Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Halloween Cyanide and Happiness

Awesomely awesome webcomic Cyanide & Happiness has a hilarious Halloween-themed comic for your viewing pleasure. Check it out:

C&H

C&H

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October 31, 2008 Posted by | Humor | , , , , | Leave a comment

Macbook: The Unboxing

Finally, one week later, I’m getting around to posting the photos of my Macbook unboxing experience. It was nice. There was a halo of light and an angelic chorus and everything when I opened the box. 😉

Anyway, check it out: Continue reading

October 31, 2008 Posted by | Tech | , , | Leave a comment

Fallout 3: Initial Impressions

So… up until three days ago, I had convinced myself that I wouldn’t buy any more computer games until the semester was over. It was almost like my version of a New Year’s resolution, and it lasted about as long.

I saw that Fallout 3 was available for pre-purchase on Steam, and couldn’t help myself. I bought the sucker, and promptly began counting down the hours until I could play it. For some reason, once the release date rolled around – yesterday, October 28th – Steam wouldn’t allow my download of the game to start until 1:00pm my time (central). Not too sure why that was the case – I’ve purchased plenty of games on there before, and a few of them even gave the option of pre-loading game files so my experience wouldn’t be hindered in any way once  it was Go Time. Honestly though, it was a minor inconvenience, as I was somewhat busy yesterday and didn’t even have time to install the game until this morning.

I’ve only put in perhaps two or three hours so far, but I like what I’ve seen. As I play through the opening, explore the immediate area, and take a few quests, I’ve decided that Fallout 3 is a blend of a few recent games, both visually and in terms of gameplay and interface. Bioshock, Oblivion, and Half-Life 2 all came to mind, and none of those are bad things. Incidentally, some of the voice acting done was by the same professionals used by Oblivion.

All in all, I’ve got nothing but good things to say about it. Parents might want to stear clear of this one, because Fallout 3 has definitely earned the Mature rating. There has been an amount of language and truly impressive levels of gore (headshots that blow away the cranium, realistic body fluid effects, etc).

Hopefully I’ll be able to post some screenshots and a few gameplay videos tomorrow. I really want to capture a few good examples of the V.A.T.S. system, as the visuals that accompany it are really cool.

Right now, however, I’ve got a paper to write. It’s due in a little over two hours.

October 29, 2008 Posted by | Gaming | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Left 4 Dead Demo

Valve’s upcoming shooter Left 4 Dead is looking to be pretty good (although honestly, what game from Valve isn’t?). More to the point, we’ve got the opportunity to see for ourselves this upcoming week when the demo is released.

 

***Update***: I’ve got a review of the demo here. Additionally, if you want to purchase the game, do so through Valve’s Steam distribution software at Steampowered.com.

 

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead

 

 

The game garnered several awards at this year’s E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), and has seen a ton of media attention. The self-described survival co-op has my interest piqued, and I’ll probably be checking it out in between Fallout 3 sessions (incidentally, I installed Fallout 3 last night; review/impressions of the game to follow in the next few days).

October 29, 2008 Posted by | Gaming | , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Five Upcoming PC Games

***Update*** Check out my new Top Five PC Games For 2009 post!

Here’s the top five PC games I’m most looking forward to. Some of them will be coming out soon, others much later. Unfortunately, most of my gaming (and, hence, game purchases) occur in between college semesters. Seriously, if I buy a new game during a semester, that’s about all I can think about until I finish it. It’s like playing russian roulette with my grades. Five times out of six everything will be fine, and I’ll play through the game without any major disruption to my studies. That one time out of the six is killer, though. It could be in the middle of finals week, and if I’d recently bought a game and gotten wrapped up in the campaign, it would be hard to spend all my time studying instead of playing the game.

Also, I’m usually living at home over the breaks, so I’ve got more discretionary income since I’m not paying for rent or food. I digress, though. This is supposed to be a list. Without further ado… Continue reading

October 21, 2008 Posted by | Gaming | , , , , | 1 Comment

Japanese pity (American) gamers

Take 10%

Take 10%

In this time of economic crisis, one Japanese video game store is doing what it can to help out foreign gamers – we now get a 10% discount on their fine selection of used games. Woohoo! Guess who’s flying to japan to take advantage of this fire sale. That’s right, me!

I kid, I kid. Take a moment to “appreicate” the excellent English translation on the notice.

October 21, 2008 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, Tech | , , | 1 Comment

In Favor of Halloween

This piece was first published on Blogcritics.org. You can find my original article here.

Soon it will be that particular and unique day of the year in which a certain portion of the population feels oddly compelled to dress up in costumes. They will run rampant through normally quiet and civil neighborhoods, blackmailing innocent civilians into giving them sugary foodstuffs in exchange for abstaining from performing nefarious pranks on them.

I can’t wait. Continue reading

October 21, 2008 Posted by | Humor, Personal | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Update My Software? Too Much Hassle

You know what drives me crazy? I mean really, really kills me, what galls me, what grinds my gears, as some would say? Updating my software. Yeah, it’s usually beneficial to me, and yes, regardless whether or not there are tangible results, I still have an illogical desire to do it. That being said, there are some changes that need to be made before I’ll ever completely give in to my software-updating obsession.

I updated iTunes this morning. Not so much a big deal, right? It wouldn’t be, not usually. I don’t even think this particular update (8.0.1) had anything important in it; probably a few fixes for bugs that I’ve never run across and never will. It would’ve just been another satisfying update – for you see, knowing I’m using the current iteration of something is kinda important to me – except for the stupid end-user license agreement, or EULA. Almost every mainstream piece of software has one, and so far as I can tell, all of them make you reaffirm with each update that yes, you the user, do hereby agree and solemnly swear to only use the software as they, the company see fit; to never hack or mod it, or use it for nefarious purposes, and most importantly, to never try to sue them if something goes horribly wrong while using said piece of software. It’s not their fault, seriously. You did something wrong.

Anyway, it is my most humble opinion that if I’ve agreed to this once, I’m saying that then, now, and forever after, I agree to their stupid little agreement. The fact that a few bugs were fixed is not going to change this. Now, I realize it’s probably an issue concerning liability or some such bureaucratic nonsense, but let’s be practical. Agreeing to it once is good enough. Making me re-do the dumb EULA over and over and over again is kind of insulting, frankly.

I realize that this will likely never change, but I’m an optimist. Maybe someday, years and years from now, humanity will have the sense to drop license agreements from their products and just let people do with them what they will, consequences be damned.

Until then, I’ll just sit here and quietly curse each and every time I am forced to click ‘I Agree’, and a little part of me will die on the inside.

October 21, 2008 Posted by | Personal, Tech | , , , | Leave a comment

My New Macbook…

Is scheduled to arrive Tuesday! I’m fairly excited, not gonna lie. I’ll do my own unboxing post, along with impressions after some use. I’ll also time the battery life under low usage (word processing, web surfing), moderate usage (same but multitasking and some music or video) and heavy usage (HD video playback).

New Macbook

New Macbook

When I was ordering the thing, it took me a little while to decide which model to get, or if I should even be considering Macs and just go with a PC alternative. Continue reading

October 19, 2008 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Computer Build Part Three: MOBO + CPU + RAM

Okay, check it out: you’ve already chosen the parts for your new computer build. You’ve prepared a nice, spacious work area, all static-free and well-lit and whatnot. Everything is ready. It’s finally time to get down to business. Continue reading

October 18, 2008 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment