Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Gorillas and the Blue Screen of Death

There has been an overriding theme to my week:


So much, in fact, that I should get a T-Shirt.
Too bad my particular Screen of Death doesn't have a shirt of it's own.

And that's *on top of* blogger refusing to let me log in for over a damn week.


I've given a name to my pain, and it is Batma- er, rather, What The Frell Is Up With Mike's Dell. It's frustrating enough to have have given it a really long name, Spanish nobility Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez,
Chief Metallurgist to King Charles the Fifth of Spain style, with capitalization and everything. 8 ( The Blue Screen of Death is becoming an increasingly frequent event, and windows take forever to open! "My Computer" opens five minutes after I click. ARRGH.
So I started doing some research, about the processes running in the Task Manager, thinking maybe spyware was responsible. Ctrl-Alt-Del should NOT be so freakin familiar, dammit. I can't remember the last time I had to force-quit something on a Mac! *ahem*

Anyway, It turns out that (as far as I'm concerned, anyway) it's WORSE than spyware - there are all sorts of legitimate-yet-nasty things that run at startup.
This page has been insanely helpful:


Apparently, Creative SoundBlaster and in fact all Creative software, drivers, etc, that are installed with the Creative soundcard and run the processes
Devldr.exe, Devldr16.exe, or Devldr32.exe, cause so many problems that, well, it seems best to simply uninstall them. Here's an excerpt from that oh-so-helpful page:

Found on Windows 2000/XP. It really does not matter how Creative call this task/service, DEVLDR, DEVLDR16, or DEVLDR32, it is a thorough nightmare whatever its name, and DEVLDR does not disappoint. What does this task do – we do not know, it is such a frustrating task we care little about what it does.

And even further:
As one website puts it "Rumours that Creative's driver team is composed entirely of gorillas enthusiastically beating on their keyboards with their feet have not been confirmed !".

So that's what I'm in the process of doing. I have to scour the C: drive for any Creative or evil "Devldr" stuff, restart, and install windows-default soundcard drivers and software. In short: ARRGH.

In Other News, I have an idea about Xmas gifts that are brought to you by the # 400 and the letter S.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Mr. Buchanon on Story Telling and EA

The school of IST at Penn State likes to show off their new and shiny building by having lots of interesting speakers come in. One of them was John Buchanon, from Electronic Arts, speaking on the gaming industry.

Funny Quote: "We turn pizza and coke into games"

He gave us the usual consoles drive the industry bit, and gave some interesting information about how much it costs to develop a game (which is to say, A Lot), but they have a short shelf life. This is the major reason why game companies are consolidating.

One of the interesting things he talked about was how gaming is built into our culture, the new generation being people who are ~41 years old and younger. (so, in 20 years, we'll be making games for the 60 yr old demographic).

The majority of his speech was about storytelling. He asserts that our culture is built around storytelling (you ask people how their weekend was on Monday morning), and that the draw of playing a game is that its an experience that can be turned into a story. Since many people play a game, you know have a shared memory that allows you to connect to these other people. He also talked momentarily about the problems with 'interactive' storytelling in games, which is that you have to be led eventually along specific plot points (or 'portals') or else there is no game. I wish he had gone into this in more detail, but his entire speech was cut down to fit into 45 minutes.

Factoid on Language: 90% of conversation (non business and school) is gossip. There is a theory among linguists that Humans developed language because we were bored.

Monday, November 22, 2004


Bunny is a webcomic that is just cool. Its updated everyday (so far, exactly), the art is awesome, the characters are simple, and it has that cool humor snapshot feel to it. I particularly like this one, because zombies are classic (and are also the theme for the month).
In the computer labs where I work, they put up new posters advertising yet another stupid portal. The poster has a horde of groundhog looking things with sharp teeth and weird googly eyes. One of them is saying "We're here for the brains". The PR person for the website said they were 'interest creatures', but what it means to me: Penn State is pro-Zombie. (!) o.O

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Puzzles and other fun things

This has been the cause of my not Bloggingness last week. I found it in a flurry of puzzle doing that was kicked off by this.
That, and the fact that I've been completely obsessed by plants. This all started with that terrarium idea, and has accelerated into a side idea of raising bonsai and selling them. (!) I've been walking around staring at the ground, looking for interesting moss (yes, thats right, interesting moss), ferns, and other small plants that I can harvest before the dreadful snow hits and covers everything. I told poor Jim to save a bottle for me so I could raise a little clover looking plant in it til I get my terrarium going. (I was planning on removing it via chopsticks o.O )
I've even decided that I'm going to put some salamanders in there once I get it up and running (my terrarium, not the bottle).
So, am I crazy? Isn't this step one?
(does it mean something when you can reference your own blog more than once in a post?)
o.O <- I've practiced this smiley in the mirror, so I could see that is humanly possible, because I have need for the expression so much.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

DrunkenBlog: This one goes to eleven

DB at it again, with his good points. As you can see below, I was all "oooh, ahh" when the iPod photo came out.. and I wanted it, but just because I'm pretty materialistic when it comes to anything Apple, not because I actually want it. I especially have no need for it because my digital camera broke almost a year ago (cry).
Speaking of iPods, I think my 5 gig battery finally died.. either that, or walking around in the cold weather with it in my inside pocket somehow drained the battery the last couple times I've used it. =What to do about this? And my poor digital camera (cry again) How I miss taking pictures..

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

CNN.com - 'Brain' in a dish flies flight simulator

This is just crazy. I have more faith in the human race - we can get mouse brains to fly planes! Such crazyness. Wow. Whats really cool is just the sheer power for it to learn, we took some brain cells and stuck it on a plate with some electrodes, and it just organized itself, hooked up and went! I have more faith in my rats (Brouhaha, Gala, and Spree).
(Crazy, I say!)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Politics and Orcs

I didn't get to be Chun-Li. I couldn't find the costume bits anywhere! And resewing was just not an option. It was just too much this year. :-(
However, Election Day and our Election Night party more than make up for it. Mike & I went out with Mike's dad (Bill) to Applebee's for lunch, and that was fun because not only is Bill fun, but he's never been to an Applebee's before.
Mike, myself, Tony, Manny, Mike B & Gillian were at the party. It was a good balance of opposing political views. ^_^ We watched the election coverage and argued with each other. And laughed at the TV wackyness. Some very wacky stuff happened on TV - we caught Al Sharpton verbally taking off people's heads, apparently he's more vicious when sleep deprived. And his delivery was even more indescribably bombastic than usual. He said something to the effect that if Bush wasn't ready to go once he lost, Sharpton was gonna show up at the White House with his boys and some moving vans! *ROTFL* some of that may be TonyReinterpretation-ism though, he has a way of rephrasing things to make them even funnier. Also, apparently Dan Rather said the following: "if a frog had side pockets he'd probably wear a handgun".
If anyone happens to read this and has some clue what that may mean, lay it on me. The bafflement is killing me. ^_^
My dad was disappointed that we didn't invite him, even though we're separated by three states. ^_^

At any rate, the best part about this election to me right now is that it's over. Now all I have to worry about is the people that own Madison Square Garden producing commericals against building a football stadium in Manhattan. That doesn't seem like the smartest idea to me, considering NYC's already amazing traffic problem, but those commericals are damn annoying. You can only tell who makes them by the nearly illegible eeeety-bitty text at the bottom of the screen at the end.

Back in Rachel's Costume Obsession Land:

These people are about as crazy as me. They decided to make a Moria Orc. We have procedure in common:

Step 1: Realize that you are crazy.

Now you may proceed.

However, these next guys are on a totally different level. They're an actual special effects house, and pretty much their whole site is amazing to look at. Plus they have a fun front page.
their Ring Wraith and Witch King... dude... the *actual really armor* armor, not just fake rubber armor... 0_0

In Other News,
Ipod Photo Explodes my mind.