Deleted Anime

In a fit of rage over my horrible math grades, I deleted Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann of my hard drive, as well as all those crappy subs of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai (Hauu’s fansubs are awesome, I’m burning them to DVD once the series is finished, plus they’re only 140MB a pop). Of course, not until I watched most of those episodes. I can see why people like Gurren Lagann, but I’m not that into it. Wonder why.

In another time more worthy of mention, I watched Macross Plus. It’s great, I’m trying to get the soundtracks off Boxtorrents but it seems something bad’s going on and they don’t like me. Bleh. I can try somewhere else once I’m serious. For now, the Cream P.U.F. album should do. Wait… hmm.. if I’m not that serious about the Macross Plus music, why don’t I just delete it? Hmm…. but it’s true, I should get some fresh blood into my music collection… but it’s already 38GBs and growing… this is a major pain in the ass. The obvious solution is to get a job since 350GB hard drives are only 100CAD away, but I fear for my grades. Meanwhile I don’t know how but my debit card has gone down 80CAD just after one week. I mean, what the fuck? Something’s really wrong here! How am I supposed to be able to buy a kettle and an iron? (why do I even need those in the first place? I must be turning into a housewife)

Oh, and my parents just topped up my meal plan card. Thank lord, I wasn’t going to be able to survive on the cereal forever. I saw a number on the screen that was around 400CAD. Guess what it was labeled? OVERHEAD. FUCKING OVERHEAD. SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THIS UBC UNIVERSITY, IT’S GOTTA BE FUCKING KIDDING ME. OVERHEAD THAT COUNTS FOR 25%? FUCK I HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN NUMBERS OF THIS MAGNITUDE EVEN WHEN DISABLING COMPRESSION IN FUCKING EMULE!!! FUCK YOU UBC STOP RIPPING ME OFF although there’s really nothing I can do about it. Damn capitalists.

Bad Health

I never catch a cold. But I’m sure that sitting in front of the computer the entire day getting a WordPress theme done must be bad for one’s social, mental and eye health. Not to mention the music I’ve been blasting all this time, which must mean that my ears will probably fail sometime soon too.

Still, I managed to get some good stuff going. I finally learned how to make that awesome slanted striped pattern in Photoshop. You can’t quite do a 30 degree or 60 degree pattern because of the nature of pixel based displays (aka raster displays) but 45 degrees looks just fine.

I spent the better half of this afternoon vectoring a screenshot of Rena laughing like a mad woman in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni episode 4. It was pretty damn hard, and in the end when I turned strokes off, I discovered many seams I had to go over and patch up. As a result, this isn’t a 1-1 trace of Rena, but I don’t quite mind. I’m relieved about the way the eye turned out – Inkscape isn’t a bad program after you get used to its pen tool (which unlike Photoshop’s doesn’t allow you to make corner points by pressing a button – you have to click the rough shape out, and go back later and tweak it with F2).

I also experimented a lot with banners. I think I should do a thorough job with this latest design, so it’ll give me plenty of time to put up more meaningful content (ahem, ahem) before that design comes up. After all, blogs are all about design content.

And yesterday I was watching 13 episodes of Gurren Lagann all at once. Damn, that can’t be good for my eyes either. Well, Yoko was pretty easy on the eyes. I even have a vector of her as my desktop now – no I did not make that one. It was pretty surprising that they actually killed Kamina off. I liked it when he was around, but hey I don’t mind, because Yoko’s still around, and seems like she’s gonna stick around till the end of the series.

Hmm… perhaps I should have that picture of Rena laughing… and then put a picture of Hard Gay in the corner. No… what am I thinking? I’m supposed to come up with a cool, stylish, glossy design! Well, not so glossy because I already have quite a few stripes.

Since my UBC card ran out of money, I was trying to tough it out on cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as I told you guys before. I’ve always wanted to do that. Unfortunately, it seems drinking a lot of milk causes a bad stomach. Whoops. I guess I’ll have to eat meat tonight (fuck yes).

Okay, it sounds like people are having a lot of fun outside. It’s time to go out and eat and watch people make fun of themselves as they get drunk. Saturday Night Fever!

n.p. 350. 五木ひろし – [Cavaliers of enka Ⅱ #14] 女の酒場

After the Exams

Well guys, I’m back after the exams, and I gotta say I didn’t do well at all. I had high hopes for the math exam, but that turned out to be a hair’s inch above passing mark, which was 50%. I managed to answer most of the Applied Science quiz, but I’m not very sure of some of my answers. Probably another 60% job. And I managed to answer every question in the Physics exam, but learning from the math exam, just because you answered every question doesn’t mean that you’ll get a high mark. In fact, if you found it particularly easy, you’ll probably find that you scored very badly.

I’m thinking of making a Higurashi design lately, on my xampp installation on my laptop. I think I should be revising more for all my classes while the exams aren’t here, though. The Higurashi design will of course be dark (it’s been quite a while since I was impressed so much by an anime – I listened to the soundtrack, and the music sucked, though… I still got goosebumps on some of the tracks, which is saying a lot about the anime… and not much about the music), feature rounded rectangles (oh yeah baby) and a dark title image. Plus, the CSS for the body won’t be a jumbled mess this time.

I’m typing this on Vista+Office 2007 on my Core Duo laptop. The Core Duo was introduced late 2006, so at best my computer’s as fast as a midrange rig from 2005 (excluding the graphics card, of course). There’s this old saying: What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away – which means that all those speed improvements you get from switching to a new architecture from Intel will be more than compensated for by code bloat in Microsoft’s next software product, whatever it may be.

The rumour was investigated here, and I gotta say it looks quite tempting to switch back to Win2K. It wasn’t such a bad OS, you know. I’m just not happy with its limited skinning abilities. At least XP can look good. I wonder how much faster Word would feel if I ran Word 2000 and stuff on this laptop. Then again, I’m typing up this blogpost on Word 2007, so I’m not anxious to switch back. According to many people, 2007 was crap, but I’d say Office 2003 would be the worst of all. All it offered was a stupid blue interface. Office XP rocks – the reason I used it on my old computer was because I knew 2003 would be just a waste of space.

Of course, according to some commenters, patches and a renewed emphasis on security has resulted in increased resource usage, which can’t be said to be automatically bad. After all, Superfetch takes up memory, right? It’s taking up memory because it’s caching, which overall makes your memory faster. It’s only when it results in your CPU idling at 30% rather than 0% that you should be worrying (my Core Duo idles around 2%, is that bad? I should switch to Debian/Arch Linux now, shouldn’t I).

I still haven’t switched to Linux on my main computer, and here’s why:

  1. Name one player which is not XMMS and has as much functionality as foobar2000.
    1. Must play Musepack, Ogg, MP3+cue, AAC, APE+cue, FLAC+cue, SPC, PSF, DTS (!), and not look horrible, like XMMS. Or Audacious. Rhythmbox sucks, it consumes a lot of CPU. I wonder if that’s a GStreamer thing.
  2. My music collection (which is 40GBs, which is rather huge, to the extent of being a burden, I’m thinking of rm –rf *-ing it) has Chinese and Japanese characters in the filenames. I’ll have to set up KDE or GNOME so that they can work with those filenames, but I still won’t be able to work on those files or directories in the console. What’s the matter, Windows probably can’t manage that from the console either, you say. But Linux really depends on the console, and I don’t know what kind of horrible X error might pop up in the future while I need to do something with a filename that’s from China.
  3. My Sakura Taisen!
  4. My Ever17!
  5. Any other Japanese games which I may want to play in the future!
  6. Something will feel wrong. I just hate GNOME in principle. KDE’s a little bit better, but I prefer things like fluxbox, IceWM or something. Something will feel wrong, just like that last time I installed XP on this laptop.

However, Linux does take up much less disk space. And I’m sure it takes up much less CPU and RAM, too.

In other news, I’m totally out of money on my UBC card at the moment, which means I’m thriving on a single box of cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Well, I don’t quite get up in the mornings, so dinner and supper then. This can’t be good for any gym activities.

I went to a House Music Seminar today, held by DJ Feo of Paris Angel, who told us Taiwanese (event thanks to UBC Taiwanese Association, most of the people there being Taiwanese) about House, Deep, Minimal and stuff, and the different effects used by DJs to switch songs. Making the song play at the same speed and keep the pitch the same seems very simple – in fact it seems like a DJ’s life is all about sensing the crowd and turning knobs. He told us about the effects, like flangers, low pass filters (which basically cut off the bass), delay and crush, and wet and dry. Now I understand what’s going on in the Tales of Phantasia music player screen!

The DSP can go from ‘Dry’ to ‘Reverb’ to ‘Pan Delay’. DJ Feo told me that Pan Delay was an echo between the speakers, but I could hear no such thing. I still think Reverb is better. I also asked him about clipping, and he said that clipping could happen in any part of the playback process, something which was new for me. The mixer could clip, or the speakers could clip, and on professional equipment LEDs would tell them if they were going over the limit. Apparently increasing the bits from 16 to 20 would not help with clipping.

Yes, a collection of random stuff I’ve been at lately. Don’t expect much else, worrying about my grades has basically confined me to my room. And my computer. Bleh.

Interesting Facts

Searching for ‘Miele TT250’, my bicycle, gives rather few results. Amazingly enough, my blog is near the top 10 Google results on my Miele TT250, despite the fact that I’ve never really talked much about it. Just goes to show that either nobody buys this bike (there was a thread comparing the Miele TT350 with the Norco Katmandu, which was a pairing I had contemplated myself) or they’re too busy riding it to talk about it on the internet. Maybe that’s a good thing. It’s nice to have the only good looking bike on campus (by far).

But I fell off it last week and so the gear shifter wasn’t quite working, plus the chain would slip off a gear tooth every now and then. So yesterday I took the bus down to Granville and biked all the way down West Broadway (it’s downhill, very fun, dodging terrified pedestrians) to the Bike Doctor to get it fixed for free, since they said I could get 1 year free service on that thing.  Apparently, the derailleur problem was one that he could fix in 10 minutes or less, and fix it in 10 minutes or less he did. I noticed plenty of De Vinci Stockholms lying around… were they in vogue? The guy said business was slow, because it was rainy and cold. Apparently people buy bikes after consulting the weatherman – none of them having the capacity to think about the distant future which includes a sunny season called summer, I suppose. The De Vinci Stockholm wasn’t much to look at, being a city bike… but the paint job was very attractive. Red, as are all De Vincis. In contrast, the paint on mine is being chipped off slowly by slowly as I park it at bike racks and other people simply throw their bikes in there, knocking paint off their bike and mine at the same time.

While playing Sakura Taisen 3 lately, I cheated and used the FAQ a bit too many times, resulting in Coquelicot and Lobelia (!) being extremely eager to kill enemies in my name. And it’s not even their chapter! I’ve never got two girls ‘eager’ before in the same chapter, so I’m sure the battle will be a good one. I resolved to spend more time on each segment of a chapter in Sakura Taisen 3 in the future, trying out all the choices and in a final pass (kinda like video encoding!) put all I’ve learned through, and hopefully get the girls eager again in Chapter 6. Ah, but I love Sakura Taisen 3. It throws so many curveballs at you so you can’t be the old Ohgami in ST1 and ST2 any longer, where simply choosing the most obviously nicest answer will net you a + from every girl. Say something nice to Lobelia, and you get a –. I love ST3.

Oh yes, the interesting fact I was about to say: Google thinks my page is in Japanese – specifically that page about the Miele TT250. It’s because of the Japanese song title I put in the n.p. section. No doubt some dumb fuck is sitting somewhere thinking about how much Google’s Japanese has improved by now.

n.p. 035. X Japan – [Dahlia #04] Rusty Nail

Bad Life

I just found that one of the sources for my failure report had to be a book. Goddamn. I guess I gotta go to the library tomorrow and randomly plug in a book somewhere then.

On other (late) news, Sun’s Niagara II aka UltraSPARC T2 has started selling! I don’t know if they’re doing well, but still it’s Niagara, so I suppose it must be. Plus, free encryption.

NGEmu.com has sold out. I don’t know what happened.

Intel has a Core 2 Extreme Q9650 out that supports SSE4 (yes, it’s a Penryn). AMD is looking more and more hopeless at this point. I don’t even look at their CPUs anymore to compare them with Intel’s on the graphs.

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard has been out for a while, and already people are installing it on their Hackintoshes. I’m not that confident about the state of hardware support (specifically my laptop’s hardware) in Leopard, so I’ll pass until I can build my own computer with my own money, which will take some time I think. The first batch of moolah I get I’ll spend on a PSP. Video/music player, emulators and PSOne games. Woohoo!

Notice how nobody buys a PSP for the games.

ATi was bragging a little too much about its new upcoming Radeon HD 3800 series (is that the R700?) and so a presentation was leaked to the public that talked all about the benefits of DirectX 10.1. Big deal. After all, my Intel GMA950 doesn’t even do DirectX 10. Anyway, you can download the Radeon HD 3800 presentation (along with the DX10.1 info) here.

And also, Intel was bragging about its new Penryn too, which is understandable, seeing as QX9650 is out and everybody can get it for the price of a leg. You can get the presentation for free, though. Here.

EDIT: Added a few pages from my old blog to this blog. The rest contain images, so I’ll upload them when I have a less hectic day. As if that’s going to happen soon.

You’d think I’d have something better to post about by now

Recent acquisitions:

The Carpenters – Singles 1961-1981 Super-Audio CD (5.1 DTS, oh yeah)

Awesome audio quality. The first time I ever had to use the ‘Convert 5.1 to stereo’ function in foobar2000’s DSP. I had to rename the files to dts to get foobar2000 to play them. The first time I ever thought: 700MB for one album is worth it.

My parents first introduced me to the Carpenters. Pretty good 70s pop, with some really memorable tunes (The Wedding Song and Close to You especially). This album doesn’t have the Wedding Song (the best one they ever made, with Close to You coming a distant second) but it’s got lots of songs I haven’t heard before. I’d kill (well, scrape the skin of the neck) to hear the SACD version of The Wedding Song.

Hmm. I don’t think I have any other acquisitions I want to talk about.

EDIT: The Carpenters’ best song ever is here! (The Wedding Song) I love this song because it’s got an incredible soaring vocal near the end of the piece. It sounds awesome… true 70s pop love and cheese… download it on the right. I was thinking of putting a 5.1 DTS rip up here, but I don’t have the DTS rip of the Wedding Song plus it might just bring Randall’s servers to a screeching halt.

Revisiting Chemistry (and oldies)

First off, a little preview of what I’m probabdly going to look at after the Chem midterm, if I do well enough to make myself reward myself.

All right! I’m pumped and I’m going to study chemistry seriously. Thank you Boxtorrents. I’m sure it hasn’t been licensed yet. The scans seem to have come from a Taiwanese edition. I have CDisplay installed. Now all I need are grades.
Before I start talking about VSEPR things and electrons an Lewis Diagrams I would like to note that I deleted Boys Be off my hard drive. Some of the episodes managed to get their video re-encoded to the correct length, but some others weren’t too lucky. I decided to just burn the original episodes whose re-encodes turned out to be unlucky. Unfortunately, the unlucky reencodes with the faulty audio outnumberd the okay encodes such that when all was said and done, I was still 3MB over DVD-R. I really wish my laptop DVD burner could overburn. So even though it had quite a bit of nostalgic and motivational value, I wiped it clean off the face of my hard drive in order to free up space for… uh.. quite a few things. Ah, how times change.

BTW, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD, the guys who make the Athlon CPUs) posted a 396 million net loss for this quarter. Uh oh. They need to whip out something way above Barcelona. And Intel is offering this new CPU designed from the ground up to compete with AMD’s Geode LX in the OLPC that apparently seems to be quite a success in America.

n.p. 325. Dream – [Hikaru no Go #01] Get Over

Okay let’s do some Chemistry. Let’s draw the Lewis diagram for H2CO3. I failed miserably. Okay, CH4O. All right, I got it! But what horrible music.

n.p. 368. Jo PD ft. Lee Jung Hyun – [Jo PD in Stardom Version 2.0] fever

Oh yeah.

You’d better start reading my blog next week if you want anything significant to read about, cuz I sure as hell am not going to do anything until then.

It’s time for Dinner

But as usual I’m not hungry. I haven’t attended many Chemistry lectures, since they all start at 8am, and I just can’t be bothered nowadays to wake up at that time. Doesn’t that suck major balls, especially since I have a midterm coming up next Monday? Yes, it does. I’ll also have to make sure that my Math doesn’t slip behind too. Why is being a student always so hard?

In other news, I tried to recompress LIME’s Boys Be subs so they would fit onto a DVD along with Akira. Akira kicks ass. Kaneda does too. But I can’t have them pushing Boys Be out of the way…. the problem is Boys Be Episode 04 had this audio sync problem. Once I adjusted the sync to correct the problem, the sync would be dreadfully off in another part of the episode. Without any audio offsets, the audio would be in sync for the first half of the episode, but not in the later half, where the characters’ mouths start moving about 2 seconds before the audio does.

I tried a lot of things, but right now I’m reencoding the video. Perhaps Episode 04 was when I was experimenting with AviSynth’s trim() function, and somehow a few frames got lopped off somewhere, even though I’ve gone through the entire ep and basically found nothing anomalous except for the audio not in sync. Anyway I’ll reencode the entire video stream, possibly fixing its length and thus fixing the problem.

Ah, that really shouldn’t be my concern at the moment. I really have to catch up on Chemistry.

n.p.  26. Leningrad Philharmonic (Mariss Jansons), Mikhail Rudy – [Rachmaninov Orchestral Works CD5 #01] Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 Op.23: Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso

ritchan is dead

A: Why’d he suddenly stop blogging all of a sudden?

B: Maybe he’s just really affected by harsh comments. You know, the ones on his posts about Kenny Sia and the like.

C: Yeah dude, he was just sucking up to Kenny’s ass. Except that it was way above his reach, so he was just blowing cold air.

A: I see. It’s quite a pity… I was hoping he’d criticize my blog next. I’d get some extra hits that way.

C: Fuck that guy, man, nobody ever reads his site.

B: You can say that again.

I’m not dead. I’m just busy with midterms. And watching a bit of Touch (how I discovered it) in between. It’s a pretty good anime, I’ll post some caps and what it’s about as far as I’ve watched (reading that site I linked spoiled it all for me… it was trying to show me how deep the plot was, but instead it spoiled it). I’m waiting for ef – a tale of memories Episode 2 fansub to come out (I watched the first half of the raw, which coincidentally features the only interesting characters of the show) and Gundam 00 Episode 2.

339. Ian Dury & The Blockheads – [Best Number One Singles In The World Ever] Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick