spazzx625 / Member

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Thoughts on the iPad

So the iPad announcement came today...I followed along via Gizmodo's live blog. Here are some thoughts:

  • iPad is a horrible, horrible name.
  • While I get Apple's need to find a niche between a full-on Macbook and an iPhone, this doesn't seem to be much more than a large iPhone. There's still no external storage, no full operating system, no having multiple programs running simultaneously, etc.
  • Pricing is good, all things considered. Top of the line is still cheaper than a Macbook, low-end is just a little pricier than an iPod Touch
  • iWork looks awesome.
  • Prepare to pay out the ass for accessories. By the time you buy a dock, keyboard, mouse, etc. you could have just gotten a Macbook.
  • ebook service looks great, but the eBook services on an iPhone suffer from battery and glare problems, this won't change.
  • Call me when they announce a true tablet in the form of a Macbook Pro with this type of screen technology.

I'm happy with my Macbook and iPhone combo. Together they do everything this device does, and both do it much better. By trying to get in the middle ground, it seems Apple is not excelling at anything. For those without an iPod Touch/iPhone and/or Macbook/iMac I could definitely see the appeal, though.

Maybe this time next year when they announce the 2nd generation I will be more on board.

The late night debacle

I have been watching Conan for close to 15 or his 17 years as a late night talk show host. I was a regular viewer of Late Night. I will adamantly defend his time on the Simpsons was the acme of the series. I have TiVo'd every episode of The Tonight Show and watched at least the first third of every episode. Yeah, I likes me some CoCo.

Now, Jay Leno on the other hand...I like Jay. Well, that is to say I liked him. I was never a regular viewer of his Tonight Show, but when I tuned in I was never displeased, I just never found him to be a good host. I never really watched Letterman either, but I've always enjoyed his Late Show much more on a whole. Jimmy Kimmel and Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Fallon all take a back seat, I've seen their shows a handful of times.

Okay...So everyone by now probably knows that Conan is on his way out from his stint as host of the Tonight Show and it seems as if Leno will be taking back his chair. It doesn't get much more cluster****y than that. There are many obvious, glaring questions I have...Not just for Leno, but NBC. Obviously these questions will not be answered, but here they are anyway:

  • What happens when Jay's ratings are in the gutter? Are you going to fire him yet again and try to find a replacement or just let him hold the chair until he dies?
  • As a follow-up to the previous question, who is even a leading candidate as host for The Tonight Show? Jerry Seinfeld seems to be the golden boy, but I doubt he would want to walk right into a daily job after living on easy street for the past decade or so.
  • Why does Conan have to get the shaft in this situation? You (NBC) have already spent tens, if not hundred, of millions of dollars relocating an entire staff and building a new set...Not to mention the cost of severance pay for an entire staff now...Leno could have been given his walking papers and the whole mess could have been avoided.
  • Why is Leno even taking this position back? It just makes him look like a douchebag. He's not entitled to anything, he has been on NBC only 1 year longer than Conan, it's not like he has gained that much tenure. Sure, he had ratings, but Conan could have in due time. Leno dragged in ratings for some time...

The whole situation irks me to no end. I'll follow Conan wherever he ends up. Personally, I'm hoping he will head back to write and produce for the Simpsons, even if it's just for one season. Talk shows are fine and all, but the market is pretty saturated. I'm not sure that any rival time slot would be able to match the ratings of Leno or Letterman.

Chicago blizzard

Today we are expecting a foot of snow here in Chicago...My normally pleasant 20 minute commute turned into a 75 minute trip through a frozen tundra full of rage and loss of traction. We had close to 3 inches by 7am...Ugh.

Here's a really cool picture of trucks loading up with salt to cover the roads taken from the south side...Yes, that's a salt mountain behind them.

I really hate driving in snow, too. Not so much for my sake, but everyone around me seems really really dumb and/or reckless. I got passed going 35 on a road where you couldn't even see the pavement. Yeah, real safe driving there.

Zelda Spirit Tracks... more like Boring Slacks...

Yeah, I have no idea what that means either...

I've been playing the latest DS Zelda game for a little while, maybe 2 weeks or so, and I finally just beat the first dungeon...And I'm pretty nonplussed by the whole experience.

For starters, I don't like the control scheme. I'm all for utilizing the DS's touch screen, but not for every single bit of Link's movement and attacking. Having the option to use a regular ol' control scheme would have definitely helped me out. I don't know if I'm just getting old but I keep getting hit needlessly and have a hard time attacking enemies in the right direction. Note that I didn't play Phantom Hourglass, and I doubt I will after this experience.

Next up is the train segments. To get from A to B you have to drive your train along the tracks...And boy is that about as fun as it sounds. There's no way to fast travel or anything, and it's just slightly better than the ocean mechanics of Wind Waker in that they give you stuff to do like shooting rocks. Yeah, you read that right.

I dunno, I'm gonna stick with it a little longer, but I just picked up GTA: Chinatown Wars and I rencetly bought The World Ends With You and Final Fantasy 4. There has to be a time when I'm either done with Zelda for good or just give it up to play one of those games instead. And no, I can't play more than one game at a time for the DS, I play it in such short bursts that I would never get anything done.

Ten in 2010

parched, cracked mouths, empty swollen guts
sun-baked pavement encroaches on us
haves and have-nots together at last
brutally engaged in mortal combat
10 in 2010
10 in 2010

what kind of God orchestrates such a thing?
10 in 2010, 10 in 2010
ten billion people all suffering
10 in 2010, 10 in 2010
truth is not an issue just hungry mouths to feed
10 in 2010, 10 in 2010
forget what you want, scrounge the things you need
10 in 2010, 10 in 2010

10 in 2010
10 in 2010

happy and content it can't happen to you
10 in 2010, 10 in 2010
fifteen years we'll think of a solution
10 in 2010, 10 in 2010
it won't just appear in one day
10 in 2010, 10 in 2010
for ten in twenty-ten we're well on our way
10 in 2010, 10 in 2010

10 in 2010
10 in 2010

like piercing ear darts, I heard the news today
10 billion people...coming your way
10 in 20...
10 in 20...
10 in 2010

Demon's Souls...

I'm sure I'm not the only one whose jaw slackened a bit when I checked to see which game nabbed the top honors here at GameSpot. While I was aware of Demon's Souls and was pretty sure it was a great game without ever playing it, I was still shocked at the choice. Yesterday I sat down and started playing it, though...

I am kicking myself for not buying the collector's edition the day it came out. Apparently it sold out like instantly and is worth $40+ more already. The standard edition is fine for now, I guess...

The game itself is quite unique, which actually surprised me when I started playing it. I was expecting something familiar and simple, and it's not unfamiliar it's a good mix of old and new school dungeon crawlers. I'm not very far in the game, so I can't speak too much about it, but from the hour or so I played I was simply in awe most of the time.

The little online interactions are a fabulous touch, I hope more games use something similar in the future. Basically, you can leave notes for other players in the world, you occassionally see the "ghost" of another player that is in the same area as you, and you also occasionally see a pool of blood where you can watch the final moments of a fallen player. There might be more stuff that I just haven't seen yet, but those alone are subtle but striking.

It's hard to find time for RPGs, especially since I have so much other stuff to play...But this game is something special. If you own a PS3 at least rent it and see what all the fuss is about.

Union clean-up

In honor of ringing in 2010...I have cleaned up my union list. If I haven't posted in a union, or a union is dead, I probably resigned. It's nothing personal, I just don't want the clutter. Most of the unions haven't been active since 2007, so it's a shame, but it shouldn't be a surprise.

God of War 3 demo impressions

I don't normally do demo impressions, but this one is a little special...

God of War is one of my favorite series, though I do have some disdain for the games. The first game is a masterpiece...The second was good, but not as good...The PSP version does it's best, but is kind of flat. None of them are paced all that well, and all have segments where the gameplay length is artificially ehanced (i.e. - Go here, do this, no go back to the beginning and do something similar).

I'm currently plugging my way through the first game again in the God of War Collection, and a few weeks back I played though the PSP game, Chains of Olympus. The games are all fresh in my mind, and that may help with my impressions. While this new demo has some very awesome moments, overall I'm still iffy...But March is going to come pretty quickly and I'll buy the game for sure.


The visuals are tremendously improved - Even the menu screen, especially when compared to the original games, is astounding. There was not a single part of the demo that wasn't great looking.

The story seems continuous - Kratos starts off with his scars and partial armor and of his normally upgraded moves...Though they could very well pull one of those "we're going to start you off with everything and take it all away" moves...

Enemies are smarter and more numerous - I never really felt like there were never enough enemies on screen at once, but they literally surround you in this game, and that alone adds a level of intensity.

Enemies are varied - This goes along with visuals, but the enemies are not all clones of each other. Also, in the demo there are the normal drone guys, and also five other enemy-types to face...Three of which are psuedo bosses.

Scale is epic - Instead of having boring backgrounds, this is something that is a simple touch, but really effectice in making the world seem massive and fluid

Blades of Chaos - The lighting effects from the Blades when you are using them is amazing


God of Dark - The entire game is way too dark. The Blades of Chaos lighting may be amazing, but I had to keep flinging them out to light up dark areas, even with no enemies around. While this may be remedied by a gamma setting in the final game, it was a bit off-putting

More of the same - If you've played the other games, seems like more of the same. Hopefully this isn't just a prettier game

You NEED a Dual Shock 3 - I won't spoil anything, but rumble is a key component of one Kratos' abilities. I was able to figure it out without rumble, but It took a lot longer than it would have.