Warcraft Mods that Rock!

After a short break I’m going to get back into WoW, and after all the patches; some of my mods needed to be replaced and updated. This made me think about what mods do I use every day, and which ones are vanity or just junky.

My final criteria was: Which mods should be in the default interface shipped with the game?

Here is my list:

CharBar – Add chat channel buttons to the rant area.

a Frame mod – of some sort. X-Perl is the one I’m using now, and having the capacity to change the look is excellent.

a Positioning mod - Bongos is my favoutite now, but any move it mod is a must have.

a Info bar mod - such as FuBar. Titan is another option, and I recently moved from Titan to FuBar due to the Ace support and a better selection of mods.

Atlas – They could charge for Atlas and I’d almost pay.

Ace and Ace2 – The best supported set of mod libraries. Even has an auto-updater for any mod written properly in it, so you don’t have to manually do all the checking and updating. Gold!

Banzai Alert! – tells you when you’ve got aggro. Most of my toons are in trouble when they get aggro, so a red flashing border is very useful. Makes it hard to ignore, and will train me not to do it.

ps. You can Google these, as giving out URLs will often result in all sorts of out of date stuff in the mod community.

The Harsh Cry of the Heron: The Last Tale of the Otori by Lian Hearn (quick review)

The Harsh Cry of the Heron is the book that I have looked forward to since finishing the first three books in the series. Reading them back to back would have been wonderful, but waiting for this release did not allow me to to recall and enjoy the detail in the first story.

In the three book build-up we learn the outcomes of Takeo’s fate. His family life brewing turmoil, his country at the brink of war, and his secrets returning to affect all those he loves – Takeo resolve is truly tested in this story.

This book takes a really long time to get to a good ending. I’m not being critical, the story is paced so that you really understand what issues the characters are feeling. The in between time is spend exploring what the peripheral characters are doing, which allows the reader to try and guess the ending.

For: The author has an outstanding skill of weaving a cohesive story.
Against: Its book 4 of 4, so don’t grab it alone. You need to read the other books to get some of the references.
Score: 8.5/10, but the series is almost perfect.

If you like strong female characters (such as in Daughter of the Empire) then this will be an excellent find.

Links:
-Amazon Link
-Lian Hern.com
Tales of the Otori Website

The Revenge of Gaia (quick review)

James Lovelock’s book on the steady decimation of the Earth, and the simultaneous ending of human culture is highly engaging; and shocking. Lovelock tells presents the background and societal drivers for the changes in our climate, and never hides the fact that he thinks we are already too late to save most of our civilisation.

This is a thought provoking discussion, and will disappoint readers who are looking for a casual and light style. It is also not a novel – you will need to be ready to read about scientific concepts to engage with this book.

For: A great reality check for issues around global environments, and while its not a neutral perspective (no apologies); it is passionate and direct. What if he’s right?
Against: Lovelock’s opinion of our situation is dire, and this is depressing. Not for those who don’t like science-ish books.
Overall: 9/10

Anyone who would like to know more about the effect of global warming and our apathy around the issue should read this book.
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A neutral perspective on CMS myths and selection.

Early last year the CMS market really started to get competitive (as if it wasn’t already spread enough).

In Australia that meant international companies sending sales and technology staff across the pond to talk directly to Aussie businesses, and make real connections; meaning local sales.

Toby Ward’s Blog had a summary and a few key points to make about CMS, and its a great little list of “traps for young players”.

However my take on the Ziff Davis source article, and Toby’s comments will hopefully (A) grant a perspective inside the CMS industry, and (B) more meat into the sandwich around these points.

Grain-of-Salt-Disclaimer: I work for a company that produces a CMS, so my comments come from practical experience. They also should not be viewed in isolation. Take it as read that I like our company and products, and will continue to work in application development no matter what happens in the future.
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Getting perspective

This week is about thinking, getting organised, and defining what is to come.

About once a year I used to sit back and look at whats happened, and what the next few steps will be. Its a de-brief and chill moment, and it usually happens around the end of year holiday break.

Not this December though, due to the huge amount of stuff going on, and all the traveling and entertainment that I happily distracted myself with.

So I feel refreshed? Yes. Got perspective? Not yet.

So my plan is…..

Goals
– Get to terms with which activities I’ll spend my out-of-hours on.
– Plan a set day each week for free form writing. Just a time to write whatever comes into my head, even if its useless. I used to do this years ago and had some great discoveries and ideas from it.
– Listen to more Podcasts and news in travel times.

Podcasts
Venture Voice Podcast #43, with a Fred Selbert interview is excellent. Anyone who is in media, internet, business start-up, or corporate machines should listen to this podcast. Its a real perspective on what his philosophy of life is, and how that mixes into his governance of businesses. direct mp3 link.

– Anything WoW related that is professionally delivered. Avoid all junk sites and junk casts. The Instance is a good example of a podcast doing it well.

Side note
This made me laugh: Useless Account and thats important too.