The Ol’ Blog is New Again

In the time since I last chose my blogging platform, WordPress has not only fixed the bug that pushed me to LiveJournal, they’ve been working their butts off to make blog writing & customization a sleek and awesome experience. And they’re participating in Reset the Net*! And they let me have multiple drafts at once!!

So I’m now proudly hosting my blog on WordPress.com, and I’ve moved all my old posts here (except for that one “consider this retracted” post), along with their comments. And now that I have more enjoyable blogging software and can work on more posts simultaneously, you should see me blogging more. Come along to see what awesomeness the future holds!

* PikadudeNo1.com will be going HTTPS as well – it’s one of many goals for the site this year!

An RPG Character Am I

So apparently this is an unusual RPG, where at the very least I have complete freedom to define what a level-up is. Okay, then. I know one world where I can be a player character, and that, unsurprisingly, is the world of video game development.

There are many skills game developers can level up in. Besides the obvious ones of game design and programming, one can level up in music, a number of graphics styles in 2D and 3D, storytelling, and so forth. Pixel, the developer of Cave Story, seems to have built himself into a powerful and well-rounded character.

My own stats? Programming and user interface design and quite high, I would say. I’d say I’m pretty darn good at composing music, but I’ve yet to get much experience in a mechanism that would let other people hear it, making my effective stat very low. Game design… probably low at this point, as I’ve had very little feedback on what I’ve made. (I really need to complete something in a timely manner for Art 108.)

So that’s my character in the world of game design. My Art 108 instructor apparently needs me to have a character in the world of spies. Outside of video games (where there is a comfortable distance between myself and my avatar in the game world), I would hate to play anyone who isn’t a mellow pacifist, like myself. It’s hard to see what place such a character would have in a spy game; hopefully, something can be worked out.

Oh Noes, I’m an RPG Character

So, Art class has asked me to describe an RPG character version of myself. I am extremely pacifistic with a dislike of long-term adventures, so unless this is an unusual RPG, I’d be an NPC. Possibly I’d have a job running a minigame parlor. If the RPG features tameable creatures, I would have one or two of the cuter ones as pets. And if the RPG features cute fairies, expect me to be friends with at least one, even if the RPG doesn’t normally allow friendly relationships with magical creatures. That’s an NPC privilege I’d never miss out on.

Return of the Blog: Attack of the Unrelated Paragraphs

Kilimanjaro sounds awesome, and makes me more confident than ever that I went on the right path when I decided to be a plugins-free Web developer. I hope to have an awesome thing or two ready by Day 1 of the release.

I probably lack a sufficiently-outgoing personality to pull it off, but at some point in my life I’d like a good excuse to spout the line “What does the scouter say about our party level??”

Signs of Life Fun Fact #1: I was originally going to name it “Sign In”, but at the time it was first released, the page it was listed on didn’t visually separate the login form from the rest of the page, and I realized having a game called “Sign In” too close to the login form presented a usability problem.

Signs of Life Fun Fact #2: There is a sandbox mode in the game, accessible via this URL. You can enter nothing when prompted for a puzzle to get a random 4-digit puzzle. This helped me create some of the game’s 27 puzzles, and it will probably be a big help with the additional puzzles I plan to make for Signs of Life 2.0.

Internet Explorer 8 gets a lot of hate from fellow Web developers, and I don’t quite get it. Sure, it was behind the times on Day 1, but it made some important steps forward, including support for box-sizing, window.postMessage, and the speed of not just any snail, but a snail specially bred for racing! I am quite happy to support it for my less tech-heavy Web apps. (Probably because I don’t have to maintain jQuery, ha ha.)

Twitter’s character limit annoys me

And I don’t even have a Twitter account.

Twitter’s 140-character limit is so darn short and so darn inflexible that it makes every character count. Authors have to revise their posts mercilessly to squeeze in under the limit* and use URLs that completely mask their destination**. If what they’re saying won’t fit into one tweet and they’re unwilling to chop any further, they’ll split it into two, and since newer tweets are shown first this becomes something akin to Ahead Stop.

However, Twitter serves an attractive purpose – it’s great for things that you don’t want to dedicate a “full post”, such as a blog entry, to. I wish my fellow netizens used/had something better to make these “minor posts”. Delicious works fine, but only if your “minor post” exists for the purpose of sharing a link. Facebook seems good for any purpose, but suffers from its own unique problems***.

The Internet is always incrementally improving, and I’m sure our dream site will arrive some day… However, with numerous sites that are flawed, but “work” nonetheless, it’s going to take a while.

* I have a taste of this – I’ve written signatures for forums that had a sig char limit of 255.
** Unless the destination is using rel=”shortlink” and the author is using a tool that supports this. I’ve yet to see a tweet where this happened. Sometimes an author will go out of their way to use a short URL that the destination offered in some other fashion.
*** My pet peeve is that I can’t be Pikadude No. 1; Facebook insists on a real name. I’ll leave it to other nerds to rant about their respect for privacy.

You cannot comprehend what goes on in the mind of an Internet geek.

function getRandomAnimal() {
return "badger"; // Chosen from an Internet cartoon.
// Guaranteed to be random.
}

So, I was just thinking how Badger Badger Badger used to seem so random to me, but I’ve known it for such a long time now that it seems… not random. Somehow, this thought met this comic, fell deeply in love with it and got married, and now they’re raising a family. That’s their son up there.

Why stop a loving couple like this from getting married? Vote No on Proposition 33½.

Geeky nostalgia

I wanted to go out and do some volunteer work today. I never leave the house without some sort of Nintendo gadget in my pocket. But my DS was badly in need of charging, and I never bothered to repair or replace my worn-out GBA.

So I did all of today’s running around and volunteering with a Game Boy Color in my pocket. Appropriate considering the volunteer work was for California Extreme, an arcade & pinball game show which includes an awful lot of old games.

If anyone’s up for some retro awesomeness, I highly recommend installing ROM CHECK FAIL from www.Farbs.org. It’s available for Windows & Linux but the Linux version seems a tad crash-prone.