Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Microsoft: A Study in Disaster

At the end of the day, or perhaps more appropriately at the close of business, what are a company’s top executives responsible for? The most obvious answer is that they work to make a company profitable, and if it already is, either increase profit or at the very least, maintain it. In the pursuit of that, I would argue that executives must come up with a cohesive business plan/model, something that applies to every product or service they develop. That plan is then passed on to upper-level management, who ensure that their respective divisions are working toward achieving a particular part of said plan.

That’s how it works. In theory, anyway.

Microsoft has apparently chosen an alternate method to business. All of their products are related, more or less, but creating something that is actually desired by the public seems to be optional.

“What on earth are you talking about?” you ask. “I thought Microsoft was doing pretty well, with the exception of that horrific bloatware they call Vista, and besides, didn’t they learn their lesson from that? My beta of Windows 7 is pretty good!”

Yeah, Windows 7 is a distinct improvement, and their productivity software is good, too. Even the Xbox 360 is doing pretty well, and the newest die shrink for the chipset seems to have solved the overheating that gave gamers that spectacular gift known as RROD. Believe it or not, Microsoft makes products other than operating systems, productivity software, and gaming consoles.

First, there’s Games for Windows Live. You don’t know about it? Don’t feel bad, most people have  no idea it exists. Even among PC gamers, those that are aware of the existence of Games for Windows Live are in the minority.

Let’s make a distinction here. There’s Games for Windows, which is an unnecessary initiative by Microsoft to ensure that games are compatible with Windows, as if that were necessary. Honestly, it’s nothing more than a bit of free advertising that gets slapped on the boxes of most major releases. Beyond that is a separate entity known as Games for Windows Live. Theoretically, it’s the PC gaming counterpart to Xbox Live. In reality? It’s useless, so far. There’s almost none of the functionality you get with Xbox Live. Most games don’t use it; the most recent exception to that is Fallout 3, which has admittedly given it more exposure than anything beforehand (there was Universe at War, but that’s about it). You start the game, and a little icon appears on your screen letting you know that you’ve been logged in.

Let’s say you’ve seen this. You probably thought something along the lines of sweet, what can I do with it? Does it allow multiplayer with Xbox Live gamers? Because that would be awesome. I’ve always wanted to do that.

The short answer is no, it doesn’t. (Update: CoolingGibbon has informed me in his comment that the games Shadowrun, Universe at War: Earth Assault, and Lost Planet Colonies are supported for inter-platform multiplayer. I apologize if this was misleading). Continue reading

January 29, 2009 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

XKCD: Windows 7

January 9, 2009 Posted by | Webcomic | , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

Windows Se7en

I’m lazy, and I *just* posted about Apple, so this is just a block quote:

Windows Se7en. Like that mediocre action movie, Se7en. I didnt get it either.

Windows Se7en. Like that mediocre action movie, Se7en. I didn't get it either.

“Windows 7, the much-anticipated successor to Microsoft’s Windows Vista OS, may arrive ahead of schedule. Although Microsoft has previously said that Windows 7 would not arrive until early 2010, new rumors surfaced Monday claiming that the company’s internal calendar puts the release date at Continue reading

September 15, 2008 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My First Computer Build

Maybe the title is a little misleading. While this is my first build, it isn’t really mine. I’m putting together a gaming rig for my friend Raymond, who has plenty of money available but not a ton of knowledge when it comes to computers. I’m by no means an expert, but I’ve upgraded computers quite a few times, throwing in new hard drives, memory, graphics/sound/wireless cards, etc. From time to time I’ve performed hard drive reformats, and I seem to have become 24-hour tech support for my family and friends. Raymond happens to be the most recent example, and I’m excited to challenge myself (and a little encouraged by how many people online state that “any idiot with a screwdriver and a how-to guide can build a computer”). Continue reading

August 29, 2008 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment