Posted in Buckeye on October 20th, 2010 by admin – Comments Off
The United States of America – Founded in 1776 – was managed by George W. Bush from 2000-2008. The Texas Rangers, founded in 1961, was managed by the same man from 1989 to 1998. Given that Dubya’s managerial stint took place 224 years after the founding of the former and 28 years after the founding of the latter (that period lasting 3.45% of the lifetime of the organization as of time of management and 24%, respectively) and that the Texas Rangers had to wait until 12 years (24% of the lifetime of the organization at the time of measurable success) after Dubya’s time to achieve any measurable success, then according to my calculations we’ll be in an economic funk for an adjusted period equal to the period of reign, or 8.004 years, from the time of Dubya’s exit.
Stuxnet seems to be a warvirus, and it seems to be finished. But if I was in charge of the systems running a major site considered critically important, I’d make certain that when I installed the hotfixes and cleaned the system that the fixes didn’t themselves contain even more pernicious code.
One thing to make clear is that I try to make everything an interpretation of the game. If I went around inventing stuff it wouldn’t be fun anymore, because you wouldn’t know what I’m making up and what is the game being crazy. Plus, Dwarf Fortress is such an excellent story generator that it’s always more entertaining to write around what it gives me. It’s a fun creative limitation, and it’s the entire point of this LP, so I don’t take a lot of liberty with physical actions. If Dett has an amusing medical accident, I want the reader to know it actually happened. The only time I broke this rule was the cat counting joke in the first update and that happened because I was still working out the creative boundaries of the story (Exi’s cat did die, though). I do take liberty with social interactions because the extent of what you witness in the game is dwarves talking to each other in the dining hall, and I don’t see the harm in writing amusing conversations and creating these elaborate social dynamics between all the dwarves. That’s part of storytelling so it wouldn’t be the same without it, and really it’s still just interpretation there because all I’m doing is explaining what the dwarves say to each other on a day to day basis.
But in a lot of cases, the social interactions are usually also inspired by something. The Hyte and Dett dynamics with Mar were written because I always saw those two dwarves following her around. Exi and Behem are both miners, so of course they interact a lot. The still is right by the gemcutting station and the room where Frote trains animals, so of course Kesti interacts with them. Stuff that makes sense.
I also tend to play in ridiculous ways. For example, Squib being stationed to monitor the elf beasts in the first update happened. I didn’t want them interrupting work orders.
A couple of the more prominent Dwarf Fortress-based humor bits that aren’t covered by the screenshots and wouldn’t be clear to a non-Dwarf Fortress player:
1. Trame electing himself into several important positions is a reference to how players tend to make one dwarf responsible for the manager, broker, and bookkeeper duties.
2. Exi’s architecture design (and the entire concept of what dwarf culture considers good art) is a reference to how many Dwarf Fortress players just design their fortresses in efficient squares instead of more elaborate designs.
3. The mules showing up everywhere and bothering everyone is an in-game mechanic. Animals you don’t keep in cages are obnoxious.
4. The syntax of the Mittens engraving is a combination of an in-game description of a Forgotten Beast and a description of a crafted object.
5. Dett’s entire concept is based off how (in 31.03 – it’s since been patched) doctors were broken and would either horribly murder their patients or were unable to do anything productive for them. Honestly I would have been fine with hospitals never getting patched for that reason.
6. In the Dett update, she laments the lack of serrated discs and enormous corkscrews as hospital supplies. Those are in-game trap components.
7. Kesti’s reverence of the dining hall is an in-game mechanic. Someone posted earlier that dwarves will be happy despite the murder of all their friends and family so long as they ate in a fine dining hall recently. It’s true.
8. War mules are an in-game mechanic, too, but I had to mod the game files to make them trainable as war animals. This was the only modification to the base game.
In other news, ESRI’s new ArcGIS app reports the area of San Francisco to be 69 square miles, which is wrong, and different from the 79 square miles that it reported on Friday. Of course, I was in San Diego on Friday, so maybe the reason it gave me a different value was because it was assuming a projection based on my location, which would make no sense. More likely they’re just ironing out the kinks. It’s amazing the quality of the junk we’re willing to play with in this perpetual beta test known as Web 2.5.1rc3 while implicitly supporting oppressive regimes across the world, allowed to be all the more oppressive due to the extremely reliable and highly effective surveillance tools and software we’ve developed.
Posted in Buckeye on June 5th, 2010 by Elijah Meeks – Comments Off
So, I’m trying to get an episode of ST:TOS on Youtube and the rights-management requires an upgraded Flash Player on this laptop and that borks Firefox for some reason, so I figure I’ll give Chrome a try because it just happens to be built by the people that own Youtube.
Fellow Stanford digital type Carlos Seligo and I checking out the usability of Flash on an iPad by running a remote client and hosting the Flash app on a nearby MacBook. This was an impromptu investigation, and so I apologize for not performing a more rigorous and involved test run, or showing off a more engaging Flash application, but given all the fuss about how Flash just wouldn’t work for iPad for stylistic and technological reasons, I have to say I was shocked at how attractive and functional these apps were, given that we’d spent absolutely no effort optimizing them for multitouch. Even the much-maligned rollover caused no trouble at all (in the case of this test, rollover events were only triggered if your finger left the screen at a rollover point, which is actually rather interesting functionality and I’d love to play with that).
Oh, and A Guide To Authorial London would make a killer iPad app–it’s the perfect form factor for it.