Friday, September 09, 2005

I'm Not Dead

Not yet, anyway. Geez, keeping a blog up-to-date is time-consuming.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

iTunes w/ Podcasting - COOL!

Here's my mini-review:

1) Not all of my podcasts are in there (Geek Fu Action Grip, Slacker Astronomy Extra) but most are. Very easy to navigate and it's NICE that they all follow the same format. I wonder if Apple is XMLTing some of them?

2) It remembers! Stop a podcast in the middle, listen to something else, come back and it's where you left off.

3) Partials? Apparently it now plays partials. Previously, partial MP3s were not transferred to the iPod.

4) Scrolling! The Podcast category on the iPod shows the feed names, and will scroll them if they are too long. When you go in to see the podcast, it shows the name & date, and will scroll the name while the date stays in place. Nice.

5) How do I get them off? iTunes can be set to remove podcasts you have listened to (assume they mean you play it to the end, even if you FF through most of it). Still testing this one.

6) No rating (boo) so you can't remind yourself that a podcast sucks, but it does show the details (yea) in a new scrollable screen.

Maybe now my wife can listen to podcasts. More as I keep using it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Podcasts in iTunes

iTunes 4.9 is out. It has an integrated podcast directory. Doesn't contain a couple of my favorites, but has everything else. Nicely orgainzed.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Revolution Downloaded Games Free?

Sometimes listed as free, sometimes stated that they will cost something. Either way, here's a list of the oldies.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Hennessy Hammock Expedition A-Sym

Initial Review

I have spent two nights in this hammock in my back yard. I am quite happy with this elevated tent.


I had some difficulty setting up the hammock.

The Knot: For starters, I had a difficult time tying the knot. Apparently this is a common problem for beginning users of Hennessys. It probably took ten tries over two nights to get it right. I can now tie the recommended knot with no slippage in about 20 seconds (four 'figure eights' and enough half-hitches to take up the rest of the rope).

Tree Huggers: These are basically seatbelt material with loops on each end. I certainly don't have any trees that can be wrapped twice with these things, which is also a common problem. I should have ordered the long ones!

The 'foot' tree was about 12" in diameter, and the strap was a bit too long to hold the hammock tight (it would slide down the tree). I remedied this by passing one end through the other end's loop and tying the hammock to the one loop.

The 'head' tree was about 18" in diameter, so there was a gap of about 8" or so between the strap loops. I used the 'stick under the strap' method to give myself room to pass the knot through, but this didn't really work well. I think I ended up just doing the figure eights around the rope in front of the loop connecting the straps. It looked odd and creaked a bit, but didn't stretch when I got in the hammock.

Outriggers: I used tent stakes as mounting points. The only problem was getting the tension right on the bungie cord straps. I think I will follow others' advice and tie a loop in the end, then place the stakes in the ground where the cords want them to be, as opposed to placing the stakes and making the cord match. This should also cut down on slippage. It is hard to remove a knot from the bungie cord, so the fewer I have to untie the better.

Tarp: The tarp seems a little small to me. Sure, if I mount it just above the hammock it covers the netting, but just barely. It looks like it would be easy for rain to be blown in the head and foot. I slept without the tarp the first night, but there was a threat of rain the second night, so I mounted it in the 'normal' position seen in most photos. It is very easy to tighten the tarp.

Tension: This was the hard part for me. I always felt like the hammock was either too tight or too loose. I tried mounting at 7'6" with steep lines as well as 5'5" with shallow, taut lines. Higher & looser seems better, but I still have not found the "magic angle" that works great.

Blanket, Sleeping Bag, Pads: I started the first night in a thin blanket on top, then added another one underneath a few hours later.

The second night was supposed to drop to 40F, so I brought out my big heavy 32F bag and two closed-cell foam pads I bought for this setup. This took a long time to set up. The pads were easy to place and, since they were foam, they stayed put the entire night. I had a hard time with the bag because it is big and bulky and has a right-side zipper. I went through the process of positioning the bag, entering the hammock, entering the bag, wiggling, out of bag, out of hammock, etc. at least four times before I was satistfied. I think a left-size zipper would have made it easier. I kept the footbox zipped, which was not too bad.


Tension & Setup: By the next morning the structure would stretch to the point where the ridgeline cord was no longer tight, and the bottom would lower about 8". This happened both nights. Hopefully the stretching will reduce as time goes on. This isn't really a problem except for two things: 1) The foot end stretched more than the head, so I had difficulty staying in the sweet spot. 2) It was very hard to get out when I could not stand up. I will lie in the hammock for 10 minutes and retension next time and see if that helps.

Bedding Materials: The first night with the blanket was fine until 3:00AM when the temp dropped to about 60F. I grabbed a second blanket I had left out and put it underneath. I was good for another 1:30, then was too cold, so I finished the night in my bed. This was a very easy setup, easy to get in and out, but definitely not for cool or cold nights.

I was very comfortable the second night using the bag and pads. I could really feel the 1/4" pads keeping the air away, but I was dissapointed to find that the temp. only went down to 50F, so it wasn't much of a challenge. I am sure this setup could go down to 45F, but 40F might be pushing it.

Finding the "Sweet Spot": These hammocks are designed to allow a diagonal sleeping position. This is accomplished by the tie-outs and extra fabric in the corresponding areas. My food always found its spot but my head never really found its home. I am 6'0", so I may be too tall for this bag, but the website indicates that I should fit fine. The first night was not too bad but the second night I was leaned against the netting. It took several minutes for me to worm myself into a good position.


I am worried that I might rip the fabric. There is a stress mark in the fabric just below the bottom of the entrance. It hasn't increased in size in the past two days but I am afraid it will sometime soon. I also feel like I need to be careful when I put all of my weight in small parts of the floor, especially suspending myself from my feet/butt and one hand, moving things around underneath me with the other hand. It hasn't failed yet but it does not seem happy when I do that.

Before I bought the hammock I thought of making one myself. I even made a model from paper to work out the ideal angles & see the stress points. After finding out that it would cost just as much as buying one, I decided to purchase it. One of the things I noticed when designing mine was that you had to be very careful with the gathering of the fabric on the support ropes. If you gathered the edges too tight then it wanted to close up on the top and hold you in a bag of fabric underneath. If you gathered the edges too loosely, it would force you away from the centerline and you would fall out if it weren't for the netting. Based on my model and my actual experience, I feel that the edges of the fabric are too loose, compared to the center. I never really felt cradled, but rather pushed into the netting.

Last Word

With all that being said, I love this product. I had two very comfortable nights, more comfortable than my bed. There is absolutely no comparison to sleeping on a pad in a tent. Once I work out the kinks I will be even happier. I want to try it a few more times to make sure it won't rip before I recommend it.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Hammock is Here

Finally arrived, but without its SnakeSkins. I unrolled it and it's in good shape. Looks really cool. Will try it out this afternoon.

Hammock, hammock, where's the hammock?

Argh! It's just sitting in the Doraville UPS center. Been there since Friday. Send it out already!

$100 iPod

We finally got the rebate check from MicroCenter for buying an iPod with their Visa. Now we can chop it up. Took a while but I'm glad I bought it.

Friday, May 20, 2005

DDR: Mario

A Dance Dance Revolution game is coming to the GameCube. The song list mainly includes Nintendo songs.

Penny Stove

I've been checking out alcohol stoves for camping and have come across several "classic" home-made designs, including the Pepsi, Cat Food and Turbo V8. These are all made of the respective cans, cut, foil taped and poked as necessary. However, this seems to be the most elegant and requires no tape: The Penny. The instructions are extremely simple (haven't made it yet, though) and uses only one thing: A Heineken keg can. Amazing!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

XBox 360 Trickery

According to Jostiq, the XBox 360 will not play XBox games directly. They have to be recompiled for the new system. Hmmm...

HOW Small is the GameBoy Micro's Screen

This small! Joystiq has a hands-on picture. Teeny tiny.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

More Oblivion News

Gamespot has a nice Interview about Oblivion. Also, there is now an Oblivion store.

Chronicles of Narnia GBA

I never really got into it, but some of my friends are big fans. Well, now it's in development for the Gameboy Advance. Perfect game for the cute little Gameboy Micro.

Tasty Monkey Found

I love The Onion. They have a report about a tasty monkey recently discovered.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Ordered My Hennessy Hammock

Ordered an Expedition Asym from Hennessy Hammock. BackpackGearTest has many reviews that rave about these. I have been wanting one for a year or so. Should get here in a few days.

Their website is a little primitive and doesn't quite work right. My e-mailed receipt had the addresses all screwed up so I called to make sure it was going to ship correctly. We'll see...

Zelda News

Gamespot has a brief impression of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Link turns into a werewolf and is ridden by a buddy. Hmmm... They also have the trailer.

(update) Watched the trailer. Cool! It was moving seeing him turn into a werewolf--he obviously doesn't like it. I assume this is a GameCube title (I hope so).

Gameboy Micro

Nintendo announced the newest Gameboy: The Micro. Super tough, tiny, will fit in anyone's jean pocket, no matter how tight (their words). Plays GBA games and is basically the size of an iPod mini (2/3 lighter, just a hair larger).


Oblivion News

Here's a Gamespot article with an interview and some new shots.

Dell Inspiron 1000 Notebook $499

Dell Inspiron 1000 Notebook $499

1024x768, 256MB RAM, CD burner & DVD player.

Use coupon code 62P2D?K280T9TD. Hurry! Expires after 400 uses.

Link to the computer

Link to the techbargains info

Cute Wittle Waste of Bandwitdh

Monday, May 16, 2005

My Laptop is Happy

I just bought 1GB of RAM for my laptop (upgraded from 512MB) and it's happy! The hard drive hardly runs at all. VS seems to compile much faster and the computer seems quieter overall. What to do with the old memory? Wonder if it will work in the crappy laptop? Surely not.

Will test out WoW tonight to see if it feels better--I have been having bad load time issues whenever I go into a new area, especially a large city.

Microsoft Search?

Hmmm, adding a Google look to desktop search. Still uses Microsoft's indexing service, which slows down my PC. Don't think I'll be trying it.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Carissa's Wierd (sic) New Release!

The band with the badly spelled name has a new release, even though they broke up. Plus their first two albums are going to be re-released. Yea!


Use your PC

These pics are pretty funny. I especially liked the pet cage monitor.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Star Wars and Aliens

Alienware has created a Star Wars line (well, two cases) of computers. They are apparently all AMD processors. Choose the light side (a scene with the good guys from 4 5 6) or the dark side (Vader) for your case. The interface also has some sort of WindowBlinds-style theme for Star Wars.

Artful Idea

This is pretty neat. You create simple art and add it to the gallery. You can view other artists' creations. The neat thing is that it records the process of creating the drawing so you can play how others created theirs.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Nintendo Revolution Details

You can search yourself and probably find better info, but I wanted to document what I've found so far:

1) PowerPC (either 1 or 2) processor, ATI video

2) Gyroscopes & touchy-feely
Apparently the controller will not have traditional buttons and d-pads. Instead, it will feature some sort of twisting/tilting technology and rubbable areas. Jokes aside, I can see how swinging a sword or golf club by swiping an area with your thumb is a cool idea. There is still a need for buttons, but I don't know how that will work. It would also be great if you could twist, tilt and rotate the controller (or the parts of it) to control things.

3) POV revolution?
Apparently this is one of the big revolutions in this console. They have patented a view technology that keeps the focus for the user in a unique way, apparently warping the view to keep everything visible instead of just widening the view area. Not sure about this one...

4) Networking
Wi-fi buit in, free networking system. Cool.

Remember, Nintendo pioneered many features that are now common. Saved games on NES (first Zelda), shoulder buttons on SNES, analog control stick on N64, vibration force-feedback on N64, 3D 3rd person control on N64, camera control on N64, wireless multiplayer on GBA & DS.


Neat concept. Download games instead of buying a box. Got Deus Ex for $10! It's an old game but one I have always wanted because it is the spiritual successor to System Shock, one of my favorite games.

Another Wireless Mouse

Here's another cheap Microsoft wireless mouse. It's ambidexterous, has no special buttons and no horizontal scroll (I never use that or the extra buttons anyway). $19 after rebates & discounts ($10 mail-in rebate).

Friday, April 29, 2005

www Every Video Game com

This is nice:

www every video game com (figure it out)

Tons of NES, GBA, Arcade games that run in JAVA. Trying Advance Wars now...

I edited this because I was showing up as THIRD in the list of rankings on Google! Cool, but too high for me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Monday, April 25, 2005

Cheap Wireless Microsoft Mouse!

Cool deal. Wireless mouse. $15.

WoW Journal 13: PvP

Ugh! I was out training my new pet bird on the way to Fire Mountain when a snooty lvl 20 elf laughed at me. He challenged me to a duel, so I accepted even though I knew I would get killed. Actually fared pretty well but he killed me. The first time I had been killed in a duel, oh well.

Ran back to my corpse (wasn't far) then continued to attack beasties to train my new bird. Somehow I put hunter's mark on myself. How did I do that? Ouch! Hey, my health is going down! What's going on? Looked around and saw the lvl 20 elf shooting arrows into me. He killed me and went on. How did PvP get turned on on me?

Come to find out, it must have happened during our duel. Fortunately, it only affects me until I hang out in Horde territory for 5 minutes. Got some apples for my bird and logged off. Won't duel Alliance again!

That being said, I kind of liked the thrill. It's almost like playing a different game. I may switch to a PVP server and try that for a while. Definitely won't walk around alone.

Friday, April 22, 2005

WoW Journal 13: Orc

Started a new char--Orc Hunter. The hunter was my first char, so I figured I'd try it again. Quickly leveled through level 6. The Orc homeland is dry and desolate, right against the coast. The first cave looked exactly like one of the caves from the other starter worlds, just different textures. Hmmm.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

WoW Journal 12: Directions and Kittens

East and West are different. His watch was in a house to the WEST. Argh.

Leveled to 14. I had been saving money (40s) to buy a kitty, but I wanted to check with the Paladin trainer first to get my new feats. They are both 20s each. Hmmm, new feats or a worthless kitten to follow me around? Chose the cat. Haven't been able to interact with it in any way, but it is cute, doesn't get hurt and follows me everywhere. She's black (basically), just like our three real-life cats.

Primarily working in Westfall now. Finally strong enough to handle those golems in the fields, but there are lots of things that can kill me. Fortunately, there is a graveyard right in the middle for easy access! Too bad I can't bring myself back to life.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

WoW Journal 11: Paladins Rule

OK, Paladins rule. I'm level 11 now and am quite impressed. I took on three of those red-scarved bandits, including a wizard. I buffed up, attacked the wizard, stunned her and beat her down until she was gone, cast the aura of protection upon myself (no one can hurt me for a few seconds) and healed, then beat down the other two mobs. I can only do it every few minutes, but the combination of healing, buffing, attacking and holding spells works well, especially with all of my armor.

However, I did all of this just to get a pocketwatch from the building and it wasn't there! Argh!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

WoW Journal 10: Paladin

Played the rogue with several characters. Tried a shaman (or whatever) Tauren. Tried a warlock, complete with imp helper. Now for a tank.

I wanted to try something that could actually wear the armor I keep finding, so I created a Paladin human. Sped through to level 6 in about three hours or so.

It certainly felt stronger than a thief or a warlock. I plowed through mob after mob without any difficulty, to a point. I eventually died because I was swamped by kobolds. Generally, I can hold my own with two at-level mobs without a problem, even three in a stretch.

The abilities are nice. Once I realized that I had to turn off attack for it to work, the "can't hit me" spell works long enough for me to get a nice running start or a quick heal before I get attacked again. Also, the stun spell sometimes keeps the mob stunned for the entire battle. Still working on how to apply the seals for the best overall attack.

The attacks seem really slow, but I'm using a big ol' two-handed hammer instead of a little dagger. Will try a one-handed model with a shield soon.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

WoW Journal 09: Swim to Westfall

Hopped a boat from Darkshore to the Wetlands on the other continent. I looked around a little bit, took some heckling from lvl 25+ players about only being an 11. Met a dwarf that kept following me, asked me why I was there. Told him I was going to swim to Westfall and he wanted to join. I had heard that you are supposed to stay close to shore so you wouldn't drown, so I did just that and died about four times because of little nasty sea beasties. He gave up and left.

I finally decided to jump off the edge of the pier and swim out. I saw my fatigue meter when I hit 'blue' water. Oh, that's it! Just avoid the blue water and you won't drown. Saw a hammerhead shark on the sea floor (cool). Swam for about 30 minutes when one of my guild buddies got on. He decided to follow me, so he started swimming, too. He got tired of it and died, came back at another city and ran on.

I finally saw Westfall but the beach was swarming with lvl 16+ baddies, so I kept swimming until I finally saw an empty spot. Ran and stealthed until I came to a small town. I didn't realize that Dark Elves were so much larger than humans.

Anyway, finally made it to the human newbie town. Will start out from here and do the lvl 10+ quests.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

WoW Journal 08

Started over with a new character. Why? My last character wasted her money. Every time she bought something new (armor, dagger, etc.) she would receive a better one in a quest. She didn't work on her trades so she never really had a lot to sell. Plus I decided I wanted a male avatar since people treated me differently as a woman.

Cordonbleu the Night Elf Rogue was born. I really like the skills of a rogue so I'm doing my third one. Knew the quests so I power-leveled to 8 very quickly. Joined a brand-new guild, went on the harpy quest with another char. Took as much time to go from 8 to 10 as it did to go from 0 to 8 (seemed like it, anyway).

I've decided that I want to move to a new land. First I'll close out the quests I completed (but haven't talked to the person to finish), then I'm going to take a hippogriff to Darkshore, take a boat to the Wetlands (on the other continent) and swim down to Westfall. I have heard that it is a great place for skinning and it will be neat to see a bunch of non-elves.

Friday, April 08, 2005

WoW Journal 07

Ventured off the island today. Took a hippogriff to Darkshore. Isn't it lovely? WoWScrnShot_040705_234849

Lots of other things happened: Finally lvl 10 so I get to dual-wield now. Not super-effective since I can only use daggers, but it looks cool. Made leather kits that added +8 to almost all of my armor (skinned cats and made kits). Learned to fish & cook but haven't tried either yet. Rode a boat to DarkShore.

Figured out what was wrong with throwing daggers. Apparently when you get more than one throwing weapon (I acquired throwing axes) and you drag the weapons to your toolbar, then click the tool, it only activates the weapon. Realized that I had to drag the 'throw weapon' feat to the bar to actually throw.

Something irritating also happened. Was sneaking around looking for this big spider for a quest and happened to come right up on her backside! She was level 12, two above me, so I stood there a minute while I was planning the attack and any escape routes when she disappeared! She just vanished! I guess she randomly moves to different locations, but it bothered me. I couldn't find her again so I will have to try later.

I walked around Dolonaar (I think that is the name of the big city) trying to find some lady so I can give her a flower as part of a quest. I walked around that city twice and wasn't able to find her. Found a hint online, so I will try that tonight. I think I have two or three quests that are done except for getting back with the person. I think I will mark my map from now on so I can easily finish my other quests.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

WoW Journal 06

Harpies. Those flying female things are killer. The sorceress was the first thing that has killed me and she did it at least three times. They can shoot far and their fireball spells hit hard.

I think I have explored all of the areas of the Dark Elf island. Was very impressed with the capital city. It was HUGE--too large to navigate easily. Found out later that the map zooms in so I could put notes in if I want.

Also successfully skinned a few cats, so I may make my own armor after a while. Level 8 now, long way to level 10 (get dual wield then).

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

WoW Journal 05

World of Warcraft. I played about 20 mins this morning to finish the newbie quests for my Dark Elf Rogue. Have trained all of the skills, have bought all of the weapons and armor, have done all of the quests in the newbie area, so I will head South to the next town tonight.

I like 'sneak', one of the rogue abilities. Made the spider cave easy to navigate. I have found that there is no reason to try to superlevel. I just do what is needed for each quest, which seems to level me up just fine. I grind a bit when I'm close to leveling up, but otherwise leave the mobs alone.

I have also found that there is no point in killing the quest mobs without the quest because you'll just have to do it again. Another reason to level naturally.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Wow Screenshot

Here's a nice pic of the human land at dusk.


WoW Journal 04

Started an undead rogue last night. It's amazing how different the starting areas are. The Taurons have large grassy fields, the gnomes have a snowy forest, the humans have rolling countryside & woods, and the undead have a weird, creepy land. It really seems like different games. Anyway, was not happy with my undead rogue--rather, the world it lived in. I had a very difficult time finding the main questmaster, something that was really easy for Taurons & humans (don't remember the gnome). The newbie fodder creatures looked just like the undead from afar so I had a hard time finding things to kill.

Went back to my human ranger and completed the first non-newbie quest (explore a mine). After that, I went to the town center (not the newbie place, the next one) and had a flashback from Asheron's Call: Everyone was standing in the middle chatting and showing off their stuff. Some of the chars had really cool pets, like a floating black cloud genie thing. There were a couple of duels going on, so I watched them for a bit (looked interesting). It was late so I didn't do anything else.

Next time I will try a dark elf rogue. I like the rogues because they can sneak up to someone and backstab them (lvl 3 mobs lose about 1/3 of their health). They can also throw knifes to pull a mob to them, and can just barely get two thrown before they are too close. I like that ranged attacks have a minimum range so a char can't just shoot arrows at something that is clawing at it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

PSP Guts

This guy ripped it up. See his pics.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

WoW Journal 03

Down. It's down. Down for the past hour.

WoW Journal 02

This time I created a little female Gnome Warlock (I thought Warlocks were MALE witches). She will supposedly be able to summon creatures, and I liked the Summoner in Nox, so it might work out well.

This race is a little harder to play if only because the first questgiver isn't obvious. I didn't see a quest giver until I leveled up. I also expected a big huge bull creature to be tougher than a little tiny girl thing but they appear to be about the same. Why even bother having different races if the only differences are a few race 'spells'?

Some guy kept following me around saying 'ha ha'. He wanted me to duel but I told him I was just starting and wanted to finish a quest, but he kept bothering me. I guess he thought I was a real girl since my avatar was female. He eventually went away but I had to deal with him for 20 minutes. Anyway, finished a few quests and shut it down.

WoW Journal 01

The install took about an hour. Its four disks and I guess compressed content. After the install it took another 15 minutes to get the latest patch. Was able to get 'Pangolyn', which is a made-up word (surprising how many times it has already been taken elsewhere), since Pango and Pangolin were already used.

Started with a Tauren (guess what it looks like! moo) Hunter, which is basically a D&D Ranger. It has a gun and an axe. Didn't realize I had a gun until the third or so level. Started in the Tauren newbie area, which basically has a Native American motif. I went to the first guy with an ! over his head, meaning he had a quest for me. He was right in front of me, couldn't miss him. Anyway, I think he told me to bring him some feathers (may have been a later quest). The place is crawling with easy-t0-kill walking birds, so I killed a few and got what I needed, along with lots of junk. I don't like the way the interface works--you can't tell how much something is worth unless you try to sell it. That wouldn't be a problem except you can only hold a few items, so you have to throw things away unless you go to the town every few minutes.

Anyway, I continued doing little quests (kill # of x; bring x to y; etc.) and leveling until I hit level 6, which took about two hours. It wasn't very exciting and I didn't come close to death, but this was the beginner area so I wasn't too worried about that. Eventually I did all of my class quests so I went to the next town over the ridge. I started seeing a lot of corpses on the ground, but the same old tigers and birds, which didn't make sense. Wait, those aren't the same! The birds are now level 10 and the tigers are actually wolves. These are more of a challenge, but still not that hard. I don't see how these guys were getting killed, unless they ran over here as level 1. I also saw a big rhino-looking animal, but it disappeared before I had a chance to attack it. I saw a herd of them later and killed a baby one.

I chose a role-playing server, but the general chat was not RP stuff (dude, that was l33t; anyone played CS:S?) so I don't think they enforce the chat like the server documentation said. 12:15, time to sleep.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Evolving Robots

Interesting article here. This guy programmed a couple of Lego MindStorms robots to get instructions from each other. Not really learning, just random changes to the core decisions, but successful ones keep going while unsuccessful ones die in corners. Caution: Contains a racy image of a fembot, so don't send this to immature individuals!

No More PlayStation 2?

Apparently their DualShock controller uses technology from Immersion corp. Read the article here. What about the other major game manufacturers? Isn't the mechanism basically the same? The Nintendo64 had an adapter for feedback years ago.

C# RSS Feed Aggregator

These guys are releasing a C# plugin with source code to read RSS feeds.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

WoW Only $40

Fry's will have World of Warcraft for $40 3/28/05 and 3/29/05. Noticed that a few places now have it for $45, but most are still $50 and more. I really want it but that's two weeks' allowance (wife allows me $20/week for junk). Wonder if that's just a two-day price or if that is good from now on. I'll get it at Circuit City since they price match + some %, forgot how much.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Doom 3 with No CD

I recently bought Doom 3 for about $20 at MicroCenter. I read that there were problems if you had CD emulators on your computer, even to the point that the program would not run unless you uninstalled the emulator. Anyway, I am using Virtual DAEMON 3.47 and it seems to work without a problem. I even found a tiny ISO of the game CD so I even play using the program.

Obviously, I bought the game, and I really oppose stealing games. I used to grab a few games out of newsgroups a few years ago but it's just not worth the risk to my PC, not to mention the legality of it. That being said, I do not want to use the CD every time I want to play a game. What if I scratch it? What if I lose it? Programs like DAEMON make it easy--just rip an ISO, copy it to your hard drive, then mount it. Takes up 650MB sometimes but that's not much space, and can be cheap if you don't install the entire game (run movies from CD, as an example).

I like Valve's way of doing things--validate the user over the Internet. Once you validate your game you can play without the CD at any time.

Defragmenting iPods

I find myself defragmenting my iPod about once a month. Well, I don't think I've even had it a month, and I've done it twice, but whatever. It is supposed to improve battery life since the drive doesn't have to thrash around as much. I don't know if that's true, but I like defragmented drives.

World of Warcraft

Anyone playing World of Warcraft? I played Asheron's Call when it was in Beta and continued to play it when it cost $10/month for about four months and really enjoyed it. I am about ready to get into something like that again, but I don't want to pay $50 for a game AND pay a monthly fee (why not make the game free? come on!) Maybe when it hits $20 somewhere...

VS.NET 2005 Beta Free

Visual Studio 2005 Beta products are apparently free. Good for people that want to check out .NET.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

GCPL Offers Audiobook Downloads

Gwinnett County Public Library has audiobooks online!

Dinosaur Soft Tissue Found

Apparently some dinosaur soft tissue was found. It is actually flexible. I find it hard to believe that it could last thousands of years, but I guess it's possible.

Pic of Dawn

Was curious, so I dug around until I found a picture of Dawn from The Dawn and Drew Show.

Found it in

The Office in the US

NPR has an audio story about The Office in the US. I really liked the original version, and they are apparently copying the episodes and 'translating' them for the US audience, as opposed to just using the concept and creating new material. I really like Steve Carrell, but the clip they played was not impressive.

iPod Mini for $100

Well, approximately $100. MicroCenter is selling the old iPod Minis for $178 or something like that, and you get $75 off an iPod if you buy that day from a brand new MicroCenter credit card that you get approved that day, so it ends up being close to $100 after all is said and done. Not a bad deal! I'm still waiting on my $75...

New Post Button

I have added a new post button on the sidebar. Looks like it works! Yea! The e-mail system is very buggy and rejects 1/2 the time.

Doom 3 for $20

Doom 3 is only $20 at MicroCenter! The boxes are marked $40 in their store, and it was originally $60. Not sure how long this will last--there is no sale tag in the store.

Solar Death Ray

What can I say about a Solar Death Ray?

Apple vs. Windows Photoshop Contest

Apple vs. Windows Photoshop contest. I'm surprised there are Apple bashers in the list!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Will Wright is amazing.  I can't wait for Spore to come out.  Listen to Gaming Steve's podcasts about his experience seeing it demonstrated.

Team System free for MSDN Subscribers

Have to check this out:  TeamSystem

Monday, March 21, 2005


I can't wait for this to come out!  I never finish games like these but I usually spend about a year off-and-on just roaming through the world.  It takes a fair amount of commitment to keep moving in the game because there is a lot you have to keep in your head.  Anyway, I'm sure my current laptop will not be able to show off the game's new graphics.  I had to buy a new card when Morrowind came out because it was way too slow on my PC.  Official site

Dark Energy?

I've heard talk of dark energy recently in various tech podcasts and web pages. One of the speakers in the Dark Energy article from the 'In Our Time' podcast disliked the name 'dark energy' and tried to show that it was just Einstein's cosmological constant with a different value. His argument was that 'dark energy' sounds like 'dark matter'. Dark matter is just plain old matter that doesn't produce light (the Earth is dark matter, the sun is
not). Dark energy is not 'opposite' energy, because the concept can't be turned that way. Rather, he sees it as another force to oppose gravity.

The problem is that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. The previous thought was that expansion would slow down and eventually compress in a 'big crunch', which might start another 'big bang' (my personal opinion). However, nothing can explain it expanding faster and faster--it doesn't match any conceptual models we currently use in our daily lives. The only way for something to accelerate is if a force continually acts upon the object. Gravity works on energy as well as mass so it can't be either of these.

Gravity is the only known atomic force that has any influence beyond the molecular level. Its nature is still not completely understood, although it can be calculated. There is something that is working against gravity that is causing the accelerated expansion of the universe. The force of the 'big bang' should have given particles an initial velocity but it should not continue to act upon the particles after the event.

More ramblings to come on this.

jPodder 2.0

Trying the latest build this week. Works much better than the previous version (1.1). It doesn't have the ability to exclude a feed from downloads but I just put an "X" at the beginning of the URL to keep it out of the loop for a while.

I like the ability to pick and choose old 'casts in the feeds. This is really useful for new feeds. I was using nimiq but it only lets you specify the max # of 'casts to download--it doesn't let you pick the specific files.

Apple to buy TiVo?

Is this for real? That's an odd combination, especially with the lack
of support TiVo has for Macs.
Google news

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Joe Jackson & Captain Kirk

Normal People I never really understood the song until this video.

The new XPod!

Images: Consoles of tomorrow? - page 4 CNET


Mule Design
Feed Store CephaliPod



Wired News:
CherryOS Not BS, Author Says

I wonder if it's just a scam to raise awareness of PearPC?

(update) Apparently it's for real, not a PearPC scam.

E-mail to Blog

This is a test to make sure I can publish by just e-mailing my blog.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

IT Conversations

The core of my tech podcast addiction: IT Conversations RSS/Podcast Feeds.

Monday, March 07, 2005


Podcasting is cool! :

I have become additcted to all of the science broadcasts out there.