Ramble Ramble Ramble

Anyone here remember when this blog was actually named ‘The Ramblings of Me’? Well I do. =P In any case, I’ve been sitting on my ass doing just about nothing (well… if reformatting counts as nothing) but a lot of reading. Okay, so I’ve been still doing ‘stuff’, but nothing close to the amount of work I’d normally do at university. It’s been so great not having to worry about assignments and stuff. It’s definitely a way better feeling knowing you went through it all and now you’ve got your break from it. Yeah, I’ve even been hitting up the old ivory keys these past few days. The first time playing in like a month and a half really killed me. Apparently playing the Black Key etude as a warmup tune after a month plus isn’t such a good idea. My right arm was so tense and I felt like I’d been lifting weights after running through half the piece and just falling apart. Let me tell you, tenseness + fast = very bad. But I’ve been practicing and the Black Key’s sounding a lot better now and I’m working on another Chopin etude. They’re so fun. No joke.

Now, onto the geeky stuff. I’ve been having a ball listening to these podcasts, especially this one called This Week in Technology or TWiT for short. (for short… is that proper English? I’m saying it over and over and it doesn’t sound very legit :$) Anyways, I’ll have you know ‘Podcast’ is the word of the year according to the New Oxford American Dictionary. It didn’t even make it into that dictionary at all last year. How ironic no? Oh what was I saying… Right, TWiT. It’s an awesome show if you’ve got any interest in technology at all. Yes, it’s a little geeky and whatnot, but it’s also just plain hilarious listening to these respected ndividuals of technology verbally rip apart different companies, persons and whatever. Just a whole lot of fun. It definitely sounds like they’re having fun.

So I’ve finally got most of the applications installed on the laptop again. I’m currently installing up a whole lot of games to keep me entertained over the work term. I’ve so far got this lineup:

  • Final Fantasy VII
  • SimCity4 (yeah, going to give this a try again)
  • America’s Army
  • Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
  • Rome Total War
  • Maybe UT2004 for a little bit o’ CTF fun once in a while
  • Steel Panthers 3 with DOSBox

Damn, that last game is so oldschool. Sometime when I get a chance I’ll post up some screenshots of it. Ooooo those luscious 2D textures and practically MIDI sound effects… I even had to run it with DOSBox since otherwise it would run too fast. Those CPU cycles let me tell you. Apparantly computers have gotten faster over the past decade *insert rolling eye smilie here*. I’ve been also enjoying America’s Army immensely. It’s possibly the most realistic FPS game made so far. It became pretty clear to me UT2004 with the lasers and low grav isn’t very realistic at all. I had a nasty habit of shooting the first thing that came through the door when I started playing America’s Army and that’s a sure-fire way of getting a lot of team kills which kind of pisses people off. At least I’m not the only one though. At one point on a map, I, along with 2 other teammates got blown to pieces by a friendly grenade. Way to go killing half your team! Hooway! I’m slowly getting better at it, but generally still suck. I’m sure I’ll get lots of practice over the work term.

In other news, I’ve become extremely interested in various web technologies including Javascript, CSS and AJAX. I think AJAX is the thing that is most appealing to me. Basically a marketing term, AJAX stands for Asynchronous Javascript + XML. If you’ve used live.com, protopage.com, start.com or Gmail, you’ve used a site that incorporates ‘AJAX’. It essentially loads up a bunch of things right when you open up a page so you don’t always have to do the classical click-wait for server response-receive server response approach to browsing. You’ll notice how quick Gmail seems when comparing it to say Hotmail for example. (Microsoft has their Live Mail Beta as well which uses AJAX to present an Outlook-like mail client) Eventually technology like AJAX could allow us to run more and more applications, not just email, directly on the web. I’ve already started to learn Javascript, which is going very well since it is similar to Java which is in turn similar to C# which I have, *gasp* learned at university.

How do I intend to learn and practice all this? Well, I’ll be getting a webhost of course! =) I’m currently narrowing my choices down but I’m pretty sure I’ve found my host of choice. Hey Mike/Nick, remember our website plans from back in the summer? I should be able to get that going here soon. It’ll be a test/community website. You’ll get to put up with my buggy-ass coding and I get a place to test stuff out. 😉 Kidding about the buggy code, I promise I’ll keep that to a minimum. I have some ideas which I’ll talk to you guys about. Maybe you’ll be interested.

Ok, one last thing, I got accepted into the Microsoft Windows Live Messenger a bit ago. How is this pertinent to you? It’s not. I just wanted to boast.

Carry on.

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