After years of drooling, got myself a DSLR camera. Though it costed a bomb, I am liking it. I’ve put some pictures here. Just like most other machines I bought this guy has a little problem. Actually not the body but the lens. It was prepackaged with some dust that shows up in the pictures at low aperture settings. That one plus LCD “lands” connecting AF areas showing up, plus chromatic abberation in lens when hard light is present are the negative points.
First step towards matrix. Tried Second Life today. Put friends networking, MMORPG, 3D modelling, avatars all together in a coffee jar and shake up well to get this one.
Was put on the orientation island which felt remotely like ‘Black and White’ and ‘populous: the beginning’ games, particularly when I fly around on the island. This one has a sequence of posts with tutorials on the basics of SL. Off the main tutorial land is an island with lotza interactive objects. The exit on the tutorial island puts you on an square in the sim world grid which is supposed to be your ‘home’ (which you can switch).
Most of the aspects in the avatar can be edited. Body, head, face hair, dress all of them. I wonder how much of it should be parametrized is required while making the original models.
The 3D rendering is not too good. It looks like an early 2000 3D game. Most of the reality work has to be done with textures. I had a quick look at the settings, though not much was found (except the graphics card memory setting) that looked modern.
For bonafide need-a-life game addicts it is suicide to get into SL.
BTW, the linux Second Life client is 32 bit. Had to get the same version of geForce driver on my ia32 chroot and pure 64 linux installation for this to work.
Full of Half life 2
Half life 2 is a nice game. I liked the dystopian environment (the way I like night mares, you can wake up to the nicer reality ™). The game is close to being an interactive movie. This level has a nice big bridge where there is some cliff-hanging action. There isn’t much music but I like what is there. Its well timed for me.
The fights are not special except one of the level where are supported by Antlions (large insect thingamajig). In the ‘Anticitizen’ level you get to command resistance forces. Not many boss battles. For the sake of it they had put a strider in a hall and gave us some energy balls to pick and throw. After a quite some tries I could bring it down. Its a nice break from the tense action in Counterstrike games (when you put the bots in expert mode). BTW, I did not mean that I win any of those expert mode battles (I manage a few kills).
The lost coast tech demo is a nice show-off demo. I liked the shine on the rocks, improvements in character rendering and the dynamic tone mapping. I guess we are close to what is needed for the matrix
:-). Its just a matter of putting raw power for finer rendering.
It was there all the way with first gen games where the scenes scrolled faster and quite outside the natural range of speed. It reduced, but not enough for me to be able to sit and play the game for hours. The games like Shadow Warrior and Duke Nukem were ok as long as the levels were in the townships. As we started closer to the bosses irregular terrain showed up, with bad textures. These caused real discomfort. DooM 3 changed it. Except for the intended scare and claustrophobia in DooM 3 it was quite easy on my stomach.
HL2 is not really up to DooM 3 in this but its better than HL and other FPSes I’ve played before. Felt it yesterday while popping those striders from atop remains of some building. 60 degrees (not sure) as field of view is not enough. I keep flicking the mouse left and right. The visuals dont move smoothly = uneasy stomach. It would be cool to have an FPS setup with like 9 monitors slightly concave to give as much field as your eye wants.
Came across the pic along side (shows major game engines rendering a stone). Gave me a laugh.
XMMS 2 is really good. I had heard of this but I pay real attention till I tried it the day before. I find it good to have done away with a gui panel for my audio player. It is nice to have different kinds of clients for controlling the player. Am thinking of hooking PocketPC PDA up with it. Its gonna need compiling xmms2 for WinCE. Its gonna be tough to find time at work to do this. Its gonna be nice.
Computer game players are a lot but its not a popular breed in India (though, becoming lesser so everyday). Women players are few (but many top players are women, thats another thing). To find an Indian women player is tough. I stumbled upon this lady’s profile on Orkut. Reminds me of my sister’s FPS bouts. I remember having hooked up my friend’s pc and mine and playing Quake (the first one) demo in co-operative mode. My sis did quite well. Her favorite genre is RPG (Role-playing games like Ultima), which is my favorite as well.
When I was a kid (7th – 9th grade), getting a PC was a dream. The smell of the plastic, floppy and hard copy manuals is etched in my head. Some times I get this ‘CS lab’ fragrance from some of those shiny manuals that come around. I was introduced to my first PC (486) by my unc (I was in 12th – high school). I fell for comp. games along with my sis and a cousin. A bundle of 4 games from Creative along with the SoundBlaster audio card made our day. It had Ultima 8 : Pagan, Strike Commander (My first 256 color flight sim), Wing commander 2 and Syndicate (a strategy/action game). I still have the CD (check the pic alongside). Nostalgia (sigh).
In other news, my Sunday was ruined by fruitless (rather un-satisfying) shopping. It was intended to upgrade my wardrobe. My reduced interest, makes the shopping for clothes rather painful. Bad headache all after noon (sic.).
Two friends and two sides of biking
One long weekend and two of my friends went searching for the limits of their bikes and their selves. Dhanush tried it long and slow with an Enfield 350CC 4S and did 862.9 kms in 3 days. Prithvi did it short and fast using Yamaha 350CC 2S and did 2.2 kms in 90 seconds. I get fun out of both kinds of riding, but have never pushed it hard.
|Dhanush : Solo trip involving
Mulayangiri, Kudremukh and some more
places (inspired by 60 kph).
|Prithvi : Carving curves at Kari Speedway.
RD Dreams Track day last weekend
Click the pics for more pics.
Bangalore is frozen.
This morning, I wakeup to pin drop silence. That scared all the good out of me. I don’t think I’ve seen B’lore so silent in like for ages (or at all). No food (in case you dint know I have food at restaurants regularly) – means making my own break fast. I quite dislike having to make break fast as I am real hungry when I wake up. Anyways I make ‘Upma’ (a.k.a one of the simplest stuff that can be made of general-purpose-food-raw-materials) and switch on the TV to see whats in (more like feed my eyes and head while eating) and see that they’ve stopped the services today. Thats some ‘Bandh’ they have here. I was quite worried if Internet would be down as well.
It was fun to use the map that I made last weekend. It was even more pleasing to see my friend SandMan use the rooms I made, for camping. I had made the rooms to try and make the basement appear true to real. After some time messing with the basement map we went for the aim_headshot, I decided to get some cruel fun while my friends caught up to using the weapons. I pushed out the thought that I was kinda cheating (cuz half of the players were new to CS – they appear to have played other games). In a while they are going to improve – so let me have cheap some fun. No sooner said I see SandMan (again) found out that I was regularly making a run for the sniper rifle on the top so that I can camp. One moment, when there were two snipers either ends, it felt vaguely like the ‘Enemy at the gates’ movie.