The Girl Geek

{February 29, 2008}   I finally gave in…

I bought a 360 today along with Dead Rising, Halo 3, and Tony Hawk. I’ve never had an Xbox before, so I guess I’m gonna have to go around and buy some old games for cheap. Anyways, I decided to finally buy one because I’ve been playing Halo against my coworkers when I go over my friend’s house.

So far, so good. I haven’t got a RROD. (hah!)

I love how your friends’ status comes up when they sign on and stuff. It’s the little things like that that made me want to get this.

More on this later… I have zombies to kill…


{December 10, 2007}   Word of the Year: Intuitive

I was watching one of those “I’m a Mac” commercials recently, and I heard Mister Mac himself say the word “intuitive.” When the Wii came out last year,’s Matt Casamassina described the controls in the E3 video review of Super Mario Galaxy as “intuitive.”

It seems that this past year (and a half), if a company wanted to produce a hit product, they would have to make it “intuitive.” Intuition, the core of intuitive, means: direct or immediate insight. But, in all honesty, how intuitive are the things people have been calling “intuitive?” Let’s start with the Nintendo Wii.

The Wii can honestly be called the more intuitive product out of the two due to its controls. How many people know how to work a remote? Almost all. Although punching buttons on a remote has not been a part of human intuition from the start of our existence, it has become a part of the collective knowledge of the 20th century and beyond. (Think phones, stoves, toilets.. anything technological that you knew how to use even as a child that a cave man wouldn’t…) A Wii controller is an aesthetically pleasing television remote with a D-pad. Nothing more than that. When it comes to the games, some are definitely intuitive. Wii Sports is a collection of said intuitiveness. You may have to press a button or two, but you really throw the bowling ball and baseball, swing the bat and tennis racket, and punch your brother in the face.

However, an Apple computer, is not intuitive. If someone who had never seen a Mac before came up to it, and tried to play with it, they’d end up hurting either themselves or the computer (have you seen Zoolander?). Yes, it may be easier to take a picture with it’s built in camera, but to be truly intuitive, there’d have to be a camera peripheral that points and shoots like a real camera. Or, if you consider what Mac actually says during the commercial, “simple and intuitive, that works the way they do,” you’d have to have a crapping baby doll that will sync your favorite music to your iPod. Or iPoop. It doesn’t make a difference.

I don’t hate Mac. In fact, my first computers at school were Macs until I hit 5th grade. Apparently after that, crappy Dells were cheaper to come by than the cool looking Macs. In 11th grade, however, I had to relearn Mac OS because that’s what we wrote our high school newspaper on. All the problems stemmed from having to use Adobe Pagemaker on Macs, while using MS Word to type up our stories. I’ve never got the Beach Ball of Death so much in my life. (More than the BSOD on the Dells, so go figure). Macs just aren’t as intuitive as they want to be, and with so many people used to the Windows format, the Mac OS will not catch on.

But, regardless of my opinion on the intuitiveness of different things (and why I still have Windows XP on my computer), the real question is: why does everything now have to be “intuitive?” Are people’s IQ’s going down the drain so fast that they can’t comprehend tasks that require reading, practice, or trial and error? Actually, don’t answer that, it’s true. Intuitiveness = made for the impatient/lazy/stupid people of this world.

{September 23, 2007}   Halloween/Youmacon

I am very saddened by the fact that this year, I have no little kids to take around trick-or-treating. My little cousin is going to her friend’s house on Halloween and my brother’s too old to take. However, Youmacon is the weekend after it, so I’m considering hitting it up instead. This will be my first ever anime convention, and even though it is mini compared to all the others, I want to see what conventions are all about. That, and I want to dress up.

For my first costume that is almost complete, is that of Hermione Granger. Now, it may sound silly for me to dress up as a Harry Potter character, but she is the epitome of me. I am only a year older than her, I look similar to her, I am a geek like her, and she gets Ron. So, after much digging through a Value World, I have the following:

  • A black, pleated skirt that needs a new waistband.
  • A dark gray v-neck sweater that just needs the red/gold trim added.
  • A white, collared undershirt.
  • A red knitted tie that just needs the gold lines added.
  • A pair of black mary janes.
  • An old cloak costume that just needs to be cut through the middle and the sides ended.

The last two things are stuff I had around the house. I need a pair of black tights, a wand, the infamous scarf, and to make the aforementioned fixes to the items I bought. All in all, I’ll probably have her costume for less than $20. Maybe a little bit more if I have to splurge on anything.

For my second costume, I have a few ideas. I could be one of the Organization XIII characters from Kingdom Hearts II by just taking the cloak and adding a giant zipper to it. Wear a black shirt, black pants, my black boots, and some black gloves, and I’d be all set. Oh, and maybe a wig. I may crossplay as Axel or one of the other guys because the only chick in the whole group looks manly. This would be really cool if my brother would play as Sora. Not just normal Sora, but the Anti-Sora. I saw some informative pieces from the cosplaywiki about how to make his shoes. (I have to go to Halloween USA in a moment for that, anyways).

My other choice, if I do not pursue either Hermione or Org XIII, is to become Robin Sena from Witch Hunter Robin. She’s just freakin’ awesome. I fell in love with the show when I watched the first episode, and although I haven’t seen it in a few years, I’m still looking forward to cosplaying her. As I said about Hermione, I have the same hair color/length as both Hermione and Robin. Now, it may sound odd since they have clearly two different color hair, but I have this odd strawberry-sandy-blonde-light-brown color going on. I will try to pull it off. The only problem with Robin is that I’ll definitely have to do a lot of sewing. I also bought a long black skirt that fits me awesome, and then I realized that she has a short black skirt/shirt on top of a long, gray, long-sleeved dress. So, I suppose I may have to think of something else.

That being said, I’m off to go get a pair of clown shoes, black tights, and a new knifty knitter.

Sorry for the hiatus; school started. Anywho, I was browsing Slashdot like I always do, and I came upon a story of pure idiocy. To give you the summary, Tikka bought a laptop at PC World (a BestBuy/CircuitCity type of store in the UK) about 4 or 5 months ago. Just recently he found out that his laptop has started to crack at the hinge. To those who don’t know, it’ll eventually brick the computer. Either way, he tried to take it back, and the manager refused the repair… Because he installed Linux on it. Here’s the article.

First of all, the manager says he can refuse repairs based on software installed. This isn’t a software issue. This is a hardware issue. Better yet, it’s technically not hardware but a casing issue. Linux will not break the casing! Hell, Windows would if it could grow arms since it tends to break everything else on our computers. Secondly, it’s not if MS would even care, if that’s what the manager was thinking. MS was happy when the computer was purchased (or manufactured?) because that’s when Vista was installed. They could careless if Linux is ultimately used since you already paid for Vista.

This would be as if I bought a car at a dealership. A few months later (still under warranty), the engine is crapping out. If I took it back there for repairs, and they decide to refuse the repair because I installed a new CD player, I’d be calling both the maker of the car, the media, and everyone else I know.

All this is is a manager who uses his “power” to make people miserable because he’s miserable himself. That, or he’s a MS fanboy. I emailed Tikka, telling him to bring it up with the manufacturer and/or Those two may help him get his laptop fixed or replaced. But what do I know? I still use Windows. (Shame, I know.)

Edit: First of all, I’m sorry I assumed Tikka was a girl. It’s a habit. Though people may suppose I’m a guy with the nickname of Vagrant Ed. (If anyone knows Cowboy Bebop, they’ll know how I got my name). Also, there is an update with the fact that the manager refused because they couldn’t bring the laptop back to its original configuration. A big ‘ol WTF is deserved there. So, this has nothing to do with the outside damage, just the original software. WTF. WTF. WTF.

Today, I’ve decided to do some product reviews of some goodies that I have bought in the past from Jolt Gum, Giant Plush Microbes, Microbe liquid soap dispenser, and the dual-colored LED Faucet Light.

Jolt Gum: First of all, I technically didn’t buy this at ThinkGeek. My dad bought them for my brother a while ago, and I just got around to trying it. First of all, these things are nasty. They taste bad from the beginning, and last about an hour after you’ve already spit it out. I wouldn’t know if they really gave me any type of caffeine boost, only because I chewed it for about two minutes, tops. I really don’t know if this is any better than a cup of coffee followed by a piece of Trident, but I sure know that Trident tastes better.

Giant Plush Microbes: These are a Microbiology major’s best friend. My mom originally bought my brother and I each one of these cute things for Christmas a few years ago. First of all, I got the bookworm. My brother was given the Flesh Eating Bacteria one (a.k.a. Streptococcus pyogenes!). When my cousin had her baby shower for her little girl, I bought her the Common Cold (pictured at right) and the Kissing Disease. Her older sister got Porphorymonas gingivalis (a.k.a. Halitosis) a little while later. So, now, I also have E. Coli, the Black Plague, the Flu, Ebola, and H.I.V. Each microbe looks exactly like they do on a blown up microscope slide. The colors are based mostly on the stain colors used. I must say, however, that these are cute enough to put on your bed, but freaky enough that people are compelled to read the attached tags and learn about these microbes. They’re very hardy, as I have had mine sitting in the back window of my car for a year. The microbes haven’t faded one bit. None have broken or had loose stitching.

Microbe Liquid Soap Dispenser: This is how we clean the microbes we find above off of our hands. It is the coolest soap dispenser I have ever seen. Even if I didn’t know what it was, the microbe is so stylized and heavy duty that I’d be compelled to buy it. It’s made out of the same material as a rubber duckie, and is as bright as one, too. The only style out now is the Common Cold (looks like a plastic version of the picture above), and even though it is bright blue, it can fit into any sink decor. My dad even liked it, and has asked me to buy another one just for him. This is perfect for anyone going into a medical field, and it can help teach the little ones why they need to wash their hands. Kiddies, even though Mr. Common Cold is cute, his buddies Escherichia Coli and Salmonella typhimurium aren’t so cute when they ravish your insides.

LED Faucet Light:faucet_light_3.jpg Well, if you are going to wash your hands thoroughly in the dark, you’ll need a special type of light. That’s where the LED Faucet light comes in. As soon as the water turns on, the LED lights up and helps guide your hands or dishes to cleanliness. The cheaper version only has a blue LED that turns on, but the other version has a blue LED until 87 degrees Fahrenheit, at which time the red LED light turns on, warning you that the water is hot. This is a nifty product that makes water look cooler than it really is (or hotter, depending on the color). The only difficulty with this is sometimes when you hit the faucet while it’s off, it’ll blink on. Also, it sometimes takes the lights a few seconds to realize the water is going through. However, to make up for that, in the box are extra batteries for the lights (which are small and relatively inexpensive). Never was washing so… illuminating.

et cetera