June 2007 Archives

June 1, 2007

I Wait for the Coffin

I called MSFT on Tuesday, and with no questions asked, they are sending a coffin (which I should have tomorrow) to ship my dead 360 back to them. Then wait up to 10 business days, and I will have a repaired unit.

So glad I did not have to pitch a fuss. I was ready to put up a fight, too.

Ridge Racer 7 DLC

They have been promising this, oh, since the game came out. Yesterday, they delivered, in spades. On the PlayStation Store are 25 new races, 14 new decal sets, and 20 new BMG music tracks. The races and decal sets are free. The music costs $0.99 for each, or $14.99 for all 20.

I don't even have to explain how much I love the PS Store fore using real money values. When DLC came out for Ridge Racer 6 on the 360, you didn't have nice tidy prices like $0.99. Of course if my 360 worked, I could check and see how much those BMG tracks cost for RR 6.

My only complaint is having to download each of the 25 races and 14 decal sets individually. These are so small, why not package them together?

It is great to get new content for RR 7, and has put that game back in my PS3. It is a nice compliment to playing Calling All Cars online ;)

Kudos to Namco for giving us a bunch of free DLC for RR 7.

June 2, 2007

How to Tell if You're a Hopeless Geek

So I'm at Kens for the holiday weekend. He has a copy of Playboy laying around. I pick it up, and what's the first thing I do? Check out the rack on cover model? Flip to the centerfold? Oh hell no.

Immediately open to the article mentioned on the cover about an alternate Star Wars script in which Obi-Wan lives in Episode IV. Yeah, I'm a lost cause.

June 5, 2007

PTC Goes Over the Top on Court Ruling

We need an "idiot" category here on BW. The PTC would fit right in.

The headline? "Court OK's F-word in Front of Kids."

The complaint? The lack of a fine in 2002 and 2003 for the airing of two words during the Billboard Music Awards. Seriously, it was five years ago. How many kids were adversely affected by this exactly? Well, they don't have that stat. If it happened again, how many kids could potentially be warped for life? Well, they don't have that stat either. However, they do believe this is against the beliefs of the overwhelming majority of American people*.

*They have one million members. That's a little shy of the majority.

June 9, 2007

Coffin Takes Seven Days to Arrive, Missing Return Label

My Xbox 360 coffin took seven full business days to arrive, not the two to three I was told on the phone. Counting weekends, thats about a week and a half of time to wait. This does not instill much confidence in the "10 days for repair" I was told over the phone.

So it is packed up and shipped back to Microsoft, or rather their cemetery/repair center in Texas. Well, I would have shipped it today had the box come with the return address label that the instructions said are in the box.

So I am now oh hold with Microsoft Support. This same return label problem happened to Juganawt months ago.

So they are canceling the first coffin, and sending another one. I am not very impressed Microsoft.

Actually, right now I am pretty pissed off, because I just found out that I can play none of my XBLA games when not connected to Live. I remember reading about that, but I never though I would have to worry about the new hardware issue.

I am going to assume I will be getting a new piece of hardware, whenever they can send me a coffin with a return address label, and if that is the case, you can be sure I will raise holy hell. I should be able to play my XBLA games that I paid money for when and if I am not online at the time.

Now wait number two begins. Because someone did not double check the contents of the box, I have to wait for a second coffin.

Will the one month free for Xbox Live that I was promised be enough when this is all said and done?

June 11, 2007

EA Brings Games to Mac OS X

I just got this presser (after the jump) and all I can say is: "are you serious?"

I wonder if they will require an Intel Mac or if the games will be Universal Binary. I would put my bets on Intel only. I just confirmed with EA PR that they will be Intel-based Mac only.

Not a bad bunch of games for the Mac. Who knew?

Continue reading "EA Brings Games to Mac OS X" »

June 12, 2007

June 11: No MotorStorm 1.2 Update

Hey look! It got delayed for 27th time. First it was May, then June 7, then June 11, now when is it? Will the June 14 Time Attack update still happen? I seriously doubt it. While we are on the subject of delayed updates, Resistance should get an update any day now too...

“We know you have all been looking forward to the release of the MotorStorm 1.2 update. Due to technical issues we have decided to make a number of small changes to this important release schedule. As a result the update, which includes all the fixes and improvements previously announced, will have a small delay in release. The highly anticipated new game mode, ‘Time attack’ will be available for download through the PLAYSTATION Store on June 14th. Online updates and fixes as part up update 1.2 will be made available as of June 11th. I am sure you all understand the need for us to ensure we deliver to you content of the highest possible quality and that small delays are sometime unavoidable.”
Source: IGN

June 13, 2007

Return of the Return Address Label

Today is a glorious day. The UPS guy arrived, and handed me a box *with* a return address label inside. I slapped it on Xbox 360 Coffin #1 (It has been ready for days) and gave it back to Mr. UPS Truck Driver.

Now, the waiting game starts over. Will I get my refurb 360 in less than 10 days, will it have a second heat sink?

June 14, 2007

Brent Barry Wins Second NBA Ttitle

Yes, there were some other guys too, but Brent Barry can proudly display a second championship ring as the Spurs have swept the Cavs. It's only fair that the best player in the league receive this recognition. Yes, I said that.

June 15, 2007

Ocean's Thirteen Impressions

This is the summer of thirds in a movie series. Maybe they can make a special Oscar for that at this year's Academy Awards.

The movie was good, better than Ocean's Twelve. Good humor, Pacino was wonderful. And hell, it cost me $2 at The Small (Woodland Mall).


Comments Turned Back On

Great News! Comments are now enabled for every post, again. Yay!

PowerEditFeedback is a nice plug-in to allow for batch editing of the Accept Comments flag.

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You may notice an error message:

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I am not sure what this problem is yet. I am working on the problem. All I know is if you reload the page, it loads everything just fine.

There is a comment if you view this source:

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June 16, 2007

New Feature: Things That Annoy Me

Today we start a new feature here at Breaking Windows: Things That Annoy Me. I encourage all the BW writers to participate. You could also call it the Mini-Rant Feature.

I am sure most of these things will be gaming related, but some will fall under technology in general, others won't have anything to do with computers at all.

We will call it THAM for short.

I will warn you, the first few of these will likely be PS3 related.

TTAM #1: Installing PSN Games and Demos

Yes, lets start this bitch section off right. When downloading games and demos on the PS3, you must "install" them first. This is not an automatic process. You have to select the game/demo and press X, then watch the nice progress bar creep across the screen.

Would it be too much to ask to automate this one Sony? I had no idea you were going to go all "PC" on your next-gen console. Seriously, there are reasons I do not play games on the computer.

Update on "processing this directive" Error

Movable Type support (they are great) tells me that it is not an MT error, which I figured. So I have to go back to my host and see whats up. It might be a file permissions problem on PHP files. We shall see. What a pain in the ass.

This is a new one for me, and I have installed Movable Type a zillion times on many different hosts.

This will slow down moving the Breaking Windows domain a bit.

Update: Indeed, it is a permissions issue. The server, for some reason, is writing PHP files with the permissions of 666 (should be 644). Once you reload the page on the "processing this directive" error, the web server corrects the problem, setting the file to 644. Now to talk to my new host about this.

Update 2: Host Monster runs under suexec, and requires files to have 644. Movable Type, by default, writes files as 666. This is an easy fix, though.

Now I just have to back up all my files on breakingwindows.com. *yawn*

dotProject's Yahoo! Widget

For those of you that remember, Konfabulator was the original widget API for OS X. Yahoo! bought it out, and it now lives on alongside the built in widgets in OS X.

I finally have a reason to install the Yahoo! Widget Engine, and that is the dotProject.net TaskTracker.

I have been evaluating dotProject (open source project management) as a replacement for Basecamp. So far, so good, too. This widget for dotProject is another bullet point for bullet point feature, and another reason to stop paying a monthly fee for Basecamp.

While the Basecamp Dashboard widget does show you more, the dotProject widget comes with one handy feature: It has a stop watch that allows you to track the time it takes for each task you have.

Major kudos to the developer of this widget.

June 17, 2007

Corporate Logic

So I get a new cell phone from Verizon. I browse the V-Cast ring tones (my only option), find some I like, and head to download them until I see the price of $2.99. Yes, $2.99 for a brief clip of a song. That's absurd.

Looking at my other options, I can download the entire song in MP3 format right to my cell for $1.99, and I can't use it as a ring tone. If anyone can logically explain why three minutes of a song is worth $2, and why a brief clip is worth $3, I'd love to hear it.

That said, Song ID is kinda cool. You activate the feature, put it anywhere near a speaker playing a song, and the service identifies it. I'm not paying $3 for any song it finds, but it's fun to play with.

Places to Avoid Eating when in Toledo

Two new restauraunts opened up recently locally. One is Johnny's Lunch, who claims their burgers are "hot and juicy but never greasy." Bullshit. The burgers we had were drowning in so much grease that when we pulled them off the tray, they left a puddle behind through the wrapper. Trying to remove them from the wrapper was nearly impossible. The bottom bread was stuck completely to the paper. That will be the last time we eat there, as the burgers were flat and nasty on top of the other issues.

Continue reading "Places to Avoid Eating when in Toledo" »

Ring of Fire parody song

You know, this is all too true. Even the part of the supply problems of cardboard boxes. That was why it took them seven freakin' days the first time.

I just hope I get my repaired 360 this week.

Ring of Fire parody song (MP3)

June 18, 2007

BG Super Wal-Mart and Blu-ray

We have a brand new enormous Super Wal-Mart in Bowling Green. Do you think they have Blu-ray movies?

Night At The Museum
X-Men 3
Ghost Rider
(Sold Out)

Yep, thats it. No Casino Royal, no Pirates 1 or 2. It is really quite sad.

Manchester Cathedral Officials Still Not Happy

More from GamePolitics. Matt also wrote on this subject. Hit the jump if you would like to read my commentary.

Continue reading "Manchester Cathedral Officials Still Not Happy" »

June 21, 2007

Sony Updates, Breaks, MotorStorm

Well the MotorStorm update is finally here. Just a bit shy of their original (or even revised) goal. But at least it is here. Bug fixes and Time Attack Mode, these are very welcome.

But if you are not careful, you will not be able to play MotorStorm at all. You must download the 1.2 update (via the game's Online mode) and THEN download the Time Attack Mode (via the PlayStation Store, naturally).

If you didn't see the instructions on how to do this in the Time Attack update on the PSN, (there were none) you must delete the 1.1 update file, then download the 1.2 update FIRST, then you can download Time Attack Mode.

And while I am at it. Why the hell can't PS3 title updates automatically reboot the game once the update is installed; you know, like the Xbox 360 does?

But back to the issue at hand. Wouldn't it be useful for the PSN Store to be able to check the version of MotorStorm before it downloads, and screws you over?

The 1.2 update file is 33 MB, the Time Attack Mode was 100 KB. Am I the only one here that is asking the question of why? Why not just put Time Attack in the 1.2 update?

Why on earth make me have to download two separate files, in two entirely different places, and make me explicitly download them in the correct order?

Food for thought, Sony.

June 27, 2007

Sky Bank = Huntington?

Did you know? I got a card in the mail today. Considering the Sky Bank corporate offices are in Bowling Green, I guess that means we are set to have a ton of new Huntington branches in town.

No difference to me, unless they start charging for things that are free right now, like checking and so forth.

Funny, I always thought it was "Hunnington."

June 28, 2007

Die Hard 4.0

Everything about this movie, besides the title (I really have a problem with that name), was a solid summer movie going experience. We all know that Bruce Willis can escort people around (16 Blocks) and Mac Guy Justin Long does a good job at being the funny dumb guy.

The cyber-terrorism plot seems fitting for the entire post-9/11 sympathetic angle.

Kevin Smith gives a good performance. Jordan and I saw the 7 PM showing and it sounded like everyone was enjoying it. We give it two thumbs up.

Is it just me, or can you not shake Cliff Curtis' role in Collateral Damage out of your heard?

Be sure to look for the stereotypically "good guys have Mac, bad guys have PC" shtick. At the beginning of the movie Justin Long's Matt Farrell character has an Apple Cinema display. He is running Linux, and no Mac was shown, but it was an Apple Cinema display, looked like the 20" or 23" model.

In one the later scenes, one of the bad guys picks up an Alienware laptop. At least the shot of the Apple monitor was just a camera pan, the Alienware laptop was practically framed in the shot.

Other product placement, there was just tons, was Palm and Nokia phones. The Palm Pilots used seemed antiquated, actually. Poor choice if you ask me.

The screen graphics department for this film must have used half the budget. Considering the plot, it makes sense that you would see a lot of computer screens doing a lot of things, but man, tons of screen graphics.

Finally, a summer movie I am not disappointed I saw (see: Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third, Pirates 3, Fantastic 4 2). Die Hard 4.0, err, Live Free or Die Hard, was the best movie I have seen this summer, better than Oceans Thirteen. Now I can't wait to see The Borne Ultimatum.

They took a big risk -- Willis is 52 -- but I think its gonna pay off. Lots of great explosions, a few good laughs and thank The Lord no cliffhanger at the end.

Now the big question is: will Rambo come through next year?

On a total side note, does anyone remember Die Hard Trilogy on the PS1?

Oh yea, Timothy Olyphant just doesn't seem right to play Agent 47. He looks too young (with a shaved head).

June 29, 2007

TTAM #2: PS3 Firmware Updates

It is not so much that the firmware updates annoy me, but the loborious task of installing the update.

When a new update is available, you also cannot access the PSN Store, or get online for anything. I just want to check out the latest game on the store, but first I have to install a .02 upgrade to my system.

These are the steps:

Step 1: Download the software update.
Step 2: Reboot when prompted.
Step 3: Connect controller via USB
Step 4: Cycle through a bunch of screens, select Accept, cycle through some more screens, hit X to start the install. Once complete, the system automatically reboots.

My main problem is having to connect the controller via USB. Why? Do you realize how annoying that is?

In contrast, when there is a Dashboard update for the Xbox 360, that goes like this:

Step 1: You are prompted to update the Dashboard once you power on the 360.
Step 2: Press A. Thats it, you are done. Once completed, the 360 reboots automatically. And you do not need to connect the controller through USB.

Do you see the difference?

One Month Later, My Referb Xbox 360 Arrives

It has been one full month, I kid you not. My 360 died on May 27, and I just got it back today, June 29. I would have got it on the 28th had I been home to sign for it. But that is a full month without my 360.

I did not get a new shell, it still says the same serial number, same born on date. But it does have a different serial number, so it must have been a motherboard swap, which I have been hearing about lately.

I had five or six XBLA games to download!

I did get a letter hoping to "regain my trust," and a one month free card for Xbox Live has been included to ease my pain. So, finally, I can get back on Xbox Live.

Savvy readers know I have not been without an Xbox 360. I just have not been able to get online with my other unit. Let me tell you - an Xbox 360 without Xbox Live really isn't worth playing.

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