Author Archives: Eronarn - Page 2

Auuuuugh!

Yes, this actually happened on the first time I went to take a screenshot.

Hellmouth progress update

I’ve been putting my free time to good use working on Hellmouth. Here’s what I’ve added to the game since my last post about it:

  • combat
  • cross-level travel
  • A* pathfinding
  • an attribute and skill system
  • random map generation
  • random item generation
  • elemental color support
  • several major new interface features
  • folder structure

If I keep working at my current pace, the first beta release will be within a week or so. I’ve created a page for Hellmouth on Roguebasin, and I’ll fill that out with more information about the game when it happens.

There are some new development screenshots below the fold. Read more »

T-Mobile doesn’t want my keypresses.

(For background, you may want to read about the time I’ve spent trying to get my T-Mobile account working as expected.)

Today I tried to pay my phone bill and noticed that the T-Mobile website account associated with my current number had been deleted (presumably this happened when my plan was cancelled). This was unexpected, but only mildly frustrating. I went through the registration process, generated a new password in my password safe, and pasted it into the field.

Nothing happened. They were preventing pasting, presumably as some kind of demented ‘security’ measure. Read more »

T-Mobile doesn’t want my money.

(A brief coda to this story can be found here.)

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to win a Nexus One through a Twitter contest run by whatthetrend. Unfortunately, the phone was incompatible with my previous network. I ended up joining the phone nerd flock and going with the most popular option of the era: signing up for an all-inclusive T-Mobile smartphone bundle, then requesting some esoteric modifications over the phone, resulting in a cheaper plan not normally offered to consumers.

I felt pretty silly a few months later when I realized that even when I did leave home I was rarely far from a wireless connection. I didn’t feel like throwing any more money down the drain, so I decided to switch to T-Mobile’s FlexAccount (prepaid) system. After a relatively pleasant phone call, their representative fulfilled my request. I answered some questions about why I had chosen to cancel and went on my way.

 

 

Except no.

Read more »

Uploading bash output within IRSSI

I’m hardly an IRSSI power-user, but I occasionally make use of its more advanced features. While IRSSI already allows shell execution, it’s handy to have an alias that prints both the command and results to the channel (particularly when you’re running IRSSI on a server). I had previously picked up such an alias from Whales in #rgrd: Read more »

Lifepaths, flowcharts, Edge, and human greed

Hellmouth was my semi-failed entry into the 2012 7DRL competition. I’ve continued to work on it over the past few months, and while the game is still sorely lacking in features, I’ve made some real progress by focusing on building components in isolation from each other as much as possible.

One such component is the character generation system. Hellmouth uses a lifepath system where your decisions about your character’s history affect their capabilities. Here’s what one of Hellmouth’s lifepath nodes looks like: Read more »

Good thing I already had a bowl of ice cream

While I haven’t read the study, this is an intriguing experimental approach to the study of food consumption! I’ve always been curious why – apart from the everpresent financial or practical reasons – I haven’t seen more studies that eschewed survey data. Keeping the menu the same but manipulating portions and ingredients seems to be a pretty plausible way to control the nutrient ratio with a minimum of intervening factors. Maybe there are plenty of similar studies and I just haven’t run across them? I sure hope so.

Sometimes it pays to be late

My plans for the next few years are murky at best, but in the short term, an option I’m considering is to take a trip out to California (it would be my first!). Here’s the Greyhound schedule for that journey:

This schedule is so streamlined that the longest layover isn’t even enough time to catch a movie. It’s an absurd display of modern efficiency: even for someone without physical limitations it would be a stressful, unpleasant journey.

But what of the alternative? Buy your tickets for the same set of dates, but as two separate purchases (NYC to Denver and then from Denver to LA), and the price shoots up from $126 to $199. In other words, saying that I’d like to sleep in a hotel for at least one night on a cross-country journey will add to the hotel and taxi a surcharge for the privilege of splitting my bus trip into two legs.

I assume that the average consumer would be fairly offended if they noticed this pricing disparity. But I find it humorous for a reason that only frequent Greyhound travelers are likely to know: you can use tickets on any day after they were originally purchased! By not paying for a ticket in the expected way you can take the same route – that is, the very same bus - for less money than if you told them you were coming.

Now, having set up the joke, so here’s the punchline: buying a ticket does not guarantee you a seat on that bus on that time slot in the first place! Here’s hoping you didn’t already know that – I had to learn it the hard way.

(Disclaimer: As long as the route is running that day and the bus is not full, it won’t be a problem. However, I have never been able to get a straight answer as to their policy about this, and if you get turned down at the gate it’s not my fault.)

Mad Men S1

I just finished the first season of Mad Men. I certainly won’t win any points for timeliness, and originality is probably a hard sell too, but I’ll give writing about it a try anyways.

Mad Men is designed to be titillating to a certain audience. By that I don’t mean the sex scenes (which are actually tamer than what I’d expected), but the show’s glamorized portrayal and encouraged fetishization of a particular moment’s flavor of patriarchy. Given the favorable response from that targeted audience, it seems reasonable to deem this a problematic cultural artifact.

But what about when the audience consists of those who would label it as problematic? While viewing it, I could not help but to think that media of this sort can be not only not harmful when viewed with an awareness of patriarchy, but perhaps even beneficial. Dr. Strangelove and Starship Troopers come to my mind as examples of media that can be found supporting both perspectives that must remain in opposition – as terrifyingly, some people think these are pro-war movies!

I am not going to rush to call Mad Men pro-feminist, but the show makes efforts to imply that its depiction of women is wrong. Occasionally it even explicitly addresses why the women in the show are made unhappy by the way they are treated. In the first season, at least, I saw a reasonable mix of patriarchy-challenging and patriarchy-reinforcing content that allows the audience to choose what portion to embrace. It makes me wonder whether this kind of shared-but-opposed content makes for a useful common ground for engagement with non-feminists. That is to say, maybe when a show like Mad Men comes out, we should aggressively point out the ways it can challenge patriarchy instead of just condemning it for the ways it can justify and reinforce it. (Emphasis on “just”.)

A new home for a new year

It took me a while, but I’ve decided how I’m going to cope with the Google Reader changes. I’ll continue to use the site for reading articles – it’s just that good at it – but here’s what I arrived at for sharing them:

  • I’m going to take this opportunity to split off most NSFW content from my shared items. This was a major attraction of my old feed, but now you won’t see any of it unless you visit my Tumblr.
  • In order to avoid polluting my G+ profile with +1s, the next incarnation of my dearly departed Google Reader public feed can be found on Pinboard. Most of my sharing will take place there, though I may break this into a few separate feeds later on.
  • This blog will be a mix of responses to articles that I’ve shared on Pinboard and original writing. You can skip subscribing to it if you aren’t interested in reading either of those.

Here’s hoping that this setup lasts a while – change hurts!