Sunday, June 10, 2007


Yep, I'm moving over to a Wordpress blog hosted on some server space I own. You can find it here. Direct link:

Now, just to make sure you understand what this means:


Friday, June 08, 2007

WWDC 2007 Predictions

Well, WWDC '07 is this coming Monday and it should be pretty interesting. Here are my predictions:

iPhone Widget Development:

  • Yes, I believe Apple will allow developers to make stuff for the iPhone, but for now, I think it will only be the Widget environment. That's a pretty simple sandbox that's easy to support and should please developers for now. Eventually, down the line, Apple will probably finish up standardizing and documenting their API's and will probably announce iPhone development sometime next year.
Mac OS X Leopard Features:

Ever since Apple announced that, along with the delay, all WWDC attendees will get to see and take home a feature complete developer preview of 10.5 Leopard, everyone knew that the developers conference would be almost entirely focused on the new OS. What might the new features be?
  • Brand new UI. Okay, I don't mean something radically different that doesn't conform to current usability standards, but something far more than just the unification of the OS. As I talked about in a previous post, from the recent developer builds, it seems pretty clear that Apple's setting the stage for a pretty nice revamp of the OS' GUI. Regardless, the Mac OS X UI needs to get a revamp; it's almost in shambles as it is right now.
  • Filesystem change from HFS+ to ZFS. The only reason I'm predicting this is because Marc Hamilton of Sun said it. Of course, he isn't saying that now.
  • New Finder. Okay, this one's been predicted over and over. Maybe it'll finally happen this year...
Of course, there will be more features than that in Leopard, but hey, I'm not Superman.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Personal Info In iTunes Plus Music

There's a bit of a broohaha about Apple embedding personal info (the person's name and iTunes account username) into the DRM-free downloads. Geeks R Us has a nice little piece on why this doesn't matter, but they also forget to mention that iTunes purchases have always had the exact same information embedded in the files. I'm just extremely perplexed as to why there's any sort of issue at all...

Airport Extreme

My family got an Airport Extreme. It was easy to set up and works really well. Yay! Here's a picture gallery.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Apple TV And YouTube

This is pretty big. Apple TV will be gaining YouTube functionality this June; something I mentioned could happen back at Macworld in January. So, it didn't happen then, but it's happening now. Steve Jobs apparently said that the Apple TV is a hobby. I really don't think so if they're making YouTube re-encode all their videos into a nice h.264 streaming codec for use only, for now at least, on the Apple TV. To me, this is very intriguing, and pushes the device further into the radar of the consumer electronics market. Now all we need is movies available internationally and a rental service.

Oh, and I also made this prediction in January:

I'm thinking we'll see HD content on iTunes one month after Apple TV starts shipping (in February) at the very latest. Well, there's another prediction that'll die I bet. :p

Yeah, it died. I even had the one month delay to work with and HD content never materialized. Of course, it will happen eventually.

iTunes Plus

Apple launched iTunes Plus today, letting users buy DRM-less content. Probably what I like most about the service is that they don't ever make the exclusion of DRM out to be a negative thing. Usually, you'll hear it in the form of 'unprotected content', a term which I will no longer be using to refer to DRM-less content. But that's not the case with iTunes Plus; Apple always refers to the tracks as higher quality or DRM-less.

Upgrading my existing music was easy as pie. The iTunes Plus page, which highlights all the DRM-less content, shows you how many songs out of your library of music purchased on the iTunes Store are upgradable to the higher-quality, unrestricted format. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a screenshot of the page that actually shows you the individual tracks that can be upgraded. Sorry. :(

After that, I just click the buy button and it replaces all the corresponding tracks in my library with the newer versions, giving me the option of either trashing the old ones or putting them in a folder on my desktop. Overall, it was a painless experience.

When I upgraded the music, the Store asked me if I wanted to see the iTunes Plus tracks instead of the DRM'ed tracks wherever they may be available. So now all the iTunes Plus tracks have a little plus sign beside them.

Unfortunately, only a total of two tracks that I had bought were upgradable and it cost me 40 cents per track. Makes sense, as the new Plus tracks are $1.39 instead of the $0.99 that the DRM'ed tracks cost.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Good Desktop Bluetooth Mouse

I really like the Mighty Mouse, but it just doesn't work well for gaming. As such, I'm seriously considering getting a new one. However, I can't seem to find a good desktop mouse that uses bluetooth. Most of the logitech mice use their own wireless protocol while their one bluetooth mouse is a notebook mouse. Does anybody know of a good desktop bluetooth mouse?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Doom 3 Review

First, Doom 3's fps aspect is not deep. It largely relies on a simple point-and-shoot mechanism. However, this works very well for the game, as the real star of the show is the the horror element. There are some unfortunate decisions that id made in trying to scare you, namely that many scares involve enemies popping up behind you. However, the other scares are very well done. Quite often, you'll see that you're about to enter a room. Inside there's a dead body on a table, blood on the walls, the lights are flickering and you can hear something inside. Quite often, you're first thought is one of incredulity in having to enter the room in order to continue the game. And then you realize that it's just a game and walk in anyway, albeit, cautiously.

Actually, much of the overrun research facility that the game is almost entirely set in is in a very similar state. You'll rarely come across another human in the game. Although, you will find little sentry bots that are probably a good idea to follow, as they pack quite a bit of firepower. The catch is that they'll run anywhere to get to their destination regardless of what they have to go through. This makes for some extremely intense fight-outs, as you're dragged somewhat unwillingly into areas that are filled with enemies.

Throughout the base, there are also little video discs and PDA's that you'll find. As soon as you pick one up, the information is downloaded to your own PDA in the game, allowing you to watch, read or listen to any of the content that was on them. As you progress through the game, you'll come across many such PDA's, giving you glimpses of other people's lives on the base and an eerie overview of the state of affairs at the research facility leading up to the invasion. These moments of calm give your mind and senses some much needed rest from the constant state of edge that the game keeps you in.

Overall, Doom 3 is a well-made game. Although it's shooter aspect isn't particularly deep, the overall atmosphere and experience of the game is what will keep one interested and is what the game will be remembered for.

-A game where telling someone to go to hell means a lot more than in real life.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Halo review

I gave it a shot. I thought that maybe I wouldn't despise Halo so much if I would at least give a good try at playing the single player campaign (and I was also bored as hell playing HL2DM all the time). So I borrowed it from a friend, played about 5 hours of it and decided once and for all that I HATE HALO. I cannot stand this game. The level design is utterly boring and uninspired, the weapons are all quiet and feel weak, the enemies are dumb as hell, the story is flat as a board and the story-telling is so flat it makes it into the 2D realm. Sometimes, the game would even slow down. A 4 year old game. Slowing down. It's never happened to me in HL2 and it didn't even happen to me in the FEAR demo.

-A game about fighting aliens that design every single fucking room exactly the same way.

Note: Halo multiplayer is awesome. Halo 2 multiplayer is also awesome. I have no idea about Halo 2 single-player as I've never played it before.

Monday, May 07, 2007