Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Worst Game Ever

So a loooong time ago I bought Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End for the Wii. I basically bought it the day it came out because my kids love Pirates and I assumed it was going to rock. I mean, c'mon - swinging the the Wii remote like a pirate sword? how could that possibly not be completely awesome? Well...as it turns out - this is the worst freaking game I have ever played. And apparently I am not the only one who thinks so.

The day we bought it - I surprised the kids and we put it in. We were all excited. This was going to be awesome! Well, after about 2 minutes the reality of just how hard this game sucked was already sinking in and my arm was already sore from randomly wanking the remote around like a madman (if my arm is going to be sore from wanking I expect to be getting something out of it). It was obvious Drew could not play it at all, and Rhiannon lost interest pretty much immediately.

So it has collected dust on our shelf since the day I bought it. I even tried to sell it online and didn't get a single offer. Well, for some reason Drew has been on at me to play it again. I say me because he just can't do it at all; but he loves to watch (he doesn't really comprehend the suck factor) me play. So for the past few nights we have been thrashing the remote around and making progress in the game. I don't know how close we are to the end, but I hope it is over soon because my right forearm is so freaking pumped up from remote wanking I can't take much more. I'll never buy a game sight-unseen again.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Guitar Effects PCB Etching

Tonight I had some free time and since I am taking tomorrow off work to get some other things done I figured I would take a couple hours to polish off a half-bottle of wine and etch some guitar effects PCBs that I have had kicking around for quite some time.

Todd and I had printed out some guitar effects schematics from Tonepad a couple years ago when we etched the PCBs for Model II. Todd recently dug out the press-and-peel and tonight I transferred them and etched the boards. It turned out much better than usual. I think it had something to do with the smoothness of the copper-clad board. This time I wet-sanded it down to 600 grit. I was going to go to 1500 grit but I figured I'd give it a shot at 600. It only took me a few extra minutes to sand the board and I think the results were well worth the extra time.

There are two Ross Compressors and two MXR Phase 45s. Looks like I have a date with a drill press in my near future. In the meantime, I guess I should order some components!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Programming? What's That?

So it occurred to me that since I actually write code for a living, why haven't I posted anything related to Eclipse or Python (the former being basically my life at least 8 hours a day, and the latter being my favorite programming language). Hmm...I wonder if that says anything about my real interests?

Anyway - on to today's topic. I guess something that has been quite interesting (and also talked to death recently) has been Google's Android and their announcement of the Open Handset Alliance. I still find it amazing that me, being the tech nut that I am, still do not own a cell phone. I guess I have just never found one I would consider a) worth the money, and b) useful beyond making phone calls. I have dabbled with PDAs in the past, but nothing really impressed me. I think I would like a Crackberry, but the service is too damned expensive. The iPhone was mildly interesting for the cool technology factor, but so locked down it was ridiculous. And I could never see myself joining the "Apple crowd" anyway.

But I would buy a phone based on Android. Of course, I would probably go for a high-end model, or even take a shot a building up my own if that was an option. I think it would be really cool if a whole homebrew hardware community grew out of this as well. That would interest me.

What I find particularly interesting about this is how Google dealt with the whole Java <-> Sun mess. There is a very good summary of it here so I won't go into the details, but I am going to make a bold prediction:

The next language Google will announce (I say 'announce' because I'll wager an implementation already exists) for their Dalvik virtual machine will be Python.

Now *that* would be something. One can only hope.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

More Router Table Progress

I made some more progress on the router table today. I got the linear slides mounted and the router bolted in place. Here is what it looks like so far:

I'm still not sure what I am going to use for an adjuster, and I also need to build a nice, rigid fence - but I temporarily clamped my crappy router table fence in place to see how things would work. I really wanted to try out the 45 degree lock miter bit that I bought. I didn't bother to set up the height or fence position (since there is currently no way to do that!) so ignore the misalignment, but I can already tell the joint is going to be really slick.