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5201  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Another cody spotting? CAPTION THIS PICTURE CONTEST on: February 01, 2008, 02:38:24 PM
probably a pigeon that got sick of being chased by little kids...

He was definitely sick of something. He's got the runs!
5202  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Digital ink/tablet pc: worth the effort? on: February 01, 2008, 02:34:28 PM
there is just no way taking notes with a pen on a tablet is going to be used over taking notes by typing on a keyboard, unless all he does is draw diagrams.

Or unless he writes faster than he types. Which is sadly still quite common these days.
5203  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: How much email do you keep…and why? on: February 01, 2008, 02:30:26 PM
I used to keep a lot of e-mail but also delete a lot. Then I got Gmail. Now I archive everything except spam and the occasional stupid chain e-mail that comes my way.

I have two Gmail accounts now, but the one I've had the longest (back when invites were still rare) is only at 19% storage capacity. The one I use most often these days is only at 1% of capacity.

My inbox is tidy because I only keep a few in the inbox, but nearly everything else goes to the archive.

EDIT: As to why? Um... Not really sure. Most of it I could do without, but I have to tell you it has been very helpful when a year and a half later I vaguely remember an e-mail conversation I had with someone about some topic (such as coding) that I'm suddenly very interested in remembering. A quick Gmail search or two and I've found it. It's very, very useful when you need it.
5204  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Money saving budgeting options on: January 30, 2008, 02:25:29 PM
The best way to increase savings is to save early and think long term! I opened a new savings account at my bank last week and the banker showed me a sheet, where, starting at age 20 (kinda late for most of us here) if you save $1,000 a year (less than $100 each month) for 10 years and then never contribute another penny, you'd have more than $460,000 on a 10% interest rate by the time you're 65. Whereas if you start when you're 31 and invest $1,000 every year until you're 65, you have only about $350,000.

In other words, your total investment is $10,000 in the first example, but your total investment is $34,000 in the second example and you make about $100,000 less!

My wife left this open on my computer yesterday: How to Make a Million. It tells you how much you need to save each month at certain ages to have a million when you're 65.

I also recommend reading The Total Money Makeover by David Ramsey. He'll get you started on steps to take to come into big savings.
5205  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: HAPPY BIRTHDAY GOTHIC!!! on: January 30, 2008, 01:07:16 AM
Happy birthday!

P.S. The cake is a lie!
5206  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Bits Du Jour and GAOTD one-day deals on: January 29, 2008, 04:53:37 PM
How about a locked sticky that has their dynamic signature thingy that automatically tells you what the deal of the day is, how much time left, etc.?
5207  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Wallpaper Generator on: January 28, 2008, 09:47:00 PM
I don't see the point of this. Can't you just select your own photo and choose "Use this as my Wallpaper" in Windows?
5208  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Anyone Getting a Spamalanche Lately? on: January 28, 2008, 12:31:50 PM
My spam amounts seem to be about the same.

I use Gmail.
5209  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Find names for old games... on: January 27, 2008, 11:10:44 AM
Looks like Qix was ported to all kinds of places. DOS, NES, Gameboy, Amiga, etc.


The one I was thinking of was called Cacoma Knight in Bizyland for SNES
5210  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Find names for old games... on: January 27, 2008, 11:05:34 AM
By the way, that link to the variants is NSFW!
5211  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Find names for old games... on: January 27, 2008, 11:03:55 AM
Jezzbell was a lot better on the PC, not some poor browser-embedded remake.

I think I remember that game you're talking about papoj1. I played it on my grandma's computer or on the NES or something when I was young. But I can't remember the name either. I'll check out those variants and see if I find it.
5212  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Time to Wipe this Machine! Clean install? Or XP Repair? on: January 24, 2008, 02:45:36 PM
I agree with mouser on starting from scratch. But I've never used any kind of imaging software so formatting is all I know.

I don't have much more to add other than to second what mouser said.
5213  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Dreamhost mistakenly bills customers for the entire year on: January 22, 2008, 01:42:36 PM
5214  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Making a dream PC for cheap (as possible) - help anyone? on: January 22, 2008, 01:35:26 PM
Thanks Lashiec, that article is very informative!
5215  DonationCoder.com Software / Coding Snacks / Re: What language is the best for a new programmer to start with? on: January 22, 2008, 01:25:56 PM
In the past I've often turned to O'Reilly books for learning languages, but as I look over their C++ catalog it seems the only book they have for beginners is C++ The Core Language which was published in 1995. Would a book on computer languages still be useful after 13 years? There's also Practical C++ Programming published in 2002, but I can't really tell if that's a beginner book or just a "now that you know how to program C++, how about we show you how to do it properly" kind of book.

What's a good, up-to-date book on C++ for beginners?

And I'm also interested in hearing your opinions on O'Reilly books in general. The only reason I'm "loyal" to them is because my brother used them and recommended them to me back when I first started coding in 1998 or so.
5216  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Gamespot Editor Fired for Writing an Honest Review on: January 22, 2008, 01:16:17 PM
The lynchpin of this latest article is this
with no real transparency into the Gerstmann firing we still don't really know what happened last November

We have no reason to believe that Gerstmann's not hiding something unless he publicly authorizes GameSpot to release all information related to his employment history.

I disagree. You are probably right about laws and policy preventing Gamestop from explaining exactly why Gerstmann was fired, but if Gerstmann were fired for inappropriate behavior, why would his co-workers voluntarily leave in the wake of that action? We do have reason to believe that Gamespot (or CNet) is at fault while Gerstmann was just doing his job. Do we have irrefutable proof? No. But we do have reason to believe it.

At the end of the day, the real reasons that a review site publishes what it does aren't important. The only thing that matters is how well those reviews work to direct us to try things that we end up liking. If they steer you toward stuff that you enjoy, and don't let you miss much that you would have, then heed their reviews. If they point you to garbage while missing the gems, then remove them from your bookmarks.

Why do you care if the reviews are underwritten by advertisers at one end of the spectrum, or divinely inspired at the other? As long as they work, that's what counts. If they don't work, ignore the site and let it die.

Again, I disagree. The fact is that a very large number of people (perhaps a majority) are really clueless about games. So if a parent actually tries to do their job by parenting, and turns to game reviews to see what to get for their children, they need to be able to trust the reviews. With so many people in the media today touted as "experts" talking about games when to a gamer they are clearly talking about things they know nothing about, I think it's very important that we get as much accurate information as possible.

Just today an article in The Times says that "Xbox is crack for kids" and calls game consoles in general "Satan's Sudoku" as well as claiming (indirectly) that Teletubbies does more for the development of a child than any video game could.

On January 13th, some idiot watched a couple YouTube videos on a game called Mass Effect and suddenly decided to write a blog article claiming (among many other things) it was a virtual orgy allowing players to "hump in every form, format, multiple, gender-oriented possibility they can think of." But anyone who's actually played the game--which, to be clear, I haven't--says it takes up less than a minute (and shows only part of a breast) of an over 30 hour game and you have to follow very specific conditions to even fall in love with another character to have the sex scene.

And just recently (not sure on the date) Fox News decided that blogger was actually telling the truth and decided to run a story (link contains news video) with the same details, with an "expert" psychologist and (thankfully) someone who actually knew what he was talking about, Geoff Keighley. Unfortunately they let the "expert" do most of the talking and then only gave Keighley about 30 seconds to try to refute all the inaccuracies. Then they talked among themselves as if Keighley didn't just tell them they were wrong, saying how they'd never let a game like that into their houses because of all the sex and violence.

So yeah, CWuestefeld. It matters to me if a game review is written and scored based on money rather than merits of the game. When I see people in the media like this, I can't help but wonder if the majority of people are actually like that. When people don't know, they'll believe just about anything someone else tells them. Most of my family members would probably believe it, because they don't know better.

And here's a fun story to help my point: One time my sister was flipping through cartoon channels with her son, who was probably 5-6 years old at the time. One channel was showing SpongeBob Squarepants and in that particular part of the episode, he was in his underpants. She immediately decided it wasn't appropriate for her son and told him he couldn't watch it. That's her choice as a parent, and honestly I'm glad she's doing her job of actually monitoring and controlling and, you know, parenting, but that's not the point I'm trying to make. Later she was at a grocery store and she started talking with another woman who mentioned how much her grand daughter  liked watching SpongeBob. My sister told her she thought it was nasty and wouldn't let her son watch it. The woman then said she didn't know because she hadn't seen it, but wouldn't allow her grand daughter to watch it anymore.

The funny thing is later she saw SpongeBob again and decided it was really funny and she changed her mind and there is no problem with it playing in her house or around her kids. But I wonder how many people started "boycotting" SpongeBob because of a misinformed (though well-intended) comment through word of mouth?

EDIT: I started writing this before you added more to your post, so nothing here is a direct response to that, except this sentence I guess.
5217  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: An apology on: January 22, 2008, 12:10:28 PM
I'm glad to see amends are being made. Welcome back!

Oh, and since we're doing quotes:

Quote from: We Want a Rock, by They Might Be Giants
Everybody wants a prosthetic forehead on their real head.
5218  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Gamespot Editor Fired for Writing an Honest Review on: January 22, 2008, 12:02:14 PM
So it's not that bad that they fired that one guy, it's bad that all the others who are "compliant" still write for them.

I'm not sure. I find it harsh to judge the other writers who are still employed by GameSpot. Sometimes it's easier to do things that are "morally gray" when you need a paycheck to feed your family and pay your bills.

I know you were talking about more than just GameSpot, but even still, sometimes people do things they don't want to so that they can do things they need to.
5219  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Gamespot Editor Fired for Writing an Honest Review on: January 22, 2008, 11:57:35 AM
DonationCoder.com is teh greatest site on the intarwebs!  Thmbsup

Now where's my  two cents ?
5220  DonationCoder.com Software / Coding Snacks / Re: What language is the best for a new programmer to start with? on: January 22, 2008, 01:03:55 AM
There was also these threads with similar questions :

- http://www.donationcoder....c=10346.msg94249#msg94249
- http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=8094.0

A few books were recommended (by f0dder and CWuestefeld):

"Effective C++" by Scott Meyers
"More Effective C++" by Scott Meyers
"Effective STL" by Scott Meyers
"C++ Coding Standards"

Yeah I saw that thread, but by the time those books were mentioned it seemed to me that the conversation had moved to books beyond the beginner level and more into advanced.
5221  DonationCoder.com Software / Coding Snacks / Re: What language is the best for a new programmer to start with? on: January 22, 2008, 12:00:47 AM
I'd also be interested in hearing more about which books are recommended. Especially for C++.
5222  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: POWDER - A Roguelike RPG on: January 21, 2008, 01:19:11 PM
Heh heh. On floor 15 or 16 there's a minotaur boss. He probably would have killed me but I petrified him. Easiest way to kill enemies I've found--if you have the MP for it. Then again, you don't gain any xp for petrifying monsters (because they can be revived using a Stone to Flesh spell), so it's more like a failsafe against most of the really hard enemies.

Baezl'bub is on floor 25 so I'm getting close!
5223  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Making a router biased to a certain PC? on: January 20, 2008, 07:17:04 PM
Sometimes you can schedule routers to only allow certain IPs at certain times or something like that. But that would mean totally blocking your dad's internet access during the "off" times of the schedule.
5224  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: POWDER - A Roguelike RPG on: January 20, 2008, 03:04:37 PM
I've been playing the DS version so I couldn't take any screen shots. I decided to download the PC version and give it a little bit of a run for some screengrabs.

It's not much but at least it keeps the stomach pains away... mostly.

Deozaan the master adventurer conquers an insect!

Oops! A fire beetle killed me.

I'm enjoying the game. The difficulty is a mystery to me. Sometimes I'll smash through every enemy I see and then suddenly one enemy will take me out from full health. Not a one-hit kill, but he'll wear me down and I can't get a hit on him or I don't hurt him fast enough.

Overall very fun!
5225  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Cat on a Dolphin - amazing physics driven flash game on: January 20, 2008, 02:57:21 PM
Not only is it fun, it's also funny!
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