Almost there …

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Coffee breaks of productivity! I just need the header for 2 categories, and our redesign is complete. Good practise for the album artwork I need to wrap up soon …
Tomorrow is teaching time again …

just played: assassin’s creed black flag
just watched: jim sterling – assassin’s creed thingy india
just read: still count of monte christo
just heard: cooptional podcast 105

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New Design trodding along

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Almost done with the restructuring… New look for Game Design and Music is done, too. Rest will follow.

It’s kinda nice to polish this little blog in coffee breaks, but now I start to feel the new year taking up speed again …  A lot of contact with clients today, new work coming in. I like! But: I have to fight to keep remembering all my other things, #1 of them the album of course.

I also want to reinstall a weird little thing I had on my old website: Adding some needless “Now” info to my posts, just to make them super-current. 😉 Might be just more noise, might be interesting, I don’t know. Like this:

just played: dirt showdown
just watched: let’s drown out… james pond 2 (youtube.com/user/yahtzee19)
just read: the count of monte cristo (alexandre dumas)

Re-designing this, more posts, new stuff

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New year, new things one wants to do. I think, a blog is good for me. Helps me keep track of days, of progress, helps with the old mood swings and stuff …

I want to do some new things here, and want to post more often. Right now it’s a bit of a mess here, but I hope to have more to show soon.

It’s always a guilt thing: I have things to do, so let’s address this here: I am doing this for me, next to my work, not instead of work. So, me, don’t feel bad about this. It’s not wasted time, it helps me to focus and to keep my mind clean and sane. (I hope)  Blinking deadlines are good for me AND stress me out, which usually silences me (between stress, guilt and the feeling of fading away from the present). Weird, but there you are.

I have to go through all my old posts and update them to fit them into my new structure, wahhh…. This will take a week or two.

Patreon & Jim Sterling

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About 2 weeks ago, Jim Sterling left Escapist Magazine (and just as I got used to that cool show Uncivil War, in which he battled my beloved Yahzee).

He goes indie now as a reviewer, podcaster, vidcaster or whatever. On Patreon, which appears to be a sort of “salary Kickstarter”.

I think, this site, of which I only diffusely heard so far, could be just what was missing.

Take a look. He offers 0 rewards. Only 1 tier. 1$ or more.  2713 patrons pledged (altogether) $9760.13 per month, which is an awesome salary.

How great is that?

Now I need to find something to offer, which people would pay for… 😉

jimsterling

The Dailyshow gets my Web Policy Award

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Cause who else comes to your mind that…

– has around 950 hours of his show online

– estimated 1850 episodes

– that are all (still) available all the way back to 1999

– viewable by non-Americans (!)

– without advertising (!!)

As seen on http://www.thedailyshow.com/videos . OK, you need to click each chunk of a show. OK, some things are dated because it’s very contemporary. But that means it’s also very much history! The mindset of the US TV landscape conserved for eternity. And Jon Stewart is a charming funny host. I admit, the older episodes are not as brilliant as the newer ones, which often are sarcastic entertainment art. Still very enjoyable!

This beats all of my podcasts in sheer hour power. Compare it to Conan o’Brian, who allowed non-US viewers to see a few episodes for 1 week! Now I can see snippets of 1 show or so. Or I need to seriously hack myself into seeing full episodes at snail speed. Look at Bill Maher, a few outtakes. This pains me more than it entertains me. Or even Howard Stern at SiriusXM: SirusXM want $12.95 a month to hear his show, and you cannot even choose a country other than USA when you try to order. You need a US credit card. To order their WEB ACCESS. Because the internet is in America, stupid.

Beware of Malware

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Guys, man. Rough ride last night. I usually don’t think about Malware and such stuff, have a virus scanner installed and too much today to worry about such things. BUT last night I got hit by the wonderful Malware “Windows Diagnostics”.

I guess it’s because I clicked on a fake twitter notification mail a few days ago. Be careful with that shit! Let me tell you what happened, and as I do so, imagine how a total PC beginner would have felt!! (I on the other hand use computers since 1984 and have worked 10 years in IT, and even I was stunned).

It started with popups that my hard disk is damaged. Reboot necessary. I found that highly suspicious. Why a reboot if my hard disk is broken? Makes no sense. If you ever get any of those, google the message BEFORE you do anything. I did. I found, that a series of Malwares use those error messages. What they in my case are trying to do is scare you into buying a software.  If you click away any of those messages, a fake software called “Windows Diagnostics” comes up, looking really convincing I must add:

Very well done fake!

 

Your PC is burning. Please fill water into your disk tray.

Here is the thread about it I found at BleepingComputer.com. Those guys are excellent. Complete step by step solution.

Anyway, “Windows Diagnostics” malware already started to take action. Opening of programs was blocked. More random windows errors. So I hit CTRL ALT DELETE and… the task manager was gone too! At that point I started to get nervous. My virus scanner was gone too (without any fight by the way). The malware also fakes problems with your folders’ contents, removes entries from your start menu… What the…

I followed the commands of the thread. Rkill closed the malware, my task manager was accessible again and my breathing returned to normal. 🙂 Now as the link mentioned I downloaded the awesome software Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.. It checked my hard disk for 3 hours, then removed every trace of the Malware. I want to marry it.

If you are still unimpressed, there is another scare for you. I don’t have to tell you how many deaths a novice user would have died already – harddisk crash, PC acts weird, I can’t open programs anymore, some start menu entries missing…

Now after the reboot, I find desktop empty, start menu almost empty and my hard disks containing 0 files. Good scare, beats 10 cups of coffee. But I was clever enough to realise that this was still the “virus” speaking. That fucker has set my entire hard disk’s content to hidden.

Again Google helped me out. After some wild goose chases (I thought ownership trouble, wrong account or permissions etc.) I simply used a DOS prompt and the command Attrib to set all files to not hidden.

Again: BleepingComputer.com helped me 100% for free, privided RKill for free, and I could completely remove everything for free with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware. I am happy that other companies work the karmic way I do, so I followed through and bought their software for under 20 Bucks. Now I am Malware protected.

I USED to give a fuck’s damn about spyware and shit. My last spyware killer messed up my 80€ Norton Antivirus (now on my never-buy-again-list) in a way that it never worked again. My mails to support have not been answered, but it has only been a few years since then. But then I saw her face, now I’m a believer! So PLEASE install MalwareBytes Anti-Malware now for free or <$20. With all the spam and fake and shit on Twitter and Facebook we can all use it.

And NEVER click on those fake emails “you have 3 facebook notifications” or so. If you get one, always go to FAcebook or Twitter directly, don’t click the link. I have spend 2 secs on that scam page! And as far as I know, that was all I have done recently to deserve this.

Don’t know how I can pay back BleepingComputer for their help in need. But I will figure something out. Maybe a thankful blog post?

Wikileads – Actually Kinda Hard To Love

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Help me out here. What am I supposed to think about Wikileaks? Who is hero and villain in this thing? I get confused if I read my Twitter stream and Facebook news feed… Somehow it doesn’t all fit together.

People root for privacy of their own data. Hate big brother 1984-like transparency. Love the Pirate Party which is all pro that. Dislike Stasi/Communist East Germany. Love Wikileaks. Hate the tax office. Like democracy and the constitutional rights we all enjoy.  And beat up snitches after school. There is a lot of Two-Face insanity hidden in there somewhere.

Let’s look at the latest data Wikileaks have received: Sensitive data about bank accounts in Switzerland. It appears they want to disclose the names of supposed tax defaulters soon.

Judging from the past, nothing will be blocked out. Everything will be public. Private information about people who may or may not have dodged taxes or broken laws. Wait a minute, you hate the guts of the IRS and “tax office should go to hell”, you hate that any big brother like thing peaks into your privacy…  And this you love? This is an invasion of privacy clusterfuck. What about any innocent ones among the list? They might lose everything (job, position, trust, business partners) and will possibly never be able to  prove their innocence. Think it through.

And how about the guilty? They have rights, even murderers get protection in a constitutional state, remember, those very rights you love and the lack of which you protest against when discovered in certain countries east of here. Not full public stripdown even before any trial! They are not even properly accused.

And I am not even starting about the list being possibly cleverly forged. Drop a few enemy names here and there, everything else is legit… It’s quite easy. You know just what will happen, if you can make a good fake and throw it at Wikileaks, they will not have any good taste or any moral regrets to smite your enemies by Select All Upload All like the seeding monkeys they are.

I have friends who have been in custody for 6 months because of wrong accusations of tax fraud. I turned out the government couldn’t find anything in those 6 months, which is the maximum time they can lock you up without a trial in Germany. They was an anonymous tip,  but they failed to find any slice of proof, nothing to even start a trial. Funny, heh? You see, anyone can accuse anybody else, and harm them. Like, well, the STASI!  Remember GDR/DDR, communist East Germany? Somehow NO-ONE thinks they were cool. But they had private persons sniffing into the affairs of others (guilty or not), putting it in neat files. At least they didn’t upload them!

Just saying. There is too much blood on the tights of this Robin Hood. Wikileaks is as elegant and reserved as a steamroller. If you need to upload info, why can’t you block out the information that might be hurting innocents? Or possible innocents? Or even kick the rights of suspects. Isn’t that kinda dictatorshiply? Why don’t they give the names to the police and upload everything removing ANY Names. This is as interesting to read, and does not harm anybody without a proper trial. Just saying.

Now, I will close all browsers, work on my sound design here, and wait for the next headline: “Wikileaks Publishes List of Witches – Public Burning Scheduled For Saturday”.

Definitely the first time I need to rebuy a book because my first copy burned down

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Currently reading Mogworld by my personal hero Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation fame. Will continue his first published novel – and 3rd altogether -by what could be our newfound evil Pratchett as soon as I’ll have rebought it. My copy just burned down.

I got up at 5:45 am today, thanks to my little offspring-shaped alarm clock. But as it happens I dozed off on his bed, and woke again to the smell of smoke! Looking up I saw that there is smoke blurring the lamp. Natural instincts are a funny thing. I jumped, and searched the room for a fire, waking up my house. Checking the fireplace downstairs – nothing. Basement – no smell of smoke coming up the stairways. Run up into my studio – everything full of smoke. It didn’t smell like a PC burning, though, and again – no fire to be found. The smoke just liked to travel upstairs.

So back down again, and I finally found it: our 1st floor bathroom. My 4 ys old son obviously plugged in that strange radiator the former inhabitants had installed, and cranked it up to max. On it was my poor Mogworld paperback, a tragic case of wrong time, wrong place.

Now, it’s more like a black chunk of coal. And everything smells like hell now. Nice environment to work on the last sound effects for the Dungeons game.

So, what have we learned? Nothing, really. My son will destroy everything he can lay his hands on, nothing new there. Mogworld starts really well, makes a few of those supposedly fresh self-referential video game parody ideas in my head seem old, and burns great. And fear of a fiery death is more effective than coffee. I am working on a commercial use of that as we speak. Maybe an alarm clock that sets your sheets on fire?

Goodbye, Mogworld. (✝ Nov 17th 2010)

Major breakthrough as a writer: So I have finished something after all

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Major breakthrough as a writer: I just found in my basement one of my old “books” I started writing as a child, and on looking inside I found: I actually finished it!

It’s roughly from 1989, a Choose Your Own Adventure type of book. (I discovered them around 1987 or 1988, my beginnings of roleplaying so to speak, and we read them a lot back then, and I started a few myself). It has 98 passages. It is called “Eye”, and it is apparently part one of the “Eye” series. On the front, we have a beautiful naive art piece, showing a bloodshot eye, and the big letters EYE, colored yellow, red and blue, of course. It is a half-sized issue, for the traveller’s convenience.

Two bites are missing from the front cover, due to its simple paper cover (bad choice by the publisher). And it’s positively yellowed. Look, I made something which yellowed!

There are several colored drawings inside, mainly showing monsters and allies (yes, you could add a number of characters to your party, for example Willy the Snake! He has a Strength of 5 and a red collar.)

The last 2 pages contain advertising for the next installment of the EYE-series: Dragon Mouth! And a beautifully drawn map of the colorful fantasy world I have shat out there.

Content wise, well it’s hard to decypher the young author’s pencil smearage, but I will post the first paragraph. You will find, we have a true gem here and Eragon has nothing on me.

After we have chosen one of 3 characters (Mauro the Ninja, Argon the Goblin or Shembly the Elf, all three with colored drawings), we start like this:

1) City of Kurana
Your party is at the town square of Kurana. The market is busy. You discover a food shop, a weapon shop and a guidance building. North, there is the city gate.
Food Shop -> 10
Weapon Shop -> 11
Slave Market -> 13
Guidance Building ->2
Leave -> 12

Sorry that I have to leave you hanging like this when it’s so exciting, but I gotta go. Me, writer for decades! *strut strut*

Hunting for a laptop

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Dear customers, luxury has not suddenly rained upon me, I am just buying my first laptop ever, because an old machine we need for office work has broken down half a year ago. So you do not need to lower my already feeble prices. 😉

And I thought I found the one I wanted, and after 10 days of waiting I get the mail “no longer available, we will refund your money”. Suckers!

So, after years of research, I bought this one from Amazon: Acer Aspire TimelineX 5820TG

Core i5 processor, ATI HD 5650 card, can play Bad Company 2 at high settings fluently. 750 GB hard disk, that’s OK! No apparent flaws that concern me. Happy!

It took me ages to find one without apparent drawbacks, so don’t ruin this moment for me and tell me it’s shit! 😉