tcepsa: (Computation Suspended)
I'm working on getting my Linux computer talking to a Lego Mindstorms NXT brick for my Real-Time Systems Development class, but I'm having a little bit of trouble getting over the final hurdle of actually being able to upload compiled code to it. In one of the howtos that I've sought out, I came across the following gem:

You MAY or MAY NOT have to reboot at this time, I cannot tell


See the full howto here

This.

Dec. 9th, 2009 11:57 am
tcepsa: (PoiArcBlue)
(Minus a couple of personal-life details ^_^)

First off, I’m actually perfectly well off. I live in a good-sized house, with a nice yard, with deer occasionally showing up and eating the roses (my wife likes the roses more, I like the deer more, so we don’t really mind). I’ve got three kids, and I know I can pay for their education. What more do I need? The thing is, being a good programmer actually pays pretty well; being acknowledged as being world-class pays even better. I simply didn’t need to start a commercial company. And it’s just about the least interesting thing I can even imagine. I absolutely hate paperwork. I couldn’t take care of employees if I tried. A company that I started would never have succeeded -- it’s simply not what I’m interested in! So instead, I have a very good life, doing something that I think is really interesting, and something that I think actually matters for people, not just me. And that makes me feel good.
-- Linus Torvalds -- 8/15/07 -- http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/TechGovernment/News.asp?id=44682&PageMem=2 --
tcepsa: (Computation Suspended)
[livejournal.com profile] gipsieee and I recently downloaded the Toki Tori game for the Wii. It's a lot of fun--some really great puzzles in there--but as we were discussing one of the levels that we had gotten to, I was joking about the level design and said, "Why is there lava in a castle?"

Beat.

"Wait, why is there always lava in castles?!"

When I stop and think about it, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Except it makes perfect sense and it is sheer genius (or at least sheer dumb luck that in hindsight turns out to have been a really winning combination, but the makers of the Super Mario Bros. series have had too many hits for me to think that they're continuously getting that ridiculously lucky.) It's one of those things that, as a kid in the early days of video games, I got to the first castle at the end of the first world and went, "Holy crap! Those are spinning bars of fire! And that's a giant pit of lava with fireballs shooting out of it!!! Oh my god this is the coolest thing EVER!!!"

I didn't question it, I didn't have to question it; it was a videogame! And as Nintendo had just proven to my young mind, anything was possible--because if you can put lava in a castle, there is clearly absolutely nothing that you can't do.

Now I know I'm kind of out there with some things, but this is one thing about which I am sure I was not alone. And that, of course, is what sells videogames. After that, a bar had been set. You want to do better than Mario? You're going to have to top spinning firebars, lakes of lava with globs of burning lava shooting out of them, and, oh yeah, a fire breathing dragon at the end that will kill you if you so much as touch him. (Sometimes you just had to get close enough without even touching him, and his sheer ferocity would overwhelm the poor plumber...*)

So yeah, nowhere in this world's history will you actually find a castle that had lava as either part of its temperature control system or its invader control system, but that's part of what makes it so awesome as a component of a video game; it's a bending of reality in a way that lots of people think is fun to imagine and that lots of people love pretending to experience. And that's what videogames are all about. (At least the good ones ^_^)

*Stupid bounding box errors...
tcepsa: (Computation Suspended)
"You've said in the past that boy bits are silly. Having your own doesn't make it any less true."

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