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1241  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Recommendation needed: freeware program to burn audio CDs on: June 15, 2006, 06:34:13 PM
Can anyone recommend a good freeware program that is straightforward and easy to use for burning audio CDs? I have a bunch of MP3s that I would like to put on CDs. Also, can I just leave them as MP3 files or do I need to convert them into some other audio format?
1242  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Help me pick out a laptop! on: June 10, 2006, 03:09:25 AM
Thin_J, ironically enough, I am typing this on an HP dv8280us, which is the same model series you are interested in, only it's a Media Center XP system with 2GB of RAM and dual 100 GB hard drives. All I can say is that I LOVE it. I've had it for about 3 weeks now and it's been great.

The Brightview screen is awesome. Colors are vibrant and the image is really sharp. Battery time is okay considering the quality of the screen. Mine has the GeForce 7400 which is middle of the road so it's not going to do well with the latest GPU intensive games, but it does the job with most games. The touchpad is pretty awesome. Tapping it does the same thing as mouse button presses but the pad is fully configurable. You can assign button functions to the corners of the trackpad, adjust the sensitivity, set click-dragging, and it has a touch scrollbar on the side. The one thing that I've had to get used to is the weight. Since it is a 17" display, it's not exactly very compact and at just over 8 lbs. it's fairly heavy as laptops go. When I first got it, HP had it preloaded with all sorts of junk, which I spent about an hour reconfiguring and uninstalling. After that, it's been running flawlessly. I like the fact that it looks sleek and sexy, but not obnoxiously gaudy. I had considered a Dell laptop, but they look so boring, and quite frankly, almost everyone has a Dell. Sure, they are good quality systems, but there's no 'wow' factor with them. The HPs are  nice compomise of style vs. quality.

So, I give it a big thumbs up. If you're interested in an HP 8000 series, I say go for it.
1243  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Hitman: Blood Money impressions on: June 01, 2006, 05:54:06 PM
How is the difficulty level of this  game? I tried the first Hitman long ago and just couldn't get into it because it got sadistically hard after one or two levels.
1244  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Table Tennis Impressions on: May 26, 2006, 06:03:42 PM
I was pretty skeptical about this game because, come on, how fun could a table tennis video game really be? Well, color me impressed because I spent hours playing it last night and it was incredibly fun. Awesome graphics, but the gameplay is so simple and easy to pick up. Getting into an extended rally is a zen-like experience, and when you deliver a spectacular smash to the opponent, it puts an evil grin on your face. In a way, it almost feels like playing real table tennis. Sure, there aren't a lot of bell and whistles in the game, but I think it's pretty refreshing. Here's a game that actually relies on gameplay rather than how many extras can be crammed into the game to make it more flashy or appealing. It is definitely an excellent foundation for Rockstar to build upon in the future for any sequels.
1245  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / X-men 360 impressions on: May 18, 2006, 09:24:51 PM
Thanks for the impressions. I was interested in getting it, but now I think I will pass.
1246  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Saw Mission Impossible 3 Last Night [Spoilers] ... on: May 12, 2006, 07:53:33 PM
I liked it a lot. Best of the three MI movies I think. However, the ending was beyond stupid in the most cheesy MacGyver ripoff sort of way. Too bad. With a less ridiculous ending it could have been a much more satisfying movie.
1247  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Supreme Commander - Um.. I'll take one. on: May 11, 2006, 05:43:27 PM
Wow, it looks fantastic, but I worry about how one can keep up with controlling so many units on such huge maps.
1248  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PS3 pricing on: May 09, 2006, 04:51:07 PM
Get ready for $1000+ bundles from Best Buy and EB.

Freaking insane. Sony is too full of themselves to realize that they just priced themselves out of the casual gamer market. The first run of units will sell like hotcakes to the early adopters. They'll buy it no matter what the price. After that, who's going to buy one? I can see parents all over the country telling their kids "are you crazy??" when they get asked to get one by their kids.
1249  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Stephen Colbert has cast iron balls on: May 02, 2006, 02:48:09 AM
Well he roasted them pretty good then. Burnt to a crisp!

The end where Colbert shakes Bush's hand was classic. The pres was obviously NOT amused.
1250  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / OXM and their "10" on: April 12, 2006, 07:16:18 PM
IMO, regardless of what score Fight Night 3 ultimately deserved, what I find most laughable is the OXM editor's defense of "it's a game, don't take it so serious". That is simply a lazy copout. Instead of defending their review scale or explaining why the game deserved a 10 regardless of the percieved weaknesses, she'd rather just give a lame excuse.

If gaming ever wants to become an entertainment media on par with movies or music, then why shouldn't people be so serious or passionate about games? Whether she likes it or not, games ARE a serious industry. People ARE serious about games. For a lot of gamers, including many of us who frequent this board, games are a hobby. The fact that so many people are debating the merit of a "perfect" score for FN3 is good for our hobby. To say that people shouldn't take it so seriously shows me what kind of gamers they are over at OXM. If that is their attitude, I'll gladly let my subscription expire and not bother renewing.
1251  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / My new late and great obsession: Hayao Miyazaki films on: April 07, 2006, 04:19:27 AM
Miyazaki is an animation genius. Every one of his films is a classic. I've been waiting for Totoro on DVD done right for so long and when it FINALLY came out recently, it was one of those DVD "holy grail" moments for me. My 2 year old daughter watches it every day and just loves it. I am so glad and grateful that Disney, treated each Miyazaki movie with respect and care on each release. I usually prefer the original Japanese audio with English subtitles, but the English dub cast work on each Disney release has been really well done. On Totoro, Dakota Fanning's sister was perfectly cast as Mai. Just fantastic voice work. Without John Lassiter's fanboy admiration of Miyazaki, I doubt Disney would have put the effort to do these movies right on DVD.
1252  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Oblivion-Tips , Advice and Help-Spoilerific on: March 25, 2006, 07:19:21 AM
(Smacks forehead and exclaims "Duh!")

Thanks! That did it. Unequipping my shield allows me to hold the torch and sword.
1253  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Oblivion-Tips , Advice and Help-Spoilerific on: March 25, 2006, 12:51:27 AM
Okay, I'm confused about torches. When I first started out the game in the tutorial dungeon/cave/sewer, I was able to hold a torch in one hand and the katana you get early on, in the other hand. Now that I am out in the countryside, I noticed that now I can't hold a torch and a one handed sword at the same time. I have to switch back and forth now, which is aggravating when exploring caves and dungeons. Am I missing something? I don't understand why I was able to hold both at the same time in the beginning of the game, and now cannot.
1254  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Loken should take the Red Pill on: March 24, 2006, 07:30:07 PM
From the interview:

"That was really sad, because you put over a year of your life into a project, and you think it's going to do something,"

It took over a year to make that piece of crap??
1255  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Blazing Angels Demo on Live... on: March 24, 2006, 04:50:37 AM
Ugh, after that review, I'm not even going to wait for the price to drop. Too bad. The game had so much potential. It's amazing to me that the developer was okay with shipping  the game with such abysmal voice acting that, according to the Gamespot review, even borders on racist in some cases.
1256  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Blazing Angels Demo on Live... on: March 23, 2006, 06:23:19 PM
It's like Crimson Skies in that it is a purely arcade flight game. Other than that, they are very different. Crimson Skies had a much more interesting universe and a really appealing swashbuckler of the skies feel. It's hard to tell from the Blazing Angels demo, but I have a feeling the mission variety is not as good as Crimson Skies either.

Blazing Angels does nothing really to distinguish itself from Secret Weapons Over Normandy and Heroes of the Pacific. In fact, I think Heroes is a much better game.
1257  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Blazing Angels Demo on Live... on: March 23, 2006, 09:10:44 AM
After playing the demo, I would say I liked it, but no way is it worth a $60 purchase. $30 or $40 maybe.

Things I liked:
The targeting system (hold left trigger) is pretty cool. It makes tracking a single target very easy to maintain. The terrain and city graphics are nicely detailed. Smoke and explosions lood good too. The dogfighting gameplay is nicely done, on a visceral perspective, though not in any way a realistic representation.

Things I disliked:
Good god the radio chatter is LAME. Ultra-cheesy lines and bad accents. The invisible world boundaries are annoying. When you get to the edge of the world, the game takes over your plane and auto-manuevers it back into valid airspace. It's a totally jarring interruption of the game when you are in the middle of a dogfight. When you are on the ground, the little guys running back and forth aimlessly are laughable. It's like they're in a crazed state of panic and don't know what to do. The speed blur effect is totally unnecessary and looks awful.

Overall, it's a mindless, oversimplified air combat game in the same vein as Secret Weapons Over Normandy and Heroes of the Pacific. I'd like to get Blazing Angels eventually, but I think I'll wait until it goes way down in price.
1258  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [ PS3 ] Tons of PS3 info from GDC.... on: March 23, 2006, 01:29:36 AM
Next week, initial server/client SDKs will be sent to developers. By July, the service will be in testing, and by September it will be complete, in time for launch.

Does this strike anyone else as being a slightly unrealistic schedule? They're going to create from scratch a massive full featured online network/system in 7 months. Good luck with that. It took Microsoft well over a year to get Xbox Live out. Sony's doesn't sound quite as centralized as XBL, but 7 months seems pretty optimistic.
1259  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / How many DVDs do you own? on: March 21, 2006, 06:20:04 PM
I haven't counted in several years, but the last time I did, I had 1500+. I figure I am well over 2000 now.
1260  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / WoW Atlas Gift Pack on: March 03, 2006, 08:09:36 PM
I flipped through a copy at Best Buy several weeks ago. It's a very nice book, but content-wise, there was nothing that isn't already found online in places like or any other good web-based resource.

I suppose the atlas is convenient to have as a quick way to look stuff up without having to ALT-TAB out of the game and checking online, but that's pretty much the only reason to get the book.
1261  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [360] Burnout Revenge content avail in marketplace. on: February 28, 2006, 04:43:36 AM
I just want to know if it will be that much of an improvement over the original Xbox version. If it's just the exact same game only prettier looking, then it'll be a pass for me. Or I wait for it to go to $20.
1262  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Good interview answer for being fired? on: February 18, 2006, 04:36:27 PM
You shouldn't lie. If employers do a background check, which I assume is customary with these types of jobs, they'll still find out that there is this mark on your record.

Your best bet is to not proactively bring it up. Let them ask first. And if they do, spin it in a way that makes it seem like it was purely a procedural mistake based on early job inexperience. You were supposed to call for a seargent, but instead decided to be proactive and show some initiative. There was no intent to be insubordinate.

Also, once they ask about this, try to emphasize that since the incident, your work record has been exemplary, which hopefully it has.
1263  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / What cellular provider do you use? on: February 16, 2006, 11:40:17 PM
I've had Verizon for roughly three years now. Never had a problem at all with their service. I can't compare it to any other carriers, but their nationwide signal coverage is very good.
1264  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / New Lara Croft Announced? on: February 16, 2006, 10:20:17 PM
Pretty girl, but I'm just hoping the game doesn't suck.
1265  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Crystal Quest is out for Xbox Live 360 on: February 08, 2006, 06:17:53 PM
I'm actually looking forward to playing Crystal Quest. I used to play the original on the Mac way back in the late 80's, but I agree though. XBL Arcade needs a lot more variety in the type of games.
1266  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / 25 Strippers busted...Tom Petty? Mom?! on: February 04, 2006, 08:43:01 AM
Resistance is definitely NOT futile.
1267  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jeez! Look at these upcoming PC games! on: February 02, 2006, 10:41:03 PM
Interesting that a significant number of those titles are being developed by non-U.S. developers.

I think I want about 75% of those games. So much for the demise of PC gaming!
1268  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 7/30) on: January 13, 2006, 11:45:55 PM
+1 to VegasD for a copy of The Movies.
1269  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Dungeon Siege Trailer... on: January 09, 2006, 06:36:27 PM
Unfortunately, yes, that is Claire Forlani you saw.

I still cannot get over the fact that Burt Reynolds in is this movie. Actually, seeing John Rhys-Davies in the same scene with Burt Reynolds makes my brain melt. I feel just like the probe in that Star Trek episode where Kirk tells it to compute PI which causes it to blow its circuits.
1270  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Dungeon Siege Trailer... on: January 09, 2006, 06:01:18 PM
Since it is a .mov trailer, it's Quicktime. Do you have QT installed? If you do you might just need to update it.

As for the movie, Peter Jackson should sue Uwe Boll.

A fantasy movie with Burt Reynolds, Ray Liotta and NINJAS?? Hahahahaha!
1271  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Wanted: Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood (PC) on: January 08, 2006, 07:37:04 PM
Okay, sent you an email...
1272  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Wanted: Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood (PC) on: January 08, 2006, 05:37:10 PM
I have an extra copy I can trade you for The Movies.

Sent you a PM...
1273  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / new hdtv on: January 07, 2006, 09:16:15 PM
Either one should be great, but the Toshiba one has an HDMI input while the Samsung does not. I'd go with the Toshiba.
1274  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sims 2 is getting as bad as Dynasty Warriors.. on: January 05, 2006, 08:32:08 PM
Coming soon to game store near you:


Now with charging elephants!!!

1275  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dead Or Alive 4 - Time to bring it! on: December 31, 2005, 08:26:24 AM
I don't know about you all, but I am really impressed with how AWESOME the game looks. The graphics are stunning.

Has anyone figured out the weird game lobby thing when playing over Xbox Live? It's confusing enough to make me have to actually read the manual. smile
1276  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Teen runs off to Iraq...alone! on: December 30, 2005, 07:36:06 AM

What an amazing story. This high school kid from Florida went to Iraq by himself for a school journalism assignment.

On the one hand, I really admire his idealism and attitude towards societal global issues. Pretty incredible for a person his age. On the other hand, running off to Iraq alone is beyond STUPID. I'm amazed that it was so easy for him to get a travel visa without his parent's approval. He's probably going to be grounded for life.

I hope his teacher gave him an A+ on his essay.
1277  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Liquid metal woman....HAWT on: December 29, 2005, 09:27:46 PM
I think she'd be great in porno movies.
1278  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / UMD Movies - Here to stay or just a faze? on: December 29, 2005, 08:30:52 PM

Deep Discount DVDs is running a 'buy 2 get 1 free' sale on UMD movies.

For anyone that still cares.   smile
1279  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / UMD Movies - Here to stay or just a faze? on: December 29, 2005, 06:23:55 PM
I bought a bunch of movies on UMD that I didn't mind having as a good showcase of the "coolness" factor of the PSP. Honestly though, I've barely even watched them. I think definitely UMD movies are more of an interesting novelty than anything practical or useful.
1280  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Logitech Harmony Universal Remote - YES! on: December 24, 2005, 07:40:15 AM
One of my good friend's wife works at Logitech. Looks like it's time to ask about her employee discount!
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