Spending quality time with the Pi-Top.

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A couple of months ago for my Lesser Feast I decided to treat myself to a toy that I've had my eye on for a couple of months: A Pi-Top laptop kit.  My fascination with the Raspberry Pi aside (which includes, to be honest, being able to run a rack full of servers in my office without needing to install a 40U rack and a new 220 power feed), it strikes me as being a very useful thing to have under one's desk as a backup deck or possibly a general purpose software development computer.  Most laptops have one unique …

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A long-forgotten Commodore game. Was it ever released?

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UPDATE (20170120): The game may have been found!

Many years ago, maybe a year after 321 Contact magazine merged with Enter magazine, there was a review of a video game which seemed like it was a tie-in for the movie 2010: The Year We Make Contact.  The scenario was that you'd just gained access to the USS Discovery, and you had to repair all of the systems on board the ship to win the game.  As I recall, a free hint in the review was that you should repair HAL-9000 first, because he could help you figure out how to …

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Synaesthesia and noise-cancelling headphones.

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I've never really gone out of my way to publicize the fact that I'm a synesthete - my senses are cross-wired in ways that aren't within the middle of the bell curve. In particular, my sense of hearing is directly linked to my senses of sight, touch, proprioception, and emotional state. As one might expect, this causes a few problems in day to day life - I can't go to concerts without wearing earplugs because I shut down from sensory overload, and too much noise makes it nearly impossible to see (and thus, get anything done). The new office at work poses …

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Prometheus: A flawed but thought provoking horror movie.

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Last night, after some juggling of schedules, Lyssa, Laurelindel, and I went to see Prometheus, the long-awaited prequel to the Alien movies which feature the designs of (and inspired by) the artist H.R. Giger. I have to admit, we had some trepidation going in because the Alien movies are some of our favorites (and there were only three, we maintain) and unless it was done right the prequel was destined to suck.

Well....

Prometheus is a deeply flawed movie. The writing is good in some parts, okay in others, but it has a few scenes that should have been …

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Dope Stars Inc: Ultrawired

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Last week word about the album Ultrawired from a band called Dope Stars Inc. exploded onto Twitter. DSI, as they are called (because 140 characters enforces a certain amount of textual economy) are based in Italy and have a decidedly retro sound and image as bands go these days. They are heavily inspired by the sound and appearance of some of the synthpop, industrial, and techno acts of the early to mid 1990's as well as some influential metal bands of the 1980's (they specifically cite Guns 'n' Roses and Motley Crue as some sources of their inspiration). If you …

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Tron: Legacy

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A couple of nights ago I went to see Tron: Legacy again with Jason, and we spent much of the evening afterward discussing it, as we are wont to do. I haven't been keeping up with reviews of it, to be honest, I just know what a couple of people said about it. Largely, their opinions were that the movie was visually stunning (it was), the effects were top notch (they were), but the plot was somewhat lacking and relied a little bit too much on references to the original movie. If nothing else, the soundtrack is awesome and I …

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Restaurant review: Mad Fox Brewing Company

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After Lyssa and I got her eyeglasses repaired this afternoon we wandered for a bit around Fairfax in Northern Virginia. It's been way too long since we'd gone wandering on a fall afternoon (and a surprisingly early one, at that) so after picking up some staple spices at Penzey's we decided to stop in for dinner at a restaurant that we'd last seen while under construction called the Mad Fox Brewing Company (444 West Broad Street; Falls Church, VA; 22046; phone 703-942-6840; fax 703-942-6916). Our first impression was that it seemed like a right nice place to kick back for …

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Restaurant review: Middle Eastern Cuisine

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A couple of weeks ago Lyssa and I got together with the House of Leaves for Bronwyn's birthday, much of which we spent at a restaurant in Takoma Park, Maryland called Middle Eastern Cuisine (no website; 7006 Carroll Avenue; Takoma Park, MD; 20912; phone 301-270-5154; fax 301-270-8521). It's a bit of a drive to get to the outskirts, but it's well worth the time spent. You can either eat up front at the smaller tables or you can go into the back half where a long bench encircles part of the room, and is broken up by a number of …

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Restaurant review: The Virginia Restaurant

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I got up earlier than usual this morning to join Hasufin and Mika for breakfast on our day off. The restaurant we were going to visit wasn't open today (it usually isn't on Mondays, actually) so we had to re-work our plans at the last minute. After a little discussion we settled upon a different restaurant which none of us had tried before, a diner not too far away called The Virginian Restaurant in Vienna, Virginia (169 Glyndon Street; Vienna, VA; 22180; phone number 703-938-2333). It's a little greasy spoon-type place just off of Maple Avenue on the other side …

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Review: Cyberpunk by Colin Timothy Gagnon.

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Yesterday afternoon while backstroking around in the Olympic-sized swimming pool of RSS feeds that is my Google Reader account I stumbled across a link in the blog Cyberpunk Review to an album recorded and released by Colin Timothy Gagnon called Cyberpunk. Feeling curious because their recommendations are more hit than miss, I downloaded the album from Colin's website (it's free, though if you enjoy it there is a Paypal donation link to show Colin some love), decompressed it into my .mp3 collection, and gave it a listen this afternoon. If you're expecting industrial music or something along the lines of …

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