We have got to do something...

please watch this 2 hours movie.

http://zeitgeistmovie.com/

and comment below about what WE can do.

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Posted in , | Posted on 05 Sep 2007 14:42by somekool | no comments

How to not being forced to XOrg 7.1 on Gentoo

If you are like me, you like system that works and you care much more about the latest version of KDE than the latest version of XOrg. especially when updating KDE is pain-less and bug-free while XOrg means talking with God, backup-ing your Mother and what not.

So I wanted to be able to run

emerge -avUNt world

like everyone else, while staying on XOrg 6.9 Like you might know, the recent portage are not forcing us to do the update. you cannot run 'emerge world' without upgrading. and upgrading is far from being easy. While preventing portage from forcing is not as easy as it sound. It is not that hard. thanks to /etc/portage system.

here is how to do it.

  • first add the following lines in /etc/portage/package.mask

### I dont want to update X
>=x11-base/xorg-x11-7.0
>=app-doc/doxygen-1.4.5
>=media-gfx/imagemagick-6.2.5.6
>=x11-libs/qt-4.1.4-r1
>=media-gfx/graphviz-1.16-r2
>=app-office/openoffice-bin-2.0.3
>=media-libs/libsdl-1.2.8-r2
x11-libs/libXScrnSaver
### END
  • then add the following line in /etc/portage/package.unmask
<x11-base/xorg-x11-7.0

after that you might get 1 or 2 more problem. I remember I also had to modify an ebuild and remove a useless dependency on a package. if it does not work for you. please comment below. I'm gonna help you to go through it and I'll update this post for a more accurate information.

have a nice day.

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Posted in , , , | Posted on 17 Nov 2006 07:20by somekool | no comments

Nintendo World 2006 in Osaka, Japan (and japanese highways)

So I have finally been there, again. I was not too sure, since I knew it would be very similar but just busier then Nagoya. But Mihoko could not come to Nagoya, so she had not tried the Wii yet, poor girl. And I convincer her. Plus I really wanted to try few more games to help get my mind set on what to buy.

Actually there is something I think I forgot to tell you about Nagoya. I think I already told you I went to Nagoya by train or maybe some photos I took told you so. But there is one little thing I forgot to say, Is how many DS I saw in the Train. Although I had to cross two prefectures, from Minute One, I saw kids playing with the DS in the Train. I mean, there is always bunch of people with cellphones, PSP and DS. but that day. it was impressive. Closer I was getting to Nagoya, more DS, geeks and even female geeks are boarding the train. This was cool to see. Girls playing DS in the train have a different dress code. I'll let your imagination craving and not say more.

For Nintendo World in Osaka, click on to read more.

So I succeeded to wake her up at 7h30 and we left at 9h. As I did not have time to check time schedule and were a bit late for the train anyway, we decided to Drive there. Well, I drove to Osaka. Driving there was sure a huge fun. It ended up being more expensive than expected though. Close to 9000 yen in Highway fees. Kinda crazy.

Anyway, I cannot do differently than talking about it since it was so cool. It was only my third time I was driving in Japan. I drove around the main Okinawa island in August and to Nara last week. Today to Osaka. Along with the few pictures I took of the Nintendo Conference, there is a few of the Highway which might or not be interesting.

I always said that in Western Canada: "there is no such thing as an Highway" at least compared to the real thing we have on the East coast. But now, I gotta review my statement, They got the real thing here. There is huge wall around the highway, like it would keep the sound inside, improve aero-dynamism, prevent face-to-face accident and what-not. They really got this future look to it where you drive in a circular tunnel. I don't think there is any cops. There isn't really any way for them to hide on the side or get in a various places. Maybe they catch you on camera and surprise you at the told gate. but as far as it look like, we are paying to get on the highway and we are not going there to get assled with cops crap. Plus, the speed is regulated with the quantity of people driving on that day.

You know what, It's getting close to midnight now, still need to take my fabulous Japanese Bath. I know how patient my readers are, so I will just continue with the Video game stuff on a separate post tomorrow. Cheers.

As a consolation gift, the few pictures I have taken. And for those you wants to the punch of the story before everyone. No, I did not win one of the 100 Wii they were giving away, this time either.

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Posted in , | Posted on 12 Nov 2006 05:00by somekool | no comments

Nintendo World 2006 in Nagoya, Japan

So, last Friday I realized a long time dream I had. Going to a video game expo, in Japan. It's one of those reasons I'm in Japan, and Nagoya is only 1h15 and 1620 yen of train away, how could I not go.

The event was from 9am to 4pm and I was pretty excited so I took the train as early as possible. Going there was pretty easy, even though it was my first time visiting Nagoya. I got there around 9h30, had breakfast at the station and the first train on Aonami line was leaving at 10am. so It was a perfect timing. 10h30, I was sure inside. That's about the best I could do.

First thing I learned when I got inside... They were giving away 100 Wii to the visitors. We receive some kind of lottery number when we arrive and we can check if we have a winner number as we leaves. Now I was excited, hehe...

read on for details ....

It was a bit different than I has expected. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting. but they had about 200 Wii on demonstration, if not more. and many many DS you could play with. So without asking myself too many questions, I put myself in line to try out Tennis from Wii sports. Let's get a feel of the Wiimote as fast as possible.

First the Wiimote is much smaller that I had imagine. It about the same length as a DS Lite. It feels totally comfortable in the hand. I had a hard time dealing with my excitation, the Japanese instructions and analyzing this remote to get as much as I could of the gameplay. I unfortunately got beaten. The other geek found some trick to throw a spin. Seriously the ball was really going much faster when it was doing it. So that means there is a lot of possibility with this new style of gameplay. Especially these are only the first generations of games for this console. Games always gets better and better on the 2nd and 3rd year. It was both our first experience and overall, we were pretty equal I think.

It was very important for me to try Wii sports as it does not come with the system in Japan. You have to buy it extra for 4800 yen. So I really wanted to know if I wanted to buy it or not. Tennis is fun, If I had it I would sure play. But If I have to choose 2 or 3 games between the 30 games available at the launch. I'm not sure this is the one I'll pay for. Especially US people consider getting it for free. I might end up getting a copy for 5$ on ebay. That said, many times I read US people feel sorry for us in Japan because we don't get Wii Sports "for free" but they forget they pay 250$ for the system while we only pay 25000yen. It might look similar, but its about exactly a Wii Sport different ;) So really, the difference is that we have the choice, while you don't. I think Nintendo wanted to have a price that looks similar everywhere. Or It's a conspiracy with the Japanese government to make people believe (slowly) that the US dollar is equal to 100 yen. Another big reason, is because in Japan we get a game called はじめのWii. Which kinda means "Beginning with the Wii". So buyers, depending on their age and experience are most likely gonna get one of the two games to start with. While, only Wii sports is available in America to have this Wii educational purpose.

Then I tried Wii sports Boxing. That one I had a huge time. And I sure beat this other amateur, hehe. It was so much fun and my body temperature really increased. I was so hot after this 6 minutes trial. I made a comments earlier this week on a blog post at IGN complaining about Wii Sports. The guy rather have a bad opinion on the game but while some of it might be true, I think he exaggerates a bit. Anyway, Boxing was awesome. and for this one game, Wii sports is worth it. but then other boxing-only games are coming out. so who knows what am I gonna buy.

Then I went to Zelda, they had about 8 Wii running with Zelda on it, but unfortunately it was too busy. They required special ticket for that game, which were unavailable since 11am. Crazy... it was sure very busy. That is only Nagoya, I can't imagine Osaka next week and Tokyo near the end of the month.

Too bad, I went to Mario Galaxy which was very very interesting. Mario Galaxy was twice special, because it is not available at the launch. We had an demo disk probably made especially for this event. There was a countdown in the game so we cannot play more than 6 minutes, while the other games (full version) did not have that. There is a lot of people and Japanese people are quite precise when it comes to this. Everybody has to get the same thing. So nobody complains about injustice.

So the game requires you to do quite special movement. It is definitely different from the side-scroller we all know. Killing enemies can either be done by pointing at them, shaking your hand, taking and throwing objects at them (a bit like fishing) and of course jump onto their head. The you often gotta travel from a planet to another, which is very easy to do and very fun at the beginning. Pointing and shaking your hand. there is tons of different new moves you gotta learn compare to the sports games, which can only be sports games. I had a very good time playing Mario Galaxy. And this title sure brings a new type of gameplay onto the table.

That's it, I was tired of the crowed after that and starving to death for two good hours. So I decided to leave a bit earlier. After all, it was my first stop in Nagoya, I had to checkout the city a bit more. And I, unfortunately, did not win one of those 100 Free Wii they were giving way.

But hope is not gone, next Sunday, in Osaka, Nintendo World 2006 part 2 is taking place. I expect it to be very similar. So I'm not 100% sure to go, but I might to try few more games.

For those you like pictures, I took a few.... http://gallery.somekool.net/v/Japan/2006-11+From+May+To+November/2006-11-03+Nintendo+World+2006+Nagoya/

enjoy yourself...

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Posted in , , | Posted on 07 Nov 2006 01:29by somekool | 3 comments

Bad programming practices(tm)

Your coming into a forum or an IRC channel, you ask a simple question, yet uncommon. and people are screaming. “Stop, Don’t do it!”, “it’s evil”, “these are bad programming practices, prove me you can’t do without”. And such, before you had time to say more than two lines.

But why is everyone trying to preach absolutely nothing without knowing a thing. They have no clue what I am working on. What would I do with this bit of information and what particular problem I’m trying to solve. but yet, they know it’s evil and I should not do it. Hell, I’m not even sure what I’m gonna do yet. I’m looking for different solutions. What exactly is evil? I have not thought of anything yet.

for people who know C and used to pointer basics have a quick look at the following example.

void foo(&var) {
  var = 42;
}
x = 0;
printf("%d\n", x);
foo(x);
printf("%d\n", x);

I was simply asking if passing a variable by reference in such a way would also be possible in [Ruby](http://ruby-lang.org). I have been refered, among other things, to an excellent page documenting [Ruby bindings](http://onestepback.org/index.cgi/Tech/Ruby/RubyBindings.rdoc/style/print). I am not sure yet if bindings is the only way to go in order to achieve something as simple as this. but what I do know, though: “ITS EVIL”…

actually, I knew Ruby bindings before. But I wanted to use something simpler, more embedded into the syntax. I thought hearing something different, more C-like that I could use. but getting actual help through all the flames was a challenge on its own. so it’s all I got.

yet, I’m not sure I’ll use it for my particular problem, for one, I was looking for something different and for two, well, its EVIL apprently. And god knows I don’t do EVIL ;)

I got another example, this one happen few months ago. I’m heading into the ruby channel again asking for a ruby+japanese related questions. no anwser, total silent. I figured nobody knows as they are almost all english and don’t deal with japanese stuff. but since Ruby programming language in born in Japan and the japanese community is quite active, I thought asking in Japanese. suddenly I got an answer.

the first one, in japanese was simply answering my question. politely and perfectly. the second one? just english screaming. “This is an english channel, talk in english, this is not a japanese or internation channel, stop, its EVIL.”

god, what the hell. you use computers and ruby you should at least appreciate the multi-cultural side the internet offers us. well, he was probably scared I was flaming about his grand-mother. what else could I think?

anyone has a decent explanation for such behavours? am I the one who is weird/wrong?

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Posted in , , , , | Posted on 12 Sep 2006 02:01by somekool | no comments

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