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Comment: Beat Hazard (Score 1) 279

by Spacejock (#42891605) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Really Short Time Wasters?
I load up my fave game (Beat Hazard, available through Steam) and blast away on one of my fave MP3s. As short as 3 mins, or as long as 30. Obviously it won't fit the bill if you're using a work PC, but I code at home.

I'm not associated with the company, related to the developers, etc, etc. I just find it a very good time-waster for short amounts of time.

Comment: Re:Obvious Solution (Score 1) 64

by Spacejock (#42284277) Attached to: Current Radio Rules Mean Sinclair ZX Spectrum Wouldn't Fly Today
Later gen 16k models could have the memory upgraded by using the ram chips off a PC XT motherboard. I did this to one of the 16k speccys in my collection, while leaving another in original condition. Of course, these days it's probably harder to find an XT motherboard than a 48k speccy ...

Comment: Re:Australia (Score 5, Interesting) 1651

by Spacejock (#41522839) Attached to: To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets
I quit cycling and sold my bike when they introduced mandatory helmet laws in Australia. Many years (and quite a few kg) later I caved in and bought a bike, but it still seems ridiculous that I have to wear a helmet to cycle 500 metres to the local shops. On the other hand, when I'm riding 40-50km distances on my road bike I'd rather wear a helmet and gloves because I ride faster and travel on a lot of roads with traffic.

Comment: Re:I would recommend an e-ink reader (Score 1) 415

Seconding e-ink. I have a Kindle 2 for reading and a powerful laptop for gaming/programming/media/etc. Reading on an e-ink device is like reading off paper. (The more light you shine on the screen, the brighter it gets.)

On the other hand, reading off a tablet or LCD is like holding sheets of paper up to a flourescent light. I get enough of that every day on the PC & Laptop, and when I read I don't want more of the same.

Comment: After the next election? (Score 2) 67

by Spacejock (#40961797) Attached to: Australian Gov't Drops Plan To Snoop On Internet Use — For Now
Judging by the polls, in 2013 the Australian Labor Party will be handed the biggest caning in the history of Aussie politics. Roxon won't be in power to enact this legislation, and Conroy (Mr Internet Filter) will be out on his ear too. So, where the ALP and their policies are concerned, 'after the next election' equates to 'once hell freezes over'.

Comment: Re:Programming languages (Score 1) 221

by Spacejock (#40882437) Attached to: Bilingual Kids Show More Creativity
I've always said computer programming should be moved to the Arts faculty in universities. Getting kids to study the highest-level math when most computer programming involves syntax and logic is insane. English is my first language but I'm fluent in Spanish after growing up there, and I also have enough French get by. I did an arts degree at uni in the 80's, but in the late 90's I went back and got a computing degree as well. I don't remember a whole lot of math usage during my studies, and I acheived an 80-85% average over the three years. (I flunked Math in high school, btw, which is how I ended up doing an Arts degree in the first place.)

Comment: Re:Case in point: Skyrim (Score 2) 197

by Spacejock (#40693773) Attached to: The Decline of Fiction In Video Games
Agreed. I have hundreds of hours on Daggerfall, Morrowind + Expansions and Oblivion + Expansions, but Steam tells me I've played Skyrim for a total of 23 hours. (20 of those were spent looking for things in the inventory, or switching between items in the inventory, or screwing around with the inventory. Ten minutes were spent installing an inventory fixer addon, but I haven't loaded the game since.)

Comment: Re:Good luck with that (Score 2) 323

I paid $90 for Oblivion, $90 for Skyrim, and that's about it for full-priced titles over the past 7-8 years. Over the past three years I've gone Steam and GOG crazy, hoovering up cheap games and spending way more than I used to when it was 'pick one title and make it last'. At my age I reckon I have more games than I can possibly finish in my lifetime, but I still keep buying the suckers.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten