Geek stuff

Ok, first up is What’s Playing for Winamp 2 and 3. It’s a plugin that lets you send a list of, surprise, what you’re playing to a html file, perl script or some other content form. I asked chip about it and I might beg him to figure out an easy way to make it part of my webpage once its redesign is finished. Apparently it’s pretty easy but I’ll let you who are more skilled than me be the judge of that. The author provides plenty of explanation and documentation so it might just be do-able.

Second, CS skins. For those of you who play CS (and there’s only a few that read this that do) this is for you. Over the past few days I’ve been putting together Matt’s CS Pack v3.0. If you’ll remember correctly, about a year ago the place I (we) used to get replacement models and skin thought it would be a good idea to start charging. Now, this is obvious BS since they didn’t make any of these models and you could find them elsewhere. Their point was that you could, but that they were the ones spending the time to put them together into a collection. Basically it was a convenience thing. The problem is that I never really used 100% of their collection. I would use about 80% and then add my own favorites to round it off. So, I decided to go ahead and put together a collection that I would be 100% happy and thus v1.0 was created. Originally it was about 200Mb worth of weapon models, character skin replacements and maps. Now, it’s nearly a CD full and covers everything from maps to models to cross-hair replacements and everything in between. Now, I’m not going to take any credit for any of it (unlike that afore mentioned website) because a: I didn’t create any of these and b: I would have put the collection together anyways. But, since it’s so large, I’m not going to offer it up as a download, I wouldn’t want to kill our poor server. So, if you want a copy, you’ll have to ask me for it. BUT what I will do is provide a few links to some of the things in the collection. That was, if you don’t feel like installing a whole ton of stuff you don’t need, you don’t have to. And this way, you can make your own collection, which is always better in the first place. Anyway, here goes.

Now remember, these are all 5 star, top notch, A+ type skins. Of course, peoples opinions as to what an A+ skin looks like will probably vary. These are simply my top picks as to what I’ve seen as well as used. Please, by all means, if you think you have a better version of something, send me a link and I’ll take a look at it.

Weapon replacements:
USP .45 – nice, simple and awesome texture
Glock 18 – hands down the best glock replacement I’ve ever seen
57 – really slick replacement even if it’s not the same gun
XM1014 – wow.
AK47 – nice and simple, the way I like it.
M4A1 – with extraswithout extras – same skin, different versions.
Scout – clean.
AWP – dang, thats pretty…
SG550 – good replacement for such a crappy gun

Now, you may have noticed that all the weapons aren’t represented. That’s because I either couldn’t figure out where I originally got them from or it’s been so long since I changed them that I’ve completely forgotten. My MP5 skin for example, has been the same since CS 1.3. Why? Because it’s the best MP5 skin I’ve ever seen. For all the categories I’ve skipped, visit the CS-Nation Archives or and I’m sure you can find some that you’ll enjoy.

Player skins:
CT players – well, this is sort of a “choose your own” kind of deal. There are 5 seriously good model replacements, all by the same guy and all of great quality. You just have to choose whether you want the good guys to look like the FBI, NYPD, US Marines, UN Peacekeepers or the British Paratroopers. They all play very nicely and are very recommended.

T player replacements – well, there’s really only one pack and it’s not a surprise that its by the same guy who did the above CT packs. Everyone really likes his stuff and for good reason. There’s also a runner-up pack but in my opinion they get a little confusing if you’re playing with CT skins that also wear camo.

Last but not least there are a few little touches that make the game simply that much more interesting. First up are some cross-hair replacements. Why would I replace a cross hair you ask? Because instead of this, you could be using this. See, that’s why. This is Arrowhead’s cross-hair pack (note: direct D/L link) and it’s fantastic. A welcome change from a big X in the middle of the screen. Grenades are also something that can be fancied up a little bit… at least until they explode that is. Give these a try.

I was going to mention a whole host of places to get maps, but nearly every site that I had bookmarked doesn’t exist anymore. So, I’d suggest visiting some of the links below and trying to find some there. Also, look for themed packs floating around the net (ie: desert maps, ice maps, 30 versions of de_dust maps, etc). You’ll find some.

Also, you simply must check out RzE’s CS Helper. It’s a vgui based binding system that makes life SO much easier. Take a look.

Lastly here are some links in case you get bored and feel like browsing for you’re own. Warning, this may suck up more of your free time than you’d care to admit. You’ve been warned.

C.o.D.G Gun Shop – older models/link but still good.
CS-Nation – home of the “Skin of the Day”
CS-Skins – not regularly updated but still pretty good
CS Central – another good one.
Counter-Strike Center – a little bit of everything

Thats about it. Hope someone finds all this useful.

Photo shootage

Well, it looks like there’s not going to be a photo shoot today. The company that Dave and I were taking pictures for doesn’t seem to have the product (tables) ready for us to shoot. It’s been tentatively pushed off to Thursday. Nuts, and I shaved and everything. 🙂


Well, Lauren called last night and it looks like she’s not coming up for break. I’m kind of bumed out but she says she’ll take me out for a nice dinner and such when we get back to Savannah. Those airline tickets are just too expensive and flying durring the holidays is probably the most stressful activity someone could engage in so I completely understand her decision. I can’t say I’d do anything different. For the amount of money it would have taken to get up here it just wouldn’t have been worth it. It’s disappointing that she won’t be here for my birthday or for after Christmas but it just isn’t legistically possible this year. That’s ok though, I know she loves me and that she tried her best to get up here. It’s only a few days difference anyway. Instead of the 26th, I’ll see her the 2nd. That’s not so bad. As a small upside, I now get to spend the money I would have used to take her out to dinner and such and get her something even nicer for Christmas 🙂 Tehehe.

Speaking of money, I mailed my award letter back to SCAD, overnight of course. According to the guy at the post office, they should have it by noon tomorrow. I had called the Financial Aid Office and left a message about faxing it but no one had called me back. I figured I probably shouldn’t wait on their lazy asses so I just went ahead and mailed it. It’ll probably get there before they even have a chance to call me back anyways.

I’ve also started my mix CDs for Chris and Chip. I’m about 3/4 done with the first one. Well, getting the right tracks that is. I mix it together all at once at the end but I don’t really consider that “working on it” since I merely have to “do it” and it’s more fun than just “work” anyway. I’ve been trying all weekend to get my hands on some killer tracks and I think I’ve done just that. Hopefully they’ll like’em. Oh, and if anyone else wants a copy, just let me know. I didn’t figure too many other people like techno.

Oh, and incase Chris or Chip want’s to take a look at what might be on the CDs, here’s a brief (*cough*) list of what I’ve gotten my hands on lately. And yes, there are repeats on the list, it’s copied from trackslistings so just deal with it.

That’s about it. Later.

Can’t Sleep

This happens every once in a while. Insomnia. And no, I’m not talking about that Comedy Central show. Usually it’s cured by staying up really really late one night and getting up early the following morning, thus creating tiredness for the following night. So, what does Matt do when he can’t sleep? Well, I started off reading my new book, Downsize This – Random threats from an unarmed American by Michael Moore. After that I decided that my collection of CS skins needed an over haul. This resulted in one of the nicest collections I’ve put together to date. It’s easy to find skins for Counter Strike, it’s a pain in the ass to find good ones. Following that I tracked down a few singles for the new mix I’m putting together. For anyone interested (Chris) check out a Sipping Soma track by the name of “Superconscious (Agnelli and Nelson Mix).” Lastly I took a look at Gentoo Linux. I was trying to work up the courage to give it a try until I looked at the install directions. I was scared shitless. I’m sure I could do it with a little time and luck, but then again I could probably put together an engine block together with enough time and luck as well… but that doesn’t mean it’s going to work when I’m finished. Oh well.

Financial Aid, Star Trek and NWN

Well, SCAD finally sent me the promissory note I was supposed to sign two months ago. I got it this afternoon. Monday morning I’ll be at Kinkos faxing a signed copy back because I’m simply not waiting/relying on the mail. Thankfully once this is taken care of I should be all set tuition wise. Not living expenses wise mind you, but at least I can attend classes. Basically my refund for last semester is going to cover the missing amount for this semester leaving me with somewhere between $1000 and $1200 to pay off a $3000 credit card bill and to live on. Those of you with a math degree can probably see the problem. Thankfully the wonderful people at Nellie Mae are almost finished processing my other loan and that should land me an extra $3000 to pay off that $3000. How convenient. Now the trick will be coordinating the attack at the Bursars Office and the Office of Financial Aid so that I can get all this taken care at the same time. I plan to fax Financial Aid, call them 10 minutes later to make sure they got it, immediately call the Bursars and tell them that everything is a go and what I’d like to do with the balance from last semester (pay off this semester) and that anything additional I’d like directly deposited into my bank account. With amazing amount of luck I might be able to pull this off. More than likely I’ll be on the phone playing tag all week. I don’t really care so long as it’s straitened out before X-mas because I know these people are going to disappear that week and you won’t hear from them until after New Years. I fully intend to celebrate the New Year dept free, or at least, that’s the plan.

On to other things. Last night Chip and I and a bunch of people from the F.o.R CounterStrike clan saw Star-Trek: Nemesis. I have to say, it was probably one of the best Star Trek movies of all time. Admittedly I haven’t see all of the previous 8 (?) but of the ones I have seen, this certainly bests all. It’s easily the best Next Generation movie hands down. I’d offer a more astute review but, you know what, it’s a Star Trek movie and if you’re a nerd or trekkie you’re going to see it anyway. If you’re not you probably won’t and my mention of it’s good qualities might only encourage you to rent it a few months from now. Regardless, it’s enjoyable.

I also got a call from Nick tonight asking if I wanted to go see it again. Unfortunately I can’t since I waiting around for my family for dinner (we don’t have many together) and as I just mentioned I saw it last night. Being broke doesn’t really help either. Then again, I was broke to begin with so who are we kidding? I’ll give Nick a call tomorrow and see if he’d like to go get some coffee. I haven’t seen him in a while and would like to catch up.

Oh ya… and Neverwinter Nights is being crushed under my mighty boot. It of course helps when you find items that completely negate both physical and magical damage, leaving you free to crush your enemies without discretion. That and Battlefield 1942 AFTER the 1.2 patch, is the most stunning multiplayer experience I’ve ever been apart of. It reminds me of early CS days. Oh the splendor of video games.

That is all.