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About Yonk

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    California, USA

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  1. Interesting Science Stuff Thread

    Just read in Time Magazine: apparantly the Technological Singularity is coming in 2045. How about that! Buncha nuts, is what I think. I recognize the power of computers, but I somehow still believe enough in a human soul to posit that even the most powerful computer would never be capable of thinking on its own. Of course, I may be wrong. I'll certainly live long enough to see that date come and go, and what it shall bring, I do not know... - Yonk
  2. How many computers do you have?

    I have two computers. The one I am using right now is my main one, that connects to the internet, plays games, does pretty much everything one would need a computer to do. It's an HP, the absolute cheapest I could buy three years ago (about $300) in one piece and ready to go. AMD Dual-core 2.3Ghz, 2GB RAM and 350GB harddrive came standard, but with naught but integrated graphics! So I got a stronger PSU and upgraded to a Nvidia 7900GS 256mb so I could even think about playing SimCity and FSX (on medium graphics) and such. I'm currently toying with the idea of getting a newer GPU (for maximum FSX graphics and also Civ5), but there are so many options, prices vary by hundreds of dollars, and I'm not yet sure if my 450w PSU can handle something bigger. I don't really have the cash to spare right now, anyway. Maybe by the summer. My second computer is a netbook. Cost me $50 (shipping included, from China), is a horrific shade of flourescent-green, but I only got it for one reason, and it does the job well. I'm an aspiring novelist, and it's difficult for me to eliminate distractions when I am on my main computer, with instant internet-access and all those pretty game icons on my desktop. It's impossible to concentrate for several hours to get any actual work done. So I got the little, wimpy thing, didn't even set it up for an internet connection, and all the dang thing can do besides compose word documents is play solitaire, and that gets old rather fast. So I sit down in the corner of my room with it, and with no distractions, I can put out a 2500-4500 word chapter in about three hours. It's great. - Yonk
  3. I first played SC2000 on PS1 back in like 1998 when I was only eleven years old. Got 3000 unlimited in probably 2001 or 2002, but didn't get a computer good enough to run 4 until 2007. I wouldn't call it an addiction (I sometimes go weeks without playing when I'm busy or just don't feel like it) but it is definately my favorite game series, and one of my favorite things to do. Also, this computer has all four SimCity games installed on it. Classic runs a bit glitchy sometimes, but 2000 is great if I just have a few minutes to kill and don't feel like throwing in the CD for 3000 or 4. It's an awesome feeling seeing all four icons sitting on my destop - like as if I've actually accomplished something! - Yonk
  4. Generally I lay out the main roads and avenues wherever I feel like it, usually somewhat dependant on the terrain, but barring that it's just getting from point A to point B. Pretty much random. Downtown is laid out in a grid, and usually the industrial zones are, too, but for the residential suburbs, I WORSHIP the fused grid! It just looks so pretty to me, often ends up with little 1x1 gaps near the corners (that are perfect for trees, flowers, parks, etc), works great compared to a linear grid on rough terrain, and forces those dirt-stupid sims to drive where I want them to, not where they want to. From there, it's somewhat dendritic, but only for small neighborhoods - otherwise the major roads are somewhat in a grid, though I use the term as loosely as possible for that case. Development is almost always low-density residential on streets, perhaps on roads but if the roads get too busy, they get replaced by medium density or low-density commercial, depending on needs. Medium density commercial is clustered in small districts near busy intersections, and high density commercial and residential is only in the downtown area. Industrial is very random; I'll drop a high-tech building here-and-there in medium density commercial areas, but the dirty/manufacturing stuff gets clustered somewhere outside downtown, along major transportation if I can help it. My cities are extremely automobile-centric, since I do mostly in the American style. Lots of roads, lots of streets, highways that never get used because they plow through randomly on the outskirts of downtown connecting one city to the next, and very little mass transportation. If there is a rail line already there that the city grows up around, it will often be used heavily (since rails always pass through the dirty industrial areas) and if that's the case, I won't find much need to even add busses until 30,000 or so when traffic becomes a nightmare, and then I'll just sprinkle them in downtown so the people in the tenements can use them to get to work. Maybe later I'll expand it to the suburbs, but usually there are scattered small commercial and industrial districts for them to work at. I've yet to have a city where I needed any subways (of course I've never had one over 100,000) or other methods. The sims seem perfectly content to drive everywhere, and I provide plenty of pavement for them to do so. - Yonk
  5. I use it only occasionally to get rewards that I want in that city but can't get due to not fulfilling the normal requirements, usually of population. Otherwise I turn off the icons and forget about the entire My Sim menu entirely. It makes me feel less like a dirty cheater, I suppose, than if I just pluck the reward from the list and plop it. Not that I would mind if UDI wasn't there at all in its current (horrible) incarnation. A better version would be more entertaining, but as it is it's not very useful; I just use the "show paths" command to check if my networks are properly connected and all. - Yonk
  6. I recently found out that Windows Vista defrags automatically every week. I guess it's not completely useless... though honestly, I've never noticed defrag actually making any difference between before doing it and afterwards on other machines. Also, making an exact copy of of your entire region file might be very difficult. Mine is currently over 400MB (something like 200 cities), and it would take probably an hour or more (so many files!) to copy the whole thing to my backup flash drive. I employ a more efficient method. Currently, I'm not working on every single city tile in the region, so the others remain unchanged since I started playing - copying those city files over just overwrites them with the same data and is a waste of time. So I just sort the files in my region folder by date modified, and only copy/overwrite the 5-10 cities I've actually changed since my last backup date. It's a lot faster! Ironically, I've gotten into such a habit of backing up my files, and yet I haven't had a catastrophic data loss since mid-2008. Lucky me. - Yonk
  7. mouse eating robot dining table of doom

    I simply developed a habit of not cleaning the corners of the rooms in my house. Spiders of all sorts take up residence there, and deal with any flies, naturally! Of course, this does not solve the problem I have with ants. That's something only bagging all sugar and cereal, and occasionally taking revenge using lint-rollers, can do. - Yonk
  8. The Tallest Buildings on Earth

    Of all the places to build a space-elevator, why Indonesia?? Also, not technically a building - pretty, though. - Yonk
  9. News from Real Life

    Sometimes I forget that SimCity isn't just played by a bunch of little kids, like me. Best wishes to you. - Yonk
  10. Force 9 Quake Rocks Roman Catholic Dogma

    Originally posted by: Duke87 One amusing analogy: we acknowledge that Darth Vader threw Emporer Palpatine down the pit with good intentions, but that does not mean that we condone throwing people down pits. quote> Ah, yes, but Darth Vader would still go to hell for killing someone, regardless of how many lives it saved, right? - Yonk
  11. High Speed Rail In America

    Originally posted by: Duke87 2) Standards of living and worker expectations. Labor was dirt cheap in the 30's, rounding up a bunch of unemployed people and getting them to build stuff was easy. The game is different now. Labor is expensive, and since unions and the government are in bed with each other there will be no efforts to change that in the public sector. quote> It's not just the labor, it's the way things are done today. Back then, it was a hundred guys with shovels and pickaxes and wheelbarrows. Now it's five guys with gigantic machines that pretty much do all the work for you as you press buttons and pull levers. There aren't very many jobs avaliable at all, expecially for unskilled laborers. Costs much less to hire those five guys and their machines than the hundred laborers, anyway. Any idiot can pour asphalt to make a highway, but do any of us have the skills to know how to operate the machine which constructs a high-speed rail track? I'm sure there's more to it than pounding spikes into rail ties. - Yonk
  12. Reduce traffic: dont ride?

    It only works if your job is service based. Unless there are factories and farms (as probably 90% of the world population works in manufacturing industry or agriculture) in the bottom of that arcology, it's just a fancy, skyscraper-shaped gated community for the rich. There's simply no way that kind of thing is feasible in our society unless it becomes some kind of ridiculous sci-fi utopia. But having seperate areas for residential/commercial/industrial and connecting them all with good methods of mass-transportation could work. Just not one SINGLE building. Even that is a tough sell, but it's probably about where the world is heading, right about when the oil runs out and we figure that hydrogen-powered cars tend to explode. - Yonk
  13. Is SimCity 4 Really a Game?

    To me, the definition of a "game", is a structured, rule-based plot where you (the player) takes on a role and proceed along one of various - but preprogrammed - courses to either a singular goal, or one of many goals. Whether you're trying to get a better hand in a card game, or defeat the final boss and rescue the Damsel in Distress, there's somewhere for you to get to, and you go that way. Deviation from what "thou must do" only results in losing. SimCity (and most maxis games, of which I put Spore on the borderline) are not games by that definition; they are toys. I am fairly sure the SimCity series and the Sims have been called "software toys" by critics and reviewers in the past. To me, SimCity (especially 4) is like a box of Legos. You start out buying a very plain set of blocky, dull legos from a store, which represents the vanilla version. Through Simtropolis and other sites, you acquire different, fancier, more complicated pieces, which give you more versatility and options for your playtime. If you want to, you can even get yourself a little plastic-molding machine, and create your own legos! But throughout all of this, there is no set goal. The point of SimCity (and Legos) is not to win, but to play. You start out with an (increasingly huge!) set of pieces, and through your own imagination, put them together in any way you fancy, because while there is a way to be bad at it (everyone starts pretty bad, and gets better through experience) there is no way to lose. The options are close to unlimited. I'm with TekindusT, in that I consider myself to be horrible at any game that requires a precise set of skills to follow a precise set of rules to proceed along a precise path to a precise goal. The more open-ended a game is, the better I am at it, because if there is a way to win, generally I will fail. So I like simulation games and of course software toys like SimCity, because I can never lose. Sure, I can crash the airplane I'm flying in FSX, which would really suck, but it's not the same as losing, and in the meantime, there's no FAA to tell me when, where, and how to fly. SimCity is a lot like that, I'm free to break all the real-world rules of cities, because in the digital world, there are no rules unless they're self-imposed. I think one of the reasons EA does not want to give us Unlimited Cosmic Power of the exe is because it would transform the game into something completely unrecognizable, that wouldn't even look like something they own any longer. Our metaphorical box of Legos becomes a box of stuff that don't look like Legos, don't fit together like legos, but can connect to the existing Legos. Why do you think Lego has a copyright on their method of connection, the little dots-and-pits? That's right! So you can't connect anything to Legos except other Legos!! Have you ever found an errant part (from some other brand, I forget the name) in your Lego collection, and found it won't fit? I know I have. EA doesn't want us to have the power to change SimCity into something that resembles SimCity but is not their game anymore. If you ask them, they probably think we have too much power already. I'm would think manufacturing your own Lego pieces would be illegal - copyright infringement - but we are free to alter SimCity in any way we can, because it's more of a toy than a game. Then again, I don't think anyone's ever made a CJ out of a city they made out of any sort of physical building blocks. In my experience, SimCity4 is the most powerful toy I have ever owned, with nearly limitless potential, and it only gets better, year after year. Everytime I think there's nothing new to come up with, a new mod, a new NAM iteration, or a new building shows up and blows my mind again. I simply love it. - Yonk
  14. When my cities reach around 50,000, people will still move in, but it takes a REALLY LONG TIME. I have to let it run for half an hour (as much as 10 game years) before the residential zones that have been sitting empty suddenly get filled, ALL AT ONCE. I think it has something to do with my computer being slow and the simulator taking a long time to analyze every single tile in the city to check and see if anything needs developing. I'm testing to see if lowering the graphics' settings will make this go faster, because it's difficult to wait that long, especially because after a half hour of continuous running, crashes becomes much more likely. Anyway, OP, perhaps it's not a population cap, but just because you haven't waited long enough yet? Try it out and maybe it will work for you. - Yonk
  15. Operating Systems Poll

    It's Windows Vista, for me, too. I feel so pathetic and sad with my three-years-old computer chugging along like a sad little single-prop aircraft while everyone else on here has Learjets... - Yonk