Inklings in September 2011

A concept for weapon usage of (magical) characters in a fantasy RPG or story

I know of no fantasy stories or RPGs that have the following concept, so I believe it’s original, though I could be wrong.

The idea is affinity: the more a particular weapon is used, the greater the affinity the wielder has with it. Switching to another, more powerful weapon thus has a cost: the wielder has less affinity with it, and thus are more clumsy with it initially. Thus the choice to pick up and use a more powerful weapon becomes tactical.

This cost is greater yet for wielding magic, as the weapon (such as a staff), will typically be used as a ‘focus’ (a device for concentrating and/or amplifying the wielder’s power). Thus, the cost of changing weapons is greater for a magic wielder who relies on a focus.

If you use this in a game or story, I’d appreciate a credit, and a copy would be nice too, though then again, ideas are cheap…

Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

You see, this kind of thing is why the public domain is great. We should have more of that, I think.


This is the closest I’ve seen to my own personal views on religion, though I’d add that the matter of whether or not higher powers exist is meaningless too me: so long as one lives one’s life well, it really doesn’t matter.

Show current git branch in zsh

I can’t use this just yet, and I’ll need to tweak it to work with hg, bzr, and svn too. Isn’t my life wonderful!

Small Memory Software: Patterns for systems with limited memory

pdftk, the PDF toolkit

If PDF is electronic paper, then pdftk is an electronic staple-remover, hole-punch, binder, secret-decoder-ring, and X-Ray-glasses. Pdftk is a simple tool for doing everyday things with PDF documents.

Potentially very useful for frobbing PDFs in various ways. Written in Java.

noweb: A simple, extensible tool for literate programming

What CS Majors Should Know

Excellent list for any developer. There are a few thing on that list I plan on looking at, in particular Mathematics for 3D Game Programming and Computer Graphics.

LittleGPTracker Wiki

Clarifying REST

An extremely clear overview of what REST is and isn’t, especially its explanation of the importance of the HATEOAS constraint, which is the key to REST. The key failing of many supposedly RESTful protocols (such as those of OnAPP, Twitter, &c.) is their ignorance of this constraint.

5 subtle ways you’re using MySQL as a queue, and why it’ll bite you

ØMQ: The Theoretical Foundation