Club Admiralty

v7.0 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Club Admiralty Blog

A blog about life in general, in as many languages as I can manage. Ενα ιστολόγιο περι ζωής, πολυγλωσσο - σε όσες γλωσσες εχω μεράκι να γράψω.

Star Trek fan productions

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Since I am all done with the Canon Star Trek films and TV series, with the exception of the animated series which I am slowly watching), I decided to venture out into the expanded universe of books and fan made productions. Since Star Trek Renegades has not been released yet, I though I would go through the back catalog of videos based, and some audio based, fan fiction. These are os moved brief reviews:

Of Gods and Men

This is actually a film that is free on YouTube, as well as on DVD I think, that features a lot of the original cast. It takes place after Star Trek Generations where some maniac (don't really remember the character's name) gets God-like powers which spins off, yet another, mirror universe. Most of the original cast is there, with the exception of Kirk, Spock and McCoy, in addition to the person who captained the enterprise in generations - you know, the one where most critical systems would be installed on Tuesday, yet they wanted to take her out for a spin early. Talk about bad planning. The film ws actually not that bad. Aesthetically it reminded me of a mix between classic TV TOS and the original movies. Since I was going in thinking that this would be a TV TOS intern s of visuals, the experience wasn't at all disappointing. If they can do such a good job with this, I am really curious to see what they do with Renegades. The only plot point that's a little weird is the NCC 1701-M, or the "museum" version of the original enterprise. Why go through the trouble of creating and entire original constellation class ship to be in a museum? Seems like a waste of resources to me.

Hidden Frontier (seasons 1 & 2)

I am still watching this one since there are seven seasons of it. Each season of this series consists of 30-minute streaming or downloaded episodes (QuickTime files). The creators caution you to start watching from season 6 because by that time they got things down, but is ended up going with season 1 first in order to get the story from the start. I think that this fan production has potential, and maybe something that can beer made now that there technology is better. Most episodes suffer from some pretty bad green screen artifacts and pixelation. If this were fixed the visual experience would be better. The dialogue and plot aren't bad. The main antagonist are the "gray." They seem to be flag ships that are like space versions of jelly fish, and they want to take over the universe. Nothing we haven't seen before with the Borg, species 8472 and the dominion ;-). The acting these first two seasons is pretty bad. It seems that there are missed queues, awkward pauses, and some characters seem to either be reading from a script (lack of voice inflection), or they seem to over do it. It reminded me a little of wormhole x-treme, the stargate SG-1 fake TV series: "it's what I do...it's what I DO,... it's what I do DO" heh. The other funny thing in this series is that in addition to the Star Trek sound effects that they use (a mix of classic and post TNG), they use the theme to Stargate SG1 and sound effects from Star Wars (pew! Pew!). Cognitive dissonance:) In all fairness I was warned about this on the website, but it wanted to see how bad it really was. I hope it gets better as the seasons progress.

Star Trek: Intrepid

Star Trek intrepid was the first fan made series I started watching. It doesn't have many episodes and the episodes vary in length. One of them has Picard working secretly for section 31 as far as I recall. The overall production seems better than Hidden Frontiers. The plot revolves around colonization of areas new to the federation and the strained relations between colonists and the federation who protects them. One of the main antagonists seem to be the Orion Syndicate. That said, the series seemed a bit all over the map. Why did the colonists have this strained relationship with starfleet? Why are they colonizing? What happens in the end? I think the fact that episodes are of varied lengths contributes to the sense of non complete story. The acting wasn't bad, and the visuals were good for a fan production. It was also nice to see actors with accents oth than standard American in the cast. All things considered, a mixed bag, but I wish there were more

Star Trek: Federation One

This series is by the hidden frontier people. The first season is video and consisted of two episodes. The second season is all audio. The premise is pretty interesting: it deals with the president of the Federation and it tries to solve the assassination of the previous president while dealing with mundane issues such as Education Reform. The visuals are much better than the first two seasons of hidden frontiers that I saw. Between the two seasons my preferred season was the visual one. The audio-only season was written and recorded too much like it was meant to be visually produced. As such, it really left a lot to be desired since the acting was a little over the top, maybe to compensate for the lack of visuals, and the audio was not descriptive enough to help the listener visualize what's going on. The fact that the story kept jumping around didn't help either.

Star Trek: Diplomatic Relations

Diplomatic relations was an audio-only series, and unlike Federation one, it seemed better geared toward the audio medium. The background music helped set the tone of the series, the acting was much more subtle and enjoyable, and the story made much more sense in the audio narrative. The background, as one may surmise form the title, is all about diplomats. This is not something you see often in Trek so it as a welcomed change. I really wish they had more of them!

U.S.S. Angeles

It seems that this is the series that started it all back in 1999. You can see son Hidden Frontier people in in is series, and you can see some emerging characters and story lines. Just like the first few seasons of Hidden Frontiers, the visuals are not that great, and the acting isn't all there, but it's people into Trek having fun doing what they do, so it wasn't that bad if you had it on in a small windows while doing other things. I would give this series a pass if you had to devote your entire attention to it.

 

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Sphere of influence: first weekend

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U.S.S. Amaliada

A week ago season 8 of Star Trek online was released. Of course it was released on on Tuesday which meant that I wouldn't get to it until the weekend. Oh well, it was worth the wait. Over the weekend I spent some time trying out the new areas on the Solenae Dyson Sphere with my main character (federation tactical captain) to get a bearing. Before the season was released I was really excited about the prospect of sponsorship tokens, but I guess I didn't really understand how they worked, until this weekend.

Initially I though that if I finished one reputation (any reputation) I could speed up subsequent reputations on the same character. Thus, if I finished the romulan reputation set, ie specter to be able to speed up, and get double XP, on the dyson reputation system. Well, I guess not. If I finish the romulan reputation system on captain 1, I can give a speed up token for the romulan reputation system to captain 2. I guess I need a shared bank account to be able to do this between characters, but this isn't an option for the free to play players.

That said, I now have a speed up token for the Borg STF reputation system, so if I ever start a 4th character (cardassian faction coming soon? :) ) I guess I can use that to speed up their reputation progression and minimize the mind-numbing grind. No one wants to play to grind. That said, the new dyson reputation system is pretty nifty! To level up in this reputation system you need a commendation which you've t once daily by doing an STF. If you get enjoy tokens (350) you can start a mission to exchange those for 5 commendations. This means that for a little work over the weekend I can have my character doing work all week while I am away from the game. The other nice thing: no XP, Or commodities required to partake in these missions to level up in the reputation system. Sweet! The addition of store unlocks automatically as you level up is nice too. I never really got why you had to waste XP, dilithium and/or EC to unlock things in the dilithium store.

From a game play perspective, the ground PvE missions are actually quite good. I never really liked the ground combat missions, but this is pretty nifty. The flight missions don't do much for me. Even at full impulse it feels that the motion is pretty slow. I guess this is to be expected since the Dyson sphere is pretty huge. The "breach" Group PvE is actually pretty cool. The first few times I got stuck in walls and couldn't get unstuck, but once I got my bearings it progressed quite quickly and it was an easy way to get some dyson marks and commendations. The one thing I noticed that my main ship, an Atrox Carrier, one that I've been flying for the past 9 months, is a little hard to maneuver in such a small environment. So, I brought back the Prometheus advanced escort with the Borg space set, out of retirement, since it can turn on a dime and zip around corners. I just need to grind a bit to get the Mark XII borg set since I left it at Mark X last I played.

All things considered, this is pretty cool. I will leave my klingon and romulan characters off the Dyson sphere our for now until I can get some speed up sponsorship tokens for them. I really don't want to grind...games should be fun, not work.

 

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Star Trek Online Season 8 now available :)

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It's here! Finally out of beta :)

Now, if only it were available yesterday when I had a day off... I guess I will have to wait until the weekend.


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Pinky and the Brain do Who's on First

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For the longest period of time, "Who's on first" for me was a sports bar next to fenway park. It's not hard to see where this sports bar was my only reference for the comedy routine. I had never seen the original Abbot & Costello version, and I walked by this place daily on my way to Tae Kwon Do when I was in high school.  Eventually I got to see the original (see bellow) and more more recently...the Pinky and the Brain version!  Hilarious :)

Pinky and the Brain...



Original Abbot & Costello Version:
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Ψιφιακός καθαρισμός

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Την περασμένη εβδομάδα διάβαζα ένα δημοσίευμα απο τον javapapo για το τέλος τον DVD, και πιο συγκεκριμένα τα DVD backup. Η αλήθεια ειναι πως δεν το είχα σκεφτεί και παρά πολύ το θέμα αλλα και εγώ, εδώ και αρκετά χρονια, εχω πάψει να κανω backup σε δισκάκια. Παλιότερα, πριν τα dvd, έκανα μανιωδώς backup σε CD, και μετά οταν είχα DVD-R στο παλιό μου PowerBook Pro τα μάζευα όλα σε DVD backup. Σε κάποια φάση, επέστρεψα στα CD και τα μετέφερα ολα σε DVD για να εξοικονομησω χώρο, και τελικός πριν κανένα χρόνο τα έλαβα ολα σε δυο σκληρούς δίσκους.

Στο τελος, έχεις μαζεψει τόση πόλη ψηφιακή σαβούρα που δεν ξέρεις τι να την κανείς ;) Για παράδειγμα είχα τουλάχιστον δέκα αντίγραφα εργασιών που είχα γράψει οταν έκανα τς μεταπτυχιακά μου. Με τέσσερα μάστερ είχα μαζέψει αρκετές εργασίες, software, αναφορές, Ψιφιακές βιβλία (για τα οποία εχω χάσει τα DRM οποτε πεταμένα λεφτά), και αλλα πολλά. Μια απο αυτές τις μερες πρέπει να κάτσω και να αρχίσω σιγά σιγα να κανω έναν κατάλογο απ'οτι εχω.

Πολλα απο τα παλιά ούτε αρχεία δεν γα χρειάζομαι. Το μόνο που πραγματικά θελωνα κρατήσω ειναι τα παλιά μου παιχνίδια απο τότε που είχα 68k mac και κάτι παλιά παιχνίδια που έτρεχαν σε επεξεργαστή PowerPC. Το μόνο που πρέπει να βρω ειναι κανένα εξωμοιωτη που τρεχει macos 9 και 10.4. Τον ψιφιακο καθαρισμό τον άρχισα το περασμένο σαββατοκύριακο. Πήγα στις παλιές υπηρεσίες ΙΜ όπως το yahoo που θέλω να ξανά χρησιμοποιήσω, διέγραψα κάτι παλιά ονόματα, άτομα που είχα γνωρίσει στις παλιές καλές μερες του yahoo chat τα οποία έχουν εξαφανιστεί. Διέγραψα και περίπου 100 άτομα απο την αντζεντα μου, παλιούς συμαθητες και παλιούς γνωστούς που εχω σε υπηρεσίες όπως το linkedin για τους οποίους δεν χρειάζομαι θέση στην αντζεντα του ipad η και του κινητού. Πραγματικά, μερικές φορές αναρωτιέμαι πως μάζεψα τόσους πολλούς. Με τόσες διαγραφές αρχίζουμε απο την αρχή. Άμα ακομα χρησιμοποιήτε το yahoo messenger, το AIM, η αν είστε ρέτρο το ICQ, βρείτε με. Οι λίστες μου ειναι σχεδόν άδειες πάλι :-)

 

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Super Mario and the Power Glove

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Here's a pretty funny Mario silent film by the Nerdist :)  Good for classic gamers ;-)


Part I



Part II

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Modern Warfare & Modern Warfare 2 | done

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Last spring when Microsoft had sales on their xbox live store, one of the daily deals was Modern Warfare. All three were on for sale, but th first two we're $10 a piece while the third one was more like $25 or $39. Not a sufficient drop in price for my liking, and I did not know if I'd like the series enough to play three games in a series. So, I ended up just grabbing the first two. This ended up not being a bad deal. Both games were pretty cool as far as FPS games go, especially ones that came out earlier in the life of the xbox 360.

Both games seemed rather short to me. After having played through two metal gears, which seemed quite long, these two games seemed to progress quite quickly through their acts. Granted, I did put the game on normal mode (nothing crazy like hardened on my first try), but still the difficulty level wasn't bad for someone new to the game, and it felt challenging but short. What it lacked in length, the games made up in excitement. Sure, they are shooters so they should be exhiting but sometimes shooters seem to sacrifice story for action. The story did draw me in. Admitedly more so on huge second one then the first one, but the first one's story wasn't that bad. I definitely had more of a "connection" (for lack of a better word) to "roach" than I did with "soap" on th first one, but soap does kick some serious behind in tha second one.

One thing that annoyed me in this game was the dead of main characters. PFC Jackson dies in the first one and Roach dies in the second one. boooo! I could deal a bit more with the PFC buying the farm in the first one because you only really played two missions with him before his untimely end. But Roach? Seriously? I went through almost the entire game dodging bullets before Sheppard kills him off in a cinematic sequence. Quite disappointing. I was ready to throw my controller on the screen when I thought roach was also going to kick the bucket (luckily for my TV he did not). I am quite curious to see what modern warfare 3 has in store for our protagonists.

At the end if the day, through one play through I have 16/37 (43%) of the achievements in Modern Warfare (310/1000 points); and 17/50 (34%) of the achievements in Modern Warfare 2 (255/1000 points). This is much less than I would have expected from a game that I enjoyed, but I would be willing to go back and play both again at a more difficult setting right now. I will most likely be going back to MW2 to complete the special ops to get some more achievements, but since the game was such a thrill ride, I am just considering taking a brief break for Rainbow Six Vegas, and then coming back to these (until Black Friday comes and. assassins Creed IV comes on sale on amazon ;-). )

 

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