Blog Portfolio IV: The Last Days

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You knew this day would come. Your pleads have been heard, but I cannot fulfill them. Everything must end, and that includes blogs.  Yes, we have reached the last blog portfolio.  The Mecha-Griffin, whose clockwork heart was bursting with playfulness, is now at rest (for now).  However, don't think I've wasted my last few weeks for this blog.  In its final days, the Mecha-Griffin has taught you and me the structures behind computer language and CSS.  In a way, the steel giant's desire to teach to us more about technology almost reminds me of Mr. Rogers.  Of course, Mr. Rogers never learned how to shoot lasers out his eyes, so the Griffin has an advantage on him. 

Interaction:

Ol' Patrick wanted to know why some people thought GT5 was a disappointment.

Depth:

My disscussion on HTML was quite helpful.

Discussion:

Auto-rhyme is fun.

Outside Material:

 Moleskine notebooks and PETA.

Ethos:

I attempt to explain CSS.

Conventions:

Hype and the question of disappointment.

A Question Regarding Disappointment

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Today's a short one.  So, let me pose a question to my readers: is it right to put a game like Gran Turismo 5, which has been out for a whole two days, on a list of top ten disappointing games for the entire year?  IGN seems to think so (and they gave GT5 an 8.5 out of 10).  I, on the other hand, think the exact opposite.  I believe a considerable amount of hindsight is necessary to gauge whether a game is a success or a failure.  Of course a more insightful reflection on GT5 would take time, and that means the window of opportunity for more clicks to their site would become narrower as time passed on.  Obviously, this is my personal opinion, and you’re allowed to have your own.

A Brief Explanation of CSS

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No, I'm not talking about Counter-Strike: Source!  I'm talkin' about CSS the code format, people!  But does CSS stand for? I hope you're prepared, because I'm about to tell you. *Drum roll* CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets!  Is your mind sufficiently blown now?  I realize such a shocking revelation might caused some mental distress for my readers, but we must forge ahead.  So, the Style Sheets part should be easy to  understand, but how does the word cascading fit into these style sheets?  Don't worry, your questions will be answered soon enough.

The reason why coders call CSS "Cascading Style Sheets" is because of the code is built.  Moreover, these style sheets function through a set of cascading instructions.  Here is an example: font: {X;X;X}.  As you can see, each instruction follows the instruction before it.  Hence, we use the term "cascading" to describe the hierarchical nature of the code. In other words, think of it as building in reverse.  The first instruction is the top, and thus takes priority.  Meanwhile, the rest of the instructions slide in to support or amplify the first instruction.  Really, it's not too dissimilar from HTML; the only difference is there are less variables to worry about.  I hope you took extra good notes on this subject because I'm might surprise with a pop quiz next week!  Well, actually I lied; I have no power to enforce more quizzes on you, but if I did...(mwhahaa! mwhaha!)

 

Understanding Computer Language Part I

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By now, I think most of us have forgotten about MS DOS.  Really, who has time to type in long strings of commands when a simple click of the mouse will take you anywhere you need to go?  The simplicity of one click searches has made finding vital information easy. However, consumer-friendliness is not trait inherent to coding (HTML or otherwise).  So, in an effort to make HTML less frustrating for the user, Castro has stripped any detailed explanation of HTML code.  Its problem I noticed when she did not elaborate on the pixel height and width she recommended.  Perhaps a little (more) schooling on coding language will help.

First off, imagine your hard-drive is a gigantic file cabinet.  Now imagine your trying to find something in that huge of mass of files.  Sounds pretty daunting, eh?  Don't worry, the computer will find the file for you.  In fact, it will find the file faster than you ever could!  Yes, I know the truth hurts, but the computer only trying to help!  However, our digital friend can only find and run things with precise instructions.  Again, the key word in that last sentence is "instructions".  A PC doesn't understand inferences.  In other words, a person cannot type in "Dancing Stars" and get the image to turn up on their website.  The computer is not stupid (regardless of your personal beliefs), it just operates on a different language.  Computers need commands like "href" and "img src" to reference and synchronize the image you requested to the website.  Of course, don't forget the equal sign!  Moreover, the equal sign gives the computer a path to which it will use to find the jpeg.  I hope this short description will help my classmates in better understanding HTML.  Check back for more blogs on the HTML process. 

 

Blog Portfolio III: Wait, I Have a Blog?!

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I know, I was surprised too!  Joking aside, I have been disgustingly busy for the past three weeks.  I've had to write papers, papers, and in my spare time, even more papers!  When I'm not working on the next great American essay, I'm learning how to link to my 1up blog  and write poetry about iPads. Sadly, it doesn't look the essay train is going to stop anytime soon, so you're probably going to see a drop in the number of entries I post.  Let me just say to my fans (all zero of you) that I am extremely frustrated by these circumstances, and I'll try to do my best.  If I don't meet quota, I would advise my fans to resist the urge to cry your phathom tears in your pillows.  Instead, grab the nearest bucket and cry into that.  No one likes a wet pillow. 

 

Interaction:

[no one commmeted on my blog : (  ]

Depth:

My Street Fighter skills didn't just appear out of thin air. I learned them.

Discussion:

The new trailer for L.A Noire reminded me of another long-lost game [couldn't get a link from the 1up site]

Outside Material:

Did I mention that L.A Noire?

Ethos:

I still can't believe I wrote a poem about the iPad

 

Hey, What Are Those Symbols Next to The Punch Button?

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Author's note: This entry is from 1up blog.  It's an old entry, but I believe you'll get some enjoyment out of it!

 

My admiration of the Street Fighter brand continued on to the Playstation.  By the time I knew that street fighter games did exist other consoles besides the Genesis, the limelight had already faded on the first Alpha game.  When I saw the Street Alpha 2 at a Best Buy, I immediatly picked it up in the hopes that I could extract from Alpha 2 the same amount of enjoyment I got out of Super Street Fighter.  Alpha 2 not only met my expectations, but it exceeded them.

My enjoyment of Alpha 2 was derived from three important factors: first off, it was pretty.  When I first booted up Alpha 2 I was surprised how beautiful it was.  Now, before you running off and rag on my low graphical strandards, you have to understand that I had little exposure to fully 3-D games.  To put things in prospective, my first two playstation games (bought on the same day) were Rayman and Tekken 1.  Rayman was the typical 2-D platformer I had grown up with and Tekken was glorfied 2-D fighter with a z-axis molded onto the character models.  In comparsion to SSF, Alpha 2 had smoother animation and faster gameplay than SSF.  Moreover, Alpha 2 also impressed me with its music.  Its awesome butt rock soundtrack (complete with cheesy jazz riffs) made me a big fan of this installment.  My third reason for loving Alpha 2 was that it was easy to pick up and play.  Back then, I had a different mindset about fighters than I do today.  In my younger days, I considered fighters to be much akin to brawlers.  In other words, I thought that fighters were the kind of games where you mashed some buttons and pulled some cheap, easy thrills out the experience.  Furthermore, these three aforementioned principles were my main criteria for evaluating any fighting game.  But something was amiss.  When I got around to playing Alpha 3, it certainly met my criteria, but I had grown sick of fighters and my inability to comprehend their complex move sets.  So, I quit playing fighting games for awhile.

This boycott lasted until the summer of 2006.  To set the scene, I had just started my Xbox live gold membership, and I was looking for games to download.  I had heard that Hyper Fighting was was available for download, so decided to get it.  After I purschased it, I said to myself, "maybe this time I'll finally understand Street Fighter," but I had lingering doubts.  If I couldn't decipher the commands of the pervious Street Fighters, how would I have any hope of performing these combanations?  Reluctently, I sat down and stared at the move set.  It was like looking at the SSF game guide for the first time; I was utterly confused and bewildered by the strange arrangement of symbols preceeding the punch/kick buttons.  Then, an idea popped into head: "what if I twirled the stick in circular motion that corresponed with the arrows?"  BAM!  Hadouken!  This revelation was so great that it felt like the heavens had split open and God was personally feeding me the mana of knowledge.  You see, I had always known movement in video games to work in staggred, single motions.  When I preformed my first fireball, that notion was destroyed.  It was at this moment that I understood Street Fighter's awesomeness in a meaniful ways.  Since then, I have learned much about the ways of fighting games, but I will always remember my first teacher of the ways of the digital fist.  Thank you, Street Fighter.  *holds up lighter in honor*


Play Report

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I'm sorry I haven't updated this blog more frequently, but I was too busy fending off a pride of "lions" with a "stick".  I realize you might not comprehend my quoted material, so allow me to translate.  The "lions" are papers and the "stick" is a pen.  Really, writing papers sometimes feels like wrestling beasts. But I'm back, and I'm ready to dish on all the games I've played in that time period. 

For the past few days, I've been playing Call of Duty: Black Ops.  I won't go into any specific details, but suffice to say, it's a good game.  In fact, I think it might be better than MW2.  Even though the single-player was short, it was really good.  The levels themselves unfolded at a break-neck pace and were never dull.  All this frantic is wrapped up good story that is head and shoulders above the hot mess that MW2's story.  Overall, Black Ops needs feel more restrained than its crazy predecessor, but paring down the focus of the story to one character (though others are playable) makes the plot far more understandable.  

 

Multimedia Writing Piece

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iPad

A blow from the wind's trumpet

announces Nature's arrival.

Wooden shutters clap vigorously

at sight of the army of dark  clouds

slowly marching towards the horizon.

 

The women in the chair

cares nothing for this procession,

but her computer silently rebels.

 

click

delayed absolution

click

harsh words followed by

an irritated beep 

click

A face buried into the desk,

lips cursing the name of Dell

click

the modern woman's face brought low,

a slave to technology.

 

Suddenly, there's a peck

on her shoulder.

She turns around

anticipating jeers,

but instead faces

only a LCD screen.

 

Its outer shell

handsomely square

and glistening like obsidian.

 

Curious, her finger

tapped its face.

Suddenly, immense power

flowed into her.

 

Google, MSN, and lolcats

were within reach

all neatly inscribed on

the petite monolith.

 

After the storm,

she had ceased to be

just a mere woman

her and the iPad were one

the marriage of

machine and man complete.

     

Blog Portfolio II: Blog Harder

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As you can already can see from my past entries, blogging is nothing new to me.  There was a time in the past when I only wrote about literature.  It's been three years (!!!) since I first started my personal blog, and I only now feel like I'm shaking off the cobwebs that have accumulated over these years.  I'll never get that time back, but at least I'm polishing my technique.  As the blog has progressed, I've been far more detailed with my posts than usual.  Perhaps the responsible part of my brain is finally kicking in.  Joking aside, I've come to realize that not everyone shares my videogames.  I want people to discuss my articles, but I know some of you wouldn't know Ken from Ryu, so I decided appease the larger audience.  I think my newest tech entry should be understandable enough for everyone to comment on.  However, don't assume that my need for a larger audience will force me to return to the crowded "literature blog" space.  My expertise is videogames (and apparently humor too).  I not changing to please anybody.  And really, there is only so much time I can devote to Chaucer; blogging about him would be over-doing it.  

 

Interaction:

Erin liked my final remix.  I thought it only natural reveal some of the process behind the piece.

Depth:

Although it wasn't a quick impression, the Halo article did certainly moved beyond "OMG, it's awesome!"

Discussion:

Some of the users over at 1up clarified the circunstances of GT5 delay (my 1up profile is Mask_de_Awesome).

Outside Material:

The Dead Space 2 Collecter's Edition is cool, but I know what would make it even better!

Ethos:

Let me reapeat this for those hard of hearing: I Hate My Dad's PC!

Conventions:

My remix project, nuff said.

I Hate My Dad's PC!

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Author's Note: This post is almost a direct copy of a Facebook note I created back in the summer.  However, I have expanded upon it in some places.  Also, it's good to take a break from videogame coverage every once in awhile.

 

The title is self-explanatory, but I believe my hatred for my father's PC deserves more than a five word description. My ire towards the HP a6000n (that is the name of this lovely beast) was recently revived when I discovered that it had a trouble playing a simple video. Seriously, if a computer can't play a video using flash at an acceptable rate (this clunker can't get past 15 fps), then it should probably be tossed into the trash. Of course this isn't its only handicap; in fact, it suffers from a host of issues which include:

1. The mouse's cursor speed is pitifully slow.  I never knew it was possible to screw something this simple up. 
2. The keyboard feels cheap and its keys feel clunky.  It feels like my fingers are pressing against floor tiles.  
3. The CD drive is broken.  My dad is too technologically deficient to install a new one. 
4. The PC came with 1 GB of RAM (really, with Visa installed, REALLY?!).
5. The monitor has died at least once (and has risen again just like Jesus).
6. Some idiot at HP decided to leave the Aero interface enabled despite the PC's aforementioned lack of RAM.
7. The on-board video is terrible (hence its slowness)
8. It doesn't have Microsoft Word (WHYYYY?!).  Then again, that problem would easily fixed if the CD drive worked.  Oh well, it's nice to want things.


If there wasn't my Dad's PC, I would drag it behind the shed and administer some Office Space-style justice on this junk. I think I've made my hatred abundantly clear.  On the good side, I think my blood pressure returned to an acceptable levels.  Perhaps the same health benefits could be passed on to my audience.  So, do any of you have certain pieces of technology that you love to loathe?

Recent Comments

  • EthanShepley: The reasons for GT5's "poor" scores, which the majority hover read more
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