INT. OFFICE. DAY. An American-based Englishman listens to the Hackers soundtrack, repeatedly.

Inspired by the Alamo 100

Alamo 100 is a list of 100 great movies by Alamo Drafthouse employees.

Here’s a list of 10 movies I’ve seen or would like to see.

  1. Short Circuit 2
  2. Filofax
  3. Mannequin 2
  4. Hackers
  5. The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
  6. Orang U: An Ape Goes To College
  7. UHF
  8. Manimal (not a movie)
  9. Cool Runnings
  10. Mac and Me 2


Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2

If this had come out a couple of weeks ago, I could have started this by saying, “A new article, it’s a Christmas miracle!” Instead, I just sort of reappear awkwardly. Ah well, why break tradition, I suppose. Well, the holidays are over, to the delight of many a parent, shopper, employee, or pretty much anyone. Maybe if the Christmas decorations in my mall didn’t go up mid-October, the season wouldn’t seem to last so damned long. Instead, we get to experience a nearly three month test of monetary endurance and emotional integrity. The holiday season claims many a victim.

Read the classic review

Proposed Dwarf Army list

1800pt Dwarfs Roster (Standard)

Dwarfs (Standard) Selections:

Solid Units (1225pts)

  • Berserker Brock-Riders Regiment (245pts)Vicious

    Brew of Haste (15pts) (Brew of Haste)

  • Bulwarkers Horde (250pts)Phalanx

    Fire Oil (5pts) (Fire Oil)

  • Ironguard Regiment (130pts)
  • Ironwatch Regiment (140pts)crossbows (Piercing (1)), Piercing Arrow (10pts) (Piercing Arrow)
  • Rangers Horde (350pts)Crushing Strength (1), Vanguard

    Blasting Arrow (20pts) (Blasting Arrow), Light crossbows (treat as bows)

  • Shieldbreakers Regiment (110pts)Crushing Strength (1)

War Engines (165pts)

  • Ironbelcher Cannon (85pts)Blast (2d6+1), Elite (if within 6″ of a Warsmith), Grapeshot, Piercing (4)
  • Ironbelcher Organ Gun (80pts)Elite (if within 6″ of a Warsmith), Piercing (2), Range 24″

Heroes/ Monsters (410pts)

  • Battle Driller (50pts)Crushing Strength (1), Individual
  • Dwarf King (160pts)Crushing Strength (1), Individual, Inspiring

    Da Boomstick (30pts) (Zap (3))

  • Steel Behemoth (200pts)Breath Attack (10), Crushing Strength (3)

Profile Summary:

  • Name Unit Size Sp Me Ra De At Ne
    Berserker Brock-Riders Troop 10 8 4+ - 4+ 30 20/22
  • Name Unit Size Sp Me Ra De At Ne
    Driller 1 4 4+ - 5+ 2d6 10/12
    King 1 4 3+ - 6+ 5 14/16
  • Name Unit Size Sp Me Ra De At Ne
    Bulwarkers Horde 40 4 4+ - 5+ 20 21/23
    Ironguard Regiment 20 4 3+ - 5+ 10 6
    Ironwatch Regiment 20 4 4+ 5+ 4+ 10 14/16
    Rangers Horde 40 4 4+ 4+ 4+ 20 21/23
    Shieldbreakers Regiment 20 4 4+ - 4+ 10 14/16
  • Name Unit Size Sp Me Ra De At Ne
    Steel Behemoth 1 3 6+ - 6+ 20 16/18
  • Name Unit Size Sp Me Ra De At Ne
    Ironbelcher Cannon 1 4 - 5+ 5+ 1 10/12
    Ironbelcher Organ Gun 1 4 - 5+ 5+ 15 10/12

Roster Rule Summary:

  • Army Special Rule: Headstrong: Whenever a unit begins a turn Wavering, it rolls a die. On a 4+ it shrugs off the effects of Wavering and can act normally that turn.

Selection Rule Summary:

  • Blasting Arrow: Roll one of the unit’s ranged attacks separately. This one attack only counts as Blast (d6). Can only be used by normal ranged attacks.
  • Breath Attack (10): Ranged attack, roll 10 dice instead of the At value. Range 12″, hits on 4+ unmodified.
  • Brew of Haste: +1 Speed.
  • Crushing Strength (1): Melee hits have a +1 modifier when rolling to damage.
  • Crushing Strength (3): Melee hits have a +3 modifier when rolling to damage.
  • Elite (if within 6″ of a Warsmith): Whenever the unit rolls to hit or to damage, it can re-roll one of the dice that failed to hit/damage.
  • Fire Oil: Successful ranged or melee damage from this unit against a unit with Regeneration causes the target unit to lose Regeneration for the rest of the game
  • Individual: The unit does not have any flank or rear facings.
    When shooting against this unit, enemies suffer an additional -1 penalty on their rolls to hit. The unit also has the Nimble special rule.
  • Inspiring: If the unit or any friendly units within 6″ of it are Routed, the opponent must re-roll that Nerve test.
  • Piercing (1): All ranged hits inflicted by the unit have a +1 modifier when rolling to damage.
  • Piercing (2): All ranged hits inflicted by the unit have a +2 modifier when rolling to damage.
  • Piercing (4): All ranged hits inflicted by the unit have a +4 modifier when rolling to damage.
  • Piercing Arrow: Roll one of the unit’s ranged attacks separately. This one attack only counts as Piercing (4). Can only be used by normal ranged attacks.
  • Zap (3): The unit has a ranged attack. You roll (n) dice for this ranged attack rather than using the Attacks value of the unit. This attack has a range of 24″, always hits on 4+ (regardless of modifiers) and is Piercing (1).

Custom laptops are now a reality…

This has been the case for some time, it seems. I was blissfully unaware of it.

The last three laptops I’ve used for any sustained period of time have been:

  • Apple PowerBook G4 (2005-2007)
  • ThinkPad X60s (2007-present)
  • ThinkPad X201 (2011-present)

My ThinkPad X60s, photographed in 2007 — yes, I am a super hacker..

Of those two, the most annoying was by far the most recent ThinkPad. For years considered the best machine for desktop GNU/Linux, ThinkPads are actually getting pretty bad. Its now hard to find a ThinkPad with an Atheros wireless card and Intel graphics, its even harder if you want a machine you can change the battery on.

I found a few companies who sell machines preloaded with GNU/Linux, and sadly many of those machines don’t have this problem fixed either. I was delighted to discover that you can actually configure and build your own laptop online — there are a few companies that offer this, I went with AVA Direct because they offered the most choice of configurations, offered to install Debian on the laptop.

I’m very interested to see what my new laptop is like.

The juicy specs are: 3.1Ghz Intel Core i5, Intel HD video, 16GB RAM, 240GB SSD and a floppy drive.

  1. COMPAL QAL50 (QAL5010011) Core™ i5 Notebook Barebone, Socket G2, Intel® HM76, 15.6″ HD LED Glossy, Intel® GMA HD Graphics
  2. INTEL Core™ i5-3210M Dual-Core 2.5 – 3.1GHz TB, HD Graphics 4000, 3MB L3 Cache, 22nm, 35W, EM64T EIST HT VT-d VT-x XD, OEM
  3. CRUCIAL 16GB (2 x 8GB) PC3-12800 DDR3 1600MHz SDRAM SODIMM, CL11, 1.35V, Non-ECC
  4. INTEL 240GB 520 Series SSD, MLC SandForce SF-2281, 550/520 MB/s, 2.5-Inch w/ 3.5-Inch Bracket, SATA 6 Gb/s, Retail
  5. COMPAL Super-Multi Dual-Layer DVD±RW Optical Drive for Compal QAL50 / QAL51 Series Notebooks
  6. BYTECC External Black 1.44MB 3.5″ Floppy Drive, USB
  7. NOTEBOOK ACCESSORY Built-in 3-in-1 MMC/SD/MS Media Card Reader (Included)
  8. VISIONTEK Killer™ Wireless-N 1202 Wireless Card, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 11/54/300 Mbps, Internal PCIe Half Mini Card
  9. ASUS USB-BT211 Bluetooth 2.1 Adapter, 3.0Mbps, USB 2.0
  10. NOTEBOOK ACCESSORY Extra 120W AC Adapter for all VBI / CBB Notebooks
  11. NONE No Operating System (Choose OS or subject to Limited Support)
  12. WARRANTY Assembled and Tested (1 Year Limited Parts, Lifetime Labor Warranty)

Here’s hoping I get something totally cool…

What I hope my new laptop will look like

New GNU/Linux distro for the blind

Twenty years ago today, my friend Jonathan Nadeau was in a car accident and lost his sight, permanently. Jonathan is now a free software activist, who through his non-profit organization, the Accessible Computing Foundation, has released the first version of Sonar GNU/Linux, a custom version of Ubuntu with blind users in mind.


Memorials to Fallen K-9s

I’ve not seen this before, but its rather sweet. A page dedicated to various police dogs.

via memorial2001.

New stuff

I’ve been busy with a contracting gig — a new role for me, doing a mixture of sysadmin and development work. Mostly sysadmin work right now, as I attempt to tune a large authenticated Drupal instance and eventually migrate it to a new Drupal release.

I’m doing a lot of work with RT, Nginx, Varnish, ikiwiki and Xen, many of which I’ve used before in various places.

It’s a lot of fun.


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