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[personal profile] ryanabrams
1) Personal Life: I have not posted in ages. Part of this is because I was worried that the metaphorical signal would have unintended effects on a nearby metaphorical pacemaker. I no longer think that is the case. This is great news.

2) Apple: I have spent about a decade now using Apple products, and endorsing them to others. My new (awesome) job is all mac-centric in terms of development hardware. Apple played to my values in a big way. And I loved it. More importantly, it worked. And as soon as they gained traction in the market, and started the snowball effect, they began using the power to lock little things down. No problem, I thought. It's Apple. They do this. But I can use open formats, and make choices as I go. (Still True).

Recently though, it's become unacceptable. What made Apple so great was that they never tried to appeal to everyone. They tried to innovate and appeal to people that valued similar things to them. And then they tried to educate the public to help them value it also. I support that approach, even though it can come off as elitist or snobby. It just seems better than aiming to be the lowest common denominator. 

Unfortunately, as soon as they got a taste of victory, they immediately began racing for the bottom. The "App Store" is literally the only way to get software on to their new favorite OS, and they censor it to "protect the kids". They are anti-multitasking. And now they are actively suing people over things like "object oriented interface design". Frankly, for that, they can go fuck themselves.

I will use their hardware until a better alternative is available. The mac from work is free, and is just a pc laptop. Awesome. A ChromeOS tablet is sort of the dream, but for now an iPad will do (as long as I studiously avoid lock-in). I've reformatted my mac mini (and drobo) as linux/ext3 based. Not dual boot. Straight linux. I'm setting up a linux VMWare install on my work mac. I'm weening myself off mac software (including iTunes, somehow). And I use a Palm Pre for my smart phone. I'll keep using macs for now, as the OS is quite nice to work in. But my software and my data are going to be open, free, and easily replicable on linux or windows or haiku or whatever on the day that Apple tries to apply it's current attitude to Mac OS X. 

3) Games: I play in a D&D campaign that is like 9 players and a DM. It's epic. The battles are huge (and take as long as you'd guess). The RP / Skill Challenge stuff is crazy if you visualize /everyone/ there instead of just the active participants. It's like a freakin' platoon storming the castle, instead of a party. I enjoy the game quite a bit, but the sheer size of it makes it harder for it to be free form, and makes the "fun" harder to extract. As such, I'm seriously considering forming a small, easy going, weeknight campaign to DM. I figure 3-4 players, as streamlined a ruleset as possible, and I'll run a NPC so that I can also "play". The problem I'm facing is a) who to invite to play, and b) how to avoid poaching or in any way harming the larger game (which I'd totally keep playing in).

Speaking of games, I'm selling a large chunk of my board game collection. You can see more here: http://garagesale.ryanabrams.net . This is a LJ sneak preview. Pretty soon, the unsold ones will go on BGG Auctions, so if you're interested, check it out.

Date: 2010-03-05 02:46 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
2. Man, that is such an irritating goddamn dilemma. I ran Red Hat for years before deciding that Microsoft was non-evil enough now that it'd be okay to use Windows, and it was kinda a relief being able to just use things without fussing about it. And yet, yeah.

3. Maybe if you make it as completely different from the other game as possible? Use one of those fancy new-age rulesets that are all weird and crazy, and have it set in a non-fantasy setting or something?

Date: 2010-03-05 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] montoya.livejournal.com
That was me! Consarned LJ logging me out.

Date: 2010-03-05 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skwidly.livejournal.com
3. This is a good idea, and you'd be distinct enough just running an Eberron campaign, I think. You should invite some of the folks that couldn't be in our current game, like Tom and Kal.

Wish I could join you in it, but I barely have time for the game we're in already! Have fun!

Date: 2010-03-05 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryanabrams.livejournal.com
I'm planning to just sort of invent a setting in the base fantasy genre. I may put a bit of steampunk in, but I don't want to work to a set world. The worldbuilding is some of my favorite parts of DMing.

Eberron looked cool to read, but the robots turn me off.

And yeah, the disparate platforms issue blows. I'm rebuilding my drobo for my linux server, and couldn't use ext3 due to reliability issues. So I now have an 8tb NTFS drobo for my linux server. Which is weird.

Date: 2010-03-05 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stick-figure.livejournal.com
3) I can hear Brian jumping up and down with glee from my apartment across the river. As for myself, consider me second-string. I predict things are either going to get boring or crazy in the next couple of months.

Date: 2010-03-05 06:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brianneko.livejournal.com
Ha, yes! *bounce* Actually it sounds lovely buuut... it would depend on timing (what night? how frequently?)... for the same reasons we don't make the drive up to Wednesday or Sharky's that often. Plus I would hate to take a slot that someone else might want, especially if they weren't already able to play in Johnny's game.

I also don't know if I'd be that interested in a weird setting. As a novelty perhaps, but when it comes to RPGs, nothing shifts my gears like good old fashioned fantasy. Even Eberron always left me cold, for some reason. I wonder why that is.

I love the big game but would definitely be interested in a smaller one... sounds like I'm not the only one, either, sounds like we need to have a bunch of little side campaigns running. I'm a pretty crappy DM myself though, hehe.

Date: 2010-03-05 09:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryanabrams.livejournal.com
I'm currently thinking Tuesday nights from like 6-9:30 or 10ish. I would love if it was weekly, but understand that sometimes that is too much, so I think I'd do 2 weeks back to back to start the campaign, and then discuss with the players what the schedule should be. You know... start weekly, and let it slow down if needed. Hopefully, in a smaller group, it would be easier to do that.

Setting wise, It'd be something new. Weird, yes. But grounded in fantasy, and without any war robots. But ultimately, the idea behind the campaign is to make the whole thing a bit of a mystery. Neither you, nor your characters, have any idea what the hell is going on. And they spend most of the time trying to figure it out, and then dealing with it. Also, I'd probably come up with some weird method of conducting skill challenges on the battle mat, and making positioning /matter/ for more than who gets stabbed that round.

In any case, this is just me tossing an idea out to see if it sticks. If I end up with a group of players, I'll give it a shot.

Date: 2010-03-05 05:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skwidly.livejournal.com
Dibs on Laser Battle!

Date: 2010-03-05 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryanabrams.livejournal.com
Sure thing. Did you have a price in mind, or are you just waiting for the part where I set it on fire? ;P

Date: 2010-03-05 05:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragonsbones.livejournal.com
One problem of advertising a smaller game is having all the same people wanting to play both!

I definitely do.

Maybe limited seating, or more than one small game to play so that there can be two separate groups?

One way to weed me out is to put it on Tues/Thurs nights.

Date: 2010-03-05 09:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryanabrams.livejournal.com
Unfortunately, I think Tuesday is the only night that makes sense. Mondays I like to sleep. Wednesdays are usually taken. Thursdays are sharkys/movies, etc. And I want to keep my unbooked weekend days unbooked.

I promise that this was not an attempt to weed you out. :(

Date: 2010-03-05 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragonsbones.livejournal.com
Yeah, and in no way would I think that my unusual work/school schedule should interfere with fun-tiems of others at all. I'm a tad disappointed, but it's not your fault. It's a hazard of trying to do too much on my part :)

Date: 2010-03-05 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eagarvey.livejournal.com
Heh... I thought NPC stood for Non-Protein Calories. So does this mean I can keep the Air? :P

B

Date: 2010-03-05 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryanabrams.livejournal.com
Well, that remains to be seen. But I don't intend to sell it at the moment. ;P

Date: 2010-03-09 05:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peglegpete.livejournal.com
I am definitely interested in the game!

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Ryan Abrams

June 2011

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