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Grades.

(And back to normal, sorry everyone, sickness can be a harsh mistress)

Sad but True. Oh, so true...

The so fabled school (or college, in my case) grades. Don’t get me wrong though, getting good grades feels fucking awesome! But you don’t need to stress yourself over and over again because of them.
Below, because I like to share this small portion of wisdom that I –think I– have, some small tips to light up your night life.

  • #3 – Chill the fuck out.

Some people think these are insanely important, and that you can’t succeed in life without good grades. Some of that is true, but only to a degree. As long as you understand the subject you’re studying perfectly, you don’t need excellent grades since, well, we all know that exams can mess up with your head a bit and not all of them are fair. No, really, some are meant for you to fail or get an awful grade.

… And then I remember when I got a 3,4 out of 10 on a 10 question multiple choice exam, each question worth 1 point each, no formulas required seriously what the hell?

Ahem. Moving on. When you’re doing an exam, don’t worry about your grade, as long as you know the subject well and you get something that’ll say you’re an okay student, things’ll turn out for the better! Just eat some chocolate, listen to some music or anything like that, and don’t stress over exams. They’re important in their own way, and shouldn’t affect you. Not in school, not in college.

You really don’t have to be concerned about grades, just about understanding what is it that your teacher is trying to teach you. Yes, even if you think it’s useless information due to the fact that you’ll do a completely abstract course on college and can’t be bothered to remember all these silly naming rules for Organic Chemistry. Trust me, it’s not useless. Which leads me to…

  • #2 – No knowledge is useless.

Let’s say you aim to be a Computer Technician. Or an Architect. Or a Lawyer, even. Why would you want to know about mitosis if you’re going to fix computers of a high level? Why is it that chemical nomenclatures haunt you if all you wanna do is draw marvelous sketches of places yet-to-arise? Or why, oh why you must know Calculus as a lawyer?

It’s not about your profession, it’s mostly about life itself. These kind of knowledges open your mind to other types, and so on. Plus, they always make for good conversation topics, trust me on this one.

Not only that, but they also serve to get you ahead in life in many, many ways. For instance, did you know that most private companies that hire you also base themselves on your overall knowledge other than on where you graduated and so on? Of course that’s also a plus in your resume, but if you have a variety of knowledge, not specifically in your area, it means you’re an interested, self-motivated person who doesn’t settle for less!

  • #1 – Grades don’t control your life.

Yes, good grades usually lead you to better schools and a better college. There are some exceptions, like in here (Brazil), where you don’t really need superb grades to enter a prestigious college. It’s recommended, but you don’t need’em. In fact, you can spend your entire time getting bearable grades and still do well in life. Grades, actually, mean pretty much nothing.

Great, excellent grades are there just so you can get hired and such without much effort, and usually by companies/places who treat those hired like one more number to their work-force. Sure, that’s good if you just want money and a “job” to fill your life with something, but I find that most people who have those need extra amounts of placebos (more on this on the next post) to get through life without swallowing loads of pills.

Also, you probably won’t apply 80% of the things you learn in college at your job, and you probably can get an awesome one right up your alley without that too, so stop worrying too much about life!
But don’t slack off.

That’s pretty much it, I suppose, but above all, never, ever, ever give up. It’s not a number that’ll stop you from achieving what you want, not if you truly want it!
And I mean it.

(I actually kinda own this one image, since I did it today, but what the hell!)

Wondering if there was anything more to be said on the matter,

Arthur Müller.

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Meet the one thing responsible for my constant delays in, well, everything conceivable.

Hey, we should play Sburb together!!

Homestuck is an incredible (yet again, as always: in my opinion) web comic. But then again, it’s not one! Think of it as a web comic with some flash interactions from time to time, like an actual game. Now, add to that that most of said interactions play just like an RPG (or an Action RPG). The story is discussed and, most of the time, even “slightly changed” from users’ discussions, granting it a big level of direct interaction and depth.

Addicting just like chocolate-flavored cocaine, this beauty of a “comic” granted its place in my heart years ago and yet, I started to read it again like crazy due to some new, unpredictable events that just unfolded. But why is it so good? You’ll know in a few, just follow down this post down the green colored brick road!

  • #4 – A good flow is all you need!

This has an amazing flow, and I mean script-wise. Granted, there’s a lot of conversation in it, but at first (namely Act 1) it’s just to get you situated. Plus, if you just wanna know what’s happening, you can skim through the logs and just accompany the actual images. Not that I recommend it, but some logs/memos are ludicrously big for an average reader. I mean, I had no troubles with them (hell, I am reading it all again), but it all depends! You could easily get bored of big texts, which, as I said, isn’t much of a problem. Although you’ll be missing on some character insights, it’s not one hundred percent needed.

Ahem, as I was saying: Flow, yes! Aside the walls and walls of text (again, points-of-view, what’s a wall to you may not be one for me) you’ll find that roughly 90% of the story goes on in an incredible, natural way, which doesn’t happen that often with web comics… And… You may or may not want to kill me once you reach Act 5-1, but I’m willing to take the risk.

Oh look it's the start of---

  • #3 – Originality is my middle name!

So, Homestuck has nearly 32 characters, give or take. I never really stopped to do the math, but thing is, with this much characters, one would think ideas start to run thin with about half of them. Surprisingly, one would be right and wrong about it!

We have four typical kids, their parents/legal guardians/etc., some other characters from somewhere else in “Homestuck’s world/dimension/universe/timeline” and much later on, the trolls (one for each astrological sign, mind you). And, of course, their respective “legal guardians”. All of them are, obviously enough, cliché from some thing/character or another.

At least if you don’t pay attention! Because their singularities and personality nuances change it all in such a way that, indeed, they are strikingly original! In all honesty, there is not one single character in Homestuck that I dislike, since all of them, from the “good” one to the “bad” one, are equally amazing, remarkable in their own, curious way. Plus, you eventually identify yourself with one (or, usually, more than one) of them, even more if you’re into zodiac signs and all those things.

  • # 2 – Mind-shattering discoveries.

You know when you’re reading something but skip an important part, or line even, and when you read/see it again, suddenly a lot of things make sense? Yeah, this is what Homestuck feels like. More often than not, mind you, specially if you’re reading it again (even though it’s, as of now, an on-going project). Things like specific number combinations and such eventually become quite obvious, just like some characters looking exactly like well-known fictional characters from other series! But things about a certain character’s house in the real world can get a tad disturbing. Specially if this character lives on an island near a volcano with a kind of tower nearby.

Cover art for Homestuck's 5th album, "Homestuck Vol. 5"!

  •  # 1 – I’m plotting plot of all these plot plots (though they are cool)!

As the title implies, this is indeed the first reason (in my humble opinion) as to why you should read Homestuck: Plots. To make things simple: Imagine a common world. Make it bigger, add more worlds to that one making so that they connect with each other, even without being remotely (at least physically) close to each other, and now add more worlds surrounding them all. Okay? Good. Seems reasonable enough, right? Thing is, that’s in one universe. In one specific timeline.

Now you’re starting to get just how deep the rabbit hole goes, and lemme tell you, it goes at least around itself thrice, after a bunch of twists, disappearances, teleportations and similar space-temporal distortions.

But why in the name of the everything that’s Holy (or not, if you don’t believe such things), would that be a good thing!? Simple: It makes perfect sense! … OK, at some point it starts not making sense, but then, right afterwards, it does.

So I guess it’s all cool then.

Just one small, fellow reminder/heads-up before this ends: If you ever, in a slim chance of destiny, get a Sburb CD and end up playing with someone (namely, a female friend), please, make sure she’s not the server. And if she is, don’t let her anywhere near your toilet since, as we’ve fondly regarded in Homestuck, it tends to be generally considered as a bad thing.

(I own none of the images/music above)

S1GN1NG OFF,

Arthur Müller.

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(Sorry for the delay, it shall be explained later on this post)

Isn't it beautiful?

Now, I’m not here to talk about love. I’m here to talk about something that incites the exact opposite deep inside your heart, that one thing that makes pretty much all of us boil our bloods in an almost loathsome manner. That one thing that, if not done right, can leave permanent scars in our lives due to loss of important parts of ourselves.

Formatting your computer.

OK, I may have exaggerated a little bit in there, true enough. But still, it’s something that, if not done properly, can leave us all sad with the loss of certain files, documents, images and so on. But that’s how it goes sometimes, and there’s just no escape! What do to, then?

Well, here are a few friendly reminders from someone who just went through that awful, awful thing:

The image describes itself.

  • #1 – You’re a partition of me.

Stop! No!! That's not how you partition an HD!

Partitions. If you know and use this, my friend, you’re completely safe from many harms. Most users, however, choose (or, rather, receive their pre-constructed computer) to install their Operating System (typically, something from the Windows series) together with, well, everything! Let’s say a crucial file becomes corrupted, or a virus manges to make its way past all the (usually, none) barriers you set, like an anti-virus or a firewall, and there’s just no hope for you good System. What to do? Format.

Oh woe is you, if only you partitioned your HD in, at least, an O.S. and an area for all your other files! So, remember this, always partition.

Normally, you can do this from the System’s installation (there are several instructions, it honestly isn’t that hard, just read carefully) or, if you feel like doing it after everything’s installed, use a program like GParted!

  • #2 – I’ve got your back!

This is a backpack, most obviously so.

What everyone forgets, more often than not, is to backup important files. Granted, you can’t (always) backup all of your HD, but you can make room in any USB flash-drive, external HD or even a CD/DVD for your important files, documents and/or pictures you want to save! This is a very, very basic thing that tends to slip from people’s minds, and it really doesn’t hurt to do.

If you want help, even your Operating System (no matter which one) has an option to help you with that, step by step. Or you can use, yet again, a program. Just like BackUpMaker!

  • #3 – Houston, we have a problem.

Gives me the chills to even look at it. Poor, poor CD.

Now, you got your CD, DVD or USB flash-drive ready to install an Operational System again.
And it’s broken.

What to do, give in to despair and run around in circles with your hands up?

Probably.

Or you could just install some other Operational System. “What, like an older Windows version, such as XP?”. Yes, if it works for you. Or something else –and this is just a thought, don’t get scared now– such as, for instance, Fedora. Or Ubuntu. Or even Mint. There are literally dozens of Linux distributions to choose from, and many with their perks and unique features. It’s not a twelve-headed dragon, nor is it your worst nightmare. It’s just something new for most of you, dear readers, and it doesn’t hurt to give it a try, at least in times of desperation!

  • #4 – Keep up with the times!

Always remember to get all of your possible updates for the Operating System, as well as updates for your programs. If possible, make a list of everything you lost (if you haven’t backed things up) so you can get it back as soon as possible, and don’t forget your basic programs (compressed file extractors, document editors, image editors, .torrent downloaders (always a plus), browsers and so on).

That settles it then! In my humble case, all of my DVDs weren’t working, none of my files were properly backed-up and the HD ended up frying as well.
Happens. Not that often, but it happens.

(I own none of the images/link sources above)

Signing off with his brand new HD,

Arthur Müller.

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5 tips on tips.

The one thing you'll never see in here!

I always see, at least in most blogs, tips on how to live life better, how to use more of your time, how to get a good job, how to impress someone, how to improve your sexual performance (like these work) etc. But I never saw tips regarding tips themselves! Quite unnecessary, one might say, but I beg to differ! You see, you gotta know your tips, where you’re getting them from and if they’re actually valid or not. Now, without further ado, the list:

  • #1 – No tip is free.

One may think all tips are completely free (not necessarily in a financial way, morals and such do apply) since, well, they’re just tiny bits of advice. Wrong, they are not easily given or received, just like extensive bits of knowledge or mysterious advices. If a teacher sees you’re doing something in a wrong way, he’ll (I won’t use he/she, you know there are female teachers, shush) try to correct you, right? Right. And what does he expect in return? For you to do a due assignment correctly. “Oh but that’s quite normal, Mr. Poster! You ain’t be worrying  now’cause that happens!” agreed, it does. But more often than not, if you don’t know what to do, you’ll be reprehended in some way, even if in just a look, which, usually, is all that it takes for a regular, frightened student to lose all confidence for the rest of the year. Situations can and will change, but no tip comes without an expectation from your actions. Take that in mind whenever you accept a tip.

Even Lucy charges for that, damn it!

  • #2 – Most actions may not look like it, but are tips to life themselves.

When I had my old computer (R.I.P. adorable piece of junk), it wasn’t the best in terms of house-security, since it could explode and/or set a fire to my house easy as that (yeah). So, eventually, it started to not turn on as well. Yeah, I hit the power button and nothing happened. I wondered what the problem could be and, after a few minutes of consideration, realized it was the Power Supply Unit, it had too much dust in it and some wires weren’t, well, properly connected due to years of usage. Now, any clever person would just take that damaged thing off and trade it for a new one. You see, at the moment, I couldn’t. So I either had to find myself a piece of gum, a chopstick and some flints to get it working like it was new MacGyver-style, or I had to take some time off the computer.

Me.

So good even MacGyver laughed!


Good joke there, indeed. So what I did? I calmly closed my hand into a fist and hammered the top of my computer case with all my might right after switching the computer on. Now, bear with me for a moment, but in my head, it was as easy as this: If things are badly connected, dusty, falling to pieces and so on, a shake on them while they’re receiving electricity will obviously make things better.

Funny enough, it worked. And I started doing that every damn time. And yes, it worked every time. Now, eventually I got a new, better computer and my old one went to my parents (hey, don’t give me that look! It still was good enough to browse the web and write work look I played Max Payne 2 perfectly on it with an on-board video of 56MB and that’s grand you hear me?). They changed the PSU and, eventually, that one also presented some problems. So what did I do? You guessed it, hammer-fist to the case, and it worked. To this day I don’t know if that’s an actual technique developed by computer users of old, but all I know is that it works like a charm!

  • #3 – Never, ever, doubt the power of a tip.

Some wisdom quotes, like “All warfare is based on deception.” (from Sun Tzu, even if you never read “Art of War”, you probably played Modern Warfare), require all the intellectual might of the reader (and if the first time you ever saw this was on Modern Warfare, with all due respect, I don’t think it’s that big) so he can just say “Oh! I get it! That’s clever, really clever!” and ignore completely on how to use it, it was pretty much useless. Now, if you hear someone say “It’s usually good to role-play your character down to the last line!”, you’ll most likely absorb that bit of information and get more experience points than everyone on your RPG table. “But that’s quite usually on the manual, books and so on!” So? So, dear reader, that it was said casually, in a lighter tone, by someone. Not some piece of mythical advice you read somewhere or your Literature Teacher said (but do pay attention, these classes are always good and I, for one, loved’em) while you were sleeping in your chair.

  • #4 – Don’t neglect a tip!

(I know I should give a more practical example, but you can adapt a gaming one to real life, I know you can! Plus, I can’t remind of any good ones, so don’t give me that look (again))

One day, while playing some good’n old Left 4 Dead 2, I was in a good mood, so I turned the microphone on. First thing I said was: “I like shotguns, so don’t stay in front of me-or anyone with such weapon-, unless crouched.” and repeated that a few more times every now and then. Why did I had to repeat myself? Because some people loved to get in front of me with weapons like axes or swords and chopping zombies one second before I squeezed the trigger. What happened? More often than not, their virtual backs were blown off to pieces. I can’t stress how much this happened in other sort of games, too.

And I can only hope it never happens when the zombie apocalypse happens so please, don’t neglect tips, as silly or strict as they may sound.

  • # 5 – Always tip the waiter/worker!

(What? Remember that “tip” can also be “to give some spare change in favor of a service”.)

“But what if the service sucked!?”, yeah, in this case, no. But if it was within standards or better, do tip. On waiters: They work there. They serve your meal. It’s food, and anything can be dropped in there. Even things you don’t even notice. On the kind people who park your car without being licensed to do so (there are so many in here damn it): It’s your car. You have things in it, and things can go missing. Your car can be scratched, remember that. And tips, almost always, grant you a slightly better service, so don’t hold it all back.

And there you have, nice tips for tips!

(I own none of the pictures above)

Signing off for free,

Arthur Müller.

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