Taren's Journal
Sunday, August 31, 2003
Almost forgot to add:
Old score: 9.00788%
Ugly-as-hell Sprite CD case: 130:1
New score: 9.70782%

I went home for the weekend. I got much better sleep now than at school. Mmm waterbed.
Friday, August 29, 2003
Tired + Busy + Unmotivated = College so far

Walking to and from all of my classes is hell. Next week I'm riding a bike. Busy, because in this week I think I've done more homework than I did my entire senior year of high school (which still isn't that much in the first place). I don't even have the motivation to make a DWI of my re-edit of PSM. That's SAD. Getting up in the morning is difficult.
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
This is terrible. After I got Norton Antivirus, it was giving me strange startup errors, like "missing navapw32.exe" and "missing navemail.dll". I found out that's because I downloaded it. So I saved the original zip file and uninstalled the rest. Problem fixed. But the road was long. I deleted Symantec stuff, since that was giving me the error and I couldn't uninstall it. I rebooted and Windows wouldn't load. I loaded again in Safe Mode, restored Symantec stuff, restarted. Windows froze loading my desktop. Hard shut down. Restart. It loads. Now Nero is still griping that it won't run. Downloaded a "Slasher". Ran it. Nero works now. No more of this "burning at 1x" nonsense with Easy CD Creator. Bah.

I forgot to write about how yesterday my microwave was acting up. I was boiling some water for noodles, and I hit the door open button while it was running. It should shut off. But it temporarily stopped, then continued to run with the door open. I panicked and slammed the door shut, and it stopped. I opened the door again, and it started up again. It also worked when I hit start. I could stop it with Stop, then when I opened it, it would start again. Eventually, my friend Steve came in the room, gave it a dirty look, threatened it, and it's worked fine since. I'm serious.

My fan hasn't started giving me shit yet, but good god it's covered in dust from running nearly=24 hours a day. The average temperature around here according to weather.com is just above 80. It's been around 90 all week, and I have no aircon. Good thing I can sleep without covers. It's not a very pleasant sleep, though...

So I guess this was a pleasant three hours in 90° heat trying to get my !@#$ computer back on track, and I STILL can't work my keyboard internet shortcuts.
Monday, August 25, 2003
Hooray. I finally got around to updating my DWI page. I have now included all my latest MAX2 Oni edits. Also, I upgraded All Your Base to a "Classic" song. It is now 2nd in overall DL's, and was the second song to receive 1000 downloads.

Hum. I thought this was going to be a larger post. Oh well.

Oh yea. I remember what I was going to bitch about. Somehow I received a computer virus, called "W32.Pinfi". My friend suggested it could have been a virus affecting my system when I explained how my keyboard's internet shortcuts wouldn't work, my CD burner burned at 1x instead of 4x, my A: drive was totally inaccessible, and I was getting tons of junk email laced with the W32.Sobig.F file. I forgot to mention that after deleting a secondary folder for Stepmania containing almost 3GB, Windows didn't show me my space returned.

The quick-fix program from Norton didn't catch SoBig.F. That's 'cause I didn't have it. After a quick reboot, it was beginning to catch bad files. Like Internet Explorer and WinMX, and 'fixing' them. I swear the BSOD popped up 20 times telling me that X was infected and X is now safe to use. I downloaded Norton AntiVirus on Kazaa, and after a little bit, said that of my 175000 files, Nearly=1300 were infected (seriously). It fixed some, deleted some, and quarantined others. Upon running, IE crashed, saying it "caused an error in KERNEL32.DLL". Oh, this is bad. Then I deleted IE, downloaded it from Kazaa, reinstalled, rebooted... my Japanese language support still doesn't work. Oh well. (grin)

Walking to all my classes and back != Fun

First day of class. Good. I'm bored like hell. STILL behind updating the DWI page. Haven't made any DWI's in a while. I did redo DXY!, but it's ridiculously hard- 985 combo. The arrows won't line up, either- they're always a few measures off.

In other news, I have a bad habit of overloading my trays in cafeterias. Feels like this habit combined with lack of interest in DDR will eventually cost me bragging rights to my weight. I heard about the "Freshman 15", how all freshmen gain 15 pounds- now I have serious motivation NOT to fulfill that stereotype.
Saturday, August 23, 2003
There's a DDR 5th Mix in the campus arcade. It's too damn easy. There's no nonstop mode, and there might be nine or ten catas at very best on that machine. Only three Paranoia brothers (Evolution, Dirty, Eternal-Old). Ok, then there's No Limit and Do Me HIGEO, neither of which deserve the 9'-worthy patterns they have, and Wonda, which is like EOTC (messy) meets Highs off U (BS). Lupin III '78 is just awful. So I play D0rp Out, Dead End, BBS$KOGG3, R&PKOGG3...

Digital Media player: 409:1
New score: 9.00788%
Thursday, August 21, 2003
It's hot today. 93F air temp + 50% humidity = 101 index.

Latest adventure:
DVD player thing: 1347:1
New score: 8.7848%

The site won't let me log in to the other accounts. It loads the decibel amount but then refreshes back to the original login page... it's too damn hot to try to figure it out... (no aircon...)
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Old score: 7.1783%
Tickets for concert in NJ: 60:1 (this is ridiculous- New Jersey?)
New score: 8.71705%

I'm surprised I didn't win that one. Sheesh. I have 31 available entires now. Five for each of four accounts (I'm not saying they're "mine"), +4 for surveys I BS'ed- one each, plus seven legitimate caps. Now that's just plain SICK.
I'm officially at college now.

Tuesday I moved in and had to go on a mandatory 'retreat'.

No new DWI's. No new Cokemusic exploits.
Nothing says I can't try.

ALL YOUR BASE is officially in 3rd place now for most popular DWI on Bemanistyle. WELL DUH.

The arcade in the student center used to have a 3rd Asian machine, but now has a 5th Mix. I cleaned off all three singles boards in 8 credits, half of which I wasn't even trying for. The tech person that only comes in once every few weeks is the only one that can open, and therefore unlock, the machine. That means no Radical Faith, Abyss, DXY!, The Cube... damn. Those are like the ONLY reasons to play a 5th. Well, maybe the old-skool Para-Eternal steps... I do like the new ones better.

I want to make a BMS for Tubular Bells Introduction, but the measure-length change function won't cooperate. 15-beat is hard. 4/4 x3 + 3/4. Screw it.

That's about it for now...
Monday, August 18, 2003
Yesterday's odds: 5.0737%
Today's exploits:
Amplitude for PS2: 98:1 - just happened to catch it 3 minutes from the deadline.
Dark Cloud II for PS2: 309:1 - got in under 2 minutes to go...
Backpack thing: 275:1 - had 3 minutes left
Backpack thing: 186:1
Total score: 7.1783%.
Sunday, August 17, 2003
Update on my losing streak so far...
Amplitude for PS2- 100:1
2x $60 Tickets for stuff- 500:1
CD Player- 100:1
Sony TV- 750:1 (The rest are from just today:)
Audio keyring- 2000:1 (couldn't get all my entries in)
More Tickets- 450:1
Car CD Player- 1300:1
CD Player- 260:1
God knows what- 300:1
Audio keyring- 205:1
DVD Jukebox- 451:1
$500 Online Cash- 2300:1 (second-level prize)
6-Disc CD Carousel- 271:1
6-Disc CD Carousel- 190:1
Sony TV- 700:1
Odds of one or better: 5.0737% as of 10:45PM. (Updated)
(I forget half the crap I enter for. They're just commodities anyway, saleable for money.)

The other day I said my odds were up to 4% or better, but just now I realized that was because I punched in one of my odds as 50:1 instead of 500:1. Oops... Well, 1/33.8 ain't shabby. I can get it back to 4% by the end of the day... I think.

EDIT- Hooray, I broke 5%! I think I'm going to quit for now. A score of 5% means that if I went back in time and did ALL my drawings 20 times, out of those 20 times I will have won once. Let's say, two days of wasted time, times 20, is about a month and a half. For what? Maybe a CD player, maybe a TV or CD carousel. Could be anything.

A note about my scoring system: the higher the odds, the less score I get. For example, a 100:1 drawing increases my score roughly one whole percentage point while a 200:1 raises it roughly a half. Look at all to 500+ odds I have up there. Sheesh. And on top of that, the higher your score is, the less it increases (obviously I can't exceed 100%).

I say roughly 1% for each 100:1 because earlier I said it took 69 of them to each 50% score. Yep. Steady decline. Can you tell I have too much free time?
Get "free"* stuff: Coke Music. Enter in drawings and stuff basically for free. The catch is that their server is ungodly slow and your chances of winning are pretty slim. I have been keeping track of my failed attempts at drawings so far.

Prize // Approx. Odds at time of drawing
Amplitude for PS2- 100:1
2x $60 Tickets for stuff- 500:1
CD Player- 100:1
Sony TV- 750:1
...overall odds of winning at least one of these drawings: 2.32% (43:1)

Good GOD their site is slow. I wonder how long it'll take me to win something. I bet my "Overall odds" gets up to at least 40% before I score. The trick is to enter into drawings that have little or no time-'til-post, because if you don't win, you get all your credits back. Derrrrr gimmick. I shop around 'til I find something with under two hours, then dump all my credits into it. And lose. If I win, I'll sell it on Ebay. Why not.

Random fact for the day:
If you participate in 69 drawings where your odds of winning are 1%, you have a 50% chance of winning at least one of them. If your odds are 2%, you only need to participate in 35 to have the same odds of winning at least one.
Proof: 1 - 0.99 ^ 69 = .500; 1 - 0.98 ^ 35 = .507

Found another one to try- a keychain microphone. I could use that. ~2200 entires so far, 6+ hours remaining. That number should jump to about 10000 by T -2 hours. Gah. I'm just going to score it a 2000:1 and leave it at that. Like I'm going to win... (waiting for Murphy's Law to kick in...)

(I like statistics)

Nothing much in the way of new simfiles. I've been too busy packing for college. Today was my last day of work. Hooray. Don't know what my odds are for coming back for XMas and next summer, and frankly I don't care.

In an attempt to clear the credit on the Media Play gift certificate I have had for almost a year, I bought two new CD's. Yes, I actually bought them (they're too damn hard to find online). Steven Halpern's Serenity Suite and Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells 2003. I have always been a fan of Tubular Bells- I have the original and #2. I hear there's a #3. Anyway, I was kind of let down when I found out this CD was just basically a re-do of the original, but then I thought, ah, who cares, this rocks. I could make a BMS of the intro. (Theme from The Exorcist). As for Serenity Suite, I've been looking for new meditation music. First track is a play on Greensleeves. I don't think I made it much past that before I was out cold asleep. I recall waking up several times during the night wondering exactly what the hell was playing. I swear I heard two different CD's playing, or at least two radically different musical styles. Boy did I have messed up dreams, then. Tonight I ate lots of salsa and Tostitos in an attempt to enhance my dreams.

Well, hasn't this been a nice update for my DWI page. Pft. I don't think I've talked to anyone online today. Got up, got haircut, bugged friend for long-overdue lent games (like a year), got lunch, got a fix of BM98, got work, got tired. Got home...

Think I'll be going insane now. Bye.
Thursday, August 14, 2003
It's time for the Weekend Update... on Tuesday. Oh, wait, it's Wednesday... no, it's 1:30 AM Thursday. God dammit. Tuesday was "THE BIG DXY!" up at Janesville. Got there just before the store gate went up (9:55AM) and was there to see it go down (9:05PM). Holy crap that was exhausting. I didn't play as often or as hard as I normally do- laid off the boss songs until I either played Trick Oni or a suicide run.


One such suicide run consisted of LOM-PS-Sakura. I missed the AA on Sakura by 0.86 greats. (60great + 2good = 64 points. 63.14 is the border for AA.) D'ohhhhhh. I was so pissed off I politely asked the manager for a calculator because that was such a close shave it hurt. 448 steps plus 1 OK = 902 dance points x 0.07 = 63.14. Argh. I don't know what I would have done for EX- probably either Max300 or Bag, because any other 10' song is too fast for me to sight-read. Max300 is my bchit and bag is slow enough I can read it. Ah well.

A little later, I finally got past Ecstasy-Stoob on Trick. I was feeling 1337. Then I got to AM3P-Fuwafuwa. Psh. That's cake. I think I had one good in there. Good thing I know the step timing. Then came Max. As soon as the song started there were already about five notes on the edge of the screen. ("Oh shit...") The "screen" conveniently holds five quarter notes- one in the stationary arrows, and the next four beats. Since it was on 0.25x (it actually said '0.25x' in the tray down by the clock) that means there would have been four entire measures showing on the screen. The intro to Max300 is four bars long, so the downbeat of Bar 05 would have started at the bottom of the screen. Holy cow. The first time I lost my nerve, but the second time I got all the way to the left arrow before the triplets and couldn't get it. Close enough for me. Jouzu.

My latest challenge: making L-S-H steps to all the spiffy MAX2 Remixes. I got three done just today. I'm trying to go in alphabetical order but the fun-as-hell songs like Drop Out, Ecstasy, Matsuri Japan, are luring me in. Note to readers: I'm gonna redo the living hell out of Hysteria. That song's in freakin' swing time (eighth + eighth = 2 x twelfth + 1 x twelfth. See Heaven-57) and I'm gonna MAKE IT swing, dammit.

"All Your Base" has taken over 8th place on the most DL'ed DWI's list, and is one download shy of 7th. Needless to say it's my most downloaded.

Wonder how this is going to work with me designing 19 songs (57 steps) and going to school in the next five days, three of which I will spend at work (in the afternoons)... tough stuff.

I have 10187 downloads as of 2AM August 14th.

...it's August already?
Sunday, August 10, 2003
Never should have left home...

Warning: Rant, very negative post ahead
Let me work backwards. Around noon, I found out that one of the mods (who shall remain nameless) deleted my Maxxx file on Bemanistyle, because it was "simply atrocious". Oh, boo hoo. If that 'deserves' to be deleted, then you also have to delete Drop Out Death Mix, Drop Out Survivor MAX 320.5, Sakura Another, V Another, Maxx Paranoia, and whatever other Max "trash" has been uploaded so far, since they're all hard stepping songs made impossibly hard just for the sake of keyboard players. People DL-whore anything with "Max" in the title because it's hard/exciting. Very few people actually play with their feet, mainly because it's hard to hook up a pad to a computer, and it's just not as fun (compared to an arcade setting). Do you actually want to see more Anime trash uploaded? (As much as BMS certainly has the right to delete stuff at will- it is free hosting after all- it was my most popular song, god dammit!)

Speaking of anime trash and DL-whoring, I was seriously, SERIOUSLY considering making DWI's to the first five tracks of Gundam Wing OP. 1, then making an oni course. Then the sound transfer glitched, and I realized I'd be using a whole lot of triplets, which XStep can't handle. Eh.

Then my V (Another) title on BMS was changed to "V (Taren step)". I was told that people might think it's a remix of V, considering how there were another-remixes for other songs like .59, Leading Cyber, R3, Ska a go go, etc. Not my fault people are deprived of IIDX and a serious knowledge of song works.

What has caused this sudden batch of rants? The first reason is probably because I didn't get Sunday the 10th off work like I asked. When I ask for days off, they're not obligated to give it to me, but I have very rarely had to work a day I asked off. Complacency at its finest. I remember a while ago I was counting down the days left I had to work. I was at four, then I realized I didn't count a day- five. Then I was asked during my off-days to come in- five, six. If all goes well, I'll have Sunday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, then I'm done. It's not that I hate the job, I just feel it has a lack of any challenge. I literally shut off my brain when I go there- when I stop thinking, time goes faster, and my job is a lot easier. A dangerous habit.

Second reason I'm so pissed off- I'm. Tired. Thursday and Friday were driving days (I didn't drive, though) from DC back to IL. About 900 miles one way. Then today, Saturday, I went to the arcade. Figured I might as well get my legs warmed up for Tuesday if I'm going to try to survive 11 hours at an arcade. One set, I played Pop8. I finished, and spent the next ten or fifteen minutes trying not to throw up. Usually Pop 8 is a cakewalk for me. Another set, I FC'ed Healing Vision Angelic (somehow managed to pull that off- with about 90 greats) second song, then third song only single-A'ed Let's Groove. Wow, thought I was gonna have to kill myself there...

My headphones broke on the way home. My good ones, that I normally leave at the computer. I know from experience stuffing them in a backpack wears them out fast. And one day the right ear stopped working. Wonderful. If there's one thing I hate, it's shopping for headphones. The selection changes every time, and the "latest styles" seem to displace quality headphones. Why can't I buy my old pair again? Best pair of headphones ever: Labtec LT-810. Absoluely the best. Comfortable and good sound. The thing with buying new headphones is that they all sound a little different. Most headphones I listen to are flooded with bass and have sorry little treble. Maybe I'm just accustomed to low bass. Next, I only wear over-the-head headphones. No switchback/street, no earbud, no toiletbowls. Cord length must be 4' or longer. By now I'm already down to either a cheap-ass pair I know I'm gonna hate, or just surrendering. Gah. Consumeristic marketing policies preying on the general public's inability to appreciate sound quality.

I want to make some more DWI's...

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