Cathode Tan - Games, Media and Geek Stuff
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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Funny Thing, Technology

I had a simple goal this morning. Upgrade the Mini to Leopard, hook it up to the HDTV and see about making it into an iTunes/Torrent server. Install disc in hand, everything went horribly, horribly wrong.

The disc consistently ejected itself. Some googling offered up a few solutions which seemed to fit the scenario but nothing really worked. Resetting the PRAM allowed the DVD to at least be recognized but when the install started it would just eject once again.

What seemed to be required was a firewire cable and a spare Mac, to boot the DVD via remote for the Mini. A trip to Best Buy later I had what was apparently the very wrong firewire cable. So I went back to beating up the firmware.

Finally, and this is some hours later - it occurred to me clean the damn DVD.

It's worked fine ever since.

Funny how a four cent alcoholic tissue makes a five hundred dollar machine behave.

Friday, September 05, 2008

360 Temptation

Friend Seth came and left in a rolling cloud of beer and console gaming. He packed his 360 along with him and so I was treated to a bit of Mass Effect and Gears of War (along with a touch of Assassin's Creed).

In actuality, if there's one title which really tempts me to getting a 360, it would probably be Fable 2. The Girl and I with two player offline RPG coop? Gah. I was really under the impression Mercenaries 2 had a similar setup, but apparently not. Reviewers and people who write info summaries need to be clear - there is a huuuuuuugggggeeee distinction between online and offline coop.

Don't get me wrong, this is no PS3 lament. I love the shiny black box. It really is a superb media machine, has a great stock of online games and plays our old PS2 games wonderfully. However, some of the 360 exclusives, both disc and online based, are pretty tempting in the long run - not to mention all those old Xbox games I never check out.

I said sometime ago that this might be the first generation of consoles where I owned all the current ones while that generation was still alive. Still, I'm not sure how willing I am to jump into the hardware revision jungle and roll the dice with the old red ring of death. I think Microsoft has gotten a incredible free pass on what has to be one of the great hardware blunders of gaming history. I wish they would come out with a revision in which they could clearly say - that was the problem, we fixed it, we're good. And while hints and accusations point to one purchase or another which might be safer - I don't see a clear statement from Redmond on that matter.

Another Sign Twitter Might Be Off

Just this week two people, whom I'm not sure who they might actually be, signed up for my twitter feed.

That might not sound odd unless you go see my twitter feed. And that's the way it's been since day one. And probably the way it will remain. I've given twitter a bit of a hard rap, although I can finally get the appeal a little more as I browse Facebook status updates - essentially the same thing with, as it seems to me, less noise. I guess I live a life on the Internet where that can be a wildly lovely thing.

(Brin, Corv - sorry to have lead you to the dark cobwebs of twitter at somepoint...)

In pretty unrelated news, my old place of employ got their redesign out the door. This was a complicated affair and as I put it to my boss this morning, I'm happy to be simply whelmed.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I Declare The Following Cliche

Spent much of the last 24 hours playing video games with an old college roomie of mine. We realized that since playing Doom around the old fraternity house in the days of old that several concepts have moved into first person shooters which may now be wearing out their welcome:

Female Correspondents
Look, we all loved Cortana - but does that mean every shooter now needs an excuse to have some chick whisper instructions in my ear? We're playing Resistance and when the (already narrator) female character appears in the game, I declared "I bet she has a radio that we'll need.... yup, there it is..."

Enough said.

From the undead soldiers of Doom to the Chimeran hybrids of yesteryear, with every Strogg and headcrabbed scientist in between - mutated humans have been done to death. Just stop with it already.

Dead Space Moves Up, Banned

Andrew of the clan EA dropped a note by to say that Dead Space has moved up its release date and will now drop on October 14th. Well, some places at least - apparently the title has been banned in Japan, China and Germany.

As marketing pushes go, Dead Space's has been pretty enjoyable. Watching the animated comic now off the PS3, showed off the trailer to a friend this afternoon and the ARGish No Known Survivors has plenty of appeal. It's marketing which is well designed to not just sell the product, but to expand the story around the game as well.