Monday, January 30, 2006

GeekFood #02 - Wookies!

Geek Food: Cooking for Geeks, with Scott and Kim Johnson ยป GeekFood #02 - Wookies!

Okay... I am *soooo* going to have to try and make these sometime soon. Minus the chocolate chips, of course (probably use white chocolate chips instead).

Read more!

Friday, January 27, 2006

I despise TV episode reboots...

So there I was watching last night's 100th episode of Smallville. I was about halfway through the episode and I was almost on the edge of my seat (not quite literally). Things had happened that I figured I'd never see on that show. The writers were being really edgy, and doing stuff that was going to make the show go in a slightly new direction that I was looking forward too...

And then... ((Spoilers))

...Clark touches crystal and the first 30 minutes of the episode are wiped away. I hit the pause button on my DVR remote and sat there. I growled out a simple "ARGH" (very wookiee-like) and almost deleted the episode without watching the rest of it.

Why? Because the rest of the episode was ruined for me. The first half was BRILLIANT... yet it now never existed. When TV shows do this it really destroys a lot of the credibility that I have in the show and its writers. It's a cheap ploy to "pull on the heart-strings" of its viewers and I think it's overdone.

The only time I think that I've seen it work well was an episode of Star Trek: the Next Generation. Nothing like watching the Enterprise blow up in the prologue for the show only to blow up again right before the first commercial break. I really enjoyed that one. They were clever in using the commercial breaks as physical limiters in the actual story. It worked for me because the *point* of the episode was that they were stuck in that time loop. It wasn't "let's do some cool stuff that's really radical that we're too scared to do otherwise and just erase it all so it never happened!" that these reboots normally are.

One other change for me with Smallville. Lana dying would have lead to a much more poignant potential for Clark. Pa Kent dying... just makes me feel like I just saw Smallville jump the shark.

Read more!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


This is how tech support *should* be. Wait... lemme back up and start from the beginning.

**insert cheezy 80's flashback waves**

So I signed up for the GameTap service back over the C'mas break thinking that I had an awesome combination. On one hand I had a brand new corded 360 controller. MS in a bit of brilliance made their corded controllers for the 360 be nothing more then standard USB devices. Lo and behold you can use it in any XP box.

So here I am thinking that I need a new gamepad no matter what, and it should work with the GameTap service. I kept thinking about how cool that'd be. Playing games like Yar's Revenge and Golden Axe with the 360 controller. Very Yin and Yang if you think about it. Using the latest in gamepad "technology" to play decades old games.

**Disclaimer: Yes I know there are some of you out there wondering why I would bother to pay for playing these games since M.A.M.E. exists. Well I fully believe that legally playing these games is a good thing. Plus I like the concept of GameTap, the people behind it, and what it represents. I think it could be huge.**

So I fire up GameTap and come to realize that it doesn't work with my 360 controller. TEH HORROZ!!! as they say.

Well too long of a story mercifully cut off at the knees later I've called them three separate times asking when GameTap will support the 360 controller. I've received sufficient response each time to keep me wanting to wait and wanting to pay for the service (once all of the "We're sorry it's not working for you" time wears off).

Sure, it's still not working. But it's such a breath of fresh air to talk to technical people that are from this country. It's not fake, these are Americans. I was shocked! Not only that, they are gamers, too. They feel your pain... well in this case they feel my pain. Knowing that on one hand I have this awesome controller, on the other hand I have an awesome service... yet they can't quite meet in the middle. Each call has been a great experience as far as tech support calls go. No pain... Hell... No waiting. Everything about it so far has been top notch. Well except for that first email that I tried... but we'll ignore that. =)

This is where I hope companies out there will realize that trying to save a buck and cutting corners when it comes to technical support will bite you in the arse. If I had to deal with people that hardly spoke my language, or weren't really into the services themselves... Well... I wouldn't have any hesitation to walk away from GameTap.

But since this has been remarkable as far as tech support goes I'm staying for a bit longer. Altho, that's sorta sad that I'm so happy about good tech support. Maybe other companies will take GameTap's example and actually try to make tech support work again.

But I doubt it.

Until then I'll hold my 360 controller and wait for the day when I can use it with GameTap. Hopefully it's sooner then later... but like I said... They've got a reprieve for now. I'll just use the keyboard and play some really awesome classic games. Who would have thought that playing Pac Man on a modern setup would be so much fun. =)


Read more!