Still sorting through Rome photos. Expect them in a couple of days or so...
December 31, 2003
By the way
(Sorry, English-speaking people, this post is in Italian, because the log I'm referring to is in Italian... maybe when I have a bit more time I'll translate it. It's nothing special anyway, just a dumb IRCop begger ;)
Il chan di aiuto (#help) della network IRC che aiuto a gestire, ha appena ricevuto una piccola visitina. La conversazione che posto credo che si commenti da sola... che tristezza perņ. Certa gente...
[EDIT] Bwahahaha. Ho fatto una piccola ricerchina su Google e sui forum di un paio di network italiane... pare proprio che questo tizio non sia nuovo a cavolate di questo genere. Spam, "posso essere un IRCop", minacce... s'č beccato akill su akill... simpatico. Davvero.
December 28, 2003
December 21, 2003
A heads up
I'll not be around at all starting tomorrow (the 22nd) until the 27th. I'm going to Rome for the holidays with my family. I may pop up and post while there if we find an internet cafe and I can convince my parents to stop there for a bit, but don't count on it.
I will take lots of photos though, and update my sorely neglected photolog when I get back. Especially since my father came home from his trip to New York with a Minolta Dimage G500, and I have every intention of stealing it and taking lots of nice photos. Mwaha.
Will have to ask my father if it came with a manual though... it's quite different from my nice good old Canon PowerShot A40 that I know like the back of my hand.
But enough photobabble from me... you all have a merry Christmas, and I'll see you in a week. :)
December 17, 2003
Just to whine:
Wah. Everywhere people are watching The Return of the King, or have already watched it, or will go watch it soon.
And I have to wait until bloody January 22nd to be able to go watch it. Dubbed in Italian. God knows if it'll come out in English at some cinema nearby so I can go watch that.
I want my share of pretty elves and future kings and brave maidens now, damnit.
Because I'm easily amused...
December 15, 2003
They say when you die, everything goes black...
I guess that's true for monitors also, because that's what mine just did a few minutes ago. Everything started going dark, I couldn't even see anything unless I hiked up brightness, contrast and gamma to the max.
I was a bit worried that it was my vidcard that was dying - even though I know that normally, when something like that happens, it's the monitor, well, I'm a pessimist... so I went and stole my father's flatscreen monitor, and discovered that it was indeed my monitor drawing its last breaths. So now, until my father demands his monitor back, I can see again! \o/ ...kinda. You see, this monitor demanded, as soon as I connected it to my computer, that I set the resolution to 1280x1024 Or Else. So I did (or it wouldn't stop whining)... and well, it's quite a step up from 1024x768. So I kinda have to squint. But ah well... at least I can see.
Tomorrow I'll likely steal the (new) monitor off the (old) computer... so I can at least see until I get a new monitor for myself, since my father will likely demand this monitor back. Which is a pity, it fits quite nicely on my desk, and doesn't take up much space. Oh well.
December 10, 2003
As it was written
Leaf by leaf, page by page / throw this book away / all the sadness all the rage / throw this book away...
The notebook has been with me for a while. It's torn up and bent, with dog-eared corners, stained by ink and discolored by water. The cardboard back has a missing corner, from the time it was caught with me in the rain, and the page that's directly near the back is all discolored, no longer squared in places, the ink washed away.
Seven months of my life this notebook has been with me, since the beginning of May, and it's the first notebook to come out of its time with me battered and torn and beaten up. It's also the first notebook I feel an impulse to throw away, rather than keep.
Page. An elaboration on loneliness, from when I did not even have an internet connection to find friends to talk with.
Page. A six-page letter to some lost friends, that I never sent.
Page. Class notes, a list of names, a phone number and two email addresses.
Page. Ripped out, folded in half and stuffed back in the notebook, three sentences, a story title and another sentence, for three unrelated stories.
Page. A letter to a lost friend, which got changed a bit and then sent.
Page. Several pages missing, but I know where they are, safe in the large binder I keep all my stories in. Two, one, one, and sixteen pages, both stories and notes for stories. The sixteen pages are the beginning of a rewrite of a long story (or novel), with several notes on that story's world. From a mercifully happy period of these past six months.
Page. More pages missing, two and six pages, notes for a FAQ and a letter to a lost friend, which was rewritten slightly and sent, and helped me find that friend again. Folded in half and tucked away in a different notebook, I can't bring myself to throw them away.
Page. A temporary university class schedule, as well as several scribbles from when my pen quit working in mid-letter and I attempted to revive it.
Page. Titles of two textbooks. I hate wasting paper like that, but there was nothing else that would fit on that page.
Page. A two-page draft of a letter or blog post, which ended up being reworked into a longer text.
Page. A fragment of a story, again ripped out, folded in half and tucked back in.
Page. A ten-page letter to somebody who hurt me and mine. Sent, though the addressee will not listen; but it wasn't written for them, it was written for myself.
Page. Three pages of a random flow-of-consciousness story, just playing around with styles and character ideas.
Page. Random notes and jottings, including two URLs from a class.
Page. Three blank pages...
Six months have passed. I am happy now, I believe. What shall I write in them?
December 05, 2003
Of phones and computers
So mom picks up the phone to make a phonecall, dials the number, and sits there for a few minutes wondering why the phone keeps just giving a dial tone...
...then she realizes she's dialed the number on the computer's numpad rather than on the actual phone.
We'll be laughing about this for a while.
And a suggestion
If you play Bub&Bob? Stick with the compact levels. Random levels are utterly frustrating sometimes, and the "house of fun" set is, well... 100 insane levels.
Guess who just played through them all with a couple friends?
Ow. My poor brain.
Was fun though. But never again...
December 04, 2003
More Bub&Bob fun!
More bonus screenshots. ;) There's Arkanoid, Pacman (my screenshot caught the critters with their mouth closed, but you get the idea), and Space Invaders. XD
And I forgot to take a screenshot of the final level of the CompactLevels chain... it's a bonus level, full of bonuses. I mean, full of bonuses. So full of bonuses that you often get hit by the "argh, too much stuff onscreen, I can't see myself, WHERE AM I?" syndrome. XD
Might have missed the boat on this one, I dunno, it's been a few days since the redesign, but...
Dear God, the Hotmail redesign sucks ass. It sucks more than a vacuum.
Sign in, and you're momentarily puzzled by messages telling you about new mail from your contacts, and how much mail you have in your Junk Mail folder, but you can't click on either message to get to the relevant folders. To get to your mail you have to click on the "Mail" tab - ok, fair enough, but why not make the "you have new mail" text links, too?
And you might wanna take notice of the fact that that "sign up now" button on the left, under "Mail display settings", is the wrong button - you don't have to sign up for anything to manage settings, of course.
Moving on... hey, cute, all the mails from people who aren't in my "contacts" (ie. in my address book) are now marked with a little ? on the icon. Except I don't have any contacts except for a couple in the safe list, so 99% of the mails has that ? icon. Annoying.
And what the fuck is up with the controls only being at the top of a page? So I scroll down to get at my mail, and then if I select some to delete it or move it to another folder or whatever I have to scroll back up? Ditto for the actual message screen, if I read a long mail then I want to delete it I have to scroll back up. That's stupid.
And I don't want to see a huge fuckoff ad on the side of every mail folder and every message. The ads at the top are bloody well enough. Go away.
And what's up with the filters? I stuffed the mail address some notifications I've signed up for come from in the safe list, I even set up a filter specifically for the notifications, and they still end up in the junk mail folder. Aaaargh!
But on a brighter, less grumpy side, here, a test result. In the extended entry.
And we now interrupt sadness and moping for a public service announcement...
The Bub's Brothers - a multiplayer clone of Bubble Bobble - is absolutely hysterical. XD
Just look here... this is one of the bonuses that I encountered during a short game with a couple friends this evening. XD Another one is Arkanoid apparently... and another is PacMan, as seen on the screenshots page on the site. I will definitely have to play this some more tomorrow. XD
December 02, 2003
Because StarChat sucks, hip hip hooray!
Well, the StarChat network itself doesn't suck. It's stable(ish, there's been quite a few splits recently).
The netfounder, jinxi, however, is a completely different matter. I've variously seen her described as a psycho, as a bitch, and a lot of things worse, and I have to say that, sadly, based on my experiences with her, everything that's said about her is true.
Now, don't get me wrong. In many ways, she's great. She's brilliant, she shines like a star. She's intelligent, clever, knowledgeable, friendly, interesting, helpful. I can't but admire her for all she is. She draws people like a magnet.
And then, like a magnet that suddenly is flipped the wrong way, she flips out and pushes people away, violently.
I was an IRC operator on StarChat, for six months. Worked my ass off for that network, spending all my free time helping out there. Ended up spending so much time helping out that the stats/logging bot marked my wordcount at 16000+ words, and my time spent in there at 4 or 5 days (as in 4x or 5x 24 hours), per week.
I got fired from there in October, because of something I had not done - apparently, my model behavior as an oper and all the time I spent helping out wasn't enough to earn me the benefit of the doubt. Jinxi fired me without a second thought, without even checking whether what I'd been accused of was true or not (it wasn't).
Other opers, with similar helping records and model behavior, were also fired, also with no reason at all.
We all went and started our own IRC network, Serenity-IRC, in an attempt to get away from all the crap and start a network where nobody, user or oper, would have to fear power abuse and unfairness.
Despite that, I still kept using StarChat, because some friends were there, and because it didn't feel right to try and undermine the very network I had just spent six months of my life helping by trying to pull users away from it.
That was that, and I kept being and chatting on both networks.
*** K-lined for forever [#5977: Nick camping is not permitted.]
[21:55:17] Closing Link: sailoreagle[host61-104.pool80116.interbusiness.it] (User has been banned from this server)
I had a nick registered on StarChat ... many nicks actually. One of them - "Garrett" - I'd had registered just about forever. I used it sporadically to play around in #thief, and I was planning to use it in #moebius-strip to roleplay - #moebius-strip being a Thief-related RP channel I'd started with three of my friends, and which kinda died out but which I had plans to revitalize. I was NOT keeping it registered just so others couldn't use it, which is the definition of "nick camping".
Despite that, I got akilled for "nick camping", by jinxi herself, of course. She took whatever shittiest excuse she could find, evidently being unable of getting over pointless grudges.
I have so much crap I could post about jinxi I wouldn't even know where to start. So many warnings friends gave me, and I didn't listen - "you don't want to be an oper for jinxi, she's a psycho, you'll just get hurt", and so on. And I didn't listen.
I gave six months of my life to StarChat, and worked my ass off for that network. So did many other people. We all got fired from staff for no reason. Now I get akilled with an excuse - evidently she was tired of seeing me on her precious network, even though I wasn't doing anything at all on it that would go against her or the network, or anybody else on that network. Power abuse, anybody?
I'm not taking this anymore. I'm not staying silent anymore. Whatever trust and loyalty I gave her, and she still had, I'm now taking back. There are people far more deserving of them, people who don't abuse others, who don't just use people then toss them away when they find new toys.
And I'm actually grateful to her, in a warped way. Working for her, I met some of the best people I've ever met, amazing people I'm honored to know and be able to call my friends.
More than that, jinxi taught me a lot. The technical skills I gained from being an IRCop on StarChat have stayed with me, and will be used to help Serenity grow. And above all, she taught me - showed me with very clear examples - all that a person in power should and shouldn't be, should and shouldn't do. How to be respectful of people who give their time and knowledge to build something together, how to gain trust and give it in return, how to create a real team.
I'm just sad that her examples were mostly negative, and that she cannot see what she has done. Like somebody who looks at reality through a warped, broken mirror, she projects her faults on others, and can't see herself. Anybody who even offers an opinion that's different from hers, no matter how close to her they were before, is branded a "traitor" and shoved away, ruthlessly. And I'm sad for the good I can see in her, for all that she could be if she just tried to look at herself rather than others. But only she can change herself, and I don't see that happening anytime soon. That would require a great deal more courage than she possesses.
And I can only pick up the pieces, and rebuild elsewhere.
So yeah... come to Serenity. The address is irc.serenity-irc.net - or you can use the javachat. I'm in #eagle most of the time, if you want to talk to me. If you see people wondering where I am, or even just people you know are my friends, tell them, ok?
Get people to come, if you can. Friends, friends of friends, the more the merrier. Come on over. Start your own channel. Have fun.
[edit 2005-03-02 - due to certain things happening, I am no longer staff on Serenity-IRC nor recommending that network. Try Illumichat instead.]