May 2005 Archives



May 1, 2005

Security Tabs on DVD cases

What the heck prompted the movie industy to put these new security tabs on DVD cases? Is the sticker tape on the top, side, bottom, and the plastic wrap not enough? So annoying.

Sci-Fi Channel Original: Man-Thing Review

The one thing any good horror creature feature needs is a monster that has the ability to evoke terror from its audience. If it can't do that, then you simply don't have a creature feature worth watching. Now, with Man-Thing, we have a walking pile of swamp gas, leaves, moss, and branches. It doesn't matter how red this things eyes get or how many people it rips apart. The entire thing is laughable, and that's probably why the full reveal is held off until the final half hour.

Continue reading "Sci-Fi Channel Original: Man-Thing Review" »

May 2, 2005

27th birthday weekend

Well, its been a week since my birthday. My stuff is still sitting in my living room waiting to be put away, most of it anyway. Maybe I will put it away tomorrow.

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May 3, 2005

Mac OS X Tiger first look

I got my retail box of Tiger Monday. The funny thing is that is is Build 8A428, the same as the GM that I downloaded from the ADC Connect site days ago. I have been beta testing Tiger thanks to Steve Gerhman's kindness; he gave me a ADC seed key.

I have too many variables to install Tiger on my work drive, but I have enough firewire drives laying around to choke a horse. I figure I will test installing all my software on this drive before I take the plunge on my main work drive.

Before I go any further, let me explain something about upgrading Mac OS X. Every time we have even a dot release I see all these people having problems. MacFixIt just loves to post them too. Disconnect all your stuff. Especially your firewire drives. I am going to have to make a seperate post for this because it is just so important. If it is a dot release, do not install it through Software Update.

And now we continue with our regularly scheduled post...

Continue reading "Mac OS X Tiger first look" »

Star Wars: Episode I DVD Review

You can't please everybody, and George Lucas probably found that out shortly after the release of Episode I. Ripped apart by critics and disowned by over-hyped fans, it seems the only people who actually enjoyed the film were those looking for a good time. It's not on par with the originals, but to say it doesn't fit or it doesn't have a place in this series is ridiculous.

Continue reading "Star Wars: Episode I DVD Review" »

May 4, 2005

Random Vin Diesel 'facts'

You could reload this one for hours and still get something new. Some will end up being the funniest things you've ever read:

Vin Diesel created both Mac and PC. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are just hand puppets he uses. The whole thing is just to entertain him as he wistfully wishes for a much simpler time of pirate dinosaurs and flying pyramids manned by busty Nympho Amazonians.

New Illinois game bill goes forward

I hate politics. I really, really do. Here we are, trying to educate parents about the game rating system firmly in place. They aren't getting it for whatever reason. What's Illinois going to do? Slap their own rating on the box! Genius, pure genius! Instead of moving forward with the simple system already in place that at least some parents are familiar with, let's confuse these people even more with TWO on the box! Hooray for common sense and starting all over. Idiots.

What is Error -17099 in Entourage?

I am using Office 2004, Mac OS X 10.3.9.  I get the following error when sending an email:

Temporary local problem - please try later

Mail cound not be sent.

Error -17099

Database Utility tells me my database is working correctly. I did a rebuild and recieved a heck of a lot of strange email.  Headers in the body of the email, Emails from different people then stated in the From field, complete garbage, old old emails.  I do not know if this is an issue with my server or Entourage.  First, however, I would like to find out what this error -17099 is about. I get the error after restarting, and rebuilding Entourage.  It is something I have never seen before.

I am able to send using my GMail account, but nothing else in Entourage.

This problem went away a couple days ago and has never come back. Really strange. The microsoft.public.mac.office.entourage newsgroup didn't seem to know either, as I have not yet gotten a reply there.

May 5, 2005

Reason I hate Flash #459

Annoying sound effects. Annoying sound effects that have a ton of base.

Exhibit #1
Be sure to mouse over the car logos, as well as the "collision center" button.

Exhibit #2
They have tamed this down since I bookmarked it. Mouse over "New Vehicle Inventory" or "Used Vehicle Inventory." It also helps to turn your speakers up. Not work safe!

Exhibit #3
Mouse over the "Dick Says Yes.com" button. Funny I just heard that in exhibit #1. Another annoying aspect of people who use Flash. They all go and grab the same FlashKit sound effect.

Why do people do this? In general, people do not want to hear sounds going off left and right, they surely do not need a stereo base beat for a button either. If you are in an office, or a school, or a library, or sitting at home browsing the web listening to your favorite music in iTunes (totally hypothetical here) wild button noises are the last thing you want to hear. Unless the sound effect has a purpose, it should die.

Sound effects can be used in Flash successfully if they are subtle. Most Flash designers do not know the meaning of the word subtle.

Star Wars: Episode II DVD Review

A new film for a new decade, Attack of the Clones tosses everything Star Wars into a blender, adding in doses of insane action and mundane dialogue to flesh out the story of Darth Vader. It's a movie that's better in parts than a whole, but as a middle film in this new trilogy, it does what it needs to do. Whether or not it's what you expected is an entirely different situation.

Continue reading "Star Wars: Episode II DVD Review" »

May 6, 2005

Godzilla: Final Wars Review

Godzilla struggled his way through the low-budget 70s, the occasionally generic 90s, and an awful 1998 American version. He even survived a nuclear blast to become king of the monsters. All of that to end up in Godzilla: Final Wars, Toho's supposed last gasp for the series before putting it on hiatus due to dwindling ticket sales and a celebration of the 50th anniversary. Not even the Big G himself can fight his way out of this disaster.

Continue reading "Godzilla: Final Wars Review" »

May 7, 2005

Mercury PSP Review

One thing handheld consoles always do well are puzzle games. They kill time like no other, require deep, concentrated thought, and can be put down when needed. That's essentially the portable experience. Archer Maclean's Mercury is an odd, addictive, almost indescribable title that fills each criteria required of it while providing a unique gaming experience on the go.

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Disc Golf scramble and the 4B

This past thursday (Cinco de Mayo) the Unigraphics and Production staff, plus me, had a Disc Golf scramble over at Carter Park. The first time I have played this summer. It was a little windy, but then its Bowling Green. It was warm, and that is a rarity here. I mean it was snowing at the end of April after all.

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That syncing feeling

Even if I can probably count on one hand the number of people I know who still use a PDA, I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a Palm user. For the longest time, I used the company’s Palm Desktop software. But about a year ago, I switched to iCal and Address Book—while jumping to Mark/Space’s Missing Sync For Palm OS as a replacement for the Palm HotSync Manager—because Palm Desktop was old and messy, and I really enjoyed the speed and integration of Apple’s calendar and contact applications. And thanks to Apple’s free iSync Palm Conduit, I could synchronize iCal and Address Book info with my Palm.
Macworld Editors' Note Weblog

I would have to agree. I really do like Missing Sync. It is so much better. I only came to this conclusion recently, but all the same. If there was going to be one problem with moving to Tiger, I would have put money on Palm syncing to break. This is the main reason I have not upgraded to Tiger on my main hard drive yet.

I also did not know there is a new iSync conduit in iSync 2. That was helpful to know.

Tiger software update summary

Macworld will routinely update this page with information on Tiger-related software updates.
MacCentral

Here is something handy to bookmark.

PalmOne hard-drive-based handheld on horizon

PalmOne plans to announce later this month its first hard-drive-based product line, broadening its device portfolio and leading another trend in the handheld market.

The No. 1 handheld maker will introduce LifeDrive Mobile Manager on May 18, according to sources familiar with the company's plans. The $499 device will come with a 4GB Hitachi Microdrive and two flavors of wireless networking--Bluetooth and 802.11b Wi-Fi.

Source: C|Net News.com

They call it an iPod killer. I can't wait to see it, but i think it is too little too late for PalmOne.

Microsoft to publicise new Windows operating system through bloggers

LONDON - The involvement of blogging in marketing has taken a step up with the news that Microsoft is recruiting a team of bloggers to help generate a buzz for the next generation of its Windows operating system.
Source: Revolution

I guess they are banking on the readership. What if it backfires? I am sure at least one person is going to have problems, or just simply tell it like it is and talk bad about it.

But since they will be signing a NDA, I don't really see the point.

Basecamp: Project Management Utopia

That is what it says atop the Basecamp web site: Project Management Utopia. And they are not kidding.

I tried the free trial and bought a plan within the same day. Not only is this the cheapest web based project management app I have seen, it is also the easiest to use. The interface the 37signals created for Basecamp is down right elegant.

Continue reading "Basecamp: Project Management Utopia" »

May 8, 2005

Embedding QuickTime into web pages

Why would Apple move the location of such important information as the fun OBJECT code needed because of WinIE 5.5 SP2 so WMP doesn't hijack QuickTime? Well they did. And it took some searching, but here is something like the old one.

It has been a while since I have dealt with QT, the last time I was still working at CTLT, and Apple had just posted the ActiveX/ anti-hijacking code. Well I am back to QT for this Photochemical Sciences Outreach site. Fun stuff.

I also found some QuickTime detection scripts, but I cannot find the same page with the ActiveX code that I had bookmarked years ago. So here it is:

<object classid="clsid:02BF25D5-8C17-4B23-BC80-D3488ABDDC6B" codebase="http://www.apple.com/qtactivex/qtplugin.cab" height="256" width="320"><param name="src" value="posterframe.mov">

<embed src="posterframe.mov" width="320" height="256" PLUGINSPAGE="http://quicktime.apple.com" type="video/quicktime" CONTROLLER=false LOOP=false AUTOPLAY=false href="movie.mov" target=myself></embed></object>
To clarify, this snippet includes the code needed to prevent WMP hijacking, as well as how to use a poster frame correctly. A note about using a poster frame: the web page, movie, and poster frame must live in the same directory. I don't know why, it just does.

Apple has added some great pages on their QuickTime Tutorials section, I just wish it was organized a little better. I can't imagine the page with this code is NOT on their site anymore, I just cannot find it.

PCMCIA

People cannot memorize cryptic industrial acronyms.

Metal Gear Ac!d PSP Review

Obviously, Konami believes that card based games can work alongside any genre, regardless of how much sense it makes. Metal Gear Ac!d almost seems like a cruel joke to fans of the series, at least from the start. It takes time to adjust, learn, and appreciate just what it is.

Continue reading "Metal Gear Ac!d PSP Review" »

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers out there, especially to my mom and my step-mom Melodye.

May 9, 2005

Blueprint for a Widget of mass destruction

stephan.com has some great examples of mischief with Safari and Tiger's Dashboard Widgets. *DO NOT* go to that page if you do not want it to auto-install a Widget. But do go there to learn more about Widgets in Tiger.

May 10, 2005

Shaun of the Dead

This weekend I watched Shaun of the Dead (IMDb, Amazon). I should have caught it in theaters. It would have been worth it. What a great comedy. I highly recommend this movie. It was defiantly nothing like I expected, and it was better for it.

If you love British comedy, this one has it in spades. It also has some nice editing. There is one long steady-cam shot that seems to go on forever. Cool editing and selection of shots all around.

New Xbox revealed early

So much for the surprise reveal on MTV. Hey Microsoft, here's an idea. How about designing a game system that *gasp* actually looks like a game system? Or, is that too much to ask? And is it just me, or does it look like that controller could slice fingers off?

Jesus Christ denied drivers license

Seems like he's screaming for attention, but still a funny story.

Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee PSP Review

Resistant to change, the Hot Shots Golf series made a name for itself with easy to pick and play mechanics, quirky characters, and a surprisingly enjoyable game of arcade style golf. There's little reason for it to change, as the successful formula only requires more meat on the game outside of that basic gameplay engine. That's exactly what Open Tee on the PSP provides.

Continue reading "Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee PSP Review" »

May 11, 2005

10.3.9 killed my G5

If I could go back to 10.3.8 I would. I did not make a Carbon Copy Cloner image of my 10.3.8 hard drive, drat!

My system is very unstable. The SystemUIServer comes up as being hung right after a reboot most times. I get hung applications for no reason at all. And once I get one, more follow soon after. I have nothing to do but a hard reboot. Running Repair Permissions doesn't seem to help either.

Under 10.3.8 I could run my computer for weeks before I needed to reboot. Now I am rebooting more then once a day because of hung applications.

Funny enough, my friend Chris told me they had to back off 10.3.9 at CTLT because of similar problems. So it doesn't look like this is a isolated case.

I will be doing an Archive & Install of 10.4 soon, but I just do not have time to do that right now.

Very annoyed.

May 12, 2005

Dear TNT

Your marketing department needs to learn when enough is enough. Your advertising is way over the line. If a NBA fan watches one game of their favorite team, there's no possible way for them NOT to know about the Closer or Into the West. That's fine for the first round or maybe even one game. Now into the second round, for a die-hard NBA fan, it is well beyond the point of ridiculous.

Why do you feel the need to annoy your viewers with this? Do you honestly believe we missed the ad seven times in the first quarter? Isn't it obvious that once Charles Barkley begins sarcastically guessing which ad is coming up next that you've went to far?

STOP with these ads. WE KNOW. This is not good marketing. It's unneccesary and if anything, it makes it easier to turn the channels each break just to get away from it.

May 13, 2005

Woman wants Internet banned

Yet she has her own Geocities website. Genius at work folks, pure genius.

Xbox 360 Unveiling Disaster

It's bad enough gamers are subjected to a Spike TV video game award show every year. However, for all of the nonsense going on at those shows, they at least have a point. Microsoft's Xbox 360 unveiling did not.

Continue reading "Xbox 360 Unveiling Disaster" »

Nintendo Revolution details

Just read how small it's going to be! Backwards compatibility is somewhat of a waste, but it seems like they're going in head first this generation. E3 can't come soon enough.

PSP, WEP, and Apple's AirPort - Take 2

I originally wrote about connecting your PSP to an AirPort at the end of March. Since them I have received a number of emails from fellow Mac users trying to get their PSP talking to an AirPort.

Continue reading "PSP, WEP, and Apple's AirPort - Take 2" »

Why garage sales rock

My parents found a garage sale this morning and called me at home. They had a Playstation, 26 games, and some accessories for $40. Once it was confirmed there were no sports games, I told them to go for it and I'd pay them back. They came home with one hell of a great find.

Continue reading "Why garage sales rock" »

May 14, 2005

Inside the Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 features 512MB GDDR3 RAM, eight times as much as its predecessor... Looking further into the guts of the box, the Xbox 360 features a 500MHz graphics chip developed by ATI, the same company that makes graphics hardware for leading PC manufacturers including Apple... Another startling similarity with Apple’s Macintosh systems: At the core of the Xbox 360 is a set of three symmetrical IBM PowerPC processor cores, each running at 3.2GHz.
Source: MacCentral

I know, why is this coming from Macworld? Why are they working with the thin string that Microsoft is using an IBM PowerPC processor?

Well, that might not be a string after all. The Xbox 360 uses three such PowerPC chips. You can't call them G5 chips because this is not an Apple computer. But what the hell, lets just call it a G5. That would be a 3.2 Ghz G5. Now Apple just released a Dual 2.7 Ghz G5.

Interesting, very interesting.

Until I see games that look good on the system (as in not Perfect Dark Zero) I am not going to get excited about this system. The specs look great. The system looks great, although a blatant rip-off of the PS2. I am just not wowed by how the games look, either in video footage or screen shots.

I also expect Sony to trump these specs with the PS3.

Spikeout Xbox Review

Sega's Spikeout never pretends to be anything more than update to a seemingly lost genre. It doesn't have a gimmick like the disastrous Rise to Honor on the PS2, choosing to instead put the focus where it belongs. It's a true beat-em-up for the hardcore crowd, and it doesn't need to be anything else.

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The Fallen Ones Sci-Fi Channel Original Review

With a title like the Fallen Ones, you're probably expecting a documentary on World War II. Maybe you're imagining a movie about past and deceased baseball players. Would you guess it's a movie about a 42-foot tall mummy that eats people? Could you possibly guess it's the best 42-foot mummy that eats people movie ever? Well, it is, and even if it doesn't sound like it, that means something.

Continue reading "The Fallen Ones Sci-Fi Channel Original Review" »

May 16, 2005

Group: Internet Explorer share slips below 90 percent

NEW YORK (AP) -- Microsoft Corp.'s share of the U.S. browser market has slipped below 90 percent as the Firefox browser continues to grow in popularity, according to independent tracking by WebSideStory.
Source: CNN

I really love the sounds of this. It means more and more people are discovering for the first time that there is a web browser our there other then Internet Explorer.

E3 2005 Kicks Off

E3 begins tomorrow, the largest trade show for the video game industry. This years event is particularly important as the next generation game consoles should be out in full force.

Microsoft jumped the gun Thursday with the unveiling of the Xbox 360 on MTV. Nintendo already leaked small details on their console, with features such as backwards compatibility and DVD playback. Sony is waiting until their press conference as nothing has come from their camp other than some suspicious bus ads.

It's not all about the new consoles and game though. Digital Press is hosting their second annual exhibit of classic games, The History of Video Games. Should be exciting and more information is available in their forums here.

E3 2005: Capcom announces Final Fight: Street Wise

The classic brawler that started Capcom's love affair with the genre is coming back on the Playstation 2. This 3-D update puts Cody in the hands of the villains and it's up to his brother to rescue him.

The beat-em-up genre has been on its last legs for years now, living on slightly when mixed into titles like God of War. The recent update of Sega's Spikeout, along with Sony's Rise to Honor are two previous titles that attempted to resurrect the classic gameplay. Sony's Playstation 2 launched with Square's dud The Bouncer. Whether or not this new Final Fight finally brings the beat-em-up back to life won't be known until it's released.

NBA Street Showdown PSP Review

When the NBA Street series debuted, it was fresh, unique, and simply a blast to play. The trick system gave the game life. Now on the third game of the series, it doesn't have that same magic. On the PSP, it fares even worse.

Continue reading "NBA Street Showdown PSP Review" »

E3 2005: Playstation 3 announced

As expected, Sony has released the expected information on the upcoming Playstation 3, now the official name. Ken Kutaragi, designer of the console, spoke on its multimedia capabilities, including photo viewing and internet access. It will be backwards compatible with both the original and second generation Playstation.

It will run Sony's own Blu-Ray discs, their own Hi-Definition DVD standard. Wireless controllers will be the standard, though USB ports may allow for third-party controllers to connect via a cord. The slot for Memory Stick Duo cards could lead to some form of compatibility with the PSP.

E3 2005: A look at the Playstation 3

Now that everything has calmed down, it's time to look at what the industry leader plans on doing for the next generation. They're not bringing in anything completely unexpected (except the new controller), but looking at these one by one may allow this to sink in.

Continue reading "E3 2005: A look at the Playstation 3" »

May 17, 2005

E3 2005: Nintendo Reveals Revolution

Nintendo revealed their hand, oddly, in USA Today, which came out before their pre-E3 press conference. The company is still sticking to their philosophy of games first, whereas Microsoft is touting its next generation Xbox as a media center. The new console looks much like a standard PC DVD or CD-ROM drive and will again be the smallest of the three home consoles vying for dominance. It can be aligned either horizontally or vertically.

The biggest announcement is the ability to download Nintendo classics and previous generation games to play on the Revolution. That gives the console a range of titles from the original Mario Bros. all the way up to Super Mario Sunshine. How these games will be stored is not yet known. Gamers will still be able to play any of their Gamecube games with the original discs. The controllers, the source of speculation, have not yet been revealed.

E3 2005: Nintendo's Pre-Show Conference

Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, begins the show. He brags that he beat Reggie Fils-Aime in Smash Bros. in broken English. This is followed by a video montage covering DS and GameCube consoles. Aimes takes over when they come back, announcing Nintendo has sold two billion games since they entered the industry. Similar in tone to Microsoft, Aimes speaks on how they plan on targeting different demographics, other than the 18-34 year old male. He then proceeds to throw out some deceptive numbers, including the claim that the PSP had a worldwide launch before Christmas. He takes a cheap stab at Sony while spouting off these numbers.

Continue reading "E3 2005: Nintendo's Pre-Show Conference" »

E3 2005: Microsoft's Pre-Show Conference

Microsoft started with another woman coming down an aisle with the console, briefly followed by a video montage of system features and games. Jay Allard, Robbie Bach, and Peter Moore discuss how they plan to redefine the gaming industry. It's obvious they have plans on every home containing a console, regardless of the age. They discussed the success of the original console, and Xbox Live, which will soon break the two million-subscriber mark. They move on to the new titles for the standard Xbox, pledging full support for the old hardware. Some of the games showcased here are:

Continue reading "E3 2005: Microsoft's Pre-Show Conference" »

E3 2005: Three new Metal Gear games announced

Konami today announced there would be three new Metal Gear games across the three Sony platforms. Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence will be a compilation of the games in the series, plus additional online play for up to eight players. They also mentioned new game modes, but nothing was announced as to what those will be. It will be available on the Playstation 2.

Metal Gear Ac!d 2 is the sequel to the unique card based game on the PSP. The series will continue to be exclusive to the portable system. Metal Gear Solid 4 picks up the storyline after Metal Gear Solid 2 baffled gamers with its strange, confusing ending. They plan to bring back classic characters including Meryl and Ocelot on the Playstation 3. Theyre also planning online play for this new sequel as well.

E3 2005: Sony Europe confirms Grand Theft Auto PSP

Shown only behind closed doors, the new entry to the series will obviously follow Grand Theft Auto III. Now gamers can kill hookers anywhere they go.

May 18, 2005

E3 2005: How NOT to make a press conference, Nintendo

You only get one chance a year, and Nintendo blew it. Their pre-E3 press conference was nothing short of a debacle, as the company seems stubborn to reveal any concrete details on what exactly it is they have planned. Whereas Sony is showcasing some of the most graphically impressive demos we've ever seen, Nintendo lets us know that on their new hardware, we can play the 20-year old Super Mario Bros.

Continue reading "E3 2005: How NOT to make a press conference, Nintendo" »

E3 2005: 360 Running at One-Third Power

When asked about this issue our source replied that the current playable 360 games would all have frame rate issues due to the fact that they are running on alpha units... This is because the Alpha units do not run anti-aliasing and simply don't have the power to run a high-res game at full quality.
Source: IGN

Odd that we are not hearing this strait from Microsoft. Seems a little shady. And why would they show off an underpowered system at E3? Or is this just in response to the fact that Sony actually had tech demos and games to show off, and they blew the Xbox 360 out of the water at E3 this year?

Oh and you might notice a certain Apple computer on that page, its the Xbox 360 dev. unit. This is the first time I have actually seen visual proof that it was a G5, although I have heard it for some time now.

Of course if this is true, and they are running older G5 towers for alpha units, it does make sense. But why would the floor units at E3 be G5 towers? They are shipping by Christmas after all. It sounds to me like Microsoft doesn't even have the console finished yet. And they will ship before the PS3?

Oh and has anyone heard about Xbox 360 backwards compatibility yet? I find it a little disconcerting that Microsoft doesn't know yet.

Nevermind, it will be selective. Thats what happens when you go from nVideo to ATI. Selective compatibility is not exactly the best answer, but its better then non at all. I was hoping for full emulation of the nVidia instruction set.

E3 2005: PS3 to be under $500

After the amazing technical demonstration Sony showed at their pre-show press conference, it makes people wonder just what this hardware is going to cost. Rumors floating around the net (including Gamespot) indicate a sub-$500 price point.

There's no way a game company can release a console at anything above $399 and expect it to sell well, or at least be competitive. The chances are even lower if it's released during the dry spring season. It doesn't matter how good the games look. $450-$500is simply too much. The 3DO proved it. It was the height of technology for its time and it backfired. Many retailers are only selling consoles in package deals, and that will take the price well over $500. Add in a game you want, an extra controller or two, and possibly some other must-have accessory, and you're over the price of the Neo Geo.

No amount of hype will sell a system well above the halfway mark to a four-digit figure.

My wrestling figures for sale on eBay

I know it's a little odd to post something like this, but this is a collection that took me years (and a few grand) to get together and not a single lot has reached a $100 yet. Take a look and if you're interested, PLEASE bid. This isn't something I'm too keen on getting rid of in the first place, but for space and cash reasons, they need to go... but not for $60.

And yes Ken, my My eBay page is a disaster of HTML. Sue me.

E3 2005: Three for PSP from Midway

The first retro compilation for the console will be from the Midway Arcade Treasure series. The games are from the first edition which featured games like Spy Hunter and Moon Patrol.

NBA Ballers is Midway's popular attempt at arcade basketball after years of NBA Jam rehashes. The feature set should be similar to the console version release last year to surprising critical acclaim.

The latest edition of Mortal Kombat, called Deception, is up next. It should include all the bonus games (including the addictive mini-games) just like its console counterpart. Decapitating people should be even more fun on the go.

E3 2005: Power outage slows down trade show

Maybe some gamers needed more time to digest everything thrown at them with the pre-show conferences, but attendees to E3 will have to wait to divulge information. Early this morning, power was unavailable to the media room. The show floor itself was running and a back-up generator is being delivered to restore power elsewhere.

Maybe it's just me, but shouldn't they be prepared for something like this? Obviously this is the type of event that cannot happen without electricity. Who does the planning for this? Yahoo has the full story.

May 19, 2005

Windows iPod problem fixed

Yesterday I fixed a friend's iPod that would not show in iTunes for Windows. It is a brand new 20 GB model. He had just installed the iPod software update. The iPod would mount in Windows Explorer, just not show up in iTunes.

Continue reading "Windows iPod problem fixed" »

BGSU puts credit card use on a short leash

From the things-the-university-does-to-piss-people-off Department:

The university changed its policy on accepting credit cards, effective July 1. Students charging their tuition either online or by telephone will be faced with a 2.5 percent convenience fee. Credit cards won't be accepted at the bursar's windows anymore, and VISA won't be accepted at all.
Source: Toledo Blade

I really didn't know anything about this until a letter to the editor was published in this weeks BG News.

So I had to find the Blade article myself. And then I went to the Bursar to talk to them. I had a bill to pay anyways.

Continue reading "BGSU puts credit card use on a short leash" »

May 20, 2005

No UT job for me

In December of 2004 I applied for a Web Developer position at the office of Marketing and Communications at the University of Toledo. The only reason I applied is because I know someone who works there. I figured I did not have a chance, but what the heck.

In February I found out by my contact at UT that I did not get the job. They liked my resume, but they cannot hire someone that does not have a degree. I figured as much.

Last week I got an official letter in the mail from UT that says I did not get the job. I know universities are slow at this type of thing, but three months for a rejection letter? At least it is now official.

Uniformed Illinois politicians pass video game bill

It's funny when politicians show their true ignorance. They rant, they rave, yet when it comes to video game violence, they don't have a clue. Illinois passed a bill to restrict the sale of violent video games to minors. That, in and of itself, is nothing new. What is new is the exposure of one politician's pure stupidity and ignorance showing through with one simple quote in this Yahoo article:

Continue reading "Uniformed Illinois politicians pass video game bill" »

E3 2005: Microsoft on the edge

Whereas Nintendo flat out dumfounded most of the gaming community, Microsoft is taking the biggest risk. Though financially they can afford to, trying to ignore the die-hard gamer while putting the focus on the mainstream, non-gaming consumer is gutsy. They've made an insane claim that they plan their console to reach one billion (yes, billion) people.

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May 21, 2005

Netscape 8.0 Released

From the do-we-care Dept.

Netscape 8 is out! Not for OS X though. I will have to try it out in Virtual PC. It includes a toggle which allows switching between Mozilla and Microsoft's rendering engines as needed. How exciting and revolutionary!

The funny line of the day goes to a Slashdot post: "They certainly aren't instilling a lot of confidence in their own code base. Netscape 8 switches to IE rendering when visiting www.netscape.com."

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Alan Deutschman reviews "iCon"

The Steve Jobs "iCon" book got early attention, even before it was published, because Jobs pulled all the publishers books from the Apple Store. So I earmarked the book on Amazon. But after reading Deutschman's review, I think I will pass. It seems that "iCon" is not only a rehash of "The Second Coming of Steve Jobs." - Deutschman's book - but a rehash of a number of previously printed books about Steve Jobs.

Deutschman gives a number of side by side examples of the text from his book, and that from "iCon." What a joke, and a con.

Sci-Fi Channel Orginal Review: Descent

It's not as if they're known for originality, but the Sci-Fi Channel films at least try to do something different, even if it rarely works. That's not the case the deplorable Descent, a straight knock-off of 2003's The Core. Though a few discernable differences are here, this is, for the most part, a carbon copy of a film that wasn't even enjoyable to begin with.

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May 22, 2005

E3 2005: A brief overview

E3 is over, and it doesn't seem like gamers gained much from it. Yes, the next generation was unveiled, but keep in mind that was before the show actually started. The mainstream press seemed more content on discussing Microsoft's risky strategy, whether or not Sony's Killzone video was real, and Nintendo's totally under whelming news then on any of the actual games on the show floor.

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Spurs take Suns in game one thanks to Barry

If you know me at all (and chances are you don't), you would know that I'm not a San Antonio Spurs fan. I am and always will be a Bulls fanatic. However, they don't have Brent Barry. Now, Brent Barry, for whatever reason, is some sort of obsession to me. I saw him play one game at Oregon State, make an absolutely insane pass, and that was it. It was all too reminiscent of Pete Maravich, my all time favorite player.

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May 23, 2005

Star Wars: Episode III DS Review

In 2000, Lucasarts produced an abysmal Star Wars beat-em-up called Jedi Power Battles. While it was slightly playable on the Dreamcast, the Playstation was not kind to gamers. It's a shame too since Star Wars lends itself so well to this classic born-in-the-arcade genre. Finally, with Episode III, it works.

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Triumph the Insult Comic Dog does Star Wars

Absolutely hilarious (direct link).

May 24, 2005

Rengoku PSP Review

With the PSP launching with a solid if unspectacular action-RPG in Untold Legends, it's amazing that we actually had to wait this long for Rengoku. This is an unequivocal disaster of a video game, containing nothing but bad game design, unresponsive controls, and miserable gameplay. It's not just a disappointment; it's as unplayable as you can make a video game and still call it a video game.

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Gaming becomes the new crack

For every advancement video games make, they're attacked. First, it was with first person shooters. They were branded murder simulators. When the new consoles are released, the upgraded graphics aren't a technical achievement; they make kids into violent criminals. Now it's online gaming. What's the problem here?

They're digital crack.

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May 25, 2005

Beating MAVAV at their own game

MAVAV is an organization of people, supposedly concerned mothers, who provide information to concerned parents on the subject of violent and addictive video games. Their website states "facts" on the subject. What they're doing is not a public service. They have nothing to back-up their facts, and almost everything on their site is either an outright lie or sweeping generalization.

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May 26, 2005

Star Wars Kid 2

Only this time it's not a kid and it's funnier. That's a WMV file.

Lightsabers and fuel don't mix

And take away common sense for an even deadlier trio.

May 27, 2005

Film short: Broken Review

According to the advertising for Broken, this 15-minute short contains 100 special effects shots in less than 15-minutes. Youll have to take that as truth. Theres no possible way to count them. Why? They're done so well, you cant even tell they're effects in the first place.

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May 28, 2005

Why do game developers let us die?

It's not just the gaming market that's changed. The games themselves have become epics, lasting days, if not months. However, one thing hasn't changed: Death. In almost game you play, you die, likely multiple times. This was relevant 10 years ago. Now, it just seems like an annoyance.

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May 30, 2005

How NOT to hook up a router

Long, long story follows.

Here's the situation: We've been having some connection issues for about week. It just seems to drop randomly. We had a service call set up to check the line last Tuesday, but I had to have some injections done in my back at a moments notice and we had to cancel.

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May 31, 2005

Having that feeling...

Now this is funny (QT). Be sure to watch through till the very end (yes, work safe).




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