July 08, 2006

Mmmm... sweet, sweet graphics.

Chiyo-chan had some elective surgery performed today. Out went the old wimpy 300w power supply that came with her, in went the beefier ThermalTake 430watter. A note to CowPuters: while I admire your dedication to perfection (*cough*), I don't think you really needed to go to the ridiculous lengths you did for the mounting brackets for the PSU, unless of course you INTENDED to make it difficult to put in a different one... in which case you did a fine job indeed!

Oh, and ThermalTake? I love the new PSU, but did you intend for it to power two computers? Because that's how many extra cables and molex connectors I've got tied up, unused, coming out of the thing (hmmm... maybe a small-formfactor box on top of Chiyo-chan?).

All of that was preparation for the fun stuff: an eVGA GeForce 7600 GT graphics card. Finally, Chiyo-chan can run graphically challenging games without breaking down and crying and dribbling snot out of her nose. It's amazing how easy it was, once I figured out the tool-free retention system ("Oh, THAT'S what that lever is for... so I don't need the grapefruit?"). MUCH easier than installing the FX 5200 I had in my old computer.

The colors! The images! The volumetric fog! The anti-aliasing! Smoke in Sid Meier's PIRATES! is actually smoky (and look! There's dolphins swimming next to my pirate flagship, The Webbed Foot!) and people actually look... um... human!

I'd giggle, except ducks don't giggle.

Much.

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July 07, 2006

Anime Nibblings

Official Overseas Reader Flotsky asked me to elucidate more about what I was watching, Anime-wise. And so I shall!

I'm watching (or intend to watch) a few different shows right now, actually. All of them are either currently running in Japan or their first run has come to an end. Yes, AnimeSuki is my friend (thanks to the Pixynator for bringing such a useful place to the public attention).

By now, anybody who's browsed teh intarwebs for anime talk has certainly heard about The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Heck, I've even posted about it once before. The series has come to an end (14 episodes), and I'm finally going to get around to watching the whole thing. I've seen the first four broadcast eps, and it definitely has my attention. One reason I've waited on it, though, is the way it's been shown. Y'see, Haruhi has been aired in a VERY odd way... seemingly out of order. You watch two episodes, then in the third you've got three new characters, and they refer to things that already happened, but we haven't seen yet. So I waited for the whole thing to become available, in case it was thought better to watch it in chronological, as opposed to broadcast, order. It's been suggested that I should both... so I prolly will (the chronological order is mentioned in the previews for the next episode, by the way).

Also on my watch-list is a show that I never thought I'd like: Ouran High School Host Club. Shojo-like series have always been a big turnoff for me... the animes that have prettyboys with overt homosexual overtones and (as SDB calls it) 'pointy chins' has never done it for me. And while this show certainly has some of that (and EVERY character has a chin you could use as a spear), there's something about it that makes me keep coming back. Perhaps it's that the main character is actually female, dressed as a guy... but I'd like to think I'm not THAT shallow! There's a definite sense of dry humor running through the show that meets my fancy, and as long as you can get past the character designs (chins that would be at home in a dartboard), it's pretty nice to look at, visually. I've watched three of the six I've d/l'd, but there are more than that available... I haven't checked if it's a 13 or a 26 ep show, but at the pace it's currently going, I'd guess 26. Plot so far: poor girl (dressed like a guy) attends rich high school, stumbles into odd gigolo-like club, breaks expensive vase, and is forced into joining the club... as a 'host', which makes her one of the most lusted-after guys in the school. Cue hijinks!

More after the jump: more...

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July 05, 2006

I AM SPARTACUS... no, wait, scratch that... I AM MICHAEL JORDAN... no, still not right...

Yes, that's right. I AM SDB (scroll to the post marked 20060705.1945).

I am also Pixy Misa and James Lileks. I just post here so I don't ruin my cover.

What cover? You'll have to ask Reynolds... he's the one that gave it to me, and I'm not sure that I should say anything.

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Blogging In The Troughs

Well, I dunno. Not much to blog about right now... I'm nibbling on a few different anime series at the moment, hoping one hooks me. Not much going on the F1 front, since the Circus is moving from N. America to Europe this week.

Oh, I had inquiries from Vaucanson's Duck when he was here about Yuji Ide's current doings. Fast Yuji is going back to Formula Nippon; he'll be racing for a team with the unlikely name of DoCoMo Dandelion.

Talk amongst yourselves, I suppose. Anybody have anything they want to share? Have anything you'd like me to dig into?

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July 04, 2006

Our National Holiday

Happy Fourth of July, America! I'm going to put my webbed feet up, watch some baseball (America's Game), have some hot dogs and beer (Monty Python's Holy Ale from England... we're not old enough to make good beer here in the USA ourselves), take an All-American Nap, then later tonight, step out on my balcony and watch the fireworks.

It's a wonderful thing.

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July 02, 2006

F1 UPDATE!: Indianapolis!

Home race, good friend, fresh sushi, Belgian beer... it's time for F1 Update!: USGP!!!

*RED LETTER DAY: Ferrari ran away and hid right from the start. They dominated all weekend, which we here at the Update! desk thought was interesting, but not realistic. "Surely," we said, "Renault and McLaren would find the speed come race day. Surely the dominating performance put on during quals was because of a low-fuel strategy."

We were wrong.

As much as it pains us to say it, Alonso needs to hit his knees and thank whomever that it took Ferrari this long to dominate again... and suddenly this season looks an awful lot more competetive than it did.

*BOOM GOES THE...: Now THAT'S how you start a race! We here at F1 Update! were left scrambling for the rewind button, trying to figure out who did what to whom... and wishing for a camera on the outside of turn 2. Thankfully the crashtesting paid off!

*TEAM OF THE RACE: Ferrari. Was there really any doubt?

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Jarno Trulli, Toyota. Starts on pit lane after a rear suspension/lumber mill change, finishes in fourth. Absolutely a stellar drive for the beleaguered Engineer.

*MOVE OF THE RACE: Giancarlo Fisichella's pass of Fernando Alonso on lap 15. Yes, it was certainly due to the team telling Alonso to let him by. But it was also the first time this season that Alonso had been passed on the track for position. How's THAT for a statistic? For that alone, Fisichella gets the MOTR.

*MOOOOOOOO-OOVE OF THE RACE: We've waited a long time for this. On lap 6, Takuma (Suicide) Sato showed his old colors, attempting a hopeless pass on Tiago Montiero. He dove underneath Tiago, locked up his brakes, and did a fine job of ritually disembowling the MF1 (which shed pieces for the next few laps). Well done, Taku! Your first kill of the year! This Moo is for you! Honorable mention goes to the McLaren boys, Kimi and JP. Since they both blame the other for the accident that took them both out, they get to share.

*QUOTES OF THE RACE: more...

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An USGP Note...

The F1 Update! for the US Grand Prix will be delayed. Vaucanson's Duck and I are just about to get dinner and then watch the race; maybe around 9pm Central time?

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July 01, 2006

USGP Saturday Events

This morning's Practice session was dull as dishwater. The teams didn't get onto the track until 15 minutes had gone by (and we discovered that approximately half the crowd brought airhorns. The other half discovered that they were going prematurely deaf about 1 second later), and after that, the action came slow and spurious.

The high points both came from Parky. He set the fast lap at 1:10.8xx, which was only something like a half-second off the lap record, set with a 3.0L V10. Amazing what they can do with aerodynamics... really helps hold the car to the road, no matter what.

Except when they don't, as Parky wound up flooping about in turn 7. *shaking head* Perhaps the best driver in the history of F1, and he's spinning as much at Fast Yuji. Weird.

Quals were amazingly anticlimactic. Ferrari dominated all three sessions, ending up Parky and Massa, 1-2. Jarno Trulli gave us the laugh of the day, breaking something minor in the rear suspension as he went into the turn 12-13 complex. This resulted in him dragging the legality plank all the way through those turns AND halfway down the straightaway, and as Official First Reader Mallory mentioned to me in an e-mail, "It looked like the Toyota was throwing up." The Legendary Announce Team described it as "not dragging the plank, but running it through a lumbermill." Alas, he went back to the pits and never re-emerged.

The positive surprises of the day would have to be Rubens Barrichello, sitting 4th on the grid; Jack Newtown at 6th; Ralfy-boy rediscovering that the right-hand pedal makes the car go faster and ending up 7th; and American Scott Speed making it out of the 1st session and ending up 13th, a fine result considering the handicaps the Toro Rosso runs under.

The negative surprises, however, are much more... well... surprising. Fernando Alonso in 5th? Kimi Raikkonen 9th? JP Montoya not making it out of the 2nd session? Takuma Sato outqualifying both Trulli AND Glamourboy Rosberg?

They say this track is schizophrenic. After watching quals, I believe it. Should make for a REALLY fun race on Sunday. See ya here then!

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