dragoness_e: NASA F-15A #837 (NASA Starscream)

To wit, posts I have found somewhat useful for Minecraft modding, particularly 1.7.X. This list will be changing over time, hopefully growing, but also having outdated stuff pruned from it.

Not all modding tutorials are useful. Some are outdated, and some were written by people with a shaky grasp on Java, how Minecraft works internally, the MinecraftForge source, or all three. A lot of them are uninformative, because the authors start at the beginning and never get to advanced topics, so you have a lot of tutorials on how to make a basic block, but very few (if any) on how to add new items to the ore dictionary or render entities or add new crafting interfaces.

Read more... )
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (nasty bitch)
So Forge has updated from 1.9 to 1.9.4, which helps me decide--yeah, no more mod updates for 1.7.10, and no more porting to 1.8.9. Going to port directly to 1.9.4 from here on out.

It's too damn much work to keep three separate, incompatible ways of writing Minecraft mods straight in my head. Git is great for keeping the 3 branches of code separate, but I don't have a Git for my brain, so, one port to rule them all, one port to bring them all and in the compiler bind them. Long live 1.9.4!

Also, Mojang has already announced the first 1.10 snapshot, so as far as I'm concerned, 1.7.10 development is dead and overdue for burial.
dragoness_e: (Default)
Apparently in all the foo-fraw about "Pluto is just a dwarf planet, not a 'real' planet", the IAU has apparently forgotten basic English. (They actually argued about this, because they still don't want to admit that we have more than 8 planets). "Dwarf" is an adjective modifying "planet". A "dwarf planet" is a planet, no matter what the idiots in the IAU vote.

Officially, the planets of the Solar System are:

1. Mercury
2. Venus
3. Earth-Moon double planet
4. Ceres, which has a lot of asteroids in the same orbit, too.
5. Mars
6. Jupiter
7. Saturn
8. Uranus
9. Neptune
10. Pluto-Charon double-planet
11. Haumea
12. Make-make
13. Eris

Unofficialy, we're pretty sure of several more:

14. Orcus (who let the D&D players name things?)
15. 2002 MS4
16. Salacia
17. Quaoar
18. 2007 OR10
19. Sedna

There are 5 more Trans-Neptunian Objects that are "highly likely" candidates for dwarf planet. (Up to 24 planets now...)

And researches expect that with complete exploration of the Kuiper Belt (that big asteroid belt beyond Pluto's orbit), we may find 100-200 more. Add stuff beyond the Kuiper Belt, and we're talking thousands.

When I was a kid, we had just 9 planets, and discussion of planets around other stars (exoplanets) was confined to science fiction. Welcome to the 21st century.
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (Living Dead Girl)
I just finished reading the Iain M. Banks Culture novel, Use of Weapons. I am not impressed; I think the author cheated, or tacked on the twist ending (that I saw coming) at the last minute and was sloppy about editing.
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (Living Dead Girl)
I finished this book last week or so. It was not actually a parody of The Mysteries of Udolpho, though it may have been a bit satiric of it. Northanger Abbey was an Austen romance, not a gothic, in which the author, via the heroine, snipes at Ann Radcliffe's stories (such as Udolpho).

The first bit is the protagonist: I gather that Austen thought Radcliffe's heroines were precious little Mary Sues (she would have completely understood the modern concept) and deliberately made her heroine the opposite: plain, not incredibly intelligent, indifferent as to education, not especially virtuous and obedient as a daughter, not inclined to writing poetry or the arts, but just Jane Average and a tom-boy. Her parents are pointedly not tragically dead, nor are they cruel guardians--they are laid-back, agreeable people who love their children.

Of course, the girls in the story have been reading Udolpho and think it is the most awesome thing since sliced bread... at first. Later on, our protagonist gets herself in a bit of embarrassment because she lets her Udolpho-inspired imagination run away with her and imagines a cruel tragedy committed by her boyfriend's father--but the hidden manuscript turns out to be someone's forgotten laundry list, and the general's "guilty aversion" to the portraits and topic of his dead wife are the still-lively grief of a man whose beloved wife died when he was away on vital business and couldn't get home in time to be at her bedside. Our heroine realizes (after her dryly-sarcastic boyfriend points it out) that dark, tragic secret crimes might be possible in isolated manors in southern France of the mountains of Italy, but in midlands England, where everyone is all over his neighbor's business and a servant can't sneeze without everyone in the county gossiping about their cold, and our legal system really doesn't go along with that sort of thing? Yeah, no.

The titular abbey turns out not to be the "romantic" ruin Catherine imagined it to be--her boyfriend's family has modernized and expanded the place, because it's where they live, and wealthy families don't camp in ruins. (It would appear Catherine missed the part in Udolpho where Montoni was having the castle repaired and modernized, too...) After seeing how many servants the general has to maintain the abbey, Catherine becomes skeptical of just how realistic her gothic novels are, that have one or two old servants maintaining an empty manor or castle.

Finally, Austen clearly disliked the bad romance trope mentioned in my remarks on Mysteries of Udolpho: stupid misunderstandings that persist for half the book that could be cleared up by five minutes of conversation. Several places she pointedly has Catherine NOT jump to the conclusion that someone's brother or sister who she has not met yet is their secret lover so they can have a big misunderstanding over it.
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (Living Dead Girl)
I just finished reading the 1794 novel, The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe. It's considered one of the seminal Gothic Romances, alone with The Castle of Otranto and The Monk.

It's solidly in the romance genre, as defined now: girl meets boy, various obstacles keep them apart, obstacles vanquished by end of novel, girl and boy get married live happily ever after. The "gothic' part of Mysteries is purely atmospheric, as all the apparently supernatural events are explained away by human action.

That being said, there's a reason that literature classes study Jane Austen and not Ann Radcliffe--she's just not that good. Jane Austen is much, much better.

Issues I had with the novel, such that I can see why Jane Austen parodied Mysteries of Udolpho in Northanger Abbey (It's on my To Be Read list):

Women in 2-D!

There are four types of major female characters in the novel:

  • innocent, young, beautiful upper-class girls, who are so sensitive and innocent that they inconveniently faint whenever anything exciting happens, or when the idea of anything exciting happens. Someone needs to loosen their corset stays or something.
  • hysterical servant women.
  • Kind, generous, compassionate and conveniently deceased upper-class ladies who are relatives.
  • Shallow, spendthrift, self-centered to the point of meanness, and living upper-class matrons who are relatives. Something tells me that Ann Radcliffe did not get along well with her older female relatives.

Elizabeth Bennett would have been embarrassed by the lot of them.

Random Poetry

As in Tolkien's work, we get a lot of the author's poetry randomly interspersed in the novel, purportedly written by the various characters. This is one case where I would have preferred the character's poetry writing to be an Informed Attribute. The poetry is distracting, not that great, and interrupts the flow of the story. (And, in the E-book I was reading, incorrectly formatted, which really didn't help)

Idiot Plots and Informed Attributes

These are connected, as we have several characters--the heroine Emily St. Aubert and the secondary parental figure Count de Villefort who are described as rational, anti-superstition, trained in reason and philosophy, who nevertheless behave like irrational idiots.

In Villefort's case, the otherwise skeptical man who doesn't believe rumors of hauntings and suchlike is willing to believe every bad rumor he's heard about Valancourt's(the romantic lead) character, in spite of having met the man in person and knowing his family. This only happens when the plot requires it, of course.

In Emily's case, in spite of supposedly being quite anti-superstition and a rational devotee of Reason, she's quick to assume every weird thing must be a supernatural horror and doesn't look for alternative explanations--when the plot requires it.

And let's not forget that classic bad romantic trope, the tragic misunderstanding that keeps the couple apart for half the book that could have been cleared up with five minutes of honest conversation.

ETA: One minor thing that drove me nuts several places in the book: our heroes, both male and female, have the singular ability to lose a mountain trail in broad daylight, not find the well-known inn their accompanying guides supposedly were taking them to, and insist that the cleverest thing to do is keep on walking in the dark looking for the missing inn. In the mountains, complete with floridly described cliffs and chasms. In the dark. Because obviously that's the way to find a place--try to walk off random drop offs in the dark.

Seriously, someone needs to teach these people the concept of "making camp at dusk". If you can't find the inn, guess what, you can sleep in the carriage and your useless guides can at least tend the fire and keep watch.

Broken Aesops

The author has an explicit Aesop tacked on in the afterword: good, virtuous people triumph in the end and live happily ever after while evil people die horribly even if they temporarily get to push around the good guys. Not only is this obviously not true in Real Life, it's not true in the book. The completely innocent Marchioness dies painfully of poison, the merely shallow but not evil Madame Montoni (neé Cheron) dies badly; the gentle, kindly father Mons. St. Aubert dies of illness after losing his family fortune and outliving his wife and the Marchioness (who he loved as a young man), leaving his beloved daughter an impoverished orphan, and the completely honorable Mons DuPont drifts out of the book at the end, sad over unrequited love. The real Aesop is "if you are a main character that the author likes, you get to live happily ever after", but that's hardly a surprise.

The implicit Aesop is that one should use reason and control one's emotions and do not trust rumors and appearances, but investigate things that don't make sense. It would have been a much shorter book if the major characters who were supposed to be rational had done that. On the other hand, IF Emily had listened to the rumors around Montoni's character and run off with Valancourt instead of following her guardian aunt to Italy with her new husband Montoni, it would have been a much shorter book. Or at least a different one. Admittedly, Emily neither acted on the rumors nor did she investigate the matter rationally--she did nothing and just went along with things (not that she had much chance to investigate).

In general, Emily was just the kind of overly-sensitive, excessively sheltered twee character that I just want to grab and shake some sense into. Not that it would help, she'd just faint and be feverish for days over the shock to her senses. (Maybe she needs some quinine for that recurring illness?)

Her reaction to Valancourt's supposed disgrace was, frankly, not mine. My reaction would have been: "Clean up your act, get out of debt, and come back when you've proven you can control yourself and your spending habits and then we'll talk." Incidentally, that would have provided him an opportunity to realize that what "I" had heard about him was possibly not the same as what he actually did. Instead, Emily was all weeping and crying and "You have lost my esteem FOREVER, go away and don't even try to talk to me," without mentioning what he'd supposedly done, since obviously he knew how disgraceful he'd been.

This book would have been thrown at the wall several times if I weren't reading it on an e-reader that wasn't built for that kind of abuse. I am looking forward to reading Northanger Abbey to see just what kind of takedown Jane Austen did to it.
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (Living Dead Girl)
My first thought on reading this entry was "So Victor Cachat does his retail shopping in Texas?"
dragoness_e: Raven on the wing (Raven on the wing)
Wow, I haven't posted here since last July? Is that because LJ/DW is becoming less relevant, or because I have been depressed for a long spell. Six of one and half a dozen of the other, as they say. I have been posting on Minecraft Forum about mod works off and on, playing on The Wake, and not much else. I retreated from Tumblr because I stay up too late reading stuff that just gets me spun up and angry, and it's a terrible medium for communication. You can't do conversations worth a flip there, so I can't really talk about what pisses me off. Also the mob mentality there is really annoying--if you say something someone interprets crosswise as being rude about the Cause du Jour, you get a bunch of young idiots dog-piling you and telling you you're a horrible, terrible person who should just die. Oh wait, that's the entire internet.

Maybe if I just dumped all the 'follows' that brought up the Cause du Jour and kept only the Transformers pron & RP ones, I'd enjoy it more.

I haven't written anything except RP posts in ages, which is usually a sign that I'm not in good mental health. Right now I'm not in good physical health--got an inflamed tendon in my elbow, aka "tennis elbow", and wearing a wrist stabilizer (yes, you use it for the elbow condition too, as the tendon in question is pulled on by the muscles that make your hand grip tightly) makes it cumbersome and slow to type.

State of the Cynthia: I have tennis elbow, I'm working on Minecraft mods (slowly), I'm employed still, the spouse is in good shape after years of all kinds of not-fun hospital stuff, and I'd like a dog and some large cats. Also, someone needs to clean the fish tank, it's 3 weeks overdue and one arm is out commission.
dragoness_e: NASA F-15A #837 (NASA Starscream)
Just posted my 2nd Minecraft mod; this time, it's a port of someone else's code to Minecraft/Forge 1.7.2. akkamaddi has not been able to work on his mods, and he gave permission to all and sundry to pick up his open source code and update it. At my daughter's request, I ported akkamaddi's Sterling & Black. It was an interesting project, and I may pick up and port some of his other mods.
dragoness_e: NASA F-15A #837 (NASA Starscream)
Sinhika's Bark, which is a mod to add things to do with tree bark to Minecraft--including making unbreakable birch bark canoes. I actually started it some time ago, and had a semi-working version for 1.6.4, but never released it. Recently, at the request of some fellow players who were really annoyed by Minecraft's incredibly fragile boats (lilypads break them), I dusted it off, and re-wrote it as a Minecraft/Forge 1.7.2 mod and have finally released it.
dragoness_e: (Echo Bazaar)
Slashdot published a news item I submitted to them about Sony Online Entertainment's recent outage: Sony Forgets to Pay for Domain, Hilarity Ensues.
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (Living Dead Girl)
I get so tired of being depressed all the time.

I don't get stuff done, I feel guilty about it, and then continue to not do stuff.

I get hyper-sensitive about other people's interactions with me, and avoid people because I don't know how to deal with them when I'm depressed, and then get lonely because I never talk to people anymore.

I can't handle disapproval or criticism at all when I'm like this; it makes me just curl up into a ball of misery--even if the other person is wrong and an idiot. (See above paragraph).

My usual consolations seem boring and pointless--I'm just wasting me time doing nothing useful, when I should be doing all that useful stuff I haven't been doing (see paragraph #2).

I don't get enough sleep, which makes me more depressed, so I stay up late because I'm too depressed to end the pointless day by going to bed.

I really hate this shit.


Jun. 9th, 2014 07:49 am
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (Living Dead Girl)
Everyone in the family has been sick this weekend. This does not make for a happy household.
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (Living Dead Girl)
Because of this, there is a very good chance I will finally shutdown posting to my LJ account, if not scrub it entirely.

I strongly recommend that anyone who hasn't set up a journal on a non-Russian journalling or blogging service do so, and port your posts over before LJ goes dark (Dreamwidth, for example, makes it easy to import your entire journal from LJ). World politics are getting ugly right now, and I don't see the situation with Russia getting better before it gets much worse.

Be safe, and be free.
dragoness_e: Ghost Duskwing with no text (TF_icon)

Reconstruction: Aftermath

[TF:Prime] #2 in the "Reconstruction" series, set after the end of "Predacons Rising". SPOILERS LIKE WHOA! Megatron faces the first test of his new resolve--and Predaking, too.

AO3 link
FF.net link
at my site
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (Living Dead Girl)
Posting stuff on FF.net is pretty easy--pick a rating, and a coherent enough description that people know what the story is about, and maybe list the characters for shipping fans.

Re-posting stuff on AO3, I find myself not only doing the mandatory tags and rating thing, but considering the optional tags.

....and "In Past Regrets" has acquired more nasty tags than anything short of "Hannibal" fanfic, I suspect. I knew that story was brutal, and only for mature readers, but... yeah. Genocidal Saiyajin mixing it up with Gloranthan Chaos cultists, writing both as evil as they are meant to be, is some serious ugly.

It's still one of my best stories. But damn, it's scary just to look at the tags on that sucker.
dragoness_e: Fanart of G1 Starscream with F-22 kibble in robot mode (Starscream F-22)
I finally got myself an account at Archive of Our Own (AO3). I am slowly posting all my fanfics there; it's a big job, so don't expect to see everything there just yet.

I like the ability to tag things by series and add custom tags. Helps me keep things organized. I hope I can figure out how to put a story into two different series--e.g. "Dead and Drunk" belongs in both "Stunticon Tales/Dead End 28s" and "Duskwing Tales".
dragoness_e: Serpentor Prime looking smexy (Serpentor Prime)
Just as a change of pace, here's a short Transformers:Prime vignette.

Reconstruction: Decision at my site.
FF.Net version.

[TF:Prime] The war is over, but one leader still functions. What now? (spoilers for "Predacons Rising")

...and I can't believe that I didn't post View From the Top to FF.net until now. That fic has actually been up on my site for quite some time now, and I just noticed that it never got uploaded to FF.net. Oops.
dragoness_e: Ghost Duskwing with no text (Duskwing_no_text)
For the last few weeks, I've been re-reading my favorite threads (most of them) of a certain long-running, humongous LiveJournal roleplay that I participated in seven years ago, along with several other people on my F-list. (Hopefully you know who you are; it's been a while).

We did some really awesome writing; I miss the interplay and creativity. Some crazy stuff happened, and characters joined in and went in directions no one had foreseen. If anyone wants to join me in feeling nostalgic, I did toss together some partial indexes for the ones I was involved in. (Sadly, the Rodimus Void RP arc was before my time and I never did get a link to the index).

It was mostly G1 Transformers, based on a G1 cartoon Season 3 universe with access to the Nexus [livejournal.com profile] sages_of_chaos, which meant Rodimus was Prime and characters from any fandom could pop in. (Mostly that meant we had some TF:Energon refugees hanging out in Megatron's old underwater base). There was also a truce between Rodimus Prime and Galvatron, which made for some interesting RP. (And lots of slash.)

Some segments may be NSFW; hopefully there's a warning in the index.

Story arcs with indexes:

Communities in which parts were played:

  • Sages of Chaos [livejournal.com profile] sages_of_chaos
  • Pyro's Intercosmic Bar and Nightclub [livejournal.com profile] pyros_bar
  • plus threads through numerous character journals.

Someday I ought to re-organize this stuff with an eye toward particular character arcs that wove through the BigHugePlots. Duskwing's Redemption, Octane's Charter Trip From Hell, Starscream and Ratchet's friendship, Blackstar & Strata's Bittersweet Romance, the Implosion of the Stunticons (sadly, never resolved), Perceptor's Growing Family, etc.

It bothers me that all this wonderful writing will probably disappear some day into the limbo of deleted accounts and ancient data, or Livejournal's servers finally going dark. (*sads*)

I have a project to salvage some of my favorite writing by re-purposing it into fanfiction; Wendigo's Bane is one such story, and you've probably seen familiar scenes and dialogue in some of my other stories, such as "Revelations".

The one thing I can't do is recover other people's characters and writing--not without permission. What I would like to do is get in touch with y'all and see if we can collaborate on turning some of those interesting character arcs into stand-alone stories. Specifically, I'd like to turn Octane's Charter from Hell into a story--I'll be in touch, I hope, but if you are interested, PM me.

June 2016

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