Back into Writing

It is kind of difficult getting back into writing. This blog is kind of part of that as much of it is really nothing more than actually sitting down and taking the time to write every day. In addition to this, I have tried to at least look and think of my book a little every day to try to get a better idea of where to go with it.

Continue reading “Back into Writing”

Commencement

After long thought, I decided to attend my graduation commencement a couple weeks ago. But when I made this decision, I decided that I would only do it under my terms. I wasn’t going to invite everyone just for the sake of doing so, and I wasn’t going to make a gigantic deal out of it. So I invited my mom, my brother, my aunt & uncle, and my best friend and her family, and left my sister out of the invitation rounds, choosing not to tell her at all that I was going to do it. I thought it would be better than saying to her, yeah I’m doing it but you can’t go because I don’t like you.

We also decided to do a small casual dinner with everyone afterwards at my favorite restaurant, but nothing major. My friend’s family decided not to go to this part so it was mostly my family and everyone told stories of their graduation, as one might expect to find at such a party. I decided since I was going ahead and doing it that I would go all out, so not only have a little dinner, but I also got graduation pictures taken, I went and got a nice outfit that could be used to graduate as well as pictures and interviews in the future. I ordered said pictures, and will order my walking pictures as well, both of which are very abnormal for me. And I went through all the crap to get a cap & gown and what not, I will likely be donating to my school at some point of my life, but I want to wait until I have more of an income before I do that.

The commencement itself was fine. My friend had a friend who was also graduating who invited me to sit next to her, which I did and was glad she invited me because otherwise I would have felt much more alone for the whole thing. I got to talking with some guy who was sitting next to me as well and had a fairly good time throughout. Scott Van Pelt was the special speaker. It was kind of odd, I didn’t feel he represented me at all as I don’t know who he is in particular, he had references to cartoons I’ve barely seen, and jokes targeted at a younger and different crowd. He definitely was not a speaker intended for me, but at the same time he did a fairly good job and had a couple good jokes to tell and interesting stories on how he got to become an ESPN anchor in the first place.

The whole ceremony itself went rather well, and I think it will turn out well in my life that I did choose to go to this, but for now I am a bit torn on whether it was all worth the time and money that it cost.

GLS Conference 3.0

I went to the GLS Conference this past week. I wanted to start going to more conferences so that can network better and chose this particular one because it was here in town so that I didn’t have to worry about paying for hotel stay and travel arrangements and such. This conference is a small conference which really focuses on how games can be used for learning purposes and how they teach players how to use the game. This is a topic that I find somewhat interesting, however it is a very base interest. I mostly like when they talk about the games or the social aspects of games because I find that more interesting being in the MMO field myself. However a good majority of the field seems more interested in the learning so I do pick up stuff here and there.

The Conference itself is mostly used as a forum for students, professors, and other teachers, however there are some more mainstream developers and writers as well. This year’s speakers included a writer from the New York Times, a game critic from the New York Times, a couple of writers/designers from GameLab, Pathfinder Linden from Linden Labs (Second Life), and some guy that works at the company that made There.com. Rich Vogel (of Ultima Online fame) and Jeff Briggs (one of the producers of the Civ series) were also supposed to attend, however they both did not which was a major upset for me as I was really looking forward to both of them.

All this said the two day event had its ups and downs.

The ups were that the food was fairly good, though some was questionable. I was mostly disappointed that the beverages were weird (tea, milk and coffee). The snacks between sessions were great (nummy cookies, muffins and fruit). The Monona Terrace was beautiful as expected, though surprisingly small considering how big it seems and how much of a fuss was made over it, though I understand that part of that is meant as a transportation hub too. Several speakers were very good, I liked the two NYT speakers, as well as Constance Steinkuehler, and Katie Salen from Gameslab was absolutely amazing (she is seriously underrated, I put her up with Will Wright as far as speakers on games concerns). I got to meet plenty of people, including a couple in town I plan on hooking up with over the next week or so (and incidentally got myself pictured a couple times in Mark Chen’s blog.)

The downs really was the lack of the two that I was looking forward to seeing, as well as the lack of much strictly about games and even society to a lesser degree. It really is a meeting meant for people studying learning which just isn’t what I am into. I also had some issues apparently with paying. I thought I did back when I registered, and now they are telling me I did not so I don’t know how exactly that works. What makes it worse is that now they want to charge me the full price instead of the early entry price that I should have paid. This sucks only because I thought I had paid.

Would I go again? I don’t know. For networking purposes I suppose I would. What makes this decision more difficult is next years I will not be a student anymore so I will have to pay more. This makes it far less worth going to. For the student price, I think it is worth it for the networking, the food, the cool location and the about one session each day that was really worth the while. I don’t know if I will go again next year, depends on my situation. But I will definitely think about it.

New Computer

I got the final pieces to my new computer last Thursday and then promptly got it set up. I was up till midnight the first night and I went to bed with the happy knowledge that I got it up and running with Windows cleanly running. Actually the whole process went fairly smoothly. I had a couple hiccups, but all the pieces worked perfectly and once I made sure all the power connectors were hooked up, it was up within minutes. Continue reading “New Computer”

Back to Blogging

So over the last couple of weeks I haven’t been updating my site as much largely because finals were on. Last night I finished my last final paper and sent it in, so now I am officially done with school and plan to get back to updating this site.

Since I’m starting a new summer I thought I’d lay out what my goals for the summer are. Continue reading “Back to Blogging”

New Monitor

In my continuing effort to upgrade to a new computer, I have made a purchase for a brand new monitor. I chose the Sceptre X22WG and got it from Newegg. It is a widescreen 22″ LCD, and boy is it big. I thought it was just going to be marginally bigger than my previous monitor which I thought was 21″ but am now starting to think was only 19″. The quality is good too, it is really bright, have played both Sims 2 and EQ2 to test it out and both appear similar to a normal CRT monitor, not all grey and silvery like the previous LCD I had tried a few years back. In fact, in many ways the picture actually looks better. Thus far, my main problem is that my video card is an Nvidia 5900FX which really cannot handle this monitor so I have to keep the resolution fairly low. I am excited to get a new video card and turn the res all the way up on this monitor because I’m sure it’ll make for some stunning visuals.

Meanwhile, I’ve bought both the monitor and my tower in the month of December, straying away from my 1 new part per month limit. And during a tough month at that. So I think I’m going to consider the Monitor to be Janruary’s part. To kind of compensate for the early part I’m going to try getting my next piece in mid-February which at this point I’m thinking will be the Draft N Wireless router. Which one will likely be determined via sales and price reductions.    I also am thinking it may be a good idea to use my $80 of gift cards on the router. By doing this I am essentially making it so that I won’t be actually paying for any new parts until March. Which should help me catch up to my credit card a bit. In march I may also worry mostly about wiring for the computer (round cables, fans, and dampeners to make the computer quieter). So that it is a low pay out month. April I can buy Vista…. Then finally in May use birthday money and hopefully replenished credit cards to buy the Video Card, 1GB RAM, A processor of some sort (right now leaning towards Intel but that can change) and the motherboard. I am hoping that buy May the prices on the DirectX 10 video cards will drop significantly enough so that I’m not paying a small fortune just for one. June would then be a month off and I may take July off as well until August when I’d start purchasing up a second Video Card to run SLI, a second smaller LCD monitor, and a second 1GB of RAM. Not necessarily in that order.

Hopefully with this plan I’ll have a brand spanking new computer for my birthday and I will have a computer by the end of the year that is good enough to last me a few years until some of my books/games that I’ve created pick up momentum and I can afford to really splurge. <crosses fingers>