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  1. Panel 1:
    Still-alive-after-600-MT-strips Dead Piro Day Special
    Upabove Station: LvP
    (Always wanted to do a sci-fi Largo/Piro gameworld thing. My apologies to CJ Cherryh, Masamune Shirow, the Stellvia folks, Keiji Gotoh, the AvP people, James P. Hogan, Willian Gibson, and... er, well... the sci-fi world in general - Piro :)
    Also shown:
    Largo, Piroppo, Yuki


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< Piro >

the warm glow of the cute, evil timesink...

"computer 'smithing"

Saturday - August 21, 2004

[Piro] - 00:12:00 - [link here]

Last week I did something that i've been wanting to do for a while -- I stripped win2k off of my old Dell Inspiron 8100 laptop, wiped the hard drive and repartitioned it (after archiving a lot of junk i'll probably never need unless i actually delete it) and did a fresh install of winXP.

You might remember when i got this Dell about two and a half years ago. It's a potent, refurbished little beast that is more of a mobile desktop than a laptop (the bloody thing weighs 7.5 lbs). It came with Windows ME, which i didn't even boot up before i repartitioned and installed win2k over the top of it. This old Dell has been through a lot. It was the laptop that failed miserably in our attempt to show flash content at the first Naze Nani Megatokyo event at Otakon in 2002. I used it to process files for the first book. I did well over a year's worth of comics on it. Up till now, I haven't done a clean install of the operating system. As a result, there was the usual muck and clutter that slows down windows machines and makes them cry for the mercy of a fresh OS install.

Ever since I switched to the mac side of things, i have to say i've been enjoying not having to deal with the peculiarities of the windows operating systems. That isn't to say that macs don't have thier own peculiarities - they just seem to involve a lot less theatrics and drama than I was used to. I'm responsible for enough of my own drama that i don't need any from my computing platform. That said, there are things i i've missed not having windows as my main OS. All computing platforms have their own flavors, their own pluses and minuses, so i don't subscribe to the idea that one might be better than another. Even so, I did approach this rebuild with some apprehension.

Not because I haven't done windows installs before, it's just that with them you really sorta need to be current on things in the windows world to do things right. You know, all the tricks, settings, drivers, bits of twine, witches root and blood for sacrificial offerings to ensure a good build. Not really hard to do when you are using the platform, but you gotta do some research when you've been worshiping other gods for over a year :) I used to do regular rebuilds on an office full of Windows 3.1 machines running AutoCad, so i know how important this can be. The bad memories run deep.

The pleasant thing about XP, even over win2k, is how much easier it is to install. Good lord, its like night and day compared to the horror of a 3.1 install. Once you get past the... er, rather ugly (IMHO) colors of the basic XP theme, the interface shows a lot of small improvements. Once everything installed and even had the SP2 upgrades in place, it was like a different machine.

Given the fact that I have my mac G4 (Reki) at the Factory and my little 12" powermac (Hikari) for when I'm home, you might question exactly why i went to the trouble to rebuild the Dell (named Rakka -- see a pattern here? :P). Well, MT may not be a hardcore gaming comic like it sorta started out as, but that doesn't mean I don't miss playing games. I'm pretty much done traveling for the year (with the exception of Anime Weekend Atlanta next month, which Seraphim and I are going to), the store is up and running, the big crunch time of the past six months has started to level out... dammnit to hell, i deserve some friggin game time. :P

If you wanna hear from someone who is far more current and more on the cutting edge of games in play these days, you'll wanna read what Dom has to say about things. I'm a bit more behind the times. Not because i don't know what everyone is playing, it's just that I'm a little more quirky about the games i like to play. I rebuilt Rakka because i wanted to get back to playing Ragnarok Online.

Now, for everyone who has already started to write an email to me groaning about how RO is boring, or how much RO sucks, or how much Gravity sucks, or how i should be playing FFXI instead, save it. I like RO. I like RO because it's cute, it's quirky, its fun (for me) it meanders, and i like the feel of it. I don't play a game because others like it, i play it because i like it. Remember that old rant i wrote about "Generally Accepted Opinions"? Yeah, same thing.

The sad things about my little RO obsession is that i've wanted to get into the game for ages, but never really had the time. I tried during various beta phases. I tried when you had to pay to play during the beta phases. I wanted to play when all my friends were playing. Now, the game is out of beta and a fully released. the RO website doesn't suck anymore. All my friends have stopped playing. RO is "old news". I actually don't mind.

"I'll help you level up!" was what friends always used to tell me, but there was always a part of me that rebelled against that idea, at least initially. I wanted to do my time as a true noob and figure things out the hard way. Having someone walk me through everything just seemed... like it'd take the fun out of it. Part of that comes from a very single player mindset i suffer from. Kind of odd that'd i'd take so much interest in an online roll playing game :P

Anyways, i won't bore you with more details about learning the ropes while trying to level up out of being a novice. And even more odd is the fact that the extreme lateness of fridays comic had nothing to do with RO - i wish it did, that'd be a better excuse than the reason you're tired of hearing - struggled with the art, beat my head on the desk till the dialogue at least started to work. :)

< Seraphim >



Wednesday - August 25, 2004

[Seraphim] - 03:46:00 - [link here]

We haven't had much time to watch the Olympics, which makes the dopingscandal in the only event that I was actually able watch start to finisheven more disappointing. We watched the Shot Put last week, which tookplace in Ancient Olympia. These female athletes were the first to evercompete on the site. This week the gold medal was stripped from the women'sgold medalist. This woman had been banned from previous competitions andpreviously striped of a medal in world championships for doping.

Why don't they test the athletes BEFORE the competition instead ofafterwards? They test the medal winners after the competition and medalceremonies. How sad for the Cuban athlete who was robbed her gold medal flagceremony. Why give athletes who use performance enhancing drugs theopportunity to compete at all? Considering this athlete's use of bannedsubstances in the past, how could they give her the benefit of the doubt?She would have been the first person I tested. Another athlete that waskicked out of the games for doping tried to tell officials she'd taken coughmedicine. Yeah, right. Like everyone who tests positive for heroin has justeaten a poppy seed bagel.

Do these athletes think they can fake the drug test? Are they hoping itjust won't show up? Does it speak to the fact that so many others aregetting away with doping with the new and undetectable designer steroids?One official said the steroid the shot putter used was 'stone age' comparedto the new ones like those that triggered the doping scandal in the States.Why aren't the laboratories and chemist working on something beneficial.These modern day alchemists are taking gold and making it base.

What's really impressive is the Paralympic Games. I also know a specialyoung man with Downs Syndrome so I am also a supporter of the Special Olympics. I have a physical therapy education and theaccomplishments of these athletes really impress me. I may just stick withthese two organizations from now on.


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