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Like a late 80s arcade-game boss, it's time for random bullets… - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
February 28th, 2008
10:37 am


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Like a late 80s arcade-game boss, it's time for random bullets

  • KB, kB, KiB, kilobytes, kibibytes - relatively recently, there's been a push to 'clean up' the abuse of SI units by those computer geeks. In particular, in most computer contexts, "kilo-" means 1024x, so a kilobyte is 1024 bytes. But in non-computer contexts, it means 1000x, so a kilometer is 1000 meters. I guess somebody got confused, so now there's this effort to introduce "kibibyte" to mean 1024 bytes, and redefine kilobyte as 1000 bytes.

    To me, it's rubbish. Kilobyte isn't that ambiguous, and 1024 is a much more useful grouping of bytes than 1000 is. I don't object to the creation of "kibibyte", I just don't intend to ever use it. And if you really want a term for 1000 bytes, how about creating a brand new unambiguous term, like "kilidecibytes (KdB)"? No, that's silly. As silly as "kibibyte", almost.

    Other crazy people are the folks that used to define floppy disk capacities in units of 1024x1000 bytes and call that a megabyte, or the folks who measure console save card capacities in megabits.

  • Cake - a coworker is managing a changeover from one version control system to another this week, and he assured us that it'll be painful, but there would be cake. He then added a footnote saying the cake was a lie. I want to make cake tonight just to prove him wrong. Maybe cupcakes. I haven't made cupcakes in a while, and that's much more convenient to eat in an office environment.

  • Silverfall - a while ago, I was browsing the games available on Steam, and stumbled across "Silverfall", an unremarkable Diablo clone. I played a bit of the demo, which allowed you to level up to level 13 or so, which was enough to get a flavor for the game, which led me to purchase the full game (go, go, electronic distribution). Just this morning, I finished it, and I'm here to wave you away from trying the game yourself. The company that developed it is located in Paris, but I wonder if pieces of the game were made off-site, perhaps in Russia somewhere. It has adequate pieces, but it's really uneven - the art is pretty, but the renderer is buggy. The story is adequate, but the writing is boring and at times just barely minimal. The particle effects are nice, but the water is atrocious. The game provides a simple "alignment" mechanic, which is somewhat interesting, but the last half of the game seems unbalanced and tedious.

    Still, I finished it, and I'm jotting down notes so that, if I were to make a computer role playing game, I would avoid some of the mistakes that Silverfall blundered into.

  • Ice Cream - I've been working in the same building as a Ben & Jerry's store since Thanksgiving(ish), and I hadn't actually taken advantage of this proximity until yesterday. I had been there a few times before, particularly when Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream wasn't in the grocery store I frequented yet. A small cup of ice cream on a sunny day was a very pleasant unexpected moment.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:February 28th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
* That "kibi" nonsense is totally nonsense, and I wouldn't even care at all except that I think Wikipedia has bought into it for some damn reason. Not that I care all that much about what Wikipedia does these days.

* The Silverfall demo was enough to make me not interested; I did play through most of Titan Quest, another Diablo 2 clone. It's OK, but it's no Diablo 2. One of the things that Diablo 2 did right (for its genre) is to make you painfully aware of what every attribute or skill increase does to your damage ability; Titan Quest and others in comparison kind of make you spend your point increments more blindly.
[User Picture]
Date:February 28th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
Not that it's a Diablo clone, but you've reminded me I want to check out Titans of Steel: Warring Suns.


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