April 20, 2012

PSotD - ハローストロボ

Title: ハローストロボ (Hello Strobe)
Composer/Artist: ぽわぽわP (PowapowaP)/Hatsune Miku
Year: 2011
Notes: A pretty quirky song. ~Strum that guitar.
Links: DDL from MikuDBOriginal song on NicoNicoDouga

Linux Tycoon Beta 3 Released

Bryan Lunduke has finally released Linux Tycoon Beta 3 and it is now available for download on the Linux, Mac and Windows platforms!

If you have already purchased, simply re-download using the instructions in your purchase email.

There are quite a few new features added into this release. Here’s the highlights:
  • New online game-play.
  • You can now Save and Resume your local games.
  • Major overhaul of the simulation engine based on player feedback.
  • Software Packages are now more heavily effected by workers (including new package versions and modified stats).
  • You can now see events for all Distro’s (not just your own).

Feedback on the game can be found at the forum. If you haven't bought the game already, its only $4 for now and can be bought at his page. If you are a Linux fanboy or just love simulation games then this game should keep you occupied for a while. Its pretty limited in functionality at this point but I am sure it will be improved in the future.

Linux Quick Tip #4: Nautilus Shotcuts

Nautilus Shortcuts are Handy

If you are a regular Linux user like me, you probably would have had to deal with Nautilus many times in a day. Here are a few quick keyboard shortcuts that will save seconds of your life.

  • Open a location - Ctrl+L
  • Open Parent folder - Ctrl+Up
  • Arrow keys navigate around current folder.
You can also customise the file icons with 'emblems'. These are little graphical overlays that can be applied to individual files or groups. Open the Properties menu item of your selected file/folder and click on the icon to select any image you want.

Anime Review: Pale Cocoon

What can a one episode anime do to make such an impact on the audience? However, Pale Cocoon takes a different direction than your average anime. It has a deep meaning behind it.

Pale CocoonSynopsis:
A future where the continuity of history has broken off, a world of enormous ruins that continues endlessly. Oceans and continents have vanished, existing only within the archives brought up from the remains. Ura works in the Archive Excavation Department, which restores and analyzes the data left behind. One day, he finds a disturbing visual record... 

There isn't much to say about Pale Cocoon as it it only a 23 minute OVA. Thus, it jumps straight into the story where it is hundreds of years into the future when humans live underground. The surface of the whole world has been 'metallized' and humans have no choice but to live underground. Here we see Ura working in the Archive Excavation Department, analysing and repairing old records of long ago. One day he finds a visual record that changes his view of the future as well as the past. Pale Cocoon holds such a deep meaning to it that even after watching it, you will be left guessing as what really happened. From my perspective this short OVA really made me think about the world we live in today. As technology increasing evolves, what will become of nature and the environment we live in. Will it become desolate and ruined like what is shown in the OVA? What would be the purpose in life if such thing would occur? Thus, the OVA concludes with Ura going to the surface to see the truth himself. The story is sad in a way that if you think about it, will this future really happen?

The art was simply amazing with a mixture of 3D and 2D elements. Of course for a 23 minute OVA, much detail was put into it. As such, you get a sense of wonder at the environment that the characters are situated in. Even the characters had fine detail on them. The animations were fluid and felt natural.

The sound track was gracefully composed at suited the theme perfectly. Also, the character's voice acting was perfectly synced. Though, most of the OVA has little or no speech, we mostly hear of Ura's monologue of uncovering the past. The OVA is mainly focused on visual representation of the story rather than an audio presentation. Thus, the soundtrack used in the OVA made little impact to the overall story.

The OVA has only three major characters in the story. This is quite an accomplishment for a single OVA because it is pretty hard to tell a story with a limited amount of characters. As such, we view Ura as a lonely secluded guy just working away his life uncovering artefacts from the past. He does have two other friends that work in the same department as him, but he rarely interacts with them much. We see little about the characters' past so I didn't feel any emotional or connection to them except the situation that they are in.

Overall, I found this an interesting and meaningful anime. It is not something you come across every day. It has a sense of dread and sadness in it that portrays a future that might or might not happen. As you watch, you come to understand why the characters felt this way and what feelings they show. In the end, it is a anime you would want to watch when you have some free time. There are no major climaxes or action. Just pure understanding and discovery of the past and of the future.

What will happen in the future, or rather, what happened in the past?

ART: 9
Mixture of 3D and 2D environments is just stunningly well presented.

Good voice acting but music had little impact on overall theme.

We see little character development because of such a short anime, but we do get sense of what is happening.

For some reason, it wasn't boring even though is was all dull and gray.

An anime that will make you think deeply. If you are analytical anime type, this is for you.

Humble Bundle Bontanicula Debut

It seems the Humble Bundle is back with a few indie games for Windows, Max and Linux. The new bundle is debuting a new gamr called Botanicula that is cross-platform compatible. In Amanita Design's latest adventure/puzzle game, you must guide a motley band of tree creatures in a journey to save their home from brooding, parasitic invaders.

Botanicula on Humble Bundle will help save the rainforest
Buying the bundle also gets you two more award-winning games from Amanita Design: Machinariumand Samorost 2. If you pay more than the average, you'll receive Windosill, a charming point-and-click puzzle game by the interactive animation studio Vectorpark, and Kooky, a Czech feature-length film with art direction by members of Amanita Design.

The games are DRM-free and soundtracks are included! Customers who choose to pay above $5 have the option of receiving a code to redeem the games on Steam.

You can also support nature conservation efforts by designating a part of your pay-what-you-want purchase to benefit the World Land Trust, an organization that works to protect rainforests and other wildlife habitats worldwide.

However, none of the games really interest me that much and they do not include Android, so I would have to pass on this round. However, if you are extremely bored or just want to support the indie developers feel free to buy the bundle here. The offer lasts for 2 weeks, starting today.