Archive for the ‘Geek’ Category

Moving Day!

I’m moving the blog! The new blog is going to be found at:

http://www.hackznstuff.com

The last month of news posts has been moved to the new site along with your comments. Most everything should be in tact there. I will be adding new features like polls to the new site for some more fun and goofyness. Keep an eye out over there!

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At Last!!

NTFS Project LogoNot much of a post and probably not real interesting to the general public but the true geeks who read shall be rejoicing loudly. Go out and have your self a $5 beer tonight in celebration. Oh wait…I guess I should tell you why first.

Well for the longest time our good penguin friend while supporting the wide spectrum of technologies out there has been limited in many ways from fully supporting the creatures that come from the hostile land that Microsoft supports and maintains much like the same way the boys at Blizzard keep WoW on it’s feet. The biggest thing Microsoft had created that wasn’t fully supported was the NTFS file system. While Linux had been able to support read access for many a year the mythical write access was just out of reach. Similar to efforts to turn lead in to gold. However unlike those crazy chemists of old the Linux community finally triumphed! ntfs-3g is the project that made this happen. It took forever but there it is.

So that my friends is why you can tip back a high quality cold one tonight to celebrate this occasion. I am going to go home, tip one(pom fizz not beer), and get to installing FreeNAS on a box and centralizing all my storage at long last. Yay for open source! Microsoft now truly does all your base belong to Linux.

Wii + DS = Wiids(weeds)

Ok so I’m not sure who keeps up with the Wii and the DS or who did their homework and paid attention to all the launch time info and rumors but the revolution is upon us at last! Unfortunately it’s coming in the form of Pokemon games and a few components haven’t quite shown up on the scene.  So lets have a look at the latest developments.

The first thing which I commented on here. Has finally come about. The DS does in fact interact with the Wii. The first game to use it is the new Pokemon Wii game. You use the DS to call the shots for your Pokemon in such a way that your opponent won’t be able to see what you are doing. This should make head to head play more interesting. I give it only a few more months before the football games come rolling in with this feature. It does seem ideal.

The second thing that Pokemon is bringing to the table is supposed to be voice chat over wifi in game. I don’t remember where I read that so unfortunately I can’t confirm this one. I have been able to confirm there is a VOIP application on the way that will let you talk to your friends as though the DS is a cell phone.

Finally the stage is set for the return of the light gun in the form of an attachment to the remote control which adds a handle and trigger system to the remote. How long till this peripheral comes out and instead of just watching our character wield the duelies we get to feel the heft in our own hands!?

The parts that are still missing are a DS web browser, Wii mp3/video player and Wii’s online multiplayer games. I think the latter is probably what will seat Nintendo in either first or second spot in the next gen console war and finally put the nail in the coffin for the PS3.

Blazing Angels and MassCool MassImpressive

Blazing AngelsI wanted to put up a little Blazing Angels update. As noted yesterday I had downloaded the demo of the game for PC. Oddly enough this game came out on PC a year ago this month so it’s been out for a while. The game looks amazing and when graphics are cranked to the max its still capable of dropping the frame rate to low for comfort on my 256mb ATI X1600.  The sound is excellent with clearly under stood radio chatter and nicely mastered 3d audio effects. The game sounded great even on my comparatively weak laptop speakers. Game play is just complicated enough to make you feel like you’re mastering something but not so complicated that you can’t pick it up and fly. The catch is that the game is designed for a controller that isn’t a PC keyboard/mouse so you almost have to get a game pad or joy stick. You should probably be using a joystick for flight sim’ing any way. As I guessed the action is slow enough to keep some nice close range dog fights going. Throw in a nice lean $19.95 for the game from Direct2drive.com and this becomes a nice, cheap well rounded but beautiful piece of gaming. I will be purchasing it my self for PC and possibly for Wii as well.

By way of my job I get to work with computers a lot. Sadly like a lot of employers they like to cut cost when/where possible. This means a lot of the time we’re left scrounging for resources. One thing we had but that didn’t stick around were external USB hard drives. This poses a problem as there are certain systems we have to update that are not allowed on the network. So how do you move large 4GB+ files to a system like that? Obviously enough the USB hard drives we don’t have. So with the move to our new employer we had the opertunity to request some things of them and one of those requests was for external USB drive enclosures. We had some old laptops so we asked for 2.5″ enclosures.

Masscool drive enclosureWhat we found were the Fanner Tech MassCool drive enclosures for a mere $9.75 from mwave.com. Talk about a heck of a deal! I expected some low quality terrible looking monstrosity. What we got was quite the opposite. With a shiny gloss black exterior and nicely matched silver caps it’s definately a nice product to look at. It’s designed exactly like the other 50,000 enclosures out there. One end cap comes off and you plug the drive in to it and slide it in to the casing. Securing it with small screws on the side of the case. What set this apart to me was the attention to detail. The kit came with a little screw driver just in case you didn’t have your own teenie-tiny screw driver. They threw in an extra screw. I don’t know if that is a bakers dozen sort of situation or if they just wanted you to have a spare. The screw driver, or screws, were magnetized to make it easier to put them in with out losing them. I know it’s not a big deal to most of you but to a technician who has lost a laptop screw or two in his day this type of detail is amazing. Fanner isn’t a big manufacturer but if they keep this sort of detail they will be huge very soon.

Game Free!

Mega Man Head BangingSo I’ve been around for a while doing the online thing and in that time I’ve come across some pretty fun and amazing free gaming. It occurred to me that I should consider sharing that knowledge with those of you that actual read this little blog. So with out further a due here are the links and explanations.

Gunbound – Think Worms meets RPG online. You play the game almost identical to the way Worms is played only with a different set of weapons and in a more anime style. The game is only playable online against others and it has an element of RPG in that you can win (fake) money and buy items that give you power ups and advantages. Once you figure everything out it’s a very very addictive game. I highly recommend it.

Albatross 18 Season Two – Online golf game with the same sort of RPG elements as Gunbound. Buy/Win items online to power up your character. Choose from out fits to accessories to get the winning edge. This is the game that Super Swing Golf is based on. Definitely worth a look.

Wolfenstein Enemy Territory – Ok so this is kind of being taken over by the new Enemy Territory Quake Wars thing so it’s now buried by the newer Enemy Territory Quake Wars. Wolfenstein Enemy Territory is still free to download an play. It’s based on the new aging Quake 3 engine which should be good and speedy on all but the oldest of hardware out there. You’ll need to go to the downloads section of the site to find the client software.

Americas Army Special Forces – Ok if you want to shoot stuff and you want the best simulation with the best game play for free this is it. The US army wants to let you play with their toys but obviously can’t afford to mail you an M16. This is based on the UT2k3 game engine so it’s a bit newer and nicer looking than its older Enemy Territory counter part. Rough learning curve but a ton of fun and satisfaction once you get it down. Very technical game play. Tactical Shooter is a good term for it.

Bomberman Online – I havn’t actually played this one but it looks pretty tight and is based on what used to be a retail version of the game that was eastern countries only. The fans apparently wrote their own version for free. I’ve never met a bomberman that wasn’t fun. Enjoy!

Update:

I forgot about Frozen Bubble. I should be shot. I’m no longer worthy to be called a gamer.

Frozen Bubble – Frozen Bubble is a free linuxized version of the popular and addictive Bust-a-Move(Puzzle Bobble) game that has been on almost every system in existence in one form or another.  It’s open source and free for all platforms! In writing this I just discovered Frozen Bubble now supports online multi player as well as LAN play!