BN updated with 2011 calendar pics

I have been having a real dearth of time. The last few months have been really hectic after tenCube got acquired by McAfee and I joined McAfee. There is just too much to do and time is running short.

So, after a long gap, the BN website has been now upaded with the 2011 calendar in soft copy. The pics have all been taken by members of the group and the design was done by Chaitanya, another BN member. We have amazing talent within the group.

Last year, I had been editing each pic and uploading. But this year since CV had done all the work, I only had to resize and put it up on the site. So, I wrote a small python script for resizing the huge original pics into web manageable ones. The
script reads all the images in the directory and resizes in 3 different sizes. Following is the python code - and its amazing how small a piece of code this is.

from PIL import Image
import os, glob

#adjust width and height to your needs
thumb = 200,150
small = 800,600
normal= 1600,1200

for infile in glob.glob("*.jpg"):
    file, ext = os.path.splitext(infile)
    im = Image.open(infile)
    im.thumbnail(normal,Image.ANTIALIAS)
    im.save(file + "_normal.jpg","JPEG")
    im.thumbnail(small,Image.ANTIALIAS)
    im.save(file + "_small.jpg","JPEG")
    im.thumbnail(thumb,Image.ANTIALIAS)
    im.save(file + "_thumb.jpg","JPEG")
Neat eh ?

RIFT - First Impressions

Started playing RIFT yesterday - I got totally bored with WoW and anyways it was too demanding a game at end game. I just was not able to find the time required to raid.

So, after a lot of thought, I signed up for RIFT.

Initial thoughts on the game : Its a game which could have been great. Comparison's with WoW are of course going to happen.

A lot of people would have told you that its a polished game. I will differ. Its got more 'realistic' graphics than WoW. However, a lot of things that we think about when we think of WoW are missing.

Some things which I think should have been taken care by the devs are :
  • All races of a faction start at the same place. I find this a put off. If you have 3 races per side,they should start of in different starting areas. 
  • All the races look the same, with hardly a difference in how they look unless you are a dwarf. Sure there are hundreds of customizations on how you look, but once you start playing in the 3rd person perspective, they all don't matter. Contrast this with WoW where the orcs look totally different than the taureans than the undead.
  • An element of fun is missing. All the quests, the feel etc is so serious. It gets boring. 
The good and the bad of the game has to be the soul system. Essentially what it means is that you have 3 talent trees, and you can choose which 3 trees to use out of 8 available. This is pretty cool as it allows for a lot of customizations. However, since this is thrown at you pretty early pretty fast, you end up confused. As you get each new tree, you get 2 new spells with each. The spells in the different trees overlap many times, and this is lame.

I initially started out with a Warrior class - as I was looking at end game kind of content, but got bored.

Rerolled as a mage - who got the souls of a Warlock , a Necromancer and a Chloromancer. So far, this is feeling  much better as to what I like playing.

More updates at the end of the month of playtime.