This week I joined the widescreen gaming community with the purchase of a 20" Samsung 204BW. While games are really awesome, there was one thing bothering me, and that was text ; reading text just isn't as easy or comfortable as it was on the trusty old CRT. Trying to resolve this "issue" led to an educational Google chase and an interesting call to Samsung support. Anyway, in my usual fashion, I got a strange impulse to document the whole thing, so here goes - if anyone stumbles upon this while googling for "cleartype", maybe the following will save you some further search time.
The issue was that text just looked too faint in desktop work, like reading e-mails in outlook, or some text in webpages. Obviously at my new native resolution of 1600x1050 fonts were going to appear smaller, but that aside, the text was quite "faint". If I wasn't going to start suffering from eye strain, it was obvious a solution was required. Equally, if this was a fault with the monitor, then I needed to identify and confirm it so I could pursue an RMA and replacement.
Obvious Stuff First
The first thing was to make sure the monitor was set up correctly. I don'tknow about other flat screens, but this Samsung has a ton of options, including 6 presets for things like internet, games, movies etc. Additionally there's the usual brightness, contrast and other settings to tweak. I had already read that these monitos ship with the brightness up at 100, so that was the first thing I toned down.
There is also an Nvidia tool for setting up the colours correctly, that was a useful tool and it did make a visible difference to the display of colours, but not any difference to text.
However, after playing around with everything from brightness to sharpness, I couldn't really say that text was any easier to read.
The other obvious thing was drivers, so both graphics card and monitor drivers were checked and the latest versions installed.
This is where things started to get interesting. I remembered using Microsoft's cleartype technology on my CRT, and also on my Palm PDA - in both cases the text was very much improved, much bolder, without actually being "bold".
Here's the confusing thing about cleartype and LCD monitors though, one the one hand you will find sources like wikipedia saying that cleartype will
"improve the appearance of text ..., especially LCD flat-panel monitors"
On the other hand 5 minutes Googling will reveal user comments like
"Most people have found that ClearType reduces readability of text on LCD monitors. Best not to even try it in most cases."
So what do you believe? Well, what you believe is your own eyes, so the only thing you can do is test it out yourself and see how your monitor responds.
To activate cleartype in Windows XP, right click on the desktop and select Properties, then the Appearance tab, then Effects.
There's a smooth edges setting there, that's where you'll find cleartype. Once you click apply, you'll probably see windows do a quick display restart, and then the effect should be quite obvious. The problem for me, was that while text did become easier to read due to the cleartype effect, it also gained a new attribute, bleeding.
I found that the vertical strokes of small point text had a quite uneasy, almost un-nerving colour tinge that put me on edge. It was like, is it there, or am I imagining it? So the investigating started full force...
What Does Cleartype Do?
I wanted to check what this color bleed was, so to convince myself I was not seeing things, I took a screengrab of some email text, zoomed in (not enlarged), then took a screengrab of the zoom, this is what I found...
As you can see, the vertical strokes do indeed have a coloured line, remember, this is black text on a white background. Even worse, in applications that had white text on a black background (like XFire for example), when I switched cleartype on, exclamation marks and also the number "1" changed from white to red and green!! That's just plain wrong.
So by now I am wondering if this is normal behaviour for cleartype, more Googling confirmed that this is in fact exactly how clreaytype works, and it's called subpixel rendering.
"Like most other types of subpixel rendering, ClearType actually involves a compromise, sacrificing one aspect of image quality (color or chrominance detail) for another (light and dark or luminance detail). The compromise improves text appearance because when viewing black and white text, luminance detail is more important than chrominance. The compromise works because it takes advantage of certain peculiarities of human vision."
That small extract from Wikipedia ticks my issue box - the issue of colour bleeding or as it is called elsewhere color fringing . Cleartype uses colours and anti-aliasing to remove the sharp edges that individual pixels on flat panel monitors cause.
This confirmed that I was not imagining the effect, but I already knew that because of anecdotal evidence gleemed from google again, like this random quote...
"Oh yes and PLEASE do not copy the ClearType thing as it sucks big time! On good LCD screens it leaves the impression of red and blue lines alongside the characters "
Here's another thing though, if this is an issue, and it's bugging me, why is cleartype heralded the tech world over as such a god send? the clue is here in this quote (thanks again to Wikipedia).
"ClearType and similar technologies work because human vision is much more sensitive to variations in intensity than it is to variations in color. The human eye can discern contrasts in intensity about three times better than it can discern contrasts in color; thus, when ClearType sacrifices color accuracy in order to increase level of luminance detail, the overall effectâ€”as seen by human eyesâ€”is seen as an improvement by most people."
Notice the bit I bolded. Most People. This explains why when I asked Mrs Rocky to look at the screen and tell me what she wrong with the text, she replied that it looked alright to her, and why it probably looks alright to the majority of the LCD using world - some people just don't pick up on it. Bad news for me, I notice it - not so much easily, but occasionally, and it's annoying.
So with the issue confirmed, what to do?
I didn't want to give up on cleartype, as it did look like it was a solution to faint text, only that it came with an overhead. This could be the reason why Microsoft also have a cleartype tweaking tool available!
You can either download a version that becomes available in the Control Panel, or you can do it online through a web interface. Note that you need to use IE for this, it doens't work in Firefox. Surprise surprise.
The online tuner works by asking you to select which sample text looks best. Some will clearly have color fringing, those are the ones to avoid, select which ever text looks best to your eyes.
The download version is better though, because in the Advanced tab there is a slider that lets you select the exact amount of smoothing that you find comfortable. For me, that was basically all the way down at the minimum setting. At that setting there is a slight improvement over normal text, and not much in the way of colour fringing. If you find you can tune it higher up the scale, lucky you - you are getting a higher definition text - without any side effects.
For me though, my monitor "upgrade" comes at a price, and not just the Â£170 it cost me. Text is not as readable as it was on a 1024,768 CRT, plain and simple. And it's not just me, here's another random Google quote..
"Once you setup your shiny new LCD, you may have noticed that a lot of characters in email or word documents are harder to read than before. "
One other thing (and this wasn't mentioned in Wikipedia), but you might already be using cleartype and not even realise it. Why? Because Microsoft have it on by default in Internet Explorer 7. you can read about that from Mr Cleartype himself, in his blog, where he lets slip that it is also on by default in Vista.
So that's where I'm at, on the plus side though, GAMES LOOK AWESOME IN WIDESCREEN!!!!!
If anyone actually read all that, well done.
Urgh.. 1330 is too early for me to get out of bed. Anyways...
So I tried World of Warcraft a few months back, and got positively hooked. It's probably one of the best MMORPGs I've ever played, and I've done a few. Made me miss Star Wars Galaxies - damn you Sony and your New Game Experience! Sadly, I don't have a lot of time to play inbetween work, day-to-day errands, Christina and all the other stuff I play; so my human rogue is still only level 29. Haven't been logged in for weeks now.. If anyone happens to be playing on the European Anachronos server, feel free to send a whisper to 'Chrissie'. She's the hottest rogue in all of Stormwind
Beginning to get a little hyped about a few upcoming titles.. Starcraft 2 should be fun. I'll buy it just to see the Starcraft franchise in its full 3D glory, but I expect the game to be a class A title like most Blizzard titles are. Splinter Cell Conviction looks to be very interesting, the whole fugitive idea sounds great and I can't say I'll miss the old "hide-in-the-shadows" type of stealth gameplay. I really hope they pull off what they've set out to do with this new kind of 'active stealth'. We might be looking at a breakthrough as far as stealth-oriented games go.
What hit me when I read the part about hiding in the crowd, however, is that Conviction isn't the only upcoming Ubisoft game with this stealth mechanic. Assassin's Creed - which I'm also immensely anticipating - will also allow the player to blend in and interact with crowds of people in various ways. Combat looks good too, and I like the idea of having a realistic damage model where one slice of the sword can kill anyone, including the player. Hopefully we'll be able to backstab people with daggers as well
I'm somewhat less excited about Halo 3. I absolutely loved the first Halo and enjoyed the sequel, with the exception of the Covenant missions. (Which, sadly, was about half the game ) I'll buy it though - have to see how to story ends.
What I'm even less excited about, surprisingly enough, is Metal Gear Solid 4. The first MGS is my most played PlayStation game of all time (followed by Final Fantasy VII). MGS2 was pretty, but the Raiden character was no fun and the story went all weird, Japanese-style. Snake Eater's pretty good, but it doesn't have the same "feel" and didn't even keep me interested for long enough to finish it. One day, though..
The fourth and final part of the Snake story will still be a must-buy for me, if only to have the whole series. I really don't like the idea of Snake being all old and - most likely - dying. Sure, it's probably a good way to end the series and all, but it's like killing off Sam Fisher dangit. Sacrilege. And one of the things that made the first MGS so atmospheric for me was the fact that you were effectively trapped in this one facility, sneaking back and forth while trying to keep hidden from all the patrolling guards while completing the mission. MGS2 managed to pull off the same feeling, whereas the large open areas of Snake Eater made me feel more like a soldier from the Ghosts than an uber-stealthy operative who favors stealth over combat. Looks like MGS4 will be somewhat similar - not that I've kept a close eye on the development by any means. Guess I'm not qualified to discuss it, eh?
Funny how I always set out to blog on a regular basis, yet end up having these huge gaps between entries. My fingers are itching again, so the one or two (possibly imaginary) persons who enjoy reading this - enjoy.
Where to begin.. At the most recent events, I suppose. I just finished Rainbow Six Vegas on the XBox 360 - and what a great ride it was. I've barely been able to put the controller down for the past week or two since I bought it. Sure, it's nothing like ye olde Rainbow Six and Rogue Spear (or even Raven Shield), but it's certainly a step back in the right direction after that horrible Lockdown attempt. Good graphics, good sound, good story. Gameplay-wise it's kinda like Tom Clancy meets Gears of War. (Which I also utterly loved and is the only other 360 game I've completed so far.) I usually dislike checkpoint-based games when they have such mind-numbingly challenging portions like 'Vegas' did, but I never got stuck in the same place long enough to give up for more than a couple of hours. Then I just had to get back in the action. I really hated all the "hacking" sequences though, mainly because I had trouble finding a single decent spot to take cover
A second playthrough is probably imminent, as I didn't try any of the sniper rifles until the very, very last segment of the game.. And got that fuzzy warm feeling inside while picking off tango after tango with the M40 And maybe try a more stealthy approach too - attaching and removing suppressors on the fly is way cool.
For you imaginary people who have been following this blog and/or know me from the good ol' days, you may be thinking: Since when did Day have an XBox 360? Why, since November last year of course, when my uber girlfriend gave me the 'Box and Gears of War (Collector's Edition, of course) as an early Christmas present.
Oh, she moved in with me a couple of months ago btw. Coolness.
Ah yes, the 360. Just tried out Live for the first time last week, sadly my only "good" experience was a short bout of team deathmatch in Gears of War. Tried GRAW online, but gave that up quickly. I suck so much at that game it's not even funny, though my first and only kill scored me the 'Assassin' award. How's that for luck? Pity I couldn't get into a single 'Vegas' server, for whatever reason.
Hmm, other news.. I got my beloved Supra fixed up in early January, with a new turbo which cost me over 20.000NOK (~3.300USD/1.700GBP for those who wonder) - and it lasted for about two-three months. So now my car is broken, again. As soon as I get it back, I'm putting that thing up for sale. I love it so much, but the way I (ab)use cars, I can't afford anything with a turbo. It's too easy to break and too expensive to replace. So I'm downgrading to a 93-94-ish Toyota MR2, or at least that's the plan. And the Volvo V8 project is officially dead. I'll be getting a '91 Subaru Legacy cheap from a friend to take over as the "winter car".
I'll be changing jobs soon, I hope. So sick of working nothing but nights and every other weekend. Not sure what I'll do instead, though. I've been offered a job doing security at a nearby mall. The short travel distance would be great (compared to the one hour-trip each way I have now), and I'll be moving up in the ranks within Securitas, but I'll still be working evenings and some Saturdays.. And I'll probably get bored. Or I can continue working in Oslo, where I've been offered a job doing maintenance on alarm systems. Working eight to four on weekdays only sure is tempting, but the morning rush to Oslo is insane. I'd probably need two hours or more just to get there in the morning. And I have to buy my own car for the job. (Not that a VW Caddy or somesuch is that expensive.. I'm just cheap )
Crud.. Have to go pick up Christina (girlfriend) at her parents'. Guess I'll have to leave you waiting for the continuation Just like the ending of 'Vegas' did. *sigh*
The last band I talked about (albeit 8 months ago!!) was The Mars Volta, and the genre of music that has gripped me of recent could not be any further away from the psychedelic rock of Omar and Cedric. I used to think of Folk as dainty music that was enjoyed by the 50+ whilst they landscaped a rockery in their garden. Boring.
I've since realised that folk music entails all the ethos of punk and can be performed more energetically than any of the new metal garbage knocking around. A case in point is Frank Turner who has the ability to create an atmosphere from his voice and guitar that a quartet of amplified emo bands could only hope for. He writes the most beautiful love ballads, insightful political songs and entertaining examinations of life.
Artists of similar ilk that I'm currently enjoying are Chris T-T and Beans and Toast. However, I'm well aware of folk musics long back catalogue and its greats. But where to start is the question I am faced with. Recommend me some folk, folks!
I've got an infestation problem.
Cats. Three of the buggers.
Love `em to death.
My local pet supply store had an in-store 'mascot' cat. His name was Mickey, and he literally was older than the store. He died yesterday, at the age of 17.
His health had been problematic for the past year or so, although luckily he wasn't suffering by it. Discomforted, sure, but not in pain. Luckily, though, his role as the cat everyone sucks up has been passed on to Esse, an abandoned medium hair grey female, young but indeterminate as to actual age, who gets to claim the new role of being the cat who lives in heaven, aka a pet supply store with a fantastic staff.
Looking at my various web accounts, I realize one thing. I have way too many pictures.
So... I'm in the process of doing a massive reconstruction of all of my sites, including this blog. I've got tons and tons of pictures to sort through and organize and caption. This will involve roughly 4000 pictures, so give me time.
There seems to be something of a buzz around the board lately...and the internet in certain places concerning the possibility that Blackfoot Studios is wickedly up to no good. Well, it's true. At least that is what I read.
Getting a game into production often occurs like overnight success in Hollywood used to occur...after years of hard work and perseverence. Although I can't say what is happening at the moment, I will say that I will sleep very well tonight. Actually tomorrow as I will certainly be up till the wee hours pounding out some ground in Halo 2. I also just downloaded War Rock and intend to have a go at that as well.
I want to take a moment to thank the people that have fired the interest in the tactical community concerning certain stories about a game that was told to them behind a dumpster in back of the pub. I wish I could list all of the names but certainly Zjj, Nyr_32, WK, Dannik, CR6, and most certainly Rocky deserve particular nods. To all of the other people that are posting ideas on what they would like to see in some title some day by someone, thanks. You make us think. We may not always agree, but you make us more aware.
Will you be playing GR on your moment of clarity, otherwise know as, mid-life crisis?
A shock came to me as I browsing the toy section of TJ Maxx hoping to see a bargain PC game: I'm approaching 40, childless, in debt and I'm still in a toy section of bargain store. Desperate times calls for desperate measures. Is this my mid-life crisis?
My younger brother is getting married, two years after acquiring a studio in downtown Hawaii.
I remember seeing him collect bottles during lunch for deposit money as the rest of us enjoy our grilled sandwich. I remember hearing him count his savings one night, and see him the next day get off a public bus with a huge box. He just came from Toys R Us and bought his dream GI Joe toy: a 6-feet aircraft carrier. I'm thinking where in our 2 bedroom apartment, where myself, my brother and parents stay, would he play with "that monstrosity?" 5 years from now, if he decides to sell his condo, he'll be the first in the family to have a million dollar in his bank.
I got 0.68 cents and a cloth softener sheet in my back pocket.
While my wife goes looking in TJ Maxx for some Christmas gift, I went into Best Buy to kill some time. More like torture myself. As I approach the store, I noticed a group of men huddling in the cold. They brought their portable lawn chairs and tents. They are waiting for the release of PS3. I thought how pathetic.
Then I look back, I was just in the clearance bin of a bargain store, looking for a PC game under $10. I'm turning 40 years old soon and I'm still looking to get a toy for my birthday. I tried buying adult toys from Home Depot. Ok, "Men toys" for you perverts. I got my 10" saw, portable and table saw. I got my toolbox that alone can break a grown man's back. Empty. I bought a $35 hammer, vs getting a basic hammer for $5. I got 3 types of laser levels. I got 3 kinds of 25-50 feet measuring tapes. I got my dry/wet vacuum that can suck chrome off a trailer hitch. I'm dreaming of getting a Dyson Vacuum if my wife would let me use her 20% off coupon from Linen n Things.
I come from work, dead tired, and still wish for more toys.
Most men who go through mid-life crisis wanting their sport car.
Or a hot young cheerleader, secretary, or a young check-out clerk at the local grocery store.
Not me, I want a computer with a custom airbrushed paint job, dual-core processor, a ram so big, I have no clue what I'll use it for, a video card that would give so much eye-candy, I'll need a dentist on stand by. I wonder is he has a young dental assistant?
I wonder sometimes would I be better off if I had a child to play with? Would I have a different type of crisis if I had child? Would I be less stressed out if I didn't have $9,000 debt? If I could afford my toys, would I still be craving for more? Would I still be playing GR when I get that moment of clarity.
Unfortunately for my wife who loves me so dearly, I probably will.
Videocard Fund Jar
So I'm freaking out after seeing those videos from Armed Assault. Actually I've been freaking out ever since Crysis movies started coming out. Well maybe even further than that. After I played the F.E.A.R demo came out. Or was it Half-Life 2: Lost Coast?
As I browse through Newegg's videocard selections. Again. I filter those that have rebates. I see an eVGA 7900 GT with $20 rebate, bringing the price down to $200 and change.
I head into our kitchen and started opening cabinet doors under the sink. I see what I was I looking for: an empty jar of Ragu Spaghetti Sauce. We keep it for collecting used cooking oil and recycle it for fueling our cars.
We use it to collect used cooking oil and this is how we properly dispose the used oil. Don't remember why we do it that way, but it has been our routine ever since. I use the empty cars to sort out screws, nuts, bolts, buttons, loose changes, nails, and whatever I think I might need sometimes in the future.
I sat the empty jar on our kitchen island. I went through my backpack and started collecting loose change and found 0.73 cents. The coins made distinct plinking noises as they fall in and bounce around the glass jar. As I was staring how much I have in my Videocard Fund Jar, I remember that I have a secret compartment in my backpack. Just in case ninjas should attack me in a dark alley. I remember I have an emergency funds in there. Jackpot, I find my $2 off coupon for Starbucks.
And a whole $20. Alas I have $20.73 in my videocard fund jar.
I look back in Newegg's website. I have till November 30th to come up with the rest of the money.
My spidey sense is tingling.
Someone else is in the kitchen.
My Sugar Mommy is watching me with her hands on her waist, one foot forward. It's the universal stance for "###### is he doing now?" Looking at me with her sad empathetic eyes. She said, "Put my jar back underneath the sink, I'll buy your stupid video card for Christmas."
It's nice to have a Sugar Mommy.
See you later videocard fund jar. Till the next upgrade.
Since I last made an entry or even a post on GR.net. The reason is not that I have turned my back on GR.net or anything like that, it is simply because I have been unable to use the Internet regularly.
I moved out in September and now reside in a house with three fellow students in Headingley, Leeds. Our Landlady is an old lady of about 70 and she doesn't much care for anything bar the basic requirements needed to rent a house out. The decor of the house is like a Retirement Home and the utilities just about get the job done. However, this is part and parcel of been a lazy-bum-student, and you get what you pay for.
What does annoy me is that she refuses us permission to contract a company to install a telephone line for the house so we can use the net. Of course we would be paying for it all, and it would be another 'feature' for the house, she takes the viewpoint that it might spoil the appearance of the house/garden (like its anything special at the moment).
So for now, I am only able to access the net at uni, and that time is limited to emails and the like. So just in case you were wondering where I was you now have an answer. Little disappointed there wasn't a 'Where is Avey?' thread though, see to it someone.
Keep the Peace.
I'm going to expand on this later, but for now here are my top two one reasons why the 360 sucks.
1. Bear with me here... it's a console; console's are primarily aimed at and bought by people who for one reason or another do not have a (gaming) PC. The reason these people probably do not have a gaming PC is because they cannot justify the cost of building/buying a PC with enough juice to run the latest games. Remember that demographic, and recall it again in a sentence or two.
Now consider this.
To fully (or even BARELY) enjoy the 360, you have to (yes HAVE as in "MUST"), play it on a HD telly. A standard telly never has and never will be capable of displaying the sort of resolution that makes games look good. TV's were built for TV signals, not hi-res computer graphics. Without the required resolution (1) graphics look washed out and lack definition and (2) text is blurry and best unreadable at worst.
Now jump back to that demographic you logged in your memory a moment ago, yeh, the typical "can't afford a gaming PC" console owner. What is the chance that such a household is likely to be in a position to own a large HD telly, when they can't afford a PC? I'd take a guess, NOT LIKELY.
Now, I know some of you will be reading this, with an Xbox 360 and a huge HD telly somewhere in the house, bully for you, that's great and I am jealous as hell, but this isn't about me (really). This is about selling a next gen console as a loss leader (offset against the game sales), to entice everyone of any budget to buy it, knowing full well that without a costly HD telly, the "next gen" graphics are not going to look next gen, and even worse, might play worse than the previous gen.... but that's for another gripe in another blog entry.
I'm sorry if this offends any 360 lovers, I just have a bit of a thing about the 360 right now, being as I bought it many MANY months ago, and have still never bought a single game for it yet, because nothing I have seen beats what I am playing on the PC, as an overall gaming experience, and I am going to biatch about it. Alot. Probably.
 Before anyone says "what about GRAW 360", I never bought it, it was sent to me.
I discovered a fantastic trick for getting the spell checker to work in virtually all text fields, not just input boxes.
As usual, open about.config in a new tab/window, and locate layout.spellcheckDefault. Change it's value to 2 to turn on Firefox 2's spell-checking in input fields as well as text areas.
You'll need to close and restart Firefox for it to take effect. Oh, and I find it amusing that the Firefox spell checker flags Firefox as a typo.
After a leak of a black Microsoft Windows XP desktop theme last week, MS decided to rework and officially release the new theme, branded as the 'Zune' XP Theme, named after their upcoming portable multimedia device.
Official download is available here: Zune XP Theme
Microsoft is a little late on this release, I believe. The black/orange theme really should have been out before Halloween, don't you think?
I treated myself to a new genre of PC game this weekend with my purchase of Microsoft's Flight Simulator X and a Saitek X52 throttle and joystick combo. I'm really liking it so far. Having never been a flight simmer before, it is a bit complex to get used to...all the details needed to do it correctly...but hey it's tons of fun!
Remember when PC gamers where only composed of the elite-can-afford-parts-that-you-have-to-kill-to-get-parts? Remember when you played a game that can be only played on a PC? Remember when the developers challenged you to their games and not the publishers of the game? Remember when there were no stores/warehouse for PC parts? Remember when you chose to buy a stick of memory and then can't afford a stick of deodorant for the entire year?
If you remember those years, your old like me. Seriously, it seems the PC gamers are loosing a foothold on this gaming industry despite the fact that there are more PC parts available to the general public at a competitive price, that would exclusively allow us to play these PC-exclusive games. Nowadays, we have to share to console players the games with dumb-down feel of it or with scaled down graphics.
Now the developers, which is not at fault, are forced into their cubicles to hunker down and produce games that are no longer for the gamers, but for the publishers and its shareholders. Now if the shares itself are like PC parts, that are competitively priced, maybe we should buy the shares instead. This way we all become shareholders and be able to dictate the direction of our pc-exclusive games and reap its benefits.
I remember playing Doom and Unreal Tournament, and it felt like an arena in the game. Like one big boxing match with more than 2 boxers, depending on the game. The only advertising you see are on the gloves, shorts or shoes, if any. Depending on the map, Quake might have the server's name.
Team Fortress, Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament, majority of the maps were generously devoid of advertisings. It was easier to concentrate on the killing spree.
GhostRecon, Operation Flashpoint, Rainbow Six were so immersible that you sometimes get taken away and forget that your playing in your room and not some hotel, or some war-torn country.
You and your team await in the bush or some blind spot, ready to pounce an ambush, concentrating on the horizon or ridge, further looking down to see the background without a billboard, trying to remind you to buy a Dodge Ram.
Racing games with the likes of NASCAR or Colin McRae are full of advertising on the side of the cars or racing lanes with banners, yes that makes sense, since thats how you view them anyway. Go ahead and post there, but no need to sneak a program that reviews and collects are viewing habits so we can get spammed later. Order a game-dedicated channel from your cable company, and they'll send you junk mails like its running out of style.
So, where do we go from here? Do we continue patronizing gaming publishers, or do we change our gaming preferences? Or do we take a drastic move of becoming stockholders, and start making our opinions truly count and be heard, when companies send out those shareholder's meeting and voting mails. Or do we just take it as it is, weeding out the "have not" who cannot afford the parts upgrades and or the ones who just refuse to share their gaming habits?
Do we succumb to the console genre of gaming? Buy into the Gillette business model: Sell the handle cheap, but make a killing selling the blades. Join the masses play what the Joneses are playing?
Should we learn to not to pay attention to that Dodge Ram billboard? Should we learn to evolve with the gaming industry?
Or should we just step aside and let our sons and daughters play their console games, and go to our local Dodge Dealer and get a senior citizen discount on the new Ram. Vroom, vroom.
its like a convenient store, its open 24hrs in a day, and like the movie "Clerks" if someone calls in, you have to stay. Regardless of what kind of BS lame excuse that person who is suppose to relief you from your shift.I hate mandatory OT/stay over. Anyone else that has this kind of policy at work?
Now...I don't want to come across like BOTA:X or anything , but today, for the first time, I was accused of cheating when playing a TDM round on the BDA server. I was never approached by anyone, but I had a squadmate on the other side that told me about it later. I kind of take it as a compliment of sorts. I've never really thought of myself being good enough to be considered "beyond everyday gaming ability"... I must really be a stud, eh? Ha, well anyways, kind of took me off guard when I heard about their discussion on TeamSpeak. I guess when there really are hackers and glitchers out there having their way with this game, us fine, normal, everyday GRAW citizens will get pointed out from time-to-time...
Well, I have been saying for the past months that it's only a matter of time before I destroy something on my current car. On Friday, it finally happened. I was cruising along in my beloved Supra when the turbo suddenly failed to boost. Instead, it started sounding like a police car siren. Shortly afterwards, oil pressure dropped to almost nothing. Crap.
Went to the local Toyota shop today, the chief mechanic called a couple of other mechanics and tuners and they all said the turbo's most likely gone to hell. I haven't checked up on what a new one costs, but I know it won't be cheap. Crap.
Left it at another Toyota shop nearby where the chief mechanic actually had time to have a look within a couple of days, and as a little bonus, he has a heavily tuned Supra himself. It's reassuring to know that the guy poking around in my baby actually knows his way around a tuned Supra engine Hopefully he'll get back to me soon, and with good news. I'm still hoping it's just a leak in the vacuum system or something. Otherwise I'll really have to step up the Volvo V8 project, as there's no way in hell I can afford a new turbo until next summer. On the upside, if the turbo does turn out to be wasted, I'll just park the car until summer and pop in a bigger GReddy turbo. That'll get me closer to my 500bhp goal, at least Then I can go get myself killed in a horrible, horrible car accident.
It's been a few months since we've been to the cinema, so when I saw all the great write ups for The Departed, we made a date and went to see it on Sunday. things have changed slightly since last we were went to the pictures though....
When I paid for the tickets, I was asked if I wanted Premier Seats. Not knowing what the heck that was I asked, and told they were Â£1 extra over the normal price, and were a group of seats in the centre of the auditorium. I passed, and said I check them out for next time.
So in we went, and right enough, the middle third of the central seating area now had seats marked as PREMIER.
Can you see what's wrong with that picture?
The seats I USED to sit in, are now deemed exclusive PREMIER seats, and to sit in them now I have to pay an additional fee! A pound is not exactly a huge amount of money, BUT, on top of already what I would call expensive cinema pricing, this is just too much to bear!
Oh, and the best bit was this. We sat right behind these exclusive seats, which was still a good viewpoint, and noted that only a very small percentage of people had paid the extra pound for these seats. Then, get this, a staff member comes in AND ASKS PEOPLE IN THAT ARE IN THE SPECIAL SEATS TO PRODUCE THEIR TICKETS! So, yeh, if I had bought a ticket, I would have been inconvienienced by having to fumble about to try and find a pair of tickets I did not expect to have to pull out in a fricking pitch black cinema!
Not only that, but this process actually meant 3 couples had to move, because they had SHOCK HORROR sat in the wrong seats.
Maybe I am on a short fuse, but this whole concept ###### me off.
Luckily though, the film was ace.
Oh, and while we are in moaning mood. Never EVER let your partner get the popcorn. Your sugar coated popcorn is the icing on the cake of a good evening at the cinema, so don't risk it - get it yourself, otherwise instead of a nice carton of fluffy sweet popcorn, you could end up with 2/3rds good stuff and a bottom third of tiny wee bits, you know, like the bottom of a box of coco pops breakfast cereal. Ladies, always ALWAYS scoop popcorn from the MIDDLE not the bottom.
In the St. Joseph's Health Centre.
Another long night in the ER. Except for the horrible music videos on the television in the lobby, and the guy screaming all night from the main emerg room (I was in ambulatory care), it wasn't much worse than dull. At least I got some good meds out of it.
It's amazing. I've spent the entire past week bouncing between severe discomfort to poignant agony. Finally decide to check myself in, and an hour later, the morphine flowed in, and the pain has been gone since. Why did I wait so long?
Ah well. At least I've got a scrip now, so I don't have to be so foolish about it next time.
There is nothing quite like waking up at 2:30 in the morning to run to the toilet to vomit up what you had eaten the day prior. Feeling like crap, I sat around the house today and did a whole lot of nothing. I bet I checked GR.NET some 12 times. I did get a new scope for my M15A4 airsoft gun today. I messed around with that for a bit, then back to sulking I went.
Maybe I good round or two of GRAW would cheer a guy up?