katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Default)
Google Chrome
Gave Google Chrome a few minutes' try when it first came out, but some oddities gave me a bad first taste of it -- bookmarks only appearing when you click the "new tab" button for example. I wasn't in the mood of fiddling with it, so I dropped it and went back to Firefox.

A few days ago I gave it another try. This time I fiddled with the options -- added the things that were not present in the defaults: bookmarks now appearing as a toolbar all the time, homepage icon added. And voila -- I'm suddenly loving it. Chrome is fast, elegant, and I keep loving that Google-style simplicity of its interface. I made it my new default browser.

Only one major failing compared to Firefox, and one minor one. The major failing is that when I'm downloading a file it doesn't seem to store the location for my next download -- that makes it a burden when I'm e.g. downloading five dozen wallpapers into one particular folder - I ended up switching to Firefox for that task.

Minor failing is some search-engine oddity. I've not seen yet as easy way to search wikipedia as there was in Firefox.

Mystery series
Ended up downloading several crime/mystery series lately. "Jonathan Creek" - a British series about a magician's assistant solving mysteries. "Numb3rs" - a series about a mathematician using the power of um, mathematics to solve crimes. And "Medium" - a series about a psychic using her own powers to solve (or prevent, or punish) crimes.

I abandoned Numb3rs after a few eps, once I realized that the *only* thing I liked about it was the application of the math, skipping everything that wasn't math. I disliked pretty much every character, with the possible exception of the mathematician's physicist mentor.

Jonathan Creek had both great and lame eps -- at its best an ep has several interconnected mysteries, none of them with obvious solutions (or with several obvious solutions, none of which are actually workable), and punctuated with humor. At its lamest (and the writers' laziest), an ep only has one mystery that I solved in five secs flat -- and it was utterly implausible that Creek wouldn't solve it even faster. Creek's female co-protagonist (Maddy) is utterly unlikeable to me though -- a lying manipulative scumbag who lies more often than tells the truth, even to Creek himself. I'm glad they switched her away eventually, though I'd have been even gladder if they'd had her, you know, apologize to him, grow as a person, forgo her evil ways, etc.

I've only seen five or six eps of Medium so far, but up to this point I seriously like: Much more likable characters than either Jonathan Creek or Numb3rs -- the medium's daughters especially are cute as hell. But in that series there's *nobody* I don't like so far. The medium, her boss at the DA's office, the husband, the kids... all great characters.

Sea of Insanity
Sea of Insanity is back. This was one of my top favorite webcomics some years back -- but it suddenly and inexplicably stopped updating. Turns out the reason was the creator's personal life meltdown. Anyway, it's back now. Enjoy.
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Default)
"Post the first line from your 25 most recent fanfics and try to find a pattern." Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] homasse.

Well, I've not written nearly that many fics, not even if I include ficlets, but here goes:

1) Europa held her new-born baby next to her breast and sang to it, sometimes in her own Phoenician tongue, half-remembered songs of her childhood, sometimes in the alien tongue of the Cretans which she was quickly learning, in fragments and hesitant pieces.... ("Names and Forms" - Gargoyles fic)

2) It had been more difficult for Simon than for anyone else. ("Reticent Confessions", HP fic set in Barbara Purdom's "Psychic Serpent" universe)

3) "I have been here before... " ("Dreams of the Kisei: A Prologue" HnG fic)

4) She had moaned his name once, in the throes of passion, as he was thrusting inside her, as he was bringing her to the cusp of orgasm. ("Broken souls: Entr'acte, in the dark" HnG fanfic, sequel to the previous)

5) “My father said what?? Oh father, father! You can be so unthinking sometimes.” ("Mighty" Tolkien ficlet)

6) "Please, some money, dear sir! Our mother is sick, we need--" ("Traits Revealed" HP 100-word drabble)

7) She cuts herself, she screams names at teachers, she burns her diaries and runs away from home. ("Hateful Memories" Buffy 100-word drabble)


Common element in all of the above? I guess that I tend to begin with a scene indicating the emotional state of an individual: Europa's parental love, Simon's desolation, Hikaru's uncertainty, Akari's need, Luthien's amusement, some random kids' despair and poverty, Dawn's complete emotional meltdown.

I think I miss writing fics.

back to IF

Apr. 24th, 2008 02:59 am
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Default)
This amused me: Hillary Clinton's path to victory

On other news, I'm getting back into interactive fiction -- past few weeks I've tried some of the best games that have come out (and I've therefore missed) the last few years, at least as judged by the results of the annual IF competition, the XYZZY awards and the Spring Thing.

Next few weeks I'll try to start again on a rather *big* idea for a work of interactive fiction that I've had for several years now.

Somewhere in between the two, I'll be writing a lengthy criticism/suggestion list for Inform 7, which despite its several flaws will almost certainly be used by me in aforesaid game, as it's pretty much the defacto replacement for Inform 6, which is the only IF language I'm familiar with.
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Default)
As an addendum to the previous post about improving the last season of Buffy...

Brief thoughts on Angel's 'Smile Time' )
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Default)
Last whole month was excessively busy at work, we ended up working even during weekends and the national holiday... This week's much easier, I took Wednesday off and decided to get paid for the other days I had worked extra (rather than use them as additional holidays).

Anyway, I hadn't had the chance all last month to write my commentary on the final season of Buffy -- here goes.

Thoughts (and ways to improve) on Season 7 of Buffy -- MAJOR SPOILERS )

New icons

Mar. 17th, 2008 09:42 pm
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Default)
New default icon -- I colored the version that Jason Waltrip drew of me (alongside a few dozen other fans) for the anniversary strip of Fans!

Also finally updated the European Union icon - more than a year late. :-)


Mar. 16th, 2008 09:40 pm
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Default)
I opted in for Emily Short's coverart drive for works of Interactive Fiction, and as a result Josh Lawrence made the following for my game "Voices". I like!

katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Fandom)
Three movies, all of them adaptations of books, which I saw the past December/January. HEAVY HEAVY SPOILERS for both movies and books to follow:

The Golden Compass )

Stardust )

The Bridge to Terabithia )

Buffy love

Jan. 20th, 2008 06:04 am
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Fandom)
I've now watched through Buffy's 5th season, and through most of Angel's 2nd...

...and it occurred to me suddenly that am now sure that I've ever seen a series that has so much LOVE oozing out of its every pore as the Buffy series has been doing (at least in its 5th season). Whether it's Buffy's love for her little sis, or Dawn's sobs for her mother, or Willow/Tara's affection for each other, or even the rather psychopathic obsessed love of Spike...

...anyway yeah, in its various forms of grief or despair or pain or guilt or sacrifice, this whole season has been spelling out LOVE -- even as most of the police/CSI series (and Angel too I'd say) have been spelling out DUTY instead. And that, I guess, is partly the reason why I find Buffy much more moving than I find Angel to be.


Most of its villains are still lame though. Honestly, both Adam's and Glory's big thing was how strong they were -- compared to the great Spike/Drusilla/Angelus at season 2 or the Mayor at season 3 those two were just plain disappointing. And what's with those stupid knights? It ought have been a splinter group of *Watchers* that ought be going after Dawn (preferably with machineguns and explosives), not some LARPing rejects with horses and arrows.


Jan. 4th, 2008 10:43 am
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Politics)
Barack Obama's win in Iowa makes me more hopeful of American politics than I've been in a long while.

On the Republican side, I'd have probably marginally preferred McCain, but at least it wasn't one of the more openly pro-torture politicians (like Romney or Guilliani) that came in first.
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Default)
So, Bhutto has been assassinated, and the world grows darker still with yet another victory for Islamic fascism -- as if Iraq/Palestine/Lebanon haven't been enough. But I wasn't planning this for a political post... just happened that Bhutto's killing roughly coincided with a post I was prepping for other issues.


So, anyway... have recently greatly enjoyed three works which I'd heard and been vaguely curious about for years, but for three different (but all stupid) reasons, I never got around to enjoying till now.

Buffy the Vampire-Slayer/Angel )

"The King Must Die" by Mary Renault )

V for Vendetta )
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Politics)
Bah, keep on thinking of updating this and I never do...

Kinda depressed over the coming elections -- they mean less than they ought to mean on any supposedly democratic nation. Anyone can tell me *any* issue that the major parties truly disagree on? And by major parties I mean any of the five big ones (including LAOS).

One longs for the days of Simitis. Back then they accused us of being part of some sort of Jewish/Masonic/Enlightenment conspiracy, and we accused them of being medievalist bringers of the Dark, and everyone was happy. We accused them of being chauvinists, they accused us of being traitors, and everyone knew where to stand. It may not have been nice or intelligent or calm, but it existed -- the choice of where to stand.

But now, with Karamanlis in charge, there's nothing but what I see as a four-headed establishment (soon to become five-headed).

Could write for paragraphs and paragraphs about how just in the last few years this four-headed establishment has proven to:
- support the murder of children, when convenient, as shown in the case of the Albanian boy "Alex"
- support gang-rape, as shown in the case of the Bulgarian girl -- and the events that followed (including a group of fascists violently breaking up those parents and other citizens that protested in support of the girl -- and most media not even bothering to mention this)
- support athletic violence and murder, as shown in the cover-up of the murder of that Panathinaikos fan by the Olympiakos mob under the guidance of that team's own management.
- support ethnic pogroms under excuse of athletic fanaticism, as shown in the case of the murders and beatings of Albanians in the night when the Albanian team had the bad luck of *winning* over Greece.

I could write pages for the above things. For the facts concerning them alone, let alone any analysis thereof -- I could also write pages for my hypothesis that the arsons that enveloped Greece a few weeks ago are as much establishment-tolerated (and thus in the bottom-line establishment-supported) as any of the above crimes were -- as much establishment-tolerated (and thus establishment-supported) as the terrorist murders were up to the point that September 11th made the continuation of November 17th too awkward and embarrassing. No terrorist was ever caught or punished for decades, no arsonist is ever punished even if caught.

But there's no real point in all this. Greece is moving down its path of self-destruction and nothing I'm gonna say will change that.

Anyway, for the first time am gonna be shifting away from the major parties and be voting for the Liberal Alliance (Φιλελεύθερη Συμμαχία) instead.

I wonder if anyone else has even heard of it.
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Fandom)
Gonna be picking up Harry Potter Saturday morning. And spending the rest of the day deeply absorbed in it, I'm very sure.

Depending on how the mood strikes me, I'll see if I post any chapter-by-chapter thoughts on it, as I had began to do with Half-blood Prince.


As a sidenote I'll need to slightly update my "politics" icon:

Because, yo, out-of-date for more than half a year now. We're 27 nowadays, and it still only shows us at 25. :-)
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Fandom)
It's been a while. Ten months or so? Given that, I wonder how long it'll take for *anyone* to notice I made a new post. So I guess I'll just have make this post bright and shiny to increase people's chance of noticing. ;-)

A couple days ago I finished compiling the following, fanart of sorts to one of my three most favorite webcomics, Penny & Aggie and partly inspired by another one of my three most favorite webcomics, The Order of the Stick.

A couple details still irk me on this, but on the whole I think I like. :-)

Too bad I didn't have colored versions for enough of the characters in an appropriate size -- as such for most of them I was forced to resort to their largely expressionless "cast pictures". Ah well.

I think I'll try to be updating my lj a bit more regularly from now on. But we'll see. :-)


Sep. 20th, 2006 08:24 pm
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Fandom)
Gotten myself a new pair of glasses last week -- the frames on the old ones had finally given out with one of the small pieces that supported the nose breaking off entirely. It'd been many years since I'd been in an ophthalmologist's anyway -- my sight has worsened slightly: it used to be 4.5 astigmatism on the one eye, and 2.5/2.5 astigmatism and myopia on the other. Now the astigmatism has gone up to 5.0 on the one eye, and myopia/astigmatism has gone 3.0/2.75 on the other.

But I like my new glasses well enough; the frame is even lighter than the old one, I think. Perhaps in a few months I'll even try out for contact lenses and be done with the glasses' annoyance in its entirety (to be replaced with a new annoyance ofcourse :-)


On other matters, has anyone reading this played World of Warcraft? I got the game 10 days ago or so, and yeah I have to sa that I *like* it.

If anyone's played, let me know the server/realm you are on. I have a character already in "Darkspear", but in a few days I may choose to create another one elsewhere and start from scratch. So it'd be cool to know some people already there. :-)


Back to politics -- we have a democratic revolution in *Hungary* of all places. And one that's actually of a *rare* kind I think: one that pushes the concept of democratic governance forward, rather than merely seek to drive out an obvious tyranny, like e.g the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. Which was a lot more significant, but not quite as original.

It's a muddled concept I'm trying to describe, I think. But the Orange Revolution was like successfully helping rescuscitate a drowned person. Such rescuscitations are *vast* in importance, lifes are saved, but they have been done *before* -- dictatorships have collapsed before before the face of public opposition.

The current Hungarian Revolution on the other hand seems to me like an attempt to cure a disease that has not yet been cured anywhere at all in the world; namely the arrogance of every country's political elite who think that they can even pretend to hold any sort of democratic mandate when they lied to get it.

Even if Hungary's disease is minor comparatively to the death-and-life struggle that Ukraine faced... it's still a *new* cure that's attempted, and so a new dimension of glory, with possibly global repercussion. I hope the protesters succeed in overthrowing that government.


I've downloaded the Windows Vista RC1 operating system, the release candidate that Microsoft's offering for free so that they get a pool of testers.

Now I'm debating with myself whether to actually *install* it on my computer. On the one hand I tend to hold that curiosity regretted is better than curiosity unsated. On the other hand, it's a brand new computer and I'd hate to mess it up. :-)
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Fandom)
To my American friends...

We-beat-you-at-basketball, we-beat-you-at-basketball, nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah! *sticks out tongue*

That'll be all. ;-)
katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Default)
Will be getting me a new computer today. :-)

I first went out to check prices and options a month ago -- but I heard that there was gonna be a major price cut in AMD processors once Intel's latest had come out. So I waited, and it did, and now I'll be getting myself a double-core Athlon with less money than the single-core one I had planned on in the first place.

Also gonna be making sure this one's *quiet*. My old comp had started to bug me, not just with its crashes and delays, which had started making it nearly unworkable, but also with its noise whenever it was on. (which was pretty much continuously as I tend to have it downloading stuff all the time)


katsaris: "Where is THEIR vote?" (Default)
Aris Katsaris

July 2011

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