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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").



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   the way I play Grand Theft Auto
Thursday, April 11 2013
I did some web development work, which the cold, rainy weather seemed to encourage. But, as always, I found it easier to procrastinate. After some experimentation, I finally had Lemur, my Athlon64-based computer, working reliably. For some reason I couldn't get my most powerful AGP card (a Radeon 9800 Rage Pro 128M) working perfectly on it; I'd replaced its loud fan with a much bigger one that I'd bolted to it, but in this configuration it was now completely unable to run anything (like games) that took advantage of its many fancy video-processing cores. So I'd had to fall back on my next best AGP video card, an Asus V9520/128M, which for most operations runs at a third of the fancier card's speed. Still, even with this crappier card, it makes for better game play than is possible on a PlayStation 2. I'd had a PlayStation 2 for awhile (given to me by the same guy who'd sent me the Radeon 9800 Rage Pro 128M card) and I'd enjoyed playing Grand Theft Auto San Andreas on it until its failing DVD drive eventually died completely. Now, with Lemur working better than the old PS2 ever had, and with me playing a bunch of GTA-SA to "test" it, I'd managed to discover the parts of the game I'd found most entertaining. It's important to bear in mind that I'm not goal-oriented enough to play GTA-SA the way it's intended to be played. Instead of patiently running the various missions, I've preferred to interact with and explore its world, usually starting from someone else's saved game so I'll have all the weaponry and strength I'll need to be able to get where I want to go. I'd been playing an "End of the Line" game with the Carl (the protagonist) as a charismatic muscle-bound antihero. But I hadn't had access to any aircraft, which is the best way to rapidly get around the game. That all changed with my rediscovery (on Lemur) of the Verdant Meadow Aircraft Graveyard. There was a helicopter waiting for me to hijack there, which I could fly into the No Fly Zone, thereby raising my wanted level to the point where a helicopter gunship would be foolishly pre-positioned at Verdant Meadow. All I had to do was hijack a tank from the military base in the No Fly Zone, drive it back through mobs of exploding FBI SUVs to Verdant Meadow (easy, given its incredible amounts of armor), and save the game. From then on, I'd always have a helicopter gunship available at Verdant Meadow with which to terrorize the denizens of San Andreas. But today I've actually preferred getting around using a stunt plane, which has very sensitive controls and will explode after suffering only minor damage. Today I flew repeated sortees in a stunt plane from Verdant Meadow to the Los Santos Airport, where I tried many unsuccessful attempts to comandeer a jet. I had trouble getting the jets oriented on the runway for a smooth takeoff, and I kept running into objects, catching fire, and dramatically exploding. [Only later would I learn that the key to orienting the jets correctly on the runway was to have Carl shove them with his bare hands, though there may also be a keyboard sequence to change direction while taxiing.]


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