Link Blog: Rufus Makes Bootable Drives

We can do this the easy way or the hard way.

We can do this the easy way or the hard way.

With my current Windows 7 install starting to get a little crusty, it’s getting close to the time I’ll be turning to this tool again.

Rufus takes an OS installation (Windows or Linux) and slaps it into a USB drive of your choice.

This is one of many tools, of course, and in the case of Windows 7/8, Microsoft provides its own tools for this. Problem is, their tool failed me the last couple times I used it, and I don’t really care why. Because Rufus worked great.

I’d like to say the standard “then you move on with your life,” but let’s face it, the next several hours will be spent updating and customizing that new OS of yours. All the same, it’s good to have in the old toolkit.

Rufus is freeware, it’s safe, and reliable. I’ll be using it myself again soon. Get it here.

Notes on a Tinned Fish – Mackerel Fillets in Tom Yam Sauce

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Mackerel Fillets in Tom Yam Sauce comes in an attractive, full color cardboard box.

This tin of mackerel fillets was discovered in 99 Ranch, one of a chain of Asian markets in California. It was about $2. I consumed it atop a bed of instant tapioca noodles, which came with a dehydrated vegetable seasoning packet and a sachet of XO sauce. (more…)

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Zombie in My Pocket – Let’s Play

Are zombies passe yet? Yes, they are. Some time ago, this game captured my imagination, and apparently I kept a short log of one play-through. I found it, sitting in my drafts, dating waaaaay back to 2008. I chopped up some old photos I took and put a wrap on it. This is me, playing the free-to-print solo game Zombie In My Pocket.

With a few small decks of cards and a notepad, you role-play an intrepid adventurer trying to stop a zombie uprising by locating and burying an idol in a randomly-generated, besieged house. You must do this by midnight. It’s a roguelike in pocket format.

You do this by laying down square tiles, each representing a room in the house. Each turn, 10 minutes in game-time passes, and an event happens by drawing a card. You might find a weapon, you might fight some zombies, or you can take a moment to rest and gain some health back. In all, you have 18 turns to finish the game.

In my experience, it was a pretty well-balanced game, giving you maybe 40%-60% odds of winning each time, with room for tactical choices. A really nicely-designed gem, and free, to boot. Read, and enjoy the purple prose.

Three Hours to Midnight

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9:00pm – At the center of the terror lies a house. (more…)

Delta Fist Archive Opened (Arma II Missions)

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Enter the Fist. Yes, that’s ripped from Hunter S. Thompson’s “Gonzo” party poster.

I’m creating a new set of missions for Arma II: Operation Arrowhead, forming a loose campaign, for my friends’ weekly games night, and hosting them here. A new page is available to host these missions at the Delta Fist Arma Mission Map Case.

I’m a horrifically lazy person, so these will all (or nearly all) be created using the wonderful tool PlannedAssault, with a few minor hand-edits here and there. My goal is to spit out one a week or so, plus a dumb graphic to go with each one. They’ll march up and down the avenues of Chernarus, or at least the areas supported by PlannedAssault.

These missions are of course, all free. See the page for more details! Go there now.

Having a Quieter Summer After Shutting Microsoft Security Essentials the Heck Up

Here's the helpful little monster.

Here’s the helpful little monster.

So, summer’s back and with it are the case fans on my home PC. It’s by and large a quiet machine, mostly puttering softly to itself unless being made to run a game or, peculiarly, YouTube videos (because Adobe still doesn’t know how to make a video player that doesn’t consume 100% CPU time). (more…)

Simply Ginormous Arcen Catalog Sale at Indie Royale

The Arcen Spread over at Indie Royale

The Arcen Spread over at Indie Royale

This may not shatter the earth with tyrannosaurian clomping the way the Humble Bundle does, but my favorite deal of the early summer sale rush simply has to be the Arclight Bundleover at Indie Royale. This fat, happy bundle features nearly every game produced by indie studio Arcen Games since its start in 2009, and then some. Let’s feast on some details: (more…)

2 Hours of Star Trek Online and Impressions

It's not often I play a game where female characters are essentially equal in characteristics to males.

It’s not often I play a game where female characters are essentially equal in characteristics to males.

These are my brief impressions on the newbie experience of Star Trek Online, which is free to play.

I’ve never played an MMO before. By and large, I don’t find the descriptions of their systems to be very compelling for the amount of time they demand. They seem to be designed around systems of repetitive “grinding” to prolong the gameplay and maintain return customers. Most damning of all, I have no real life friends that play these, which all but removes the point of playing them. So, warning: I come into this with some bias. (more…)