what seems like a long weekend

a bunch of the guys got together on friday night and we tried out the latest command and conquer expansion pack. that’s right…a LAN party. there i’ve said it. it’s true. our first LAN party was probably over 15 years ago and it seems that things haven’t changed much. actually, that isn’t true, we probably only played for a few hours and then gave it up. there were some rock band breaks and also some dessert breaks. we just aren’t the hard core gamers that we once were. all of us were also playing on laptops. i guess technology has progressed enough where we can do that now.

aside from that, i also replaced the air filter for our central air. it turns out that filters are really only good for about 3 months. i don’t know how long this filter has been there, but from the looks of it, i would say that it’s been many years.

on saturday we met with up steve and alisa. alisa has been traveling a lot for work, so when she’s back in town, we’ll try to meet up. it was another meal at sushi maru which i don’t think that i can tire of anytime soon.

mimi and alice also came by on saturday when they were on a break from some kind of pan pacific gymnastics competition held at san jose state. there was some rock band going on.

sunday was spent resting and relaxing for the most part. i did a second load of dishes in our new dishwasher. that was exciting. is it sad that i think that doing a load of dishes exciting? perhaps so. but the dishwasher is NEW. it took me a lot longer than i expected to install it. and it’s BEAUTIFUL.

ok, anyway, the weekend came and went and it’s back to grind for me.

windows vista and hard drive space

after installing a fresh copy of windows vista on my laptop, i was met with great shock and chagrin that a clean vista install takes up 15 GB. that can’t possibly be right, i thought to myself, so i started to look at what was going on.

the windows OS looks like it’s about 7GB. 7GB. man, that’s big. my cluttered up XP install on another machine is about 4GB big, so that’s a lot of bloat for vista. i’m willing to forgive it because i’ve always sacrificed speed and features for space when i work on code, but vista feels slower…

anyway, i went on a hunt looking for where the rest of the 8GB went to. program files is only about 350MB. and then i found it, two hidden files that i had forgotten about a long time ago. the swap to disk file and the hibernate file. this is what really hurt me as windows by default will manage these settings for you. the hibernate file is as big as your memory is, and in my case, that’s a 4GB file. the swap disk file is also dependent on memory and there was my missing 8GB. it’s because i have so much RAM that so much hard drive space is consumed.

i turned hibernate off to save myself 4GB. i don’t really use hibernate much, so i think i’ll be ok. so i’m now down to a 13GB lean install of vista. i’ve only given myself 32GB for my vista boot, so i hope that i won’t need anymore space than that.

activision/red octane trying to make things right

after the ridiculous fiasco with the wii version of guitar hero 3 and then the even more ridiculous fiasco with the disc replacement process where you have to mail in your game and be gameless for weeks, it seems that activision and red octane are trying to make things right.

without any notice or any real public outcry, i got a package in the mail today. the packaged contained a gold eagle roe faceplate and a note from red octane and activision saying thanks for being so patient and here’s a little something for being patient. these retail for $15, but i bet it costs a couple of bucks to make. =P still, it was a nice gesture. i would have preferred a rebate towards guitar hero: aerosmith edition, but still it was an unexpected surprise.

guitar hero 3 disc replacement

the guitar hero 3 disc came in the mail yesterday. all told, i think it was about a three week turnaround for me to receive the replaced disc. surround sound does work properly now, but the sounds that come from the game when you mess up are different. i’m not sure if that’s a change to what it was supposed to be or a change they made later, but that was something unexpected. and the sound that comes from the wii controller sounds different and not as loud.

i tried playing a few songs from the game and have realized that i really suck at the game now. oh well, now we’ve got a fully functional guitar hero 3 set up. i think that extra guitars are on store shelves too. maybe i’ll go pick one up.

status on the guitar hero 3 exchange

so i sent in my guitar hero 3 disc to activision so that they can replace the disc with a fixed stereo version of the game. this won’t really affect people who don’t have their wiis connected to a stereo system of some sort, but for me, it was a huge issue.

it took about two weeks for them to receive and process the disc. what is it that they are doing exactly? do they run some kind of disc analyzer to see if the disc is actually the flawed one? i doubt it. it also seems like they are using some rebate fulfillment company, so it must be as simple as get disc, replace disc, mail disc. oh well. they’ve been good about emailing me to keep me in the loop about the status of my exchange, though. it’s been a much better experience in that regards.

but man, SLOW. i just got the above notice that told me that they just mailed the disc, but to allow up to 15 days for delivery! how are they delivering it?? i guess they really are using snail mail.

trying to find that moment of zen

it’s been pretty stressful here at work lately. there’s been a lot of stuff going on which has directly led to the decline of my quality of life. i have been working pretty hard at things that don’t have any documentation or even worse are documented wrong.

all of yesterday was spent being pissed at developers who don’t write good documentation. of course, as a developer, i hate writing documentation so i feel for them, but when it’s this important, a couple of comments in the code would help, wouldn’t it? ugh.

so like i said, i was pretty stressed yesterday to the point where i had to go home and just take my mind off of work for a while. good progress was made after a few hours of rest, but still, it wasn’t until after a bad night’s sleep that i finally figured out what was wrong. there’s still much work that needs to be done, but at least things are moving along…

it used to be that i would get a lot of satisfaction from figuring out how to do something, but lately, i think that the frustration of things not working recently has had an additive effect. ps3 streaming has been a little troublesome. i need to spend a little time to debug it, i hope it’s not network latency issues, but if it is, there’s an easy fix for it. if it is something else, i’m afraid that the resolution of the matter will mean that i will have to give up on my NAS dream.

work has been a little troublesome too. i have finally figured out everything that was ailing me, and though it was only about a day’s worth of work and frustration, it weighed heavily on me.

ah well, at least i’ve got a pearl tea drink with me now. that’s helping a bit. =)

OSx86 on a dell vostro 1500

since apple has transitioned to intel cpus, this has opened a world of possibilities for people who are motivated enough to try and run OS X on non-apple hardware. this, of course, sounds like a ridiculously fun project to me. there are forums that help people set up their computers with the operating system.

using a mac is pretty different from using windows though. there are some things that i’m trying really hard to get used to, but some key combinations really should work. what i miss most is the shift+del and shift+insert key combinations…

no more guitar hero for a while

we got guitar hero for the wii when it came out. it turns out that the wii version of guitar hero has a pretty serious bug in that the dolby pro logic II audio only outputs mono sound. worse yet, the surround speakers will start to output sound intermittently!

activision’s official fix for this is to issue replacement discs with the bugfix. the problem is that you have to mail in your disc to them first before you can get the fixed disc! the expected turnaround time for a replacement disc is three to four weeks. ridiculous! it’s too bad that they couldn’t distribute some kind of software patch. that would have been much better. oh well.

so anyway, i sent in my disc this week. i guess i’ll just have to play rock band some more. i actually haven’t been playing that much rock band, it’s hard to rock it out in a band of one.

meeting up with geoff

last night geoff and i met up in palo alto at taxi’s. i’ve never been there before and their burgers and curly fries were pretty good. i can’t remember when the last time i ate a burger. it was good catching up with geoff. it’s been a while since we last saw each other and so many things have come to pass.

i’ve known geoff now since college. back in the day, we were computer game obsessed guys trying to eke out a few more hours in a day to play a few more hours of doom or quake or whatever the game of choice was back then.

times have changed. we are homeowners, have bills to pay, have careers, and most recently have wives. wives. man. talk has changed from “duuude, you fragged me!” to “duuude, you gotta refi!” maybe the content of the talk has changed, but the talk is still just as good. we’ve moved on in our lives, but we’ve moved on together. that’s sort of how it is with many of my friends. we’ve been friends for so long, some from as long as middle school.

after catching up we said our goodbyes and headed home. i remember back in the day when a bunch of us would make the trek out all the way to palo alto just to get a drink of coffee or tea and hang out. it brought back some nostalgic memories. maybe in my old age inertia has caught up with me and i’ve grown lazy to go out and see the sights. maybe it’s just that i’ve seen all the sights. =P

…or maybe it’s because rock band was invented.