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If there is one bloated and unnecessary service that you should immediately disable, it’s definitely the Indexing Service built into Windows XP. The idea behind it is that you can search for files more quickly if it is enabled…. but you are using Google Desktop for that, right?
The indexing service seems to eat up a lot of CPU on every machine I’ve used, especially when you have the amount of files that I’ve got. Let’s disable it.
- Navigate to the Services console via Administrative Tools.
- Double-click on the Indexing Service and change the startup type to disabled.
- Hit the stop button if it is started, which is likely, and then hit OK.
Yet another unnecessary service stopped!
This seems to help out with the memory usage quite a bit. Generally, when you minimize a window the memory usage goes way down because that application isn’t active. Unfortunately, Firefox by default doesn’t adhere to this behavior. Here’s how to force it to.
Type the following into your address bar in Firefox:
You will see a window that looks similar to this:
You will want to right click anywhere in the window, choose New, Boolean, and enter in the following text:
To change the value you can either doubleclick, or right-click and choose Toggle. You will have to restart Firefox, but after you do, you should notice the memory usage go way down whenever you have Firefox minimized.
Update: You will want the value to be set to True in order for this to work.
X (\o/) X 510 W Briar X abstract X adornments X alien trance X alien trance ensemble X aliens X AlienTrance X angelfeather X angelfeather adornments X angels X animals X art X Chicago X darklight X darklight studio X demons X download X drugs X earwings X enlightenment X entheogen X erowid X esoteric X Events X feathers X festivals X flowers X Free X free music X free online games X free stuff X freedom X freeware X gematria X god X hairwings X kinesiology X Local X love X lucidfaerie X metaphysical X mind altering X Music X nature X news X omni X Omnifusion X omnifusion interface X omnimage X online games X open source X paranormal X Photo X photography X poetry X politics X programming X Psychedelic X recipes X reviews X science X scripting X sex X sexuality X soundscapes X spirit X spirituality X strange X synchronicity X technology X trippy X tutorials X utilities X web design X weird
The Bard’s Tale (RPG) Series was my first official introduction into the world of computer gaming. They were the best games I can ever remember playing.
List to other related sites :
The Bard’s Tale Compendium – The best of the best Bard’s Tale sites. Has all documents, maps, and info you could want.
The Compendium Community – Yahoo Groups Forum
Bard’s Tale Novels – Listing of soft cover books that were inspired by the game.
Beyond Bard’s Tale –
Icewind Dale – Contraband (Bill ‘Burger’ Heineman)
Baldurs Gate – Contraband (Bill ‘Burger’ Heineman)
NeverWinter Nights – Download DemoGrabbed from The Bard’s Tale Compendium : (Thanks – great site!)
From Bard’s Tale Compendium (Data Mirror) :
The Bard’s Tale series of games were created by Michael Cranford, pictured at left. He has an elegant programmer’s touch. You can’t see it in this picture of him, but you can see it in The Bard’s Tale series. Before launching The Bard’s Tale phenomenon, he had previously programmed the Apple version of the classic Donkey Kong arcade game, the Commodore 64 version of Super Zaxxon — not to mention a Commodore 64 game entitled Maze Master which plays like a “beta” version of The Bard’s Tale.The Bard’s Tale was the fourth game created by Interplay Productions, and it was distributed by Electronic Arts. As “Burger” Bill Heineman explains,
“Brian Fargo was the main guy, he and Jay Patel, Troy Worrell and myself were the first 4 people who were Interplay… In 1984, Mike Cranford suggested that Interplay Productions should do a fantasy role playing game (Wizardry was hot at the time). However the game’s name was ‘Tales of the Unknown’… Mike never ‘worked’ for Interplay. He was an independent contractor. he was able to do this since he was an old high school buddy of Brian Fargo. Cranford worked in an office at Interplay up until the completion of Bard’s Tale I. He did Bard’s Tale II from his home.”
Many fans of the Bard’s Tale series don’t realize that its creator has a very strong Christian faith which is even evident in the games-for example, there are direct references to Jesus and His crucifixion in The Bard’s Tale, and all but one of the city names from the second game are taken directly out of the New Testament of the Bible. (In fact, the power of the Destiny Knight in The Bard’s Tale II is clearly stated to actually be that of the Holy Spirit.) When I asked Michael why he was not directly involved in The Bard’s Tale III, he told me that,
“The reason I wasn’t involved in BTIII is complicated. Part of it was that I wanted to leave Interplay so that I could go back to school. I was pretty burnt out on D&D game programming . . . and wanted to pursue studies in philosophy and theology. I also thought I didn’t need Interplay at that point, and had a falling out with Brian Fargo. It turned out to be a good decision spiritually, though not financially!”
And he wasn’t kidding-after leaving Interplay, Michael earned a bachelors degree in philosophy from the University of California, a Master of Divinity from Talbot School of Theology, and a Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics from the University of Southern California with a disertation focus on ethics and technology. He has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in ethics and theology, and has publications in several New Testament journals and in scholarly journals of ethics and contemporary postmodern culture.
Michael is also founder and senior designer of the Irvine, California web site design company, Ninth Degree.
Not surprisingly, his very first Internet web design project was a web site for Christian outreach called Sundoulos, “the web’s premier forum for discussions on theology, ethics, and culture.”
I found a humourous WAV file on the Sundoulos web site from a lecture Michael Cranford gave on fasting where he talks briefly about how “Burger” Bill Heineman got his nickname. (Bill is the fellow responsible for Thief of Fate.)
Of course, many other talented folks were involved in the creation of The Bard’s Tale series, and, not surprisingly some of them have gone on to have extremely successful careers. Just to name a few:
* Brian Fargo helped create maps for the first two games, and served as director on the third. He was CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Interplay (Interplay grew to make its IPO in June 1998 and listed assets of more than $65 million in the year 2000, employing over 400 people). In 2002, Brian Fargo left Interplay to start a new company, inXile Entertainment – their first project was a new game entitled, you guessed it, “The Bard’s Tale.” (This new Bard’s Tale is an irreverent console-style top-down action game.)
* Michael A. Stackpole, Todd J. Camasta, Bill HeinemanMichael A. Stackpole (pictured at right) created the basic storyline of the third game, and made maps for it. He has since become a successful author, and recently penned a many novels in the hugely popular Star Wars and BattleTech series.
* Lawrence Holland composed the music and programmed the music interface for the first game. He went on to create the famous Star Wars: X-Wing series of games for LucasArts, and is now running his own game company, Totally Games, formed from the team which created the X-Wing games.
* “Burger” Bill Heineman (pictured at right) filled Michael Cranford’s shoes on the third game, designing and programming it. His new company, Contraband Entertainment, once tabled a proposal for another trilogy of Bard’s Tale games.
* Dave Warhol composed the music for the second game. He founded Realtime Associates in 1986, which created console games for platforms like the Nintendo N64, Sony Playstation, and Sega Saturn.
* Feargus Urquhart, a play tester for The Bard’s Tale Construction Set, went on to found the influential RPG game developers Black Isle Studios in 1998, and Obsidian Entertainment in 2003.
The Bard’s Tale
and Lead Programmer
Roe Adams III
Package and Manual Copy
Author and Screen Photography
(The Bard’s Tale Construction Set credits can be found on the Construction Set page.)
The Destiny Knight
Game Concept, Design,
and Program Design
Todd J. Camasta
Nancy L. Fong
Jonny C. Kwan
Lagoth Zanta’s Name by
David K. Simerly
Thief of Fate
Michael A. Stackpole
Michael A. Stackpole
Todd J. Camasta
Playtest & Development
Nancy L. Fong
Front Cover Art
Inside Package Art
Zina J. Yee
Acknowledgements from the Bard’s Tale manual
Michael Cranford wishes to acknowledge:
The great illustrator David Lowery, for fantastic monster pictures, city buildings and dungeon walls; my buddy Lawrence Holland, for such great music; the devious Brian Fargo, for the treacherous design of Harkyn’s Castle and Mangar’s worst two levels; Bill Heineman, for data compression routines that allowed me to pack so much graphics and animation; and the following play-testers who helped this program be its very best: Caren Edelstein, Jay Patel, Philip Ybarra, Ayman Adham, Carl Ybarra, Mike Easting.
Acknowledgements from the Thief of Fate manual
I, Bill Heineman, wish to acknowledge that Thief of Fate couldn’t have been done without the help and the long hours of work from many people. Thanks to these people for helping me bring this game to life: Brian Fargo for having the vision to let me begin this project. Michael A. Stackpole for coming up with the basic storyline, the maps and the text found throughout the game. Todd J. Camasta, whose artistic talent knows no bounds. Kurt Heiden who spent many days composing the music that the famous Bards now sing. Bruce Schlickbernd for composing additional text, for the songs sung in the Bard’s Halls, and also for finding all those nasty little bugs that seem to create themselves. Dave Albert, Chris Wilson, James Bailey, and Jennifer King for playing the game until their fingers fell off… These people helped make Thief of Fate into a masterpiece of role- playing fantasy. I hope you will enjoy our work.
The Water Carrier
January 21 to February 19
Friendly and humanitarian
Honest and loyal
Original and inventive
Independent and intellectual
On the dark side….
Intractable and contrary
Perverse and unpredictable
Unemotional and detached
Aquarius About Your Sign…
Aquarians basically possess strong and attractive personalities. They fall into two principle types: one shy, sensitive, gentle and patient; the other exuberant, lively and exhibitionist, sometimes hiding the considerable depths of their character under a cloak of frivolity. Both types are strong willed and forceful in their different ways and have strong convictions, though as they seek truth above all things, they are usually honest enough to change their opinions, however firmly held, if evidence comes to light which persuades them that they have been mistaken. They have a breadth of vision that brings diverse factors into a whole, and can see both sides of an argument without shilly-shallying as to which side to take. Consequently they are unprejudiced and tolerant of other points of view. This is because they can see the validity of the argument, even if they do not accept it themselves. They obey the Quaker exhortation to “Be open to truth, from whatever source it comes,” and are prepared to learn from everyone.
Both types are humane, frank, serious minded, genial, refined, sometimes ethereal, and idealistic, though this last quality is tempered with a sensible practicality. They are quick, active and persevering without being self-assertive, and express themselves with reason, moderation and sometimes, a dry humor.
They are nearly always intelligent, concise, clear and logical. Many are strongly imaginative and psychically intuitive, so that the Age of Aquarius, which is about to begin, is much anticipated by psychic circles as an age in which mankind will experience a great spiritual awakening. The Aquarian philosophical and spiritual bent may be dangerous in that it can drive the subjects into an ivory-tower existence where they meditate on abstractions that bear little relevance to life. On the other hand it can help the many who have scientific leanings to combine these with the Aquarian yearning for the universal recognition of the brotherhood of man, and to embark on scientific research to fulfill their philanthropic ideals of benefiting mankind. When some cause or work of this nature inspires them, they are capable of such devotion to it that they may drive themselves to the point of exhaustion and even risk injuring their health.
Both types need to retire from the world at times and to become temporary loners. They appreciate opportunities for meditation or, if they are religious, of retreats. Even in company they are fiercely independent, refusing to follow the crowd. They dislike interference by others, however helpfully intended, and will accept it only on their own terms. Normally they have good taste in drama, music and art, and are also gifted in the arts, especially drama.
In spite of the often intensely magnetic, forthcoming and open personality of the more extrovert kind of Aquarian, and of their desire to help humanity, neither type makes friends easily. They sometimes appear to condescend to others and take too little trouble to cultivate the acquaintance of people who do not particularly appeal to them.
They do not give themselves easily – perhaps their judgment of human nature is too good for that – and are sometimes accounted cold. But once they decide that someone is worthy of their friendship or love, they can exert an almost hypnotic and irresistible mental attraction on them and will themselves become tenacious friends or lovers, ready to sacrifice everything for their partners and be faithful to them for life. However, they are sometimes disappointed emotionally because their own high personal ideals cause them to demand more of others than is reasonable. And if they are deceived their anger is terrible. If disillusioned, they do not forgive.
Aquarians work best in group projects, provided that they are recognized as having a leading part in them. They have a feeling of unity with nature and a desire for knowledge and truth that makes them admirable scientists, especially astronomers and natural historians. They may excel in photography, radiography, electronics – anything connected with the electrical and radio industries – aviation and everything technical. On the arts and humanities side their progressive tendencies can be expressed in writing, especially poetry, and broadcasting, or as welfare workers and teachers. Some have gifts as entertainers and make good character actors (having an ability to mimic) and musicians. The more psychic among them possess healing gifts, especially in curing the mentally sick.
Among the faults to which they are liable are fanatical eccentricity, wayward egotism, excessive detachment and an inclination to retreat from life and society, and a tendency to be extremely dogmatic in their opinions. Aquarians can be a threat to all they survey or a great boon for humanity in general. Circumstances – for example, continuous opposition to a cause they hold dear – may cause the atrophy of the openness of mind that is one of the Aquarian’s most attractive traits. They may express a lack of integrity in broken promises, secretiveness or cunning. Simmering anger and resentment, rudeness or, worse, a tense, threatening silence which may suddenly burst out in eruptions of extreme temper, these are all part of the negative side of the Aquarian. This can also reveal itself in a sustained hatred for enemies that is capable of enlarging itself into a misanthropy toward the whole of mankind.
Possible Health Concerns...
As Aquarius is said to govern the legs from knees to ankles and the circulation of blood, its natives are susceptible to ailments particularly in the legs and ankles, such as cramps, and are also liable to spasmodic and nervous complaints, as well as wind, catarrh, diarrhea, dropsy, goiter and delirium tremens – so that the avoidance of alcohol is important for those Aquarians who have a taste for it.
- Fighting for Causes
- Dreaming and Planning for the Future
- Thinking of the Past
- Good Companions
- Having Fun
- Full of Air Promises
- Excessive Loneliness
- The Ordinary
PROBLEMS THAT MAY ARISE FOR YOU, AND THEIR SOLUTIONS
As with all sun signs, we all have unique traits to our personalities. When these traits are suppressed, or unrealized, problems will arise. However, with astrology we can examine the problem and assess the proper solution based on the sun sign characteristics. As an Aquarius you may see things below that really strike home. Try the solution, you most likely will be amazed at the results. If you find yourself on the receiving end of the negatives below, it is because you are failing to express the positive.
Problem: Being left all alone while others enjoy the companionship you long for.
Solution: You should practice expressing your humanity by accepting people the way they are and not find too much fault in them.
Problem: You always seem to miss the boat when it comes to love.
Solution: Try letting down the mental guard that you keep on your emotions that stops you from being the self you long to be.
Problem: You always seem to miss out on the better jobs or big promotions at work.
Solution: Learn to use your positive side in teamwork and group effort, the lone wolf approach will get you nowhere.
Problem: You seem to become physically ill more than you should.
Solution: By repressing your emotions you drive the unrest deep inside where it can cost you in terms of health. Express your feelings but do it with tact.
Your ruling planet is URANUS
Mean distance from the Sun(AU) 19.218
Sidereal period of orbit(years) 84.01
Equatorial radius(km) 25559
Polar radius(km) 24973
Body rotation period(hours) 17.24
Tilt of equator to orbit(degrees) 97.92
Number of observed satellites 15
Some more interesting facts about your sign:
The symbol associated with your sign is the water bearer, it is symbolic of the Gods nourishing the earth with life giving energies. One of the first to be called the water bearer was the Greek God Zeus in mythology.
The color of choice for Aquarius is TURQUOISE
The beautiful Turquoise is your starstone.
The name comes from the French “turquoise”, which means “Turkey” as in the original localities in Persia (today Iran). Since before 4000 BC Turquoise has been used and coveted. It can be pure in color or may contain secondary minerals. If the matrix forms a pattern of interlocking polygons it is called “spider-web” turquoise.
RE: STARSTONE CONTROVERSY
There is, and always have been, a controversy over “starstones”. Starstones are NOT birthstones. I give you here in these pages the stones that are called your starstones, (planet stones), which vibrates the strongest to your planet or sign, NOT to the month that you were born. I would also like it if those who think they know precisely what their stone is to go to the library and reference some good Astrology books such as ‘Parkers Astrology’. Sorry for the confusion, but confusion over this topic has raged for hundreds of years.