Geek Smithology

July 31, 2005

The Shuffle Game (1 in a series)

Filed under: Sound by Nathan @ 8:58 pm

Okay, every Sunday (or so) I’m going to play a game where I start up iTunes, turn on Shuffle, and list the first 13 songs that come up. If everybody reading does the same, we should all see some stuff that we haven’t heard but might want to. Here are the rules:

1) Nobody talks about the Shuffle Game
2) Nobody talks about the Shuffle Game

Uh, that’s so lame I’m going to stop right now. There’s only one rule: you must put in the first 13 songs no matter what. Even if your wife “snuck behind your back” to download a bunch of REO Speedwagon and Michael Bolton, you have to list it[1]. Without further ado, here’s today’s list from me. The fact there are TWO tracks from Bruce McCulloch’s album Shame-Based Man in a shuffle that contains over 5,000 songs should be enough to make you question iTune’s shuffling ability. I might go to WinAmp next week.

  1. Dumb – Nirvana – Unplugged in New York
  2. Peace Frog – Doors – Morrison Hotel
  3. The Whistle Song – Frankie Knuckles – X-Tendamix Dance Mix ’92
  4. Arctic World – Midnight Oil – Diesel And Dust
  5. He Said, She Said – Bruce McCulloch – Shame-Based Man
  6. Il Vecchio Castello – Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra – Pictures at an Exhibition
  7. Take Me to the River – Commitments – Commitments
  8. Queen of Darkness – Ugress – Single
  9. Grade 8 – Bruce McCulloch – Shame-Based Man
  10. Territorial Pissings – Nirvana – Nevermind
  11. As I Wind Down the Pines – Tragically Hip – Music@Work
  12. Wake Up – The Walkmen – Everybody Who Pretended To Like Me is Gone
  13. Stay On Top – Kick Axe – Vices

[1] – My list had freakin Frankie Knuckles and Kick Axe in it, so you know I’m taking this rule to heart.

Quick Look – Dungeon Siege II Demo

Filed under: Games by Nathan @ 8:36 pm

So the latest edition of one of the rags I subscribe to shows up Friday (PC Gamer in this case. Why do I subscribe to this magazine even though the only game I managed to get through last year was Half Life 2? I guess because it’s cheaper than buying it at the bookstore. Duh.)

It comes with a DVD now, and I noticed that there was a 14 day free trial of World of Warcraft on it. I watched Tim live through the horrors of WOW addiction, so I wasn’t even going to install that one. But a beta/demo of Dungeon Siege II was also on the disc, so I installed that. I never played the first one, but here are my impressions after finishing the demo (only a few hours worth – nothing big.)

It’s very Diablo-like, for all that’s good and bad about that. You’ve got your teleporters, and your chest o’ stuff in town, endless amounts of proverbial ph4t 1007 (fat loot, for the 1337-impaired) and enchantable weapons. A big difference is that DS has a fully-3D camera and you can pan and zoom and all that jazz. I was able to cruise @ 1280×1024 with a good frame rate and looked mighty fine. The skill system was your standard pick-up-points-and-assign-them-to-different-hierarchies system, but all in all it was a pretty fun couple o’ hours.

Perhaps the best compliment I can pay is that when this game comes out in the fall, there is no way in hell that I am going to buy it, because I just don’t have that kind of time.

July 30, 2005

MP3otW – The Martians Aren’t Coming by Lungbutter

Filed under: MP3 of the Week by Nathan @ 5:05 pm

During the whirlwind that is my life, I have been in two bands (or one band with two names, as the case may be) – Psychedelic Toque and Nicely Warped Table. In the interest of full disclosure on this week’s tune, I was good friends with Lungbutter’s vocalist, the Rev. Reed Collins, during my university days…and I am the Nat X mentioned in the liner notes of Available Now. He played guitar and sang on the NWT Light My Fire cover (called Pants on Fire, it featured Dave Calam’s chillingly accurate rendition of Ray Manzarek’s famous organ solo — on an accordian.) Our other great collaboration was when the mysterious Nat X started a rap band with Reed (as Col Rock) and a third member (to be billed as Ton Def.)

Anyway, Lungbutter is right up there in the running for weirdest band in the world, and with songs like Antifreeze Ain’t that Bad, Boot Raper, Sewage Missle and of course Check It Out Dude, Get Ready, Cuz We’re Rock’n’Roll Rebels Cruisin’ For Chicks In Our Metal Machine, Baby, All Night Long, Alright, Oh Yeah! (A Rock Anthem) Dude. (We Really Know How To Rock.) You can’t make this stuff up, folks.

Anyway, I’ve decided on a cute little ditty called The Martians Aren’t Coming from their third album The Most Hated Band in Town. If you like a side of satire with your bizarre musical tracks you’ll like this one. Or you’ll hate it. Either way, I don’t think Lungbutter would mind.

July 29, 2005

IDEA pwns JBoss 4 dev

Filed under: Craft of Dev by Nathan @ 8:36 pm

As le Fuchs will tell you, that is not a typo. Anyway, as you all know, I’m a whore for IntelliJ (does that make Jetbrains my pimp? uh, let’s get off that train of thought before I have to declare this blog AO.)

Anyway, to get my so called “point”, I was working a build file so that it worked everywhere it needed to (build server, command line, and in the IDE) and when everything I was working I said something to the effect of IDEA is like the command centre, if only it could run JBoss. Eskimo Bill said something to effect of I’m pretty sure it can, “Nathan” (if you don’t get the name in quotes thing, you should watch the second series of the hit BBC comedy The Office)

I dutifully explored my plugin options and sure enough there is indeed a JBoss plugin. I recall playing with the Tomcat plugin a long time ago and thinking it was worse than Gigli, but I decided to give a chance. Turns out it’s actually pretty cool.

Basically, you tell it where your JBoss is installed and then you have a little setup w/ a target that lets start it up and see the logs running in IDEA. Not groundbreaking, but there are two things that are sweet:

a) One click debugging. This plugin sets up a debug target that starts up JBoss with all required options for attaching a debugger and then actually attaches said debugger. Now I know I’ve said that debuggers can be a crutch (and they can be), but when you need them, you need them. With this plugin, all you have to do, quite literally, is set a breakpoint, and then run JBoss. No alternate run.sh files, no messing around with IDEA to hook it up. It’s phat.

b) Log highlighting. Another nice touch is that whenever there’s a stacktrace in the log, if you’ve compiled your code with debug=”true”, then for each file that you have in your project, there will be a handy dandy hyperlink to the exact line of code that threw said exception.

As for what’s bad? Well, when you shutdown JBoss, it can take a little while. And if you don’t know this, you might try to start it up again and it won’t work and you’ll get all pissed off. But now you know. The only time I’ve ever really had to restart while developing is after too many hot deploys, when JBoss likes to throw an OutOfMemoryError tantrum, take it’s ball, and go home.

I did NOT play with the deployment bits of the plugin – like most projects I’ve been on, we have an ant file that does the building and deploying, and it just doesn’t seem worth the trouble to partition everything into different module “types.” If anyone out there has used this side-by-side with ant and had good results, lemme know.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that IDEA is now pretty much my command centre, and while it doesn’t have a web browser, I don’t mind having to use Firefox.

July 28, 2005

Eskimo Bill Says… (2 in a series)

Filed under: Eskimo Bill by Nathan @ 3:49 pm

…You break the build, then you wear the hat.

Eskimo Bill Says… (1 in a series)

Filed under: Eskimo Bill by Nathan @ 3:45 pm

…People with flames tattooed on the side of their head, usually don’t see 80.

July 25, 2005

Is your Java offensive or defensive?

Filed under: Craft of Dev by Nathan @ 10:42 pm

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