Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Today was great - I'm learning a lot of new thing

Playing: various country

Today I looked at Stuff5’s blog, who makes a software type blog. I was thinking about doing my own with all original software of course. So my 2nd blog went online today at I found a nice background that looks like thunder bolts with a bluish theme. It looks nice. I wasn’t too sure about what logo I should put up so I did the matrix theme since the 1s and 0s represent source code, and it’s theme is very software driven I think. I started by adding my favorite software picks that I use at home in everyday life. Then I looked at updates of those software on Google, which saved me time. My first day, I made a lot of grammar mistakes because I was writing way too fast up to 8AM when I was very tired. I still had to revise some entries on this blog to make them more readable. I mean why have a blog if people can’t read it properly? I plan to revise this site and get rid of the sentence fragments and the extra words. When I write when I’m tired, I misspell and add unneeded words to my first draft. I make first drafts so I can easily move paragraphs around. Sometimes I get off topic or the paragraph on a particular topic does not follow one another in sequence. So check this new blog out.

I’ve been a Winamp user since 1999, and I’ve never really got into movie streaming video, until Tuesday. Nullsoft’s Winamp 5 is the second to exploit a free video service. Real Player has been doing this a long time too. Winamp is the 2nd application to put cable television out of business. This doesn’t mean that I’ve never used streaming video before. I used Windows Media Player on Gamespot before to stream in E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) videos. I also downloaded some QuickTime videos at, last one about 2 years ago. That pretty much stopped me from downloading video. It took me up to this year to realize that Nullsoft had Internet TV! Actually, I was looking at alternatives video codec to DivX or Xvid, when I accidentally came across OGG Theora []. It was one of those rare occasions where I actually come across something very good by accident! I learned the format Nullsoft is using, OGG Theroa, which is almost as compressed as MPEG 4 from what I read. VP3 codec, which is apart of OGG Theroa, is completely open source so Nullsoft won’t have to pay licensing fees for video compression. Actually OGG Theroa codec hasn’t been released yet. I don’t know what extention OGG Theroa will have. This means free video streams for everyone! Yay! Unfortunately, it takes 2 minutes to actually show something over my modem. This format hasn’t even put into an application yet, it’s early in the beta. I downloaded the source code too. I don’t have the required compilers to compile it. Nullsoft could support some Xvid streams (Xvid supporters don’t need a license to use it). That would be extremely cool! I don’t see why they couldn’t do both? Actually, when you type in the URL into Winamp’s “open file” window box, it’ll stream in that file in real time for ya! For this sort of thing, I use Quintessential Player instead of Winamp for the ripping feature. This puts Windows Media Player at a disadvantage, streaming the smallest resolution. MPEG has got to be 10 years old, obsolete, and Microsoft is still using it as their primary video codec. WMA is okay I guess. I don’t hate it. I haven’t decided if I like it or not. MPEG streams are better than nothin’ so I don’t complain. I am so use too MPEG 4 codec now that MPEG just seems obsolete. Using the codec is just as easy as going to or, and downloading the newest codec.

DivX – (v5.1.1) http://
Xvid (v1.01) –

All the codec are designed to be compatible with Windows Media Player anyways. So far, I know Microsoft is developing the next generation of video called XMA, this new video format is going to be used with the Xenon console. So no one will see this codec used for streaming video for a while, sorry video compressing dudes! Remember the more advanced the codec, the more CPU power it takes to compress it.

Okay, okay, I’m being dead obvious here, but it took me 6 hours to compress Lord of the Rings - Return of the King in DivX in slow setting (the slower the compression process, the better compressed, and image quality the video is) I should try Xvid MPEG 4 codec sometime in the near future. I went to, and looked up Xvid vs. Divx, and I get results saying Xvid is better against DivX 3.11 (sometimes called DivX (with smiley), an illegal codec), but compresses bigger files than DIVX 5.1.1 Pro (free legal codec). In case you were wondering, with DixV 5.1.1 codec, I compressed the first 1 hr 35 minutes of Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers at 800x600 (470 KBPS) at 477 MB - enough to be put on CD. The video was a little pixilated (blocky), but the sound was good (I used LAME mp3 codec at 192 KBPS). The blockiest will go away if I set the KBPS up to 700, but that will increase file size quite a bit. So the DIVX file size of Return of the King was 910 MB compared to David’s videos he got off Kazaa, which were approximately 650 – 700 MBs each. I’m starting to figure out how to get video at a good resolution below 700 MB. (make the resolution 420x360 at 420 KBPS.)

I tried out Crash Bandicoot 2, and it was a fun game. I love Crash… now I just have to figure out why I love him! Yeah, I know, Crash is a 2 legged dog with big eyes and his tongue is stinking out. I played and beaten Naughty Dog’s famous PS2 platformer, Jak and Dexter. Very colorful graphics I must admit. The game engine was above average at the time too for PS2 standards. Pretty soon all you’ll really care about is if a game is high resolution or not? If not true now, it will be come 2005 when your wondering which console to buy. Most games are not suppose to look like Final Fantasy X or Metal Gear Solid 3 because those games are exceptionally good. I got this CD that allows me to watch DivX movies on Playstation 2 called Action Replay MAX Evo Edition! It cost me 40 dollars to get, but it might be worth it after all. The first movie I tested was Monty Python and The Holy Grail which worked. The movie was a little blocky though.

On Sunday, I’ve been reading a little about Modchips for my PS2. I found this software, called the HDD loader [ it’s on ] which will rip the PS2 DVD onto any external serial-ATA hard drive, and play the game as a virtual drive (DVD-ROM emulation). Only 40 dollars! For the software and some Ethernet to USB adapters I assume. Wow! I want it. The possibility of PS games also works with this feature, from what I read off I uploaded 950 MB worth of movies on my USB 2.0 drive, and it took 8 minutes to upload. If I had HDD Loader, I would go to Bob’s house, upload his games, and play them on this virtual drive for PS2. I have a confession to make. See for PS1 games, I just pop it into my DVD-ROM on my PC, and play them on EPSXE. After all it’s free! EPSXE works a whole lot better than PCSX v1.5 ever did. It not only works…I wonder if someone who programmed for Playstation games helped design the emulator. The Japs are good for that ya know? They talk funny with their heavy accent but no one can deny they make the best videogames in the world.

I wouldn’t make any sense for me to buy a mod-chip for PSone now. I bought my first Playstation in February 2002 when Playstation emulation was already possible on PC, Linux and MAC. I remember I was playing with Bleem once. I hate Bleem, it never worked well.

Yesterday, Bob invited me to his apartment. It’s been too long since last time we met. I’ve been getting a little bored with nothing to do at my house. When I walked in the door, he had his Slipknot really loud. Laurence and him talking about swimming nude (for jokes). Not exactly a fruitful discussion. A nudist pool party for men, and I thought, “Whoa, not for me, man.” I know there were just joking, else I would have left. Bob’s dad is going to put off a show on the 4th of July. The fireworks he’s going to use up is worth 2000 dollars. That is if I go. Problem is all I would be doing is being in a sallow pool and getting wet. Problem is I don’t like extremely loud fireworks, and that’s what fireworks are, extremely loud. What’s the point? His Dad, Dan, is going have a $2500 firework night with some heavy metal going in the background. His dad has a lot of fireworks he bought by groups which he sells to other people, but this year he has a bunch left over. In Wisconsin, fireworks are perfectly legal, and in Minnesota you can’t have them….at least not in town. To most cities’ fireworks are considered explosive material which can start fires - thus considered illegal to own privately. Out in the country, away from the police, people might get away with it. In fact, they do…the sound gives it away….unless the county sheriffs don’t care. Wisconsin is filled with firework businesses. The best one I know of is the one by Fleet Farm in Hudson. There must me 3 million dollars worth of fireworks in that tent. Some people order fireworks by volume, while the majority just buy a little of everything. There are as many people trying to get rid of fireworks as there are businesses that try selling them in bulk. The only limit on fireworks is how far they go up in the air. However in Wisconsin, there are licensed firework gun pouter organizations that get paid to by smaller towns to put on a good show. There are plenty of towns up by Siren, Wisconsin who would pay a lot of money to have a firework show.

Bob says we’ll have a 80s party next time I’m over. We’ll play Atari 2600 and NES. This might mean I have to ware jeans for once. I never ware jeans. I mainly ware baggy cargo pants. It’s what’s in! Bob has Tetris, Frogger, Pacman, Pong for Atari and Super Mario Bros, Tetris, Legend of Zelda and Metal Gear for his NES. Bob gets affensive about Atari when I say anything negative about it. We’re also going to listen to 80s heavy metal bands like Poison, Guns ‘n Roses, Aerosmith, KiSS, and ACDC. I told him that I could bring my PC over, and bring JNES or Z26, and play some of those games. Bob has 2 NES, 2 Atari 2600s, a Genesis, and a Sega CD add-on for Genesis. Hehehe. Bob once thought SEGA CD was going be popular when it failed miserably in sales. There wasn’t time for games to come out for it. Sega CD was there (next best thing), and 6 months later it vanished. I saw one at Toy’s 4 Trade and I saw the poor game selection and thought, “This is exactly why nobody buys the thing.” Bob nearly forgot that Genesis came out in 1989, so playing it would be legit. Personally, I hate staring at Atari 2600 graphics. I have z26 (Atari 2600 Emulator for Windows), and 20 ROMS. Atari 2600 roms are really small, only 10K each compressed. They’re so simple that I hate playing them. Period. You won’t get me near an Atari 2600, ever. You can find them at fan sites which are dedicated to remember ancient computer hardware. I mean these people probably hug their Ataris, and keep it in plastic bags. Bob’s not this type of fanatic, both of his Ataris are in a box somewhere at his dad’s house collecting dust.

I talked about the upcoming consoles to Bob. I wanted to amuse him, anything to make things over there more interesting! I told him that in 2005, Microsoft may release it’s new console.

I showed him Colony Wars (PS game) by showing him the tough level I was on. That’s not what’s important. What’s important is he thinks the game is uninteresting. He and I played a little Tekken 4, which I whopped his ass in. Then we played Tokyo Extreme Racer Zero. After that, Bob and I played SSX 3, which we scored even on the racing and tricks modes. He thought the techno / rap tracks in SSX 3 were really cool. Bob hates rap. He has surround sound at his house, upper range Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. We just had to play a little Gran Turismo 3 - A Spec before I went. Gran Turismo 3 was one of the first high profile racing titles for PS2. That is if you considered Ridge Racer V a high profile game in 2000? I thought RRV was only medium profile. I wasn’t playing that game, only Bob and Laurence. Bob was getting tired so I went back to my house, brought back Bob’s DVD collection. I wasn’t because I had 4 cans of cream soda. Bob, in return, gave me new DVDs like the Matrix and Goldmember to rip to my hard drive with my favorite ripper, 1Click DVD Ripper v2.03. Frankly, I don’t need Gordon Codec package anymore. Gordon Codec Package had Virtual Dub, DIVx codec, AVI splitters, Vob rippers, etc. All that stuff I used when I first used DivX seven months ago - times have gotten better since then. I was weary about using 8 GB of hard drive space for each video, now I didn’t need take time to copy the movie than compress ‘desktop video’. No offense to Linux, and open source software, but I will use any software that works well for me, open source or not. I understand there is this thing about sharing source code, and being close to the GPL license. The whole idea that software should not cost anything, only the media it’s on should cost. I am little confused by venders, such as Red Hat, which make you pay 100 dollars for open source software. Red Hat is supposed to be the best at what they do, and you pay for it. But in my opinion it’s worth it, and cost me no money so I’m not complaining. Yet, the profit organizations like Red Hat are not as greedy as Microsoft. Microsoft has 100% closed source in their OS, and that makes them own 100% of all the source code, so 100% of the profit goes straight to Microsoft. I don’t know why how you can call Microsoft’s OS state-of-the-art? Linux venders release new versions every 6 months with updated software. Problem with Linux is it has required files too, and sometimes these files do not come with the OS, so a lot of times executable packets won’t install. That’s the sad part. That’s where tar.gz files come in. Sometimes these uncompressed great, and the programs run without the OS thinking it needs runtime files to extract the files automatically. Mozilla is a great example of this. All versions run great on any Linux whether they come in a RPM file or tar.gz file. I really, really want to install Red Hat on my Dell, but Dells are anti-Linux machines. My PC literally blocks Linux out, and I have no clue why it does that. It’s a mystery. I called Dell tech support and they said they don’t support Linux at all.

I think today I’m going to attempt to install Linux on my Dell, Red Hat 9.1. But first I tried Knoppix since that doesn’t save partitions to the hard drive. I fiddle with the BIOS setting until it boots. This way there is little chance I’ll loose Windows XP. RAID has to be on OFF for this to work I think. Why the hell does the computer think there is a virus when RAID is ON? My Dell PC hates Linux! I think I said this before. I want Red Hat Linux installed on my fastest computer at home, and it blocks it out…for no good reason. I’m pissed off at Dell now.

Today, I’ve been watching Rocky and Rocky II on AMC. Both are good movies. Sylvester Stallone gave one of his best performances in Rocky. This movie made boxing cool. He really acts like a bum from the ghetto trying to make something of himself. He’s showing off his street smart attitude in boxing. Rocky was a little better than Rocky II.

Summer vacation is great, I can watch TV all day or look on the Internet all day for stuff, download music over my modem – never have to go anywhere I don’t want too. It’ll be this way for another month and 1/2! I found this really cool webpage with abandon-ware games on it (really old and abandoned software), and I want to go to school to download them. Downloading games off the Internet, someday I’ll look back 20 years from now and say, “Wow, where did I find this game.” knowing I’ll always have it. I may find a ‘diamond in the ruff’ on one of these abandon-ware websites (not ROM sites). A good example are these freeware Sonic the Hedgehog games that resemble the Genesis era. I am looking for a RPG game that has good graphics comparable with the NES, SNES era graphics that some talented programmers made. Like most of my games, they’re probably sitting on my shelf stored on CD somewhere. I have a couple ‘diamond in the ruff’ videogames including Final Fantasy 7, Final Fantasy Chronicles, Final Fantasy 9, Mega Man 2, Donkey Kong Country, NiGHTS, Mega Man X4 and X6, Castlevania - Symphony of the Night, Super Mario 64, Legend of Zelda – Orcania of Time, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Goldeneye. Pretty soon all the N64 games will be considered old school games, and I’ll be talking about when I’m 30 years old saying, “Yeah, I’ve played that game, and I still own it.” Most people are just the opposite whom sells their old games to get more trade in credits for new games. All the newer games are is games that have graphical improvements. But that’s alright, I have bought the newer ones too. I have this bad habit of partially playing through one game only put it down for another game. I have memories of buying Super Mario 64 for 70 dollars in 1997 – expensive game, wasn’t it? I also remember the flashbacks when SNES, and Sega Genesis were still available at Wal-Mart. I don’t remember seeing Sega Saturn games though, even in 1998, when it was taken off shelves. No one likes the Saturn anyways so it is not worth thinking about anymore.

I thought about going to Florida to live. I don’t know what town to live at? I only know that I rather live where it’s Summer year around. I hear taxes are more in Florida, but maybe I’ll find a rural area to live. That will mean I won’t inherit my parent’s house. I want to eventually get all the land from my parents cheaply than I can concentrate on electricity, gas, water, sewage costs. It would be nice if I could pay low monthly payments while living in a bigger house. I would have to mow the lawn, and cut down trees with a chainsaw and stack them myself. If I get a wife than she might want to go somewhere else, and I want to live inexpensively so I can save money, and perhaps put money away some towards retirement. I’ve just started research on Floridian towns today.

Okay, I know my entry is getting a little long - and well - I like long entries because I have a lot to say. It looks like I was completely wrong about Monkey Audio (lossness audio) replacing MP3. My apologies. It looks like WMA (Windows Media Audio) is quickly replacing MP3 on the Internet. I’ve have some of it on my computer, like most of my Planetary Radio broadcasts. A 30 minute broadcast can be compressed to 6.5 MBs. That’s extremely small and the quality is like AM radio. It can easily be streamed with modem users and still give better quality than Real One (formally known as Real Player) using the same broadcast. It makes RAM (Real One’s Streaming audio format) broadcast obsolete. I know this because I have Real One, and RAM doesn’t sound as great as WMA or MP3 streams. MP3 Pro is a commercial MP3 codec that is suppose to sound better at 24 KBPS or 64 KBPS than LAME mp3 codec. However, it’s just a slight difference. LAME’s sound has improved a lot since 1999, and there isn’t any static or pauses in the sound anymore. I remember using LAME when it first was released, and there was a lot more static and sound glitches in the music than there should have been. From 1994 – 1998 MP3 was used just in Internet audio streams by commercial radio stations. I heard somewhere that FHG for a long time was the only MP3 codec that existed. FHG was the first MPEG codec. MPEG codec was in beta for much longer than the MP3 codec. That’s because compressing video in real time uses much more CPU power. Today is much different, everyone with a decent computer can make video in real time if it’s not compressed too much. I mean while still retaining the high quality image. That’s why AVI is so popular now-a-days. Which format can be the most compressed in real time? The answer to that is AVI. I found that MPEG 4 TV compressors have come out, and compress TV shows in real time. If you get the ones that can connect to your computer to use as hard drive space, it’ll cost only 100 dollars to get those. I don’t know what TIVO uses to compress it’s video? Does it use MPEG 2? TIVOs are getting popular, my mom wants one for Christmas.

This is Ian signing off.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

I'm into the Internet software craze, are you?

Have you often wonder about tiny advances in software, the Internet is full of them. Take Winamp 5.0 for an example. Has there been any improvements between Winamp 5.01 and Winamp 5.03c? Or ItooDVD Ripper? How about Microsoft Word or Internet Explorer? What changed since Word 2000 anyways? Word is really generic I think. I use this ripper to take the problematic processes of converting VOB to AVI to DIVX and simply converting it all at once. The version I use works and the developers keep coming out with more stable versions. Same with Mozilla browsers…. I haven’t seen any real change between Mozilla Firebird 0.6, and Mozilla Firefox 0.9. The browser was so well built and stable by the time Mozilla 1.0 came out that Mozilla 1.7 RC4 or Mozilla Firefox 0.9 are not that much an improvement speed wise over it. Maybe a couple hundred bugs fixes, as long as they aren’t crash fixes. Remember when bugs are fixed, than new ones appear replacing old ones. Though 1.0 didn’t crash that often. It sure beat using Netscape Navigator 4.8! Since 1.0, all the stable releases were already very stable. People expect Mozilla to load webpages faster with dialup than the Internet Explorer on dialup because if it’s reputation it created back in 1999 and 2000. Our teacher did a speed test with Mozilla running on a Linux Box, and Internet Explorer running on Win2000. Guess who won? Mozilla. It loads web pages 1 to 3 seconds faster than Internet Explorer 6.0. Sure, new Mozilla versions load faster, and they don’t crash ever, but the earlier versions were on Red Hat Linux 6.0, and were stable. Even 3 years ago Mozilla was really stable, and preformed as well as Internet Explorer. For years IE was the browser of choice for people who had dialup. In 1999 – 2000, Netscape Navigator was lacking in next generation browsing technology that IE had at the time. Then they were bought out by AOL, and formed the Mozilla foundation, the greatest thing in Internet browsing since Netscape. In fact, I’m starting to think that downloading newer versions of the same software is just overrated. One thing is for sure, I don’t have to find software besides PC games off the store shelf anymore.

Software updates of course matter, when you download a new program. But downloading a new program is half the fun. Most first release programs have already set a platform for themselves. And they pop up all over in such unexpected places. I download software in web design and video rippers including several audio and video codec. I found some really cool programs that work much better than what I use to use. All thanks to the Internet. I’m being a little vague here. So I’ll tell you want I’m saying. 1 Click DVD ripper is a prime example. I found this by searching on Google. It’s does all the compression work for me. And I won’t need to update this program. I won’t have to pay 100 dollars for a program that you buy at Best Buy that does the same thing. Another example is Winamp. I can see that things have changed since the 2.91 version. Winamp also has become a free media player. I downloaded one of the first betas of Winamp 5.0 back in October 2003. Winamp 5.03c doesn’t really do that much more except fix some crash bugs. Sure, the beta crashed sometimes, but all I do is listen to MP3s and download Winamp skins. Is downloading newer versions overrated? Perhaps. I re-download Winamp since the download is there to be downloaded. Same goes with Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 and Paint Shop Pro 8. In Dreamweaver MX 2004, nothings chanced since Dreamweaver MX that I can see. For Paint Shop Pro 8, there was little change since PSP 7.4. Maybe a few more paint brushes. I find PSP 7.4 easier to use than PSP 8.0 for some reason. Still JASC put everything I needed in the earlier version I used. Compression wise, JPEG hasn’t changed at all in my mine since 2001. Someone came out with JPEG 2000, but this format isn’t browser compatible. JPEG is still unbelievably compressed. It is a lot better than PNG or GIF for images that have more than 8 colors.

Here are some examples of what program that have new versions that aren’t worth downloading from older versions

• From Irfanview 3.80 to Irfanview 3.91 – no difference
• From Emule 0.42d to Emule 0.43b – no difference
• From Limewire 4.0 to Limewire 4.1.1 – no difference
• From Winamp 5.01 to Winamp 5.03c – little difference in speed
• From Paint Shop Pro 7 to Paint Shop Pro 8 – very insignificant difference in speed and options
• From CDEX 4.6 – CDEX 5.1 – no difference
• From iMESH 4.0 to iMESH 4.5 – little difference in speed
• From DIVX 5.0 to DIVX 5.1.1 – no difference in video quality, speed and sound quality
• Quintessential Player 4.0a to Quintessential Player 4.5 – small difference in speed and resources
• Windows XP – Windows XP Service Pack 1 – really no difference

If you’re into DVD ripping and audio stuff check these sites out -


Nothings really that new about Half-life 2 or Doom 3 except for the new release dates. Isn’t that exciting you know! If anyone was wondering why I don’t keep up the updates on those games, it’s because I said everything technical. Both will be drop dead gorgeous games, everyone knows that now with several screenshots seen on every gaming site including mine. Am I going to get it…yep, you bet your bootie I will. I might even drive 30 miles to Game Stop, and get both on their release date! It seems that Half-life 2 is going the way of Metal Gear Solid - The Twin Snakes. Yes, I know they are completely different games although the two titles have one similarity. Valve is going to start you off with Half-life as you’ll spend several hours completing it, evacuate Black Mesa beginning your Half-life 2 maps. Half-Life built on the new Half-life 2 engine sounds very exciting. This part has been confirmed by Valve, developer of Half-life 2.

I spent last night watching a vampire movie on TNT, Salem’s Lot. It was pretty good. It’s a 2003 remake of the 1970’s movie, and about vampires taking over a small Eastern US town. I noticed it wasn’t high on budget but was directed well. It’s between a B+ and A- movie. As that was going on, I reformatted my hard drive because my computer was more sluggish than it should be, even with 2 Gigabytes of RAM at my disposal. I had the Longhorn Professional shell over it, and it made my computer lag more than usual, my computer crashed more than usual. I thought it was going add programs, and make my Desktop visually updated, but in reality, all it did was goof up my computer’s unities. I thought hey whatever, I’ll make this PC look brand new, and run faster with a couple hours spent on reformatting NTFS, then re-installing Windows XP. Everyone’s done this at one time or another. Then Mom and I watch “The Armenia Strain” on AMC. It’s about an alien virus that clotted the blood cells in humans or mammals in matter of minutes. The US Department of Agriculture built a scientific underground facility which was meant to find cures for viruses. This scientific facility in particular had a bomb that would go off if any virus got out (theoretically concealing the virus)…but this virus grew as a result of hydrogen cells. The climax of this movie was when the facility was sealed off, and the main character had to disarm the bomb before it exploded, spreading the virus to other areas of the country.

Today I woke up at 11:30AM, and went downstairs to find reviews on some possible future games. My secret to find a game is a.) Always find a game that has a high review score that sounds interesting. B.) Trust reader reviews. C.) Go to, read the top games list for possible candidates. More often than not they have a good game you’ll be playing for 1 week or longer AKA Final Fantasy 7 / Metal Gear Solid. D.) The single important paragraph to look for in a game review is where the reviewer mention’s gameplay mechanics. Without that you might end up buying a game like Dino Crisis 3 *Chuckle. Chuckle.* All Graphics, and nothing to show for it! E.) Look game only magazines such as Playstation Magazine or Game Informer. They have some good stuff in them - enough to raise my game IQ a few notches. Magazines you actually want to keep. I’ve been a game magazine collector since 1998. Some people collect car magazines, others collect Marvel Comics, while I collect Game Informer issues. Game Informer magazine is my only source (besides that I’m into before I buy a game. The reviews are often as well written as’s, and I like having offline reading material. I already have 50 magazines stacked up in a drawer that I’ll never read again. For being a Game Stop member, I get this magazine subscription free. I go back to the Hudson game store to finally get more Playstation games. I look around, and a couple Playstation 2 games were taken I wanted. One was Onimusha 3 Demon Siege, another was Project Gotham 2, and the last one was La Pucelle Tactics (prequel to a Japanese anime RPG called Disgaga: Hour of Darkness. I played a bit of Onimusha 2, and it was very good. It a played a little like Devil May Cry. Devil May Cry 2 was there for 20 bucks, but I hear it was lacking in game design from my favorite review site,, so I didn’t buy it. Wal-Mart got rid of Onimusha 3 too! I didn’t check Target...oops. I’m waiting until I play Colony Wars, and Crash Bandicoot than maybe I’ll get Onimusha 3. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t spend more than a day on Onimusha 2 so I don’t really know what the story is about except an evil force is taking over a 16th century town in the land of the rising sun. Genma is the samurai warrior that’ll set things straight against the demon hordes, and kicks some serious butt constantly! The “go-all-out-with-you r-sword” idea is very innovative I thought. It’s hard to explain, I like this game a lot, but I find that I prefer platform titles, MMORPGS, and first person shooters rather than this. So I decided to get Crash Bandicoot 2 and 3. I don’t like Spyro the Dragon for its cutesy characters, even though the graphics are good. I question the gameplay mechanics in Spyro game. I am so use to the “T” Teen rated platformers like Jak 2 that it’s hard to go back to the lesser violent games when the worlds are filled with bright colors. It was meant for a child really - yet it is so hard to control at times. None of the Spyro the Dragon games are easy, sometimes these games were frustrating. Crash is more popular and better. Crash Bandicoot sold 10 million copies of his games over here in the US, one of the big success stories of the Playstation. I didn’t get the first crash because Crash Bandicoot was 2D. I don’t know, but I might write a review on him. Might, might not. See I never written a review I promised with Metal Gear Solid Twin Snakes. I thought no one will want to read it so why spend time on it? I may be right. This December I’m celebrating Playstation’s 10th anniversary! Two more years and I’ll be celebrating N64’s 10th anniversary!

Yesterday I tried out the New Coke, C2, and I thought it tasted good! C2 tastes a lot better than Diet Coke, and is as good as regular high carbonated Coke. To be more specific, C2 tastes like Coke that’s warm or left out for 3 hours. I still like it non-the-less. I’m going to buy more of it. It’s kind of scary what Coca-Cola put in their C2 to make up for ½ the carbohydrates, and sugars. Hey, I almost forgot about Cherry Coke. I haven’t drank that stuff for over a year. Almost forgot what Cherry Coke tastes like! O-well. Maybe I’ll pick up some tomorrow. ABC news reviews C2, and gave it a 2.1 out of 3. I mean what do they expect of something that has half of everything? C2 Coke got a 2.5 out of 3. I give C2 a 2.5 out of 3, and Coke a 2.7 out of 3. Mountain Dew, as always, deserves a perfect score. After tasting the new coke, maybe I should taste the new Pepsi Edge. Some taste reviews on the Internet say Pepsi Edge makes regular Pepsi obsolete because it’s better for you than Pepsi is, and there is no real disadvantage. But in a taste test, C2 will win against Pepsi Edge hands down.

On my new webpage I’m working part time on “Ian’s 512-bit generation News Page”. There hasn’t been any new Microsoft Xenon, Nintendo Revolution or Playstation 3 news yet so I haven’t polished my site up much. I remember in 1999 and 2000, I was extremely excited to see screenshots of Nintendo’s next generation console. So much that I wrote editorial after editorial on the events from 1999 - 2001. What’s left (after I deleted the original webpage) is found at my personal webpage. It’s just a videogame console, but still I found it fun just writing about it. I found out the specs of the processor (powerful in 2001) and it’s abilities over Playstation 2. I admit the PS2 was state-of-the-art in 2000 in terms of consumer technology. Kid’s asking for a DVD player specifically named Playstation 2, trying to fool their parents in thinking their not paying for a videogame console, but a DVD player from Sony. Nobody’s parents are that dumb.

I often wonder why I’m alone in this world? Yes, I have my parents to talk to, and I have this blog, but something is missing in my life. My friends don’t ever come over really. Randy had to go to a birthday party today. Bob doesn’t answer his phone either. I am not lost. I know I have school in a couple months, but I still feel alone. I feel when I go places that I am alone, and people are just waiting for me to go crazy or something. This is untrue because most people don’t want that to happen to someone. Most people in these public places don’t feel they need more people in their lives. For the most part, it’s better that I don’t get to know people at Wal-mart, Target, the game store, or any public person because I know they don’t know what to think so they’ll ignore me and save their breath. While acting this way is just paranoia - I often imagine how it would be if I had someone who talked to me. And when someone does say Hi or something….I am usually speechless. In reality, I am just another customer there and nothing is out of place…everything is just peachy…and I’ve been just imagining things again! I wonder how many people like me feel the way I do? There has to be a lot. I prefer level minded country folk like me who just want to belong.

Well today and tomorrow I’m thinking I’m going to play Crash Bandicoot, and Colony Wars. I watched Bob play Crash Bandicoot 2 and it looked fun. Crash is one of those heroes that everyone can relate too. He’s nobodies fool, which means he’s not crazy, but kind of weird. Dr. Neo Cortex kind of is! That’s obvious observation though. I know he’s the bad guy, the villain although in the newest Crash Bandicoot game, these two characters work together against an even bigger threat – don’t know what that is, sorry. I might play this game with EPSXE, might not. The good part is I can run the game at a higher resolution, but sadly it looks just as good on the computer screen as the TV.

I often wonder if I’m talented in my field, although I can see there are so many computer technicians in my state, it’s impossible to keep track of whom I’m competing against this year. I know the students from talking to them (none of them want to talk about technical computer stuff with me) in class in between Joyce or Steve’s conversations (they’re my teachers). Not one of them knows how to emulate consoles or compress movies in DivX or similar computer stuff nor do they care about it. They (WITC industrial network technician students) don’t want me to know what they do at home or what they’ve learned about on the computers. An example of this is when I was taking Linux terminal commands. I had to figure out the commands myself. They’re about 3 dozen Linux terminal commands to memorize, and another half dozen ‘switches’ to remember. So to make it easier they all say they ‘hate’ computers, as in not use them unless it’s for school. I find that false. I think that tomorrow will be a better day, and these comments will be buried deep in my brain until another day triggers them again. Probably very soon.

Well, also today I bought Battlefield 1942, an epic WWII game that unifies air, sea and ground troopers in a kill or be killed kind of way. Don’t you love WAR games? I do. It’s been 2 years since this game has been out, and unfortunately the game is declining in popularity. It’s almost a generation old as far as PC games go. The whole game is 4 CDs which files are compressed I believe. This game is made by DICE. I’m pretty sure I can run the game at 1600x1200 at 8x anti-analyzing. I don’t know how it’ll play….other than it’s a first person shooter. First person shooters are always welcomed in my mind. Rock on FPS!!!!

My high school pics to show to bloggers (St. Croix Central)

Freeware sites -
Get all the classic old school Final Fantasys at this page!

Freeware Software of the Day

Laxius Power 2 – - Laxius Power is a freeware role playing game with SNES graphics with committed developers that design games for free. The game is only a 25 – 40 MB download.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Super computers & 1 terabyte hard drives

I find it very interesting that 250 GIGABYTE hard drives have come out. We are just 5 years away from 1 Terabyte 1,024,000 Mega Bytes. Microsoft is developing a Windows environment, codenamed Longhorn, that’ll be compatible with 1 terabyte hard drives. One terabyte is only done in IBM labs. IBM has the world’s finest microprocessor / storage research and development (R&D) facility located here in the United States. In 1999, IBM helped make CPU for the Nintendo Gamecube called the “Gecko”, and now the company making a super-processor for both Playstation 3 called the “CELL”, and Microsoft Xenon. IBM also makes high density hard drives for the US Government’s super computers, and NASA’s space shuttle(s). The term most computer users use called multi-tasking (aka - running more than one program at the same time) has a more technical term called “parallelism”. For more information on super computers read this article, A super computer can theatrically process all the calculations from data feedback of a space shuttle mission for an example. The term “pipelining” is primary used in the gaming industry to describe graphic data, and polygon ratios in today’s GPUs (graphic processing units). Remember GPU wasn’t a computer term before 1999 (before it was only called video card), and the first video card to use ‘GPU’ to categorize it was the 16-MB Nvidia Geforce 256. Remember way back in late 1999 and 2000. I personally like to use gigaflops, and polygons more than pipelining. A gigaflop is a billion floating point operations per second. These terms make more sense to me. To get back on topic, this new hard drive technology is a combined effort between IBM and Seagate from what I hear on Google News. These companies developed this new platter (the rotating disc in the hard drive) called HAMR. HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) can start storing data beginning from one terabyte way up to 400 terabytes.,1121,1503,00.html So we’ll see this technology for another 20 years until year 2024, maybe longer. I don’t know but I’m perfectly happy with 120 Gigabytes of hard drive space, thinking of buying another 120 GB or 160 GB external hard drive before too long. Right now, my computer is using 45.6 Gigabytes and that’s with DIVX movies saved on it. Without the DIVX movies I would have 40 Gigabytes of hard drive space used. That’s with everything I use which includes 14 PC Games installed:

My DELL XPS gigabytes usage with 111 GB total hard drive space

• Unreal Tournament 2004 = 5.52 GB
• Unreal Tournament = 1.4 GB
• Anarchy Online with expansions = 1.5 GB
• Need for Speed Underground = 1.26 GB
• Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction = 1.3 GB
• Call of Duty = 1.17 GB
• Dungeon Siege – 1.1 GB
• Metal of Honor Allied Assault /w Spearhead = 1.2 GB
• Far Cry = 3 GB
• Knights of the Old Republic = 3.5 GB
• Star Trek Elite Force II = 1.8 GB
• Diablo Hellfire = 650 MB
• America’s Army v2.1 = 1.8 GB
• Counter-Strike 1.6 = 800 MB

Game Data = 25.9 GB = 57%
MP3 collection = 8.85 GB = 19%
DivX movies = 5.33 GB = 12 %
MISC = 3.9 GB = 9%
Windows XP Pro = 1.8 GB = 3%
Total = 45.6 GB

As you see above I haven’t filled up ½ of my hard drive yet. I am perfectly happy with what I have now. sells a Fantom 250 GB external hard drive. One site said that if I read a book for every day of my life for 30 years – I would accumulate 30 GB worth of text or 1 GB per year. Is he sure, because I’ve been writing a Modblog, and I haven’t even come to a MB yet? This also depends on how many pages are in the book. I’ve been writing in this blog for just over 6 months, and this site has accumulated 420 KB of text. I know this because I read the Properties of my saved backup entry file I downloaded from This is great - I think I’m going to publish a book in 3 years called, “My Life” by Ian C. This book would be 360 pages long, three times it is now. I’ll explain how big this actually is in the easiest terms. If someone saves one page of a Microsoft Word document in ANSI or text, it would approximately be 3.5 KB. In this blog, I wrote about 120 Microsoft Word document pages of text so far if all the text was saved in TXT file, which it is.

To get back to the subject super computers, I first heard about them in the movie, Jurassic Park, where the Bio-engineering scientists use super computers to extract Dinosaur DNA strains onto blueprints. DNA strains takes days to sort out ya know? I watched “Forensic Files” on Court TV saying that scientists are using super computers to search for the stars for ET, and others want to use them to “decode” a human brain DNA strain. In 12th grade as part as Science class, my school used a heating device, and color dye to show the DNA of a carrot nuclei on paper. If the bars lined up with each other vertically than that carrot was apart of the same family of carrots. Unfortunately my carrot rotted, and fungus grew on it after being sealed away in an air tight vacuumed bag.

History of Hard drives

• 1956 – IBM made a 5 Megabyte hard drive size: refrigerator
• 1987 – Apple introduces a 40 MB hard drive for $4400
• 1987 – IBM introduces first 40 MB hard drive for about the same price
• 1996 – My first computer, a Compaq Presario, had a 3.5 Gigabyte hard drive in it.
• 1997 – 10 Gigabyte hard drives become available.
• 1999 – My second computer, also a Compaq had a 20 Gigabytes hard drives become available which the most for a consumer at that time.
• 2000 – 40 and 60 GB Gigabyte hard drives become available.
• 2001 – Apple introduces a 20 GB MP3 player and portable hard drive called the iPOD about the size of your fist for 400 dollars
• 2001 – 120 Gigabytes Ultra-ATA hard drives become available.
• 2002 – 160 and 180 Gigabyte Ultra-ATA hard drives become available
• 2002 – Apple releases their 40 gigabyte iPod
• 2003 – 200 GB Ultra-ATA and SCSI hard drives become available
• 2004 – 250 GB Ultra-ATA and SCSI hard drives become available
• 2004 – 400 GB Ultra-ATA and SCSI hard drives become available for a large sum of money.
• 2004 – Apple releases their 80 gigabyte iPod

“WINFS” News alert!!!

Microsoft plans to develop Windows for super computers. I thought Microsoft already had an X86 platform (operating system) for super computers. Apparently Windows XP can’t partition itself onto a super computer’s massive hard drives. Just think about it for a minute... Super computers can probably carry 500 gigabytes or 1 terabyte of data. From my knowledge, NTFS can’t handle any hard drive space more than 200 Gigabytes. This new operating system has been called Windows Server HPC Edition. There would have to an awful lot of Windows XP partitions on a super computer like 5. Windows Server HPC Edition may have the new improved WINFS, which will partition more space at once still being as stable as NTFS. I haven’t thought about it this way. Super computers primary run a UNIX operating system. Sun Microsystems makes a Unix OS called Solaris 10.0, and that is their main backbone for server, and java applications which has support for super computers with absolutely huge hard drives, not only one, but probably 10 of them hooked up to one super computer. 200GBx10=2 terabytes. From the looks of it, NASA has 50 of them linked together on one single-mode fiber extended star topology with satellite transmission capability. Yes, I can tell all of that from a little screenshot. Think of how much space, and bandwidth that would be? I am really surprised I saw a screenshot off Google Images of these super computers. They look like servers because they are servers. 100 servers running the same program can act as one server capable of massive bandwidth. There might be 10 64-bit Intel processors in those, huge machines. NEC and IBM also make 64-bit processors. NEC’s Earth Simulator has an 8 GHz processor with 4 terabytes of RAM! I know my computer is as powerful as the 1990’s world’s most powerful super computer. I know the consumer will have 8 GHz computers soon, but why the heck would someone need 4 terabytes of RAM? I only need 1/400th that to run my computer, and still be lightning fast in UT2004. I heard somewhere that if you knew where the super computers exact location and hacked into one, the FBI would find you and shoot you. I don’t know if that’s true or not.

Today I’ve trying to play Metal Gear Solid - The Twin Snakes again without success. I had the cheat codes on and I got pass the door by stealth. I rather use my hand gun and kill those guys. The Gamecube version has Metal Gear Solid, and Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty in the same game, and includes extra content to help connect the two together. This was about 3 ½ hours. Then I logged into battlenet, and played Diablo 2 from 12:30 to 3:40PM. I leveled up my character, chatted with other players and talked about what the best weapons / armor is in the game. I asked some online Diablo 2 players when Diablo 3 is suppose to be released without success. I play without the map hack from Mouse Pad. Open battlenet is where everyone hacks their characters so that’s not as fun. I tried it out and there are a lot of high level characters on their servers. And everyone wants to duel each other when their vitality is 99999999999999999999. That's not exactly legitable. At least no one makes a game trainer compatible with the 1.10 patch unless their hacked character was used in the v1.09 era of Diablo 2. I know they all use Shadow Master D2 character editor because I had a chance to ask a few of them. The easiest thing to say in times like these is saying, "Can you help me hack my character?" And some of them will tell you how they did theirs. I own the latest version of Shadow Master 0.87 which hacks .d2 files. I only use it when Bob comes over when we need a high level character fast. I don’t like my stats maxed out because that takes all the fun out of the game, plus the game strangely fights back, and raises enemy stats 100 fold. Dad brought home a 20 pack of DVDRs for me. I thanked him for those. I plan to compress more movies into DIVX, and save them on DVD. When my parents get a new DVD player, I’ll ask for one that can play DIVX movies. These DVD players are labeled with the DivX logo on the front, and they are around. The advantage of them is watching the DIVX movies I obtain from my cousin, David, and the ones I encode myself.

Top 5 Super Computer manufactures []

IBM = 44.8 %
Hewlett-Packard = 28.0%
Silicon Graphics = 4.8 %
Sun Microsystems = 3.0%
User-built = 2.8 %
Cray = 2.6 %
Dell = 2.6%
Other = 8.9%

Most Powerful Super Computers (updated this month )
1. NEC's Earth Simulator
2. California Digital's Thunder at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
3. Hewlett-Packard's ASCI Q at Los Alamos National Laboratory
4. IBM's Blue Gene/L DD1 prototype at the Thomas Watson Research Center
5. Dell's Tungsten at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications
6. Two IBM Power4-based clusters at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts' High Performance Computing Facility
7. Fujitsu's Super Combined Cluster at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, also known as Riken
8. IBM's Blue Gene/L DD2 prototype at the Thomas Watson Research Center
9. HP's Itanium-based cluster at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
10. Dawning's 4000A at Shanghai Supercomputer Center

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Had dream similar to ICO | Bought 3rd Dreamcast

Howdy, from Western Wisconsin, USA. Today was very ordinary day. I didn’t go anywhere today, since there was no where to go, except to a movie theater….but I wasn’t interested in seeing a movie alone. It wasn’t always like this….yesterday, I got a new Saturn analog controller (really hard to find) for my Saturn(s). Yesterday I was playing Rallisport Challenge and Ikaruga (nice shoot ‘em up for Gamecube.) The game is much harder than my experience level so I had the infinite lives cheat on. Some gamers call it the official sequel to the Saturn exclusive game, Reliant Silvergun. Good game though! I tried using my MP3 player to encode the music on it. I talked to the people at the game store and we’ve talked a lot about Mega Man. Actually it was just some small talk. I was interrupted everything a new ‘customer’ came in. I didn’t have a good feeling about staying around and left. You know this one 21 year old (a customer), skinny and very talkative. I didn’t like him. It seemed he was wondering about my intelligence, and I didn’t want to say anything to him. People get this feeling that gamers aren’t very bright or if they are, they’re “videogame smart.” He was a little shy towards me, and he asked the first question about Mega Man. I only said I had Mega Man 2, but of course, I didn’t want anyone to know that I have all the cartridge based Mega Mans on disc (NES, SNES, GB, GBA) including the Mega Man Zero (GBA) Hehehe. I use Virtual Boy Advance 1.7.2 for my Gameboy Advance games. So in a way I felt that there was no need to buy a NES and SNES for this reason. As I spoke earlier, I’d picked up 3 games for each of them. I was hesitant to pay for one when I played all those games on the computer any time I chose to. I’m waiting to own a Zodiac for this very reason. I have over 150 NES ROMs, and 50 SNES ROMs and 30 Genesis ROMs. I don’t play SNK Neo Geo, Atari 2600 or Sega Masters System.

I had this very odd dream while sleeping last night I want everyone here to know about. I went to bed around 10:30pm. I was in a building much like the trade center underground. I was sentenced there for stealing money out of my Dad’s billfold. I was given one key to open one door to bypass a keypad. I would only survive if I made it out of the bunker alive. I had 8 hours to get out of the bunker and the walls slowly caved in. There were people I use to know in high school also there, and it was my choice whether to join forces with them to get out the maze or not because they could always be wrong. I decided to go solo because my way of thinking was I had no time for disagreement. Those other people could be more right than the “route” I was taking. The whole building had a lot of halls with closed doors, some locked, and some not locked. Some door locked with even with keypads. The keypads would get me closer to the exit. To unlock those doors I had to remember the numbers on the doors that I opened, and arrange them in the correct order to open the lock. It was impossible to get the password before the building closed so I ignored them. I did make it out though, there was an exit in a long hallway and I had to make it out before I got completely swished, I had to leave two people behind who I knew. I woke up and the time was 7:30am. Wasn’t that weird, I think my dream was a version of the Playstation 2 game, ICO. Sony is making a sequel to ICO called NICO, but no one knows when it’s being released.

Since its Father’s Day today, my dad is taking me out golfing. We’re only going to be on the driving range. My dad owns his own financial business so he gets a lot of invites from clients to go golfing. He does some nice things like go golfing to raise money for the Courage Center in Hudson to help physically disabled kids. He says he does have some above average shots in although he can do about average in his game. Never mentioned golfing any time before I became a member at Modblog, believe this is the first time. I still feel it’s a sportsman sport. Did you know golf was invented in Scotland? I hear the British are golf crazy! Soccer and golf both!

[3:30 PM the same day] I got back from the driving range with a blister (go figure). Dad does above par in most of his runs, but he does know what the stance is. He shows me what the stance is. After I got a blister, he and I putted the ball. I was putting on the 9th hole instead of the putting green. I hit the ball way too hard. I find it much easier to hit the ball when looking at the stake instead of the golf ball. I was really angry at the ball. It turned out as a bad golf day. A lot of crazed golfers were over there. Can’t argue with them because they know the game more than I do and joke about amongst each other. I hate that.

Hot Shots Golf 3 is one of the premiere PS2 games over seas! You know there are about 10 golf courses within a 30 mile radius from our house? Two in Roberts, WI township, 3 in Hudson’s surrounding area, 1 in Hammond, WI, 2 in New Richmond, WI township, 3 in Stillwater, MN township, 1 somewhere in Somerset, WI.

On Thursday I saw Bob’s apartment. It was small with a Kitchen, Bedroom, bathroom and living room. The guy next door had this rock music really loud. Bob was fixing us tacos first and while he paused Final Fantasy X on Playstation 2. I couldn’t play any of his games since he wanted to find a ‘save sphere’ to save his game. I really wanted to help him since I wanted to show him my knowledge about it. He’s at the crystal forest place right after the water kissing scene with Tidus and Yuna on the butterfly quest. I remember quitting the butterfly quest because it was too difficult. I like Final Fantasy, there was always something to do. Then we played Road Kill. I got beat by Bob, but I DID beat his younger sister. It wasn’t a particularly good at this game control wise. I didn’t say anything because he kept falling in the water. Road Kill was actually a rip off of Twisted Metal. I said this to him too. After Bob slowed me Hot Shots Golf 3, I wanted keep playing this game well into 9PM, but I couldn’t, I had to go home. I heard of Hot Shots Golf on the Playstation. It plays a lot like Mario Golf. The game automatically lines you up with the hole on the green, all I had to do is click X twice on the Dual Shock II, and press X again at the little square which determines how far the golf ball will go. I got a lot better as time went on, and actually won a game against a girl golfer in the game. In the game the women tend to make more mistakes than guys do. At first it didn’t look so good.

I gave Bob the Lord of the Rings - Return of the King in DivX. He was surprised I gave him it. Usually we don’t just give up CDRs unless it has a lot of important data like MP3s on it. His girl friend, Angie, wasn’t home, so I actually got Bob’s attention most of the time. Bob feels he has to pay attention to Angie when she’s home because she’ll come in the same room for Bob, and speak to him. I was friends with Bob for 7 years and now he has a girl friend that wants his attention most of the time. Bob and Angie are keeping secrets from me, although I know it’s none of my business to find out what. Bob might be reading this so I dare not speculate. I know you’re reading this Bob – buddy! But than again, Bob and Angie do live together. I don’t live with Bob except for those times we bunked together at scout camps in the day. They both like heavy metal like Godsmack together. I find that Bob likes me for who I am and plays games that I want him to play with me. He also listens to what I have to say. We where talking about old movies like Alfred Hitchcock movies. Old westerns that include Clint Eastwood (Man with No name, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, The Unforgiven) John Wayne (True Grit, Up to Alaska, Rooster Cogburn, The Searchers, The Train Robbers, The Alamo, Sons of Katie Elder, and The Shootist), Gregory Peck (The Bravados), and Jimmy Stewart (The Man who shot Liberty Valiant, How the West was Won) He didn’t know what I was talking about half the time, so I felt he was trying to picture it the way I was picturing it. He really doesn’t like Westerns, but that’s because he never watched any. I left later that night. Bob and I may do something today after I go out to the driving range with Dad. Bob said he’s going to pay his neighbor money for a part of a T1 line through a WI-FI adapter hooked up to his computer. They can share internet this way. I told him about the free TV service is hosting which enables Mpeg 4 streams to be watched on Winamp. He found that interesting. Bob doesn’t even own a phone so the only way I can contact him is on his cell phone.
er. I hate that.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

I had my Saturn emulator running Daytona USA!!!

If this is your very first time to my site – than I welcome you, if not, I still welcome you! I went to the game store yesterday to see if Baldur’s Gate Deadly Alliance 2 was still there. It’s one of the best used game on the shelf at the time…of course it’s not there! I saw it a week before and someone picked it up since then. Before I go to this store, I read some reviews off IGN, my most trusting place to go for the latest reviews. Sure beats paying for Game Informer. For SNES and Saturn it’s a bit more difficult to find a decent review. For Saturn games I always go to Dave’s Sega Saturn Page for the best reviews. Screenshots are always nice to see. I pay of not told you this, but I actually dislike Saturn a lot for the lack of great titles that I know so well on the Playstation. There are a few exceptions (only 2 or 3 outstanding games for it) deleted their Saturn section in 2001, so I haven’t had very good resources on the web on Saturn lately. I want the same games everyone else wants (rare titles). The games that’ll go up in value because they are rare finds anywhere. I probably won’t play them. I have this bad habit of collecting games without playing them. In fact, in another entry, I list all my games, which will soon pass 300 titles. One is Panzer Dragoon Saga, the RPG based game from the Panzer Dragoon franchise. Radiant Silvergun (shoot ‘em up exclusive for Saturn) and the all 3 imports of the Shining Force III saga. I would like to download an ISO image off a pear / pear unity when I get the chance. I like in-depth reviews that are 1000 words long at least. Sure, someone can like a game and write about it, but if they don’t describe it well enough, I just go to another reviewing site without much thought. makes it easy for me in this way. I have a low acceptance level when it comes to used games, a game must be very good to excellent for me to buy it. Enter the Matrix is a great example of what not to buy. I thought of buying it with my PS2 when the game had a lot of popularity, but 6 months after I never hear about it. I heard the gameplay wasn’t really good which ended up making the game overly difficult, not to mention the camera angles hurt the game. This year has a fair share of games with bad camera systems. I was ready to buy Dino Crisis 3 because it took full advantage of Xbox hardware with it’s above average dynamic lighting and high quality artwork, etc….but than I read TechTVs review of Dino Crisis 3, and the article said the camera angles were so bad that it brought the graphically beautiful game to a screeching halt! (Where’s the Dinosaurs? I can’t see ‘em cause of them damn camera angles! Damn, I died again for the 187th time!) Case and point graphics aren’t everything. The key paragraph I look for in a game is the gameplay score at the bottom of reviews.

The guy I knew must have gone to Japan already, he said he would. The girl there was really nice about getting the games I wanted. Most of the old games are behind the desk so it is hard to see them; I often ask the clerk what they have. She asked me what games I wanted next time I come. I don’t know what her name was (didn’t ask in fear that she’ll take it negatively so I refer most people by “you”) so she’ll go around in the Woodbury, MN store picking up games that I like to buy and make it much easier for me. I gave her some games to look for including these: Panzer Dragoon II Zewi, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Grandia, Mega Man X 2, and Mega Man X 3, Radiant Silvergun. I’ve been playing 5 hours of Panzer Dragoon Orta for Xbox and it plays well. Easily one of Sega’s better titles on any console right now. Super Monkey Ball for the Nintendo Gamecube is a surprisingly good game, it was one of the only puzzle games I own now and the graphics looked better than 90% of Gamecube launch titles. It was also Sega’s first Nintendo title. I have Panzer Dragoon I and II for Saturn and I am looking hard, high and low, for Panzer Dragoon Saga. I’m hoping once Saturone plays games, I can stick in NiGHTS or Panzer Dragoon in the CD-ROM, and play it on the computer with a game pad. It is impossible to play NiGHTs, and enjoy it without an analog controller. I remember trying to play it on the regular Saturn controller. It played awful. How did Tomb Raider fans feel when the Playstation still had a D-Pad? In fact, the analog controller for Saturn is referred as the NiGHTs controller. Have you heard of these crazy unities that let you use Playstation controller with other consoles? Yes it is true that the majority of gamers like PS Dual Shock IIs the most so why not use it with your Xbox! wrote an article on an adapter called the “Magic Box” which allows you to do this. I really would like Sonic Team to make another NiGHTs game in the next five years. NiGHTs was the first fully polygonal action game for Sega Saturn, and it would be nice to have a sequel running in high resolution.

I never thought about inserting Saturn games into Dreamcast. Dreamcast will not play Saturn games, but strangely you can listen to music on a Saturn disc with Dreamcast’s audio player.

[June 16, 2004 8:03AM] I stayed up all night trying to figure out this emulator. The first working Sega Saturn emulator, SSF v0.07 RC10, runs Daytona USA, but still has issues running the game and runs slowly. I was running the latest build on my very powerful Pentium 4, but instead it runs on my Custom PC which is a little confusing to me. My custom PC is 1.2 GHz slower, but it has a Geforce 4 FX 5600. The first game that played was Daytona USA and without sound. It plays the game with a lot of missing frames, for example the sky is missing. I spent all last night looking for this thing the emulator calls a ST-V bios without luck! Darn! I’ll keep looking though.

I also downloaded another emulator called Saturone 1.1p, and for some odd reason WinXP Pro won’t allow my emulator to read MSVCP70.dll (a Microsoft runtime file) required to run all the plugins. I’m positive that if I reinstall Windows XP, this problem will go away. I would loose all my software though and the Windows XP installation process would destroy my Linux partitions. I found out that one great thing about Windows 2000 was that it didn’t delete present operating systems already on the hard drive. Than again that was the only good thing about it.

Leading Saturn Emulators:

Satourne Homepage
SSF Homepage

System Requirements for Satourne and SSF

Windows 98SE
Direct X 8.0 or better
CPU at 2.0 GHz
Geforce FX 5200 64 MB
256 MB of RAM (at least)

My configuration

Athlon XP 2600 clocked at 2.1 GHz
Windows XP PRO Service Pack 1
Direct X 9.0a
786 MB of RAM
Geforce FX 5600 256 MB DRR

Here are the games that I found will run on SSF

1. Daytona USA

I guess I haven’t thought about Saturn games running on the Dreamcast. Dreamcast clearly does not play Sega Saturn games, however it did play Saturn CD audio in it’s audio player. I wonder if somebody will port a Saturn emulator for Chankast 0.2a? If you haven’t known, it is a Dreamcast emulator that plays games, only ISOs though.

Front Headlines “DIVX codec package installs bug on computer”

Today went well until I tried to install a codec package with DIVX 5.1.1 on my custom PC, but the package suddenly stopped installing and an error came up so I restarted my computer. It kept rebooting in the middle of the Windows XP loading screen after the error showed. I had an older version of DIVx on this particular computer, but I wanted to install this newer codec package which forced me to repair the file system with the WINXP Pro installation CD. That sucks. Some computers shutdown when the processor gets at a certain temperature, but I wasn’t doing any software intensive work. Today I’m ripping Return of the King for Bob. The problem of using Alcohol 120% to copy the movie to an ISO image, and burn it back on a blank DVD is that the original is using the new duel layer DVD format. Of course, I also have DVD X Copy on my computer so - hehe - I can shrink the image down to under 4.5 GB, and play it on a normal DVD player. I don’t think I want to do this. One day when I get cable Internet (if that ever happens), Bob and I will be able to trade movies over a pear network and smaller files are the only way to do this. Well no, I asked Bob if he would invest his hard earned money into a 70 dollar DVDRW burner, and he won’t do it. He is not a computer geek, I sort of am so how we spend our money is different. He asks me why he needs a DVD burner and I keep telling him to get rid of hard drive space on his small computer. What to know what his answer was to that? He says he likes all his MP3 collection and other stuff on his relatively small 30 Gigabyte hard drive. Looking at his room, he has all his games and software in a drawer bunched up together. I already lost one CD because he couldn’t find it in his mess. He also has a lot less software then I do. Five years ago it was the other way around, but whatever. He wants to get an external hard drive when he can pay for one. Some people like everything on their hard drive. I don’t know why. I learned from experience that something will go wrong with the operating system like viruses or hardware failure, the files will get deleted. When that happens, that Bob will get really angry at it. So I find that regular backups of music collections, movie collections and valuable downloads (like console bios) should be backup on CD-ROM monthly. So when something does go wrong - it’s no big deal. Getting back on topic, the big question is whether or not I should copy a movie onto DVD or to copy the movie on a super DVD (aka movie compressed in DIVX) Unlike me, I don’t think bob will leave his computer running over night encoding movies in MPEG4….he’ll just let me borrow them. I want his Monty Python Holly Grail and Mortal Kombat movies. I found out that I can put 4 or 5 movies on DVDR if they’re compressed in DivX. When ever I listen to the coconut song or Knights of Ni or the killer rabbit scene, it makes me crack a smile!

Software Picks of the Day

1. 1Click DVD Ripper 2.03 – - rips and encodes movies in DIVX on the fly. No longer do you need to rip VOBs to 7 GB of hard drive space and than another 1.3 GB for the compressed file. Save lots space with this unity.
2. Divx player & latest codec (5.1.1) -
3. Mozilla Firefox 0.9 –http://www.mozilla.o...FirefoxSetup-0.9.exe - a preview of Mozilla 2.0 (next generation browser ???)

Friday, June 11, 2004

Probation stinks ...

Today is a big day and it’s Friday, than the weekend. After 2 weeks I may see Bob again. He may have already moved to this new apartment! It probably won’t look very good, but he lived in a small house, so his apartment at least has to be the same size. He says it has a pool.

I have to convince my school I can go back to school, even under probation, I can make the grade at school. Dad and I had a long talk about staying in school. I haven’t done very well last semester. I did pass my classes though, but wasn’t enough in the school’s opinion. He once thought I was in denial since I “denied” the fact that I wasn’t making the grade. The school's dean put me on probation because in their view I didn’t want help therefore I didn’t want to be there. That is untrue. Most of the time, this is the reason for probation. I’ve been asked this question many times before, and I learned it’s better to admit you’re in denial. I knew if I didn’t, I would just yet into a complex loop of lies. At first, he didn’t believe me when I told him that I was paying attention to whatever was said at school. I never was talking to anyone during class 95% of the time, therefore I was listening and doing most of the assignments during class. College is going to almost guarantee me a job with good pay, so staying in school will be a good idea. I like to be a technician as my career, and I don’t really like Cisco. I don’t think anyone does…. I hope that I’ll do well on my final chance to do great. I plan to do the writing questions after the review questions in each chapter in the Cisco book during the summer so I’m not behind during the year. It’s better to be safe than not – in case I get stumped in Cisco. I had a taste last year in Cisco1, and the course is entirely at reading and doing the tests online. It’s the 21st century way for big corporations to have proof that a particular student is succeeding or doing poorly. Cisco handbooks are hard to understand anyways, although reading is understanding, right? I started to get ahead of myself and pondered how it was a conspiracy against me in my head. Speaking your thoughts out loud can be dangerous. So after a night of pondering….I concluded conspiracies are more trouble than their worth so I stopped thinking of this nonsense, and paranoia and started thinking of how I can ensure success over there. Had this never happened, I wouldn’t have gone through the grief of having dad telling me to get a job instead or stay in school. I was a nice student, hardly ever rude, and asked a lot of questions. So it wouldn’t be a conspiracy. I also had a habit at handing my work in late in both classes.

The top blog on the Modblog talked about how CISCO deals with hackers….and it just so happens that I am apart of that small group that takes CISCO classes though-out the Fall – Spring schedule at WITC. How do you think I feel about hackers? It is true that many businesses buy CISCO routers for the sake of having the most sound hacker proof router out there. Truth is any router or switch board can be hacked, Cisco just follows the rules of IEEE more closely than most. This little routers and switch boards have their own firewall to block alien data from entering. I like to use alien data because it sounds cool not that people use “alien data” as a technical term. Businesses are also coming to Cisco because the networking giant guarantees Gigabit bandwidth luxuries all the time. All the government buildings stick with CISCO because they fear they won’t get high quality support from other vendors, Hewitt Packard is an example. Time is Data, therefore data is money. I’m going for the A++ certification at school. A++ is 2 grades lower than the Cisco certification, but I’ll still receive a good salary in the end. If you have CISCO certification than you achieved the Doctorate of Networking and everyone will want you working for them. In A++, you can take the test for free, and can re-take the test for better competing scores as long as you pay extra for them. Hopefully half of those employers who want CISCO certification employees also want a few A++ certification employees. Hoping that’s the case.

I like to say I love my account. The only junk email I got in my account is from those Tigerdirect spammers and the Nintendo Webring I signed up over a year ago. They keep sending me news I don’t want. I unsubscribed to it and they wouldn’t stop sending me emails. When ever some gamer puts in a comment it is sent to everyone’s email address. MSN messenger is great, never had spam on it, ever. Only one bad thing that MSN messenger doesn’t have is an option to receive offline messages. I use Trillian so I have my AIM, ICQ and MSN accounts online whenever I’m on. I also have X-Fire, that’s not my primary account.

My cousin, David, is in Japan somewhere now. He’s getting Internet sometime, so I’ll speak to him soon. I wouldn’t be surprise if he learns to speak fluid Japanese while he’s there. I never picked up a second language myself. His cell number is out of service, must have been a domestic only cell phone number? That sucks! He says Japan is 6 hours ahead of our time so I’ll have to wake up at 1pm to talk to him. That’s disappointing. Two weeks ago he mentioned that he’s probably going to log onto Diablo 2 there soon. He didn’t call me this week yet. I wonder if he lost interest in me? I want that Panasonic Q console. It is a Gamecube / DVD player hybrid. If Nintendo still sells that in Japan - that would be very cool or the PSX (PS2 / DVD burner hybrid). Both of these consoles are rare in the USA, but than again I have two DVD burners. So if you wanted to record TV shows onto DVD than that would give you that option. Hearing how much PS2 breaks down after usage, I wonder how the PSX will hold up. Don’t get this confused with the abbreviations PSX meaning Playstation versions 1 and 2. PSone is version 3 of Playstation. The first Playstation released in 1994 had an expansion port for the GameShark or similar port. As Sony decided that there is no need for it, the Playstation version 2 came out without the extra port. This helped drive the price down. The PSone is about half the size as the PS version 2, and was released in 1999 bringing Playstation to 99 dollars.

I beat Star Trek Elite Force II…it was fun, a little short. It’s funny, the aliens act human. The blue guy is very funny. Fighting the Romaneons was strange, I thought they were on our side. Maybe they were renegade Romaneons? I’m thinking I’m going back to play Diablo 2 as my primary choice just because it’s online and the game is so addicting. I read somewhere that the game is unbalanced in gameplay, but after playing it for years, I realized that it’s not the unbalanced gameplay, it’s the straight forward hack ‘n slash gameplay that never gets old. I have friends on Xfire that play Diablo 2, and I like to meet up with them. It feels like I’m getting something accomplished there. With Mountain Dew by my keyboard and Winamp playing my favorite playlist, I am ready for battle. My account could also be used in Warcraft III, but I’m not a big Warcraft fan. The battles are too short and I dislike the Player vs. Player aspect. That’s one of the reasons I played Neverwinter Nights last year. I thought I could fight hordes of enemies in dungeons. My friend, Bob, hates Diablo 2, so he’ll never play it. My cousin, Brian, is in love with Diablo 2. I never play him though. He plays on US East, I play on US West on Battlenet.

Freeware Pick of the Day

Xfire 0.14 – – A gaming chat client that automatically loads and connects to the server another player is using. It shows that a buddy/friend is playing a particular game. The client has not yet included popular instant messengers like MSN, ICQ and Yahoo. I have a feeling that it will incorporate them as new releases come available.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

I installed 1 more GByte stick in my PC today!

Hello once again. I got another Gigabyte of dual channel RAM, and eventually I installed it! The “Ultra 1 Gigabyte PC2700” came in the mail today all the way from Tigerdirect, Florida for $250. There is a smaller difference than when I went from 256-MB to 786 MB on my custom PC, which drastically increased by performance for games. From my gaming experience my custom pc can do Unreal Tournament 2004 at 1200x912 32-bit colors at 66 frames per second. I have a 256-bit Geforce 4, and with one of ‘em laser mice….I don’t have enough room on my desk to use it so I use it on a book in the top drawer. My way of thinking is reuse the older monitors so I have more desktop performance money. I was seriously thinking of getting a 17” LCD screen, but for that amount you can get a regular 21” monitor at a nicer resolution. Of course, my Dell is faster than my custom PC. My custom PC is 1.2 GHz slower than my Dell, and with a lot less RAM. Okay, in terms of UT2004, you know how the game maps take about 14 seconds to load? It takes about 8 seconds now. The graphics of course are lossness. My computer now does 59 frames per second on average at 1600x1200 res. I can’t tell very well, but it looks as if it’s running 60 frames. So the loading times have been cut in half because I put in another gigabyte of RAM. This is really nice, right! I have tried Unreal Tournament, and it runs very fast - maybe 200 frames per second. The graphics quality is over clocked, and it’s running at maximum resolution. Every game loads quicker than with 1 GB as if 1 GB weren’t enough already. What is there to say? Benchmarking is difficult when comparing 1024 MB to 2048 MB. It’s like comparing a 27” TV with a 31” TV, not that much difference except for the price. Except if you are the die-hard gamer who needs the best performance possible…no one needs more than one gigabyte of RAM to run today’s programs / games. It’s just very cool if you do eventually put that amount in your PC.

I went to WITC, although I was under probation, and downloaded the much needed America’s Army patch. I downloaded some Unreal Tournament 2004 maps at I might add more maps tonight and play them, not online because of my very, very, low ping. So I play against the computer….which isn’t bad….it’s just not as fun. I don’t mine Onslaught, but I prefer Team Deathmatch myself. Team Deathmatch is best because I like players on my team. Capture the Flag is cool too, but it doesn’t have the oomph of Team Deathmatch or Onslaught. UT2004 can also play UT2003 maps, I only have a few I downloaded off the Internet. They aren’t the originals. This guy booted me out of the room, and he said, “Dude, move to a different room.” Then I went through an unlocked door into a next room to get on the Internet (cause the room I was in wasn’t hooked up), he saw me and said, “Dude, you can’t be in this room. You must be in the room I told you to be in!” I mean I dislike being called ‘dude’ from someone who I don’t know. I do take it as a friendly jester for the most part. I don’t plan to come back until school starts again. I feel great about being let back in school yet I also feel like I’m going to mess up somehow, and the year hasn’t started yet. This is a normal feeling for most people.

For half of the day I had really nothing to do so I opened UnrealEdit 3.0, and I experimented with the tool bar. Right now it looks like a grid so I tried dragging stairways and walls to it. Anyways this is the 2nd or 3rd time I worked with this, and so far I learned how to use the SHIFT, and mouse to move around the 3D grid. I don’t know how to ‘paint’ my map. I know how to add ogg vorbis to my map. Yay! I have this wire-frame map with music. Yay! about boring stuff….learning this program couldn’t be more boring. If it takes longer than 3 days to get this, than I’m going to go back to play the game, not make maps. Surfing the Internet or playing Unreal Tournament 2004 is much more fun. I say that to myself a lot so I don’t forget. It seems that most games that come out including first person shooters or RPGs come with their own map editor. The Neverwinter Nights map editor could quite possibly be the easiest map editor I’ve played with. All the objects and characters were loaded on screen. The editor automatically generates a random map or I can modify one just by dragging pieces of land from the toolbar onto the 3D map. Building a map works a lot like the toolbar in Simcity 2000/3000/4. All the games have an option to import MP3s into their editor.

Doom 3 Release Date announced

I like to again thank those who come to my webpage on a regular bases. I don’t always talk about games as you can see. iD Software confirmed that September 15, 2004 will be the official release date for Doom III in the USA. That’ll be nice. I hear that it will not have a big multiplayer although the mod community can make more Deathmatch & Capture the Flag maps and some much needed multiplayer enhancements not in the retail version. I read off that the multiplayer aspect of Doom 3 will be very basic.

I am getting into the alien / space exploration / weird science stuff. Besides Planetary Radio, I heard about this radio station that streams audio over the Internet at It’s about weird news such as space exploration, and odd alien sightings. This Coast to Coast AM can’t be any weirder than Planetary Radio. The talk show hosts on that talk about some crazy space phonation stuff at times. To listen to the broadcast free go to this site, and listen to it every weekday at 12:00AM Central Standard Time.

Also download Quintessential Player [], and stream in this Californian station to listen to Coast to Coast AM or go to bed while ripping it to your hard drive using its unique MP3 ripping feature. The stream and the program are free.

Most Ridiculous News of the Day, “10 year anniversary of unrevealing of Roswell.” I watched the movie, “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” It was about marions which reminded me about Roswell. In 1959, a Marion escaped from Area 51 (a top secret government facility by Rachel, Nevada to return to ‘his’ home world before ‘we’ caught ‘him’. The other Marion was killed, and brought back to Area 51 whose body chemistry was examined (as you see in the movie Independence Day). The Army later sealed off an area in Mexico where “a sphere” containing space technology was taken back to some faulty also to be studied. This incident was called Roswell Incident (Roswell for short). The government classified the activity as weather balloons recover exercise. After all they don’t exist. Remember - in 1959 - no one had satellites burning up in Earth’s atmosphere because they weren’t invented yet except for maybe Soviet Union’s Sputnik satellite. The first time I heard about it was when I watched the cartoon show, “The New Adventures of Johnny Quest” which had an episode on Roswell 8 years ago when it first appeared on Cartoon Network. After all, there are no such things as aliens. I watched the whole mini-series of “They” on the SciFi channel, and the series had their own version of Roswell. It was directed by Steven Steilberg, the same director of “Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind”. Just remember there isn’t any such thing as marions until we have proof of them. And don’t think of connecting the Face of Mars with ancient alien technology because if you believe in that sort thing than watch the movie, “Mission to Mars.” To read the official unclassified Roswell report, go to

Information on Area 51 (Fun Links)


Home Movies on SVCD or DVD?

Welcome back to my humble site! I have to say congratulations to myself because when someone types in “Ian’s Blog” in the search bar, I am the 15th listing. Having such a great place on the Internet excites me. Renegade Viking has the #1 spot on both Yahoo and Google search engines, type in "Renegade Viking's Webpage" in the text box. This wasn’t the first time I got noticed by the big search engines, when I was formally known as Hoppymister, Spidey, and Nightwalker, they all had Google / Yahoo listings too. Red Dragon Productions was a nice site until I deleted it. I had Dreamcast, N64, Gamecube, and Saturn reviews on it. I tried reviving it, but it’ll never seem to gather as many hits as it did in 2000 – 2001. I had 20 hits a day then, the graphics weren’t too horribly out of date as one would except from neglect over time. RDP had custom graphics with a dragon, a nice link menu and background. I wasn’t smart and deleted it else I would give a hyperlink to everyone. The whole site originally was on a couple of floppy disks although somehow they don’t exist anymore. If I remember right, the disks got corrupted from constant use.

I did two recreations of Red Dragon Productions after the old Geocities site got deleted. They aren’t updated however.


I know, I am really not supposed to talk to strangers at the videogame store, but I talked to the clerk there yesterday. He always cuts me 10 dollars off of my buy since I am one of the stores best customers. Are you surprised? No really - are you? I spent 80 dollars, and received six games in return. I spent 2 hours there just trying to confirm my decision. After all it is my money. I knew I was going to get Panzer Dragoon Orta for Xbox. I have Panzer Dragoon I and II for Sega Saturn. Never played either of them, both discs are in excellent condition thanks to resurfacing at the game store. As for my Saturn…it’s in very good condition. I bought 3 PSX games, and got Ridge Racer as a bonus. I know it’s an old game…it is a free game, that’s the beauty of it. Ridge Racer was one of the launch titles for the Playstation. When the development team tried making Ridge Racer Type 4 run at 60 frames per second instead of 30 FPS, proved too expensive, they used that technology for Ridge Racer so it wasn’t wasted. Ridge Racer became the only racing game that could run at 60 FPS on PSX. If you look closely the interface in Ridge Racer looks a lot like racing games in the 16-bit generation. Namco tried saying that Ridge Racer ran in “high resolution.” Ha! High resolution to what? Super Mario Kart or F-Zero? Anyhow, I was playing R4: Ridge Racer Type 4, and I got passed the first and second circuits on the first try. That says a lot about my driving skills, huh? I like the music in this game. It has a certain jazzy beat to it, which I like to drive too. Who says good music doesn’t help you win races? It is true! It’s much better than that “Garbage – I think I’m Paranoid” tune we hear over and over in Gran Turismo 2. gave GT 2 a 9.3 out of 10. Gran Turismo 3 - A Spec had over 50 songs. Last game I got was Conker’s Bad Fur Day. The truth of it was I couldn’t buy Orge Battle 64 at the game store so I bought Conker’s Bad Fur Day instead. Microsoft bought Rareware, the famous Nintendo developer, for 133 million dollars. *Snuffle* Ah, who cares, I own an Xbox, I’ll get “Conker Live and Uncut.” A note on says that the Conker demo at E3 was drop dead gorgeous! I looked at the screenshots, and it did look like Conker was much fuzzier than the N64 game. Maybe with some luck, Microsoft will publish Perfect Dark 2 for both Xbox and Windows? Some rumors on the Internet that Microsoft plans to buy Capcom next. With out certainly. The software giant certainly has the money, although Capcom also has to agree to it too. It’s not how much money Capcom is worth, it’s how much profit Microsoft can make after Capcom sells stock to them. Microsoft can easily make up the deficit by selling more Windows XP Upgrade CDs. Plus, if this were the case, I think someone at Microsoft wants Onimusha 2, Onimusha 3: Demon Siege, and Resident Evil on Xbox very badly. [Note: Capcom put RE2 and RE3 on PC]

As for non-game related news today, I went to school earlier this week to download Ulead Video Studio 8, I’m sure there are better, but none that will let me download a trial version. I want to film the Internet and edit it and show my Internet short film on TV from a SVCD or if that’s not possible, a DVD. I would use DIVX to compress the video except the DVD player we own won’t support DIVx only MPEG 2, so I’m out of luck. This isn’t the first time I made a home movie. I edited a VHS tape with Apple iMovie on the new ambulance building in River Falls, WI. I volunteered to make a short-film quality video last year in 12th grade. I edited out where the camera shook, deleting the blurry camera shots, and some unneeded talking until it was downsized as much as I thought it should have been. I wanted to do voiceovers, but that would take more time, and I couldn’t find a microphone to speak into. I could have brought one from home, but I didn’t to have done that. I put the edited stuff back on VHS tape via 'digital to analog video in' adapter (hub). And guess what? They wanted me to edit it more and make it even shorter. I said, “No!” Most of the time I was willing to help others computer problems all except for the typing, I was against typing for others. There was someone else at school, whose computer skills wasn’t really known (known to his buddies in secret), and this guy gave me the creeps in 12th grade. He knew everything I knew and he wasn’t going to college for it. He gave me a creepy yet strange erg to speak to him about Linux. I found out he knew a bit about Red Hat. I ignored my feelings about his creepiness and tried to be friendly with him for once and share a few pointers, but he barely spoke a word to me at school. Could it be that he was hinting that he hacked into stuff regularly? I stopped seeing him after high school ended.

At the end there was a celebration party, and Dr. Mottaz (our school coordinator) was there. As part of my job as an intern at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls - I had to make a film, I chose my Caribbean cruise, and ported it to DVD via Apple iDVD to verify that the DVD-RW worked in their burning room. The first working copy of my edited movie I kept for myself. I could tell that the compression wasn’t very good since looked on the flip side and 7/10s of the DVD disc was a dark shade, the movie was only 50 minutes long! I want to know how someone can compress Lord of the Rings Return of the King, a three hour movie with MPEGII on DVD? What technique does the movie industry use? Theoretically the movie would run out of space, but it didn’t. I also heard of this 9.4GB DVD format? The industry calls these DVD-9s and I just found out about it today. I haven’t seen 9.4 GB DVDR packs at Wal-mart, that’s probably why. I mean Wal-mart doesn't sell them at all. Anyways to get back on topic here, I also managed to make 15 minute short film of myself complete with dialog, background music, and a DVD title screen. I really didn’t have a clue what I was talking about…just said anything for a long time, and I added that to the same DVD which I gave to the school. I can try to make a DIVX compression version of MPEG 2, but MPEG4 codec can’t encode MPEG2 versions, for the same reason MP4 ACC audio can’t be used to help encode MP3. The new DVD players on the market support Divx. If the text is somewhat readable on TV, that’s all I care about. In my first Internet based home video, I plan to have voice-overs, and maybe even music playing in the background…. I have audio software saved on CD for that sort of thing. It would be nice if I only spend 5 hours to create a decent quality video on the Internet, to show people, edit it, add music and copy it to SVCD or DVD.

I spent some time using Ulead Video Studio 8.0 and its pretty good, very easy-to-use interface and simplified options. I can like go to the Window that compresses. Ulead also gave recommendations that I need. Ulead Video Studio 8 doesn’t have a MPEG II encoder either. I was currently searching sites off Google for some hints on where the plugin folder is. I haven’t tried adding Xing MPEG encoder with it yet - don't know which directory to put the files in? If anyone sure to let me know, okay? Real Interactive makes one of the best MPEG encoders available, or whatever compression polls on say it to be. I have heard very good news about Real's MP3 ACC audio encoder, Xing. There is also Xvid, but I don’t know how good this encoder is. I only know I can fit 30 minutes of high quality video about 440x440 resolution on SVCD (Super Video Compact Disc) with the default settings. I may have to compress what I have in High quality MPEG1, and than find a MPEG 2 encoder to burn to SVCD or DVD. I don't know whether or not SVCD supports MPEGII?

The first video I made was on a VCD and the video image is really, really small. The big deal about this is MPEG is nowhere near as compressed as MPEG2. I have movies like Family Guy, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Tombstone, and Tomb Raider on CDR thanks to DivX compression. The resolution is twice as large. People who like to rip DVDs do this sort of thing, I don’t. My first disc worked playing the 35 minute short film on TV, put the sound cut out in the last 15 minutes. The video was really small, I couldn’t see anything, not even the graphics - it was just a blurry image through-out the whole movie. I am going to have to burn on DVDR now, but before that I’ll have to make a new video sometime. I hate to use DVDs up. DVDs aren’t overly expensive, although I only would get a 10 pack of DVDRs for the same price of 50 pack of CDRs. Hmm - since 6 CDs = 1 DVD, I would get more MBs for the buck if I bought DVDs. I would even get more MB for the buck if I invested my dollars into a DVD-9 pack, if I found a vender that carries them. For someone who’s not ripping DVDs like me, DVDs are just an oversized option. When the time comes that I need something more than 700 MB, DVDs would be a real option. Right now I backup everything I download onto CD every month. Last month I made 6 hard drive cd backups which are uncommon for a modem user to do.

I’ve been drinking a lot of Mountain Dew lately. I take in about two 24 ounce bottles daily. Mt. Dew tastes really good, and is very hard to put down believe me. Does Mt. Dew slow your thinking process or speed it up? It must have speeded my IQ just a tad since my hand / eye coordination was better than without Mountain Dew. Good for games! I beat R4 Ridge Racer Type 4 in less than 2 hours on normal setting. This includes learning how to drive, which was easy for the most part if it wasn’t for the game’s only limitation, only 6 tracks to race on. And during it all, I was speaking to the game throughout the race.

I am going to school for Industrial Network technician, but I also know basic knowledge for other things such as game emulation, website building, desktop management, finding files quickly off the Internet, using Redhat Linux OS, exedra… It’s creepy to know someone who can figure out virtually any computer problem that accurse with networking, and just about everything else. Someone who knows a lot about how to make 10 different types of cable including cross over cable. I only know how to make 2 types right now (phone line cable and RJ-45.) The scary thought of talking to a fellow computer user who has little interest with the subject you’re suggesting, which seems to only amuse him anyways since he is much more knowledgeable about it than I am. There is always someone out there that knows more than I do. Most times I never really worry about it since I’m in my room surfing the Internet, and everyone’s really friendly in giving advice on a certain problem. Where message boards are plentiful and where comments on help sites are just as plentiful. On this blog, I am already giving advice on stuff all the time. I often wish the real world would work this way and it doesn’t. Making choices are much easier online than in the real world. The real world doesn’t have rating systems. I often wonder if people go online to get away from it all interacting with blogs and instant messengers. Interesting enough, my CISCO class is entirely online. CISCO reading material is updated weekly. Such as when I took CISCO I nearly a year ago, I found myself reading information I never really came across before in my life. Which is normal for most people, but I continued to read the words and memorize it on the online class, doing my best at it. In 9th grade, I was the first student ever to do a math online course in the entire school (back in 1999). I did fairly well on it. It’s like the math course in a sense, but with out the text messaging. It goes to show that text messaging along with online help is really an advantage to just reading material. If only Norton Netware would allow MSN messenger to log in at school, that would be very, very cool! I found out that AOL and Yahoo instant messengers still log on with Norton Netware running. Text messaging could be used as a cheating device at WITC. In fact college students are getting away with this type of cheating.

Joyce told students that Cisco is now at version 3.2 and that the version is entirely different from 2.4, making earlier classes invalid. This makes all the power point presentations I got from Phil last year, worthless. V3.2 involves a lot of rewriting of a lot of the information. Cisco does this to make students like me angry because it’s a lot of re-reading in a slightly different way. I have to take CISCO 1 and 2 anyways as part of my curriculum this fall. I may find that I’ll have to login to, and download the newest version, and try to decipher it before school starts on August 12th. That is if someone didn't find a rogue student and delete my old account!!!

I like to close this up saying that summer vacation so far has been fun. I’ve been entertained thus far, might as well be entertained a little longer. I’ll let everyone know now the Internet VCD turns out next time I write something. Bye!

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