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Punctuated Equilibrium



Posted by Ravrahn , Jul 29 2012 · 193 views

I've got a bit of a procrastination problem. For example, I have a series of exams starting tomorrow, important exams, and yet, here I am.

I can't shake it. I was determined this morning to write some essays and prepare for the English exam, but here we are at 6:30 PM and I've only done a bit of coding all day. I've managed to procrastinate despite very slow internet and stopping myself going on the more time-sinking websites. It's quite an achievement really.

I suppose I could possibly get something done in the hours before I go to bed (early, because I want a good night's sleep beforehand). But then, I don't want to.

Why can't I just go to university now and write apps while learning things I want to and doing work I enjoy? I'm definitely clever enough to go, I've done a uni course before and passed with minimal effort.
That's definitely a first world problem, though. I'm not enjoying my free, high-quality education. I want to spend my time telling advanced miniature computers what to do instead.

I used to love school, then they made my worst and least-favourite subject the most important and only compulsory one. I, and probably the entire country at this point, need to know how to use computers far more than I need to know how to identify themes and techniques. That's a whole other blog post, though.


A Direction-less Rant regarding High School

Posted by Ravrahn , Jul 16 2012 · 544 views

So that's the holidays over. My last school holidays. What did I do? I got a new phone. I wrote and published an Android app. I had several ideas for hardware that I have no way to act upon. Studied a bit. Went out for dinner with friends.

And tomorrow, school. Two weeks, then exams. Eight more weeks, then more exams. Then, university applications, freelance work, real life. My eighteenth birthday. University. Then what?

It's all happening so fast. The final year of school is designed to stress you out, I think. It's all laid back, then suddenly "Oh yeah, by the way, if you don't get above 90% in the finals this year you won't get into university".

That probably read as very self-righteous of me. Perhaps it is. But I think the schooling system could be done much better.

Here's the problem - in the NSW system, at least, literally nothing counts until the last year of school. Year 7 and 8 is an introduction, that's fine, I understand that. 9 and 10 is worthless. They end in pointless, easy exams that don't count. Year 11 is a practice for Year 12, and doesn't count for anything. Only Year 12 counts. I know that 7-11 give you necessary skills, but they could make it impact your mark in some way. Spreading everything out over all of high school has several advantages:
  • It would get kids thinking about their future earlier.
  • People like me would actually try because the decisions they make actually impact their future.
  • It would reduce the stress of year 12.
I would support a change of this nature even though there's no way it could help my situation now. But it's OK. I'll be fine. I'll get into the course I want, and do the jobs I want. I'm an optimist, I just have this unshakable sense that somehow, everything's going to turn out alright.


Hello, Old Friend

Posted by Ravrahn , May 16 2012 · 189 views

I'm back because I need to sell my sets. It's unfortunate, and I'm very sad it's come to this, but I must, because I'm moving and I haven't any space to keep them. I'll probably stay, because if there's one thing I need now, it's more distractions. :P

I feel like I have been gone over a year - I came back after the upgrade, but I just stopped coming soon after. But so much has changed, even in the time I've been gone, three months or so. I'm nearly finished high school, I've turned 17, I've released my first Android app, and, perhaps most importantly, I wear a trilby now. Trilbies are cool.

So I've been reading through my blog, leaving comments from the future... I did a bit better with my predictions than most of those attention-grabbing tech analysts I read about in the news so often.

What can I say? I feel bad for leaving, BZP was a huge part of my life for almost half of it (I signed up 8 and a half years ago, and I'm 17 now). It feels like a reunion. I've never had such a nostalgia rush as I did tonight. It was like opening a time capsule.

Here's to 8 more years (although obviously not, realistically :P) of being active on BZP!



What Bzp Needs

Posted by Ravrahn , Oct 16 2011 · 259 views

Likes/Thanks and Chats.

That is all.


An Age Gone By

Posted by Ravrahn , Oct 15 2011 · 195 views
history, technology and 1 more...
I love seeing how wrong people were back in 'the old days', ie. the 90's. So you could imagine how fun it was for me when I found this ancient website telling people all about screens. I find it hilarious that there was a time when a 1600x1200 resolution was "Terrible" on a 14-inch monitor. I mean, a DPI of 142 is nothing compared to say, the Retina display on the iPhone 4S, or the 720p HD screens on the upcoming Galaxy Nexus and HTC Rezound, but it's pretty good for a (albeit tiny) monitor. It's certainly better than the hideously unacceptable 640x480, which the site deems 'best', with it's measly DPI of 57, which is odd, because the site then states that Mac renders text assuming 72 DPI, whilst Windows assumes 96, so the best would be 1024x768, because the site is optimised for it and it's in between both those sizes.

Posted Image
It is referring to the text size. In the 90's, computers could not scale text, and didn't actually know their monitor's DPI.

The bottom right cell is accurate, though - that's about standard in monitors today. Although we use 16:9 or 16:10 instead of 4:3, but that's about the same DPI and a similar size. I imagine, though, that when this was written (based on the Mac OS screenshot, I place it as late 1999) a 21-inch monitor would have been outrageously expensive and near unheard-of.

I also found this quote: "Larger monitors must contain smaller pixels in order to maintain the same resolution". That's simply wrong, because, if he is talking about the amount of pixels (the actual resolution), larger screens actually need BIGGER pixels than smaller ones to maintain the resolution, because there's more space to put the same amount of pixels in, but he's using the term 'resolution' wrongly, referring to the DPI. For the DPI to remain constant the pixels need to be the same size. That's what that means. If they're smaller, you have a higher DPI. If they're bigger, you have a lower DPI. You will not keep the DPI the same by shrinking the pixels, and if you're talking about pixel size and DPI, screen size is irrelevant.

Furthermore, this person seems to be of the belief that you should change your computer's resolution. Under no circumstances should anyone EVER change the resolution of their computer from their screen's native resolution. You lose sharpness, all the elements are too big/small, the computer can't optimise the display for your screen, and it just generally looks horrid.

OK, rant over, I don't want to be annoyed at 90's people. I'm sure they were just ignorant/primitive. I'm also sure that the people of 5-10 years in the future will look back at us and scoff at things just like this - Flash, perhaps, or RAM. Or displays that aren't transparent. Or lack of hover technology. "McFly, you bojo!", they'll say, "Those boards don't work on water!"

"Unless you've got POWAH!"


My Technology Isn't Good Enough

Posted by Ravrahn , Oct 14 2011 · 227 views

This morning came the release of Ubuntu 11.10, Oneiric Ocelot. I rushed to install it, left in a hurry for school, and arrived back to find it pretty much done (it had to pause to ask my permission while I was at school). So now I have Oneiric. Cool. It brings signifcant improvements. Skype, for example, loads about three times as fast. The settings are much neater, and Mac-like. In fact, it has a bit of a Mac OS feel to it, what with Unity. But that's good, because Mac's user experience is fantastic.

Anyway, I was awfully excited to be running the new and improved version of Unity that comes with Oneiric, because I'd grown to like Unity, despite it's bugs, and the improvements were pretty big. But about 5 minutes in, I discovered that I could hardly use my computer for lag. It was awful. The cause? Compiz, the 3D effects behind Unity. It was using a whole 120MB of RAM, and that was increasing my computer's viscosity tenfold. Essentially, I need a better computer.

So what do I use now? I loved Unity but I can't use it, and Unity 2D is hideous and featureless. I'm not going back to GNOME 2. I'm currently running GNOME-Shell, which seems cool, but unlike anything I've ever used before. It's very minimalistic, which I love, but unfortunately (and necessarily, considering the design), seems feature-light. Not too shabbily, pressing the Super (that's Windows) key opens up a Unity-style dock, notifications, expose-style window previews, and previews of all the workspaces open (which are organised in a vertical manner, for some reason). It reminds me of iOS, because of the clock right in the middle of the panel up top.

Well, I may settle for this, I'll probably have to. I suppose I could try Xubuntu or Kubuntu, but KDE and XDE don't really appeal to me from what I've seen of them.

None of this would be an issue if it weren't for my blasted hardware issues.


Hello World

Posted by Ravrahn , Oct 14 2011 · 220 views

Here is a list of things I cared about that happened in the break:
  • Doctor Who (it was BRILLIANT).
  • Two thirds of year 11 (a reasonably good year) (also lol it took ages to come back).
  • I started my last year of high school.
  • I started making an Android app.
  • I decided what I'm doing in university (Computer Science and Chemistry double-degree)
  • My phone is practically destroyed.
  • Android 2.3.2-2.3.7 and 3.0.1-3.2 came out, and 4.0 comes out on Wednesday
  • The iPhone 4S was underwhelming.
  • Steve Jobs passed away, which was terrible.
  • My average tweets per day passed 1.7, up from 1.1 since the forums went down :P
So yeah. Those things matter. But more importantly, yay, the forums are back! I swear I don't blog nearly as much on my off-BZP blog.


Portal 2

Posted by Ravrahn , Apr 21 2011 · 193 views
Game of the year. Definitely.


Google Cow

Posted by Ravrahn , Apr 01 2011 · 174 views
Google added a Cow to their body browser - another April Fools' joke, I think. Very good.


Google's April Fools

Posted by Ravrahn , Apr 01 2011 · 323 views
I've found two so far.

Chromercise - First I thought it was a new Chrome Short, but it was pretty obviously April Fools. Quite funny. I'm not in the US so I couldn't try getting the finger bands, unfortunately.

Gmail Motion - Frikkin' hilarious. Especially the words the motions produce. Top stuff.

Anyone see anything else?



Official Ds Topic

Posted by Ravrahn , Mar 30 2011 · 159 views
They're discussing the 3DS in the DS topic. Did they discuss the DS in the GBA topic, too?

Why don't people realise that the 3DS is not a new DS, it's a next-gen handheld?


3ds Hands-on!

Posted by Ravrahn , Mar 12 2011 · 252 views
I got some hands-on time for the 3DS today.



Also, some info from my conversation with the staff guy at the event:

- He told me to expect an 8th-Gen Nintendo home console at E3 2012
- He also said that 2012 will be a "big year in gaming" (emphasised on Nintendo)
- The 3DS has a 200MHz GPU (I think it was GPU) underclocked at 133MHz
- It's also got a (I think he said "low power", maybe dual-core) CPU, which is for MULTITASKING (YAY!)
- 64MB of RAM
- Browser is Opera-based, enhanced version of Wii's browser (He said Flash support was highly likely!). The browser MAY have the DSi's problem of not loading large pages fully, but he said it probably won't.
- The 3DS will be a "3D Media Hub" - supporting all kinds of 3D content.

He was a total gaming geek - I think he worked for Nintendo, but I'm not sure (I'll have to check). If he doesn't, take the first two with a grain of salt.

It was seriously incredible to use. I hope I can get one!


EDIT: My Twitter has some more info (I think).

EDIT 2: Just remembered! Twin ARM 9 (Not Cortex, he emphasised) processors, probably low-power too.


Got A 360

Posted by Ravrahn , Mar 06 2011 · 150 views

I got a 360 yesterday, with Reach. Reach is awesome =D

My gamertag is ravrahn1


@stephenfry Birthday Tweet!

Posted by Ravrahn , Mar 04 2011 · 159 views
It was my birthday on the 28th, and Stephen Fry wished me a happy birthday! I was so happy!

Also the board's back up. Yay.


Changing My Name Back

Posted by Ravrahn , Jan 28 2011 · 217 views
The nightmare is over - Soon I can change it back.

Should I go for Ravrahn or @ravrahn? Probably going to use the latter.


Tweaked Profile Image

Posted by Ravrahn , Jan 26 2011 · 169 views
Swapped height for proto, because I know nobody cares about my height. I had fun making the proto bar.




The Next Psp

Posted by Ravrahn , Jan 25 2011 · 250 views

Will have Kinect.

That is all.



Posted by Ravrahn , Dec 31 2010 · 207 views
Let's start off the year with some trolling, shall we? tongue.gif

If I timed this right, as I'm sure I have, this will be the first blog entry posted from 2011 on BZPower, assuming no premier members live in NZ or Japan and also plan to do this.

Since I live in Australia, I have the opportunity to post this entry during 2011 while the rest of the world is still in 2010. When I posted this, it was between 5 and 8 AM in America, and around 1PM in Britain. But here, it was 2011.

I don't actually have much to say. Just this...

Happy New Year!

I'm starting the year with QI, I should think.



My Last Entry Of 2010

Posted by Ravrahn , Dec 31 2010 · 187 views
And possibly my last entry in a year with two 0's in it, how exciting!

Well, I had better make it of some substance. I'm not going to do a recap, or anything like that, no, no. I'm going to make this good.


2010 was fun, but 2011 will be better. There's a novel idea.


If anything, I think 2011 will be one higher than 2010.


Predictions: Death and taxes, and possibly other things as well.


I'm going to be the first person on BZP to post a blog entry from 2011. Until then (2 hours and 5 minutes),




Posted by Ravrahn , Dec 19 2010 · 146 views
Official Twitter for the Mars Phoenix rover. It's bio is "I dig Mars".

I wasn't going to follow, but that pun was fantastic.

Recent Comments


Stars: 6/6

Glatorian: 6/6
Legends: 6/6
Agori: 6/6
Titans/Specials: 3/3
Vehicles/Mounts: 4/6
Movies: 1/1

Phantoka: 6/6
Mistika: 2/6
Av-Matoran: 6/6
Titans/Specials: 1/3
Vehicles/Mounts: 1/6

Barraki: 6/6
Mahri: 4/6
Small sets: 4/4
Titans/Specials: 0/5
Vehicles/Mounts: 0/1
Playsets: 0/3

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Inika: 4/6
Matoran: 1/6
Titans/Specials: 0/4
Vehicles/Mounts: 1/4
Playsets: 0/4

Visorak: 1/6
Hordika: 3/6
Rahaga: 1/6
Titans/Specials: 2/5
Playsets: 1/5
Movies: 1/1

Vahki: 2/6
Toa Metru: 6/6
Metruan: 3/6
Titans/Specials: 2/2
Vehicles/Mounts: 0/2
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Bohrok Kal: 2/6
Rahkshi: 6/6
Matoran: 1/6
Titans/Specials: 1/1
Vehicles/Mounts: 2/3
Movies: 1/1

Bohrok: 2/6
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Turaga: 3/6
McToran: 4/6
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Total: 130/231 = ~56%