If..Else Log

Be back soon

Having just got back home, I am pleased to find my Macbook has arrived.
Normal operations will be suspended until I can get over my gadget lust.

Power gloves, Wizards and Nostalgia

Powerglove

“I love the Power Glove.
It’s so bad.”

After years of waiting, it looks like The Wizard is coming to DVD; finally, a new generation of kids will get a chance to experience the Power Glove.

The Wizard

Whilst I have no rose-tinted disillusions about the film, I have to confess that I’m looking forward to it’s release. Yes, it has it’s fair share of cheesy moments, yes it was a Nintendo promotional flickThat’s understating things; the decision to debut SMB3 in this movie was a stroke of Genius by Big N and yes it has a load of VG factual errors. And you can’t help but squirm at some of the lines and moments in the film. And it’s unashamedly American.

But for a videogames obsessed kid who was growing up, the film managed to hit all the right nerves. As goofy as they were, you empathised with the characters; the simple story was believable enoughBearing in mind that I was probably about eight years old at the time:) that you were able to be carried along in the journey. As silly as the whole thing is, by the end, you don’t really care.

It’s the sort of film that can only be watched as a young kid; I’m pretty certain that were you to be any age older than twelve, you’d probably find it ridiculous to the point of being unbearable.

“I give you…Super…Mario Brothers…Threeeeee!!!”

There’s no doubt that I’d be setting myself up for disappointment if I were to watch it again… but I still can’t resist adding it to the bottom of my Amazon rental list.

How to pirate a vinyl record

Pirate records

The German magazine Die Zeit show you how to pirate a vinyl record old-school style using silicone and liquid plastic.

Haaarg, world!

“As we watched and waited two seconds for “GUESS!” to show up, Anthony’s face lit up again. “GUESS!” he exclaimed, in his best Scary Vampire voice. And then he laughed. And then back to programming. “It should wait a little longer! Maybe seven seconds,” as he started typing into emacs again”

I just love the gentle innocence contained within David Bau’s story of how his 6 year old kid learned to program a game with Python. In an age of 3D graphics and special effects, it’s wonderful reading how much the satisfaction a 6 year old boy can receive from a game that he wrote himself.

Simple roots

I first got into computing in much the same manner; I was a bit older than Anthony, starting at the age of 9 and it was with the less elegant language Basic. But my first game was also a “Guess the Number” job and the pure pleasure of writing a program all by yourself was one I well understood.

Sometimes, in all the talk about Frameworks, OOP and Design Patterns, you can forget what programming is really about. And that is to make a computer do something that we want. Sometimes that is to make a time-saving web app, or a fancy new organising system. But maybe, what it really is, is a guess the number game to call your own.

37 Caps and Crowns

Troll

Where does it say about blogs and comments that having a 32×32 pixel image by your name is a big deal?

Maybe 37Signals should forget about developing Web Apps, Frameworks and just start selling pixels…Just to clarify, and similar to the spirit of their entry, this post is meant in good jest; I’m a fan of their products.

Storage, bandwidth and Dream hosts

It’s human nature to want for more; we always look for the best deal, the best bang for buck whether it’s shopping for food at the supermarket or using price comparison sites for checking out the cheapest fare or television. And as anyone who owns their own domain are probably quite net-savvy, webhosts are under pressure to competitively price themselves.

I’ve been with Dreamhost for quite a while now, who’s front page pricing of $8 per month for a crazy 1TB of bandwidth and 20GB of storage is incredibly tempting especially when you look back just 5 years ago and compare what you were paying and getting then with nowParticulary for us poor UK denizens.. Of course, the announced specs should only play a tiny part in your decision making processEspecially when you consider that, like airline companies, most webhosts including DH, also oversell. but fortunately, I’ve been more than happy with DH.

Material needs

However, Podz is quite right in pointing out how little we actually use and need. We give to much weight to numbers and concerns about planning for unforeseen circumstances whereas we rarely even strain the packages that we pay for. So following his lead, here’s what I actually use for this site.

  • 160mb used by the db
  • 200mb disk space used
  • 600mb of bandwidth per day or 18gb per monthActually, this was more than I expected especially since there’s no big downloads like movies or music on this site.

In other words, I use less than 0.01% of my allocated storage space and bandwidth. The problem is that, in the hosting market, there’s substantial feature inflation brought on by the need for competitiveness. Because of the difficulties in comparing service, inordinate focus is placed on specs.

Unfortunately, there isn’t really a better alternative.

But what can we do?

We can rely on word of mouth, though anecdotal evidence carries with it a whole load of flaws such as the limited/non-representational sample size, bias and imperfect correlationNot to mention that there is a serious conflict of interest with referral fees that are often offered by hosts.. Review sites are even worse carrying with them an awful stench of corruption. How about sites that offer customer ratings? Sounds good until you consider that there’s a lot of incentive for dodgy webhosts to add their ‘noise’ to the system.

Numbers are easy to understand and use. But the simplicity of figures mean that we have to be careful the dangers of giving unfair weight to them. We probably wouldn’t buy a car simply because of it’s top speed; we shouldn’t make the same mistake with hosting.

Note that the links to DreamHost, my current webhosts, are referral links. As I’m a happy customer, I don’t see any harm to having used such but I felt that in the context of this post, it’s probably best to point that out in case you missed it.

LocoRoco flash

locoroco

LocoRoco, which is probably the only PSP game that has piqued my interest, has a cool flash demo on their site. I’m just a sucker for the lovely graphics and music… now if only this was on the DS.

Condoms can provide you with AIDS

Sometimes, it’s worth spending that little bit extra to get decent translators… [via]

Condoms can provide you with AIDS

200,000 WordPress.com blogs!

WP.com hits 200k users

Congratulations to Matt and the rest of the WordPress.com team on hitting 200,000 users. Only 800k more blogs to go till the 1 million mark:)

Reallife frogger

Reallife frogger

One of the most insane piece of driving I’ve seen in a long time. Fool’s luck indeed…