Some Great Webcomics

I read a whole bunch of webcomics, all of which are great or at least worth a look. Without further ado, here’s the list:

  • Ctrl+Alt+Del is along the lines of Penny Arcade, but deals more with the characters than with games. In my opinion, it’s better.
  • Irregular Webcomic, also written about here, is made entirely out of legos.  And is loads of fun.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja is about a ninja who is also a doctor. He descends from a long line of ninjas who, of course, have a long-standing rivalry with pirates.  His vehicle of choice is a velociraptor.
  • XKCD is the well-known techie stickfigure webcomic. I like it.
  • Questionable Content is definitely worth going through the entire archive. I got very little done this weekend because of it. Among other things, it’s really interesting to watch the progression of the author’s art style. If you have not read it yet, you should. Now. Click that link!
  • Order of the Stick, a D&D webcomic, is set out to use every trope (clicking on that link may cause you to click on other links uncontrollably. You are warned.) and is full of excellent humor.
  • Goblins – Life Through Their Eyes is another D&D comic, from the point of view of a party of goblins who become adventurers. It’s got some heavy stuff in it, but is definitely worth checking out.

Ta-da!  If you haven’t read any of ’em, at least check out the first couple.



So, here’s a whole bunch of cool links for your enjoyment.  Check ’em out!

By the way, middle-clicking (or, often, Ctrl+clicking) opens the link in a new background tab, so you can keep reading the post until  you’re done, at which point you can just close this tab and move on.

  • Star Wars Weather Forecast
    Compares the weather of a user-defined location to various Star Wars planets.  Right now the description for mine is “Wow.  18 C, Light Rain?  It’s like Kamino out there.  Wet.  There’s also a significant chance of unconvincing CGI aliens.”
  • Earthship Homes
    Earthship homes are houses built entirely eco-friendly:  insulation from old tires, glass from recycled bottles, and so on.  It’s pretty sweet.  Check out the link for the full post.
  • Space
    Simply an amazing picture of a section of space.  Once there, click it to zoom in.
  • The Star Wars Opening Crawl Finally Reaches Earth
    Some genius decided to show what would happen if the text from the opening of Star Wars made its way to Earth.  Definately worth checking out.  Very funny.
  • Pokescience
    Proof that Pokemon are “freaking hax,” taking into account things like the fact that Blaziken can apparently jump 60 times its own height, and that Magcargo’s body is somewhere around 1.8 times as hot as the surface of the sun.
  • Electric Umbrella
    An instructable detailing how to build an umbrella with embedded LED lights for maximum awesomeness.
  • The Something Store
    Buy a $10… something.  It’s a mystery.  You can get anything with a value of or greater than $10.  Just go for it!  If you don’t like it, well, it was only $10 and there’s a good chance it’d be something cool.
  • Where To Start With Young Adult Science Fiction
    A list by io9 of young adult Science Fiction books, most of which I think are great to read if you haven’t yet.  At least give it a look.
  • Gizmodo Reading Room:  Fiction
    Another list of great fiction books, but this one isn’t limited to Sci-Fi.
  • Orisinal Winterbells
    A fun little game in which you are a rabbit, jumping as high as you can off of floating bells.  Control with your mouse.  Not much of a point, but fun and (perhaps?) calming nonetheless.
  • Return My Pants!!
    A site to keep track of who’s borrowing stuff from you, and whose stuff you’re borrowing.  
  • ColorJack
    A color picker, with a nice look/feel and great for grabbing the hex or RGB value of a given color.  Worth a look for any web designer or dabbler in HTML.
  • Facepalm
    A great facepalm image.  Insert it into threads where a facepalm is required.
  • Pirate vs. Pay
    Describes why people pirate, through a few images and some arrows.  Humorous, but very very true.
  • Math Heart
    An equation that, when graphed, makes a very nice heart.  You may have to scroll down a bit to see the graph
  • Math Leaf
    Along the line of the above, this equation makes a leaf.  Maple, I think.
  • Binary — It’s Digitalicious!
    A great non-laggy Binary/Hex/Octal/English translator.

Et voila!

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Ubuntu Netbook Remix

So, I recently installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix on my MSI Wind (dual-booting FTW!) and am really enjoying it… simple downloading, nice main menu layout, better battery life handling (2 hrs at max battery on Windows, 3.5 hrs at max battery on UNR).  Once I iron out some kinks with Firefox and Wine, I might make it my main OS.  Any tips or ideas from someone out there who’s experienced in Linux/Ubuntu/UNR?

A Collection Of Excellent Authors

I own at least two books of every author here – more, for most of them.  I would highly recommend them to anyone who’s looking for a good read.

Robert Aspirin:  Writes the “Myth” series, a hilarious series of books full of adventure, danger, and puns.

Piers Anthony:  Author of several different series.  My favorites are the Xanth series and the Mode series.

Michael Crichton:  Wrote, among other, the Jurassic Park series.  Which are, of course, recommended – along with “The Sphere”  and “The Andromeda Strain”.

Eoin Colfer:  Specifically, the Artemis Fowl series.  Written for a more young adult audience, I still find them engaging, fun reads.

Rick Cook:  “Wizard’s Bane,” the story of a modern-day programming wizard who gets sent through time and space to a world where a wizard uses magic.  He ends up creating a new, safer, programming-based version of magic.  Also, read “Wizardry Compiled,” the sequel.

Harry Harrison:  “The Stainless Steel Rat,” easily one of the best crime/detective/futuristic books I’ve read and own.

Kelly McCullough:  A (so far) four-book series about a many-times-great-grandchild of one of the fates, who is also an excellent programmer who must save the world and avoid the Fates, trying to kill him.  I cannot emphasize how much I enjoy this series.

L.E. Modesitt:  Has a style of writing fairly unique to him – which does not change the fact that he writes really good books.  My two favorites are Gravity Dreams and Haze.

Christopher Paolini:  The Eragon series, which many of you have probably read.  If not, read it.  Starts out kind of slow, but nonetheless a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Tamora Pierce:  My favorite Pierce series are Protector Of The Small and Circle of Magic.  Both are purely fantasy, and both are very, very good.

And finally, saving my current favorite for last:  John Ringo
The writer of Military/Hard/Soft/Space Sci-fi, I haven’t read a single book of Ringo’s that I didn’t like.  My absolute favorite books of his include Vorpal Blade, A Deeper Blue, and the entire Council Wars series (beginning with There Will Be Dragons).

Head over to your local library and check some of these out, because they’re all awesome.  I can guarantee you’ll like at least one of them.

Your Experience May Vary

My father, currently stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan, is writing a blog about his experiences there.  Definitely worth a look – if nothing else for the pictures.  ‘Course, I’m a little biased, but I think it’s a seriously cool site.  Really, go check it out:

Cleanup and Maintenance

My little brother was running out of hard disk space on his computer.  When it got to the point he had 9 MB (that’s not a typo) of free space left, he called me in.  That computer is several years old, so there were a lot of old files neither he nor my parents needed.  I cleaned out old files, uninstalled programs, defragmented, fixed startup, and so on and so forth.  End result?  Fourteen and a half gigabytes of free space.  Even if your computer hasn’t yet gotten to the critical disk space yet, I still highly recommend you do at least some of these steps:

Note that they are in no particular order, and you can do any of them at any time – except defragmentation, which should be done last.

1.  Uninstall Old Programs
You’d be amazed at what is lurking on your computer.  Don’t use the Add or Remove Programs option;  it leaves incredible amounts of stuff behind.  Instead, use Revo Uninstaller – which even has a portable version if you’re adverse to installing more programs.  Be sure to download the free version.

2.  Empty Recycle Bin Norton Protected Files
If you happen to have Norton, right-clicking on the Recycle Bin has an option, “Empty Norton Protected Files.”  The files in that folder don’t get cleaned up by emptying the Recycle Bin; I found at least two gigabytes of files in that folder.  Just click the option in the Recycle Bin context menu. 

3.  CClean
CCleaner empties the Recycle Bin, clears out stuff like old temporary files, old browser history, and so on.  Like Revo, you can get a portable version of this one too.

4.  Clear Out Old Files
This one’s the most tedious – but possible the most helpful – of the steps.  Go into My Documents (or the equivalent).  Open every single file, one at a time.  Decide which ones you no longer need.  Delete them.  Be sure to empty the Recycle Bin after doing this – otherwise the deleted files are just sitting on your disk.  Also, if you didn’t create the file, check with whoever created it.  Mom and Dad still had some stuff on that computer that they really wanted to keep.

5.  Clear Out Program Files
If a program was uninstalled through Add or Remove Programs, there’s a good chance its folder is still in Program Files (C:\Program Files).  Any folder that belongs to a program you know you no longer have, delete.  If you don’t know what is, don’t delete it – it could be important.  Just use good judgment.  Keep in mind that deleting a program’s folder in Program Files does not remove the program from your computer – uninstall programs you don’t want anymore.

6.  Startup
If you have too many programs set to startup, they all try to launch at once at drastically slow down your computer for a while – much like what would happen if four cars all tried to merge into the same spot in the same lane at the same time.  Startup Delayer can help.  It automatically finds which programs are set to startup, and lets you delay them – you probably don’t need, for instance, your printer manager right at startup – so delay for 30 seconds or five minutes or however long you need. You can also disable programs from starting, if you don’t need them at startup anymore.

7.  Defragment
My favorite defragmentation tool is Defraggler – made by the same people who created CCleaner – which also has a portable version.  Once the program has launched, click “Analyze.”  Once it’s done click “File List” and check the checkbox just to the left of the “Filename” column.  This should select all.  Then press “Defrag Checked” and let it run.  Repeat until no files come up after analyzing.


Enjoy your cleaner, hopefully faster computer!