Category Archives: What a Geek!

Really! What a Geek!

Watching Ghost In The Shell 2

Last night, I did a Deadmines run with some people on World of Warcraft. Pretty good, nobody died, so we decided to take advantage of the great team and also raid the Wailing Caverns. That, too, went quite well. After that I was sleepy, but I just had to watch Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.

At about half-way into the movie, it becomes quite surreal; with several scenes repeating with slight differences in visual detail and in dialogue; and the main topic seems to become perception and reality. I was nodding off in my chair, and the whole expeirence was very unreal and confusing. I kept thinking I had nodded off, or that I had accidentally rewound the movie. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to make much sense of it.

I’ll have to watch it again before writing a review. Let me say as much, however, as that the graphics in it are quite nice.

Rusty Mathmatics

I have discovered, once again, that my mathematics abilities aren’t adequate. I mean I can do simple calculations and try to stay ahead of the cashiers in the supermarket by adding in my head what they add up with the cash register, and I have on occasion found myself adding arbitrary telephone numbers (don’t ask, I don’t know either), but I utterly fail at even slightly more complex tasks.

Case in point. I wanted to find out what radius and speed a Ringworld would need if I want to simulate a 24 hour day and want the “centrifugal” force to amount to an acceleration of 9.78 meters per second – in other words, simulates Earth gravity on the inner surface of the ring.

I consulted the (German) Wikipedia on the issue, but I had a hard time understanding the formula provided. Okay, didn’t help that it was quite late at night and I was tired, but still, makes me feel stupid. I did find an example which cleared things up quite considerably.

I wonder though, if maybe I ought to take some math courses. I guess I’ll never get around to it anyway – you know how it is with those things “I really should do some day”.

Oh, the answer to my problem, by the way, is 1.85 million kilometers and 134.5 km/s. Works out to an even 24 hours and exactly 9.78 m/s centrifugal force.

Project "Deadland"

I have unearthed some memories from my early coding days. Back then, I was experimenting a lot with programming, inspired by the heroes of my day – the guys and gals who wrote all the fun games I loved so much. This particular project was named “Deadlands”, and it was basically my attempt at building a post-apocalyptic computer role playing game.

Continue reading Project "Deadland"

Halloween Reviews 2003

It’s Halloween Season, and as I had promised last year, I have begun to review more movies. Here’s what I have reviewed so far:

1. [The Quatermass Xperiment](/2002/10/16/the-quatermass-xperiment/)
2. [Event Horizon](/2003/10/20/event-horizon/)
3. [Halloween 1](/2003/10/27/halloween-1/)

Don’t forget to read last year’s reviews for more Halloween goodness.

On the Road with an iBook

As you are probably aware if you know me or have been following my website for a while, I own an iBook G3/500 as a portable computer. And don’t get me wrong, I love this machine as I have really no computer for a long time. It’s got style, a great keyboard, and an operating system that I can get excited about. The sleek white curves of the iBook are downright sexy, and it’s a joy to type with this gorgeous keyboard.

But the machine does have some serious drawbacks. Now, after two years of pretty constant use, the batteries should really be replaced. They only get me about two hours of work time, maybe a tad more than this. The harddrive – at 20GB – is seriously under-sized for my needs. And forget about DivX video playback with the G3 processor at 500 MHz. Even if those things weren’t bad enough, I have yet to find a really good word processor for Mac OS X. The two main contenders – Microsoft Office v.X and Star office – both have their individual nags and issues. Right now I am using Star Office, and I am not yet quite happy with it. Microsoft Office v.X works well enough, but it has some performance and UI issues. Especially the performance, which is very poor.

I’d be seriously tempted to buy a Powerbook 12″, except for two things… I’d really prefer it in the white iBook design; and of course the price is just way too high.

I guess I shall have to live with what I have…

Martian Movie Marathon

As [Mars approaches Earth](http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3184157.stm) closer than it has in the past sixty thousand years, I’ll be doing my very own Martian Movie Marathon this weekend. I’ll watch and review a half-dozen Mars movies that I could borrow from people on short notice. The current schedule looks like this:

1. [Total Recall](/2003/08/30/total-recall/)
2. [War of the Worlds (1953)](/2003/08/30/war-of-the-worlds-1953/)
3. [Invasion from Mars (1953)](/2003/08/31/invasion-from-mars-1953/)
4. [Invasion from Mars (1986)](/2003/08/31/invasion-from-mars-1986/)
5. [Mars Attacks!](/2003/08/31/mars-attacks/)

That should keep me somewhat occupied. Maybe I can find some additional Mars movies. I’ve got my eyes on “Ghost of Mars” and “Mission to Mars”.

Finally, when I need to relax and take a break, I might listen to the Audiobook version of Edgar Rice Burrough’s “Princess of Mars”. I guess that could take well into next week, however.

_Update, August 31st 2003:_ Well, I am done: 4 days, 5 movies, 5 reviews. I didn’t listen to much of “Princess of Mars” because, quite frankly, the guy reading it sucks.

Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide

There’s been some hot air lately over Shadows of Undrentide. The expansion has been awaited by Neverwinter Nights fans, usually for various reasons, for a long while. After I bought the CD, I played through the thing, and as always I’ll offer my views as a free public service. I think that reviewers always should play an entire game before reviewing, not that I always do it, but in this case I am sure glad I did. Read on to find out more.

Shadows of Undrentide adds various new material to Neverwinter Nights. A large number of spells for all spellcasting classes; five so-called prestige classes, a dozen new monsters, three new tilesets, a large number of new placeable objects, new scripting functions and of course a two-chapter module.

Let’s tackle these step-by-step.

Continue reading Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

I finally got around to watch “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, one of the big geek movies of our age and inspiration to the fabulous TV show “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose”.

The story: Ferris Bueller doesn’t want to handle school on a beautiful, sunny day, and so takes his friend Cameron, his girlfriend Sloan, and a Ferrari on a trip to Chicago, where they go to a baseball game, a museum, a high-rise, the Steuben parade and whatnot. Of course, there are complications, like Ferris’ principal, who is out to prove that Ferris is dodging school.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is really just one of them silly teenager sitcoms. Unlike many other movies of this genre, it’s actually amusing, I have to say. Some good quotes, and lots of fun. Had I seen this movie in the cinema, I’d probably be disappointed, but for free, at home? Not bad at all, especially, if you’re after Attitude. Of that, this movie has plenty.

My only regret is that I didn’t watch this movie when I was younger. I mean, how is a kid supposed to grow up decently without good idols are role models? Ferris Bueller makes a wonderful example of what life ought to be like… 😀