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September 2007 Blog Posts
Chess 'Review'

This isn't really a review, as such, just a comment about something I noticed.

Chess was a musical made in the 80s, you can read about the details here.

So, it was first an album, with lyrics written by one of the guys who worked on Jesus Christ Superstar and the music written by the two male members of ABBA.  It became a musical later in London.  Then, as they tend to do, they butchered the crap out of it and moved it to Broadway.

I've listened to it for years (the original...hated the reworked version).  It's good, nothing that will change your life.  I mean, it's a musical about a couple of chess championships, what the hell did you expect? 

But one of the oddest things about it (other than that it is a musical about chess, but they make musicals about just about anything, so I guess that isn't that odd), is the fact that *none* of the main protagonists is really even remotely appealing or sympathetic.  The American is some whiny, manipulative jerk, the Russian is a self-absorbed, egotistical jerk, and the main female character Florence is a whiny, bitchy, self-absorbed, manipulative jerk (she isn't egotistical, so give her that).  There really isn't anything all that appealing about any of them, no one to root for, nothing.  It's the story of a bunch of crappy people, doing crappy things to each other, while one of them wins a chess tournament.  Put to pretty decent music, with pretty decent lyrics.

The last song ends with these happy thoughts:

You and I
We've seen it all
Chasing our hearts' desire
But we go on pretending
Stories like ours
Have happy endings

People actually went out to the theatre to see this, to have it end with this happy thought.

But, it has pretty decent music, with pretty decent lyrics.

posted @ Sunday, September 09, 2007 8:31 PM | Feedback (0)
A $250 Video Game

So, I'm not what one would call a gamer.  I've played Halo before, and I do enjoy games like 'Age of Mythology' and 'Dungeon Siege', but when it comes to first person shooters, I'm pretty horrible, and they don't bring a lot of satisfaction for me.

But I kept reading all this stuff about 'Bioshock' and how great of a game it was, and how the story line was excellent blah blah blah.  Then I read that in easy mode, it was really easy.  Perfect.  So, I bought it.  I installed it on my Duo Core laptop, and it ran.  Sort of.  The game starts in the sea after the plane crashes with you in the water surrounded by fire, pieces of the plane, etc.  And it ran at maybe half speed, maybe less.  Completely unplayable.

So, I installed it on my AMD 64-bit server machine because what's the point of having a powerful server machine if you can't play video games on it?  Launched the game....black rectangular shapes and little bits of fire.  What the heck?  Oh, great.....http://arstechnica.com/journals/hardware.ars/2007/08/23/no-bioshock-rapture-in-sight-for-ati-x800x850-users  I don't have the right Pixel Shading support in my video card.

Okay, let's go buy another one at the local Microcenter.  Some NVidia supported card or other, $100.  Try to install it, damn, I bought an AGP card and I have PCI Express.

Back to the store, buy another one, $150.  Installed, tried to run game, application error.  Try to run DirectX configuration wizard, machine blue screens.  Great.  After about an hour, I remember that Windows Server disables hardware acceleration when you install new video cards.  Try to set it to full acceleration, machine blue screens.  Another reboot, try to surf the internet to find a cure, another blue screen.

Enough with that.  Back to the store, buy one more, $200.  This one requires two separate connections to the power supply 'with no other device connected.'  Yeah, like I have that, just connect two connections.  I try to set video to full acceleration.  Machine powers off.  No blue screen, just powers off.  Sweet.

But, if I turn video to mostly full acceleration, the system stays up, and I can play the game.  So, I start up the game and get out of the water and save it.  That was two weeks ago, I haven't played it since.

I have to go do something.

posted @ Saturday, September 08, 2007 12:34 PM | Feedback (0)
Windows Server Optimization

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb743398.aspx

Although the article is about BizTalk and database settings, most of the recommendations are good for many other situations.

Back in the day, testing out different settings like these for optimal web site performance in an eCom environment was a full-time job for me, so many of these are familiar.

posted @ Friday, September 07, 2007 9:20 AM | Feedback (0)