Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

Archive for January, 2006

Week #3

Posted by Trixter on January 15, 2006

Puzzling measurements today:

  • 228 pounds
  • 31.5% body fat
  • Blood Pressure 139/81

My body fat percentage stayed the same, yet I lost three pounds. This can mean two things:

  1. Scale variance/inaccuracy, which I’m okay with, or
  2. I’m losing muscle instead of body fat, which I am not okay with.

Hopefully next week will show a better trend. Week-to-week measurements are still a bit too fine for my tastes, given that my weight fluctuates +/- 3 pounds every day anyway.

Posted in Weight Loss | 2 Comments »

Kernel Seasons

Posted by Trixter on January 14, 2006

Note to other computer nerds trying to lose weight:  If it weren’t for Kernel Season’s Gourmet Popcorn Seasonings, I probably would have gained back all the weight I’ve lost by now.  Un-buttered no-oil hot-air popped popcorn goes from styrofoam to delicious using this stuff.

Posted in Weight Loss | 6 Comments »

Kursing Krispy Kreme

Posted by Trixter on January 14, 2006

Krispy Kreme is hell on earth for people who are dieting. Their stores are everywhere, a dozen glazed donuts is about $6.50 (relatively cheap, all things considering), and you get a free donut just for walking in the store. Melissa brought home a mixed dozen and I ate two of them. Dammit dammit dammit!

Usually I treat the weekend as a few days to be somewhat lax with my eating — I won’t hit McDonald’s or anything, but I will have kettle (sweetened) popcorn instead of just regular popcorn, or I’ll eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast instead of a slimfast shake, etc. But having those two donuts just threw me out of wack; it wasn’t even that enjoyable eating them (probably because I haven’t had that much sugar/fat since the first of the month).

One dozen glazed Krispy Kreme donuts is 2400 calories. So the 400 I ate may not seem like much, but it is when you’re trying to limit yourself to 1200-1500 a day and not collapse from malnutrition. Anyway, hopefully I was good enough throughout the week that it won’t affect the weigh-in tomorrow.

Posted in Weight Loss | 4 Comments »

8088 Corruption

Posted by Trixter on January 13, 2006

I just put up a web page on 8088 Corruption, my program that plays video synced with audio on an original IBM PC.  What’s significant about the page is that I include a video file you can play if you don’t have an original IBM to run it on.

Posted in Demoscene, Programming | 28 Comments »

Irresponsible Casting on “Geek”

Posted by Trixter on January 13, 2006

Melissa and I like to watch the show Beauty and the Geek, currently starting its second season, because she’s attracted to the intelligent nerdy type (lucky for me!) and I live vicariously through them as the nerd who didn’t get that kind of advice when he needed it and wants to see what happens to nerds that do get it in time. However, watching the season 2 premiere, it became increasingly apparent that the contestant named Chris is undiagnosed autistic, probably Asberger’s Syndrome. He may have come off as a jerk, but having been around many autistic people in my life (not to mention my own son, who is on the autistic spectrum), I’ve come to recognize the traits of a high functioning autistic person.

This really bothers me, because one of the hallmarks of an autistic person is an inability to pick up on social and facial cues — it’s like they’re aliens living in our world and trying to figure out our customs. They simply don’t pick up on non-verbal body language, and as a result grow up not really knowing how to relate to others properly (depending on the level of their affliction).

I don’t know if the producers of the show knew this or not; if they didn’t, they made a mistake and I hope for his sake that Chris is voted off the program quickly. All of his “jerk” behavior, such as the arrogance, the methodical quizzing of all the other contestants, choosing not to participate in the first night’s social gathering because “he didn’t want to embarrass them” (complete misreading of social situations), etc. — these are all hallmarks of a high-functioning autistic person. Keeping him in the show will be the social equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel and will do more harm than good.

Posted in Entertainment | 3 Comments »

Celery Bomb

Posted by Trixter on January 13, 2006

Celery is the bomb of trying-to-lose-weight snacks. Why? Because a stick of celery is about 8 or 9 calories, yet your body consumes about 10 calories processing it (chewing, swallowing, digesting, expending). Personally, I think it’s hilarious.

Posted in Weight Loss | Leave a Comment »

Discovery Health National Body Challenge

Posted by Trixter on January 11, 2006

I think popular media is — gasp — actually doing something responsible and bringing attention to the USA’s obesity problem.  The Biggest Loser is popular, and now I see Discovery Health is hosting something called the National Body Challenge.  8-week free trial at Bally’s, nutritional advice, progress tracking… Unless I’m missing something obvious, it really looks like a great thing.

(Of course, if I am missing something obvious, like a hidden cost, let me know!)

Posted in Weight Loss | Leave a Comment »

Programmers: Deeper understanding of video games?

Posted by Trixter on January 11, 2006

Being a programmer for two decades has given me a special insight into video games; because I know how the majority of them are programmed, hardly any of them feel foreign to me. I may not be a master at any one particular game, but I can definitely pick them up quickly.

This has led to some chuckles along the way. Two games popular around the house lately have been Need For Speed Underground 2 and Ratchet: Deadlocked. In NFSU2, you can use a simulated GPS to continuously point an arrow to your destination so you can find it easier. When you first select the destination, it pauses for a few seconds with the text “Searching Connection: Unable to contact Satellite”. Sounds like a cute simulation, yes? Because I’m a programmer, I know what’s actually happening: The pathfinding algorithm is slow and taking a few seconds to plot the quickest path to the destination. The programmers of NFSU2 masked that pause with the “Searching Connection” message so the user wouldn’t see it as a flaw.

As for Ratchet: Deadlocked, there is a 2-player cooperative mode where you can play through the game with a friend. If the two of you get too far away from each other while playing, the game threatens to blow the both of you up if you don’t get closer to each other again. While this looks intentional, I have a very strong suspicion that it is there to mask a limitation of the game engine — such as, if both players are too far away from each other, that’s too much geometry for the engine to cache and fling around.

I’d be curious if anyone else notices things like this…

Posted in Gaming, Programming | 5 Comments »

New Look

Posted by Trixter on January 11, 2006

Got more than one comment that people thought the old theme was broken with the overlapping windows.  It wasn’t, so I switched to the nice clean Regulus theme by Binary Moon.

Personally, I’d love to have a terminal look, like ASCII, but for some people, the medium is the message.  So I will remain all purty-like for the time being.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »


Posted by Trixter on January 10, 2006

I measured myself in the local blood pressure machine at work and got a reading of 141 over 79. Since a healthy adult is supposed to have a systolic pressure of around 120, my focus in losing weight just went from cosmetic to health. I know that’s the right reason anyway, but still, I didn’t need to know this. Goddammit.

When I take my weekly measurements, I can’t include the blood pressure at the same time, since my weigh-in is on Sunday and I work on Monday, so I’ll be going back and retro-editing the previous day’s post to add the blood pressure readings.

Posted in Weight Loss | 1 Comment »