Friday, October 24, 2008

Good Old Games is now officially out of private beta and available to the public.

Good Old Games is a website which allows you to download classic games ("classic" as in Fallout 2, not as in Pong) legally and completely DRM free for around six bucks a pop.

The lack of DRM means that you actually own the game once you download it, and you're free to install it on as many different machines as many times as you like, and even download the game from GOG as many times as you wish after paying only once.

The games are all guaranteed to be perfectly compatible with both Windows XP and Vista - which eliminates a huge headache when it comes to older games - and also include full technical support. Furthermore, a bunch of extra freebies are thrown in, such as wallpapers, full soundtracks, complete manuals, etc.

Earthworm Jim 1 & 2, Colin McRae Rally 2005, and the epic Freespace series are examples of titles available for six to ten dollars each.

My personal opinion is that, for the price of a nice lunch, it's a steal. Being a broke motherfucker really isn't an excuse to pirate these games anymore, and considering the service and extras you'd be missing out on, you'd just be doing yourself in.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Robocop on a Unicorn

By Lindsay Holman, originally uploaded by Olav Rokne.
The image above is part of a nice Flickr gallery I found featuring images of Robocop on a unicorn. Yup, that pretty much covers it.

Okay, so in the above picture Robocop isn't strictly on the unicorn, but I think Robocop's orientation towards unicorns is really more of a guideline than a rule.

Friday, October 03, 2008


After months of weighing the relative pros and cons since I first began to notice an increase in both the frequency and intensity of my headaches - from occasional to downright chronic - I find myself in the optometrist's office. I was referred by my doctor after he had heard me whine about excruciating brain-pain and the fear of tumors once too often. Owing to my inherent laziness and indecision, it's taken me long.

The examination room is clean but not threateningly sterile and the optometrist is petite, soft-spoken, and oh-so-pretty. The final quality making it somewhat difficult to focus on arbitrary points on the wall when instructed to do so, and not her shapely bosom.

Finally after being strapped into the terrifying phoropter and reading aloud ostensibly random shapes, symbols, digits and letters in varying light conditions, the lenses are removed. A blur which is very familiar, despite the fact that I had never before noticed it, returns to my vision to steal the crispness from the world around me.

It turns out I have Hyperopia - farsightedness. In addition to this my left eye is apparently somewhat weaker than my right and I'm getting a pair of glasses. I'm to collect them in a week.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

How will you fix the economy?

"Our economy and putting it back on the side of the public trust. And that contract that should be inherent in corporations who are hell bent on destroying America and American troops are providing in his country. But no, the Pakistani people also, they want freedom. They want democratic values to be able to speak with him the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain's running mate, the first thing I said to him was, if you ask that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the lobbyists play in an issue that we see right now in Washington and that is strong and that important an issue that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain's running mate, the first thing I said to him was, if you really think I can give you examples of things that John McCain and I have not and I have understood the world is and how important it is about doing a lot of background work first and foremost, taxpayers cannot be looked to as that leadership, that light needed across the world."

Geek Nostalgia #1 - The Hacker's Manifesto

When I first read it - at an age when the movie Hackers was new and seemed moderately plausible, when 9600 baud was absolutely smokin', when wardialing for BBSes was the best thing to do with your Saturday afternoon - The Hacker's Manifesto seemed like the coolest thing ever.

Reading it as an adult, however, with my view warped by cynicism and tinted murky by the cold, affectionless lense of experience, it seems obnoxious, conceited, and even irresponsible. Nevertheless, it had a strong effect on me as a kid, being an iconic part of a culture that encouraged me to spend countless hours teaching myself how to write code and fiddle with the phones. I know I'm not alone in this, and that there's an entire generation of 90s "latchkey kid" hackers who gazed upon the Manifesto with doe eyes at one point or another.

                               ==Phrack Inc.==

Volume One, Issue 7, Phile 3 of 10

The following was written shortly after my arrest...

\/\The Conscience of a Hacker/\/


+++The Mentor+++

Written on January 8, 1986

Another one got caught today, it's all over the papers. "Teenager
Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal", "Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering"...
Damn kids. They're all alike.

But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950's technobrain,
ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what
made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?
I am a hacker, enter my world...
Mine is a world that begins with school... I'm smarter than most of
the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me...
Damn underachiever. They're all alike.

I'm in junior high or high school. I've listened to teachers explain
for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. "No, Ms.
Smith, I didn't show my work. I did it in my head..."
Damn kid. Probably copied it. They're all alike.

I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is
cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it's because I
screwed it up. Not because it doesn't like me...
Or feels threatened by me...
Or thinks I'm a smart ass...
Or doesn't like teaching and shouldn't be here...
Damn kid. All he does is play games. They're all alike.

And then it happened... a door opened to a world... rushing through
the phone line like heroin through an addict's veins, an electronic pulse is
sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought... a board is
"This is it... this is where I belong..."
I know everyone here... even if I've never met them, never talked to
them, may never hear from them again... I know you all...
Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They're all alike...

You bet your ass we're all alike... we've been spoon-fed baby food at
school when we hungered for steak... the bits of meat that you did let slip
through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We've been dominated by sadists, or
ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us will-
ing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.

This is our world now... the world of the electron and the switch, the
beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying
for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, and
you call us criminals. We explore... and you call us criminals. We seek
after knowledge... and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color,
without nationality, without religious bias... and you call us criminals.
You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us
and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals.

Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is
that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like.
My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me

I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual,
but you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike.

+++The Mentor+++

Polite nod in the direction of Reddit for reminding me of this.