Friday, December 30, 2005

Taking A Look At Blogger Gen-3

In the blogosphere, there are three "generations" of bloggers. The first are the Founders, the ones who started it all. These are the guys and gals who laid the foundations of blogging, started companies like Blogger and Six Apart, and established the technology that we all use today. Bloggers like Neil Gaiman, Xeni Jardin, Cory Doctrow and Wil Wheaton fall into this generation.

The second generation of bloggers are the Extroverts, the generation I fall into. We're the ones who initially discovered blogging thanks to the founders, and have used it to express our diverse, sometimes wild, and always opinionated views on the world around us. Our blogs are our soap box, and even if we fail, we're going to use them to try and exact societal change, no matter how little an effect we have on our peers.

And then, there's Gen-3, the subject of today's little rant. Gen-3 are the general public, mostly high school kids, who blog because they merely think it's "cool," and sometimes, they have a valid opinion on important issues. But, for the most part, they use it to talk about their school days, how much they like/hate this or that person, and to post stupid graphics (especially those gay little Bratz-looking avatars the kids love to use). My time on Blog$hares has afforded me a window into the world of Gen-3, with links to their sites. And now, I present to you, reviews of a few piss-poor Gen-3 blogs, and why they suck.

Steph's Lil' Secret Diary - Not much of a secret if it's on the Net, is it, Stephy? If you're going to keep a 'secret' diary, go get one of those GirlTek Password Journals or something, jeez! Upon first viewing the page, you can tell you're in for a choppy ride. There's a starfield background that showcases right to left motion, which can give you motion sickness if you're so inclined. I'm not, so it's just something distracting and takes away from the true purpose of the blog. Which, by the way, isn't even the main page! All it is is a pic of some stupid Adidas ad, the starfield, and a pink-bordered box with exactly seven words, four of which make absolutely no sense to anyone with an IQ over 80. Clicking the Rants link, you finally find her posts, and good lord, are they a mess. Overuse of color is a big turn-off, and get the spelling and grammar:

yeapz..may al my lovely frens stay hapi n healthy..
esp dear Yanti....

may me n darlin's love be evealasting...
i love him! muackz!*
Said what? Come on! If you're going to blog, at least use proper English, for Pete's sake! It's a whole bunch easier to understand someone when you don't use AOL Kiddie Speak. I don't care if you are from a foreign country. If you're going to use English (like this guy), use English, not Engrish or the aforementioned Kiddie Script. No trophy for you.

My Escape To Freedom - News flash, honey. Getting out of High School isn't the Escape you're looking for. Trust me on this one. When you get to be my age (28), you'll WISH you were back in the carefree days of High School, I promise. While I hated high school as much as you do, it still beats the tar out of real life hands down. Now, on to the meat of the review. This chick has a HUGE header graphic that took a relatively long time to load up, and I'm on Cable over here! On the Web, smaller is better in terms of filesize. If any of your readers are on dialup, they're going to have a bit of a wait to read your drivel thanks to that asinine graphic. Yeah, it's neat looking, but damn, woman, shrink the filesize! Image Compression Algorhythms are your friends. And now, for the text byte:
love my prezzies.. :D and I got a necklace from Tiffany from my aunt... lol i was like 0.O omg omg haha.. ok that was smth realli nice to rmbr...
been ultra ultra bz this past few weeks.. moving stuff and everything.. i haven't even had time to watch t.v!!! T.T
went to the new campus and bought my books... you know you get the floor plan all nicely memorized but when you get there it's like you're walking around blind.. haha
Well, for the most part, the English use here is sound, but it still has Kiddie Script moments. Are you kids really, truely that lazy? Is it too much of an effort to type three letters, like "Are" or "Our," that you have to shorten it to "r?" You're not saving much time at all, unless you're the hunt-and-peck keyboard type. Here Comes The Schooling: It's "presents," not "prezzies." Sentences begin with Capital Letters. It's "busy," not "bz." You only need one "OMG" to get your point across. There are no dots in "TV," it's an acronym, not an initial. And you might want to discover the line break tag (
), as it can make paragraphs easier to read. No trophy for you, either...

Jen's Lovely Little Space - Oh. Dear. Lord. This chick is 30? You'd swear by her blog that she was 13! Now, I'm not familiar with MSN Spaces, since I think Microsoft is the ultimate Digital Evil, but damn! You think she'd organize her space a little better. Most MSN people keep their photo albums off to the side, but this chick has them front and center, and you've got to scroll down a bit to get to any blog content whatsoever. Kinda defeats the purpose of having a blog to begin with. But I digress, as there are such things as strictly photo blogs (I have two of them, but they tie in to my sites, and don't take up more than a few hundred square pixel area in my sidebars). No text byte this time, since all of her text is peppered with gay little images and what not, which totally throw the paragraph formatting all out of whack. At least her spelling and grammar are consistent. No trophy for you until you learn how to organize. And there's nothing wrong with being 30. It's 50+ you gotta worry about. That's when you really get old. This blog stands as proof that there are people over 18 in Gen-3, and their lack of computer or design knowledge makes them no better than the kiddies they're sharing a blog generation with...

:+:s o . n e a r . y e t . s o . f a r:+: - OK. Seriously. This whole stylized title thing? Played out. Yeah, I did it with The Ranch, but it wasn't overkill like that. Here we have yet another typical Gen-3 blog, as is evident from the text byte:
hmmmm...this 2 days sux til the max!!SIGH..
well,smth really bad happened..and thx 2 myself!! i made this happened..arghh..
no matter what,thx nic..> u calm me down n b there when i really need sum1 2 talk =) u're a great friend!!
then,acc me msg til i fall asleep.muahah..
Ugh. Again, if you're going to use English, use it right. No trophyt for you.

As you can probably tell, viewing these blogs long enough to review them here is a painful process. Sure, I might be a Grammar Nazi, but hey. If you're going to communicate, and you want to be percieved as a rational thinking, intelligent human being, then please, blog like one. Not like some damned 12 year old...

Thursday, December 29, 2005


Click To Enlarge -- Flound on B$

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

NES Review: Ghosts'N Goblins

One of the best things about reviewing old school NES carts is the time I get to spend with so many classic games. Now, the good majority of you probably wouldn't call these "classics" if you define a classic as a franchise that survived into the modern console age. But to us Gen-Xers, the original NES was our altar, and our rewards were side-scrolling action titles that we spent endless hours playing, trying in vain (mostly) to reach the end and save the damsel/princess/weird mushroom dude. Ghosts'N Goblins (and it's 'sequel/remake' Ghouls'N Ghosts) is one of those uberclassics. JC will back me up on that one...Here's the deal: Christian wingnuts (not regular Christians, you guys are cool) leave now, because this game deals with Satan. But in a fictional sense, so there's no need to tweak out. Besides. He's the guy you're trying to best at the end of the map there, so you can honestly say you're doing "God's work" if you're hard-up for a positive message.

At any rate, you're hanging out in your loin cloth with your hottie-bo-bottie, when out of nowhere, The Man Downstairs shows up and snatches her straight from your picnicing bliss. Obviously, you're jacked, because hey: Beelzebubbabutt just stole your woman! If the great Evil wants honey-girl, she must be worth it, right? Right. So, into your armor you jump, and off you go to fight your way to and through the underworld to do battle with Lucy Furr.

But that's no easy task, let me tell you. Your little Arthur dude can only take two hits before biting thine bullet. One hit pops you into your skivvies until you find yourself another tin suit to keep you modest. Thankfully, this knight of the triangle drawz has an array of weapons at his disposal to ward off the Minions of Satan (TM). You start off with what amounts to a lance of holy tossing and destruction, but can pick up knives, torches, and more. The torches are rather nifty when baddies come-a-runnin', since it flares up for a second or two after hitting the ground. Mindless Zombies become Kamikombies and walk right into a firey gateway, ensuring their one-way return trip back to Heck is, in fact, in a flaming Handbasket of Doom (R).

But Zombies aren't Lu's only weapon. He's got hairball-spewing plants, annoying little devil critters that swoop about and cause general havoc, and bosses at the end of each of the five enormous, increasingly difficult levels. I'm serious. You have to be a pro to get anywhere in this game. n00bs will spend the first two days just trying to get beyond level two at best, ensuring the frustration which often drives marathon gaming sessions. That and the combination of Jolt and Doritos.

In the end, if you can best the Worst of the Worst, you rescue the girl (obviously the hottest woman in the world if Satan's after that booty) and live happily ever after. That is, until you restart the game and she gets Bogarted again. All in all though, G'NG remains one of my all-time favorite games, and deserves to be dusted off every once in a while, if only to whoop the forces of darkness in your medieval boxer shorts...

Ghosts'N Goblins - NES - Arcade Port

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Ghosts Of Christmas Past...

The magic is gone. The joy has departed. All I have left? Just another day of the year. 2005 has been like that a lot for me. New Years? Questions. Easter? Questions. Summer? You guessed it, questions. My Birthday? While I did get to spend time in Pittsburgh with friends, still Questions. Thanksgiving? Questions.

Sadly, for Christmas, I got answers.

Oh. And new shoes, a pair of blue jeans, and a 250GB hard drive. The hard drive has really come in handy, eliminating my storage woes. You see, I'm revamping this machine entirely, and now (thanks to Western Digital, the bums) it's a bit of a necessity. First on the install block is Windows XP. Now, call me crazy for trying to run it on a 566 Celeron, but hey, at least I can run half the software I need. While I'm not a big fan of XP at all, it'll have to be there for some things.

The 20GB drive (my old storage drive, which has been through hell) will be reformated and cut into either thirds or fourths, ready to play host to a few Linux distributions. Long have I used Mandrake (since 7.2), and now I'm going to give Fedora Core and Ubuntu a go-round. If I go for fourths, I'll probably pick a random distro, but for now, three is cool. Quad Boot sounds better than Quint Boot, anyway.

Because I'm working on redoing the machine I have doesn't mean I'm not working on getting a better one. For that, I have to call in some favors, but I think I can swing it now that the crush of the Holidays is pretty much over and done with. The presents are long since opened, the kids are playing happily or visiting with the grandfolk and cousins, and me? I've been here long enough, sitting in my room.

Years ago, we started a bit of an odd tradition. When I was 16, I had long since quit going to church at all, let alone on Christmas. The suggestion was made (by Chris, I think) that we open presents after they arrived home from services, which was around midnight anyway, given their gift of gab with the Churchies. So, technically, we were opening presents on Christmas morning, having bailed on the "Santa" routine (though some presents are still tagged from the Fat Man in my mother's dead-giveaway handwriting) long ago.

So, like I said, I've been sitting here in my room vegitating long enough. It's time I went and did my Holiday visiting routine, and there's only one place I have to go: Angel's. She's moved back from Milwaukee to Clearfield, and hopefully she'll be getting high-speed soon. I'm trying to talk her into writing for Blog Prophyts, as well as keeping her own blog. But why do I need to go over there?

Silly Eric left his laundry there last night. Folded, bagged, ready to go, and completely passed over when I walked out the friggin door. Remembered my damn mug this time, but hell if I could remember all my socks, drawz, and quite the load of black shirts. Damnit, damnit, damnit all to hell. Oh well. Christmas Visit, here I come...

Merry Christmas to all, and to all: Don't get killed, OK?