Tag Archives: portal

New Housemate

My Weighted Companion Cube moved in last week. After showing it around town we took some photos together. Here, it’s debating whether or not to go sledding in the last snowfall of the year (fingers crossed!).

Weighted Companion Cube playing in the snow.

Sadly, in the end, it chickened out. We went to my office for a bit, and it decided to read while I was getting my work done. It seems to have a huge interest in momentum, heat, and mass transfer. For some reason, it keeps asking me about conservation of momentum.

Weighted Companion Cube, reading Welty, Wicks, and Wilson.

I tried to explain the Cauchy momentum equation, but it’s been sooo long since I thought about that stuff. We did have a productive convo about the most efficient way to cool high-powered Disk Operating Systems running Genetic algorithms.

Later, I caught Weighted Companion Cube playing Portal.

My Weighted Companion Cube, euthanizing itself.

I think it’s about to euthanize itself. This is so meta.


Posted by on April 1, 2008 in Entertainment, Photos


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The First-Slice is Always Free

Weirleader recently made a comment on my Portal post explaining that since Portal is more of a puzzle game, I should be able to take my time and think through it, and therefore avoid vertigo and motion sickness. Then, last night Basher emailed me about an nVidia promotion allowing those of us with nVidia video adapters to download the extended Portal demo, a.k.a. “First Slice”, for free. It seemed as though all signs were pointing to yes, so grabbed the demo and played the first 10 chapters of Portal. Having watched so much of the game play already, I picked it up pretty fast, and my end-game vertigo wasn’t that bad after all.

Before I went to sleep, I told Tangy that if Team Fortress can be played across platforms (e.g. XBOX vs. PC), that I’d pick The Orange Box up. Does anyone know whether this is possible?


Posted by on January 14, 2008 in Entertainment


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Now You’re Thinking with Portals

The Cake Is a LieWhen I first heard of Portal, it was through a single line reference to the game in an email someone sent to a group list, a sort of inside joke that instantly piqued my interest – “The cake is a lie.” I spent some time trying to figure out what this meant, and soon found the ending video for the game. 

After that I became a bit obsessed with the game.  I downloaded Portal wallpapers, I played through the entire platform-style flash game, I watched video walk throughs of every level of the actual game (with many encore performances of the final level), and I listened to the ending theme song “Still Alive” about forty-thousand times.  It got to the point where I’d walk around town and think about how much faster I could get around with portals, and what the most efficient routes would be.

Some have asked me why I don’t just buy The Orange Box and experience all that is Portal first hand.  The simple answer is that a multi-dimensional, fast-paced, FPS would probably not sit well with my vertigo.  I guess I’ve also sort of technically spoiled it by watching everything online.  In any case, it’s one of the most interesting games I’ve seen (though not played) in a while, and it’s nice to know that other reputable sources agree.


Posted by on December 31, 2007 in Entertainment


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