Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life has shipped. This is the latest installment in the long running farming role-playing series from Natsume. If you don’t know about Harvest Moon, you should. It very well might change your perceptions of gaming.

Harvest Moon is a series of games with a very unique premise and a massive cult following. There is no fighting, jumping, racing, shooting or, really, any “action” to speak of. Instead, you as protagonist must successfully run an inherited farm, interact with other people in the village and make a life for yourself. You must tend animals, raise crops and form successful personal relationships. From the official site:

Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life will span a lifetime on the farm and follow the drama that goes with it. Not only must you build and successfully run a farm, but you must also build a successful life with family and friends! This new Harvest Moon experience will take the best qualities of the series and add more

The Internet Is Dangerous?

Is the Internet becoming a little more hazardous? The Bagle virus took a turn for the worse yesterday, with some variations now able to infect PCs without any user intervention,” says an article on the Motley Fool today in response to Bagle worm variants.

The Internet is safe, people. I’m sitting here on my MacOS X machine with no worries about Bagle. So are Linux, *BSD, Solaris, BeOS, QNX and users of every OS except Windows. The problem is not the Internet. The problem is not a virus. The problem is that there is code in use by the majority of computer users that will allow executables to run with no user intervention. Here’s the corrected headline:

Is the use of Microsoft’s Windows operating system becoming a little more hazardous? The Bagle virus took a turn for the worse yesterday, with some variations now able to infect PCs without any user intervention.


Google is jumping headlong into the associative web community market (i.e.Friendster) with a new service called Orkut. It’s gonna be huge.

Right now it’s in beta, so going to the link isn’t going to be too rewarding an experience. The only way to get in is to be invited by an existing member. Soon enough, though…

Friendster has been hobbled by its popularity. At least, I hope it has. Site performance at Friendster is horrific, and has been for months. I have to hope it’s because of load and not inattention. With the wind of Google in their sails, Orkut suffers none of that. At least not yet. We’ll see how it scales, but I’ll bet they’ll do fine.

I’ve already found an issue where I cannot post karma info for people with Safari and need to use Firebird. That needs to be fixed before release, folks.

It’s been fun poking around the past day or two, despite it being flaky at times. It’s like Friendster, but without the suck. I’m surprised by how many people I know are in on the beta. I’d invite you all, but that’s not in the spirit of things. No blanket invitations.

Watch for an Orkut invite, or announcement of its release. This thing will be massive. As friend Scot’s blog remarked last week, “If Google can do for social networking and blogging what they’ve done for search, and once their web services APIs become available to developers, they’re going to become the unstoppable internet platform.”


GarageBand has some interesting loops. I was mucking about with them and found that I could recreate the theme from Snatch with built-in loops in about 3 minutes.

Don’t believe me? Try it yourself. Here’s the recipe.

  • Percussion Combo 8
  • Upright Funk Bass 17
  • Shaker 8
  • Club Dance Beat 54
  • Far East Drums 1

Still don’t believe me? Can’t run GarageBand? Too lazy? Click here to play.

Mix liberally and add chilled over an overly litigious attorney and there’s a recipe for disaster.

I hope Guy Ritchie is an Apple fan.

And since DK is curious, this was made on a G4 500 with 384MB of RAM.

Steve Jobs Gets A Woody

I just went back to watch the GarageBand demo Steve Jobs did during the keynote address at Macworld/SF 2004. I’m glad I was listening closely.

Steve starts doing the demo of loops by a non-musician. He makes a GarageBand project, adds the first loop and starts playing it. Then, I swear, he says “And then I’m going to go get a woody … I’m going to go get a bass.”

Go watch the movie. Scroll ahead to 1h19m~10s.

Wow. That’s good software.

Or is that supposed to be subliminal? Everybody reacted pretty favorably to GarageBand. Is The Steve

Rediscovering OpenBSD

Following-up to the earlier story about the failure of the first incarnation of the new site, it’s time to reflect on venturing back to a non-Apple Unix for the first time in a few years. I needed to leave OSX Server, so what to do? I could have just re-formatted the G4 Cube and installed plain Jane OSX. But before I rushed off to do so, I did a quick inventory of machines in the house.

Uhhhh … I need to simplify a bit. This is getting to be too much. Plus, the extra cash couldn’t hurt. The PIII was easily the least valuable of the Unix-capable machines. Well, maybe the 6300CD could be made to run a Unix, but please, no. The PIII it is. It seemed to make sense to use that and sell something else (more here).

I certainly had choice when thinking about X86-compatible Unix-like OSes. I’m most familiar with BSD, both because of my experience with one kind or another over the years and because of Apple’s use of BSD subsystem components in OSX. I had used OpenBSD for a firewall I built for Gobe Software back in 2001 (OBSD 2.8, I believe) and have always been attracted to the project’s overriding emphasis on security. I’d wager this is what draws most people to OBSD over other Unices. It seemed a logical choice.

If you have experience with Unix, I can strongly recommend you look at OpenBSD. Straightforward to install and set-up, great ports and packages collections and plenty of documentation. I’m surprised by its peppiness on the PIII, even doing all its internal encryption.

Some things that might take you unaware:

  • Locations (e.g. there is no /etc/httpd). RTFM.
  • chroot’ed apache. RTFM.
  • Almost everything in a more secured mode. RTFM.
  • The usual Unix platform eccentricities. RTFM.

Don’t get me wrong, this OS is rock solid thus far and has behaved 100% according to what I have asked it to do. It’s just learning the different dialect that can throw you. It’s thrown me at times. Oops.

I must admit it feels good to come back to a straight-ahead CLI interface with a server running Unix. Aqua may be nice and pretty and all, but I kinda felt a little dirty with a Dock and bouncy mp3 player icons on my server. It just seems, well, wrong. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned and not keeping up with today’s kids, but VT100 is good enough for a daemon box, goldurnit. It’s not some “I 4M 1337!” dickpull, it’s just this sense when I manipulate the server entirely from the commnd line that all is right with the world. I guess you have to be really nerdy to understand. Or something.

If you’re a Unix wonk, play with OpenBSD. It’s a fun experience, and one I’m only just beginning to realize I’ve missed. If you’re not so Unix savvy, start playing in OSX’s Terminal before you dive in. The water is clean, but chilly.