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Stuff

I Can’t Jump Either

I have played video games religiously for years.  Any console that has come out since I was born (and one which was released right before), I have spent some quality time with one of its controllers in my hand. The funniest bit about all this gaming, is that up until the expansion of gameplay, I have been a pretty terrible player.  In the side scroller days I was doomed to not only just donating quarters to the cause, but I am also well aware of just how every one of those villains had that cackle when you fell off the cliff.

I can’t jump worth a damn.

When it was just two buttons which were either run and jump or jump and fire, I never mastered the art of jumping. Hand me a controller now with 20 buttons and say go slaughter those zombies/villains over there and I’m good as long as I don’t have to jump stones across a creek or something.  Complex puzzles are cake, but if I have to get on that ledge that is just a little too high for me to grab, you might as well get comfortable.

I did thoroughly enjoy playing the older games.  As much as I dig them don’t think I ever completely finished the things on my own, I would always hand my brother the controller and say “jump a few times, give it back”.  I also did the same for games where there was driving, but it was not the primary aspect of the game because the interface was always clunky.

Seeing the promos for the Prince of Persia movie brought this to mind since I have played every single one of those games, but the endeavors always end in a string of profanity and occasionally a smashed controller.  I am just glad games have opened up to where being able to jump without plummeting to your death is not mandatory and I can just enjoy taking out a bunch of pixel creatures or explore a vivid fantasy world with a shotgun/sword instead.

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Stuff

Reformed

Macro photograph of a pile of sugar (saccharose)
Image via Wikipedia

Not too long ago I would have described myself as what is affectionately called an early adopter. Very little made my day more than having a nice new service or piece of software to play with before anyone else.  I thoroughly enjoyed having stacks of beta invites in my inbox just itching to be clicked and consumed.  It was a glorious time, and there was very little better than showing off my new toys to my friends.

Even when I was knee deep in newness, at some point it became taxing to keep starting over. Once where I was overjoyed to build something new, it felt like a chore.  More often than not it was beginning to work my nerves to keep having to enter in my birthdate for all the profiles that would soon lead to nowhere. To combat this, many of the developers caught on to the annoyance and found ways to use existing services for login purposes.  At that point it was already too late.

I must either be getting old or I have just found a set of tools that work great for my needs. I don’t go out of my way asking for invites to things and half the time ignore the ones I already  have.  I do not want to use this thing over here that looks just like this other thing, which isn’t broken and does not need to be replaced.  I do not want to have to invite my friends to something else when I can already keep up with them in 90 other places.

I do not want green eggs and ham.

There are plenty of folks left in the world who are still chasing that “Ooh Shiny” high, and they can have at it. The downside of the trend is that at some point when the shimmer starts to wear off, some of them treat the people that remain in the communities built like they are flaming dog crap on the front porch. Unfortunately, most of the time this is not even intentional and even the early adopters themselves are beginning to splinter off into smaller groups over it.

Choosing the tools over the people is always going to cause more problems than it is worth. Following around some random guy you never met on the quest for the technological equivalent of a sugar high is not good for you either. I am sure there is some middle ground where you can appreciate the aspects of both can be reached.

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Code/Tech Stuff

Bannerific

Today I was focused on making a couple of banners for a few websites (SDA included).   I decided it was time for a web search intervention so I would not spend an entire day doing the wrong thing. In one of the top results, I found a nice straightforward video tutorial at Hiphop Makers.

This tutorial was done by Mark Valenzuela of New Ice Media.

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Code/Tech Stuff

Favicons Are Our Friends

Favicon-in-Firefox
Image via Wikipedia

Sure there are plenty of posts out there on the internet covering this same topic.  For some reason there are still not enough sources.  So here is one more.

Favicon = is a small graphic that is associated with a page or Web site. (short for favorite icon, sometimes understood as favorites icon), also known as a website icon, shortcut icon, url icon, or bookmark icon).

1. Get an image

To get that happy little 16 x 16 square associated with your site, you first need an image (16 pixels by 16 pixels of course).  Bear with me and pretend it is a picture of a cake.  So get your cake picture ready in your favorite image editor and save it as a .ico file.   If you cannot do that it is not so bad, you can just save it as a gif, png, or jpg but there may be a few browsers out there that don’t like those options.  There are plenty of favicon generators available so dive into the pool if you need to.  In the example it will just be called cakefavicon, but you can name it whatever you want.

2. Put it somewhere

The second thing you need is somewhere to put the icon. If you host your own site this is not likely to be a problem, but some free hosts might be a wee bit upset about letting you upload a .ico file. This is why the standard was relaxed to include the other formats. So if you run into trouble when you upload the image, then try the next image format on the list.  Make sure wherever you decide to put the image, that you save the full link. You will need this for the last bit.

3. Tell the site what to do with it

This is the fun part.  You need to find the header of the site and add 1 line of information. The hardest part of this step can sometimes be the header since some sites use a CMS and some do not. In both cases this line of information needs to be placed somewhere after

<head>

and somewhere before

</head>.

This is the line of information that tells the site what to do with the image:

<link rel=”SHORTCUT ICON” href=”http://www.example.com/cakefavicon.ico” />

After you place that in the header (substituting the words in bold for the real address of the image) save and enjoy the favicon. In some cases you may need to clear your cache to see the image appear.

Bonus:

For WordPress users there is a plugin called MaxBlogPress Favicon which appears to just have a bunch of icons and just lets you pick one without having to get your hands dirty with image editing and code.

Categories
Media Musings Stuff

Back in the Day – Comix Zone

 

In 1995, there was a lovely little system called the Sega Genesis. As kids we huddled around it and our television screens to delve into the fantasy worlds of Sonic the Hedgehog and Mortal Kombat. One of the stand out games turned out to be a too often forgotten Comix Zone.

Sure the gameplay is ridiculously dated by our standards. Sure the game came out after most of the consoles user base was angry enough to move onto something else. But the game was built on the double whammy of geek, it was a video game about a comic artist stuck in a comic book which functioned kind of like Kung Fu.

The game was sort of short, but you only got one life to make it through the panels. The concept was more interesting than the gameplay itself, but if you are a fan of single button linear games it is not too bad. Personally, I just like to get to the one villain who says “Your kung fu is good.” The story centered around comic artist Sketch Turner who was sucked into his own creation during a lightning storm. Unfortunately for Sketch, the villain in his book was granted partial access to the real world by the incident.

Video of  gameplay:

In case you missed it, the game is available on the Wii via the Virtual Console.

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Stuff

New Light

You are forced to learn a lot about yourself when there is no TV, internet, or video games to distract you. Faced with nothing but natural light, you find out quickly if you have natural survival skills. Some people master the outdoors with no problem, others stumble without their luxuries.

As much time as I spend on the internet, it was evident fairly quickly that if all hell breaks loose in the world I could get along for a fair bit of time. I’m kind of proud of myself for not losing my mind or just sleeping through the week. My neighbors were not faring as well.

I’m just glad that when our robot overlords take over, I might have a chance at hiding out in the woods.

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Stuff

EAS: Early Adopter Syndrome

Most of the people that come across this blog would test positive with Early Adopter Syndrome. (This little hut is probably only known to the people in Linkville and the followers on Friendfeed, its not LAX). Most people try to whittle down logins and passwords down to a handful, yet we keep signing our information away to tons of fly by night establishments that we hope have good intentions.

We deprive ourselves of sleep for days on end, just to catch that last bit of news about something that will not matter to us one way or the other next week. Is the taste of truly breaking in a service that delicious? Why is it that we rush to test things that are obviously still broken, and have to scramble for solutions to a product that did not matter mere moments before?