A little bit of everything…

Lots of little things to talk about.

HHGttG: The Movie

I finally went to see the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie. I remain ambivalent. I didn’t hate it, by any means, but I also didn’t particularly like it. The new Marvin is cute, yes, but didn’t quite convey the utter pathos of the Marvin in the TV Series. The movie’s Ford simply doesn’t hold a candle to the TV Series’ Ford. I actually dislike the movie’s Zaphod, while the TV Series’ Zaphod remains one of my favourite ne’er-do-well characters of all time. Also, for obvious reasons*, I do not like Vogons and am somewhat upset that they were given such a central role in the movie. All in all, I found myself wishing the parts that overlapped the TV Series were more like the TV Series, and the new parts just didn’t have the same comedic zing I’m accustomed to in Adam’s work.

As someone else (somewhere) said: It started as a radio show, so dialogue is everything. They butchered the dialogue, and so a lot of the “funny” just got mislaid. That said, if the rumours are true and they do turn the movie into a trilogy (of however many parts) I will go see them all. In the meantime, however, I will be rereading the books and rewatching the TV Series (now out on DVD). If you haven’t seen the TV Series, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you shell out $25 and order the DVDs. It’s really, really funny.

On Tiger

The novelty of the new Tiger features has worn off so I can be a little more objective about it now.

Dashboard: The eye-candy is nice, but overall the usefulness is low. Widgets tend to eat system resources like crazy, so I’ve minimized the ones I have running to: World Clock (x2), the Dictionary/Thesaurus, and the weather widget. The others don’t provide enough actual value to make up for the system resources they suck up like little sponges.

Spotlight: I use this all the damned time. Cmd-Space brings up the Spotlight search, type in the name of an app, then hit Cmd-Enter and the app will launch. This is what I largely used Quicksilver for, so I’ve been able to get rid of Quicksilver, freeing up more resources for other things (like browsers and email clients and things I actually use all the time).

Smart Folders: I haven’t really mastered these yet, so don’t use them too much at the moment. Where “too much” actually means “at all”. I need to sort out how to use Automator to meta-tag my files in bunches. Once I do that, Smart Folders will become much more useful to me.

BluePhonElite (3rd party): My trial ran out and I haven’t purchased a proper copy yet. Downside: I have to use my phone’s keypad to write SMSs. Upside: my phone’s battery lasts 3-4x longer when bluetooth is turned off. I doubt I will buy a license.

DragThing: Cute, but largely pointless. I used it for a little while to make really complex docks full of things that would let me organize and launch all kinds of applications. Spotlight’s search-then-launch feature obviates the need for that. Got rid of it and freed up more system resources. My regular dock is also back to a nice manageable size of 12 icons (Finder, XChat, Firefox, Thunderbird, iChat, AdiumX, SubEthaEdit, Terminal, Calculator, iCal, System Prefs).

Guild Wars

I picked up Guild Wars last weekend and have been playing semi-regularly since. It’s a very fun game, but also very different.

First off, there’s no monthly fee. This is Highly Compelling for the obvious reasons. I finally unsubscribed from World of Warcraft after not logging in to seriously play for 3-4 months. During that 3-4 months, in spite of putting in roughly 4-5 hours of play time, Blizzard hit my credit card for roughly ~$80. Screw that. No monthly fee means no serious commitment, no pressure to “get your money’s worth”, and so forth.

Second, everything outside of common areas (towns) is an instance. That means when you’re out being an Intrepid Adventurer doing quests and killing critters and getting loot, you (or your party) are the only players there. No killstealing, no camping spawns, no random jerks being jerks, etc. That part of it plays exactly as a single- or limited-multiplayer-game would play. Common areas are for recruiting people into your party, trading, chatting, etc. I actually complained about this in Anarchy Online, but it doesn’t bother me in this game. I’m not sure why.

Third, if forced to describe it by comparing it to other games, I would have to say it’s like a cross between DiabloII, NeverWinter Nights, Dungeon Siege, and a MMORPG.

  • Henchmen make it like NWN
  • .

  • The loot system and linearity of areas makes it like Diablo II
  • The Henchmen and linearity and loot and general appearance of avatars make it like Dungeon Siege
  • The MMORPG part makes it like a MMORPG.
  • None of these comparisons really do it justice.

Anyhow, it’s fun, it’s different, it’s free online play. If you like these sorts of games at all, I recommend it highly.


* They did blow up the planet, you know.

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