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Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
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Signed On June 16, 2002
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Total Comments 3299 (Veteran)
User ID 13410
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News Comments > Morning Patches

2. Re: Morning Patches Apr 1, 2020, 20:52 Scottish Martial Arts
phinn wrote on Apr 1, 2020, 13:39:
Anyone know how they are still patching Doom and Doom 2? Do these have any affect on the custom open source engines like GZDoom?

I believe these patches are specifically for the modern console ports (and possibly the unlockable in-game versions available in Doom: Eternal?) and do not affect anyone running the wads in a source port.
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News Comments > Half-Life: Alyx No VR Mod

12. Re: Half-Life: Alyx No VR Mod Mar 30, 2020, 07:49 Scottish Martial Arts
Drayth wrote on Mar 30, 2020, 02:19:
A little further ahead myself, but taking my time too. The VR experience for this shooter is as much a leap forward as Quake GL back in the day. The whole experience is so immersive. You react like you're at the actual game space all this is happening in. My first real gunfight felt insane, even if it's probably tame compared to what lies ahead.

Same. The experience was slower paced than, say, Doom: Eternal, but the first gunfight against Combine soldiers was pretty stunning. I was instinctively taking cover by physically crouching down. Since I couldn't see the enemy from my crouched state, I listened for their fire to pause for a reload. Then, I'd quickly stand, lean out, and fire at them until I expended the magazine, which in turn prompted quick, instinctive returns to cover to go through the multi-step reloading process (eject the empty magazine, reach back into my rucksack to grab a fresh magazine, slamming it into the pistol, then chambering a round with the slide). Like you say, the whole thing felt like I was actually in a gunfight rather than playing a shooter.
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News Comments > Half-Life: Alyx No VR Mod

7. Re: Half-Life: Alyx No VR Mod Mar 29, 2020, 21:46 Scottish Martial Arts
bigspender wrote on Mar 29, 2020, 21:16:
Isn't this a bit like making v8 car noises in your hatchback? It's just not the same experience as the real thing :p

I can't imagine it would be much fun to play this way. The game works because the gameplay mechanics and level design are perfectly integrated with the capabilities and strengths of VR. Take away the VR component and the bastardized remains are going to be pretty broken from a fundamental "is this enjoyable" perspective.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue

16. Re: Out of the Blue Mar 29, 2020, 15:48 Scottish Martial Arts
Ozmodan wrote on Mar 29, 2020, 12:38:
On another note there are too many videos out there trying to make Animal Crossing look good. It is just a game for kids and I am talking non-teenagers. If an adult is playing that game they either are very new to the genre or they have major issues.

I've been playing it and having a lot of fun with it. It's not demanding and it's not complicated, but that doesn't detract from its essential charm, its endearing characters, or the rewards of long term play. Animal Crossing isn't about achieving success at the risk of failure; it's about fooling around for a couple minutes each day, visiting your neighbors, watching your town, and the community that inhabits it, evolve and grow. To the extant that there is an end goal, it's to finish expanding and paying off your house. But if you're only working to accomplish that, then you've kind of missed the point and won't have much fun with it.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue

13. Re: Star Trek's 12 most emotional deaths, ranked. Mar 29, 2020, 10:23 Scottish Martial Arts
1badmf wrote on Mar 28, 2020, 18:57:
i've never been a huge fan of trek - enjoyable to watch, but too goody goody, and the writing was on average nothing special. Star trek Picard is a scifi masterpiece, and Discovery isn't far behind

What do you believe constitutes good writing? It's hard for me to believe someone would genuinely prefer the writing of Picard to Seasons 3-6 of TNG, but to each his own.

i binged DS9, which led into Picard, and the difference in production quaity is astounding. makes everything pre-Picard look like a badly managed stage production.

Somewhat of an aside, but this comment misunderstands the power of theater. When you watch television or film, you are watching a two dimensional image displayed on a screen. While movie magic can cause you to suspend your disbelief and get carried away with the story and characters and world being depicted, your brain never registers what you're seeing as real; there is always a degree of unreality to television and movies that the medium itself introduces. In contrast, theater, although limited in the range of what it can depict on stage, involves real humans standing a few feet in front of you. The consequent "strange alchemy of theater" is that when you see a character experiencing joy, or grief, or triumph, or tragedy, on the stage before you, you experience it as if it is real; after all, there is a person in front of you, experiencing these things, directly eliciting your sense of empathy, with no distance and no intermediation of a television or cinema screen. On that note, one of the side effects of seeing live theater with a well known film or television actor is that the person in question loses their larger than life quality; you've seen them before you, and in the end they are just people like you or I.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue

23. Re: Out of the Blue Mar 24, 2020, 17:44 Scottish Martial Arts
RedEye9 wrote on Mar 24, 2020, 17:35:
Does your bios see everything. Did you try reinstalling windows?

BIOS is correctly reporting all the components. I tried reinstalling windows, however it took multiple tries due to lockups in the installation process. Once reinstalled, Windows still BSODs within a few seconds of booting, if it boots at all. I attempted to run the Windows memory checker utility, but it locked up about 40% of the way through a run. The system is pretty broken and it seems very likely to be a hardware issue.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue

19. Re: Out of the Blue Mar 24, 2020, 17:29 Scottish Martial Arts
Bummer, Prez. We're all pulling for you! Get better soon.

In bad but no where near as serious news, I managed to meltdown my gaming PC last night. It looks like the cord to the speed switch for the case fans got knocked loose at some point, but since the fans in question were low-dB I never noticed. Then, I carelessly left something over the water cooler radiator air intake. Then, NYC radiator based heating being what it is, the living room room was quite hot last night. Meanwhile, I was playing Half-Life: Alyx for 90 minutes or so, and right around the point at which I was going to take the headset off to go open a window and cool the room off, my PC hard crashed. I restarted it, and it hard crashed again when I loaded Alyx back up. Shortly thereafter, I realized the case fans were offline and got them going again, but the system just got progressively more unstable, hard crashing with a BSOD repeatedly.

The system seems pretty broken at this point, sometimes failing to boot altogether, and otherwise BSODing within seconds of loading windows. The error codes on the BSODs vary, but all point to the kernel accessing corrupted memory, which suggest either damaged memory or a damaged CPU. I've ordered a new CPU, mobo, and main memory, with the plan that I'll start by replacing the memory, then CPU, then mobo, in that order, in the hopes that the problem will be fixed early and I can return the others. Ugh, feeling sheepish about this.
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News Comments > Half-Life: Alyx Released

30. Re: Half-Life: Alyx Released Mar 23, 2020, 19:30 Scottish Martial Arts
eRe4s3r wrote on Mar 23, 2020, 19:27:
Whatever I just canceled my Valve Index VR order... already feeling less salty about being pushed to 9+ weeks after such a long wait time and with no info either. If Valve doesn't want 1000 I am sure someone else will take it and give me what I WANT. Something to do while being stuck for months in an apartment for example.... blegh

The EU region have supply chain issues for Index. I ordered mine about twenty minutes after they reopened Index ordering on Monday, March 9th. It shipped the next day, and it arrived that Thursday, the 12th.
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News Comments > Half-Life: Alyx Released

11. Re: Half-Life: Alyx Released Mar 23, 2020, 14:59 Scottish Martial Arts
I played for 45 minutes or so and my initial impressions are extremely positive.

Like theglaze, I need a bit of a break (and, uh, this is a work day), due to some mild nausea. However, I do tend to get carsick in real life -- now that I'm only in a car a few times a year -- so I'm probably just especially prone to this. Notably, I didn't get violently ill or anything; it was just mild discomfort as I get my VR legs, with some moderate discomfort when climbing ladders (perhaps the rapidly vertically shifting horizon was more than my brain is ready for right now?).

Navigation and interaction with the environment feel very good. You open doors by reaching out to handle, grasping it, then turning and pushing. Everything behaves like you expect it would, although sometimes it's not immediately clear how much of an object is interactive, e.g. can you open the latch on this luggage or not? Some actions take a bit of practice, like reloading the pistol, but the more you do it, the more it becomes second nature. Most of the gameplay so far has been linear exploration and puzzle solving in a deeply interactive environment.

I haven't experienced any real combat yet, but I have killed a few barnacles. You bring your pistol hand up to eye level, close one eye to reduce parallax, line up the sights, then squeeze the trigger: it's a real trip.

I've mostly stuck to objective observations, but they kind of undersell just how remarkable this game is. You're in City 17. Full stop. Your brain perceives everything as real. We all know from Half-Life 2 that a Strider stands 4 or 5 stories tall, but now your brain actually registers them as being that big. Likewise, when a Combine Trooper is standing in front of you, there is a full-size human in front of you, and when they threaten you with a stun rod, your brain's instinctive fight or flight response kicks in and your body lurches back to avoid the blow. Other VR games have achieved the same effect, but no other VR game that I know of has a meaty, full-scale single player game to get immersed in. The gameplay still feels identiably Half-Life, but the sense of reality of it all is something quite new and quite extraordinary.

Count me in for team "This is VR's killer app".
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News Comments > Half-Life: Alyx Preloads

3. Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 21, 2020, 17:48 Scottish Martial Arts
fakespyder wrote on Mar 21, 2020, 17:06:
I jumped out of my seat more than once in the '98 game when a head crab would suddenly jump at you. I don't think I could handle it in VR Uneasy

I setup my Index today and was messing around in The Lab to test things out: I legit jumped when a Jack in the Box I was cranking popped out of the box. Getting used to fending off Headcrabs in VR is gonna be... non-trivial.
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News Comments > Into the Black

22. Re: Into the Black Mar 19, 2020, 11:21 Scottish Martial Arts
Beamer wrote on Mar 19, 2020, 11:07:
How are you surviving? Any good takeout/delivery places you're taking advantage of? Tomorrow, King David Tacos is delivering 8 breakfast tacos and a pint of queso, which I'm damn excited about. Though, social distancing has me eating pretty terribly...

I'm holding up but this situation has been a challenge to put it mildly. The quality of life one experiences in NYC drops pretty precipitously when you no longer can enjoy all of its public spaces. I'm particularly missing exploring parts of the city I haven't seen yet (because I would need to get on a train to get to them), my gym, the theater, and the IFC Center. Working at home is similarly challenging, although I do seem to be gradually getting back to a productive state. At least there's Doom and Animal Crossing to look forward to.

I've actually been cooking a lot more in the past year, and it's thankfully been one of the activities I've been able to maintain under social distancing. But I do still order in from time to time. My favorite are probably:

* The Smith
* Mint Masala
* Bleecker Street Pizza
* The LIttle Taco House
* Galanga Thai Cooking

Edit: Also I should give Cowgirl another try. I ordered a chicken-fried steak from them a couple years ago, and was disappointed by its blandness. I do love Texican though and there are surprisingly few options for that in NYC. Same deal with Cajun food: it exists but not as prevalent as, say, Asian Fusion or New American.

This comment was edited on Mar 19, 2020, 11:35.
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News Comments > Into the Black

16. Re: Into the Black Mar 19, 2020, 10:00 Scottish Martial Arts
Jonjonz wrote on Mar 19, 2020, 06:45:
it a flu that is only slightly more deadly than every other flu we have seen in this lifetime...

This is not the case.

Coronavirus is a new virus. None of us have immunity to it, and thus it is highly contagious. You and I and everyone else have had the flu in our lifetimes, and so our immune systems are capable of fighting it off. That's why the flu only spreads through part of the population during only the most virus-favorable seasonal conditions: flu has a hard time developing into an infection when the herd all has the antibodies to fight it off. No member of the human herd has such antibodies for corona virus.

Remember how when European colonists arrived in the New World, the native populations were decimated by disease? That's because Europeans brought germs with them, which they themselves were immune to, but which the natives had never experienced before. That is the situation the whole world faces right now.

Likewise, while we don't know the exact mortality rate of coronavirus, the best estimates place it between 10 and 40 times more deadly than the flu, i.e. 1-4% mortality rate.

Suppose that we nonchalantly treat coronavirus as "just the flu". Since no one has immunity, upwards of 70% of the population of the United States develops an infection. That is 229 million people infected with a disease with a 1-4% mortality rate. Consequently, we would be looking at 2.2 - 8.8 million people in the United States dying over the course of the coming months. That is mass death on a scale never seen before in the United States: think mass graves covered in quick lime.

The world economy is shutting down because the alternative is mass death comparable to the Second World War. That isn't the flu. That's a pandemic.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue

38. Re: Out of the Blue Mar 16, 2020, 20:57 Scottish Martial Arts
Beamer wrote on Mar 16, 2020, 18:18:
RedEye9 wrote on Mar 16, 2020, 18:14:
It's beginning to look like early Covid19 may not be asymptomatic. GI problems and shedding the virus in stool (diarrhea) is suspected in latest China study. Results similar to SARS.

That's no good. The girlfriend and I have had weird stomachs since Thursday or Friday. Regardless of this, I'd say there's a solid 75% chance I have it. But, I'm youngish and healthy, so...

Fuck, no kidding: I had some indigestion earlier today and have had a mildly gassy/upset stomach this evening. One more thing to try not to stress about I guess.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue

37. Re: Out of the Blue Mar 16, 2020, 20:53 Scottish Martial Arts
Kxmode wrote on Mar 16, 2020, 16:52:
Don't be so quick to judge people.

You're right; I'm sorry. It has been a stressful few days. Do watch The Wire, though.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue

18. Re: Out of the Blue Mar 16, 2020, 16:28 Scottish Martial Arts
Kxmode wrote on Mar 16, 2020, 15:41:
Obviously. Like I said, the king of obscure stuff.

Are you being facetious? The Wire is widely considered the best television show ever made, and is probably second only to The Sopranos in terms of kicking off the present Golden Age of television. If you're not familiar with it, that kinda says more about you than anything else.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue

15. Re: Out of the Blue Mar 16, 2020, 15:36 Scottish Martial Arts
Kxmode wrote on Mar 16, 2020, 15:35:
You're the king of obscure stuff. Thankfully, a quick Google search for "idris elba" informs me. Would it kill you to put in a quick "idris elba has COVID-19?"

Never watched The Wire, apparently?
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News Comments > E3 2020 Officially Cancelled

32. Re: E3 2020 Officially Cancelled Mar 11, 2020, 20:35 Scottish Martial Arts
Cutter wrote on Mar 11, 2020, 15:59:

And? It's still just a fucking flu virus at the end of the day. Odds are it's not even as bad as the common strains. Lots of people, way more in fact, have those common strains right now and yet no one is losing their shit over that or even remembering it exists. People are so fucked in head.

You've misunderstood the problem. The underlying deadliness, or lack thereof, of COVID-19 isn't the problem; the problem is COVID-19s capacity to overwhelm the health care system causing otherwise preventable deaths at large scale.

Health care is a finite resource: there are only so many hospital beds, doctors, nurses, medical laboratories, doses of medication, etc. Most of the resources that make up a health care system are also extremely expensive, especially so in the United States. As a consequence, health care systems tend to have enough resources to deal with the average demands with some amount of excess demand. As you may have noticed, we're still in flu/pneumonia season, which itself consumes the lion's share of the health care system's resources each year. If you layer on a large outbreak of corona virus, the resulting influx of patients will overwhelm the system's ability to cope.

Medicine developed something called triage during WWI. In a situation where you have more patients than ability to care for them, you divide them into three categories: those that will die no matter what care they receive, those that will live no matter what care they receive, and those that will live if they receive care but will die or be severely disabled or maimed if they do not receive care. Then, in that resource constrained medical system, only the last group of patients receive care, in order of urgency. The danger of corona virus isn't the illness it induces, but in its capacity to so starve the health care system of resources that patients in that third category can't get care before it's too late. That's when large numbers of preventable deaths start happening; not because corona virus itself killed them, but because corona virus prevented them from getting the care they needed.

Which is why we all need to avoid getting sick right, and if we do get sick not go to public places: we must not be a vector for the medical system running out of resources.
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News Comments > etc.

6. Re: Great moments in PC gaming- Bragging about your daughter in Dream Daddy. Mar 1, 2020, 19:53 Scottish Martial Arts
Eirikrautha wrote on Mar 1, 2020, 13:16:
Everything you need to know about the fall of western civilization in one article. We are now playing video games in order to pretend to raise children. I guess because actually raising children is too hard for the narcissistic losers nowadays? It would be funny, if it wasn't so sad. I'll brag about my real children, thank you...

I was reading Aristophanes on the subway today and the chorus of angry old men in The Wasps had the following to say:

Yes, we may be poor old crocks, / But the whiteness of our locks / Does the city better credit, I would say, / Than the ringlets and the fashions / And the rectum-widening passions / Of the namby-pamby youngsters of today.

And so we have a hilarious, 2400 year old reminder that it is a constant of human nature that the older generation views the younger generation as a symbol of civilizational decline. In other words, whenever we're tempted to think that the kids are shit, we should remind ourselves that they thought that in the "good old days" too.
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News Comments > Evening Interviews

2. Re: Evening Interviews Jan 15, 2020, 20:03 Scottish Martial Arts
Simon Says wrote on Jan 15, 2020, 19:36:
No it's not, even in the early days of Steam, games worked as they should and there wasn't an input lag problem, nor a visual quality problem from video compression.

Clearly you did not try to play Half-Life 2 the night it was released.
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News Comments > Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls for Windows this Month

4. Re: Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls for Windows this Month Jan 3, 2020, 20:52 Scottish Martial Arts
Darks wrote on Jan 3, 2020, 20:21:
Tell me about it! The first thing I thought was what the fuck is this shit? I've played every Wizardry game to date, this will be the first one I skip. Cant believe this watered down shit is even called Wizardry.

Clearly you aren't THAT familiar with Wizardry if you're unaware of the Japanese spinoff series that's been going on for nearly 30 years and now has more entries than the Sirtech series :

The backstory here is that before Windows 95, Japan had its own alternate universe of homegrown PC platforms like the MSX or NEC PC-88. During the mid 80s, the Wizardry that Western PC gamers know and love was ported to Japanese PC platforms (by a company called ASCII) and was a HUGE hit. A couple years later, a game called Dragon Quest was released for the Famicon/NES that sought to distill Wizardry down to something that would work on an 8-bit console. Dragon Quest was an even HUGER hit and remains so till this day. After Dragon Quest took Japan by storm, the company that ported Wizardry to Japanese PCs decided to port them to the Famicon/NES, and Wizardry was even more successful on that platform than it had been on Japanese PCs. By this point however, the pace of mainline Wizardry releases was slowing down and the games themselves were growing too large and complex to be portable to 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. So ASCII secured a license to develop their own Wizardry spinoff titles for consoles and handhelds. While not as big as Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy, the Wizardry spinoffs had a loyal audience in Japan and they kept making them, through multiple licensee changes, up to this day, and some have been localized back to the West. This trailer is for one such localized game.
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