Tao of the Machine

Programming, Python, my projects, card games, books, music, Zoids, bettas, manga, cool stuff, and whatever comes to mind.


The defragmentation tool must be one of the most useless user interfaces found in Windows 2000. For kicks and giggles, I decided to defragment my hard disk, something I don't usually do, but performance was degrading etc, so I figured I'd try it.

When you do an analysis, you get some kind of barcode with 4 colors. Fragmented files are red. First it showed hardly any red, then after a bit of thinking, replaced free space (white) with blue ("contiguous files"), so it appears I have no free space at all, and a lot of yellow was replaced with red. No clue is given what these colored lines stands for. Are they sectors on the disk, for example?

When I pressed the defragment button, nothing happened. Well, the button became greyed out, but that was about it. Sure, you get two "barcodes" instead of one; the top one is the analysis, the bottom one is the current situation. After minutes of waiting, still nothing had happened. The colors in either of the bars had not changed. There was no progress indicator, text or anything else that indicated that the damn thing was doing anything at all, much less what it was doing or when it would be finished.

Great UI. Maybe I'll run it overnight and check in the morning if something happened.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-03-28 17:32:53   {link}
Categories: general

Dead fish, broken teeth, and Playstations, oh my!

What a day. One of my bettas died (a rare green/blue female), then I chipped a tooth. A great start. But later we went to Best Buy and got a PlayStation 2, a little tv, some games, and some other goodies.

I almost got the PS2 at WalMart a few days ago, but changed my mind because all the games were behind glass, so you were dependent on the "sales person" to see a game box. That doesn't work so well when you know nothing about the PS2 nor about any of the games. Unfortunately, the WalMartian didn't know any more about it than I did, and could not answer any questions ("What is a memory card?" "Does one come with the PlayStation?").

Best Buy beats WalMart hands down. The sales person was friendly and knowledgeable. I got 4 games to begin with: Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, Kingdom Hearts, Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, and Mystic Heroes. I also want Ico and maybe .Hack. Dark Cloud 2 looks interesting too. That should keep me busy in those cold Floridian winter nights...

First impressions:

  • Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter didn't appeal to me at first sight. Too much metal, soldiers, and unclear objectives. However, this was the game I tried first, and I was still figuring out everything (including moving the character around :-), so I can't really judge. According to reviews it's a good game, so I will definitely be back to see what's past these first screens.
  • Gauntlet: Dark Legacy: an old favorite returns. Gauntlet was available back in the days on the C64, and its modern counterpart has the same flavor. Of course, things have changed... obligatory 3D graphics, more "races" to choose from, lots of magic effects, etc. It's a simple hack & slash, really, but with lasting value.
  • Mystic Heroes: Not great fun, but maybe I don't understand everything yet. It just seems like fighting, fighting, fighting. More of an action game than an RPG. There must be more to it than this...
  • Kingdom Hearts: Said to be a complex and engrossing game, and I believe it. The mix of Disney and Final Fantasy elements is delightful. The intro is... almost mystical. It also doubles as a tutorial; learn to attack, jump, use items, etc. After that, it starts out simple enough... you're on a tropical island, and your first task is to find some items and return them. (And after that? I don't know yet. I'm still on the island. It takes a while to explore everything, you know. :-)
<drool> Lucasarts should create Loom 2 for the PlayStation, using tons of spells ("drafts"), effects, worlds and monsters. Now that is a game I would like to see... </drool>

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-03-23 11:05:43   {link}
Categories: games

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