iBook vs. Inspiron

My (super smart and very sexy) girlfriend returned my iBook to me. I have been lugging it around with my Dell Inspiron 9300, which I purchased as my primary gaming system last year. The two laptops are totally different animals and I hadn’t really grasped that until I broke out the iBook and started to use it at work.

The Inspiron is a 17″ widescreen desktop replacement. It has power and speed. I can play EVE or BF2 on it with no problems and it looks and runs great. But, I can’t pop it out of my backpack and work on it for an hour or so and then put it up without busting out the power adapter and finding some room to clear off my desk. The two laptops represent two opposite ends of the laptop spectrum, yet they both have some kind of attractive quality that I enjoy. The iBook is simple and polished in every detail. From the physical design to the operating system (OS X). The Inspiron is like some kind of container for a giant screen and a video card, caged in a plastic shell so I can actually take it places. If the iBook were Face from the A-Team, the Inspiron would be B.A.

EVE Online

I’m a little surprised I am still playing EVE Online. It’s a really good game and I am surprised at the size and available options it presents. If you like massivly multiplayer games, I think you should feel obligated to try EVE. Many aspects of the game remind me of my old days playing MUSHes and MUDs.

I think that moderate playing has contributed to my enjoyment. Taking it slow, in a decent corporation, with no pressure to race ahead. This type of playing is augmented by the method EVE uses to train skills. My character learns new things over time, even when I am offline. It means my time spent not playing is more valuable than most other games I am not playing.

Umstead and Black Creek

Yesterday, some friends and I rode into Umstead from Cary. It was a good ride and my second for the year. I am hoping that when daylight savings kicks in and the weather is generally warmer, I will get more rides in. Got about an hour of straight riding in. The cooler weather made me really appreciate picking up a shell from REI last year. Keeping the wind out makes the 50 degree weather tolerable.

The Min-Maxing of Society

Playing role playing games (or RPGs) is something that I did when I was younger and still do sometimes today. Though, when I was younger, Dungeons & Dragons was a sure fire sign you were a devil worshiper and today playing RPGs is just on the fringe of being cool. Here is a link to a definition of min-maxing in respect to playing RPGs for those who aren’t familiar with the term. When someone sits down to fabricate a character for a particular role playing game, a min-maxer will decide what they want their character to excel at. This goal will then determine what attributes or skills for that character are useful and which are useless. For the min-maxer, the entire potential list of attributes for their character is broken down quickly into useless and useful categories. Not only does this lead to insane characters who are one dimensional and not well rounded, it props up the attitude that anything less than optimal is worthless. If the attribute, skill, or character isn’t the best and most effecient at some goal, it’s useless and should never be considered for the task at hand.

It’s not hard to see how this attitude is starting to become more and more widespread in society. Everything is distilled to black and white, useful or useless, terms. In PC games that I play, certain attributes or abilities are either praised as the way to go, or denounced as worthless and it’s inferred that you are a moron for using them. Any options you are provided with on how to play the game is quickly nullified by the community who determines the most effective choices and that is not the defacto standard. All other options are inferior for one reason or another.

I see this same attitude outside of games. Issues that our society deals with are never grey anymore. They are reported and evangelized as black or white, good or evil. There’s no wiggle room, no room for discussion or compromise. All or nothing, and if you aren’t on their side, you are the enemy. It goes for advertising, as well. Polarization of products tells us that the latest item for sale is the best and anything else is worthless.

Why bother making peace when you can turn anything into a war?