May 2003 Archives



May 1, 2003

Birthday Presents!

Well my "long weekend" turned into a "mini vacation" as I went down to my Dad's house for a week. Let me tell you - a week with out checking email is wonderful. Its the checking it when you get home part that is hell! I got everything I asked for an more! I got a green polo shirt and a book called Business and Legal Forms for Graphic Designers from my grandma. and from my Dad and Melody (step mom) I got a new pair of Devil Sticks, (yay!) another book I wanted The Graphic Designer's Guide to Pricing, Estimating and Budgeting, and a pair of reversable basketball shorts and a sleeveless tee. I wasn't expecting the cloths at all! Those two books are gonna come in really handy, I have already started to read them. and the forms are on CD. Allworth Press has a lot of great books for graphic design, business, as well as other subjects such as photography. For those of you who do not know what Devil Sticks - they are juggling sticks and are a lot of fun! I picked up a pair when I was at Disney in Orlando years ago and I have loved them ever since. I prefer the "flower sticks" style as they have sometimes have a ledge at the ends of the main stick. I have a pair like this but don't like them that much. I prefer these, which is the pair I got for my birthday.

May 3, 2003

Sold Game Cube & XBOX; GBA SP Rocks

I finally did it! It has been over 6 months since I have played either my Game Cube or my XBOX. I know some people are going to be shocked and amazed that I actually sold one of my beloved video game systems. Well I sold 2 of them :-P I guess the right time had come along. There is a CR Music Exchange store in town that has a lot of stuff: music, movies, games, mobile phones, tv, sterio, etc, etc. I got $265 for my 2 systems, extra controllers, and games. I ended up getting a cell phone, and a couple GBA games with the little that was left over. I kinda feed bad selling them, but I do not think I will be missing them at all. I have not had the urge to play them in quite some time now. I was gonna pack up my PS2 and sell that too, but didn't want to be too rash all of a sudden. So I decided to keep my PS2, and I will be keeping my GBA as well. I did however go to Toledo and traded my GBA in for a discount on a GBA SP. The GBA SP is great! and with the $40 trade in it was a heck of a deal. I got the silver one. That backlight screen is so nice. It makes me want to play the GBA so much more now that I do not have to hunt and work at finding/getting good light to play it.

Forgot the Philips Screw Driver

For the longest time I would carry around my Leatherman Wave (call it "a Boy Scout thing" if you will but it comes in handy in the most wonderful times) but I have not had it on my belt for a while just because it is a pain to carry around. Well today I need to do some server maintenance. Student Publications has an OS X Server and I need to install a PCI Firewire card in (we have more than 2 firewire devices, and I cannot daisy chain them). So I open the G4 up, get the firewire card out, and ya know what, this would go a lot easier with a philips head screw driver! So I will now go back to wearing my Leatherman with me all the time just for moments like these. This brings me to a realization: mere jeans are not going to be enough for my "Digital Lifestyle." So far I do not fancy carrying my cell phone around on my belt. I don't really like carrying my Leatherman Wave around on my belt. Lets take inventory as to what I might carry around on any given day: * Leatherman Wave * Cell Phone * Palm m505 * Canon S330 * GBA SP * Check Book * Wallet (duh!) And I am thinking about getting a Pocket PC, so add that to that list too (maybe). Like I said, mere jeans cannot hold all these things, or half of these things comfortably. Do you remember those Dockers commercials with the guy who had the slacks with those big ass pockets? Those are some snazzy Geek Slacks. They are much more stylish then the I'm-a-l33t-g33k cargo pants. So I either need to get some cargo pants/slacks or some big pockets slacks like those Dockers. These cannot be had in Bowling Green Ohio though. We have "The Small" (its a small mall, hence the name) and the ONLY major clothing store left in it is Elder Bearmen (JC Penny moved out a while back). They don't have anything with an inseem for a 6'1" tall geek. Well now I am just ranting about the BG mall. So I will stop. I will find a good pair of geek pants tho, I will have my Digital Lifestyle, We will reveal ourselves to the Jedi, oh wait, sorry.

May 4, 2003

Fast Food Ripoff

I have actually been avoiding fast food places very well in the past year or so. but alas I do not have any food in the apartment right now heh. Has this ever happened to you? You go through the drive through, you are in a hurry so you just speed off to your destination. You sit down and unpack the food. and things are missing. yea lame story right? Well I usually do not have food missing. something like a straw, or napkins, or dipping sauce for my chicken nuggets. It happened to me again tonite (no sauce for chicken nuggets and no straw for my drink) and this time I am going to go back to the place and complain. Cuz it has happened to me multiple times. It is ridiculous! What happened to service? I know those people at the drive through window have the routine together, they do the same thing for many hours a week. how can you forget a straw? "Yes I would like a small frosty and no spoon please." give me a break!

May 5, 2003

Fun at Sam Goody

After I sold off my XBOX and Game Cube I went over to Sam Goody. They had Zelda the wind waker and Panzar Dragon Orta on the demo consoles. I spent about 20 min. each playing them. I was a bit skeptical about the new Zelda but it is very well done and very fun. Panzar Dragon Orta is also very good, better then I expected. I remember Panzar Dragon on the SEGA Saturn. But Orta is a very addictive arcade style tunnel shooter. After playing these I am glad, not sad, that I sold my Game Cube and XBOX. I don't have time to play Zelda or Orta, and had I still had those consoles I would have bought both games. Both are great. Instead I picked up a PC game. I bought Unreal 2. I saw a video review of it from GameSpot. In the review it looked incredible but the reviewers said it lacked originality. I agree. Unreal 2 looks more like Halo then Halo looked like the original Unreal when it first hit the XBOX. The game is however very fun to play and is beautiful. The character designs look very Halo-ish but they are well done. The weapons are great, the animations for the weapons are cool. The sound effects actually sound good and like they belong, and the music keeps the tempo going well. So for a game that is not pushing the envelope open any further, it sure is a hella fun game. I was looking to get UT 2k3 but Sam Goody didn't have it. Oh well Unreal 2 will keep me awake just as much as UT 2k3 would. I don't sit and play video games for hours on end like I used to which is strange. I play for ah hour or so and then remember that I should be doing something else. I had a $5 off coupon for their members program so I ended up paying $37 for Unreal 2. Can't beat that.

The man who invented video games

Ralph Baer reflects on conceiving an industry - and looks at what it has become. Full Story. He has other inventions as well other then just pioneering the video game industry. he invented that addicting Simon game! Great article.

Starting a new Category today

I have recently seen a few movies and I want to write some stuff about them. So the Movies & DVD category is born. I plan to write about the DVDs I watch as well. the first 3 reviews up will be X2: XMEN United, Anger Management, and Phone Booth which I have seen in the last 2 weeks. I have a standard disclamer though. I will not try and keep the commentary about the movies spoiler free. It is pointless to talk about a movie that I have already seen and then have to weed out any of the plot revealing content.

MMO Video Games

For those not initiated yet MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. Their are other MMO games, some with and some without a persistent world. People who know me would think I would be jumping on this band wagon and getting an EverQuest or Ultima account. There is one thing I do not agree with though. The pricing model of these MMO games is insane! The other reason I have not gotten EverQuest is I am afraid i will just be sucked into playing it all the time, and I do not want that to happen. For many reasons. it costs the same to buy EverQuest as it does to buy non online game. Then you need to pay $10-$15 a month. Why not sell the game for say $25? I don't know the stats on how many months an average user stays with a MMO game. But I am guessing that is it is more then enough to recoup the cost of producing and packaging the game to put in on store shelves. But we have come to expect the next big PC game to cost $50, no matter what features it boasts. I would also be more inclined to spend somewhere between $5-$8 a month on a MMO game. For one I would be able to afford more than one of those games a month. Also If I am going to spend the $10-$15 a month on a game I sure am going to want to put my time into it or it would just be a waste of my money. I don't have time to spend hours and hours a day to play a game online (or off line for that matter). So there is no way I am going to invest $10-$15 a month for a MMO game. Not even FFXI - about the only MMORPG I think I would really enjoy. If Marrowind was online I might think twice about paying a monthly fee for it. But those are the only 2 games I think I would enjoy online. Marrowind because I have played it to death on my XBOX and PC and just love the game play, and FFXI because, well because it is Final Fantasy (even though it really isnt, it is just a nice looking MMORPG put together by square with the FF name and some FF like story/charector elements). I understand there are costs to keep the infrastructure and server farms running to allow people to play MMO games but do the costs need to be so high? The customer is always going to want lower prices but at what point is the video game industry gouging customers?

May 6, 2003

iTunes 4, new iPod, iTunes Music Store

What a first week for the iTunes Music Store huh? It is a shame that Apple did not release the Windows software at the same time. I personally think that "over 1 million" in the first week would have been much higher if the Windows crowd got to buy songs at 99¢ a pop as well. I for one cannot wait to see the iTunes Music Store on Windows. Not only because I will be able to play my bought music on my PC, but because iTunes 4 on Windows is a Good Thing(tm). I cannot wait until I do not have to use WinAmp 3 to play my MP3 files. Its not a bad app, but nothing comes close to iTunes. The 2 new features in iTunes 4 that are worth note and worth a try (other then the new Music Store) are the remote playlists. You have two options: over standard IP and Rendevous. I have tried both out and all I can say is "very cool" You can connect to someone else's playlists over IP just as you can over Rendevous. The new iPods are cool, and I was eagerly waiting for there release as I have drooled over the thought of owning one for some time now. It is nice to see that Apple has come to its senses and put the Mac and PC version in one box. But there is always something that baffles me about some of Apple's hardware & software releases. Why the hell would you take the Firewire port off of the iPod? That one detail right there is making me seriously think about NOT getting one. With the old style iPod, of which I used one from work for a few weeks, it was easy enough to find any Firewire cable anywhere to move files or MP3's to the iPod. Now with no Firewire port on the device, you are forced to use an Apple proprietary (that is something that Apple has been good at doing is using proprietary technology. Something they have gotten better at NOT doing this but sometimes proprietary tech. just does not make sense to me) iPod cradle to Firewire cord. So it makes the iPod much less of a dual purpose device, and more of a dedicated MP3 player. Why did Apple take the Firewire port off of the new iPod? I would have bought the 30 gig iPod if it were not for that. If they took it off to make is slimmer, that is a very irritating reason. Why take the Firewire off of the iPod? Come on! If I were dreaming and worked at Apple my suggestion would be to take that cradle and shove it. Put a USB 2 and a Firewire port on the bottom of the iPod. Then there are no extra friggin odd ball cords to mess with. Problem with USB is it cannot power and charge the iPod so you need that new cradle for that. Fine - use that iPod Dock Connector to Firewire and USB 2.0 Cable that apple released for charging the device. But a standard USB cable that can be found anywhere could be used to load MP3 or data files onto the thing. That's why I liked the "original" iPod, I could just grab a Firewire cable out of the cabinet and move files or MP3s over. Not any more. It is a shame. I was about to part with a big chunk of money to have a combo MP3 player/portable HD. I guess I will just stick to my Macsmith Firewire HD. I do not need a MP3 player that much!

audblog audio post

Powered by audblogaudblog audio post OMG it worked! And it saved it in an MP3 file! How cool is that! I thought it was going to do a speech to text, not actually make a mp3 file. Ah well. So I sound like a dork, HA HA HA :-P In their FAQ it says they are working on a speech to text, that would be cool. The service costs $3 a month to post up to 12 audio posts a month with a 2 min. duration. Pretty slick. Yet another fine example of XML-RPC.

May 8, 2003

Iraq looters exposed to radioactive yellow cake

I for one cannot believe this. From article: Iraq-Villagers looted a nuclear power facility here during the waning days of the war and instead of treasure, may have made off with death-drums filled with radioactive uranium oxide concentrate, also called yellow cake.... In what may prove to be deadly errors, they dumped the radioactive substance on land near their village and washed the drums in a local river..... One of the villagers who took part in the looting said he tasted the yellow powder in the drums because it looked pretty Full Story.

Fun Flash game called Gridlock

Try it! You will be smashing your monitor in no time! It is not that easy, but is a lot of fun.

May 11, 2003

Don't Read This Article

Here it is, don't read it! That is what the author, John Manzione sais in the first paragraph. But really, please read it. This is defiantly another Mac user who has figured out how to see beyond the Reality Distortion Field of Steve Jobs. Is the sound quality of AAC worse then MP3? I cannot tell a difference. but then I am not using some 5.1 or 6.1 audio system to listen to them. I really don't care. it is cheaper then going to the store. And as Apple's promotional video about the iTunes Music Store points out, you do not have to deal with humans to get music. I don't know about you but I am quite adept at buying a great deal of things online. about the only thing I have NOT bought online are groceries. there is a good point about the iTunes Music Store not being Mac & PC from the get go. I too think they were stupid not too do a simultaneous release. I don't care if they are catering to the Mac faithful first. I for one cannot wait till I can get iTunes 4 on my PC! The comment about Apple customer service is spot on too! I had that happen to me when the keys were popping off of my TiBook. The first call the tech. told me to talk to an authorized dealer in the area, get a confirmation number from said dealer, and call back. The second call the rep said "well I will just send you one" and I had it next day. The keyboard was/is a $120 User Replaceable Part (I know because of something called AppleOrder, a tool my dad uses to order parts from Apple) and the first guy I talked to did not want to give one to me. But the second guy I talked to had absolutely no problems sending me one, overnight shipment no less! This just means if you ever need to call Apple tech support (or any other tech support for that matter) be sure to call back if you do not get the response you think you should get the first time. In some ways this article validates my reasoning for going out and buying a PC out of the blue. as any of my close friends would tell you I am one of the biggest Apple "zealots" there is. I will always love the Mac. I still think the GUI and user experience is much nicer then XP, but I have developed a resistance to the Reality Distortion Field as well. OK now go read that article you are not suposed to read!

Samual Adams Boston Lager

I for one don't really care for Light beer. It does not matter if it is Miller Light, Bud Light, Labatt Blue Light, or Natty Light (now I still drink them, don't get me wrong I am not going to pass on a Light beer just because it is weak! Lets not get crazy here). I do not care for Light beer. I never have. Even when I did not have enough money to get better beer, say freshman year of college, I would rather spend the money on better beer then get a case of Natural Light. My personal favorite is Killians. And after a first dislike for Guiness, I now like that too. I have always had a preference for dark beer over that Light crap. Well today I decided to try Sam Adams Boston Lager. I have never given a Sam Adams a try before, but what the hell I will try any alcoholic beverage at least once! heh. Boston Lager has a little bit more after taste then Killians but it is a great beer! I just thought you all should know.

Matrix Article Mayhem

WOW there have been some great articles in recent magazines. Premeire, Wired, Popular Science and Time have all had some excellent coverage of the effects for the next 2 films (Yes, I do actually subscribe to all of those magazines). If you are looking for some good coverage about the behind the scenes stuff be sure to check these magazines out. They offer a lot more than what can be found on the web.

Indiana Jones Trilogy

*drools on keyboard*

Oh yea, November baby! Remastered "frame by frame" and in 5.1 audio. and a 4th disc of extras! I cannot wait!

Here is a great, yet a little dated, link posted by Jake. Thanks Jake.

I just read in a short interview in Maxim with Harrison Ford that they are still working on the script. Ford said they do not have an ending yet. So who knows when it will be coming out.

May 13, 2003

iTunes Music Store, Part 2

After getting my credit card verified by Apple, everything was easy to use as expected. It was however more troublesome then expected to get Apple to authorize my credit card. So my first experience with the Music Store were not all that smooth. I put in all my information: my credit card number, Security Code, expiration date, and billing address and hit "Done" in the iTunes window. The page refreshed saying "Your credit card number does not match your bank's information." OK. It looks like I am not the only one with this issue either. I sent an email to Apple, I got a response the next day. It was a BS answer of "did you check and make sure your billing address was correct?" No shit sherlock! Why else would I be emailing. Even though it was not accepting my card, it did put a temp $1 charge on the card, so SOMETHING was happening. I tried again the next day, and it worked, and my account with the Music Store was setup. Interesting. I downloaded some Eminem, and some comedy tracks from Bill Cosby and Bill Engvall, and The Last DJ CD from Tom Petty. i'm a Tom Petty fan, I have a lot of his stuff. I listened to the entire CD - good stuff. The big questions is about the 128 k bit AAC that Apple encodes all the songs at. A lot of people think it is inferior to the quality of MP3. Personally I cannot tell a difference. I don't know why people are getting their panties in a bunch over this issue. To test this out I guess I should go and buy The Last DJ and rip the CD and see if I can tell the difference. But since it is $13.99 plush shipping from Amazon I think I will pass. I payed $9.99 for the CD and I did not have to pay for shipping, nor did I have to get off my lazy ass or deal with one person. I think this 'AAC is worse then MP3' stuff is a bunch of hogwash. I realize that listening to music is very subjective, but my ear is not that atune to hear any difference in the two file formats. The one thing I do not get about the Music Store is the sheer amount of CDs that are "Partial Albums." They do not have the entire CD. In some cases it is one or two songs missing, in others it is about half the album! I might be a casual listener to music, but when I find an artist I like I prefer to have the entire CD, not just most or some of the songs on an album. There are a lot of listings of albums on the Music Store that are listed as Partial Albums. From the Apple Discussion Boards I find that this is due to licensing issues. Someone emailed Apple about this and got this response:
Dear Apple Customer, Thank you for contacting Apple. Occasionally, ownership or copyright issues prevent us from offering a complete album on the Music Store. When this occurs, the album is offered "by song" rather than as a complete album. In this way, you are not charged the price of a full album for one that is incomplete. We hope this satisfactorily answers your question. Please continue to check the Music Store, as new content is added daily. Thank you for choosing Apple. The iTunes Music Store Team
This is something Apple needs to get on the ball and fix because there are way too many albums listed as partial. There is also a large gap in music on the store. Though it is very new and I am not going to complain about lack of artists just yet. What is a bit odd, and this is probably because of "licensing issues" as well is that an entire artists discography is not present. Sometimes only some of an artists entire works. Well they say they add more and more each day. I think the Music Store is great! I just wish that it launched for Windows at the same time. I want iTunes 4 on my PC now! he he. I think the price is right. And it is nice to buy just the songs that I like from an album, I just wish there were less Partial Albums. Nonetheless I am a huge Pearl Jam fan and they do have a lot of their concert CDs (although Partial Albums) on the store, about 65 of their live concert CDs, so it is easy to pick and choose the songs I like. The 30 second preview is nice too. Its better then other sites like Amazon. It seems that care was taken to give the end user a clip of the music that is representative of the piece, and not just 30 seconds from the begging or end of the track.

Spider-Man DVD

Did you see the cameo by Stan Lee?? I did, but I admit I missed it when I first saw this film in the theature. It is when the Green Goblin first attacks the balcony at the parade. Stan Lee was also selling hot dogs in X-MEN when Senator Kelly walks up on the beach. I did not catch him in X2, and I have seen it twice now, grr. He must be in that one too! First off I have to give the DVD interface for Spider-Man a big fat F! I could have done something better in iDVD and I have done much better in DVD Studio Pro. Not only did you have to fiddle with the buttons to get them to work (the click area was a mystery on almost every button), but everything was very low rez. The buttons were low rez, and the informational 3D rendered text was also low rez. There is no excuse for this, not in this day and age. The menus in the Special Features DVD were not at all better. One of the best parts of the Special Features DVD was the E! Entertainment hour or so long feature. It was great, all expept for the PATHETIC web site based polls they did about superheros. Who is gonna win in EVERY poll they did? Gee, I don't know? Please tell me!? Spider-Man of course! Those polls were really bad. The special features included with Spider-Man are pretty good. There is a good bit of artwork to flip through. There is also a lot of background about the comics to read. I saw Spider-Man in the theature, and lets face it, the real reason we all went to see it was for Kirsten Dunst - Hello Nurse! The fact that the movie turned out to be great was an added bonus. :-P I never read comic books when I was a kid, but I loved the artwork of Marvel and DC, so I drew a lot of the characters a lot. So seeing Spder-Man like seeing X-MEN on the silver screen was something cool from my childhood. That is why I loved watching Spider-Man. I cannot wait till 2004 to see Spider-Man II when we get to see Dr. Octopus!

A Date With the Matrix 2

Yeah, so I am gonna see the Matrix 2 tomorrow at The Small (small mall) at 10 PM. I for one cannot believe our little Cinimark 5 is having a special showing. But hey I am NOT gonna complain. heh.

May 15, 2003

The Matrix Reloaded, Review 1

I am gonna split this into two reviews for a couple of reasons. The first reason is I need to get to sleep, and that is the main reason. The second is because the movie does not come out until, well, today, May 15. I got to see the 10 PM show on May 14th. I was really amazed that the BG mall (we call it the small around here) had a special showing. I saw about 8 people there I knew too, which was pretty cool. As my friend Brandon put it "You know when the freaks come out." I am not gonna spoil anything in this review, at least I am not going to be blatant about it. The next review I will discuss spacific events in the movie. I don't know if the Directors did this on purpose or not but there is a heavy amount of philosophy about The Matrix and the Real World given by a lot of the actors. I was sitting in the front row at the theater, the rest of the row filled with kids under 15 yrs. old. The look on their faces during these scenes of heavy dialog about The Matrix (and other things) was nothing short of pure confusion. There is one scene at the very end of the movie I did not even catch all of. I am gonna have to watch the movie again to see that conversation again. I mean I would go see it again regardless. I just don't know if the directors did not deliberately put that much dialog in there to make people go back to see it another time. There is so much behind The Matrix that needs to be explained so I am glad these scenes were in the movie. It is just a shock since the first movie had hardly any scenes of lengthy monologe that explained the philosophy of how the Matrix and other things work. Still, too much talking. That is not to say the movie moves slow. It has very good pacing to it. There are a lot more fighting in Reloaded, and a lot more scenes of that green code stuff, as Neo can now see the The Matrix as code. There is more thinking you have to do while sitting in your seat eating your popcorn and guzzling your pop this time. More than the first movie. It was more thinking that I thought I would be doing watching Reloaded. Now that I am home and have absorbed the movie my mind is popIping with "oh" and "I see" and "I get it now" that my mind had not processed in the movie theater. It was way too much to process while sitting in the theater with my popcorn and pop. A serious amount of information overload. I would go as far as saying my mind had an orgasm of information to decipher. I think that (most) of the audience "got it" though. It did not detract from the flick, or make you irritated at it like it does in other movies I have seen. Those kids sitting next to me and all throughout the theater were sure confused at parts though. The information needed to be said, it needed to us the audience to understand the movie and the directors did it in a very smart way. I am however glad I did not have to take a bathroom break in the middle because of all the pop I had consumed. :-P I hate it when that happens. You do not want to get up and miss any part of this movie. Beyond the obvious reasons there are a lot of plot points and answers to lingering questions from the first movie (and answers to the entire lore of the Matrix) you do not want to miss. They put much more "thinking" into this second movie. There are three or so parts in the movie you really have to think about what they are saying. I think this was on purpose because now I am going to go back to the theater and be able to "think" a little clearer while watching Reloaded for the second time. The Burly Brawl scene that you should know about by now was wonderful. It was not when I expected it, and at the beginning of the brawl scene you find out something that was totally unexpected, Warner Bros. held this, like other secrets of Reloded very well until you saw the movie. The fight at the french dood's place was another big scene with a lot of melee weapons like swords and the like (We already had got to see how well Neo can handle a lamp post in the Burly Brawl scene, so you knew that this was also gonna be a good fight.). That was pretty cool. There was just a little bit too much flying around tho, and not only by Neo either. By far the best scene in the movie is the chase scene. This one part of the movie was the most costly as well. If you did your homework there actually was a highway constructed to shoot the entire scene. The chase with Trinity on a Ducati was the highlight of the entire scene. And I read she did that herself. I only wonder how much of it she did herself. The fight between Morpheus and an Agent on the top of a semi was pretty nice too. And I must say seeing two semi trucks hit head on and destroy each other was the best part of that entire scene! The new Bullet Time was blatantly and gratuitously used in the Burly Brawl scene. But man did it make that fight sweet. They used the new Bullet Time very well sprinkled out throughout the entire movie, more so then how they used Bullet Time in the first Matrix movie. This time I do not think the FX will get ripped off so easily. At least I hope not. Don't get me started about Matrix ripoffs. Can anyone say Bulletproof Munk? Going into the movie I knew there was going to be a cliffhanger of an ending. And the part of the movie I thought would be the spot where they would stop they didn't, which I am glad for. You get a little bit of closing information by the crew of the ship and then the movie ends. I think it was wrapped up enough tho. It does leave questions but you want that for the third movie. Good ending though. Oh and for god sakes DON'T leave when the credits roll. If you do you will miss the trailer for Revelations. I am just remembering reading that in the Wired mag article. So what did I do? I left when the credits rolled :-P Damn, well there is another reason to see it again. heh, how many reasons do you need to see this movie again? Later today, or tomorrow I will have a more indepth look into Reloaded. It will probably have some spoilers in it. You will just have to deal with that. Oh and for those of you who must put a letter or number on everything, i give this movie an A+.

And I Will Sue McDonalds too

Yea, I'll sue them because they have made me fat (oops I guess I missed my chance on that one). McDonald's made me walk in to their store and buy their burgers! Some joke was going to sue Oreo because it has fat in the cookie. Now I can understand the want to have a cookie that has less fat in it, I mean after all, Oero cookies are my personal favorite. But lets not be rash about it. This guy is dropping the law suit since he has learned that Kraft is working on making a more reduced fat Oreo. The suit was over the trans fat in the cookie, which the National Academy of Sciences has linked to heart disease. Great! That's just what I need. From the article: Joseph aimed to force Kraft to stop using hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils to make the cookies. Yea right! Thats gonna happen. How about all the other food makers who use hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils? I couldn't count them on all my fingers and toes! Give me a break! Full Article.

May 16, 2003

Intuit Will Discontinue Product Activation

Intuit is dropping DRM from its future products, including TurboTax. I am glad, it got a lot of user backlash as people were having serious issues getting their taxes prepared, even the customers who were not pirating the software. Full Story from ExtremeTech.

New Matrix Revolutions Trailer

This is not the same one at the end of The Matrix Reloaded. I must say I like this one a lot better. Clicky clicky! I hear it has some scenes from Enter The Matrix (the video game) which is odd. Oh and that laugh by Smith, creepy!

Enter The Matrix System Crash

Not good news... I installed it, installed DirectX 9. Restarted. Started Enter The Matrix (ETM). It played the intro movie, I chose a player, and then at the loading screen it bombs. Takes entire system down. Crash. Big Time. This is one reason why console games will always be better then PC games. They friggin work! I tried default settings, I tried everything. I think I should have picked up the PS2 version instead :mad: After the second crash and forced restart my mouse would not work, no matter how many times I reconnected it to the base (I have a wireless mouse). So I went through Software Restore and now all is back to the way it was last nite. GRRR. This is not cool. I will try again later...

May 17, 2003

Cool PC Case Mod

This takes the cake. I have never seen anything so unique. he he, "nice box".

New $20 Bill in 2004

Little. Yellow. Different. Check out this flash presentation of the security and design features of the new $20.

May 18, 2003

Link About AAC

Check it out! Not a ton of info, but some good info.

Enter The Matrix

I am taking this game back to Sam Goody on Monday! This is shit! It crashes on me in the middle of a mission, many times. I wonder why there are so many check/save points in the game (I am very glad there are or I would be even more frustrated by having to do even more backtracking to the point were it froze my machine)? I should have picked up the PS2 version. I think I will because it is a very fun game. I think the PC version has a lot of bugs in it. Once I reinstalled it (see earlier post) I am now about to play it at 1600x1200 rez, but I see now difference from when I play it at 800x600. I think this has to do with the fact that this is a console game first and a PC game second. I have never had so much trouble with a game on my PC. Playing it today it just died 3 times while in the middle of playing. I do not understand why. Some times it just dies and I see the desktop, but most times it kills my entire machine and I am forced to restart. Also if a lot of people are on scene at once shooting it bogs down really bad, I hope the PS2 version does not bog down do much. The game has a lot of keys mapped though so I do not know how it will handle on a controller, even the PS2 with the 4 shoulder keys. The FMV's are kick ass and are the reward for beating a level. They show another story from Reloaded, but it is a parallel story. On top of that it is a very fun fighting and shooting game. I very much dislike driving games. And I do not like the driving in this game. So I chose to play as Ghost, as Niobe does all the driving. Well Ghost has to drive in the Airport mission and man the control is crappy. They are not that responsive and it took me a while to actually back up if I made a mistake. Grand Theft Auto is the only driving I like, and this is no GTA as way of control is concerned! The things you can do in Bullet Time (Focus Meter) are very nice and at least it is not a total rip off of Max Payne (of course Max Payne's Bullet Time was a rip off to begin with, but hey). The extra moves you can do in Bullet Time in ETM are really nice. I am glad I got the game, it is great! I highly recommend it. I just do not recommend getting the PC version. It is horrible. Oh man I just watched a big chunk of movie footage and got to fight Trinity and destroy the garden we were fighting in! And my assumptions of Agent Smith are correct! Man this game is one hell of a ride! Now I am on the freeway shooting down police crusers. So cool. So fun!

Further Readings

I just added some links to past articles that my readers have added as comments. Thanks for your posts! * Indiana Jones Trilogy * Web Browsing on the Mac

Matrix Reloaded Cartoons

Here, here and here oh and here. Whoa! Cartoons from PVP Online by Scott Kurtz

Online Comics

Here is a list of some of the online comic strips I go to from time to time. * The Little Things * User Friendly * Dilbert * FoxTrot * Mac Hall - BGSU! * Penny Arcade * PVP Online And don't forget to check out comics.com! These were submitted by Jake. They are a little odd, but then so is he :-P * Bizarro * Red Meat * Non Sequitur

May 19, 2003

Kuro5hin Matrix Reloaded Review

There are a lot of Reloaded reviews out now. But none I have read have had the flair of this one. I really enjoyed the film, but I still like this review (the reviewer uses the word "suck" many many times and in many variations). But hey, to each his own. I am still working on my review. I will post it soon.

Monopoly Cards We'd Like To See

Monopoly Cards We'd Like To See. My favorite is the one about the Tech stocks!

Court: workers can drink during breaks

Only in Denmark would this happen. Full Story from Salon.

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

I invented the chicken. I invented the road. - Al Gore

Wakin' Me Up

I cannot wait until my cell phone is my only phone (this will happen when I move, as my roomate and I are not getting a landline). I have been woken up about 4 times out of what I like to call deep sleep in the past week or so. I don't care if it is family that is calling, it still pisses me off to no end. Most the time it is telemarketers. And if I am coherent enough to pick up the phone I just love it when it is telemarketers. Cuz that is the time when I like to fuck with them and become the worst person they have on their call list. It will be so nice to turn off my cell phone and not have to listed to any ringing phone wake me up. When I am asleep and past the point of dreaming I like to stay that way because that usually means I am exhausted. OK rant over, it just really ticks me off when I am trying to sleep and my phone rings and I am not coherent enough to even answer it. grrrrrrr

May 20, 2003

Matrix Reloaded Breaks Records

Duh! Right? As expected by many, The Matrix Reloaded shattered a number of records this weekend. The sequel came in at #1 at the U.S. box office, with $91.8 million over the weekend and $134 million since its opening Wednesday night. Some of the records the film broke include: biggest opening by an R-rated film (previously held by Hannibal at $58 million); biggest first four days of release (besting Spider-Man's $125.9 million); largest preview gross, for Wednesday night's showings starting at 10 PM, coming in around $5 million; the biggest Thursday opening of all time (shooting past Star Wars: Episode II); and Warner Brothers' best 3-day opening (their previous best was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, at $90.3 million).

Virus Warning "work"

HA HA I saw this and had to post it. The virus name is "work". If you receive "work", from your colleagues, your boss, via e-mail or any one else, do not touch it under any circumstances!! This virus wipes out your private life completely. Be vigilant but, should you come into contact with this virus, it can be overcome. If you suspect that you are likely to be infected by "work" put on your jacket, take two good friends and head straight to the nearest pub. Once there order and drink three beers and, after repeating this action 14 times, you will find that "work" has been completely deleted from your brain. Forward this warning immediately to at least 5 friends. Should you realise that you do not have 5 friends, this means that you are already infected by this virus and "work" already controls your entire life.

"Weird Al" Yankovic - Poodle Hat

One of the nice thing about a college paper is that we get a lot of music to review. Most of the time this music is either crap, or its indie music. We do not get a lot of mainstream music. When we do it is great! Last week we got the new "Weird Al" CD and it kicks arse. It is as good as Running with Scissors. The Spoof on Eminem's Lose Yourself and Nelly's It's Getting Hot in Here are the best tracks. Ode to a Superhero, is about Spider-Man and the Spider-Man movie and sung to the tune of Piano Man. The Backstreet Boys, Avril Lavigne, Custom, and I think Tom Petty are spoofed as well. There are also great polka tracks that "Weird Al" always has on his albums. Another great CD from "Weird Al," go get it if you are a fan.

Invoice Print Layout

I have been hard at work at fixing things and making sure this invoicing system is ready to roll soon. Next week I start training Paul on how to use it. I have been wanting to do that for a while now but he has just been swamped with clients. I made the print layout look all pretty like.

May 21, 2003

New TV and DVD Player

Maybe now Jake will buy me that spoiledlittlebitch.com domain, he he. Cuz he calls me that all the time. These new toys are thanks to some freelance FileMaker Pro development I am doing (not the FMP stuff I do for the University). The TV is an RCA 27" TrueFlat and looks like this. The DVD Player is a CyberHome CH-DVD 300 and looks like this. I love the flat screen on the TV. It is a very crisp picture. Oooh sooo nice! The DVD Player is soo small, has about a 8 3/4 inches wide footprint. It will also play authored or unauthored MPEG1 and MPEG2 files. It was on sale at Radio Shack for $50. Sure there are Apex ones that do more, but why pay for it?

Which vintage movie star are you?

I was checking out a friend's blog and she had this "Which vintage movie star are you?" quiz from the great quiz site Quizilla. So I figured what the hell and took it. Sooo, here are the results:

You are Frank Sinatra...what more do I need to say?
He got any woman he wanted, he practically
ruled the world....God bless 'im

Which vintage movie star are you? (for guys)
brought to you by Quizilla

:=D :-O ;-D

May 22, 2003

Car Insurance

One of the nice things about being 25 is the cut in car insurance. I got a refund check in the mail last month for $45 which was prorated from my last bill. I just today got my bill for the next 6 months and it is almost $200 cheaper! Kick arse!

Robots digitizing libraries

New technology helps turn books into images. Full Article from SFGate.com

Adobe to drop OS 9 in next major Photoshop release

Full Article from MacCentral. All I have to say is "It's about time." Running Photoshop 7 in OS 9 is dog ass slow compared to running Photoshop 6. Of course I still feel the best version of Photoshop to run is version 5.5. It has the new layer styles and loads just a ton faster on the Mac then the more recent releases. This has been rumored for awhile, and it is nice to hear that OS 9 support will be dripped by Adobe. Maybe this will be across the board, and not just Photoshop. I have been using OS X since before the Public Beta. Ever since I used the original OS X Server (that would be OS X Server ver. 1, or Rhapsody) I have disliked using OS 9. I think it is the User Interface and File Management changes that make me not like using OS 9 any more. IMO Photoshop 7 is slow in OS X. I am sure this is due to the fact that it is still supporting Carbon. I seriously doubt that Adobe is going to give us a Cocoa version of Photoshop any time soon, but the next version of Photoshop for OS X will surely be a lot more optimized then Photoshop 7. I for one cannot wait for a faster running Photoshop in OS X. Now all we need is Quark to get off its lazy ass and release QuarkXPress 6 for OS X. Of course they were going to release ver. 5 for OS X, and that never happened. Quark 6 looks promising and the sooner the better for Apple as for the majority of the creative community that has yet to jump on the InDesign bandwagon.

May 23, 2003

A Feature for Mozilla

It sure would be nice if gecko based browsers owned market share over M$ based rendering engins. I think tabbed browsing is the best thing that has come to the web experience since popup blocking. Was popup blocking in Mozilla first? Maybe it was in Opera first, or Konqerer, who knows. All I know is that tabbed browsing and popup blocking has made the web usable again. What I would like to see Mozilla do is start interpreting a target="_blank" or target="_new" as a new tab request not a new window request. And then have this an option is the Tabbed Browsing section of the preferences. I only bring this up because I am forever right clicking and selecting "Open in new tab".

May 25, 2003

Runtime Error

It seems that there is a runtime error in like 149 of the code. This is a javascript that has been in the template for months. So I am not exactly sure what is happening. I will look into this weekend. In Other News this is yet another reason to avoid using Internet Exploder all together :-P. Oh and if you use IE for some bizarre reason you might do yourself some good and turn off the Debugger. Jake and I both think this error is my dynamic drop down menus. This means of course it is Brian's fault so we will try and get it fixed ASAP.

May 26, 2003

Is Nintendo becoming the next SEGA?

We all know that the Game Boy Advance is the market leader in handheld gaming. The Game Boy has always been that. But the Game Cube is starting to look a little long in the tooth and software developers are starting to think twice about publishing for the Cube. Even SEGA has decided not to put out the SEGA Sports line for the Cube anymore, and SEGA is finally seeing black ink as a software developer. The Game Cube has always been 3rd man out in the NIntendo, Sony, M$ battle for console top dog. Sales of the Cube are down. Is this because in recent years the gaming demographic has grown up? There are less young kids playing games and more adults? This is my opinion on the matter. I have always thought that the Cube needed more adult games. The last game I bought for the Cube was Resident Evil Zero. Eternal Darkness was pretty good too. But that's all folks. Other notable non kiddie games do not come to mind right now for the Cube. Nintendo used to be the market leader but Sony is the M$ of the console game world, even with M$ in the mix.

May 27, 2003

Runtime Error Fixed

We can all thank Brian for fixing the javascript that was causing the runtime error. He tells me it was a problem with " and ' messing up the script. So now all you Internet Exploder users out there, where ever you are (some 69.5 % by my stats), do not have to put up with that error. Thanks Brian!

'Almighty' Phone Mess

It seems that they used a real phone number in Bruce Almighty. That sure sucks for those people. I'll bet Dawn Jenkins's cell phone bill will be a bit higher then normal this month. I was gonna go see this movie this weekend but that didn't happen. Maybe I will see it this week some time.

New Mountain Dew Flavor

Have you tried the new Mountain Dew flavor? It is called Live Wire and the 2 liter bottle I bought said "summer 2003 only" I don't know why. Other then maybe to get people to buy it. It tastes pretty good. Its not a Sunkist taste, its not a Crush taste. Its just orange Dew. They should replace Code Red with this new Live Wire. Code Red is horrible.

Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance

Disclaimer: If you have not played MGS2 Sons of Liberty and don't want me to ruin the story line, then don't read this. MGS2 has been out for a while now, so I do not think that anyone will care if I spill the beans about a plot point or two. There are a select few games for the PS2 that should really be put on a pedestal as the best of the best for the console. There are also those few that came out and were a real disappointment to all the fans. Ironicly Metal Gear Solid 2 (MGS2) fits into both of these categories very well. The only reason (for the most part) people bought Zone of the Enders (ZEO) was for the MGS2 demo disc. It just so happened that ZEO was a very cool game as well. So by the time that MGS2 shipped we had all played the Tanker mission over and over and over again. That made the Tanker mission a piece of cake for most people, even on the hard difficulty. Then you get to the Big Shell mission which is most of the game, and you do not get to play as Solid Snake! Snake is only a NPC. When i found this out (by playing, not by message boards etc.) I was pretty pissed, as was most every other MGS fan out there. What a crock of shit! I think this backlash from the gaming community is the only reason that Substance was released. Konami might have been thinking about doing another VR Missions release ala MGS1, but I think they must have got it that their fans were ticked. I really enjoyed Sons of Liberty even if I could not play as Solid Snake for most the game. It was a good game, the hard and hidden harder difficulty settings made it a great game to play over again. I have played Substance for two weeks now and I can honestly say it was worth buying again. The VR missions are really great. There are somewhere over 100 alternative missions. The "Snakes Tales" are cool and hard. The one oddball thing about the game is the skateboarding. You can skateboard as either Snake or Raiden, this is kinda cool and a brake from the normal MGS game play. It was also a ploy for Konami's skateboarding title. They sure packed in the extras into Substance to keep gamers happy. From the looks of the movie at E3 for MGS3 I cannot wait! It is going to have (mostly i guess) outdoor environments. That has got to be an annoying challenge to code for. The only thing I was bummed about was the fact that having a Sons of Liberty save file on my memory card did not give me anything extra. Maybe it did but I cannot tell. I hear that If you have the Document of Metal Gear Solid 2 that unlocks all the VR missions for you. That would be pretty cool. The VR missions are hard! But that is a good thing. I checked out the Xbox version of Substance and my buddy Maury was right - the Xbox cannot handle the rain on the camera effect at all. It chugs. I would suggest the PS2 version. Substance.... what a great name. "We really put a lot into this one" must have been a good joke around the office.

NetNewsWire 1.0.2

NetNewsWire (NNW) Lite is a great app for grabbing RSS feeds in OS X. I still prefer MacReporter but that is because it has been out longer and I am just used to using it. The full version of NNW adds the ability to blog from your desktop. There are 10 different blogging apps you can choose from, and it also has an "Other" choice as I am sure that any XML-RPC compatible blog system would work with NNW. Movable Type is listed, obviously since most geeks prefer it. The features are not as plentiful as the free w.bloggar tool for Windows that I use. But since I am on my TiBook every now and again it is nice to blog from my OS X desktop as well as my XP desktop. Even though NNW is not as much of a WYSIWYG editor that w.bloggar is, it does the job very well. NNW offers a Bold, Italics, and Link buttons. There is also a Custom Tags popup menu that allows me to add the things like the smilies I have and other code like CSS styles or whatever. I do not like the fact that when you insert a link that there is not an "open in new browser window" check box or something. I think I will email the developer about that. So I have to code the target="_blank" which is better then coding the entire A HREF tag. WYSIWYG editors have made /me lazy, what can i say. I also like that you get more options specific to MT such as Extended Entry, Excerpt, URLs to Ping, Allow Comments, Convert Line Breaks, and Allow Trackback Pings. This is something I wish to see in w.bloggar. It seems that NNW saves things you are typing. This is very nice. I 'accidently' quit NNW. When I opened it back up there was a draft in the Drafts folder. Nice! Also the last 10 posts are readily available to be edited. It loads them into the editing window faster then w.bloggar does. That is nice too. Since OS X has system level spell checking you can use that in NNW. This is excellent! I really wish Windows has system level spell checking because the spell checker in w.bloggar is not that great. The only glaring thing I have found out is if you repost something (edit a post) it will collapse all your paragraphs (does not convert line breaks, sets it to "No" not "Default"). I don't know why this is. Also since I use Textile as my text formatting option (a MT specific addon) I wish that were an option other then just Yes or No. It is not designed to read in those options though so I do not think this would be something easy to implement. Another small issue is the preview window. It does not seem to convert line breaks into P tags. The Category popup menu is also reset to (None) so you have to again select the category. Oh well maybe these glitches will be fixed in a future release I hope so at least. This is a wonderful app for off line blogging. There are only some small annoyances. having to type target="_blank" is a pain, although I have typed that so many times its almost like me typing "Edwards" on the keyboard. There needs to be a check box for "open new browser window" in the next release. As for the odd converting of line breaks on edited posts, you have to go to the MT admin web page and change the Text Formatting field from "None" (which is what NNW sets it to for some reason on a edit) to "Convert Line Breaks", or in my case "Textile." None of these shortcomings have any weight compared to coding all the STRONG, EM, (NNW does not use B and I) A HREF and all other code. Like I said WYSIWYG editors like Dreamweaver and even code completion editors like HomeSite have made us all lazy coders - we like our WYSIWYG GUI.

May 28, 2003

BGSU Vandalism

There has been there fair share of vandalism at BGSU. The words "Exist to Die" are painted on the sidewalks, there are a few stylistic ants as well. But nothing compares to what is now painted in bright red on the brick wall outside the main entrance to West Hall. West Hall is where I work. I noticed this wonderful work of art right after graduation weekend (I have been meaning to post this in a while). The phrase "Tune in Drop Out" are written pretty big. See for yourself. The U. has started to clean it up but all that has happened is it turned the red into a sorta pink color.

May 30, 2003

Video games increase visual skills, say researchers

See! There is a good reason to play video games. I just knew there had to be some kind of research material on this. Full Story from MacCentral.



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