What She Said

April 25, 2002
3:02 PM
This comic summarizes EverQuest and other MMORPG's in a nutshell to me. Am I wrong? Are there possibly MMORPG's out there that are fulfilling? Possibly, but I'm not going to pay monthly fees to find out.

Something I've noticed. I've told a few people about my new monitor and after I tell them the size and the price we paid for it, they ask the brand name. Now, this one stops me because I'm not sure. The monitor has a "TTR" on it, but I'm not sure if TTR is the manufacturer or the name of some incarnation of some company that UCS own/owned and they put their name on it. I know one company UCS owns is Rentsys, who rents out computer systems, so TTR may have been a former name of theirs (I know KeyTrak, the company I worked for for two weeks brands their own PC's and monitors this way). Even if TTR is the company though, it's not like Sony or Samsung or some company you've ever heard of. Then I realized - I don't know who manufactured the monitor I had before - it was just the right size and price in Best Buy (yeah I know, BB sucks). I've never had any conversations about monitor makers with people. I would imagine if I had a $3000 plasma flatscreen then I would be interested, but I'm not. So, at what size do people start to wonder about manufacturer? I guess it's 21" because after that the size gets rediculous (not to say 21" isn't already rediculous) and so people start to wonder about other things.

I wonder how feasible it would be to install an older card in a PCI slot and get my dual monitor on...

Oh, what's sadder than someone paying $14,000 for one of the few remaining 200 Apple I computers? When it's seen as a disappointment because old Apples used to go for $50,000 or more.

April 24, 2002
9:49 PM
I want to tell you how cool my wife Wendy is. The company she works for periodically has auctions for old things like furniture and computer stuff to its employees. She called me up to ask me if I wanted anything. I didn't figure there would be anything worth getting (or at least nothing I could think of) so unless she spotted something really cool not to worry about it. She spotted a 21" monitor and signed up for it. It was a silent auction - one where you place your name and bid on a list and wait. Someone else comes along and outbids you. And so forth. She called me and told me, but noted "I didn't know if you wanted a bigger monitor." My response? "HELL YEAH! I NEEDS MORE RESOLUTION!"

She also put her name down for some office type furniture which she wanted. The auction was over at 6:00 and she got off work at 5:00. She went down and she knew a way to win at least one thing (the monitor or the furniture) - stand next to it to intimidate potential bidders. They would see the name on the list, the name on the tag, and then feel too bad to bid. She really really wanted the furniture, but she decided to stand next to the monitor for me. Her bid was up to $55 ($5 increments). Someone bid $60. She bid $65. She stood there and stared down bidders (not really) while tons of people swarmed the furniture she wanted. 6:00 came and we won the 21" monitor for $65, and someone walked by and informed her we had won the furniture as well. Life is good.

So I got it home and it's huge. It takes up most of this desk. It's dingy and the little pull down thingy is half-broke. It had no power cord or VGA cord, I had to dig some up. And it originally hated my Encore card (a reboot synced them up). But man, once I got it hooked up and calibrated with Photoshop and the control panel - it's huge, and it's specatcular.

Yeah, my wife rocks like that.

I just played some games on it and since I don't have the juice to run most games higher than 1024x768, I'm suddenly a big proponent of Full Screen Anti-Aliasing, so that's next on my list. However, I have NO complaints - this monitor kicks ass and having games playing this big is amazing.

Oh, and I'm now running 1280x960 resolution, so I finally have some screen real estate in VisualStudio.NET, or anything else for that matter.

Can you tell I'm a wee bit happy?

3:47 PM
Update - here's a Slashdot post by the guy who got arrested.

2:57 PM
Best Buy saw fit to arrest a man who questioned the price of a GeForce 4 graphics card. This after several years back they arrested someone for writing down prices in their store. You know, come to think about it, I have never stood in line at the computer counter and not seen someone lose their shit in that store at the employees (including my Father-In-Law once). I just may never go to Best Buy ever again - I'd like to get through this life without being arrested if I can.

April 22, 2002
11:24 AM
Pixar has announced their next three movies, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Cars. Hit the press release for more info.

The deal with Pixar and Disney is this - Pixar has a contract with Disney that, at this point in time, obliges them to three more movies by 2005, thus the announcement. One of the stipulations for them is that sequels don't count towards the totals, so we won't be seeing a Toy Story 3, unless there's still some demand for it in 2006. Toy Story 2 was originally going to be a direct to video sequel - despite the fact that Toy Story took four years to produce, the logic was that Toy Story 2 would take considerably less time since most of the assets (like the characters and the software) already existed. However the movie/plotline proved to be "too damn good" so they went the extra mile and made it a full blown film, released in 1999. Toy Story came out in 1995 and A Bug's Life came out in 1998, so at that point there must have been two "teams" working within Pixar. My guess would be that the Bug's Life team turned around and did Monster's Inc. for release in 2001. It's somewhat representative of Moore's Law that the technology in the films can improve while the turnaround time dwindles, but I would imagine Pixar must have three teams right about now.

Finding Nemo doesn't have a date yet but the plan is for The Incredibles to come out in 2004 and Cars (my bet is the title changes - A Bug's Life was originally Bugs) to hit in 2005. In order to work on three films more or less concurrently (Cars is going to have Lasseter back at the helm, so it doesn't sound like it could be turned around in two years) is to have three teams. Come 2005 they'll either renew their contract with Disney on better terms (sequels for starters) or venture off on their own.

The movie Shrek was fine and all, but I thought it was more of a fart joke than a film - and it sure as hell wasn't Oscar worthy. Final Fantasy went to the other extreme - near photorealistic graphics and a horrible story. The recent film Ice Age was a decent movie but the graphics looked to me like a student working on a resume film - they didn't do it for me like a Pixar film does. And as for that Jimmy Neutron movie? How in the hell did that one even get nominated? The crappiest Quake modification looks better than that.

Pixar hasn't let me down yet - let's try to keep it that way, shall we?

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