Friday, April 29, 2005

My first Videogame burnout | Buying a new 5.25 megapixel camera for $140 | My life after the 4th semester of tech college

I am going through what the average gamer goes through I call a “videogame burn out.” It’s where there are so many choices of games and so little money to get them. I’m actually pulling my hair out finding the best game out now. I didn’t think I would be in this position. I’ve always been someone who avoided “videogame burnout.” The term comes from when an airplanes engine’s stall…they’ll “burn-out” and then you’re in deep trouble to get the afterburners to “ignite” so the plane has power. Same way with videogames, I am so use to buying 2 or 3 videogames every week that off weeks seem like burn out. I’m not financially in trouble or anything, but it’s true I only have $70 cash on hand with check book. I’m allowing my check balance pass $400 so I can afford an Xbox 360 on launch day and one launch title. I want an Xbox 360, and I can afford it if I make some tough decisions now which will cut down purchasing game software by 50%. This year I’ve already spent a good chuck of dollars on Playstation Portable and PStwo. This purchase of a digital camera will affect what I buy the rest of 2005. I’ve bought the PStwo to ensure I have something to play on until Playstation 3 is available. This is my walking around money remember, and doesn’t include money spent on housing or food. I’m thinking of making a birthday list with Xbox 360 at the top of the list. I’ve had my eye on the $140 Vivitar ViviCam 3935! The Vivicam 3935 comes with 4x digital zoom, packaged with USB cable and 32 MB SD media card. I have $90 already saved up for games, but buying a camera instead. I’ve got plenty of games to last a couple months. Needs $60 dollars more to afford the camera! The one I’m using now is 3.3 Mega pixel digital cam with 6x digital zoom, and I’ve gotten 2 ½ years ago. You can bet that my future JPEGs will look nicer. After I get the camera, I think I’ll show everybody my 3 DDR sticks in my Dimension XPS (2x Samsung 512 MB DRR Dual Channel 400 MHz + 1 GB DDR 400 MHz over-clocking stick = 2GB DDR 400 MHZ SDRAM .) I have all day to think it over. I also should mention that I downloaded another 120 MB of MP3s off Kazaa over dialup over two nights so I have 120 minutes of new music added to my HDD.

Midway Games released M rated first person shooter Area 51 today for PS2 and Xbox. It reveals the truth about the Area 51 that has become a talking legend in recent years of government conspiracies. The FMV looks extremely realistic of the President and General of the Army, General of the Airforce, Admiral of the Navy, etc making a speech at a digitalized carbon copy of Pentagon in D.C. much like that Pentagon scene in the movie, “Independence Day” (it’s a rip off of that movie in my opinion.) The FMV is about the fictional conspiracy that the US Government is hiding aliens (the blue Marian type) in the Nevada desert, and they want to take over, etc, etc, etc, and we will send Marines to Area 51 to fight to the death, etc, etc, etc. I’ll be interested in this game for sure. I’m also going to put off buying Stella Deus for a couple weeks so I can afford the Vivitar ViviCam 3935.

All this week has been slow going. I’ve normally been doing nothing in front of the PC these past 6 days looking a various game reviews and writing them as well. I recently wrote a review on Metroid (NES) and it’s remake, Metriod - Zero Mission. I feel that I have to update Catharton Electronica more because I’m needed there. I like games so that’s what there in the first place for…always keep that in mind. I was playing a little Final Fantasy Dawn of Souls. The action replay I put in the game keeps me from opening some chests so I can’t go to the next area. I haven’t played a RPG for over 2 months so I’m rusty on my Final Fantasy game play. To put simply I am dieing regularly…all part of the game. The Gamecube controller isn’t that great for playing GBA games and has been less than helpful to me thus far.

Randy came over to my house on Sunday. We played Extreme G 1 and 3. He remembers Extreme G long time ago, so we played a couple races in that. He won a couple which means my skills aren’t very good. I let him look at my cherished Playstation Portable. He said his sister was bickering about PSP the day before. I feel good now I have one. Then I played my flute, but not well. Afterwards, we went to Fleet Farm (a hardware warehouse) in Hudson, WI so he could pick up a $110 tool box for his used white Chevy pickup he paid $900 for. It was the cheapest model of tool box in stock. We would have gone to Game Stop if I wanted too, but instead we did something more local. He commented how it was the first stick-shift transmission he owned.

I may be in some deep shit in school because I didn’t pass the 2nd visual basic class. Life is hard I know, but I didn’t get through the chapter so now I need to do well in industrial networking classes…somehow perform some additional 50% in school. Life is way too short though…can not let it bother me even though it’s well beyond annoying. I’ve taken one programming course to test what it would be like to program for a living besides a lot of hard work The book was indeed confusing. My college may put me on a 3rd term of probation if I’m that lucky!

To be continued…..

Saturday, April 23, 2005

UNIX in the hitcounter

I'm not kidding when I say that 1% of my views are Linux, but 7% is UNIX.

My visitors (7%) are using PC-BSD which is harder to use WINE. The 1990s era UNIX was supposed to be more secure than same period Linux. Old UNIX was harder to crash than old Linux. MAC OS 10 has its own spot at 3%. BSD doesn't use crossover Pro. MAC OS 10 would use crossover pro. Crossover pro is a front end for WINE.

I still would go with openSUSE Linux, because of Crossover Linux Pro available.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Look at the small white streamlined Xbox 360! | Dell replaced my bad monitor for free | joined new gaming board

Supposedly this is the real Xbox 360. The white image is an Adobe Photoshop enhancement where Microsoft cleaned up the distortion for its debut internet graphic. Xbox 360 looks so 21st century compared to Xbox. The controller is made before Microsoft assigned a logo to Xbox 360. It’s been on the Internet since December and it said Xbox 360 on it which Microsoft should confirm next month. Xbox.IGN.com and Gameindustry.biz confirm this is the real deal.


official logo


That black thing below the removable hard drive is a infrared sensor for wireless X360 controllers. The DVD-ROM drive is on top opened by a lid. Controller has a lithium ion pack according to Gameindustry.biz


Yes, it is smaller....barely!


This is no prototype.

The Xbox 360 specs you’ve all wanted :

1. Support for DVD-video, DVD-Rom, DVD-R/RW, CD-DA, CD-Rom, CD-R, CD-RW, WMA CD, MP3 cd, JPEG photo CD
2. All games supported at 16:9, 720p and 1080i, anti-aliasing
3. Customizable face plates to change appearance
4. 3 USB 2.0 ports
5. Support for 4 wireless controllers
6. Detachable 20GB drive
7. Wi-Fi ready

Custom IBM PowerPC-based CPU
- 3 symmetrical cores at 3.2 GHz each
- 2 hardware threads per core
- 1 VMX-128 vector unit per core
- 1 MB L2 cache

CPU Game Math Performance
- 9 billion dots per second

Custom ATI Graphics Processor
- 256-MB GDDR3 RAM
- 500 MHz
- 16 pipelines
- 10 MB embedded DRAM
- 48-way parallel floating-point shader pipelines
- unified shader architecture

Memory
-512 MB GDDR3 RAM
- 700 MHz DDR

Memory Bandwidth
- 22.4 GB/s memory interface bus bandwidth
- 256 GB/s memory bandwidth to EDRAM
- 21.6 GB/s frontside bus

Audio
- Mulitchannel surround sound output
- Supports 48khz 16-bit audio
- 320 independent decompression channels
- 32 bit processing
- 256+ audio channels

MISC

- 64 MB memory cards
- 802.11b
- uses same power cable as Xbox?
- Xbox controllers not compatiable. Microsoft will be selling wireless Xbox controllers for X360

Launch List (mid-November)

Call of Duty 2
The Darkness
Gears of War
Ghost Recon 3
Kameo: Elements of Power
Madden NFL 06
NBA 2K6
Need For Speed: Most Wanted
Perfect Dark Zero
Project Gotham Racing 3
QUAKE 4
Saint's Row
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland

Today was exciting because I got a new Dell CRT monitor for free. The previous monitor lasted 16 months than the screen went died. I had my dad call order another one because he bought the personal computer in 2003, because he called from his office, he would have an easier time Dell giving it back.

Other not so exciting news is I played Mega Man 4 and I was horrible at it, but retried many times over. It happened yesterday. The game looks extremely clear running on PS2. This is good with a two year old RF adapter. The disc loads the game into PS2’s RAM and plays it.

As for my visual basic class, I’ve pretty much fallen behind for lack of interest. The instructor can only help me on Thursdays and Fridays. True, it’s not a part of industrial networking, but finishing it would allow new possibilities in VB programming. VB programming crosses with C++ programming in some areas. I only own Visual Basic .net 2003. I’ve got into the programming. I don’t like it, but I’m choosing to neglect my homework that’s due in 19 days. I forget college isn’t about setting around the computer and looking at the internet all day, it’s about doing Visual Basic on a computer for long hours. I’ve got dedication at computer thing right. I don’t play too many videogames instead collecting them (better than collecting movies). The problem is reading text in a book because I’ve horrible time reading books. I can read well, but the book doesn’t keep my attention well. I dunno. I give my best attention to reading game reviews, but working on questions and referring back in the book to answer questions takes my attention a way. I’ve done the first 4 chapters in 8 days, and it took me 5 months to complete the 5th chapter. Something is wrong…the book suddenly got uninteresting very fast. It’s odd I’ve aced my technical writing class!

I joined another gaming board called Cyberscore. I use the same avatar and nickname as Catharton. I already have one of the largest console collections and game lists on the site. I’ve just added another handheld now, the Gameboy Color, without owning a Gameboy Color.

New games to add to list:

• Legend of Zelda Oracle of Seasons (©2001: Capcom/Flagship)
• Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages (©2001: Capcom/Flagship)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Look at my small Videogame center sectioned off

Unlike two months ago when I had two TVs. I had to give one a way to my dad because now we have seperate DirecTV recievers, we need the extra TV so I have 8 consoles chain-linked using RF adapters while 1 is using the Svideo input jack (Gamecube) because my RF adapter is very bad. This image's pixelsize is resized for your convenance. The DVD player and DirecTV reciever are using the remaining Svideo inputs.



Notice under the Gamecube there is a Gameboy Advance add-on called "Gameboy Player". This adds a nineth console to my TV. Gameboy Advance games are played using the Gamecube controller.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Me quitting Catharton Electronica forever? Could well be the case!

This time, I’ll make it short…none of this three pages long crap. I knew Doom 3 for Xbox was 3rd best First Person Shooter (FPS) after quality Halo 1 and 2, and I started it like I was confused, but that’s false. I’ve this game for PC and it fucking has better graphics than the Xbox. I wanted Knights of the Old Republic because I’m not stupid and that’s what I had bought. Graphics are always better on PC unless it’s an old game.

I’m thinking of quitting Catharton Electronica. The whole place is full of Nintendo fans, and you can’t tell them that the game sucks or they’ll go crazy on yeah. I had a War online…it only lasted 6 hours, and I was outnumbered by Nintendo fans. You must understand in the UK Nintendo is doing very badly except for maybe Gameboy sales, so they like to favor Nintendo any way possible. I had created a Playstation Club where Playstation owners can go and be a part of a club. You feel like a compelling force when there is a club. I don’t know….I’ve been there a long time…and posted a lot of gaming knowledge, time spending on my PC wouldn’t be the same!

Then I back to Toyriffic to buy more games like Vectorman 2 and Streets of Rage 2. The case looked very good so that’s why I bought it. My second choice would have been Ecco the Dolphin, but the manual was torn up, therefore, no good to me. Ecco the Dolphin is a dolphin simulator; a spin-off genre of the adventure games. Streets of Rage II got a 9.5 at Gamerankings.com, best in the series so I picked that up for $40. Then I’ve bought Star Wars – Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords for personal computer (IBM-PC) at Target today. It doesn’t look like I’ll play it anytime soon with school going on. Why did I buy it? It’s the sequel to my favorite Star Wars game! I don’t buy every game I want…really! I met someone here who seems to know games well. It seems that the Xbox version got better score by about 3 – 7 points, but I don’t need that game for Xbox. The graphics are better on my PC. It looked good six months ago. I’ve played it yet.

Anyhow, my Genesis RF adapter is almost junk…works enough to play Genesis games. It worked by loosing extra RF Adapters before it in the chain of RF adapters, and the picture quality of Gunstar Heroes got slightly better, and watched the demos. This time there wasn’t white pixel interference on the LCD TV. I knew my NES came with a bad RF Adapter so I’ll connect that last. Anyways, I enjoyed playing the game. It seems like there is 4 levels in it….is that it? That’s $10 per level….expensive for an old game.

In this PNG, you can see my computer specs are indeed 2048 MB. It’s blazing fast, and I don’t think about it…because everything with 1024 MB was still very fast, it’s just a tiny bit faster, unless you’re loading games, they load a couple seconds faster.


Yeah, I remember back in the day I had 64 MB of SDRAM.....those were the days :)

PS. I’m getting either Doom 3 or Project Snowblind for Xbox at midnight or tomorrow. Project Snowblind is published by Eidos Interactive and developed by Crystal Dynamics. I’ll take a picture tomorrow of my new games because I can’t find my digital camera right now, and it be easier just to take one picture now.

I am so tired….it’s almost midnight. Tomorrow, I’ll revise this post. Maybe I’ll post my dad and my research project online which is about financial advisors’ client planning. Haven’t decided yet if I want too.

Yawn....must stay wake bit longer.....Zzzzzzzzzzzz.



[One day later] Today, I’ve gone to Toyriffic and picked a Doom 3 for Xbox. Then when I found out I couldn’t afford it, I’ve brought it back to Toyriffic, but found out the store only gave in store credit towards new games so they can sell it for $50 again and rip me off on a used game I buy from them. Last time I’ll buy new from them ever again. The little brat said he’d buy it from me used when it’s not opened so I took the game back avoiding screwed about of $20! What I could do is bring back KotOR II and get cash back. I don’t care if I own KotOR II anyhow. I’ll drive to Target in Hudson once I find the receipt I’ll reimburse myself. Final word, I decided not to quit posting at Catharton.com…it’s a long story. Been there and I have more posts than anyone. I would regret deleting it for that reason

Add new games to my list for v1.31:

• Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II – Sith Lords (©2004 Obsidian Entertainment)
• Doom 3 (©2005 iD Software)
• Streets of Rage 2 & Vectorman 2 already added

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Bought Jade Empire + two Genesis games | SVG in Mozilla 1.1


8:40 PM Today

Comment: Looks like a lot of people like games or are curious. I write for free.

Today, I’ve heard of this next generation vector image format called SVG and Mozilla Firefox ver. 1.1 is going to support it. In my humble opinion, Firefox 1.1 shall also support JPEG 2000, but I’m not saying anything. No body on the web uses JPEG2000 even if I want too. My observation is it’s more compressed than PNG or GIF and is an alternative to flash web technology Modblog would need to support a SVG html tag for me to use it on this blog. SVG in Mozilla Firefox ver. 1.1 It seems it can be used as a stationary vector graphic too, but the big question is….will it be better than PNG?

You know I like to go around the Internet at old videogame vector graphics and coping it to the clipboard so I can reduce the file size less then one half it was originally without reducing color. It’s harder to do this with Irfanview, but a lot easier with Paint Shop Pro 9’s PNG optimizer. Afterwards, I over write the PNG using Irfanview’s PNG codec, the file size is instantly reduced 1 – 4 KB. That time I gave Stuff5 the improved file size of his logos compiled in PNG and later he told me he wanted them to be compiled in GIF so I changed the file extension, but he found out about it. It’s an excellent way to trick file transfer protocols that won’t accept PNG into accepting them. Also works with MP3 files, give it another extension like *.ZIP, but be sure not to open it in WinZIP or WinRAR or Powerarchiver. PNG is only better than GIF if you own a program released after 2002 else it would be equal to the compression of GIF. The early PNG codec before 2003 were worse than GIF. I use General Public License’s Portable Network Graphics for all my vector images.


Screenshot of Jade Empire for MS Xbox

Well, to my surprise Jade Empire for Xbox came out today to a store near me and sold out before 3 PM. IGN gave Jade Empire an exceptional 9.9 out of 10….only 0.1 point from perfect in every way. Gamerankings averaged 9.4 from ten popular game reviews. I was trying to find out what the bad seed in the game was. I’m 5 dollars short in money otherwise I’ll buy it at Target next week. Target said it’s coming out next Wednesday. What makes it stand out is the fact it’s 0.1 point higher than Halo 2 (previous best game for Xbox.) In one’s own opinion, Halo 2 could still be the greatest game on Xbox. That’s not the point I’m trying to make here. Jade Empire being an action RPG while Halo 2 being a first person shooter. It uses the Star Wars - Knights of the Old Republic’s lock-on system instead of light sabers you’ll get Chinese weapons like a polearm for an example, but plays similar to KotOR. It could quite possibly be Bioware’s best game to date. Bioware’s previous best sellers were Neverwinter Nights (plus all the expansions), Knight of the Old Republic 1, Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2 (and expansion packs) for PC, and one other game. I’ve played like mad on Neverwinter Nights in the summer months of 2002. NWN has this deal when you connect to someone else’s server; the administrative gamer of it has all rights to your character on that server. So when my ISP disconnects me I can’t find the server right away, and when I do find it, my character is gone because the administrative gamer deletes all low level characters like myself thus all that time wasted building up my inventory for nothing, and the game’s replay value is shit so I played the game the whole summer in 2002, a few times in 2003, nothing more. NWN would make an excellent LAN game for two brothers (or sisters) who own copies and play it together. I have none which defeats the purpose of multiplayer which isn’t cool at all. The game had a bug where you can rejoin the game and your game would be reset so all the weapons in the chests, and drawers would be full once again. I’ll do that ten times so it’s possible to sell all the items in my inventory & buy plated armor from the silversmith.


Ninja Gaiden (NES) unlocks once you beat Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)...what an awesome bonus feature!

Anyways, I read the Ninja Gaiden Xbox review just for the hell of it. It was great reading. I found out it had the best graphics of any game for Xbox. I remember it being very, very hard. Too hard for my tastes. GAME HAS DROP DEAD GORGIOUS GRAPHICS! It’s a toss up between Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball, Ninja Gaiden and Jade Empire. I believe once you’ve beaten Ninja Gaiden, you can unlock the emulated 1989 version of Ninja Gaiden. After I read the IGN review, I read Flying Omelette’s review of Ninja Gaiden which scored 9.5 out of 10. He mentioned that the textured looked muddy because there was so much of it. It’s amongst the writer’s favorite NES games.

I’ve lost the concept of enjoying playing multiplayer. I haven’t played an online game for so long now. I must have been a part of an online game preferably a first person shooter, but my ping is too low. Yeah, I was thinking of playing either UT2004 or Counterstrike: Source online! I want to kick ass and take names too.

Also yesterday, I had nothing to do so I’d installed UT2004. I’ve found my missing Play Disc after last time I’ve played the game so there is no need for a “no-CD crack” patching UT2004.EXE any more. I like games running in ultra-high-resolution. Remember, I’ve a Radeon 9800 XT so it does the job well. I am preferably not using sniper rifles for now which is useless for me at close quarter combat. The sniper rifle can be the game’s most deadly gun when in hands of a veteran (whom rarely misses the headshots…ouch.) I prefer the machine gun and other automatic weapons. Before playing, I’ve added 35+ deathmatch UT2004 maps one by one in the parent folder. While playing, the trick is to keep moving and strafing backwards while shooting. Other noteworthy advantages are never fight to the death in my opinion, unless you’ve only got 10 health points than take as many with you as possible. I shall be the leader faster keep by searching for health packs until my health is 80% or above than kill as many bots or players as possible by strafing while constantly moving around. If you can’t find the opponent (it’s a sniper when the HP decreases 40+ points at once….rush for cover if you can)…It always works to start shooting in 360ยบ counter-clockwise rotation until you find the player. Hopefully you’ll down him before he (or she) downs you! Always keep an eye out for the blue shields. I want a blue shield (enhanced melee power) rather than a yellow shield (extended health points). UT2004 makes you really want to kill everybody in site in act of revenge, and that’s why it’s popular. X-fire allows you to bring up a chat window in the game for instant message a friend in whole another game to join you in your game. That’s excellent! I do have an X-fire account, but I don’t use it anymore.

Time to get back to Visual Basic homework. I’ve been stalling my tasks lately. For some reason I’ve been interested into the NEC Turbograx and Sega CD. If I were to buy a Sega CD, I can not use my existing Sega Genesis to hook her up. I’ve heard that the best game for it is either Shining Force CD or Advance Dungeon and Dragons - Eye of the Beholder which both scored an A at VideogameCritics.net. Otherwise, Turbo GX’s best games are either Bonk’s Adventure or Galaga ’90. Turbo GX was the first 16-bit (and least powerful of 16-bit consoles) in the USA released in 1989. It really makes you wonder how successful Nintendo would have been in America if a SNES CD became available in 1993 like planned. Of course, in the fine print, Sony had the rights to the SNES CD so all games had to be published by Sony even if the videogame was developed by Nintendo. That deal never made it into production. Toyriffic in Hudson sells a Sega CD with Genesis for $50 or Turbo GX with game card for $80. Right now I’m pondering which game I shall buy. I am wondering if Toyriffic has any of the excellent titles in stock for them.


Look at this....Jade Empire...already!

7 hours and 14 minutes later I’ve called both Toyriffic in Hudson and River Falls to ask the clerk(s) if he had a Sega CD in stock with Genesis and both stores did. The Hudson Toyriffic sold them for $120 and the River Falls Toyriffic sold for $80. Both said the store(s) would give me $2 in-store credit for my Genesis v3. See, the original game plan was buying a Genesis version 2 and Sega CD separately. It cost me $80. My Genesis at home won’t take Sega CD add-on. It person on the phone was the black man I choose to not like so I didn’t drive there at all. Instead, I called Wal-Mart to see if the store had Jade Empire for Xbox which they did so I’ve drove 15 miles to Hudson, WI. They asked me for my driver’s license so I gave it too them. The game was rated M for mature. So I got the limited edition Microsoft only sells at the beginning. Best Xbox Action RPG to date, people and I OWN IT! Afterwards, around 4 PM, I arrived at Toyriffic again so I could pick out a game. I was looking for some current generation games, but I figured I’ve got everything I wanted that’s out for PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube anyways so I started to ponder which Sega Genesis games I wanted because Sega CD isn’t worth the purchase because there is only 2 games I’ve mentioned above good for it and Shining Force was also in cartridge format. All Shining Force CD had over Shining Force was Full Motion Video and some 16-bit audio soundtracks, but what was on the cartridge version was already above average on Genesis’s not good sound chip. Everybody wants Shining Force for Sega Genesis, but I was luckier. Someone sold a whole bunch of imports to Toyriffic and one of them was a vintage GUNSTAR HEROES THE BEST SHOOTER FOR GENESIS PERIOD!!! I’ve paid 40 bucks for that and another $10 for Vectorman with case and manual. That now makes 6 Sega Genesis video games. If I’ve found Alien Soldier there which I didn’t; I would buy it in a New York minute. Some of the imports will still be there tomorrow; I might go back and snag some more after I found out which ones are good via the Internet.

New games to add to list:

• Jade Empire (©2005 Bioware)
• Gunstar Heroes (©1997 Treasure)
• Vectorman (©1995 Blue Shift)

Regards, Ian

Friday, April 08, 2005

Atelier Iris moved back a month | Dicussions at Catharton Electronica in two days

Yesterday, I drove to Toyriffic to pick up Atelier Iris – Eternal Mana. Atelier means “Painters” and Iris means “Colorful.” We’ve named our black cat Iris. In reality, the game is translated to “Painter’s Colors: Infinite Magic”, the sixth installment in the long running series. I’ve found another review of the import at RPGfan.com because the import review was translated to English, and the North American version is similar because the text is converted to English. Unfortunately, Atelier Iris Eternal Mana 2 is coming out in Japan next month meaning the prequel was delayed a full year and Atlus (the publisher) won’t publish the sequel in North America. It’s coming out on May 25th so personal preference you know…. The enemies’ intelligent tactics, HP (hit points), and MP (mana points) equal my party’s HP and MP thus increasing the difficult a lot and can be frightening this way.

Stella Deus – Gates of Eternity is coming out April 26th both developed and published by Atlus. This particular game looks like the other isometric role playing games, except all the new ones are strategy RPG…..weird eh? It looks good enough to play; I could always use another isometric game in my collection.

In River Falls, Great Clips just opened shop and I walked inside to get myself a new stylish haircut. I remember shaking my head no a lot than shake my head yes. An old woman came in and started talking about stuff and looked at me in a odd manner, and the quintessence was my ego was higher than normal, and I held back my thoughts….for I didn’t think of anything to prove my point in time….saw new faces…heheh. It might be a delusional thinking side effect of taking 10 MG of Ritalin in the morning and 1 MG of Risperdal at night. I’ve a chemically unbalanced brain. Medication always has side effects.

Afterwards, I walked down the slope to ShopKo to look at ESPN MLB 2K5 selling for only $20, but after some difficult decisions, and never bought it that day. I decided to drive to the videogame store where I found the former black man who I gave a photo CD a month or two ago with videogame photos on it, and one time I’d decided not to except his invitation to meet at his house so I lied saying my name was Dan because he was curious why I gave him the photo CD months ago. He didn’t understand the photo CD had no value to me whatsoever. I didn’t want to know him, because I made a choice not to know him before, and I rather not get involved again so I walked out. I get the funny feeling he knew I lied to him.

I have 40 hrs 48 minutes of trance music on my external HDD and 6 ½ days worth of MP3s total. I’ve been collecting since 2000. This may not be as huge as some peoples, but having dialup this must mean its above average, right?




Today was beautiful out yet I didn’t go anywhere. I’ve been working on the writing assignment, thought up the survey questions in my mind & posted a memo on the discussion board at WITC.edu. Next, I called Toyriffic in Hudson to ask if the store had Super Castlevania IV in stock, but it was so good someone else bought it so I’ll erase Castlevania IV from my list now. The other game also sold out was Tactics Ogre - Knights of Lodis for Gameboy Advance which balanced a high score of 8.8 out of 10 on Gamerankings.com. Last time I was there the store had 2 new copies of this game. It’s supposed to be a great real time strategy game and looks so much like Final Fantasy Tactics. Afterwards, I’d looked up Gamerankings.com scores realizing that Splinter Cell 3: Chaos Theory is out on Xbox and averaged 9.5 out of 10 so tomorrow I’ll buy my copy. My purchase of Stella Deus for PS2 won’t be for another 2 weeks; therefore, it won’t hurt to spend my cash on another excellent game.

On Catharton Electronica, I have had a discussion about if Dreamcast was truly dead. First, I went on saying Dreamcast was dead, because you know it’s dead in North America. It's like people saying Atari Jaguar is not dead because Songbird Productions keeps releasing games for Jaguar / Jaguar CD. Publishers aren't releasing software for the masses. I don't see Dreamcast games in Wal-Mart(s) anymore, because it's obviously dead. It was a head of it's time and it also died long before it's time, but we can't do anything about it no more except play the Dreamcast games we already own. Other gamers on the thread I’ve known for months were saying that Dreamcast is alive in Japan where a new game comes out for it each month. Sega has an arcade circuit board called the Naomi which is slightly more powerful than Dreamcast so programmers could easily port game code from Naomi machines to Dreamcast in a matter of weeks. The popular 1998 fighting game, Soul Caliber, was a Naomi game, and the Dreamcast version sported improvements like more realistic character skin, and improved background textures without increasing number of polygons. I went on saying since Dreamcast is a 128-bit platform and is including with the 128-bit generation. However, I could buy used games from Toyriffic and Dreamcast wouldn’t be dead. In Japan, Sega Saturn hadn’t died until 1998 when it was made obsolete by Dreamcast. Sega was the 3rd to launch a 32-bit console in the United States after the Sega 32x in 1993 and Atari Jaguar in 1995; Sega rushed development of Project Blackjack to be 1st launched 128-bit console in the USA. If Sega had waited longer the Dreamcast could had been more profitable if only Sega hadn’t lost so much money on Saturn. Dreamcast could have been more powerful than Playstation 2 which would help Dreamcast sales. People who only want to best graphics available would buy it, and more games would be developed at the same time meaning more launch titles in 2000.

For example, I’ve had purchased Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for Dreamcast for $50 two months ago (because it's very rare to get not online), and the disc looked slightly used yet it played like new. I could say I've bought it when it came out! An unopened Dreamcast jewel case would double or triple the price of a used game, but I don't care about those. It's unwise to pay for an unopened game for a dead platform.



Secondly, I learned a bit more about the * harder* Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 for NES. Although the game was only released in Japan, I found out I had a copy in form of Super Mario Bros. – The Lost Levels. MushroomKingdom.com had a segment about the *real* Super Mario Bros 2 and showed screenshots. We had the discussion here. I was never able to find a ROM of this rare NES game.

Thirdly, I’ve had a funny comment on why Playstation Portable had a coin-sized battery in it because it’s true it used it when the lithium-ion battery below a certain percentage. For example, I have a TimeX digital watch I've bought in Jamaica and only needed to change the battery once, because I used the backlight a few hundred times. Clock batteries last as long as 5 years. My logic lies in how long BIOS coin-sized batteries last.

Afterwards, a popular topic was how Playstation Portable 2 functions like. I’ve contributed my part saying its probably backward compatible with PSP. The UMD discs would be dual layered and hold twice as much data as its predecessor. The PSP2 would have better battery life too.



New Games: Splinter Cell 3: Chaos Theory, ESPN Major League Baseball 2K5, Lumines, Wipeout XL, and Wipeout 3. Will be added to list shortly…

[One day later] Randy wasn’t available to visit me today. I’ve woke up early today, and looked on Internet game reviews. I planned on buying ESPN Major League Baseball 2K5 by 2K games and Splinter Cell 3: Chaos Theory for Xbox. I believe I told why in the previous paragraphs. Heck, I saw Wipeout 3 for 7 bucks and it had some exceptional dance music according to the reviews. The soundtracks included music from DJs: Sasha, Chemical Brothers, Cold Storage, and Underground. I was excited to get so I could play it and rip mp3s. When I got home, I remembered to read the Gameranking’s review structure of Wipeout XL receiving 4 100%s (wow) and 94% from IGN because the dance music was brilliant according to them and I like trance anyways so it was well worth the $8. I will encode them into MP3 by CDex at 128 kbps 44 Hz because I don’t believe the original music was higher than that bit-rate in the first place! In fact, I’ll do that after I get done writing this entry for sure just because. Before I went I was getting into Wipeout 3 and I’ve already heard the songs “Underground – Tin There” and “Sasha – Xpander” which were cool enough. I do listen to them everyday on my PC. All and all, I am really happy with the current decisions I’ve made.

P.S. : My parents don’t know I like trance as much as I do.

Here’s the trance music list.

Wipeout XL

Intro FMV music

1. Cold Storage - Xylem
2. Cold Storage - Phloem
3. Cold Storage - Argen
4. Cold Storage – Xenon

In game music:

1. Future sound of London - Herd Killing
2. Future sound of London - We have Explosive
3. Future sound of London – Landmass
4. Fluke – V6
5. Fluke – Atombomb (Straight 6 Instrumental Mix)
6. Chemical Brothers – Dust Up Beats
7. Chemical Brothers – Loops of Lury
8. Chemical Brothers – The Third Sequence
9. Underworld - Tin There (Underworld Edit)
10. Prodigy - Firestarter (Instrumental)
11. Cold Storage – Canada
12. Cold Storage – Body in Motion

Wipeout 3 Soundtracks

1. Sasha – Auricom
2. Sasha – Goteki 45
3. Sasha – Felsar
4. Sasha – Icaras
5. Sasha – Pirhana
6. Sasha – Xpander
7. – Control
8. – Surrender
9. Underworld – Kittens
10. Orbital – Know where to Run
11. Paul Van Dyk – Avenue
12. Propellerheads – Lethal Cut
13. Chemical Brothers – Under the Influence

Before long all these songs will be on my HDD. W00T!

That’s all for now. Bye.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Program review : Part 1

I was going to post the most rememberable posts at Catharton Electronica, but I’m saving that for next post. The selection I have doesn’t look quite right, and there are 88 pages of posts from me alone so I’ll be searching hard for only the best ones for everyone to read. Meanwhile, look at my first batch of program reviews. I’ve done this before at Ian1984’s Software Blog, but didn’t feel like looking for new program versions today or any day the past month. I’ll be looking for new versions for eternity if I kept that up and wasted more time than I am on the gaming boards. By the way, a new strategy RPG from Japan is coming to Toyriffic (the store that has all the videogames in stock other places don’t) on Thursday called Atelier Iris ~Eternal Mana~ which interestingly got a 9.0 out of 10 at Gamerankings.com before it came out from a site I’ve never heard of. I’ll be checking this site regularly for changes. Read the only Game Review available!



I’ve also been wondering about how much time I’ve spent on Catharton Electronica…. writing all those videogame replies is indeed addicting never-the-less all good things come to an end. Knowing I’ve learned more about games makes it worth it. Not now, of course, how else would I get information I need to post on my favorite blog?

What would make life interesting is if I owned a videogame every gamer wants just like old Nintendo software even if I’ll never play it to the end. The colors in graphics were a lot fewer 20 yrs ago, but games hadn’t got any easier just more complicated (more buttons anyone?) I haven’t played a PC game (Half-life 2) since January. I’ve pass the part where Gordon armed himself with a handgun for the first time than I got lost in the Underground Railroad area & shot down by a helicopter sniper. The sniper and I died at the same time. I was ranting about this game a couple months ago and now almost completely forgot about it. Anyways, I know I’ve lost valuable game collecting when I skipped the earlier consoles all together.

Although not positive, I am pondering if I shall buy Super Castlevania IV for $25? Yes, I could get it cheaper online, but I am probably going to afford it next time I pick up Atelier Iris. What’s so special about it? It was extremely popular during the 16-bit era, and it also came in a Genesis version known as Castlevania - Bloodlines. The rumor is Konami took all the aspects of the previous installments and improved them until nothing resembled quality in side strollers as much as Super Castlevania IV (©1991 Konami) for action platformers. The point of the game is killing the “impaler” at the end; none other than Dracula himself. It provides enough challenge to be interesting, but is easy enough so that it doesn't become frustrating.

Tomorrow, I might just go to Hudson to meet Nikki again. She’s the woman I visited last week. I could also stay home and be unsocial which is what I’m good at. I’ve haven’t seen Randy in over a week. He’s the one who visits me & we chat about me, or look around at electronic stores in the cities. We talk about my job as a computer technician. He knows little, I wish there was someone who knew more so the communication between us would be better.

Program reviews part 1:

Mozilla Firefox v1.02

Features 10/10 popup blocker, tabbed browsing, small download

Stability9.7/10

loyal meter 10

codec support 10 JPEG, GIF, PNG, SWF, JS, BMP

Javascript support 8/10

Macromedia Flash Support 5/10 Need to download it

JPEG 2000 support 0/10 not supported at all [tears rolling down eyes]

Comments: Started using in 2003 and I love it. Use it everyday on the Internet.

Coral Paint Shop Pro 9.1

Features 8/10 makes excellent cropping images + effects browser + awesome intelligent decolorize PNG codec exclusive to PSP 9

codec 8/10 – uses advance PNG codec. Professional grade JPEG and GIF codec. Also creates JPEG2000 images.

Stability 9/10 pretty stable. Doesn’t crash on Windows XP

loyal meter – 10/10

Comments: Use it to crop my images all the time or do text effects.

Irfanview 3.95

features 6/10 – free image viewer that crops images saves them in JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP. Slideshow images full screen

codec supports 10/10 – extremely advance PNG codec and pretty good JPG codec too for compression. Having them is reason alone to have this program on your computer It’s free too!

Stability 7/10 runs great with pictures, but often when viewing MPEG it crashes.

Quintessential Player 4.51

features 9/10 - skin support, stream saving support for MP3, OGG, WAV, MPEG, AVI

loyal meter – 5/10

supports following codec supports MP3, MP2, OGG vorbis, AU, WMA, WMA9, WAV, MP4, and HC-ACC

Stability 9.5/10 stays functioning forever if you’ll allow it.

Comments: Use this program to stream save PLS files off the Internet. Otherwise, it’s another Winamp that’s no longer supported.

Maxthon Browser 1.21

features 9/10 supports browser skins, everything IE supports, popup blocker, small download too

codec supports JPEG, GIF, PNG, SWF, JS, BMP

stability 8/10 pretty good, but not close to Mozilla Firefox. Better than IE6 by far.

MS WORD Professional 2003

features 10/10 great spellchecker, grammar checker, image inserter, greatest True Font support of them all.

loyal meter – 10/10

stability 9.5/10 great stability

Comments: Used MS Word for as long as I can remember.

The handy VideoLAN 0.81 media player

Features 8/10 It’s a full featured video player that pans any kind of video to full screen. Something that’s been overshadowed by Windows Media Player and Winamp 5. Also allows the user to host a server to stream compressed audio or video to other computers in a LAN or by Internet. Open source project.

stability 9/10 had no problems with it yet on Windows XP.

Namo Webeditor 6

Features 10/10 - HTML made easy, better than Dreamweaver because it never crashes. I can make Tables very easily. Good Stuff. It’s a graphical user interface one too. Dreamweaver enthusiasts hate it, but I love it.

loyal meter – 10/10

Stability 9/10 rarely crashes though not perfect, but what HTML editor is besides MS Notepad?

supported codec 10/10 If it’s on the web….Namo would support it.

Here is the bandwidth survey I’m giving every one at school. It took me about an hour to type up.

VERSION ONE: What is the Best Online Gaming Bandwidth of a PC with several players over the Internet?

1.) What is your Internet Service Provider?
2.) What is the least bandwidth you can get a way with for playing a 3D Multiplayer? First Person Shooter online with low latency?
3.) How much money would this ISP charge for the provided bandwidth?
4.) How often does your connection ever go down?
a. Once a week
b. Once a day
c. Once a hour
d. Once every 3 days
5.) Does satellite Internet affect online games to the point where they’re unplayable?
6.) Do more advanced 3D online games take more bandwidth than ones a few years ago (example a reliable connection to play Half-life online vs. playing Half-life 2)
7.) Are you happy with your current giving bandwidth?
8.) Do you wish to upgrade you’re bandwidth at home?
9.) What’s top dollar you’re willing to pay for Internet access?
10.) What games do you play online over the current connection?

VERSION TWO: What’s the best bandwidth for the average high speed user to get all tasks done?


1.) For someone who wants to either download small programs (between 20 to 60 MB), and surf the World Wide Web or listen to streaming audio through Winamp or Windows Media Player at 128 kbps streaming audio connection for an example, and surf the world wide web at the same time? What’s the minimum bandwidth would get all these accomplished?
2.) What’s the best service provider for 1 Mbps connection
3.) What bandwidth would the user need to be able to stream a 192 kbps audio session?
4.) What’s the best service provider for 512 Kbps connection
5.) What chosen ISP disconnects the least?
6.) What chosen ISP disconnects the most?
7.) What bandwidth would be good if two people want to serf the web at the same time
8.) Would you upgrade the connection if next step up is cheaper?
9.) How much do you pay for you’re current bandwidth?
10.) Are you an Internet Explorer, Netscape, or Mozilla user?
11.) Do you want Satellite Internet to do the above 10 questions? Yes or No.

VERSION THREE: What’s the best bandwidth for streaming Video onto your computer?

1.) If you want to stream video (MPEG, Quicktime) onto your computer what’s the best bandwidth that’ll get the job done?
2.) What resolution do you stream at? (example 440x280)
3.) How much do you pay the ISP to give the amount of bandwidth to be able to stream video you want?
4.) Is 512 kbps too slow? Yes or No.
5.) Is 1.5 Mbps too fast? Yes or No.
6.) Can you stream audio and stream video with a 1 Mbps connection?
7.) Is 1 Mbps the ideal connection speed to stream video, stream audio, download large programs frequency, surf the internet would you say? Yes or No
8.) How much do you pay for 1.5 Mbps?
9.) Is 1 Mbps the ideal connection speed to stream video, stream audio, download large programs frequency, surf the internet would you say? Yes or No.
10.) How much do you pay for 1.5 Mbps?
11.) Is 1.5 Mbps the ideal connection speed to stream video, stream audio, download large programs frequency, surf the world wide web would you say? Yes or No.
12.) Have you ever streamed audio to a friend using a program like videoLAN? If so do you like it?
13.) How many viruses do you get over broadband?
a. One a day
b. Once an hour
c. One a week

Pretty good aren’t they?

This is Ian signing off Modblog…

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Dated with 20 yr old from high school | Bought Lumines for PSP | discusted with USA boarder controls | Why not call white people Caucasian instead?

To fill you in, I’ve called Nikki back at her house (whom was supposed to meet me by Subway last Tuesday) and she was going to a coffee shop by Target. Problem is I didn’t know there were two Subways in town. That’s my fault. So on Friday morning, I woke up an hour before noon and drove 15 miles to Hudson, walked inside the coffee shop. Before I did, I did a little trim work on my beard so I would look better than most days.

Well, Nikki was wearing one of them skirts with long see through socks. Her personal appearance didn't look bad at all. She's taking chemistry at UofW River Falls. So I asked her if she is an alchemist. She didn't fancy that in a good way. So I told her she was good looking, and I never sat by a woman my age since who knows when. She smiled which kept me from leaving. Then there was a group of other people in the corner chatting a way, bugging me because I hate talking those who disturb my thinking patterns in public and people’s eyes also wonder (mine too). Regardless, I’ve shown her cat pictures, dog pictures, computer room pictures, flute pictures via Playstation Portable’s LCD and also showed her Lumines and suggested she play it. Nikki refused to play it because she said she doesn’t play videogames. The trance music I had on PSP also made a negative impact. Yeah, now everyone in the shop knows I like that music which probably had more negative than positive impact on my charisma. O-well. She said after 5 years I hadn't changed much intellectual wise. I didn't know if that was a complement or some way to tell me that I was the unwise teenager she use to know. I didn’t respond. I’m wise enough. She looked like she was doing high grade algebra in that math book. I was getting wary if that meant something or not.

Oh, I was thinking what my Sim would do in this case? Unlike in The Sims 2, I didn't flirt with her, had no reason too. I tried to explain to her how you play a Playstation 2, and what “role playing game” is. Battle scenes in RPGs are hard to describe. She knew that Magic was role playing. I hate Magic the Gathering & have neither played nor want to learn to play it. I may have sounded silly explaining why a few games like Diablo 2, Half-life 2 and Gran Turismo 4 got high scores via internet reviews. I shall have brought screenshots of role playing games like Final Fantasy X which would have helped immensely. Well, it’s not important now. I can’t imagine anyone who hasn’t seen a RPG videogame, but I can’t assume she knew how to play PS2 already and didn’t admit it. If she was lying…that would make me very angry, because it sounded like she was lying about not being involved in videogames too. I’ve decided it won’t hurt to go along with it a little bit longer.

Any woo, I kept starring at her thin (athletic) legs when I rubbing my chin in thought as I was trying to avoid saying "Your legs are pretty". . She’s not the prettiest woman, but decent looking none-the-less. She doesn't get on the Internet that often so she's not that great with computers. I'm a computer technician, and I tried explaining that my classes, I was typing commands in the terminal (she didn’t know what that is), but I did mention Linux to her. I said it looks like Windows with minor differences. She didn't know what Linux looked like. I told her that I miss everyone at high school, and I want to meet them. I’ll meet her again tomorrow perhaps. There is one thing I couldn’t figure out….what kind of date does someone do homework?

Saturday, I went to town to buy Gran Turismo 4 again. The funny part is I didn’t wait because my parents didn’t want me to call Josh again. I’ve spent $100 on Gran Turismo 4 and only $20 on Gran Turismo 3. I wanted that game back so I could play it, but Saturday was a complete waste of time. I won’t complain. I’ve constantly thought about the missing DVD.


Shoutcast via Quintessential Player 4.51

I didn’t do much other than listen to Shoutcast’s Digitally Imported (24 kbps MP3 stream version) on Quintessential Player while I “enabled stream saving.” Playing MP3s off my hard drive saves a lot of through-put over the 56k modem. It stands in for live audio channels, and the result is you’d get much higher quality sound off your hard drive than you would with internet radio. QCD will not overwrite mp3 files which stream twice or more which doesn’t make me mad, it has never happened to me yet. It would take me 20 seconds to delete them otherwise.

Oh yeah, I’ve been playing Lumines, a well designed square Tetris game for PSP. I’ve paid $40 for it. That makes two PSP games within the first week of ownership! The game has 16-bit dance music I’ve heard this on my MP3 player, but not on a handheld platform since Wipeout Pure. It’s a vocal one, and I don’t mind it, Lumines is addicting. I’ve made it to level 7 before Game Over. There are many skins you’ll earn, but I’d rather it play more than 1 song each 4 levels. The trick is to drop the squares when the squares below disappear so more squares disappear and bumps up the score.

I was looking at the screenshots of Dolwin (Gamecube emulator) at http://dolwin.emulation64.com/ and have been wondering where I could download the GCMs (Gamecube Media) file format? I’ve found this site called http://ngc-isos.de.vu/ where I can download GCM files if I download that kind of data. When I get Wildblue broadband, I’ll download a whole game and see if it works on the emulator. I believe the emulator is slow because I haven’t installed Direct X 9.0 which DolWin 0.10 requires to run at 100%. Some ways, I don’t see the need to emulate. I have a Gamecube, and I don’t play it often anymore, and own 31 game cases (with more games) for it. Personal computers today don’t have the processing power to make Gamecube games run at 100%. It’ll be another couple years before we achieve 100% emulation. It’s much like how Nintendo 64 games run at 100% since 2002 depending on what the graphics resolution is at.


Dolwin running Pong demo on my computer.

It was another one of those sleepless nights. Last night I watched Sinbad - The Sailor (old movie from 1947) on the American Movie Classics channel. The movie wasn’t very violent which made it some ways uninteresting according to my tastes in films. I could tell that all the sets were fake did wondered why Sinbad mentioned Aladdin and his lamp. I’ve thought Disney just made that movie up…didn’t realize it was actual myth. The stars weren’t even Arabic; they were pure white or Caucasian like me. Is the movie racist or not? Shall I even care? I’m use to seeing mostly white people on TV so I am well aware we’re not in control of the world like centuries ago. I might as well be racist to terrorist because I hate their guts. However, that doesn’t change the fact I’ve been born into a race which historically had done many of man’s greatest achievements. With everyone created equal under the constitution, whites shall know what we’re categorized as.

This has nothing to do with Spanish-Mexicans trying to live in our country illegally. I don’t know anyone who isn’t pissed off at the government which hasn’t found a solution to the problem yet. A wall blockade between us and them would be unconstitutional according to Mexican President Vicente Fox. I don’t give a shit what he thinks. Let’s leave it as that. The ironic thing is I visited Cozumel, Mexico just 12 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in 1999 and went scuba diving there at a nice resort (first and last time too). I saw a passenger plane wreak underwater. Americans vacationing in Cozumel enjoying the tropics, clear skies, and white beaches would drastically decrease as result of wall blockade. Vacation spots are Mexico’s key argument to convince Americans to vote for keeping the southern geographical boarders open.

Videogames to add to the big list

• Lumines

Bye.