Archive for Geek

XBox360 Just Killed PS3 and Wii at E3

I just watched the Microsoft XBox 360 E3 show streamed from the Gamertagradio balcony camera.  Some big games were announced and some big advancements were announced.  They went through the already known games, Halo ODST, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, Forza 3, Beatles Rock Band, and then also announced Halo Reach, Alan Wake, Final Fantasy XIII, Crackdown 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and a big pull from PS3, Metal Gear Solid.
The XBox has also joined some other services that many people use such and integrated them into the console.  Little services like Facebook, Twitter, LastFM, and Skynet live television stream broadcasting.  Improvements to Netflix is also coming.  No more going to the computer to add movies.  Also the ability to watch movies and tv shows with your XBox friends.  Still no Blue Ray but why would you need that when you will have instant 1080p HD movies and television.  I’m really glad I got rid of my cable subscription.

Towards the end of the show they ended by announcing a new evolution in not only the XBox but in gaming in general.  Controllerless gaming.  A new hardware device will provide 3D motion detection and recognition as well as voice detection and recognition.  You will be able to flip through the dashboard menus simply by waving your hands and start playing games or watching movies by simply telling it to play through speech.  They have named this Project Natal and they are stepping up to Nintendo’s Wii to get non gamers involved in gaming by removing the controller all together.
The show started a little neutral and then just got better and better with a big bang at the end.  Hopefully everything materializes and comes to be.  I hope for Sony’s sake they have something big up their sleeves for their show because Microsoft just put another nail in the PS3 coffin.

It will be a fun holiday season this year!

What is in a name? That which we call Invidkllr?

I believe that I am having an online identity crisis. Invidkllr has been my ‘online presence’ name since about 1997. If there is a social network, messenger, tool, forum, or membership that needed a username, Invidkllr was it for me. I’m pretty tied to it; this blog, AIM, xbox live gamertag, my main email address, DJ persona, hip hop rap persona, so many other things that I can’t even think of right now. The reason I am questioning this name is that people have a hard time reading and saying it out loud and always have and not many catch the vague reference, which really doesn’t have much to with me other than the fact that I like Robotech. I’m not even completely obsessed with Robotech though I do keep the DVD box set in my office that was signed by voice actors of Rick Hunter and Foy Fokker, but that’s besides the point. I’m sure there are much easier to say and read names that I could go by that says something more about me. When I chose it originally, anonymity was the idea. Now I’m much older and the internet to me is less about being anonymous and more about being yourself. I have a few other real world nicknames that people call me, but each is only available in some aspects of the internet that I need and not a unique enough name for myself to be represented on all the sites and services I need to function as an online entity. “The online presence formerly known as Invidkllr” is just too long. Deciding on a name is even more dificult that deciding on a band name. You must think of something original and it must not already be taken, but still be rememorable. I want this next name to say exactly who I am and be appropriate enough to continue with until end of life, meaning myself or the internet. Perhaps I will still keep Invidkllr for my rap name, but do I really want to keep invidkllr for somethings and not others? This is when I start double thinking the whole idea and say, “Ah it’s a good name, people know me as that, it has history, I’ll just keep it.”

What to do, what to do….

A few names I’m thinking about but still won’t work for everything….
SirChadwick (sirchadwick.com is taken as well as Gmail address)
Chadcore (available on everything except Gmail, but sounds like a porn name)
ChadwickWayne (Gmail name taken)

Gmail tends to screw up all the names. It seems now that the only good Gmail names have to have numbers in them to be unique enough. Chadwick74 is even taken.

Ok, I’ve ranted enough and have come to no solution. Email me name ideas that you may have for me. You know the address.

Way After SXSW

It’s been a while…
SXSW went along swimmingly.  The 16Bit party was a blast though there were some technical difficulties that were outside of our control.  Web Awards went off without a hitch with a special appearance from Ask a Ninja.  Chris Gore from G4′s Attack of the Show was interviewing in the party foyer.  The night continued on for me with dancing and drinking.  I was able to make it to a few panels though.
Then the music started.  I’ll just list some of the music I was able to catch.
The Wedding Present
Dizzee Rascal
Sway
Retribution Gospel Choir
Mark Kozelek
Between the Buried and Me
Tim Fite
Necromantix
Roger Merit and the Disasters
and some others I don’t remember right now.

Overall SXSW was a lot of fun as usual.  Again, I needed about a week to recover.  I wasn’t quite as creatively charged as I have been after a week of geekiness and music, but the whole experience isn’t something that I would want to miss.

Gary Gygax: Gone but Never Forgotten

Yesterday one of the greatest pioneers of gaming passed away, Gary Gygax (1938-2008). He was the creator of the Dungeons and Dragons RPG (role playing game). Kevin Pereira on Attack of the Show said some very nice words about how without Gary Gygax, games like World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy, Everquest, and many more RPGs would not have existed (even L.A.R.P.ing). His games and ideas sparked and influenced imaginations of multiple generations of people of all ages since 1974 when D&D was released. There are many people who’s thoughts, including mine, that are with his family and friends. Thank you Gary Gygax.

I’m published… I guess.

Schmap.com found a few of my Hollywood photos on my Flickr page and asked me if they could submit a few for consideration in their publication.  After a week or two, my pictures are in and credited.  Kind of cool.

http://www.schmap.com/losangeles/sights_hollywood/p=344293/i=344293_1.jpg

http://www.schmap.com/losangeles/sights_hollywood/p=344293/i=344293_2.jpg

If you don’t see them just click on the Hollywood Wax Museum and watch the image slideshow at that top right.

To Mac or not to Mac

mac vs. pcComputers have been a big part of my life since my first Atari 2600 Computer System in 1977. As young hipster of the 70s, the Atari stretched my already active imagination in to digital realms. I was an ‘Adventure’r in a land of dungeons and dragons searching for the grand trophy while eluding the aggresive and hungry dragons. In reality, it was a square on the screen bumping around walls sliding away from 8 bit duck looking things.
Later as I matured into a brilliant 3rd grader, my step dad bought me a Commodore 64. This is really what started my nerd progression. Remember the pulp book catalogs that they would hand out at school? You would order books and about 4 months later they would show up in your classroom and everyone would ogle at what everyone had ordered. Along with the step by step breakdancing books, I would also buy the books that had about 100-250 lines of BASIC code at the end of every other chapter that you had to code on your computer to find out what happened in the book. Very tediuos and frustrating for a 3rd grader. It was also slightly disappointing when you spend 2 hours typing everything just right just to see an ASCII cliff and an stick figure fall off. But this system showed me that you can actually do things with computers other than just play games.
Let’s fast forward a bit now. Game systems began to separate from actual computer systems. My grandfather had one of the first home computer IBM systems. He was and still is a nerd. I would go to my grandparents house the night before a big paper was due and type it up in Word Star, on that migraine-making green monochrome screen.
Let’s move forward in time some more. 8th grade computer literacy showed me the new color capabilities of computers. I aced that class. Macs were being used in our high school in the early 90s. In my first year of college my grandfather bought me an IBM 286 SX25. 25mhz processor and I think it had 4 MB of RAM. This is how I learned all my PC skills. Upgrading and fixing this machine to play the latest games, like Sim City 2000 and Leisure Suit Larry, I honed my skills in computer repair and maintenance. Since then I’ve been a PC guy….for the past 15 years of owning my own computers.
And now, I am planning to go to the dark side. I may be buying a Mac very soon. For so long I have been on the PC side of the war, as an ex-employee of Dell and a PC advocate, and now I feel that Microsoft has failed me.
In taking advantage of an employee PC buy program with my current employer, I began price comparisons and laptop configuration comparisons for all of the major PC brands.  All I see on the PC side is Vista. From what I’ve seen of Vista, I don’t like it.  From the incompatibility horror stories to the harsh hardware requirements, I just don’t like Vista.  The Macs are more expensive, but I’m willing to sacrifice some change as long as I don’t have to use Vista.  During SXSW I have used a few Macbooks and a few friends that have also made the big switch and they have said that they do not regret it one bit. These are computer smart people who I trust.
And so, it has come to this. I shall surrender my PC political stance and switch parties. I have chosen Mac for this next computer purchase. A Macbook Pro to be exact.  This only seems normal now as I have been through many life changes in the past few years and learned a lot of life lessons.  People change.  Computers change.  Software changes.  Nerds change.

But don’t worry Micro$oft. I still love my XBox360 Elite…. although a Wii would be a nice addition to the house.

SXSW 08 Interactive tagline suggestions

My friend over at SXSW asked me if I had any suggestions for a SXSW Interactive tagline. I had a few….

SXSW Interactive:……

GEEK 4 LIFE
We Know Acronyms
Geeks Vs. The World
We Make Everything Work
Making Ideas Realities
I Should Have Gotten Into Marketing
Being a Geek Was Never So Hot
Geeks = Gods
Where Geeks Unite
Ask a geek, they know everything
Playground for Code Monkeys
Where Geeks Get Some
Where Ports Are Terminated
Where Geeks Get It On
Please Pet The Geeks
Enemies Of The Sun
Music and Film Needs Geeks Like Us
Blowing Bubbles Throughout History
Syntax and Circuits
Syntax Error: Yeah, you remember that..
Hack It Till It Works
Live To Code, Code To Live
We See Everything First
We’re Two Years Ahead Of You
E3 Is Dead
Internet, Games, and Apps, What Else Is There?
The Reason To Get Work To Send You To Austin For a Week Off

Did they find Earth2 (Gliese 581c)?

[11:22] INVIDKLLR:
http://www.wired.com/science/space/multimedia/2007/04/new_planet_contact
[11:29] solaboratory: ya i saw that
[11:29] solaboratory: too bad we are the aliens
[11:29] solaboratory: ha
[11:30] INVIDKLLR: haha i didn’t really think about that yet
[11:30] INVIDKLLR: i think we should go in hostile
[11:31] INVIDKLLR: eh i don’t know… big planet…big population
[11:31] INVIDKLLR: probably a lot older, and they’re probably a lot more sophisticated
[11:31] INVIDKLLR: that could be the Grey’s home planet
[11:31] solaboratory: they are also already here
[11:31] solaboratory: we’re noobs
[11:31] solaboratory: no one wants to talk to us
[11:32] INVIDKLLR: haha
[11:32] solaboratory: we’re dangerous like that
[11:32] INVIDKLLR: cause we team kill
[11:34] solaboratory: yup

Gliese 581c
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gliese_581c

XB0X 133t

EliteXBox 360 Elite (133t or 733t) is in the house. My boy and I waited in line for about 40 minutes before the store opened on Sunday morning. With rumors of 25 Elites in the store and with my ticket with #4 on it, we knew were set. Most of the other people in the line were there for Wii’s, which they did not have any, so most of them left at this announcement. Some had been there since 8am. I was very glad to see the small line and knowing that I wasn’t going to have to drive all over town that day in a quest for Eliteness.

So reviews of it so far. Yeah it’s the same. I don’t have HDMI on my HDTV, so I can’t really say on that. But it is black. black black. I may not even put the silver faceplate back on, because the console is almost invisible with it’s blackness. The video content that came on it was very futbol oriented which I liked. Soccer movies trailers and commercials. Less content I wanted to delete right away.

I was also happy to see that my achievement points were restored with my Gamertag, although of course my game saves were not. I still have to replay my games to get back to where I was before. Not too big of a deal though.

It it nice to have the security of having all that extra harddrive space. As Melissa would say, “It makes me happy in my pants.”

Yesterday was a sad day :(

smithYesterday was a sad day. I took off my silver faceplate and drove to Best Buy and I returned my XBox 360, just hours before my 30 day return was up. But guess who will be waiting at the doors Sunday morning at Best Buy to get the new XBox 360 Elite? Me! and Coby (it’s my weekend! woohoo!). It’s only an extra $80 for the 120GB harddrive, which bought as an accessory is $179 by itself, which is pretty lame. Luckily, I bought mine close enough to the release date that I could still enjoy the release of Guitar Hero II and have enough time to return my 360 Enterprise. Although I will lose all of my saved game data which is fine, because I have been holding off for a month from getting too deep into the few games that I have with the knowledge that I might return this one for the new one. That’s why my gamer score is so low and with the new Elite I will have to start over. Oh well. It has also kept me from purchasing any Live Arcade games, which starting Sunday myself and my boy can enjoy. So what do I do for the next 5 days without a 360? Luckily work is sending me to Oklahoma City (enter best Oklahoma joke here) for two days. I’ll return Friday night and be busy with my boy all day Saturday and all set for Sunday to pick up the Elite and get it all customized. What if Best Buy doesn’t have enough and I don’t get one? People will die. Not really. But Invidkllr will not be happy at all….at all.argh