Friday, December 30, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
If you can still appreciate the beauty of Final Fantasy VII, 8-bit Zelda or the original Warlords, this is not only the ultimate nostalgia trip but also informative article about other gems you might have missed during the course of the years.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Although the game is great (better than the Gamecube version), there is a slight problem with Nintendo being scared shitless that someone might use the online features to promote nazism, child rape etc. That's probably the reason why you cannot easily visit other players' towns and first have to register "Friend Codes" which you have to exchange by other means. The game also tries to censor dirty words, but as with any such measures, it can be circumvented rather easily...
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
It works on Windows and Linux (and probably elsewhere where you can install Python) and stores almost all its data right inside the JPG files. If you upload them to Flickr, for example, the title, description and tags are then already automagically pre-filled.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Bookings.nl. In some cases, it offers 50% cheaper rates than I got from three different Czech travel agencies! Also, when we arrived and the hotel desk, they checked if we really want non-smoking room (without asking what stuff specifically we will not smoke) and when we confirmed this fact, we got a free room upgrade. In the end, for 500 Euro, we got five nights in rather excellent room which normally costs 290 - 350 Euros per night.
As for the location, it's probably best to stay in a hotel near the "Dam Square". From our five-day experience, this neighborhood is the only public place that feels both alive and safe even late in the evening. It's rather weird but even shops in the heart of the city open rather late (after noon!) and close rather soon (at 6 PM!), even two weeks before Christmas! Of course, if you'd rather spend the evening in the pub or night clubs, you can fulfill your desires in almost any part of the city.
Friday, December 16, 2005
As you can see, it was pretty hard to actually deduce which entertainment was for gays and which was simple straight porn:
Friday, December 09, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Today you can buy it for $100 but it never sold well (as evidenced by the fact that the manufacturer gave 1000 of them to 9/11 rescurers for free). But it has extremely hardcore fans who created development evironment and several applications for it!
Yes, it's bulky and you have to press the button to actually see what time it is (unless you want to exchange the batteries each month). But there is something extremely geeky about this gadget and I feel like I am wearing a bit of history on my wrist. At least until the batteries run out...
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Time to leave the closet?
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Monday, November 28, 2005
MarioKart for Nintendo DS was just released in Europe. That means I can now race and battle with people all over the world whenever I am at any WiFi hotspot.
And it's fun as hell, proving again that polygons and motion capture don't matter (mostly).
If you want to race me, my "Friend code" is 244873-352476.
P.S: That logo on my car is custom-drawn. You can have your face or swastika there, if you wish...
Sunday, November 27, 2005
I am not sure if "code density" is the right term but it's astonishing how much can be done in Ocaml in so few program instructions. When I analyze the program above, I understand how it works but I seriously doubt I will be able to write anything like it soon. Almost everything I ever knew about programming must be thrown out of the window and I must approach the problems from the new angle and actually THINK while coding. It's very nice feeling, the feeling I didn't have since VIC-20 Basic in the early 1980s. :)
Of course, it's not easy to approach programming from fresh angles when you have to make living for yourself and programming is currently not part of making that living... :)
Friday, November 25, 2005
However, I can positively say I never saw a face that says "I molest children" more clearly than the photo on the right! (Except maybe Tim Curry in the "Legend" movie and Mr. Paroubek.)
Yes, this is the same man as on the pages linked above!
Of course, he had no idea what it is so naturally he decided to hunt it and kill it!
UPDATE: Several people told me the link above does not work. It definitely works for me! Maybe there is some weird problem with Flickr. Try clicking here and then using "next".
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
However, Baldachyn has bigger problem: Does anyone have any suggestions what he should do for 4 days in Sofia, Bulgaria? He is also heterosexual, I think.
Any suggestions for Baldachyn would be appreciated here or in talkbacks.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Monday, November 21, 2005
Because there are only 365 saints in the calendar (actually even less), our other dogs have/had no standard name days (there is no St. Chucky or St. Stimpy). Our cunning solution is to celebrate their name days exactly 6 months before their birthdays!
And something for all the people who wanted to see more daring photos of Karolina: Here she is doing it doggie-style!
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Considering I am paying Flickr for 2GB of usable space per month, I see no reason not to upload almost everything I take photo of, after discarding the absolutely shittiest unrecognizable images. It might be educational to look through all that stuff some time in the future.
Of course, having well over 3000 of my photos on Flickr presents a problem for someone who wants to see something nice / interesting / not shitty.
This is why I created this set (which should grow in the future) containing the photos I prefer the world to see. Either because of the psychedelic colors or because of the cute dog with big eyes...
And, please, don't tell me my photos don't conform to basic photographic conventions. I looked at some photography books and I really don't enjoy taking that road.
I don't know shit about art but I know what I like!
Thursday, November 17, 2005
By the way - if I define my kind of item (let's say "My favorite disease") and add a few of them, how can I add another several days later? Do I really have to define all fields again? That seems stupid. And yes, I know it can be done using batch upload. I am now talking purely about the web interface.
You see, the images, when viewed from front, seem like normal ancient portraits. However, If you move to either side, they change to something rather unpleasant. Of course this trick is old (I remember Czech postacrds like this from the early 1970s) but these paintings are done very profesionally and the change is gradual (several stages and even something that looks like animation (see the actual footage here).
Surprisingly, even Karolina "sort of" likes them and came up with the idea of buying the aunt for the uncle. We shall see...
If you have enough space (and money), I definitely recommend going for the large versions, the detail is really amazing.
UPDATE: I almost forgot: If you are really rich, for "at least $800" the author offers to create a custom changing portrait based on your photo! See the FAQ on his pages.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
You can see the video of the entire ride (and my feet) here. Remember that this was rather safe ride and I was braking almost constantly (yes, the sled has brakes controlled by a lever) because I didn't want to lose my camera and/or limb.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Thursday, November 10, 2005
The original title was supposed to be "What Mr. Sinclair didn't anticipate" but it was deemed too Capitalist and the book was renamed to vague "Computer Games" - certainly misleading because it was only about ZX Spectrum games. Also, the cover says it was written by "Frantisek Fuka and the team" but I wrote every last letter.
If I remember correctly, I got 10,000 Czechoslovak Crowns for both books from Svazarm (The Union for Army-Youth Cooperation) back then. That's exactly how much my Spectrum 128 cost me. That's also exactly for how much I sold my Spectrum 128 several years later because some fool agreed to pay so much money for "Spectrum owned by Frantisek Fuka himself" and put it on display somewhere.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
My second - quite accidental - discovery was the fact that Firefox 1.0.7 seems to natively support SVG format quite well. For example if you click here, you can see vector penguin right in your browser window!
And while we are talking about vector graphics and Linux, this initiative also looks really promising. I tried Xara several years ago and it certainly looked very... interesting and fresh.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
"Office Space" was never theatrically released in the Czech Republic. It was briefly available on video several years ago, under the supergay Czech title "Malery pana Sikuly" ("The Misadventures of Mr. Clever") - what the hell is that title supposed to mean?!?! And the tagline "Work sucks" was translated as "Work inhales" or something clever like that...
Or, as "Google Translate" puts it: "The pullet of Radek is one of but great and pretty and has destroyed but rabbits that your you can imagine. I know it cuendo was a virgin. I do not believe that yours he is but great. Gilipollas!" I'd never have thought Radek could do that to innocent rabbits!!!
Friday, November 04, 2005
P.S: Baby Jesus (who brought Christmas presents to Czech kids for many centuries) already got his ass whupped by Santa Claus several years ago.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Monday, October 31, 2005
Note that the technical stuff is rather irrelevant in this context (although this one is funny if you know what DIFF is), just read how he expresses himself.
P.S: Please note I have the full moral right to make my opinions about Mr. Hulan public because I wrote better CMS than him, I have higher IQ, more money and bigger penis, which I'll use to make beautiful love to his daughter.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Friday, October 28, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Shame on you, James! If you heard the music from Red Heat closing titles, it's even more similar...
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
UPDATE: I guess it will be days rather than hours before anyone will see it live again...
Warning: The article also features opinions of Jan "go fuck yourself, I know Glasgow" Culik. I recommend skipping the last three paragraphs.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
And I thought she no longer likes me...
And now for something completely different: Autumn is here and the forests above Vysocany station are b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l!
UPDATE: Also available as 1024x768 wallpaper (Albert, not Karolina).
Friday, October 21, 2005
I guess this is proof that downloading kills music.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
The point of my post was that now I am trying again. And that I was surprised that functional languages could be FAST. Of course, my brain is still refusing to switch to functional mode. It's pretty hard after all those years and it's nothing more than "fun exercise" for me at this moment. Currently, programming plays no part in earning my living (last time it did, SmallTalk saved me).
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
However, Ocaml (or Caml) is supposedly able to generate native code whose speed is comparable with compiled C! That piqued my interest and I tried minimal Ocaml raytracer, whose speed was really suprising. Also note the whole raytracer is only 222 lines long. Another feature of functional languages seems to be the density of code - the ability to "say more" in less number of lines. But that also means you have to think more in order to code less.
If you have spare time and want to give Ocaml a try, read this online book. It's a good thing to refresh your brain by learning new programming philosophy that forces you to forget the design patterns you knew from procedural languages. It's really like when I started learning the first BASIC commands 25 years ago...
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
The image on the right was created without any user input, fully automatically, just by selecting "make older"!
This is another example of complex science being used to create juvenile fun.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Monday, October 10, 2005
Then you remember the long-forgotten light-activated talking figurine of Freddy Krueger you got for your birthday many, many years ago and stashed it behind the books without taking out the batteries.
However, if he was a "she", I'd definitely keep her for Albert to have sex with her...
If nothing else, the article mentions some great original games. I never heard of Spheres of Chaos before, which is best described as "Asteroids as designed by Hunter S. Thompson". I also wholeheartedly recommend "Rez" for PS2, which can be bought for bargain price today.
The author also gets bonus points for putting Jet-Set Willy next to the article title.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
For example, how is it possible that you can portray such a number of specific recognizable characters in 12x16 pixels? In fact, you can portray an Italian plumber being dressed up as specific recognizable characters! I cannot say I recognized all of them, but notice captain Kirk and Spock, The Village People or The Beatles. Really interesting how our brain handles the pop-culture matrix...
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
I discovered the complete lyrics online and found them to be much less sophisticated than they appeared 25 years ago. In fact, back then, I had no idea they were in English (or, rather, should sound like they were in English). Go here for more audio mementos from this movie.
Also found this one on the "Watch Out, We're Mad" IMDB board: "Would you happen to know if the choir song is available on any soundtrack releases? My son wants to use it for a gymnastics routine. It does not appear to be on any of the Bud Spencer/Terence Hill Greatest Hits releases (volumes 1-6). That's a lot of music to be released without that piece." Listen to "Il coro dei pompieri" to hear what his son wants to use for his gymnastic routine...
Now, 2 hours later, I still cannot get that stupid song out of my head...
Monday, October 03, 2005
I mean: I like it, definitely, but how hardcore do you have to be to have working ZX Spectrum around, with working tape recorder, and BUY new games for it???
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Friday, September 30, 2005
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Where is Tom Cruise when we need him?
UPDATE: "Bob" notes that this is not satellite but radar image. Of course that makes the whole thing even more sinister!!!
Also, we bought Canon EOS 350D semi-pro digital camera online, which should arrive any day now. Karolina says she'd like to go to forest at dawn and take pictures of wild animals (presumably deer, zebras, hippos etc.). And I am rather fed up that the results from my current pocket camera are rather random. E.g. you shoot the same scene 5 times and maybe one of the stills will look nice:
And Kirby: Canvas Curse for Nintendo DS is really nice, with great ideas, innovative control (100% stylus touch), cute graphics, instantly accessible for everyone and "innocent", reminding me of the greatest games 20 years ago.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Friday, September 23, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
The first solution would be to generate the levels dynamically. I'm fairly surprised nobody yet came up with algorithm that would generate weird playable levels for example for Quake 3, Half-Life 2 or whatever FPS is currently fashionable (at least i don't know about it). Using this approach, you could have whole planets that you could run through in 3D! Of course the problem is creating the algorithm but I'm surprised no one even tried in the current-generation games (except some basic puzzle games).
The second solution is to make the game worlds so simple levels can be generated very quickly, either by person or by rather simple algorithm. Remember Sentinel with 9999 levels? See also Angband with its dynamically-generated RPG levels ("Champions of Norrath" for PS2 recently attempted something similar, with average success).
Enter Nippon Ichi, Japanese authors of turn-based RPG games for Playstation 2.
As you can see from the screenshot of their "Phantom Brave", they are certainly brave to use such a shitty graphics in Playstation 2 game. However, their games are not about graphics. They are strategy combat games for hardcore gamers who enjoy leveling their characters up to level 9999. Yes, I wrote "9999". After 10 hours of "Phantom Brave", my main character is somewhere around level 15.
To create strong characters in their "Phantom Brave" and "Disgaea" games (and probably also in the others), player has to revisit old (pre-designed) levels he already conquered, preferably with secondary characters so that they can also level up accordingly.
This might seem pointless to some people but it brings us back to the beginning: Why do we play games? Try telling "World of Warcraft" player that his levelling up is pointless. Nippon Ichi games just help you to realize that - even today - it can be perfectly satisfying experience just to see some numbers increase on the screen.
"Phantom Brave" is currently available in European stores, "Disgaea" (older and slightly better) is hard to get but you could find it in some bargain bin somewhere. (Their "Makai Kingdom" should be released in Europe soon.) Visit DoubleJump forums to get free downloads of strategy guides for both games. Those are REQUIRED if you want to grasp basic concepts.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Also, Kryspin doesn't want me to pack my soundtracks. He is ALWAYS sitting there!