Review: Final Fantasy V Advance

System: Gameboy Advance (DS-compatible)
Score: 4/5 4 (Good)

After playing Final Fantasy III for the Nintendo DS, Final Fantasy V Advance came as a breath of fresh air. It's basically a port of the original game to the Game Boy Advance, although the graphics and sound have been subtly improved. (Specifically, gradients have been added to the game windows, and the battle screen backdrops have been spruced up.)

Review: Final Fantasy III

System: Nintendo DS
Score: 3/5 3 (OK)

Final Fantasy III recently came out for the Nintendo DS and, while it's slightly different from the original version that was released for the Nintendo, it's almost the same game. Unfortunately, that counts more against it than it does for it.

When the original was released in 1990s, it brought a new concept to RPGs: the job system. The job system (where a character can essentially change classes) was a neat system at the time. It remains one of the favorite game systems, having been brought to perfection (in my opinion) in Final Fantasy Tactics. The version in this game is simplistic compared with Final Fantasy Tactics: you gain access to jobs by talking with crystals, and jobs contain a special ability. (White Magic for White Mages, Jump for Dragoons, Steal and Flee for Thieves, and so on.)

The UI Thread

Dear Developers,

The UI thread is not the appropriate place to be running long-running tasks. Setting the cursor to the "wait" cursor doesn't make running something in the UI thread OK - it just means that the cursor will let you know that the application is supposed to be completely unresponsive.

Don't forget, if you run a long-running task in the UI thread, Windows will think your application is "Not Responding."


Various Web Standards

This is sort of similar to my links page, it's a list of various developer resources I find myself needing.

Currently this provides links to the CSS, HTML, and XML specs.

I'm sure more will be added as I come across them.


NaNoWriMo Scrambler

NaNoWriMo suggests you "scramble" your novel prior to sending it in for verification. The scrambling process they recommend essentially replaces all letters with a lower-case A. This version is substantially similar, except that it handles Latin characters with accents. (So "cliché" becomes "aaaaaa" instead of "aaaaaé".) You may also optionally maintain case, so something like "Boston" will become "Aaaaaa" instead of "aaaaaa".

This requires JavaScript. Since it uses JavaScript, any text entered will not be sent back to the server.


Site Update Complete

The site has been updated, although there are still a few problems with Internet Explorer and certain pages that I'm not going to fix.

Other than that, everything appears to have come through OK!

Site Update, September 30th

On September 30th, 19:00 GMT (3:00PM EDT, 12:00PM PDT) this site will be unavailable while it is being upgraded. This downtime should be at most an hour.

My Firefox Extensions

Mostly in an effort to ensure that I can find them again later, here is a list of the Firefox Extensions I currently use:

Mouse Gestures
Allows the use of mouse gestures to control your browser
Adblock Plus
Blocks various advertisements. I can't remember what drove me over the edge to finally install this, but something did.
Prevents Flash ads from playing, allowing you to click to activate them.

Vladimir Cole is an Idiot

This is one of those things that needs more introduction. Essentially Vladimir Cole posted a blog entry on Joystiq saying that rational gamers should prefer subsidized consoles. There’s a problem with his logic, though.

Essentially, his argument starts with “let’s assume 1 = 2.” It may make for an interesting argument, but it’s - well, not true. He attempts a simple misdirection by using the term ceteris paribus. “All other things being equal” would have worked just as well, except it makes it obvious the argument is stupid. By using Latin he attempts to lend authority to his argument. After all, quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

UUID Library

I've created a library for generating UUIDs with Java, based on RFC 4122. If you're using Java 1.6, this will use a hardware MAC address to generate a UUID as specified in the RFC. If not, it uses a randomly generated number for the node.

Note that while Java 1.5 added a UUID class, this library uses its own UUID class.

Update: Version 0.9.1 no longer requires Java 1.6 to compile and now runs under Java 1.5. You may also now choose whether or not to use your MAC address as the node value using the built-in generator under Java 1.6.



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