Sunday, October 08, 2006

wifi nearby

muahahahaha... I'm a bandwidth thief. My new laptop has a better-powered antenna than the Linksys dongle I had for the old one, and it actually is picking up a distant someone with an 11 megabit connection. But thieves do have a code of honor, such as it is. I plan to hitchhike this goose only for the long journeys, in other words any downloads more than 7MB, like those ridiculous Windows Updates. That takes 20 minutes at 56K and maybe 3 minutes on the faster connection.

I don't know if the goose is tech-savvy enough to know he's got a rider. The fact that the network's unsecured makes me think so.

Before I found this, I was playing a point-and-click flash game called Onamis 2. It was completely painful at 56K, but the speed was not so much a problem as piss-poor programming. Every single scene seemed to be a separate chunk of Flash, and a big one each and every time. Let's say you're looking at a wall with two devices, and click on the one on the left. Fresh load of about 1MB or 4 minutes. The picture changes to viewing the device at an angle -- you've turned. Click on the device again, and again wait 4 minutes so you have the honest-to-god close-up of the device. Which you desperately hope is a puzzle so you can actually do some interaction.

It isn't. It's just a picture showing you that one machine of three are on.

Back out of the scene, and shift over to the device on the right. Two more scenes, 2 MB, eight minutes. It has a lever which you turn on. That's it.

See why that would make anyone click that little box with the X before they go bald? There were a grand total of three puzzles in this game that took me two hours to play due to load time. On the fast connection, I would have finished it less than 15 minutes. In short, there hardly any game there. In contrast, play some of the Submachine games by Mateusz Skutnik. Clean and tidy, you get the whole game in one load, and it has dozens of scenes and plenty of puzzles.

Bandwidth, like computer speed, tends to be something people take for granted. Once they have it, they don't think about how slow it runs for someone without. This (and also not trimming function libraries to exactly what you need) leads to major code bloat. An oldish version of Microsoft Word contains a pinball game. I'm sure the programmers found it clever, but to me it just increases the size of the program and the load time without any benefit.

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