Tag Archive: Technology


micsontenso

It's awesome - isn't it?

Now, let’s get this clear. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft are like three girls at high school who hang around together but constantly bitch about each other whenever they get a chance. So a unified effort form the three is like a dream in which Megan Fox publicly announces you as her love of life. But we can dream, right?

Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo should sit down together and make a console. And they can use the name “Mic-Son-Tendo” as i suggest in my brilliant artwork. Why? Because both developers and gamers suffer from the current situation in the gaming world. Three consoles, expensive platform exclusives, sub-standard cross-platform games. As a gamer, you end up spending a lot of cash just to get the three consoles, in fact the added cost of all three can get a pretty fast pc. For the developers, developing cross-platform titles is a headache. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was just one console a gamer would have to buy, and the developers would have to focus on just one platform, and so resulting in better and more beautiful games? Sony should make the hardware for the console, Microsoft should take care of the development tools, the OS, networking and the online system and let Nintendo do what it does the best: make games for it.

Sony has the hardware expertise in this field. The PS3 is the most powerful console of this generation and had support for all the high-definition audio and video features right off the start – Blu Ray, 1080p video and still has enough power to render games for 3D viewing.  The 360, as we know, was a hardware disaster – choice of HD-DVD, no inbuilt WiFi, and the awesome red rings of deaths. The Wii – well, I don’t see a reason why gamers have to suffer through horrible, blocky graphics to play a game which is fun and could have looked a gazillion times better on the 360 or the PS3. Microsoft is a software company at its core and makes great software (their developer kits also look gorgeous btw). The 360 OS, Xbox LIVE and the development tools and the best in their categories. The gamers love the online features of the system like gamertags and in-game party chat. Sony is playing catch-up with Microsoft in this sector, and Nintendo has effectively stopped trying. Microsoft also knows how to make software for the hardware they don’t manufacture themselves. And Nintendo, as i said before, should make games. I would love to see a Super Smash Brothers remake for this console.

But then, this is just a sweet dream. The three giants in this case are probably big enough enemies to ever sit together and have a coffee or beer. They are probably making plans for the PS4, the Xbox 720 and the Wii HD. And we gamers will buy all of them because we don’t want to miss a Gears of War, Uncharted, or Mario game or some other great platform exclusive. The developers will have to learn three separate development tools to make a cross-platform game. Damn.

P.S. – If in case, amazingly, the three biggies make this dream console and use this “Mic-Son-Tendo” name, I want royalties on every console sold and a copy of every game released for the platform. Like I said, we can dream, right?

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Christmas is here. The new year is coming. Here is my wish list. If I don’t get all of this within 30 days, the world will come to an end. Save the world! Get me these stuff:

  • Barnes & Noble Nook
  • Nexus One (yet to come, you can just give me the cash for it)
  • A planet to my name, preferably far from this solar system.
  • Dell Adamo XPS, its blooooody thin!
  • BuckyBalls, who wouldn’t like a pile of magnetic metal balls?
  • This gold coated PS3 from here.
  • A pet T-Rex
  • A year long supply of rasmalai and daal khichdi
  • God of War 3: Ultimate edition: i need a second copy
  • Velocity Micro Gamer’s Edge DualX desktop: this machine rapes benchmarks.
  • 10 licenses of Unreal 3 Engine
  • A publisher for my book: The Zombie’s guide to get a girl
  • A white PSP Go
  • Razer Mamba
  • A set of shurikens and a shiny long katana
  • Anything good you can think of

The future is in your hands, errr.. wallet. Save your future. Your kids will thank you for it.

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On a normal saturday night, I had an abnormal idea. Spending a day without internet access. At first the thought horrified me, but it sounded kinda fun. So I sent a SMS to deactivate the data connection on my phone and turned off my wireless router. Theoretically, I am now cut off from the internet.

8:16 am: Just got up and was shocked to see only two sms on my phone’s notification bar. No emails, no IMs, no new wave conversations. Going back to sleep.

10:34 am: NewsRob (my google reader client) doesn’t have any new feeds. Missing the luxury of reading news feeds while brushing my teeth.

10:39 am: Switched on my desktop. There are a couple of programs screaming about internet access already.

10:43 am: Started UT3 and realized my biggest loss here: no online play. Will play against the AI.
Update: The AI is dumb. Except at godlike. The bots go hunting for you like you have a million dollar bounty over your head.

11:25 am: My girlfriend called me. She was wondering if I was invisible on gTalk. I told her my story. She thinks I am trying to avoid her. Nuts. Why are girls so weird?

12:20 pm: I’m hungry! Tried a voice search for a local pizza joint. No results. Turns out Android uses the internet for almost everything. This is kinda bad.

1:03 pm: Facebook and Twitter still send sms updates to my phone. Looks like one can never be totally off the internet.

1:36 pm: Had awesome lunch with a serving of ice-cream to finish it off. Want to tweet about it. Or maybe a status update on Facebook. Oh I miss the internet so much!

1:58 pm: Playing Tekken Dark Resurrection on the PSP. Missing online play again.

2:45 pm: Wikipedia! It is such an indispensible tool. I miss the convenience of anytime access to Wikipedia. Reminder to self: donate to Wikipedia when i go online again.

4:10 pm: Movie time: Again, i miss the convenience of checking movie ratings and booking tickets thru my phone. And my girl is boring me to death. Wish I could escape to Mars. Do they have internet there?

8:20 pm: My iPod is also complaining about no internet access. So is my girl. She wants to check some stupid site.

9:26 pm: Just noticed that no internet means really good battery life for my phone. Almost 80% juice left. Otherwise it would have been screaming for charge by now.

10:10 pm: Will turn on the internet in about an hour. Why am i feeling so excited?

11:23 pm: Turned back the data connection on my phone and switched the router on. Feels so good!

11:28 pm: Information overload! Shitload of emails, IMs and other stuff. Over 200 news feeds. Phew.

12:02 am: Confession: It felt like the longest day of my life. I am sort of over dependent on the internet. Going to sleep now. Will post this later.

This is Tuesday. I forgot to post it. Shitloads of work. Posting now.

Posted from my iPod

Calling all ya gamers!

All right. It all started when i ordered a new mouse for myself. $80. By now i am almost used to paying crazy high prices for gaming hardware. Then a old school mumbo jumbo economic rule popped in my head: there are not enough users to buy these products, and thats why they are so expensive. Which brings in another question: why are there not enough users? Turns out that we itself are somewhat responsible for it. We, the indian gaming community, are responsible for the fact that our community is not big enough. Nuts.

Why? Because we are in a way blocking new gamers to come onboard. How? Our ego. Our vanity. We love to taunt over noobs when we own them. And games now are complex enough for total newbies to take a lot of time and practice to be able to play smoothly, leave alone master it. People like us who got the blessing of games in our lives from an early stage got great at playing it. So great that complex control schemes like a keyboard + mouse combo for fps games, or fps on consoles that require one analog stick to look and other to move feel totally natural to us. This leaves the newbies light years behind. Don’t believe me? Try teaching your mother to play a fps. You will get the idea. I tried, and failed miserably. Another example, I went to croma, a big electronics store which had a xbox 360 running Halo 3 for people to try out. The booth was a success. Success in terms of gathering people around it. People of all age classes. I was kinda happy to look at it. Happy that games were picking up among people. But when I looked at the screen, all my happiness vanished. Master Chief was looking at the ground and used to stick to every wall or turn for a good 10 seconds. I asked a few people who played the game, and they all told more or less the same thing: the game looked beautiful, but it was way too complex for them. Then I picked up the controller and played the game for a few minutes, and boy, people looked at me like I was some sort of alien being among them. Gibberish.

Getting more gamers onboard is important for a number of reasons. Cheaper hardware being at the top of the list. More gamers means more games being made as well. More gamers means more competition so that we also can have an annual 5 day gaming tournament. Many more reasons. But how do we get more gamers? More marketing, or making simpler games. These are something we can’t do much about, because these depend upon the developers and publishers. What we can do is introduce people to gaming. Tell them about how awesomely supersensational the games are. Introduce them to a simple game. Don’t expect them to take headshots any time soon. And if you are playing with them, losing a few times to them is not a bad idea either. Just a few times. Let them feel the emotion of owning a nemesis. Let them feel the joy that brings a gamer back and back again to a game. They will tell others about it. I am teaching my 13 year old kid neighbor how to play unreal and a few other games, and apart from the fact that his parents think that I might be spoiling him, everything seems fine.

Here is a call to all you people who gave their precious time reading this mumbo jumbo: you don’t need to be a prophet of gaming, but just introduce one person to gaming. Thats it. Hope it makes my next mouse purchase a bit cheaper. Cheers!

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Ok, so I upgraded my bulky old monitor to a shiny new super sexy LCD, but I end up missing quite a few things. You see, now that I have upgraded my CRTs, I don’t know what to do with all the extra space. The main problem I have is now that there is too much open airspace either in front of or behind my new monitors. When I used my 17” CRT monitor, I knew I needed to have a reasonable amount of space on the desk to accommodate the devices. But the majority of computer desks were designed keeping in mind the right face-to-monitor distance ratios so that where exactly at the right distance to view them comfortably.

But now these fancy new LCD monitors don’t take up any space. I sometimes find that the monitor is too far away, because it closer to the back of the desk. And if I push the monitor back, what am I going to do with all the empty space in front of the monitor? I can’t really put anything there because it’s going to block the view. And if I move the monitor closer, I have all the empty space behind the monitor – space that has no real value for shelves or anything else.

What have I gained?

Sure, LCD monitors are sexy to look at, but where am I going to put my cap? At least with CRT monitor, you could keep your unreal tournament figures on the top. But there is no space on the top of a LCD monitor, they are so bloody thin! Now my desktop is a vast sea of unproductive open space, and unless I cut my desk into half, I’m stuck with this awkward setup.

Seriously, what were the engineers thinking when they designed the LCD monitors? Obviously not the end user. And what am I going to do when I will get myself a 48” LCD TV? Yes, I would be able to mount it on the wall, but where the hell will I place my beloved game posters?

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I love the StumbnleUpon extension for Firefox and today i stumbled upon a really cool concept. It’s called workspot.com and aims to provide “a Linux desktop, through a browser”. Cool. I can now look and preview a distro before downloading it, and i won’t have to read reviews and user opinions to decide on a new distro.

It would be a great service for Linux enthusiasts as well as Linux newbies to help them decide which distro to decide upon. And it seems more convenient than downloading a live cd version of the distro and and then waiting for another 4 minutes for it to boot up.

The downside:

1) The site isn’t up and running yet, it just says “coming soon”.

2) There are just 5 distros to have a preview of (that’s what the image at the site suggests, though i have my finger crossed for more).

3) The user experience may vary on the browser being used to access the site (though most recent browsers would do the work well, but i have seen morons using IE4 and Netscape as well).

Anyhow, I am waiting for the site to get started. And a cool idea: you can bluff to your friend that you have five distros installed on your system and you can switch between then in just seconds. All you need for this trick is a fast internet connection and a decent browser in full screen mode.

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