Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fiction Spotlight: “Something Funny Happened At Matsuri”

I remember Matsuri festival back in Phoenix, it's a fun and interesting time of cultural discovery and development. For a portion of desert in southern Arizona, the city does have a notable contingent of Nipponese citizens. As a result, the festival can be quite an experience -- also there's more than enough animé fans in the city willing to participate in the live-action version of their favorite pastime.

Of course, this means something altogether different for Vex Harrow.

As a result, this week’s spotlight Something Funny Happened at Matsuri features the festival and a lot of Nipponense-related elements.

The shining example of this particular booklet is that it includes four pages of manga drawn by one of the Vexations artists and a beautiful cover.

I’ve decided to make this one the spotlight for this month because Matsuri will be upon us soon this year, and it’s about time to pay some homage not just to the Nipponese heritage and culture, but also the way that Americans see them through the lens of literature, animé, and manga.

I am also reminded of the World War II Japanese Internment camps, one of which was situated near Phoenix, Arizona. A terrible and stupid act by the United States that Star Trek celebrity George Takei is working on bringing more attention to so that hopefully it will never happen again.

Link: Something Funny Happened At Matsuri by Kyt Dotson

[Reposted from: Mill Avenue Vexations Blog]

Monday, May 21, 2012

Around Tristram: Diablo 3 or Bust

First, let’s start with the bust.


Upon the launch of the game, Blizzard’s servers buckled under the popularity and many people saw these sorts of errors crop up. I was one of them – although that’s not my screenshot – there was a plethora of errors that got displayed.

Fortunately, Blizzard managed to get things under better control this week and we’re seeing more stable servers.

They also apologized for their issues.

Diablo III 2012-05-15 17-14-03-93

I’ve been setting myself up with a very nice Witch Doctor. It’s a fun class that in the beginning feels like she plays as a sort of pets + crowd control class. However, as with everything that Diablo 3 does, there’s a lot of different mechanisms that come into play with each of the different skills.

Role can change literally at a level.

I’m not even level 20 yet and I’ve seen: CC, pet-powers, ranged-slow, poisons, melee-drain-tank, …

Diablo III 2012-05-15 17-14-42-90

The in-game graphics are very nice looking.

Diablo III 2012-05-15 18-01-31-86

Alright. That’s a minor spoiler (anyone who got through the beta missed this because it’s the part immediately after the Skeleton King.) Most of the game involved seeking the origin of the fallen star and the blue glow in the cathedral.

Here it is. It’s Tyrael. Anyone who has played Diablo 2 knows who this is and what he represents.

So far, it’s been an excellent experience.

Although truthfully a little bit of the lag can be really frustrating and a bit confusing.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Laptop Issues: Raid Array

Well, it looks like I might need to call DELL about repairs again. One of the drives in the raid array on my computer appears to be failing.

I hate to be without it again for another two weeks, but this could become very bad if it continues to persist; especially because it ruins my gaming sessions.

The symptoms are that sometimes it just freezes up—upon rebooting the raid initializer tells me that there was an error with the first disk (Disk 0) and once I get the machine launched, I have to open up the Intel Rapid Storage manager, re-initialize that disk, and viola it works again.

This only happened once last week; now it happened again this morning.

Not a good sign.