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The Gremlyn is Here!

Created on Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:54 am with 270 blog posts
New to this place. This is more of a test to see what happens. I like guinea pigs, I like a lot of different music and I'm always looking to expand.

Hunt a Killer - S01 E01 - Narration in Hunt A Killer with 0 comments on Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:22 pm
Slide 1

You standard intro slide.
This is Season 1 - Awakening
Episode 1 ( of 8 )

Slide 2

Next, we look at the envelope all the contents come in. Technically we receive a box from Hunt a Killer and there may be items included that were not sent to us by anyone in-game. These items could be used to aid our investigations into the clues provided.

The envelope is quite large as it can accommodate letter-sized items easily enough. On the front cover is a sticker placed there by the individual that has inspected our package. They initial the sticker and it also contains a package ID.

In the top corner is a printed mail stamp that tells us this package came from Maryland.

The envelope also has "... Listening Friends of America" stamped across it. This tells us that there's a company or organization out there that may have sent this package to us "in-game".

Slide 3

This slide addresses the question "where is Maryland". It highlights the region and it's in the United States.

Slide 4

Pretty much all presentations are going to follow the same flow in the beginning. You get a package and the first thing you're really going to read is this letter from "... Listening Friends of America". This is a basic welcoming letter. It implies we're volunteered for their program to accept letters from a man or woman in a printer, hospital, hospice or psychiatric ward. We're providing emotional support, even though we can never respond.

The letter highlights their processes of ensuring our safety and reviewing the box contents. They only read letters and content that have been flagged by their software.

I've also highlighted the name of the person who signed the letter and their position within the organization.

There's also the link to their organization's website. It's important to note that this organization DOES NOT exist in real life.

Slide 5

This slide looks at a few pieces of the website itself. Just a snippet of the landing page. Then we scroll to the bottom to look at the Facebook icon. They built out a Facebook page!

Slide 6

Next, we take a look at the Facebook page. If you spend some time here and go through all the pictures and a lot of the posts you'll find this gem.

George Madson!

Slide 7

The previous entry mentions George works at the LFoA Darlington facility. So where's that?

Slide 8

Now we have a look at the envelope enclosed. It's been opened already. It has the worked "Friend" typed on the front.

Slide 9

Inside is the letter from a man named John William James. JWJ for short sometimes. We just read through and I highlight some lines here and there. It gives the impression that we may be receiving letters from a man in his later years. There are some words and phrases that sound odd. Chances are I didn't capture all of them but that's fine.

Then there's his strange paragraph about the thrill of the hunt... Then he throws u some obvious hint that maybe he knows something... yes...

He comes off as a bit of a strange gossip Razz

Slide 10

Following the flow of the box contents, we're going to look at this newspaper article that was photocopied and included in the box. It has a lot of redacted sections.

The obvious next step is to see if we can figure out what we're missing.

Slide 11

Enter my "Know your Google" slide. I mean, it has nothing to do with neat facts about Google. It's more about knowing and having the constitution to Google... and Google... and Google...


This one was easy because you can so clearly search for part of the article title/subtitle. You'll find the link to the original article. You'll find the author and that he writes for the Baltimore Sun.

As you read the article you'll find some familiar words and phrases... and they link back to JWJ's letter.

Slide 12

Now, where is Baltimore? In Maryland.

Slide 13

Where was the sinkhole? Well, between the street names they gave you and if you compare the scenery of the video they uploaded, you're going to find it at the intersection of West Mulberry Street and North Greene Street.

Slide 14

Not much to say here. It's a crushed pill cup. It hints at the possible environment JWJ lives in. Hospital? Hospice? Psych ward? Doesn't seem like we are hearing from someone in a prison.

Slide 15

Now we have another item that was included in the box. The Swan card. It's on a stiff material, like a cardboard or bristol board material. There's nothing else on it, just a simple image.

Slide 16

Enter another "Know your Google" slide. This is where you could spend a very... very... long time trying to find out where that image of the Swan comes from. Reverse image search might help or just... scouring the decks for a while. You may find other spoiler content out there and someone else has figured out where the image comes from.

Slide 17

Next, we have the Star Chart or Constellation card. I highlight a few and we can see, at the beginning that there's a link between the constellation Cygnus and The Swan card. Cygnus translates to Swan. But what does this mean?

There are other constellations. You can look up the others. Ursa Minor and Major are present.

Slide 18

On the reverse of the card, you'll see that something is taped there. It appears to be a piece of nylon string. If you Google for a while you'll find out what it could have been used for.

Slide 19

This is something I've left to the very end of the process. I find the inspector notes contain spoilers or hints that maybe strong arm you in specific directions.

At any rate, if you go to the LFoA website you'll see the Inspector Notes Database. You'll refer to the initials on the large envelope and use the ID underneath to find the entry. The password is the combination of the initials and the full ID.

Slide 20

Now we can see the notes and inventory list from the inspector at LFoA. You'll find their name, the patient (note the reference to the patient, which hints are where James might be). We also see there's a patient number: 1618.

I highlight some points of interest. Hindsight being 20/20 really allowed me to provide maybe more insight than I might have started off with this presentation. Like... I honestly didn't know that was nylon string. And the hint about the music room... kind of made you look for "what instruments might use nylon string".

Slide 21

This is just the last slide. Leaves you with a few questions to ponder.
Hunt a Killer - S01 E01 in Hunt A Killer with 0 comments on Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:21 pm
Ok. So this took about a day because I kept going back and tweaking it and I found some grammar errors. There could be more but I don't want to hear about it!

I used PowerPoint for this. I tried using Prezi earlier but once I started adding the scanned images of the box items it slowed right down. Probably the result of using a browser but I didn't really want to put much effort into figure out how to work with it offline. I read some materials that suggested this was possible but that's about as far as it went.

Basically, my PowerPoint goes through each item in the box. I could have included some narration but since I dislike the sound of my own voice I didn't do this. Feel free to just listen to some music when you want this.

I am trying to develop a flow in the presentation that will be repeated through each box. For the most part, you have the slides with the box contents. I'll have other slides that contain information to explain items or things that were mentioned in a letter or something. Like information about a God or constellation, etc. Other slides will find their way in there called "know your Google" and it's content that may require some time with your search engine. In this box, we're given a card with a swan print. You can try reverse image search or Googling different phrases in an attempt to figure out where the image comes from. Since there are spoilers abound out there you may find resources where someone has already figured out where the item comes from, saving you a bit of trouble.

The presentation I'm working on for the next box actually has a recap section. These might get longer and I may throw in others that list the characters we're aware of that exist in the Hunt a Killer universe. There will be slides that show what items we received in a previous box. I'll also have slides about "what we know" and these may get longer.

I'll try to provide some narration below of each slide.

The narration will have to be in another post because, SURPRISE, I max out the character limit of 8000...
Premium Box - 1968 in Hunt A Killer with 2 comments on Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:07 am
Well, since Hunt a Killer sent me 2 $20 new membership gift cards and a $40 premium gift card I decided to go for one of the premium cases.

The 2 $20 ones are for other people that want to try this mystery box delivery stuff. So far no one has shown much interest. The $40 card for me can only be used in the shop and only on the premium cases. The cheapest of which is $99 USD.

I'm going for this one in particular:

The other one that isn't sold out is far more expensive and I was watching the spoiler video for it. This box contains some good content plus an actual vinyl record. All for $227 USD. Expensive.

The 1968 case is $147 USD so knock that down to $107. Then there's tacking on the shipping to Canada (of course). Then the conversion to CAD. All in all, it's about $156.

It seems like it will have a neat story so I'm kind of excited to eventually get this one. Dig into all the details.

From what I've seen with the boxes I've already gotten and the spoilers for two other cases they are damn tricky folks. They will hide things almost anywhere. They also throw some possible red herrings at you and they maybe love ciphers a little too much. Like the bifid cipher in the recent case. Seemed a little over the top and the message ultimately didn't mean anything... Not to mention you need more to actually solve a bifid cipher. All you had was the cryptic message that was never intended for you.

At any rate. I'll be getting that box in the coming weeks. I should also be getting the last box of season 1. As a note, they're jumping me ahead to season 3 after this. There are a lot of spoilers out there so they want to get folks on even ground. Any new joins will start on season 3. They said some of the characters will be the same but the stories are separate. Maybe some context will be lost... hard to say.
Migration from Novell/OES to AD in Work and Stuff with 4 comments on Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:36 am
Ok. So I'm mildly terrified about this. I started my job essentially feet first. Now we're just going to go through that all over again, it seems.

It's the startling realization that not one single person in your department knows how you actually do your job. So many people within each workgroup introduces something or something changes and with it comes some new tool that you're introduced to. I mean, even then the person isn't really sure how you would use that tool, they just close over what information is there.

I mean, when our user portal was overhaul (both old and new versions were built in-house). New tools had been integrated into it. We were shown the tools and given some access. We got to see, roughly, the information inside. The connection was never made why we needed these (or might not) or how we could use them in our day to day troubleshooting. I mean, I started to make connections, poked around. I end up using that information to figure out why someone might be having access issues. I use it to figure out what people are doing, how they might have a self-inflicted wound. That's not at all what's happening across the board with my fellow colleagues.

So, circling back. With this transition... I'm used to how file/folder access works on our servers. Users have their own space where they save their files. Then, on another server, the department has a space for departmental files.

I have a pretty good understanding of how access is managed. It's defined by us (oddly enough us level 1 peeps make these groups and assign them to the desired folder and define the rights). Granted, it's full access or read-only. But I also knew how to remove inherited rights to make something 'private' depending on how access was managed above.

Now we're moving to NTFS rights and... I'm confused. I'm having a hard time finding material specific to that scenario. Creating a group, users are assigned to the group. That group is attached to a specific folder. That group has specific rights.

Typically it's the same as above. The group might have full access to read the files, modify them. They can add files, rename them. It might be rare to prevent someone from deleting a folder...

In our environment, and with some crossover between departments, you might have multiple groups associated with a folder. One where folks can only read the contents. Another where they can modify the contents. I'm not going to say that above that might be a person or small group that would add and remove files (if that's possible).

We only had the one intro session and, despite asking for a copy of the materials, I never got them. I wish I could have watched that video again... The guy when through all the checkboxes and explained each set of rights with a live example. First go round was a bit confusing... I like to hash things out and if I had a whiteboard I'd go to town trying to relate that info to our environment.

It's not enough for me to read about it. I need to understand how it's being applied. I need live examples. We're tumbling very quickly towards these changes. Our server for staff files is moving tomorrow night (well they've been copying data for the past week) and it'll go live on Thursday. They've made quite the plunder too. I can see all the folders for each user but I don't have permissions to the contents. I did on the old server.

You know how sad it is that people don't understand what a file explorer is? Or the address bar? They understand "I click this icon and click Desktop". Our users aren't savvy at all and they don't understand that their files aren't stored on their computer, they're on a network server. Blows their mind... actually they just look like a deer caught in the headlights...

Pondering Light Sensitivity in Random Events with 7 comments on Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:58 pm
This isn't a situation where your eyes are actually sensitive to normal light levels.

I'm pondering the fact that, aside from when the sun is out, I don't have a lot of light on in my place. It's dark right now because it's so early and the time of season is when most of us spend significantly more time without the sun. I've woken up in the dark and the only faint light source is the light strip along the underside of my kitchen cupboards, plus the dim nightlight in my bathroom. One time even that was too much and I was left squinting through one eye.

I haven't turned on any lights and I've been awake for 30 minutes. The light strip in the kitchen is bright enough to do a lot without having to turn on the brighter overhead light. I haven't turned on the lamp in my living room. I actually found the light on my laptop was quite bright and usually, I have f.lux running overtime making my screen look jaundiced and the light level is still quite low.

I find I can see quite well in low light environments. I kind of wonder if this, in a sense, makes me more sensitive to brighter environments?

Something similar has happened where I've been wearing sunglasses all the time when I go outside. To a point, going outside without them actually makes my eyes hurt and I can't see very well at all because my eyes are streaming and stinging. I adjust after several minutes and it's not as bad, but I usually make sure I NEVER forget my sunglasses. They're a brown tint and actually almost make things stand out more than the grey tint you can get. They're polarized and I think that also enhances objects... I find I can wear them inside because, sadly, it's often bright enough with the lights. I just look a bit odd because everyone assumes the sunglasses must make everything so dark. I don't find that's the case at all, it just cuts down on the intensity of the light.

I expect when I get older things will change.

I just wonder if, by rarely subjecting myself to light and choosing to function in a dim environment, if I've conditioned my sight to function at lower light levels.
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