Maikeru On

Third Times the Charm

March 16, 2008 at 9:16 PM in Games

Patch number three for SimCity Societies has finally been released, and while a lot of people are still reporting all kinds of trouble this one seems to have done the trick for me. I’ve only had two crashes since the patch was installed, and I know exactly what caused both and how to avoid them. Under normal play, the game is smoother than ever (though still a bit choppy at even lower graphical settings). Unfortunately, I had to reinstall the game to get it to work properly and ended up losing my awesome small-town/futuristic city in the process. ;_; I’ll have another post, with screenshots, once I get a decent city going again.

If you were at all interested in this game but crash reports scared you away, now might be the time to give it a try. You can pick it up for around $30 pretty much anywhere, and it has my vote as best SimCity game ever… when it’s not crashing. There’s even an expansion planned that hopefully won’t break anything. If we’re lucky, it might even fix some remaining issues.

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Haibane Renmei

March 13, 2008 at 10:08 PM in Anime

I just finished Haibane Renmei. Steven Den Beste (see Chizumatic under the blog roll) reviewed this series nearly two years ago, and it remains number one on his top recommendations. And there’s a really good reason for that. There’s not much I could add that he hasn’t already said. Which is to say, I’m going to keep from saying anything and suggest you watch it if you haven’t already. Don’t read any reviews or synopsis or anything; just go and watch and enjoy it’s greatness.

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Florida Excursion

March 9, 2008 at 5:32 PM in General

 

Day One

Wake up at 8am so we can leave by 9am and be in Michigan City at 10am to catch the bus to Midway, arriving 1pm Chicago time. Realize Chicago is one hour behind–not ahead–of us, and arrive at Midway four hours early. Land in Sarasota at 7pm and eat at Applebee’s.

Day Two

Decide that driving three hours to Orlando isn’t the best idea and visit the local mall instead. Realize that all malls are pretty much the same and get bored quickly. Return to grandparents house and sail out to the gulf on grandfathers boat.

Day Three

Wake up at 7am to leave by 8am to arrive in Orlando by 11am to go to Universal Studios. Realize TomTom GPS is awesome and consider buying a Garmin because of their catchy Christmas commercials (oooh, alliteration). Arrive at Universal on time thanks to awesome GPS and proceed to have crazy fun in Islands of Adventure. Finish at 6pm and realize that both parks close at 7pm. Run through Universal Studios, catching the last show of Disaster Studios before they kick us out. Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and then an hour drive to aunt’s house.

Day Four

Woken up at 8am despite attempts to sleep later. Assaulted by little cousins during a visit to their house. Further assaulted on our way to Cocoa Beach. Purchase new swimsuit while being assaulted by cousins. Get dropped off at Aunts. Regroup with little cousins and go back to Cocoa Beach for swimming with new swim suit (still getting assaulted). Head back to aunts again to shower and get the water out of my ear. Meet up with little cousins for dinner at Red Lobster and more assaulting.

Day Five

Leave aunt’s at 9am for four hour drive back to grandparents house. Realize again that TomTom GPS is awesome and consider buying a Garmin again. Go fishing on grandparents boat and catch four snappers (red, or more likely gray… we don’t really know). Try to eat snappers but get mostly bone. End up having scrambled eggs and toast for dinner. Have extremely strange dream about friend.

Day Six

Visit uninteresting flee market on way to airport. Receive call from airline that our original flight back to Midway–routed through Atlanta–might be stranded and are moved to a direct, earlier flight. Arrive at airport with an hour to spair and wonder if I should’ve tipped the curbside check in guy. Arrive back in Midway at 9pm Chicago time. Stop at White Castle for dinner and enjoy it because I’m really hungry. Have even stranger dream about different friend.

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Tenjou Tenge

February 29, 2008 at 11:51 AM in Anime

I finished Tenjou Tenge not too long ago and have been meaning to post about it. This is that post. It’ll be some review and some summary, loaded with spoilers and pictures that skirt the edge of being not safe for work, so everything else goes below the fold. (more…)

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My Selectors, Let Me Show You Them

February 15, 2008 at 4:15 PM in Technology

Work continues on the MORPG. I’ve slowed quite a bit, largely because the burst is over, and partly because I want to make sure what I’ve done so far is good enough that it won’t cause trouble later on when I start getting into the really complex stuff (heh). This is good, because it’s already shown me a few things I could have done better, and I’ve gone back and improved them.

One thing that had me stuck for a bit was the character creation page: users get to select their characters class (Fighter, Caster, or Balanced) and an elemental affinity, using big ‘ol buttons that are kinda’ cool and light up when you hover over them and stay lit up when you click one to select it. It’s clean and simple and works really well; it’s very elegant. At least, that was the idea. Getting the stupid buttons to stay lit when a user clicks is a bigger pain than it should be: it requires javascript wizardry, and mine–while adequate enough to accomplish this simple trick–isn’t good enough for my own standards. Sure, I can get it to work, but the code is ugly and cludgy. Javascript tends to look that way to me anyways, but I’m not a huge fan of most of its uses (’cept AJAX, AJAX is spiffy). Here’s the code I used to highlight our buttons:

function $(element) {
return document.getElementById(element);
}
function strip(element) {
$(element).className = ”;
}
function activate(group,object){
if(group == ‘class’){
strip(‘fighter’);
strip(‘caster’);
strip(‘balanced’);
$(object).className = ‘active’;
}
if(group == ‘affinity’){
strip(‘holy’);
strip(‘earth’);
strip(‘air’);
strip(‘neutral’);
strip(‘fire’);
strip(‘water’);
strip(‘shadow’);
$(object).className = ‘active’;
}
}

Notice that those first two functions, $() and strip(), were created only to clean up the code in the third function, activate(). If I hadn’t done that, the code above would be an even more jumbled mess. So we have an ugly script that keeps our button lit up when a user clicks it. Is there a better way? Perhaps one that doesn’t even require the general ugliness of javascript?

There is. So bleeding-edge, in fact, that I both didn’t know it existed and was not surprised at all to find out that it doesn’t work in any version of Internet Explorer. Here’s how we do it:

input:checked+label {/* style rules */}

…that’s it. What took three functions in javascript takes one simple selector in CSS3

This method does have it’s own problems. No version of Internet Explorer supports it. Firefox 3 Beta 3, Opera 9.25, and Safar 3 Beta do, but I doubt earlier versions of those browsers do (well, maybe Opera). It’s so much simpler, though, that I’m hard pressed to really care.

Update: The character creation page is finished (for now). I ended up wiping all registered users while testing it, though. If you registered before, you’ll need to register again… or just wait until the thing is finished. ^_^

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