April 25th, 2009

ferriswheel

So long, GeoCities...

It's the end of an era.

As of the 23rd, GeoCities is beginning to shut down. New accounts are not available, and they'll be deactivating the service for good this fall. (So now would be an ideal time to make a backup of your files and look for other hosting options, if any of you are still on GeoCities.)

Remember the days when everybody used ICQ and e-mail and had home pages on GeoCities, Angelfire, and Tripod?

I'd totally link my old Geocities account here - t'was /Athens/Academy/3549 and yes, I actually wrote that out on posters, and amazingly people still checked into it based on the page views I got back in the spring of 1998 - but it's been totally baleeted. In 1999, when the terms of service became odious (especially concerning content ownership), I moved everything to another free host, a Canadian outfit that didn't run ads and offered unlimited space. They thought they could make money, too. Ha-ha. So one day when the prices for domain names dropped (they were starting to be offered free with inexpensive-for-the-time hosting packages), I up and became willmatheson.com.

I wonder what I'd do if I were just starting out today. With the notoriety of high school long past, I probably wouldn't have bothered setting up a formal website. I'd put my photos on Flickr (like I do now), and blog with an external service (like I do now). All I'd do is mention each on the other and on Facebook. The only problematic service is YouTube - Sarah McLachlan is on the warpath apparently and the audio for my cheesy high school movie has been blocked (if you want to see it on its own page, anyway - it still works fine in the channel view). So instead of frigging around with that, I offer viewers the option of downloading directly from the site (use the links on the left) - sure, it'll take a little while, but the quality will make it well worth it. In fact, it's pretty near DVD-quality, doing it that way.

Unless I'm selling something or I'm legitimately famous, there's little point in having a website.

But stay tuned! ;-) (Not like my updates are something you have to "tune" into, and monopolize your attention for. Clearly that's an increasingly-dated metaphor!)
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First Nine Final Fantasies All Played Out

If you don't like console RPGs (no, not rocket propelled grenade launchers mounted on dashboards), skip this post. It won't interest you.

I took advantage of my sickness and completed Final Fantasy III on the DS. Now I can say that I've played all of the classic Final Fantasy mainline games to completion! (Tactics, Mystic Quest, Crystal Chronicles, and the numerous other spinoffs don't count.)

Platforms used (for the spiel on "definitive versions," click here):
I - Sony PlayStation (included in Final Fantasy Origins)
II - Sony PlayStation (ditto)
III - Nintendo DS
IV - Sony PlayStation (recommended, included in Final Fantasy Chronicles)
V - Sony PlayStation (included in Final Fantasy Anthology - slow and not recommended)
VI - Super Nintendo (censored, not recommended), Sony PlayStation (slow and censored and not recommended), am currently playing an RPGOne fan re-translation (highly recommended)
VII - Sony PlayStation (recommended), have played the PC version many times too but never to completion (buggy and fussy and not recommended)
VIII - Sony PlayStation (I don't even want to think about the PC version of this!)
IX - Sony PlayStation

To paraphrase Douglas Adams, it's an increasingly inaccurately named series, isn't it?

Favorites, in descending order:
VII, VI, IX, VIII, IV, III, I, V, II

The only games I really dislike are V and II:

II was the game where somebody thought it would be a good idea to do away with experience points, making building your characters into kind of a random joke. To its credit, it was the first to introduce player characters with personalities, but the story is kind of bland and not a lot of fun. The first game is unforgivingly brutal, but unlike II it contains enough surprises to be interesting.

V is like a 16-bit trip to the dentist. It's innovative like VIII is innovative, and if you don't get the hang of things right away, it's a drag from start to finish. I actually ended up starting over from scratch because I was so damn frustrated with how crappy my party was and how I was getting my butt handed to me everywhere for seemingly no reward except visiting other lame towns and other tedious dungeons. If you're wondering why it wasn't released for the Super Nintendo, play it and you'll see.

So I guess now I can finally get a PlayStation 2 or 3 and continue forth! ;-) But I think I'll have to move my N64 and VHS player to accommodate it. j/k