Let's say you're playing an RPG, and you come upon some badass new piece of equipment that almost all of your party can use. How do you decide who'll get it? As a longtime RPG player, I've been curious as to how other people consider this question, so I decided to make a poll.
Since the weather has gone back from the low 40s to the low 70s, I went to Free Geek to put in some hours this morning. The work benches were crowded with students, so I was assigned to move several pallets and stacks of monitors so that more pallets of monitors could be moved and shipped out. Took about 2/3 of an hour and left my back a little tired, but I more or less enjoyed it nonetheless. As I was leaving for home, I spotted a Jakks Atari 2600 joystick system, which I brought home (with permission of course). I was pleasantly surprised to find it fully functional, and spent a while playing Adventure, Asteroids, Missile Command etc. Ariel enjoyed it too, despite not being too good at any of the games.
When Monolithsoft's game Namco X Capcom was first announced in late 2004, I was immediately hooked on the idea. Being a longtime fan of the Super Robot Wars series and something of an advocate of crossover games in general, the thought of being able to play a game in which Taizo Hori of Dig Dug fame fought alongside Chun-Li had me excited as hell. When the game finally came out in May 05, I immediately downloaded a copy and played the hell out of it, finally buying it for real when the PS2 The Best edition was released the next year. Despite the rather lacking difficulty (even on "hard mode") and the fact that the game was approximately 30% longer than it really should have been, I still love it and was immediately interested when I heard that translation group TransGen was going to work on a patch for it. The patch was released earlier this year, but I only downloaded and applied it this week. Unfortunately, despite being labeled as "final," the patch completely fails to live up to even modest expectations: -The grammar is nonexistent. -The text is done in a monospaced font in which every letter has an unnecessary amount of space around it and all the dialogue is kept at the original line lengths without regard for English sentence structure, both of which add up to make reading the dialogue a chore. -None of the in-battle text is translated, and neither are parts of the characters' status screens, with the result that the effects of certain abilities and items are entirely incomprehensible to one with no prior experience with the game. -Attack, ability item and stage names are translated with little regard for meaning or legibility. -There are misplaced pointers all over the place, with the most obvious example being that a common monster's punch attack is called "guard," with "punch" appearing on many playable characters' status screens in place of the "defend another" ability. All in all, the patch demonstrates a complete lack of basic competence, with the result that I am very unlikely to try any of TransGen's other works.
So, this week started out promisingly: I got a call from Gage on Tuesday saying they had a job for me. I was excited, until I discovered that it was in Reading, which is roughly 25 miles away from here. This is a problem because I lack my own car and driver's license (yes, I know), and with mom working, she's not free to drive me there and back as necessary. So I asked Shane if he could drive me, and he said he couldn't drive that much every day, which meant I had to turn the job down. So I went to Gage yesterday and told them, politely, to find me more local jobs. In the meantime, I'll continue working on apps.
Yesterday and today, I went to Free Geek, and between those two days, I took apart roughly 4 1/2 printers, 2 incredibly dirty and rusty Apple IIGSes, an ancient Apple mouse, keyboard and 3.5" drive, and something called a "Mac Bottom," which I discovered was a fancy external hard drive rig. I was about halfway home today when I realized that I'd left my jacket there, so I'll have to go there tomorrow on my way to filling out an app at Wal-Mart.
So, today's trip to Free Geek Penn was pretty eventful, or at least the trip home was. I actually left in the early afternoon for once, and set to work on the wall of printers yet again, this time taking care of another laser printer and an old dot matrix (identical to one my family had in the early 90s). In the middle of this, I was volunteered to help ready some of the excess printers for shipping to another place for dismantling. It was during this that I came upon a cache of no fewer than four Apple IIGSes in the hall. Had I not been so engrossed in the destruction/deportment of printers, I'd have grabbed one and taken it apart immediately (sadly, the printers all seemed to have been stored in a pit in the ground, else I'd have tried to get one to play Oregon Trail). Several hours later, as I was preparing to leave, Steve gathered up several dozen jewel cases I'd expressed interest in and put them in a plastic bag for me to take home. This probably wouldn't have been a big deal, save that I was taking a side-trip to a grocery store to pick up a couple pizzas, and bicycle tire + thin, overfilled plastic bag = hope u like spilling all over the street. Somehow I managed to reach the grocery store without losing any of my payload, and collected a number of empty bags for the jewel cases, which made it home safely.
So, mom's sick (doc said it's pneumonia, but it was caught early enough that it won't run its full course) and she needed me to go to the doctor's office to pick up a note for he work excusing her absence. I was told that it'd be in a "white box," and I had to ask the receptionist, twice, where it was, because I didn't think that they'd put a note in a box marked "Biohazard".
Also, dropped off an app at the newspaper for a mailroom job. I'll be doing more apps in the near future, and hopefully will be back on the market after an embarassingly-long unemployment stretch.
Free Geek's been interesting the past few times I've been: Last time, I found and dismantled an original IBM PC (which, for those not in the know, is pretty much 70% 5" floppy drives, 5% motherboard and expansions, and 20% air), and this week, the donated hardware corral was literally stacked to the ceiling with old printers. If you've never dismantled a printer, you really should, because otherwise you won't understand how "fun" it is and how damn black your hands can get with ink. Also at Free Geek yesterday, I discovered a number of monitors from old arcade cabinets, including one with the Ms. Pac-Man maze burned into it; sadly, I couldn't get close enough to the others to discern what they might have been. And today, while going for a walk for the first time in several weeks, I came upon a fairly new games store. Sadly, its stock consists almost exclusively of MtG, with a few token board games and D&D accessories, but it is fairly roomy for its size, with a lot of table space for those who need it. I'm tempted to go back sometime with my Magic collection and see if I can get more than $7 for it. On the home front, I spent the past two weeks preparing and tilling a patch of the back country for a new strawberry patch, much of which was raking up grass and pitching it onto the compost piles. Fortunately, with summer basically over, I shan't have to do much more of this kind of work for a while.
I had the good luck today to visit Record Connection in time to see A, the store's owner, make a deal with a customer to buy their whole stock of Elvis LPs (for a sizable sum but still a decent discount). The customer, A explained, was a big fan of Elvis, who had met the King several times in Vegas, and had actually gotten a custom guitar made for him. Shortly afterwards, someone else came in with a big stack of CDs to sell, and among them was Black Sabbath: Symptom of the Universe, which I then bought for $10 (hooray for paying 1/3 of retail!).