Sunday, January 10, 2010

Nitrous Monster

is pretty great. I don't even like regular Monster (at all), but that is fine because this tastes totally different. It's a lovely orangey taste. Does nitrous oxide actually give you extra energy or anything? I don't know what it tastes like so I couldn't give you much of a reading on how it affected the taste, and the texture was like any other soda. Regardless, I was surprised by how energized I got from this. From what I understand, it has the same caffeine per volume as regular Montser, but then you get 12oz instead of 16. It may have been the nitrous oxide, I don't really know. Regardless, it was awesome. Try it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Scribblenauts: Unplayable

I love the idea of this game and if it was done correctly, I'd love the game. Unfortunately, the controls make it completely unplayable. No matter what you try to do, it will always take a few tries to get it right. Basically, you try to throw an object, jump, use an object, etc, and instead of doing any of those things you just run away from wherever you were standing. I hate games that force you to use the touch screen to move your character, and by far this game handles it the worst. It doesn't sound that bad, but when you end up running into a bee, or falling into water, or pushing an object away from where you wanted it because the controls are terrible, it gets annoying. Especially since it always happens whenever you want to do anything, without fault. Hopefully if they make a sequel it won't be plagued by these terrible controls, because I put this game down before even completing the first world and I don't think I'll ever pick it back up.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Klipsch Image S4: First Impressions

So it's Christmas, and I have new headphones. My second pair of V-Modas broke and my warranty is out, so these came at the right time.
The first thing I noticed when I put them in is the fit. Klipsch really did do it right, the "contour" gels (it means they are oval-shaped) really do make a difference. I'll compare the experience to my V-Modas when I first got those. Their gels were a more conventional round shape.
The V-Modas, upon first putting them in, were pretty bad. They were uncomfortable and slid out a lot, and while the isolation was alright, it wasn't perfect. It took a whole week for my ears to "get used" to them. However, the Klipsch 'phones fit great as soon as I put them in. The medium-sized gels that were on them when I took them out of the package seem to be the best ones for me. One thing that makes a big difference for me is that my right ear doesn't seem to mind these. For some reason, I could never get a comfortable fit or a good seal in this ear with my old headphones. The Klipschs pose no problem at all, isolating and fitting into both ears just fine.
As for the sound, I'm not gonna say a lot since they haven't broken in yet. The high highs aren't nearly as sharp as they could be and the bass is kind of fuzzy, being present and sort of overbearing but not very well defined. I expect this to smooth out as they break in. Despite this, they're still nice to listen to. They do image pretty well, which I like. I might post again after they've done some breaking in. They do leave a good first impression, and even if the sound wasn't going to change much from how it is now I wouldn't be too disappointed. They still sound much better than my old pair and the great fit is a big plus for me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

OK Microsoft, you've made your point.

You don't like Apple, and you don't like Apple customers. OK, I understand. But I like the Zune, so can't we just get along? I've liked them for a while, even before releasing the ones with the squircle control pad and redesigned interface. I probably would've bought one instead of an iPod Classic if there was some Mac support.
Is this out of spite? Is it supposed to bring Mac users back to Windows? They must have a reason that's not "Oh yeah, Macs. We forgot about those." All they're doing is losing a lot of sales opportunities, because as much as I love Apple, I know I'm not the only Apple fan who's wanted a Zune.
And yes, I can install Windows, I can get VMWare Fusion or Parallels, but I'm not going that far just for an MP3 player. I don't want one that badly. And even if I ever do install Windows for some other reason, I think I'll still sit tight and wait for my Mac support. ITunes [and therefore the iPod] has been on Windows for some time, so why not return the favor? It'll sell at least one more Zune HD.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

So I visited the Apple store

Here is what I think of the new gear:

- The iMacs were quite nice. Despite what first came to mind when I heard the screen sizes, they aren't gigantic desk-dominating monsters. Well, the 27" sort of is, but that's what it's supposed to be. They're pretty much what they say they are, so I'm not going to go too into it. It didn't quite perform as I expected it to, though. This is actually only in reference to one thing that happened. I was in iTunes in grid view (the one that shows the album covers as thumbnails) and scrolling was very choppy there. My Mac (1.83GHz core 2 duo, 2gb RAM, OS X 10.5.8) does it too [although it stops after all the art has loaded], but this is a matter of the fact that the Mac I used at the store was vastly superior to the one I use at home. Anyway, the reason I was in iTunes was to test the new internal speakers that are supposed to be better than the old ones. They do sound better, but that's not to say that I'd still use them.

-The Magic Mouse wasn't good for me. It's a nice idea, but if they'd just taken the Mighty Mouse (which is now simply the "Apple Mouse") and added multitouch to that it would have been much better. Yes, this is in regards to comfort. The mighty mouse is very comfortable for me. The way my hand rests when I set it down on something is exactly the same way it rests when I hold the mighty mouse. The magic mouse, by comparison, seems like it just doesn't want to exist. It's so thin and small that it's slightly awkward to hold. And of course, that makes multitouch gestures awkward to execute. Maybe it's just because I was standing up and the mouse had one of those security things on it, but it was just very strange to scroll with. Something that didn't aid this was the acrylic plastic it's made of. Apple's glass multitouch trackpads are wonderful because of how easily you can track with them. There's nothing special about the plastic on the magic mouse, so it provides some uncomfortable resistance when scrolling. Thanks to that and the awkward shape, I found myself accidentally clicking the mouse a few times when I meant to scroll or do the swiping-thing.
So while I could probably get used to everything else about the magic mouse (which isn't to say that I'd want to; if I got a new iMac I'd opt for the mighty mouse), there is one thing that it's missing that I just couldn't get past. The buttons on the side. Anyone who's used a mighty mouse surely knows of the buttons it has on the side. Either you love them or hate them, and I love them. I use them for exposé, which makes them very convenient and makes exposé a feature that I actually use (I wouldn't use it if I had to press F9 to get to it). They also happen to be right where my thumb and ring-finger rest on the mouse, so there's really nothing to using them. Because they're there, exposé is a natural part of the "flow," and using it is as easy as pressing the side-buttons. If it's not clear enough yet how much I need to have exposé, go back and read this paragraph again. The absence of the buttons will stop me and this new mouse from ever getting along. I guess if there's a bright side here though, it's that using the buttons wouldn't be as natural on the new one anyway since they'd be in a strange place.

-The New Macbook is essentially what the reviewers have said. I don't know why they got rid of so many ports on this one, namely Firewire. Yes, USB 2 has a higher top transfer speed, but it rarely actually transfers at that speed. Firewire, on the other hand, transfers at a cool 400Mbps (or 800 if your system has Firewire 800 ports) all the time. When I got my external hard drive I specifically sought one with Firewire, and it's been great.
The unibody construction does give it a nice robustness that you're just not used to coming from a plastic laptop. That is a positive aspect. When I picked it up from the corner (while it was opened) there was no creaking or flexing that I noticed. The material they make the bottom out of is nice, it's fairly grippy. It does seem like it'd stain easily, though.
What puzzles me the most is where they price it. For $800 I'd like this a lot more, but with the aluminum 13" Macbook Pro being $200 away, there aren't a lot of good reasons to get this one. Yeah, I can imagine that some people don't want to spend the extra bucks, but for that much you get a lot more in a laptop. I'd do it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


As in the iTunes feature. If you use it, you probably know the drill. Pick a song, click the button, and maybe you'll get a pretty decent playlist. That's just it though, maybe you'll get a pretty decent playlist. Sometimes it'll actually be a few songs that really do go well with whatever song you start with, but there's often a lot of stuff that doesn't. For example, I made one for Bittersweet Symphony a few minutes ago. I've reduced the list to five (counting Bittersweet Symphony) after getting rid of Van Morrison, Devo, Steriogram's Walkie Talkie Man, etc. And a lot of the content that I took out was pretty good stuff, too. For example, I like Walkie Talkie Man. But when I'm listening to Bittersweet Symphony and I want to hear more songs like it, I don't want Walkie Talkie Man.
What I'm getting at here is that Genius is too broad. It seems like it's trying to base suggestions off of a perspective that covers too many different tastes. For example, I have most of Franz Ferdinand's works in my library, and I also have U Can't Touch This. So does that mean that if you make a playlist based off of U Can't Touch This, you should get The Dark Of The Matinée? Nope. There should be a way for you to modify the playlists after they're made as a way of "showing" Genius what you think should go with that song. If I'd built the playlist for B. Symphony, it would've included songs like Exodus Honey by Honeycut, Bytecry by Weevil, Aluminum by Barenaked Ladies, etc. It ended up being that none of those songs were in the playlist, which is unfortunate since I think they all go well with Bittersweet Symphony.

Anyway, in case you're wondering, the playlist I have after reducing it so much is Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve, The Dark Of The Matinée by Franz Ferdinand, Dashboard by Modest Mouse, The Safety Dance by Men Without Hats, and How Bizarre (Mix) by OMC.

Monday, October 19, 2009

This one's for the Mario Kart DS players: Why I hate you

So I take it you like playing Mario Kart on Wifi? I bet you do, it's pretty fun. I like doing it too. However, you should stop being a shithead. Here is everything you do that I hate:

-Rainbow Road. Yes, it's the hardest track, but that doesn't mean it's the only track. Do you think it's fun to play on this one so much? It's not. Something I think is funny though is that people tend to choose this one when they're doing badly. If you're doing bad, why do you pick a harder track? If the trend continues, then you'll just do worse. And if you're good on this track, it doesn't show any skill. It just means that you spend too much time on this particular track.

-Disconnecting. I don't care if you're losing, stay in the damn game. I can sympathize if you're just not as good as the other players and can't keep up, but if we have a close match and I win, stay in the game and accept that you failed. Disconnecting doesn't mean it didn't happen, it just makes it look like you're a small child who's angry about losing.

-"Snaking." This is a fancy term for "hold down R and move the control pad left and right a few times and then let go of R." It's that boost that happen when you do that. Go ahead and do it when you actually use drift. I use it pretty often for that. If you're using it on straight track to get ahead, I hate you. This doesn't show skill, in fact this shows blatant absence of skill. I used to do it myself, then I realized it was stupid and stopped. I'm still damn good at it though. Whether you always do it or only when you're angry that you're losing, I'll always do it back, and I'm probably better at it. Actually, something I've noticed a lot is that the crybaby players (people who are kind of good but disconnect if you beat them) often resort to this if they're not winning. Then they disconnect when they lose. I hope they break their DSs out of frustration.

A BIT OF IRONY: I'm playing the game online as I make this post and the game I joined after writing "Snaking" involved one player named "crybaby." It disconnected at the beginning of the race, during the countdown.

-"Figure 8 Circuit" is not for snaking. Everyone seems to decide that even if they don't snake in other courses, they can do it here. You can't do it here. That is all.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

CFL Bulbs

They should stop smelling like burning plastic when they burn out. I understand that's a sign that the bulb is working right (a sign that it's working wrong would be it catching fire), but I still get kind of crazy over it. Even if it's not on fire, the smell of something burning is always alarming.

Watts ≠ Sound output

This is just a pet peeve of mine.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Ah, YouTube. There are lots of things it has that you can complain about, today I choose slideshow videos. These are nothing but shitty "me too" reasons to put a video up on YouTube. I wouldn't even care if they weren't so common, but you can search just about anything and the results will be spammed with "[topic] pictures" and it is just a bunch of pictures that you've already seen that scroll by while some shitty music plays. If I wanted to see them, I would have searched the topic in Google Images where I wouldn't have to hear the music and I could see them without them scrolling around or the need to pause for a better look or the overall bad quality. And since the images used are always from the first few pages of a Google Images search, it isn't difficult to find them. So when I search "PS3 slim" on YouTube, I want actual videos of the PS3 slim, not slideshows of the pictures from Engadget.
In summary, these videos are shitpiles. Condemn them.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy birthday!

Today is someone's birthday, although I don't know who's. That person gets a happy birthday.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

This is why I don't like Guitar Hero/Rock Band

Have I ever expressed how much I like music games? I don't think I ever have.
Well I do. But I don't like these games. Specifically it is because of their use of incredibly popular rock songs. Now I'm not one of those kids who's music taste is the least popular bands he can find. I like the songs themselves, but they make for some awful note charts.
The games are OK as long as you're playing guitar or singing, but a lot of these songs have very repetitive bass or drums. For this reason, GH/RB are the only music games that can actually make me want to take a nap. This isn't meant to be funny, playing the same few notes for the duration of a 4 minute song can be very underwhelming.
I especially don't like Rock Band's drums. I don't like the symmetry and the pedal would be easier if it had it's own column instead of being one big line. Speaking of columns, I don't like the way the notes scroll (at you).
I think it's been quite clear that I'm leading up to something with this post, and I am. Guitar Freaks and Drummania are much better. They're made by Konami and are part of the Bemani series so you know they're good. The reason you haven't heard of them is because they're Japan only. I've played them both though, and they're great. I'll explain one at a time.
Guitar Freaks would look bad to someone who was used to Guitar Hero. This is because it only has three frets. They go a long way, however, because Konami tends to make the best note charts for music games (not counting DDR). I've played the games, and I much prefer Guitar Freaks' charts to Guitar Hero's. Anther thing I like about it, and this applies to GF and DM, is that it pays attention to timing. GH and RB, from what I've gathered, care more about whether or not you hit the note than how well you timed it. GFDM focuses on the actual timing of the note, so your score wouldn't be as good if you hit them a little early or late.
Drummania is more significant in this argument. Instead of having four drum pads, it has five (technically speaking it's three drums and two cymbals). There's also a pedal. The new drums that Guitar Hero is going to have will have the same number to my understanding, but DM's drums are more laid out (google for a picture of them). Drummania's charts make it a shining example of how fun a music game should be. This is because instead of going with popular songs that mostly have pretty repetitive drums, Konami uses music with more intricate drumming. A lot of songs are written specifically for the game by artists affiliated with Konami and as a result, are made to be easy to make great charts for. You can watch videos of people playing this and get a good idea of how great it is, but I can tell you from watching videos and having played it that videos won't do any justice to how fun DM actually is.
The best part of GFDM is that with the "V" series of games, Guitar Freaks and Drummania were put into the same game in a Rock Bandish fashion (except this was before Rock Band). This is why I've been referring to them as GFDM. I've done sessions at a friend's house before (he has an electric drum set that is setup to be used as a DM controller) and they're great.
I first played GFDM before trying Rock Band or Guitar Hero, which is why I never liked either of them very much. I can see why people would like them having not played GFDM, and plenty like them all, but I'm quite partial to GFDM.