Archive for April, 2006

Goodbye to WoW

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

I cancelled my subscription. Anyone want my stuff?


Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

This year's UK entry for the Eurovision Song Contest is actually pretty good, as these things go. Nice and poppy. And in general of course I approve of videos featuring girls in school uniforms.

I actually enjoy Eurovision once a year – pity it's not available here.


Friday, April 21st, 2006

Sir –

I would like to reassure my 4 regular readers that this LJ will not be featuring ads, even in the face of the new Sponsored+ level of free LJ subscription. And the day that the powers that be present adverts on this LJ as a matter of course will be the day that this LJ ceases to exist.

Principled of Culver City

Heath Robinson machines again

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

From a Japanese show. As if it weren't impressive enough (including the catchy theme), look out for the Marmite pot making an appearance at about 9 minutes.

PS. For Americans, Heath Robinson = Rube Goldberg.

The Pile

Monday, April 17th, 2006

I’m making an attempt to get through all the games I have which for one reason or another I haven’t completed, or in many cases have not played for more than an hour, and in some cases have not played at all.

Some of the games (not even all, it goes farther back) in this pile are:

On PC:

Baldur’s Gate
Dark Fall
Neverwinter Nights
The Last Express
Dungeon Siege
Half-Life 2
Planescape Torment
Divine Divinity
Day of the Tentacle
Sam & Max Hit the Road
Icewind Dale
Diablo II


Golden Sun
Breath of Fire
Breath of Fire II
Tactics Ogre
Fire Emblem
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Final Fantasy IV Advance

On Gamecube:

Tales of Symphonia
Baten Kaitos

On PS2:

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
La Pucelle Tactics
Phantom Brave
Radiata Stories
Ys: The Ark of Napishtim
Front Mission 4
Growlanser Generations
Wild Arms 3
Suikoden III
Suikoden Tactics
Final Fantasy X
Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits
Shadow of the Colossus
Beyond Good and Evil

On Xbox:

Jade Empire
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Ninja Gaiden Black

It’s worse than I thought. I’m being crushed under the weight of a thousand hours of RPGs. But on the plus side, I did manage to complete Max Payne today.

Happy $festival

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

Happy first-Sunday-after-the-first-full-moon-on-or-after-the-vernal-equinox.
Whatever it is you celebrate this time of year, have a good one.

mini-Elbeno is here!

Monday, April 10th, 2006

Henry Thomas Peregrine arrived at 18:26 on 5th April 2006 (his due date!), weighing in at 8 lbs 1.5 oz and measuring 20″ long.


Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

Inspired by 's Rubik cube antics, I picked one up myself last week. When I was a kid, the most I could do was one side. So this time I set about solving it properly. I'm not interested in solving it really quickly, just in being able to solve it. So I set about it without looking at any solution guides.

What I did do was look at Lars' guide, just looking at the goals of each step in sequence without looking at the moves to get there. Here's how it progressed:

2x2x2 is easy.
2x2x3 is also easy.
Rotating the edges I figured out quite quickly.
2x3x3 takes me a long time but it's basically doable. I found this stage to be a bit random in progress towards the goal.
That leaves just the top layer to do. Here's where I departed from Lars' method a bit.

I figured out a few different variations of moves for manipulating the top layer which permute edges and corners and also turn corners, leaving edges unturned. This stage was a bit random. In fact very random. But I had a strong feeling that between the various moves I knew, some combination would solve the cube. I started by doing edges first and then corners, and ended up with all solved but 2 corners incorrectly rotated. I could also get 3 corners incorrectly rotated, or all 4, but I couldn't get none. (Just one is also impossible for parity reasons). Then I went back to Lars' steps and noticed he does corners before edges. So I tried that instead. And finally a solution occurred.

Having solved it, I checked Lars' actual moves. What he calls a Sune I had discovered also. And many variations thereof which do various things to the top layer.

I also have a different method from the old days: rather than starting with 2×2, 2x2x3, etc. I start with a layer (blue of course being the One True Layer) then proceed to the second layer. I have a move that is much easier to me than the 15-puzzle style second layer alignment I did when following Lars' steps. It leaves the top edges incorrectly rotated, but a variant of it can also be used on the top layer (multiple times if need be) to end up with 2 layers solved and top cross correctly rotated. From there it is just a matter of applying my move to permute 3 corners, then the Sune & variants to rotate corners and edges correctly.

I'm usually solving the cube in around 5 minutes. That'll do.

new tune for the playlist

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

Currently number 1 in the UK on the strength of downloads only: Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. I do miss TOTP now and then.