Wednesday, January 25, 2006

'Tis the Season

Looks like none of my friends have done this yet, so I'll be the first to say:

Happy Winter-een-mas!

If you are very confused right now... well, the official site might help you. But maybe not. ;)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Jack Thompson is a terrible human being

Most of you who read this blog also frequent Ctrl-Alt-Del, so you may have seen this on their main page already. In case you haven't I'll just quote Tim here:

A reader has just brought this matter to my attention.


"Earlier this month, gamer named Mitchell S. with the online screenname "Kuja105" who posts on a few online videogame forums (including and committed suicide. On January 2 he posted a message in both forums detailing his intent to end his own life, citing overwhelming complications with school and finances.

A very brief period of initial disbelief was followed by a barrage of replies from fellow forum members pleading that he not take his life, trying to talk him out of it.

For days, no word was heard from Mitchell. Fearing the worst, members and administration from began searching for contact information, spending hours on the phone trying to get in touch with him. Finally on January 4, Ryan K., an administrator at, got him on the phone and spent hours desperately trying to talk him out of it.

Sadly, Mitchell soon ended his own life by consuming antifreeze and painkillers.

Later, members from the site contacted Mitchell's family to find out the grave news. They reported it to their online community, and posted a tribute to their passed friend on the front page of" Full Report Here.

Mr. Jack Thompson then sent in the following letter regarding the situation to, one of the forums frequented by Mitchell, where he was known well:

"Your "gamer friend" will find peace through the Lord, Jesus Christ, but sadly it's too late for that.

There is a void in every heart. You can fill it up with the things of God, or the things not of God. This unfortunate soul chose to fill it up with combat games. The playing of these video games is masturbatory activity, meaning senseless self-stimulation. If you gamers could use a dictionary you would know that that term is not necessarily a sexual one.

The real tragedy here extends beyond the life and death of this one fellow. There are literally millions of young people and young adults whose despair is deepend by turning to the things of this world and then finding them meaningless.

All of you gamers need to put down the controllers and get a life. The utter inanity of the vast majority of postings here shows how vapid "gaming" really is.

You are one of the cheerleaders for this wasting of time and the wasting of lives. Do you feel any remorse for having contributed to this "culture of death?" Of course not. Hey, let's all play MORE games, and ignore all the really productive things to do with our lives.

Let's pretend to be shocked that a gamer might descend into deeper depression, as his gamer "buds," knowing he was killing himself, couldn't figure out how to call 911 themselves for him. That would have involved leaving their computers I guess.

Sad. Sad for all of you."

Ok, so I was well aware that Jack Thompson was an extremist idealogue and an idiot, but I was previously unware that he lacked a soul. Seriously, what kind of person takes the tragic death of a member of a community and tries to twist it to damn the very community which is still grieving over the loss? That's just evil!

I noted how Thompson stole Bush's "culture of life" speil and called gaming a "culture of death". Sorry Jack, but if your "culture of life" allows and promotes the cold exploitation of an individual's death for one's own means, then I want none of it.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Dead Pixel Fixer?

I thought WidowPC's dead pixel fixer looked interesting. It's a epilepsy-inducing movie you are supposed to run on loop behind a dead pixel overnight, and it might be able to un-stick it. I have no idea whether or not this actually works, as I've had the incredible good fortune of never owning an LCD with any dead pixels (over an old Dell laptop, a PowerBook, a 19" display, a PDA, an iPod nano, and a cell phone!) but I can't think of how it would hurt to try if you suffer from this all-too-common problem.

This thread on Applegeeks has a couple testimonials that the thing does sometimes work.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Comic, Apple, College, Yay! (or, Yet Another "Update" Post)

It's another multi-topic update post, so I've broken it into sections for easy reading.


First off, new comic on Directionless! That's right, I have real honest-to-God content again, and I even introduced a new character!


Tuesday was the keynote address at the annual Macworld expo, and as usual Apple rolled out a bunch of new stuff. Most interesting among the things announced was the actual introduction of the first Intel-based Macs, specifically, the iMac and the MacBook Pro.

Let me just say this: The name "MacBook Pro" sucks. A lot. "PowerBook" sounded cool. "MacBook Pro" makes you sound like a clucking chicken if you say it too fast. I can understand wanting to drop "Power" from the name since the PowerPC G4 chip is no longer being used, but wanting "Mac" in all your product names was no excuse for accepting such a sucky name. "ProBook" wouldn't have been great, but it would have been better.

Sigh... Name aside, the hardware looks good, although since Final Cut Pro/Express isn't a universal binary yet, it wouldn't do me much good even if I could afford a new laptop. But is is good to see the PowerBook get a big update like this. The G5 is still an awesome chip (That's why Microsoft is using something based on it in the XBox 360) but the G4 was getting more than a little long in the tooth. And Core Duo is actually really cool! Best of all, it seems it's good enough to wow the Penny-Arcade guys!

In other Apple-related news, I used some of my Christmas money to buy another 512 meg stick of RAM for my PowerBook, bringing it up to a Gig. Mmmm.... RAM. :)


Heading back to Syracuse tomorrow, classes start tuesday. The online scheduling system for SU doesn't offer nice online schedules like CMU does (well, it kinda does, but they aren't publicly-accessable) but that doesn't stop me from making my own:

My Spring 2006 Schedule

All in all, a mixed bag. I have no classes on friday, and nothing starts before 12:30pm, which is awesome. On the other hand, on thursday I have class pretty much straight from 12:30 to 10pm, with less than an hour break in there for dinner. Yuck. I got into the "Intro to 3D" computer arts class, so I get to spend 3 hours a week sitting in front of a PowerMac playing with Lightwave, which is cool. Unfortunatly, I also have Writing 205, which is a whole class devoted to research papers.

So that's recent events. Don't expect another update until I get back to college and settled in. Now I have to pack. :(