31 May 2004 9:47 pm

Just watched episode one of Wonderfalls. I suggest you do the same (don’t feel bad; you’re not ripping anyone off — yet. Consider it a long trailer, whetting your appetite for an eventual DVD release).

My question is: Why the hell was this show cancelled? In a field of increasingly inspid and mind-rottingly poor programming, good shows like this and Firefly are relegated to the Nielsen ghettos and delivered stillborn, before they can find an audience.

First impressions? This is a show with tight writing, good comedic values, and actual heart. Caroline Dhavernas is absolutely fascinating as the show’s central character Jaye Tyler. She’s snarky, she’s underachieving and conflicted, and she hears voices. In that sense, it’s actually quite easy to generate audience-identification.

Plus, the actress is Canadian! And, whilst set in Niagra Falls, New York, it’s actually filmed on the Canadian side, where the view is much, much prettier.

Maybe, like that other great, sadly cancelled-too-soon series Firefly, they’ll come out with a DVD set. I’m not holding my breath, but one can hope.

Odd factoid: Wonderfalls is Tim Minnear‘s show. Same Tim Minnear as in Firefly (cancelled). As in Angel (now cancelled). Fox sucks. Is there something not financially viable in fantastical shows with a core composed of equal measures of good storytelling and heart?

31 May 2004 7:56 pm

Courtesy of Slashdot Games comes a charming tale of some university students with too much time on their hands, who attempted and succeeded in playing Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles without using a single Game Boy Advance.

The basic method was as follows:

  1. Obtain a GameCube with Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles
  2. Obtain four more GameCubes, each with their own Gameboy Player, wireless Wavebird controller, and hooked up to their own individual televisions
  3. Connect each Gameboy Player-equipped GameCube to the GameCube with FF:CC
  4. Play the game in multiplayer mode.

This project earns geek points due to its ridiculous nature, adherence to the strong foundations of Maxwell’s Demon’s principles of perversity, and for the sheer cabling mess involved.

The only downside I can think of is that, with four TV’s as monitor-sources for the individual GameCubes, each player now knows what the other player’s secret objectives for Loot Maximization Earning are. On the other hand, it’s now a helluvalot easier to see the overall map / monster stats / treasure locations / etc.

I still don’t know what the author of this piece is on when he claims to resist giving in to Nintendo’s marketing scheme by not buying a GBA. Because, you know, the other four GC’s + wavebirds + TV’s are so much cheaper. And, as the owner of a GC and a GBA, I gotta say I use the GBA a lot more than I do the GC. Remember kids, if you don’t have friends with GBA’s, you can always evangelicize. Right Dave? Dave B? Doug?

29 May 2004 3:30 pm

So, I’m headed off to The Comicshop’s 30th anniversary party tonight (they didn’t have to twist my arm hard; they said there’d be refreshments). Think about that, for a while: my local comic store’s been open for thirty years. I was told that, at an event held at the annual Diamond Comics Retailer’s convention, all comic store representatives were told to stand up. All those whose stores had been open for less than a year were told to sit down. Then those whose stores were open for less than two years… four years… six years… In the end, when the announcer had reached the twenty year mark, only The Comicshop’s rep and one other rep were standing. This in a room filled with over several hundred people.

I’m proud to shop there; the staff is genuinely friendly and they don’t suffer from Comic Book Guy syndrome. And with the ever-increasing range of products out there, it helps to have some input and opinions from the staff on whether or not a certain title or author would suit my tastes. It’s not as if they don’t know what my tastes are; I’ve been shopping there (intermittently) since I was thirteen, and regularly since I was sixteen. Together with Orion, I have subscription Box #1 (though with Orion off in the wilds of Alberta, the box is all mine these days). I’d rather pay a bit more for my product obtained from The Comicshop than for the same product bought elsewhere; I know I’m supporting a geek-friendly environment that, in turn, supports geek-friendly activities.

I’m also relatively pleased to see them stocking more manga titles these days. It attracts a different crowd of comics-buyers (it’s always good to see more girls reading comics, and it might just help the next generation of young geeks become a little less terrified of interactions with the opposite sex).

25 May 2004 4:53 pm

Well, happy day! It looks like Season 2 for Maria-sama ga Miteru — Maria-sama ga Miteru ~Haru~ will be airing starting July 4. I sincerely hope Lillicious picks this up for fansubbing, seeing as the odds of this show ever making it over here to these puritan shores look as bad a boy sneaking around the Lillian Academy grounds.

Yumi and Sachiko, part deux

Yumi and Sachiko

Woot! July! That gives me a whole month to put together a cogent review on the first thirteen episodes.

13 May 2004 11:40 pm

Wow. Movable Type 3.0 is out, and it has a pricing scheme that essentially kills its use among its most devoted following. Mena of Movable Type has stated that they’re devoted to providing a free version of the product, which, on the surface, has reasonable limits: one author, three blogs.

On the other hand, most Movable Type adopters tend to fall into the “web design-geek / server script-monkey” mold (guilty), and these people like being able to set up multiple weblogs for, say, their friends. That was one of the reasons I adopted MT in the first place; many of my friends were scattering across Canada and the States, and I would have liked to see them post about their experiences as a way of keeping in touch (granted, this has not been as easy as some would like, and the hard drive failure from last winter has put quite a few blogs on hold — my apologies, Orion, Yomimono, and Andy).

I’m not such a total skinflint that I won’t pay for good software (I purchased the copy of Opera I use, as well as Trillian, EditPlus and numerous others), but if I wanted to spend $119.95 USD (that’s something like three million dollars Canadian, methinks) on a hobby, I’d rather go out and buy a new XBox, or put the cash aside for the Nintendo DS, or buy a better digital camera, or save some for a gashapon shopping spree for Japan. But with MT’s new pricing scheme, and no new features to boot? I think I’ll stick with MT 2.661. I’ll not be so foolish as to return to my old home-rolled content management system, but I’ll definately be looking into the alternatives (pMachine, WordPress, Drupal and others come to mind).

Ah, the exciting world of software licensing. Watching the trackbacks from Mena’s post has certainly been interesting; there’s a lot of negative feeling in the MT community, and a genuine sense of betrayal. While I wish Movable Type and their employees all the success in the world, they’re going to have to do a lot of hard work to earn back the goodwill they seem to have squandered.

My personal opinion? All told, $119.95 USD for 6 authors and 8 blogs (which is, I believe, what numenor.ca’s maximum load would be if it were functioning at full efficiency), is actually a rather reasonable price — if MT existed in a content management system vacuum. Compare this to what the average anime / video game hobbyist would pay for their personal vices ($20 – $40 USD per volume of a series, or around $40 USD per game, and that’s not including peripherals like new controllers or memory cards), and it’s actually quite cheap.

There are, however, other content management systems which cost users absolutely nothing out of pocket. And if a devoted Movable Type non-profit power user were to upgrade, I think that springing a $50 – $70 USD minimum price increase (previously $0 USD) on them is a bit much. This is what seems to have brought the community’s wrath down upon Six Apart: expectations simply weren’t managed, and they’re now paying for it. I’ll be very curious to see how this plays out; will this be a Netscape-ish end for Six Apart, with other CMS’ like WordPress stepping to the fore, or will they parlay this as a simple misstep for a growing company, and show some goodwill by changing the pricing scheme?

Hmm. I should really change this category from “Blogwork” to “Oh, god, he’s blabbering about website stuff again”.