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There’s a lot of debates floating around the internet over the iPhone and Flash. Here’s an example. A lot of it is rather frustrating since it is miered in rhetoric. While most people won’t read this – its probably worth writing down for posterities sake. Having actually played with Flash development tools (not so much the authoring tool that comes with CS4) I thought it worth commenting on.

1. Flash is unstable

I honestly cannot remember the last time it crashed for me. I guess it might be unstable if your machine has several not up to date versions of the runtime installed.

2. Flash eats the battery alive

Maybe on the Mac which doesn’t have support for hardware acceleration. When I used to use a Mac as my main machine I never really did understand this – why Apple wouldn’t make the API public for 3rd party apps to use hardware acceleration on the video card. There apps can use it (Safari and the DVD player – but that is about it), but 3rd party apps cannot. In fact if you want to play back video on OSX you have to do so over the Quicktime libraries – which don’t support hardware acceleration. Maybe Apple does this deliberately to cripple Flash.

As a matter of fact – Hulu running in HD mode on my ancient Dell Optiplex 745 uses around 15-20% of the cpu resources – where playing video on my Mac in any program outside of Safari uses over 95% of the cpu, not just in Flash. Sounds like Steve should blame is OS engineers for the cpu time wasted.

No the reality is that Flash is an application platform these days – not at all unlike Java (which has also been barred from the iPhone). If Flash ran on the iPhone it would open up the device to applications that ran on it over the web without app-store approval and revenue. I suspect it’s as simple as that.

Coos Bay is like this microcosm where nothing is like anything else outside of this area. It is its own culture. This isn’t necessarily a good thing in all cases, but its something to be very aware of if you live here. If you’ve lived here for long enough you may not be ready for life outside of Coos Bay.

People here like trucks – big ones. Not necessarily a bad thing, but you might have trouble parking if you live in another city. Its ok to complain all the time about gas prices as well if you drive one.

1980’s vintage Camero’s and Firebirds (or Trans-am for that matter) are not cool cars. This is especially true if every single panel on your car is a different color and held together with zip ties.Camaro

Yelling at co-workers can sometimes get you fired at a company. Yelling at other people when you don’t like something is generally considered taboo in the outside world.

Parking stuff on your yard makes a statement – that you are a hillbilly living in the city. To really make a statement – try digging up your yard (front or back!). Double points if you have a boat and also park that in your yard.09262009023

We shouldn’t kid ourselves. Mobile homes – especially anything made pre-1989 are metal shacks. If they were any closer together we’d have our own ghettos.

You may not get so far in life sitting at home all day long eating beef jerky and watching television.

Still there are cities that have it worse off than Coos Bay…

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Shaman_Draenei_by_Nadou I have to admit – I spend most of my time these days “micro blogging” on Facebook. Still Facebook has a post size limit ;).

I was looking through the World of Warcraft patch notes for version 3.3.3 and noticed the following gems under Shaman:

  • Flame Shock: The damage-over-time component of this ability can now produce critical strikes and is affected by spell haste.

Talents

  • Elemental Combat
    • Elemental Oath: This ability is now always on as a passive aura.

So right now if you hit a target with Flame Shock – unglyphed it ticks away for a static amount with a +damage modifier (so the more spell damage you have the more damage Flame Shock does). So good news overall for shaman damage, but its interesting that this is the 2nd time a glyph has been turned into a “permanent” shaman spell or effect – all around Flame Shock ;).

In all the classes I’ve played I think Shaman’s actually were perfect as far as Glyphs go – at least for Elemental. Every single one of them is a flat damage modifier – no compromises (good example – the damage modifier glyph for Frostbolt is that it does more damage, but it no longer slows down the target) – almost all the damage increasing glyphs for shamans just do more damage, no “does more damage, but doesn’t do this now” effects. Not sure why, but it makes it easy to pick stuff out.

The original Flame Shock glyph simply made it so that Flame Shock wasn’t consumed when you hit the same target with Lava  Burst. They removed that restriction on the spell. Then the glyph simply made it so that the damage over time could critical hit (which was a 2 piece Tier 8 bonus as well), and now they are removing that, and making it part of the spell.

It does make me wonder actually if Glyphs are an easy for developers to prototype changes on certain classes. It allows them to make what seem like talent changes on the fly in the game.

I know elemental shamans have been low on damage this last expansion so its nice to see some fixes here and there to help.

WoW Armory lets you set your characters pose and view now – check it out!

So a minor setback on my reasonably priced PC – Newegg sent me a combo (which they promote) that doesn’t actually work… More details later I guess…

So someone dropped off a computer at my office door at SWOCC the other day with a note attached “please recycle” – so I took it home. Inside was an ASUS A7V 333 with an Athlon 2.2 GHz cpu inside (mind you that’s the performance rating – its probably like 1.5 GHz or something – the chip’s manufacture date is 1999…) – all the parts were floating around inside (including the PSU) and it had no memory. It also had an 80 gb hdd, and a network card (both of which I gave away). However the case looked solid. Its actually an old Falcon Northwest machine. Little known fact: before their meteoric rise they used to be a local computer shop here in Coos Bay – so its not uncommon to find them at peoples houses around here.

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Its a common misconception that super fast PC’s are expensive. So I thought it might make a nice project. How cool a machine could you build for like $500? So far I have (on order) 2x 2GB DDR3 DIMMS (core memory), an AMD Phenom II X4 3 GHz cpu, an ASUS M4A79XTD motherboard, and a Corsair 750 watt power supply. I have a 9800 GX2 I’ll drop in there for video, eBay has that priced at around $100 – so its around $600. I also have a 1 gig hdd coming as well. The machine has a Sony DVD-Recorder already installed – no clue if it works, but everyone knows you can get those for like 30 dollars these days. The OS will probably be Windows 7 Pro x64 (OEM). I noticed Newegg tacked on a printer as well :/ – one of those Canon’s with the $50 rebate… Anyone want a printer?

A similarly configured machine from Falcon today will cost you about $1900. The biggest difference is the case doesn’t look like it was dragged around someone’s car (it has scratches on it…), Falcon NW doesn’t seem to sell AMD systems anymore and it has a GTS 260 – 9800 is older, but should be faster actually since it has 2 GPU’s, and a higher clock speed. Another thing missing from this PC is technical support, but then – if you’re into hardware hacking who needs that right?

Funny note btw – long ago I had an A7V 333 – this was around 2000-2001 I think? I know I was still working at Rulespace :). This feels like some stripped down OEM version of the board however since it only has one IDE port. The one I had back in the day had four.

Anyhow once assembled I’ll do some benchmarks and give you my impressions of the relatively affordable uber PC. Once working it will be a nice machine for media (like on my HDTV or something) and a computer I could drag around to lan parties without worrying about getting the case work dinged up. The only thing I’m really worried about is that it will be faster than my demon PC (I call it a demon because its an un-natural machine that really shouldn’t exist) which has cost so much to build at this point I try not to think about it.

So I moved with my friends from the realm Staghelm to Korialstrasz, and to be honest I’m kinda regretting the decision. For one thing the guild he joined I was rejected from, so I haven’t been on a raid in weeks, but the biggest problem is just how many noobs are on that server. I’ve run into players wearing gear with stats that don’t benefit them what-so-ever, people who use resist gear as their main set of gear, and people doing less damage than my poor Shaman has ever done – even at lower levels.

Its really pretty awful :/.

Industry Gamers reports that Nintendo Wii sales are down 50% – wow. Many people blame it on the games, or the lack of HD graphics or graphic muscle that the PS3 and Xbox enjoy. I think the games are just fine – the bigger problem are the controls.

I got rid of my Nintendo Wii – because I never could get used to the motion control gimmick. They are so bad that Nintendo releases the MotionPlus addon (which only works in supported games) and even then I’ve read it isn’t all that great. Search Google for “Wii terrible controls” – you’ll be surprised how many hits come back with people complaining about controls on the Wii.

I think the lesson here is motion controls are fine for certain kinds of games (exercise, virtual sports etc), but leave traditional proven controls to the pro’s (d-pad controllers) – don’t build a console based on a single metaphor.

Here is an article by Kotaku that basically says the same thing.

So the main printer in my lab (the only one really) has a page count of… well check out the screenshot:

hp

So lets do some math. I know that a ream of paper is about 2 inches thick and has 500 sheets in it. So 500/2 = 250. 1124682/250 = 4498.728″ – which is 375′. Still 375 feet isn’t all that impressive.

Multiply 1124682 * 12 you get 13496184″ (if you stood all these pieces of paper end to end) which is about 213 miles according to the google conversion tool. Essentially a piece of paper end to end up the entire Oregon coast – which is a bit more impressive.

I ordered a new video card for my desktop PC from some guy on eBay (it was a good price…), but the way its being shipped is odd:


LOUISVILLE, KY, US 10/06/2009 11:50 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
ONTARIO, CA, US 10/06/2009 5:25 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
BALDWIN PARK, CA, US 10/06/2009 12:03 A.M. ORIGIN SCAN
BALDWIN PARK, CA, US 10/05/2009 7:27 P.M. FORWARDED TO THE FACILITY IN THE DESTINATION CITY
10/05/2009 1:16 P.M. PICKUP SCAN
US 10/05/2009 6:10 P.M. BILLING INFORMATION RECEIVED

So basically its on a little odyssey around the country.