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2010-12-04 New Compact Camera

I thinking of buying a new camera. I took some pictures with my Wikipedia:single-lens reflex camera (a Pentax K100D). While biking in Mauritius, I finally decided that the camera was too bulky. I need something smaller to put in a pocket and possibly take pictures while riding my bike.

Any suggestions?

A friend recently bought a Sony DSCTX5, and he got an recommendation for a Nikon p7000, but I’m not sure…

Update: I bought a Sony DSC-HX5V. I noticed that you need “GPS assist” data on the camera, which you can download using the Windows-only PBM application. Booooh! Luckily I found a way to do it manually and a gpsassist-update monitor that will download it anytime I mount an appropriate memory card.

Right now, however, I have a small problem: the assist data is marked as invalid with an expiry date of 2010-12-13 – 2011-1-11 which seems plausible. Weird!

Update: I got a signal at last! Had to carry it around with power-saving turned off for about a quarter of an hour.

Update: If the GPS assist data is no longer downloaded automatically, verify that the directory Private/SONY/GPS/ exists on the memory card. Create it manually, if necessary.


Comments on 2010-12-04 New Compact Camera

My wife is very happy with her Panasonic Lumix. Small, reasonably fast, 7x Zoom.

– Harald Wagener 2010-12-04 17:29 UTC

I just recently bought a Sony DSC-HX5V and am really happy with it. GPS, compass, HDR and Sweep-Panorama are some pretty nice features for such a small camera. And it takes amazing photos in low-light conditions.

Andreas Gohr 2010-12-04 20:20 UTC

Hm, die Sony DSC-HX5V sieht gut aus. Das langsame Aufstarten des GPS und die Unschärfe hat dich nie gestört?

AlexSchroeder 2010-12-05 10:26 UTC

Also, http://www.suntimes.com/technology/ihnatko/2936532,digital-camera-guide-ihnatko-120110.article

– Harald Wagener 2010-12-05 12:41 UTC

Hmm Unschärfe ist mir noch nicht aufgefallen. Der GPS-Fix braucht manchmal ne Weile, wenn er dann aber da ist, funktioniert’s auch wenn du die Kamera zwischendurch aus hattest und ne Weile rumgelaufen bist und wieder einschaltest. Ich muss aber gestehen ich hab noch nicht all zu viel mit dem GPS rumgespielt.

Andreas Gohr 2010-12-06 10:21 UTC

Hm, dann setze ich die Kamera mal auf meine Wunschliste. ;) Im Nachhinein hätte ich auf meinen Ferienfotos nämlich oft gerne noch Geodaten drauf gehabt…

Bald wünsche ich mir, dass Google Picasa meine Bilder auf Flickr einfach importieren würde.

AlexSchroeder 2010-12-06 13:07 UTC

Jetzt muss ich nur noch herausfinden, wie ich zu gültigen “GPS assist data” komme. Zwar habe ich die manuell runtergeladen und installiert, aber im Menü werden sie immer noch als “invalid” bezeichnet. Und natürlich sollte ich mal zu einem ersten GPS lock kommen. Wenn ich das recht verstehe kriegen die Telefone viel bessere Lokalisierung hin, in dem sie die Signatur der wifi Netze über das Netz abgleichen? Funktioniert bei iPhone auf alle Fälle unheimlich gut.

Im Moment findeich schon mal cool, dass die Kamera automatisch merkt, dass ich ein Portrait mit Gegenlicht mache und passend kompensiert. Sehr cool.

AlexSchroeder 2010-12-13 14:01 UTC

Hab die Kamera bisher nur ohne Assist-Data benutzt. Mir ist aber auch nicht so richtig klar wie das funktionieren soll, denn WiFi hat die Kamera ja nicht.

Andreas Gohr 2010-12-14 09:34 UTC

Hat bei mir geklappt! Gemäss der Anleitung von Henrik Brix Andersen die assistme.dat Datei runterladen und im /PRIVATE/SONY/GPS/ Ordner speichern. Bei mir hiess es dann zwar immer noch die längste Zeit, die Daten seien “invalid” (aber mit Ablaufdatum in 30 Tagen), aber sobald ich einen GPS fix hatte wechselte die Anzeige auf “valid”. Von dem her bin ich zufrieden. Wieviel Unterschied diese Korrekturdaten machen, weiss ich nicht, weil ich keine Ahnung vom GPS System habe.

AlexSchroeder 2010-12-14 10:22 UTC

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2010-12-06 Polaris

Polaris I was talking to some friends the other night. One of the things we do is run a biweekly “systems” RPG night where we try out new rules for one to three sessions. Many of these games are indie games. J. asked me about our Polaris experience. As I wrote on a previous occasion, it didn’t go very well. But as we were talking about setting and mood and not systems per se, I started talking about the default Polaris setting: some sort of ice elves living in a clean and fantastic ice age, the dawn of the corrupting sun, the order of knights, the demons, and key phrases and rituals to help you get into the spirit. I told J. that I really felt we should all have read the book before sitting down to play because it sets the mood so well. After reading the book I wanted to give Polaris another try.

Thus, today I went to check out Ben Lehman’s site. And this is what I saw:

As an experiment, I’m trying a new pricing model for my eBooks. For right now and at least until the end of the month, Polaris and Bliss Stage are moving to a “pay whatever you like” model. […]
As part of this experiment, you can also receive the pdfs at no charge by writing to me at taogames@gmail.com and asking. Please let me know why you’re interested in the games, where you heard about them, and so on.
This is an experiment which will hopefully lead to more exciting things in the future. I hope I can make this work. – Ben Lehman [1]

Wow! I approve! I decided to donate USD 6 which is not a lot. Maybe I’ll donate some more if we actually run the game and I end up loving it after all. :)

As for the rules, for those of you not familiar with Polaris: There is no game master. Instead, four people meet and the person sitting across from you acts as your antagonist. You have attributes that keep getting better, but eventually you have negative attributes that keep getting better as well, until you finally fail in your fight against demons, the sun, corruption, or whatever else the theme of your campaign is. It’s subtitled “chivalric tragedy at utmost north” and I approve of this subtitle.

I also like this summary on the Polaris homepage on why you might want to play the game:

I wrote Polaris to give myself the horrible beauty that I wanted to get from in Nobilis, but could [not] find in my own play of that game; to give myself the smooth GMless play that I wanted to get out of Universalis, but couldn’t find in my own play; the moral decline that I wanted from Sorcerer but it wasn’t geared to produce; the fairyland magic of Dunsany’s stories that I had never thought possible in a role-playing game. If you like Nobilis, or Universalis, or Sorcerer, or Lord Dunsany, or if you wanted to like any of them, you should try Polaris.
I finished Polaris because I wanted to show that death in a role-playing game is not a bad thing. If you like it when your characters suffer and die, you should play Polaris. – Ben Lehman [2]

There’s also a thread on the Story Games forum regarding the pay what you want model.


Comments on 2010-12-06 Polaris

I’m happy to try Polaris again.

– Harald Wagener 2010-12-06 22:46 UTC

Nice review by Emily Short on her blog.

AlexSchroeder 2014-03-07 20:13 UTC

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2010-12-10 Wikileaks and the Transparent Society

Currently Wikileaks is doing the United States diplomatic cables leak. At the same time, Julian Assange was arrested on rape charges, and companies like Paypal, Mastercard, VISA, and Swiss Postfinance kicked out Wikileaks. Shame on them!

All of this seems to be the world adjusting to a coming Transparent Society. This is also a book by David Brin where he argues that currently those with lots of resources have the means to invade your privacy, that in the old days there was very little privacy, that therefore privacy was maybe a doomed concept, and what sort of alternative would we want. The transparent society is a society where privacy is lost in both directions. Not only can you spy on other people using public cameras – other people will also be able to see that you spied on them. Hopefully that would level the field somewhat.

As companies are spying on us as we surf the web using cookies such as the Evercookie, javascript, and prepared Flash animations; as governments force providers to keep logs of our online activities; as biometric data in our passports keep invading our privacy, we adapt. We don’t mind. But we presume to look back at the big corporations, to leak their secrets, to expose their corruption, their double speak, their lies.

I’m with Wikileaks.


Comments on 2010-12-10 Wikileaks and the Transparent Society

Ich auch … dann könntest du ja auch den Link vom Kopp-Verlag so weit und so oft es geht veröffentlichen. Ich habe nicht die rede dafür. Es muss herausgefunden werden, ob die 2 Mädels für ihre aussagen bezahlt werden, oder ob Assange sich wirklich falsch benommen hat. Denn diese Sache bringt ihn hinter Gitter, nicht unbedingt Wikilieaks ;).

– mama 2010-12-12 13:33 UTC

Naomi Wolf on rape, justice and Julian Assange – sad in its own right. 😟

– Alex

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2010-12-15 Sea of Five Winds is a Go

I’ve been running a biweekly science fiction campaign on Wednesday evenings. These sessions are short. We play from 20:00 to 23:00. We started out using Mongoose Traveller and switched to Diaspora. But I just never got into the science fiction groove. Even after seeing all the Firefly episodes, I felt a bit stumped.

This evening everything came together. I wanted to talk about the campaign in 2011, our mid term plans. Before I knew it, we were talking about our preferences, our dislikes, and made the following plan: I was going to run Labyrinth Lord in the Wilderlands of High Fantasy until the summer 2011. That’s going to be about 12 sessions. Then we’ll see. If we feel like changing, Harald might run some Earthdawn and Artesia inspired The Shadow of Yesterday.

I had already prepared a few pages on the new (German) campaign wiki, so I had already picked a starting location: Oakcomb on the Sea of Five Winds and Tlan map. I had prepared four missions:

  1. pick up some stuff from Oglepuss
  2. pick up some stuff from Greydowns
  3. guard a merchant on the way to Pillage
  4. fight a giant riding a huge mesozooic bird and wielding a gargantuan lance in exchange for half the kingdom of the acorn elves

The party decided to go to the Greydowns. :)

We also rolled up some characters. The two average guys decided to play a dwarf and an elf. The elf ended up with a single hit point. The third player rolled up a below average character with a charisma of 17. I offered the bard class from Jonathan Becker’s B/X Companion. The offer was accepted.

I am soooo excited to get this campaign started in 2011!! :D ok <3 vee 8-)


Comments on 2010-12-15 Sea of Five Winds is a Go

Sounds like fun times. You will have to let us know how it goes. The last of those quests sounds like some seriously good times.

Shinobicow 2010-12-16 02:23 UTC

I’m really looking forward to see how long I can stake it out with one hit point.

– Harald Wagener 2010-12-29 23:59 UTC

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2010-12-16 Schools of Magic

Other people have written about one possible limitation for Magic Users in the reading of the B/X Rules: magic users and elves may only know as many spells as they are able to cast per day. Their spell book just cannot grow beyond this limit. I will still let magic users and elves start with two first level spells and one second level spell, however.

I’ll give the above limitation a try in the Labyrinth Lord campaign we’re running in the first half of 2011. We’ll see what the players think of it.

I’ve also thought about introducing the Five Color Magic by Lord Kilgore or Color Magic by Roger the GS. But I’ve decided on something simpler.

I’ve started to make a list of 9th level magic users (many of them inspired by magic users played by myself and others in different games in recent years) and assigned them their spell book according to the limitations discussed above: three first level spells, three second level spells, three third level spells, two fourth level spells, and a fifth level spell.

Learning about the spells at the disposal of the various magic users in the setting, searching them out and learning their spells is going to be an important element of gaining a level. Essentially these magic users are the magic schools available for player characters.

The campaign starts out near a settlement of elves sailing the sea ruled by their queen Gerdana. Her spells basically define the standard spells available to regular magic users in the area.

I’ve also tried to go through the collection of spells I gathered from the Ancient Vaults & Eldritch Secrets blog, assigning these spells to the various 9th level magic users of the setting. That’s how I’ll introduce new spells. We’ll see how well this goes.


Comments on 2010-12-16 Schools of Magic

I think this is a pretty awesome idea. And I don’t even like Vancian spellcasting :P

It also makes tomes with unique spells awesome treasure, both for magic-users and elves, but also for the NPCs of the setting. I remember various articles, from Dragon magazine as well as WotC’s site, that talked about unique spellbooks, the wards that guarded them (opening a spellbook could be an adventure unto itself), and the spells contained within.

Adrian 2010-12-16 22:43 UTC

There’s more discussion of the limitation imposed on magic users here: Screwing Magic Users. I think that the intent is that you either spend money researching your own spells, or you are taught spells by other magic users. I think there is no copying of spells from scrolls and magic books.

I do like the idea of well guarded spell books, however. They must still be protected from thieves, I guess. And having a spell book containing the spell might cut down research time and cost significantly. Maybe halving it? I need to look at the research rules.

AlexSchroeder 2010-12-16 23:10 UTC

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2010-12-17 Weihnachten

Für Weihnachten wünsche ich mir…

  1. dass die neue Ausgabe des deutschen Labyrinth Lord endlich fertig wird (d’uhhh, ich hatte verpasst, dass die zweite Auflage schon für die RPC 2010 fertig gestellt wurde!)
  2. dass der Name der deutschen Ausgabe auch deutch klingt, also Herr der Labyrinthe und nicht “Labyrinth Lord – Herr der Labyrinthe”,
  3. dass man die deutsche Ausgabe des Spieles ab sofort auch gratis auf http://herr-der-labyrinthe.de/ runter laden kann (und dort nicht nur einen gut versteckten Link unter Veröffentlichungen → Regeln → Grundregelwerk → Mantikore Verlag findet) (im Moment funktioniert der Link nicht, aber das melde ich noch) (aber ausgezeichneter Name der Domäne, übrigens!),
  4. dass die existierende PDF Version der ersten Auflage (lila Titel) einfacher zu finden ist,
  5. dass die Labyrinth Lord Seite vom Mantikore Verlag einfacher zu finden ist,
  6. dass die Versandkosten vom Mantikore Verlag in die Schweiz (dh. nicht-EU, dh. weltweit) von 7€ auf etwa 3-4€ gesenkt werden (yay, habe gesehen, dass man das Teil auch über Amazon.de bestellen kann)
  7. dass bei Sendungen des Mantikore Verlages in die Schweiz die Mehrwertsteuer wieder abgezogen wird (bin halt Amazon.de bzw. Amazon Marketplace verwöhnt)
  8. und dass ich meine D&D 3.5 / Pathfinder RPG Montagsrunde zu einer Labyrinth Lord Runde umwandeln kann.

Tönt alles realistisch. Die Traveller/Diaspora Mittwochsrunde hat sich nämlich vorgestern in eine Labyrinth Lord Runde umgewandelt. Zumindest bis Sommer 2011. 😊 ok

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Comments on 2010-12-17 Weihnachten

@1: Es IST seit April 2010 veröffentlicht! @2: DAS hat sich leider nicht geändert, aber ich denke “LL” ist schon eine griffige Abkürzung, die ich nicht missen wollte. @3: Auch das wird wohl eher ein Traum bleiben, denn diesen Download gibt es offiziell gar nicht mehr. Also - Psssst! ;-) @4: Siehe 3. @5: Mantikore hat leider gar keine eigene LL-Abteilung! Eine sehr ärgerliche Tatsache, unterstützt man das System doch schon seit 8 Monaten! @6/7: Dann bestell doch einfach über Amazon.de… @8: Da hoffe ich einfach mal mit dir!

Moritz 2010-12-17 10:03 UTC

Danke für den Amazon Hinweis. Das hatte ich ganz vergessen! Werde ich meinen Spielern weiterleiten…

Ich glaube ich liess mich verwirren, als ich im Forum las, “Das Grundregelwerk und auch der erste Kampagnenband – Die Chroniken von Larm – sind schon jetzt vorbestellbar und werden ab April lieferbar sein.” Ich hatte nicht bemerkt, dass dies im März 2010 geschrieben wurde! :)

Den Download “gibt es offiziell gar nicht mehr” – das fände ich schon extrem schade! Wenn ich mir die Lizenz nochmal anschaue, sehe ich eigentlich auch keinen Handhabe gegeben eine Verbreitung des Werkes.

Die product identity ist wie folgt deklariert: The names Herr der Labyrinthe™, Labyrinth Lord™, Advanced Labyrinth Lord™, and Mutant Future™ when used in any context, are product identity. All artwork, logos, and presentation are product identity, with the exceptions of the Known Lands map and artwork used under license. The name Goblinoid Games™ is product identity.

Alles andere ist open content. Da müsste doch einer der Urheber gegen eine Verbreitung der Bilder oder der product identity Begriffe vorgehen. Das Copyright liegt bei Daniel Proctor, Thorsten Gresser, Moritz Mehlem, Clem Carlos Schermann, Alex Schröder, Marcus Sollmann und Jörg Theobald. Ich kann mir nicht vorstellen, dass einer von uns dies verbieten wollte.

Ich werde mich auf alle Fälle dafür einsetzen, dass eine deutsche Übersetzung gratis als PDF verfügbar bleibt. Warum deutsch-sprachige Leser gegenüber englisch-sprachigen Lesern diesbezüglich benachteiligt sein sollten, ist mir unerklärlich. Ich finde ein legales, gratis PDF nämlich die beste Werbung für das Spiel. Bevor man zahlende Kunden für das gedruckte Werk hat, braucht es nämlich vor allem mal Spieler.

AlexSchroeder 2010-12-17 11:38 UTC

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2010-12-18 Flickr to Picasa

I just read Yahoo Just Killed… Consumer Confidence In Them and I have to agree. I am a Delicious user, and the first thing I thought upon reading the news was “I should bite the bullet and migrate all my Flickr pictures to Picasa!” I have not done that yet because I didn’t want to keep everything I do online in Google’s multitentacular embrace. Oh well…

I started looking for a non-Windows Flickr backup tool. Right now I’m using FlickrEdit which is a Java Webstart application, so if you have a decent Java installation, you should be able to start it from its webpage. It is currently downloading 1800+ images “in sets” from Flickr. Strangely enough it can only backup “selected” images, so you need to preview all your images before you back them up. That’s a lot of images… I’ll keep you posted. I’m not sure this is quite working as expected. :(

I also installed GoogleCL, a command line tool for Google applications. Unfortunately it doesn’t allow me to add bookmarks to Google Bookmarks. That requires the Google Toolbar. sucks

Now I’m waiting for the Flickr backup to finish. Let’s see whether I can use the Gooogle command line tool to recreate my Flickr sets as Google Picasa albums using the command line… Or just use the Picasa application? We’ll see when we get there. ;)

Update: I had to restart the FlickrEdit backup process a few times, but currently have 1850 images in my folder taking up about 4,6G of space.

I also tried FlickrGettr which didn’t quite work. I contacted the author and he confirmed that no longer maintained it.

I also installed Migratr on a Windows machine via remote desktop. It seemed like the ideal solution. I started downloading all my Flickr images. After a while it stopped importing images and I found a file called errors.log which said:

The remote server returned an error: (504) Gateway Timeout.
   at System.Net.WebClient.DownloadFile(Uri address, String fileName)
   at System.Net.WebClient.DownloadFile(String address, String fileName)
   at Migratr.PhotoServices.FlickrBasedPhotoService.importFromSource(String filePath)

Hm. I guess I’d have to try downloading the images a few times. This is no good, since it will try to upload the images it got before letting you quit. And it crashed while uploading the images to Picasa Web.

In the mean time, I tried PhotoGrabbr… It took forever to down the pictures. Perhaps that’s why it’s not getting a timeout error? In the end PhotoGrabbr downloaded 2104 images but took only 3,7G of space. I wonder what that means. When I look at the images downloaded by FlickrEdit I notice that some pictures have been downloaded up to three times! And I still get less files than using PhotoGrabbr.

Thus, PhotoGrabbr did the job of getting all the images. It also built an XML file containing an entry for ever picture, its title, its description, its tags, and its location (which is always empty for my images). :)

I currently have two problems, however:

  1. The XML file doesn’t provide a unique identifier for the Photos. I now have two files called 02030_Weisstannental.jpg and 02031_Weisstannental.jpg, and two entries for a Photo with title “Weisstannental”, and no way to match them up. This makes no sense.
  2. There appears to be no information concerning the sets and albums the image belonged to.

I restarted the entire process, picked a different download directory, and instead of clicking the “Download All Photos” button I marked all the sets and clicked on the “Download” button. That should help be reconstruct the sets. I also deselected the following options:

  1. Use the photo’s title as the filename
  2. Skip downloading photos with duplicate filenames
  3. Prepend sequential number to filename

Maybe I messed things up the first time around!

I downloaded all the photos with the settings I mentioned above, got the original Flickr filenames such as 333137065_9520df0f41_o.jpg, and a XML file containing the Photosets – but once again the Photo element itself contained no link to the filename, or the URL. It just contains title, description, tags, and location. It appears to be impossible to link the metadata with a file!

There are only two situations in which this will work:

  1. you never gave a custom title to your Flickr uploads such that the title tag is the unique filename the photo got from your camera in which case you should check the option “Use the photo’s title as the filename”
  2. by sheer luck all your titles are unique in which case you should check the option “Use the photo’s title as the filename”

Otherwise you’re toast.

I’m thinking about writing my own script using Perl’s Flickr::API and Net::Google::PicasaWeb.

Whoa, installing these two modules via CPAN pulled in a shit-load of modules!

Spending a few hours trying to get a Flickr login, I think I’m ready to put this to rest until Flickr does in fact shut down. :(

I call flickr.auth.getFrob and use the frob to call flickr.auth.getToken. This fails with the message Invalid frob. Maybe it’s time to authorize my application? I visit the URL given by $api->request_auth_url('read') and am redirected to a web page that says Oops! Flickr can’t find a valid callback URL. If I face it by appending &callback= I get the message Oops! The API key or signature is invalid. which makes sense, I guess. The problem is that the first URL doesn’t have a callback URL (and I don’t need one).


Apparently GoogleCL has similar problems accessing Picasa. I keep getting errors and requests for tokens and other crap. This sucks. sucks


Comments on 2010-12-18 Flickr to Picasa

Keep me apprised. I am still on Flickr, but fortunately I have most, if not all, of my pictures on my hard drive. I, too, am afraid of submitting completely to our Google overlords. But at this point it seems inevitable…

Adrian 2010-12-18 23:40 UTC

Right now it seems that PhotoGrabbr was the only one to actually download all the images and the metadata belonging to them. The information regarding the sets was lost in the process, however. That’s not good.

AlexSchroeder 2010-12-19 08:59 UTC

Ehe, that doesn’t sound like a rational decision. Do you really think google will never close any service it provides?

PierreGaston 2010-12-20 08:43 UTC

Hehe, of course not. I dislike services that lock you and your data in. But even if they do not – like Flickr and Google – it takes tools and technology to actually move them around. This lack of tools has been nagging at the back of my mind for a while, now. I just needed an excuse to spend a nerdy day investigating my options.

As far as rational decisions go, it was certainly a very bad decision to spend a Sunday in front of the monitor instead of going out! :)

AlexSchroeder 2010-12-20 09:15 UTC

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2010-12-18 SVG Karte

Für meine neue See der Fünf Winde Kampagne habe ich mal mit dem Kampagnenwiki angefangen. Insbesondere hat es dort eine Seite, welche den Spielern D&D alter Schule näher bringen soll.

Zudem habe ich angefangen, mit Inkscape eine Karte für die Spieler zu machen. Für diejenigen, die Inkscape noch nicht kennen und sich auch mal daran versuchen wollen, habe ich vor einiger Zeit mal eine englische Anleitung geschrieben: Old School Hex Map Tutorial.

In der neuen Version von Inkscape kann man mit Rechtsklick auf ein Objekt und dem Menü Create Link und erneutem Rechtsklick und dem Menü Link Properties die Objekte mit Seiten auf dem Kampagnenwiki verlinken. Das finde ich schon sehr cool.

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Comments on 2010-12-18 SVG Karte


Karsten 2010-12-18 17:22 UTC

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2010-12-22 Delicious to Google Bookmarks

I used the online service Delicious to Google Bookmarks to migrate all my bookmarks over to Google. I switched from the Delicious bookmark add-on to GMarks to use Google Bookmarks within Firefox.


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2010-12-23 Love Bots


Cubicle Rage by kensanata, on Flickr

LoveBots by Kit Robot is a silly iPad app that will allow you to pick and arrange bot parts to create funny robots appropriate for flyers, invitations, avatars, and the like. There’s a Flickr group for uploads: The LoveBots by Kit Robot. I found the app via a post on BoingBoing: LoveBot: design robot avatars on iPhone / iPad.


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2010-12-28 My Life With Master

Today we played My Life With Master in our biweekly Monday system experiments group. I liked it! Things I noticed:

  1. All characters were basically identical. There is no niche protection, and none is needed.
  2. Characters had two negative attributes, and the master has two negative attributes. Nothing else was needed.
  3. Players spend a lot of time talking about the scene and explaining the results of the single die roll made per scene. The rules push you into this situation, but there are no rules governing the main activity itself.
  4. As you fail and weariness and self-loathing increase, you start looking at your stagnating love score and realize that you need to find friends and love soon, or you’ll end up loosing against the master. It is a game about finding love. That makes your life as a wretched minion bearable.
  5. The players loved looking up the fate of their character after the master had been defeated. I like how finding closure is part of finishing the session.
  6. The other two characters took their own lives. Mine went on to serve another master. We explained it as the other two dying in the crumbling castle, none of the children rescued, the inspector blamed my character, I hide in a forest and am consoled by a friendly women that takes me in. She, of course, is a witch and turns out to be the new master…

A nice game for one-shot sessions! We created the master, our characters, and ran the game in a three hour session.

I had recently heard about it on Canon Puncture episode 101 featuring My Life With Master. What we played matched what I heard on the podcast. Well done. 😊


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2010-12-28 New Print On Demand Option

RPG Now (aka. DriveThru RPG) is offering print on demand services! And shipping more than three pounds to Switzerland is costing less than $9. I think I like it! :)

My first order (and apparently I am not the only one who ordered one of these):

1 x The Great Pendragon Campaign
- Download Format: None.
- Print Format: Softcover B&W.
1 x King Arthur Pendragon: Edition 5.1
- Print Format: Softcover B&W.
International Shipping (3.363 lbs)
(Direct Link Lettermail Economy (5-7 working days))

One of the driving forces behind purchase was the solo game on the RPG Corner.


Comments on 2010-12-28 New Print On Demand Option

Great pick ups. Let us know about the quality of the books. I’ve heard conflicting reports.

Tim Shorts 2010-12-28 20:57 UTC

I’ll be sure to post something!

What convinced me was chgowiz' post on his blog. I’d love to see some Lulu competition.

Another positive review here by Sean Holland.


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2010-12-30 Looking Back

A Paizo tweet made me post on this EN World thread about the games I played in 2010. Here’s what I wrote.

I joined a group with the goal of trying as many game systems as possible. What I played:

Outside of this group I also played three sessions of D&D 4E and a session of Star Wars Saga edition.

And in my regular campaigns I played:

  • Rolemaster (got switched to Legends of Middle Earth)
  • Legends of Middle Earth (got replaced by A Song of Ice And Fire)
  • A Song of Ice And Fire (I had to quit – no more time!)
  • Mongoose Traveller (got switched to Diaspora)
  • Diaspora (got replaced by a second Labyrinth Lord campaign)
  • D&D 3.5 (two campaigns still ongoing)
  • Pathfinder RPG (one campaign still ongoing)
  • Labyrinth Lord (just started a second ongoing campaign)


Comments on 2010-12-30 Looking Back

Jealous! :D

This year we have played 4e D&D more than any other game (at least once every two wees, more in Summer). Second is RISUS (which is rapidliy rising in group popularity) with just a handful of sessions of ICONS, M&M 2e and 3:16 to our name.

I crave the variety you have managed to achieve!

greywulf 2010-12-30 14:28 UTC

Hehe. I would not have believed it a year ago. Basically half the group is game masters that have separate groups of mono-system players. :)

AlexSchroeder 2010-12-30 14:44 UTC

Since then, we have also played:

  • 5 sessions of Burning Wheel
  • 3 sessions of Apocalypse World
  • 1 session of Fiasco
  • 1 session of Mythic whatsitsname Generator
  • 1 session of Archipelago
  • 1 session of PDQ in a swiss fairytale
  • what else?

lior 2011-12-01 09:50 UTC


  • 1 session of Lady Blackbird

AlexSchroeder 2011-12-01 10:26 UTC

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2010-12-30 Looking Forward

What would I like to see for 2011 in terms of role-playing?

I don’t think there is enough time to do all this in 2011. But three items out of the above list would be a great start. :)

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Comments on 2010-12-30 Looking Forward

Count me in for the Dragon Age mini-campaign and the Pendragon excursus. I’m also very much looking forward to our campaign-try-out with the monday-group. It will be interesting to see where this is going.

Jörg 2011-01-04 23:40 UTC

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Define external redirect: TransparentSociety DavidBrin WiFi WotC PierreGaston