Saturday, May 31, 2008


My friend, the computer.

They're as much a part of my life as anything else. I interact with them, work with them, play with them, put up with their megrims and vapors, their tantrums and brilliance.
Which makes me think - what have they taught me?
  1. There is no problem that cannot be resolved with a simple shut down and restart. Take a breather. Look at what's important. Clear out the unnecessary clutter hogging your head. Make a fresh start. You might lose some work, but nothing that can't be redone.
  2. You cannot multitask to infinity. If there's some stuff that can be done, do it. Too much will slow you down, grind you to a halt.
  3. Save frequently. Anything can happen anytime, power can go out of your life, anything can happen. Take precautions.
  4. Backup and Protect. The world is full of malicious people creating malicious ways to hurt you just for their own fame or money. The more you explore the world, the more you expose yourself to it's dangers; keep a good shield. Don't lose what you value. Burn DVDs regularly.
  5. Equip yourself. There are things that you need to have to experience the best of what life has to offer, in safety. You need an AGP card, a DVD burner, HDD space, RAM, speakers. Spend some money. It's worth it.
  6. Explore. What you started with is fine, but to really realize your potential, go out there, see, experiment.
  7. Everything costs money, more than you thought. But there are shortcuts, hacks, ways of working around it.
  8. There will always be less time than you think. Don't lose sleep doing inane timepass.
  9. Organize. All the information in the world is useless unless you know where to get it. If your stuff is in a mess, it's worse than useless. It's negative, draining time and energy and mental peace without any results.
  10. Once in a while, disaster will strike. Something so bad, terrible, unexpected that you were completely unready, and your life's work will be wiped out. But you don't give up at that. You sit down, take a deep breath, and type a simple little command.
Format C:
Warning! This will wipe out ALL information on your disk drive! Proceed? Y / N

And sit back calmly, light a cig, and flush away everything - everything that was diseased, corrupted, dangerous, malicious. If you've been careful, the really important things - your music, movies, books, pictures, writings, and job - are safe, burned on a DVD somewhere. Your friends, their conversations, ids, everything is still out there. This is just a breathing space, a time to recoup, reorganize, and recover before you explode back out in the world.
Watch the counter reach 100%. Label your drive. Look at the dark screen, and think of the time, long ago, when in the darkness, there was a Word. One Word, said in the right directory, from where everything began.

And that Word was...


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

time flies when you're having fun

what happened to the last six years?
getting old. when i was 18 i had all the time in the world to do everything... now running out of it to do stuff i had right up there at the top of the priority list.
i guess that's the biggest difference between a beginning and a middle, between 6 pm and midnite when you pull an all-nighter.
knowing the score is never a pleasant experience
someday i guess i'll thank me for what i'm doing today. but still - it may the right thing to have done, but is that the right thing to do? right now?
a future for a present. can i lose both?
a present. the future will follow?
attach too much importance to things. don't attach any.
right things. wrong things.
neither. both. any.

every minute gone won't ever come back
going now
so much i wanted to do - where did the time go?

Monday, May 19, 2008

game on!

My TV table has started resembling my PC room - enough cabling to build a fully functional elephant hammock, and LEDs that, if not the bridge of the Enterprise-D, are at least good enough for the Reliant.
Borrowed a PS2 and picked up a second joystick, discovered a new (good) games supplier, and I'm all set for the summer vacations, had I had any. Man I miss summer vacations. Nothing I want more than, not much, just a few weeks of AC, PC, PS2, and gametime.
Do I buy a PS3? or an Xbox? Am beginning to see the benefits of a dedicated gamesystem - consoles let you switch onto a game instantly. No bootups, no switching off inessential apps, no messenger windows popping up, and no Blue Screen Of Death. On the other hand... I do need to buy an engagement ring.
Decisions, decisions...

Roommate has acquired a 3-DVD set of Mr Bean, and we have just the single TV.

I'm also converting every plugpoint into a lethal firetrap, begging for a short. Pray with me, as I appease Raiden.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


2001: A Space Odyssey.

It's fascinating to see old movies made about the future. This was done in the (fifties? sixties?) and while being completely groundbreaking in the central premise, nontheless looks incredibly outdated when you read between the lines. When you look at all the cultural assumptions built in.
2001 is already almost a decade past. We don't have Jupiter missions, or passenger shuttles, or Clavius base. But we do have human-machine interfaces that are generations ahead. Everything is... so much smaller. Buttons. Computers. Cameras. Food trays. Furniture. Everything.
At the time it was made, the movie looked very futuristic because the cultural bias was invisible - like looking at crystal in water. Cultural bias, when seen in the culture it belongs to, is impossible to see. Half a century later, the crystal's changed color, and sticks out like a sore thumb.
Text is HUGE. Displays, labels, buttons... diagrams are 2-color. Every screen is a 14-inch, and large displays are a matrix of multiple screens. With gaps in between to prevent gaussian blur :)

It got me thinking - there always will be some rules that can hold true for all sci-fi for a long time, given where we are now.
1. No artificial gravity. The benefits far outweigh the cost. apart from the resources wasted in terms of energy, look at the wasted space! Walls, ceiling and floor should be interchangeable. Footfall had that right, at least.
2. No large empty spaces. Not even cargo holds. At the max, maybe a net system outside where the cargo containers can be moored; that much empty space is just a waste of air, light, heat. No big roomy corridors, just crawlspaces and passages. No rooms, just bunks.
3. Minimal manned EVA. Everything to be remote-controlled, waldos and VR.
4. VR, VR, and VR. When you're in space, you are the ship. You need to move around inside and outside the ship as little as possible; ideally, the entire journey should happen with you plugged into the ship systems, floating in a life-support tube.
5. No High-speed maneuvers and stunts, at least in the immediate timeline; wastes far too much fuel.
6. Aliens will not be hominid, and most probably not even bipedal. Probably not organic either.
7. Space war will last days at the very most, and will result in complete annihilation or unconditional surrender, just because each side will have weapon technology so different from the other that any faceoff will be a race to find that one tech that the other can't counter. So 'war' will not be soldiers, fighters and lasers; it'll be espionage, crackers, viruses, and decryption tech.
8. Further down the timeline, there will be only supercomputers talking to each other.
9. Time travel will be possible, but each instant it's done, the time-traveller will be in a different universe. So you can't change your past, just someone else's.
10. Everything will be cordless, wireless, and batteries will never run out.

Unlike my laptop who's dying even as we speak. Ciao.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

the bears ARE real

you know how it goes, right? step on a crack in the sidewalk, and invisible bears that wait around the corner for you to do just that will appear and eat you up?

I don't believe it for sidewalks; but the bathroom is a different story.

There ARE bears hiding between the cracks. They DO eat the people that aren't careful about where they put their feet.

look at that. you can see the man being eaten. he's got a reeally scrawny neck, and the lower half of his jaw is visible; you can even see a few of his teeth, beneath the blood grimed around his mouth. he either bit his lips clean though, or they got chewed off; his ear's missing as well; a lot of blood caked on the side of his face.
as for the rest... well, it's just bear. can you see the top of the bear's head? he seems to be frowning in concentration, engrossed on apparently tearing the guy's nose off, or maybe just cracking the skull his mouth.

why can I see this, now, after six months of living in this house? maybe my left brain - right brain connections are opening up. creativity translating into cognition and articulation.

or maybe, the bears are coming to life. maybe there were there all along.

people that are about to die can see Death, the skeleton with the scythe, the girl with the ankh. does this mean I'm going to be eaten up, real soon?