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Comment: Oregon IT mgmt was great (Score 1) 212

by cstec (#47738695) Attached to: Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website

As a consultant I worked on Oregon's Medicaid system, directly with Oregon senior IT management. It was the first government work I'd done after swearing I never would again 20 years previous, for reasons many are familiar with.

It was shocking; those folks were top notch! No drama, no politics, no crap - just smart people who came to work to get things done, and did it well. I actually looked forward to meetings with the Oregon team because they were that sharp.

I can't say how many of those people might be there now, but knowing them they would have managed their successions too. If those folks think Oracle failed, not only did Oracle probably fail hard, but they will have that fail documented, down to every dotted i and crossed t. Those folks should have been working in the valley.

Comment: Wait for the app ban (Score 1) 104

by cstec (#46051591) Attached to: CES 2014: Stefan Lindsay Demonstrates the gTar (Video)

How long before Apple decides they want to sell their own and bans the gTar app? They already sell instrument training via Garageband, so they might not even bother and just declare it competition banned already.

Suddenly, one hopes there are other phones with exactly those dimensions and same connector.

Comment: Dungeons & Dragons Online is the exact opposit (Score 1) 555

by cstec (#45498519) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: MMORPG Recommendations?

If LotRO is too mindless and dumbed-down MMOs are your bane, then head straight to DDO! It is easily the most complex MMO out there, free to play, and a a great deal of fun. Nothing comes close to the truly insane character customization it has.

DDO basically starts with D&D 3.5, so out of the gate you can have multiclassed characters. So unlike a typical MMO where you're a tank or a caster, in DDO you can literally play a fighter for 10 levels, play wizard for 6 more levels and then play 4 more as a cleric, and have the skills from all 3 at the same time!

From D&D you have the Feats selection, then on top of that, each class has multiple enhancement trees. Currently Wizard has 3 different trees, and you can choose enhancements from any of them. If you're multiclass, you can choose from ALL the enhancement trees for each class, and there's also a racial enhancement tree, so a single character could have as many as ten trees to choose from! And each race has it's own impact on your character as well.

But wait, there's more! Turbine's gone past level 20 ("epic levels") and characters also have epic destinies - yet another enhancement tree system. There are 8 of those, one for each class, but you can choose whichever you want, so you can be a lev 20+ fighter with the druid tree active! You can also also "twist" 3 of the skills from any tree into whatever you're doing, so your fighter can have druid enhancements, and twist in a couple rogue enhancements at the same time.

[shamwow voice]But there's STILL more![/shamwow] And, just because you don't want to be a cookie cutter build, you can also opt to kill your capped character and resurrect them, True Resurrection, which gives your character a permanent past life bonus. In fact you can 3 times .. per class! There is even a feat "completionist" for people who've played and TR'd as every character class. And there are truly insane people in the game who are trying to do that three times for every past life buff in the game.

Of course a fighter/wizard/cleric would be a pretty poor combination, and having druid active may not make sense. Nothing stops you from making a truly gimped character in DDO, and new players generally shouldn't multiclass, but a good way to see the insanity is to check out the DDOracle. It's currently out of date, but look at the what people are playing, in particular the top multiclass combos, and race/class combos. Note there's also a least common multiclass list as well, which is often amusing.

DDO does a good job of being D&D. It's quest oriented, not grind oriented, and XP is based on completion. One of my favorite features is the dungeon master - as you're crawling through a quest, there's a DM voiceover that adds a lot of D&D feel. The other thing DDO does is TRAPS! This is not WoW - dungeons have traps that can and will kill your character instantly on high difficulty. Respect the trap! Take a rogue. Or a cleric that can rez

What DDO doesn't get you is PVP. It's D&D - you versus the dungeons, monsters, pirates, demons, undead - anything but other players. There is an extremely limited brawling facility in taverns and that's it, and no griefing. Adventurers quest together, in parties (up to 6) or raids (up to 12). Evil alignment is not available - True Neutral is as evil as you can get. And everything is instanced, so only in public areas (towns, taverns) are you running past other players -- there are no WoW style 200-person fights around Tarren Mills.

DDO is free to play but there were two paid expansions. Simply playing the game earns you points that you can spend on expansion packs, and in theory you could play long enough and simply earn all the game content. In theory you might be playing when you're 80, too. There are enough points to earn that you'll get expansion packs, but in practice people generally buy at least a few as each pack gives more opportunities to earn points.

Looking over this, I realize it probably sounds insanely hard to play, and it's not. It's D&D. You can just get the client, roll up a paladin and start banging heads all the way to cap and have fun. But there's enormous depth to DDO, and that's what makes it fun. If you want to go farther, will be a bookmark. But gameplay here is a little different. In most MMO's you play the content, get sick of it, and then wait for new content. In DDO it's almost more like golf, where each quest is a golf course that you visit repeatedly, and the real focus is on your character and your game.

Comment: Re:Author's poor interpretation of performance (Score 0) 291

by cstec (#45295211) Attached to: GPUs Keep Getting Faster, But Your Eyes Can't Tell

"There is considerable debate over what is the limit of the human eye when it comes to frame rate; some say 24, others say 30,"

This! Apparently the author is Gen Y (Z?) and didn't live through the painful Hell that was 60hz monitors, which are well below human "framerate". 75 Hz generally fixed the brutal flashing for most people, but that was just for still images. For serious gaming, 100 Hz was finally getting there.

What's sad is how this impacts the dumbing down and slowing down of gaming over time. (Or is it the other way around?) Today's popular shooters are like bullet time compared to old titles, not worth discussing. Going backward from a more real gaming era, Unreal Tournament 3 was slower than UT 2K4/3, which was slower than UT, and so Quake 3, Quake 2, Quake, and finally Doom . Ah the glorious Doom! I shudder to think what this console generation would do in a deathmatch with typical Doom players - with no powerups, no invul, no way to assauge their egos except to have skillz and not suck. Good luck with that.

Of course the article also claims 1920x1080 is a standard. For a TV set, perhaps, or someone being cheap, but that's not a monitor - 1920x1200 is a PC monitor.

Comment: Re:Oh yea, it's fantastic (Score 1) 1191

by cstec (#45007259) Attached to: Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

This is spot on. Maybe some designer told you that gutters are all the rage, but in an era where almost all monitors are WIDESCREEN, the amount of wasted space is epic.

Never let art students design your website or book. They're called 'coffee table' books because they sit on coffee tables not being read, looking pretty and missing the point.

Comment: Re:Not unless your son is a Vulcan... (Score 1) 682

by cstec (#44990121) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Suitable Phone For a 4-Year Old?

Speaking as the parent of a former 4-year-old, I don't think this is going to work the way you imagine. You're better off getting an adult to help your son initiate a Skype call on a computer or tablet. A preschooler simply doesn't have the cognitive ability to read and respond appropriately to error messages and prompts

While I agree with the ultimate suggestion, the specifics here? Not so much. Some 4 yr olds are way, way past understanding a phone, Skype, or the physics of 2 cups and a string. It's just not that magical.

Perhaps OP's kid isn't in the zone. Most aren't, but we need to realize that some are and not hold them back.

Comment: Re:destined to (Score 1) 38

by cstec (#44922225) Attached to: Crowdfunding Platform For Drupal Development Launches

...But if 1% of us would donate 1% of our salary each month, we would rise $5.1M - enough to feed 96.2 full time developers...

Wow. That is delusional like you don't often see.

True, they aren't typically this cheap. Usually they want 10% of your salary to promise that everything will be swell after you die, as long as you followed their orders. This one's on sale.

Comment: Re:Because Linux users never buy anything (Score 1) 1215

by cstec (#43950549) Attached to: What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013?

The Humble Bundle statistics are not the only source that points to the direction that Linux users are more eager to pay for quality software. I seem to recall that the people behind World of Goo released similar statistics. Yes, here they are.

Thank you for making my point. According to your 2dboy article Linux users didn't buy more software, they made more donations. The word "sales" does not appear in their article. Donations are not sales, they're political statements, saving whales, bunnies, trying to scream "woo penguin power", etc.

Those don't translate into day to day sales for devs. And as long as Linux users won't pay for software, devs are stuck with Windows, consoles and OSX. But who knows? Let's watch Ouya and see how devs fare outside of Homebrew Channel ports and emulators running pirate ROMs.

Comment: Because Linux users never buy anything (Score 1) 1215

by cstec (#43949127) Attached to: What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013?

I'm a developer. Linux isn't a target because F/OSS users think that if one thing is free, everything is (or should be, or is when I copy it.) Thus Linux isn't an option, leaving Windows.

And no, I don't care about Humble Bundle averages. Those 'purchases' are political statements that don't translate to sales for actual developers outside the bundle

Comment: Re:Ambient noise (Score 1) 272

by cstec (#43669021) Attached to: Sleep Deprivation Lowers School Achievement In Children

...antisocial behaviour from the party set...

Wait, what? How many geeks have been harped on to get out, go to parties and see real people? Now the truth -- seeing other people is anti-social!

Guess it's back to playing violent video games with a million other people, the last vestige of polite society.

There are running jobs. Why don't you go chase them?