All we need is another outing for Railroad Tycoon and a new X-Com, and you won't hear from me until 2010...
Oh, almost forgot! While I'm reliving the 90's, there's a new Slayers series coming next week. With the original writer, director, designer, and cast all on board too. That should help me deal with the gap between the end of season 4 of Doctor Who and the start of season 5 of House...
I'm down again... or timing out. Is there anything I can do to help short of blowing up my WP install?
Posted by: pam at Sunday, June 29 2008 02:38 AM (l6NIn)
2Simcity Societies. They wanted to create a game that would appeal to a new generation of players, rather than just people who had played the previous four releases. They ended up with a mess that no-one wanted.
And sorry, you should be back on the air again now. I see you already found the post.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, June 29 2008 04:07 AM (PiXy!)
I'll stick with SimCity4 and Sims2... The next gen, Sims3, looks very much the same but I bet I'd have to upgrade my puter to use it!
...and thanks again!
Posted by: pam at Monday, June 30 2008 08:40 AM (l6NIn)
Curse Blizzard. I'll need a new desktop at this rate.
The latest episode of Dr Who definitely has me eagerly awaiting the conclusion.
Posted by: Andrew at Friday, July 04 2008 07:37 AM (oEunm)
I got some good news today - I finally found a source of stock photos that I can use to create a standard theme library for mee.nu. The existing 20 themes (and the 20 new ones coming in 1.2) used the excellent and very generous PD Photo, but that's just one photographer (albeit a good one) and a couple of thousand photos; this is a couple of thousand photographers and a couple of million photos.
That doesn't mean a couple of million themes, though, since the photos cost a couple of bucks apiece. But a couple of hundred, yes, I can do that.
Oh yes, since they were so nice to us, I'll give them a free plug: BigStockPhoto.
This is the Samsung T240, a 24" 1920x1200 LCD monitor.
Or it could be the T260, a 25.5" model, or the T220, a 22" 1680x1050 model, or the T190, a 19" 1440x900 model, or the T200HD or T220HD, 20" and 22" 1680x1050 models with dual HDMI, built-in speakers, and digital and analog tuners. Samsung uses the same identical picture for all of them.
And this is the LN32A650, a 32" 1920x1080 television with four HDMI inputs* (plus VGA, 2 component inputs, S-Video and composite).
Or, likewise, the 22" or 40" models. They use a different photo for the 46" and 52", and yet another photo for the 19".
I'll take one of each, thanks.**
The TV's are already in stores in Australia, and the 32" model is about the same price as my 27" 720p from two years ago, and much much nicer.
The monitors haven't shown up here yet, unfortunately, and it's more the monitor than the TV that I'm after. Newegg are showing the T220 at $319, the T220HD at $399, and the T260 at $549. That's a bit pricey for the 22" models, but much inline with previous models for the 26".
There's currently a $100 rebate offer on the larger Samsung monitors here, and it looks like they're clearing stock to make way for these new models. As soon as they arrive, I'm going to pounce.
(One little thing I noticed is that the specs say that if you want to connect a computer to one of these TV's via HDMI, you have to use HDMI input #2. This seemed unusually restrictive, so I poked around to see if I could find out why. There's a real reason: Only HDMI input #2 provides separate analog audio inputs. If your computer supports proper HDMI with sound, or you don't care about sound, you can use any of the inputs. The TV also has digital audio out, so it can be used to switch the four different digital sources to your speaker system. It also has ethernet and USB...)
Update: And this is the HT-X715 Home Theatre system:
I have to laugh, because it's so designer-run-amok, but it does look good, and it does go together perfectly with the new TV's and monitors. So I'll have one of those too, please.
Update: The one disappointing thing was that there while there is a T200HD and a T220HD, there's no T240HD. So I can either have 1680x1050, speakers, and dual HDMI, or 1920x1200 with no extras.
I wondered why there was no T240HD; it seemed a natural product, since it can do native 1080P with no scaling. Then I decided to Google it.
Yes Virginia, there is a T240HD. On Samsung's Austrian website - but also in dozens of American online stores. Samsung, you goofs. There's also a T260HD, which would probably suffice as a TV as well as a monitor. (UK site this time, not nearly as widely available online.)
* My current TV isn't bad, but has a grand total of zero HDMI inputs. And it's "only" 720p, or more precisely, that weird resolution of 1366x768 which is popular with manufacturers for no apparent reason.
My current monitor isn't bad either, but it does have a 25ms refresh time (compared with as little as 2ms for these models) and I blew up the DVI input last Christmas. Mainly it's only 19", and I'd really like something a little larger. Like two 24" monitors side by side.
** Well, while I'd like one of each and every model, my wallet will settle for the 24" monitor and the 32" TV.
Last week's Doctor Who episode, Midnight, was an okay science fiction yarn. But if you've read A Fall of Moondust you've already seen it. And it had a hard act to follow in the previous story, Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead. Not bad, on the whole, but not insipired.
This week's episode, though, Turn Left, was awesome.
And if they did crib from Arthur C Clarke again, well, there are worse places to borrow ideas.
It's the first part in what promises to be a kick-ass season finale.
Just finished watching it, was pretty good but not hat original (Sliding Doors did the same thing 10 years ago).
Will we find the stars going out it due to some monks and an overgown pc though?
Next weeks does look awesome. (even if the 'get everyone back together for the big finale' trope is a bit overused)
Posted by: Andy Janes at Sunday, June 22 2008 11:29 PM (EaeQI)
On second thoughts, it was the opening and ending segments that really impressed me. The whole middle part was okay, but the setting of the scene on that alien Chinatown and the ending scene (which I won't spoil) were what really impressed me. I wrote that post just after watching it, so that ending was still with me.
Neat tie-ins to the previous three seasons as well.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, June 22 2008 11:47 PM (PiXy!)
Oh, and the opening sequence said to me: You need this in HD on a big-screen TV, not an AVI file on a 19" monitor!
That's not something you often felt while watching the original series!
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, June 22 2008 11:49 PM (PiXy!)
From the comments, it looks like it was done using something called AR Toolkit, which does a video overlay on the real world. The card with the black box is probably the anchor for the video overlay. I assume the overlay is prerendered.
Posted by: ReallyBored at Wednesday, June 11 2008 07:54 AM (rCCRy)
When I first saw it I wondered if it was a render embedded in a real photograph, but seeing it move that way once the hand came in was a shock.
OK, I just watched it again. You know how you can be sure that she's rendered, not photographed? When the guy is moving the piece of cardboard around, and in particular is spinning it so we can see her side, the shadow rotates with the card.
Silence in the Library does particularly well in setting up a classic Dr Who And Then There Were None story (a la Horror of Fang Rock) while at the same time laying out the pieces of a puzzle in such a way that even when you have all the pieces you aren't aware that some of them are pieces at all. And then Forest of the Dead puts all the pieces together for you, click click click.
I loved Dr Who in my teens, but now that I go back and watch the old episodes, many of them are, frankly, pretty awful. Thanks to Steven Moffat and Russell Davies (and Christopher Ecclestone and David Tennant!) for bringing me a Dr Who I can love in my very-late-thirties.*
What I liked especially is the sense of scope and size that these stories have. Especially with Girl in the Fireplace and the Library two parter.
Thinking about it they are quite similar. Two worlds joined in some way. A central person as the pivot point between them.
Leaving room for some great visuals like the Doctor jumping a horse through the dimensional gate or his final ascent through the shaft to rescue River Song.
For some reason Moffat can zero in on an emotional core that drives things along. Especially working that romantic / desparate edge that David Tennant brings but isn't always expressed so well by other writers.
Throw in a touch of the creepy like something as simple as the statues from Blink, the Vashda Nerada spore in the books or motivating a space suit with a skeleton inside.
Great fun ideas all with an elegant touch delivered in an all ages science fiction show. Who'da thunk it.
Posted by: Andrew at Tuesday, June 10 2008 03:33 PM (sPKKR)
I downloaded and watched the Dr Who Confidential episodes for the Library two-parter last night, and it was very interesting to hear Moffat and Davies talking about how the story came together. I generally don't like making-of shows, but Confidential I really enjoyed.
Then I went back and watched a couple of the Confidentials from the first season, and now I feel bad about what I said about the old series, because they had Doctors 4, 5, 6, and 7 and several of the companions (Sarah, Jo Grant, the Brigadier and others) discussing the old shows and how much fun they had making them...
But that giant snake from Kinda is pure cheese, regardless.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, June 10 2008 09:44 PM (PiXy!)
The old series will always be coloured by nostalgia. I kind of draw the line during Peter Davison's run when the ABC were playing silly buggers with the schedules.
The Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy runs left me stone cold. They seem to have lost the central themes of the Doctor which they've brought back with Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant.
I don't doubt it was fun to work on. Definitely cheesy, even during the classic Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker years. Garage Kubrick appeals to me more than big budget extravaganza most of the time.
I wonder how long before we run into the Doctor's daughter again ? If not then Sally Sparrow ?
Posted by: Andrew at Wednesday, June 11 2008 03:30 PM (UPl/E)
Tom Baker was the Doctor for me, though I also enjoyed Jon Pertwee. I stopped watching regularly sometime in Peter Davison's second season. So I've seen very little of Colin Baker or Sylvester McCoy.
I'd love to see Sally Sparrow or Jenny make a return. Interesting notes from Confidential about Jenny: Georgia Moffet, who plays Jenny, is Peter Davison's real-life daughter, went to school with Colin Baker's daughter, and auditioned for the part of Rose.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, June 11 2008 04:14 PM (PiXy!)
As an additional note. Apparently Peter Davison was David Tennant's favourite Doctor. So much so his choice of clothing and glasses mirror him. Albeit without the stick of celery.
There was a fun little skit for charity during Christmas that was inserted between the end of the season and the Titanic crashing into the Tardis. In it the Davison Doctor meets the Tennant Doctor.
Posted by: Andrew at Wednesday, June 11 2008 05:06 PM (UPl/E)
I've got that, but the file I downloaded has no sound for some reason (codec issue, I guess) so I haven't had a chance to watch it.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, June 11 2008 05:25 PM (PiXy!)
Bunny girls! Air ships! Shameless disregard for the laws of physics!
And jaggies. Moving jaggies. It's like an on-screen migraine.
This is the first time I've hooked up the PS2 to my LCD TV. Before, I played it on my computer monitor, and before that, on my old computer monitor (and when I say old, I mean the monitor from my Amiga 1000) or my TV. The larger, brighter screen makes the colour and detail really jump out - but it makes the jaggies jump out too.
Instead of the PS3, Sony should have made a PS2.5. Nice simple dual-core 1.2GHz in-order CPU, hardware geometry, single-pass texturing, 300MHz 32-pipeline graphics chip, 128MB main memory and 32MB video memory. Not as amazing as the PS3 perhaps, but it could deliver a very high degree of PS2 compatibility with the power and memory to run HD and/or anti-aliasing, and get rid of those damn jaggies.
Huh. Does the PS3 support anti-aliasing on PS2 games under emulation? That might actually make it worthwhile.
Interestingly, according to this chart, the built-in graphics on my motherboard have a higher fill rate than the PS2 - 1.6GT/sec compared to 1.2. Which isn't saying much unless you know that the PS2 graphics engine had a phenomenal fill rate but was otherwise relatively weak - no hardware geometry, as implied by my suggested spec for the PS2.5. How times change.
What? Oh, the game. Well, let's see. You can't save in the initial training session, so I'm going to have to run through that a third time. Yeah, third time. Turns out you can lock up the game if you go into the location map before it teaches you how to do that.
Oh, and the main character is some git with spiky blond hair.
And yes, I'm aware that this game came out two years ago. I've been looking everywhere for my PS2 power supply.* Hey, it took me three years to get around to playing FFX. At this rate, I'll be firing up FFXVI on its release day - sometime in 2016. Hey, I still haven't finished FFIII!
* Er, sort of. I'd found everything except the power supply, and thought I needed to look for that, so I'd put off actually setting the thing up. Then I realised that in my original-model PS2, the power supply is on the inside... On the plus side, when I went to scrounge a matching cable from my cable box, I found my missing Canon battery charger on the end of said cable.
I've heard a wonderful, possibly apocryphal explanation for the title: Square was doing badly, and they anticipated that Final Fantasy would, in fact, be the last game they ever published before going out of business.
Posted by: gknodle at Monday, June 09 2008 02:46 PM (25Dgk)
I tried hooking up a PS2 to my 63" flatscreen a couple years ago. Baaaaad idea, the pixels were like an inch across. It was like studying one of those dot paintings from an inch away.
The PS3, though, is godly. 1080i output, Blu-ray, and it very conveniently converts my Deadwood DVD output to use the whole screen. Heavenly Sword is just staggeringly beautiful, especially the big battle sequences.
Posted by: TallDave at Tuesday, June 17 2008 06:16 AM (oyQH2)