Not much in particular I want to talk about…just dealing with various things that have been happening recently.

I got a new video card recently – a GeForce 8800GTS 512MB from EVGA. It was a bit of a pain getting it into my case…it\’s pretty much the same length as my motherboard, so it was a pretty snug fit (it\’s nestled right up against my SATA connectors). Performance-wise, though, it\’s a dream. I get anti-aliasing in Mass Effect now (as well as a much better frame rate), and games like Half-Life 2 Episode Two that would chug a bit on my old card now run smooth as butter.

Of course, as luck would have it, the same week I decide to upgrade, nVidia drops the 9800GTX to $200, and ATI comes out with brand new cards that keep up pretty well with nVidia\’s current offerings. Such are the travails of the PC gamer :p

In the meantime, work has been…not really as interesting as it could be. After the problems we had on the site a few weeks ago, my team has dropped what we were working on before and has been working full steam on mitigation measures. This is kind of annoying for me since I was just getting my first taste of real software engineering(requirements gathering, writing technical specs, getting them reviewed, the whole lot) when this happened. I can\’t complain too much though – the site is what keeps us running, and we\’re beholden to the customers to make sure it stays up.

(And if you\’re still waiting for me to tell you what actually happened…forget it. I like my job too much to risk it like that. If you must know something, get our official position from Jeff Bezos\’ radio interview on KUOW this past week)

Speaking of work, in a couple of weeks, I\’ll have spent a year at I might have been in India by this point had it not been for the interim regulation that lets me stay here until my work visa starts on October 1st. Still, one year…what a year it\’s been. There have been low points, but the good has outweighed the bad by a significant margin.

I really should do a proper retrospective before I forget.

In the shorter term, though, I was thinking of watching a movie this weekend since I don\’t really have anything better to do, and the release of a Pixar movie is always reason to celebrate. Both Wall-E and Get Smart are looking like good candidates for my dollar…any recommendations?

A big news story I\’ve been following recently is Bill Gates\’ departure from Microsoft. I can\’t help but wonder what will become of the company after his departure…Microsoft is hardly the powerhouse it used to be back in the 90s, and has ceded a lot of ground this decade. I found a vitriolic blog post from a (now former) stockholder, who has used the occasion of Gates\’ departure to dump all his Microsoft stock. It makes for very interesting reading.

Given the occasion, I\’m wondering if I should pick up Microsoft 2.0 by ZDNet\’s Mary Jo Foley. I\’m in the mood for some insight on where the world\’s largest software company is going, and where it might be going wrong.

Speaking of Microsoft, I\’m actually writing this blog post in Microsoft Windows Live Writer. Aside from the cumbersome name, it\’s a really nice blog client that works with a wide variety of blog sites and services. Very cool, and easily the most impressive thing I\’ve seen out of Windows Live so far.

On a final note, the Jun Senoue remix of Lee Brotherton\’s Dreams of an Absolution is currently stuck in my head. Yes, I know it\’s from the horrendous next-gen Sonic the Hedgehog – but this is one of the (very) few good things about that game. The others being the instrumental version of His World and this cutscene from Shadow\’s story.

I sense my profile looks pretty messed up right now…

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