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9921  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: September 12, 2008, 04:54:08 PM
Well, it's not as bad as me creating a new thread for every Age of Conan update, is it?  icon_lol

I'm not complaining. One of the reasons I left a board to come here, was because on that board, 2/3 of the threads were me talking to myself. Entertaining, but not very informative. I don't learn much or expand my horizons talking to myself.  icon_razz So even if it's just 3, 4, 5 of us exchanging info, I'm still glad for that much at least.

So, Quantas [which sells netbook types like AA1 and Eee PC] says, "Netbooks are kicking our arse!" or to that effect...
Netbooks to blame for loss of revenues, says Quanta
So, the netbook, it seems, is both a blessing and a curse. Consumers, fed up of shelling out thousands of dollars for power they don’t need are voicing their opinions with their wallets, snapping up the cheaper machines by the drove but taking a serious chink out of company revenues at the same time.
I'm assuming what they mean here is that companies like Quantas are still churning out more typical, much more expensive laptops. If said laptops are languishing in inventory because everyone decided to get AA1's, Eee PC's, Winds, etc. then it'll hurt their bottom line, but it's probably too early to start hollering "The Sky is Falling!"  icon_razz

Quantas is planning to ship even more netbooks by different manufacturers in the near future, so they're certainly not reacting by getting away from netbooks - they want to sell even more of them.
9922  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - State of the game on: September 12, 2008, 03:47:21 PM
I prefer swords because I just do. Even if I have a club with better stats, or an axe that does more damage. ninja2 To be honest, the more people tell me I *have* to use other equipment, or play a certain way, the more likely I'll do things differently. Variety's the spice of life.  icon_cool

Actually, one of the things I liked in Age of Conan was having a full set of skills specifically devoted to 2-hand swords (far too many games treat 2-hand swords like rejects, so nobody uses them). I've liked my particular sword (Georien's in LOTRO) because it has +28 might, +28 agility, +2% parry and increased chance to hit. I use the shield in some rough areas, or when I'm just trying to survive a long run through heavy-mob territory.

All that said, I got to finish Book 5 Chapter 5 last night on a nice, full size team, and I chose a big fat 109 damage halberd as my quest reward, so we'll see how that goes.  icon_smile I look like a pole-vaulter when I'm wearing it... I'll be using it tonight.
9923  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Dungeon Runners (NCSoft's free MMO/$4.99 premium option) on: September 12, 2008, 04:31:11 AM
This Kotaku interview seems to suggest either NCSoft's going to continue DR with a Skeleton Crew ("distancing itself" is such corporate speak, as I know from my business reporting experience Roll Eyes) or stick a fork in it at some point.

At this point they seem to be majorly investing in COH's dev team, and focusing on more traditional fee games. I don't know if the ballyhooed focus on big budget, AAA-titles is necessarily a smart economic thing to do, but I don't think you can be a profitable company charging nickles and dimes for free-to-download titles either.

With Hellgate dead and this on life support, perhaps the "free, and pay a few bucks for this and that if you want to" format isn't financially viable, even if does appeal to some players.
9924  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - State of the game on: September 12, 2008, 02:02:14 AM
I hope it works! Let us know.  icon_cool Pay it forward, as they say.  icon_mrgreen

Hey I like the shields in the game, especially into the 30s and 40s some neat ones pop up. I've been trying to capture some screenshots of them. Here are some, including a crafted one my 46 Captain uses (when not using a 2-hand sword, which is my preference):

Crafted by an L50 in my kinship on El... what's it's name server

Pretty wild one I saw today on a Guardian in Misty Mountains. If you leap off a mountainside flapping it, you might glide.  icon_razz

I was Inspecting another L50 and saw this.

9925  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Ryzom any good? Its free now on: September 11, 2008, 10:40:34 PM
Ryzom Ring, which gave players a chance to create their own quests, scenarios, etc. and a chance to do "dungeon master" type games (think Vampire Masquerade - Redemption) was the main selling point to me. But the trial I tried briefly way back left me disinterested. Still, I'm glad it got a second lease at life, and I'm always rooting for the underdog, even when it's not my cup of tea.  icon_smile

Here's link for the Ryzom Ring info:
Ryzom Ring (R²) allows you to create your own Adventures on Atys. By travelling in the world of Atys you will open up access to more and more landscapes and NPCs to use in your own adventures, culminating in Ryzom's entire plethoric bestiary and a huge number of different terrains across all of the different ecosystems and environments of Atys. In just a few clicks you will be able to layout the scenery and NPCs of a new scenario and to open it up to your fellow players. Join the community and enjoy the player-made adventures or develop a taste for playing god as an Adventure Master ("AM")!
I just think it's hard for people weaned on "A-List" MMOs to really get into smaller budget "alternative" MMOs. I liken it to when people play Crysis and COD4, and then play a $19.99 budget shooter and find it wanting.

However, if the Big Ones leave you cold, then things like this have a chance to charm you.

Oh, had a basic impressions piece from their visit to the game in its current form:
9926  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 11, 2008, 10:32:58 PM
Ah, the true sign AA1 is becoming a "commodity?" It's available at Wal-Mart.  eek icon_razz
What a difference a color can make. The Sapphire Blue Acer Aspire One netbook tops the netbook sales charts on and on

XP version (sold out online, only limited store availability)

Linux version (seems to have better availability fwiw)
9927  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - State of the game on: September 11, 2008, 08:23:16 PM
If you can't find any other way for it to work, I believe I still have a few trial keys to give out as a Founder's Member. I played in beta and from opening day, so I think that gave us Founders "X" number of trial keys to give out. I think I gave out a couple early on but probably can provide more. I'll check my account today.

And do check your Junk e-mail folder or whatever spam filter you use to make sure the trial key didn't get stuck somewhere.

Update: OK i've sent Xmann a "Guest Pass," I'm not sure if it's exactly the same as a trial. Let us know if that works any better.  icon_smile

Georien's finally closing on 46.
9928  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - State of the game on: September 11, 2008, 12:55:38 PM
The trial terms are here:

Here's Trial FAQ (copied from support site). Note the part that says many trial users don't successfully receive their keys due to spam filters; also, you're only eligible for one trial per e-mail addy so if you ever tried the trial before (it doesn't sound like you had, but I thought it worth mentioning) that could have something to do with it.
The Lord of the Rings Online 14-Day Free Trial FAQ

14-Day Free Trial FAQ

The questions below apply only to the 14-Day Free Trial Program. If you have general questions regarding The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™, please check out the game FAQ.

Q. Do I need a credit card to play the 14-Day Free Trial?
A. No credit card is required for the 14-Day Free Trial.

Q. Where can I sign up for the 14-Day Free Trial?
A. Everything you need is at

NOTE: Many of our users never receive our e-mails due to spam filters used by their e-mail providers or programs. This could be because the e-mail address registered to the customer's account is no longer used or because they once could receive our e-mails but no longer can due to changes by their e-mail provider. Many of these e-mails contain important information, such as help for technical issues, replies or requests for information from in-game support as well as important information from Turbine Account Management.

It is very important you ensure your spam filter is properly configured to allow e-mails from so that when you contact us, we can contact you back

Caution:  Please be sure to complete the trial registration process prior to exiting the 14-Day Trial Download.  Failure to complete the trial registration process prior to exiting the 14-Day Trial Download may result in account setup error.

Q. What limitations exist for 14-Day Free Trial accounts?
A. 14-Day Free Trial accounts have all the same options as member accounts, with certain exceptions. For example:

Mail Access: 14-Day Free Trial players cannot send or receive in-game mail.
Auctions: 14-Day Free Trial players cannot buy or sell items in the auction house.
Trades: 14-Day Free Trial players cannot trade with other players.
Limited Tells:  14-Day Free Trial players have a limit on how many /tells they can send over a given period of time.
Limited Time: Trials only last for fourteen (14) consecutive days.

If a 14-Day Free Trial player attempts to perform these actions, they receive a message indicating that these functions are only available after becoming a LOTRO subscriber.

Once a 14-day Free Trial player converts to a paying subscriber, all of these restrictions are removed.

Eligible fans can participate in The Lord of the Rings Online trial program and play the game for 14 days free of charge. At the end of the trial, players will have the option of continuing to play LOTRO, and to keep the characters created during their 14-day free trial time, by purchasing the game either online or at retail.

To participate in the 14-Day Free Trial or to find out where to buy LOTRO, visit .Please be aware that this is the North American version of the LOTRO 14-Day Free Trial.

For a European trial, please click HERE.

If the information in this article does not resolve your concern, please leave feedback in the "Enter Comments Here" box below.

Enjoy your journey through Middle-earth!

Exceptions/restrictions (once you're in the trial):
14-Day Free Trial Exceptions

14-Day Free Trial accounts have all the same options as member accounts, with certain exceptions.

These exceptions are present to prevent abuse of the 14-Day Free Trial program.

Lord of the Rings Online trial access has the following use exceptions:

Mail Access:  Free trial players cannot send or receive in-game mail.
Auctions:  Free trial players cannot buy or sell items in the auction house.
Trades:  Free trial players cannot trade with other players.
Limited Time:  Trials only last for fourteen (14) consecutive days.

If a free trial player attempts to perform these actions, they receive a message indicating that these functions are only available after becoming a LOTRO subscriber.

If you or a friend are a Trial or Referral account and you'd like to be able to use /tell in-game, you should contact each other via email, IM, or the forums and arrange to add each other to your Friends lists.

Once a trial player converts to a paying subscription, all of these restrictions are removed.
9929  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 11, 2008, 01:05:55 AM
Now that we got a few folks in this thread -- which I love, I'm not complaining  The Weghted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you. -- posts are scrolling away.

My post on the Init case, w/ photos, was back here:,27480.msg459084.html#msg459084

There are lots of things out there though. I mean it depends on style vs. utility, whether you want a shoulder strap or not, whether you want to be able to use it "in" a case (which I'm not sure you can do for along sitting w/ the Init case cause of heat issues), etc.

That AA1 fan site has a very lively cases thread at:

Cases for the Aspire one?

Some of the sewing-knowledgeable sorts are even Making their own cases.  icon_cool
9930  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Brothers in Arms Hell's Highway on: September 10, 2008, 10:19:26 PM
I've been more keen on the 6 fully articulated Action Figures with 13 Accessories in the collector's edition (though I doubt it's anything spectacular in quality):

Brother's in Arms: Hell's Highway Limited Edition

Limited Edition image

While I played the original game, I never really got all that competent at it. I especially had a hard time dealing with German mortar and artillery. I seem to recall getting stuck on a mission dealing with that, and never getting past it.

I'm probably most interested in the destructible environments, and supposedly more wide-open environments. The original suffered a bit from "funneling you down aisles" design, and I know some military shooter buds of mine were turned off by that and wanted more open environments and less linearity.

From about Medal of Honor: Allied Assault through COD4 I was a military shooter nut, but I've really lost interest in the whole genre. I'll keep an eye out for this though.
9931  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: September 10, 2008, 07:41:18 PM
Laptopmag has some breathless speculation about a 10"-screen HP Mini Note successor (possibly), in the guise of a "fashion model" version of the Mini Note shown off at a fashion week presentation:

They couldn't get hands-on time with it per se, so they don't know what the innards are. Or whether this is an existing HP Mini Note modified to accept a 10" screen that extends to the edge of the bezel, or if it's a new case altogether.
9932  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 10, 2008, 06:55:28 PM
If you describe it as what it literally is, technically speaking, "A wimpy, underpowered, Windows XP machine with a cut-height, fixed 1024X600 resolution, soldered RAM and an 89%-of-full-size keyboard encased with smudge-attracting plastic that doesn't ship with a System or XP recovery disc," then all your techie co-workers will look sad, downcast, walk away slumped and leave you alone.  smirk

For my purposes it's fine, battery life wise. I can see where some road warriors, if they get into situations where they don't have some sort of external power supply handy, might fret.

Here's a news bit - a South African company's press release announcing they got AA1 distribution rights there:

They're hoping it'll have wide appeal in the commercial sector, which is their focus.
9933  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 10, 2008, 06:50:10 PM
Once he realizes how fast the 3-cell battery drains, the bloom will be off, and then he can sell it to you and get a 6-cell version!  icon_razz Though those are certainly taking their sweet times reaching retail stores.
9934  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 10, 2008, 06:46:23 PM
If you want a Bluetooth mouse, just remember to get one of the tiny USB Bluetooth transmitter thingies (some folks have been perturbed it doesn't have Bluetooth built in, so I thought I'd mention that).  icon_smile

Glad ya like it. Welcome to the AA1 Club!  icon_cool
9935  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - State of the game on: September 10, 2008, 01:44:20 PM
I returned already, in spite of my "mean people suck" experiences.  icon_neutral Had a very therapeutic fellowship with a 50 guardian and 41 hunter last night, as we worked through a few quests in Angmar.

The guardian and I exchanged stories about being "told off" by people when we thought a healing buff would be welcome, and we laughed about it. I felt better someone else had just experienced the same thing the other day.  icon_smile

I just pledged to offer no help to non-fellowed players unless they ask for it, even if that's against my usually helpful nature. If they beg for it and give me precious things, maybe I'll consider the offer. I'll be like Montoya in The Princess Bride...
Georien: Offer me money
LOTRO player: Yes
Georien: Power too! Promise that!
LOTRO player: All that I have and more. Please!
Georien: Offer me everything I ask for.
LOTRO player: Anything you want!
Georien: Sorry, chum. I can't take a chance you'll get pissed at me about it.
*walks away*
LOTRO player: No! I need a healing buff! Now I need a rez! Come back!
Apologies to William Goldman.  icon_razz
9936  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: MS Closes Ensemble on: September 10, 2008, 01:39:47 PM
Microsoft is every bit as committed to PC gaming as a whole, as it was to the MMO market!...

Oops.  Roll Eyes

I imagine the pundits will read it as:
-Microsoft sucks! (not a very original thought icon_razz)
-You can't survive as a PC-game-only developer in today's market (the idea being Halo Wars came too late to "save" them), and pundits will lump this in with Flagship Studios, Iron Lore, Westwood Studios and others though they're clearly all different situations
-If your name isn't Blizzard or Relic, you can't survive as an RTS-only dev in today's market.
-The economy sucks, everybody is suffering, across many different industries, and this is just another illustration

Because pundits must oversimplify everything. 
9937  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: September 10, 2008, 01:25:30 PM had some Funcom interview bits from Dragon*Con (about 3 pages long):

Boobies are still a large part of our philosophy [he really said that, I can't make stuff like that up-blackjack icon_lol]. Mature content, you've got two sides to the Mature coin. You've got blood and boobies, which is Mature content, and then you've got deep meaningful choices Mature content, where you've got to think about what you're choosing in the game, think about the consequences of your actions. A game that asks you to be mature adults.

And from a quest design point of view, we're attempting to put that in the game all the time. We want the quests to be meaningful to you as a player, we want to put you in a position where the choices aren't always easy. And as for boobs and blood, I mean, that's a constant, we'll continue adding that sort of stuff.
Whew, I'm sure that's reassuring to everybody who's been leaving the game.  icon_razz

"If only there were more boobs and blood, I'd still be playing Age of Conan!" is a most common refrain...  Tongue

It mentions various PVP features they're trying to get implemented, so there's that. And acknowledges some problems they've had with their GMs not acting professionally -- which probably comes with how frantically they had to grow their support staff after launch.

And there's this positive nugget:
Q: Are you bringing in any sort of transportation for low-level characters in besides running?
A: That's something that many players have mentioned, that there's too much running. That's something we are aware of, and are doing something about, but I can't give you any specific dates.
Once you have the various death "touch stones" in a zone, you pretty much end up "death teleporting" everywhere until you get a mount. The stones/platforms generally are evenly spaced throughout a zone.

I think the easy solution is just to treat those touchstones as waypoint portal points - as in a Diablo-style game - and then *boom*, low level players can skip tedious running around (unless they really need to see the sights or grind things along the way).
9938  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: September 09, 2008, 07:49:25 PM
That would void the warranty, which certainly doesn't bother hardware junkies, but for us less hard-cores we'd just like it to come with as large a drive as possible out of the box.  icon_smile

JKOnTheRun (a neat gadgety fan site run by two guys) got a reader tip supposedly about Toshiba showing off a netbook entry of their own (all the typical stuff, including the Atom CPU and 8.9" screen) to university suppliers in a case labeled "Libretto."
9939  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 09, 2008, 06:04:04 PM
If you want a painfully detailed review of the Windows XP version (many review links point to the Linux/SSD version still), Brighthand obliges:
9940  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 09, 2008, 05:01:18 PM
There were some bits yesterday about a new 3G model going on sale later in Taiwan (no indication yet whether there are North American/Europe plans for it):
Quote from: Gizmodo
The Acer Aspire One will reportedly let you surf the web via an integrated 3G connection as well, but this will come at a $95 premium over the regular Aspire One.

Reports say that Acer was planning for 3G connectivity all along and it's just that they got around to doing it now. The upgraded Acer Aspire One netbook will go on sale this November in Taiwan, but there has been no indication as to when (and if) a 3G-equipped Acer Aspire One will make its way over to the United States and Canada.
9941  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - State of the game on: September 09, 2008, 05:05:59 AM
So I was having fun, and then I apparently made the aggregious mistake of doing a drive-by "buff", I think I put a 12-second Morale boost on some L47 hunter as I walked by. And he started frothing at the mouth, basically, about it halving his exp when someone does that. mad (that smiley about describes his attitude).

Is that really true? And why doesn't the game warn you in some way? I've certainly not seen anything in the skill descriptions that says "oh, never use this unless someone's on your fellowship cause you'll screw them over?" I didn't know if was more upset with this dimwit calling me names, or the game for not giving me the information to avoid inadvertently screwing other players over (I thought I was being a good citizen, nothing more). I'm used to my healer types in other games lobbing the occasional drive-by buff or heal just to be nice (never heard a complaint).

A sour ending to what had been a productive evening. I think I'm going to pull back away from the game for a while. I've started to get that "stay up too late to get one more quest done" feeling, and now the "getting too upset about things in the game" feeling, which was on top of being yelled at for my inability as Guardian to figure out which of two people I was supposed to listen to instructions from, the other night in the Great Barrows instance. I don't think I need this sort of crappy feeling from my games. icon_frown
9942  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - State of the game on: September 09, 2008, 03:08:26 AM
I'm slooowly progressing on my Captain's L45 Implements of War quest, but figuring out some of the mob locations making me nuts.

Hey I saw they added a new graphical character Sig feature there for the forums, which you can use at some other forums (although pic sigs can get really out of hand some places):

The actual avatars for the sig are generic, but it does grab some of your crafting stats from the actual character.

Here's a few of mine for reference... (you can also use a Monster Play character, re the Warg here)

9943  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 09, 2008, 02:39:17 AM
The main stumbling blocks:
-AA1 doesn't come with a system restore disc (it has a "recovery image" on a separate partition on the hard drive). You can buy a recovery CD from Acer, but I've read mixed reviews about whether it works well at doing its job (recovery). Lots of brainier types than me are doing recovery image gizmo compilation things (see the fan site forum I mention later, I can't keep track of it all).
-The AA1 has no CD/DVD-ROM drive. So far it seems USB CD/DVD-drives are inconsistent about working properly with the machine, but maybe I'm just reading about Linux version experiences.  icon_confused

For technical questions, you may want to try the fan site forum I hang out at:

There's a brief thread on XP Pro there:

Right now I'd be really hesitant to do anything like an XP Pro upgrade until you're familiar with the machine, and its various eccentricities. It would've been nice if they'd included a proper system recovery disc (or God forbid, a real copy of Windows XP), and if maybe Acer had just gone ahead and offered their own USB CD/DVD-drive that you would know, out of the box, is guaranteed to work with it.
9944  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - State of the game on: September 08, 2008, 09:11:50 PM
Oh yeah, agreed. I think on my first stint I was often telling my Kinship-mates that. That I enjoyed the Epic/storyline stuff so much, but in certain level ranges where you'd have to wait 5-10 levels (realistically) before you could tackle the next epic stuff, I'd fall back into what felt like a rut of harvest this, harvest that, deliver this, deliver that.

Eventually, you can get the hang of grabbing overlapping hunt/harvest quests and reduce some of that tedium, but when you get to do a quest that's interesting and has some drama and suspense that really makes you feel like you're impacting Middle Earth, having to go back to being "Boaramir, King of the Boar Body Parts Harvesters" or "Wormamir, Queen of the Slimy Worm Parts Hoarders," it feels like a let down to me, at times.  disgust icon_razz

I know that realistically the game can't be wall-to-wall Epic/storyline quests. It has to have some form of meat-n-potatoes. I guess I'd just like a little bit more sprinkling of the Epics in the level ranges where you have to wait a good while before you can tackle one again.
9945  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 08, 2008, 08:42:00 PM
They do Do price matching on seven other Internet retailers, fwiw:

But that's a lot of hoops to jump through.

It appears to be back in stock at some Micro Center locations btw, but you can only order the Windows versions for in-store pickup, and limited to one per customer.

A lot of locations still don't list it in stock at all, but Columbus, Ohio had 187, and Fairfax, Va. 102 when I just checked. The Houston and Philly locations had a few too.
9946  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 08, 2008, 08:25:56 PM
The 6-cell/160GB models are listed on the U.S. Acer site though they don't appear to be available at retail yet.

They are the top four in the list (difference is just color)

Depending on where you check online, they may be hitting the market about the last week of September.
9947  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - State of the game on: September 08, 2008, 03:56:38 PM
It took most of Saturday but I got my mothballed Captain to 45. I'm working on the special L45 quests that reward you with some pretty outstanding stuff, though it requires a certain amount of tedious hunting (nothing groan inducing like "kill 50 blah blah" though).

I'm definitely "re-hooked" at this point. We'll see if I can get her to 50 and be ready for the 50-60 content (I'm assuming there is some, with the level cap being lifted and all) in Moria.
9948  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 06, 2008, 03:08:22 PM
There aren't many cases specifically for AA1 yet. A gal at that AA1 fan site found one at a site called CarryMobile. It's a form-fitting leather case, very snazzy ($43.99), and you can use the unit without removing it from it (it actually has perforations in the area where the AA1's one cooling fan is)

Carrymobile Leather Case for Acer Aspire One - Book Type
4 different colors: black, snake-pattern black, brown, bi-color; it seems to indicate only black has been released to this point.

It opens and closes with magnetic studs, and has a few SD card slots built in. Pics:

Notice the perforations...

9949  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - State of the game on: September 06, 2008, 02:51:53 PM
A sour unraveling of a Great Barrows team last night with my new Guardian turned into a surprise, happy reunion with my old, mostly Australian Kinship, when I switched to my 44 Captain. It turned out they were about to tackle the Chapter that I could never get past (where Legolas the NPC aggroes everything in sight  disgust). I got a warm welcome, they were shocked to see me back.  icon_biggrin

With a L50 Guardian on team, and me trying desperately to remember the Captain's hotkeys (even worse, since they added 6-7 new Captain skills that I went ahead and picked up), we got through it.  icon_cool Some pics...

This isn't the "end boss," I used to get excited when my Fellowship would finish it, but it's not The End of the chapter.

Now, if you hadn't played your Captain since late 2007, how would you make sense of all those hotkeys?  icon_confused icon_razz
Below is her hotkey setup:

I'm never comfortable reaching for keys 6-zero on my keyboard, so I tend to throw potions and food there, and assign hotkeys to various letters my left hand can reach easily.

Finally getting to turn it in at the end.  icon_smile
9950  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 06, 2008, 12:52:05 AM
Yeah, Canuck, bizarre ain't it?  icon_razz I assume there's a separate "Function" key you press, and then one of those labeled keys to get F5, F6 etc.

OK I think I mentioned eyeing a $25 Init case meant for up to 10" portable DVD players at Best Buy. I picked it up today. It fits this so well, it's like it was made for it without realizing it.  icon_cool It has a second zippered compartment very suitable for the AC Adapter/recharger (and maybe a very slim DVD-ROM drive, but it might be pushing it), and a bulging exterior Velcro-sealed compartment ideal for a cordless mouse and a bit more junk. The other side has a thin Velcro-sealed pocket maybe suitable for documents or manuals. And it comes with an adjustable, padded shoulder strap too.

Here's a few pics (apologies to dialups for this sudden image craziness on my part icon_redface):

Couple top-down views, with and without the vinyl slipcase:

With nothing in the second compartment, it'll only angle back upright (90 degrees). Throw the adapter or some weight in there though and it sags back to the point you might be able to use the unit in it if you needed (albeit probably you'd have cooling concerns long-term).

Adapter fits very nicely in compartment #2.

And the cordless mouse in the unzipped compartment, which has a "bulge" that lets you put fairly bulky things in it:
9951  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - State of the game on: September 05, 2008, 09:41:16 PM
My Guardian's (new to me) up to about 21. I've found that while I really love the shield bashing stuff (animations, sounds etc.), the basic sword whacking leaves me cold. I wish they'd consider some day revamping some of the melee attack sounds a bit. To me, too many basically sound like somebody slapping a book against a desk edge - not very battle-like.  icon_razz

When I was attemping to tank yesterday, I realized just how big a difference AoC's "non clipping" of character models (character models don't pass through each other unless you "crouch-walk" is how I remember it) makes vs. most MMOs having character models that slip right through each other like they're ghosts. With the non-clipping, you can in theory have a "wall" of player tanks that the mobs can't physically pass through.

With character models gliding through each other like ghosts, that option's not there. I'm not saying it's worse, just different. And it took a while for me to remember I couldn't just stop something from reaching a squishy by getting between him/her and the onrushing hordes - well I should've remembered it the first time Goblins ran right through me.  icon_razz
9952  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 05, 2008, 08:24:16 PM
Well, you've gotta dig up my images of an AA1 keyboard then.  icon_smile

My only real complaint (and maybe I'd have it on any touchpad laptop period) is I constantly swipe the touchpad by accident while reaching for the spacebar. Which inevitably sends my cursor flying, or some random menu opening. I kind of which they'd had a "thumbstick" or maybe a trackball option. It's only really a bother so far at Panera, where I usually don't have room to my cordless mouse.

And my famous Typing Video  icon_razz

Reminder that it's bouncing all over cause it's in my lap, I couldn't otherwise find a way to set my camera in a suitable location.
9953  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (Dell's mini-notebook entry) on: September 05, 2008, 07:13:57 PM
Apparently "modability" is one of this netbook's better aspects. Engadget mentioned this jkkmobile item with some images from a Dell service manual on basically dismantiling it:
9954  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: September 05, 2008, 06:47:29 PM
Saw an interesting bit about Microsoft backing off its hard drive size restrictions in giving permission to laptop makers to use XP instead of Vista. This is perceived as good news in the Netbook category as the manufacturers apparently now can go as big as the 160GB hard drive on the latest Acer Aspire One model, and still use Windows XP (which is friendlier to the relatively wimpy Atom CPU -- and I guess the Via that HP's Mini note uses -- and usual 1GB of RAM on these things).

MS pushed to keep XP for more netbooks
Although the Redmond, Washington-based software firm has so far insisted that systems with hard drives larger than 80GB carry Windows Vista in a bid to drive companies to the newer operating system, it has now allegedly doubled that limit to 160GB, expanding the types of PCs that qualify for the older software.
Of course, my AA1 has a 120GB hard drive, so I don't know about this supposed "rule."  icon_confused

I think HP also decided to start offering an XP version of their Mini Note (Vista was originally the Windows OS option on it).

Now I just wonder when Microsoft is going to wonder, "Hey, what's this netbook/mini-notebook all about? Lets create a netbook Zune!"  icon_razz
9955  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 05, 2008, 05:48:34 PM
Oh, no! The Three Amigos has an interloper!  eek

j/k, that's great. Good luck finding one right now. I hope Acer gets their supply situation in order, I'd rather see it sell briskly to people who want it, when they want it, rather than see it become some Nintendo Wii-like, "Everyone wants it, but we never have it in stock" situation.  paranoid
9956  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 05, 2008, 05:33:45 PM
I bought that Init case for 10" portable DVD players and it fits the AA1 Perfectly. I don't think it could fit better if it was specifically designed for it.  icon_biggrin

I'll get some photos up this evening when I get home. It has a second zippered compartment that's fairly roomy (perhaps i can fit the AC adapter in there, or a slim DVD-ROM USB unit if I get one), and a velcroed outer compartment. The case lid hinges, with the idea that you could watch a DVD player while keeping it in there; I'm not sure I'd want to keep the AA1 in there when I use it -- the hinge only goes a bit past 90 degrees so it would inhibit you from pivoting the AA1's monitor back much beyond vertical.

It comes with a padded shoulder strap. I call it my "AA1 Man Purse," but I think I could swallow my pride and drag it around with me, but not when I'm wearing high heels.  Fabulous unibrow
9957  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: September 05, 2008, 04:05:17 PM
I've belatedly noticed the three of us are the only ones who post in these mini-notebook threads. I promise we call ourselves, "The Three Amigos" and work on developing some unique salute, preferably not involving obscene gestures.  icon_lol

I love my AA1, but if Acer did a 10" model with 3G and normal trackpad size/buttons and a 5-6 cell battery, well, I might be open to it. But it might lose its simple charms in the process.
9958  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an Acer Aspire One? (yet another mini-notebook) on: September 05, 2008, 04:02:07 PM
I'm surfing from Panera, albeit a bit sluggishly.  icon_razz

I'm surrounded by people with laptops, I think 4 at last count.

This time I just brought it with me in just its slipcase, wrapped in today's newspaper.

I still find myself swiping the touchpad by accident if I leave it enabled (not really enough room on this tiny table for my cordless mouse).

I'm going to make a quick run by Best Buy next door. There's a 10" DVD player case that I think might work with this. I even brought a tape measure with me. biggrin

9959  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTORO Volume 2: Mines of Moria (paid, full-box expansion) on: September 05, 2008, 01:23:11 PM
Turbine set up a new forum devoted strictly to Mines of Moria:

One thing I belatedly noted:

Mines of Moria North American Product Lineup Unveiled

There doesn't actually seem to be an expansion-only box available (just a "digital upgrade," if you only want the expansion). Not necessarily a bad thing. The "complete edition" box includes all LOTRO updates since launch, so if you ever return to the game or have to restore it, it'll save some downloading time - a lot, if yer still on dialup.
9960  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - State of the game on: September 05, 2008, 05:49:56 AM
I've gotten quite re-hooked. I have no informed opinion on its Tolkienesqueness or lack thereof (I'm eminently un-qualified). I did get to join in on a fun full (6) fellowship tonight and we knocked off three group quests in succession. Mostly had a ball.

And I shall inflict screenshots in general...

-I like this little feature that basically lets you place costume pieces on a couple special tabs without needing to have the items in inventory (fully enabled at level 20). Couple glimpses...

I forgot the name of this. Squire something, I wanna say.

Blackjack goes babe-like! A simple dress.

From our rollicking, mostly well-behaved 6-person team. My Guardian's on cusp of 21. I never really played one beyond a few levels, so this whole Tanking thing is all Greek to me here. It's actually liberating to be told "You go aggro everything!"  icon_razz
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