Thursday, May 04, 2006

False alarm?

Looks like the clampdown on web browsing and whatnot was a false alarm, sort of. Being in the IT department, I basically have unfettered access to the internet minus a few big time filters (porn, gross sites, etc.) and have a few capabilities disabled (can’t stream most media), but otherwise can go wherever I want. They recently updated the filters for our network, which is why it looked like some of the pages I used to go to were now blocked. However, it has come to my attention that this was done to all access levels at first, and has since been adjusted so that the filters now act correctly for each user group. In other words, I now go just about anywhere I want again.

Still, I don’t know who might be looking at my e-mails, not that I suspect anyone of doing so and therefore will refrain from profanity or large posts while at work, at least to the best of my ability. This does present an opportunity to do something that I’ve been wanting to look into doing, but for whatever reason have been putting off. A few other people here at work get around some of the archaic filtering here at work using a proxy, or something similar. Basically, they VPN or remote into their computers at home, and browse and send e-mail that way. What this does is send all internet communication through a different type of port, one that is not looked at by our filters. Basically, this is how kids at school get around filters. It masks where the data is coming from, this making a filter pretty much useless. In addition, this would allow me access to my home PC at all times. There are plusses and minuses to this. Plus, I can use my home PC while at work. Minus, anyone on my network here that has admin control could theoretically still see what I’m doing and have access to my PC at home as well. One problem is that I don’t have a static IP address, which causes an issue, but there are ways around that as well. At any rate, it’s something I’ll look into this week.

On the video game front, and you just knew I had to be playing something, I’m getting further and further along in Dragon Quest 8. It’s a tough game, as was shown with a boss battle I had last night. Basically, you fight “the last boss” and then he transforms into another form. Now, I’ve presented my feelings about multiple stage bosses before, and this is no different. You barely get through your first fight with Doulmagus, and then he transforms to reveal “his true power.” I have a few issues with this. First, why wouldn’t you just show your true power to begin with? I wouldn’t want to risk losing my life at a lower power level, just to show off. Second, bad guys shouldn’t play with the heros, they should always be trying to kill them balls to the wall.

Anyway, so I beat his first form, he transforms, and then I’m fighting he second form. Now, I know this isn’t the final battle, but the game makes you think it is, and honestly, I thought they did a good job of it. At the end of the first battle I’m nearly dead, but all my characters are hanging in there. Then the second battle starts, which is roughly twice as hard as the first one. I lasted a while but in the end couldn’t pull it off. I was really pissed that I’d have to do this all over again. You see, when you die in Dragon Quest 8 you don’t start all over form your last save, you lost half your money and go back to the last place you saved, but the game continues. What I wasn’t aware of was that when I go back to fight Doulmagus again I won’t have to fight his first form, I’ll start right with his second form.

I’m a little less pissed now, since it’ll give me a bit of time to level up (which, by the way, takes forever in this game) and I’ll come in a bit more prepared. I’ve only got two characters that can heal (and you don’t really have much of a choice in the matter since they’re the only ones who learn healing skills) but I can give my other two some potions and stuff to help them out. So, I’ve got some time on my hands tomorrow to get my guys all pimped out, joy. I’m over 40 hours into the game now, and from what I hear, I won’t see the end until around 60-70 hours (ahhh, just like Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, now that was a great game) depending on how aggressive I am. Since I subscribe to the Powell doctrine (overwhelming force) I tend to take my time so that there is no doubt I will destroy bosses I come across. Up until this battle I was always ahead of the game, however, I now know I’ll need to readjust my perception of the battlefield. I don’t see a scenario like this presenting itself again.

I expect to beat Dragon Quest some time next week, maybe sooner but I doubt it. After that, I’m not sure what I’ll do.  Maybe pick up and finally beat Zelda on the GC. Oh wait, I still have to beat Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance too, fortunately, I’m almost at the end of that anyway.



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