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Messages - Evan
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General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread
« on: August 18, 2008, 04:04:42 am »
Hey all. I got a new avatar.

It was probably the most difficult thing I've ever done, computer-wise.

So I found a funny youtube video, and decided "I want an animated gif of that." I searched google, and found a free online one that looked awful (something like .5 FPS) and a few others that seemed promising: namely, "River Past Video Cleaner."

I researched it for a while, and it seemed perfect: I could load the .flv file, input some parameters such as size and resolution, and then bam, an animated gif. I downloaded the free trial, and found out that it didn't have .gif support. I needed the booster-pack for that.

I went back to the site, and got the animated gif booster pack for said software, and found out that when I converted, it left a watermark. It wouldn't be a big deal if it weren't for the fact that the watermark was gigantic in proportion to the video. I searched a torrent site for the program, and found one that seemed decent, but the keygen was a trojan. Luckily I realized this, and was able to delete it. The problem was, that means I don't have a key.

I decided to scour the internet for a serial for this program: BAD IDEA. I should know better than to go to serials sites. I really should. I slipped up, though.

I went to one, and it said that I needed a cracked .exe. It seemed legit, so I downloaded it and patched the program. I ran the program, expecting it to be like "Thank you for registering the program!" Instead, a browser window opens up and goes to

I didn't know how to react. At first, I thought it was just some weird bug, a bullshit crack, and that I was just not going to be able to use this program. I decided to uninstall it all and rid myself of the hassle. I opened up a windows explorer window, and no sooner than I did that, a browser window pops up and directs me to a google search for "viagra."

I got an awful, sinking feeling in my chest. I mean, I'd like to think I'm a savvy computer user. I am not usually one to fall for stuff like that, but seriously, an AVG scan turned up nothing, so what am I to think?

I run an AVG scan, but it detects no infections, so I really don't know what to think. I downloaded HijackThis, and ran a scan, then analyzed the log via. some German website that I use all the time. It detects a few nasty files, so I fix them, and think that's that. Fixing them only removed them from my startup list, however. They were still in the Windows directory just waiting to be run. I tried to delete them, but it said I didn't have permission. I figured I'd use File Shredder, but it says that the files are in use. I try to boot up in safe mode, but apparently that doesn't work either.

Eventually, I rebooted and did a system restore from a few days ago. I checked around, because I know that sometimes malicious files can stay resident in the system restore file. Luckily, everything is gone, no signs on infection, and a HijackThis log turns up nothing.

I got this computer at the beginning of the summer for college, and almost ruined it before school started. No more torrents, no more cracks, no more serials. I'm buying my software legit.

Try to learn your lesson the easy way. The avatars aren't worth it.

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread
« on: August 17, 2008, 04:25:35 pm »

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread
« on: August 16, 2008, 03:07:24 am »

Sounds like Seiklus.

You are a beast. Thank you.

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread
« on: August 15, 2008, 02:08:24 pm »
Just found out i got into University  ;D

Nice, where ya goin'?

UW-Platteville for me.

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread
« on: August 15, 2008, 03:38:33 am »
Hey, all, I need your help.

A while back, probably 2 domain changes since this, someone posted a really cool game on here. It was posted along side "Cave Story," and the icon was a moon. The game was real simplistic; you just ran around, and I think collected something that didn't matter. It was mostly just an adventure game. The only concrete detail that I remember was the moon icon. Anyone remember what it is?

And I'm sorry it's a bit vague, but it's a shot in the dark.

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread
« on: August 14, 2008, 05:19:13 am »
On the topic of video games and art, I downloaded "Braid" today on the XBLA. Seriously, this game hurts my brain, but in a good way. I think that it's a perfect example of what we're talking about.

A perfect mesh of art and game. For once, it's not a nice-looking game with little to it.

And although it's not multiplayer, my gamertag for 360 is "TenFortyEZ." I suggest some of y'alls add me if you have 360, but don't send a blank invite, just include your name on here. Or give me your gamertag and I'll add you. Either way.

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread
« on: August 12, 2008, 02:09:31 pm »
The biggest factor in determining whether or not something is art is intentionality. If the maker had something in mind when they made the piece that was beyond "I'm going to make a football game," then it has a good chance of being art. There are other factors, but none of them seemed as critical as that one. Selling games is a factor, but it clearly can't be that big of a factor, because thousands of awful games get made every year. Shoot, the other day at GameStop, they were throwing out a pile of PC games that weren't selling, one of which was an Italian wedding-planning game. If sales were the only thing that the creators had in mind, then they obviously wouldn't have put that game out there.

The main point is this: if the artist/creator had an intention in making the game that was beyond a desire to make the game itself, then it is art. If the intention is solely to evoke a response from the viewer, that's fine, and is the basis of most shock art. The art can not be created by someone who wouldn't understand intention, however. For example, the elephant who paints pictures is a novelty, but could not be considered in artist, because it has no concept of intention, and furthermore, would not paint outside of captivity. Similarly, pieces of art that are made by computers could not be considered art. I'm not talking about digital art, but rather computers that compose music or design art based on computer programs. While the programs themselves can be extremely complicated, they do not create "art" because there is no intention.

There is a world of difference between what is considered "art," and what is considered a "craft." That is not to say that something that is a "craft" is inferior to a work of art; a photo-realistic rendering of a face, a la Chuck Close, is much more appealing to me than a canvas painted a solid color. Not to say that Chuck Close has no intention, and that it is not art, but something can be aesthetically pleasing and still not be "art." Once again, however, Chuck Close was an example (and my favorite artist) and by no means do I intend to diminish his art in any way. What I'm saying is, the physical work of art itself is simply a means to express a message, yet can never be separated from the message. Similarly, the message attached to the art is what gives the art meaning; if separated, both lose meaning.

So to tie it back: if the creators of video games have intention in creating said video games, and they are able to evoke a response, than they should be considered art, without a doubt.

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread
« on: August 11, 2008, 06:13:52 am »
I've often heard the argument from atheists that religion is just a big cancer or something that wants to convert the whole world to its singular belief or something. What I don't get is why then, has every atheist I've encountered tried to convince me that God does not exist. I've never tried to "convert" anyone or convince them that my faith and way of life is the right way or the only way. Maybe that makes me a worse Christian for it, not spreading the word, (I'll explain my best if someone asks, but I'm not gonna go out of my way to be like "believe, mudda fukka!") but it doesn't explain why atheists (the ones I've met) argue that religion is just a way of controlling the masses or something, and then they go and try to convert me to their way of thinking. I mean, wtf? You're gonna say religion is bs and then try to convert me to nonreligion? I don't see the difference between a religious leader vehemently arguing against science and a scientist adamantly arguing against religion. They're both trying to convince people that their truth is truth, or at least truthier than the other's truth. So like, religion can be used as a vehicle for power but so then can science, really.

I could say the same about Christians. It wouldn't be true, but it wouldn't be any less true than your statement. Simple ad hominem attacks about "people constantly trying to convert others" are easy to throw into a discussion about religion and spirituality, but the simple truth is that there are those on both sides, probably in equal numbers, that vehemently try to convert the other side to their way of thinking.

The only difference that I've observed between the two arguments is the quality of the arguments, in the sense that one side tends to have a lot more quantitative proof on its side.

While I was writing this, chriskot brought up some good points, specifically about the argument to which I refer in my post. While I do agree that atheism is equally as faith-based as Christianity, I have yet to find any proof that points towards creationism, or even intelligent design. Any attempts to disprove evolution, at least ones that I've seen, are just ignorant, and can often be countered quite readily. I'm not saying that there is absolutely no possibility that there is some divine being sitting up there watching us, but if there is, I bet it's pretty laid back, and just lets stuff happen.

EDIT: Peanut Butter and Bananas; Creationism seems tasty!

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