Archive for June, 2006


Monday, June 19th, 2006

In World of Warcraft, you basically make money out of people who are lazy. Or stupid. But mainly lazy.

Okay, here’s an example. In the game, I have Enchanting as one of my professions; basically, given the right set of ingredients, I can bestow certain enhancements on weapons and armour which improve them in certain ways – and, more importantly, make them glow cool colours. To get the ingredients, you have to “disenchant” fairly rare to incredibly rare items, with the “power” of the enchanting ingredient increasing with the rareness of the item.

Also in WoW, there’s an Auction House for people to sell items in – anything you can pick up is tradeable, basically, for whatever people will pay for it. So, these fairly-to-incredibly-rare items show up on the auction house more often than they get dropped by enemy characters, and so is where most people get them from.

Now here’s the thing: If I buy a fairly-rare item off the auction house, disenchant it into enchanting ingredients and then put those ingredients back on the auction house, they will sell for more than the original item. The only people who can use those ingredients are other Enchanters – i.e., those who could have bought the original item in the first place and disenchanted it themselves. So I can make stacks of cash buying cheap, low-level rare items, disenchanting them and selling the resulting ingredients back to people who could have just done exactly the same thing themselves.

People are lazy. Stupid, too, but mainly lazy.


Friday, June 16th, 2006

You may notice that there are now some google ads down on the sidebar there. It’s just an experiment (to see if I can make money off the sad acts who come here searching for Anna Kournikova porn and Sailor Moon DVD rips); I hope they’re not too intrusive.


Friday, June 16th, 2006

Yes, June 16th marks Bloomsday, and it’s rolled around again. Go and drink a pint o’ the black stuff and celebrate the finest example of utterly incomprehensible and totally pretentious literature ever. For those whom the full text might prove too much, there’s a dummies guide, complete with animated pictures. It won’t make any more sense that way, but it will at least take less effort to understand that it makes no sense.


Chips, picking chips off rocky thumbnail, chips. Horrid! And gold flushed more.

A husky fifenote blew.

Blew. Blue bloom is on the

Gold pinnacled hair.

A jumping rose on satiny breasts of satin, rose of Castille.

Trilling, trilling: I dolores.

Peep! Who’s in the… peepofgold?

Aww, bless

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

I know it’s cruel to mock people who don’t know better, but is it still cruel to mock people who ought to know better? Anyway, this project has caused much mirth and merriment in our office this afternoon. Basically, some 18 year old kid in California reckons he can parse Windows .EXEs using a python script, turn them into Mach-O binaries, munge all the DLL calls into Mac equivalents and bing Oblivion magically runs on a Mac!

Quite apart from the fact that the source suggests that he’s basically just downloaded the Win32 SDK, stripped the headers and run a script to replace them all with STUB() functions except for the 10 or so that are needed to get Oblivion to display an “It’s all gone a bit shit-shaped” dialogue box and that he’s effectively given himself the job of reimplementing the whole of Win32, he basically has no chance of succeeding with his current method. For a start, he’s assuming that the code will run as written – quite an assumption, given that they’ve been compiled for different operating systems with different memory models, different process models, different, well, everything really. He’s also only replacing DLL calls – so statically linked binaries are presumably out, as is anything that uses COM (whoops, there goes all of DirectX), int calls (whoops, there goes all the syscalls) and a whole bunch of other stuff.

I’ll be following the project with interest, needless to say. But I won’t be holding my breath.

A rising star

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

Orion is a colleague friend of mine. He draws things with MS Paint. He’s very prolific. You should go and look at his pictures.

The joyful life of an ex-games developer

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006

A bit heavy on the hyperbole, and 20% a year sounds a bit much to me, but otherwise this essay pretty much nails it.

No words needed

Monday, June 12th, 2006

I’m not dead

Monday, June 12th, 2006

No, I’m not dead. But I am 27 today, which means I’ve only got another three years before I might as well be. At least 27 is a semi-interesting number, being 33; it’s the last age of nn I’m ever likely to be. 28 is interesting, too, as it’s the last perfect number you’ll ever be, unless age-defying wrinkle cream gets really good in the next half century or so. 29 is only interesting by virtue of being prime.


Friday, June 9th, 2006

Well, my day just peaked. In town, just now:

Me: I just can’t believe that you didn’t ask for a qu..
My Beloved: That was Jeremy Paxman
Me: That was Jeremy Paxman. Cool.

If a day can get any better than nearly walking into Jeremy Paxman, I’d like to know how.

The Skeptics’ Bible

Thursday, June 8th, 2006

This site is amusing for a few minutes, until you realise that what they’re doing is taking the whole thing just as literally as the Innerantists, and then saying “OMG! Look! It’s full of contradictions!” Well. Yes.

Maybe the whole site is actually ironic and has been set up by moderate non-innerantist Christians to make both the other two sides look bad.