2003 Aug 6 (Wed), 17:25 There was a HOLE here. It's gone now.
Welp... this came out today. Cassie and I were ones of the first in our area to get it. Been playing it all afternoon (rather, she has, this game was as much for her as it was for me... she's loved the series so far).

So far I am wow'ed by the graphics (they are freakin' amazin'), but not as much by the story (or lack of one). I've been told it'll get better and to give it time... And I will. But it just hasn't grabbed me like the last two did right out of the gate.

No project upates or anything else. Been too busy with too much work and things to focus any efforts there. Spending this afternoon playing this game was probably a bit too indulgant, but I did need it.

2003 Aug 14 (Thu), 10:08 Moron

This guy is a moron. Apparently, I ain't the only one who thinks so.

2003 Aug 14 (Thu), 22:51 BlueRobbieWin

Welp, just finished up Silent Hill 3. I mentioned a couple of entries back that my wife and I purchased it on the day it was released (both big fans), and we started it that day. Well, we finished it tonight.

Total game time: 8h42m. That's right, 8 hours and 42 minutes.

Now, I know I am constantly improving as a gameplayer- been playing since I was 4 and I am a firm believer that people only get better the more they play. But, I doubt that I've improved so much over the previous games as to make myself breaze throught SH3 (SH1 took me a solid 13 hours the first time, and SH2 took me nearly 14 hours the first time). I even took my time... Had I run, I'm sure I could have shaved that considerably.

So I am disappointed with the length? Sure am. That game was over way too quickly.

Okay, okay... so it was short... big deal.... Was it fun? How'd it compare to the rest of the series? Should you buy it?

The answers to these questions are pretty complex. First off, let me say that, IMHO, this was the weakest game in the series. The puzzles were no-brainers, you're given plenty ammo (contrary to popular belief), and the game is very linear. The story was pretty good, and tied a lot of things from the first game into it, but it ultimately lacked any characters like the really strong supporting ones the other two had (say what you will, but Eddie rocked... and Maria was devine). And, of course, the game-length doesn't help any.

That being said, it was an enjoyable game (considering it's a Silent Hill game, perhaps "enjoyable" isn't the right word ;-) and is worth the $50. It's definately better than anything the Resident Evil games have to offer.

It's also terrifying. There are moments in this game that are scarier than anything from the other games (the scene in the alternate hospital with the locked room, the tub, and the mirror will haunt me for a while). But the game, as a whole, just isn't as scary as the first, or even the second. Sure, certain scenes are horrific, but the general "feel" isn't quite as severe as the last two. I would still say that SH1 is the scariest overall, and that the prison in SH2 is the scariest individual area of the series.

The controls are undoubtedly the best of the series, but that's to be expected considering the evolution the series has gone through since SH1 came out for the PS1. The graphics are also gorgeous (if you can use that word)... certainly the most detailed and impressive the PS2 has ever seen. Plus there's new effects (like the motion blood texture thing) that are absolutely astonishing.

One thing that SH3 does do right is the number of unlockables. Previous games had some hidden weapons and alternate endings, which was great and all... but SH3 has tons of hidden weapons, alternate endings, and kick-ass costumes. Nothing like pounding a "Numb Body" while dressed like a sick cross between Space Channel 5's Ulala and a Care Bear.

Which brings me to the best thing in SH3: the humor. The previous games have always been very serious (except for one of the hidden endings in each). But SH3 has tons of humor. From the hidden costumes and weapons, to areas in the game like the Haunted House (which is a hilarious spoof of Disney's Haunted Mansion). Of course, don't think this game is all laughs and chuckles... This is a very scary game... There's just a few welcome moments of levity in the game to break up the horror.

Bottom-line? SH3 is a solid game, just not as good as its predicessors. SH1 is still the most terrifying and SH2 is the one with the best story and characters. SH3 is still a "must have" for any fans of the genre or anyone wanting to see what amazing things their PS2 can do. Just don't go in expecting an "Empire Strikes Back" or you'll be disappointed when you just get a "Return of the Jedi".

2003 Aug 16 (Sat), 15:55 SUNOVA

Well, for the start of my UNIX02 class today I came to find they hadn't set the machines up as I had requested. Basically, it shaved off around 1h 45m of in-class activities. Not like I'm complaining I get to go home early... it's just that the slip-up kind of makes me look like a moron in front of the class. This was the first time I've not come in to see that the new class clones are working correctly before hand... and it was the first time I was burned....

....of course, I don't actually blame the guy who's in charge of cloning my classroom... I actually blame whoever scheduled these classes this time around and didn't give us two weeks between classes. Only one week off is a killer when you teach five 8 hour classes in a row.

Anyway.... ClanAM's game is tonight... and I need some frustration vented....


2003 Aug 19 (Tue), 14:18 Bruce Rocks...

I think that Bruce Perens is my favorite Open-Source/Free-Software luminary. He's tamer than both ESR and RMS, more outspoken than Linus, and more "with it" than Larry Wall.

Anyway, check out Bruce's recent analysis of SCO code allegedly copied into Linux to recap the rather interesting events of today...


This may very well be the funniest thing I have ever read...

Of course, it's followed closely by this.

2003 Aug 24 (Sun), 15:37 Cracking-a-go-go

In my third class, I have a section on actively combatting an attack as it's happenning. Specifically, I have a fake situation (which I think I may have lifted from a book somewhere, I forget... naughty me) where we have a potentially trojanned process and we go through the steps analyzing it.

Now, if you look through the rest of my classnotes you'll realize that I'm someone who loves in-class activities. I love them because a) you really learn more by doing something rather than just reading about it, and b) it takes up time in class that I would otherwise have to spend lecturing (okay, so this reason is more of a lazy one for me ;-)

Well, yesterday I had this great idea that I should come up with some faux-trojan myself (something that does no damage, doesn't even spread, just sits on the machine acting suspicious) that I could use in the class which we could perform forensics on. This would be an excellent in-class activity which we could do instead of just talking about it.

My biggest problem is time, in that, I have none.

If anyone out there has any ideas about what I should do with thus faux-trojan, please let me know at hartatphysics.arizona.edu. I'm very open to suggestions about what would be a really good example of a seemingly malicious (yet utterly benign) and sneaky faux-trojan. Bear in mind that I want to really show forensics using the /proc interface, so it should have sockets and files open and what not. If anyone has already made one for this type of purpose, I'd be open to seeing it ;-) Keep in mind that I only have a few weeks before I'd need this faux-trojan done (that's when the third class starts up again...)

Naturally, any significant work I'd do for it would be released back as GPL.