Regular Spelling
Thoughts and observations about language

Internet Flu

The internet is on fire. It has caught the infection of rumor, over lack of knowledge of the new Swine Flu. One of the biggest infections is Twitter, which, over the weekend, was exploding with hundreds of tweets every minute, full of misinformation about the flu.

Never before have he had such a medium for such misinformation to spread so quickly. We've had chain letters, chain e-mail, chain phone calls, but the simplicity that the Web 2.0 world offers us today means that there's just so much more available to people - and people are so much more inclined to use these tools - to talk about issues. And because of it, wildfires begin. Wildfires spread. And mass panic, much larger than anything before it, begins, spreading, infecting everyone, far faster than any actual disease could.



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Date: 29 Apr 2009 - 01:29
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The End of History

So Yahoo has announced that they are pulling the plug on GeoCities, one of the earliest free web hosting sites on the internet. It's been years, and fallen by the wayside, and modern social sites such as Facebook and Myspace have filled the role it once held: for people to have personal pages.

Like probably a lot of the web developers around my age, the legacy of GeoCities is something that has affected me. Years ago, so far back that the Internet Archive doesn't have any records of it, I had a page on GeoCities. It started out as a hosting of an - I believe - 8th Grade computer class that had HTML development as part of the course. An age past, where I had a StarTrek.com e-mail address as my personal e-mail, before that was shut down, and I was only beginning to learn.

Much like the beginning of anyone at the time, the site was atrocious. Anyone who used the internet in those days can remember rampant proliferation of animated GIF-heavy sites, which were just absolutely horrid to look at. I was no exception, here, in the first days of learning how to code, Animated GIF's and <MARQUEE> tags in a barely-readable site. If I remember, the site was just talking about some of the pre-release images from Pokemon Gold & Silver, and had a MIDI of the FF2 (the NES one) Overworld theme playing in the background.

We've come a long ways since those days, and the face of the internet has evolved drastically. And now, all we can do is watch, as one of our oldest still-living ancestors passes to the grave, and salute in silence. It gave us the push, brought us to where we are today, and without it the user-based Internet might have been a very different place. A salute to GeoCities, a symbol of our past.



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Date: 24 Apr 2009 - 05:56
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Progressive Generation

So it's been over a week since I last posted on here, longest for a while. I've been mostly busy with steady progress at Spiral Island. I think I'll have all the framework completed by the end of the month, and from there it'll be just adding the data and doing graphic and sound work, with minor tweaking along the way to code. I was going to put up a video on Youtube of the technical work so far, but my notebook's webcam wasn't doing well picking up from our DLP television.

Seeing a project come together like this, after years of planning, is very nice. I've heard it said several times in the video game developer industry that if you're not completely hating the project by the time it's out the door then it's a rarity. So far, I haven't hit that point. Aside from sheer boredom from some of the programming my excitement to have it done and see it live grows with each passing day. Even the programming work is exciting, at times when it's actual probelm solving and not writing the same thing over and over (mainly drawing calls to paint everything on the screen); there's been several times I've been literally bouncing around my apartment while programming and listening to music. Consuming whole 2 Ltr. bottles of Mt. Dew may have contributed to those instances, but that's beside the point, the point is that it's my work I'm seeing come together. And with most sessions I'm learning something new about the language, and finding new (and usually better) ways of doing things to get the goal.

When everything's said and done I'll have a lot of post mortem work to do, so will be adding a lot both here and on the revamped AnacondaSoftware site at that point. I'm also going to start a crash course into re-learning Japanese using the Pimsleur method right after release, so I can get a Japanese version released as well. I'll go more into that as in the future, and talk about that several times as I go along that process.



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Date: 23 Apr 2009 - 01:12
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XML Reversion

Back some time ago, when I was doing major work on Castle Tilemap Editor, I had posted that I didn't like XML, for various reason, although the one I primarily was complaining about (despite the way that post might read) was difficulty to work with. Apparently, as it turns out I was doing it wrong.

While working on figuring out how to save data for Spiral Island, a few weeks ago I stumbled on a .NET structure called the XmlSerializer. This is pretty much an XML parser on steroids: it will automatically take some structure and with a couple commands, either export a complete XML file or import the data from an XML file to whatever I specify. In fact only 1 command, setting aside the commands for opening the files to write to or read from them.

In light of that, I've been a lot more friendly towards XML usage, since it's much simpler to set up then what I was doing in Castle Tilemap Editor. I still think it's unnecessary space waste, though.



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Date: 14 Apr 2009 - 21:58
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Semi-machinated

A  new part of Red Ice is now posted. And I'm not sure how exactly to pronounce the name, to be honest with you, it's been ages since I did any study of German and so the character's proper pronunciation escapes me.

For the spell, I couldn't really think of much due to fatigue. Translated, it is "From the ice of the north, From the fires of the south, from the forests of the east, from the cities of the west. Messerweiß (White Knife), I am your servant. Accept my oath!" It's German version, though, I'm only fairly confident in.

What I did was use Google Translate and Yahoo Babelfish to machine-translate the phrases, and compared what I got against a German/English dictionary. I went with whichever was closest, first of all, and made other word adjustments as I got from the dictionary. Hopefully all the words should be right, but I'm not entirely sure about the sentence structure.

And as for the name of the device, Messerweiß, I'm not even sure if I can concatenate words like that in German. I'm basing that solely off of the word Sinneslöschen, or "sense-delete" (although Google Translate instead gives me "clear meaning" which seems to be the opposite meaning), the alleged developer name of the urban legend arcade game Polybius. (I plan on going more into Sinneslöschen in the future so I won't digress onto that topic right now).



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Date: 09 Apr 2009 - 16:41
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Navigational Emphasis

For the most part, navigating around Salt Lake City is a peice of cake, compared to some places. The city is laid out in a grid system, with major streets running North-South and East-West at a certain distance from the center of the city, Temple Square. So if you want to find an address, the easiest way is to give it's coordinates, and worry about street names later. Not all the subdivisions are mapped in straight lines like that, of course. Land claims, zoning restrictions, landform anomalies, and so on and so forth dictate that individual roads curve as necessary. But the main roads make it easy enough to navigate to a zone and go from there.

In the subdivisions, though, things aren't so simple. And my example today comes from the area around the city capitol, directly northeast of Temple Square. A roomate and I had to navigate there this last night to get some stuff. It took us a while to find the address we needed to go to because we ended up turning down the wrong road initially. Driving down narrow alleys, dead ends, and steep hills trying to backtrack and start over took up a fair amount of the trip time. However, the most unusual part of the trip was a couple of the roads.

This was a pair of roads, running parallel to each other going North-South (I believe, I didn't know what direction I was going by the time we got back out of there and onto State Street, so I might be wrong). There was about 50-60 feet separating the roads, not any houses in between them I believe just parkway. But the real problem was in their names. They both had the same name: Canyon Road.

But they didn't quite have the exactly same name. As I looked at it, there was a difference. One of the two roads, the East one (presuming they went North-South, as mentioned above), was spelled in capitals: CANYON ROAD.  All the signs I saw indicated this, one as "Canyon Road" and one as "CANYON ROAD", leaving me wondering how they determined that road naming. One of the two roads more important or something? Or was the surveyor standing in the same place and the person giving the names had to shout from the far road and so they decided to name it accordingly.



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Date: 07 Apr 2009 - 03:40
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Randomly Seven

The below can be blamed on me singing the Five for Fighting song 100 Years into the Speech Recognition in Windows Seven. Pay it little mind.

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Date: 02 Apr 2009 - 12:28
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