Just a Bunch of Stuff That Happened

I’m too lazy to do longer writeups for stuff that’s been happening lately, so I’ll just write a bunch of paragraphs that don’t really have any common theme.

The research project presentation on Monday went well. Not surprisingly, the only questions that came afterwards were from the two professors attending. Although interestingly, one of the professors saw that our work could have some implications on his research into privacy-preserving data mining. Too bad our only results were of the “nothing we looked at seems like a silver bullet” type.

My [t]rusty old GeForce 2 graphics card, the one that came with my computer, decided it had had enough of life and complained vociferously whenever my computer powered up. The GPU cooling fan sounded worse and worse each day, making more and more noise, so I decided I had little choice but to get a new graphics card. Its replacement, an ATI Radeon 9000, seems to be working OK, and at a much lower decibel level. If we assume the current trend of component failure continues, sometime this summer my hard drive will give out. Whee.

As all Purdue students know, this week is Dead Week. Following the zombie trend, the Evil Networking Project That Would Not Just Die Already decided to cause us yet more annoyance. Upon testing the VoIP app on the lab computers that it will be graded on on Friday, we found that it didn’t really work at all, appearing to drop packets at a nearly 100% rate. After a few hours of experimental programming (“Does it work if I change this from 2 to 4? No? What about if I bump this down from 16 to 8?”) we finally found that copying sound packets two at a time into the playback buffer, instead of one at a time, fixed the problem. Apparently these computers are slower than the ones we developed on, and while the latter have no problem doing a “wait for notification, lock buffer, copy data, unlock buffer” loop twenty times a second, the former quickly falls hopelessly behind. Grrr. At least we found this out and fixed it now instead of on Friday when it’ll be graded.

One advantage of Dead Week, however, is that pretty much all the work for every class is done, so my workload has dropped all the way from “moderately stressed” to “lots of free time” in short order. Not much left to do but study for finals, finish the last grad school application, and play video games. And, theoretically, work on gkrellm-rhythmbox.

And now, a few random video game observations:

  • Final Fantasy X-2 could well be subtitled “Final Fantasy X: now with 75% more fan service” or “Final Fantasy: Japanese Idol”.
  • Memo to the developers of Final Fantasy 2 (not 4): if a dungeon has three or more bosses, and the first two are utter pushovers, it is not nice to have the third one be ridiculously powerful and only vulnerable to the type of magic the player hasn’t practiced, especially when he hasn’t saved in the last hour.
  • NetHack tip: Be aware that the “w” and “e” keys are next to each other. Wielding a cockatrice corpse == good. Eating a cockatrice corpse == bad. Don’t fat-finger the command. So much for that amulet of life saving.

5 Responses

  1. I see the Cockatrice got the better of you this time, eh paul? A little too keyboard happy were we? A little antsy to wield that corpse? I think that yes would answer all those questions. I really need to get back into playing Nethack..i miss it.
    I saw a preview for the FFX2, it looked like Japanese Idol. lol. I liked it though.

    Gotta go eat din din. Peace!

  2. I didn’t *try* to eat the cockatrice, I was trying to *wield* it and use it as a weapon. It is the best weapon in the game, after all. (Well, except against golems and stoning-resistant monsters.) I didn’t even realize I hit the wrong key until I saw “You start eating the cockatrice corpse.–More–” message, and watched in horror as I turned to stone.

    I’ve got to be careful now, since I’m now wearing an amulet of reflection instead of life saving. I’ve just reached Vlad’s tower, so I definitely don’t want to get killed this far into the game. My current character stands a good chance of ascending, knock on wood.

    NetHack 3.4.3 was released a couple of days ago. I can install it on your computer when I come home if you like.

  3. You know I was just trying to make you laugh and annoy you with that whole “keyboard happy” thing…

    Hey, eating a cockatrice is better than what I did because what I did was even more stupid! I had leprecaun-itis (or however you spell it) and i was on my journey for a Valkarie and i teleported and i moved an arrow so that the screen would move and show me where i went, and I fell into lava and died…Great story huh?

    Yea..please install it when you get home. BTW, when are you getting home? How do I copy over the Cowboy Beebop Soundtrack to our computer…like where’s it located on your computer? Also, I need to ask you to burn me a few of those CDs with all those MP3s on your computer….I’ll have to figure it all out soon.

    Love and peace! I got no more classes today! WOOT! Mixer tonite!

    <3 your lil sis~

  4. Teleportitis is a real pain unless you have a source of teleport control. I know; I got teleportitis in my current game, but not teleport control until much later. Very annoying to teleport around randomly every 85 moves or so. But once you get teleport control, it’s immensely useful.

    If you want to copy anything to or from my computer, you might as well wait until I come home, since it’ll be much faster transfering over the local network than over the Internet.

  5. Alright…

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