The archives of Patrick Miller

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Been sorting through a bunch of the work I’ve done over the last few years and figured I’d throw together a page with a few links to some of the work I am more proud of.

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How I Use Dropbox

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I don’t really do the whole, you know, “productivity” thing when it comes to blogging, but I figured I’d make an exception because I’ve been doing a Thing with Dropbox at work that has been working out quite nicely for me. (This might be how *everyone* uses Dropbox, I have no idea.)

Most of our stuff at work happens on file servers inside our internal network, or email on an Outlook server. Neither of those are particularly cloud-friendly (especially when my main mobile device is an iPad rather than a laptop). I do use Google Docs for a few things, but because most of my contributors are submitting Word docs via Outlook, I don’t always want to move all that stuff into Docs. (Once Google Drive drops for iPad, I may switch over.) So I use Dropbox to sync my work files between my iPad, home PC, work PC, and work Mac.

I’ve designated one folder on my Dropbox as my “Capture Pile”, which is basically where I keep anything I might need to work on. As soon as I get a draft in, it goes to the Capture Pile along with whatever related art assets I have. Ditto goes for notes taken in text editors or pretty much anything. Over the course of an issue, my Capture Pile inevitably grows to contain the latest version of each doc (before it hits InDesign, anyway) plus whatever else I’m working on. Once I’ve completed an issue, I can file the entire contents of the Capture Pile in its own folder, which I leave on my Dropbox (but not in the Capture Pile) until I need to free up space (and since each issue is usually less than 100mb on my end, I haven’t had to do that yet).

That way, I basically don’t have to worry about ever not being able to access what I need to work on because Dropbox is integrated into my workflow from the very beginning. (It’s also handy for copying books/PDFs over to my iPad without dealing with iTunes, but that’s a different matter.) I was in a Chipotle for an hour yesterday waiting for LensCrafters to finish my new glasses (long story) and I managed to edit a column without having to plan that out in advance at all. Very handy.

Eventually, I’m hoping that Google Drive on iOS will arrive, be as good as Dropbox, and sort out its yucky EULA issues so I can have a drag-and-drop interface for my Docs stuff and use it on the iPad without it sucking horribly.

If you bothered to read this to the end and you don’t have Dropbox, sign up with my referral link! You’ll get extra space, and so will I.
https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTU0MDUwNzY5
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How To Play Starcraft 2

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In honor of the new Starcraft 2 Trailer, I’ve decided to post a Newbie’s Guide to Starcraft 2.
A lot of you people out there on the Interwebs are totally jazzed about Starcraft 2. Well, you should be–it’s a sequel to an awesome game that you probably played in, like, grade school. In fact, it was probably one of the last PC games you touched before leaving gaming altogether in favor of trying to get laid.
Now gaming is sufficiently widely accepted that you can spend a few hours every day playing Modern Warfare 2 without taking a vow of chastity, and you’re chomping at the bit to drop some nukes online.
Starcraft 2: You're gonna get raped.

Starcraft 2: You're gonna get raped.

Fun fact: You’re gonna get raped. I’m talking painful, excruciating, humiliating ass-beating. People will beat you to death with SCVs just because they can. And once you’ve lost every single placement match and ended up in the copper division, you will get raped by hungry scrubs who have watched a few pro replays and kill you dead with cannon rushes, early Reapers, and 6-pool zerglings

And that’s because the nerds who really liked Starcraft have kept playing it for the last 12 years. If that doesn’t sound like fun, cancel your pre-order right now–or keep reading for some tips that just might help you earn a “GG” from your opponent.

Here’s what you have to know.

Playing Terran? Block off your ramp. Just do it. A barracks and two supply depots should work fine–you can lift off the barracks or lower the supply depot as necessary. If you don’t block off, your ass will be owned early on–marines can’t really hang against zerglings or zealots without some kind of fortification.

See that ramp in the lower-left? Block it or get devoured by The Horde.

See that ramp in the lower-left? Block it or get devoured by The Horde.

Build a lot of first-tier combat units. New players often try to build up their tech tree as quickly as possible because they want the big flashy stuff. This will get you killed by the guy who decides to build just two or three more marines than you have. Think of it this way: you have to earn those big flashy units by living long enough to get them without losing, and for that you need zerglings/zealots/marines.

Spend your money fast. Money in the bank is money that isn’t winning you the game. If you have more than 300-400 minerals on hand, you’re not spending fast enough.

Keep an eye on your opponent. Scout the living shit out of your opponent. Send an SCV out to look for him maybe a minute into the game, and check up on him periodically. Sacrifice overlords, build observers, use comsats–just do what you gotta do to know what he’s building before he kills you with it. Don’t be that guy who goes mass zealots and loses to a single mutalisk.

Key term: “Macromanagement” or “macro”. This is all the stuff that falls under building your army up. Your skills at maneuvering your army don’t matter if your opponent’s army is 3x the size.

Build more workers. Workers give you money. You need money to make an army. Constantly build workers. If you think you have too many workers, build an expansion at another mineral patch and send half your workers over there, and continue building workers from both Command Centers.

This guy needs more workers.

This guy needs more workers.

Attack their workers. You don’t have to take the opponent’s army head-on. Harass the worker line and it’ll make it harder for them to rebuild their army or research better tech–and you can catch the army out of position when they come back to defend.

Build more supply depots. All the time you spend waiting for your supply depots to build so you can build more units is time your opponent is, well, building more units. Don’t give him that.

Build more barracks/gateways/whatever. The more unit-production buildings you have, the faster you can rebuild your army. And they typically don’t cost much, either.

Don’t worry about towers. Towers are great, except they can’t move, and no dipshit is going to walk his troops in the way of a photon cannon when he can walk around it. Most of the time, they’re not going to help nearly as much as the stalker or whatever unit you could have built instead. Bunkers and Spine Crawlers are a bit more useful because you can salvage them or move them around, though.

Use the back door. Your guys will get killed going in the enemy base from the front. Use dropships/Nydus Canals/warp-in/whatever to get your army in a favorable spot, or use highly mobile units to dictate where the fight happens.

Key term: “Micromanagement” or “micro”. This is how you control your army to maximize each unit’s battle potential. Don’t worry as much about this until you’ve got your macro down. As long as you’re not walking into turret fire or getting owned by units on the high ground, you should be okay.

Build a detector. Observer, comsat sweep, Overseer, whatever. Build a detector that can move, so you won’t get totally owned when your opponent builds ONE unit that can cloak.

Don't get killed by these guys.

Don't get killed by these guys.

Start every game with “gl hf” (Good Luck, Have Fun) and end every game with “gg” (Good Game). Just do it.

-patrick miller

Best Recipe Ever

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Re: Recession Tips, from Reddit:

————

Take a lesson from the Puerto Ricans. Millions of us have managed to survive in one of the most expensive cities on earth with recipes like this:

Find a supermarket that has black beans on sale. Buy as much as you can. Then buy 5 or so pounds of Carolina rice, a bag of onions, a few bulbs of garlic, and a box of Goya Sazon.

Set 2 cups of water to boil

Dick around on reddit until the water is boiling

Throw in one cup of rice, turn the heat down to simmer and lid that shit

Slice up a small onion

Smash up a clove of garlic

Throw some olive oil or butter into a HOT pan.

Throw the onions and garlic into the pan and fry them till the onion gets glassy. Throw some salt in there.

Grind some pepper in there for good luck.

Toss in half a packet of Sazon and stir till you get a paste. Now you have a ghetto sofrito.

Dump in your can of beans bean juice and all.

Stir that shit up.

Add a pinch of Cayenne pepper so you remember that you have a set of cojones

Set that shit on simmer

Your rice is done.

Throw the beans on top.

Win

You should get at least 2 meals out of one can of beans, and if your lucky you can get black beans 2 for $1. Adding the cost of the Garlic, Sazon and a small onion and you still eat a tasty, hearty, relatively healthy meal for less than $1.

Now. You are a growing lad. You need MEAT

OK, first of all, fuck eating lips and assholes. There is a much, much tastier option that has kept millions of starving boriquas alive for generations: PORK SHOULDER.

In my neighborhood in Brooklyn, Pork shoulder is 79 cents a pound. That’s right. 79 cents. A package of hot dogs at $2.50 is more than double the price and has offal and all sorts of vile shit inside.

Buy yourself a nice meaty pork shoulder. 5 lbs should do nicely.

Bring that fucker home and get out a long, thin knife.

In a pilon (that’s a mortar and pestle gringo) smash up a few cloves of Garlic, some sazon, some, salt, some pepper, and some oil. Grind it up GOOD. Now you have another ghetto sofrito.

Take your knife and stab some holes in the pig. Twist the knife around so the holes get nice and wide.

Now, take some of your sofrito and stuff it into the holes. Don’t be shy blanco, ram it in there. Use the remainder to roughly coat the outside of the pig. RUB IT. CARESS IT. This pig died so that you may eat. Salt that shit all over the outside and crack some fucking pepper on there.

Set your oven for ~300 degrees

Throw the pork in skin side up and WAIT.

It’s going to take like 45 minutes a pound…

A warning: The smell is going to drive you fucking INSANE. You have to wait this part out. Farm work is the best cure.

After an an hour and a half, jab it with a meat thermometer, but remember to not rest it on the bone, or you will get a bad reading.

You should be at around 150-160 degrees. Now comes the fun part. CRANK the stove up to 400 degrees. This will give you an orgasmic, crispy skin that will make your pork rinds taste like year old carboard comparison.

At 170 ish? Pull that fucker out, but DON’T carve it up. You need to wait at least ten minutes otherwise all those sweet, sweet pig juices will dribble the fuck out. WAIT.

Congratulations. You just made Pernil. A five pound Pernil should give you meat for at least a week. SAVOR IT BROTHER. SAVOR IT

Edit: Forgot the best and cheapest fucking recipe!!!

TOSTONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fuck me. Green plaintains are usually like 5 for a fucking dollar!

Here’s my mom’s recipe:

Fry up some bacon. Set the bacon aside and save that lovely, glistening fat.

Take a plantain and run a knife down the side and split the skin off without breaking the plantain. This takes a bit of practice.

Slice up the plantain into ~1/3 inch thick slices. Throw them into a bowl of ice water.

You have a fry daddy? You’re golden papi. No? Pour around half an inch of oil into a frying pan. Corn oil works best, olive oil smokes too easily. Get that shit hot! Throw in your bacon grease.

Take your sliced up plantains out of the ice water and drain them or even pat them with a paper towel till they’re dry.

Fry em up until they just turn golden.

Throw them in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Now, here is where you become a MAN: Get yourself a flat bottom glass and a cutting board or a plate. Throw some flour on there. Smash the plantains with the cup. You may need a spatula to get them off the board…

Fry em AGAIN until they are golden and crispy

Make all three of these things together and you have an incredibly delicious and cheap meal!

TLDR; Learn the lessons of my people: The Nuyoricans. (New York Puerto Ricans) We have survived for DECADES on no money in one of the most expensive cities on the planet.