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Computer game day

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Today's been a day full of computer games.

I took a vacation day, 'cause Mary Anne was here. We were chatting about World of Warcraft, and she convinced me to give it a try. She set me up with a new character in her account, a Night Elf, and I happily wandered around picking up quests and killing beasties and exploring the realm of the Night Elves and so on. It was fun, and I was fascinated by the way that the quests made the rampant slaughter of the local creatures sound not only reasonable but actually like a good thing for a druid to be doing. I got up to level 3 before deciding it was time to stop. I don't have any interest in actually playing the game seriously--I think I would lose interest in the combat focus, and wouldn't want to put in the huge amounts of time that I gather are required to get far in the game. And if I tried the roleplaying servers instead of the normal servers, I suspect I would never want to leave. I decided long ago that I should steer clear of MUSHes and other 24-hour-a-day online roleplaying systems, because when surrounded by good and dedicated roleplayers, I can happily roleplay nonstop, pretty much indefinitely, to the exclusion of all else. Maybe after I take a year off to read through my bookshelves, I'll take a year off to do roleplaying.

Later there was Ethiopian food at Zeni in San José, and a visit to Valley Fair (the huge scary mall in Santa Clara; I had never been there before, and if that's what it was like on a Thursday afternoon, I'm very glad I won't have to be anywhere near it this coming weekend), and dropping M off in Los Gatos (after which I took wrong turns twice on the way home; luckily, I pulled over and used Google Maps on my Treo to find my way home), and an SH editorial meeting. And then I discovered that the Eudora hang I'd experienced this morning had resulted in major corruption to my entire Inbox file (currently at around 6000 messages, covering most of the otherwise unsorted mail I've received since the beginning of the year -- which is just a small fraction of all the mail I get, but it's an important fraction).

Luckily, I performed my weekly backup last weekend (sometimes I don't), so I fetched the inbox file from backup, and I made a copy of the corrupted one just in case, and while all that was going on I went off to play a relaxing game of Dice Wars, a Flash game that's sort of like a minimalist abstract version of Risk; in the past couple weeks, I've played maybe half a dozen times. It's brief, it's easy enough that I almost always win (but challenging enough that things are usually pretty close for a while), it's got just barely enough strategy to be mildly interesting to a not-very-good strategist like me, and it's kind of relaxing in a take-your-mind-off-things kind of way.

And then I looked at mailing list email, where I saw that the new version of Line Rider (a cool Flash game I mentioned here not long ago, in which you draw lines and curves for a little person on an animated sled to slide along) is out. Now you can draw three different kinds of lines, and there's an eraser (!), and various other neat and useful features, and a gallery of movies, and just all sorts of cool stuff.

So I played with that for a bit, and then I saw that someone on the mailing list had responded to the Line Rider announcement by pointing to SketchFighter 4000 Alpha. It's a Mac-only game, one of those "fly your spaceship through the maze and shoot bad guys" things, but with a twist: all the creatures and hardware in the game are drawn in the style of "those super-cool space ships you doodled on graph paper in Middle School." The look of the game is totally cool; when you shoot some of the baddies, they even leave eraser-mark smudges on the paper. The game is $19 shareware; if I had any interest in, or skill at, playing computer games, I would totally buy this. You can even, apparently, play over the Internet!

In the meantime, my various email copies and such had finished. I did some diffs, downloaded Rezilla 1.1, and removed the TOC resource from the resource fork of the corrupted In file, which forced Eudora to rebuild the TOC for that mailbox. Which, of course, removed all the status information (like whether the messages were read or unread, whether I'd replied to them, and whether I'd applied labels to them). So I ended up using the backup In file from last weekend's backup, and copying about 120 new-in-the-past-week messages into that mailbox from the formerly-corrupted mailbox. Total lost information wasn't very much. But I'm a little nervous that other mailboxes might have been corrupted too--when Eudora crashes (or when you force-quit because it's hung), the TOC information can get seriously hosed, which results in the contents of messages having little or nothing to do with the from/date/length/subject info that Eudora displays for the messages, and in message boundaries getting all messed up (so a given "email" might started with the end of one message and end with the headers of another message). Feh.

Okay, so that last bit didn't have anything to do with computer games. I have a feeling there was something else I was going to say about computer games, but I'm not sure what, so I'll stop now.

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