What is everyone up to?

We haven’t done this in a while, and lately I have been writing these draining five thousand word posts, so let’s do a reader participation thread once more. Plus I just finished updating my about page so I’m still kinda in a Q&A mode so we might as well do this. I’m going to ask some questions and provide my own answers, and you can join in below.

What game are you playing right now?

As you know, I have been trying to get Kerbals to and back from the Mun lately. Before I got the space exploration bug, I was playing The Walking Dead: Season One which was actually really good. I’m planning to write a full review once I finish it.

If you have glanced at my Steam profile recently, you have probably noticed I just got the new Thief game. So fat I have put only about 3 hours into the game, half of which was spent trying to make the game run faster than like 10FPS on ultra low settings. Turns out the culprit was Fences which is a nifty little app that lets you organize crap on desktop, which also is extremely good at killing performance on certain games. I still had to turn down shadow quality quite a bit because every time my character had his back to a light source the game would literally choke for 3 seconds. Also I’m super annoyed that I can’t fucking jump. What kind of bullshit is that?

Speaking of jumping, I’ve been also playing Thomas Was Alone, but I only seem to be able to take this game in low doses. Turns out that I mostly enjoy jumping when I’m able to bunny-hop my way through FPS games like a crazy person, but not so much when platforms are involved. I kinda hate platforming.

What TV shows are you watching right now?

Currently I’m watching The Walking Dead which continues to shake things up, and kill, torment and torture beloved characters in very fucked up ways. I recently caught up with Sherlock and I’ve been sort of collecting notes on a lengthy rant about Steve Moffat’s writing on both the above-mentioned series as well as on Doctor Who. So that might happen at some point.

I’m working my way through Torchwood which is the offbeat Doctor Who spinoff set in Cardiff of all places. It is rather decent even if completely goofy at times. Also, in the first season the seem to be obsessed with doing these birds eye, panning shots of the Cardiff cityscape which are breathtakingly flat and unimpressive.

I’m also watching Parks and Rec which is pretty great as usual. That’s basically the first sitcom I have gotten into since Arrested Development. If you have never seen it, definitely check it out. It is very different type of humor than Arrested Development but the series has its own charm and unique style.

Oh, and I’m really excited for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones.

What book are you reading right now?

At the moment I’m reading Integral Trees by Larry Niven. It is a pretty cool setting, but so fare none of the characters are very likable. Hopefully it will get better/ I actually have like 3 book reviews queued up in various stages of completion. It’s kinda hard to write interesting reviews of books that are good, but not mind-blowing.

I also started reading Transmetropolitan which is a book of the comic variety.

What movies have you watched lately?

This is kinda surprising, but the only thing I’ve seen since Pacific Rim was David Cronenberg’s adaptation of The Naked Lunch which was… Well, it was quite an experience really. The impact of the movie was amplified by the fact that I have somehow never actually red William S. Burroughs’ novel it was based on. I’d recommend it, but it is weird, high brow and on the surface the plot makes no sense whatsoever so it is definitely not for everyone. If you do decide to take a plunge, this Brows Held High review will definitely help to contextualize some of the esoteric weirdness and nonsensical plot-twists.

And yes, I haven’t seen The Hobbit 2: Electric Smaugaloo, Gravity, or Her yet, though all these things are on my list.

What movies are you excited for?

Omg, this:

I haven’t been this excited for a movie since… Well, since The Avengers really. Guardians of Galaxy looks absolutely amazing. I love pretty much the entire cast, and the trailer seems to be jam-packed with all kinds of crazy Marvel lore. Movie Bob actually went through the entire thing frame by frame recently and after watching his analysis I’m more excited than ever.

I love the direction Marvel is taking the cinematic universe. Superhero stories are supposed to be fun, crazy, exciting and his movie is exactly that, with emphasis put on the fun part. As much as I loved the Dark Knight, I’m really sick and tired of the grimdark and somber themed comic book adaptations. Less Nolan and more Whedon please.

Also I really want to see Life After Beth because… Well, Aubrey Plaza plays a zombie.

What are you coding right now?

Eh, more or less nothing. Last few months I’ve been building and deploying Windows 7 images on desktops and laptops in a valiant push to eradicate Windows XP from production before Microsoft pulls the plug on it. It’s terribly uninteresting work, especially since it has to be done about finicky users who either demand new computers, or threaten to quit on the spot unless we give them a written and notarized oath that we will not put Windows 8 on their computer.

In my spare time I’ve been toying around with some ideas for a silly Rails based app. I haven’t used Rails for anything in years (I’ve been building all kinds of stuff using the Sinatra framework which is great) so I figured I might as well do something with a full stack framework for a change.

Also I’ve been trying to convince myself to take a plunge and try building a native iOS app for Markdown Journal but every time I sit down to do it I realize just how ugly Objective C is.

How about you? Let me know in the comments?

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15 Responses to What is everyone up to?

  1. Liudvikas LITHUANIA Google Chrome Windows Terminalist says:

    What game are you playing right now?

    Well I’m playing South Park: The Stick of Truth, when I have free time, but mostly I’m back playing EVE Online, been taking a break, but now I’m playing again and boy is it good.

    What TV shows are you watching right now?

    Only started watching the Cosmos, by Neil Degrasse Tyson. I don’t know if documentaries count, but I’m excited for it.

    What book are you reading right now?

    Currently reading Dawid Weber’s newest book in Safehold series “Like a mighty army”

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  2. k00pa FINLAND Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Games?

    Lately my gaming has been really random, I haven’t really focused on anything specific. I have almost completed Borderlands 2, in the middle of the Arma 3 campaign and just recently started “Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons”.

    TV?

    At the moment I have two episodes left of Firefly. I have heard so much good stuff about the series so I had to watch it. So far it has been pretty good.

    I have also heard good stuff about Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, so I start one of those after the Firefly.

    Movies?

    Captain Phillips is best of the movies I have seen recently. Some other I watched recently includes 2 guns, Drive and the Rush.

    Coding?

    My own game-engine in C++. This project is actually going quite well, I have editor build in c# which can read the state of the game thats running inside it.

    This project is mostly just for a learning purpose, learning to do all the stuff that a full game-engine requires, but I may just maybe get it to the state I can get real games done with it. :P

    Screenshot of the editor, still work in progress. Note the awesome programmer-graphics: http://i.imgur.com/PjGU56e.png

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  3. IceBrain PORTUGAL Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Oh, man, Transmet was my gateway drug to graphic novels. If you like it, you should then also read Doktor Sleepless, from the same writer, and also Fell, which doesn’t share the tech theme, but it’s as good as Transmet, in my opinion.

    *ahem*

    Well, I’ve been playing nothing nowadays, except for 2048, which popped up a couple days ago on HN and has already taken too many hours of my life.

    Personally, I can’t stand The Walking Dead, due to what I consider some pretty mediocre acting, but then again I couldn’t stand Lost either, so what do I know. I’ve been watching The Wire, which I missed back then, and it’s easily the best thing I’ve seen on TV since the first season of Dexter. In a way, it’s like watching a version of Yes, Minister as a serious cop show.

    As for books, I still have Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia on hold (shame on me), and I’ve recently read half of Ignition!, which was fun in a nerdy way.

    Ever since Transmet, I’ve been also reading comics, and right I’m following Saga, The Fuse (crime/mystery in a space station!) and Ten Grand (reminds me of Constantine, as in the film, though with better acting). Oh, and Planetoid is also a decent, if short, SF graphic novel.

    As for films, I’ve seen American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave, both of which were worth the ticket price, but nothing life changing.

    I’m still dreading to see Her, ever since you wrote that damn review. I so want to watch the movie you wrote! And I even thing Spike Jonze could pull it off – Being John Malkovich was good and weird enough – but I’m still putting it off.

    As for coding, just dumb scripts, I’m afraid. I want to learn Yesod, but I need some project that gets me going. Have you tried Haskell?

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  4. IceBrain PORTUGAL Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @ k00pa:
    Yeah, Captain Phillips was surprisingly good. I was half-expecting the typical “Americans good, Pirates evil”, but it was actually very fair and even subversive. It makes you wonder what will happen to those populations if Rolls-Royce delivers on their unnamed cargo ship design and they become the norm.

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  5. alphast GREECE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    What game are you playing right now?
    I have been playing this little jewel: http://dinopoloclub.com/minimetro/
    It’s fun and terribly addictive.
    What TV shows are you watching right now?
    I am very provincial, I am afraid. No HBO blockbusting series. I am watching “Un Village Français”, a French TV show about the life of a small village during the occupation of Second World War. Gritty, complex and very well played, with good characters and amazing villains, in particular.
    What book are you reading right now?
    I just finished Murakami’s 1Q84, which I liked very much despite the disappointing end.
    What movies have you watched lately?
    I have watched mostly DVD’s. Lately I swallowed the whole Philip Seymour Hoffman filmography, for obvious reasons. “Doubt” and “Flawless” were great.
    What movies are you excited for?
    Nothing in particular. I am not really following that well.
    Coding?
    I took Java lessons and I coded some of the exercises. I found it easy for some (simulating a cluedo game) and horribly difficult for others (bloody parachutist simulation was mind blowing).

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  6. Scott Hansen UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    Games: Well, I’m actually not a gamer, but I did a Spartan Race last year and have been training for another :)

    TV: Walking Dead (of course), Game of Thrones, Helix (Syfy shows can be a little iffy…), Falling Skies. My wife decided on Korean dramas =-O

    Movies: New movies, foreign language movies, etc etc

    Books: Listening (slooowly) to Peter Hamilton’s Commonwealth saga. I’m on book 5 of 6 and I think I’ve been listening for over six months now. Great books…probably not for everyone, but it sure passes the time commuting!

    Coding: Working with Docker containers. I’ve now got Plex, Sickbeard, Couchpotato and Sabnzbd all in separate reproducible containers and playing nicely together! It’s a learning curve but it sure feels like a clean way to manage different applications. Anyone know how to get Transmission to speak Upnp to my router from inside a container??? So close….

    Scott

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  7. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @ Liudvikas:

    My students have been telling me about the South Park game. As a rule I’m kinda weary about games based on things because they rarely turned out well but I hear it is good.

    I have been meaning to check out Cosmos as well. I’m thrilled that a documentary about science is getting so much exposure. This is good. :)

    @ k00pa:

    Everyone’s Firefly experience goes more or less like this:

    I think this has a lot to do with the fact that by the time you get to the end all the characters kinda come to their own, and their dynamic clicks into place. There are hints of wonderful things that could unfold in the future if the show was given a chance like:

    – Relationship between Kaylee and Simon
    – Mal and Innara’s “will they or won’t they” thing
    – Shepperd’s deep dark secrets
    – River’s deep dark secrets (though these are explored in Serenity)
    – Wash and Zoe having best marriage ever
    – Jayne’s journey to actually become a genuine hero
    – etc…

    You have all of that, and this wonderful crew who could get in all kinds of crazy hijinks.. And then it’s over. Forever. Except for that one movie which will rip your heart to shreds if you watch it. :P

    If you decide to watch Breaking Bad keep in mind that Walter is actually the villain of the series, and the show chronicles his transformation from an ordinary guy to an absolute fucking monster, without ever ceasing to be a likeable, releasable and compelling protagonist. As I was watching it there was a number of scenes that literally made me go “OMG, what the fuuuuck Walter!!!”.

    As for Game of Thrones: never get attached to anyone. Everyone keeps dying in horrible, horrible ways. But the show is great. It starts very low key – with a standard, mostly “realistic” fantasy setting with no for the most part no magic or monsters, and it ramps up from there.

    @ IceBrain:

    Ok, I’m writing down all these comic book titles so I can investigate them later. My brother just signed up for Marvel online thing so that he can read the original Guardians of Galaxy. I kinda want to see the movie first, so the comics don’t ruin my enjoyment. :P

    I haven’t really played much with Haskell outside of just doing some of the online tutorial to get the feel of it. It is really interesting and I want to do more in it, I just don’t have any project ideas either. :P

    @ IceBrain:

    Oh, nice. Glad to hear that. I was kinda ignoring that movie specifically for that reason. Nice to hear they managed to make it more nuanced. I might need to check it out now.

    @ alphast:

    Aaand now I’m playing Minimetro. Thanks’ a lot dude. lol

    I’ve heard of Murakami before, but so far I have yet to read any of this things. I think 1Q84 is on my reading list already, but if it isn’t I will probably add it.

    As for Java, I spent most of my college years coding in it, and I’m kinda over it. I like it, but I hate it. The verbosity of the language and the obtuse way it chooses to do things drives me nuts.

    @ Scott Hansen:

    Holy crap, just watching the video for the Spartan Race made me tired. Much respect for doing this. I’m the kind of guy who would make a spreadsheet calculating how many times I could “forget” my gym clothes in high school and nope-out of phys-ed activities without it affecting my overall grade point average. :P

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  8. Victoria UKRAINE Google Chrome Mac OS says:

    What game are you playing right now?
    I’ve been playing Fallen London for a year or more. No other games, but I’m not very fond of gaming anyway.

    What TV shows are you watching right now?
    I am always watching a shitload of stuff, but not a lot of it is decent. True Detective was good in a weird way, mostly due to actors and atmosphere. Black Sails is delivering some visuals, but it’s not that exciting as it could/should have been. House of Cards, s2 – well, that was fun. Still like A Good Wife a lot. Looking forward to another season of GOT, of course. Grimm is quite watchable. Hannibal is one of those things, like watching an accident – horrible, but you can’t turn away. There’s a lot of others – my escapism levels are cranked up to the max considering the events in Ukraine and Crimea.

    What book are you reading right now?
    Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. He’s trying to keep up with his GRRM ambitions and failing, main reason for me being that I cannot care about his crowd of characters. Martin made me care even about those I hated. I still have half the Wheel of Time series on re-read, before I get to the last ones, that Sanderson wrote, and I dread that moment.

    Surprisingly, I have recently downloaded Transmetropolitan too, I have read parts of it a few years ago, but I saw it on Comixology and decided to start from the very beginning. I have been reading a lot of comics lately. Lazarus is doing well, Private Eye too, and Saga, of course. I have recently finished Locke & key and it was awesome. East of West is full of post-Apocalyptical goodness.

    What movies have you watched lately?
    The last ones were Hobbit and Gravity, I think. I sat through the boring stupidity of Hunger games 2: even hungrier, and I deserve a medal. I also watched Don Jon and loved it, which was quite surprising. It was recommended by a friend, I would never have watched it based on the trailer.

    What movies are you excited for?
    Maleficent. Seriously, I keep looking at the promo images. Angelina was born for that role. Too bad the movie itself is probably going to be goofy. I am going to watch Veronica Mars, even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the series, I just like the whole ‘fan crowdsourcing’ deal.

    What are you coding right now?
    I am trying to get back to Javascript (despite hating it for the longest time), all that Backbone, Node.js, the whole gig. I decided that I needed a real-life application so I started a blog with Ghost on my hosting, doing translations of ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ essays that I found interesting, to Russian. The translations themselves proved to be harder than the learning :) mostly because the ones I found interesting were in the range of 6K words.

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  9. StuartB Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Games?
    Currently spending most of my time between The Last of Us (not really liking the stealth aspect of this game), Far Cry 3 (get burned out quickly, just want to complete the campaign), Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (just started), and when I just want to game but mindlessly, Zen Pinball 2. All on Xbox 360, of course.

    TV?
    Finishing up most recent Parks & Rec season (I need my Rashida Jones fix), started watching Clone Wars on Netflix again (own a few seasons, getting back into it)…that’s about it at the moment. Finding time or desire to just sit and stare at a screen passively has been tough lately.

    Books?
    Just wrapped up the most recent David Weber Safeworld book, assuming one didn’t come out in the last month or so. About to read one of those zombie Star Wars books next…

    Movies?
    I should really go see that new 300 just for Eva Green…but other than that, movies have dried up at the moment.

    Coding?
    I don’t code, lol. I’ve been very purposeful in avoiding coding in my life as that’s not the career track I want to go down, yet somehow I find myself in an ecommerce manager role that requires a lot of HTML, some CSS, and it’s looking like javascript, of which I know nothing. I find myself responsible for finding an entirely new ecommerce platform and it’s been daunting. Beyond that, an utter fail at trying to help a friend set up a WordPress website from scratch has left me pretty drained and mentally fried with acute knowledge of my limitations. Going to try to earn my Google Analytics certification sometime this year though.

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  10. StuartB Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    @ Liudvikas:
    I just finished, I believe, the preceding book to Like a Mighty Army, assuming that one *just came out. Wasn’t bad, but seemed to just advance the story, didn’t have any of those “holy crap” moments I’m used to in the series.

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  11. Liudvikas LITHUANIA Google Chrome Windows Terminalist says:

    @ StuartB:

    Yeah, have to agree with that, but when the holy crap moments happen then it’s the best.

    @ Luke Maciak:

    Well The Stick of Truth is truly a good addition to the show.

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  12. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Game: This thing which is a bastard but I can’t quit until I win. Which I have almost but not quite managed to do ever.

    TV: Old episodes of 3rd Rock From the Sun and in new stuff there’s the wrapping-up of How I Met Your Mother, Bones, Castle and Elementary for some nice easy formulaic detective-ing and Big Bang Theory and Community for the funny. Nothing terribly groundbreaking.

    Books: The Wise Man’s Fear, having read Name of the Wind at a pace the sequel has grabbed me less intensely but is still a lot of fun.

    Movies: Not really anything recently, but Guardians of the Galaxy does look like fun.

    Code: nope.

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  13. Tormod Haugen NORWAY Google Chrome Windows Terminalist says:

    Games:
    Borderlands 2 in local co-op with a friend. We’re playing once in a while, and we’re nearing the end.
    Might and Magic X Legacy: Because it is turnbased and remind me of my youth. And those games are hard and this is comparatively easy. :D
    Marvel Puzzle Quest. Because match-3 games can be played in short bursts, and King are evil and I don’t like Candy Crush.

    TV:
    Formula 1 season 2014. My sister got me hooked. Next weekend is Malaysia.
    QI (We’re currently watching “I” – (2011/2012) on BBC Entertainment)
    + Whatever seems interesting when we sit down and eat our evening meal.

    Books:
    Theoretically reading Lord of the Rings again. I started reading for my son, but he read ahead of me in between, so I need to read the parts I miss in between… and failing.

    Movies:
    I think I’ve seen something at the cinema after Batman Begins, but I can’t remember what. Not a movies person, though I did enjoy The Avengers and Iron Man 3 on DVD… or our PVR box.

    Coding:
    Coding Java for monies.
    Also want to find time to put into my current project of a remake engine for Eye of the Beholder 1. Like that hasn’t been done before. Right now I want to make something more in the style of Might & Magic (not Heroes of) 3, 4 & 5. (WIP screen: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/134973/eob/eob_current-state.png)

    PS. Java is much more fun when it is legacy code, 10 years old and written by a Fortran programmer.

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  14. Tj UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    I’m so excited you watched Sherlock! I’m in the middle of house moving right now just took a little break from packing and started browsing your blog. Good to see you’re keeping yourself busy with various things-lotsa things here that made me smile. Lets catch up on twitter or something once I’ve moved. Cheers from Oz.

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  15. Tj UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    BTW I’m not in the US at the mo’ just on Netflix ;)

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