Reel Anime 2008

Just a quick placeholder, will flesh this out more later, if I remember. Just wanted to post this: (Spoiler for Vexille)
Vexille Demotivator

I’d like to claim this was inspired by Frank Herbert, but what immediately came to mind was Fat Boy Slim…

And since I’m posting such things…

Irony

Thanks to the Parody Motivator Generator for saving me gimp time.

Edit: Fixed images

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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. ^_^

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

Welcome to your new home in meatspace: LCA Prelude

Wow, linux.conf.au 06… Wow. ^_^

My first international trip started inauspiciously, as I came down with Tonsilitis on Thursday night. On reflection, going to see Underworld Evolution instead of finiding a late-night medical clinic was a poor choice, but happily Queanbeyan Hospital’s emergency department was not busy. So I left Canberra at 2am with a prescription for a week’s penicilin and some throat lozenges.

Got to Julia’s place by 6am, and left her with my car. Met up with nearly a dozen LCA people on the same flight in the departure lounge, and had more time together than I expected because the plane was 20 minutes late taking off. I managed to sleep through most of the flight, and in fact only realised we were on the east coast of New Zealand when I realised there was ocean in front of us.

Dunedin’s nice. I stayed at the Kiwi’s Nest on Friday and Saturday nights, basically bummed about and was social with some of the other people staying there. This is probably the biggest improvement over last year, where my socialisation was largely limited to IRC since I was driving in and out from home, so wasn’t really getting involved in the extra-curricular bits.

On the downside, I’ve been largely off the Internet since Thursday night. I did go to an Internet cafe for an hour on Saturday, which was enough time to check my email. Nothing seemed to have horribly caught fire at work, so I’m relaxed. ^_^ Also, the girl on the desk was _very_ cute.

Dunedin is frankly the sort of place I’d love to flee to if Australia’s legal situation goes much further evilright. It’s pleasantly cool (ie. a fan in summer would be sufficient), sufficiently focused (ie. One long main drag of shops) and has a cute girl at the desk of the Internet cafe. What more could I ask for? (Also, a large and apparently quite successful university, and lots of pubs.)

Anyway, on Sunday I moved onto campus, into “Unicol”. It’s nice, but the network wasn’t working last night, so I still managed to not be on the Internet until now. Registration went well, and after a Subway dinner I spent the evening in a pub with some people who’re here hanging around with a friend who’s come to linux.conf.au, discussing politics, sport, comics and animation, Japanese culture, and whatever else seemed appropriate. I stayed sober the whole time due to the aforementioned penicilin. ^_^

I’ve also started watching Stawberry on the shortcake, at long last. It’s been on my hard disk for two or three months, and I suspected it would be a heavy-going drama. Instead it turns out to be a hilarious at times, sad as hell at times (I think it’s going to end sadly, if I’ve guessed the ending correctly. Only seen to episode 3) but both excellent and fascinating drama. It’s really interfering with my LPIC reading… ^_^

Anyway, time to head over to the Debian Miniconf where someone’s suggested to me that we don’t have wireless, so I’ll sign off here.

Oh, and in case anyone’s wondering, my student card is current this time. ^_^

ストロベリー・オンザ・ショートケーキ 1ストロベリー・オンザ・ショートケーキ 2ストロベリー・オンザ・ショートケーキ 3ストロベリー・オンザ・ショートケーキ 4ストロベリー・オンザ・ショートケーキ 5

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana

Hmm, time for my daily update… O_O

OK. What happened in the last three months?

I’ve left ActewAGL now. The projects have been handed over more or less, and therefore hopefully no longer my problem. I hope that doesn’t mean they become no one’s problem, but I guess I’ll not know. Now my only remaining work is for BU.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks doing some work at cbit, getting the web interface for the SOAP stuff I talked about below (months ago ^_^) going. They’d started one, but the guy doing the work has now been deployed somewhere else And when I say some work, I mean that took me about a week, and so far this week (it’s been short, public holiday on Monday) I’ve just slacked off in the office, waiting for the web interface to break. Lots of time on IRC and email and it’s been a good chance to do some reading. I’ve been reading up on integrating Linux into a Win2K AD Domain, preparing for my return to TransACT, subcontracting via BU.

I did a couple of months at TransACT, and am currently waiting on approval to do more time there. Working on an interesting project, and a less-than-interesting project. Happily, TransACT’s standardised on Debian GNU/Linux as their Linux platform. I like to think I helped that by spreading as many Redhat scare stories as possible in my time there. ^_^ I was originally doing two-and-a-half days a week due to university commitments, but am now available full time…

I enrolled, started, and pulled out again from the ANU. I’ve finally bitten the bullet, and decided I’m not going to get through my final Japanese studies without spending some time there. I’ve applied for an eighteen-month deferment so I can do JET from August 2006, and be back roughly in time for semester two, 2007. I’m disappointed, I made a good run of it for the first four or five weeks, and that segues neatly into my next topic:

I had a four-week bout of depression. I basically only left the house every couple of days to buy more food, and when ActewAGL called me up to come in and do the handover. This was two weeks of uni, and then the two weeks of the lecture break, so a lot of lost work-time. Turns out that I’d neatly finished the TransACT pre-approved work, although I didn’t discover this until three weeks in. I’m seeing the ANU Counselling Centre, which has been helping, as well as making what changes I can myself, including divesting responsibilities. I knew I had too many responsibilities, and it was highlighted by how good I felt when I went to Melbourne and put everything else on hold for the weekend I was there, during these four weeks.

I went to Melbourne for a weekend, to visit friends — Anna and Naoko. Phil and Emma were unfortunately out of town at Phil’s mother’s wedding (Congrats to her) — as well as visit my sister and see her in the MedRevue. It was really really really funny. I laughed so hard. ^_^
I had a good time in Melbourne, it was nice to be out and about without any particular responsibilities. I saw Sin City — Yes, I went to Melbourne and went to the cinema, by myself — ate all kinds of bad for me but very tasty foods, and took mobile phone photos of the places I ate. I need to post them somewhere. I really think that weekend without commitments was a really helpful guide as to how I could break out of the depression cycle I’d gotten into. The only downsides of the weekend were the bus ride from the train station at Cootamunda to Canberra (I enjoyed the train ride from Melbourne to Cootamundra, mind you, prolly more than I enjoy even flying) and the fact that I was out of town for the chibi.au.august05 convention.

Despite my best efforts to avoid responsibility in the anime.au conventions, after my poor performance as Events Co-ordinator for anime.au.05, I became Sponsorship and Vendors Co-ordinator for chibi.au.august05, although I was going to be out of town on the day. I did a pretty pitiful job of that, and probably will go down as the only Sponsorship Co-ordinator who ever managed to get nothing out of Madman for an anime convention. The convention itself went quite well, by all reports, and I’m currently Events Co-ordinator (“in charge”) of chibi.au.summer05, in November (No one noticed this discrepancy for about a month. I originally coined the moniker because we were not sure if we were going to be November or December, kept it because it has a nice seasonal sound to it, and overlooked the fact that November is actually in Spring.) This convention’s been a lot better organised, in large part because we’ve given ourselves a month longer to prepare, and because we’ve picked up a couple of enthusiastic people to look after promotions, volunteers and the website, which were noticably absent from chibi.au.august05 until the week before it was actually happening. Hmm. Now I think about it, the first day I skipped any classes at the start of my depression was the day I met with the just-mentioned enthusiastic people to bring them up to speed on what they’d let themselves in for… Prolly a co-incidence. The meeting was after my skipped class after all. These same people look like stepping up to doing stuff on the ANUAS exec at this year’s AGM, too.

The ANUAS has of course been running along like the large locomotive of anime viewing that it is. I’ve managed to not derail it with a stance of “do as little as possible” which really should have been my presidential election platform. One new thing I’ve introduced is “Saturday Afternoon Drama”, where we hold a marathon screening of a live-action series, one series a month. So far we (and by we I mean I) did Great Teach Onizuka in September (with the movie and OV on October 1st due to a scheduling error on my part) and will be running Gokusen over October 8th and 22nd. I do wish I’d thought of this six months ago, but I was actually inspired during and by the chibi.au.august05 preperation process. The ANUAS AGM was supposed to be tomorrow, but I have been browbeaten into moving it back to the 21st, largely because I completely forgot to check with anyone before calling it. In fact, that’s pretty much the entire root cause of the move. Once the ANUAS AGM is out of the way, I suspect my only official ANUAS executive position will be Video Ad Creator.

I’ve spent a little bit of time knock up video ads, two for chibi.au.august05 and one for the GTO live action screenings. All done on Linux, with command line tools and The Gimp, except the picture-editing for the first “Recruit” video which was done using irfanview. The hardest part was getting them Internet-distributable, which meant finding either Creative-Commons non-NC or Gnu GFDL licensed-content (and you can’t mix these two!), although I fudged the music on the first version of the second ad, because it just seemed to fit the pictures so scarily well. Kinda like the whole “Dark Side Of The Moon is a co-incidental soundtrack to The Wizard Of Oz” thing. The GTO one on the other hand was done just out of Google images one night, so I haven’t put it up on the web for download. My current project involves teaching myself Blender3D, so I can produce a cooler ad. I’ve always wanted to get into 3D programming, and I finally completed the first step (putting Debian onto a 3d-enabled machine of decent speed).

I’m now running Debian when I can on my desktop box. The only things I use windows for now are Quickbooks (I’ve gotta get Quickbooks going in wine, I just haven’t bothered yet) and video games. I’ve got the machine using libpam-mount (with a couple of patches which I submitted to the Debian BTS) to mount directories from Keitarou. I migrated my email from Outlook onto my fileserver with IMAP, and now use mutt-ng for all my email, which is a big improvement. This also means I revoked my old @Pobox.Com PGP key and added the email address to my newer GPG key. I can sync my phone against Evolution, although I never fire up Evolution, and I can print using CUPs happily to my HP LaserJet 1200. The only other thing I can’t do on my desktop machine from Linux is wireless multiboot my Nintendo DS, and I’m working on that.

I decided it was time to spend some money, and I was intrigued by a talk at linux.conf.05 about GameBoy Advance programming, and had heard about recent developments letting people launch homebrew software wirelessly on the new Nintendo DS. So I gave in, and bought one. I played Mario64DS for a bit, and bought Another Code while in Melbourne, all the while getting involved in the DS Homebrew community. I played with my Prism54 wireless cards to get wireless multiboot going, and could get the DS to see my machine, but not boot from it. Eventually I got a hold of the rt2500-based card neccessary to use the only existing publically available wireless multiboot software (includes a custom driver for Windows) and found I could get further in the process, but not by much. I had some spare credit at Lik-Sang, so I got a GBA Movie Player v2, and with a bit of futzing about (which I’ll document here later) I can now load a homebrew rom onto the CF card I borrowed from Shane and the DS will run it. ^_^ So time to start actually programming again. I’ve still gotta get some more work done on the WMB process, but I’m waiting on driver developments in the Linux rt2x00 driver project, since right now they can’t transmit packets, at least in monitor mode, but progress is ongoing. I’ve been documenting the WMB stuff in my wiki.

One of the things that made this blog go quiet was the addition of a wiki to my site. Semi-static stuff (like the SOAP stuff below) is now going in the wiki, and I plan to migrate all the stuff from http://www.tbble.net into the wiki. It’s just such a good platform for publishing stuff categorised, without having to code the HTML. I’m now over HTML coding the same way I’m over compiling my OS from scratch — I did this in 1998, before I’d discovered Gentoo or Debian and got as far as upgrading to the latest libc, gcc and whatever else was in the base Slackware ’96 install, when I discovered Debian, found a use for having a linux machine, and wiped it out in an afternoon in 2000.

Now that I’m back updating the blog, I’m going to have to see if I can make time to update all the old old old The Other Day’s Mew entries. (Mew’s got a new calendar coming, which I need someone to batch into an AmazonJP order for me at some point…) I was actually loading the Japanese text into my blog, but not publishing it because I was having trouble with the translations. This obviously is not a winning strategy. ^_^ Now I think about it, the other challenge to The Other Day’s Mew was I was updating from ActewAGL, where I didn’t have a dictionary handy, nor Japanese input support to use an online dictionary, and then they changed their firewall to block sites with ‘blog’ in the domain.

Which brings me full circle in this long rambling story. ^_^

安座間美優 2006年度 カレンダー

Fansubbing done good, timewasting done bad, and Japanese homework done

After last week’s triumphant return to IRC, I wandered back onto IM (ICQ, MSN, YIM) tonight. The only people online were Matt Duggan (who immediately proceeded to make my head hurt with math) and a friend of mine from Singapore, whom I met on IRC last year.

While I was on IRC, gumbaloom sent me his and Aniko’s latest Seramyu output, being the Shin Kaguya Shima Densetsu Promo and Fan Event, wanting feedback. Apparently it’s been downloaded a lot, but in the usual places no feedback, good or bad, has appeared. I’d like to take this opportunity to say that it was excellent, and I look forward to the finished product. (I already enjoyed Aniko’s translation of Kakyuu Ouhi Kourin in February at the MGC, but via a different fansubbing group). I watched another Seramyu, Last Drakul Jyokyoku, unsubtitled a year or so ago and it was OK, but it’s _much_ better with subtitles. I highly recommend this when it comes out, and in the meantime, see if you can dig up the CVME sub of KOK. Be warned, KOK is a retelling of Sailor Stars, so if you’ve not seen it (or read it ^_^) then you might want to finish it first. Which reminds me, I must finish it sometime. -_-;;;

I managed to get a little BU work done today, but skipped out on ActewAGL since I was disorganised this morning, and by the time I left home I would have had to leave work after 90 minutes. So I stayed home, did more BU work, and went in to class. (And was still late. >_<)

Ah! I’ve finally removed shift-space as a shortcut to activate UIM. Now I don’t flick into Japanese input mode every time I type a capital letter and then a space. (Yes, I have poor keyboard habits…)

Only class today was Teaching Languages, and today we looked at the idea that you can’t learn a language just by listening to it, you need to apply it to learn it. We also looked at the various stages of word order that language learners master. These are apparently absolutely ordered, which lends credence to the theory that languages are acquired in a certain order, and teaching cannot influence that. Tomorrow we get to watch a class being run based on that theory. (I’ll prolly talk about _that_ more tomorrow.)

Anyway, I’ve got a Japanese Lexicon assignment due tomorrow, and I just spent two hours doing it. I should have done it on the weekend, but I was seriously unassable for most of the weekend, apart from some time spent doing BU stuff. If there are any IPSec experts reading this, I’d love to know. I think I’ve gotten it conceptually wrong…

Still, at least my bag’s packed, my laptop’s loaded with MGC screening videos, and I’ve told the guy I’m meeting at ActewAGL in Fyshwick that I’ll be there by 9am or I’ll call. I think I’m gonna call, and get to uni by midday.

So, here’s some links for things you can buy. Today, it’s Seramyu. I’ll link in the MGC shows once I actually talk about them. ^_^ (And of course, it’s all Japanese. Like PGSM, there’s no official English version.)

2004 ウインタースペシャルミュージカル 美少女戦士セーラームーン 火球王妃降臨2004 サマースペシャルミュージカル 美少女戦士セーラームーン 新かぐや島伝説ミュージカル 美少女戦士セーラームーン メモリアルアルバム(13)~新かぐや島伝説~美少女戦士セーラームーン 新/変身・スーパー戦士への道

Last Drakul Jyokyoku may be that last one, but it looks like it’s out of print in VHS, and not yet in print on DVD. Oh well. I‘ve seen it.

Yay Mew!