Raspberry Comet [Update]

We've been playing Rock Band a lot lately. I've been keeping an eye on our leaderboard position and was really excited to see that after playing tonight we've gotten into the top 100!!! Our usually roster is me on Vocals and Bass, Shai on Lead Guitar, and SixVi6 on Drums. Hopefully we can hold it and maybe move closer to the top!



Update: Sadly we weren't able to hold our #99 spot, but we aren't doing too bad at #111 right now. Here's some of our current rankings.

Band by Song #111 @ 14,747,489
Band by Fans #151 @ 612,000

Green Grass and High Tides #9 @ 938,632
Dani California #101 @ 632,759
Creep #30 @ 588,963
Celebrity Skin #3 @ 569,367
Seven #8 @ 538,788

bank security

I'm going off on a rant so please forgive any lack of sense from here on out.

I'm pissed off over the security that my online banking requires. First it was just my bank, and now I'm having to do it for my credit card. My credit card company already requires the most complicated password I've ever had to use. My bank isn't that bad. I'm personally not concerned about people getting access to my account. They keep telling me I should change my password every month, FUCK THAT! I keep my information safe. The only way I see having a problem is if they have their own security issues...

So in addition to ridiculous passwords, they are now requiring you to do pop quizzes on your life. I usually just put bullshit answers in these cause I don't forget passwords. But they like to bring them up at random times even if you got the password right just to make sure you're you. I already got locked out of my bank account and had to call to get it reactivated. So these questions now that I've actually read them, SUCK!

They are suppose to be questions that only you would know, I don't know any of them. Lets go through an example:

What was the color of your first car? I don't drive...

What is your paternal grandmother's first name? I don't know anyone on my dad's side of the family...

What is the name of the hospital in which you were born? ... do people seriously know this kind of thing?

In what city was your first elementary school? once again, I don't know.

I have to refresh the screen multiple times until I just the right combination of questions that I can answer all 3 and actually remember the answers.

At the end of all this my credit card can be taken and used online without any limitations, and my debit card is protected by a pathetic 4 number pin number.

Final Fantasy Retrospect - FFXI

This came out earlier this week, but considering how much I play the game I thought it good to make it easily accessible to those who might miss it.

Getting Desperate

I've been having so many problem with Bioshock freezing on me. I'm getting towards the end of the game and was in the middle of an awesome conversation with the main enemy. I had been playing for about 3 hours without and problems, and right in the middle of it the fucking console locks up. I've had... I've done everything I could think of to prevent the damn thing from over heating and crashing... so I'm gonna try something a little more insane now...

Its like a hug!

My long goal of having 3 monitors was achieved today! 3 LG 24" monitors. I got a ATI Radeon 9250 to run the third monitor. I haven't gotten around to hooking up the game systems yet though. I'll be switching out my current 360 for one of the Premiums with HDMI as soon as we get one in. After that hookups will be something like this;

Left: HDMI-360, VGA-Computer, Component-Wii
Center: HDMI-Computer
Right: HDMI-PS3, VGA-Computer, Component-PS2

Decided to keep the PS2 around a while back for DDR and Guitar Hero.
Anyways, it is very awesome~ now I should probably look into upgrading my computer since I've had the same one for about 5 years...

Minoru + Haruhi!

Things like this are what secures Minoru as my second favorite character on Lucky Star.

Real Friends

I'm weird. I know I'm weird, I accept it. In fact I love it.

My friends are also aware that I am weird. Some more aware than others. As you would expect, the longer someone knows me, the more they learn about me. Some of my family is still a little confused by me at times. My friend's I've known since I worked at Software Etc I think have a pretty good grasp on the type of person I am. The people I currently work with at CompUSA, however, have no fucking clue, which is suprising cause I've known some of them for going on 3 years.

Today, I was bored. I only had one project to work on and did a pretty good job stretching it out over 8 hours considering it could have been done in under one. So I spent a good deal of the day hiding in the warehouse talking with co-workers with a similar agenda. Everyone I talk to back there is focused on getting me a girlfriend. They start out joking about it. But then seriously won't relent in trying to convince me that I need to go out with them and get laid.

My real friends (the ones that are probably reading this) tried this and understood my feelings on this long ago and have accepted it and moved on. The guys at work now haven't though. I think we spent 30 minutes talking about it. I finally told them I would go out with them next week if they would pay for drinks, which they agreed to... and then continued for another 10 minutes. Not entirely sure I'll go but I currently don't see too many reasons not to.

Anyways, I would just like to thank my real friends for accepting me for who I am and not forcing me to fit into whatever image they see fit for me.

Lucky Star

Its like the second coming of Azumanga.

Seriously, the show has the same type of humor to it but has been updated with more pop culture references and some style changes to make it unique. I originally downloaded it and brushed it off cause it has a cutsy intro and art design. But people on IRC insisted that I should watch it. The first 5 minutes is 3 of the characters talking about their favorite way to eat different kinds of food. That's it! 5 minutes! Its awesome.

(sightseeing)

I participated in Dynamis-Windurst today. We combined forces with another Linkshell that was trying to do the run. Everything went pretty smoothly. We were able to finish the are and I got Summoner's Spats. After we killed the boss people stayed around and continued to farm for Relic gear. Well I had the misfortune of falling off the bridge during one of the fights. Gave me a chance to do some sightseeing and turned out to be for the better. About 10 minutes into my wandering around most of the alliance died. I was able to find a safe way back to where I was suppose to be and help with raising people.
Anyways, here are some pics I was able to get.

System Shock 2 Soundtrack

Not sure who is going to be interested in this, but I wanted to share it anyways. I was browsing Through The Looking Glass' Forums and caught an update on their System Shock 2 page.

http://www.sshock2.com/shownews.asp?id=390

That game is one of my favorite pc games. There was never an offical soundtrack before this but i had a decent game rip. Anyways, I highly recommend it.

New FFXI Expansion

http://www.playonline.com/ff11us/altana/index.html

So new expansion was offically announced today. I know these things are always growing but they haven't finished unlocking all the content in the current expansion and they're already hyping the next? Eh, whatever.
My impression is that you'll get to time travel to before the great war and participate in events that lead up to it. I've been doing a lot of questing in the game lately so a lot of the back story is still fresh in my mind. I can say that I'm really looking forward to this. My only concern is I can see this expansion being a lot like the Promithia missions. A few new areas added and a bunch of difficult instances and battles. However they do it I'm really looking forward to the expansion's story.

PSO

I got Oridinai back into Phantasy Star Online (he use to play on the Dreamcast) a few weeks ago. He's been playing quite a bit and has got a ranger up to lv50 now. He was bummed when I told him the online servers were dead though (game did come out 5 years ago...). Anyways, I was thinking of setting up a private server so that we could play online. I already found the software to be able to do this and should be able to have it setup without too much of a hassle. Would anyone else be interested in joining in on this?

New Monitors Review

As I mentioned earlier, I picked up a new pair of monitors the other week. Yeah, I just got "new" monitors a few months ago, but these are better. I picked up two LG L246WP 24" monitor with 1920x1200 resolution and HDMI, VGA, and component/composite inputs.
One of the things I was looking forward to with these was being able to not have to use my TV anymore. Not that I don't like my TV, I just don't like having to move from my desk. All the inputs allow me to hook up all my game consoles to one of the two screens. Left monitor currently has my PC (HDMI/DVI) and Xbox 360 (VGA). Right monitor has PC (VGA), Playstation 3 (HDMI), and Wii (Component). I went ahead and retired my PS2 since I won't be using it much unless I get the urge to play DDR.
So one of the first things I noticed upon hooking these up to the computer was VGA and DVI were much easier to tell apart now. On the 22s I had before you could tell, but it was very subtle. With the screen being as sharp as it is you vga doesn't look nearly as clean next when compared. Brightness is also a noticeable difference with DVI being a little bit brighter but not over saturated. Overall for PC use I've been very happy with them.
After a few days of having them running I noticed it was a lot hotter around my desk. Even more-so when in the area above. They apparently generate a lot of heat. I'd say the general temperature is up about 3~5F around my desk now.
The PS3 was part of the reason I waiting to write about my new toys. I use to use a HDMI to DVI cable to get my PS3 to the old monitors. Well these monitors have HDMI instead, which isn't bad, but I don't have any HDMI cables lying around. I was able to pick one up last night though. One of the great thing about these monitors is the option to add black bars to the screen so that an HDTV signal isn't stretched out. In short PS3 looks awesome in 1080p.
The 360 was a little different. If it wasn't for Microsoft's spring update this morning I would have had a lot of bad things to say. But luckily the patch fixed the problems I was having with 1080p over VGA and its also working very nicely.
Poor little non-HD Wii is also kind of weird. I'm not given the option to add black bars to the screen with the Wii, which I'm guessing is because its only 480p. It really would have been nice if the system was able to do some form of HD, but it doesn't take to long to get use to it.
So I highly recommend this monitor if you're looking to upgrade. They retail for 800$ but with my discount and by trading in my old monitors I was able to get the pair for just over 600$. On a side note, if anyone is curious what happens to the old ones, due to flaws in our system they end up getting "field destroy".

RoadRunner Turbo

If anyone is curious about RoadRunner's new higher speed service, I give it my approval.
Oh, and for those who don't know. I picked up a new pair of monitors the other day. I'll have pics and impression up sometime next week.

Music Migration

So far moving my music into Winamp has been going pretty good. I've been cleaning up a bunch of my mp3s that had bad id3s or incorrect naming. One of the things that's really been getting to me is some of the #gamemp3s releases. Our old releases have some really bad tags. They're from back in the day so we were using id3v1 which means not enough room for proper album name and titles. so I end up with "FFX Soundtrack" instead of "Final Fantasy X Original Soundtrack (disc 1)". On that same note, some of the really old ones don't note different albums in the id3s so its really bad. we use to use the format %album - %artist - %filename in playlists for this reason since it allowed for longer names and a track name that implied disc number. So the sad thing about this is that since I'm a mirror for #gamemp3s I can't change any of this without invalidating the release.
Anyways, I'll deal with it. I should have it all setup the way I want in the next week. Only thing i'm concerned with is being able to setup a new plays per day list like I had in iTunes, I really liked that.

damn iTunes!

I've been using iTunes for quite a while now. I used to use winamp but when I got my iPod about 3 years ago there was no good alternatives to iTunes. iTunes has been giving me problems lately though. Biggest one is that it updates its library file whenever its done playing a song. This causes my computer to stall for 2~3 seconds. This has almost gotten me killed many times in FFXI.
I spent most of last night trying to find a way to fix it and short of deleting my library there isn't anything I can do. So I've been considering moving to another media player. Windows Media Player is out... just on principal. While its sad for me to say, Foobar is too complicated for me. I've been playing around with winamp this morning and not much has changed since I last used it, though there are some things that weren't around before that are very welcome.
However, I have another dilemma. I have put a lot of work into my iTunes library. Not only going through and cleaning up my tags, which are perfect, but also getting album art for all of them. I also have a rating system that I use and have a few playlists that I really like that are based off of that system. While I could setup something similar in winamp there I haven't been able to find a way to bring over this information from iTunes, so I would have to start over. Hopefully I'll have something figured out in the next few days.

XBox 360 Elite... NO!

Its been 2 weeks now of news sites reporting about this thing. Its so fucking stupid that I don't even know where to begin. Everything started with an article in Game Informer's (not a legitimate source of news) April (month know for pranks!) issue where they talk about a new XBox with HDMI and a 120gb hard drive. I wanna go over each of the things I've read regarding this so atleast some of you know better.
The addition of HDMI on the 360 is more than just adding a port, there's an additional chip that must be on the main board of the system. Not even a breakout box will work. If Microsoft releases a system with HDMI all of its current customer base will have no way of getting HDMI without buying the new system. While Microsoft has been know to be evil, I doubt they are going to betray their customers, and only a year after their original system's launch. Pictures of a system with HDMI have been floating around. These are old~! Back around Christmas these popped up and when Microsoft was asked about it they said that HDMI was available on some of the dev units.
Now the 120gb hard drive is a little different. If released current 360 owners would be able to upgrade without needing to buy a new system. While it may be on the way, its not because of any of the reasons I've read. People have been saying that a larger hard drive will be needed for the IPTV service which is suppose to launch later this year. When Microsoft was showing this off back at CES they said that they planned to do it all through software and that everything would be server side, so no need for a larger hard drive.
I think there was a few other bits of info that "confirm" a new system is on the way. If anyone has something to add please post a comment and if i missed something I'll go ahead and add it to the post.

GamerScore that matters

I never really got Microsoft's GamerScore on the 360. I mean, I understand it, its just that I don't get why anyone would care. The system seems totally off-balance and pointless. Example, I've logged 5000 hours into FFXI and I have gotten about 30 points. However if i got around to beating PSU's single player (about 12~20 hours) I'd get a nice 1000 points.
Sony currently doesn't have anything like a gamerscore for PS3. Last Thursday they had a firmware update that came with Folding@Home. The project's goal is to use your computer (ps3) to simulate how proteins fold. I admit that I understand very little of how the project works, but the goal of the entire thing is to help cure various diseases. As you run the program it keeps track of your contribution by giving you a score. A nice and more meaningful alternative to the 360's gamerscore.
Anyways, I know a few of the people that read this have PS3s so I'd like to point out that tonight is the first Sunday Night Foldathon. I'll be running mine tonight on my PS3 and I have my pc set to run it constantly when idle. My progress is here (currently 43% through my first unit so probably will be blank til monday around noon), and I have the PS3 at work setup as well which you can track here.

Death Note going downhill

Is anyone watching Death Note? I've been watching it since it started airing and have been enjoying it quite a bit. In fact its the only anime I'm watching right now. There has been a change in quality though since around episode 17. The mood of the show seems to have changed from dark and tense to more of a regular drama. Its even lightened up by having more jokes and humorous moments. While subtle, the animation also seems to have gone to a warmer feel. So I'm considering dropping the series from my weekly viewing. Anyone else watching and see it to? Also any suggestions on other stuff I should take a look at? Aside from Death Note all I have to look forward to is Heroes and Battlestar Galactica.

To FF or Not to FF

So, I'm posting on ddaydj's site because I think I'm more likely to get responses here for this particular issue. While I was in the process of moving, I temporarily cancelled my FFXI account since I wasn't using it. I haven't missed it. So, I'm trying to decide if I should just let it stay dead. Should I reactivate it? If so, let me know WHY. And real reasons, not stupid ones. My income is limited, so I can't just spend it on whatever.

Yatta!

I finally was able to figure out a way to get iTunes to make a playlist based off of how much I listen to a song in a day. I asked about it on the apple forums about a month ago and no one was able to help so I played around with it a bit tonight and got it.

Plays per day

I really really like the playlists that this makes. Its like a most played except the value of songs decay the longer they are in your library. It fixes the problem with Play Count which tends to favor songs that have been in your library longer. I recommend to filter out music that has been added in the last month since those songs seem to get an unfair advantage as well.

One thing I didn't mention on the forum post is that I did have issues with the comment field on some of my songs. They had returns on them and were throwing off values, so I went in and either removed the return or in most cases just removed the comment entirely. This was mostly on older #anime-ongaku releases.

Oh, and if you're curious what I've been listening to lately, here's the list I came up with.