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< Piro >

character art in progress...

"laptop tracking"

Tuesday - November 6, 2001

[Piro] - 08:10:10 - [link here]

I'm exhausted today, and no, not because of any Megatokyo stuff - the process of making and putting up the comics has actually been downright pleasant and fun in recent weeks. It's just been a bad day. one of those days where each and every thing that happens makes you just wanna curl up in a ball and not come out till everything bad goes away. A day that has me seriously thinking about going home, turning off all the lights, wrapping myself in a blanket, getting some Hot Cocoa, and finishing playing DigiCharat Fantasy on my Dreamcast late into the night until the world realizes that i dont care anymore.

but that wouldn't solve anything. :)

One of the reason's I'm tired is that Seraphim's schedule is gonna kill me - hell, its gonna kill both of us. If you recall in my last rant i went off in a big discussion how we had outgrown our current computer resources - oh ya, that became proven fact over the weekend. Man, what a crunch. Several papers and projects later, we're both just punchy from lack of sleep. And what's funny is that Seraphim was BUSTED! haha! In her rant on monday she mentioned a few things about what she's doing for her class - and someone realized that Seraphim was actually in their class (they just dont know which one in class it is). :) hahaha! It never occurred to her that there might be some MT readers in her class. heh. Poor Seraphim. :)

Oh, on the laptop thing. I'd like to thank everyone who emailed me with advice and information on recommendations and thoughts regarding laptops. It all amounted to well over 700 emails - and within those mails it was pretty easy to see some patterns about what people recommended or had good experiences with. In a nutshell, aside from those of you who tried to convince me to get a Apple Titanium G4 laptop, Dell was the clear winner, with IBM and Sony coming in as secondary choices. I was told to avoid Toshiba and Compaq laptops like the plague. Granted, its not a scientific poll, but thats where the recommendations came in at. Also, i received a plethora of really good and helpful information regarding what works and doesn't work for laptops when it comes to graphics work and other things.

And regarding accepting PayPal donations to help pay for the laptop? Nah. I appreciate all the positive feedback on the idea, but in the end i still would not feel right about it. I've decided that i can foot this bill. I got creative last weekend and figured out how i could swing it.

In fact, my new laptop should be here tomorrow. I ordered a refurbished Dell Inspirion 8100 with all the bells and whistles. Largo is annoyed because it blows his desktop machine away. ^_^ tee hee. On saturday i picked up a Linksys broadband router at CompUSA and got that running so that I could plug the new laptop in and start using it right away. Well, that after I strip Windows ME off that thing and get Win2kpro installed. brrr.

Its odd because it's not really a toy or a luxury, like the idea of getting a laptop always was before. It really is a necessity. Seraphim and I work pretty hard, and I like the idea that i wont be in her hair anymore when she needs to concentrate on things. ^_^

Oh, almost forgot - you might have noticed some banners for Think Geek showing up on the MT site - well, we just started a banner exchange with OSDN which will expose countless unassuming millions to the greatness that is the new Megatokyo Banner ^^;; (and hopefully draw some new readers). Anyways, Good folks at OSDN (things like Slashdot, Freshmeat, SourceForge, etc, are all OSDN sites) as well as that ubergeekycoolstuff store Think Geek.

Ugh. i am tired tho. I'm going to take it a little easy tonight - tomorrows comic is a bit of an experiment - i wont ruin the surprise ^_^

... support mt stuff ...

You can support Megatokyo by getting yourself some cool YakPak swag using the link below. Piro has been carrying a black Medium Flapdoozy since the comic started (because that's what i really use ^_^). Also, the YakPak people are cool folk:

N yakpak120x60

< Largo >

you're already here.

"Survival Boredom"

Wednesday - November 7, 2001

[Largo] - 14:07:00 - [link here]

Scott Kurtz continues to produce his sweet comic book, available here. If you've ever wanted to support sites like ours, and Scott's, then please - buy these comics. Scott's work has always been great, but he puts a substantial amount of time into all the material that goes into the print form of Player Vs. Player. I enjoy Scott's work, and I love reading his print comics, so if you have a couple extra bucks, and want to be entertained, order a few of them.

Had launched two years ago, we'd be a shining example of sucess on the net, instead, we waited until the dot-com fall out to start, so we've been pleased that we can just stay in the black and continue to produce product for your visual pleasure.

Our biggest cost has always been hosting, and with about six million pageviews just last month, you can imagine the situation. In the old days, the more pageviews you had, the better. Getting the kind of traffic we do was a cause to celebrate, now it's just a reason to wince as we pay our bills each month. However, since the dot-economy seems to be recovering, we at felt it was time to seek investors again. Whether one materializes or not, is another story. Interested parties are always welcome to contact us.

In recent news, one MT reader doctor'd up a picture of a military plane with a bomb under it's wing, on the bomb was written 'evil l33t'. I can't help but wonder - with all the MT readers that are currently in the military and overseas in the middle east, if this has ever really happened. The idea that one of the bombs dropped on Afghanistan has one of our catch phrases, or even our site url - is too funny too comprehend. If this was ever the case, I'd kill for a photo of it.

I've been playing a lot of Grand Theft Auto 3 lately... It's way more sweet then the last racing game I picked up, Gran Turismo 3, I've determined the difference between GT3 and GTA3 is the 'A' , well that, and all the car jacking, helicopter crashing, pimp capping, and cop car smashing fun that's included. I'm having so much fun with this game that I've completely stopped trying to play the actual missions, and instead just play own version of the game.

In LGTA3 - Largo's GTA3, the point of the game is to just drive around and run over as many people as possible without getting busted, or blown into tiny bits. While this sounds easy, it's a lot harder then you'd think, the game has this annoying feature where the cops actually try to stop you. I mean come on, the game is called "grand theft auto", if I wanted to be arrested for just mowing down some pimps in my hoopty, I'd go play something with a more puritan sounding name to it.

Now, on with the show, Today's little game rant is written by a friend of mine. While normally I don't post rants by non mt-people, I am making an exception today because I recently lost a bet with him.

KungPao writes " Several months ago, Largo and I headed to CompUSA after work. I wanted to buy a Handspring Visor, and he wanted to look around. When I got there, I discovered that Palm had just released their new m500 series PDAs. In short, these things are incredible. Far too many people have told me that Handspring's PDAs are better, but not a single person has ever given me a valid reason. My Palm m505 is attractive (it has the form-factor of the Palm V); it's lightweight; it has color and a sharp, backlit display; and it's every bit as expandable as the Visor. Largo was seethingly jealous, and almost bought one himself.

Instead, he bought a PlayStation 2. He and I have enjoyed countless hours of fun playing Onimusha, The Next Tetris, Devil May Cry, and more. A week ago, he bought Grand Theft Auto III and Silent Hill 2. GTA3 is fun. SH2 sucks corn-filled fecal matter out of gay, horny rhinoceros bottoms.

An increasing number of game developers have a severe problem: they have no talent. Look at Silent Hill 2, for instance. We start out with no context, no information to give us an idea of what to do. Our only lead is that we're standing in what appears to be a turd-covered public restroom. The instant we walk out (or moonwalk out, as Largo did), not five seconds after we start playing, we have a cut scene. Well why the hell didn't you just give us an intro movie? Fine, we discover that we've received a letter from our wife, Mary, who (huge surprise here) is dead. Oh my! How horrifying! I'm turning on every light in the room because I'm suddenly afraid that my long-lost grandfather will send me an Instant Message. Not only do we have to suffer this trite, hackneyed plot device, but the voice actor pauses and hesitates in mid-sentence so much that I'm starting to worry about a William Shatner career rebirth.

Never mind that, it's time to find the conveniently placed GPS device. I mean map. No wait, it's paper, but our little green arrow tells us exactly where we are and in what direction we're facing. Christ on a cracker, there's nothing more chilling than OMNISCIENT PAPER! We then try to run down the main road that appears on our FishFinder2000, only to discover that we can't. Instead, the game designers have decided that they're only going to give us one option. See, they've planned a little rendezvous with an anonymous woman down in the graveyard and they want to make sure we don't do anything at all until we've had a pleasant conversation with her about our live-again, die-again wife and the missing graves of her family. You see, according to her, *SPOILER ALERT* there's something wrong with the town. In order to have this wonderful little tete-a-tete, we have to run down a little path with invisible force fields on either side, which prevent us from straying into the fog of war. I mean mist. Well, whatever it is, you can't see through it at all until you get to within a certain distance of it, and then the next layer of it disappears and you can see for another few feet. Just like real fog. No wait, just like... no wait, I don't know what it's like, but it's really damn annoying.

I don't want to spoil too much, so I won't tell you about the long, uneventful run along a deserted road. In town, the same mysterious not-quite-fog ails our vision as we try to find a road that isn't completely blocked off. One obstacle is a row of 55-gallon drums with police tape strung across. Being good, law-abiding citizens, we're unable to cross this formidable wall. Finally, we run down the path that the developers wanted us to discover ("Oh my god, and then they could, like, have to find this path, and they can't do anything until they do, and we won't give them any clues, they can just figure it out, and like, isn't that really clever?") until we come to yet another barrier. This one, though, is special, because inside a little tunnel we stumble upon a cut scene. Our expressionless character finds what appears to be a pack of cigarettes. It isn't until you open your inventory that you have any idea what it was, and then you find out that it's a radio that gives off static when monsters are near. Oh yeah, and he finds a zombie. Well, it's not a zombie so much as it's a retard in a shrink-wrap body bag, struggling to get out. Conveniently, our ingenious developer has planned for a wooden plank to be close at hand. Since he can't trust us to be able to play the game for ourselves, he gives it to our character in a cut scene. Now that our wills are in tune with the developer's, we're allowed to attack the creature. We couldn't possibly just run away because the developer has another Oscar-winning cut scene planned, so the exit is blocked. So we bash the zombie a couple of times and it falls on the ground. The cut scene begins, and our character clambers past the blocked exit. See, he couldn't do that before because the zombie umm, had Jedi powers and umm, he like, put up this force shield behind us, and when we umm, killed him umm, he like umm, stopped... and stuff.

Well we run back to town, and the unsurpassable is now quite surpassable, as the yellow police tape has been mysteriously broken. As we wander around looking for something to do, more zombies attack us. Now, they weren't there earlier, because their leader, the zombie in the tunnel, had been using his Jedi powers to prevent them from attacking us. But now, of course, the leader has joined the ranks of glowing, blue apparitions with Yoda and Obiwan (but not Quigon), and the others have free reign. What's fun about the others, though, is that they have a breath weapon. See, they're actually dust mephits, and they can breathe this cloud of sand on you which does... something and you can bash them. But when they get bashed, they fall down and then scramble around by pushing themselves along with their legs and they move in random arcs, to the accompaniment of odd clicking noises, and nibble your ankles if you get too close.

Well around about this time, Largo and I were completely bored and extremely annoyed by the grating piano string soundtrack the developers put so much effort into. So Largo went off to talk to Ruby and I sat down to tell you about this game that, apparently, has been dubbed "Creepiest Game of 2001" by many of our beloved developer brown-nosers, which most of you call "Press". Look, the only thing creeping me out right now is the thick layer of green algae that's building up on the inside of Largo's fish tank. I think I'll go play Solitaire on my Palm."


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