the-inbetween yearly archives for: 2006

WordPress

WordPress is a pain in the ass to skin. More so than any of the other weblog tools that I’ve used. The seperation of content from design in the templates — the default ones — doesn’t feel up to snuff. I find myself mixing the WordPress PHP variables with other various PHP statements and conditionals right in the middle of the HTML, which reminds me more of clumsily pieced together scripts than, you know, top-tier web applications. All I want…

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Music to Play Geometry Wars to

Meanwhile, in the XBox Arcade. Geometry Wars. A threshold has been crossed. Over the course of a day or two, I jumped from “500,000 points is a big time fluke” to “500,000 points is an average score.” My new 840k+ high score has put me in second place on my friends list. That’s nowhere near the overall leader, but I don’t care. I just want to be number one on my friends list and that’s what keeps me playing. To…

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XBox user ads

What happens when you ask your users (especially game players) for their advertisement ideas? One horrible idea after another. My favourite: The commercial would start in a bedroom showing a wife, or possibly a girlfriend in restless sleep, when all of a sudden you could hear some random shouting of excitement. The woman would wake up, and look at the empty spot in the bed right next to her, and you can see frustration on her face. She gets up,…

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Sony DSCN1

Those that follow my flickr stream might have noticed my new acquisition: To be honest, I was very hesitant about getting a Sony. Their brand identity with personal electronics is to me like Firestone is to tires. In other words, when I get a Sony I half expect it to turn into a crashing wreck. Unfortunately, one of the reasons why I opted for the Sony was because I fell into that Sony Proprietary Trap of Doom™. I already bought…

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The Four Sisters

I spent the majority of my life growing up in the wasteland suburbs of Mississauga. A massive, sprawling city with absolutely no distinguishing characteristics or any charm. Such was my adolescence. The city is going through a major boom right now. It has changed drastically in the two years that I’ve been out of it, and the change wasn’t just more sprawl; a lot of it is centralized. Condo tower after condo tower is going up in the city centre,…

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Picard’s Alien Flute

Paramout wanted to clear out years of Star Trek junk from its warehouses and have decided that the most efficient way to deal with it is to auction off its overpriced props to overly enthusiastic nerds. The props range from the (cool) actual special effects models of various ships (expected to go for well over $10k!) to some (lame) t-shirt someone wore on the (lame) Star Trek V (expected to go for over $1k !???) Of the highlights shown on…

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E3 Crabtacular

Due to the “me too” nature of a lot of game publishers, pretty much every E3 has a very visible trend, like toon shading or World War 2 shooters. The trend that was noticeable this year, to me, was crabs. Yes, crabs. It became very obvious right from the start during Sony’s press conference. Microsoft’s subsequent showing confirmed it. While the crab-filled games were a vast minority on the showfloor at E3, they remained very visible because of their name…

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Alpha Geek

Several days ago I was browsing the trailers on Apple’s site (speaking of which, go see Cache — good film.) Some were good, some were lousy, some were so-so. One of those trailers that I came across was Alpha Dog. In the first minute of that trailer, before they even started to expose what the movie was about, I noticed one thing that pretty much forever soured the movie for me. Perhaps that’s a bit melodramatic, as it is an…

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The Shadowrun Cycle

Shadowrun on the SNES was one of my favourite RPGs of the time, precisely because it was just so different from its contemporary Final Phantasy Mana Triggers. While I never did play the non-videogame RPG, I was certainly aware of its universe and I liked it. A mix of dark future cyberpunk with orcs and goblins and magic and high fantasy? Sweet. With each generation of consoles, I was disappointed that no one would take on the Shadowrun name. It’s…

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Launch Prices

The 3DO console launched with a price of $699.95 USD. The high price reflected the system’s “revolutionary technology”. It launched into a competitive market with lousy games and poor support, with equally powerful (more so) but substantially cheaper consoles, with better brand recognition, on the horizon. It flopped. The Neo-Geo launched at $649.99 USD with with two joysticks, a memory card, and a single pack-in game. It was a premium priced system for a premium, niche arcade-focused market. While it…

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E3 Sony PS3

With my convenient setup, I was able to watch both game two of the Senators and Sabres series and Sony’s E3 press-conference at GameSpot’s E3 Live site. When one got dull and boring, I’d focus on the other. I didn’t miss much of the hockey game. Perhaps I’m becoming increasingly jaded and I need to lighten up, but the majority of the content that Sony was peddling looked uninspired and dull. After talking sales, Sony showed a number of PSP…

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Listening to Your Customers

Time magazine has a story about Nintendo at E3, its direction, and some first hand contact with WarioWare Wii. The article is illicitly making its way around the internet. What stood out to me, more than any revelations about the hardware and the games, is one paragraph. But the name Wii not wii-thstanding, Nintendo has grasped two important notions that have eluded its competitors. The first is, Don’t listen to your customers. The hard-core gaming community is extremely vocal–they blog…

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Rising Dollar

For the first time in my life, the Canadian dollar has closed at over the 90 cent US mark. Some are predicting that they will be equal in value by next year. Wow. There’s a multitude of social-economic effects of this, mostly involving cross-border business, tourism and all that other fun stuff. Whatever. The important question is: what does it matter to me? And with the kinds of products that I buy, small media things, it means a potential for…

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