Tuesday, November 20, 2001

A few tidbits today: For the first time in…well…years, I’ve been spending a significant amount of time gaming lately. The object of my affection is Ragnarok Online, a massively-multiplayer online community and game, using artwork similar to Final Fantasy IX‘s. It’s still in alpha, which means it’s still free.

[Rangarok character]
A priest of Ragnarok

can’t get used to the idea that I’m actually playing a computer game for more than half an hour at a time. I used to be a computer gaming freak — adventure games being my big hobby — but the wane of that genre combined with my entrance into college, and so my gaming hobby quickly died. The most gaming I’ve mustered lately is a few late-night Quake II sessions at work.

So, I’m playing Ragnarok. The artwork is beautiful, the gameplay is elegantly straightforward, and the world is interesting. My graphics card isn’t supported, so I see a few weird graphical glitches, and the gameplay is pretty limited (it is in alpha), but I’m enjoying the easygoing nature of the game. The community is still at that early stage where pretty much everybody is polite and helpful. An anonymous passersby gave me a free sword just yesterday.

What else. I just set up a mirror of all the basic AtheOS files. This is probably a mistake, bandwidth-wise, but I hate to see atheos.cx hammered so hard every time a release is released.

I also spent some time working on Landscape, which can now replace the default desktop on AtheOS. I still have some kinks to work out, but overall, this is a very cool feature.

And now, I’m annoyed. Check this out:

Microsoft is being sued by a whole bunch of private individuals for anti-trust violations. They’re seeking a settlement, in which Microsoft will donate USD $1.5 billion in software and computer equipment to the poorest schools in America over the next three years.

Did I miss something? If Microsoft is guilty, how does this address their anti-trust violations? This doesn’t stop them from doing a single blessed thing. They can go on their merry way; heck, they have $38 billion in cash right now. This solves nothing.

Since when did justice mean “The loser pays out some cash?” If Microsoft is a monopoly, as these people claim, it should be stopped from being a monopoly, not forced to pay a fine. Monopolies are perfectly willing to dole out some spare cash once in awhile so they can continue their practices. It’s called bribery in other countries.

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