker's web site later, we're ready to go! A laptop and a wireless card are a wonderful thing.

I'm still in the process of setting everything up on it so far, and I haven't had as much time as I'd like because I've been so busy. But once I get it like I like it, I'll be good to go for at least a few years, I hope. :)

Here's some of the specs on it: It's an HP, with an Athlon 1800+ processor (I went for more processing power for my buck), 512MB of RAM, a 40GB hard drive, internal Ethernet port (which allows me to make this update from the comfort of my recliner while I watch the Indiana-Maryland basketball game and wait on some software to download), and some other fun stuff to boot.

The only thing that I have against it is the touchpad. I like trackballs better myself, but I'll get used to it, I'm sure. :)

Well, I need to wrap up...I've got a long night working on my PLP project. Good thing that it'll go a lot quicker now with this thing...

Thursday, July 18, 2002

accessibility check bookmarklets

If you are interested in designing accessible web sites, you might find these bookmarklets helpful. They use Bobby to check your browser's current page for accessibility issues.

Just click on the link(s) that you're interested in and drag it to your bookmarks or links toolbar and it should be added automatically. I've tested these with NN4/Win, IE5/Win and Mozilla - they should work in all three. Please let me know if something doesn't seem to work correctly or if you test them on a different OS/browser combination.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Better than Websters

This is a really useful bookmarklet that I just found. It's called Highlight word. Just follow the directions on the page for how to add it to your browser.

What does it do? Highlight a word in a web page, and then click that bookmark, and dictionary.com automatically opens up to the definition of that word. Very handy.

Wednesday, June 5, 2002

news and notes

I stayed up until about 6:30 this morning. Some of you may understand why, but for those who don't, here's a clue: we shocked the world last night. It was one of the most amazing things I'd seen in all of sports. When we went up 3-0, I almost gave my brother-in-law a call down in Florida, just to have one of those special sports-related conversations that go something like this:

"Are you believing this?"
"Me neither. Okay, bye."

I knew he'd be up anyway.

Now, if only my Red Wings had won last night, it would have turned out perfect...

Mozilla 1.0 is out. I haven't downloaded it yet, but I will very shortly. Probably after I finish writing this up. I've been looking forward to the finished product for over two years now...for Netscape users, that means that version 7 should be coming out very soon...

Monday, May 20, 2002

just found

A webzine known as Chasing Hats. According to its mission statement:

We seek to return to wonder at God's creation like children, and to lead others through our writing.

A worthwhile goal, to say the least. I haven't read any of its articles yet, but the premise sounds interesting and promising. It's been bookmarked.

Tuesday, May 7, 2002

in the interest of stopping spam

I like getting e-mail about my college tradition sites, be it fight songs, rivalries, or whatever. That being said, I got way too much spam in the old lyrics@1122productions.com e-mail address, and I also had some spam sent to my main e-mail account as well. Since I have the power to control e-mail addresses on our server, I figured enough was enough. Besides, all the tradition sites needed a common e-mail address to send stuff to, anyway. So I eliminated the lyrics@1122productions.com address (hopefully sending a bunch of spambots some boomerang "account does not exist" e-mails for a while) and replaced it with a different one. Score one for the good guys.

Friday, April 26, 2002

to all the spammers out there

To the robots who are programmed to swipe my e-mail address from everywhere on the net:

I do not want software to spy on other people. I already have two legitamite degrees of my own that I earned, and am going to go for a third. I don't care about your weight-loss system. I have all the inkjet cartridges I need. I don't smoke as it is, so I don't need to quit.

I have no need for a "no down payment" mortgage. My credit card payments are just fine, thank you. Your investment plans do not interest me. I don't care about making $1200 a week in your little "no-risk moneymaker." I'm sure everyone else is a winner too.

I don't need anything enlarged. I don't need medication of any kind, and definitely not the kind you're peddling. Your "celebrity" pictures are doctored, and I don't care anyway. I don't want to see you on a webcam doing anything, much less what you claim you'll be doing.

If you have more than three letters in a row on your e-mail address that don't make up part of a name, you're deleted. If you have more than 5 numbers in a row on your e-mail address, you're deleted. If you sent anything to my Yahoo! account, you're immediately deleted, because I don't use it for anything but a throwaway e-mail address anyway. If you send me mail from a Hotmail account and aren't in my address book, you're deleted.

In short, go away.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

designer's block

For quite a while now, I've been thinking of redesigning my site. It's had the same form now for at least a year, and it's time for a new look.

The problem is, for inspiration I'm looking around at the sites that I tend to frequent, and all of them seem to have similar structure and layout. I'm wanting something different, but since I'm not actually a designer, I'm at a bit of an impasse.

So I'll keep working at it. Who knows? Maybe I'll figure something out eventually. Maybe then, I can truly call myself a web designer. :)

Monday, November 19, 2001

Not your ordinary Joe

It seems that Joe Burns will be quitting his web site as of the end of this year. Well, big deal, one might say.

It's just that Joe Burns is the founder of HTML Goodies, which is probably one of the most well-known HTML starter sites on the web. It also has tutorials on many other Web topics. His web site was my second stop in learning how to code HTML (the first was the NCSA HTML Primer at the University of Illinois, which was the guide back in 1996, when I first started). He's been working on HTML Goodies for eight years, which is pretty much an eternity in Web time. (Actually, it almost spans web time.) Oh, during that time, Dr. Burns has been a professor of communication at two universities.

His site isn't going anywhere; it will still be there for anyone who's new to the web, or anyone who forgets what that tag is that sets off a long quote from the rest of the text.

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

The Internet Wayback Machine

This may be one of the coolest sites I've ever managed to learn about. And it doesn't even give you any new content.

Nope, it gives you old content. The Internet Wayback Machine shows you what most any site looked like on days in the past, from 1996 to the present! For an example, here's my page as it looked on March 15, 1997, pre-1122productions.com, pre-pressing on..., and when the fight song site was still unheard of. I kind of cringe when I look at it now...frames! Noooo!

Tuesday, November 6, 2001

The day had to come sometime

It's official. It's time for a new computer.

I never thought that I would see the day that I would fill up an 8GB hard drive. When I got the computer I currently have (a little over three years ago) I wondered what it would take for me to fill up that much space.

Now that the system is dual-boot, with Linux taking half the space, it's a tough fit. My C drive is full except for about 20MB. And that's after cleanup. My other partition has a little more space, but it's still a pretty tight squeeze.

I've decided that if I get a signing bonus wherever I go to work, I'm going to take some of it and get a nice system. Then I'm going to take the one I currently own and convert it to a full-time Linux machine.

But of course, I have to get the job first...why must so many things hinge on having a job? :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Reason #257 that I am a geek

I picked up a copy of The XML Bible on Monday. It's a comprehensive book on XML and everything that goes with it. It's about 1200 pages altogether.

I've already read 250 pages of it.

Some people devour mystery novels. Some people like romances. Other people just enjoy the classics.

I apparently think that a computer language book qualifies as a page-turner. Could I be any geekier?

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Dude, where's my RAM?

I went to Circuit City today and found that 128MB RAM chips were on sale for $19.99! So I got one and just finished installing it in my computer. I've maxed out the RAM on my system now! And my computer's all, "Dude!" And I'm all, "Sweet!"

Saturday, August 25, 2001

Thanks, BellSouth!

This morning, while getting ready for Six Flags (I'm going with a bunch of friends today), I got my e-mail and found out that a lot of people have visited the rivalries site in the past two days. So I looked at the site logs, and found out that it's a featured college football link on BellSouth's site!. Look at the bottom, under "On Net This Week", where it talks about college football. It may be gone soon, but that's still pretty cool in my book.

Thursday, August 16, 2001

What this (virtual) world has come to

Boo! And the 100 Other Dumbest Moments in e-Business History. Some of these are laugh-out-loud funny.

What am I doing up right now? I wish I knew. I haven't been sleeping very well lately. I just popped wide awake this morning, and couldn't get back to sleep.

Thursday, July 26, 2001

The world I've missed

I now have access to the Internet at my grandparents' house. This provides closure to my downtime, and reveals some things that are actually quite interesting to me, though I really should have known for quite some time.

For at least a couple of years now, the Net has been my primary source of information. By this, I mean that I usually get my news, sports, weather, etc., online. With the prominent exception of SportsCenter, of course. Even so, I normally go to espn.com at least a couple of times daily to read articles and find information about players and sports. The Net is the only place that I can find information on Aussie Rules Football or rugby. This and other ecclectic interests are not found on TV (easily, anyway), the radio, or the newspaper. What's more, I can find information on how to improve my golf or tennis game free online instead of buying a book. Don't know a definition? Go to dictionary.com instead of lugging out the Webster's.

It's become one of my main means of entertainment. I don't watch a lot of TV...in fact, there are only a couple of shows that I really care about at all. There are a lot of people who have posted things on the net that interest me, from online games to stories. They tend to be better than what I could find on the television.

It's become one of my primary methods of communication. E-mail is a way of life for me. There are plenty of times when I don't need to get in touch with someone immediately, but I want them to know something, and e-mail provides the perfect solution. This site, and other ones that I maintain, are themselves a means of communication with the world. You can leave your mark on this site by commenting now. I've had people say that reading this site is like peeking inside my head. It's the same with other sites that I frequent; those of friends and those who I do not know but whose lives are interesting just the same.

So now that I have finally come back online after a five-day hiatus (except for brief instances over at Ricky's), I feel back in touch. Not that I don't mind spending time in the real world - in fact, I've done more of that this summer than I have in a long while - but I need the wired world as well.

Friday, June 22, 2001

My mood didn't change just now...

I had forgotten to update that. I've been checking for comments every now and then through the update pages so as to not inflate my counter, but for some reason the update pages don't reflect new comments sometimes. Just something that I'll have to figure out, I guess...

Monday, June 11, 2001

Interesting web stat

I subscribe to a weekly e-mail newsletter that talks about all things Net, and reading it this afternoon, I came across an interesting statistic. Of course, we all know that 41% of statistics are made up on the spot. :) Furthermore, it's even tougher to determine an accurate statistic about online things because of the very nature of the Net itself. But I can buy this one. See what you think.

CNN just released a study that suggests over 50% of the total time users spend online is dominated by only four companies - AOL/Time Warner, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Napster, in that order.

I'd provide links, but we all already know the addresses, don't we?

Monday, May 28, 2001

Playing defense

In the immortal words of Popeye, "That's all I can stands, 'cause I can't stands no more!"

After being deluged with spam mail for much too long, I've done something that will hopefully limit the amount of it coming into my inbox. If you'll notice on the e-mail link in the "contact" section (and, for that matter, every e-mail link in the site), my e-mail address has been changed. It's pretty self-explanatory as to how to manipulate that address before sending me mail. The nice thing about it is that spam programs have trouble with these manuevers.

Otherwise, carry on per the norm.

Wednesday, February 21, 2001

the fragmented web

A few days ago, I downloaded a copy of Netscape 4, just to see how my main page looked in it. It was a sight, and I don't mean a good one.

Things were out of place. The type wasn't the right size. The page just didn't look right.

Now, I'm not a great web designer by any means, and I haven't logged the hours doing it that others have. I've just heard horror stories of designers that toil hours on end designing graphics with "invisible" spacers so that they get positioned just so. I've heard of all means of workarounds that they had to implement just so that people could all view the page roughly the same way.

But I could identify with them just a little more when I took a look at my site using Netscape 4.

There are a lot of ways that you can make it so that everyone can view the page the same way. You can write multiple pages and have it so that the browser the user's using is determined and the appropriate page is shown. Or you can just make your page appeal to the lowest common denominator. Nothing fancy; just plain text, maybe a Perl script, maybe a couple of gif images.

The question is this, though: is this what we should be limited to?

The answer to this question, in my opinion, is housed in a much bigger question. What is the Web about? Information? Entertainment? Commerce, or art, or something entirely different?

I would say that the answer is all of these things. And that is where the problem lies.

The tools that were originally made to build the web weren't sufficient for all of these things. After all, who would have imagined back in 1989, when Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, that it would be the scene of a multibillion-dollar global market?

And now that the tools are there, we've got problems with browsers. There are many flavors of Netscape and Internet Explorer. Each of these has different levels of support for certain standards. But beyond that, there are text browers, like Lynx (which people do use). There are browsers for those who are visually impaired.

And absolutely none of them support all of the standards fully. The big ones: HTML 4.0, XHTML 1.0, and CSS-1 are pretty well-done in the latest versions. But they're only in the latest versions.

So what do we do? Do we code to standards? (I do...this site uses XHTML 1.0 and CSS-1.) But when we do that, people who use older browsers don't see the page very well. Some people will even have their browsers crash if they view a page that's been coded to standards if certain commands are used.

Do we write multiple versions of the pages? Professional web designers don't like this idea at all, because it's redundancy.

Do we use Flash? Flash is a great tool, when used right, and there are wonderful web sites coded entirely in Flash. But people who can't see can't use Flash at all.

Some people say that we should stick to the lowest common denominator. But this restricts our ability to use the web for commerce and art.

Others say that we should use the standards that we have, and believe that if people can be convinced to upgrade their browsers, we can use them effectively. But some people don't have that option.

What a tangled, fragmented web we've woven...how do we untangle ourselves?

Sunday, February 18, 2001

Yossarian should have it so good

I have one of the best coaster makers in the world. And it only cost me a couple hundred bucks.

Today's adventure begins, amazingly enough, today. I have been realizing that my CD burner wasn't getting much use lately. To justify its initial purchase by reducing its variable cost per CD burned (man, that MBA education's getting good use), I decided to make a "compilation compilation" CD. This term refers to my favorite songs off of what are known as "compilation" CDs, all put onto one CD all their own.

Now, recently, I had been getting irritated at RealJukebox. It's free and all that, but there's a lot of problems that I just can't overlook:

Sigh. So I deleted it.

Anyway, I picked out the songs that I wanted, and recorded them as WAV sound files using the "Easy CD Creator" software that came with the CD burner. What the "Easy CD Creator" people don't want you to know is that "Easy CD Creator" doesn't seem to think that if skips happen during the recording process to a WAV, the user might like to know about this and recopy the song. Oh, no...the program just happily copies the files to the hard drive.

So I get all of the files copied to the hard drive, and start recording the CD. I even put it through "testing" phase (read: wasting another 10 minutes in the name of ensuring the success of the copying process). 20 minutes later, my CD is ready.

I note that in my haste, I misspelled compilation in the title. Twice. My CD is now known as "The Compliation Complilation" to Windows CD Player. No biggie, I say to myself...I'll be the only one to see that. So I make the jewel case covers and everything (changing the title there), and I pop the CD in the drive.

Two minutes, 32 seconds into the first song, the CD skips.

Now I'm somewhat irritated. So I go and listen to the original WAV file that I copied earlier, and I find out what I told you earlier...those two WAV files were copied badly, but "Easy CD Creator" didn't think that was important. I guess it would have been too difficult to prompt the user to copy the song over. And "Hard CD Creator" just isn't as catchy a title.

This is when I remember our friend RealJukebox. For all its flaws, I remember that it does a great job of recording WAV files. I jump online and grab a copy of RealJukebox, all the while listening to my now destined-to-be-under-a-glass CD for problems with other songs. Good thing too...song seven is also messed up.

Eventually the RealJukebox installer is downloaded. I go through the install process, unchecking all of the boxes, telling it I do not want it to be my default CD player, etc. Finally, that whole process is complete. Time to try again.

I get the two CDs that I need to get the songs off of, and copy them using RealJukebox. I listen to them this time, just to make sure. Everything's perfect. I close out RealJukebox.

I now go back to "Easy CD Creator" and set it up to use the two new WAV files when burning this copy. I don't bother to test this time, and everything turns out fine again. I get the CD out and label it.

Ready to hear my now perfect CD, I close all programs and put the CD back in the player. And what pops open as my default CD player?

That's right, friends...RealJukebox.

This turn of events elicits a caterwaul from yours truly.

So now, of course, I'm stuck with a piece of software that doesn't do one thing that I need it to do, but is great otherwise, and a piece of software that I hate, but have to use to accomplish that one thing.

And one new coaster.