Amazon LOTR Second Age

Here it comes! Amazon is starting a TV series based on the Lord of the Rings. But it’s not a ReDo, but a “Prequel”. Stories based on the “Second Age”. The stories, and movie collection, we are familiar with are based on the Third Age. Apparently novels were never written by JRR [Tolkien not Martin] based on the First or Second Ages, but he left a trove of source material describing these ages and much more besides. The Simarilion, published by his son after his death, is probably the source for much of the material describing these ages.

For a excruciatingly complete coverage of the second age, you might try this 35 minute video. As I watched it, I was not necessarily paying attention to the details as the broad sweep of the history and detail that this world building provides.

Continue reading “Amazon LOTR Second Age”

Elric vs Geralt

A while back I reported a video where Elric of Meinbone’ was compared with Geralt of the Witcher Stories. Recently I found a more balanced and careful comparison of the two story collections. Proper Bird is a long time youtuber and Witcher Stories fan. She does an excellent and thorough deep dive into the subject of how these stories compare and shows that it’s less about “plagiarism” and more about influence. The video is long, but if you’re interested in this controversy, then this may clear some things up for you.

Enjoy
:ww

Gear Upgrades After 5.3

There have been some changes to Shire [60] and Scaevan [70] Gear upgrades with 5.3. And it’s a little confusing. You can check the patch notes for 5.3 here.

Notice that the NPC in Idyllshire no longer sells Un-Augmented gear and no longer sells upgrade materials. The upgrade NPC across the street will still upgrade gear if you have the upgrade materials left over from before the patch.

However, if you have the un-augmented gear, but no Twine, Gobcoat or whatever, then you have to take a hike to the Calamity Salvager in a major city. Here’s my visit to the one in Gridania.

When you visit the Salvager in any of the three starting cities, you need to “Deal in Spoils” and then choose the Shire / Scaevan War or Magic choices to upgrade your old gear to the new augmented type. It costs the same number of tomes as before, but the intermediate materials [ twine, coat or gob] are no longer needed. Once you upgrade all your gear, you never have to deal with the salvager again. All the new gear starts as Augmented, for more tomes of course.

I’ve not yet dealt with the issue of Ironworks gear [50]. I’ll come back here to update this when I found out what’s up.

Continue reading “Gear Upgrades After 5.3”

Windows 10 Random Beeps

For the past few weeks I’ve noticed Windows 10 beeping at random times. These beeps don’t seem to be correlated with anything I’m doing. I finally did a google search. It turns out that this has been a thing for quite some time.

I could not get the troubleshooter to work. But continued searching found that the beeps were an indication that the Event Log was being used. And using the Event Viewer – just type Event Viewer into the white search box at the bottom left of the desktop – showed errors in the Application log. And these errors were ESENT 455 errors. So a google search of that showed that the problem was easily solved.

Continue reading “Windows 10 Random Beeps”

FFXIV Getting Started

There are lots of help videos for Final Fantasy XIV on Youtube. But most of them assume you have already started to play the game. How do you get started playing the game in the first place? I suggest starting with the Benchmark to see how it will run on your system and then starting with the Free Trial. Here’s how you can do that.

Start with the Benchmark

First find the FFIXV Benchmark page here. This will show you how the game will perform on your machine. I suggest not using a laptop. While the game is somewhat forgiving and the graphics can be downgraded quite a lot, it’s still a modern game, so it’s going to cause a lot of strain and heat on your laptop unless you have a high end gaming laptop.

The benchmark is about 2 GB. Very much smaller than the full game, which is about 40GB. I suggest you load the benchmark, and the game, onto an SSD – Solid State Disk – if you have one. Also, you probably want to install the benchmark and the game into a folder such as “C:\FFXIVBench\”. Here’s a video with all the steps to install and run the benchmark.

Continue reading “FFXIV Getting Started”

Strange Java Issue

Update

See below for the solution. Spoiler – It’s a typo.

Back in April 2020, I wrote a little program to run a sequence of LibreOffice Impress Slide shows. For ease of deployment on Windows and Linux, I built the program in Java. And it worked just fine. Here’s what the program looks like:

You can follow the whole Saga of its development using this link. The program has been working very well on Linux Mint 19 and 20 and Windows 10 for a couple of months now. I’ve not changed anything since May 16. Here’s the github repository.

Continue reading “Strange Java Issue”

Windows 10 File Sharing Broken Again

I have a bunch of computers. Not surprising since I’ve been a software engineer for decades. Windows file sharing has always been exasperating. It works, then it fails, then it works again.

So here’s an example.

Intrasitive Networking

I have had a little Gigabyte Brix computer for a couple of years now. I would like to set it up to play audio books so I moved it and hooked it to another monitor. I thought that a few weeks ago, file sharing was working fine, but now it’s not. I just need to copy the audio books to it so I can play them. So Crystal can see the GBBrix shares and read files from that system. But the GBBrix system cannot see any other systems on the network and so cannot copy files from them. All the shares are set “Everyone can read”.

Foolish me.

By “intransitive” I mean unable to communicate in both directions between two nodes of a network. Google cannot find this definition for me. All it finds for “Transitive” or “Intransitive” relates to Verbs in a language. Oh, here’s the definition. Number 2 – Logic. In either order a >> b and b >> a.

Continue reading “Windows 10 File Sharing Broken Again”

FFXIV vs WoW

There have been plenty of articles and Youtube videos comparing Final Fantasy XIV and World of Warcraft. I’m not trying to do a comprehensive guide to the two games, but compare them on two key areas that I find interesting. I played Wow for many years. I finally left in December 2017 when Universal Level scaling was introduced. But with all the hype surrounding the upcoming Wow “Shadowlands” expansion, I’ve had some thoughts about how FFXIV and Wow compare and how I think Blizzard is messing up again with their designs.

I’ll talk about two key areas and compare the two games:

  • Gear Upgrades and New Expansions
  • Class Specs and Talents

There are some important differences between the games that World of Warcraft could learn from as they move forward to Shadowlands and beyond.

Continue reading “FFXIV vs WoW”