Posted by: Jeremy K | November 8, 2008

As Special As Anyone

on-top-of-the-world

I find the word “special” interesting because of the ways that it is used within society. Often when people attempt to lift others up or comfort them, they will use this word. This is most often the case when someone has a low self-esteem; it can help to tell the person that they are special and have a purpose. Another example is when someone has created something grand or unique, people will compliment the person by saying that they are special and gifted. Often people do not think about the words they use when they talk, (myself included); they are merely trying to convey a certain message. On the other hand, isn’t that what language is all about, communication?

I often think about words and how their original meaning has been lost over time to a changing society. This of course does not happen to all words, but I think that if anyone sits down and thinks about all of the sayings that they use and pick out the operative words, they would be surprised at what meanings the words have gained in that particular saying. So I ask you, are you special?

I would be quite interested in conducting a survey asking the participant what they think the word “special” means. I believe that it is one of those words that can accompany a wide array of meanings through different understandings. As a reference, here are some definitions according to two dictionaries:
Wiktionary:
~ Distinguished by a unique or unusual quality.
~ Of particular interest or value. Eg. Everyone is special to someone.
Dictionary.com:
~ Distinguished or different from what is ordinary or usual.
~ Being such in an exceptional degree; particularly valued. Eg. A special friend.

Words have meanings according to their original construction, as well as what they may change into because of a common use of the word within a society. However, I believe that some words also gain special attention when looked at in the light of a religion or faith. For example, the word special has particular importance when considering its use within the faith of Christianity. I myself have not done any studies of the word within the faith but I believe that God has created us all special. I believe this in the sense that he has given us all unique talents and gifts, personalities, sense of humour, roles within the church/ his kingdom. In addition we are also special because the God of the universe, who has created everything, has created us and not only that, he has designed us, given us a purpose for his glory and loves us to the point of sacrificing his son to save us. So I tell you, you are special!

Another interesting thought is the possibility of differing levels of being special. I am quite sure that some people have pondered upon the implications of everyone being special. If everyone is special does this mean that no one is. If a requirement of being special is being unique or unusual then how can this be fulfilled when everyone holds these qualities? While this may seem a dilemma in theory, if we look at the implications of the word within real life, the answer becomes quite clear.

Everyone is different, have you noticed? No two people are exactly the same nor have two people ever truly been considered to be exactly the same, when compared carefully and objectively. When someone creates a piece of artwork, another person will not be able to create the same thing and if they do, it will only be the same in physical appearance. The artworks will be quite different in essence because of the artist’s intent, feelings, background and life that have contributed to the piece of art. It will also vary because of what it means to the artist as well as other people who know some of the background information. Imagine now, what a horrible and lifeless world it would be if everything was the same, everyday, forever. God is the ultimate artist and we are the pinnacles of his creation; he takes delight in making each of us unique and special, making us who we are. So I ask you, how special are you?

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Posted by: Jeremy K | October 6, 2008

A Hilarious Truth

I’m searching through the Internet, as I do, and I see a picture of something that is hilariously true. A person who has opted herself as being very intelligent (she has entered a competition that is based on knowledge) has failed a question of which the answer is taught in primary schools. See for yourself:

Now I do hope that the person’s attention is never brought to this site because she has undoubtedly already been assaulted by words on many occasions. However, it is funny enough to hopefully relieve some tension for people suffering from depression, thus I included it on this blog. 😛

Posted by: Jeremy K | October 6, 2008

A game called Starcraft

Developed by Blizzard Entertainment, it has become one of the best known and played PC games of all time. Released in 1998, it received “best strategy game of the year” from ign.com and undoubtedly many more similar awards from other gaming networks. StarCraft has survived the ages of popular game trends and is still played all around the world today. Basically, I love this game and still play it 10 years after it was released, good job Blizzard!

The Game Play:

StarCraft has something that many other popular RTS (real time strategy) games don’t have enough off: micromanagement within battle. This means being able to control the units of battle very carefully in order to obtain maximum performance per unit. Within other games like Supreme commander the focus is more put on the build of the base, the expansion and claiming of area, the type of units that you produce as well as the hierarchy-level of the units, then being able to spam the enemy so hard that they don’t know whether you are cheating or not. Now whether Supreme commander and other RTS games are good games or not is not up for question, there are plenty of other great RTS’s out there. However, StarCraft has all of the above and more!

If you don’t build correctly, you die. If you do not expand at the opportune time, you will fail. If you do not build the right units, you will be massacred. If you do not build enough units, the enemy will crush you. BUT, in this game… You are also required to micromanage units within battle to see each unit to its maximum lethal potential. Not everyone will love this feature of game play, but I think it is just wonderful because if you can ever feel thrills in RTS games, it is when you are micromanaging your armies in the heat of a massive battle in order to achieve victory.

Now, many people do not play this game because of its dated graphics system… and believe you’ me, it is dated. Here are the minimum system requirements for StarCraft: Pentium 90MHz Processor, 16MB or RAM, SVGA video card (DirectX compatible). In fact, StarCraft only has 1 graphic toggle in game and this is a total of 3 options for whether a unit’s portrait should be moving, static or turned off… WOWZA that’s an old game.

However, for its time as well as my opinion it has very playable and enjoyable graphics. Here’s an example for all you out there who haven’t played the game OR for those of us who have, to bring back memories… 😛 

In addition to great game play in general, StarCraft probably makes it as the most balanced game when released, in terms of how competitive the different teams are. Each race is powerfully unique, having their own strengths and weaknesses, but blizzard somehow managed to balance all three teams quite amazingly.

Worldwide Impact:

According to Wikipedia, approximately 9.5 million copies of StarCraft have been sold worldwide. However it goes on to say that about 4.5 million of those were sold to the population of Korea, (that’s a lot of StarCraft playing Koreans). Now, South Korea has a pro gaming league like no other and one of the most successful games played in this industry is StarCraft. Here is an article detailing a small section of the pro StarCraft gaming league within South Korea, here; it’s a very interesting read.

For starters, there are three TV channels in Korea that broadcast nothing but professional computer gaming matches, 24-hours per day. The StarCraft Pro gamer that is featured within the above article is one of the best, he “earned about €260,000 last year alone” according to the article. Google has just told me that this amount is coming up on $450,000 AUD!!! That is a lot of cash, I mean really… GIMMEE GIMMEE GIMMEE!!! Another fact is that Pro StarCraft gamers are paid to play StarCraft around 10-12 hours per day most days of the week and that those who do not do this cannot compete within the industry. They do not even live at home, rather a hotel of sorts along with the rest of their gaming team.

The Map editor:

Most PC games come with a map editor and the like and once again I give StarCraft praise for its simple superiority in the ease of level creation. While the Map editor in StarCraft cannot do absolutely everything it can still create extremely fun and extremely custom matches; I myself have made or edited many StarCraft maps for my own purposes (usually to play with my friends). Above all, when using the StarCraft map editor it is extremely easy to make a playable level, this includes changing the terrain, creating doodads throughout the level, running AI scripts, creating specialised triggers and custom battles. Most of the options don’t even have to be utilised to make a great game. In creation of a basic, yet working map, all you have to do is place starting locations for the players, change the terrain to fit the game, and place minerals for players to mine. Once you have done this you can play a skirmish and the AI will work automatically, or battle friends using the multiplayer option; it’s that simple.

StarCraft and its map editor has enjoyed a long life within popular gaming circles and it is only now being replaced by StarCraft 2, due to come out some time in 2009. 

If you want to learn about the game universe and story line, a great summary of the events throughout the game and its expansion can be found within Blizzards new StarCraft 2 site here and here, for story part 1 and the story part 2, respectively.

Now get gaming! Peace out, XD

Posted by: Jeremy K | October 6, 2008

XP vs. Vista – my experiences

VS.

OK, so everyone has probably heard someone else rave and rant about just how bad Vista is and all its problems and all the crap that they don’t like about it. But is Vista really that bad??? I say, no.

When I purchased my new computer around 12 months ago (around September 2007) I decided that it’d be a better use of my money to just buy Vista now instead of getting XP only to upgrade later and waste quite a bit of cash. I decided on Vista home Premium and I really have had not that many problems. It only started having BSOD’s (blue screens of death) after I messed with a little program called ATI tool (I do not recommend!). It is an over-clocking tool used for graphics cards. And to make matters worse I was using it with an old NVIDIA graphics card, (yes… I know). I took it to far and have been paying for it ever since, (hence the BSOD’s).

Now there is one thing that many users of Vista just love to hate, and hate it they do. This is user account control. You know, that thing that asks for your permissions to open a game/program/office document/just-about-anything!!! Well I simply turned it off the very first day that I used my computer; so suffer all you noobs who cannot find out how to kill the thing. I also got rid of the vista desktop sidebar on the first day but that isn’t such a bad thing, I just didn’t like it is all, :P.

Sure Vista has its problems… I’m going to go ahead and list a few right here:

  • ~ Takes between 1-20 seconds to delete a 13kb file that is already in the recycling bin, sometimes it takes longer.
  • ~ Vista envelops all of your RAM and asks for more, more and even more!!! Do not attempt to run vista without 2gb of RAM or else you will find a significant drop in overall performance.
  • ~ Its hard drive search engine really needs some different default settings, but after you’ve changed these it is all right.
  • ~ So much harder to successfully share files over a home network. I mean seriously Microsoft; does it really need to be that dang hard?!
  • ~ When using the Defragmentation program, it doesn’t show current progress, 😛
  • ~ It also has extra compatibility issues with older programs, :S

A couple of the things listed above are a bit trivial; a few might make people steer away but it really isn’t all bad.

  • ~ Vista auto detects and sets up any wired Ethernet network that is plugged into the computer; this can be quite useful indeed.
  • ~ Vista has decent desktops to choose from, (I’m referring to the ones involving a large landscape, most of the other ones suck, :P).
  • ~ Vista has a game explorer… it’s OK, I guess.
  • ~ Vista has fewer viruses programmed for it thus far when compared with XP, which is always a good thing.
  • ~ Vista has other small upgrades like better view types and folder options along with the upgrade to the address bar in windows explorer that allows for easier transport between folders, (I use a lot of folders, :P).
  • ~ Vista supports try Dx10 and other upgrades of the like

In general, Vista on my computer has had many less problems then what I’ve seen on other peoples computers of which are running XP. Now needless to say that this is obviously going to be because of the way that the person uses their computer, not XP’s fault. However, what I am saying is that if Vista is used properly it will definitely not cause more havoc then when XP is not being used properly. Very rarely do I find myself in a situation where I am getting annoyed at my computer for running Vista and not XP.

To conclude: I still haven’t figured out why Microsoft released Vista, except for the obvious reason of making money, because most of the changes that I can see should have been achievable in a service pack to XP. However, there isn’t anything enough wrong with Vista to stop me from using it, especially with the threat of future programs not being programmed for XP, (dang Microsoft!).

Peace out, XD

Posted by: Jeremy K | October 6, 2008

PC Pictures wanted

I thought it’d be interesting to get anyone to add any really cool, crazy or excentric PC’s to this Post in the form of hyperlinks. Emphasis probably going to be on the case, but any other things to do with PC’s are OK as well, 😀                  

I’ll start by adding these few:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve come to the conclusion that an image is unable to be posted except in hyperlink within a comment, even by me. So just go ahead and post the link to the image and say whatever else is on your mind. I should update it to the actual post as soon as it comes to my attention that i need to add more peoples pictures, 😛

Other Pictures start here:

 

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