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Archives for October, 2004

refactoring milky video games

My house has been struck by plague. On Tuesday, Liesl stayed home; on Wednesday, Liesl and Miranda stayed home; on Thursday, Liesl, Miranda and I all stayed home; on Friday, there wasn’t anybody else to pass the cold to (the dogs don’t get colds from us, fortunately, and they stay home all the time anyways), […]

katamari damashii

I take back everything good I said about Manny’s fielding. Anyways: Today’s game is Katamari Damashii. (Or Katamari Damacy, as the US version is spelled, though they pronounce it the same way.) It has one, very simple, idea: you roll a ball around, and items that are small enough stick to the ball. As more […]

infinite justice

I just read Arundhati Roy’s article “The algebra of infinite justice” in her very good and very depressing Power Politics. It was written on September 29, 2001; I’d forgotten that “Operation Infinite Justice” was once the code name for our war on Afghanistan. Anyways, I was struck by the following quote in the article: The […]

blog spam

I learned about blog spam today: a spammer tried to add comments to most of the posts here. The bodies of the comments were random quotes; the goal is to get people to click on the spammer’s name, which linked to a web site. Actually, that may not be the main goal: apparently blog spammers […]

playoffs, round two

Imagine: last Friday, I thought the playoffs were getting boring. 2-0 leads in both series, no reason to think that either underdog had much of a chance. When driving to the restaurant on Saturday, the Red Sox had taken a lead, so I was starting to perk up, but by the time the meal was […]


One of the reasons I upgraded my computer a month or two ago was to make it a little easier to easily install new software. Like, for example, mplayer. This is a video player for Linux, and it’s great! I actually learned about it first at work: I needed to look at some movies, and […]

pikmin 2

I intend to post thoughts here on video games that I finish playing. These aren’t intended to be reviews or explanations of the game, and in particular may not make much sense to readers who haven’t played other games discussed in them. Today’s game is Pikmin 2. A sequel to Pikmin, obviously, which is a […]

mpeg: interlacing

Here’s another fun (?) aspect of MPEG. As mentioned last post, TV (at least in the US) isn’t really 30 frames per second: it’s 60 half-frames per second, where half of the time it shows the odd-numbered lines and half of the time it shows the even-numbered lines. (This is called interlacing.) Since MPEG both […]

mpeg: frame rates

I’ve been reading through the MPEG 2 standard recently, specifically the video parts. It’s pretty interesting, in a weird way; makes me want to go out and write an MPEG decoder, just to experience that particular sort of complexity, except that doing so would take years with no real reward at the end. I’m used […]

no playoffs

The A’s neglected to make the playoffs this year. They just had to win the series this weekend with the Angels; they’ve already lost the first two games. I never seriously expected this to happen, though admittedly the A’s haven’t been overwhelming this year. Their bullpen started the season badly (I always expect Billy Beane […]