Waiting for the Internet

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Oct 7, 2014

Filed under: Personal 55 comments

I'm back. Well, that was a stupid waste of five days.

Somehow, the designers of the Minecraft mod Technic PackThese days I'm playing a ton of the Technic “MoonQuest” mod collection. made it so that if you launch the game in offline mode, then it has no sound. I have no idea why, but I'll be sure to ask them right after I hunt them down and right before I kill them.

I couldn't play vanilla Minecraft, either. Once I was off the net and I discovered Technic wasn't working, I remembered that my Minecraft launcher was set to run in Oculus Rift mode. I tried to turn that off, which meant changing profilesNot change users, just profiles. It's complicated., which forced me to log in, which I couldn't do. I'd hunt down the person responsible for this stupidity but I'm not sure who to blame in this case. I always saw the Minecraft launcher as a convenience thing, but after fighting with it for an hour or so I'll say it feels very DRM-ish. It doesn't stop any pirates but it did prevent this customer from using the software when he really, really needed it. That sounds like DRM to me.

So my #1 time-killing game was unavailable. Instead, I composed a song. I spent my time waiting for the internet writing a song about waiting for the internet entitled, “Waiting for the Internet”:

You say it's repetitive? Yes, yes it is. I was trying to capture the tedium and frustration in musical form. The upbeat stuff at the end can be interpreted as the return of the internet, or the sweet release of insanity. The line between half-assed and avant-garde sometimes gets pretty blurry, but I know which side this song is on. And it's not the side with the fancy French words.

We will resume our regular posting schedule shortly. Right after I play some Minecraft. And catch up on my webcomics. And some YouTube videos. And blogs. And gaming news. And Steam sales. And email. And comments. And Facebook. And…



[1] These days I'm playing a ton of the Technic “MoonQuest” mod collection.

[2] Not change users, just profiles. It's complicated.

From The Archives:

55 thoughts on “Waiting for the Internet

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    But shamus,there already is the “waiting for the internet” sound out there.Here,take a listen.

    (the comments on that one are hilarious by the way)

  2. KingJosh says:

    Welcome back!

  3. Grenaid says:

    Hey Shamus, any webcomics you’d recommend? There’s about a hundred I’m following now.

    For other’s sake, I’d say http://www.casualvillain.com/Unsounded/ is the best comic on the internet right now.

    XKCD or http://www.wastedtalent.ca/ are hard to top for the engineering crowd though. ;)

    Always looking for more to add to my list, RSS FTW.

    1. Thomas says:

      I’m so happy to see the Unsounded recommendation. Unsounded is the only webcomic I’ve wanted to physically own.

      Ava’s Demon is another one I’m digging at the moment

      It’s utterly gorgeous and it’s interesting because it’s designed to be read multiple pages at a time (each update often has 3-5 pages). It’s got an almost animation/flipbook quality

    2. Cybron says:

      Unsounded is fantastic. Seconding that recommendation.

      I would also recommend Stand Still, Stay Silent. http://www.sssscomic.com/

    3. Chris Robertson says:

      If you want to binge, Casey and Andy is a good (complete) story (from memory, I’d rate it PG13).

      1. Chuk says:

        I loved Casey and Andy (and the GURPS book). Andy’s novel The Martian was also amazing.

    4. Daemian Lucifer says:

      “For other's sake, I'd say http://www.casualvillain.com/Unsounded/ is the best comic on the internet right now.”

      After order of the stick,of course.

      Anyway,you can always read the other movie screen cap comic,inspired by dm of the rings.Or the one inspired by that one.

      Then there is concerned,for every half life fan.

      And another thumbs up for casey and andy,a comic where the devil is a girlfriend of one of the main characters.

    5. HiEv says:

      Yeah, I have a ton of webcomics I follow as well. My current top three favorites are (in no particular order):

      Grrl Power, a super hero comic with a lot of humor and clever use of powers.

      Girl Genius, Victorian-esque steampunk adventure with numerous “mad” genius inventors.

      El Goonish Shive, teen-aged hijinks in a town where magic is a lot less rare than most of the rest of the world. Includes magical clones, gender swapping, and a squirrel girl. (This is a looong running comic, so the early (2002) art isn’t as good as the current art, however the artist is currently adding “DVD-style commentary” to the older comics, so it’s still quite enjoyable.)

      I apologize in advance for any lost days spent getting caught up reading these. ;-)

    6. nerdpride says:

      Most of the engineering crowd I know (myself included) loves the Freefall sci-fi comic. Not related to the videogame at all.

    7. ehlijen says:

      http://www.darthsanddroids.net/ is good. Inspired by, similar to and yet new and distinct from Mr Young’s own DM of the Rings.

      Of course, there is http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/
      Even though it’s finished, rereading its over 3000 strips can be enough webcomic for months.

      http://buttersafe.com/ is delightfully absurd, as is http://www.smbc-comics.com/
      The latter also goes scientific on occasion, similar to xkcd

      I tried making a webcomic once http://darth-obvious.blogspot.com.au/
      But ran out of steam :( So I respect anyone who can keep going.

    8. Kreek says:

      how can this have gone on so long and noone mentioned this


      homestuck is the best webcomic/videogame/mediathingie/story on the internet

      its got comedy, videogame refrences, overcomplicated systems, time travel, aliens, parallel worlds, multiple dimentions, and meta-physics

      not to mention the awesome music, and massive fanbase

    9. Khizan says:

      I’m a big fan of Schlock Mercenary.

      It’s a science fiction story about a band of mercenaries in the future, and it’s really, really good. The plotting seems a bit silly at first, but it settles down pretty quickly. The early art is pretty awful, but it gets better as it goes, up to the point where I now think it’s pretty good.

      It started back in June of 2000, and it’s been updated daily ever since, and when I say daily, I mean daily; it has never missed an update. There are no “Happy Holidays, real comics tomorrow!” strips or anything of that type. So there’s a lot of archives to go through(14 years at ~365 strips per year).

    10. bubba0077 says:

      Here are the ones in my RSS feed (well, most of them; in alphabetical order). Many of them are so well-known I feel stupid listing them, and I’m probably botching the theme/premises on some.

      Basic Instructions
      Type: Single-strip
      Theme: General

      Cardboard Crack
      Type: Single-strip
      Theme: Magic the Gathering humor/parody

      Type: Mix of single-strip and plot-driven
      Theme: Video games & gamers

      d20 Monkey
      Type: Plot-driven
      Theme: RPG player themed story-based

      Darth & Droids
      Type: Plot-driven screen capture
      Theme: Meta-RPG/Star Wars, inspired by Shamus’s DMotR

      Dork Tower
      Type: Single-strip
      Theme: Gamers

      Dumbing of Age
      Type: Plot-driven
      Premise: College freshmen situational comedy/coming of age

      El Goonish Shive
      Type: Plot-driven
      Premise: Magic is real and hidden by government, but more common in this town. Can also be simulated with technology. Modern day teenagers get powers. Lots of (non-exploitive) gender transformation.

      Full Frontal Nerdity
      Type: Single-strip
      Theme: Gamers

      LARPTrek [irregular updates]
      Type: Single-strip
      Premise: Star Trek DS9 is just an RPG played by the TNG crew

      Type: Plot-driven
      Premise: A mistake in heaven switches a high-school road racer’s gender and causes another to lose three years. Plot moves glacially, but good exploration of gender identity.

      The Oatmeal
      Type: Single-strip
      Theme: General

      Order of the Stick
      Type: Plot-driven
      Premise: Bumbling but genre-savvy D&D characters get caught up in an adventure to save the world. Lots of third-wall breaking and RPG/Story trope lapshading.

      PHD Comics
      Type: Single-strip
      Theme: Musings and observations about graduate school

      PvP Online
      Type: Single-strip with overarching plot
      Theme: Office of game journalists, now turned game creators

      Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
      Type: Single-strip
      Theme: Esoteric/nerd humor, along the lines of xkcd

      Table Titans
      Type: Plot-driven
      Premise: Tells story of both RPG Campaign and the players playing it

      Tiny Wooden Pieces
      Type: Single-strip
      Theme: Tabletop gaming

      Use Sword on Monster
      Type: Plot-driven
      Premise: There are seven versions of the world with increasing levels of magic. The barrier between the worlds is damaged and magic begins leaking into the first-sphere (our magic-free world), changing history in the process.

      Type: Plot-driven
      Premise: A group of gamers ensnares a new gamer and introduces him to RPG, board games, and LARPing.

      Type: Single-panel
      Theme: Esoteric/nerd humor

      1. Bryan says:

        Woooo, BI!

        “How to Discuss Your Feelings” (…mostly just panel 4 on that one) was *awesome* last week…

    11. Rick says:

      Commit Strip is a fun comic based around web developers.

    12. 4th Dimension says:

      Then check out our thread on forums about them. Down there we list a LOT of them, and describe them.

  4. Robyrt says:

    That’s an extremely clutter-free desk. I’m jealous! You don’t even have an audio switcher!

    1. It always STARTS like this… Remember, he just moved.

      1. ET says:

        Give it two days. He’ll be back to spaghetti-octopus-city. :P

  5. shiroax says:

    I quite like the song. Reminds me of old C&C and Warzone 2100 soundtracks. I’d totally do some boring base building to that song. Except for that end bit, I don’t like that.

    1. Ringwraith says:

      I’d say it isn’t, but then again, clearly all anyone remembers first of the original Command & Conquer is Act on Instinct, well, I do anyway.

      It actually had quite a range.

      Damn, might have to boot up some of it now…
      They even had music players in-game!
      Nothing does that anymore!

      1. shiroax says:

        Can you still get it to work? I have the anniversary-thing-edition, but it has a bug that crashes the game if any unit goes too close to the edge of the screen… and then I got to where all my mission choices start with units there :(

        Tbh, all I remember about the soundtrack is that it’s awesome.

  6. ThaneofFife says:

    Good to see you back, Shamus! Hope your move went well…

  7. TouToTheHouYo says:

    Mr.Young, I know your pain. I had to deal with Comcast this past August. A “glitch” in their system left us without internet and when we finally got a tech around to futz about with it – after already waiting a week – he informed us there was nothing he could do as the cable lines in our place were decades old, Comcast had changed practices and switched to new lines, and we’d have to play a hellish game of phone tag to wrangle a surveyor, contractor, and finally another technician just to fix service that had otherwise been working fine(ish) for nearly twenty years. We reluctantly worked through the mess, the whole process taking nearly 2 1/2 additional weeks to complete, then when the new tech showed up (same as the old tech) he and his assistant went through a half dozen cable boxes over the course of nearly six hours before they found ones that “worked,” by which I mean left us without anything for another day before they finally synched up and reset.

    We were without internet for the better part of August.

    It isn’t that it happened, or that we had to wait so long – it was actually kind of a nice family bonding experience – it’s that we didn’t have a choice. It would’ve been prohibitively expensive to go with anyone else and we’d only manage to get an even more inferior service as a result.

    Damned if you do, damned even more if you don’t.

  8. Stalevar says:

    Hm, I didn’t know that “half-assed” is a fancy French word.

    1. ET says:

      Well, it’s missing a few accents: on the first A and on the E. I mean, duh. ;)

  9. Dragomok says:

    I had the same impression about the new Minecraft‘s launcher, after I tried to come back to after several month break.

    In the older versions, if you failed to log in for any reason, the launcher would immediately just offer to start the game in off-line mode. Now? It will require logging in even if there is no connection at all.

  10. Benjamin Hilton says:

    While I am glad you’re back, I can’t help feeling like the others missed a serious opportunity for some “Shamus is away the kids will play” site shenanigans.

    I’m looking at you here Josh.

    1. ET says:

      Yeah, what the H E double hockey sticks guys? Also Mumbles. Especially Mumbles. :D

  11. Simplex says:

    I don’t know about USA, but in Europe mobile internet is commonplace. I have a 1GB/month data plan so I’d use that to unlock minecraft.

    1. ET says:

      I’ve got a 10 GB / month plan, but it’s the more expensive one I needed for (and was reimbursed for) work…then I just kept paying for it when I switched jobs. ^^;

      But I live in Canada, where internet/phone/etc is about as good as the rest of the world. I’d like to hear how horrible the plans are in Shamus’ area of the USA. :)

  12. Alan says:

    Internet outages remind me how many of my hobbies are tied to the internet. It’s frustrating to have some of them, like single-player games, artificially tied to it.

    1. ET says:

      Yup. Sad state of affairs where you don’t really own your games anymore. Makes you think about: if the company ever goes out of business, or switches servers, or just decides nobody needs to play the old games, or…

      1. ehlijen says:

        …or simply makes a sequel they want you to out and buy instead of playing the perfectly fine older game and so reallocate server resources…

  13. evileeyore says:

    Once again I must question your choice not to create electronic music for a living.

    See, I tend to dislike electronic music, but your’s is quite excellent.

    Oh, hang on, I think I see the flaw…

  14. Rack says:

    Whenever I have to go without the Internet I first unplug my router to see if I can overcome all the DRM. This way I can see which DRM will just refuse to let me play offline at all (Starcraft 2) which will be fine (for all it’s many many other faults uPlay) and which will pretend to work for a couple days but then randomly fail (Steam).

    I’ve also made sure I have a few wholly offline games installed, just in case.

    1. Felblood says:

      I’ve been there.

      It never ceases to amaze me that I didn’t have to put up with this crap when I was young and rebellious and all my games sailed around under little jolly rogers.

      1. Bryan says:

        I “don’t have to put up with any of this crap” by just buying basically everything from GoG. :-P

        On the other hand, that does require that either (a) you never lose the downloaded setup program that you used to install the game, or (b) their site never goes down or otherwise decides you don’t need the game for some other reason, or (c) you never forget your login credentials.

        At least you can drop the setup program onto a flash drive of some sort and then never overwite anything on the drive again (to stave off the eventual write-cycle death that flash has). Or put it on a couple of flash drives and periodically move it to newer ones I guess.

    2. ehlijen says:

      And that’s why I’ll cherish my collection of pre-steam games for as long as their data integrity remains. Well, that and the fact that I really like them.

      The CDs/DVDs/images might not be around forever, but at least I have some control in the matter.

      1. ET says:

        Ideally, you’d be able to get an official copy of your purchased games on a USB drive type device, or have a way of transferring it at your leasure, or something else. I like having a physical copy*, but I don’t like the huge size and delicate-ness of optical discs. :S

        * Which, in most countries, means you definitely own that copy of the game, no matter what. Not so, with digital downloads. :C

  15. lethal_guitar says:

    I really like that song! Honestly, it’s one of your best, in my opinion.

  16. Tizzy says:

    All these people who design around the assumption of an always-on internet need to have their heads examined.

  17. Cuthalion says:

    Yaaaay the internet has returned to Shamus.

  18. djshire says:

    Translation: Shamus will be done going through all the stuff he missed about 5 minutes before the next Diecast

  19. WILL says:

    I think you would enjoy Perturbator. Some of your earlier music seemed to be similar to it. In any case it’s a good example of how to make dark 80s-ish without going overboard and your music seems to be a bit uh… too busy? Like the intro to the podcast, felt like too much.

    The entire album Dangerous Days is a love-letter to 80s sci-fi. It’s pretty great.

    1. ET says:

      So, I immediately tried searching TV Tropes and Wikipedia for this amazing-looking TV show “Perturbator”, which has an awesome theme song and intro video…before realizing it was the artist’s name/theme song. ^^;

    2. purf says:

      Oh, nice! [… and while writing some more I listened to some more so let me edit this here on the spot:]

      Man, thanks so much! I was poking around Shamus’ soundcloud the other day, following links here and there when I came across a remake of the Airwolf theme – and I’ve been wanting moar! of that stuff ever since. Childhood memories of TV shows gave some clues on what to dig out but it hasn’t been much so far. And then I’m here again for unrelated reasons and am given Perturbator. Perfection. I love those circles :)

  20. Nick Powell says:

    Shamus, have you tried Factorio? It has a lot of similarities with the Minecraft + Technic (Also no DRM).

  21. Wide And Nerdy says:

    This is why you need a smartphone Shamus. Times like this when I’m cut off, nothing feels better than slow speed smartphone browsing.

  22. Dt3r says:

    Welcome back, good sir! Rejoice, for the dark times of no internet are behind you.

  23. Dragmire says:

    Did you get the sniffles and the jitters from withdrawal? I recall lots of pacing around the basement trying to figure out what to do from my internetless experience.

  24. Phantos says:

    That song is pretty good to listen to while I’m doing other stuff, if that’s any consolation.

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