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Peter Hosey
I write things, not all of them for humans.
I write things, not all of them for humans.

Peter Hosey's posts

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Reading candidate statements and proposition info from the 2015 SF Election ballot.

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Flags half staff at Apple headquarters. Sad day in Cupertino.

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I played the Sonic Generations demo on the PS3 at Target earlier today.

Three words:

Green Hill Zone.

From what I've been reading, you play as either Classic Sonic (which is 2D, just like the classic games, but in a 3D engine) or Modern Sonic (3D, presumably second-person perspective). I don't know how much choice you get in which Sonic you play as.

The two gameplay modes even have different music. So, without further music, here's the Green Hill Zone music:

- Genesis:
- Sonic Adventure 2:
- Generations, Classic Sonic:
- Generations, Modern Sonic:

I like 75% of those.

Both the Genesis and Sonic Adventure 2 versions sound dated to my ears, in proportion to how dated they actually are. The Genesis version, although indisputably a classic, sounds exactly like what it is: Live-played music from a 16-bit console from the early 1990s. Sonic Adventure 2's version is good, but I'm not sure about some of the arrangement choices.

I like Sonic Generations's Classic Sonic variation. I couldn't tell it wasn't the original until I compared them via YouTube.

Modern Sonic's variation sounds like instrumental metal, and I don't think it works. It's theme-appropriate, if nothing else: It sounds exactly like I'd expect from any other 3D Sonic game.

That said, criticizing the music outside of the game is not necessarily a worthwhile pursuit. Sonic Unleashed demonstrated this quite well with its battle music in the night (“werehog”) stages. Each was about half an hour long, but they all start about the same way and most battles only go for a few minutes, so those first few minutes wear thin really fast. One thing that the participants in its classic Let's Play ( did many, many times was groaningly sing along to the n-billionth iteration of its opening riff.

“Da-da-da-da da-da-daaaaa da!”

(By the way, if you haven't watched that LP, you should watch it after watching this one: When they refer to “that other game” while playing Unleashed, that's the game they're referring to.)

But then when I downloaded the Sonic Unleashed soundtrack and listened to it outside of any gameplay music, I discovered that I loved the battle music. All four variations of it. Hearing the first few minutes over and over wears them out, but when you listen to each track in its entirety, they're all great.

Unleashed's battle music was great music on its own, but not so good as game music. I'm sure the inverse is possible, too: Music that is not so good on its own, but could work well in the background of the right game.

TL;DR: The Classic Sonic music is great. The Modern Sonic variation, not so much. But they might both be great in the actual game.

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For anyone who saw my “Conferences 2011” post from the other day and thought “wow, $899 is too much”, good news: I just got a referral link for the MacTech Conference that gives you the early-bird price of $799 instead. I've updated the post to include it.

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A sunset from just under a week ago.

A towel is the most massively useful thing in the kitchen.

You can wrap a cold bottle in it, hold a hot tray with it, sop up spills with it, use it to cover bread or a pie while it rests, and even dry yourself off with it if it still seems clean enough.

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Sunset at the Library.

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Working at the library.

From left to right: Index cards with article outlines (held erect by a business card holder); portable word processor; drinking bottle (containing water).

I just noticed that Pages has a preference for its list detection (when you write a bullet-ish character, such as • or - or +, followed by a whitespace character). This screws up a couple of things for my usage, including writing Objective-C code samples, so I've just turned it off.

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Two-sided stairs.
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