Archive for the 'Anime' Category

06
Apr
08

Bollypocalypse

Went to see Race tonight. It’s actually not marked on the Hoyts site, but it’s Hindi/English blend with English/nonsense blend subtitles. It’s mentioned on the IMDB front page, but I missed it looking for the comments on the plot. The front page comment was satisfyingly spoiler free, and very positive. Had I noticed that the commenter was Indian, I might have clicked. Ah, hindsight. >_<

As an aside, the Hindi/English mix was interesting. I haven’t seen enough Bollywood films to know if it’s particular to this film or is part of the style (a friend suggested it was the latter) although I noticed while researching this post that one of the actresses doesn’t speak Hindi. I need to learn more languages, at least reaching the point where I can watch movies in Japanese, Cantonese and now Hindi. And of course I wonder if I can possibly swing a research project into a Hindi/English pidgin. A university-funded Bollywood movie collection would be a thing of beauty…

So I took a few friends, all of us completely unprepared. I really should have clicked to it being Bollywood, given I’d noted the Indian director, actors, etc…

On the plus side it’s really good. Turns out that the best way to improve a twisty, turny, windy plot, double-plot, cross and recross fest (ala Wild Things, which I’ve raved about here before) is to have the actors stop to sing and dance about what they’re feeling every so often.

Also, attractive people are important. ^_^ I now have a new secretarial hiring policy, and a new fashion model hiring policy.

These policies remain subserviant to my existing Neve Campbell hiring policy and Mew Azama hiring policy. But not by much. I’m an equal opportunity employer.

I also want to get married in Cape Town, at the registry office.

If you haven’t seen Wild Things or Race, go do so.

Now Playing: Wild Things. My housemate hadn’t seen it! This is a revelation akin to discovering another friend of mine hadn’t seen The Princess Bride. There’s also a Princess Bride Game coming, although I’m a little concerned, after seeing the trailer.

And just in case you didn’t twig, this post’s title is of course related to revelations. I’m not harbingering the end of Bollywood…

20
Jun
07

AmazonJP digs smart chicks like me

For reasons which I suspect are more due to the purchase of のだめカンタービレ 特典 のだめの鍵盤ポーチ付き than DS陰山メソッド 電脳反復 正しい漢字かきとりくん and 漢字そのまま DS楽引辞典, Amazon has emailed me to recommend this:

Now, my Japanese is not exactly spectacular, and rikaichan proved unhelpful as well, but this appears to be to be a 3-month exercise cartridge for women to increase their 女ヂカラ. As the joke goes, you fuck just one goat…

(Japanese is my best non-native language, too. My knowledge of Modern Standard Chinese currently extends only to 你有好乳房 “You have excellent breasts” and 你的妹妹有十六歲嗎 “Is your sister 16?”, although if pressed occasional other words, interspersed with Japanese and the occasional mumble will emerge. ^_^)

Now of course I need to go assert my masculinity by buying something like this:
(The infamous witch touching game)

Granted, I’d have bought this game whether Amazon was trying to make me buy girly things or not and I realise that my other purchases (Kakitorikun, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon DVDs, for example) may have given Amazon the impression that I was a female Japanese primary-school student, but seriously, who gives a credit card to an eight-year-old girl named Paul?

Of course, my last AmazonJP shipment went to a female friend who was in Japan, maybe they assume I’ve been pretending to be a foreigner all this time to avoid sales tax? (Which is the opposite of online games, where I usually claim to be from very very south Okinawa, on the grounds that they don’t actually ask what country you’re from, just which prefecture of Japan…. This isn’t a problem, both because I am roughly south of Okinawa, and because Japanese MMOs lost their appeal to me once I realised that the Japanese seem to produce nothing but grinding MMOs.)

On that topic, I was disappointed to see that the Romance Of The Three Kingdoms MMO, at least from the two gameplay videos posted on YouTube, looks like another grinder. A translation of a beta test announcement however suggests that some level of facitonality will enter into it. Shame, really. ROTK would have been an excellent setting for the MMO I’ve been dreaming of creating. And sadly, the link to Dynasty Warriors Wave on the Wii is still not actually a link, at the Koei site. They showed this at the Tokyo Games show in 2005. And after the wonder experience The Godfather turned out to be, I was so looking forward to uniting China under the kingdom of Wu with nought but a pair of chakrams, a Wiimote, and the sweat of my brow (and other body parts). I guess I’ll just have to grab Dynasty Warriors DS: Fighter’s Battle when it ships somewhere in English.

I just now finished watching Dexter, (Warning, Wikipedia article contains unmarked spoilers) which I enjoyed quite a lot. I have to say though, I’d have been frustrated to be watching it week by week. And the second half of the season involved me yelling at him a lot for being an idiot.

Oh, and I joined Mensa the other day. I’ve spent all week telling people I’m a card-carrying genius, which is a bit of an exaggeration, as I don’t know if I get a card (I’ve been too busy to check my post office box.)

Just to reinforce my genius status, I tonight completed all the character writing and drills for the grade 1 of Kakitorikun. That’s 80 kanji, and technically I’ve got an academic transcript that says I know several hundred, but… yeah. That’s not as impressive when I write it down, it turns out my level of Japanese approaches that of an particularly uncommunicative six-year-old. But I have gotten a stamp for every day this month so far. ^_^

I get proud about completely the wrong things, sometimes.

In somewhat more age-appropriate educational news, I’m finally getting back to uni this coming semester, taking Morphology part-time. Work’s pretty good about flexible hours and stuff, so this will hopefully only consume time from my life, rather than life from my veins, as per my previous attempts at part-time study. It helps that this time I’m not travelling interstate to work and further again to study. However, I think I’m going to have to withdraw from the ANUAS comittee, as I’m going to be even more pressed for time than I am now.

If anyone from the ANUAS exec is reading this, sorry. I’ll prolly make an official announcement this week, although given the way things are going, that’s about as reliable as everything else I’ve promised I’d do for the exec.

At least this won’t crimp my social life. My social life couldn’t be crimped by an angry hairdresser with an AK-47 crimping iron, since it’s basically completely absent.

If only I could find an amazonian smart Japanese chick who digs me… Although frankly, I’m flexible on nearly all those details.

01
May
07

Speed of math

Assuming 8 equals 6, it takes the Milky way most of a day to travel as far as light does in a minute.

Just in case you were wondering…

Oh, and server upgrades mean the blog’s back online and working. ^_^

I’ve recently become quite entertained by Nodame Cantabile, having been flicking through a donated volume of English-language manga and then quite co-incidentally seen the first episode of the anime at an ANUAS executive show-selection screening.

So I was quite surprised to see that the recently-released NDS game… existed. I was subsequently surprised to see it at number four in the weekly Japanese video game charts.

At this point unsurprisingly, but still very pleasingly, there turns out to be a live-action series too (predating the anime) which I’ll be looking long and hard at including in next semester’s ANUAS drama screenings.

I also bought SSX Blur for the Wii on the weekend, as well as borrowing the work copy of Need For Speed: Carbon. Both games are by EA, and both suffered the same control problem, namely that the nunchuck-rolling movement only registers properly if you hold the nunchuck with your wrist fully extended on top. (ie stick your thumb out as far as you can, and then make it parallel to your forearm, palm facing inwards. That sort of wrst position.) This of course works fine when you think about it, but it’s not the natural position for the nunchuck, nor is it particularly comfortable.

That of course was not the only problem I hit. NFS: Carbon I found very very very frustrating to play, as the cars would tend to get stuck to a wall, and then come off only to hit the other side at an even sharper angle. Shifting into reverse with an auto gearbox also seemed to take an inordinate amount of time, leading to the situation where if I hit any wall on the course, I couldn’t win. Granted, I’m not that good at driving games, so I wasn’t exactly expecting the gaming experience of a lifetime, but even so I enjoyed NFS: Underground 2 on the Xbox a lot more.

SSX Blur, on the other hand, was a sharp disappointment. As well as the nunchuck issue, the other problem was that the Ubertricks seemed to be unwarrantedly difficult to pull off. I only managed to get the movement recognised in-game twice, and only once was I far enough off the ground by that point to actually be able to hit the button to end the trick and land. Seriously, this game element could have been saved by simply dimming the screen the button was held down, slowing time, and showing the player the movement the Wii was reporting, rather than continuing to hurtle downhill at breakneck pace while trying to draw Zs and love-hearts in the air.

However, the biggest gameplay disappointment in SSX Blur (Compared to the last one I played, SSX Tricky, against on the Xbox) is the loss of the character chat. It was a great gaping hole in the game that I could no longer enjoy the continuous mutterings of the character (Kaori, in my case, who used to chatter away in Japanese) and was in fact hearing nothing but the sound of board on snow and the inane pseudo-surfer sound of the DJ.

Also, the DJ was very annoying. >_<

The other major loss in SSX Blur was the rider customisation options. In SSX Tricky, I worked repeatedly over the various competitions and challenges, trying to save up enough money to buy the many many many neat, cool and downright weird rider outfit components available. There was something about unlocking peaks and whatnot, but seriously, I don’t care that much about snowboarding that I’d take the game as its own reward.

Fast-forward to SSX Blur, and after winning three races and one 1 on 1 challenge, I was first on the leaderboard, and had unlocked the second of 25 sets of skis/boards and 0 extra outfits. That’s 0 extra, I still had the one I started with. Out of four! Seriously. Four outfits? And they were whole outfits, not the mix-and-match fun of SSX Tricky.

I will concede that snowballs were an interesting new feature in SSX Blur. But there’s only so many snowballs you can throw at your opponents before you miss the ability to board into the shop and buy a cuter and fluffier backpack.

I’ll be trading in SSX Blur tomorrow for The Godfather: Blackhand Edition, since I believe I’m less than six hours away from finishing The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess and The Godfather got good reviews on the Wii. I’m a little apprehensive though, as it is another EA game… If they turn out to have fizzled the controls in this one too, Wing Island is an option. If I keep swapping games around, I’ll either find something good, or one of the holy trinity (Super Smash Bros Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy or Metroid Prime 3: Corruption) will ship.

Speaking of video games, a friend of mine will be in Japan next month, so I’ll be taking the opportunity to score some NDS games to help with my Japanese.

I’ve attached AmazonJP links to the DS games I’m considering… I’d love to hear some thoughts and feedback on these or other suggestions… I’m particularly keen on some kind of fairly simple kanji learning/memorisation game, and something I can scribble kanji into and get dictionary lookups from.

I’ll be modchipping my Wii soon, so any suggestions on Japanese-released Wii games that’ll be playable with my remarkably poor command of the language would be appreicated too. ^_^

12
Jan
07

LCA 2007 Ho!

Well, it’s nearly LCA time again. This is just a quick post mainly to see if my syndication at Planet Linux.conf.au 2007 is working yet.

I’ve been working at MF (Milestones just seem to come at you faster than the calender would otherwise suggest) and particularly in the last couple of weeks getting a good vector-math workout.

I’ve also been working at picking off RC bugs to try and help Etch along a bit, since kind of hoped to be upgrading to it in the half of January that’s just passed.

I’ve also been looking for a CMS for the ANU Anime Society to try and resolve the fact that our web admins never seem to last as long as we’d like. At the moment, Joomla! is top of my list for trialling, as I’m familiar with PHP and looks to have the relevant modules (forum, calendar, eventing system that’ll need modification to work for screening scheduling). However, I’m open to other suggestions, and will see if anyone at LCA has any useful suggestions.

And of course, by adding Planet LCA 2007, I’ve had to read it. And I came across ThreatNet, which is a distributed compromised computer identification system. It’s actually really simple, you do something to identify a certain IP as a threat (the sample code scans postfix logs for “REJECT: noqueue” which usually comes from “no such user” although I noticed it also comes from greylister at CBIT) and sends that IP address to a nominated IRC channel. I dunno what’s next, actually. Presumably, sites can block that IP address as they see fit, and if the responsible parties for the machine become aware of it, they can take action. I’ll be adding this to my ever-growing list of things I need to consider implementation of at CBIT.

On the plus side, I recently installed Debian on a Slug with a 512MB USB flash stick, and I’m going to see how Nagios performs on it. If it’s up to scratch, I’ll prolly shoehorn in a wireless card and see if I can monitor two disparate networks effectively.

17
Oct
06

Confessions of a mercenary programmer

Just a quick note, in the aftermath of the vote to decide where Anthony Towns, Debian Project Leader did something good for Debian, bad for Debian or indifferent to Debian with the Dunc-Tank.

I, Paul Hampson, hereby confess that I too earnt money for doing Debian work, specifically packaging FreeRADIUS and getting it sponsored into the archive in time for Sarge to ship.

Mind you, I didn’t earn much money, since Bandwidth Unlimited (for it was they) went bust without paying me much, but they did pay me. And you might argue that I’d been looking for a package to help out with in Debian for nearly three years at that point, and I would have worked on it for free, and that when I was being paid serious money to administer an ISP, I didn’t do much FreeRADIUS work at all.

To which I’d say that I’d never have picked FreeRADIUS were I not running an ISP, and I would not have been running an ISP had I not planned to become rich and buy the world’s largest chocolate bar from the experience. And I didn’t get a lot of my job functions done when I was running an ISP, so lower-priority things (like FreeRADIUS, cleaning my desk, a full night’s sleep) were often pushed aside.

I have to say that until I recently became a professional, regularly paid, programmer, I was highly envious of people who get paid to work on Open Source stuff, let alone Debian stuff. Now I’m just envious, although that’ll prolly upgrade back to highly envious after linux.conf.au 2007 (or as I like to think of it now, clitoris.conf.au)

This whole thing puts me in mind of my experience at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. I was one of the IT volunteers, and we basically picked up the less-interesting jobs the IBM-paid staffers gave us. At the time I felt a bit put out that I was there volunteering, and these guys were being paid to be there doing nothing that I couldn’t have handled. Obviously that was decidedly unfair, and from my days of “I’m as good as or better than anyone else at computers” phase. But the unfairness of my attitude isn’t actually the issue, the issue was that I really wanted to be paid to do that sort of thing, and didn’t see why others should get paid but me not be.

Now of course I want two things: To get paid, and to do the things I love. I’ve finally reached the point where I can combine them, and I no longer begrudge those who, through luck, skill or otherwise, get paid more to do the same things, or get access to cooler toys to do them on. I’m envious, obviously. How do you not envy someone who gets to bring up Linux on a 128-way Power5 machine on the quiet? But that doesn’t make me unhappy, it just makes me want to strive more, and work harder. One day I’ll be the one submitting a paper to Linux.conf.au on some stupendously cool thing I’ve done. ^_^

Anyway, my short-medium term goal is to leverage the experience of the current MicroForté work, plus finishing my Japanese studies, to go work for a games company in Japan, combining my two favorite pipe-dreams into one, and making it reachable in a little as two years. Maybe I’ll be lucky and MicroForté will open a Japanese office or something, or I’ll luck out and end up working on a Japanese MMORPG with a Linux client and a measurable dose of serious cool. Or somehow end up programming at Nintendo…. Oh, sparkley eyes! *_*

And a by-the-by, it’s two and a half months in, and I’m still totally thrilled to be working at a video games company. I mean, seriously, I’m like all, wow. I thought it was cool when I was working at TransACT, and my testing procedure involved firing up a video stream, and watching it on a TV. I had a TV on my desk, for work purposes, and that was the high-point of my career. Now I don’t have a TV on my desk, but when I’m hacking on combat-handling code, part of my procedure involves firing up a game server, and playing.

I’m learning to take my time with things a bit more. I’m now much less worried that I won’t speak six asian languages, play the piano, have my name someone in the Linux kernel that doesn’t share a sentence with “blame”, have invented an entirely new way of interacting with computers, master four different styles of martial art, earn my first dan in three different Japanese weapon styles, hold two masters degrees in disparate subject areas, earn infamy in the Debian community or even the admiration of my peers by 30. Or 40. I’ll be pushing it to get there by 50. But the advantage of youth is that you get it when you’re young, and only lose it if you let it go.

I guess on reflection, my goal has become to be a polymath ronin… For those familiar with anime, I think I want to be Kintaro Oe when I grow up…

Side-note: I’m now the secretary of the ANU Anime Society. Two days before the AGM, I wrote in an email to the then-executive committee that secretary was the one position I’d never take. Time makes fools of us all. ^_^ Congratulations to Cathy Ring on stepping up to the presidency, and to the other executives, old and new, for stepping up to what I expect (knowing Cathy) to be a hard-driven and successful year coming.

Oh, and someone asked this week about getting the GTO Live Action box set. So here’s my AmazonJP links…

GTO DVD-BOXGTO スペシャルGTO

12
Feb
06

The Other Day’s Mew: 2006/02/10

・埼玉の親戚の家に行きました☆産まれたばかりのはとこがいるんです!もうスッゴク可愛くて可愛くてしょうがない*^_^*早く私も結婚して子供が欲しいです♪♪(笑)

・I went to relatives at Saitama’s home.☆ My second cousin was just born! Already inevitably really really cute.*^_^* I hope I too soon get married and have a child.♪♪(smile)

This is actually not the regular weekly update, hence no date in Mew’s post… Also, the rest of the site needs updating… The Schedule and Works pages don’t list Gachi Baka! nor the 2006 calendar.

26
Jan
06

Mew's new drama launched: Gachi Baka!「ガチバカ!」

Mew in her new role

CAPS LOCK CANNOT EXPRESS MY FANGIRLY JOY

Yes, I know I used it less than an hour ago regarding Web 2.0. Seriously, it’s true again. Not only did Mew’s new TV series start last Thursday (I reckon they posted it late to her site. I’m sure I visited it last Saturday!), but a fansub of the first episode is already doing the rounds, with episode two not even available as a RAW yet.

「ガチバカ!」‘s official website is of course in Japanese, but JDorama.com have of course launched their own reference page for Gachi Baka!. JDorama’s cast list looks kinda short, compared to both the cast and character lists on the official website.

Mew’s character is named 牛島理恵, and there’s an interview and some character background there, again in Japanese. I’ll add it to my pile of Mew-related stuff that needs translating. ^_^

So to all those naysayers who said Mew wouldn’t do any more acting (this includes Mew herself, as I recall)… Yay Mew!

Edit: How could I forget to include a picture?

Edit: And then the alt tag?? My fangirly joy must have flooded my HTML neurons.




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