What's wrong with four?

Okay, so if you have a look at my usernames on twitter and flickr (linked to the right), you'll see that I tend to stick to one particular four letter username when registering for services. It's my name online, it just is. But for some reason, that's not good enough for some services.

Take Gmail and their requirement for a minimum of 6 characters. Why? What does that possibly accomplish? Okay, so maybe xeyr isn't that big a deal. But what about David? Or Bob? They are forced to never have their name (or accepted abbreviation) as their email username if they choose to use Gmail.

Okay, so I got over the gmail thing a long time ago, but was just reminded about the stupidity of minimum username length requirements when registering for the online component of the SPORE Creature Creator. Again I was told that my regular username was too short, and that I should pick something of 5 or more characters.

Of course, since there are several places with this stupid requirement (and since there are one or two places where I either do not want to be xeyr, or have registered and lost access to the username xeyr for some reason) I do have several other usernames that I occasionally use, but it still irks me. If there was a reason for it, fine, but I can not think of any reason why a four letter username should be treated differently to a 5, 6 or 10 letter username.


(posted by Spore user Dibbstar)

Halo 3, Xbox Live and 5 Cowboy Hats

Okay, since this is the "first few posts" and all that, expect a lot of entries starting with backstory about myself:

I've been playing games for quite a long time. I don't tend to play a lot of games, but I tend to play a lot of the games I play. I tend to get fairly involved in franchises too, and follow through on sequels. I've always been caught up in the Halo universe, and I definitely get sucked in by the hype, but I didn't actually buy the game when it came out. I don't actually own an xbox 360 (the one in our house belongs to my housemate), and so it felt a little weird buying a game for someone else's console. But since he was in Melbourne at the time, I finally caved a few days after release and bought a copy of the limited edition tin. I played it a fair bit, even got in to xbox live and played a few games with mates online.

Then I went overseas, and after I got back, I started getting more and more into my other online gaming addiction (World of Warcraft, which I'm sure will come up in the future) and wasn't playing so much on the Xbox Live front. Halo 3 started to gather a bit of dust and my skills (such as they were) faded away.

Recently, WoW-fatigue and some circular coaxing amongst a small group of friends has pushed me and a few others into a frenzy of Halo 3 activity. We've started playing together as a team, and trying to build our skills up together in the team playlists.

Dibbstar - D05

So if you find yourself on Xbox Live in either the Team Slayer or Team Doubles playlists of an evening, keep your eyes open for a combination of Dibbstar (myself), Enac Deraj, emslibbles or XingBot. Eventually you may even see Dievle as he builds up his skills and joins our team. Don't worry if you don't recognise the names, just keep your eyes open for the cowboy hats.

We're not going to be troubling the level 50 Generals any time soon, but we're working our way up, and winning our fair share of games as we go.

Of Robots, Apples, Monkeys and Blogs ...

Robot Apple Monkey Blog ... Admittedly it's not the most catchy or flowing moniker for a blog, but it's what I've got at the moment.

A bit of backstory, perhaps?

A while back I was hunting for a domain name for personal email. It was a brainstorming process that just involved a whole bunch of random words and syllables being thrown together to see what shit stuck together. Out of that came "Robot Apple" and robotapple.com. At some point in 2007, I decided I wanted to do an election blog, being that I was working on the 2007 Australian federal election campaign (for a pollster). I installed wordpress, wrote a few introductory posts and promptly got stuck into actually working on the election campaign, and decided that I didn't want to be writing a blog on top of that, I'd rather just go play World of Warcraft or Halo 3 and not think about politics and polling when I wasn't actually working (which, as is frequently the case in campaigns, wasn't that often anyway).

So, now I'm back. And starting again. Expect changes all over the place in colour scheme, layout and style of writing. It will take a while to find my feet with regular blogging, but at the heart of it, this is a vanity blog, so odds are it will only interest me anyway, and I'll be the only regular reader. I can hack it.

Web junky attempts to re-start a vanity blog with an introductory post that may well be the last. More at 11.