Archive by Author | amkhaibitu

#FairyflossAndAardvarks – The internet, it’s filled with stuff and things.

This isn’t a post about cats, it’s not even a post about porn, it’s a post about stuff and things.

This is of course my obligatory post about issues of late by someone who is most certainly not a journalist, I’m not a critic of any fame, and whilst I may get slow and steady traffic I’m not what you would consider a known blogger. Hell I don’t even have a regular schedule of when I post.

And yet, constantly my social feeds are filled with various causes of all sorts, most recently I’ve been bombarded by #gamergate.

As usual you have two factions slinging crap at each other, and as usual both sides at their core are ultimately corrupt and based around self-interest.

The thing that pisses me off are those so called victims, who manufacture incidents, and then they go and profit off it.
So what if there are real threats, why do they need to be advertised and milked for hits?
Report them to the appropriate authorities and go back to your work.

If all your work is associated with bomb/death threats, real or fabricated, then that’s all it ever is, you’re only going to be known as a victim.
At that point nobody is going to pay any attention to if you’ve actually got good points or not, they’re just going to focus on all these negative aspects things you’ve milked for youtube hits.

Seriously what would you prefer “person puts together an expose on the flaws of an industry and how to fix them” or “professional victim has to once again not do something, read their stuff”?

If your work can’t stand on its merits alone, then it’s not good enough. So don’t complain when people call you on it.

Now I await the inevitable attacks by the white-knights of the professional victims.
After all I am apparently everything that’s wrong with the industry and the world through no fault of my own.

Don’t worry though, I’m not going to use any death-threats (real or not) to make money, I’m not going to be a hypocrite.

Windows 9… I mean 10, totally not 9 because they chose to skip 9.

So the Windows 10 Technical Preview just got released this week.

Being somewhat skeptical about how it would handle naturally I had to get my hands on it.

For my test rig I chose to utilise the windows drive in my Steambox.
It’s an i5 in a G1.Sniper Z87 with 8gig DDR3 and a 560ti.

Up until today I’ve been running 8.1 Heavy Edition on that drive, and what better way to confirm how things function than to migrate directly to 10.

Quite simply the process was pain free.

I copied the iso over to USB, I ran the setup.exe and away it went.
I spent some time changing water in my fishtank during all this, about 5 buckets worth to give you an idea of timeframe.

Eventually it got to the point of asking me to log in, and I was finished.

Pretty much all my drivers and motherboard software still function, though App Center is chucking a fit with “This Driver can’t release to failure!”

Straight away I fired up my x11 miner and then switched over to remote desktop to really play with it from the comfort of my main win7 system.

Seriously I’m liking it so far.

Whilst it seems fairly solid at this point, I stress only try it out on an alternate system like me, things are bound to not work quite right or break and just change a lot over time.

So enough of that, here are some basic screen-caps.

Music and mining, what more could you want?

Music and mining, what more could you want?

darkmining-on-win10

Mining and new start menu, yes I like to place the taskbar on the side.

Respawn 32, the voyage to Candy Mountain

So in just under 8 hours, the doors to Respawn LAN‘s 32nd main event open.

There’s still a chance to register for fun and games.

For example, there is a candy filled pinata, there are jars of candy I assume for prizes and everything.

We’ve managed to update the media tech side of things this event, and the event stream will be more awesome than ever, with the ability for tweets to the tag #RespawnV32 to turn up at our behest.

425 odd players in one place, we’re on the way towards a petabyte of data in one place and a massive steamcache.

The Nightmare, it begins anew.

So anyway, I collect and occasionally play Wyrd Games products like Malifaux and the like.
I’ve a range of stuff all the way from1st edition all the way through to the beta of 2nd edition wave 3.
I have three entirely different sculpts of Ramos and his Avatar, so you could say I’m a bit invested.

Anyway, Wyrd are a regular at Gencon over in the USA, a totally massive event.
Wyrd also have a tendency to release new stuff at Gencon.
Wyrd release Gencon exclusive items, referred to as Nightmare editions.
Wyrd also release special gencon exclusive bonus miniatures if you order $100+ worth of product, last year was the Steamborg Miss Step, this year is the female Teddy Miss Ery.

Now I know some of you might be annoyed that you can’t get to Gencon to pick up all the new gear, limited editions, the latest boxed sets and books and so on.
Don’t worry, Wyrd have got you covered.

For the duration of Gencon you can order all the things they’re selling at the event, you can get the exclusive and bonus kits, you can order the new books.
You just need to head over to their webstore and make an order.
That’s how simple it is.

I of course planned a different order to what I made. I intended to get the Nightmare Whiskey Golem, M2E book 2, and the first two books for Through The Breach. Instead I ordered the Golem, Hannah and The Kin.
The reason being the astronomical cost of international postage on the books.
So I’m holding off on those until I have a spare extra $70 on hand.
At least I get the Nightmare figure and Miss Ery.

So go order some stuff and hit me up for a game in Melbourne sometime on a Sunday afternoon at Good Games.

Random musings of a random nature

So sitting up here in Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
I haven’t been here in around 14 years, a lot longer since I actually had a relaxed holiday (The D Generation were still on ABC backthen.)

Here I am with no broadband, and my wireless hotspot is simply my phone, I have a limited amount of data, and no games.

And you know what, it’s given me some time to think and muse about things with no distractions.

It’s so easy to get lost in gamer culture, games constantly being released, daily log in rewards or challenges, new dlc, ranking up and so on.
There’s no time to actually stop and think with things becoming based on reflex and repetition.

Yet here I am, no games, no real ability to log in, and the only challenge is getting back to basics.
Sadly with basic browsing it’s alarming to see how quickly I’m using data, and I’m not even watching funny cat videos.

However I get a chance at gaining and maintaining a form of clarity due to sitting back.

For example, capitalism. Much like communism, it works in theory.
Everything we do, everywhere we go, everything around us, all driven by capitalism, or rather in it’s current form, consumerism.
Products and services are created to consume, profit is derived, and the profit accumulates in the hands of the few.
Such a thing should naturally be cyclical, you earn, you accumulate, you spend, injecting the money back in to the economic ecosystem.

The problem is people are actively rewarded for accumulating wealth with interest. The more money they have sitting there, the more money gets added due to interest.
The interest has to come from somewhere, with a limited pool in circulation it has to come from other people, banks just can’t create it.
This is purely an incentive to store our money in a bank, granting them the capital with which they can offer loans.

At the same time, loans gather interest as a way so banks and such actively benefit, allowing them to add it to the piles of wealth they’re looking after.

The mechanism of interest itself is what I feel is driving society in a death spiral to the point that the accumulated wealth will gain enough mass to create singularities and the whole lot will just implode.

People will tell me I’m wrong, of course, we’ve all grown up with banks and interest, it’s simply the way things are.

And yet, we’ve seen economies crash, the mega-rich getting richer without having to do anything.

So I wonder, if banks as they are now, no longer existed, all currency was released in to circulation, would society improve due to one less greed-fueling mechanism, or would it get worse?

This is why in part I’m really excited by crypto-currency, there are no interest rates, only transaction fees (and then only if doing things such as converting from one currency to another).
The value is based purely on demand, there are limited amounts that can ever be in circulation, we’re in change of securing it, and the people involved are typically not dicks about it.

So, I’m willing to perform tricks for doge, like a good little shibe.

This has been yet another of my pointless posts, the first from tropical north Queensland.

Candy LAN – Can you stomach the gameplay?

So, due to a clerical error, registrations for Respawn LAN’s 32 big event opened up early.

If you don’t know what Respawn is, it’s a regular LAN gaming event held up at Latrobe Bundoora.
In this case it’s held on the 27th and 28th of September, for some it’s Grand Final weekend, but for everyone else it’s a prime opportunity to get together with 424 other fellow gamers.

Each event has a nominated theme, it’s varied from things such as Winter WonderLAN (last time) to 8bit (ages back) with custom trophies and some competitions to match.

This event is of course themed around candy, so I’m fully expecting to see the trophies be unicorns on bridges.

So if you’re not busy on the final weekend of September, are a gamer, feel like being part of an industrial (Zardoz Approved) gigabit network, or just like candy, sign up for CandyLAN here.

If you want to find me, just ask for Beeslol up the front.

Further adventures in the steamboxen.

So back in the first half of the year, as some of you may know, I built a Steambox, codenamed Project: One Wood.

Originally I’d planned to build something with a uITX formfactor or something equally small that could fit in a display unit.

That of course went out the window when I won a full ATX Motherboard at Respawn LAN  supplied by their wonderful sponsors over at Gigabyte.

Over the next couple of months I picked up components, where possible, from the various hardware sponsors, such as Corsair.
Then I stopped after finishing assembly at a LAN.

Since then I’ve been living with it hooked up to the TV, and honestly it’s got some real potential.

Sadly the number of gamepad capable games on linux is really disappointing, and I haven’t been able to stream games for use with the gamepad.
I practically turned it in to a Plex dedicated machine, which is amusing considering the grunt contained within the case.
The reason for that, well I use Plex on my main system, I use it on my nexus 7 and Galaxy SIII, and most recently on my brand new Asus t100. It quite simply does a better job than the PS3.
There’s also the fact I can control plex using any of those other devices.

I’ve done very little tinkering under the hood other than getting Plex running, as I want to see what Valve are going to do, and well I don’t want to break it.

Speaking of breaking, I managed to break Big Picture Mode a couple of times already, leading to it re-downloading Steam and reconfiguring it (the first was when I tested Sleep mode, and the most recent today was returning from the desktop).
Other than that and some initial kernel panicking after initial installation it’s been fairly solid.

So now, the steambox finally has a wireless keyboard/trackpad, I can finally play games from the comfort of a soft chair across the room.

Now I just need to wait for the steam controllers to be released and I should be set.

The future is looking good for games on linux, and a way to break out of the microsoft dominated PC gaming market.

Temporal Thought Conumdrum.

Over the years we’ve had many movies, many tv shows, books, comics, games and so on dealing with time travel.
The most recent of note is Continuum.

So someone travels back from the future, they take technology in to the past, and then they change things.
Depending on what and how they change thing determines if the technology of the future changes or even exists.
Just by being there and used as a sample it may accelerate and enhance development, which of course by it’s nature changes the subsequent iterations leading up to the seed tech in the future.
By it’s very nature improving the technology in the past with technology from the future changes that very technology in essence.

The beginning of this has been covered in Continuum with HALO incorporating future elements.
By it’s very nature, all the technology based on HALO from then on will have different future iterations, unless you posit that the path to the end journey doesn’t change as much due to the level of science required to analyse things is insufficient to do more than provide a road-map.

This of course starts falling apart when you start including multiple alternate future timeline technologies.

Liber8 travel back to the present to prevent the corporate congress from forming and thus if they succeed they lead to a temporal paradox, their very history no longer exists.
Kiera travels back by accident (or the intention of Alec Sadler) and seeks to prevent Liber8 from accomplishing their goals.
Sadler sends information back via Kiera (unknown to her) for himself as a way to change his future.
Sadler sends Garza back again for his own goals, muddying Liber8’s purpose.

That’s just the first batch from the exact time period, it doesn’t even include Freelancers.

At the end of last season Alec traveled back two weeks to change the past and save someone from death, resulting in two Alec Sadlers, two time travel devices, and two timelines, of which one ceases to exist.
Kiera travels back as well, resulting in two Kieras, two CMRs, two suits and so on.
Things start escalating quite dramatically from there but technologies don’t change too radically.

The problem is from there a third timeline spawns leading to Brad being sent back.
His technology is completely different to the other two timelines.
His very being there invalidates all the other tech that has traveled back, possibly even the very method of traveling back.
And yet the other tech does not cease to exist.

The only way this works is if the multiple timelines co-exist, with the path taken being determined at key junctures but the potential to cross between them.

Whatever happens, Continuum is handling such things interestingly.
I look forward to seeing where they go from here with the advent of the Bradpocalypse timeline.
It’s just going to get even more messy and lead to some great character development.

AmK

Hireds Swords – The miscasts box.

Here’s something with a slightly different spin to it.

I play Malifaux (well I do when people I know aren’t working over in Japan), and I’ve really started collecting since I started getting games in.

To date I own three Ramos (original, alternate and plastic) type crews, somewhere Nicodem has gone hiding, Pandora (plastic), Marcus (metal), Misaki, Yan Lo, Dreamer, this is just to name a sample (and names are currently hiding with Nicodem for the ones I’ve got that I’ve not mentioned yet).

My most recent acquisition is the Viktorias Hired Swords plastic box.

It’s stuff like this that reminds me of just how much plastic can be used to make.
Well once you get over the limitations of steel die-casting not being able to produce things like undercuts.

Image

Keeping in mind this is not an ideal miniature photographic setup and that I’ve got a bit more cleanup to do prior to painting.

Most of this stuff went together, well other than a lack of tolerance with the pieces, some of them being rather fine (seriously hands tend to end up separate with malifaux at the 30mm scale) and the Student of Conflict’s braids snapping in half with no real application of force (she’s the one front and centre).

The reason I called this a miscast box is for something that seems utterly hard to comprehend happening in a box containing parts purely designed on computer and then directly laid out on sprue.

I write of Ronin 3’s left arm. She’s the one on the back left, and it was bizarrely wrong.
To put it simply, the shoulder was reversed.
If attached as it was, the arm would more or less be broken with the elbow facing the wrong way.
Not only that but it would end up pointing away from the left hand in a way that even the resurrectionists would be ashamed.

It’s a little disappointing that I had to sever her arm at the shoulder, then turn it around and re-attach it.
With operations like that when flesh and cloth are involved you have to be really careful to make sure everything lines up right.
Can’t use a pair of side-cutters either, those gouge out way too much material.
Carefully with a scalpel I cut around the edge of a band on the upper arm and accomplished this without making it look like she’s horribly deformed.

What I’m trying to say is this, when you’re paying a premium price (ok, so significantly less than games workshop level) for something designed and laid out on computer and mass produced with all the associated images based off the same original 3d model used to generate everything from artwork to instructions, having a part be quite simply wrong is really disappointing.

The consumer shouldn’t have to fix an issue directly out of the box with anything, especially if all the rest of it is perfect.

All I can say is it would totally suck for a regular gamer to have to deal with something like that.

And thus ends my first Malifaux post of any real note on here.

All Praise GabeN: The beginning of a journey.

So anyway, last year or so, Valve announced their Steambox powered by SteamOS, and I thought that it’d be pretty sweet if I could be one of those lucky people to be chosen to try out a prototype unit (out of the many thousands who also applied).

Valve did the fun thing of releasing the beta of SteamOS in to the wilds for people to try out, mess with and generally try to break.
Naturally I grabbed it with the goal to test it out in a virtual machine.

With the help of the internet I managed to get it installed in Virtual Box and got to play around with it without hardware acceleration, I found it pretty neat.

I then of course blew away the windows 8.1 test install and then installed a dual-boot of SteamOS on my main gaming rig (Stitch).
The big thing that kept me from spending more time with it was that I didn’t have audio available due to using DVI output and not having a receiver or anything available to handle it.
I acquired a game-pad at this stage.

I was at Respawn LAN back this most recent January, lanning there like I have for the better part of 14 years, they have a tendency to do random draws for door-prizes from their sponsors.
Of course I’ve never won anything at that venue in the entire time I’ve been there, and tend to joke about the name selection code being incredibly biased as the same people tend to keep winning stuff.
So when a G1.Sniper motherboard from Gigabyte was held up to be the next prize I made a comment that I could use it to build a SteamBox.

GabeN heard me, my name was called, much to my surprise.

I’ve now finished the initial construction of the SteamBox codenamed OneWood.

Sadly the journey is far from over as it’s been impossible for me to produce audio output via HDMI, the Recon3d (from Creative) support is absolutely non-existent, and despite managing to get output from a USB DAC I haven’t managed to get that sorted in relation to the TV.

The journey will continue, I will be gaming fully in the loungeroom without so much as a sign of microsoft, sony or nintendo, I will be on the bleeding edge.

Praise GabeN!