Latest Updates [2017]

Last update(s):
High School DxD: V23 Life.1 (Part 1 of 4) (20/6)
Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha: V7 Chapter 3 (Complete) (5/5)
Seikoku no Ryuu Kishi V7: Chapter 2 (15/6)

No V23 spoilers please, I only read as far as I translate.

DxD V22 is now on Baka-Tsuki, and a PDF will probably be made next week (28/6).

Night mode now on the right sidebar, between email updates and archives. Planning to add cookie support by December.

Next update(s):
High School DxD V23 Life.1: On hold.
Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha V7 Chapter 4: On hold.
Seikoku no Ryuu Kishi V7 Chapter 3: On hold.

Posted in rssf | Tagged | 298 Comments

La Peregrinación Sagrada

Yes, it’s happening. The great holy pilgrimage through which one is changed forevermore. I’m going to Japan!!

A few updates about what’s going on at the moment:
– I’m swamped with assignment deadlines as the end of semester is nigh
– Exams for me start in around 2 weeks
– I jet off to Japan 2 days after my exams are over

As such, I have no intention of starting the translation of High School DxD Volume 23, even if I do get source material. I won’t be starting further translation of Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha either, I don’t have enough time to make decent progress of Chapter 4. I’ve already started a bit of Seikoku no Ryuu Kishi Volume 7 Chapter 2, and since it isn’t too long, it will probably be done before I head off.

I’ll be spending just over three weeks in Japan, broken down as approximately one week in Hokkaido, one week in Tokyo, and the other week in Osaka and Kyoto (Kansai region), as well as Hiroshima. Unfortunately, it seems like a bit of a low season for conventions and festivals, though the Gion Matsuri does seem to go on for all of July. I’ve got most of my trip planned out generally, but haven’t gotten down to a full day-by-day itinerary yet, so if you’ve got any suggestions for me, let me know in the comments below. Shoutout to Samat and /u/Venom_is_an_ace for giving me some great ideas! 

Posted in travel | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments

Late Reminder for the Late Updaters

Things have cooled down quite a bit from the recent outbreak of ransomware that you might have heard about. In summary, WannaCry (aka. WCry, WannaCrypt, etc.) is a virus that uses a security exploit in Windows operating systems that allows it to encrypt the precious research material’ files on your computer, permanently removing your access from them until you pay up.

It’s been a real shitstorm for myself dealing with client concerns and checking WSUS (software used by businesses to monitor and roll out Windows updates) at every site. So here’s a reminder to keep your OS up to date, especially if you use Windows. You’ll want to make sure that you’ve got everything from Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-017 that applies to you, which should appear in Windows Update as the “March 2017 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for #####”, and while you’re at it, make sure you’ve got the April and May updates as well. Remember to stay up to date – given the scale of this incident and its influence, I would strongly suggest that you install security updates as soon as they are made available. If you run Windows 10, the almighty Microsoft forces these updates on you like a dictator, hooray!

For those out there who may argue that patches break stability and cause issues, I’d seriously weigh up the arguments for each side. When shit hits the fan, it’s a lot easier to tell clients (or whomever) that they’re protected, rather than have to deal with the issue under pressure. And…backups should be there so that you can roll back if necessary. It’s also great to do some research on each patch as well, just to make sure that it doesn’t pose any major issues.

While I’m on this topic, I think it’s important to stress the need for backups as well. While a copy of vital data on a USB stick is all well and good, it’s not much good if it isn’t regularly updated. It’s better to use backup software such as ShadowProtect or Ashampoo Backup to keep daily (or even more frequent depending on your needs) incremental backups on an external hard drive, network location, or in the cloud. This way, even if a computer is compromised or decides to retire itself, the data is somewhere else. Best practice would also involve keeping a regular copy of those backups in some off-site, offline location, though that’s probably going too far for home use.

Another tip would be to use a standard user account, and only use an administrator account for elevations (Run as administrator) when necessary. This can stop potentially damaging software from causing overly serious damage to the OS.

Finally, set your anti-virus or firewall alerts to ‘verbose’ and ‘interactive’ if it doesn’t bother you too much. It’s helpful to know what goes on in your filesystem, and what changes each application makes to it and the registry. ESET does a great job of this, and their software can be set to show and prompt for every registry, network or filesystem access.

There’s much more you can do to keep yourself safe from the modern threats of the landscape, and the power to implement them is always in your hands. For those with managed IT systems, you can always do your own checks and liaise with IT to make sure you’re protected as best as is possible. Of course, security is sometimes an illusion given that the NSA or bloody communists might have access to everything, and if you do feel that there’s something fishy going on, the best protection is to keep a tin-foil hat on your head at all times, and to lock everything you own inside a Faraday cage.

Posted in it | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A foray into The Division

So last month, or earlier this month (I can’t exactly remember when), a friend and I decided to pick up a new game for some multiplayer entertainment. We used to play Halo a lot, but that was a while ago, and before the GameSpy servers were shut down. We happened across Tom Clancy’s The Division, an interesting new third-person shooter that happened to be on sale. While excited at first to try this new game out, I was devastated to find that it required an additional 13.67GB download after installing the nearly 40GB game from its 5 DVDs. So, I let the download run overnight once, and then from time to time again over the span of a few weeks – yes, evidently, my Internet speeds are horrible. I also left a not so nice message to the feedback team about this.

First Impression

The Division doesn’t really have much of a tutorial per se, but for anyone who’s played any kind of FPS before, its elements aren’t hard to grasp. The storyline seems to revolve around a biological weapon detonation which has caused mass deaths, and resulted in gangs and outlaws taking control over New York City – your goal is to take it back. Surely, there will be more to the plot, but for a game like this, it doesn’t really matter. The cover-based game mechanics are interesting, and feel somewhat realistic, but after a few hours of gameplay, I’ve realised that this game’s open-world nature is both a curse and a blessing.

Controls

I’m a PC gamer, most of the time. The default controls seem friendly and intuitive enough, and are easily re-mappable from the options menu.

Audio

While I have an annoying static-like noise constantly ringing throughout the game, it appears to be a common issue that I hope will be fixed without the need to download an excessively large update.

The soundtrack is decent, and matches well with the situation in most cases. It reinforces the tension when necessary, and suits the atmosphere of the setting.

Voice acting was generally good, and the actors were able to project their voice onto their actors without seeming too out of place. The people sound like what I would expect them to be, and while generic most of the time, it works.

Graphics

Now, I’m still on DirectX 11, so I wasn’t able to try out the DirectX 12 renderer, but the visuals are excellent. Having personally visited NYC myself, this open-world re-creation of it is certainly authentic. At the highest setting of ‘Ultra’, the world appears highly realistic and nothing less of what you would expect of a modern game. The world is most certainly immersive with its realism, and the graphical perks during a gunfight really enhance that. An example of this would be ‘status effects’, such as one of the best vision distortion effects I’ve seen which occurs when caught in a grenade blast.

Unfortunately, The Division requires a fairly beefed up PC to run at its maximum settings. The game still looks great at the medium and high settings though, so there’s nothing to worry about if you can’t run it smoothly on Ultra. As a reference, the listed ‘Recommended’ system requirements will probably have you running the game on ‘High’. Personally, it seems like my CPU (AMD Phenom II X6 1100T) is letting me down since there are many calculations and elements which require its time (almost constantly at 100% load on all cores), thus the best I can run it on is High (1080p), whilst still maintaining 40-60 frames per second. On the other hand, it isn’t as heavy on the GPUs as I would have thought, and my GPUs (2x Radeon HD 7950s) tend to average out at around 40% load.

Mechanics & Gameplay

The game starts off fairly difficult, and I personally found myself respawning quite a few times in one of the early missions. While a portion of the gameplay consists of hiding behind cover either alone, or with friends in co-op and shooting at enemies, it also has significant RPG elements. There are different unlocks and upgrades depending on your player level, and also various grades and levels of weapons and armour. In-game materials can also be used to craft items.

Despite being a shooter on the surface, this game is actually rather deep when it comes to the RPG side. Even just a few hours in, I felt that level-grinding and cash-grinding was going to be inevitable as most enemies, especially ‘bosses’ are bullet sponges, and this is where the RPG side takes control over the realism of the game. You’d think that a headshot would take someone out, but most enemies tend to require several headshots or body-shots to take out because of their insanely high armour spec, or health. As the game progresses, different regions with high-leveled enemies become safe to explore, which means that you’ll constantly be spending money to buy or upgrade weapons and armour, all to get higher attack or defense stats in order to survive. While it may keep you playing for longer, it detracts from the realism and rapid-fire action expected of a shooter.

That aside, the heavy emphasis and reliance on using cover enhances the atmosphere of the game’s urban combat and is something fresh in comparison to more traditional first-person shooter games. Something unique I found in this was the concept of ‘blind fire’, in which you could point your weapon out to fire whilst hiding behind cover, albeit with less accuracy. While this might have been possible in some other games, its execution was near-perfect in The Division.

As previously mentioned, The Division’s open-world nature has its pros and cons. There is an enormous map to play (most of Manhattan seems to be recreated down to the street level), which means that there is plenty to explore, and a fair amount of action since there are occasionally a few random raids, patrols, gunfights, and so on. The problem lies in the fact that there is no transport, and moving from place to place is entirely on foot. Despite the existence of checkpoints or safe houses which can be fast-traveled to and from, I found myself walking an awful lot (2-3 minutes of plain walking/running) to move between each encounter or mission.

Lastly, The Division is online-only. You can interact and group-up with other places at bases or safe houses, and I guess that adds to the realism of there being multiple agents in the field at once, but you become restricted to always having to be online, even if you aren’t playing co-op.

Conclusion

A decent game, and only worth a go if this is what interests you; the RPG and shooter combination will keep you going for a while to come, but I have a feeling that it can quickly become boring for some, especially since the plot is thin, and after establishing your base of operations in the early stages of the game, the rest is fairly similar, and less interesting than it was in the beginning. Even in the few hours that I’ve played, most enemies look fairly generic, and the boss gunfights become increasingly long because all of the bosses are like walking tanks with impenetrable armour. The nature of the game will either be addictive to you or they will bore you.

I’ve personally played things which have hooked me more with their gameplay and storyline than The Division has, but it seems to have all of a ruined New York City to explore in a virtual world, so at least that will keep you going for a decent amount of time.

Of course, I only started playing this yesterday, so take it with a grain of salt. There may be a lot more (or less) to the game than what I’ve experienced so far.

Posted in gaming | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Latest Update [2015-2016]

Last update(s):
High School DxD: V22 Indra & Sūn Wùkōng (Part 1 of 1) (25/12)
Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha: V7 Chapter 2 (All 11 parts) (11/10)
Seikoku no Ryuu Kishi: V6 Chapter 6 (17/10) & Epilogue (17/10)

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Everyone!!

Night mode on the way – will need to find time to test CSS for it. Also planning to add some more interesting backgrounds. When I can find time 🙁

Next update(s):
High School DxD V22 Life.5: Translation will resume January.
Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha V7 Chapter 3: On hold until DxD V22 is complete.
Seikoku no Ryuu Kishi V7 Prologue: On hold until other translations are complete.

Posted in rssf | Tagged | 603 Comments

A quick guide to making PDFs

So while I was making the PDF for Seikoku no Ryuu Kishi volume 6 today, I thought I’d share my process of doing things since it’s evolved quite a bit since I first started, and I feel like it’s a pretty solid process now.

Requirements

  • Microsoft Word 2010 (cannot guarantee perfect functionality with other versions)
  • Adobe Acrobat X (again, cannot guarantee perfect functionality with other versions)
  • [Optional] Photo editing tool such as Adobe Photoshop. Any version will do.

Files

Process

  1. Copy and paste all of the text into the provided template. Update title, footer and last page information.
  2. Fix formatting and styling. Ensure references are formatted correctly.
  3. Remove any hyperlinks with [CTRL + A] to select all text, and then [CTRL + SHIFT + F9] to remove.
  4. Check that all chapter titles are set correctly. You can see this by pressing [CTRL + F] to bring up the search sidebar, and then click on the first tab to see the document outline.
  5. Set furigana readings if necessary using the Phonetics Guide tool and instructions given in the template.
  6. Leave blank pages for illustrations.
  7. Convert to PDF via MS Word ribbon, or open Adobe Acrobat and choose “Create” from the toolbar, and then select the MS Word file.
  8. Ensure chapter bookmarks are correct. Fix them if necessary.
  9. Resize illustrations (to scale) so that their widths are equivalent to the template. This should be 21cm or 8.27in. I find that Photoshop is the best tool for this because it does a good job of preserving image quality.
  10. Insert illustrations where you left a blank page, and then delete those blank pages.
  11. Select and right-click on each reference to “Create Link”, and then navigate to the corresponding note and click “Set Link”. See my video demonstration here. This needs to be done for both directions so that users can move back and forth.
  12. Go to File > Properties to fill out any details necessary. I like to put down the original author and illustrator.

That’s it! Save and you’re done…it probably took a lot longer than you might have expected, especially if there are a lot of references or illustrations. If you find that the file size is excessively large, you can try compressing the PDF by going to File > Save as… > Reduced size PDF. Anyway, hope that helps for anyone looking to make a few PDFs. If you’re an experienced PDF maker, feel free to share your thoughts.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Ah, at last…!

Hey everyone, thanks for sticking with me and being patient for so long!

Volume six of Seikoku no Ryuu Kishi is finally done. I’ll be uploading it to Baka-Tsuki along with Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha volume 7 chapter 2, and I will make a full-volume PDF a week after that.

This is supposedly Rebecca’s volume, and I feel like we’ve gotten some good character development out of it, especially when it comes to her more vulnerable side and her worries as a woman, rather than as the <Scarlet Empress> or Student Council President. Oscar’s identity was also a bit of a surprise for me, and now I’m curious to see how things will end up with her. I haven’t read ahead, despite having all of the volumes, but I get the faint feeling that she’ll be joining Ash’s list of admirers.

Only a few more hours left until the Hagure vs. Shinmai vs. neither poll closes, but it looks like the outcome is fairly clear. So there you go, thanks for voting. I’ll keep translating Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha, Hagure Yuusha no Aesthetica will be lined up behind it when I catch up to all current content. I think I’ll also make a start on the first chapter or so of Seikoku no Ryuu Kishi before I take a break. It’s almost the end of semester for me, which means exam time, so I’ll be taking a break throughout the end of October and most of November.

Some of you may also be wondering about High School DxD…I haven’t dropped it, and my tentative plan is to continue starting from Life.4, sometime in November most likely as that’s when I’ll be free.

Posted in hagure, snrk | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

My apologies for the extended delay

I’m sure quite a few of you may have been waiting for that Shinmai Maou update I said would be coming on the 9th, even though that was already pushed back a bit. Well, yes, I’ve finished translating it, and am still in the process of editing it. I don’t plan on uploading it until I’ve reviewed everything at least once and am satisfied with the quality. It is decently long with ~20k words, so that’s one reasons why it’s taking me a while, but I suppose the other reason is that I was planning to spend my Sunday evening going through it, but a few things popped up to stand in my way.

This next part is just me ranting a bit…so feel free to ignore it.
Working with others in a team or group is sometimes great…you’ll get along, have fun, and be productive. Unfortunately, when no one in a team is enthusiastic and no one communicates effectively with each other, everything falls apart. And that’s basically what happened today. I’m doing two courses this semester which heavily rely on teamwork, and one of those happened to have part of an assignment due on Monday. Three people in the team decided to do the same thing, but in three different ways, and on their own.

The task: A technical diagram (~3 hours of work).
Person 1: Drew up a draft on paper and sent a photo of it to the group early on, and then said they would finalise it later, but never did, and didn’t tell anyone until the day before.
Person 2: Drew the diagram up digitally, based on Person 1’s work, and then said it was complete and just wanted someone to look over it, the night before.
Person 3 (Me): Offered to finalise the draft digitally when Person 1 notified the group, and started to do so when no one gave any reply. Got halfway through before Person 2 shared their work. Discovered that Person 2’s work was more complete, but totally incorrect and only met one of the four marking criteria required. Scrambled to redo the entire diagram using their software instead.
Person 4: MIA.

Now, I’m just going to let this slide as a one-off. My team has been otherwise reliable so far. It’s just that I wish someone could’ve said that they only planned to do a draft or only that they were missing parts so that others would’ve been informed of the urgency of completion.

<!—End Rant—>

I’ll have the Shinmai chapter up in around 24 hours from now…I’ve checked over around 40% of it, so I’ll leave the rest for tomorrow. Also, regarding the translation of future Shinmai Maou content…I don’t think I’m going to continue with the project at this point. A while back, I found a few other translators willing to do the project together with me, but a few backed out after I told them about the status of the project and the ‘content’ it would involve, whilst a few also began to require more time for RL. Only one translator was willing to go forth with the project after a few weeks of planning, and at that point I just decided it wasn’t worth it. Now, given that both J2270A and I have now stated that we aren’t exactly interested in continuing, I suppose that means the project is likely to be abandoned and any future fan-translations are unlikely. While Nomi has done portions of volumes eight and nine, she has not expressed interest in doing anything but the parts which have been commissioned. This does leave a rather bad aftertaste with me for not being able to see this through to the end…and so I decided to leave it up to you.

High School DxD and Seikoku no Ryuu Kishi are my long-term projects. I plan to translate DxD content whenever it’s available, and Seikoku no Ryuu Kishi whenever I’m free.
On the other hand, I also plan to do another project concurrently to the aforementioned, or whenever I’m free. This is going to either be: Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha or Hagure Yuusha no Aesthetica. If the translation of either one ever catches up to the latest release, then I’ll switch back over to the other.

Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha or Hagure Yuusha no Aesthetica?

  • Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha (62%, 305 Votes)
  • Hagure Yuusha no Aesthetica (29%, 142 Votes)
  • Drop them both and focus on other translations (9%, 43 Votes)

Total Voters: 490

Loading ... Loading ...

Poll closes one week from now.

Posted in hagure, smnk | Tagged , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Holiday Time Over

Hey hey so I just got back home this morning. Had a long nap, then started unpacking and getting ready for the new uni semester which starts in the morning. I’ll be getting back to the comments I missed very soon and translations this week.

What can I say about Europe? I think I’ll break it down by country as that makes things easier.

UK/England: One of the most enjoyable places I went to, and I felt like I’d never really be bored. While on a Thames River cruise, I was told: “To be tired of London is to be tired of life”, and that really is quite true. There is simply so much history and heritage in the UK that makes it worthwhile. Of course, there are also many current things which make it rather fun. Highlight: Wimbledon 2016.

The Netherlands/Amsterdam: I was only there for a day but I felt it was a very clean and beautiful city. Everything is about green energy and there are hordes of bicycles everywhere. Zaans Schans was very nice to see, but probably filled with more tourists than I’d like. On the other hand, the city itself was more enjoyable as it seems to have so much liberty: people smoking marijuana on street, bongs for sale in convenience stores, and a rather inviting red light district. Highlight: The city itself.

Belgium/Brussels: I had about half a day here as it was just a stopover on my way from Amsterdam to Paris. I do apologise, but I found Brussels somewhat less interesting than other cities, perhaps due to time constraints. Highlight: Traditional cuisine.

France/Paris: Paris lived up to all of my expectations and a bit more. The first day I spent hitting out most of the top tourist attractions, and it was rather fun listening to French and just exploring the city. Days two and three were mostly spent in museums, as there are simply so many famous works and museums all over Paris. We also happened to be there while the Euro Cup was on, and that really made everything much more lively. I was on top of the Arc de Triomphe on the day of the finals and flags were fluttering about everywhere, horns were blaring, and people were fired up. It felt like French pride and patriotism at its best, which was accentuated even further by everyone’s depressing expressions the next day.

Italy: Well, there was just so much to see here. I visited Milan, Pisa, Florence, The Cinque Terre, Rome, Naples, Pompeii, The Amalfi Coast and Venice. Florence was quite a beautiful city and also where I had the best homemade pasta. I did an AirBnB stay at an apartment in Vernazza and it honestly felt amazing to be living like a local would in the Cinque Terre. Rome felt like another place all together because it felt “Roman” rather than “Italian”, and there was so much to see and do there. Naples was the least enjoyable place, probably because I had the wrong impression of it before I arrived. I thought it would be just another major city like Rome or Florence with tourists out and about, but I was wrong. It felt seedy, dangerous and dirty wherever I went and there were very few tourists around. Just a short train ride away and we were in the ruins of Pompeii, which was an incredible sight to behold, especially those body molds. Taking the train to the end of the line, we came to Sorrento, which was an pleasant place to stay and certainly quite nice. Of course, Positano and Amalfi were even better, and the Amalfi Coast really lived up to my expectations of how beautiful the coastline was. I went kayaking and swimming around there and the water was simply beautiful. My last stop in Italy was Venice, and I found it rather boring. Sure, the photos will look nice and I’ll have been there but the experience itself wasn’t that enjoyable as it was way too touristy. Highlight: Vernazza.

Spain: Madrid was a pleasant city, and a nice place to be in. The Spanish I learnt in Peru certainly paid off in communicating with some of the locals and the food was also great. Of the two cities I visited however, Barcelona was definitely much more enjoyable. Barcelona felt fun and lively at any time of the day and it was filled with interesting spots all of the city such as the Parc de Laberint, and Gaudi’s architectural works. Being able to speak Spanish was again quite helpful, although most signs were actually in Catalan. That’s also why I found it to be a peculiar city, as that is the only place (correct me if I’m wrong) where Catalan is used, yet it seems to be the dominant language there. Highlight: The Tapas.

So, that roughly sums up my trip. I had a great time, so thanks for being patient. I’ve probably visited the countries that some of you live in, so feel free to let me know about what you think.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Daniel Yang’s blog has moved!

So, it’s now my turn to be hit with exams and etcetera which means I’ll probably slow down immensely or stop with translations very soon, but the good news is that daniel Yang, our DX translator will soon be translating the short stories of DX2!

His old site will no longer be updated now, as he has a new one at danielyang.ninja

On another note, has anyone read “Another Story of Panatea”? I bought the first volume a while ago because it was on some super clearance sale for ~ $2 or less, and was wondering if there could be something wrong with it.

Posted in dxd | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments