Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Angry Birds Makes me Angry.

The game itself I don't have a problem with. Except for the part when a brick falls on a pig and the pig doesn't die. Or how the constructs have a tendency to fall the opposite way that you would expect.

My beef is with Rovio. I don't think they did a good enough job handling the game. How can I say that even though it has consistently placed in the top ten of downloaded apps? Because I didn't know it was available for Windows until Justin mentioned it off-hand. Then it took me another hour to get it on my computer.

I had always known that it was available on IPhone, IPod, IPad, Android, and even heard Bob and Tom playing it on their Macs. Also Leo Laporte and Kim Komando talking all about how this game is all over the the same platforms. Not a word about Windows. I thought it's great the Mac finally gets a quality game, but I ain't buying an IPhone just to play this game.

(Big secret: I don't have an IPod. Why spend a couple hundred dollars on a music player when a $40 one does just as well?)

Late last year I needed a graphic reference and of course Googled Angry Birds. Took me right o the Angry Birds page at Rovio. I just wanted that big picture in the center. But I did do a bit of looking around but didn't see much that indicated to me what it was available on. I'm familiar with the App Store and such. I didn't bother with much else. Why trouble myself, Everybody says it only on mobile devices.

Then reading Super Justin's review he mention it was on Windows. I immediately Googled Angry Birds on Windows and at the time came up empty. Going to Rovio's site still had me guessing. Except for Palm for some strange reason, they never mention the specific OSes that Angry Birds is available for. I'm not asking for every damn Android phone on the market, just say Mac, IPhone, Android, and Windows. Click here to check compatibility. Adobe makes it pretty obvious. Microsoft can do it. Look at their shelf. DUH! Office is for Windows, but HEY! There's a Mac Version sitting there too!

With a bunch of random clicking around I figure out that the Windows version is in the Intel AppUp Store. You can't just download the game.NOOOOOOoooooo! You have to install the AppUp App as well. Then you can buy the game.

Now it's time to get stupid. I like to keep things slim and trim on my computer. I can't have a bunch of crap running hogging up resources. Intel AppUp turns on when you start up your computer. I go into MSCONFIG and turn it off. Angry Birds won't play. Next you can't make a backup copy. I tried. I copied the Rovio folder to another fully updated computer and it failed to play. Even installing Intel AppUp failed to get it to work. So you have to re-download it again.

Harddrives fail, motherboards overheat, and yes, Leo's cosmic rays do screw up Windows.

I understand totally. If you make this game playable by itself, people will pirate it to no end. It happened to Rosenkreuzstilette. But hell, Adobe is still making tons off of Flash. People pirate it, and some do buy it.

My problem is what if Intel AppUp loses your information? When I installed Win 7, I then installed Bejeweled 2 that I had downloaded from Pop Cap. They lost my information so I couldn't activate it. Had to go buy another copy. On CD. There's no option to get a hard copy of Angry Birds from Rovio.

For five dollars, it's worth the effort. Rovio is smart about this: check back once in a while, there's new levels.

I do have this feeling of Deja Vu, but this time I can't figure it out. I think I've played a similar game before, but the closest I can come is the "Cat"-Apult sequence from Blazing Dragons.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ravy 2011 Pg 13.

The New Swim World Federation Intercontinental Solo-Synchronized Tag Team Champions of the
The Bad Ass Trauare Wrede, Road Dawg Zorne Sepperin, 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Worth a Look: Sasami and the Magical Girls Club.

Most people probably heard of Pretty Sammy by way of Tenchi Muyo, not me of course. On one of my all to many vacations to the continent of Asia I watched tons of anime. Some in the language of the land such as Sailor Moon, Bomber Man, some Transformers rehash that had the copyright logos from Takara. I also got to watch a few in English and unedited like Power Stone, Samurai X, Ghostsweepers, Dual, Transformers: Headmasters(uhg,) Powermasters(YEAH!) and Victory(whoopie).

There was one interesting and pretty obnoxious series. As soon as I got home I went to the local anime store to find it. A store dedicated to renting out and selling nothing but anime. I saw the star of the series on one of the boxes for Tenchi Universe. I took the box up to the proprietor and asked:

"Do you know of a series that has this girl but she wears pink, transforms, and has a talking rabbit that meows?" He immediately takes me over to the subtitled section and points out Magical Project S.

What does that have to do with anything? Nothing. It's my time to waste and nobody's forcing you to click on this.

For many years I dismissed Sasami: Magical Girls Club mostly based on the early descriptions. Overemphasizing the cooking club bit. Which was really only a minor part. And the costumes were God awful, even for a magic girl show. I was tired of the whole "Does this lipstick go with my shoes?" routine of these kinds of shows.

One day Amazon recommended Sasami: The magical Girls Club. I guess based on the similarity to Rosario Vampire and Deathnote. I can get the whole series for thirty dollars. Well, I had been watching House for a couple of weeks and needed a change. If I don't like it, I know some guys I can give it to, or donate it to my Grandma's church rummage sale.

This ain't Pretty Sammy. This series was par excellence. For the most part. Let's start with that. After many years of Tenchi I'm used to a certain character design. This is very different. It's good, different, but good. Voices: good actors were chosen, they did a good job acting, and the correct voices were used. However, I was disappointed that Chisa Yokoyama, Etsuko Kozakura, Sherry Lynn, or Kate T. Vogt were nowhere to be found.

The next two problems are the fault of the acting and writing. I thought we were done with gross mispronunciations of names back in the 90's. "Roy-o-oh?" I can't even begin to figure out how to spell out the way they pronounced "Sasami." The thing I would fault this series for is too many characters. They get no development what so ever. You have the three other girls with Sasami and Misao. Then there's the other magic girl club. All the witches in the other world. Plus their parents, and a bad guy that looks like a good guy. They all have their own stories, which are good, but no time was given to fully develop them. They should have left it to Sasami and Misao. Which was always the strongest part of any of the Pretty Sammy series.

This is the best part. I had been thinking the whole time :"When is Misao going to get hypnotized into Pixy Misa and fight Sasami?" Never happened. Instead the bad guy used trickery to play upon Misao's jealousy and anger towards Sasami to make the decision to turn on her friends and fight against them. That in my mind made it worth suffering through the asinine little girl stuff.

Of course Misao is taken over by the main bad guy, fights Sasami, rescued, and then gets to use Sasami's powers.

While watching this, I got that feeling of déjà vu again. I definitely recognized the imagery from Pretty Sammy, and even from Tenchi in Tokyo. But, there was something else:

(Though I must say the ones on the left where both very difficult to get.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ravy 2011 Pg 12.


Just a shout out to a character model that helped me along the way.


Saturday, March 19, 2011


Friend of mine pointed me to a site called GoAnimate. So far all I've done is just peruse some of the tutorials and played around with the character maker. As far As I can tell it is something of a simplified version of Flash.


I say that because in one of the tutorials they kept talking about making one scene after another to get Spock and his ship to move from the back ground to the foreground. In Flash you only use one scene. Then to get both Spock and the ship to move on a path you have to coordinate them as separate objects and trust the judgment of your eye. (My eyes? You kidding?) In Flash you make a movie clip with Spock and the ship and then place them in the scene as a single object on a motion path.

The character creator was was a bit limited for what I wanted to do, but it was still fun. Though I didn't get the money thing they kept displaying.

Nurse Becky.
If she had been able to get a
job at a serious medical facility.

Angel form of Nancy Conner.
5 bonus no-points if you can
find all the mistakes I made.

This one really shows off the limitations.
I wanted an ACU pattern but couldn't find one.
Who is she?
She used to be in the comic, I'll say this, I have plans.

Thus far for a FREE program it's pretty well rounded. I haven't gone any further into it, so I really can't judge how good it is. I will at some point. Then I'll get back to you.

(By the way, it is a real pain in the ass placing those pictures, putting captions to them, and making it look somewhat comprehensible. Thank Google for that "PREVIEW" button.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ravy 2011 Pg 11.

Click Here.

Fairies are our friends. They are always there in our greatest times of need.

Usually because they caused it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Runaway Freebies

Last year I saw a movie that I swear I had seen before. So when it came out on DVD I dug up the other movie and decided to do a side-by-side comparison. Of course I must share my incoherent bumblings with all the world. And it turned out to be quite the adventure in using free software.

I needed to rip the movies to my harddrive. I popped the DVDs in and turned on DVD Shrink. In the matter of mere minuets the VOB file was in a useable form on my harddrive. Next up I had to edit the first movie down to the scenes that best make my point. I have Nero, Pinnacle, and Ulead. Instead I went with Windows Live Movie Maker. I had already been using it to edit videos for some time so I was familiar with the interface. It's not as feature rich as all the others, and it is a little unwieldy, but hey, it's free. You get what you pay for, especially from Microsoft. (I think there's universal agreement that it's okay to bash Microsoft.)

Probably the one big disadvantage is that you can only have one instance of Movie Maker open at once. You can import two movies, but at four hours of videos, it's tedious enough with one movie scrolling up and down the screen looking for that one special spot. So it's best to work with one movie at a time and when you're done save it and work on the next video. However, Movie Maker can do frame-by-frame edits, add additional sounds and music, all kinds of transitions, and captions. But, I needed a fade out, and that wasn't there. Seriously, fade ins, but not outs. In terms of audio, You can change the level, which is important because the first movie had a lot of F-Bombs and was much louder than the second.

The next movie was problematic: it wouldn't open up in Movie Maker or play in Media Player. Bummer. Let's try converting them to another format. That brings us to Freemake Video Converter. If you are a serious YouTube user (unlike me) you need Freemake Video Downloader and Freemake Video Converter. Get 'em and install 'em. You won't be sad that you did.

I digress, why download videos from YouTube? One reason I will discuss at some other time, for this article I will say to save something you like in case it is removed. This does happen. The old adage is that it's on the internet forever. Not true. There's a couple of old webcomics I liked that I can't find anymore. I remember hearing a talk show host lament the fact that he couldn't find the video of a politician saying something on YouTube. So when you see something, SAVE IT.

I converted the second movie to WMV and it opened up fine in Movie Maker. I think it worked better in WMV than VOB. Got the pertinent scenes and re-imported the first movie and spliced everything up in a semi-comprehensible order. I thought I was done, you'll know me and so you know I am never done. I needed to record some audio for a colossal flash trickle of a brain storm. Audacity to the rescue.

After spending an additional several hours working on that, I finally loaded it up to YouTube. 

Programs I used:

DVD Shrink

Windows Live Movie Maker

Freemake Video Converter


For your bemusement, my masterpiece de resistance. Of course, I fully acknowledge that I am most likely letting my over-reactive imagination trick me into seeing co
incidences that just aren't there.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ravy 2011 Pg 10.

Click Hear Here.

The Fairy Conspiracy.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

How could it have ever been 8 to 1 for hatred?

When I look at the make up of the Supreme Court I see some Justices I agree with 90% of the time and Justices I disagree with 90% of the time. I am totally mystified as to how these two groups could possibly come to the conclusion that a bunch of God damned phony Christians can be allowed to do what they do.

Now I could rant all day and well into next year about these people and the Supreme Court on this one.

But, I had a better idea. I went through the rusty old scrap pile of humor on my harddrive and found this gem of a joke. I'll take it and reword it for the times.

Becky and her girlfriend are on the beach applying sunscreen to each other.

(Let me take a minute to enjoy that visual.


I'm back.)

Where was I? OH-YEAH! Becky and her girlfriend are on the beach applying sunscreen to each other. When at that moment all around loud mouth, desperate for attention, party-pooper extraordinaire: Freddie Felching Phelch Phelps (who cares) comes running over to ruin all our good times.

As the turd of the human race is running, he stubs his toe on an object in the sand. This causes it to come flying out and lands in Becky's bikini-clad lap. She picks it up it and examines what looks like a lamp. You know, the one from every TV show and movie about genies. Then it begins to a rumbling and a shaking. A cloud of smoke erupts from the business end and it forms a beautiful blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman dressed as a genie. (Think Barbara Eden.)

"Thanks to this man I have been freed from a thousand year imprisonment. He may have three wishes."

"I WISH..."

"WIAT A MINUTE!!!" Becky interjected. "I"M the one holding the lamp when you came out, don't I get any consideration?"

"You're right, he gets two wishes, and you can have one. Now, sir, what are your wishes?"

"Oh I can't wait." Becky murmured.

"I wish for a 100 foot tall impenetrable wall all the way around my land." Genie crosses her arms, nods her head and a loud 'boing' is heard.

"Done! Your next wish?"

"I wish for all true believers like me to be inside this wall. We will be safe from satan's temptations and when The Rapture happens it will be easy for The Lord to find us." Once again Genie does the voodoo that she do so well and the self-professed reverend disappears.

"Done. Now you wish is..."

"You know, we could just end the bit right here where everybody is happy....... NAAAAAAAA! It's time for me to poop on their party." Becky said. "Genie, I have some questions: this wall describe it to me."

"It's 100 feet tall, 10 feet wide, goes all the way around and nothing can get in or out."

"'...Nothing can get in or out.' Check. Now, every piece of (bleep) that goes around protesting funerals of fallen heroes and little girls shot to death are inside this wall?"


"Genie, I wish for you to FILL IT FULL OF WATER!"

"Done! Well, I guess I should get back in the lamp now."

"No way! Stay out and enjoy some time in the sun. But first, you're looking kind of pale after being in that lamp for so long, you need sunscreen. Me and my girlfriend would be more than happy to help you apply it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Overcoming XP SP1

Been almost a year since I last said anything poignant about my disadventures in the world on Windows 7. (Okay, since I last said anything about Win 7.) I was mostly waiting for Service Pack 1 to come out. That was ticking me off. I was going to reinstall Windows when SP1 came out. Which was originally October. Then November. December. January. Finally February. I went and reinstalled much earlier because of some crash issues. I thought it was the hard drive, but it turned out to be the power supply.

(I know, it's not really a power supply. That's the outlet in the wall. Everybody calls that big metal brick a power supply, even Leo Laporte.)

What I'm mostly going to focus on is what has changed in my opinion from what I originally scribed about.

First is I switched from using Ultimate 64 to Pro 32. I was still having minor bug issues. Little incompatibilities here and there. It's been an issue forever. Only when all hardware and software manufacturers switch to 64 bit will the problems be solved. I decided that if I didn't like Pro 32 I could easily switch back to Ultimate 64. Other than the fact I had to load up Solitaire separately I've been pretty happy. Most things seem to be working better. Sure I can only use 4GB or ram, but hey, the most graphic intense game I have is Angry Birds. To be quite honest, perhaps the only version of Win 7 needed is Home. Unless you want to use XP Mode.

That's the next one. At first I thought XP Mode was rather useless. Sill is, except I did find one rather interesting use: Test programs I download. Instead of junking up my Win 7 install with trials and errors, use XP Mode. When things get to screwy, just delete the 4kb file in the Virtual Machines folder of your user account and start again.

I had a lot of trouble with Soundblaster. It's gone. One day it quit. I'm sure I'm the reason. The card is good. I tried it in my Linux Test Box and it worked fine. I now use what I term the Soundblaster bypass. I'll talk about it some other time.

Last thing I can think of is that I no Longer use XP Paint. I found out that I can resize the boxes even after I draw them.

That was the last bit holding me up.

In summery: I like Win 7. It's here to stay. In fact I'm at a point now when someone asks for some help with XP, I can only stammer through a response because I can't remember a damn thing about it. Win 7 has totally flushed it out of my brain.