Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Win Great with Win 8. Part Deux.

I have been hearing that there might be a major overhaul to the interface. My initial reaction is don't. The start menu and My Computer has been working fine since 1995. Then again, the way iOS works is to just put an icon on the “desktop.” (I don't have an iPad or iPhone, so I'm not familiar with the terminology.) That's exactly what I do. For the common stuff I use all day it's right on the desktop. I just don't want to be locked out of my harddrive. I also don't want to be forced into sticking all of my music in My Music. I don't want to use a Libraries system which is nothing more than an overly complicated version of what I do anyway.

This is something from Win 7 that I love: the Favorites Menu in Explorer. It's easy to add location to it. What’s so great is say I'm in my comic folder and need to go to C drive. I just click on it without having to click on the back button, going to the Start menu, or minimizing a dozen windows to see the hard drive shortcut on the Desktop. I would really like to see that feature kept in Win 8.

Compatibility Mode has been garbage since day one. With Vista and 7 it does have its one good point. If a program won't install, set Compatibility Mode to “Run this program as an administrator” and it may install. However that doesn't mean that program will actually run as it did in XP and 9x. Or at all. Is there a way to get it to work as it was promised to do?

XP Mode made that promise as well, but it was a disappointment. From the overly lengthy startup times to programs not working because the detect that they are on a network. It's one great feature is that I can install an app in XP Mode to test it out. If it is no good, or if it was dangerous to begin with, then it is contained in an easily deletable folder that is not connected to my Win 7 Registry.

Just like a sandbox. What that is just simply an app that is contained in its own folder. Like Rosenkreuzstilette (haven't said a word about that game in a while.) You don't have to install it. It doesn't hook itself into the Registry and a hundred hidden folders. If you get a new computer, just transfer the file and keep going.

Sandboxing is quite the step up from that. The app is locked from being able to access anything else like the Registry. So if you get a virus laden deathtrap, just delete the app. In addition, it tones down DLL hell and won't delete DLLs needed by other programs when it is uninstalled.

The big disadvantage to this system is that it makes it easier to pirate software. But hey, let's be realistic. Hackers and pirates don't care. If you put some protection program in your app, they will find a way to break it. In some cases, upstanding citizens will look for hacks. Especially if they have to go through the twenty page registration process each and every time they click on the app. They will immediately go to Google and look up how to hack a way around such an annoyance. (Or so I hear.)

I think the best way around all that is an app store. I have Intel AppUp. I used it to get Angry Birds up and running. I just registered once and that was it. I can download what I want and uninstall at will. If someone tries to pirate the app by uploading the file folder to a file sharing site, it won't work.

However (didn't see that coming, now did you?) that is an app store's biggest weakness as well. If you can't get the app to work after transferring the file folder, how do you back it up? And no, you can't depend on being able to re-download it. After having installed Win 7, I tried to install Bejeweled 2 that I had downloaded from Popcap. I couldn't play the game because Popcap had lost all my registration information. What if that happens to your copy of Photoshop?

Windows has always had some basic free apps, but some improvement are needed. How about spell check in Word Pad? Or a better GIF filter in MS Paint? Layers, fades, and gradient fills? Just fix the damn transparency bugs.

The one thing that Microsoft should do that they are talking about not doing is an extended public beta testing. With Win 7 MS did what they hadn't done before: get feedback from the everyday user. Granted, up until a few years ago, MS would have had to mail out beta version of software. Only those that had the Technet subscription service could get betas. Just too expensive to mail out to a million people at once. Now that most have high speed internet, it can now be cost effective. Now MS can hear about and fix that MP3 bug before thousands of copies are sold in stores and installed on OEM computers.

If Microsoft had done a public beta test on Vista, there probably never would have been Windows 7.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ravy 2011 Pg. 35.

Click Here.

I can just hear the purists now. "No specific reference in the game. Over-interpreting the nuances of a friendship. Doesn't add anything to the enjoyment of the game?"

Hey, this is nothing new for me. I'm the guy that has on many occasions overly implied something more than just a sisterly relationship between Becky and Toni. Come on, you actually expected more from me concerning Grolla and Sichte?

Yeah? Well, wait 'til Friday.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Transformers: The Real Season 4.

While wandering aimlessly with my head on a swivel through the video section of the local Best Buy, the cover of a Transformers DVD caught my attention. It did because it was very different from the ones I had have been seeing on the shelves for the past couple of years. Deciding to take a closer look, it turns out it was Headmasters.

Believe it or not, even in this day of the information super highway, many do not know about Transformers: Headmasters, Powermasters, and Victory. Most people think the original series ended with three awful episodes culminating in Galvatron rocketing Cybertron towards Earth in order to destroy both. He fails, the Decepticons are sent into deep space, and Cybertron enters a new golden age.

As did I. Until my first Asian vacation. I got to watch most of all three series. Now concentrating on Headmasters, I can sum it up with one word:


Voice acting: AWFUL! Writing: AWFUL! Animation: AWFUL! Let's not get started on Daniel. Thought he was annoying in Season 3? While watching the real Season 4 I was wishing that Fortress Maximus would just take his thumb and push down on Daniel really hard.

So I bought a copy. Now where in the queue should I put it? Just got done with Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season 1, but I'm currently watching Those Who Hunt Elves. Also I'm taking in lots of House and The Closer. When's the next volume of Family Guy going to be out?

What's that on the cover? “First part of the rare Japanese TV Trilogy...” They're bringing over the real Seasons 5 and 6? That sure put to waste all that effort to get a hold of Super God Masterforce from England.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Huh files.

Once in a while you will see something that makes you stop, turn and look again, scratch your head and go "Huh?"

 When choosing a Twitter handle, you might want to double check and make sure that it isn't a Donnie Baker song.

I was always bothered by seeing Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving, then the day after Halloween. Kids haven't even gone back to school yet. Stan Freberg needs to rewrite his song Green Christmas.

Jeff Hardy has always had a rather unique way of dressing himself, but could we at least get the promotion correct?

Something like this had to have taken maybe a week's worth of effort to put together. Five minutes worth of fact checking would have prevented me from making fun of the fact they used brass coins.

Very accurate description of his driving style. Especially when next to Slowski Jr.

Why the Huh Files? Because WTF is so overused.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ravy 2011 Pg. 34.

Click Here if you dare.

The memories. Of when I took the time to align the text and edited in mouth movement.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Final Thoughts: Tomohane.

I guess I'm not done with Inukami. At first I lived in dreadful fear of Tomohane. Why? One word. Chibi-usa. I was so afraid that the manga and anime would be taken over by her. However Tomohane was sparingly used, and when she did show up, it built the story and made it much better. It turns out Tomohane was handled quite respectfully. There were several occasions in which she could have been the victim of serial perversion but the writers instead took the high road. Even in the movie when she broke character and tried to take her shirt off like everybody else was doing, Nadeshiko made sure that didn't happen. Tomohane was really the breakout star. She I think that could do well in her own series. Provided that the writing is as good as Inukami's was and doesn't turn into a minutes long transformation sequence with recycled minutes long attacks stock shots with only a minute or so of actual story that will be forgotten by the next episode.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Final Thoughts: Inukami.

When I did my initial reviews of Inukami many months ago, I had to recognize that fact I hadn't watched all of the anime. Well I have, and even the movie (that's an hour of my life I'll never get back.)

Let's start with the anime. To reset, I thought that the anime of Inukami was very well animated and the stories and character development were outstanding. However I was very much disappointed at the incessant display of rather uncleverly censored male nudity. That's just not my thing. It wouldn't have bothered me so much if some balance was struck with Yoko topless once in a while. I'm against nudity in cartoons, but I recognize the fact that there is a substantial demand for it. If you can make money off of it, go for it. However, after reading and liking the manga, I wasn't expecting to have enormous amounts of wiener shoved in my face.

Now with the final few episodes, all the good writing was pretty much thrown out the window. It became the hack premise of delay tactics to fill out a bunch of unnecessary episodes. It is one battle after another with the badguy using some fanfic like plot contrivance to win. Dai Yoko is about to beat Sekidosai when Sekidosai says he is more powerful and defeats Dai Yoko. When everybody is about to beat Sekidosai, he's not Sekidosai he's actually Jasei and beats everybody. Then the truth behind Nadeshiko is revealed. I was seriously expecting her to be Yoko's sister or even mother. The writing was that good. But no, Nadeshiko is the most powerful Inukami ever who destroyed a village and sealed her powers. Ho-hum. As she is about to totally defeat Jasei, he turns back time a few minutes to before Nadeshiko unlocks her powers and beats her.

Like I said, the writing took a downturn. And it got worse.

All the while where was Keita? He got turned into a baby and flung to the other side of Japan. He has to crawl his way back and every negative element of this series helps him out. Anime had a really tough time at first. From the poorly animated stuff being brought over, to bad writing, and bad voice acting. Now we have the celebration of nudity, guys hugging painted pillows, sadomasochism, poopie diapers, panty perverts, furries, and on and on and on. Let's not give anti-anime people anymore bullet points to use. (On several occasions Bob Kevoian mentioned that is what he thinks anime is all about.)

This is one reason why I say fact checking is a bitch. Sitting through all that so I will have some idea of what it is I'm bitching about.

Back to the action. At the last possible moment Keita and Yoko reach the wish machine, Keita is turned back into a grown up and confesses his love for Yoko. They beat the badguy and wiener is shoved in our face one final time.

The one positive part was Kaoru's back story. While essentially just filler, it was well written filler and tugged at the heart strings. The the fight between Keita and Kaoru was good and unexpected. I knew Keita was going to win, I just didn't know how he was.

The movie. I did a quick check, it turns out that it is only 25 minutes long. Sure felt like a hour. The animation was once again top notch. But, all the stuff I liked about the anime was pretty much absent, all the stuff I didn't like was there times 100. Let's just ignore all that and focus on Keita's speech. Towards the end Keita had a good line about people being left alone to enjoy what gives them pleasure in life. It really was the solid gold moment of the movie. While I certainly don't share in these perversions, I have no problem with CONSENTING ADULTS having a good time.

I just don't want to be blind sided and have it shoved in my face. (Like when I'm picking up a shrink wrapped triple volume of Hustler Humor and sandwiched between is a magazine of a "family way.")

To sum up. Parents, don't let your kids anywhere near Inukami. All because of the nudity. Female in the manga, male in the anime and movie. Still, it is some of the best animation and story telling I have seen.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ravy 2011 Pg. 33.

Click here.

I know that there is someone out there going (using overly nerdy voice): "Sichte is a woman of fine breading and culture and would never stoop to telling scatological humor." (End nerdy voice.) That's what makes it funny (I hope.) It's a tried and true humor technique. Assigning lines to those who may never speak them. I have a comedy bit somewhere of a guy impersonating Nixon, Carter, Barney Fife and other as if they were high on marijuana.

Don't like it? Do your own comic. There's plenty of web space out there and lots of it for free.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Spidery Instict.

I'm willing to bet that spiders don't just build webs across doorways and hallways out of their instinctive need for food, but to annoy me personally.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My annoyances with Mac.

Recently I built a Hackintosh. Wasn't all that difficult. I had a spare Intel machine and Mac OS X costs only $30. (You hear that Micro$oft?) After a couple of days of downloading various Linux distros used to install Mac on a PC I found the right one. I got annoyed.

My mouse has a back button on it. Instead of moving the cursor to the back button on whatever explorer or browser window. Or even just hitting the backspace key. I just tap the back button on the mouse with my thumb. Not with Mac. Hell, XP has had this feature for 10 years.

Closing programs is a hassle. Even in Windows the most you do is hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete if a program hangs up. In rare cases hold the power button. (A few time I actually had to unplug the power cord.) Mac on the other hand. Hit the red button, Itunes keeps playing. Do what? You have to click on the menu and then click quit Itunes?

This isn't the result of the vulgarities of a Hackintosh. I went to an Apple store to fact check this. I even went into preferences menu to find the check box that says to quit a program when the big red button is pressed, not there.

Even Microsoft is falling for this. Adding in all kinds of extra steps to everything. Ctrl-Alt-Delete now has an extra step to it.

This one isn't a Mac annoyance, but it's Apple's fault, mostly. You know Quicktime? I'm sure we all do. I have it just because. On some random sites that I download podcasts from, instead of just opening up the download manager, out poops Quicktime. Adding all kinds of extra steps to listen to listen to my favorite bunches of goof. It's not all Apple's fault. Sometimes it's the web designer, and of course Firefox which doesn't make it easy to calibrate that damn Quicktime plug-in.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ravy 2011 Pg. 32.

Click Here NOW! Before it's too late!

I did do a Google search on fart jokes. Wasn't at all surprised at the number of sites that bubbled out. Just disappointed at the constant trumpeting of the same jokes.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dr. House.

Been watching House on DVD, now I know why he keeps calling that one doctor "13."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rosario Vampire + Girls Bravo.

Kind of an odd pairing to talk about, but I'll make the link.

While reading Deathnote I kept seeing ads for Rosario Vampire. The cover girl looked cute so that got my attention. Got a couple of issues and this is pretty much what I found: Tenchi Muyo in a high school for monsters. Generally I find the story arcs are well written, but also repetitive. Big bad monster makes havoc, Tsukune makes the save by removing Moka's cross. Monster of the week would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids and their bat too. This is the same process for introducing all the main girls.

What has bothered me throughout the series is the high level of violence and blood that these kids find themselves in. The characters are 10-17 years old. Yes it's monster manga, but if it was a college setting, no problem. Then there's the sexual component. While I don't recall anything explicit, just the occasional hands on inappropriate places, shots of upskirts and bras, and girl with open robe on top of guy. Once again it's just the age factor. Especially with Yukari and Koko. Why? I really don't see the need to see these little girls in the situations that they put in all the time.

(What is it with witches in this series? Yukari is totally perverted at such a young age. Openly trying to get Moka and Tsukune in a menage a trois and copping a feel on a grown up Koko. Let's not get started on Ruby.)

I have considered many times dropping Rosario Vampire from my reading list. What keeps me coming back is the writing. While it doesn't have the depth of say Deathnote or the warm fuzzy of Inukami, it's good enough to keep me interested at least.

That's the important part. These characters are growing. They're not stuck in neutral like in Oh My Goddess. Friendships are formed and changed all the time. Most tend to have a deep emotional background as to their motivations. Even Gin. For someone that is hardly ever seen, he is really well put together, both physically and personality wise. That's why I tend to over look the violence and what some call fan service.

I digress to tell this story. A friend of mine has been buying this series for his son. I asked him if he even knows what is in Rosario Vampire. He said he flipped through just to make sure there was nothing he had a problem with. “Hey, it's not like it Hustler Humor.” He told me. He's right. As long as parents take the time to open up the book and see what is inside and not rely on the rather misleading jacket.

On to Girls Bravo. There was a sale at the many Hastings were I live. Buy two get one free. Plenty of Girls Bravo. How can I turn down a good deal like that with such cute girls on the cover? I thought to myself: “Self, you know what you getting into right? It's pretty clear on the covers and the rating on the back.” I was a bit wrong. I though there was going to be nudity everywhere. We get plenty of fan service and compromising positions. When after many volumes we finally get some nudity, it is rather uncleverly censored.

I only have four volumes. I doubt I'm going to continue with it. It's the writing. It's not good. Everybody is stuck in neutral and shoe horned into stories that are pretty generic. There is no growth what so ever. Not even in the outlier characters get much. In Tenchi the characters didn't do much, but at least we saw Yume and Minagi grow, change, and develop.

Now the anime of both series is the opposite of the manga. Rosario Vampire is not well written and not really well animated. Where as Girls Bravo was superbly written and animated. I had low expectations for the anime of Girls Bravo, I was completely blown out of the water. Everybody had motivation, direction, growth, depth, and well thought out character background. The manga's stories were contained within a single chapter. The anime's writers were able to flesh out each one into a twenty minute episode and make it entertaining.


Both series have a problem: the over sexualation of the characters. While I could tolerate the poor writing of Rosario Vampire, I don't get the constant upskirts, Kurumu's much more explicit and has all sorts of sound effects, and Yukari even more perverted. Girls Bravo is a constant stream of nudity distracting from what was a good story.

Maybe I'm just being too conservative on that particular subject. Strange considering my mom let me read Hustler Humor when I was ten.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ravy 2011 Pg. 31.

.ereH kcilC

Not sure which is better: transparent PNG or transparent GIF. Both require at leats a $50 program to make possible. And both can't render the graphics from Rosenkreuzstilette correctly.