Friday, March 28, 2008

Hard Drive Crash!

Whenever one of my computers breaks, it's a painful experience. I usually back up quite often, so it's never an event full of panic, but I still prefer keeping my most recent data and documents, so I spend a considerable amount of time trying to fix things.

Unfortunately, no luck last night. At one point, my NTFS partition (the one that stores Windows) decided to think it has been formatted. Luckily I also run Ubuntu and could play around with different options, but nothing worked to convince the hard drive otherwise. Stubborn thing!

Five hours later, I even tried to use Ddrescue and NTFS Undelete... Both failed in helping me recover my experiments (I won't get into details), but definitely showed me some interesting, long-forgotten (and long-deleted!) files... Half the stuff I didn't even recognize!

So if you have time, play around with those tools. I'm sure there's Windows equivalents as well, but seriously... Use Ubuntu.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I figure it's time I wrote something here... It's been so long! I've been doing the lazy thing and sending photos instead, though I'm quite happy with how they're turning out.

Okay, I'll post one more photo. This one is from Toronto, taken by my mom -- look at how much snow there was! Nothing like in New York. My dad's been doing the shoveling, so lucky him... :)

What else is new? Quick things -- finally visited the Met mid-March, and I have two sushi places to add to the list: Ruby Foo's around Time Square (very good!) and Tatanya (1400 2nd Ave. -- also very good!).

Now, back to work, I have a lot of writing to do on here on various topics, so will be posting soon.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Meeting... the UN today.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Scientology Protest Near the Met

Today, now, at the Scientology Celebrity Centre.

Random Photo

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

To those who read my shared links...

Thank you!

I share a lot of stuff on Google Reader, and when I see others share stuff I've shared, it makes my day.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Design and the Elastic Mind

Ahh, a week late, but time to jot down a few notes about the Museum of Modern Art's Design and the Elastic Mind exhibit. Since I'm too lazy to share thoughts (especially this late at night), I just want to write some things down which I still remember, and which others might find interesting.

Three things, actually. First, ARK-INC, or as they say, design solution for post-crash civilization. Need I say more? Secondly, Demetrie Tyler's Hypothetical Drawings About the End of the World. Hmm... Notice a theme here?

And finally, the Million Dollar Blocks project.

Saturday Night

A thirteen dollar sushi dinner on 52nd and 2nd (Go Sushi), followed by trying to set up a mathematical model of a voting system (and so far, failing).

Friday, March 7, 2008

New York Sushi

I remember taking a bunch of "career placement" tests in high school, and all of them attributed a love for lists to being a software engineer. Well, I do enjoy lists. Probably more than I should. In fact, I like to make lists of everything. I've decided to merge my love of lists with my interests in sushi... Er... At least informally, through this blog.

My new list-oriented goal? To get to know New York City's sushi restaurants. Yeah, and Westchester County as well, but there's less here than one would hope.

Of course, there's a site for New York City-based sushi enthusiasts already: Should I be surprised?

So, to add to the list of the Noodle Cafe Zen (which is definitely my favorite so far), we have Hanami on 6th Ave. and 14th Street (try their Zen Master Role, if you're feeling adventurous), and Mount Kisco's very own Okinawa and Mt. Fuji restaurants.

Looking forward to this weekend!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Perfect Video Game

For the last two days, I've been searching for the "perfect video game". I've even told myself I'd go all out if I have to, similar to upgrading my desktop computer just so I could play Bioshock back in September.

And the result? No game. None. At all.

Is it me, or is the state of video games just not what it used to be? Granted, I'm a tough audience for most games -- I get bored after about 2 or 3 hours. I've tried my best to attempt all sorts of games, just to keep up with the market: Crysis, Frontlines: Fuel of War, Unreal Tournament 3, World of Warcraft, Tabula Rasa, and Dungeons and Dragons: Stormreach, to name a few PC titles. On the DS? Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, and Professor Layton and the Curious Village (herein referred to as Prof Layton).

The only game I really enjoyed and was impressed with is Prof Layton. The artistic quality is awesome, and it appeals to the casual gamer inside me: you can solve a puzzle or two and then get back to work. And lately, I've spent a lot of time thinking about uses for the Nintendo DS -- it has a great user interface (two screens, stylus) and am wondering how I can take advantage of it, as I have ways to run homebrew (yes, I have Linux running!). Anyway, Prof Layton is a great game for anyone with a DS... So if you have one, stop reading and get it. Then get back to this.

Okay... So Prof Layton is good, but I'm still upset with the general state of video games. Sadly, the most exciting feature of a PS3 for me is its ability to be used for mathematical computing. Similarly, the only PC titles I'm looking forward to are Spore and Fallout 3, both of which I probably won't even play very much. Thinking about this, I've created a list of features I want in a video game. I've thought long and hard about getting back into video game programming -- this is how I got into programming back in elementary school, and I think if I had time, it would be a fun side project.

So, the perfect game...

Multiplayer, or at least social. Bioshock was single player and I loved it, but ideally, I should be able to experience the game with others, or share my experience. I'm thinking of Noctis, a space flight simulator, where people share their photos of new worlds in online forums. Noctis is particularly awesome because it allows one to discover new worlds, similar to how Spore will allow you to create new creatures.

Responsive and customizable. Again, the great thing about Noctis and Spore is that you can create something new. You can create a reputation for yourself, discover new things, and maybe even learn about humanity. I sometimes think of the World of Warcraft plague or genetically engineered Norns in Creatures as perfect examples of where a "video game" becomes a window into humanity. We need more games like this, and I'll only play a game if its storyline (at least!) or game play help me understand myself, or those around me.

Casual. The game needs to support the fact that I have a job, a social life, that I travel, and sometimes hate computers. I don't want to be punished for having a life. This is why Prof Layton rocks -- solve a puzzle and be on your merry way, both in game or in life! Admittedly, it's hard to do this with massively multiplayer online games.

Intellectually stimulating. And not. Sometimes I want to think and solve puzzles. Sometimes I want to just click my mouse button and watch things explode.

Artistic. I don't mean visually appealing, though that would be great, since I have 512 MB of visual RAM I never use... However, if the game looks like crap and has a wonderful story line, I'd be perfectly happy as well. Both would be great, but I know this is hard to pull off, and better not try if you're going to do a half-assed job anyway.

So there it is... A wish list for a game, from a guy who actually put in months of his life playing Fallout, Command and Conquer, Starcraft, and Ultima Online before putting more months of his life into creating his own games... Now he wants back in the community, and all he can find is a big cliche.

If anyone has anything to add, or games to recommend, please do so!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

IBM, Linux, and Poland

This article made my day today. IBM is teaming up with Redhat and LX Polska to create a consumer-targeted PC offering! It'll run Redhat Linux, Lotus Symphony, and apparently will cost up to half of what current machines cost.

As a Linux user, I'm thrilled. As a Polish person, I'm thrilled. As an IBM employee, I'm thrilled!