Harry Slaughter's blog

Unreal Tournament

I've spent most of the last two days playing games. My favorite Quake2 server was down for a couple days, and I ended up discovering a new game, Unreal Tournament. It's a Quake-like game with spectacular maps and graphics that maintains the integrity of the game play (for the most part). Quake 3 was a disappointment in a way. The gameplay became secondary to the visuals. The weapons are difficult to distinguish from one another and about equally effective (as opposed to the weapons in Quake2, which each behave very differently). There's plenty to look at though. And the kills are spectacular in a cartoonish way.

UT is visually impressive but also very fun to play. Though we'll have to see. Only the demo is available right now. The full release is due sometime in the next few weeks. The demo offers CTF, DeathMatch, Team DeathMatch and something called Bombing Run, which I'd never heard of before. It has network game server search built right in. You can also play against bots which you can set to various skill levels, including 'auto adjusting'. And these are not kiddie bots. You'll have a very tough time defeating bots set to or above 'skilled'.

The one pain, however, is trying to download gaming files. Inevitabley you are directed to either a 404 or FilePlanet, which charges you to download files. You typically have to look long and hard to find the actual files for a game demo. But because I'm such a nice guy, I'll provide you with direct links to these games right here.

Cobain's Journal

Cobain's diaries to be published

Though I'm not a big Nirvana fan, I do recognize the band's talent and importance. And I have an odd fascination with people like Kurt Cobain. (Another figure I've recently become interesed in is Lee Mavers of The La's.) Anyway, the sample entries from Cobain are revealing and sad. Reading this, I felt like I was inside some sort of fish tank with Kurt, talking with him as many people stared in at us from the other side of the glass. He is no different than many of the people I grew up with. His tone reminds me of people I went to high school with. Then one day, he got famous and his old world was gone. He didn't want to leave his old world. He was evicted and forced in to a world of phonies. I have to wonder if it's a healthy situation to be in, a world of fantasy. Sure, there's still the music, but eventually that too must necessarily become a product of the fantasy world that's been created. Real music comes from real people being honest and real. I don't see how you could become a rock star and still make music.

Is there a God?

An Op-ed from kuro5hin.org addresses this question. Don't you love rhetorical questions?

The article can be summed up, IMHO, with the following quote:

If the word "knowledge" cannot in fact be applied to anything, it makes more sense to redefine the word so that it just means "overwhelmingly likely, given certain assumptions".

/me puts away pipe and turns off classical music and fires up Quake2.


Bartleby.com: Great Books Online -- Encyclopedia, Dictionary, Thesaurus and hundreds more

I just discovered this site. Can't believe I've never seen it before. It's clearly one of the most content-rich sites on the Web. Check it out.

Soup kitchen

Once again, amongst the ranks of the unemployed. My contract at
SPAWAR Systems Center
is coming to a close, and I haven't yet found any new work.

It seems that things are no better than they were 6 months ago in the tech job area.
This is very frustrating for a person who truly enjoys working in this business. I've seen
a lot of folks pack up and move and switch careers entirely. I'm half tempted to take
my remaining dot-com loot and hit the road. But this business is just too much fun
to leave. I don't really enjoy anything else (as far as careers). So I'm committed, at
least right now, to sticking this out.

If you happen to know of any good companies in need of Linux/Perl/Web type geeks,
point them to my resume.
If you help me land a job, I promise you a Slurpee and a pack of candy cigarettes.

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