Archive for May, 2003

Halo & Movies

Posted: May 27, 2003 in General

So I replayed Halo recently (on Xbox), it’s supposed to be coming out on PC & Mac sometime in the next couple of months (so I’ll have to see how it holds up.) Brian bought an Xbox a couple months ago (mostly to play Halo,) and got me hooked again. We’ve played over the internet a couple times and this is where the real fun lies. This is what makes me really crave the PC or Mac version coming up. You see it wasn’t originally made (on the Xbox) to be an internet game so it’s pretty much a bandwidth hog. If you have enough throughput I’m sure it’s fine, but us normal joes just have cable & dsl which doesn’t quite cut it.

Anyway, so I’m just pretty happy with the way it has held up (since the game is a couple years old now.) Especially since I tried to play the new Xmen game (Wolverine’s Revenge or something,) and the Matrix game (Enter the Matrix.) I was surprised how horrible Enter the Matrix is. I mean for Gods sakes the vehicles in the game have square tires (I shit you not,) and although the fight sequences could really be cool they are so laggy it’s next to impossible to play (and my PC is no slouch.) Wolverine’s Revenge is better, but it’s defiantly a console game (it looks like a 3rd person shooter, but the controls are straight from a console.) I’m just very disappointed in Enter the Matrix, it could be very cool. The only upside is that it actually has some interesting plot points that work in with the Animatrix (which I have seen) and the Matrix Reloaded (which I haven’t seen yet.)

I keep getting off track. Back on the subject of Halo… It’s really interesting how Bungie was able to not only build a pretty damn great game, but wrap it around a good story. At the end of the game you actually feel emotional about finishing (and you can’t wait for the next chapter.) That rare in cinema, and even rarer with video games. Halo 2 should be out by Jan or Feb of 2004 (long time to wait,) and it looks to certainly outdo the first one when it comes to technology, hopefully they won’t disappoint with plot. Hats off to Bungie for creating a game that not only stands the test of time, but even two years later can kick the ass of the most recent releases.


Speaking of releases (and plots), being in the middle of nowhere really doesn’t have too many advantages. Maybe if I was older and owned my own place I would appreciate it more, not that I’m complaining it’s worked out for the best. One of the many problems is that there isn’t a decent movie theater in a reasonable distance. Cara and I went and saw xXx at the local theater last fall and… um… well… It was pretty pitiful. So our movie watching experiences have been cut short (I don’t remember the last thing we saw.) In some ways it’s good though. I mean you really have to want to see something if you have to drive 45 minutes to get to the theater. With that in mind, I think I want to catch X2 still (and since it’s been out a while we won’t have to battle crowds,) I’ll probably skip Matrix and just buy it when it comes out. Other than that, I’m not super excited about anything other than Bad Boys 2 and Finding Nemo. I mean Tomb Raider, T3, Hulk, League of Extrodinary Gentlemen, Charlie’s Angels and 2 Fast 2 Furious look like they are going to be okay, but not great films.

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Computers & Graphics & Stuff

Posted: May 16, 2003 in General

I just got finished installing a GeForce 4 Titanium in my Mac, kind of the next step in my computer upgrade path. For the uninitiated: at the time I write this, the GeForce4 Ti is the top of the line Mac Graphics card (it beats the hell out of the GeForce4 MX that I had in my machine.) It’s even pretty blazing fast in the PC world (it’s pretty much the same card.) Other than the obvious speed differences the Titanium has a DVI output in addition to the ADC, which means I can run dual monitors completely digital (which means crystal clear graphics, which we all like.)
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rnI have a beautiful 22″ Cinema display (and a decent 19″ CRT sitting next to it,) but both monitors have their limitations (I think the 22″ would make a great monitor for an entertainment computer that I’m dreaming up.) There’s a company called Formac that makes a 20″ LCD monitor that rivals Apple’s great industrial design. Too bad the dual DVI KVM switcher costs $800 (so I could use both monitors, my keyboard and mouse for the PC as well as the Mac.)
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rnBack on the idea of an entertainment computer. I’ve started to research the whole “ripping” of DVDs. I thought it would be very cool to have my whole collection of DVDs available within a “click” kind of like most of my CD collection is online now. The biggest problem is that my CD collection is a mere 75GB I think I would need close to 1TB (1000GB) of storage to store the DVDs I have now (then again, the question is if it’s worth the energy to set the whole damn thing up.)
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rnI guess this is how I see it: The last tape player I owned was probably back in ’92. My VCR has graduated to being hooked up to my computer for work (in other words I never use it) and I rarely listen to CDs (I still buy them, but the first thing I do is rip them to MP3,) so I’ll probably remove the CD player in the near future. Even the DVD player in a way is overkill since the XBox and PS2 both play DVDs as well. It is not a far cry to replacing the TV with a “monitor” and a computer that buffers all the media (broadcast TV, movies, music, etc.) It’s not a question of hardware, and really it’s not even the software. The question is how do I tie everything together with a reasonable interface? I’m thinking of wireless connection with a tablet PC controlling the whole thing.
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rnOn a side note, I found out that my contract at Pfizer has been extended another month (which is goodness.) Hopefully if this keeps up (and I’m on the project until I get everything done that I want to do,) I’ll be there through the year (then I gotta worry about taxes.)

New Online Journal

Posted: May 12, 2003 in General

Here we go, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these online journal things. I just feel like I have a lot to say and no where to really say it. I spent a little time tonight slacking (instead of working on TongueStud’s new catalog features,) and got this thing on DiaryLand up and going. I will probably swap this out for something home brewed in the future, but I don’t have the time or the drive to do it now.

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Although I have a lot of things running through my head there was kind of a “straw” (you know the kind that breaks backs,) tonight. Every so often I surf around to friends (and enemies) sites out of curiosity to see what has changed. Especially since I’m living that much further out in the middle of nowhere.

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So tonight I was taking a break from work, which I do on occasion, and headed over to Milkville home to one of my coworkers when I worked at UTRC pre-millennia. Nothing too exciting there, kind of an old school 100% Flash site. Not bad considering. Really nothing of note has changed in two years (or more.) Not that I expect people to spend time updating their look and feel every six months (hell my professional site has been pretty much the same for a year now.)

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So after checking out his site I was curious how the United Technologies Research Center website was looking. This is something that he and I used to be responsible back in the day, and we did some pretty decent stuff. We pretty much knew a little JavaScript, and we were just getting into Flash, but we knew next to nothing about dynamic anything. Not too long after I left UTRC the site changed to a pretty boring design (which knowing how things work inside a corporation probably wasn’t this guys fault, committees tend to turn good things into shit.) I guess I was surprised because the site was updated in the last couple months and it’s even worse than it was before.

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He and I would talk about how there were so many people in that organization who were happy to just to do the minimum and collect their paychecks. They were there for twenty or thirty years and would be there until they retired. There was a period of time where we were both unhappy because we were being jerked around. I got fed up and left (thinking he was right behind me.) I may have not gone on to a better thing (it did pay more though,) but I took a chance, pushed myself and I’m a better person for it now. The shame is that I look at this guy’s work and I realized that he hasn’t been pushed to learn a thing.

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I know I’m a bit jaded. I’ll be the first to admit that I feel a little screwed by this guy . We were friends (I thought). I got in a little legal “hot water” about six months after I left UTRC and this guy pretty much gave me a big “fuck you”. I guess it just pissed me off, because I knew that if the shoe was on the other foot I wouldn’t have treated him that way. It’s funny that although I feel wronged by this guy, I actually feel sorry for him because He’s become one of those people who is happy to just do the minimum and collect his paycheck. He will never leave that place.