Monthly Archives: February 2015

RIP Leonard Nimoy

Today Leonard Nimoy died. This has had a more profound affect on me than the death of my father. Mr. Spock has always been my favorite fictional character. To a skinny little nerd boy, a hyper-intelligent character for whom violence was always a last resort, was an breath of fresh air in a world dominated by two dimensional cowboy characters. My earliest memories are of watching Star Trek on a small black and white TV. Leonard Nimoy provided me with the best role model possible and gave me a lifetime of entertainment and happiness. For this I am thankful.

Now, I am off to Florida to steal the Space Shuttle Enterprise and head the Genesis planet.

RE: CentOS

So far so good. CentOS 7 picked up the wireless automatically and there was a nice repo for the NVIDIA driver making it near trivial to install properly, Dropbox also installed with no issues at all. The only thing so far that was a challenge was Steam, but even that only took about 10 minutes on Google to solve. I did have to install the MATES Desktop as well. This version was slightly different from the Mint customized version, so I had to mess around a bit, but otherwise, it was a very smooth install.

Linux, switching distros

I an starting The Redhat Certified System Administrator course provided by my employer next month. This is going to take the sunny side of a year to complete. I took the skill assessment test yesterday and got a 52% and I have been using Linux since 1993 or so. My big problem is, I have been using Ubuntu or Mint Linux now for at least a decade and it has spoiled me a bit. As with everything Linux, emersion is really the only way to succeed, so I am biting the bullet and changing my desktop from Mint to CentOS. Mint is a downstream version of Ubuntu and Debian, CentOS is a Redhat derivative, so using it will be much more useful to my study course.

The last time I tried this, I was very unhappy with the results. Both Video and Wireless were kind of a pain in the ass to get working. I also had trouble getting Dropbox and Steam working. However CentOS and all of that software have went through updates since my last foray into CentOS, so hopefully most of this stuff has been resolve and if it hasn’t then tough shit, I will have to work around it. 2015 is going to be an interesting year.

BBS vs Website

Last night we did not have our regular game, I was too tired to see straight. Instead we discussed what we wanted to do for for our next campaign and it seems a CyberPunk themed GURPS game is the order of the day. Towards the end of the discussion, Chad sent me an email full of mood setting CyberPunk stuff. One of the items was a list of Bulletin Board Systems. Back in the 80’s and 90’s BBS’s were a thing and I kind of knew some still existed, I even set one up like 10 years ago just to test modems at work. It looks like there are still around a hundred active BBS’s, most are no longer accessible by modem, but rather by Telnet.

I get the nostalgia factor here, I am certainly prone to this myself, but it seems to me running old software with well known and unfixed security holes is a bad idea. I would think this would be trivial to implement in a web browser where you have much better maintained and supported software to rely on. I suppose once you ask that question, it then opens up new questions like, why use old crappy outdated interfaces when you can setup a forum with an 80’s BBS theme. So I guess I have answered my own question. Nostalgia is what it is.

On another note, I am also starting to develop ideas for this CyberPunk game. What I am envisioning is a world that did not move much beyond the 80’s. In this alternative history, everything is the same as our world up until 1980 when history starts to diverge from our own. Ma Bell survives its legal challenge as a monopoly and is not broken up. The 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed, which rescinded the 22nd Amendment allowing Ronald Reagan to run for a third term. It is not Microsoft, Intel and Apple who own and shape the PC market, but rather Commodore and Atari dominate home computing.

My idea here, is I want to keep the Noire 80’s feel of early CyberPunk literature and I want an explanation for why personal computers of that early literature do not look like our modern computers. Culturally, the world seems to be at a stand still, the “Decade of Greed” gave way to the “Century of Greed”.  Technology has continued to develop, but in very different ways. The fairly open and configurable system of our timeline do not exist, but instead most computers are closed black boxes where 99% of users never open them or upgrade them. I probably won’t go as far as most CyberPunk books go in how horrible the world is, but Corporations will definitely be extremely powerful, not because the government has collapsed or is ineffectual, but simply because Big Business takes over the government from the inside. The President, most Congressman and Governors all come from Big Business and often maintain their positions within the companies while they are public servants. Anyway, that is what I was thinking about.

Fuck You Gawker!

Shame on you Gawker, no wait let me put this another way FUCK YOU GAWKER!. Coca Cola was trying to spread some cheer and good will around the internet, something I would point out, the internet needs more of. Instead of writing something positive and being one of the good guys, you lower yourself once again to the level of Sam Biddle’s Ass, showing us once again what an awful company you really are. I am sure you thought it was funny, just the same way Sam Biddle’s Ass thought it was funny to call for the bullying of nerds. I am also sure we will get a half hearted apology in a few days weeping that it was “Just a Joke” and “Were really REALLY SORRY!”. To this, I would like to quote former President George W. Bush;

http://www.businessinsider.com/coca-cola-makeithappy-twitter-hitler-mein-kampf-gawker-prank-2015-2

Fuck off Gawker, just fuck off.

D&D Crash Kit

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Last week I posted a picture of my GURPS crash kit. Today I am posting my old school D&D crash kit.The idea behind these kits is if I ever decide to run a pickup game of some sort, I have a grab and go option with everything I need to run a game; rules, adventure, character sheets, etc. This one has more character than the GURPS crash kit, this one includes Arduin book 1 and Ready Ref sheets, both are 3rd party supplements, that add depth to the game. My next crash kit will likely be of D&D 5E, once I get the Basic rule PDF printed into a nice book.