Posts Tagged ‘tech’
So it’s been approximately ages since I’ve done anything in this space, so I figured I’d quickly summarize my last two months with a picture.
(Numbers are roughly clockwise)
1) My torn-apart Eee PC 901. A while back, I broke the LCD by using it as a carrying handle, a use it neither was designed for nor deserved. So I ordered a replacement and assumed I’d be able to install it myself. This was a good assumption; expecting the shipper to send precisely the right model was not. All-in-all, the pins didn’t match up and the backlight didn’t work. Ordering the right part soon.
2) Machine of Death. A great book that I’ve been reading. I think it might be the first actual hold-it-in-your-hands paper book I’ve bought for my own personal reading enjoyment in years.
3) 3D glasses. I was on an Amazon shopping spree and figured why not.
4) My newly repaired Macbook Pro. The turdbiscuits at the Apple Store finally believed me that the issue was the same one I told them it was all along, namely that the Wi-Fi card was Wi-Fried, and repaired the slut of a laptop. So far, so good, but I’ve renamed it “Morgan”.
5) Playstation 2 and Persona 4. I picked up a used PS2 and a bunch of games for dirt cheap over the holidays and have really been enjoying it. Persona 4 is the one game I’ve spent the most time on, over 20 hours according to my save file but many more hours were played but lost to death. It’s really quite fun and I’m looking forward to playing more of it.
6) Magic: The Gathering deck. Yes, I’ve gotten into Magic. I have a few friends with whom I play a couple times a week and currently have 3 decks. Hopefully, I will be able to refrain from converting my entire life savings into trading card form.
7) My DVD copy of The Social Network. The local Blockbuster is shutting down and are in the process of liquidating their DVD inventory, so everything is on sale for, again, dirt cheap. I picked up the special edition of what I consider to be 2010′s best film for a delicious $8.
Otherwise, most of my time has been spent on game development and school. I made another Oceanspirit Dennis game and am currently working on two other unrelated, non-OSD game projects. I also might be working with a certain someone on a certain something that may or may not certainly be a book.
I got a new PC. I made it myself. It has fancy parts for fancy games. Hip hip hooray. With the new PC comes new games, which I could not previously run. These include Just Cause 2, Crysis, Prince of Persia ’08, and all my old games on maximum settings.
I’ve been pretty busy recently, working on several different things. Oceanspirit Dennis has been Oceanspiriting, but I’ve got other, different, game-related stuff on my mind. Not sure if anything will come of it.
Dudes and ladies! I made a game!
Holy moly it’s a game you can play on your computer. Another Oceanspirit Dennis one, I might add, this one’s called Blades of Passion and it’s pretty nice, if I do say so myself. It deals with some heavily Freudian psychological issues concerning OSD’s choice of sexuality, so some of you might pussy out.
I’ve been reviewed on the AGS Blog by a fellow named James “Dualnames” Spanos. He’s from Greece! I still wish it was John Stamos instead. We talked about games and such things, so if you so happen to be so inclined you can so read it by placing your cursor over these words and left-clicking.
I wrote another review for HardyDev about a glorious game called The Journey Down: Over The Edge, which I fully admit is better than Blades of Passion in just about every way. Read it if you want.
It’s called Vector Vendetta, and it’s flippin’ sweet. A bullet hell arcade shooter staring interesting geometrical shapes sounds kinda familiar right? But unlike Geometry Wars, VV is 100% free and able to be played by you right now by clicking these words.
Game Author: Radiant
Website: Crystal Shard
Every generation has a different view of the future, but people have been hoping for some things since the 20′s and humanity continues to drop the ball. Things like…
5) Space Elevators
Get this, according to Wikipedia, the technology for these things has existed since 1978. They’d even pay for themselves! After you get the elevator operational, just charge gratuitous amounts of money for people to have a couple hours in space. It worked for Richard Branson, and he hasn’t even taken anyone yet.
4) Spinal cord Bluetooth implants
This great idea belongs to Andy Ihnatko and would eliminate the need for printers, displays, keyboards, speakers, hell, basically everything needed for using your magical audio-visual communication and computation device today. Of course there’s the obvious security issues of your brain being open to wireless hacking, but there’s nothing in there that you haven’t already posted to twitter, facebook, and youtube.
3) The death of 3D
I don’t care what anyone says about 3D being “more realistic” or “the next big advancement in cinema/gaming.” They’re wrong. It isn’t. It hurts your eyes and causes visual overload. When I saw Avatar, (one word review: meh), I spent the whole time thinking how much I’d rather see the film in 2D, or at least a better film. Avatar’s problem was that the 3D made the already-pushing-it-in-terms-of-believability aliens lose all realism and turned them back into digital freaks. Also, particles in 3D are the most distracting thing ever; you’re trying to watch two characters converse but your eyes can’t lock down on one of the dozens of vertical planes in which movement occurs. Stupid flower petals/ashes/holy flying anemonae.
2) An Apple tablet
Seriously, Apple, get on that.
1) Laws against the stuff the 60′s people wanted
I know, personal jetpacks and time machines would be cool, but have you stopped to think about how impractical and dangerous those things would be? Time machines, if possible, have the dangers of paradoxes up the bum and jetpacks would need way too many safety features and airspace regulation. Don’t even get me started on artificial intelligence. Some of these things are just too dangerously powerful and powerfully dangerous to be created.
So on the whole, humanity as a whole has a lot of work to do over the next 10 years to keep me happy, which, admittedly, is probably not the best goal for the entire world to pursue.
Let’s have some structure:
- Video games: I recently beat Mass Effect, and let me say that it is definitely one of the best games I’ve ever played. It gives COD4 a run for its money as my favorite Xbox game. Sure, it has a lot of flaws (annoying inventory system, the MAKO vehicle, Unreal engine 3), but it more than makes up for them with an incredible story, truly lovable characters, the best dialog system I’ve ever encountered, and more than tolerable combat. Go buy it now. Other games I’ve been playing recently: Left 4 Dead 2, Saints Row 2, Spider-Man 2, and Modern Warfare 2 (see a pattern?). All of them are really good, but none of them are quite as epic as Mass Effect. I’m planning on getting the collector’s edition (EDIT: For the sequel in January, that is), which is something I’ve never done.
- Computer problems: If you’ve read my twitter in the past two weeks or heard my screams of anguish (audible radius: 2000 km), you’ll no doubt know that my computer is friggin’ screwed up. I have nearly exhausted my options for fixing it, but I don’t think it’s too late yet. After some preparation, I plan to back up all my essential stuff twice, including app licenses, and do a complete format and reinstall. I’m probably going to end up doing this for both my Mac and Windows partition, so I’m going to use this opportunity to upgrade to Windows 7 and increase the size of my Boot Camp partition. I honestly don’t know why I’m upgrading, since the last 3 times I’ve upgraded my computers I’ve wrought nothing but sorrows.
- Christmas: I hate Christmas music. I like Christmas, but I hate the music more than anything. Other things I hate more than anything include the cold, rain, final exams, and media whores. Why I’m in Memphis during the winter and why I still have yahoo.com bookmarked is beyond me. But once again breaking my own rule of never announcing anything until it’s done, I have plans for literally 9 different thing for my holiday break. Instead of breaking my rule outright, I’ll just bend it a little by giving the first letter of each: M, C, A, K, F, T, P, S, and B. Guess away.
Well, it’s that time of year again. No, wait, it isn’t.
So it turns out MacHeist is doing a “nanoBundle” which, short story short, is a half-dozen odd Mac apps for $0, i.e., free. There’s some good stuff in it, like WriteRoom and Twitterrific. There’s some details about unlocks and some stuff on Facebook to get another app or two, but the big deal is that it’s free.
In the realm of not free crap, some pretty stellar-looking games are coming out this Christmas season. I’ve got Left 4 Dead 2 and Modern Warfare 2 pre-ordered, and the demo of L4D2 is friggin’ uh-maze-ing. I’ve also been getting back into the swing of PC gaming, TF2, L4D1, and my second play-through of HL2, not to mention copious amounts of fun in Gmod. My MBP handles these games all pretty dandily, HL2 gets 60fps+ on absolute maximum settings. My main issue right now, though, is a lack of hard drive space on my Bootcamp partition. I’d like to give it another 25-30GB from my Mac side, and I’ve heard murmurs that such a feat can be done with GParted. I’ve used the live USB with my Eee with eventual success. While I’d prefer not having to backup and restore, I might be willing to do it with Windows XP, maybe as a transition to 7. But I’m not at all interested in wiping and restoring OS X. This is something I’ll have to research, being a potentially fatal operation.
Not too long ago, Google announced “Wave.” It seems to be a shiny online collaboration tool made out of pure heroin. Or at least you’d think so by looking at how desperate people are to get their hands on an invite to the exclusive online party. But the obsession seems to have died down; Wave’s been out of the Twitter trending topics for a while now and I’m seeing fewer shameless pleas for invites.
Why all the fuss?
Sure, Wave looks pretty spiffy, and if you do a lot of collaborative work, I could see how it would be useful, but the demand goes beyond that. A lot more people want Wave than need it. Why? Well, for one, it’s new and exclusive. “Gosh, maybe if I can get a Google Wave invite I can finally feel special!” Plus, with the power to invite others comes responsibility, or, conversely, power-hunger. “Sure I’ll invite you… if you make me a moderator on your forum.” These motivating factors have led me to deduce that the hype surrounding Wave and the invites thereto stems at least partially from the economy of scarcity. Since there seems to be only a limited number of spots that Google will allow at this point, the value of an invite increases with time, to the point where invites start showing up on eBay. Because people want into the Google-select so badly, they are willing to pay actual money for a service that they’ll eventually be able to get for free. Of course, since time is money, some people can justify this monetary sacrifice.
I’m biased though, I really wouldn’t have anyone to collaborate with except classmates, but that’s commonly known as cheating. Plus, I haven’t really done any research at all on Wave. Still, I can see the allure of holding such a power, the potential for evil is… staggering. Yes… quite staggering.
At work, I’ve started creating an iPhone app for my rapper boss and am looking at getting into iPhone development as a “serious hobby.” It could fit into some entrepreneurial ideas I have for the future involving videos for university courses, too. Now the virtual iPhone that comes with the SDK certainly works, but I imagine it would be much nicer doing the testing on an actual device. No doubt it would also be friggin’ sweet for mobile browsing, games, utilities, and more or less anything I could imagine. But, daaaamn, a data plan is expensive! Not to mention the charges I’d undoubtably rack up by going download-crazy on the app store. I have a phone. I have an iPod. Do I need an iPhone?
Condawg says no, an iPod Touch would do. I initially brushed off the suggestion as impractical because the Touch didn’t offer enough improvements to replace both my phone and iPod. I’m starting to think it still might be an option, but I’m unsure. Clearly, I’d prefer an iPhone, but would it be an investment or an indulgence? Before I bought one, I’d need to know that I could at least partially cover the costs from app or work income. So before I make the purchase, I’ll want to be more fluent in app design and Objective-C.
Or I could blow all my money on a plane ticket to New Zealand to get some dandy books.
In other news, Triumph of the Nerds is now for sale on ebay for $20! Check it out here.
Helpful one-line summary for people who can’t read good: “I’m getting Brütal Legend instead of ODST.”
Halo 3: ODST, for douchebags or just jerks?
Lots of my friends are getting real big hards on for Bungie’s new crack baby, Halo 3: ODST. They say to me, “Drew, this game rocks my socks!” “Well it steams my broccoli,” I reply. Truth be told, I haven’t actually played the game, but I don’t really have any intention to do so. I’ve never been a huge Halo fan in the first place; the most immersion I’ve experienced with it is that, through a bizarre chain of events, I now think Korean food “smells like Halo.” The first game I played to the end was Halo 3. I’d played some of the campaign of the first one and a bit of the multiplayer of the second before then but, needless to say, I didn’t have a very firm grasp of the story. After a half-dozen or so hours of shooting the same four or five enemies in poorly designed levels, I came away with the feeling that most of my friends must have had frontal lobotomies to think that Halo was the pinnacle of modern gaming. By contrast, I beat Call of Duty 4 in an even shorter time, but spent a much lower percentage of it wandering around, backtracking, or getting warped back to inconsistently placed checkpoints. Furthermore, I found myself much more attached to the characters. When *SPOILER FRIGGIN’ WARNING* Miranda Keys *ALL FRIGGIN CLEAR* died in Halo 3, I didn’t give a flying flip. Conversely, when *AGAIN WITH THE SPOILERS* Captain Price and Gaz *THAT WAS A CLOSE ONE* kicked the bucket, I literally let out a saddened “Awww!” To be fair though, I admit I was relieved that *LAST ONE PROMISE* the American player character *ALRIGHTY* got deep fried so I wouldn’t have to put up with his squadmates constantly yelling “Bad guys in the open!” in the same kind of voice a ten-year-old boy would use to warn his mates of the impending treehouse assault by the neighborhood girls.
Either way, ODST. For one, the acronym is stupid and doesn’t flow. Until the commercials started polluting the airwaves, I thought it was OSTD, as if it was some kind of occult sexually transmitted disease, instead it sounds like Ontario daylight savings time. Another thing is the troopers themselves. From what I’ve gleaned about the story, you’re basically part of the crew of Firefly. I think this is big, fat, honkin’ STUPID. I’ll admit that I watched the show and liked it a bit, even if my overall goal in watching was to be able to see the movie so my Blockbuster subscription wouldn’t go completely to waste. At the time, I was completely caught up on Lost and the Office had started to get a bit dull, so I was desperate for a new show. I find it strange that Bungie would put in their commercial, frat boy franchise obvious homages to the characters of a cult TV show that is worshiped by the nerdliest of the nerds. Halo is a series for people with very low standards, or at least it is now. I’ve now beat Combat Evolved and I’ve got to say, that while the level design was at best repetitive and at worst labyrinthine, the story, gameplay, and overall experience were a lot more enjoyable and fun. But the thing is, I’m much more interested in filling in the gaps with Halo 2 than playing through the adventures of Mal Reynolds and his spunky crew in ODST.
Also, I’m against the game in principle because it looks like just more of the same. Now I have nothing against sequels, especially not in gaming, but once a developer reaches the fourth iteration of a successful formula without any major changes to the concept or implementation, I’ll have to ask them to please watch the trailer for Brütal Legend. Now that is the kind of game I look forward to. You don’t see Tim Schafer making Psychonauts 2: The Last Hemisphere, do you? What I’m getting all excited about isn’t just the heavy metal (hit and miss), Jack Black (fair share of crap), or the humor (will probably rock, actually), it’s the fact that Brütal Legend is a new idea. It’s the same principle that made Pixar so successful, ideas so crazy and unique that you can’t imagine how the writers came up with them without divine inspiration. It doesn’t take much more than a coin flip to make a game where you shoot aliens as a space marine. Even the first trailers for ODST made it look like a radical departure from the run-and-gun-and-loathe-your-squadmates of Halos 1-3 to a more stealth-based, exploration style . But the gameplay videos seem to show that you’re still running and gunning and still have to put up with all your teammates’ “witty” banter over your radio.
But, honestly, I haven’t played it so there’s a slim chance it could surprise me. The thing is, though, that the trailers, reviews, gameplay footage, and franchise history don’t give me any motivation to give it that chance. Of course, I might just borrow it from somebody and play it just to get riled up some more. I’m crazy like that.
So I was frolicking through the interwebs when I found this story on Microsoft’s deep discounts on Windows 7 upgrades for students. People with an .edu email address, like myself, are able to buy Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade for $30 US, a suspiciously close price point to Snow Leopard’s.
And while it is only available for students, the actual OS does not appear to be any different than the full version, and can be used to upgrade either Vista or XP. While the article speculates that the intent of this discount is either to net Mac/Linux users or, more likely, to get current PC users to upgrade, I think that it is actually a move to combat piracy. I haven’t done extensive research, but of the students at my school, the ones who have torrented Windows is roughly “a buttload.” When Microsoft gives these piracy-prone students the option to upgrade legitimately for a price that, in the long run, might as well be free, they might entice a good percent to avoid either the risks involved in illicit file-shareing or the ethical dilemma of stealing.
My personal dilemma is actually whether I want to bother with upgrading at all. I have XP installed on a relatively small Boot Camp partition (46 GB) and use it mainly for gaming and engineering programs. I would like to know if 7 did a similar thing to OS X 10.6 in saving disk usage. Also, to upgrade from XP to 7, I’d have to do a full backup, wipe, install, restore. Do I really want to trade the hassle of installing and the disk space for a small performance boost and interface changes that I probably won’t like anyway? I’ll have to think on this one, but I might still end up buying 7 while this offer still lasts and maybe installing it down the line.
You might remember a story I posted waaaaaay back about the Mac text editor TextMate and how I intended to buy it and was looking for a coupon. Recently, I decided to email the company that develops TextMate about their intentions to do a promotion.
Someone from MacroMates got back with me, saying, “(we are) currently quite happy with our sales so I wouldn’t expect to see us do another coupon code for a while.” So that’s the answer to that. Anyone who’s looking for a promo code would probably be better off going ahead and buying it. Trust me, it’s worth every penny.
In other news, referring to your own posts as “stories” is incredibly, incredibly pretentious.
Here’s a video I did highlighting my top 6 favorite new Snow Leopard features, aside from, you know, the under-the-hood stuff.
HEY! Do you enjoy documentaries? Do you enjoy documentaries about the early days of the personal computer? Do you like said films that feature interviews with luminaries such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Balmer, and several other important people? Do you enjoy watching these sort of documentaries in VHS format? Do you know why I’m asking all these questions?
Man, I’ve just hyped this up so much even I can hardly believe that everything I just said is completely true about what I’m selling! This ain’t no Craigslist.
That’s right! You, yes, YOU!, could be the proud owner of the 3 VHS Collector’s Box Set of the public television documentary, Triumph of the Nerds. Cue the pictures!
I haven’t set a price yet but some googling suggests maybe around $20 US or something? Not sure about shipping yet either, but we can work something out. The tapes are in great quality, not perfect, but it’s from 1996, okay? If you’re interested, email me at my name (drew) at my domain (ddq5.com).
UPDATE: It’s now for sale on ebay.
Okay, it’s fun to make fun of things, hence the phrasing, and it’s also fun to be able to do so without any justification for your assertions. Hence the recent line of “Things that Suck” posts by myself and yomcat. And while the liberation from normal requirements of proof is quite thrilling, I think sometimes these sorts of things need a little backing up. So though in this update, “Web Sites that Suck,” I will be posting in the usual evidence-less manner, an upcoming Sucks will actually be a Sucks Hard, where I will elaborate on one of my choices from the first three. And damned if I didn’t just break my promise about not promising stuff. Sue me.
Web Sites That Suck
- I Can Has Cheezburger
- Access Hollywood Dot Com // Almost certain proof that America is FUBAR
- Perez Hilton Dot Com
- Twitter Dot Com’s Trending Topics and The People Who Post Them
- DeviantArt // With a few personal exceptions
- WebCT AKA Blackboard // If you want to make sure your assignments don’t get turned in.
- Any and All Furry/Teen/White Supremacy/Gothic/Jonas Brothers/Webcomic Fan Forums. // Even for good webcomics! It’s uncanny, like the more hardcore a fan one is of something, the more likely one will join a forum dedicated to the appreciation of said something, and, further, the more likely one is a complete and total basket case.
And of course, The Site Which Shall Not Be Named And Does Not Even Deserve A Friggin’ Number Because It Sucks So Dang Much And I Do Hope You Know Which One I Am Talking About Yes That One.