Tuesday, November 28, 2006


i've been playing The Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, the last of the excellent 3-part series. i really like the game, and Speed Kills really make it, but man, there are some hard hard parts in that game! specifically, i'm talking about the chapters titled "The King's Road" and "The Well of Ancestors" (i don't have my computer here so i can't say if the latter is correct). i had played the "The King's Road" chapter before, and since i just wanted to get the story, i used a trainer when it got too hard. the second time round (i still haven't finished the game yet, FYI) i decided to play it, like a friend said, about 200 times or so (i don't even want to think of playing it on Hard - i usually just play Normal) before i get it (why didn't Ubisoft think of putting a save point immediately after the chariot race? IMHO, that chapter is so difficult, anyone would want to quit the game right after it! at any rate, i started the game again, loaded a save and just noticed that the game was slow - slow enough that i passed through the King's Road without a single Recall! it wasn't until i was done that i noticed that my computer's power cord had been disconnected from the wall socket (living in a hostel has its advantages...). when i ran through the Well of Ancestors for maybe the sixth time, i'd had enough of the Dark Prince saying "tick, tock, Prince...", and disconnected my computer from its supply myself. yeah, i know, it was cheap. but i'd really had it. i generally play games for the story, because i like stories. anyhow, i guess after my second run with my slowed-down game, i got through to the cutscene where he obtains the King's Sword (i had to go through it twice because i didn't see the ledge above the wall blade close to the end of the run). ah well. why am i posting this? i guess i found out i've developed a bad habit of looking for the easiest route to things - the path of least resistance, you might say. but the problem with this is in life, there are no real shortcuts. every "shortcut" has its own downfalls. this is the law of equivalent trade i learned watching Fullmetal Alchemist. like Al says in the intro, there's always something you exchange for something else. cheating is unfortunately a habit which won't stay in just one area of your life - you'll end up cutting corners somewhere else - and most likely, live to regret it. that said, i'm still not going to play any of those chapters again. no, really!

Monday, November 27, 2006

stuff n stuff

i'd noticed it before, but i guess i'm just really realizing that Microsoft has upgraded Hotmail free user storage to 1GB. Go Google and Yahoo!, especially Google! i remember a time i never checked my Hotmail because of the measly 2MB storage which was never enough because i got the most junk mail there, of all my free email accounts. i only kept the account because of MSN instant messaging. even my Operamail account was far more useful than the Hotmail, even though they had about the same capacity (Hotmail 2MB, Operamail 3MB). i can't remember how many times i had to reactivate the account. i guess that's why they say competition is a good thing. i do hope people will keep Microsoft on their toes. it'll make things more interesting, and it pays the end users too :D.

Friday, November 24, 2006

some interesting Python finds

as part of the plan to get my life back on track, i've been (re-)learning Python using How to Think Like a Computer Scientist. i've found some interesting things along the way, such as:
  • that you can use the modulo operator (%) with floating-point numbers, at least in Python. it works as you'd expect, including the floating-point inaccuracies. it's interesting that it still works with both arguments as floating-point numbers. just don't use the results in a place human life may depend on :D
  • that you can use the regular math syntax with Python. x <= y <= z is a boolean expression that returns true if x is less than or equal to y and y is less than or equal to z.
  • the int(), str() and similar functions actually return types when treated as a variable. so this: isinstance(myVar, int) and import types isinstance(myVar, types.IntType) are functionally equivalent. the reason i say it's interesting is because other functions return a function variable, not a type. i'm not quite sure that last statement makes sense, but pythonistas should get the idea. i'm using Python 2.4.4, so if these thingies don't work for a different, don't blame me :D

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Life, life

konnichiwa! been quite a while since i last posted anything here. i guess it's more of laziness than anything else since blogging is my lazy way of writing down what i think. of course, since it's accessible to pretty much anyone, i have to keep all the nasty stuff to myself...heh, heh. things are a bit quiet here at school. i do have to deal with some personal issues, one of which is the fact that i am taking a second extra session in school. guess i'm not as smart as i'd like to think, at least in the eyes of my lecturers... truth be told, i hate being in school now. i hate the fact that i feel as though my life is in a cage, and that i'm shackled somewhere. i hate feeling constrained, and that's exactly how i feel right now. and it sucks. seriously. i'm not free to decide whether or not to take a second extra year, but i am free to decide exactly how it will affect me. honestly, i feel like rolling over and letting life just pass. a friend said that about me about 3-4 years ago. that i basically think, "what's the use?" and don't do anything about things. i really can't say i've done things to the best of my ability. i really could have been more serious in school, but it wasn't fun. and maybe that's the problem. here i am moaning about how bored i am, and here my life is trickleing away without my notice. i guess what i say is true: life is what happens to you while you're waiting for your life to get started. the point is: my life and focus are far too small. someone said it right when he said: a man wrapped up in himself makes a pretty small package. but it's really hard to snap out of it, to find some grand design into which my life fits...i guess there's not so much to say around here. maybe i'll let you know what secrets i find on my journey...maybe not. either way, it's probably better than nothing. maybe it will work, maybe it won't. as you can see, i haven't formed by resolve. it just might explain why my blade does not cut. ah well. guess i've yakked enough now. later.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

This ain't upbeat by a long shot....

i feel like getting stoned. really, really, STONED. it's been that kind of week. or day, or whatever. i dunno. i don't care, really. i'm just really depressed right now and it feels like my life got stuck in a rut and there's nothing i can do about it except roll over and die. i'm angry. and sad. i've hurt people, people've hurt me, and i'm trying to make sense of this mess. i don't think i have anyone to talk to right now, so before i freak out or do myself or someone some damage, i'm retreating and sounding off. since the internet is a big, anonymous place, i feel safe in my anonymity here. you don't know and probably don't care, and since i'm not writing for anyone in particular, i can forget about being socially correct and just say how i feel. i don't expect you to understand. you have your own problems, don't you? doesn't everyone? but maybe you do understand. maybe if i tell you five minutes ago i wondered why i was still living and what i could do to change that, you just might find some hope to give it one more shot. and then maybe my rant won't be just a rant after all.

Inkscape driving me up the wall

so far, so good. i've been using Inkscape for some time now, and it's been impressive. my main beef with it, however, is the fact that the latest Windows release (0.44) doesn't support OpenType or Postscript (Type1) fonts. in my experience, Type1 fonts look much better than the equivalent TrueType fonts. this means that as for now, any OpenType or Type1 font i get is basically wasted as far as vector graphics is concerned...hmmm...i remember something about a faulty pango (i guess this is a library used for text or something) DLL. maybe if i copy the one for the Gimp to the Inkscape install folder something good will happen,,,for more information about the bug, please click here. UPDATE: renaming the DLL worked, because i already had the GTK 2.8 runtime installed for the Gimp, and it uses a higher version of Pango than the version that came with Inkscape.