Posts filed under ‘Entertainment’

What NOT To Do When You Buy New Stuff

おひさしぶり! It’s been almost a month since my last post, my day job kept me from writing and…well, pretty much doing anything aside from work was impossible. Anyway, I’m here now, and I’m gonna start light with just some ramblings.

What do you usually do when you buy a piece of hardware? You go straight home to see if what you spent on with your hard-earned money was worth it, or if it’s working at all in the first place. What you don’t do, is take that piece of hardware, say a memory module for your laptop, put it in your bag (yes, in your bag. No, I didn’t say install it in your laptop, fool, put it in your bag. Yeah, that one, over there!), fly off to a far off country, and stay there for a couple of weeks, which is exactly what I did. All would be happy and fine if it worked perfectly, but it didn’t. Right now, I’m wondering what to do: do I send it back to my country for warranty replacement? Is it even worth it? Well, at the cost of 4,000 yen, I’d be much better off buying a new one.

Well, that’s it for now. Keep tuned in, I’m gonna be trying some webcam solutions on Linux, so I might write about that some time, or maybe about some neat photography tools I found.

For now, check out this cool video of human synced pixels. Thanks to Allen for this one.:)

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July 8, 2007 at 10:56 am 4 comments

Everywhere DS

Sony may have taken the crown from Nintendo with their PlayStation consoles, when Megaman and the Final Fantasy series jumped platforms. But Nintendo, seeing that outflanking is better than outgunning, is once again trying to prove that they’re king with the Wii and DS in terms of unique gameplay. Nunchucks, touchscreens, and and a wide variety of applications seem to have done just that.

But Nintendo did more than just that with the DS. This time, pervasiveness is another thing they brought to the table.

People are bringing their DS along with them everywhere–on the bus, FX, taxis, trains, the bathroom, the office, you name it! A quick look in the “Where do you play your GBA/DS/Micro” thread in will tell you other places people have taken their DS to. And I’m sure you would too.

This is all thanks to the wide variety of games and applications available for the DS. While you can definitely play your favorite games anywhere (you should definitely try shouting “Objection” with Phoenix Wright, blowing DS with Mario Kart’s Balloon Battle Mode, or training your Nintendogs inside the train, although ambient noise can give the DS some difficulty with voice recognition), the DS deserves recognition for everything else not gaming as well.

Like when you’re out at Starbucks, sipping your favorite cup of coffee, reading that new book you’ve got. But wait, it’s a Japanese book, and you’re not Japanese. No need to buy those expensive Casio dictionaries, just run Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten and you’re set. Expecting another boring commute? Don’t bother bringing out your mp4-capable phone with its teensie-weensie screen, just load up your memory card with your favorite movie and sit back. Jogging in the park? Plug in your earphones, rev up the mp3 player, and play music with Moonshell. There’s even an iPod-looking mp3 player called Licks Media Player, complete of course with the ClickWheel dial. If you’re going out for a picnic, maybe you can stop near a WiFi hotspot and browse the ‘net for travel info with the Opera for DS. Oh, and best check live weather forecasts with DSLiveWeather as well.

Playing Ouendan On The Road On a recent 9-hour bus trip from Baguio, I couldn’t have been more thankful that I had my well-stocked and well-charged DS with me, though I just alternated between playing Ouendan, Animal Crossing, listening to music, and feeding my dogs. On another occasion, I have played balloon battle in the waiting area of Let’s Face It facial center while waiting for my SO. I tell you, the look of people’s faces as I’m blowing at my DS is priceless.

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April 13, 2007 at 1:40 am 2 comments

Nintendo DS Lite

A year after the DS Lite was released in Japan, I finally got my hands on my own DS Lite by end of last month. So here’s my two cents worth after having played with it for some time. While you can get the PSP for about P10k or so, you can get the DS Lite for just over P7k. The complete DS gamer’s package (boxed)Couple that with an M3DS and a 1gig microSD, it’s roughly the price of buying a PSP unit, except you get to download all the games you want and put it in your microSD, while with the PSP you can play…er, well, at that price, you don’t have any games just yet.

In terms of fun, it offers it in truckloads. If you want to be all serious about gaming and play RPGs and PS-style games, by all means go for the PSP. But if that’s not enough for you (it certainly not enough for me), and you want to have some real fun, go for the DS. The unique features of the DS include a microphone, 2 screens, one of which is a touch screen, and Wi-Fi capability. The built-in lithium-ion batteries can give you enough juice for 5-15 hours of play, depending on your brightness setting.

The complete DS gamer’s packageThe first things I’ve played with my DS were Ossu! Tatakae! Ouendan!, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Cooking Mama, and MarioKart DS, putting all the features of the DS to the test. In all of the games mentioned, only MarioKart DS didn’t focus too much on using the stylus, which was understandable. How much tapping would you need in a racing game anyway. However, it’s coolness can easily be seen in Balloon Battle–you have to inflate your balloons by, get this, actually blowing into your DS! Cooking Mama, too, involves blowing, and other stylus fun such as mixing, peeling potatoes, slicing carrots and tofu, and rolling stuff in breading. And of course, who can’t resist looking like a fool inside the MRT as you shout “Objection!” at your DS while playing Phoenix Wright! Still not convinced? How does teaching your dog how to roll over by giving verbal orders sound? That’s exactly what you’ll be doing in Nintendogs.

A week later, after having convinced two of my office buddies to get DS Lites, we were having MarioKart parties every morning through Wi-Fi, nearly bursting our lungs out while playing in Balloon Battle mode. Playing with friends across the globe is also possible with some games through the Nintendo WiFi Connection, by use of Friend Codes that are unique to your cartridge and DS pair, which is cool because I can play with my brother in China. Of course you can also play with strangers if you haven’t got any friend codes yet. And the DS is no weakling either when playing serious games for the hardcore gamer. The framerate for the first-person shooter Metroid Prime rarely lagged, even with multiple opponents on screen in multiplayer, and the graphics of Need For Speed are just fabulous. Anyone can play

The DS also caters to non-games, including learning tools like Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten, a really good Japanese dictionary. Also with the M3DS, you can play music and videos with Moonshell, or play music using the IPod homebrow application. Most of the main IPod feature is there, of course including the touch-sensitive IPod interface.

All in all, the DS Lite is a powerful computer disguised as one of the best piece of entertainment hardware you’d get your hands on, and for a low price. Let’s just say I used a little over half the savings I was gonna use to buy a MP4-enabled Ultra 9.9 Samsung to buy this baby. A warning though, once you get your DS Lite, expect to be bringing it everywhere, always keeping it charged, and fending off would-be borrowers.

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March 13, 2007 at 11:24 am 2 comments

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