Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Demoman Intervention, Pt. 3

If you didn’t read Parts I and II, here’s the scene: Demoman’s team has set up an intervention for him. He just can’t let go of the booze, poor guy. Scout and Sniper are now dead as a direct result of a) their bungled intervention and b) Demoman’s insanity. Now, here’s the thrilling conclusion(!):

Medic: “You’re out of control, my Scottish friend.”

Demoman: “Bah! You don’t even know what out of control means! I’ll show you out of control!”

*Demoman sticky-jumps, then sprays grenades in all directions. Pure, unadulterated chaos ensues. Spy is in bloody little pieces all over the parking lot.* Continue reading

June 11, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, PC gaming | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Demoman Intervention, Part One

Scene opens with a shot of the exterior of the Shady Oaks Crisis Center. The sun is shining, birds are singing, and a light breeze cools everything with its touch. How lovely.

The peaceful tranquility of the setting is broken only by faint sobbing coming from inside. It seem sad; a nameless victim of some sort of trauma, probably reliving past horrors in an attempt to move on and regain control of his life.

Then the entrance explodes. Continue reading

May 28, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, PC gaming | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Like a Boy Scout, Man. Like a Boy Scout.

Plan (T+L)

Plans. Plans are good.

I’d like to think of myself as a decent gamer. I’m not too hardcore – I actually get outside from time to time, for starters. That being said… I dabble. A twenty-four hour gaming session now and again, the occasional Mountain Dew IV drip; nothing too serious, you know?

That’s why all these recent Team Fortress 2 announcements have me shaking in my boots. The Spy? Really? Really! I feel like I’m at least decently proficient at most of the classes in TF2, but the Spy? For all the sneaking and skulking around I do in other games, for all the times I choose to be a rogue, or thief, or solar-powered ninja, I’ve never been able to wrap my head around the Spy. The backstab? Haven’t mastered it. Disguising myself and making it to the other team’s intel without being detected? Can’t do it without half the people on the other team taking one of those just-in-case shots at my head, even when I’m invisible. No, scratch that. Especially when I’m invisible.

That’s why the Spy freaks me out, man. I can’t defend against him. How can I when I’ve got no idea what a typical Spy would do in any given situation? One time the same Spy killed me 39 times in a row. I didn’t touch my computer for a week after that. My therapist said that’s an understandable emotional response to emotional trauma. Then I told her that I’ve started to hit my friends whenever I see them, just in case it’s a spy in disguise. She referred me to a specialist. Continue reading

May 23, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, PC gaming | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Weekly Shenanigans #1

It might be fun to add some sort of structure to the old blog, right? At the moment, I just sort of slap posts up as they come to me, with absolutely no consistency or discernible pattern. I’d like to try to change that. Maybe I won’t be totally successful at first, but eventually I’ll chisel out something of a schedule, with weekly columns and whatnot. Theoretically I’ll put out something like mobile gaming posts on Mondays, tech tutorials on Tuesdays, etc. Stuff like that, but without the horrific 1950s-style alliteration.

Sounds cool, right? I think so.

Now, it’d be all logical to just start organizing the posts that I already make into categories, but that would be boring and not very T+L-esque. Instead, I’m starting at the end, and writing up a wrap-up of tech and media items of note that caught my eye during the week but weren’t quite post-worthy, as well as some personal tidbits. Furthermore, I’m starting the posting of this column, entitled Weekly Shenanigans, on a Tuesday (because that’s when it makes sense to post something that is part wrap-up, part update, and part caffeine-fueled musing). Never fear, you intrepid logic junkies – that’s only going to be temporary. The following Weekly Shenanigans will go up on Saturdays, or possibly Sundays. I haven’t really worked all the kinks out yet.

Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, and because some guy somewhere once said “know thyself” or something along those lines, I’m estimating that there’s a 28% chance that this will be the first, last, and only ever Weekly Shenanigans. That’s how I roll (28% of the time).

Okay. There. The column has been sufficiently introduced. Without further ado, and in no particular order, I present the contents of Weekly Shenanigans #1. Continue reading

May 19, 2009 Posted by | Personal, State of the Blog, Weekly Shenanigans | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Let Them Wear Hats

Slotted Backpacks? WTFBBQ!

Slotted Backpacks? WTFBBQ!

Slotted-backpack inventory systems. Customizable headgear. Achievements separated from unlockables. What is Valve doing to my beloved Team Fortress Two?!

I’ve got to admit, it’s driving me crazy to see major changes being implemented in my favorite time-waster and not being able to check them out. As of right now, I don’t have TF2 installed for the Windows partition on my laptop, and I’m not even sure it has enough space to hold it. That’s all purely speculative, of course; when it takes six or seven tries and forty-five minutes to download a one meg PDF file, the very thought of trying to download and install the seven gigs that are TF2 is simultaneously laughable and horrifying. Continue reading

May 3, 2009 Posted by | Gaming | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Treatise in Which I Examine the Finer Points of Computer Hardware, or Summoning the Beast: The Arcane Magic of Gaming Rig Resurrection and Improvement

After reading some reviews for the newly-released ATI Radeon HD 4770, I find myself thinking long and hard about my planned tech purchases. I’m often fond of referring to such spending as investments, but realistically that’s a misnomer. Regardless of what motherboard, or processor, or graphics card I buy, none of them will gain value the longer I own them. In reality, the value of computer hardware drops almost as quickly as that of cars, and in some cases even worse, given the six-month to one-year life of each generation of hardware. Before I go any further, that needs to be clear and ever-present in my mind and that of readers – any money dropped on hardware should basically be written off at a loss.

That being said, the logical thing to do is examine my reasons for upgrading my hardware. It’s pretty easy for me Continue reading

May 2, 2009 Posted by | Personal, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Whipping out the Crystal Ball

The government is spending too much! The solution is clearly to pair that spending with reduced income. Thatll get rid of our national debt.

The government is spending too much! The solution is clearly to pair that spending with reduced income. That'll get rid of our national debt.

Today I read a solid dozen news and opinion articles on the economy, partially out of curiosity and partially out of a faint sense of despair. The long and short of it is that as usual for the past year or so, the economy is sucking it up more than we previously thought. Some, like Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, think the Democrats aren’t doing nearly enough, and should be reacting faster than they are. On the other hand, you’ve got the Republicans, who are even more useless than the current administration, insisting over and over for tax cuts. That’s like standing on the deck of an already-sinking Titanic and calling for greater compartmentalization of the ship’s bulkheads.

What’s a PC gamer to do? There are a lot of problems facing the market we love so dearly, and most of them are only going to get worse. Here’s what we’re looking at: Continue reading

March 10, 2009 Posted by | Gaming | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Macbook Impressions: Two Weeks In

I’m typing this on my still relatively-new Macbook. As the title suggests, I’ve been in possession of this notebook for a grand total of two weeks, and below are some thoughts as to my experience so far. Keep in mind that before this, my use of Macs / OS-X has been minimal. Things that Mac users don’t necessarily notice stick out for me. I’m directly comparing the usability of this system to that of my main PC, in regard to both hardware and software. Continue reading

November 10, 2008 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

New Computer Interface?

Check it out. This company called Mgestyk (say it out loud, you’ll get it) has posted videos of their product being demoed on Youtube.

Essentially, they’ve taken a high-end 3d webcam and paired some software with it that allows gestures to be recognized as input, similar to a mouse or keyboard. Continue reading

November 7, 2008 Posted by | Gaming, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments