Monthly Archives: March 2006

They have it on DVD too, you know?

As many of you may know, Spring Break started this weekend here in Lakeland, Florida, and it's been pretty good for me so far. While I'm extremely far behind in my AP courses, leaving me with loads of makeup work, I've still found some time to enjoy myself. Monday was a prime example of that enjoyment.

The day started simple. I woke up to complaints of my laziness and lack of responsibility. About twenty minutes later I was showered, had brushed my teeth, shaved, etc. and was ready to start the day. I took Buddy out for a quick walk and returned to find that our main computer was already in use (I don't store schoolwork on my person computer, because I'd rather not be thinking about school when I have free time) so I headed back to my room and fired up the XBox for a little Halo 2 action. Still, simple enough, right? Well, two hours later and the computer with all of my school info was still in use, and I wasn't about to waste an hour or so finding a decent wireless network to leech off with my notebook, so I resumed crashing my Warthog into random objects around the Metropolis playing field (btw, finally beat the game on Heroic not too long ago, now for Legendary).

Finally the computer was free. I lunged for the mouse, snatching the keyboard off the desk as quickly as possible, but I was too late, the computer was already in sleep mode, and everyone was heading out the front door. This is where it gets boring… again. We must have driven around for about a half an hour doing absolutely nothing before getting out at the mall. I was a little upset to have to leave my notebook, in all its From First To Last glory behind (blazing their new CD, if you hadn't already guessed). But alas, all of my sadness was washed away as I gazed up at the massive Manga wall at Waldenbooks. After about five minutes I was joined by another kid, looking furiously for some specific chapter, and so I turned once again to the wall, Akira immediately grabbing my attention. But just as I reached out I heard an excited little squeak from a girl who seemed to have just floated in without any notice. She was reaching for a VHS copy of Princess Mononoke when I said, "They have it on DVD too, you know?". The first step of approaching a girl you like is finding a topic of common interest. Shoes, movies, music, whatever. Find something and go with it.

Anyway, we ended up speaking for about half an hour about anime, manga, and everything else Japanese. She gave me her number as her mom rushed her away. Once again, I turned to the giant wall, only to see out of thecorner of my eye the girl scrambling back towards me. Her arms flung open and then closed around my chest, embracing me in what may have been the longest and biggest hug in the history of the world. I could see her mom snapping at her in the background and whispered that she'd better get going.

Even though I'm still dating my girlfriend Leslie, I decided to give her a call later that night, only to find her disappointed when I told her I have a girlfriend. Well, there was really no point to this post other than to push out something before the commenters get restless. I may write a series of articles with dating tips for the male readers. Anyone interested?

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Filed under dating, Friends, Miscellany

The Indie Virus

It seems Matt has passed me The Indie Virus, how thoughtful, though I must admit I’m a bit late in responding to this. So the basic idea is that by using the same anchor text in every post, people pass the Indie Virus along to their friends or whatever, helping to promote less-known blogs on Technorati and the like. Sounds like an advance meme, or maybe a new wave (web 2.0) blonde joke, but whatever. To each his own I suppose.

First, I’d like tot hank Matt for pointing out that I am the genius behind the Random Shapes Network design. Okay, it’s nothing special, but my ego just had to butt in for a moment. So let’s see, I’ll start by passing The Indie Virus to Matt Hampel, for being a good web friend and one of the first to ever comment on Textonic. Now I’m going to pass The Indie Virus to Elliot Swan, a great friend, designer, and all around good person. Finally, I’ll pass The Indie Virus to Elyse. She’s one of few girls in the Random Shapes network, and other than that she’s extremely intelligent, and pretty good looking too (couldn’t help it).

Now, if you’re upset that you didn’t get passed the virus, feel free to beat me in public, if you can find me that is, I’m like a police officer, there when I’m not needed, and missing when there’s trouble.

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Filed under blog, Friends

I’m Moving Out

I just wanted to let all of you know that posting may slow down here over the next week or so, as I’ll be moving out of my old house, and moving back in with some close family.

This hit me kind of fast, and so I’ve been rapidly packing my things since last night. So far I’ve thrown away a ton of old junk, enough to fill up three full size trashbags, and have managed to keep my important things down to three backpacks which I’ll be keeping with me at all times. The first contains basic necessities, like clothes, hygeine products, etc. The second contains all of my web design books, portfolio stuff, my digital camera, memory sticks, and all of my computer related items. The third bag contains all of my gaming gear, cause a teeenage boy can’t live without his video games.

Luckily, I’ll be moving in with my Aunt and Uncle, who are extremely nice and caring people. Their son, Matt, just got married last month (I did the photography for them as a wedding gift), so they have a nice little vacancy for me. I guess the fact that I get along really well with my Uncle will help with the move. He used to be a professional photographer, and he loves gaming, so we always seem to have something to do or talk about. Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I won’t be as active online during Spring Break, but once I get my computer set up at my new home I’ll be sure to put out some quality content once again.

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Filed under blog, Family, Friends

DON’T PINCH ME!

Yeah, I did it, I used all caps for a post title. I know, shame on me, but I had to get my point across. Before I go into a rant, let me say Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, and I apologize to any Irish-folk I may enrage in writing this.

For those of you who’ve had the pleasure of meeting me in real life (I know, my ego is huge, isn’t it?) you know that I’m 100% Portugeuse, and proud of it. While my people are known for being greedy and always looking for money, I’m very thankful we’re not known for being drunkards and “leprechaun people”. Yes, I’ve actually heard people make fun of the Irish as if they’re all Leprechauns (where’s me pot ‘o gold?).

This being said, Saint Patrick’s Day is a predominantly Irish and Roman Catholic holiday, not meant for the masses, unless you enjoy drinking and what not. I myself am Catholic by birth, though I don’t celebrate any specific religion, and I don’t believe this holiday applies to me, so STOP PINCHING ME! As most of you know, there’s a general tradition on St. Patty’s Day. The tradition is rather simple, wear green or get pinched.

But as mentioned, this is an Irish holiday, not a worldwide holiday. We don’t get school off for it, there’s no worldwide fireworks show, and there’s no countdown to some ball dropping (though there may be, at certain bars, a countdown to the tossing of a dwarf or two); I don’t see this as an official holiday. And furthermore, as a person of another culture, why should these Irish practices be forced on me for one day a year? Stick to pinching your own Irish pals. I don’t want to seem racist or prejudiced in any way, because I’m not, but keep your own holidays to your own culture. You don’t see latina’s pinching you on Cinco De Mayo, do you?

I didn’t think so. Now that I’m done ranting, please don’t pinch me any more. From now on I’m establishing a general rule: you pinch me, I punch you.

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Another Quark Logo Redesign

Well, Quark has once again redesigned their logo, and again, it reminds me of another logo. For some reason the subtle bevel and drop shadows remind me of the Ubisoft logo. Maybe all of that gaming is going to my head, or maybe there really is a similarity. 

From Digg.com: In September 2005, trumpets blared and banners waved as Quark unveiled a new logo. That fanfare quickly trailed off into a sputtering silence as critics across the world blasted the logo for its similarity to many others.

Either way, this new logo, in my opinion, is a lot better than their previous designs, and I’m glad to see that they’ve completely left behind their original logo. I think this is a good change for Quark and it looks like something that I’d enjoy seeing on their products. Not to mention it’d make a sweet favicon.

But their is one problem I’ve noticed, what’s up with the missing pixel in the top left corner? I know it’s not just me that’s noticed this, as other viewers have pointed out the same thing. What’s going on Quark? Even when they manage to come up with a nice, clean, new design they screw that up too.

Hopefully they’ll take note of the missing pixel and fix it before it goes up on their site, and their products as well.

Lesson Learned: Do a comprehensive search before working on any piece of digital work, or face the wrath of a million bloggers pointing out similarities to past works.

read more | digg story

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Filed under Design, Graphic Design, Technology

Blogger Code 2.0

Everyone remembers the Blogger Code, right? You know, that thing that sits ont he sidebar of many a blog, letting everyone know who you are, what you’ve done, and who you’ve done it with? Well, it’s back and better than ever. That’s right, Blogger Code 2.0 is here with some fresh questions and a brand new look by Derek Powazek.

So in honor of this new release I’ve once again participated in the survey, and my results are posted below. The site says not to hotlink the background image, but I’m doing it anyway, just to see what happens.

B5 D++ T- K S+ F I+ O++ X+ E- L++ C– Y1 R+ W++ P++++ M5 N N+

Update: I guess WordPress doesn’t want to play nice, because all it’ll do is spit out the link by itself, oh well. Anyway, check out my blogger code above and be sure to take the survey yourself.

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Halo 3 aka Project Forerunner

Wow, just read this huge comment over at Digg.com by hectorhector. A link popped up at Game Informer discussing Halo 3 and how it has been dubbed “Forerunner”. Many think this is an April Fool’s Joke, but I’ll let you decide. Take a look at this comment and let me know what you think. Note that it hasn’t been modified in any way, shape, or form. You can see the Digg page here and hectorhector’s user page here. Enjoy!

Is it true that there will be no Halo 3? If you ask bungie or Microsoft the current answer will be, “Yes.” In fact, at the time of this writing, both companies have flat-out denied that Halo 3 even exists. And yet the game has not only been the constant subject of talk and rumors by both fans and the industry itself online retailers have thrown up bogus release dates from time to time to stir up the masses. How can a game that supposedly doe snot even exist be speculated about so much? We know that Bungie is working on various projects, and despite employment advertisements asking that applicatants love “combat on the high seas,” Game Informer has learned through its network of industry spy pirates that Bungie’s next release will be a Halo Xbox 360 project. However, as of now, it’s not even called Halo 3.

The relentless confusion over Halo 3 starts with the powers that be at Bungie. Shortly after the release of Halo 2, the company’s studio manager Pete Parsons told the BBC, “After Halo 2 we are planning to do something different. We will do something else and we have a few ideas.” This led the public to the logical conclusion that the next project wouldn’t be Halo-related. None other than Microsoft’s Bill Gates himself put down the gauntlet on Halo 3 and seemingly confirmed the game’s existence in the spring of 2005 when he told Time that he game would release alongisde and compete with Sony’s Playstation 3. Gates would later recant this ex act release date of the game but didn’t deny the project existed. That job has instead been left to others such as Microsoft Game Studios head Shane Kim who dubbed the game “the mythical Halo 3″ in a February update of the website Next Generation. And, of course, all the while Bungie has held the course that Halo 3 does not exist.

In its customarily clever way, Bungie is not telling a lie – it’s just not telling you the whole truth. A well-connected Game Informer source has seen this game up and running and tells us that the project is dubbed Forerunner (and no, this is not an April Fool’s joke). At this time the game is not being called Halo 3, which is perhaps how Bungie has been able to deny the existence of a title that literally bears the name “Halo 3.” Of course, when all is said in done, the game could be officially dubbed Halo 3: Forerunner or some variation thereof. It is very common for a game in development to be tagged with a temporary codename. For the time being, however, our source tells us that it’s being referred to simply as Forerunner. We contacted Microsoft about the game, but it would not comment on “rumor or speculation.”

The game is being designed around huge persistent worlds that will be created with what we’re being told as a modified Halo 2 engine. “Big” is the operative word, and many aspects of the title will be affected by the large scale of the game. For instance, Forerunner will showcase four player co-op in a move away from a strict linear single-player experience. Make no mistake about it , though, Master Chief is the game, and gamers will play as him to drive along the story. however, the world itself and the events that draw from it will be more malleable to the player and any co-op friends that join in on the action.

If you are charged to capture a weapons depot, for instance, you might not choose to do it, or may fail trying. Although our source says the game still has a definite mission structure, your failure at this particular task will mean that wh atever extra firepower may have been yours for the taking had you caputred the depot will instead strengthen your enemies from then on. This cause/effect concept applies to the game’s destructible environments as well. Of course, the philosophy is nothing new in video games, but it clearly embraces Bungie’s love of multiplayer and the lessons learned from the series’ success online. We imagine that these tidbits are surely only the tip of an iceberg that hopefully includes plans to merge the offline and online worlds together to great effect.

We’re told t he game’s storyline will delve into the origins of the Forerunners, the long-absent, technologically advanced civilization that inspired the Covenant’s Great Journy. Up to this point, the Forerunners are a mysterious element within the Halo story that has yet to be fully explained. However, the pots of Halo and Halo 2 imly taht humans, the Master Chief, and the Forerunners are linked, but with as little we know about the actual plot of this upcoming project, we don’t know how everything is going to fit together. Although our source has seen the Chief in action, even his presence could only be half the truth. After all, this is from the company that surprised everyone with the introduction of the Arbiter as a playable character in Halo 2.

Bungie’s denials that Hlo 3 exists have led fans to surmise that he compnay says so simply because the next Halo project doesn’t involve an actual halo, unlike the first two titles. That would make sense, given what our source has told us regarding the game’s focus on the Forerunners. However, that does not preclude the title from picking up where Halo 2 tantalizingly ended – with the M aster Chief returning to Earth with a mandate to kick some ***.

The project could also be aligned with the Halo movie s cheduled for release in the summer of 2007, which has Peter Jackson at the helm as executive producer. Our source tells us that he film will be based on the book Halo: THe Fall of Reach, chronicling a time leading up to the first game. If the mysterious Forerunner project is in fact related to the movie, then perhaps the video game’s title could not only refer to the civilization, but to the game being a prequel set during the early part of humanity’s war with the Covenant.

Clearly there are more questions remaining than have been answered with the information we’ve brought to light. Does this Forerunner project actually mean there won’t be a legitimate Halo 3? Could there be a game called Forerunner and an entirely other project entitled Halo 3? What if Forerunner is simply a side project meant to explorer storyline t angentswithin the Halo universe? If “Forrunner” is indeed the actual name of the game our source has seen, and not simply a temporary codename, we can’t imagine a Halo product leaving Bungie’s doors without a Microsoft marketing executive slapping the word “Halo” somewhere on the box for maximum effect.

As always in the development process, there are myriad aspects that can change at any moment. But for the time being, our source has assured as that the tantalizing snippets that have come our way are indeed true. Whether or not they point to the whole truth is something we won’t know until Microsoft pulls back the curtain on the project at E3. Bungie clearly delights in winding up the public, so we wouldn’t at all be surprised if what we know now are merely isolated pieces of a larger puzzle that Bungie has cleverly constructed. Regardless, any project from the developer is a big deal and one that’s guaranteed to get fans excited, regardless of what it’s finally called.”

read full story from Game Informer | Digg it

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Filed under Gaming, Media, Microsoft, Technology