Just finished Bioshock

It came on Friday morning, I installed it on Friday evening, Simon and I started it on Saturday morning, and I finished it a couple of hours ago (Monday morning).

Wow. It's a true successor to System Shock 2. Expansive, decaying structure filled with barking mad former inhabitants gibbering to themselves in a broken parody of their former lives. If you remember SS2's bad guys muttering insanities to themselves ("little ones need lots of food..."), you'll love the lines that Bioshock's "splicers" come out with: a guy dressed as a doctor, holding a vicious knife, stalks after me, shouting, "Nurse! Help me find this patient!". When he finds me, he slashes the knife at me, screaming, "Hold still! It's just a simple procedure!"

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Mostly gaming

Our SLA Industries campaign moved on to part two on Saturday with another all-dayer game. Impressively, my non-combat-oriented business-trained dude got three human kills, which was nice. I've also been making more use of Reality Fold, often with comedic side effects.

Gameforce on Sunday was sans Angus, who's off at GenCon, so we had a run-what-you-brung day. We started with Mission: Red Planet, then Final Straw, Ca$h and Gun$ and finally Jenseits von Theben.

Last night (tuesday) I played Honor of the Samurai with some of the RPG group, and somehow won through doing everything in my power to cripple the other players before seizing the Shoguncy* and then flukily avoiding assassination for four turns.

Meanwhile, when I haven't been playing games I've been hacking on a little Django app (at an average rate of 30 minutes a day) and am growing increasingly impressed with Python's right-first-time factor and Django's object and template model.

Oh, and Bioshock will be out on Friday! Woohoo!

* Shoguncy?

Python, Django, doctest and TDD

I've had a weekend of uninterrupted hacking, which has allowed me to make major progress on a model mixin for Django which provides nested set-like facilities.

Any readers of this blog who are programmers and also Monty Python fans (hi Kuba) should love Python. I think I've blogged it before, but basically, it's a dynamically typed, object oriented programming langauge, with the cleanest and most readable syntax of any language I know. And it's officially okay to quote Monty Python in your comments. How cool is that?
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180-6, ho ho. India's still going to win, though, despite that performance and their weird decision to not enforce follow-on. Highlight of the test so far: even though it was against England, Tendulkar's first ball casual chip-wrapper-throwing-away technique removing a very surprised Pietersen.

Psst, cricket fans: am I doing it right?

Daft Punk: Interstella 5555

Let me start by thanking my homie KAHNYAY for fucking the otherwise excellent track Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Daft Punk and thus making me dig it out and listen to it several times to undo the damage he would otherwise have done to my musical recollection.

In doing so, I came to watch Interstella 5555, the anime film film of Daft Punk's Discovery album, from which the track is taken. It's great. It's perfect for the euro-dance feel of the music, but touching, funny, and simple at the same time.

As a public service, here's the original track, with the original video, taken from Interstella 5555:

Also, a very funny hand jive video of it
And an a capella version!

Ubuntu on a Virtual PC

I'm fed up with my laptop overheating because it doesn't have the Windows-XP-only ACPI drivers that the pre-installed Windows had. It is currently 33.2c in my study and moving the mouse too vigorously is liable to cause the CPU to complain.

So I'm Installing Feisty Fawn on Virtual PC 2007 on my main Windows box. It's slow going but looks promising.

Update 1: Ha ha, Ubuntu is so fresh that it no longer supports PS2 mice by default. Virtual PC "2007" is so old-fashioned that can *only* emulate a PS2 mouse. So you need to use mousekeys and then install this patch.

Update 2: She rides! 

Update 3: VPC also emulates a (get this) Soundblaster 16!

Update 4: And it doesn't report true monitor info, so ubuntu is having a hard time upping the screen res.

Update 5: I'm investigating VMWare, which isn't free.

Update 6: The VMWare website has already pissed me off by asking me to "register" before I can download a trial version. The registration process wants to know altogether too much about me, so they now have details of Mr. Fuckoffandie, an Assistant at an Aerospace company in Alabama 90210.

Update 7: The VMWare installer wants to reboot my PC.

Update 8: The installation is a dream! Display, mouse, sound and network are Right First Time. And it's noticeably quicker than VPC too.

Old Uni Chum

Thanks to FaceBook, I met up with my old chum Steve the geneticist* from Uni yesterday. He now lives in deepest darkest Kent so we rendezvoused in Tunbridge Wells, which I'd never been to before, and isn't it a nice place?

I was over an hour late, firstly because the M25 was being its good old self, and secondly because I have as much sense of direction as a ping-pong ball. the directions to get from my manor to the Kelsey Arms in Royal Tunbridge Wells are as follows:
  1. Follow the main road and join the M25 Southbound
  2. Go straight and don't take your foot off the loud pedal until you see signs for the A26
  3. Arrive Kelsey Arms
Instead, I had a nice tour of Tunbridge Wells in the sunshine.

Steve is well, mostly, but has a battery wired to spine to control chronic acute chest pain, so he can't be defibrilated or he'll explode.  Apart from that, he's doing good, working at Pfizer where his job title is now, simply, "Scientist". An he's keeping a small zoo of reptiles and arthropods at home.

*: From the days before I gave up dealing with the real world and went into comp. sci.

Apache Blessing

The wedding on Saturday was good, but odd - it was in a church, with basically the minimum requirement of religion, and some fairly non-standard elements thrown in. So the psycho sky monster got a few mentions, but there were no hymns, and some of the brides friends sang "Get Me To The Church On Time" and "Panis Angelis" (or something; can't remember the exact title. Would Panis Angelis roughly translate to "Angel Food Cake"?).

The reception at the Fermain Valley hotel was equally unorthodox, but quite successful. The first two courses were outdoors, despite dropping temperatures and occasional precipitation. And there was a seating lottery after the starter so everyone ended up meeting new people.

In a vain attempt not to drink too much, I decided not to get onto the beer or whisky - so instead I just sank a couple of bottles of champagne and chablis. Then I got up at 7am the next day because I had a flight to catch. Oh, that was a tactical error :-D

Apart from the wedding, I have for some reason been following the cricket, which is quite out of character for me, and hurray for Vaughn and his valiant century, and boo for pretty much everything else in the second test, including the weather going nice just at the wrong moment.

Guernsey, curry and graphics

I'm going back to Guernsey tomorrow for a wedding on Saturday. Two very dear old friends, one of whom is my godmother but who has failed entirely in safeguarding my moral upbringing :-D

In other news, I'm making a chicken tikka masala and it smells absolutely bloody lovely. I just want to drink the saucepan and sod all that chicken and rice business.

Also, I'm doing more and more graphic design at work and reaching the edge of the point where I could start to kid myself that if I practiced a lot more I could actually do it full time. Or it could just be that the people at work are used to such a low standard that anything looks good by comparison.