Spoiled

Still on break, folks, but I did want to let you know that I’ve recently had opportunity to look into wireless headphones since the 3.0 OS update hit, permitting stereo Bluetooth use with the iPhone. The pair I settled on is the Samsung SBH500, which should be going for about $50 in most circles, less if you can swing a discount. I highly recommend you do. Granted that $50 for headphones is a bit exorbitant, but for iPhone users they’re the least expensive way to get your music and talking done on the same device, without strangling yourself on silly cords and adapters. The sound quality is excellent on them, and the controls are placed very intuitively on the right earpiece. The fact that the music-related controls beyond “play/pause” and volume don’t work is sadly on Apple’s part; they probably rushed the A2DP implementation and are planning to patch it out soon. Even if they don’t, wireless is without a doubt the way to go, and this set is a great way to do it. Be aware, though, that Bluetooth anything drains battery life ridiculously fast on the phone… so grab some spare chargers and keep ’em handy.

Not Worth It

Folks, I think I need to take a break from writing and blogging for a bit. I know, I know, it’s the same as it always is with me– I start something and it never gets finished. I’m coming to the point where I need to decide what it is exactly I should be focusing myself on first, and going from there. At this point it could be writing, blogging, programming, or not “producing” anything at all. It can only be one of those, though, and unfortunately the rest have got to be scaled back drastically if I’m going to get anywhere. I need to take some time to figure out which one I’m best at, and which one I should do going forward.

Since the novel posts are automated, those will continue. Everything else is on hiatus until further notice.

Thank you for your understanding.

Some Brief Silence

Sorry, folks, but no post tonight. Today was hyper-busy, I didn’t get home until late, and I’m tired. I should have something tomorrow.

On a completely unrelated note, Firefox 3.5’s beta really makes me happy for one important reason: less memory leakage. Seriously, I’ve not maxed out the “used memory” meter on my computer since installing it, instead reaching only maybe halfway full. Plus it seems to clear the memory away properly once closed, unlike before. Anything that prevents me from having to reboot is always a good thing. Can’t wait for it to reach a full release so my plugins will work again.

Too Damn Much Stuff Going On

As may be inferred from the title, I have yet another project I’m thinking of starting up. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind being able to think of all these things if a) I had more time to work on each one, or b) I could ever just get one of them done before the next idea comes to me. Still, this one doesn’t seem to be all that difficult in terms of what the core is supposed to do; it seems to be a pretty simple Java web service. Writing the clients for it is going to be the seriously difficult part as I’m looking at, at a minimum, three implementations. With a fourth if I get really ambitious.

Unless someone fairly proficient with Windows programming wants to help out, that is. Hint, hint.

More Fun Than It Ought To Be

This is going to sound like a bad thing, but I’m really digging Eat Lead more than I really feel like I should. It’s a generic third-person shooter with minimal difficulty and unimaginative level design– plus the UI is really clunky, and there’s no waypoint system, so it’s easy to get lost. All the same, I’m having a blast with it, mostly because of the humor in the game. Matt’s one-liners, while exceptionally corny and cliched, are just so damn self-indulgent that it’s hard not to crack a smile (the one that got me was “Dos vedanya, comrade!” when gunning down Soviets). The character’s interactions with QA are also funny, and seeing what ridiculous element of gaming we take for granted is going up against the wall next is part of the fun. When the game was initially released there was some discussion as to whether or not it was possible to make a “B” game, but in my opinion all that this one’s missing is Bruce Campbell. It won’t win any awards, that’s for damn sure, but honestly it’s not intended to… it’s a game, pure and simple, and it’s mindless fun.

It’s also an excellent counterpoint to Ace Combat 6, which I’m alternating with it for the foreseeable future. AC6 is everything that Eat Lead isn’t– it’s gravely serious, it has a compelling story (seriously, when Gracemeria was bombed my first thought was “get me into the skies NOW, there’s bad guys who are gonna pay“), and it’s a legitimate challenge that does very little player hand-holding (the auto-pilot is a concession to avoiding vertigo, and the auto-landings and takeoff mechanisms are nice to have if you’re frustrated after pasting your fifth F-14 100 yards short of the runway). My one gripe, really, is that the controls are a little too complex for the stock 360 controller; by default, acceleration and braking are set to the triggers, while yaw adjustments are on the bumpers, meaning that if you’re gunning the afterburners, you have to make a precarious finger switch if you need to make a yaw nudge. Still, the game does an excellent job of keeping you on-task, and it’s about as close to flying in a fighter jet as I’m liable to come anytime soon (and is as close as I want to get, honestly).

The simultaneous good and bad parts about both games is that I snagged them from the bargain bin at the used store at the beginning of the week. Good because I saved a lot off the full prices; bad because I waited this long to play them (particularly AC6– I’d had my eye on it a couple of times when I saw the full flight yoke in the store, but now that I’d be interested in it it’s impossible to find).

Enlightening

The power is flickering on and off here, folks. Lots of lightning. I should sleep well tonight but for now I have to post via the iPhone. So far I like the 3.0 update, but I’ll have to wait to discuss it until tomorrow, or possibly later.

The Unforgotten

Not a whole lot to report just yet, folks. I’ve not forgotten about the game development; things took a bit of a nosedive after Tekkoshocon, but slowly I’m starting to realize that maybe I can do this a little bit at a time. The game then doesn’t have an actual release date, and I may not do Laura first, but I will finish an Xbox Community Game (or I guess an Xbox Indie Game, since they changed the name) at some point. As it turns out, today’s efforts were a good step in the direction of resuming coding– I needed to do some organization and cleanup in my work area so that I had room to put all the books and suchlike.

Anyway. Assuming all goes well, and I get the rest of A Civics Lesson‘s chapters up Friday night, I should be able to devote all weekend to development. In the meantime… I’ve got some drawing to do.