Miscellaneous

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A catch-all for anything not covered elsewhere...
Bill Loguidice's picture

Some Truly Miscellaneous Collection Photos (PC, MPT-03, C-64, Atari 2600, Mac, Vic-20, Stonekeep)

Woot! recently had a deal on an 8GB Eye-Fi memory card that I took advantage of for the express purpose of no-brainer automatic photo uploads from my digital camera directly to my Flickr account, which I thought would provide a smoother and higher quality workflow than using my iPhone 4. As such, I set the Eye-Fi up last night and took some very casual photos. While the transfer process really didn't go well (I'll need to experiment a bit more), transferring only two photos correctly and requiring me to manually transfer the rest, the end result was still some photos of recent items in my collection that also happened to be in my staging area, which I decided to share below with some minor commentary so the initial work wouldn't be totally wasted. Enjoy:

What makes a great game -my version

There has been allot of discussion on what makes a good game here, most centers on RPG's which I do love. But with my mention of best game in the last year, and looking at my year objectively to see what i played and what I didn't I found the following ti be true for me.

The game: World Of Tanks

Type: Free to Play Online Player Vs Player game

Bill Loguidice's picture

Unfortunate Situation with the Heath/Zenith Z-100

Well, I FINALLY got around to setting up my Z-100 and going through all of the stuff, primarily in the interest of getting used to the general operation and then playing the games.

Opened up:
Heath/Zenith Z-100 opened up
Closed:
Heath/Zenith Z-100 closed up

Unfortunately, after plugging it in, it briefly made a noise as if powering up, and then nothing after that. I attempted to open it up and either remove or bypass the power supply (since I have spares of various vintage), but it's really a tight case and screwed in in a configuration that is not particularly easy to tamper with. I gave up. When I mentioned this a little while ago on the SEBHC mailing list group, it was suggested that I check the power supply voltages. If they checked out, that would not be the cause of the issue(s). Naturally, I don't really know how I'd do that. I think one of the things I have to move on my to do list somehow is learning basic electronics if I'm to maintain the type of overall collection I have at present...

I guess I'll either look for an opportunity in the future to re-open it again, preferably with someone more experienced at my side, or just wait for another unit to eventually pop up for a reasonable price on eBay, then sell this one. Of course, I seem to have the worst luck with anything Heathkit (save for the Hero Jr. robot of all things, which works well for me), so I may give up on my whole Heathkit collection at some point down the line. With that said, I have some items that I really like in the Z-100 portion of my collection (particularly since my focus is primarily on games), so I'd really love to make use of them. Here's a very casual inventory I just did, which should be pretty much everything:

Matt Barton's picture

Thrust Lifter OST

Thrust Lifter: You salty dawg...Thrust Lifter: You salty dawg...Matt's Valentine's Day Preparation Guide.

First off, stop playing Thrust Lifter. I know it's hard...VERY HARD. But this is Valentine's Day. It's about HER, not rescuing the Chilenoids. I'm not even going to provide a link to the game. Hey, don't click on that!

Now that you're NOT playing videogames, let's set the stage for a wonderful Valentine's Day.

Step 1. Breakfast in bed. How about some heart-shaped waffles? Don't even think about fake butter, buddy.
Step 2. Say: "I had an amazing dream last night. Then I woke up next to someone even more amazing."
Step 3. What's that? A box of chocolates! Nice. But say: "Chocolate is great. But let's face it...Mr. Hershey never tasted your lips."
Step 4. Present your clipboard. "I made a list of everything that's great about you. Let's begin with item #00000001."
Step 5. Hold on a minute! No background music??? ZOMG, you fool!!! Download Thrust Lifter OST on your iPod NOW!!!

Thank Gawd I'm here to save your marriage.
Download the Thrust Lifter OST right now.

Thank me when you have 4.5 children and a dog to fetch your slippers.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Happy New Year from Armchair Arcade and Personal Thoughts on 2012

On behalf of Armchair Arcade, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone out there the happiest of new years. While nothing actually changes when we cross over from December 31st to January 1st on our rather arbitrary calendars, it still provides a good opportunity to reflect on the past 365 days and what may come in the next 365. As always, we welcome your own reflections, resolutions, and thoughts in the comments.

On a personal level, of course, I continue to be thankful for my family, which remains my primary focus. I'm not really one for resolutions, but I still plan to keep fighting the good fight for continued personal improvement on all levels. Since this is Armchair Arcade, however, I can say that as it relates to videogame, computer, gadget, and technology stuff, 2011 was a very good year, and 2012 promises to be even better. From my end, for 2012, Christina and I will have our next book, My Xbox, available everywhere as early as next month. Matt and I will have our classic 2009 book, Vintage Games, go into its second printing. Matt and I also expect our documentary, Gameplay: The Story of the Videogame Revolution, affectionately dubbed, "Gameplay Forever," to finally reach completion in 2012. Matt and I are also negotiating a new book deal that should make both college professors and students, and videogame history buffs, very happy. Christina and I should also start another console book some time mid-year if things continue to progress as they are. A good portion of the Armchair Arcade team is also finishing up an exciting new ebook project this month that we think will really strike a chord with the ever growing ereader crowd (me, among them, of course). Of course, that's all just the stuff we're anticipating, and the list will likely grow.

To the wider industry, we're all anticipating the release of the PlayStation Vita outside of Japan and how that will ultimately fare, the Nintendo Wii U some time mid-year, the release of the iPad 3 (and possible downgrade of the iPad 2 as a budget tablet) and iPhone 5 (and yes, maybe even the mythical Apple television), continued advancements in Android tablets and phones, the release of Windows 8 and some associated tablets, and all kinds of other exciting new releases, developments and announcements, both known and as yet unknown. Of course, it's not all expected to go well in 2012, with some of us expecting the start of a RIM death and/or takeover watch and a whole lot more companies getting their hurt on due to continued struggles of the worldwide economy and general business missteps. I'll of course continue to make my predictions right here on Armchair Arcade on an ongoing basis (my track record in 2011 was quite good, actually), but I'd certainly love to hear your thoughts as well for the record, so sound off below... Happy New Year!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Why I canceled my PlayStation Vita pre-order

Well, I did it, I canceled my $359.96 pre-order of the Sony PlayStation Vita - WiFi, ModNation Racers: Road trip, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and Hot Shots Golf on Amazon. It's not because it was too much money - it was - but I planned for it. It's not that I don't want it either - I do - but it simply doesn't make sense at this time. I have long gone on record - much to the chagrin of the Nintendo faithful - that I believe this is the last generational hurrah for dedicated gaming handhelds. In short, I believe they will still sell well this generation, just not anywhere near the heights of the last generation when the DS and PSP ruled the roost. I've given many reasons for this line of thinking, but I primarily chalk it up to smartphones and tablets being good enough as game machines and the inclination for most people to carry as few electronic devices as possible. In other words, would you rather have a device that does everything multimedia and Internet effortlessly (and, as a smartphone, makes phone calls and texts), and has inexpensive apps (and a great camera for stills and video, etc.), as well as plays good games, or would you rather have a device that plays really good games (thanks mostly to onboard physical controls), but is mediocre (or incapable) at everything else and has expensive apps? Some of us will have both, but many of us will only choose the most logical of the two. If you look at the issue without the emotion of a dedicated gamer, there really is no good argument for having anything other than a smartphone and maybe a tablet in your portable arsenal, particularly since the former has an excuse to be with you 100% of the time.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark builds his Mame Arcade Cabinet (sort of)

I finally built my long awaited Mame Cabinet - sort of

I got an iCade because I was able to download iMame from iTunes when it was up there momentarily just before it was pulled from the service. It is possible to add more games to it and it allows your iPhone, iPod or iPad to function as a Mame tablet. Combine it with the iCade and you can turn it into a cheap Mame Cabinet. I am thinking about doing a proper sit down mame cab sometime in the future though but this will suffice for now.

Now I own the white rimmed iPad2 - they were fresh out of black ones when I went to go get one and I think the black rimmed iPad2 would look even better in this iCade cab. :P

If you have jailbroken your device it is possible to download the Mame4All package and run that instead. Mind you the iPad 2 still is not possible to be jailbroken. I have an iPad2 and an iPhone4 and both work great with this iCade cabinet. It is also possible to use this blue tooth arcade stick with Android tablets running a version of Mame compatible with this too :P
so it is not iOS only!
http://code.google.com/p/imame4all/

Soundtrack leader by ZombieAndy1979 aka Synthmonkey
http://www.youtube.com/user/ZombieAndy1979

Bill Loguidice's picture

A Stratagem to Actually Play Some Games

I've been chomping at the bit to play a good multi-character CRPG for some time now, but am typically presented with various barriers, which I'm constantly looking to overcome. I think I've found one way to get through one of the most egregious barriers, and that's minimizing set up time. Whether truly necessary or not, when it comes to a good CRPG, I like to read the manual first so I can plan out my character creation strategy and then hit the ground running. Unfortunately, gathering the motivation to actually break out the manual and read it is difficult at best since there are so many other demands on my time, many of which are considerably more fun than reading rules. Since the Kindle app on my iPad 2 now supports the sending of documents over email directly to the device, I was able to send both the PDF manual and PDF map for Darklands (which Matt Barton covered here and here) from my Evernote account via my Kindle-specific email address. While I own the complete boxed version of Darklands, having both the manual and map on my iPad are considerably more convenient since I can read the former at my leisure, and refer to the latter as needed. In fact, I read about half the manual today during lunch, and will probably get through the rest when doing cardio at the gym tonight after hitting the weights. This way when I do have a little time in the evening, I can simply start the game. And speaking of the game, I got Darklands on gog.com, and it's already installed on my gaming PC, so no need for me to set up my original disks on an old PC and go through the whole tedious process that that would involve. This of course further streamlines my ability to actually get to the game before using up all of my time and/or energy.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Unedited OnLive MicroConsole Live Footage

Since I had my capture equipment set up for the creation (and recent completion) of the My Xbox book, I decided to run some experiments before I broke everything back down. I hooked up the OnLive MicroConsole via HDMI to a ViewHD YPbPr/VGA converter. I took the output from the ViewHD's component output and ran it to my AVerTV USB HD DVR. I set the MicroConsole to 720p, which is the AVerTV's maximum capture resolution and recorded from startup through the mostly random game access and switching for about 20 minutes. It's not particularly compelling, but it does give an idea of how the OnLive service works and how well the MicroConsole itself performs in the real world. Rather than a wired or wireless connection, though, my MicroConsole is hooked up via a Western Digital WD Livewire Powerline AV Network connection, which sort of splits the performance difference between the two. My cable Internet service is through Comcast. While I did not edit this video, I did convert the YouTube-incompatible .TS file to .WMV, so any artifacts will be from that. By the way, with this overall capture method I'm also able to capture my iPhone 4's output, but strangely enough, not my iPad 2's. I really don't know why. As always, feel free to ask any questions.

Matt Barton's picture

Thrust Lifter Registration Information

Dear Indie Gamer:

So you're thinking about buying your own registered copy of my game Thrust Lifter?

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