Thursday, December 29, 2005

"I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle"

It's here! It finally arrived!! Terminator 2: Extreme Edition DVD. I got it for $7.50 USD + $4.00 USD shipping = $11.50 USD = $13.67 CND from ebay, brand new, still wrapped, delivered to my mail box. It was -3 degrees celcius with a light drizzle when I opened my mail box to see a package with the words DVD on it. When I got home, I ripped open the bubble wrap. The limited edition metal DVD case was ice cold.. just the way I like it >=D

When I started taking the DVD case out of the metal case, I immediately understood what they were aiming to do.. I hope you do too.. although it's sometimes hard to notice just from pictures. 1 2 3 4

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Let me tell you why I love this movie. I watched James Cameron's 1991 Terminator 2: Judgement Day when i was 7 years old.. (even though I probably wasn't supposed to..). My grandparents brought a bootlegged VHS copy of Terminator 2 to Canada with them when they came over from Hong Kong. I must have played that VHS tape and watched the whole movie from beginning to end.. over 10 times since I had little to do as a child. I even remember looking through a calendar, looking for the day when Judgement Day will come.

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A few weeks ago, after reading IGN's Top 25 Action Movies of All-Time and noticing that T2 came in to be #4, I decided it's time I own a legit copy of it. I should, at the very least, catch up with technology, to own the DVD so I can add to my collection of DVDs, to pay my respects to (in my opinion), the greatest movie of all time. So I did some research. There's something called the Ultimate Edition DVD and then there's also the Extreme Edition DVD. The Ultimate Edition DVD came out first, and it has a lot of extras. A little while later, they came out with the Extreme Edition DVD.. which is digitally mastered from a brand-new 1080p high-definition digital telecine transfer, which simply means.. it has even greater video quality than the Ultimate Edition DVD, with new extras. None of the Extras overlap, so the Extreme Edition DVD doesn't really replace the Ultimate Edition DVD.

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Although I didn't understand 'everything' when I watched it as a child, the story made enough sense for me to understand what was going on. The action was what really got me pumped. What's 'not' to understand when a liquid-metal shape shifting robot from the future is targetting you for termination..? Everything was blowing up so fast, and the special effects were (and still are) impressive. There are so many action scenes, all of which are just spectacular, and it's not all about the graphics/action. For example, John Conor made The Terminator swear not to kill anyone even though The Terminator didn't understand why since the only thing on his mind was to protect John and he'd do anything to accomplish that, even if it means killing people. In the scene where police cars surround the building they're in, The Terminator takes his minigun and grenade launcher and shoots at the police and the cars they're hiding behind, for a good few minutes.. When he's done, his scanner shows: Human Casualties: 0.0

I can't say I have a favourite action scene, they're all my favourite. This movie is DEEP. As I got older, I understood more of the concepts and the story.

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Here's a quote by Sarah Conor (John Conor's mother) to show you what I mean:
"Watching John with the machine, it was suddenly so clear. The terminator would never stop -- it would never leave him, and it would never hurt him, never shout at him or get drunk and hit him, or say it was too busy to spend time with him. It would always be there, and it would die to protect him."

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Even by today's standards, there's some real great acting in this movie. This is the movie that everyone refers to when they talk about Arnold Schwarzenegger as an actor. There are countless memorable quotes by him from this movie. The fact that he plays a 'less-say, more-killing' robot makes this shine even more. Linda Hamilton (Sarah Conor) acts like a psychopath like she should be and Edward Furlong (John Conor) plays a perfectly wild and adventurous child who teaches the Terminator a few lessons about life. The more I watch it, the more I admired everything about it. Beware, the ending.. can be quite emotional. All good movies have great endings to them, and T2 is no exception. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to take aim at T-1000's head while he's still frozen in liquid nitrogen. Astalavista, baby.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

CSC300: Computers and Society

Hm.. ok, so this term (1st term of 3rd year CS), I'm taking a course called CSC300: Computers and Society. It's taught by Professor Emeritus Calvin Gotlieb. He's really old, but he's been called the "father of computing" in Canada. He knows and has seen a lot related to society and computers.

The course focuses on how computers have changed society in the past, how it is affecting society today and what computers may offer to society in the future. The tutorials are extremely social, like a mini forum, with about 10 or less people and you get to talk about anything computer related. 10% of your grade goes towards 'Internet Postings' which is just creating a thread in a forum and replying to those who reply to your topic. Here's mine, hope you like it: The Paperless Office. 15% of your grade goes towards a debate. Our topic was "Be It Resolved That: The Digital Divide is Temporary". Let's not talk about that since I lost.. =( [Even I was convinced I was wrong.. that's how bad I lost] The main assignment is a 3000+ word essay worth 30%. I'm not good at writing essays, but I tried my best and I generally had a lot to say. My topic was: Internet Vulnerability: A disaster waiting to happen. This essay was really rushed so.. don't be too harsh criticizing it... Hope you like it: Internet Vulnerability: A disaster waiting to happen.

I talk a lot about piracy in my essay.. which reminds me, I just saw this video on anti-piracy. You can view the video 'here'. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan are on a mission to stop piracy. If it was a movie, they could have taken on the bad guys themselves. But this is the real world, they need your help! When you buy pirated movies and music, you support CRIMINALS! Now these criminals are counterfeiting other things like electronics and medicines. Take Action. Demand the real thing. Help them stop piracy. Let's TERMINATE it!

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

CNAnime 2005

So I missed CNAnime 2004 last year because I couldn't afford missing 3 days of work. I wanted to skip CNAnime this year too, for the same reason, but all work and no play is very unhealthy. I needed a mini-vacation from the drudgery of work. Especially when your girlfriend wants to go with you.. It wasn't a "maybe" or "kinda", it was a definite "YESH! Let's go to CNAnime!!"

From that point on, it was decided: CNAnime, here we come!
It wasn't just an anime convention, more precisely, it's called The Canadian National Expo, which includes the comic book, science fiction, horror and gaming expos. The more, the merrier =)

It's not an expo without all the famous people. The most famous person there would have been Elijah Wood. However, it costs $80 just for a ticket to see him and to get his autograph. Sold out tickets only tells you that A LOT of people love Elijah Wood. Hercules (Kevin Sorbo) was there too. I took a picture of my gf standing beside her hunk. (Then I tore up that life sized cardboard cutout of Kevin Sorbo after it tried to flirt with her). Ok, so it's not the real Hercules, that would have cost $25 >=(. My idols at the convention would be the Red vs Blue crew. Here they are, holding a little Q/A conference before showing episode 58. You sure as hell can't miss the giant walking Pikachu, so we took a picture with him too. PIKACHU! I CHOOSE YOU!

As with all anime/gaming/comic book/sci fi/horror conventions, a lot of people dress up as characters. I would never dress up as anyone, although people have noted that I look like Keitaro Urashima from Love Hina such that I don't even have to dress up. Here's my friend Kevin, dressed up as a Jedi Knight, may the force be with you.. As in, good luck, cause I think this other Jedi is about to kick your ass. Sub Zero and Kitana from Mortal Kombat were at the convention too, picking some fights. Scorpion, however, trying to pick up some girls. There was even someone who dressed up as a Listerine bottle!! He looks ready to kick badbreath's ass. My favorite would be the Metal Gear Solid Guard. He was carrying a stick with two signs on his back, one with the an ! (exclaimation mark) alerting everyone that he sees Solid Snake, and the other with a "ZZZzzzz..." sign, signifying that he really needs his sleep, even in the middle of an anime convention.

The dealer's room at CNAnime is the whole second floor. Anime North can never compete with the Metro Toronto Convention Centre's massive space. Let's see, first off, I bought a few plush toys to add to my collection of sleeping pals (ok that sounded very girlish and kiddish, but they're really cool, like Kakashi Hatake). I also bought a Naruto wallscroll, it's so colourful!! And for the dark side of me, I bought a bunch of figruines (they were really heavy). A complete set of spawn figurines (the Spawn variants and the villans), Glitch Bob and Megabyte (from Reboot), and Revolver Ocelot. To support Red vs Blue, I bought all 3 seasons DVDs, they signed them for free too =).

Saturday is the day two of the biggest attractions are shown: the music video contest and the masquerade. My two favourite music videos would be: Mood Rings / Mood Rings V2 (Award for Best Comedy) and A Hunter's Requiem (WARNING: very dark and graphic, you may get nightmares from watching it). If you want to watch them but too lazy to sign up for an account, just ask me to send them to you, (you lazy bastard). Every year, the Masquerade never fails to entertain. It was 3 hours long yet I only took a few pictures. Here's one of the Rayment twins from The Matrix: Reloaded. There were 3 Joker and Harlequin couples. I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the first couple, but here's the second, and the third couple, who did a little dance together before he proposed to her on stage. Teminator and T1000 from Terminator 2 were battling on stage.. you can already guess who won (just watch the movie if you haven't already). Solid Snake is pictured here, planting a porn magazine to distract guards as he walks around them in his little box, but his instincts take over and he goes back for the magazines.

At the end of the last day, everything was taken down, everyone packed their bags and said goodbye. Within an hour after the end of the expo, the dealer's room became nothing but a big empty room with forklifts carrying stuff away. Everything disappeared like a ghostly image, kind of like this picture of Keitaro and Su as they're leaving the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. CNAnime was so cool, we had lots of fun and spent lots of money. Never again will I spend so much in the span of 3 days... Until next year =)

Saturday, May 07, 2005

With a great summer job, comes great toys

Time sure flies by fast... It feels like only yesterday when I was playing cops and robbers as a ten-year-old. Now, 2nd year has finished and I'm at the half-way mark (well, not exactly, but almost). Half way done university, that sure feels good. I hope I'll survive 3rd and 4th year.. and possibly grad school?

Along with the completion of a year of university, comes a summer of hard work and money earning. This summer, I've decided that I'll be doing another season of Wonderland. Wonderland provides long shifts, and with long shifts come big money. Working at Wonderland has reminded me that money is really hard to find... [but easy at times ;) ] Because I'm a rehire this year, I won't be getting as many short shifts as I did last year. I don't think I'll ever work as much as many hours as I did for 2 weeks ever again: 110 hours (59:27 + 50:10 [You can do the math]). Anyone dare to challenge my record? I've already started treating myself to some very nice things: GBA DEEP SILVER EDITION (/limited edition Kingdom Hearts) 1 2 3 4, HP iPAQ RX3115 1 2 3 4 and Logitech X-230 sound system (pictures won't help you appreciate how amazing these speakers are.....). However, I think that the most expensive toy that I've played with (and ever will) would be Cliffhanger. It has an extra water button, a joystick and it occasionally causes the sky to rain toonies for some reason. Need I say more?

I must admit that one very big reason why I came back to Wonderland was because of the crew. It's a shame to see it split in half (literally) along with promotions and transfers. We held such great pride last year as a crew and as ride ops at Wonderland, but things happen that don't always go the way you'd want it to and people decide to go their own ways. So I suppose all that matters is that you're happy where you are. Take Care ex-Dragons...

Saturday, April 02, 2005

2 seconds left eBay snipes

If you haven't heard of ebay yet, you've probably been living in a cave for the past 10 years.. For those that don't know ebay, it's basically a place where you can buy retail things, at non-retail prices~! WOW! Just like how we originally said 'normal people' don't use computers, and today, it's not uncommon to have 2 computers in a household: If you don't already have an ebay account, whether it be you simply haven't tried it yet, or your lack of trust of giving out your credit card number online: like my friend, who originally said he doesn't trust ebay... and now, he has bought $287.73 worth of merchandise in a matter of 2 weeks, your views on buying from ebay will change pretty soon.

Anyways, each item is a timed auction, and you can already guess what that means.. people bid at the very last SECONDs, screwing the current winning bidder, and winning by $1 or any similar small incremental figure. There is actually software that can 'snipe' for you if you are not near a computer when an auction ends: Auction Sniper, Bidnapper, SnipeSwipe, AuctionInsights, BidSlayer, Auction Sentry (Yes, very creative names).

Of course, you can easily protect yourself by bidding high. That way, if someone tries to snipe you, your armour will deflect their snipes, and they'll look like idiots. I was bidding on this 'rare' game on behalf of my cousin: Spikeout for XBOX, only 3500 copies made. On a side note: it seems that the demand for this game is actually very high.. It's somehow already sold out at Electronic Boutique stores 13 days before it's even released. I've already seen 2 auctions for it, in which the current high bids were $150 USD and $130 USD. I don't see how a Final Fight type game in 3D can be worth $150 USD, even if it is limited, but a quote from my cousin will give you a peak at what's in the minds of hardcore gamers who are willing to shell out money for this game:
I've waited for this game since Dreamcast... I've waited for 5 years...and the first reason I bought XBOX was because of this game... and now SEGA is making it a limited release...
Anyways, back on topic, some idiot tries to snipe me, with 2 seconds remaining and he gets served in the face. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? BIATCH.

It's quite amusing when you get sniped though. Last week, I was bidding on a complete set of Tintin hardcover books (very rare) on behalf of a friend. The auction ends at 18:27:56, we snipe at 18:27:41 (15 seconds remaining), then this guy named alexteri flies out of nowhere and snipes at 18:27:54 (2 seconds remaining), and so we lost by $1. The winner bidder was the one who showed no sign of presence for the 7 days of auction. PWNED I say.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Peace to thebroken crew, you are 1337!

"the broken", in short, is a "computer show" where a bunch of friends get together and show us the way of the h4x0r.

the broken crew consists of:
the two hosts: Kevin "d_tip" Rose and Dan "double_d" Huard
cameraman: Keith "switcherman" Harrison
hacker tip giver: Ramzi

They demonstrate everything from game console modding to play backups, social engineering to get free pizza for life, Windows password cracking, wireless WEP cracking and of course, we can't forget Ramzi's hacker tips: how to download warez, protecting your laptop's sensative data, and how to create a door buster for only $20. They also interview the greatest hacker of all time, Kevin Mitnick!

The first and only 3 episodes are finally up again. What are you waiting for? Go download them-> the broken dot organization

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Gamecube LED mod

I've been wanting to do the LED mod for the longest time and now that it's finally reading week, my chance has come. I'm going to go ahead and finally change that cool orange-coloured LED to a COOLER green-coloured LED.. Thanks to all the tutorials and pictures on how to do it, I know exactly what to do and what I need to do it. So I suppose this will be yet another tutorial, with a few added comments.

1) To open the Gamecube, you'll need the 4.5mm gamebit and a screwdriver which you can put the bit on. I got my gamebit from eBay for $5 and a 77 piece screwdriver set from Canadian Tire for $13. OR you can try making one using a spare bic pen and a lighter.
2) A 3mm, 3~4V LED of your choice. I bought 20 x GREEN LEDs of 3000 MCD from eBay as well, for $0.01. They seem just as bright, if not, SLIGHTLY brighter than the original orange LED that comes with the Gamecube. You may buy even brighter LEDs if you wish, just make sure you don't blind yourself..
3) A soldering iron. You can easily find one at Radio Shack or Canadian Tire, or simply just borrow a friend's, which is what I did.
4) A small pair of pliers. You'll need it to extract and insert the LED. Or, if you're confident, you can try using your fingers, at least to extract the orange LED.
5) Most importantly, some confidence. If you don't feel comfortable messing with your Gamecube, don't. I can't be held responsible if your Gamecube stops working after you mod it, or if you accidentally burn or shock yourself, or if your Gamecube dies or decides to run away to escape your devious plans...

You should be able to do this mod without a desoldering tool and without solder. I did. One more thing to note before you start is the warranty from Nintendo on the Gamecube. I believe it's 60 days after you purchase it. So if you do any kind of modding on your Gamecube during this 60 day period, Nintendo's not going to hate you.. No, they'll just void your warranty!! If you're passed the 60 days, then the warranty is over, so no need to worry about it.

Step 1) Turn over the Gamecube so it's upside down. Take your gamebit screwdriver and unscrew the four screws out from the bottom of the Gamecube. Once the four screws are out, carefully flip the Gamecube right side up again and lift up the top casing. Unlike what's pictured below, you should ALWAYS have a clean uncluttered workspace.

Step 2) You should see the orange LED now. For a better view, you can unclip the panel so it folds down. Note the diode direction (the triangle shaped symbol which, in this situation, is saying: electricity flows from right (positive) to left (negative)). Take your replacement LED and and bend the legs 90 degrees so you get the same shape as the oranged LED. MAKE SURE that the negative lead (shorter leg/flat side on LED) is it's left leg.

Step 3) The trick is 'not' to use a small tip (since we're working with a 3mm LED on such a small circuit board), which is what I originally thought, but a standard sized soldering iron tip is big enough to melt the two solder points at once, which is what we want. Plug in your soldering iron and let it warm up. Unclip the controller panel so you have acess to the solder points. With one hand, grab the orange LED with your pliers (or fingers). With your other hand, take your soldering iron and place it in between the two solder points so it melts them both simultaneously. After a few seconds, u should be able to feel the looseness of the LED so just pull and slide it out. Remove the soldering iron and make sure that two solder points didn't join. If they did, you're going to have to melt the solder again and separate them. If you don't separate the points and you turn on your Gamecube, you'll short circuit the board and probably fry it....

Step 4) Now that the original orange LED is out, you can insert your replacement LED. Most pliers have a wire cutter on them. Use it to shorten the bended LED leads to match the length of the orange LED leads, now that you've extracted it. Make note of which lead is positive and negative again since you'll be cutting the leads to be equal length now. You don't want to integrate a diode into a circuit the wrong way. Again, with one hand, hold the replacement LED with a pair of pliers and push the leads against the solder points from under the board. With your other hand, melt the solder points simultaneously using the soldering iron. Your push of the LED legs should penetrate the melted solder. Don't push too hard or you'll go too far. Ensure that the LED is in the proper position and that it is inserted as straight as possible. Once again, check that the solder points didn't join.

Step 5) Clip the front panel up again and check that the LED is not crooked. The flat side of the LED should be on the left side when you look straight at it. Put the cover back on and YOU'RE DONE!

Plug in your Gamecube and prepared to be awed. Turn it on and you'll be staring at it for a few minutes. At least I did. Here are some before and after shots.

Of course, I gave so much detail because this tutorial is aimed towards those who have little or no experience with circuitry and soldering. When you become more experienced, all this becomes second nature, and you can sum this tutorial up into 3 words: "replace the LED". I am no where near that level of experience. The last time I soldered something was more than 2 years ago, in high school... Yes, our 'team' built an OOPIC robot, which eventually ran into the wall too hard one time and killed itself.... RIP.

In the future, when I have time, maybe I'll do the controller port LED mod, where light beams out of the controller ports. Currently, the XBOX is the most moddable console in terms of 'looks' modding and 'mod chip' modding. Hopefully I can make enough money in the summer for an XBOX, but I still love my Gamecube.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

my thoughts on MMORPGs

MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role playing games) have been around for a really long time. Ever since advent of powerful servers that are able to stay up and running for weeks, if not months, and the arrival of affordable broadband internet to homes all across the world, MMORPG activity has skyrocketed. They suck gamers into virtual worlds where you can kill monsters, level up, take on side-quests and interact with everyone else logged into the virtual world.

The experience is quite satisfying I must say. I used to play an MMORPG called Ragnarok, which is defined as "a time prophosied when the world shall be ripped apart and the gods shall die". Of course, the game had NOTHING to do with the end of the world. In fact, mostly all MMORPGs don't have a concrete story to them. They are meant to to be played.. well, forever, if that were possible, bringing you, the gamer, a unique experience, each time you played it.

Big name MMORPGs like EverQuest, Lineage, Final Fantasy XI, etc. require massive servers that keep the virtual world running and that that isn't cheap... most MMORPG developers require you to pay a monthly fee to play on the server. After the open (and thus, free) beta for Ragnarok ended, it started costing money to play). Being the poor jobless boy that I am, I minimized my expenses by playing on cracked servers. Alternatives like the Xeno and Trinity servers for Ragnarok hosted by people who had a really fast computer and were able to spare some of their bandwidth. Being the free servers that they were, the instability of the administation was always an issue, unlike if you paid for the real thing. What that simply meant was that: I spent hours and hours of my life on now non-existent characterS that eventually felt the wrath of the "rm -rf" command. OK whatever, it's the experience that matters.

I just thought I'd share some of my thoughts on MMORPGs after seeing WoW available for download from a BT site along with it's ability for alternative servers and after watching a funny video (open link in windows media player), made by the editors and writers, people who work at As like all others who (are playing / have played) World of Warcraft, they basically say: "we no longer have control of our lives because of WoW..." Good think I'm not hooked... anymore.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Macworld and CES 2005

The past 2 weeks have been very exciting for those who idolize electronics and wish to live very digital lifestyles (like me). Conventions like these are always filled with promises of a better tomorrow and I am honored to live in such a digital age. The Consumer Electronics Show gave a chance for the world's greatest software and hardware companies, like Sony, Microsoft, AMD, Intel, Infinium Labs, Sandisk, Logitech, LG, Motorolla, nVidia, and ATI, just to name a few, to give their insights on what's to come in 2005 and beyond, but most importantly, to show off their latest toys.

On the gaming side:
Although Next-Box (XBOX 2) was not mentioned, like initially anticipated, Bill Gates was happy to mention how sucessful Halo 2 is, how North American sales of XBOX have finally caught up with Sony's Playstation 2, and was able to talk about XBOX's role in integrating Media Centre into the living room. You can watch the video here. (Open the link in Windows Media Player)

Bill Gates with Conan O'Brien

Infinium Labs demoed the Phantom console, and their online gaming service which allows you to purchase and download all your games online. One advantage to this is that they will have 500 titles available at launch, but I think they will have a hard time convincing the public that downloading games will be more convenient that the standard- going to a store, and buying a game. You can watch the video here. (Open the link in Windows Media Player)

Infinium Labs' Phantom

During Sony's press conference, we were expecting them to shine light on details of the North American launch of PSP like date and price. Their general answers? "some time soon" and "not much". The press and general public are quite disapointed by this. Their presentation of the PSP was nothing new either. Other than inviting hip-hop star Xzibit to show off a few multimedia capabilities of the PSP such as picture viewing, music playing and movie watching, Sony didn't 'wow' the crowd like they did during E3 2004 where they introduced the PSP. You can watch the video here. (Open the link in Windows Media Player)

Sony's Kaz Hirai with Xzibit

In short, the gaming scene was not that big of a hit for CES. We'll just have to wait for E3 2005 in May, where all 3 competing gaming giants are expected to awe the world with their next-gen console: Nintedo with Revolution, Sony with PS3 and Microsoft with NextBox/Xenon/XBOX 2, whatever you want to call it. However, the rest of CES was full of awesomeness. If only I had the dough.

High executive screw-ups at CES 2005 were:
1) When Kaz Hirai (President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment) was forcing a memory stick into the PSP the wrong way. When he realized, his reply was "I just work here".
2) When Bill Gates (Chairman of Microsoft Corporation) couldn't get a remote control to work and Conan O Brien said "I don't know who's running things here.. Who's in charge of Microsof- oh.."

Many people say "Microsoft is going to take over the world" as if it's something bad. In my opinion, I think Microsoft is a company that is taking a lot of initiative to get things done. They are 'taking over the world' simply because no one else is. When they force their technologies on others, forcing others to comply with their standards, it's better than having no standards at all. Microsoft's partnerships with other industry players in the home entertainment industry will only bring a better tomorrow in the living room. Microsoft is the only company powerful enough to integrate everything to work together and that begins with PlaysForSure. The world would definately not be better off if everyone had linux on their desktops. People simply would not use computers if that was so. In forcing Windows upon consumers, they've made the choice for us when we didn't know how to choose. In introducing the Media Center PC, Microsoft is giving us more of a reason to be in the living room, as like they did giving us the reason to be on a PC. One day we'll look back and see how out-dated the current setup and layout of DVDs are. No words can describe how great a company Microsoft is. Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer once dance around like and money said "I love this company". I always wondered why someone would ever do that but now I know.

As for MacWord 2005:
Apple = eye candy. If you've ever seen an iPod mini or iBook or used Mac OSX, you'll be immidiately drawn into it's sheer beauty. Now they are introducing the iPod shuffle, a flash based portable music/data device. If you love Apple stuff and currently don't own a portable USB flash drive, there is no reason you would not get one. $99 (USD) for 512mb is a steal. There is no doubt that Apple will gain a large amount of flash-based music players market share. They are also coming out with the Mac mini, a Mac the size of text book. It is very sleek and ultra portable. On the side of software, Apple is introducing the iWork Suite, a set of really cool programs that are worth their money. iWork again defines what great innovative software Apple develops for their machines. It will come with Mac OSX Tiger, along with some really cool tools such as Spotlight. However, I still think Microsoft, with all it's might and power, will bring much more in Longhorn, the next major Windows release coming in 2006 earliest. You should watch the complete keynote, even if you're not a fan of Macs.

The Mac mini

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Microsoft Bloopers at CES 2005

It was not all fun and games at the Consumer Electronics Show 2005, which ran from January 6-9 in Las Vegas. If you haven't heard/read/seen already, Bill Gates must be one super pissed off guy right about now because of the technical problems they encountered during Microsoft's keynote address. Not only was Bill Gates riddled 1 2 by Conan O'Brien when they tried to start a start a slideshow and the remote failed to work, but the infamous BSOD (blue screen of death) actually poped up when a Microsoft representative tried to show off Forza Motorsport, their answer to Sony's Gran Turismo series. You'd think Microsoft learned their lesson in Comdex 1998, where they demoed Windows 98, but no. A Microsoft employee, Sean Alexander, who works on the Media Center Team, has written up on his blog exactly what went wrong: Apparently the Media Center demos are run from one machine located on the other side of the stage from Bill and what they did was run a USB IR receiver all the way across the stage to where Bill was sitting. Then, during the show, one of two things happened: either a) the stage was flooded by IR 'light' from the autofocus systems on the everyone's cameras in the audience, or b) the cable failed to send the signal all the way across the stage since it was too long.

I would have no idea what to do if I was Bill and I couldn't start a slideshow, or if I was demo-ing Forza Motorsport and my machine decided to crash. I think they handled the situations very well.

You can read the complete transcript or watch the full keynote speech straight from Microsoft's site or you can watch the short versions here or here--> Slideshow and Forza Motorsport (make sure you allow the pop-up).