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Monday, March 26, 2007



Hey, I didn't even notice that last week's post was the 100th post on this blog. So I've been talking about nothing for longer than I previously thought.

Normally I don't pay much attention to NCAA basketball, but my son has been following it pretty closely and the excitement is kind of catching. He actually predicted all 8 of the teams that made it to the "Elite Eight" and he correctly predicted 2 of the teams that would move on to the semi-finals.

So this week's cartoon has something to do with basketball, particularly the way it's played on the small screen. I mean, really, sometimes it's how you do it that makes all the difference.

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Monday, March 19, 2007


...And Things

This week's cartoon had to be made, so I used my favorite venue to share it with you. I'll get back to the subject you are more familiar with. Eventually.

Not a lot of game related news to report on, except that I seem to be hopelessly addicted to Rise of Nations. Think there's a support group out there for people like me? Hmmmm....

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Monday, March 12, 2007


The Claw...

Just an idea that came to me the other day. I'd be surprised if it hadn't been done before.

I'll admit that I'm a big fan of Real Time Strategy (RTS) games like Age of Empires and Warcraft. Something about controlling a tiny empire and watching it grow and flourish on the computer screen appeals to me. What's even more fun is playing it with a friend, something that most products go out of their way to make possible. I have two computers linked together on my home network and would enjoy playing Age of Mythology in tandem with my son on the other computer. Sadly, the other computer is a bit slower and sometimes the audio card decides to freeze up the system entirely and I have to wait for it to re-establish itself. Fortunately this doesn't happen too often and when it does, Age of Mythology is content to wait as long as I want to wait for the other computer.

Recently we've begun playing Rise of Nations, which has much to offer it, particularly the fact that it can easily run on the older computer and we can have the same fun we had with Age of Mythology. Rise of Nations has a broader span than most other RTS games in that it starts in the Ancient age and takes you all the way to the present day (and a bit beyond). Not content to have the simple "food, wood and gold" model of resource collection, Rise of Nations also makes you gather oil, knowledge and wealth. At first I thought that keeping track of all of these resources would be a bit daunting, but I fell into the swing of things pretty quickly. Having a technological advantage over your opponent is pretty satisfying, particularly when you can send bombers over a city that has yet to discover the internal combustion engine. Oh, and there are nukes as well.

I have one complaint with Rise of Nations and it's a big one. While Age of Mythology lets the user decide how long to wait for an unresponsive computer, Rise of Nations gets very impatient. Ironically, the time limit that the game sets for the slower computer to reestablish itself is a fraction of a second shorter than the time our laggy computer needs to get back in sync. I've tried to find a fix for this online and have had no luck thus far. It would be nice to find a way to adjust the settings to give ourselves a little more time for the computer to catch up. Ultimately, I should try and figure out why that old computer is acting up like it is, but I haven't had much luck troubleshooting that either. Any suggestions?

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Monday, March 05, 2007


Spin City

I guess some people just can't handle the truth. Case in point is Sony's attempts to put a positive spin on their earlier outrageous statements about the PS3. It turns out that the combination of high prices and lack of a "killer app" for the product has resulted in lackluster sales and a product surplus. In January, one Sony exec tried to deny the existence of a surplus and claimed that demand for their system was so high that he'd pay a $1200 bounty for any unit a consumer found on a store shelf. For his sake, there'd better be a statute of limitations on that offer because I'm seeing them everywhere, including a large stack of them sitting in an aisle at a Best Buy store. I remember a time when, faced with an eroneous claim like that, a reasonable person would say something like, "Yep, they might have been hard to find when we said that, but now you'll have no trouble finding one - enjoy!" However, rather than owning up to the truth, these spinmeisters keep digging a deeper whole for themselves, creating a fantasy world where everything they've said is somehow justified. One begins to wonder where these folks pick up this sort of behavior...

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