More Random Bits

I’m trying to take all these random (and perhaps somewhat trite) postings and combine them every few days, rather than post nonsense day after day. If it was important enough, I’ll remember it for the few days it inevitably takes to build up enough of them for a full post. If not, well… I probably shouldn’t have been posting it anyway. So here’s some more superficial blathering…

I found the new iBooks… errr, I mean “MacBooks”… that Apple announced today very tempting, but only briefly. They look oh-so-secksy, especially the black one, and are oh-so-small and portable, but a closer look left me underwhelmed. The 13” 1280×800 display is just way too small for me, I’m a resolution whore and that simply won’t cut it. The default 512MB of RAM is a joke. That’s barely enough to run the OS, let alone any apps. Apple should know better and stop cutting corners. The crappy 64MB Intel graphics card is a bit of a joke as well, though I guess it’s good enough for a consumer level Mac. *shrug* Ain’t cutting it for me though. I guess I’ll go back to lusting after the 17″ MacBook Pro. Yummy.

After playing Sin Episodes: Emergence for a bit longer, I went from underwhelmed to flat out disappointed. It started out as a reasonably fun, though completely generic, first person shooter. Now, it’s just plain bad. The difficulty balancing is a joke, it’s become so difficult now that it’s simply not any fun to play any more. It’s frustrating, and even boring, to keep playing the same part of the same level over and over trying to get through it. Very little variety in the weapons, enemies, levels, etc. It feels more like a fan-made Half-Life 2 mod than a commercial game.

Overall, a waste of even the paltry $20 it cost me. Which, I suppose, highlights one of the great flaws/benefits (depending on your perspective) of episodic gaming. Had they released the full game all at once, they’d have gotten the usual $50 out of me for it. Instead, they only got $20 out of me for the first episode, and will not get another dime from me for any further episodes. For me, it’s a great deal. I tried a new game and only had to put out $20 to do so. If it’s good, it’s only $20 a pop to keep playing new episodes as they come out. If it’s not, I’m only out $20. Win/win for me! For them, it’s a different story. If they blow the first episode, they’re not likely to get as many people ponying up for future episodes. Will enough people keep buying to offset the ones who don’t?

I’m really getting that iPod itch again lately. I’m starting to wonder if my declining interest in music isn’t tied to how much less music I carry with me now. Frequently, I’ll be in the mood to hear some specific band, album, or even just style of music and won’t have it with me. I try listening to something else, but it just isn’t filling that need, so I end up turning it off and listening to nothing instead. Not listening to music leads to not being inspired to make music, thus my current muse-less state. Or, that’s the theory I’m working with right now. On top of that, the only room in my new apartment that has any kind of stereo right now is the computer room. As that room abuts my neighbor’s apartment, I can’t turn that stereo up loud enough to hear it anywhere else in the apartment without being a nuisance. So, no music when I’m at home.

Two problems with this right now. One, the iPod is way overdue for a revision. So this is probably not the time to be buying an iPod, I’m still holding out for an 80GB model. Second, there’s a lot of additional expenses on top of the new iPod. If I get a new iPod, I’m not going to keep using the crappy cassette adapter in the car like I am now. I gotta finally spring for proper connectivity. Also, I’m going to want to spring for one of those iPod boomboxes/stereos so that I can have music in other rooms of the house. That all adds up pretty quickly, so I guess I’ll keep waiting.

I pre-ordered/reserved a Nintendo DS Lite this weekend. Between Brain Age, New Super Mario Bros. and the forthcoming web browser, combined with the DS Lite’s smaller size, better looks and brighter screens, I could resist no longer. Now I just need to be patient until June 11th when it’s released! After all the info released at this year’s E3 expo, I’m pretty sure I’ll break down and buy a Wii this fall as well. Kudos to Nintendo for finally dragging me back into the console world (which I haven’t been part of since the Super Nintendo) and for finally getting me to join the portable gaming world (the DS Lite will be my first portable.)