Monday, May 9

back to the trenches

Today I returned to work, after a one-week holiday. Here we had the Easter so last week's Monday and Tuesday were free and I completed the week by taking the remaining days off.
Of course the first things that hit me at office where the impossibility to log-on due to our "sophisticated" security measures (that requires a restart, but I do not want to) and the horde of e-mails awaiting, all, a quick resolution. Oh, damn!

On a brighter note, I have good Internet connectivity in the office so I can *gasp* read World of Warcraft guides and information. Good use of the company's resources!
Yes, I admit: I am addicted. I am addicted to World of Warcraft...
For everyone intersted, that is _THE_ best game since... oh well... since computer games started.
However, all is not well. You can read some rants here »

Saturday, May 7

on paladinhood

Huh? What's this? Just a rant on the beautiful character I'm playing in World of Warcraft. Yes, I am a human paladin. You know, the type that preaches to the people and then cuts them down. The heavy armoured priest, the "hollier-than-thou" warrior. And everything you saw in movies and read in books is in the game. Yes, the feeling of power and the sense of doing the right thing when I heal and when I bless. Don't even get me started on the ressurection thing! So yes, paladins are just very well shaped. But that's not everything - evry class in WoW is nicely done, with it's unique features, strength and weaknesses. And every class gives the player the feeling of having a purpose, filling a spot, doing one's share of the work. And that is what's simply amazing about WoW.
Time after time I see the good (and sometimes bad) cooperation in a team, how everyone works as a part of a whole. In a well-made party, where each player knows his/her role, it is a joy to play. Everything runs so smooth! It's amazing what playing cooperatively with other people means.

If you hadn't figured by now, there will be lots of posts about World of Warcraft. Just so you know.

Thursday, April 28

first look

After unsuccessfully trying last night to register World of Warcraft (the account management server was down - for several hours), today at noon I finally managed to register. And soon after I put foot for the first time on the magic lands of uhmm... Whatever the Night Elves lands are called. I think it's Kalimdor.

First impressions

First impressions are very positive. I mean, World of Warcraft does look sweet! I spent a few moments to watch the orange little piggies running around. I mean, in how many games do you take the time to really look at the animal you're going to slaughter?
I like the way the interaction with other players work. It fondly remembers me of the days I spent mudding...
I actively bowed and waved at different players. I just can't wait to start to socialize with other players - maybe even join a guild!

Head-scratching

What I yet can't cope with is effective fighting. It's still a mystery to me how am I supposed to attack and kill most efficiently. It is true that I learned to use some special abilities of my rogue, but I feel like a blundering fool. But as "practice makes perfect", so will I learn someday the art of efficiently dismember and maim the poor critters.

Tuesday, April 26

with elves and dwarves

Today I bit the bullet - or more precisely the arrow. I just ordered online (because you cannot find it in the retail shops) the World of Warcraft game and also a 60 days prepaid card. They say I will receive it in less than 3 days, which means before the Easter. Yes, that's my Easter gift.

Now the only problem is acquiring a good ISP. For the moment I use a GPRS/EDGE connection which sucks badly (I have ping in the range 800-1000ms anywhere in the world). So I will probably subscribe to Astral.

And now, returning to the WoW world... I can't wait for gameshop to call me to confirm my order. Then the countdown will start. I started to read some WoW guides and help files, so I hope I am a little prepared for my new vice. The old MUD experience should count for something, and allow me to quickly integrate in this massive world.

Note: World of Warcraft is ©2005 Blizzard Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 25

knocking on EU doors

knocking on EU doors

Photo info
Shot: RAW
Exif: 1/800", f8.0, ISO 200
Focal: 60mm
Camera: Canon Digital Rebel
Location: Verona, Italy

This evening Romania signs the joining agreement with EU. The actual process will end on Jan 1, 2007; however there's a clause specifying that EU can delay the process by up to 1 more year (in case of bad behaviour probably).
If you need more information please click here » (source: home.ro)
More info can be found here » (source: BBC News)
If you still need to find out more » (source: Reuters)
I wonder what is wrong with Google News... I put them on my personal links section and they fail me.

Interesting times will come. However, I thnk first we will have a taste of rising living costs and only then we will feel the benefits of EU joining. I hope I'm no Cassandra.

Note: the photo on the left is intended only in a humoristic way, it should by no means be perceived as an anti-EU message bearer. Actually I strongly support EU integration (regardless of costs).

a case of Mondays

Ah, a new week has started! The joy of returning to my sweet office and yet again starting to slave away for the greater good!
However, today there was a nice exception - a lunch in Herastrau. So I quickly jumped on the ocasion, although it was more a business lunch. However, the salmon was not spoiled by this. All in all, some nice time spent outside the office.

At office however - another day, another service launch followed by the usual headaches. Luckily from time to time I can browse a little the net and find out what's going on outside.

I am a bit dissapointed - still no World of Warcraft box at Best Computers. But I am hopeful that soon I will be able to play in the sunny world of Lordaeron.

Sorry no nice pictures today... Hopefully tomorrow.

Sunday, April 24

lost and found

Isn't it great when you accidentally find something that you thought lost, or completely forgot of even having? That's exactly what happened to me this evening... By looking in an old folder on my hard drive I stumbled on a few pictures that never caught my attention. So, imagine my surprise when I found this one!

I find this picture somewhat pleasing, despite the evident technical shortcomings.

Lost and found

Info
Date: 27 Mar 2004
EXIF: 1/200, f6.3, 200mm
Location: probably Herastrau park

Thursday, April 21

this year at CERF (part 2)

As I promised (and failed to deliver), here are the different products and services that caught my eye. In the first post about CERF I posted some pictures with... things that caught my eye and camera, but now I am going to rant strictly about the IT/Telecom offerings.
Yeah, I know, boring... If at any time you feel like "seen this, done that" you can browse to my previous post for a refreshing experience.
So, without further ado, here are the goodies.

The lust for hi-tech gadgets
The crown of the products is awarded, from the start, to Dialogue Flybook. Words can simply not describe the beauty of this handtop/sublaptop. Or the geeky warm feelings it produces.
Do I care that the official website "welcom"s you, or the abysmal English they now? Do I care that I never heard about "Dialogue" until 2 days ago? Not a bit, sir, not a bit! I am simply mesmerized by this Apple-ish gadget. And oh yes, it is Apple-ish.
I won't bother with further information, just a few links:
FLybook review at handtops.com
"I would sincerely recommend the FlyBook to everyone who was looking for such a powerful ultra-portable. Well done, Dialogue."

Flybook reviewed at Pocket PC Reviews

Ok, I want it! No let me rephrase: I WANT it!

New offering from Astral
Astral is one of the two major players in the CaTV / Cable Internet players (the other being RDS... yeas, the one with the Ferrari). Until recently their (Astral) offer clearly suffered when compared to RDS'. But things are going to change pretty soon. Their Tri-play offering seems very nice, both in terms of value (the 19 USD bundle), but also in terms of performance (the 29 USD bundle has a max bandwidth of 384 kbps).
the poster for this new offer - see it here »
and the discussion on Softpedia, here »
pretty nice. I can't wait until they launch it and maybe subscribe (if no other, even juicier, offering appears).

And thou shall close thy TV!
In a very interesting move, RDS launched their DIGI TV service, which basically offers you their bundle anywhere you might be. Now, why would want to watch TV when you are in a chalet at the mountains and you have your snowboard close by is completely beyond me. Though VH1 would be nice...
Anyway, you can find more info here »