Short Review: The Dragonprince’s Heir (The Dragonprince Trilogy, #3) by Aaron Pogue

Posted by Frank under: Books.

While I greatly enjoyed both the writing style and the story of the first two Dragonprince books by Aaron Pogue, the third leaves something to be desired. A leap into the future, the main character lacks the seeming charm and wit of the originals from the first. And when we do see the return of some of the original characters, they seem to also be lacking. The author simply appears to have had trouble recapturing the excitement of the original story-line, and the book seems rushed. The writing is much more difficult to follow and doesn’t have the same allure and charm.

Overall, a disappointing end for the Dragonprince Trilogy. Both the writing and the story itself are lacking. The book is simply not fun to read.



Hack Fortress Appearing at DEFCON 19

Posted by Frank under: General.

After its successful first foray into the infosec conference venue at ShmooCon 2011, Hack Fortress will be traveling cross-country and will be appearing at DEFCON 19. Hack Fortress is an event combining two popular events—the Hack or Halo event from ShmooCon and the Team Fortress 2 Tournament that has appeared at both ShmooCon and DEFCON events of years past. Hack Fortress combines both of these events into one team style event where Team Fortress 2 (TF2) players—well, play TF2—while other members of their team compete to “hack” challenges presented by the Hack Fortress staff. Events in TF2 can have an impact on the “hack” challenges and solutions to challenges can cause events to happen in TF2.

Given the head-to-head competition, teams are required to have two components—one that tackles challenges while the other fights in the TF2 arena. It’s certainly possible to hope to form an ad-hoc TF2 team at the event, but winners from events past typically play—at least once—in advance. Planned attendance at DEFCON is—obviously—required.

Gear has already been shipped out to the conference, so stay tuned for updates. Additional information can be found at the DEFCON website on https://forum.defcon.org/forumdisplay.php?f=564 and updates will be provided during the event on the @TF2Shmoo account on Twitter.



Getting Ready for ShmooCon 6 (2010)

Posted by Frank under: General.

ShmooCon 6 runs from 5 February 2010 to 7 February 2010 at the Wardman Park Marriott in downtown Washington, DC. I’ll be working staff for the event–primarily focusing on the Team Fortress 2 Tournament where both TF2 fans and those who like to cheat will both have a chance to put their skills on the line. We have separate tournaments planned–one without cheats where people who enjoy TF2 can play in a competitive environment and then one where no holds are barred. Cheaters will be allowed to bring with them and use any cheat that they can find, pay for, or make. Prizes will be given out for the winners of both tournaments.

It’s also worth noting that the entire conference will be streamed online on uStream. All talks will be available via streaming for everyone to watch. You can find the video streams this weekend at: https://www.shmoocon.org/video.html

Seek me out if you’re at the Con. I might post some updates as well depending on how things go.



Black Hat 2009 and DEFCON 17 Recap

Posted by Frank under: General.

I’m on the plane flying back from Black Hat 2009 and DEFCON 17 in Las Vegas. I had a good time and found something of value from each of the conferences. The time in Vegas was well spent, and I’ll note a few quick comments within.
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Heading Out to Black Hat 2009 and DEFCON 17

Posted by Frank under: General.

DEFCON TF2 Tournament PictureIt’s been a while since I’ve posted but I thought I would fire out a quick update. I’m on my way out to Las Vegas right now for the Black Hat talks and DEFCON. Hooray.

I’ll actually be volunteering at DEFCON this year. No Moose and the Shmoo Group is sponsoring a Team Fortress 2 tournament. We’ve been preparing for a few months and with the crate on its way, the time is near.

In any case the plan is to fire off quick notes of anything cool I see or hear at the talks. If there aren’t any other updates it was terrible–or extremely fun :-)



Review: Stargate: The Ark of Truth

Posted by Frank under: Movies.

Stargate: The Ark of TruthSomehow I missed that the first of two direct-to-DVD movies featuring the Stargate SG-1 cast was released in early March. Stargate: Ark of Truth (now available for both rental and purchase) provides a conclusion to the last storyline of the TV series featuring the Ori. It also presents viewers with a clean slate for the next, and supposedly last, movie in the SG-1 universe. I’ll hold off on detailed spoilers in my review and present a general overview of my opinion on the movie.
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Review in Brief: Auslogics’ Disk Defrag

Posted by Frank under: Software.

Auslogics Disk DefragFragmentation has always been an issue on hard-drives in systems that run Windows. Auslogics’ Disk Defrag tool (freeware) aims to speed up the defragmentation process compared to alternatives such as Windows built-in defragmentation tool or Diskeeper–an excellent, but expensive suite of hard-drive related performance tools. Fortunately, Auslogics manages to succeed in its goal–producing a tool with an installer only 1.35MB large (~5MB once installed). Continue reading for more details, including a brief explanation of fragmentation.

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Posted by Frank under: Announcements.

Welcome to The Frank Geek (TFG). If you’d found this post, congratulations. You’re either one of the first visitors or find the site so useful that you’re trolling through the archived posts.

TFG will be a sounding board for ideas, gripes, and interesting tidbits about technology, space, science fiction, and anything that I think is geeky enough to entertain. I’m following in the modern day tradition of writing about things that interest, annoy, or entertain me. The layout for the site is still subject to change, depending on how much free time I have available to learn how to craft and customize WordPress themes.

In any case, welcome. And, hopefully, you’ll enjoy your stay.



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