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Swert Blag


Why I Like My Microsoft Products (And Not Your Products)

Posted by Swert , Oct 28 2011 · 112 views

So, this is more or less an open letter to my friends and people who I talk to all the time: I like Microsoft products.

Don't leave the blog just yet. I'll explain myself.

While growing up, I had many devices in my life. The company did not matter, because they had their plus and minuses across the board. I had VCRs I can't remember the company name of, I have had a few DVD players of similar status, TVs of non-namebrand companies, computers of only the Swert brand (I helped build the family computers, it's only until recent that I didn't; more on that in a moment) and plenty of media players ranging from MP3, CD and even cassette tape (I'm old school 8D).

These days? You have a brand name product. You -have- to. I have chosen the one I prefer to buy from, as you may have done as well. It doesn't bother me you may have bought an Apple device (or been given one as a gift), do you know what really bothers me about them?

You're bragging about it.

Yes, I get my Zune HD doesn't have Angry Birds. This is because all the apps on the Zune are free. FREE. Yours cost $0.99, true, but I can get a similar game for free if someone develops one. And considering the device supports XNA, it's possible for someone to develop one. You don't need to rub it into my face I can't play this game, it doesn't bother me.

And don't think you Google fans can escape this rant blog entry. I use Gmail, I also used to use Google itself. I chose to use Bing instead. I also don't buy into the whole Chromebook theory of cloud computing; I like local storage over cloud storage, especially given how often cloud has gone down for various companies, Microsoft included.

And yes, I will also accept MS "fanboys" need to chill out as well. I'm not talking people worse than me, I will include myself in this. I have a passion for the company, because I felt it very easy to develop for the platforms they put out. On top of that, I love all of my devices from them so far: Xbox 360, Windows 7, Zune HD, Zune Pass, Hotmail, Windows Live, the list can go on. I do, however, accept that I need to be more subtle about my love for the products I buy and use. However, I feel I should mention this to people who know me:

I don't use only Microsoft.

I have a phone, it's from Samsung. Not even WP7. I have a laptop, made by HP. My desktop? Dell. I happily use all of these and many more without problems.

So now I ask this: Why such hatred towards one specific company? I include myself in this rhetorical question. I admit it, I dislike Apple; I don't like their business practices, I think their products are overpriced, and I wouldn't be caught dead playing my music on iTunes, or browsing with Safari on my PCs. I have absolutely no problems with you guys using them, though.

As for Google? Anti-trust lawsuit, anyone?

So, in other words, I dislike the company itself. I never dislike the product they make. I'll admit it, the iPhone is a lovely piece of technology. The screen is sharp, it does its job, it won't lag up when it's in vanilla mode, and so forth. On the other spectrum, Android is a fine OS, so long as you don't modify it from here to the moon and back fifty million times, which incidentially is what the OEMs do. Where do the flaws lie in these two technologies? For one, the hardware on the iPhone is updated once a year, and you're "expected" to keep up or you're a nobody. The Android OS keeps fragmenting itself further with newer and newer user interface changes and updates, plus the hardware is not the same across the board, so stuff tends to break. By the time Android 5.0 comes out, I predict the only ones that will update with it are from this year alone. I'm predicting the 2009-2010 series of phones won't even be able to upgrade, if they can't already to 4.0. At least Apple solved that by keeping the hardware limited, but it's still a lot of hardware.

Yes, I know nobody will even be down here to read this line, so I'll just wrap up with a tl;dr section:

tl;dr: Let's all stop being biased towards one end of the spectrum, and accept each other for them, not their tech. I have a Zune, I want a WP7, friends have iTouches and iPhones, I want a W8 Tablet, they want iPads and maybe Android tablets, let's all just get along anyway.

... Though as soon as W8 comes out, HS01 Metro app. You know it's gonna happen 8D


Going To A Floyd Concert With Cholie

Posted by Swert , Oct 25 2011 · 67 views

And we didn't even have to leave our chairs : D

I love Skype chats.


Project: Build Mata Nui Poll (Of Sorts)

Posted by Swert , Oct 21 2011 · 146 views
Project: Build Mata Nui
So, my boss (Dan Parker, if you're new to my blog) asks a valid question, one I feel we should address to you all.

The island is now looking to be 10 feet (120 inches, 12 32x32 baseplates) in length, from Po-Wahi to Le-Wahi and all its surrounding islands. We're anticipating the width will be 5 feet (60 inches, 6 baseplates) or so, and he was going to design little block figure Toa and Matoran, averaging about 2 inches for Toa, one inch for Matoran. A few friends have suggested I'm exaggerating details quite a bit on many things, including these figures.

So now I ask you: Should we design 2 inch Toa for a 10 foot island of Mata Nui, -or- should we just focus on the island itself?

Another question: I'm expecting to be able to use real Bionicle elements (such as a Gold Kaukau for the waterfall, and gold masks for the statues in Po-Wahi) but people suggested those are WAAAAY too big for this scale. So do we want to exaggerate the size there in those (thus allowing you all to submit) or do we just skip them?

Also, though I won't be taking any model submissions yet, how about we compile a list of the MNOLG and MNOLGII locations and landmarks we can include. I want this to be a mindblowing creation, so big and effective that Mata Nui himself would pop his eyes out (and crush 5 blocks each). However, I want to know what you see when we build Mata Nui the island. Do you want to just see one landmark per location? Maybe 3 per? Do we want to add a cutaway to see Onu-Koro? I'd honestly like to hear your input.

And finally, one last question. This one is a short one, I promise. What do you expect to see other than this model? Do we want to try and create other things towards it, like maybe larger Suvas, or even a large mask? Do we need any of that?

All of this and more down the line will help me better prepare for the task upcoming. I'm honestly looking forward to it. Except the volcano, that'll be a big task :P


Upcoming Project: Build Mata Nui (In Lego System)

Posted by Swert , Oct 20 2011 · 307 views
Swert, Xccj, LEGO and 1 more...
So, I mentioned before in my ignored blog post that I wanted to build Mata Nui the island. Xccj and I discussed it, Dan Parker and I discussed it, and we're ALL on the same page to get this done...

in March.

Now why do you, the reader, care?

Cause at some point, we will be asking for fan-submitted Mata Nui System-Based locations. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO MAIL ANYTHING TO US. We are going to have as much material as we can muster for this project, and so long as you provide good photos or instructions, we can rebuild it. If you are like me, with limited material -at home-, feel free to use LDD Extended. We don't need it immediately, we're nowhere near ready for anything at all yet. The scale we're looking at in total (for now) is 10 32x32 stud baseplates in length, 6 baseplates in width, and maybe 2 plates in height from the baseplate up (this figure is flexible for now). It'll be a sculpture, not a mosaic.

When we do ask for models (Feel free to build a few now) we'll tell you. Meantime, the following are already taken by either myself, Xccj, Dan Parker or someone I have asked:
  • Ga-Koro Naho Falls (with the Kaukau mask, Gali's)
  • Po-Wahi's Six Toa mask statues
  • Mangai (We'll handle it :P)
  • Toa figures (Dan has an idea for them, we'll most likely have a few models.)
Now, the earliest we can even begin to plan this is November. I myself can't even begin to build towards it in the shop until January, maybe December of this year. We also have plans for Kini-Nui, but will welcome all suggestions :P

Please, we ask if you do build in LDD Extended, build using known actual parts. For example, if it's tan in your photo, but no tan exists, we can't use it. Also, if it's a premium part with a premium color, assume we may not have it. That's sad, but we can adapt it. (Example: Dark Red may look nice in Ta-Koro, but we can use regular red too.)

I hope to have more information for you all soon, but for now keep it in mind.


There Be No Ponies Here

Posted by Swert , Oct 17 2011 · 165 views

No seriously, there aren't.


... But I do have something else nostalgic to show you!

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Moc Ideas

Posted by Swert , Oct 17 2011 · 170 views

Xccj had his, so now I should keep a log of what I want.

1) Weighted Storage/Companion Cube
If I make a WSC, I'd make it light up. If I make WCC, it'd just be standard. I can find enough plate to make the stripes light up.

2) Microcity scale anything
I am fascinated by micro, being that I personally have limited parts in system. I can envision a whole table layout, using 8x8 plate as my base, either baseplate or regular plate. Nearly anybody could submit an 8x8 plate of any standard color, and we could just combine them. Imagine a playground made by fifteen different people, or even a 16x16 Dome building.

3) Sounders FC on a soccer pitch
I could make all XI starter players of the 2011 Sounders FC team. Pipe dream, but I think it'd doable.

4) Mata Nui stone
I think I could generate one similar to my cube, it'd be simple and unique.

5) Mata Nui island (collab. project)
As you might be able to tell by now, I'm a -huge- System builder. Not in popularity, but in preferred building style. My boss, Dan Parker, suggested to me at BrickCon 2010 he wished to build the island of Mata Nui as a sculpture. The size he wanted was outrageously large, TOO large. For his idea to work, we would need at MINIMUM 90 15x15 baseplates, in length alone. We want to build much smaller than that.

It may happen this year, it may happen next year, it may happen in 2013 assuming we all live, but it's -going- to be built. It's too awesome not to be.

And yes, that'll be a huge project, regardless of its scale.


Kasey Keller Day

Posted by Swert , Oct 15 2011 · 160 views

If you're a Washingtonian, then happy Kasey Keller Day : D

Since the majority of you are not, let me explain.

Kasey Keller is the Goalkeeper of the Seattle Sounders FC, the Major League Soccer franchise in Seattle, WA. He is actually playing his final home game of his career tonight in Seattle, as he is retiring at the end of the season. At last count, over 60,000 supporters will be going to CenturyLink Field (our home stadium, shared with the Seahawks) to watch. We cap the stadium at around 30,000 on normal games. Both the Seattle mayor and the Governor of Washington declared today Kasey Keller Day in the city of Seattle and the state of Washington.

Kasey Keller was born in Olympia, WA. He is a veteren of the game, playing for nearly 24 years around the world. He was also the United States Olympic team GK in 1996 (knocked out in the group stage), was a part of the US Men's National Team from 1990–2007 (making 102 apperances for them), and has served for nine seperate football (soccer) clubs. Awards include the CONCACAF Gold Cup (3 total: 2002, 2005 and 2007), the Football League Cup (one, 1996-97), and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (3, 2009, 2010 and 2011).

It's with pride to know that a 3-year franchise, the Sounders FC, started with such an honored player of the game. It is with deep regret the Sounders fans let him go, but at least he can go out with a bang.

And at least the Timbers aren't getting him.


I Love My Job

Posted by Swert , Oct 14 2011 · 143 views

Have you ever gone to work, set up a laptop, sat for a few minutes to wake up, then get to work on building a sculpture in LEGO?

There -is- a drawback... sifted through an old construction toy collection for cleaning... and there was 50% Mega Bloks. o_o bbl dyingofcancer.


From: Exclusive Artwork: Merrick Fortis 3.0

Posted by Swert , Oct 14 2011 · 485 views

Hey guys, got something great for all the Hero Factory fans out there. While BZPower was getting its forums upgraded, we had a chance to contact Elmer Damaso to have him draw a particular "expanded universe" character. As you know, Mr. Damaso is the artist of the Hero Factory comics found in the LEGO Magazines and online. Having him draw a character who doesn't have a comic form was pretty exciting, especially for those at HS01. While he was drawing this character, we got contact details from Mr. Damaso about the group that colors for the Hero Factory comics, Digital Art Chefs. After obtaining the final version from Mr. Damaso, we commissioned DAC to color the artwork.

Now, on behalf of the HS01 Staff, I would like to present Merrick Fortis 3.0:

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Source: Exclusive Artwork: Merrick Fortis 3.0



Posted by Swert , Oct 13 2011 · 142 views
Isn't it ironic...

Now that BZP is back, there's hardly anything to do?


In fearful day...

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