All posts by Eric "smurph" Murphy

Eric is a software engineer and father of two, who's hobbies include video games, open source software, and just being a geek.

Steve Jobs Had A Liver Transplant

Multiple sources reported last night that Steve Jobs had a liver transplant two months ago during his leave of absence and will be returning to work soon. While that's not entirely surprising, what I do find interesting about this news is that it came out on a Friday night. Whenever a company has news that they're afraid it will affect their stock, they release it on a Friday after the stock market has closed. Apple is definitely correct in this assumption. Their stock took hits after every announcement they've made about his health, as well as after rumors of Jobs' death surfaced from unreliable sources. Has there ever been a man who's health has affected the stock of a company so much? I don't have an answer to that but regardless, this is very disturbing. You'll rarely find an article about his health that approaches it as a human condition. They always focus on how it will affect Apple and where the stock is going. The last thing Jobs needs is more pressure coming from headlines and the stock market. Give him a break!

Sources:
Jobs Had Liver Transplant. - [Wired.com]
Not Only Was Steve Jobs Sick, He Had A Liver Transplant. - [TechCrunch.com]

IPv6 Finally hits home

Ok, maybe that's a bad analogy but it looks like Comcast may be the first to offer IPv6 to home users. Its about time! Many estimates say IPv4 address space will be exhausted in less than two years. Personally, I think Comcast is an unlikely ISP to be leading the way considering their track record but its good to see someone moving on this. Hopefully other ISPs and cell companies will follow soon, however, it seems like there's a lot to be done to get end-users ready. There aren't many home networking kits that can support IPv6 and what about all the legacy software and devices out there? I bet we'll be stuck with IPv6 externally from the ISP and IPv4 behind NAT for at least another century. IPv4 will definitely be slow to die.

Source: Comcast Embraces IPv6 - InternetNews.com

Who says I'm too old to game?

Last weekend Erika and I were playing Halo 3 and we got matched up with a couple teenagers who obviously play way too much. I'll give it to them, they were good, but they were also snotty little *$#&-tards. They had the audacity to say we're too old to be playing video games. I asked what they would be doing when they're our age and they quickly backed off. Huh, funny how that works.

That brings up an interesting trend though. When I was their age, the thought of an adult playing video games was pretty alien. Playing games like Action Quake or Counter Strike as a teen I came across a few older gentlemen but they just got more respect even if they sucked at the game. Now days there are certainly more 25+ gamers but we're also surrounded be even more teens. And apparently they don't share the same respect I held for my elders back then since every time age comes up in-game, we get ridiculed by someone. I don't get it.

Anyway, this seems to have sprung a bunch of sites focused on finding older and/or mature gamers to join up with. I'd like to touch on a few that I think are pretty neat.

Co-Optimus: By far my favorite gaming site at the moment. The whole focus of this site is co-op gaming. There is no age requirement but I think the co-op focus tends to attract more considerate and friendly gamers. The news coverage is superb and covers only the games I'm interested in (hint: co-op). The only news you'll see about a non-co-op game is news that the developers dropped co-op or it should have had co-op. The reviews are mostly co-op-centric giving a score on the co-op aspects of the game but also touching on single player and multiplayer aspects as well. One of the best features of the site is the database which helps you search for co-op games and shows a breakdown of each games' co-op capabilities. It also helps you match up with other members that have the same games (requires you to add each of your games though). With 2,500+ members (its a pretty new site), there's plenty of co-op to be had but its definitely a more intimate community than the next two sites.

The Older Gamers: This one is mostly a community site but also hosts a few guilds/clans. You must be 25+ to join and as a result, nearly everyone is friendly and considerate. There's no emphasis on co-op gaming although there are plenty of people looking for co-op partners. There are user reviews and blogs in addition to the staff reviews, previews, and general news. I don't keep up with their news quite as much but they're pretty thorough. With 30,000+ members, there are a TON of opportunities to meet people here.

2Old2Play: This site I just joined so I probably can't shine light on everything they have to offer but its definitely an interesting site. Again, this one has a 25+ age requirement so you'll find mostly considerate and friendly gamers here. The first thing I noticed after joining is they have a google map of players! Its not quite as cool as I had hoped but its a start. You can search by username, gamertag, or pick a clan from the drop down and you'll see a pinpoint on the map of results. Of course this only works if the users put their zip code in their profile. What would be nice is if you could search by zip or state and find people in your area or at least your time zone. They seem to have a more clan-centric and competitive view here, there are a TON of clans and it looks pretty easy to get recruited in a clan. Personally, I don't have the time to devote to a clan anymore but for other (single) adults, this might be a pretty handy site to hook up with a clan. They host and advertise tournaments and LAN parties all over the US. They also host user reviews and blogs (everyone gets a blog) which seem to be utilized quite a bit. 2Old2Play's roster has almost 18,000 members.

Well those are all the notable sites I've found. I had a few others on my list but I disqualified them for either being empty, out of date, or poorly constructed sites. I'm a member on all three sites now with the username "smurphster" on each so look me up if you join them.

Happy gaming!

Construction

[rant]
Well its no longer winter in Wisconsin, so that means road construction season is in full force. Our road is currently reduced to gravel with a maze of sewer parts and huge mounds of dirt and more gravel. Normally I wouldn't really care but a few things about this project really piss me off. I can deal with the inconvenience of parking on a different road and walking a little ways, that's no biggie. What pisses me off is if you drive around our neighborhood, well all of Oshkosh really, there are dozens of roads that are nothing but potholes. There's no more than a square foot of concrete in-tact for blocks on these roads. They've obviously been ignored for decades. They don't get plowed or swept, they're an eyesore. Honestly, I wish I was exaggerating. Despite all these other roads in dire condition, they chose to re-do our road and sewer, which was in decent condition until they ripped it up last week. There were one or two potholes per block and I really had no complaints.

The worst part about this, is that home owners are stuck with the bill. Excuse me, but what the hell are property taxes for if they're not paying for road construction? I haven't even looked too closely at the bill yet, because frankly, I can't pay it with all the medical bills I'm trying to cover. It's in the ballpark of $2000 though. Oh, and if we don't pay up front, they charge 8% interest. So we're paying quite a bit for work we didn't ask for or need, and being charged a ridiculous interest rate to boot. THANKS.

Amidst a global economic crisis, the unemployment rate is at an all time high since the great depression. So explain to me why there are construction workers picketing on my sidewalk. That baffles me. They're complaining about having to work weekends (which pisses me off too), working long ~12 hour days, and being under-staffed for the work. Why our city is choosing to over-work construction workers instead of hiring more is beyond me. All I know is that all of this nonsense means our road is probably going to be ripped up for longer than it should be. Not cool.
[/rant]

Ok, I'll try not to make a habit of ranting but I just had to get that out. Hope you all have a fun construction season!

1st post!

I guess the normal thing to do is to introduce myself and give my brief history. Well I'm not normal. And that's the basis of this site. It's just a hobby, an outlet for me to purge my thoughts, and probably not very informative. I don't expect anyone to read this.

To give you some satisfaction from my first post, I will explain what you'll find here. I'll be posting a lot about gaming, technology, linux, open source software, and probably a bit about my life and being a daddy. I don't pretend to be an expert at any of those topics but I like to think I have something of interest to say.

I can't make my first post without giving a nod to Co-Optimus. Some of the guys on the forums there inspired me to start blogging again and fixing up this goofy site. If you're a gamer who enjoys co-op gaming and have never heard of that site, hop on over there, you won't regret it. They cover only co-op games for all platforms and do a damn fine job.

Have a great Memorial day!