Who needs sleep?

Still spending lots of time playing Star Wars Galaxies. I’ve found this game to be a lot of fun, both in the interaction between other players and doing things by yourself. Although it is the former that is more fun. I’ve found that there are some people who are very generous and others who are so stingy that their proverbial wallet must creak whenever they open it… kinda like in real life! For example, one night I was talking with a person and mentioned that I had to earn a good chunk of credits before I could go to bed because I need to pay maintenance on my harvesters for the entire weekend. He completely floored me when he instantly handed me 1,000 credits. I certainly wasn’t expecting this, but do truly appreciate it. Another example was last night. I was playing in the cantina just to earn some musical XP when a player said he wanted to hire a musician for a couple hours. Though it was 10pm and I did kinda want to be in bed early, I decided I’d do his gig. He paid very well for that time. Although it wasn’t exciting as the cantina, it was worth my while. The ironic thing is, his shop isn’t too far from where my harvesters are and in the same neighborhood that I want to put my house. After that gig last night, I could certainly afford a small house, though I’m not sure if I want to hold out for a medium or not. The shop I was in was a medium and I think it was a very cool place. I guess I just need to see a small in order to make up my mind.

At some point in the future, I’d like to put up a Bio page for my characters. Maybe start making up some history for them and such. I’m not sure when this will happen, though, as I’ve intended to put up a personal Bio page for quite some time now. I guess I’m still waiting to find that magical round tuit… if you have a spare, please let me know!

New contacts

Yesterday I went and picked up some contacts. It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever worn them. It still seems strange intentionally putting something into my eye. I mean, I’ve spent my whole life to this point trying to keep things out of my eyes. For example, when I’m in the shower, I try to keep the shampoo from entering my eyes. Heck, I normally close my eyes when I go underwater just to try to keep the water and/or chlorine out of my eyes! Anyway, I seem to be getting a little better at putting them in. This morning it only took me 20 minutes (yesterday it took an hour). I’m still at the point that every time I see my glasses setting on the bookshelf I think I need to grab them. It only takes a second before my brain realizes that it saw my glasses, not just a semi-fuzzy shape resembling my glasses so I haven’t actually grabbed them and tried to put them on yet. I imagine this whole process gets easier the longer you do it. After all, if it took 20 minutes every morning just to get contacts in, I really don’t think many people would wear them.

SWG – Loads of Fun, Loads of Time

As I play Star Wars Galaxies more, I begin to realize that this is definitely a game that can consume a lot of your time. And for some strange reason, I chose to start developing two characters at once, each in two professions!! I have one character that is a Medic/Marksmen and another that is an Artisan/Entertainer. They are both still in training in their respective skills, but I’ve managed to get some 2nd level of experience for each of them. They’ve got most of the first level stuff that I want for now (the one exception is my Medic still needs Chem I). What that really means is that it’ll take longer to advance again because 2nd, 3rd, and especially 4th level skills require a lot of XP and those take time to earn. Financially speaking, both characters are doing OK though neither one is getting rich quick. I still do a lot of delivery missions, especially if I want to go to another town. I generally try to find a delivery mission that’s going to end up where I want to… I figure if I’m going there, I may as well get paid to do it! One thing I have noticed playing the two different characters is that people tend to tip the medics better than the entertainers. I don’t know that I’ve gotten a tip as the entertainer yet, but I’ve gotten a few 500 credit tips as a medic. I’d say roughly 70% of the people I’ve healed wounds for (not just used a stimpack on) have tipped me. That is appreciated because the only two ways for me to heal wounds right now is to buy medicine on the Bazaar or take the hit on mental powers and battle fatigue. I think that will change as soon as I get Chem I. I will also say that it’s more expensive to be a medic than a musician. I’ve probably spent well over five thousand credits on medical supplies, but I’ve only spent 150 on an instrument (I did also trade some resources I had gathered) and that was only because I was too impatient to wait for Musicianship II where I would be able to make my own! So maybe it’s fitting that the medics get tipped better than the entertainers.

The beast lives

Yippee!! My “new” machine is alive. I got it running last night and got Windows installed (it has WinXP because I want to use it for gaming). I say “new” because it has a lot of old parts in it as well. The only things I purchased are: a Motherboard, a Processor, a stick of RAM, a cheap hard drive, and a Video Card. My grand total for this equipment: ~$470 after taxes and rebates. I don’t think that’s terribly bad for a new machine. I even got Star Was Galaxies installed and running. I created a Wookie medic. My wookie is a female who’s name escapes me at the moment. Unfortunately, I can’t play the game right now because all the servers are down for scheduled maintenance. It seems like they could bring them down one or two at a time instead of all at once for 3 hours. But I suppose that’s a separate rant.

Scratching my own itch

Open source software is unique in that if there’s a feature you want added to an application you have everything you need (except maybe the skill) to add it yourself. That probably isn’t news to anybody reading this entry. Of course, “unique” may not be the right word… there are applications that aren’t really open source, per se, but still come with the source code that can be modified. MovableType is one of those applications. You may have noticed that the past couple days I’ve had my SETI@home stats on the left side of this page. That was done using MovableType’s plug-in architecture and really doesn’t rely on the fact that MovableType comes with the source code. I’ll probably submit the very-simple code for that to MT’s plug-in database in the near future. Slightly more difficult and less noticeable was the change from “Recent Entries” to “Recently Archived” over on the left (of the main index). It never made sense to me that there were links on the left side for entries that were right there on the front page. I wanted instead to have links to the entries that just recently moved off the front page. As I started digging into it I realized that it would require some code changes. Once I figured out exactly what to change, it wasn’t all that difficult and I now have links to items that are 15-23 days old (and therefore recently moved off the index for which the threshold is 14 days).

New parts purchased/assembled

Being the impatient person that I am, I went ahead and purchased some pieces to upgrade my old 400MHz computer into something that I can use to play Star Wars Galaxies. I bought an AMD 2500+ processor and an Abit NF7 motherboard from a local computer shop (Mouse House). I then went to Best Buy and bought 512MB of DDR RAM (for $40 after rebate!!) and a PNY GeFORCE FX 5200. One thing I didn’t get that I really should is a hard drive… the only one I had laying around is a really old 3.2 GB drive!! I guess that hurts my chances of actually seeing how this game looks tonight :(.

Star Wars Galaxies

After reading the review on slashdot, I decided to go out and buy Star Wars Galaxies. Unfortunately for me, the video card in my laptop (an HP Pavilion ze1250) doesn’t seem to be up to the task of launching this game. It was, of course, able to get through the part where I signed up for an account an gave my credit card number. I guess my choices now are either to cancel that account or buy/build a new machine. I must admit that the idea of putting together a new machine does appeal to me on some level, though I’m not really sure if I should do that, financially speaking. I think all I would need is a motherboard/processor and a video card. I’m pretty sure I have other hardware laying around that would by acceptable… I think I’ve almost convinced myself to do this 🙂

Neat* blog tools

I’ve come across some blog tools that I thought were kinda neat recently and figured I’d tell about them here in case anybody else agrees with me. Interestingly enough, they all seem to index my blog. I think I submitted it to BlogDigger once and MovableType pings weblogs.com, but I don’t recall submitting it to any of the others.

  • Weblogs.com – Just a list of recently updated blogs; MovableType can be configured to automatically ping it.
  • BlogDigger – A search engine for blog entries. There’s a link on the front page to add your blog to the index.
  • Feedster – Another search engine for blog entries. This one is highly recommended by Asa.
  • Technorati – This service appears to have a few features but the one that came to my attention was the ability to enter a URL and see who’s linked to it. I actually found this one by looking at my referrer logs.
  • Mozilla Related Blogs – Even though I have a link to this one already I may as well mention it. It’s a really cool listing of people’s blogs who are related to the Mozilla project (because of my Bugzilla work, mine is there) and even includes information on when said blog was last updated (it’s really handy :).

What’s mentioned here probably doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s available out there, but I thought they were kinda neat.

* I don’t know why I used the word “neat” (and so many times).

Developers Profiles Page online

Just got the OK from Dave to check-in the developers profiles page (one of my stated goals for this week off work). Once all the CVS stuff cycles, which might happen before I get this entry done, the page should be available on bugzilla.org‘s web page. Looking at my other stated goals for this week, I don’t think I made it. I did get some doc updates checked in (though I haven’t compiled yet), but I didn’t get any other bugs even worked on nor did I get all the cleaning I wanted to get done even close to completed. Tomorrow isn’t really going to get anything accomplished either, as I plan to go see the Air Fair.

Is an increase in SPAM/Junk Mail in my future?

Today must be annoyance day. I saw an article on slashdot about the direct marketing companies (read, telemarketers) planning to increase the amount of SPAM and Junk Snail Mail they send once the national do not call list goes active. In preparation for this onslaught, I updated my Mozilla install to version 1.4 using the RPM’s from Red Hat’s rawhide in order to get the built in Junk Mail Controls. For the other side of the coin (snail mail), I think I’ll start ripping up the applications I get sent and then putting them in those nifty postage due business reply envelopes and sending them back to the company. With any luck, they’ll get the hint that I really don’t care.

As long as I’m on the topic of annoying advertisements, does anybody else’s movie theater insist on giving you a small ad for their concession stand when they hand you the tickets? Mine does, and it really doesn’t seem to make sense. I mean, I can see the concession stand from where I buy the tickets and I have to walk past it in order to get to the actual movie theater. Do they really think that little piece of paper is going to make me decide that I really do want popcorn if the smell can’t?