Tag worldofwarcraft (53)
Posted on 2011-01-14 16:46:00
Tags: pictures worldofwarcraft links
IBM's been working on a system that can play Jeopardy! called Watson. It had its first practice match against champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, and it won the brief game they played! Here's a liveblog with Q&A afterwards. You can clearly see in the video that Ken Jennings was trying to buzz in for questions that Watson got - I wonder how much the precision timing for hitting the button helps it? But still, being able to answer questions that quickly is dramatically impressive to me, even if it takes 10 racks of servers, 15 TB of RAM, and 2800 processors operating at a combined 70 teraflops. You can learn more about Watson at IBM's site.
One advantage to having to stay up late because of medicine: getting things done! Here are pictures from December, as well as socks:
I thought Obama's speech at the memorial in Tucson was very touching.
Comprehensive post about which states may take up same-sex marriage legislation this year - some good, some bad. Happy to see that my old state Maryland may at least get civil unions!
An interesting response from Senator Akaka (D-HI) about making election day a federal holiday - apparently it doesn't increase turnout in states that do it now, which I found surprising.
Neato Google Translate for Android into which you can speak English and it will say the corresponding Spanish (and vice versa). Universal Translator, here we come!
I found this post about working in an ICBM missile silo pretty fascinating. Also, the title is "Death Wears a Snuggie", which is a play on an actual patch they had, both of which are awesome.
Now that we're playing WoW again (and I hit level 85 last night!), I read this article about quitting WoW with interest. I don't think it's entirely fair, though - certainly people can get addicted to WoW and spent far too much time there, but if you use it as a source of entertainment I don't think it's any worse than watching TV or whatever. Not every waking moment has to be spent improving your life in some way...
The Dow Piano - data presentation through music!
other odds and ends
Posted on 2009-06-02 10:49:00
Tags: movies worldofwarcraft links
As a wedding present from djedi I got a new monitor! Whereas my old one could fit 4 xterms without overlapping, the new one can fit 9 (and 12 with just a little overlap). This makes a huge difference when I'm programming - being able to see larger sections of the file I'm working on (and having more xterms open in different directories, etc.) lets me get distracted less by switching between virtual desktops, etc. Also, the screensaver of pictures looks much more impressive :-)
We saw "Up" on Saturday (in 3D, no less). It was sweet - the first five or so minutes were really really great. I hope I can be Ellie to David's Carl. Or something. Overall I liked it but less than Wall-E and The Incredibles.
Last night we put in 10 or so attempts on Hodir and got him down to 23% or so. It's pretty overwhelming at first - I have to find the fire and stand near it, avoid icicles, dispel frost novas, heal like crazy through the frozen blows, and not screw up the flash freeze. I got pretty good by the end except at the avoiding icicles while healing through frozen blows. Maybe next time...
If you installed .NET framework 3.5 SP1, you probably got an unwanted silent installation of a Firefox addon that makes it less safe - the link has directions on how to remove it. That kinda sucks.
This whole post is really just an excuse to post this short video which I won't spoil. Also: 100 movie lines in 200 seconds.
days go by and still I think of you
Music: Dave Matthews Band - "Dive In"
Posted on 2009-05-29 10:13:00
Tags: music worldofwarcraft links
Had a nice relaxing week, apart from being sick Tuesday and Wednesday. Oh, and we downed a few new bosses in Ulduar-10 last night (Kologarn and Auriaya), although no loots for me.
Despite being sick most of the week I found some good links:
- Dave Matthews Band has a new album coming out next week, and you can stream the full thing at Pandora. So far it's pretty good!
- This article about health care in the New Yorker was both fascinating and a little depressing. It looks at why McAllen is the most expensive city for health care in the US, and basically the answer is because the culture for doctors there is to try to maximize revenue.
- How an Intern Stole NASA's Moon Rocks
- A rebuttal to those who claim that the new Star Trek movie threw away a bunch of continuity...short version, Star Trek has been throwing away continuity for quite a while now.
Posted on 2008-11-17 09:51:00
Tags: 23andme math wedding worldofwarcraft genetics
World of Warcraft:
The second expansion to WoW, called "Wrath of the Lich King" (or WotLK) released Wednesday midnight. (the late midnight, not the early midnight)
We assumed it was like other midnight release events we had been to - get in a short line to pay and get your receipt validated (sticker or highlighter squiggle or whatever), then wait in a longer line to get the game (that would only start moving at midnight). We walked by the tent where there was some music and stuff, and decided to wait in line to pay first before enjoying the festivities.
It turns out, there was only one very long line, and that was the line to pay. So we gamely got in the back and waited in the cold (djedi ran in to Barnes & Noble and got me a hot chocolate and himself a tea :-) ). And waited. And waited. Every fifteen minutes or so we'd move up like four or five paces. I wish I was exaggerating. wildrice13 and later destroyerj joined us so that was kinda fun, but midnight came and went and we were still in line. At this point the smart thing to do probably would have been to give up and come back the next morning (especially since I had to get up early to take destroyerj and skimmerduk to the airport) but that never occurred to me. Finally at 2:20 we got our copies and left. They only had two registers going for what must have been 500 people. Booo gamestop!
Having said that, the game is good and I got it to install on linux with the usual tweaking.
My math circle talk is Saturday, and it's coming along OK. I finished sketching out the talk and worked on my slides last night, although I then changed part of the talk to make a bit more sense. New theme: graph theory in computer science, with parts about register allocation and Huffman encoding. Still need to actually do the rest of the slides, then make up a worksheet, then practice it. I did get to pick out what sort of cookies would be served, though, so that's a plus :-)
Sorry to those who I told we'd be hosting a game night this week, but between talk preparation stuff and djedi work crunch time we can't do it this week. Hopefully soon, though.
I think I'm going to take the plunge and get my DNA analyzed soon, maybe after the talk. Should be fun and exciting!
Wedding/Commitment ceremony planning:
We're actually starting to move forward on this - investigating locations, etc. More stress to come, I'm sure.
why is my laptop crashing?
Posted on 2008-08-19 09:36:00
Tags: worldofwarcraft computer
Executive summary: my laptop is now nigh-unusable for playing WoW.
Background: A while ago, I was having weird crashing problems with WoW where it would just quit to the desktop, no error indication or anything. I tried fixing it by reverting from Mac OS X 10.5.3 to 10.5.0 and that sorta seemed to help. Then, my account got hacked so I figured it was a good time to reinstall the OS and WoW completely, which I did.
Now the problem is somewhat different - when I crash, I get an error message (SFile2-Core.cpp line 1002: Failure to read data). It's mostly the same in that it only ever happens when I'm in the Outlands, and it usually happens after 30 minutes or so of play the first time, and then in rapid succession thereafter. If I quit for a while and come back later, it goes back to 30 minutesish before the first crash. Running in windowed mode as opposed to full screen seemed to help but that is no longer the case, it crashes about as quickly.
This was less of a problem before our alts hit 58 last week, but now that we're trying to quest in Hellfire it's pretty showstopping.
So my first thought, based on a google search and the particular message was that some memory was bad. Remember, this is the same laptop that I spilled a mug of tea on (although it seemed to mostly get better especially after I replaced the keyboard) so anything is potentially suspect.
It came with two sticks of 1GB memory, so first I tried taking stick B out of slot #2. It seemed to work better for a while, then CRASH! So I took stick A out and put stick B in slot #1. About the same CRASH! Then I tried putting stick A in slot #2 for completeness's sake...CRASH!
So, then djedi was suspicious of heat issues, since that would make sense with the diminishing time to extra crashes and my temperature monitor was showing CPU temperatures of 86 Celsius around crashes, which seemed awfully hot. So he rigged up something to cool the bottom of my laptop (involving two cookie sheets, a lot of ice, and a bag of frozen carrots), but that didn't make a whole lot of difference in temperature at the CPU. (although the bottom was much cooler than usual!) Then I remembered the WoW command /console maxFPS 30 which dramatically lowered the CPU temperature to the 50s while playing...and then it CRASHed. So I don't think it's heat.
Now I'm running a memtest on the stick that's in there, but it hasn't turned up anything yet. I really wish it would find just one error...at least then we'd have narrowed down the cause.
I'm getting to the point where I'd like to take it in for repair, but without knowing what needs to be repaired I doubt it would be fixed. And the laptop was quite expensive, and I only bought it a year ago so I really really really don't want to replace it or anything crazy like that. For now I patched WoW on my Linux box so that's at least a possibility.
It's frustrating because yes I'm aware that it's just a game, and a (gasp!) video one at that, but this is something djedi and I like to do together, and play and socialize with friends and such.
first weekend is over
Posted on 2008-08-06 15:22:00
Tags: movies asmc worldofwarcraft
As djedi mentioned, we survived the first weekend of shows. Friends and Family night went OK although I screwed up a part and was generally jittery - maybe because it had been two years or something? Anyway, I settled down into a pretty good rhythm about midway through Saturday and no major catastrophes. (one time I said "three minutes" twice instead of "two minutes", but in the grand scheme of things, not so bad)
Saturday was of course long - three shows and we had to do pictures between the first and second shows. You can see the ASMC pictures here (warning: spoilers!) They turned out well.
It was nice to get Saturday evening off and some sleep before the two Sunday shows, although I forgot that while two shows is a lot easier than three shows, it's still a lot harder than (say) no shows.
Days off are good, although what with NIWeek this week work has been tiring too. And tomorrow we have a short rehearsal and then back to shows again! Easier because I'll be better rested, harder because we're up until midnight Friday night with gala stuff.
Saw Batman in IMAX. It was awesome. The part where he jumps off the building looked even more incredible. Would see again.
Got my WoW account restored (at least all the important stuff). Pretty sure it's crashing because of memory, and if I run in windowed mode it doesn't seem to. At some point I need to actually fix the problem.
today is good
Posted on 2008-07-25 16:08:00
Tags: worldofwarcraft referrer links
Yay, somebody likes the frost mage dps page!
Hot on the heels of this shocking video suggesting Bush and Batman are the same person (thanks omega697) comes an op-ed saying the same thing. Oy.
"Last Lecture" professor dies - I hadn't watched the Last Lecture before but I'm glad I did today.
Totally reinstalling my laptop is painful, but it's going OK so far. Next up - downloading billions of patches to WoW.
Posted on 2008-07-23 10:14:00
Tags: asmc work worldofwarcraft
Rehearsals are going pretty well, albeit a bit tiring. We're about to get into "oh crap the shows is really really soon and we all suck" mode (it's an annual occurrence), but once we buckle down I think all will be well.
After rehearsal last night, I arrived home to find a few "dude, did you steal all the stuff in the guild bank?" IMs. Not a good sign. Tried to log in to WoW and couldn't, so I reset the password online and discovered that I had, indeed, done so. The weird thing is that the thief took basically all 5000 of my gold, but didn't sell any of my soulbound gear, and cleared out most of my bank but not all of it. And didn't find the 8 Primal Mights and 450 gold on my auction house mule.
Anyway, I filed a petition to get my crap back, which I think they usually do, and presumably they'll restore the guild bank as well. Yet another way WoW is better than the real world :-)
This week I've been superproductive at work...let's see if that continues today.
This article about purity balls is kinda creepy.
not the ideal situation for starting 3 solid weeks of rehearsals
Music: Nas - "Black President"
Posted on 2008-07-09 13:33:00
Tags: asmc worldofwarcraft programming politics links sleep
I've been unable to get to sleep the last two nights. Last night was particularly bad so eventually I got up and programmed some and played a little WoW. (won a close AB battleground on my 46 pally) Even then after returning to bed it took me a while to sleep. I had no sodas yesterday, which is the most common cause of insomnia for me. Hopefully it just kinda disappears. The alternative is that I get so tired that falling asleep is no problem, but I'd kinda like to avoid that :-)
White House, 2005: Setting the Record Straight: Democrats On An Artificial Timetable In Iraq
The President Explains Why Timetables For Withdrawal Are Bad Strategy. PRES. BUSH: "Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would send a message across the world that America is a weak and an unreliable ally. Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would send a signal to our enemies - that if they wait long enough, America will cut and run and abandon its friends. And setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would vindicate the terrorists' tactics of beheadings and suicide bombings and mass murder - and invite new attacks on America." (President Bush, Remarks On The War On Terror, Annapolis, MD, 11/30/05)
Iraq's national security adviser said Tuesday that his government would not sign an agreement governing the future role of U.S. troops in Iraq unless it includes a timetable for their withdrawal.
Posted on 2008-05-13 10:09:00
Tags: math projects worldofwarcraft
seem nonexistent. (anyone know a good antonym for "doldrums"?) Last night we bought some exciting new books, I bought GTA IV, got a graduation present for my sister, and committed to working on my new project. (calculating the probability of satisfying target cards in the game of Target)
It seems that my computer is under attack from a botnet. I pretty frequently get ssh requests coming from wildly different IP addresses trying out a dictionary list of user names. I'm not too worried about them guessing a username/password combo but the fact that they're hitting my box in general is a little scary. I've started turning off ssh at night but I do use it occasionally during the day...
things younger than mccain
If you're in to electoral predictions (for the general election), fivethirtyeight.com is a godsend. Probabilities that each candidate will win each state, cartograms, graphs...
Mario Kart friend code
Posted on 2008-05-05 21:39:00
Tags: pictures worldofwarcraft wii
Unrelatedly, a few new pictures.
Two-shot Mag on our first time!
(highest tag to word ratio? maybe)
Posted on 2008-04-30 16:26:00
Tags: pictures worldofwarcraft
Put some weekend pictures up.
We downed Gruul's Lair for the first time last night! Things went rather smoothly - the whole run took under two hours. Recruited a lot of new guildies too.
Theorycrafting: upgrades from Zul'Aman
Posted on 2008-04-18 16:48:00
Tags: math theorycraft worldofwarcraft
Since I revamped the Frost mage DPS calculator to include Icy Veins and the Water Elemental, plus the fact that Zul'Aman is almost on farm status for us, time to look at what upgrades I would like!
For me right now, 1 point of sustained DPS = 13 int = 3.6 spell crit = 1.9 spell haste = 1.75 +damage = 1.45 +spell hit (still not capped out!)
|Gear||DPS vs lvl 73 (boss)/DPS vs lvl 70|
|Footpads of Madness||901.5/939.0|
|Wub's Cursed Hexblade||888.7/927.2|
|Hood of Hexing||917.1/933.3|
|Loop of Cursed Bones||898.5/942.4|
|Mantle of Ill Intent||904.0/941.6|
|Mana Attuned Band||912.0/937.1|
this has been a long week
Posted on 2008-04-18 10:59:00
Tags: work worldofwarcraft links
mostly because I've been horribly unproductive at work. Luckily, the Productivity Fairy has waved his magic wand and yesterday and today have been much better.
Rolled out the new version of the Frost mage DPS calculator (hopefully soon to be arcane and fire as well) - here's the old version for comparsion. I think it looks a lot nicer now.
This story about a non-doctor having a breakthrough in curing cancer makes him sound like a crank, until you get to the part where his method is being tested in hospitals now, including M. D. Anderson. The late Dr. Smalley (that felt weird to type) helped out by providing some nanoparticles.
I'm hesitant to link this story about elevators because it discusses a guy who was trapped in an elevator for 41 hours. Make sure you're in a strong mental state before watching the sped up security camera footage of the ordeal. The piano music makes it even more tragic.
Last night's Zul'Aman run went well - we downed the Bear and Eagle bosses with 9 minutes (plenty of time!) before the sacrifice and killed Hex Lord Malacrass for the first time. Did a decent job on Zul'Jin - almost got through phase 3 before we called it a night. Unfortunately wowjutsu hasn't picked up our new loot yet because it's slow and unreliable. (I'll admit to being bitter I didn't think of the wowjutsu idea first...genius, I tell you!)
Posted on 2008-04-14 09:18:00
Tags: projects worldofwarcraft links
This weekend we ripped through Zul'Aman - first time for downing the bear boss in 20 minutes, downing the dragonhawk boss, downing the gauntlet and eagle boss (one-shot!), and downing the lynx boss. (I got a nice new chestpiece - now my frostbolts cast in 2.45 seconds!)
I've also been working on a new design for my frost mage DPS calculator - here's the new version versus the old version.
We also went to a few birthday parties and bought a new bed from Austin Discount Mattress, and took a very few pictures of said events. I'm going to take my camera places from now on instead of relying on my cameraphone - while it works in a pinch, the pictures are blurry and the color is always a bit off. I also learned that alcohol + hot tub is bad news for me, even after just one glass of wine. I got extremely woozy and lightheaded after a little while, and it all happened very fast. Anyway.
We need a Wikipedia for data - as an avid consumer of data, I heartily agree!
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People
Posted on 2008-02-04 14:39:00
Tags: pictures guildwars worldofwarcraft mac computer politics
The Mac continues to get better. Three days after spilling a ton of tea on it the screen is all better, the fan no longer spins crazily, and the battery charges normally. (which may have been happening all along but I was suspicious for a while) Unfortunately, the only problem is that the "v" key (and maybe the Control key) don't work at all. So I guess I'll have to take it in and see if they can fix it, which honestly is pretty doubtful.
Assuming it can't be fixed, I'm leaning towards not replacing it since we don't play WoW much anymore (we picked up Guild Wars over the weekend...we'll see if we continue playing or not) and I just bought the damn thing. I am getting back a big ol' tax refund since I deducted a bunch of moving expenses, although the Maryland state tax situation is a little more unclear. (if there online calculator is right, which I don't think it is, I owe $500 and will be very miffed)
The cover of a romance novel I saw at HEB - thanks, cameraphone!
A work friend has an imported version of Smash Bros and I get to play it tomorrow night. I am extremely excited.
Super Tuesday is tomorrow! Some polls look really good for Obama, others look less good, so who knows. Not sure how I'll keep up with results while playing Smash Bros tomorrow night, but I'll think of something!
MacBook Pro: October 17, 2007 - ?
Music: Radiohead - "Sulk"
Posted on 2008-01-31 07:59:00
Tags: work house worldofwarcraft mac computer politics links
While kicking butt in Arathi Basin last night, I knocked a big ol' glass of tea right onto my $3000 laptop. A good chunk of it went in the keyboard (which made the laptop turn off which is probably a good thing given the alternatives), so djedi hurriedly mopped as much as we could off, disconnected it and moved it to higher ground. (it's currently sitting upside-down on our dining room table in the hopes that it will drain or something) I didn't have the heart to try to turn it on this morning - guess I'll see about that tonight. I did buy the AppleCare for it, although I don't know if that covers spills or not.
The weird thing was that I wasn't super panicked or angry or whatever. I was upset at myself, but I know that I'm prone to clumsiness when I'm tired. (like when I burned my thumb on the oven last week!) And if the laptop is unrecoverable, well, that would suck, but I could get by for iPod syncing and WoW playing and whatnot. It would be nice if it worked though.
Ironically, I was just yesterday reading about jwz's backup strategy and thinking it sounded like a good idea. Not that I had anything particularly interesting on the laptop data-wise (I always back up my iTunes database), but still...
Other than that, work has been going really really well this week. My mom visits next Wednesday, Friday we close on our house (!), and that weekend djedi's parents are coming to hopefully buy carpet for us and stuff, which will be quite helpful.
I'm going to miss campaigning in Florida, specifically hearing about Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani saying that English should be the national language, and then advertising in Spanish. That's some good hypocrisy, there. Via dailykos, an article in Rolling Stone about how Republican's immigrant-bashing is not going to help them, especially in the Southwest.
Finally, on the way home I heard this kinda-brutal story on NPR about how Giuliani should have taken his advice from his leadership book, complete with excerpts from the audiobook itself. (it's the story on top, not the longer story on the bottom)
my head asplode
Posted on 2007-12-14 15:02:00
Tags: house worldofwarcraft
House-hunting! Still no email from T-Mobile (36 hours and counting)! Applied to write for WoW Insider! Bought a PS3 yesterday! Christmas party tonight! Other things!
Christmas is nigh
Posted on 2007-12-10 10:09:00
Tags: pictures itunesanalysis worldofwarcraft
I finished my WoW arena rating graph. The neat part is being able to see statistics (we are much worse against teams with 1 mage than teams with no mages, etc.) and select criteria to get specific results.
I put some Christmas pictures up (getting the tree for my parents house and our tree), as well as a puzzle David and Miriam did. (penguins!)
Sunday we went Christmas shopping for 3.5 hours, hitting 8 stores plus the mall. It was crazy. I'm beginning to understand feeling overwhelmed at the holidays. We did get gifts for a good chunk of the people we need to, though.
I added an iTunes playlist containing the first song from every album. It turns out I rate the first song on each album an average of .4 higher (see the analysis - "First tracks" average rating is 3.86, "Music" average rating is 3.47), which I found interesting!
i dunno, stuff and such
Posted on 2007-11-27 13:17:00
Tags: music house worldofwarcraft
Busy week! Last night was a WoW raid (more on that below), tonight is game night, Wed. is a church thing and Thurs. I'm probably going on a Rice recruiting dinner thing.
The past weekend at home was nice, albeit a bit busy. And I could have done without the rain. We did manage to assemble a new grill for my dad. I'm getting a little tired of the drive to Houston - if you count the renaissance festival last weekend (you drive all the way to Brenham and then some more) and if I drive on Thursday that will be 3 trips back and forth to/from Houston in less than three weeks. Oh well.
We're going to look at houses on Saturday! Exciting stuff.
I finally broke down and bought the Beach Boys's (that's the correct punctuation, right grammar folks?) album "Pet Sounds". (I say "broke down" because we have very few magazines in our bathroom and the one that's always open is mental_floss and it's always open to the article about Masterpiece #98, which is that album) I bought it from the Amazon MP3 store which I'm starting to love for convenience and pricing. ($8 for the whole album!) Anyway, it has some catchy songs but overall I'm not as impressed...maybe my expectations were high after reading it was #2 on Rolling Stone's top 500 albums of all time. It's growing on me a little as I listen, but not as much as I would have hoped. Also, I have 0 of the top 25 albums on that list (well, except for "Pet Sounds" now). Shameful? Maybe.
So the last (and first) time we went to Zul'Aman, we had to take a PuG offtank, and so we wiped many times on Nalorrak (the bear boss), and finally downed him after like 3 hours. Since we had our real offtank last night, we thought we'd try to do it in 20 minutes. (for "extra" loot, meaning two pieces instead of one) We engaged him within 20 minutes, barely, but apparently you have to kill him within 20 minutes to get the loot...since it takes us 8 minutes to kill him, that will be difficult.
Anyway, we went ahead and tried Halazzi (the lynx boss). We wiped probably 20+ times trying it...we did make some progress, getting him to 70% once, but no better. Pretty frustrating, all in all. We discussed some strategies at lunch (wings!) that will probably help, but we might just try Akil'zon (the eagle boss) instead, whom we thought we were headed towards last night. He's supposed to be easier.
arena rating graph
Posted on 2007-11-09 14:51:00
Tags: netflixprize math projects worldofwarcraft
Went out to lunch today with WoW people and we talked about this neat idea for an Arena rating graph. So you start at a 1500 rating and every match you play you gain or lose 1-29 points, and it would be neat to see the progression of that as the season goes on. Also nice to see what composition of teams we're good against and which we're not, and the ratings of the teams we win or lose to. I'm having to try really hard not to just start writing down ideas here since it's not work-related :-)
My first thought was to do the graph in Flex, but I forgot that Flex Charting is a separate package that costs money. So I did some research and there are lots of options for this sort of thing (found this excellent article on interactive charts and graphs via del.icio.us). AmCharts looks like the best option, with FusionCharts Free close behind. I'll have to download and try them out at home; of course the hard part will be figuring out how to display all that data in a useful way.
Here's an excellent article on how Simon Fink's team got into the top 10 for the Netflix Prize - lots of juicy juicy math. Makes me want to get back into that sort of thing, which would make three active projects at once, which is too much.
the router "saga" continues
Posted on 2007-11-08 10:02:00
Tags: worldofwarcraft links
(it's much less of a saga than the stupid washer)
Anyway, the wireless cutting out problem keeps happening with our Linksys 802.11n router, so I'm returning it today for the apparently more reliable DLink one. Here's a nice review of 802.11n routers that fartingmonkey found - it also mentions weird cutting out issues, which makes me feel a little better.
destroyerj mentioned this neat 2D portal-ish flash game which is neat.
This plot of Japan's Phillips curve (unemployment vs. inflation) looks like Japan itself! Similarly, from the comments, a chart of annual tobacco consumption that looks like Virginia! So awesome. (via kottke)
Mage buffs coming! Hypothermia's back down to 30 seconds in 2.3, and apparently Ice Block will be trainable(!), some sort of buff for mana gems and maybe some more mana-related issues. (which are a real problem for me in longer fights)
Theorycrafting: upgrades from Kara
Posted on 2007-10-18 11:31:00
Tags: math theorycraft worldofwarcraft
Since my last set of calculations, I've gotten a lot of upgrades, and so I'm wondering what's left out of Kara that I want. Here's an updated list (including all gear from Kara since it's basically on farm status), using my mage DPS calculator:
|Gear||DPS vs lvl 73(boss)/DPS vs lvl 70|
|Brooch of Unquenchable Fury (Moroes)||688.3/700.6|
|Shadow-Cloak of Dalaran (Moroes)||687.7/703.4|
|Nethershard Girdle (Moroes)||681.1/706.5|
|Staff of Infinite Mysteries (Curator)||694.1/717.0|
|Malefic Girdle (Illhoof)||686.2/711.8|
|The Lightning Capacitor (Illhoof)||someday I'll figure it out|
|Tirisfal Wand of Ascendancy (Shade)||691.5/701.0|
|Adornment of Stolen Souls (Prince)||685.6/706.5|
|Nathrezim Mindblade (Prince)||715.0/739.8|
|Ruby Drape of the Mysticant (Prince)||695.4/700.9|
Posted on 2007-10-01 10:56:00
Tags: worldofwarcraft cluesolver
The night started poorly with two people getting locked outside of Netherspite's room and people being kinda cranky in general. However, we downed him on the next attempt and killed the Prince after a few attempts. (oh, and the free loot from the Chess Event) We had grinded up our Thrallmar rep so we could run Heroic Shattered Halls and summon Nightbane for the first time.
Nightbane, despite what I read somewhere, is not about as hard as Prince - he (?) is much harder. The tricky parts for us caster DPS in the ground phase are mostly avoiding the Charred Earth (or moving out of it when it hits your spot) and trying to stay out of the AoE fear. The air phase is tough - we finally figured out to collapse on the tank, wait for the Rain of Bones, then move back to where we were standing and kill the skeletons, and stop doing anything when Nightbane lands to avoid pulling aggro (this happened a lot). Oh, and don't stand too far apart when killing the skeletons otherwise you get the Fireball barrage. The landing is definitely the trickiest part - at first we would always wipe on landing or shortly thereafter.
Anyway, on something around our 12th attempt (anyone have a more accurate count?) we finally got him. There were a few close calls before that - got him to 14% a few times before - so I had hope, but man is it tough.
I got two pieces of loot for the night (T4 helm and Jewel of Infinite Possibilities) so I'm pretty happy.
getting used to new surroundings, part 1
Posted on 2007-09-25 09:20:00
So I got up early this morning to wait for the Time Warner people to hook us up with our own internet. (leeching off a very strong wireless connection - thanks neighbors!) Last night was a late night - went out to dinner at Rudy's with a few people and then played some WoW (our first downing of Netherspite and Prince! which should move our wowjutsu standing up to around #9 on Maiev) so I'm kinda tired. And I arrived here to find someone parked in front of our garage, so I parked in our other parking spot and kinda passively-aggressively left the garage door open so whoever parked there (thanks neighbors?) would get the message that there's someone living here now. It seems to have worked since the car's gone.
I'm feeling a little stressed because, as you know if you've chatted with me in the last month or so, I hate moving, and our stuff arrives tomorrow which is good but means we have to figure out where everything goes, etc. fast. And (this sounds ridiculous) I feel like I'm relearning how to interact with people socially, which is a bit of an exaggeration, but we didn't have many close friends up in MD and a few of them moved away. (I liked my coworkers and interacted decently with them but it's never the same for me in a work environment) We'd of course like to see people a lot (we'll probably have a housewarming party when we get settled in for good) but it's definitely stressing me out some.
The music on David's laptop has inexplicably disappeared, which is probably not good unless I just can't find it. I want to get my MacBook Pro but am waiting for the OS upgrade (October sometime). And I'm in the middle of State of Denial, Bob Woodward's book about the war in Iraq. It is excellent but engenders feelings of frustration at huge screwups.
and so we go
Posted on 2007-09-20 10:54:00
Tags: worldofwarcraft links
So the packers came yesterday, and looked at our stuff, and said they could pack and move it all in a day. So we're without furniture, etc. one day ahead of schedule, but it freed us up to sleep later today! We'll be hitting the road tomorrow morning and we'll lose internet this afternoon after we return our cable modem, so call us if you need to get in touch. I'll twitter and LJ from the road as much as possible.
Do you hate the "Can you hear me now? Good!" Verizon guy? He's known internally as "Test Man", and here's Verizon's style guide to deploying him. There's so much good stuff in there, like
His sole purpose is to test our network. In so doing, he takes a step, or a few steps, and then says the line "Can you hear me now? Good!" He should say "Good!" in a variety of different ways to maintain interest. Occasionally he may put more emphasis on "Good!" That emphasis strengthens the thought that he has gotten a good connection.
baseball, WoW, MacBook Pro?
Posted on 2007-09-18 11:22:00
Tags: worldofwarcraft cluesolver links
I got a link from a Houston Chronicle blog ("The Unofficial Scorer") - I'm "this little toy"! Of course this is terrible timing since my website will be going down in a few days for a weekish.
djedi sorta convinced me to get me a MacBook Pro which I've been talking about/considering for a while now. Maybe once MacOS 10.5 comes out. It would be nice to play WoW on an officially supported platform - I'm getting paranoid that a patch will come out and break me somehow and make me cry. Also, Macs are neat.
Next we tried Terestian Illhoof. He is tough. The first time I AoEd the imps way too early and ran out of mana in like 30 seconds, and we couldn't DPS the Demon Chains down quickly enough so people died left and right. I managed my mana better after that, but we still couldn't DPS the Demon Chains enough and we didn't make significant progress. Not sure how we're going to handle that but eventually we just moved on. Did the Chess Event, no problem - fun and easy!
Our last boss try for the night was Netherspite - we had tried him before briefly, but we had a better idea of portal management, etc. After a few tries we really started to get the hang of it - got him down to 17% on our last try before people had to go. I started using consumables a lot, so I need to pick me up some more of those...
I'm still working half-heartedly on the clue solver, but I need to sit down, concentrate, and design a UI for the webpage. I've been too busy and way too unfocused to do so.
Theorycrafting: calculating my DPS
Posted on 2007-09-13 10:00:00
Tags: math theorycraft worldofwarcraft
So I whipped up a little DPS calculator which is unfortunately specific to my talent build. Anyway, it's fun to play with. (for me; results may vary if you're someone else) My current numbers are +644 frost dmg, +598 fire dmg, 524 intellect, 222 crit rating, 83 hit rating. This gives me DPS on my frostbolt/fireblast/total as 621/675/630. For fun, what happens if I replace my gear with gear from Kara? (assuming I get all the same enchants)
|Handwraps of Flowing Thought||619/687/630|
|Brooch of Unquenchable Fury||624/678/633|
|Shadow-Cloak of Dalaran||624/676/632|
|Bands of Nefarious Deeds||625/677/634|
|Gloves of the Aldor (T4)||620/687/632|
|Staff of Infinite Mysteries||639/688/647|
|The Lightning Capacitor||hahaha I have no idea|
|Tirisfal Wand of Ascendancy||626/680/635|
|Jewel of Infinite Possibilities||630/685/639|
Theorycrafting: spell hit rating and me
Posted on 2007-09-12 15:48:00
Tags: math theorycraft worldofwarcraft
Last night some gear dropped in Kara and I was next on the unofficial Suicide Kings list for loot and I couldn't decide whether to take it or not because of stupid spell hit rating. So I'm going to work out how much spell hit rating is useful for me in the hope of avoiding this in the future. This is all based on the Spell hit article in WoWWiki.
For raiding, bosses are considered to be level 73, which means by default I have a 83% chance to hit them with spells. I have 3/3 points in Elemental Precision which gives me +3% hit for Frost and Fire spells (which is all I ever cast on bosses), bringing me to 86%. The maximum hit chance possible is 99%, so that leaves a 13% gap.
1% of spell hit chance is the same as 12.6 points of spell hit at level 70, so that means I need 13*12.6=163.8 spell hit rating to max out. Since I have 5/5 points in Ice Shards, my frost spells crit bonus is 100%. Unlike melee attacks, for spells hit and crit are separate rolls. So 1% of spell crit chance is really worth (chance to hit)%. So spell hit does more good than spell crit. (for fire spells spell hit is even better, since by default the crit bonus is only 50%) It takes 22.1 spell crit rating to get 1% of spell crit chance at level 70.
Summary: I only have 83 spell hit rating with my current gear, so I need another 80 spell hit rating to max that out. When comparing gear, since my current spell hit chance is 92.6%, 1 point of spell hit is worth around (22.1/12.6)/(.926)=1.9 points of spell crit, and this is underestimating spell hit since I do cast fire spells in my normal rotation (frostbolt, frostbolt, fire blast, ...) Also, spell hit is worthless on my PvP gear since my chance to hit is 96%+3%=99% on lvl 70 opponents, which is maxed out.
Next time, how much spell hit/crit is worth versus +spell damage!
Thanks to destroyerj for corrections.
if music be the food of love
Posted on 2007-09-10 09:59:00
Tags: worldofwarcraft cluesolver
I felt fairly blah on Saturday, feeling a real lack of drive and not wanting to do anything or start anything. I expected to be plunged more into blahness yesterday since djedi was leaving, but listening to music I don't get to at work while I read a good book (Three Fortunes in One Cookie - highly recommended!) helped a lot.
In the evening I had football on while I totally rethought my approach to the clue solver. The whole specifying everything in terms of logic just wasn't working at all, and I didn't want to give up on it, so I'm rewriting things to do my own inference, etc. It actually doesn't look that hard and I can take advantage of the fact that some things are much easier for me to understand (one and only one suspect did it) than to specify it in propositional logic, which is what I was down to.
Spent the remainder of the evening installing Galleon and getting rid of my way old program for listening to music on the TiVo. (which didn't shuffle playlists at all) It took me a while to get it working correctly for who-knows-what reason, but it works now.
Kara run was pretty successful - we downed all the stuff we had earlier, plus Curator (hard fight!) and the Chess Event. (which, as Sepp said, was "free loot!") Took a shot at Netherspite for fun and he (it?) kicked our collective asses, finishing at 100% thanks to crazy portals and beams and whatnot.
djedi's interviewing at NI today - wish him luck!
yet another fine day
Posted on 2007-08-07 09:14:00
Tags: starcraft worldofwarcraft
After djedi's awesome cash award, we stopped by Best Buy and got a couple of things, including StarCraft which I played in high school but not since. djedi was reading the manual and ohhhh the memories. Now I really want to play again :-)
WoW 5v5 arena last night was awesome - we went 8-2 (one team we lost to we then beat twice), including a 24 point win.
We've been watching Futurama episodes with commentary the last few days. Excellent stuff. I keep forgetting that even the episodes that don't stand out in my mind are still generally good, and the commentary is pretty quality - they'll talk about jokes they pitched that didn't make it, or gasp in mock surprise as a major plot point is revealed. Can't wait for the new movies to come out :-)
Busy weekends ahead - this weekend onefishclappin and krikwennavd are around, next weekend djedi's out of town, after that is our NYC trip, after that we're visiting my grandparents and aunt & uncle in Hanover, NH. Yikes!
for a monday, things are pretty good
Posted on 2007-08-06 12:59:00
Tags: movies worldofwarcraft
wonderjess and friends came down to visit for the weekend, and Friday and a lot of Saturday was spent painting DC red. We toured the US Capitol and went to the top of the Washington Monument, as well as lots of other things. I'll put pictures up sometime this week. At night we watched old Square One episodes. (search for "Square One" on YouTube and you'll find lots of good sketches :-) )
Played some WoW on Saturday and got Rilinar (my old priest on Alleria) up to 61. It took a while to remember to watch the health bars and not the mob's health, but I still do enjoy healing.
Yesterday we were both feeling kinda blah, and it would have been perfect to have someone over or go over to a friend's place. Instead I programmed some Haskell and eventually we rented and watched the first Die Hard, which I hadn't seen. Good movie!
weekend, wow, project
Posted on 2007-07-09 09:49:00
Tags: microresolution worldofwarcraft
Just another weekend up here, but it was pretty nice. We went to a wedding at Ft. Meade (quick ceremony, good cake), met up for lunch with bobacita and medryn (good times, made me jealous-er of google, good hotcakes), ran our first heroic WoW instances as a guild (cleared them minus one boss!, lots and lots of scary trash), watched a few good episodes of BSG, and generally had a good time.
Just bought tickets to the DC United game when the LA Galaxy come to town with David Beckham! Should be full of awesomeness.
Happy Fifth of July!
Music: Radiohead - "Where I End and You Begin"
Posted on 2007-07-05 13:03:00
Tags: microresolution haskell worldofwarcraft links
Yesterday was nice - we got djedi his flying epic mount, finished Super Paper Mario, went out to eat at Copeland's, and didn't let the stormy weather get us down!
Super Paper Mario - pretty good game, and the story was kind of interesting, but not nearly as interesting as the ridiculous amount of conversation, etc. that you have to go through. Still enjoyed it though.
As previously mentioned, we saw Transformers at Bengies. I've only been to a drive-in once before, so it was fun! The place is pretty nice and retro, although the owner seems to be one of those people that sees it fit to enumerate every single thing you shouldn't do. See the House Rules and FAQ for examples. There was a condom machine in the bathroom that had (not exaggerating here) four paragraphs about how the management doesn't endorse their usage, and how it's just there for protection and abstinence is the only sure protection, etc. Yikes. The movie was pretty good for a summer blockbuster. (read: lots of giant robots fighting) I've never seen the series on TV so maybe you'd get more out of it if you did?
Microresolution complete! I spent some time on the hat puzzle genetic algorithm thing in Haskell. It's frustrating to work on because I really have to get in the functional state of mind, but I wrote a few tough methods (randomly selecting which genes to reproduce based on the fitness function) so I feel good about that. The genetic part of this is going to end up being a sort of framework for writing genetic algorithms in Haskell, which is a neat side benefit (although such things already exist).
I'm trying out Twitter. It seems neatish.
In Ohio, you can't get arrested on the Fourth of July! (except for felonies and treason...you would think the penalty for committing treason on the Fourth of July would be more strict or something :-) )
Babies learn to lie when they're six months old - lousy lying babies!
Yay holiday week!
Posted on 2007-07-03 09:38:00
2 hours of administrative leave make today much more palatable!
We're going to see Transformers tonight at Bengies, home of the biggest theatre screen in the US!
I resubscribed to digitalblasphemy after a few years off. My current background at home happens to be in the free gallery now! Very pretty.
We ran Black Morass twice in two nights and cleared it both times, so now six of us are Karazhan keyed. Aaand I beat the fourth (of six) Netherwing race last night. Now they start getting really hard and they recommend knowing the route really well. We'll see if I can beat the last two. We're getting close to the money for djedi's epic mount :-)
Looking forward to the day off tomorrow. Happy 4th!
epic flying mount!!
Posted on 2007-06-20 09:07:00
Tags: ljbackup baseball rice worldofwarcraft
With the help of djedi, I bought my epic flying mount last night! (big screenshot of required money) It, in a word, is awesome. I will have to see about getting one of the cooler looking ones (right now it's green) but it is super fast.
One of the advantages of putting my sample LJ backup online (created with LJBackup</shamelessPlug>), besides the neat statistics, is that when people do searches and click through I get to see it. Like, I'm one of only two results on Google for "homer 3d" "fermat's last theorem" (the search leads to here), which someone clicked through to last night. Oddly enough, Google doesn't find the original LJ post...
Rice plays NC State today (and tomorrow, if necessary) at 2PM Eastern - if they win one of these games, they advance to the championship series! Go Owls!
Also, LiveJournal will be selling permanent accounts starting Friday for one week. They cost $150 and you're a permanent member for life (like being a paid member but you get more space and userpics). I considered it but I think I'm going to pass for now. (the last permanent account sale was in 2005 so they're pretty rare)
heroic mechanar, and facebook
Music: Avenue Q - "It Sucks To Be Me"
Posted on 2007-06-14 11:20:00
Tags: facebook worldofwarcraft programming
The day off yesterday was really nice. We watched some TV - BSG season 1 finale (shocker!), Lost season finale (also shocker although hard to figure out what's going on!), and I worked on getting a Facebook app working. I partially succeeded, and started to try to hack around the problems with the Friend of a Friend application before deciding that, even if I could get it to work it wouldn't be very reliable. So, my new idea is to have a Daily/Cool Links app which will be kinda like Digg/Reddit except you only see links/votes from people that you are friends with. I don't know how useful or interesting it will be, but at least it's technically possible. I'll let y'all know when it's done :-)
Another thing I did yesterday was run my first Heroic instance! Details behind the cut for you non-WoW people...
After an abortive attempt with djedi earlier (we didn't even do one full pull before the tank said he had to leave :-/), I got in with a different group, and after some trouble (some people don't realize you have to be keyed...) we got going. It was four people from Daggerfall - two paladins (one tanking, one healing), a warlock, hunter, and me (mage).
One thing I had always heard about heroic instances is that the trash hits hard. This is incontrovertibly true. The normal guys were OK, but the big guys (guardians, maybe?) consistently one-shotted me if I pulled aggro. One time we were running away to the elevator and he killed me without even stopping. We wiped I think five times just pulling one of those guardians (to be fair, the healer was having lag issues, but yikes).
The first "interesting" boss was the guy that in normal mode, turns green for spell reflect and red for melee reflect. In the heroic mode he does something totally different! Every so often he will cause each person to be either positively or negatively "charged". If two people with opposite polarity stand near each other, every five seconds they both take 2000 damage. If two people with the same polarity stand near each other, both of their damage is increased by 100%. So we had the rule that the healer would stand still, and depending on your charge you'd run up to him or away from him. Not too difficult but kinda neat :-)
We killed three bosses but couldn't kill Pantheon the Calculator - got him down to 20% a few times before giving up. I collected my three Badges of Justice and went home happy. It would be nice to run an easier heroic first, but I still need to rep grind with Thrallmar, Cenarion Expedition, Lower City, and Keepers of Time.
What does Thursday mean to you?
Posted on 2007-03-15 07:55:00
Tags: haskell worldofwarcraft tivo programming
It hit 70 degrees here yesterday! It was absolutely beautiful. Of course, it's going to be cold again tomorrow, but it was nice to have a touch of spring.
I finished and posted my latest WoW guild data project. It was fun, but nothing too tricky about it.
So I read about the Amazon Unbox downloads on the TiVo, so I signed up. (free $15 if you link the accounts by the end of April!) We rented A Scanner Darkly to try it out (you have to watch it within 30 days, and once you watch it it expires in 24 hours), and it downloaded in like an hour. Very very cool stuff. It's also neat because if you buy something, Amazon saves it and you can redownload it at any time. (except if the stupid copyright holder doesn't let you, grr) Also, they have a small number of TV series including 24, Firefly, and Arrested Development.
My attempt at comprehending Haskell continues. I read through A Gentle Introduction to Haskell which, despite the title, is not really gentle at all. I'm also looking through the Haskell Wikibook which is a little too slow-paced for me, but it's a nice change of pace after the other one! I'm starting to get some of the ideas, and remembering why functional languages are so cool. As a crazy example, you can do something like
y = x * 2
x = 2
and it will still work, since variables are only assigned to once, so I guess it can figure out the order things should run in. (I should note that I can't find the reference for this anymore, so it may not be true. Also, this seems like a crazy thing to do in a functional language anyway.) Maybe my next Haskell project will be to write a bot for WoW! (*)
I've gotten in to work at 7:45 every day this week, surprisingly enough. I've also been to the gym every day.
I got two nice "Congratulations!" cards in the mail from my relatives for my engagement. Yay!
(*) - Just kidding. My next project won't be WoW-related. Also, this is borderline crazy to try to do.
Posted on 2007-03-13 08:14:00
Tags: dreams music microresolution worldofwarcraft
It's weird leaving the apartment before my daily cron job runs...
So my latest project is taking data from the WoW armory and showing neat stuff with it. I'll probably put the public page up tomorrow. Microresolution: my next project will not be WoW-related.
Weird dream: I dreamt I had made a few friends and then I found out a friend was stealing them away from me (i.e. they weren't going to be my friend anymore). I was very upset about this and was ready to write a scathing LiveJournal post!
I've been listening to a lot of Avenue Q lately. My thoughts, after the cut:
At first, my favorites were the obvious ones - "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist", "The Internet Is For Porn", "Schadenfreude". After a few listens, I think my current favorites are "Mix Tape", "Schadenfreude", and "I Wish I Could Go Back to College". Here's why!
The Avenue Q Theme - cute little ditty. Does a good job of sounding like the Sesame Street without really "borrowing" any melodies.
What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?/It Sucks To Be Me - A nice peppy song. I like the little harmony part when they all start singing. The first "appearance" of Gary Coleman, whose stage representation has a really nice voice. I should take this opportunity to say that the Japanese character (don't know her name) has a really annoying voice. Ugh.
If You Were Gay - Rod's voice is a little bit off at the beginning. ("how can it get any better than this?") I do like the song because the comedy is done well, especially Rod's indignance. :-)
Purpose - I guess this is supposed to drive the plot a little, but this song is more or less boring. The guy's voice is reasonably nice, though.
Everyone's A Little Bit Racist - So I definitely like some of this song. The melody is nice, and I do like the message that perhaps we shoudl relax a little bit about race, and that no one's truly colorblind (a la Stephen Colbert's "I don't see race"). But it goes a little far (needlessly?) in kinda implying because of this, it's OK to tell racist jokes, make fun of people, etc, instead of maybe trying to make things better. See above re Japanese character's voice. Also, Gary Coleman saying "Whatchoo talking 'bout Kate?" is pretty funny.
The Internet Is For Porn - Cute song. I like Trekkie Monster. Kate's indignance is pulled off pretty well, too - her voice fits her character very well.
Mix Tape - I like this song a lot. The melodies going on in the background are very pretty (and catchy!), and the whole premise of the song (that you can tell if someone likes you by the songs they put on your mix tape) is pretty funny. "Fat Bottomed Girls" indeed!
I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today - Huh? Maybe this makes sense in context. At least it's short.
Special - Meh. Don't really like her voice.
You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Makin' Love) - Funny. Again with liking Gary Coleman's voice. I should add I feel weird listening to this song at work :-)
Fantasies Come True - This song is...OK. It's really more sad than anything. Poor Rod...
My Girlfriend, Who Lives in Canada - Even though it follows the sad song, I can't help laughing. The frantic voice totally makes it! I like the way he says "Canada" too.
There's a Fine, Fine Line - Not bad. Voice is good.
There Is Life Outside Your Apartment - A cute song, but it doesn't quite click with me.
The More You Ruv Someone - hate hate hate skip
Schadenfreude - Funny, upbeat, and lots of Gary Coleman. What's not to love? I can put up with the meanness!
I Wish I Could Go Back to College - Really pretty song, and who hasn't wanted to go back to college at some point? Best song on the album, if just for the a capella section.
The Money Song - Cute song.
School for Monsters/The Money Song - It's OK. I do like Trekkie Monster.
a bunch of reprises - Not bad.
For Now - Good ending song. Everything is temporary!
I honestly forget the point of this. Oh well. The point is, good album.
Look what we can do!
Posted on 2007-03-09 09:07:00
Tags: pictures worldofwarcraft programming
Last night, I accomplished the following things:
- grocery shopping
- mole check
- wrote a script to download data from the World of Warcraft Armory, and set it up to download every guild member's stats nightly. At some point I'll do something neat with the data. (to do this I used the new Python XML library elementtree, which is better than the builtin stuff, but not nearly as nice as e4x) I had to solve a bit of a mystery - when I would fetch the URL http://armory.worldofwarcraft.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Maiev&n=Tsouzer in Firefox and the HTML page would show up, but I could view source and see the raw XML data that I wanted. When I fetched it with wget or curl, I would always get the HTML page, not the XML data. The key is to fake out the user-agent: I guess if it thinks you support the fancy XML processing it does (with XSLT, I think?) it will give you the data, otherwise it gives you standard HTML any browser can handle. Neat idea, I guess.
- fixed my automatic del.icio.us bookmark backup script (the API had changed a little).
- seemingly fixed the problems with sending email from my computer, although it still complains that it can't write to the log file.
- put up a (very) few pictures.
- updated my backup script to back up some more databases
A lot of this stuff had been hanging over my head for a while, so I feel great today!
orange juice morning, noon, and night
Posted on 2007-03-08 09:43:00
Tags: health worldofwarcraft
I went to the doctor last week to get a physical for the first time in, oh, three years. I guess I should go more often, but I've been pretty lucky when it comes to health problems. Anyway, my precious bodily fluids were also taken and sampled, and I found out my good cholesterol (HDL) was lower than it should be. (my bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides were a tiny bit high as well) Apparently diet and exercise help a lot, as well as certain foods (orange juice), so I'm really trying to stay on the wagon with the whole losing weight thing. I find it's almost impossible for me to avoid eating when I'm bored (especially at work), so that's something to work on. No sodas before dinner this week is going pretty well, though.
Did a similar analysis for jewelcrafting as I did for alchemy (which things can be crafted for profit on the auction house) - there seem to be some decent possibilities there but I don't know much about the items.
little bit o' everything
Posted on 2007-02-27 10:25:00
Tags: microresolution worldofwarcraft programming
We went to an Oscar party this weekend. It was fun! Ellen did a good job hosting.
We've been playing a lot of World of Warcraft. I posted to the guild site about an analysis I did (using my auctioneer data lookup) about what potions you can craft to make money. I'm gonna try taking my own advice and see if it works! I also have been working on an Adobe Flex version of that interface which is almost done. The SDK is free and works on Linux, and since Flash Player 9 was just (a month or so ago) released for Linux I thought it would be a good time to try it out. Working in a data-driven language takes some getting used to but the resulting code is a lot simpler than the AJAX version. And it looks nice!
Via Fire Joe Morgan there's this delightful piece which compares sports bloggers to homeless people or...something. It's really hard to tell what the point of the column is, although from what I can tell the point was to be stupid.
The cablecards in our TiVo seem to be going on the fritz. Luckily Heroes recorded last night, although we haven't watched it yet. I reeeeealy don't want to have to call Comcast and get them to come out and fix them, especially since they work some of the time so you just know they're gonna work when the people come out.
I really really need to address and send those darn letters. I think it's the final step that makes everything "real" and I don't want to deal with. But sheesh, get over it. Microresolution: address the letters by Thursday night, send them by Monday.
dum de dum
Posted on 2007-01-10 11:40:00
Tags: worldofwarcraft wii
It is super cold here! I'm at home waiting for the cable people to come (they said 8-12, which of course means I just got a call at 11:40 that they're on their way. *sigh*), and wow. It's 34 degrees outside. And maybe it'll snow sometime in the next week! That would be awesome.
Being at home this morning, I accomplished almost nothing useful. Which is not altogether bad. Finished a book I was reading, played some Wii Sports and tweaked my WoW settings to get more fps, which is always good.
Speaking of Wii Sports, I recently made Pro in baseball. Woohoo! It's getting really hard, though - I've finally learned to lay off the bad pitches some. But the pitches are getting tougher - one game started me off with a 100 mph fastball (!) followed by a 69 mph screwball. How am I supposed to adjust between those speeds?
Ravens play Saturday. Go Ravens!
Wii Forecast channel
Posted on 2006-12-21 10:34:00
Tags: worldofwarcraft wii
When I woke up Tuesday the Wii disc slot was glowing blue, so I turned it on and there was a message from Nintendo that they had released the Forecast Channel. I did the system update and played with it quickly before work. Now that I've had more time with it it's actually pretty darn neat (relevant Penny Arcade strip). Yeah, it's just the weather, but here's why it's super cool:
- The background music is very calming. Plus, when you show a forecast of "rain" there's a faint rain noise that plays :-)
- It has the forecast for your area, but you can show a very nicely drawn globe (pictures here) with the current weather (or today's high/low, etc.), and you can spin the globe around by grabbing it and it's fun.
- Apparently Madden '07 uses the data from that to find the weather conditions when you play a game. Neat!
But really, the top two cool things are:
- If you zoom out enough you see stars in the background. And their positions and intensities are accurate! We spotted a few constellations last night...
- Obviously when you zoom out fewer and fewer cities are shown. I discovered this by accident, but when you start at Texas and zoom out eventually you get to a point where Houston is shown and not Dallas!!!! Hahahahaha!!! Take that, Dallas!!
Here's a festive screenshot I took in WoW - notice the reindeer mount and Santa-like hat :-)
Peppermint Mocha links
Posted on 2006-11-16 13:55:00
Tags: worldofwarcraft links
So what with all my efforts to get a Peppermint Mocha being thwarted, I thought fate was sending me a message. Well, I sent fate a message by going out of my way this morning to get one - so there! And it was gooood too. And helped keep me awake until now.
This should be an Onion headline, but it's real - apparently OJ Simpson wrote a book about "how he would have committed the murders if he were the one responsible. What??? Who thinks this is a good idea? Also, he's being interviewed on Fox about the new book - kudos to NBC for turning down an interview. Yikes.
The story of a Star Wars virgin who watched the films for the first time in order from I to VI. Kinda amusing.
I played Excite Truck on a Wii today for a few minutes. I'm excited! Also, I sure hope I wasn't banned from WoW for using Linux. (not Blizzard's intention, but it sure would be inconvenient...)
Officially announcing auctioneer lookup
Posted on 2006-09-06 17:50:00
Tags: auctioneerlookup worldofwarcraft
Well, that wasn't too bad - I fixed the IE problem, so I'm officially announcing the Auctioneer Lookup page I mentioned in my previous post. Let me know what you think!
'Topes lose! 'Topes lose!
Music: nothing yet
Posted on 2005-10-27 09:22:00
Tags: astros worldofwarcraft
So even before the Astros lost yesterday, I decided to take a more Zen approach to watching them lose. I mean, last year was the first year they won a playoff series at all, so winning the pennant and just making it to the World Series is definitely a step forward. And it would have been nice if they had won at least one game (so they could have played another game at home), but that's just gravy. They had a good season, and we should be happy about that. It's tough to get over the frustration of being so close to winning every single game in the World Series, but that's the way it goes (and the fact that they didn't win any probably means the White Sox were a better team). So I've made my peace.
I took a few sick hours yesterday and went home early - I wasn't feeling horrible, but a combination of allergies and being tired was enough to make me completely incapable of concentrating. So I watched a few episodes of "Murphy Brown" (which is on Nick at Nite now! Very nostalgic for me...my mom loved that show...) and took a nap. Magic was pretty fun, then came back and played a little WoW (mostly gathering silk), although I had to play on David's laptop because I couldn't download the patch. Grr.
Tonight is the Michael Jackson singalong! I am much anticipatory.
Good day so far - stock is doing decently after good earnings yesterday, and Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to the Supreme Court.
Rice trip and other things
Music: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - "Mike Teavee"
Posted on 2005-09-20 08:43:00
Tags: charlottesweb worldofwarcraft
So the trip down to Rice went well.
The drive down was uneventful in a good way - we watched a Simpsons episode and listened to my iPod. Unfortunately, our hotel was out 290 a ways (hard to find hotel rooms - maybe because of Katrina evacuees?), which meant the next morning we had to get up early and spend like half an hour in traffic to actually get to Rice. And on the way, we saw someone pull over, get out of his truck, and hunch over to pee. That was...interesting.
The day went well - we showed off our demos and had a pretty good presence. I talked to some people who seemed excited about NI - yay! Although the demo I had put together didn't actually work. But that's OK, since it wasn't very exciting anyway (using a camera to count change). Maybe next time!
By the end of the day, we were tired from standing from 10ish-4 (well, most of the time), and we had to pack up all the demos into the van. We got on 59 right at 5, so of course traffic was horrible, and we pulled off at 6 (still in Houston, mind you, just past the beltway) to eat dinner, then we continued on and made it back to NI, unloaded the stuff, and finally I got to go home. Yikes, I was tired!
Charlotte's Web was decent on Sunday - not great because it had been a week, and I forgot to get my hair pinned so it kept coming out of my pig head. Also, my voice was dry for whatever reason, so I had to talk loudly and it didn't sound (or feel) as good as usual. Oh well. Hopefully this weekend will be better, since my parents are coming up to see it! Which I'm excited about. Although they might have to evacuate from Tropical Storm (presumably a hurricane by then) Rita, which would be irritating.
Here are the Celebrity Jeopardy videos from SNL - haven't watched them yet, but I want to. Maybe I'll have time today!
Apparently there's a "plague" spreading in WoW. Very interesting, although I'd imagine it would be annoying to just randomly die. Dunno if I could heal myself fast enough to avoid it...
Long week. Also, long next week.
Music: The Killers - "Mr. Brightside"
Posted on 2005-08-26 14:01:00
Tags: charlottesweb worldofwarcraft
Rehearsals for "Charlotte's Web" are going pretty well, in that I'm surviving them. Actually our runthroughs are getting cleaner (sidenote: it's really annoying not to be able to tell how I'm doing until it's done and Ron tells us how we did. I wish I could know whether things are going well or not (I can guess, but I'm mostly not terribly right) during the show), and I'm 95% there on my lines (mostly now is remembering which goes where, and the occasional missed cue). Having rehearsal every night gets tiring, though. Luckily no rehearsals this weekend, and (I'm big on the HTML tags today, I guess) no rehearsal next Thursday! Hooray! Unfortunately we do have tech rehearsals Saturday and Sunday of next weekend, which is a huge bummer because that weekend is already crazy busy with random stuff. *sigh*
Once rehearsals are done, I'll enjoy WoW more - I'm enjoying it now, but I'm always having to catch up with people, and I'm making djedi take me back through my old quests since I can't solo very well, being a priest and all. I do like the whole guild thing, though.
I tried out Google Talk, and I'm not really impressed, although the sort of integration with Gmail is kinda nice.
Hopefully I'll get rid of my backlog of pictures to post this weekend, including ASMC pictures. But no promises!
Work is going decently well...but since I have 6:30 rehearsals all week, I have to leave a little on the early side to make it there on time (and they're much more strict about getting there on time than ASMC; that is, you will be admonished (that's a word, right? I'm tired...) for being late). So I just need to get more done.
busy week, fun weekend
Music: Wicked - "Dancing Through Life"
Posted on 2005-08-22 14:11:00
Tags: projecteuler charlottesweb worldofwarcraft
The weekend was good - played a bit of World of Warcraft. I got it working on Windows and Linux (some sort of memory issue - doesn't seem to be isolated to one stick or one slot, but only using two (and maybe keeping it under 1GB?) works great), which was nice.
I'm really getting into World of Warcraft, which is unsurprising because I often throw myself into new things. Having Skype working to chat with people while playing is way cool, too - much more efficient than typing all the time.
I have Charlotte's Web rehearsals M-F this week and next week, so I'm steeling myself for that. Luckily the rehearsals are 6:30-9:30, so I get out at a reasonable time (although I have to eat dinner quickish to make it there), and they work us pretty well so I feel like we're accomplishing something. I'm supposed to be off-book tonight for the first time, and I think I can (mostly) do it.
My other latest thing is Project Euler - it's a bunch of math programming challenges. It's fun because it's a lot less frustrating than the Python Challenge, but there's still definitely some depth to it (and I'm using Python to do them :-) )
A random thought I had at some point - say I remember part of a song, but I don't know what it's called or whatever (this happens to me a lot!). Is there some way for me to hum what I remember, then take that sound file and do some sort of correlation with a bunch of known songs and return the best match? I don't know much (really anything) about signal processing, but it seems like humming it in a different key would make things difficult, as well as faster/slower than the original tune. Just thinking...
I'm addicted to WoW...
Posted on 2005-08-18 13:12:00
...installing it, that is! I tried many times to get it to install under Linux, only to fail (eventually I just copied files and registry entries over). But then it ran horribly and crashed all the time. So after fiddling around with lots of random settings, I decided to bite the bullet, install Windows, and do that. Never did I imagine that it wouldn't install under Windows either, in much the same way that it didn't install under Linux (but it did). So now I'm thinking that it's a memory issue, since I just got a new stick of memory and sometimes it complains about checksum errors. That would be sweet, because then I could just return the new memory (I hope...) and everything would all work and stuff. Trying to install now...
A man was arrested for using a bot in a MMORPG to mug a person and then sell those items for real money. Crazy!
play, WoW frustration, and so on
Music: Barenaked Ladies - "Light Up My Room"
Posted on 2005-08-10 09:58:00
Tags: charlottesweb worldofwarcraft tipping
So rehearsal went pretty well last night. It was sort of weird being there - I felt very much like I didn't exactly know what I was doing, which seems pretty accurate. The cast seems very nice, as does the stage manager. I'm less nervous about learning my lines (but I still need to work on it!) because, well, I'm going to be saying them a lot in rehearsal. Which seems obvious in retrospect...
It was fun, though. Hopefully I'll pick up this whole acting thing as we go. Rehearsal again tonight!
World of Warcraft is frustrating because I can't really get it to work. I'm running it on Linux through Cedega, and it kinda works but crashes every 5 minutes or so. There are like 6 things to try, and so I might just make a list and try all combinations of all of them, or something. Maybe I'll write a script to do each one of them to speed testing. Hmm. Anyway, I'm determined to keep trying until I get tired of trying. That's commitment for you!
A topic that's been making the blog rounds is the practice of tipping. This round of discussion started with the fact that some restaurant in New York is ending tipping and adding a 20% service charge to the bill. Here are some interesting statistics on tipping and why Mr. Pink doesn't tip. Myself, I think it sucks that it's legal to pay waiters less than minimum wage (as low as $1.59/hour in Kansas!). Given that they do, however, I feel guilty not tipping 15% unless the service was quite bad. If I could change the world, though, I'd make restaurants pay waiters minimum wage and make tipping optional. But I've never been in a job subject to tips - anyone who has care to jump in?
A neat trick I saw on the Google Blog is using the * operator to make Google fill in the blank. So, you can do things like Austin is the * capital of the world (live music, obviously!), Pittsburgh is the * capital of the world (steel, peroghi, or robotics), Rochester is the * capital of New York (murder(!) and technology), and Houston is the * capital of the world (energy or oil, depending who you ask). Pretty nifty!
Mood: frustrated (at work)
Music: Lager Rhythms - "Happy Phantom"
Posted on 2005-07-06 13:13:00
So I added driving directions and a few other things (it should work in IE now) to my map. Now there are instructions on how to make your own, if you so desire.
Another neat google maps hack I found today is the Gmaps Pedometer, with which you can figure out how long your walks are, or whatever. Cool!
It seems like people are going to be playing World of Warcraft soon - a useful site I was pointed to is WoW Vault. And I'm going to be a priest. :-)
This weekend djedi and I are going home to take my dad to an Astros game (for Father's Day). So I bought tickets online yesterday through Ticketmaster. Ugh. Ticketmaster is a huge pain - you have like two minutes to decide if you want the tickets they assign you, and then three minutes to fill out all your information, otherwise you'll lose the tickets. Then there are the ridiculous fees - the tickets were a total of $60, and I paid ticketmaster $78, for a 30% markup. Grr.
destroyerj mentioned this already, but you should check out Google Earth. They're not letting people download it now, but I have a copy of the installer if you're interested...
As I was driving to work today, I saw a Volvo that had a Howard Dean sticker on it, and had a chuckle at the stereotypicalness (is that really a word?). Then I realized that that was me before I got my Prius! So, I don't know what that means.
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