Posts Tagged 'Cake'

July 18, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake

I've been reducing my calorie intake, as I'm a bit overweight. However, lately I've noticed that my weight, which has been trending downward, has taken a bit of a stall. I've been trying to figure out why. And I think I have.

Movies.

I love movie theater popcorn. And there have been so many good movies lately! I've enjoyed Get Smart, I loved Speed Racer, smiled at Hancock, and have seen Wall-E three times!

And each time I buy a bag of popcorn.

That racks up to a lot of popcorn this summer season.

See, Hollywood complained for years that people just aren't watching movies. Maybe the movie industry is dying? Violent videogames are taking away the marketshare! Or maybe people just don't appreciate ART anymore.

Then a giant alien fleet landed and replaced everyone in Hollywood with doubles. But the doubles weren't perfect, see, because these doubles have done something that no Hollywood executive has thought to do for years.

THEY'RE MAKING MOVIES PEOPLE WANT TO SEE!

It's like suddenly somebody realized; hey, people have to WANT to see Hancock before they go see it! People want well made movies with plot and character development! People want more than just whizbang special effects and cheap jokes! And they started making it! And they started making tons of money again.

Same thing SoftLayer does, you see. We built a network which CUSTOMERS want, even though it's a bit more difficult to make. We buy servers that CUSTOMERS want, instead of cheaper servers that we can buy in bulk. We've bundled the kind of bandwidth providers that CUSTOMERS want, instead of buying cheap bandwidth so we can have big bandwidth numbers. We built a world class control panel, and then added an API for people who want even more control.

And guess what? Customers are buying our stuff.

Huh. Who knew.

I wonder if we have any popcorn in the break room.

-Zoey

Categories: 
February 28, 2008

Companion Cube

For the gaming/programmer community, Portal is THE GAME. Seemingly from nowhere, this game burst upon the scene and took the nerd world by storm. Excellent storyline, snappy dialog, challenging puzzles, and an awesome space-warping gun combine to create an incredibly memorable game.

Nearly overnight, the hacker lexicon got some new words and phrases. This guide will help you make sense of most hacker conversations you may hear that refer to Portal.

The Cake is a Lie

The artificially intelligent computer that runs the series of puzzles (known as the Aperture Science Computer Aided Enrichment Center) goads your character along by stating that "cake" will be served to you if you survive all the tests. However, graffiti on the walls of the center proclaim otherwise... stating that the cake being promised is a great, big lie.

Hackers generally use this phrase either as an icebreaker or as a description of a situation where somebody is motivated to do a difficult task for a promised but unverified reward.

I'm making a note here: Huge Success!

At the end of the game, the computer gives you your final review. At the beginning of the review, it says "This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: Huge Success!"

Like Trekkies shouting "Qua'pla!" (Klingon for "Success!"), programmers are now known to say that they are "making a note here: Huge Success!"

The Companion Cube

The Companion Cube is an inert storage cube imbued with a personality by the game programmers to trick game players into carrying this cube throughout a puzzle, but then requiring them to destroy it at the end. They did such a good job, however, that game players have become attached to this "Companion Cube," going so far as to build little paper models or buy plushies of this "character." Generally, you'll hear a hacker talk about how they would never let go of their companion cube, or something along those lines.

Aperture Science Thing We Don't Know What It Does

Programmers find long multi-word names for products to be humorous. The game developers played on this concept:

  • It's not the lab. It's the Aperture Science Computer Aided Enrichment Center.
  • It's not a storage box. It's an Aperture Science Weighted Storage Cube.
  • It's not a button. It's an Aperture Science 1500 Megawatt Superconducing Super Button.

The joke is to take, say, a mouse, and turn it into an "Aperture Science Rotational Axis 2 Dimensional Vector Detecting Peripheral".

Now You're Thinking in Portals

With this guide handy, you can start to understand the conversations of your Portal crazed coworkers. You will no longer be confused when a coworker bursts out laughing when holding a slice of cake. You won't wonder why he has a background with little hearts all over it, displaying a strange box. You can now safely laugh at any name longer than 4 words, knowing that it's most likely a joke. This won't help with any of the other strange things developers say, but at least their conversations should be a little more transparent now.

For more information, check Wikipedia, or better yet, Watch the trailer and play the game.

-Zoey

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