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.
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.
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:
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:
There’s also a thread on the Story Games forum regarding the pay what you want model.
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.
I’m with Wikileaks.
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:
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!!
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 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.
Für Weihnachten wünsche ich mir…
Tönt alles realistisch. Die Traveller/Diaspora Mittwochsrunde hat sich nämlich vorgestern in eine Labyrinth Lord Runde umgewandelt. Zumindest bis Sommer 2011. 😊
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.
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:
02031_Weisstannental.jpg, and two entries for a Photo with title “Weisstannental”, and no way to match them up. This makes no sense.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today we played My Life With Master in our biweekly Monday system experiments group. I liked it! Things I noticed:
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. 😊
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.
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:
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.