"an ology for the new millenium"
Why, it's the vanity site and weblog of Eric Tilton! [*]

Bernie says hello. He'd like to know if you have any wet cat food for him.

Welcome to ology.org! This is the personal vanity site of Eric Tilton and Carrie Jones. It mainly exists so that we can laugh heartily at our clever e-mail addresses (like tele@ology.org). Ho ho ho!

Please wander around, and feel free to enjoy my fine Corinthian web log.

Monday, January 29, 2001

[Posted 1/29/2001 08:46:27 PM by tilt]
I suspected that I was making up the word "furbished," but it turns out I was merely using it incorrectly. Which reminds me of another word that I recently discovered that, well, pretty much everybody was using incorrectly. The word? "Prodigal." You think it means something like "black sheep" or "vindicated," right? Wrong -- go look it up.

Surprising, huh? You see and hear it misused all over the place, including in books and on TV. Through mass misconception, we're actually changing the definition of a word.

[Posted 1/29/2001 08:26:27 PM by tilt]
I finished Alice. It remained satisfying (some of levels involving clocks and gears were especially cool), but the ending was pretty stale, with a completely unsurprising twist.

I've mostly furbished the Blue Fish Labs Southwest office (which is to say, the corner of our second bedroom where I do my work). Sadly, the desk I have my laptop on is not very ergonomic (which is why I often remotely access the laptop from the desktop). The final touches have included the HP T45 multifunction fax/printer (which is very cool -- the only flaw is that it's an inkjet, not a laser printer), and a Panasonic 900MHz cordless phone (I passed on the 2.4 GHz -- Panasonic's models in that range use analog 900MHz on the backchannel).

Friday, January 26, 2001

[Posted 1/26/2001 09:18:36 PM by tilt]
I think I should take it as a good sign that I'm usually not near a computer when I think of something I want to blog. Yet another reason to get a keyboard for my PocketPC!

I'm in the midst of Alice, which is satisfying, if a little light in the substance department. It's kind of like playing a Disneyland ride. I realize I'm supposed to say "a bizarre, fucked-up, twisted ride at Disneyland," but it's actually relatively tame on the creepy department. However, it's 10 out of 10 in the visual and musical style department. The gameplay is pretty par for the course (sort of like Star Trek: Elite Force, which also scored big points for style [and, in that case, story], but had even lighter-weight gameplay), but it's so fun to play that I don't particularly mind.

What I really want, though, are more great sneaker games, like Thief, Deus Ex, or the absolutely fabulous No One Lives Forever.

Saturday, January 20, 2001

[Posted 1/20/2001 12:24:06 PM by tilt]
Giants: Citizen Kabuto was relatively disappointing. It has gotten outstanding reviews from places like GameSpot and Daily Radar, so I decided to give it a try. At first blush, it looked promising: it was an action game with elements of strategy (like base building, and a fairly easy system for controlling your compatriot Meccaryns). Some of the graphics were impressive (especially the sun effect, and the water effect). And some of the early enemies were pretty cool (specifically the visually appealing but ultimately wussy Rippers).


First, the story, while initially appearing to go somewhere, just didn't. There was no opening movie, which was a bad sign, and while there was a "story," it was bizarre and lacked any actual direction. Now, I'm not against bizarre for the sake of bizarre, but this was just useless. Add to this "humor" that was sophomoric at best (and sexist and homophobic at worst), and stuttery performance, and the blush started to fade. Other frustrations: the game couldn't remember that I'd inverted the mouse between play sessions. You can't save. Halfway through the game you have to do the jetski races that culminate in an insanely difficult race (note: don't completely change the genre halfway through your game). (The only way to cheat through that level is to make all levels available, so if the plot was going anywhere, seeing all of those titles would have been a big spoiler.) What originally seemed like the most appealing part of the game -- playing Kabuto, the giant -- turns out to be the most frustrating. Kabuto is wussier than he appears, and it's incredibly difficult to pick up your enemies (in order to eat them and regain health) when you've reached your largest size. I spent most of that portion of the game with the view in nearly top down mode, trying to figure out if I was close enough to grab someone.

The game wasn't a complete loss -- it was relatively entertaining to play Kabuto, and would have been much mroe so if the controls hadn't sucked. And playing the other two races also had high points (the various reaper spells, and the cool Mecc jetpack). But overall the game was a great frustration, which wasn't helped by the (broken record much?) lack of a save system! And I was more irritated than I was entertained by the cut-scenes (probably because I'm no longer 14).

Wednesday, January 17, 2001

[Posted 1/17/2001 10:16:52 AM by tilt]
This is weirdly fascinating: the closed captioning FAQ. I don't know about you, but I'll turn on the CC on my TV sometimes (especially if I want to have the volume low because it's late; low volume + captioning works pretty well). This explains some of the technical details that I was curious about.

Monday, January 15, 2001

[Posted 1/15/2001 01:04:33 PM by tilt]
The office/networking area is now mostly set up. The room is still half full of boxes, but the other half is a pretty workable space, including two desks next to each other for me (one for the desktop/big monitor, one for the laptop and plenty of writing/sketching space). I now have a new techno-lust goal: 802.11b for the apartment. The BFL mothership (back in Pittsburgh) now has this, just in time for me not to take advantage of it.

On the other hand, I have high speed internet access, and they're currently sharing a 28.8K phone line.

Tuesday, January 09, 2001

[Posted 1/9/2001 01:11:12 PM by tilt]
Cable modems rock!

I had DSL for the past few years in Pittsburgh, and I have to say that DSL is definitely cooler than a 28.8K modem. However, while it was faster, it never seemed as fast as it should have been. While planning the move to Austin, I wanted to make sure that I had high speed Internet access as soon as possible. SWBell dropped the ball -- they couldn't even tell me if I could get DSL until after they turned on my phone service, and presumably (given the horror stories I've been hearing) it'd be a multi-week wait from that point until I got it installed. Time Warner Cable, on the other hand, could get me set up on the Tuesday after I moved in. Hmm -- tough choice.

I'd been wanting to try cable anyway. Despite the DSL marketing about how you have to share your cable bandwidth with everyone else in your neighborhood, the dirty little secret is that DSL is aggregated, too -- just higher up in the chain. And everyone I'd talked to was getting high speeds with cable. I'm glad to say that this is true for me, too. Downloading a demo off of the web on my DSL would generally go at a rate of 30Kbps on DSL. I just d/l'd a demo on the cable, and got 130Kbps. Also, when I go to adcritic.com, I used to have to wait for the video to download about halfway (about 20 seconds) before it started to play. On cable, it starts playing almost immediately.

Also, I've now got the cool little dsl/cable firewall/router from Linksys. It does all of the NAT stuff (and plugs into my ethernet router) so I can get all of the machines on the network with no huhu. Plug and play, baby! I used to use SyGate from SyberGen, and it was a very nice software solution for NAT. But it also was vulnerable to my main machine crashing (for obvious reasons), and required installing special software on each client machine. The router box handles >100 machines on the network (as opposed to the per-machine license scheme for software solutions) and isn't vulnerable to crashing. Very cool.

Monday, January 08, 2001

[Posted 1/8/2001 11:00:27 AM by tilt]
Well, we're here and alive. All of our stuff made it (we think mostly unbroken, although 95% of the boxes are still unopened). There were lots of entertaining haps and mishaps along the way, but overall, the move went pretty smoothly. The worst part was at the end -- we got screwed by our movers, who only sent two of the three guys they were supposed to send, and only allowed two hours for us to move (and we got started an hour late, between road delays and having to sign all of the legal lease papers one we got here). So we had to unload most of the damn truck ourselves. Bastards.

More stories to come later, as well as some pictures.

Thursday, January 04, 2001

[Posted 1/4/2001 12:01:32 AM by tilt]
Well, we're finally on our way, out of the house and in our first hotel.
More later -- for now, sleep.

Tuesday, January 02, 2001

[Posted 1/2/2001 12:00:42 AM by tilt]
Proof postive that some people have too much time (and money) on their hands: the Ice Hotel Quebec - Canada, a hotel made out of snow and ice.

The "funny" thing is that this is only a derivative of another ice hotel in Sweden.

Monday, January 01, 2001

[Posted 1/1/2001 10:19:55 PM by tilt]
My cat has issues. He's discovered he can leap all the way up to the top of the kitchen shelves. Bear in mind that we have 10 foot ceilings. We'll be in the kitchen, and won't notice him, and then he'll leap down and scare the shit out of us. He's psychotic.

The new apartment apparently has kitchen cabinets that go all the way up to the ceiling. I think we'll all rest easier.

[Posted 1/1/2001 10:37:21 AM by tilt]
Ghost in the Shell is perhaps the most beautiful animated movie yet produced. Every time I watch it, I notice some new detail -- something in the way light is reflected, or a shadow falls, or a facial expression. This movie has some serious attention to detail. I also notice something new about the story every time as well -- now that I've seen it a half-dozen times, I think I almost understand what the hell is going on.

My love of anime dates back to my callow yute. I remember seeing, as a wee lad, one of the first Transformers commercials -- y'know, the one that had Starscream in it? My reaction: Oh. My. God. I had to have it; I had to have it now. Over the next several years, I and my brothers accumulated a serioius box-load of Transformers and Gobots, including the original Optimus Prime, Omega Prime, and Bumblebee. Weirdly enough, we never did get either Megatron (probably because my Mom didn't want me to have a toy gun) or Starscream.

As far as I was concerned, giant robots were the coolest thing ever. And while the Transformers were pretty cool, they had nothing on the other major cartoon of the time: Robotech. The Robotech mecha were several orders of magnitude more cool than the Transformers -- they were sleeker and more, well, lethal looking than the clearly toy-oriented Transformers. And the storyline actually had an arc to it, a stark contrast to the "sum it all up in twenty minutes and deliver the moral" attitude of Transformers (and G. I. Joe for that matter). I only once ever managed to find a robot which transformed like the Robotech mecha (it was, in fact, a mecha based off of Robotech's third segment, Mospeada). I loved that toy, and transformed it so much that eventually it's arm fell off.

Now that I am older and have money to blow on toys, I've tried to collect the giant robot toys I always wanted as a youth. However, these days all you can find are these damn transforming bugs and dinosaurs, and that's pretty lackluster in comparison to the sleek science-fiction of the mid-80s mecha. So, I've started seeking out more anime (including one of my favorite means of access: renting it on DVD from NetFlix). Also, Todd McFarlane clearly understands where I'm coming from, because his company has done several Spawn lines that evoke the anime mecha in truly stunning ways (including the aptly named Manga series, which I own all of, and a new series called Interlink 6 that actually combines six figures together into a... giant robot!).

[Posted 1/1/2001 09:44:22 AM by tilt]
The layout for the site should be a little less broken now -- it was behaving poorly under Netscape 4 (which has pretty lousy support for stylesheets apparently). The left-side boxes still don't look right under Netscape (the colors aren't there), but you can read the posts now, so that's good enough for me.

Carrie and I finally went to Cafe Allegro for dinner last night, and it was a truly amazing experience. I wouldn't be able to do justice to all of the delicious treats that passed our way (or the amazing wine and port), but it was definitely the right way to celebrate the ending of the year and the epoch. Our only regret is that we didn't go to Cafe Allegro sooner -- now that we've "discovered" it (after months of people telling us to go there), we're hopping in the U-Haul and leaving town.

See earlier stuff in the archives


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