EasyBits Go … Away!

Perhaps it hasn’t troubled you, but one day a software called EasyBits Go installed itself on my computer. “Ding ding ding” – malware alarm!

Turns out it’s a gaming plug-in for Skype (as in an extension for Skype). Lucky me, otherwise a full reinstall would be in order.

I did uninstall it, although I don’t know if that worked. I’ve read posts saying the uninstaller had issues, leaving the software in some kind of limbo-state (unaccessible but not uninstalled). According to the same post, it was installed by a patch error.

Good to know. I’ll be locking down my computer soon, making sure not to accept any UAC requests in the future! Bloody bugs…

Weird game: Sanctum

I’m a real sucker for tower-defense games, although I’ve only played them as Warcraft III maps or flash games (except Plants vs Zombies). Sanctum takes it all to the next level using modern 3D-graphics together with a touch of FPS-shooting.

Shooting down hordes of units are fun fun fun and it’s the reason why Killing Floor and Left 4 Dead are such great games! Here you have the ability to maul them down one by one with your SMG! Now it might be a better idea to combine this with the use of mazing and regular (shooting) towers… but the call is yours!

Sanctum is such a great – and weird – game because of its unique twist to the Tower Defense-genre. This game is wild, so I’m happily looking forward to new mixups! What about Monopoly and Call of Duty? Would be brilliant!

Terraria Walkthrough

Terraria is a great game, but sometimes it can be a bit tricky knowing what to do. In this Terraria Walkthrough I’ll guide you through the game one step at a time. If you have any questions after the walkthrough, just drop a comment!

1. The early days…

You should totally check out my youtube video for this, but I’ll walk you through this moment of Terraria in text as well. You spawn in the center of the map, which is your “world”. The size will vary depending on what size you chose at map generation, but in any case, you are in the middle.

The first thing you should do is collect wood. Punch some trees (hehe, Minecraft joke)! Wood is the basic resource and it’s needed throughout the game, so make sure you get lots of it. In contrast to Minecraft (Terraria has been said to be a 2D-Minecraft, which is only half-true) mobs will come at you right away, trying to hinder you from chopping down those sweet trees. Do not fear, however, you should avoid getting hurt by facing the mob while chopping. It’ll walk into your axe and get knocked back, keeping you safe.

Next up – shelter. In order for a structure to be considered a home it needs a few things, 4 things actually: foreground walls floor and roof, background walls, light and a door. If you want an NPC to consider it a house, you will also need a table and a chair.

2. Heads up, Combat time!

The first thing you should learn is how to pay attention. Slime jump two short jumps and one long jump – it’s a pattern. Make sure to keep that in mind while venturing into the unexplored. At night, it might come in handy knowing how the flying eyes navigate. Or how the zombies tend to come straight for you.

Combat is the never-ending heart of Terraria. There will always be an enemy close nearby, and you will need to reserve 2-4 slots for weapons. Knowing how to fight is golden, so heads up!

3. Map Layout

Your spawnpoint will be located in the middle. In one end there will be a house with an old man (do not talk to him, he will turn into skeletron and whoop your butt), and in the other end there will be nothing (except somewhere there will be an underground jungle here).

The first level is ground-level, logically enough. Here you will encounter daemon eyes, zombies, slimes and a few other mobs. There’s floating islands in the sky, if you didn’t know.

The second level is the dirt-level. Basically everything below ground that has a brownish background is dirt-layer. Mobs include slimes, worms and whatever might drop down through the tunnels.

The third level is called the stone-layer, with good reason. It’s defined by a grayish background and a lot of stone will be found here. Skeletons will be found here (or they will find you!), as well as mother slimes, slimes, worms and whatever that have followed you down there.

The fourth level is not one you mess around with, nor is it what you might expect – it’s the underworld. Here huge bone serpents will try to impale you while fire-shooting and teleport-able imps hurls fireballs towards you. Strap yourself in, a knockback might push you into a lake of lava.

4. Items and crafting

There are multiple resources in Terraria, and most of them make what I choose to call Gear. Gear can be divided into different tiers, wood being the basic one. Copper is better than wood, and metal is better than copper. Then we got silver, gold, demonite, meteroite, hellstone. Bone and cobalt should be in that list somewhere as well.

By gear I refer to a full set of armor together with a pickaxe, axe, hammer and sword. Except making gear, minerals and resources can also be used in combination with others in order to craft special items such as candles, storage boxes, depth meters and watches.

Basic crafting does not require anything special, but more advanced crafting needs a workbench. Iron anvil and a furnace will also be needed for some items. An alchemy station (placed bottle) is required in order to make potions. Table is needed in order to make a watch. Hellforge (can be used down in the underworld or brought back up by destroying and picking it up) is needed to construct hellstone bars.

5. NPC’s and economics

When the world meets certain criteria, an NPC will arrive and move into a player-built house – this is the reason why building is so important. The most basic NPC is the merchant, which will arrive when a player has 50 or more silver. Other NPC’s include Dryad (slay boss), Demolition Expert (acquire a bomb), Arms Dealer (acquire a firearm) and Medic (have enough expanded health).

One item you want to purchase from the merchant is the mining helmet. It allows you to mine freely and not worry about light. If this is not your first world, then you might want to get the piggy bank first. The piggy bank is like the stash in Diablo 2 – it’s a storage box that remains the same for a character between worlds. Additional features include awesome appearance and theft-protection.

Gold farming is easy since the last patch (hold right click to mass-craft). You will get plenty of cash by making bottles because sand is easy to mine. Torches (wood+gel) yields more cash per unit, so if you plenty of it, put it to good use! Another (and better) option is to sell silk, which can be crafted from ten cobwebs. You need cobweb for bone gear and for making a bed out of silk, but if you already have a bed you can make the rest into silk and sell it to the vendor.

Try not to buy things from the NPC’s, save your cash for later (minishark gun for example!).

6. Artifacts

Oh, how we love that loot! There’s a ton of loot in Terraria, so if I’m going to help you out.. I have to tell you about the artifacts and drops. Now, good gear can be crafted, but awesome gear and accessories can only be found. We have a few basic drops, such as the Zombie’s shackle (+1 defense), but they can’t be considered artifacts.

Some semi-good drops can be acquired from monsters, such as the Ball ‘o hurt (ranged weapon), but the best gear is only found in storage boxes. When venturing underground, make sure to look for those boxes! Most of the time you will find standard consumables (torches, potions, arrows), but sometimes you will find good loot. Artifacts such as Cloud in a Bottle (allows double jump) and Hermes Boots (faster movement speed) are highly valued in early- and mid-game.

End-game you should look for the Cobalt Shield, which removes any knockback caused by damage. You should also get some obsidian and craft (yep, this one is craftable) an obsidian skull, since it makes you immune to fire damage from blocks (= can easily mine meteroite).

7. Bosses

Alright, we’re almost done with the Terraria Walkthrough! So, what about those bosses? There are three bosses at the moment: Skeletron, Eater of Worlds and the bigass eye, which name I have forgotten.

The first one can be found at the edge of the map, as mentioned before. Talk to the old man at night and you will (hopefully) prevail and can enter the dungeon safely. The worm and the eye must be summoned by either slaying a shadow orb or creating an item that on consumption will summon it.

To craft the “bait” or summon-item you will need to find a daemon altar, which can usually be found at the bottom of those deep holes in the corrupted zone. They can sometimes be found outside or near a corrupted zone, but your best bet is to jump down that hole and look for one there. Use a grappling hook to get up if you didn’t hit jackpot. Do not hit the altars with a hammer – they will remove half of your current HP.

To summon the eye, you need 10 lenses, which are dropped by the small annoying eyes. Go farm! The worm needs some rotten meat (go slay some eater of souls!) and some vile powder (mushrooms found in a corrupted zone crafts this, use an alchemy station). The eye can only be summoned at night, and the worm can only be summoned within a corrupted zone.

8. Additional hints

Some additional stuff for this Terraria Walkthrough… uhm. Shadow orbs are found at the bottom of corrupted holes, you need a demonite pickaxe or better to mine the stone down there. Smash the orb with a hammer, and be prepared to see what happens. They’ll drop good stuff, they can trigger a meteor (=meteroite to make gear out of)… but they can also summon a boss – so be prepared.

Hellstone is found in the underworld, which is far far far down. Make a tunnel going straight down if you need to farm it – it’s worth the construction time. Me and my good friend Daniel made a tunnel and we saved a ton of time in the end! You should of course not make it all the way down, no, stop at the end of the stone layer to make sure imps won’t spawn where you drop down. Your tunnel can be used to move large amounts of water down underground, and you can lead it to a lava source in order to make obsidian.

9. Contribute

Do you have anything to contribute? I bet you have an opinion of your own regarding the game and how things should be done – why not share it? Same goes for any questions you might have!
Thanks for reading!

DNS Change

I’ll write this post later on, just gotta make sure I write this on the correct site.

Okay, there we go. I’m sorry about the not-writing-new-stuff thing, and I’m sorry about the possible loss of comments during this DNS transfer.

Basically the DNS (oscarhjelm.com) translates into an IP-adress which a computer uses to load the website. Now, this usually works fine, but when you change your DNS records there will be some confusion. The slowest part is where your ISP updates their DNS cache(s), because if they don’t you’d still see my old blog right now.

I had some troubles telling this site from my old one, since they both look exactly alike. Almost. The landing page doesn’t have headlines from my blag, because there was no blag here when I set that up. It’s was the only difference.

Anyway – everything should be in order now. I have some back-end stuff to do, but it should work as-is.

Planned Downtime

Edit: So it has been a week since this was posted, and it’s such a shame I’m keeping the blog idle for now. If this is your first time reading my blog, stay tuned for a ton of awesome posts! Regular readers – I’m sorry for not writing. I’m changing host, and almost everything is set.. except the DNS transfer. It’s said to occur tomorrow.

Because of various reasons I’m changing service provider, and therefore some downtime will be expected. It’s unclear when this downtime will occur and how long it would be (One.com could not give me an answer).

Happy browsin’!

Edit: Yeah, almost forgot to mention, you have no idea how much work has to be done in order to move a website! I need to set up a new blog and migrate content. You probably won’t notice, though. Cheers!

Why you should get a Virtual Machine

My Virtual Box showing FileZilla Server


Your PC is a multimedia temple – and it should be treated as such. You should never put anything in your computer, that you wouldn’t put in a temple (sorry, internet trolls!). Lolcats should be fine, though.

Why?

Because the more you put in there, the crappier your religion computer become! I know this, because I frequently download everything I come across. Hell – hands down – I’m a digital hoarder. But why shouldn’t I be? Oh.. right.. my computer slows down to a crawl. Right.

I’m not alone, though. There are a lot of people who download (and install) tons of crapware. Some crapware can be OK, like iTunes (if you have an iDevice), but is that cool [INSERT SOFTWARE NAME] really worth it? Is it really necessary?

Solution: the Virtual Machine

I’ve used virtual machines for a long time now and I love them. The purpose of a virtual machine is.. d’oh.. to be a virtual machine. It kinda emulates a computer, inside your computer (inception computer?), so you don’t have to dual boot or have two computers in order to use two operating systems. If you want to learn Linux the safe way, this is the way to go.

Recently (as in two weeks ago) I installed Windows XP in a Virtual Box because I wanted to try out Hello Kitty Online (it sounds more awesome than it is, not worth the download :C ). If you have an old windows disc (and license) lying around, why not put it to good use?

How To install a Virtual Machine

This differs from user to user, but the easiest way is to download Virtual Box (which is free) and follow the instructions. You get what you pay for I guess, although Virtual Box works just fine for us mortals. Those sysadmins might need something fancier, though.

You will see a lot of options, but go for the default ones unless you know what you are doing. As for resources, I limited the usage to one core (I have four) and 2 Gb of RAM (I have 8 Gb). Windows XP, as mentioned, is my OS and it will work just fine with this limits as long as it’s not forced to run video editing or similar tasks. It’s not meant to be a standalone system, just a virtual sandbox for my hoarding needs and devilishly experiments.

What I Love About It

I don’t have to clutter my primary Windows 7 system with small and annoying one-purpose apps and trial versions. I have a disposable system that can do whatever I want, and it won’t slow down or hurt anything outside.

Viruses and spyware are bad, but how could they harm you if they’re locked inside a virtual machine? Please note that Virtual Box can share your clipboard with the guest system, so disable that to be 100% secure. If you regularly browse the web and tend to try out new software, then you probably have come across a software that you want to test… but it might be bundled with spyware. Problem solved – Virtual Machine saves the day!

Your Virtual Machines

I’m using Windows XP for legacy reasons and to try new software out. I also have an installation of Ubuntu Desktop, with GUI. I had, as in got bored of, a Windows 3.11 installation. You should definitely check out the guy who used a Virtual Machine to upgrade from Windows 1 to Windows 7!

What guest operating systems do you have virtualized?

Good TV-series to watch

TV – oh the great invention! Not that I watch any TV at all, no, I watch everything on my computer, but a great invention nevertheless. I wonder why it’s called TV-series instead of only series… but that’s not important. The important thing is what I watch!

I’m currently watching/following

Community, Fringe, The Big Bang Theory, Family Guy, American Dad, Stargate Universe, The Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother and South Park.

How do you watch your favorite TV-series?

We all have different habits, don’t we? Me – I watch everything online, that’s why I really appreciate services such as southparkstudios.com! What differs TV+commercials from Internet+commercials?

So, yes, I’m lazy. I don’t want the TV and it’s timetable locking me and my schedule down. Man was meant to watch what he wanted, when he wanted! Using TV is impossible (not only because of the on-demand awesomeness of the internet) because Sweden is 1-5 weeks behind! Why would I want to wait?

What series are you watching?

Investeringen

Bild från clanlife på Flickr

För inte så hemskt länge sedan var resurserna för många knappa. Det ansågs vara gott att ha det man behövde – men vad behövde man? Mat, kläder, värme, tak över huvudet? Då var det en bragd, men vad är det idag? Anses man vara framgångsrik om man har ett hem och resurser nog att försörja sig?

Nej. Inte bara anses man vara underklass, utan … det läste du nog i förra punkten … man anses även vara sämre.

Investeringen

Idag behöver vi mer än någonsin för att anses vara normala. Kläder (flera uppsättningar), tak över huvudet, möbler, datorer, mobiltelefoner och ett konto på Facebook. Visserligen är kostnaden lägre per föremål idag än vad det var tidigare, men hur är det med totalkostnaden? Den är högre. Det krävs mer.

Jag tror knappast att jag är ensam om att ha lagt märke till detta, tror mig ha hört detta diskuteras i media tidigare. Då rörde det hur vissa barn kan bli uteslutna och bortstötta för att de saknar tillgångar som andra barn har. Jag förstår problematiken… för hur lamt är det inte att hänga hemma hos någon utan ett Nintendo 64? Det är ett fenomen om intresserar mig, och jag försöker förstå mig på hur man kan komma över det.

I grunden bygger det på att ett funktionellt liv, ett liv som kan anses vara normalt, kräver en enorm investering. Det räcker inte att ha kläder på sig och mat i magen, utan en person måste äga en mängd med prylar och ha en del tillgångar. Det har förstås alltid varit så, men idag är det mer som krävs. Kostade det inte mindre innan mobiltelefonen och datorn kom?

Vad som görs idag

Så vitt jag vet görs inget i Sverige för att hjälpa människor att kunna fungera i samhället genom att ge dem de redskap de behöver. De anses leva i fattigdom (vilket de oftast gör också) och kan få diverse bidrag – men ingen utrustning. Är det bara jag som inte förstår hur man kan ge pengar för att en individ ska kunna klara sig… istället för att ge den vad den behöver? Vore det inte bättre att ge ut gamla Nokiatelefoner till vederbörande istället?

Nåväl, staten (och därmed folket) har insett att människor har olika tillgångar, och för att alla ska kunna fungera tillsammans måste man erbjuda gratis tillgång till vissa redskap och tjänster. Ett exempel är bibliotek, där böcker kan lånas ut gratis till dem som inte har råd att köpa dem. Således är bibliotek även en utmärkt plats att gratis tillgängliggöra både datorer och internet. Det är kostnadseffektivt och räcker långt, men anses en som använder dessa tjänster vara normal? Kan jag använda biblioteken som enda källa till internet och inte bedömas vara fattig?

Hmmm…

Svårt koncept att greppa, kanske. Personligen har det inte varit ett problem för mig då jag har allt jag behöver, men det är klart att jag givetvis vill ha mer – en nyare version av iPhone eller det där andra grafikkortet. Det är synd om människor som hamnar utanför för att de saknar tillgång till de nya kommunikationssätten. Tur att internet fortfarande är en fri plattform för information, det är en knuff på vägen i rätt riktning!

Enda erfarenheten jag kan förnimma mig om är nu när jag betalade in en hyra och deposition till mitt framtida studentboende. Vad hade jag tagit mig till om jag inte kunde hosta upp sju tusen, bara sådär? Mina föräldrar hade antagligen kunna hjälpa mig, men om det heller inte gick? SMS-lån? Bah!

Slutsats

Man borde kunna få tillgång till superbilliga basenheter för datorer och mobiltelefoner, såväl som andra redskap som idag är nödvändiga.