Tuesday, December 27, 2005

New Content on "Directionless"

It's not much, but there's some belated Christmas-themed filler up over at my webcomic, "Directionless." (remember that?) I do plan on continuing the comic, and should have something along the lines of real content up this coming weekend. I have a few ideas and such, I just need to draw them.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Upcoming absence

My break so far...

Got home at like 3:00 AM Saturday morning, slept most of the rest of the day. Sunday night I hung out at Haley's for A Very Bitter Beer Pong and watched Donnie Darko, a very weird but interesting movie. And, uh, that about brings you up to speed. Yeah, the amount of craziness leading up to finals makes the lack of stuff going on now seem a little odd. Of course, there's nothing unpleasant about doing nothing! :)

But I didn't make this post to point out how little I've been doing, I made it to point out that from December 23-27 I'll be visiting relatives in New Hampshire. (Another long car trip? Noooooooo!!!) So, if anyone (coughHaleycough) is planning anything (coughlan partycough) over break, please don't do it then!

And Halapy, I fully plan on updating the webcomic.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

I Am Home!

Finals are done. Have seen Narnia and Kong. Enjoyed both. Will see again. More to follow.

That is all.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Busy, Busy, Busy.

While everyone else is justifying a lack of updates by saying nothing is happening, I haven't been updating because too much has been happening.

It goes like this: Next week is finals week, commonly known as college's miniature hell. But here's the thing - only one of my classes is even having a "proper" final during that week. The rest all either have abnormally large exams on the last day of class, or have papers due. So for me, this is hell week.

So here's how "Hanley's Hell Week" breaks down...

Last weekend - dealt with a very poorly-timed cold while trying to get my revised draft for Writing done to e-mail to the professor. Had also planned on starting my Art Media paper, but that didn't happen. Things became complicated when my roommate came home drunker than he's ever been Saturday night ("You were only gone for 2 hours!" "Fwuuuuhhhgg...?") and I had to make sure he didn't vomit on the wrong things (aka: anything mine) So, yeah... That was a barrel of laughs... Not.

Monday - The cold turned into a sore throat/coughing sort of thing. Had the last class for Film History, my only class with a "normal" final. Professor did a bit of review, but of course didn't tell us anything useful. We then had to watch some "art" films, one of which could only be described as a sadist's take on childbirth.... yeeeeah. That night I had my last Intro to Acting class. Good news - no exams, and we got free pizza. Bad news - I had to perform my assigned scene one last time, which I really didn't feel like doing with a sore throat. Class ended at 10pm, and I tried to use the time to write my Art Media final essay. Didn't get anywhere, partially because I was struggling with the topic, partially because I just hate that class, but mostly because I felt like crap.

Today (Tuesday) - Woke up feeling a little better (I think my fever broke in the middle of the night. I have no better explanation for why I started shivering uncontrollably for no apparent reason...) . I wrote my entire Art Media essay in one 3-hour run, which sucked but at least I got it done and didn't make it entirely BS. Went to Writing and found out I wasn't really as near being done as I'd thought I was with my paper. Went to the last class of Art Media (and there was much rejoicing!) and turned in my crappy-but-at-least-it-works paper. Then we watched an interesting film (watching something interesting in Art Media? Unheard-of!) of a Rube Goldberg-like device involving lots of fire and small explosives, and another one that was a feature-length (100 min) film comprised of one continuous steadycam shot, and all done in one take. I felt so bad for the poor cameraman by the end of the movie.

Looking to the future....

Tomorrow - Wake up for my "9:30 am but a 20-minute walk away" Theater class where we'll be doing some sort of review for the test on Friday. The I can come back and try to finish the 650-page book ("Bonfire of the Vanities") that I need to be familiar with (among other things) for the "final" exam in Anthropology of American Life at 7:00 pm. And before you say it, I checked - there are no SparkNotes for this book! :(

Thursday - Last Writing class, where we'll basically be given time to work on our papers, get feedback on them, and cry over how bad they are. I then start studying for my Theater final. This is also possibly my last chance to hunt down the teacher of the 3D Animation class I want to take next semester, as I need his signature (it's normally reserved for Computer Arts majors) and he's never in his office (even during office hours) and never checks his e-mail!

Friday - Wake again up for my "9:30 am but a 20-minute walk away" Theater class, but this time I have a "final" exam to take. I then come back and frantically revise my Writing Essay so it can be dropped of in the professor's mailbox by 5:00 pm. Only then can I rest.

At that point, I will basically have nothing to do for the better part of a week because my Film History final, the only "real" final I have and the last thing I have to do before I can go home, is on Friday the 16th. As soon as it's done, I cram the majority of my stuff into my dad's car (parents drive up Friday morning) and head back to the 'Burgh! :D

So yeah, don;t expect much else out of me until after this Friday. If you do hear anything from me before then, kindly remind me that I have work to do!!!!!!!1

signing off...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Awesome Christmas Lights!

Someone set up their Christmas lights to be synchronized with what sounds like a Trans-Siberian Orchestra song (update: I've identified the song as "Wizards in Winter"). The result is nothing less than awe-inspiring!
NOTE: It has been brought to my attention that the first site I linked to contains advertisements which some people may deem objectionable. An alternate link can be found below:

Incredible Christmas Lights!

Quick - someone get Andy! This must be duplicated! :)

Update 12-2-05: I found some more information on Carson Williams, the guy behind this stuff.

First, he's on Wikipedia (and honestly, what isn't these days?)

Also, here's another one of his light shows. The song isn't as cool as the first one, but it's still impressive.

There's a WGMD radio interview where he explains some of what he did. The host is kind of annoying, but there are some nice tidbits. Apparently the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (who did the music in the first video) really like the display and may be putting a higher-res version up on their own website.

Finally, he gave some text instructions on how it's done, and posted the sequencing file he used.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Home Tomorrow! W00t!

Happy Day-After-Your-Birthday, Will!

I catch a cab at 8:45 AM, wade through Thanksgiving lines at the airport, catch my 11:15 flight out and I'll be in Pittsburgh by 1:00. My roommate left yesterday, and most everyone else on my floor left today so it's pretty barren tonight. This was the dining hall at 6:30 PM...

There wasn't much food, either. Just hot dogs, hamburgers, some crappy pasta, and salad. I pity the poor fools who aren't going home over the break. The one upshot of there being not many people here is pretty much all the crazy kids went home already, so the people left behind are pretty cool. I got to introduce the joy that is "Rejected" to a couple more people. Muahahaha!

Recapping the time since my last post - well, I got a "new" Canon Optura 30 video camera off ebay. $310 for a camera that was $899 a year and a half ago is not bad, if you ask me. Throw in a case and extra battery and you have one happy film student!

What else happened? Oh yeah, we finally had snow on Friday! Come on, this is Syracuse for crying out loud, we should have had snow before Halloween! Pittsburgh got snow before us!

I've also been dealing with scheduling, which is turing into a real pain. Oh, I got my required courses in all right, although the only schedule that fits requires me to make the 20-minute walk from Syracuse Stage to Main Campus in less than 10 to get to my next class... but we told the professor about that so he's just going to try to shift the second class 10 minutes later. But that isn't the real problem - the real problem is my electives. I took so many AP's in high school that I can get out of all but 3 of my "academic elective" (read: arts & sciences) classes, one of which I took this semester. Instead, I can skip electives altogether some semesters (which I will take advantage of Junior and Senior year since I'll be spending so much time making longer films) or take studio electives (art stuff) instead. A studio elective sounded good for spring, so I signed up for "Introduction to 3D," where you get to learn Lightwave. Sounds like a really fun class. The problem is, it's normally reserved for Computer Arts majors (what happened to the ease of exploring different interests within the Transmedia department?) so I have to get a slip signed by the professor to let me take it.

Ok, but there's one problem with that - I can't track him down! his office hours are listed as only 12pm-1pm Thursdays, but when I went last week the door was shut and locked! I sent an e-mail, but I haven't heard a response yet. The head of my department said I was doing what I should, and that if I don't get a response in another week, I should send a follow-up e-mail. But by then the course may be full! Sigh... college. There is some good news about my schedule, though; As it's shaping up now, I won't have any classes on friday. Granted, I'll have an 8:30 am class on Monday, but whatever.

Wow, that turned into a rather long rant. I guess then I shouldn't go on too much about my stupid last paper for Writing 105, or my even more stupid Final essay for Art Media... yeah.

I know I've been neglecting the comic for... like... a month. I'll see if I can do something about that over break. Heck, maybe tonight, I'm not really doing anything else. We'll see.

To my friends: I'll see you guys back in the 'Burgh! We seriously need to have a LAN party, or Risk, or D&D. Something!

Sunday, November 13, 2005


As Mike pointed out, he and Will had some fun with me last night. As requested, I'm posting the exceedingly humorous logs from the AIM sessions I had with the two. Be warned - they're long! I couldn't summarize what happened if I tried, so you'll just have to figure out what's going on for yourself! Rest assured, this will make it into the comic in some form. It's just too good to pass up.

We'll start with my chat with Will. I signed on to AIM last night, and was greeted with this:

12:56 AM
x2Xtreme21x: yeah so... um... haley's passed out on my floor in a pool of his own vomit... good thing?
Mike Hanley: not usually...
Mike Hanley:
x2Xtreme21x: its' quite humorous
x2Xtreme21x: I found like... scars on his wrists
Mike Hanley: until you have to clean up said vomit
Mike Hanley: scars?
x2Xtreme21x: from like razors
Mike Hanley: eesh. fun
x2Xtreme21x: yeeeeeeeah
x2Xtreme21x: ..... thoughts?
Mike Hanley: i find it ironic that this happens right after i see you're in the "I prefer not to drink on weekends" facebook group
x2Xtreme21x: ... I am?
Mike Hanley: and yes, I'm aware this is haley not you, but still funny
x2Xtreme21x: it's not ME.. it's HALEY
Mike Hanley: was that on his profile?
x2Xtreme21x: no it's on mine
Mike Hanley: k, my point still stands
Mike Hanley: that fact that after you "give it up", you have to deal with this
x2Xtreme21x: NO IT'S HALEY
Mike Hanley: i know
Mike Hanley: nevermind
x2Xtreme21x: it's gonna be a bitch to clean this up..
Mike Hanley: i would imagine
1:00 AM
x2Xtreme21x: I'll get him to once he wakes up
x2Xtreme21x: with his ASS
Mike Hanley: just make sure he's on his side so he doesn't drown in it
x2Xtreme21x: um
x2Xtreme21x: too late?
Mike Hanley: is he breathing? if so, not too late
x2Xtreme21x: um
x2Xtreme21x: I don't wanna go near that..
x2Xtreme21x: he's a runner... he can stand a long time without oxygen....... right?
Mike Hanley: ...
x2Xtreme21x: I might be a little drunk myself..
Mike Hanley: what position is he in now?
x2Xtreme21x: DOGGY STYLE
Mike Hanley: face down, then?
x2Xtreme21x: umm..
x2Xtreme21x: I think?
Mike Hanley: ...
x2Xtreme21x: yes... face down
Mike Hanley: just nudge him over with your foot until he's on his side
x2Xtreme21x: I don't know... he crawled into my closet
Mike Hanley: O_O
Mike Hanley: fuuuuuuun
x2Xtreme21x: um yeah
x2Xtreme21x: so... HOW'S LIFE?
Mike Hanley: um... less eventful than your own
Mike Hanley: thankfully
Mike Hanley: seriously, just make sure Haley's still breathing and put him on his side. Drowning in your own vomit would be a horrible way to go.
Mike Hanley: and yes, he will owe you big time after this....
Mike Hanley: wait...
x2Xtreme21x: ummm
x2Xtreme21x: maybe that's not haley..
Mike Hanley: he just signed on AIM...
Mike Hanley: yeah
Mike Hanley: WTF?
x2Xtreme21x: WHO IS IN MY CLOSET?
Mike Hanley: who is on your floor?
1:05 AM
x2Xtreme21x: ... WHAT THE FUCK
x2Xtreme21x: it's NOT HALEY
x2Xtreme21x: oh shit
Mike Hanley: yeah
Mike Hanley: shit indeed
Mike Hanley: do you know who it is?
x2Xtreme21x: [01:05] x2Xtreme21x: yeah so... you're not on my floor
[01:05] Mike Haley: Uh..?
[01:05] x2Xtreme21x: yeah someone's passed out in my closet..
[01:05] Mike Haley: ... Uh?
[01:06] x2Xtreme21x: I SWEAR TO GOD IT'S YOU
[01:06] Mike Haley: ... Yes, Will. It's me.
Mike Hanley: you really need to figure out who this guy is
x2Xtreme21x: well it's kinda tough that he's passed out
x2Xtreme21x: hmmmmm...
1:10 AM
x2Xtreme21x: ... it's Haley I swear
Mike Hanley: I'm talking to him right now on AIM
x2Xtreme21x: who?
Mike Hanley: Haley!
x2Xtreme21x: oh
x2Xtreme21x: then wtf
x2Xtreme21x: WHHO ARE YOU????
Mike Hanley: Mike Hanley, you messaged me, remember?
x2Xtreme21x: not yo
Mike Hanley: oh, him
x2Xtreme21x: HALEY
Mike Hanley: ITS NOT HALEY
1:15 AM
Mike Hanley: Haley is going to come over to help you
Mike Hanley: but you'll need to sign him in
x2Xtreme21x: HE'S ALREAXY HERE
x2Xtreme21x: I SWEAR TO YOU MIKE
Mike Hanley: just trust me, alright
Mike Hanley: just trust that someone is coming to help you.
x2Xtreme21x: um
x2Xtreme21x: help me?
x2Xtreme21x: Im fine
x2Xtreme21x: it's fucking HALEY THAT NEEDS HELP
Mike Hanley: whatever, you need help with the situation

Heh, yeah. Around here is where Will called to tell me it was a joke, and make sure I hadn't called his parents or anything. :) And then my chat with Mike. Keep in mind these are going on around the same time:

1:06 AM
Mike Hanley: so, um, wtf?
drkdstryer1: ???
Mike Hanley: who is passed out on will's floor ????
drkdstryer1: Will is like... really drunk
Mike Hanley: apparently hes not the only one
drkdstryer1: I don't know what's going on
drkdstryer1: So like
Mike Hanley: here's the chat so far:
drkdstryer1: What has he been telling you
drkdstryer1: ?
The AIM service could not send the message: A message or picture is too large to be transmitted.
Mike Hanley: hmm, too long to send
drkdstryer1: What is the synopsis?
Mike Hanley: someone is passed out in a pool of his own vomit in Will's closet
Mike Hanley: he thought it was you
drkdstryer1: ... uh
drkdstryer1: Like
Mike Hanley: then you signed on
drkdstryer1: I'm in my dorm
drkdstryer1: All night
1:10 AM
drkdstryer1: I was at the track house for like an hour, but I'm home now
Mike Hanley: the fact remains - there's someone passed out in their own vomit in will's closet
Mike Hanley: obviously not you, but someone
drkdstryer1: Like, he thinks it' me?
drkdstryer1: Wait
Mike Hanley: not anymore
drkdstryer1: Will... doesn;'t really have a closet
drkdstryer1: Like, it's really small
Mike Hanley: will says the guy kinda crawled into it
drkdstryer1: No way can someone fit in there
drkdstryer1: That's like NOT POSSIBLE
Mike Hanley: so i'm picturing half-in half-out
Mike Hanley: he still thought it was you, i told him im talking to you, now he's says "oh. the wtf?"
drkdstryer1: Like, I'm gonna go down to Pitt now
drkdstryer1: Should I?
Mike Hanley: yeah, i think he really needs help
drkdstryer1: It's really late though :
Mike Hanley: he's obviously slightly drunk himself
drkdstryer1: Eh
Mike Hanley: oh dear
drkdstryer1: ?
Mike Hanley: x2Xtreme21x: ... it's Haley I swear
Mike Hanley: I'm talking to him right now on AIM
x2Xtreme21x: who?
Mike Hanley: Haley!
x2Xtreme21x: oh
x2Xtreme21x: then wtf
x2Xtreme21x: WHHO ARE YOU????
Mike Hanley: Mike Hanley, you messaged me, remember?
x2Xtreme21x: not yo
Mike Hanley: oh, him
x2Xtreme21x: HALEY
Mike Hanley: ITS NOT HALEY
drkdstryer1: Oh shit
drkdstryer1: Afk
drkdstryer1: To Pitt!
drkdstryer1: Oh shit
drkdstryer1: I can't get into his dorm
1:15 AM
drkdstryer1: He needs to sign me oin
drkdstryer1: *in
drkdstryer1: Do you know his cell?
Mike Hanley: um
drkdstryer1: Can you call Will? I ahvew like no minutes left
Mike Hanley: hold on
drkdstryer1: I can give you his number
Mike Hanley: im talking to will on aim
drkdstryer1: Just be like "Haley's coming"
Mike Hanley: Mike Hanley: Haley is going to come over to help you
Mike Hanley: but you'll need to sign him in
x2Xtreme21x: HE'S ALREAXY HERE
x2Xtreme21x: I SWEAR TO YOU MIKE
Mike Hanley: just trust me, alright
Mike Hanley: just trust that someone is coming to help you.
drkdstryer1: Heh right
drkdstryer1: Thanks
Mike Hanley: call him when you get tthere
drkdstryer1: If my plan lets me....
Mike Hanley: x2Xtreme21x: um
x2Xtreme21x: help me?
x2Xtreme21x: Im fine
x2Xtreme21x: it's fucking HALEY THAT NEEDS HELP
Mike Hanley: whatever, you need help with the situation
drkdstryer1: O shit
Mike Hanley: he still thinks its you....
drkdstryer1: Yeah, I'm gone nowe
drkdstryer1: Talk to you later
Mike Hanley: let me know how it goes
Mike Hanley: call me if you need more reasoning with will

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Haley has a blog!

Attention! - After a long history of reading and occasionally commenting on others, perfoming the blogging equivalent of lurking, Haley has finally been successfully talked into starting his own blog. This battle has been won, but the war isn't over! The villian is now threatening to not update again under some pretense of having a "boring life." Our efforts must not fail! We must spam him with comments to force him into updating!

Ahem. Yeah, so the only serious news in this post is that Haley has a blog now.

Monday, October 31, 2005

I'l be home this weekend

Yup. First weekend in November I'm going to be taking advantage of my dad's frequent flyer miles (and a convenient 3 day weekend thanks to Eid ul-Fitr) and making a quick trip back to Pittsburgh. Should be a nice change of pace, and I'll probably sleep better without my roommate snoring :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Directionless is up!

Took an age and a half, but my new webcomic Directionless finally exists on the internet! There's only two comics so far, but I'm working on that part. I'm aiming for once-a-week updates, but anyone familiar with Medieval Mayhem should know not to expect that rule to be set in stone.

Yes, I know there are ads, but they're just little banners, and using Comic Genesis lets me use their slick automation tools so I don't have to update things like archive pages and "Prev"/"Next" buttons - I just upload a properly named JPEG, even in advance if I want to, and it will all be automatically updated on the appropriate day. Slick. And it's free, so who's complaining?

The Evil, Ironic Pop-Up

Yes, it's true, even with Firefox's built in filter, some cleverly-coded pop-up ads still get through. Some of them still follow the "make it look like a Windows message box" template, since apparently there are still people that stupid left in the world.

But this one tops them all...

The irony is just overwhelming...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Wikipedia = Hitchhiker's Guide to Earth?

An interesting article on Slate.com compares Wikipedia to the famous creaton of Douglas Adams that we all know and love. (or at least we should!)
The parallels between The Hitchhiker's Guide (as found in Adams' original BBC radio series and novels) and Wikipedia are so striking, it's a wonder that the author's rabid fans don't think he invented time travel. Since its editor was perennially out to lunch, the Guide was amended "by any passing stranger who happened to wander into the empty offices on an afternoon and saw something worth doing." This anonymous group effort ends up outselling Encyclopedia Galactica even though "it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate."
Interesting way to look at it, to say the least.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Welcome to the New Red Scare

Looks like our new society of fear and anxiety has at least one undeniable effect: wasting the Secret Service's time with frivilous nonsense that makes everyone involved look like a friggin' moron. Oh wait, I just called a god-loving Wal-Mart employee a moron, when he was just trying to protect his country from the ominous threat of the Thumbtack Terrorists? Help! The thought police are coming for meeeeeeeee!

Article from AlterNet

And a less opinionated local story to prove this isn't just "fabricated by the liberal media":

Article from WVEC-TV

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Don't Drink The Water!

Oh, this is fun to wake up to: Looks like there's E-Coli in the tap water here.

An e-mail from the University offers this helpful advice:
Water should be boiled at a full boil for a minimum of one minute
before drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes or being
used in food preparation; boiling kills most bacteria and other
organisms in the water.

Bathing is permitted, but incidental ingestion during bathing
activities should be avoided.
It's like studying abroad in Mexico! Just without the travel costs, or that annoying language barrier!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Comic Name and Update

It is decided: the new comic will be called "Directionless." Now I just need to start the prolonged process of getting a Comic Genesis account.

Plus, I've finished the second comic!

I had to do a bit of trimming to the lengthy dialogue I had written originally, but I think the point still comes across. Tell me what you think.

FYI, this conversation never actually happened, but when were were driving in there really was a sign hanging on one of the frats that read "Freshman Girl Drop-Off."

Friday, October 07, 2005

My Comic Needs a Name!

Apparently the Comic Genesis registration process can take awhile... like in the neighborhood of 2 weeks. In light of this, I need to start trying to get my new webcomic online soon if I want it to actually be online in the forseeable future. There is just one problem with this...

I have no name for the comic!

So I'm asking anyone who reads this (which I'm aware amounts to 2, maybe 3 people) to help me out. The comic will be mostly about odd/funny things that happen around campus, and will be primarily based on things that have actually happened. the characters will probably be based on people from my floor, but I'll probably combine people, as well as change some of the names (to protect the not-quite-innocent). I may also have an occasional "commentary" strip where I parody a movie I just saw or something.

If none of that made sense, here are some examples of similar comics:


And last (but most importantly...) here are the names i'm considering for the comic

  • "Life of Mike"
  • "Directionless"
  • "Figurative Monotony" (whatever that means. Will came up with it.)
  • ????
Please leave comments if you like one of these over the others, or if you have a better idea.

On a side note, you can see a little preview of the second comic in the current Picture Of The Moment.

UPDATE: (on Monday) So far the only intelligent/coherent feedback I've recieved has been in favor of "Directionless", so unless something marvelously inspired comes my way in the next 6 hours or so, that's what I'm sticking with.

Coloring and shading on the second comic are coming along nicely.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Coming Fight For My Money

Well isn't that just perfect. Looks like F.E.A.R. and Quake IV are both coming out on October 18th. (give or take). I'm sure they'll each cost in the neghborhood of $55, and I'm not inclined to dump in excess of a hundred bucks on video games that I don't have as much time to play as I used to anyway, especially so soon after getting the nano.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

iPod Nano Review

I got my iPod Nano! First impression - this thing is so tiny it's funny! As someone from the dorm across the hall noted, "it doesn't even look like a real iPod, it looks more like a toy!"
As usual, Apple used typically extravagent packaging that makes the sheer act of buying and opening the Nano an experience. It came on a tiny little black box (about the size of a Shuffle box) which was placed in a special "commemorative" bag to take it home in. That thing turned a few heads on the bus!
The back of the box has a shot that would make anyone covet this thing...
The inner part (with the silver apple on the spine) slides out and opens like a book to reveal the Nano sitting in a custom cutout, wrapped in protective plastic, with a little plastic tab to help you pull it out. The headphones, cable, CD-ROM and other such things are tucked away in two pouches in the left part of the box.

Did I mention the thing is small?
And of course, size comparison against the thinkness of my old Shuffle: the Nano is actually thinner.
So far, I'm very impressed. Sound quality is great (it is an iPod, y'know?). Battery life is great - I played with it a ton last night from about 7:00 on, a bit today, and I spent the last 2-3 hours trying to deliberately run down the battery by keeping the backlight on nonstop. It's still going. The scroll wheel is a a design concept that works beautifully (as Andy can attest to), and 4 gig is plenty to fit my measly collection of music. Plus, the black model is simply the sexiest device I've ever held! Some people complain about the headphone jack being on the "bottom," but I really haven't had a problem with it.

Of course, nothing is perfect, and this review wouldn't be complete without the two minor flaws:

1.) The scroll wheel is a little too sensitive. It's fairly easy to adapt to this, but it would be nicer if the sensitivity could be adjusted.

2.) Sharing a flaw with the similarly beautiful PSP, the Nano's beauty comes with a price: shiny black and chrome may look awesome, but they pick up fingerprints like nobody's business! Scratches could be another problem, but I've been lucky enough to avoid any on the front as of yet (there's a small one on the back).

Thursday, September 22, 2005

First Comic is Done!

I got the scanner, and was able to put together the first issue/episode/page of my new webcomic

(Click image for larger view)

Ok, so i went overboard on the shading a little bit... I was trying to follow Ian McConville's tutorial on how he does Mac Hall. Or at least, how he did it at one point. His style has changed a couple times over the years. My drawing style is quite different from any of his, but I think the shading technique still worked pretty well.

Anyway, this is the first of a series of comics I'll be making in my free time to document silly/funny things that happen around campus (mostly on my floor, y'know, since I live here and all). I have several ideas waiting to be made into comics, but I still don't have a name for the webcomic as a whole! I'm open to suggestions, so feel free to leave a comment.

In other news, the Apple Store finally has 4 gig iPod nanos back in stock, and since I was on the list they're holding one for me to pick up tomorrow evening. Expect an in-depth (and probably drool-soaked) review tomorrow night!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Free Opera - Permanently

Some people (who may or may not be named Andy) will be happy to hear that the Opera Browser team have extended the "free registration code for our birthday" offer until... forever. That's right, Opera is now totally free, no ads, no registration. Too bad I'm already rather attached to Firefox on Windows/Linux, and Safari on Mac OS X.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Fly Me to the Moon...

Looks like NASA is finally going back to the moon. I, for one, am excited. For too long we've been wasting our time (not to mention billions of dollars) spinning pretty little circles around our own planet. It's time to move on, and this return to the moon is the first step in getting NASA off it's ass. Even better, the new design, similar to the Apollo rockets, has the crew capsule on the top of the boosters, making the whole "shedding foam that could hit the crew capsule" problem irrelevant. (duh!)

I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bravo, Bush. Bravo.

I bet a lot of you never expected to see a title like that out of me, huh? Well, this is a special occasion. President Bush has not only admitted that there were failures all over the government when it came to responding to Katrina, he said he takes responsibility for those failures, and wants to find out exactly where and how things went wrong at every level of government. I'm very glad he pointed out the obvious (to me, at least) link between how effective we are at responding to a massive natural disaster and how effective we'd be against an equally massive terrorist attack.

Of course, there's always the possibility this is just a political move to gain back lost popularity, but I'm willing to give Bush the benefit of doubt on this one. Watch the video with that CNN article - he genuinely sounds humbled by this.

So bravo, Mr. President. I may be wholeheartedly against 99% of the other things your administration has done over the last 5 years, but you have my complete support in this particular endeavor.

...I feel so dirty!

Clarification - Some people have taken this post to mean that I have become a proto-Bush supporter. This couldn't be farther from the truth! I'm just glad to see him finally admit failure, and I truly hope he's sincere in his wanting to get to the bottom of the structural problems in our emergency response system. It doesn't make up for all the other things I disagree with, but it's a tiny ray of light through an otherwise cloudy sky.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Nano, Thou Shalt be Mine

Ok, so I have no willpower. I admit it. I'm going to get a black 4 GB iPod Nano. The 3-times-a-week 20 minute walks to my drama classes just made me yearn for a more capable player than my Shuffle. Besides, who can argue with carrying your entire music library, and still being able to have 2 GB free for other stuff - hell, I could hold the uncompressed DVD image for my movies in that!

Unfortunately, the Apple Store here in Syracuse is out of them. They got the shipment in last night, and they're already out. Wow, I knew they'd be popular, but that's nuts! So now I'm on the waitlist, and will be called as soon as more are in. They did have a 2 GB display model left that I was able to play with. Pretty slick - as thin as it is, it actually feels sturdier than my Shuffle, probably because of the metal back. The weight is just right, the screen is clear and bright, and the scroll wheel works fine. I want!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Political Musings Around Deus Ex

Before I say anything, let me point out that this is just my random musing over an idea I thought up about 5 minutes ago. It isn't a well-constructed or complete argument, nor do I intend it to be - just me spitting out what I'm thinking about.

I don't know how many of my friends actually played through a significant part of Deus Ex, (most found it too slow) but I finished it last year and really enjoyed it. One thing I found interesting about it was the way it depicted the near-future of our world. The world of Deus Ex is filled with fear and terrorism. Some leaders (political and otherwise) use this fear to further thair own adgendas. Of course, being a video game, their adgendas mainly center around variants of "take over the world," but I still found it to be an interesting parallel to our own world. (Here is where all my conservative friends just opened their mouths and started shaking their heads - bear with me!) The fact that the game came out before 9/11 made it seems all the more prophetic. The fact that leaders exploiting fears over terrorism played prominently gave me the impression that this was a "liberal-friendly/sympathizing" game.

I recently found a review of the game from when it was new (2000) in which the author laments the fact that the game's designers took up "ultra-right fantasies" for much of the games plot. He said "a plot which fingers the UN as the chief agency seeking world domination is only heading one way politically", and noted "a wimpy liberal isn’t going to find much attractive about their final choices."

Wait - I'm a liberal, I loved this game, and it's plot most of all! I guess my point is that politics aren't static. What was considered a "right" game under Clinton can now be considered a "left" game under Bush. I guess that would just make it an "anti-government" game, although newspaper clippings and e-mails tend to paint a favorable picture of the fictional President Mead, who opposes the the increased powers of UNATCO.

Actually, I guess I don't really have too much of a point, just throwing my observations out there. I just found the difference between my impression of the game and this review's.

Thoughts, anyone?

More News From Apple Land

iPod Nano = Cool

Leave it to Apple to release a product that I in no way need, but really, really want! The new iPod Nano replaces the iPod Mini, Apple's previously best-selling iPod (and the one Andy has). It's smaller, unbelievably thin, and in my opinion the sexiest looking iPod yet. As I said, I have no need for one. my Shuffle still works fine, and the new Nanos are a bit overpriced (like all 1st-gen iPod models) - but they're still cool! I guess I'll have to stick it out and hold on to my conviction to not buy another iPod until video models come out (or until I make a radical shift and start litsening to enough music that a Shuffle won't cut it) but this new iPod will make that hard!

Apple also announced the Motorola ROKR, which plays iTMS songs. Meh - I prefer different devices for different tasks.

There's also a new version of iTunes (version 5) that adds more search capabilities, folders in the playlist pane, parental controls, "smart" shuffle (lowers the chances of playing two songs from the same artist back to back), and a more streamlined interface.

Finally, Quicktime 7 for Windows is done! now when I finally get my movie site working again, people can all view the H.264 video. This version should be included with the iTunes 5 download. Also! - for my iTunes-hating friends, you can download Quicktime 7 without having to get iTunes, they just hide it. Here's the link to the Quicktime 7 Standalone Player.

UPDATE: Tried out the final version of Windows QT7. Bad news - H.264 performance still sucks. Looks like viewing the DVD-quality versions of my movies online for now will be limited to those with sickeningly fast computers... or Macs. I do find it odd that My 2.2 (actual) GHz Athlon XP 3200 can't keep up with my 1.6 GHz G4 Powerbook. I guss this is just one of those rare cases in which AltiVec actually makes a big difference.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

What the Hell?

If you needed any more proof that our government doesn't know what they're doing with the aftermath of Katrina, here it is. Yes, I'm sure handing out fliers with contact information for FEMA is important, but it doesn't need to be done by firefighters! Their skills would be put to much better use, oh I don't know, saving people?

This is FEMA we're talking about - the people who are supposed to know how to handle a natural disaster. And don't get me started on the 50 assigned to be walking publicity stunts for the president... The Daily Kos has a nice rant on that.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Flint 1A Rules!

I love my floor. Syracuse University, Flint Hall, first floor, A wing now has, without a doubt, the most awesome lounge ever.

I present... stadium seating!

So in short: boredom + college students + furniture + a few large "aquired" buckets = awesomeness!

UPDATE: Bed risers stacked on top of tables do not make a very sturdy base for a couch with 2-3 people on it. The back row is down! The others should be stable enough to stay put, as long as we don't get any (understandably) nervous R.D.'s snooping around...

ANOTHER UPDATE: The awesomeness is no more - our RA's got nervous. The stadium seating is gone, back to boring old "normal" furniture arrangements.

Friday, September 02, 2005

New Orleans Blog

This is incredible: Survival of New Orleans Blog
It's the blog of a guy at a New Orleans hosting company who stayed behind to ride out the storm and maintain the network. It gives a very different (and horrifying) look at the situation down there than what you see on TV. In his words, "It's Lord of The Flies out there!"

This is really bad...

On a totally unrelated note: Ok, comment spam has gotten out of control, so I've implemented word verification on comments.

Settled In

First week of classes is over, I think I finally know my way around (mostly), and now I can just sit down and update this blog. First of all - click that Red Cross link up there. It only takes a minute, and every little bit helps. Katrina really wreaked hell on the gulf coast, and the survivors need all the help they can get.

Now that that's off my chest, on the college stuff. I promised pictures awhile ago, so here they are. My dorm room in all its glory... (W00t! Big Matrix poster!)

And another view...

Classes have been OK so far, but I have developed an intense hatred for textbooks. I chose to preorder mine, figuring it would make my life easier. Nope. It seems the $200 worth of books they handed me upon arriving was only for two classes! I spent an additional $140 for Writing, and still have to buy stuff for Art Media and Anthropology of American Life on Film. Grrr...

Anyway, with all the crazy/random/funny crap that goes on at college, I've decided there's no way I can'tget back into webcomics. This time I'll be making an actual drawn comic, not sprites. Everything will be based on things that actually happen here. My parents are going to send up the spare (?) scanner, but I did do this test using the "digital camera as a scanner" trick - a trick that works very poorly, as the lines come out all blurry and messy. Blurry lines = hard to color and shade on the computer. The image below is my "comic" rendering of me and my roommate, who is saying an actual quote of his (quite frequently during the first 3 or 4 days).

I think it turned out pretty good, especially since it's not a style I frequently draw in. Putting that little picture on my door has already generated a few comments, so at the very least it looks like my hall will be readers. I won't have any finished comics until the scanner gets here (not doing the camera thing again...). I'll post a link here when it's up. I'll probably be using Comic Genesis (formerly KeenSpace) for hosting - anyone know much about them?

Oh, and there seem to be problems with the Hanley Films server, so that website is back to its "Coming Soon" page for now. I hope I don't have to find new hosting. Y'know, like something I pay for...

Friday, August 26, 2005

Busy, Fun Day

Since I moved in a day early, I didn't have to do much yesterday. Instead, I had to do it all today! First I had to go shopping for a few things I either forgot or didn't have time to buy previously. This included blank CD-R's and DVD-R's, and my own copy of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"

Then it was time to do... "stuff". There was a big tent set up in the middle of the Quad, with stations for most all the things a new student would need to do. I opened up a free checking account with Citizen's Bank because, unlike PNC, they actually have ATMs on campus. I got the computer problem settled (still not sure what went wrong). I picked up the textbooks I had reserved ahead of time - thank god they're all paperbacks! Unfortunatly, there's one 1700-page collection of plays - and those of us in AP English Lit. last year thought the poetry book was bad! Anyway, I then visited the big poster sale in the bookstore basement and picked up a giant reproduction of the "Matrix" onesheet, as well as a photograph from the set of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". Posters from two of the film major's favorite movies?: check! Then I attended the informative but uninteresting first floor meeting. One thing I picked up: apparantly Syracuse is going crazy with "Anti-Hate" stuff. If you, say, scrawl "FAG!" on someone's door whiteboard, you risk penalties up to and including full-on expulsion! Don't get me wrong, I'm all for ending racism, sexism, nativism, and uh, "sexualorientationism", but that seems a little bit extreme. Jerry would be gone in a day.

On the subject of ending hatred, this post is already too long without actually including this, so I'll just link to the moving post Emily made on the dangers of homophobia.

In the evening I went to "Orange Blast!" which was a lot more fun than last night's activity. At first it seemed boring, until i discovered most of it as located not on the Quad by the people with the sound system, but in the student center. I entered the Texas hold 'em poker tournament in the beginner's section, and somehow managed to make it to 2nd place! The top two players from each of the three catagories then went on to play in the final game, which was against a professional-level player named Jim Karol, who is also a magician. I didn't win that game, but at least I wasn't the first out. (most of my friends know how common an occurance that is!)

The prize for the poker tournament was just a bunch of raffle tickets, proportional to how well you did. This worked out well for me, as I won both a Syracuse sweatshirt, and a $100 gift certificate to the campus bookstore!

So that was my day. I know I promised pictures, but the ones I took today are out-of-date (no awesome posters!) and I don't feel like taking pictures at 2 AM, so they'll have to wait for tomorrow.

Good luck to all my friends who are either in college already, or about to get there!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

First Post From Syracuse

Wow... this has been a really long 3 days. Lots of last-minute shopping and packing.

But now I'm here... college. Met my roommate, Lenny. He seems OK, but I'll have to get to know him better. It took hours, but my dorm room is mostly the way I want it. The closet still needs some work, and the walls are downright barren, but it's functional.

My habit of dual-platform computing has finally come back to bite me in the ass. I got the PowerBook registered for ResNet service (I'm typing on it now), but the PC is another story. Syracuse does not allow the use of hubs, switches, routers, wifi access points, or any other form of expanding the network beyond the two ports in each room (one for each person). I figured I'd just swap one ethernet cable between the two computers. Sure, it'd be inconvenient, but heck, it's what I did at home back before I got wifi, right?

Well, the PC doesn't want to register. Thge registration page won't even come up. I guess the connection assumes that once I did the Mac, I'm done. *sigh* I guess I'll have to pester to the CMS guys tomorrow, and justify this by saying that my situation is no different than when people request an extra IP for their X-Boxes, I just prefer PC games. (but still need Apple video editing software)

Or... I could just get all sneaky and play with internet connection sharing over FireWire... >:)

Anyway, I'll try to get some pictures up of the dorm tomorrow.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I Hate Windows

After getting a new 160 GB hard drive for college, I have just completed the tedious process of installing Windows XP Pro, updating Windows, installing SP1, updating SP1, installing SP2, and updating SP2.

Now I have to do it all over again!

Remember the "old days" of Windows 95 and 98 when we had that sill 2 Gig limit to hard drives (or was it 4? whatever). You'd think those days were over, but you'd be wrong. We haven't gotten rid of the Gigabyte Ceiling, we've just moved it. Apparently Windows XP versions prior to SP1 (such as the one on my install disk) can't handle drives larger than 137 GB. So I ended up with a 120 GB hard drive with the rest as "unused space".

Now I have to use Western Digital's tool to reformat the drive the way I want, install Windows onto a pertition it doesn't officially support, then hope updating to SP1 after-the-fact will make everything OK. And I'm going to a LAN party tomorrow, to boot.

I'm sure Longhorn/Vista will completely render this issue moot, but I have a sneaking suspicion I'll be ranting again when I, say, purchase my first 4 TB hard drive. (Probably won't be this number specifically, just using the example to make my point.)

I hate Windows.

In other news, I'll be off to college in less than a week. Yeah, I can't believe it either. Last couple of days I've been thinking about all the little things I'm going to miss. One of my friends has already left, and several more will be in a couple of days. Sad and exciting times.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Hanley Films Is Up! (sorta)

I still don't have the full, fancy PHP site with professional-looking movie viewers and such done, but I've put up an interim page at HanleyFilms.net where you can download my movies. Note that at this time I do not recommend anyone on a non-Mac system bother downloading the H.264 (Quicktime 7) versions of my movies. Quicktime 7 may rock on OS X, but it isn't officially out on Windows yet, and although the Preview Release (aka "Beta") does work, its pretty crappy in terms of performance. I'm talking playback of a 30fps, 640x360 movie at 800 Kb/s is struggling to maintain 15 fps. So just use the 480x270 versions until Quicktime 7 comes out for Windows (should be soon).

Friday, August 05, 2005

Eagle Ceremony

I just sent the invitations out today, but I'll remind my friends here anyway. (At least the two or three that I know occasionally read this blog. Of course it's not much of a reminder if I've never mentioned it before, huh?)

Anyway, my Eagle Court of Honor is on Monday August 15, starting at 7:00 pm at Berkely Hills Lutheran Church (yes, that one on Sangree). My parents would like people to RSVP so we know how much cake to get (among other things) - If you're someone I want to come, you already have my phone number! :)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Hell Freezes Over... Again

First Apple said they were switching to Intel processors, and now they introduce a multi-button mouse! It's about time! On top of that, they not only made a 2-button mouse, they made a 4-button mouse (left, right, ball, squeeze) with a scroll ball that can scroll vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. I'm not sure if it will be any good for gaming (most "interesting" mice usually aren't) but it seems pretty cool for standard desktop use.

What puzzles me is why they haven't made this standard equipment on new Macs. The biggest complaint most of my PC-centric friends have about Macs is "NO RIGHT CLICK!!!!!11". Although Apple now makes a mouse that can right-click, the user is still basically in the same crappy position as before: If I want to right-click on my Mac, I need to buy another mouse. Hopefully Apple is just trying to milk some initial cash out of this thing for a few months before bundling it with new Macs. There's really no excuse not to make it standard - this is the perfect mouse for Apple. By default when you plug it in, both main buttons do the same thing, so it retains the "one-button simplicity" Apple seems to think novices require. If you are a more advanced user (anyone who wants a real mouse) you just make a quick trip to the System Preferences to configure all 4 buttons.

I want one... but certainly not for $49! That's a bit much. I'll stick to my el-cheapo Logitech for now.

As a side note, what is it with Apple giving products, well, stupid names recently? iWork? iPod Shuffle? Mighty Mouse???? Someone needs to Think a little less Different...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Dumbest Thing I've Ever Heard Of

Apparently, you can now have your blog broadcast into outer space in hopes of sending it to extraterrestrials. That's right, BlogInSpace.com "is the first entity to allow everyday bloggers to transmit the news and thoughts of an everyday person into space."

This has got to be one of the dumbest ideas ever. Nevermind the fact that aliens probably don't know english so they can't read you blog anyway, why would they want to? Very few humans even read blogs, and even those that do read, at the most, a couple dozen... maybe. Now, any potential extraterrestrials looking for communications from earth would have to filter through humdreds of inconsequential blogs (along with all our crappy TV) in order to find something actually of interest. (like, say, a NASA transmission)

You can count on me not signing up for this silly service.

Friday, July 15, 2005

I'm on Facebook

Yeah, I seriously doubt anyone reads this that doesn't know already, but I finally have a prolfile on TheFaceBook.com. If you don't know, the Facebook is a kind of online directory/social networking thingie for college students.

In other news, I'm having some serious problems getting PHP to work on the hanleyfilms.net server, so work in that department has ground to a screeching halt.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Coming Soon: HanleyFilms.net

I've just registered the domain HanleyFilms.net for hosting the movies I have made so far. It currently only redirects to a temporary page on the old foxostro.com server, but I hope to have actual site content up by next week. Until then the old Movies page will stay up with what limited selection it has. The new site will offer all my previously released films in 3 different sizes, as well as my most recent project, "Dead Line" which has never been released on the internet.

Monday, July 11, 2005

OMG! I Agree With Fox News?

I've kept this blog fairly non-political for a while now, but I just can't leave this one alone.

Alright, so I was against the current war when it was proposed (and still believe it was a mistake, but that we're far enough in now that a rapid pull-out now would do much more harm than good). But like many others, that in no way diminishes my deep respect, admiration, and gratefulness towards our troops abroad.

Some people have always been (and still are) staunch supporters of the war. I disagree with these people, but I respect their opinions.

Others want us to pull out of Iraq immediately. I also disagree with these people, but still respect their opinions.

Then there are people like Michael Crook. Actually, that may be a misstatement, as I'm unsure as to whether I would go so far as to classify Mr. Crook as a person. Anyway, he got quite the bashing on Fox News (as pointed out by Tim of CtrlAltDel), and I found myself, for the first time I can remember, wholeheartedly agreeing with the "Evil Network".

The website in question, forsakethetroops.info, has thankfully been shut down, although parts of it are archived at the Internet Wayback Machine. Many suspect the site may have been a hoax/prank/joke, but I think everyone who could possibly read this blog will agree that it goes several miles beyond the "in poor taste" marker. I mean, "The U.S. soldier is a poster-child for retroactive abortion."? That's not funny, it's appalling! (don't believe me? Go ahead, check the video)

The Bad news: apparently the guy lives in Syracuse, NY, where I will be going in about a month and a half.
The Good news: This may give me an opportunity to punch him in the face.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

RIP, Mighty GeForce...

Looks like my old-but-trusty 128 meg Triplex GeForce 4 ti4200 has finally conked out. I went to run Counter-Strike: Source last night and all I got was video noise... ugly video noise. I'm talking nothing but black and white horizontal bars covered with static.

Not good.

So now I'm running on an old MX420 I found lying around (*shudder*...), looking for a new graphics card, and trying (as usual) to get the most of my money. Right now a couple 256 meg BFG 6800 GT OC's are going for $250 on ebay, which is a little more than I planned to spend, but not a bad deal at all. With the money from graduation ("college" stuff not included) I've got plenty, but there's other things I'd wanted to buy this summer, so I don't want to totally splurge.

*sigh* This would be so much easier if Blockbuster/Hollywood Video would just get their acts together and evaluate applications. That Boston Market job is looking awfully good...

UPDATE: Crap! Both of the $250 "Buy it now" GT OC's have been sold! Grr... time to keep looking.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I'm Back!

...and ready for an insanely long catch-up post! Hmmm, lots of things to cover tonight, so bear with me.

If you are likely to get bored, I've split it up into sections so you can skip what you don't care about.

Pretty nice ceremony, although it was threatening to really rain throughout most of it. Thankfully, the water held off until the moment we started crossing the field to throw our hats, leaving us with mostly a (very welcomed) cooling breeze. The speeches seemed interesting enough, when I wasn't being distracted by the weather. The whole thing was a little bittersweet though. Sure, graduating high school is an awesome feeling, but I was saying a lot of goodbyes to awesome people I might never see again. This is definitely a major change in my life.

I didn't have a graduation party like some of my friends, but I did have a bunch of relatives come visit. I got some money from everyone, but my grandparents on my mom's side really surprised me. The preface the card by saying "It's for college", then I open it to find $2000! I think... yeah... that's definitely the largest lump of money I've ever received at one time. Now maybe my savings account can actually earn interest at a level measured in dollars.

The Hunt for a Job
After a fruitless attempt at a Best Buy job in late April (I should've known), I also applied to Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. (Hey, I already pulled a "Spielberg" by getting rejected by USC's film school, I may as well pull a "Tarantino" as well.) That was about.... 3 weeks ago. Having not heard from them in awhile, I stopped in last week to see if Blockbuster had filled all their openings yet, and was told that they hadn't even started evaluating the applications yet! Jeez, if I had known that they'd take so long I would've waited until after graduation to apply so I could put down more available hours. The "Now Hiring" sign is still up, so obviously they haven't decided yet, but Boston Market is looking better and better...

..or at least, the closest I'm coming to one this summer. This past weekend I went up to Michigan with my family to visit my dad's parents and see my aunt and uncle from California who didn't come to graduation. While there, I got to see the Nextel Cup Batman Begins 400. (it's a NASCAR race) I'm still not a racing "fan" by any means, but seeing dozens of cars whipping around a two-mile track in 15 seconds was a very different experience to say the least. (as was trying to get out of the parking lot with 100,000 other people...)

College Course Selection
Will already talked about this, so I might as well jump on the bandwagon. Syracuse does their course selection by mail, and I filled out the form before I left for Michigan because it was due while I was gone. As a first-year student in the Film/Drama program, four of my first-semester classes were already locked in; Practices of Academic Writing (meh), Survey of Film History (cool), Introduction to Acting for Non-Majors (ugh), and Introduction to Theater (why was a completed movie not a good enough portfolio for Film/Art, again?)

With those four already picked, I had two slots left for first semester. Unfortunately, even though I'm in the School of Visual and Performing Arts, I can't fill these with studio (art) electives, they have to be academic electives. At Syracuse, apparently academic electives basically means "languages or social sciences". (Or math, but having gotten a four on the AP Calc test I'd have to start at Calc 2, the highest course offered to first-year students. I think I'll pass for now.) I had to pick 3 choices (in order) for each slot. Nothing seemed to jump out at me, but this is what I finally came down to:

Elective A:
1) Logic (listed as a philosophy course - should be interesting)
2) Theories of Knowledge and Reality (possibly a class that gives serious discussion to some of the stuff brushed upon in The Matrix? Who knows?)
3) Political Theory (meh, a political course. I'm interested and opinionated, but not as confrontational as some of my friends... usually.)

Elective B:
1) Anthropology of American Life on Film (Intriguing. It looks at how national cultural values and moods are expressed in the movies it creates. Ties in well with my major. I hope I get this one!)
2) Introductory Music Theory (Eh, I agree music is an important part of filmmaking, so knowing more about it might be nice. Like I said, I really want to get "Anthropology of American Life on Film.)
3) Introduction to Shakespeare (I really hope I get into "Anthropology of American Life on Film!)

For the most part, I wasn't too blown away by the class offerings, so hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised in the fall.

Will's New Car
Will, I hate you...

Although in all fairness, the Powerbook my parents got me for Christmas/Birthday/Graduation cost about as much as a good used car, so it works out. Besides, Syracuse doesn't allow freshmen to keep cars on campus, so I'd have to give it up in two and a half months anyway.

...but I still hate you. ;)

Friday, June 10, 2005

Analysis of Apple's Move to Intel

At the risk of further convincing my friends that I am not only a quasi-hippy liberal but also a quasi-hippy Macolyte, I'll just say that Dan Knight of LowEndMac.com has summed the whole situation up far better than I could in this humble little blog, and I agree with most of his predictions (except for the whole "#2 behind Dell" thing. That's just plain wishful thinking.) It's a pretty good read, and it does a good job explaining the pros and cons of the two architectures.

Bottom line: it's a risky move, but if Apple doesn't botch it, you can expect them to become a lot more "relevant" in the computer industry in the next decade.

In other news, my commencement ceremony is tonight. I guess this is It - high school is receding back into the distance, and Life looms large ahead. The next journey begins...

Side Note: What is this? Blogger's spell checker doesn't include the word "blog"? That's just plain stupid!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

High School:The End

Well, here I am; The last period of the last day of the last year of my high school career. I've been saying goodbye to a ton of people, some of whom I haven't even talked to in a few years. A lot of people took pictures, but I was too dumb to bring a camera. There was a Senior Tailgate thing this morning before school, but I couldn't make myself get up that early.

It's a weird feeling, kind of surreal. School has been such a part of my life for the last, well, 12 years that it's hard to imagine it not being there. Not that I want it to continue or anything, it's just sort of a strange feeling, y'know? Three things I will definitely not miss are: 1) our school's cafeteria "lunches", 2) The utterly stupid web filter on the internet, and 3) The near-total lack of air conditioning (except in a few computer labs). That last point was really hammered home the last 3 days - it's been hot!

In any case, the commencement ceremony is on Friday (weather permitting) and I don't get my diploma until Monday. But for all intents and purposes, today is The End.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Apple Moving To Intel!

Hell has frozen over.

Just minutes after my earlier post, I'm killing time browsing around the internet, and I find this!


Woah. Just woah. This is one of those things in the tech world you'd bet your retirement on not happening (akin to Microsoft deciding to base the next version of Windows on Linux). I don't really have anything to say about this yet, I'm still trying to digest it!

2 Days Left To School!

That's right, just two more days of high school - ever! Well, plus the 20 minutes or so of study hall left today... Can't beat having your study hall teacher say "it's too hot today, let's all go over to that empty computer lab." Computers + air conditioning = heaven!

There's really not much of anything left to do this year. I already presented my big AP CompSci final today, as well as writing the first part of my English final (which is actually pretty funny, so I may post it later if my teacher gives it back). All that's really left is the second half of my English final, which is supposed to be one of those "you can't study for it just sit down and write" deals. Other than that, it's pretty much just yearbook signing and movie watching, and that's about it.

My feelings on graduation are sort of mixed. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait for school to be over. However, like most of my friends have noted, the prospect of being in charge of one's own life, totally, is pretty damn intimidating! I mean, here I am, legal adult and all; do I really feel, as we used to say as little kids, "All grown-up"? *sigh* It'll all come together in the end, I suppose. It always does. All I know is that once I lose the momentum of school/graduation, I'm gonna be pretty relieved... and more than a little "lost".

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Half-Life 2 Domino

Just a random thing I found. If anyone had any doubts as to what the HL2 physics engine could do... well, just take a look at this:

MilkandCookies - Half-Life 2 Domino

More meaningful post later... when I feel like it.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Overheating Batteries and Overseas Politics

Wonderful, my PowerBook battery has been recalled. At least it's being handled sensibly: They send me a new one, and then I return my old one in a prepaid shipping box. Although, they only say "please" return the old one. They don't ask for a credit card number or anything, so I'm curious as to whether they actually do anything if you don't return the old battery. There are definite advantages to having a spare laptop battery, albeit one that poses a risk of overheating and blowing up in your face!

In the news: Looks like France has turned down the proposed EU constitution. I'm not sure what exactly I think about this one: there are both good and bad things about European unification. It is good that France realized it's traditionally strong welfare system wouldn't mesh well with what some saw as enforced continent-wide capitalism, but as I see it this is just delaying the inevitable... which can be good in it's own right. Although prolonged bickering and deliberation can be frustrating, it generally results in widely "acceptable" results, and Europe generally works better going slowly than the U.S. (did a loose confederation work here? No....). Meh, it's Europe. They generally figure out what they want... eventually.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Overly Long Catch-Up Post

Ok, it's been awhile, so long post today.

Senior Prom
I had a lot of fun, though dinner was a little more eventful than planned. Apparantly some people don't understand that when you put several people's stuff on two tables, that means you're reserving both tables. After getting the professional photo taken Diana and I discovered that we had nowhere to sit! I went to find some of my friends to sit with, but the only table we found with halfway normal people at it had only one open seat. It took awhile, but after enough complaining (and some help from the student council vice president) we were able to get a second seat and table setting. The rest of the evening went pretty much as expected: dancing to way too loud music, more dancing, even more dancing, and then some guy performing "Good Riddance". I think he was someone from our school, but i didn't recognize him. Then there was the school-sponsored After Prom which was okay... alright so it was boring, but whatever.

Eagle Board of Review

I passed! This one has been a long time coming. Technically, I'm not actually an Eagle Scout yet, the board just gives a "yes" recommendation to the national headquarters in Texas, where they then make it official. However, once I get my confirmation/acceptance/"yes" letter, then I will have been an Eagle Scout as of monday. It's time-travel via paperwork!

Star Wars Episode III

Saw it. Liked it. It was without a doubt the best of the prequels, although with me the jury's still out on whether it stacks up to the originals. I'll need a second viewing, not least of which due to theater problems. You see, halfway into the opening "crawl," the center sound channels cut out. They just died completely. Of course, complaining did nothing. I went through the whole movie with front and rear audio, but nothing to the sides. I cringe at how much of John Williams' score I probably missed entirely. Honestly, with all the rampant piracy these days, all traditional theaters have left to tout is the "experience" they offer. If they can't be bothered to do that right, then they deserve the declining ticket sales that will inevitably come (though obviously not with Star Wars!)
The worst part about the whole Episode III leak is that it really was a leaked workprint. Someone "inside" the production of the movie, presumably someone working on it, leaked it out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that seems similar to grabbing a loaded gun, jamming the barrel against your foot, and pulling the trigger with a mad grin on your face.

Ok, enough catch-up. Sleep time...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Macs impersonate X-Box 360

OK, so I should go to bed now, but this is just too funny.

At E3, Microsoft was showing off a bunch of X-Box 360 game demos. The kiosks looked simple enough; a big screen showed the game, and the controller wires went into a box containing an X-box 360, clearly visible through a little window.

A view of one of the kiosks

However, the X-box wasn't running the demos. In fact, it wasn't even turned on! Peering into the mesh on the kiosk's side, what do we see?

A pair of Apple Power Macintosh G5's!

Granted, this isn't surprising. Both systems are based off of the IBM PowerPC architecture, and Microsoft is still probably hammering out the details on the new X-Box's innards. But it's still funny!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Frivolous Fine Print and Temporary Tuxedos

Federal Stafford loans require altogether too much reading of fine print, not to mention legwork! Go get your FASFA PIN, go get your driver's license number, go get two references... and here I thought it would just be a quick form to fill out!

So the Prom's tomorrow, I picked up my tux today. Rental tuxedos are funny things: practically everything is adjustable, and everything else is fake - even the tie! I think I had more trouble getting into a plain old suit for the NHEA (teacher's union) award presentation tonight than I will tomorrow. Where's the sense in that?

Anyway, this Stafford Loan app has kept me up too late, so it's now... high time... for... s l e e p...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I am unimportant, Darth Vader is not

It's a little depressing to google your name, only to find that the first occurance that actually refers to you isn't until page four. On the other hand, I am no longer surprised that the first subdomain I tried registering, mikehanley.blogspot.com, is registered to some random guy who hasn't updated in 2 years.

In other news, in case you haven't seen it, check out Darth Vader's Blog. Someone wrote a weblog in the persona of the infamous Dark Lord of the Sith. Not only is it very entertaining, ("I'll admit it, I cut off the kid's hand. Things went downhill from there.") it also provides a clever and different way to look at the character prior to the now-imminent release of Episode 3.

Oh, and the SlashDot post about this is the fourth result in a Google search for "Darth Vader"...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Quake 4 E3 trailer looks great

The standard "censored" version can be found just about anywhere, but if you dislike the idea of having all the blood (and most people's faces) tinted a disturbing shade of blue, then I highly recommend you check out the home-made "Blood version". I understand that the MPAA makes movie trailers not contain red blood anymore, but since when does this sort of thing apply to internet-distributed videos of video games? At least they do it artfully in movie trailers (Remember the "brown stains" in the Kill Bill trailer?) but this video they just switched the red & blue channels! Yeah, like nobody's going to be able to tell the difference - teal faces are normal, normal I say! Anyway, it looks like Raven got the tone and mood from Quake 2 down pretty faithfully, while still putting there own distinctive touch on it. Quake II was the best in the series, and I love the games Raven has done in the past (Heretic and Hexen primarily), so I'm really looking forward to this game. Now I just need to settle down a bit - no need getting into rabid fanboy mode before release like I did with Doom 3. And Half-Life 2. And the Matrix sequels. But mostly Doom 3.

Returning to the "beauty contest" of the next-gen consoles, Nintendo also unveiled the Revolution. I'm not too interested in the system personally, but I have to admit it wins hands-down in the looks department. Odd, since it's styling almost seems more Sony-esque than Sony's offering. Seriously, how can you not love that blue-glowing, slot-loading DVD drive?

PS3 Official

No sooner do I post about the X-Box 360's complete and utter lack of style, Sony decides to show off the PlayStation 3. Lookin' good, Sony! Minimalism is always a good decision (anyone familiar with my affinity for Macintosh computers will know that) and the choice of colors is a definite plus. The PS3 is also more powerful than the 360, but that's not the reason I think it will "win" this round of the console wars. It will do well for the same reason the PS2 did well: backward compatibility. While people are out wondering whether or not the 360 will still play old X-Box games, the specs for the PS3 show that it will still even play ancient PS1 games! That made my decision right there. Shame we have to wait a year for this beautiful console. The only thing about it that seems iffy to me is the new controller. The old dual-shock design was good - why go for something so radically different? We'll see, maybe it's comfortable or something.

Oh, and if anyone has doubts as to the graphical prowess of the PS3, check out this footage from EA's upcoming "Fight Night Round 3."

Monday, May 16, 2005

Out of boredom, this blog cometh...

Most new blogs start with a sort of statement of purpose, and who am I to question tradition? The stated purpose for this blog is simple: it has none. Some days I might want to rant about some inconsequential thing in my life, others I may have found something cool online that I want to show the world (or, at least, the small subset of the world that happens to, well, care.)

Anyway, I've been looking at some pre-release information on the upcoming X-Box 360. I can't be the only one that thinks this thing looks downright ugly. Sure, Apple and Sony have always been the leaders as far as elegant industrial design, but I thought even Microsoft had a good enough merketing department to not let something like that out. The worst part has to be the odd protrusion on the top for the "removeable" 20 gig hard drive.

On a "personal" note (aka, people who don't know me are extremely unlikely to care), I ordered my tux for the Senior Prom today. The ability to order a good-looking tuxedo a scant 4 days away from the date of the event most definitely does not send the right signals to a chronic procrastinater like myself. Not that I'm complaining, of course.

Well, that's all for now. Eventually I'll decide where I'm going with this blog.