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6561  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Forza 2 multi-monitor setup on: March 08, 2007, 09:46:52 PM

Quote from: gellar on March 08, 2007, 09:28:02 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on March 08, 2007, 09:06:50 PM

In the experiment conducted by Popular Science, they weren't simply using gamepads, but instead were set up with a pretty sweet virtual driving "rig", including pedals, racing seat, etc.  Of course driving with a gamepad and driving in a real car are two very different experiences, and this isn't the point I'm trying to make.  I don't fully understand how Forza fails to function as a simulation when playing in a racing seat, with foot pedals and a force-feedback steering wheel, since actual drivers were able to replicate their own actual track times by driving in the same manner as they did on the road, sans fear of course.  If this doesn't characterize Forza as a simulation, then I'm confused as to what would fullfill the criteria.  I'm not claiming that playing with a gamepad in your living room completes the simulation experience, but Popular Science did a pretty good job of demonstrating just how realistic Forza can be (at least with the right gaming rig). 

Not quite - again, just because the metrics were the same doesn't mean the feel is right.  Now I've not seen the video, but the article has no quotes from the driver himself.  His feeling on the subject would be far more definitive than "oh, they ran similar laptimes in each."  Hell, Top Gear a few years ago did a very funny bit about Laguna Seca where Clarkson couldn't come remotely close to his video game time because the Corkscrew is far more scary in real life than it is in the game.  Now admittedly, I've never played Forza with a wheel (as all the XBox wheels were rubbish), but I can tell you this: the grip levels you have on Forza are not close to what you get in a real car.

Quote
Based on what you're saying, even GTR on the PC can't actually be characterized as a sim, since playing with a keyboard and mouse (or even a PC steering wheel) can't fully replicate a true driving experience. 

That's the thing - you can't play it with a keyboard and mouse.  It's not possible.  You can't play it with anything but a wheel and expect to even complete a lap around the track.  It's an EXCELLENT simulation, but not really a lot of fun because of that... the amount of practice necessary to improve your time in a sim is very similar to the amount of practice necessary to do so in a car in real life.  It's a lot of work.  That work does not exist in Forza.


Quote
Obviously no virtual simulation will be able to fully replicate the experience of the real thing, but based on Popular Science and the participants in the experiment, Forza was considered to come pretty darn close.  I don't necessarily believe that Forza provides the same experience in your living room as speeding down a straightaway at 150mph on an actual race track, but I can't argue with the results of Popular Science's experiment.  In order for any of us to fully experience what Forza can offer, we'd have to have a similar setup.

I have a similar setup (for GT anyway).  It's not that close.  Part of the reason Forza can't possibly be that close is because it totally lacks the equipment to do so.  The Xbox wheels are absolute GARBAGE compared to what you can get on the PC or Playstation

Quote
So it's not a sim.  <<shrugs>>  I think it's closer to simulating real driving than say, PGR3, or NFS:MW. 

Well duh, yeah.  That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of it's reality though.

Look, don't get me wrong.  I'm a fan of the game.  I just think it's funny how many people who have no idea what it's like to go fast think they can based on their ability to do so in a "sim."  Quite frankly, here's how it goes: if you spend some time with GTR vs Forza, on the same track, and then try to go do it in real life - GTR will do at least an adequate job of learning how to drive.  Forza will not.  If you try to drive in real life like the way the cars in Forza do, you will ball your shit up.

gellar


Don't worry, I understand that you like the game.  And because of my limited time on the track (i.e. none) I'm not a good reference for determining just how realistic Forza really is (if I remember correctly you like to spend time on the track and have driven at high speed on many occasions, so you definitely have a better understanding of where Forza falls short).  Based on my experience, Forza comes closer to the real thing more than any other racing game I've played.  How close?  Because I've never really experienced the true real thing, I have no idea.  Yes, the Elantra is one fast automobile, but the speed limits in our area don't really allow for us to fully push it to its potential.  But, with the surround sound in my living room, the 60" TV, etc, it seems pretty close to me, and it's a pretty exciting experience.

But regardless of how accurate a simulation I consider Forza to me, you won't ever see me heading to the track thinking I'm ready to drive at high speed because of the experience I gained playing video games.   icon_eek  You have far more real-life experience than I do, making your impressions and expectations a little more stringent than mine.  'Tscool.  In terms of Forza's ability to adequately train me for a career in NASCAR, I'd say it falls short.  But based on my video game experience with racing games, it is the closest thing I have to a quality simulation.  I thought it did a pretty darn good job.  Not great, and not on the level of perhaps GTR.  But it felt more "real" than some of the arcadey racing titles. 

No worries.  My experience just doesn't allow for me to make a true determination on Forza's realism.  From the perspective of a couch-racer, I thought it was pretty amazing when compared to other racing games I've played (including Gran Tourismo, which I never really liked).  But when comparing it to my high-speed grocery runs in the Elantra, yes, it does seem to fall a little short.   icon_wink  Thanks for the discussion, though.  I definitely see where you're coming from.  I wasn't trying to argue from the perspective that you were wrong, I was just trying to understand your reasoning, and it is rather sound.  You've definitely helped me to better understand why Forza isn't a true simulation. 

But Ike should still buy Forza 2 regardless.  It's at least closer to real-life racing than Need for Speed, PGR, or Test Drive.   icon_smile 
6562  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Forza 2 multi-monitor setup on: March 08, 2007, 09:06:50 PM

Quote from: gellar on March 08, 2007, 08:49:23 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on March 08, 2007, 08:43:39 PM

Quote from: gellar on March 08, 2007, 08:36:05 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on March 08, 2007, 08:19:39 PM

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on March 08, 2007, 07:42:56 PM

So, what's the scuttlebutt on Forza 2?  I have to admit I don't know much about it.  I never played Forza 1 and don't know anything about it either.

Forza was one of the best racing simulations to date.  As a demonstration of the game's realism they even went so far as to have a real-life racecar driver run a course featured in the game, and then play that same course on the game, and his times were amazingly close.  Great graphics, unlimited car customization, amazing realistic control.  It was probably the best racing sim I've ever played.

Argh.  It's not a sim.  It's fun.  It's attempting to be realistic.  But it ain't a sim.

gellar

Then what is it?  Most seem to characterize it as such.  Except for you.   icon_confused



Anyone who characterizes it as such has never actually driven at 150mph, or played a real sim like GTR on the PC.  Even though you get the same end result, as the article stated, does not mean it's remotely close to the same thing.

There are FAR too many things Forza does not model properly to call it a sim.  For starters, the tracks aren't accurate as far as elevation changes go.  Again, it's a nice approximation, but the car flat out does not respond the same way a real car would.  The fact that you can control it with a control pad and post reasonable times is the key point here.

In the experiment conducted by Popular Science, they weren't simply using gamepads, but instead were set up with a pretty sweet virtual driving "rig", including pedals, racing seat, etc.  Of course driving with a gamepad and driving in a real car are two very different experiences, and this isn't the point I'm trying to make.  I don't fully understand how Forza fails to function as a simulation when playing in a racing seat, with foot pedals and a force-feedback steering wheel, since actual drivers were able to replicate their own actual track times by driving in the same manner as they did on the road, sans fear of course.  If this doesn't characterize Forza as a simulation, then I'm confused as to what would fullfill the criteria.  I'm not claiming that playing with a gamepad in your living room completes the simulation experience, but Popular Science did a pretty good job of demonstrating just how realistic Forza can be (at least with the right gaming rig).  

Based on what you're saying, even GTR on the PC can't actually be characterized as a sim, since playing with a keyboard and mouse (or even a PC steering wheel) can't fully replicate a true driving experience.  

Quote
It's a fun game.  I like it a lot.  It's not even close to the real thing though.

gellar

Obviously no virtual simulation will be able to fully replicate the experience of the real thing, but based on Popular Science and the participants in the experiment, Forza was considered to come pretty darn close.  I don't necessarily believe that Forza provides the same experience in your living room as speeding down a straightaway at 150mph on an actual race track, but I can't argue with the results of Popular Science's experiment.  In order for any of us to fully experience what Forza can offer, we'd have to have a similar setup.

So it's not a sim.  <<shrugs>>  I think it's closer to simulating real driving than say, PGR3, or NFS:MW.  And I'll buy Forza 2 the moment it's released.  Even with the force-feedback wheel it won't necessarily fully replicate the experience of even driving our Hyuandai to the local grocery store, but with a 60" screen, surround sound, force-feedback, etc, it'll come pretty darn close.    
6563  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Forza 2 multi-monitor setup on: March 08, 2007, 08:43:39 PM

Quote from: gellar on March 08, 2007, 08:36:05 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on March 08, 2007, 08:19:39 PM

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on March 08, 2007, 07:42:56 PM

So, what's the scuttlebutt on Forza 2?  I have to admit I don't know much about it.  I never played Forza 1 and don't know anything about it either.

Forza was one of the best racing simulations to date.  As a demonstration of the game's realism they even went so far as to have a real-life racecar driver run a course featured in the game, and then play that same course on the game, and his times were amazingly close.  Great graphics, unlimited car customization, amazing realistic control.  It was probably the best racing sim I've ever played.

Argh.  It's not a sim.  It's fun.  It's attempting to be realistic.  But it ain't a sim.

gellar

Then what is it?  Most seem to characterize it as such.  icon_confused

6564  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Forza 2 multi-monitor setup on: March 08, 2007, 08:19:39 PM

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on March 08, 2007, 07:42:56 PM

So, what's the scuttlebutt on Forza 2?  I have to admit I don't know much about it.  I never played Forza 1 and don't know anything about it either.

Forza was one of the best racing simulations to date.  As a demonstration of the game's realism they even went so far as to have a real-life racecar driver run a course featured in the game, and then play that same course on the game, and his times were amazingly close.  Great graphics, unlimited car customization, amazing realistic control.  It was probably the best racing sim I've ever played.

Quote
Also, what's the story behind Pete Rock and skincare?

The reputation started over at OO.  Some of my interests and habits were interpreted by others as being a little too "metrosexual."  The cost of my haircuts, my appreciation of fine wine and good food, my consciousness of style and fashion, it all led to me being labeled as the resident metrosexual.  And rather than fight to discredit my reputation, I've embraced it. 

Jancelot only mocks me because he's jealous of my inherent beauty.
6565  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Worms out 3/7/07 on: March 08, 2007, 06:13:49 PM

Quote from: Jancelot on March 08, 2007, 06:09:10 PM

For hot-seat play do you pass one controller around or can each player have his own?  Is it optional?  I have two controllers right now and, while the one-per-player is idea, I don't really want to drop the scratch on two more controllers right now.

We have four controllers, and I have been wondering if four-player play was possible offline with all four controllers.  If so, this could become quite an addictive party game when we have friends over.  But, if we instead just have to pass one controller around, so be it.  Still great fun.
6566  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Forza 2 multi-monitor setup on: March 08, 2007, 05:46:59 PM

Quote from: Jancelot on March 08, 2007, 05:11:12 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on March 08, 2007, 04:20:24 PM

Do you mean the game, or the setup?  I plan to pick up the game and the racing wheel on release day, but the multi-monitor setup is not in my immediate future.  Just don't have the space.

I expect nothing less than 4 60" televisions and a measely 32" for your rear-view mirror hooked up to 5 defaced-by-an-Eagles-faceplate 360s.  And I imagine you'll have your pedals custom mounted in a foot spa complete with an auto-pedicure mechanism.

You forgot moisturizing racing gloves and cucumbers with the centers cut out so I can see. 
6567  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My wife NEEDS this song... on: March 08, 2007, 04:28:21 PM

Quote from: Semaj on March 07, 2007, 10:53:54 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on March 07, 2007, 03:57:32 PM

Quote from: CrayolaSmoker on March 07, 2007, 01:47:29 AM

While yankin' off some shrimp heads for gumbo I had another one pop in my head.

"Come and knock on our door... We've been waiting for you!"  icon_wink

 eek

That's perfect!  I'm going to wind up driving my wife crazy with this damn thing, changing the ring tone every day. 

you shoudl see if they have a randomizer for it so it plays anyone of a number of songs smile

Nah.  Anytime you want to change the song you have to delete the existing one and download a new song.  I just have to stand on a stool to connect the USB, fuss with the laptop, and within seconds we have a new song.  Great fun.  Last night our friends came by for dinner and a movie, and it has become somewhat of a "surprise" for people to see what our doorbell sounds like, since it changes every day, sometimes even a few times in the same day.  Our front door is always open, and friends that stop by just walk right in, but now they ring the bell before walking in to see what the song of the day will be. 
6568  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Forza 2 multi-monitor setup on: March 08, 2007, 04:20:24 PM

Quote from: Jancelot on March 08, 2007, 02:39:16 PM

PeteRock, I expect you to get on this stat.  This game will definitely give me reason to pick up a steering wheel.

Do you mean the game, or the setup?  I plan to pick up the game and the racing wheel on release day, but the multi-monitor setup is not in my immediate future.  Just don't have the space.  I've been anxiously anticipating this game since finishing the first Forza release.  I thought it was an order of magnitude better than the Gran Tourismo series, and when they announced Forza 2 for the 360 I was already sold on it because of my previous experience with the franchise. 

I might consider adding at least one LCD monitor to function as my rear-view, at least so I can see you from time to time.   icon_twisted
6569  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Worms out 3/7/07 on: March 07, 2007, 07:52:18 PM

Quote from: Starshifter on March 07, 2007, 06:32:51 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on March 07, 2007, 04:10:15 PM

That's one thing I'm worried about -- having my ass handed to me by people who are much more familiar with the game.  I get the impression that it is an easy game to play, but a difficult one to master.  But, at least when friends come by, since we'll all more or less be on the same experience level, I see the potential for some really fun battles.  And now that I've seen what the game is like (at least for a brief moment before leaving for worm.......I mean work icon_redface), I'm really excited to start working through the single-player portion of the game to learn how to play and how to use strategy to my advantage.  It's amazing how such a simple game can be such addictive fun.  It's only a $10 game, and yet I'm sitting here at work looking forward to heading home to play.  That is definitely the sign of a good game. 

I'm really looking forward to getting started and learning what all of the fuss is about.   

Oh thank the maker Pete!  A game you and I can finally play on multiplayer!  I'm downloading it tonight.  I'm no pro at the game at all.  If you're up to learning together fire me an invite tonight (and remember I'm 3hrs AHEAD of you so don't send me an invite at 9pm your time!).  If I'm playing Figure Skating 2K7 at the time I will stop just for you.  icon_wink

I'm not positive that I'll have much time to play tonight, especially early enough to catch you online, since my grandmother is visiting with us until Monday.  But, now that I know you'll be downloading Worms, I'm excited to finally have an opportunity to play something with you online.  Our tastes definitely differ, and this is the first game we'll both be able to play together online.  And my wife seemed somewhat interested in seeing what the game is about, so she may be up for playing from time to time as well (the three of us could play online together).  She's a sucker for Live Arcade games and this would give her a whole new list of achievements to work toward. 
6570  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: TMNT - Arcade Game on Live Arcade in March on: March 07, 2007, 04:26:28 PM

Quote from: ATB on March 07, 2007, 04:20:36 PM

So how we gonna group up into 4s?!

Should we start a thread in the MP forum!?

Dibs on Michelangelo.   icon_cool
6571  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: TMNT - Arcade Game on Live Arcade in March on: March 07, 2007, 04:16:30 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on March 07, 2007, 04:11:32 PM

someone just told me that turtles is next weeks arcade title

 icon_eek

 headbang

Worms this week, Turtles next week.  Niiiiiiiice.
6572  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Worms out 3/7/07 on: March 07, 2007, 04:10:15 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on March 07, 2007, 04:02:33 PM

If you've really never seen a Worms game, I think you're in for a real treat.  It's a perfect example of a game with a simple but well executed foundation that reveals a lot more depth and fun than you'd expect.  You'd be amazed how accurate people can get over long distances with the simple bazooka, even with the wind changing.

The ninja rope is the perfect example of this.  It's a simple foundation, you've got a rope that stays straight unless it comes up against terrain, an adjustable length, and the basic intertia physics of a changing radius programmed in.  In the hands of a beginner, it's a tool for crossing chasms and climbing up to a higher ledge.  In the hands of a pro--it's a work of art.  I remember thinking I was a pretty proficient roper, until I came across a -real- pro.  He could swing out of a cavern, move clear across the map, and into another cavern in just a few seconds, precisely attack me from the rope, and retreat almost all the way back to his starting point in the retreat time.

That's one thing I'm worried about -- having my ass handed to me by people who are much more familiar with the game.  I get the impression that it is an easy game to play, but a difficult one to master.  But, at least when friends come by, since we'll all more or less be on the same experience level, I see the potential for some really fun battles.  And now that I've seen what the game is like (at least for a brief moment before leaving for worm.......I mean work icon_redface), I'm really excited to start working through the single-player portion of the game to learn how to play and how to use strategy to my advantage.  It's amazing how such a simple game can be such addictive fun.  It's only a $10 game, and yet I'm sitting here at work looking forward to heading home to play.  That is definitely the sign of a good game. 

I'm really looking forward to getting started and learning what all of the fuss is about.   
6573  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My wife NEEDS this song... on: March 07, 2007, 03:57:32 PM

Quote from: CrayolaSmoker on March 07, 2007, 01:47:29 AM

While yankin' off some shrimp heads for gumbo I had another one pop in my head.

"Come and knock on our door... We've been waiting for you!"  icon_wink

 eek

That's perfect!  I'm going to wind up driving my wife crazy with this damn thing, changing the ring tone every day. 
6574  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Worms out 3/7/07 on: March 07, 2007, 03:43:13 PM
Because of the word of mouth surrounding this game I almost downloaded the full game this morning without any thought of a test run, but I instead opted to test out the trial version in case I for some reason would not enjoy the gameplay.  But after messing around with the tutorial for a little bit (only a few minutes before heading to work), this looks like it as the potential to be great fun, especially when we have friends over at the house.  Not only can I see the potential fun in playing with friends online, but I can also see how much fun this game could be when we have friends over for a night of beer and games.  I'm actually not only excited to play with all of you, but I'm also anxious to introduce my friends to Worms. 

I think I'm going to download the full version of the game tonight and get started on working through the tutorial and learning the nuances of the game.  I'm really looking forward to seeing just how much fun this game can be.   icon_biggrin   
6575  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mass Effect inches closer to launch on: March 07, 2007, 03:35:18 PM

Quote from: Dreamshadow on March 07, 2007, 03:12:32 PM

Ever since I saw the trailers that were on the Marketplace, I've been drooling over this one. 

.....

I usually watch the two trailers about once a week.

Myself as well.  I can't remember ever being this excited for an RPG.  My first ever exposure to an RPG was KOTOR, and while I enjoyed the storyline, I pretty quickly became bored with the turn-based battle mechanic.  I had no intentions of really ever picking up another RPG, but the word of mouth surrounding Oblivion piqued my interest, and I picked it up out of insatiable curiosity.  I will forever be obsessed with action RPGs following my continuing experience with Oblivion, and as surprising as it may sound, especially to people like Starshifter, my most anticipated game of 2007 is not Halo 3, but is instead Mass Effect.   icon_eek

 drool
6576  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [360] Rainbow 6: Vegas - Monday, March 12th. on: March 06, 2007, 11:40:44 PM

Quote from: Jancelot on March 06, 2007, 11:18:22 PM

There is some interest in getting the band back together over at OO.  I posted it here since naturally most of the console action originates from GT. It was either a Sunday or Monday evening since 1) I don't want to step on the GoW night and 2) I'm rarely around on Fridays these days.  This week we're going to play on Monday.

I will fire up a server around 8pm CST that evening.  I'll make it private so shoot me an invite if you want in.  We will also likely be harrassing people to join us as well.  icon_smile

Who's in?

The band Ellwood.  The band

I'm in, if available.  Not sure when my grandmother needs to head to the airport, and I'd need some time to refamiliarize myself with the controls, but some MP mayhem would be a nice break from all of the drinking I've been doing with my grandmother.
6577  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My wife NEEDS this song... on: March 06, 2007, 10:00:30 PM

Quote from: CrayolaSmoker on March 06, 2007, 09:57:06 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on March 06, 2007, 06:08:25 PM

Quote from: coopasonic on March 06, 2007, 04:59:05 PM

Now I know what I want for my birthday! biggrin

If you do get one let me know how it works out.  We're already trying to come up with ideas for future songs or soundbites, such as movie quotes, TV theme songs, etc.  Who would have ever thought a doorbell could be so much fun?   

Various songs/sound clips that come to mind:

London Calling - The Clash
They're Coming to Take me Away - Napolean XIV
"Please allow me to introduce myself..." - Sympathy for the Devil, The Rolling Stones
"Knock, knock, knockin' on Heaven's door..." - Knockin' on Heaven's Door, Guns & Roses
"They're HEEEEEEEEEEE-eeeeere!" - Poltergeist
"You raaaang" - The Addams Family
Be Our Guest - Beauty and the Beast
I Got Friends In Low Places - Garth Brooks
Ring My Bell - Anita Ward

and many, many more!  icon_wink

Nice work.   icon_lol
6578  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: x360 Live Movers and Shakers [03/06/2007 edition] on: March 06, 2007, 08:27:47 PM
#74 with +10.   icon_redface  I need to get all of these houseguests out of my home so that I can get back to playing games.  My grandmother leaves on Monday, so I plan to get back to gaming that very night.  Until then I'm enjoying her company, heading out each night for good food, great beer, and fantastic wine, and drinking even more when we're at home.  It's been like one continuous party since she got here.  She's a tough lady to keep up with.  If I could teach her to play Gears of War we'd be in business. 
6579  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Worms out 3/7/07 on: March 06, 2007, 06:18:23 PM
I don't know anything about this game, but you've all managed to sell me on it without ever playing it.  Guess I'll be picking this up on Wednesday with the rest of you.  I just have to figure out what the hell this game is.
6580  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My wife NEEDS this song... on: March 06, 2007, 06:08:25 PM

Quote from: coopasonic on March 06, 2007, 04:59:05 PM

Now I know what I want for my birthday! biggrin

If you do get one let me know how it works out.  We're already trying to come up with ideas for future songs or soundbites, such as movie quotes, TV theme songs, etc.  Who would have ever thought a doorbell could be so much fun?   
6581  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Viva Pinata Questions on behalf of my wife... on: March 06, 2007, 06:04:26 PM

Quote from: godhugh on March 06, 2007, 04:48:55 PM

As far as I know there's no limit to the number of gardens you can have. Also, achievements accumulate from all gardens in your profile.

Awesome!  Thanks again.  I think you've all helped to breathe new life into her Viva Pinata obsession.   icon_biggrin
6582  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My wife NEEDS this song... on: March 06, 2007, 03:56:55 PM

Quote from: Zimix on March 06, 2007, 03:39:18 PM

Would you mind sending a link to the doorbell that you purchased?


My wife looked far and wide and finally discovered a doorbell from Germany called Re-Bell, The USB Doorbell.  They're only sold through Ebay, and we had no problem at all with responsiveness, express shipping for Christmas, etc.  The seller distributes these doorbells through Ebay and was very easy to work with.  They cost about $100 and work perfectly.  The software is in German, but it's pretty easy to figure out (one button clears the doorbell's memory, one loads the mp3 file you select onto the doorbell, and the other three buttons determine the volume).

It connects right into the existing doorbell wiring in your home.  Because our J-box for the doorbell was open, in order to make the doorbell look finished we purchased a cover plate and drilled a small hole for the wires, then we left the top cover plate screw out a little bit to hang the doorbell.  The doorbell button outside acts as a trigger to start the song, and then three AA batteries (included) in the doorbell play the song through the bell's speaker.  It's quite simple, and I'm surprised we weren't able to find something like this in the U.S.

You can load up to a 30-second snippet onto the bell, and it can be anything you can imagine, as long as it's an mp3 file (movie quotes, songs, etc).  And you can edit your mp3 file to the 30-second length (or less) with the editing software included near the beginning of this thread.  Yes, it's only a doorbell, but why should one be limited to a doorbell that merely goes "ding-dong"?  And it literally takes seconds to load a file.         
6583  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: DVD Tuesday - 03/06/07 on: March 06, 2007, 03:31:08 PM
We'll wind up picking up Peter Pan because we always buy all Disney films, especially those released from the vault, but we're mostly looking forward to the next two weeks with the release of Casino Royale next week and Rocky Balboa the following week.   drool 
6584  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My wife NEEDS this song... on: March 06, 2007, 03:18:38 PM

Quote from: disarm on March 06, 2007, 12:57:58 AM

PeteRock...check your PM inbox icon_cool

Gracias.  Last night we scored a copy of the song, I edited it with the free online Audacity software, and when we got home we uploaded the 30-second snippet and gave it a test run.  My grandmother just sat back and laughed at us.  "Whooooo can it beeeee noooow."  Brilliant!

Now I just can't get my wife to stop ringing the doorbell. 
6585  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Viva Pinata Questions on behalf of my wife... on: March 06, 2007, 03:13:36 PM

Quote from: Arkon on March 06, 2007, 12:18:11 AM

Some trees won't fruit if they are planted too close to other items and need more space.

It is disappointing that the garden is small, but that is why they make it very easy to have multiple gardens.  All your money/upgrades/items unlocked carry over to your additional gardens, so one could be heavily water based, another tall grass etc...

She's going to be pretty excited when I pass this on to her.  Last night I mentioned that she should consider creating multiple gardens with specific focuses, and her eyes lit up, so odds are she's started this already (she didn't' come to bed until around 1:30am).

Quote
Just dropping joy candy isn't enough... often you need to direct specific pinatas to eat the candy because they won't on their own. 

I know that she is aware that she has to direct pinatas to eat specific items, but she may have been a little less diligent with making sure her fickle pinatas were guzzling the happy candy.

Quote from: DonD on March 06, 2007, 01:01:58 PM

You garden can only accommodate a maximum number of items, which includes fruits.  By level 34, I'm sure she's seen the message that the garden is getting full.

If you are at capacity, your trees will not grow fruit despite having the appropriate fruit points (on the info screen where it says 12/12 or something similar).

If your fruit points are 0/12 then your tree didn't grow up appropriately and you need to get rid of it and try again.  Give it more space, keep it watered exactly 1/2 on the meter, and fertilize with the appropriate color fertilizer.

It says on the wiki somewhere what the maximum number of items in the garden is.

I'm not sure if she has any idea about the fruit points and I also don't know if she's aware of her garden's capacity. 

Quote from: godhugh on March 06, 2007, 01:30:19 PM

You really need to specialize your gardens. I think, by the time she finished the game (got every pinata and master romancer for all of them), I think my wife had 3 gardens operating and rotated the focus of each one. One was a water garden, one was just for the elephants and eagles, and one was for the lion. Once she would achieve a goal with one of them, she'd sell everything and refocus it. It's really the only way to get everything with the space limitations.

I think this is the path my wife is about to take.  She's going to maintain multiple gardens, each with a specific focus, working her way toward all of the achievements.  Does anyone know if there is a limit to the number of gardens you can maintain, and also if you are maintaining more than one garden under your profile, do you have to earn all achievements from one garden, or will the various gardens she creates contribute to her achievements?

I'm copying all of the responses and sending them to her in an email so she has something to read tonight before loading up her game.  Thanks for all of the helpful responses.  My only problem is that now she has a new direction to pursue with her gardens, I'm never going to get to play my 360 again.   

6586  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: TMNT - Arcade Game on Live Arcade in March on: March 06, 2007, 03:01:10 PM
This will be an immediate purchase for me.  My brother and I popped more quarters into that damn video game machine than any other in our local arcade. 
6587  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My wife NEEDS this song... on: March 05, 2007, 10:30:30 PM

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on March 05, 2007, 10:11:20 PM

I was thinking along the lines of "If I hear that song one more time I swear I'm going to strangle somebody".  I remember thinking that about that very song when it was popular back in the eighties.

We can also change the song as many times as we like simply by hooking up the USB cable.  For example, I'm planning to make our doorbell the Philadelphia Eagles Fight Song during football season.  Odds are this song will inevitably get old, but our options are limitless.
6588  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My wife NEEDS this song... on: March 05, 2007, 10:22:30 PM

Quote from: gellar on March 05, 2007, 10:17:30 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on March 05, 2007, 10:04:59 PM

Quote from: Zimix on March 05, 2007, 10:00:40 PM

Once you get the song, use Audacity to chop it into the 30 second piece that you want.  It will export to .mp3.

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Nice!  Thanks.  Now all I need is the actual song.  I was hoping to find a quick, free download, especially since we have no need to join an mp3 downloading service.  One option would be to buy the cd, but all we need is the one song.   

You spent the money/money to import an MP3 playing doorbell and yet you can't be bothered to go to the record store and buy a $15 cd?

IRONY.

gellar

I've said that a number of times to my wife.  But, she just doesn't feel like stopping by a music store for a cd when we only need one song.  I should have picked it up while she was in LA to solve the problem.  But then that $15 might be factored into my next DVD buying binge, and I can't afford to take that kind of risk.   icon_wink

I'm going for easy, not logical.

Quote from: Mookee on March 05, 2007, 10:10:39 PM

Poof

Mods, nuke this if it's not cool. I'll probably just take it down after Pete snags it anyway.
 

Odd.  Doesn't seem to work.  Thanks, anyway.  And if you need to delete it, by all means.  I don't want you to get into any trouble with the mods. 
6589  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Viva Pinata Questions on behalf of my wife... on: March 05, 2007, 10:17:25 PM

Quote from: Arkon on March 05, 2007, 07:10:12 PM

By lvl 34 your garden size is maxed, this is intentional, it makes you choose a direction for your garden.

She wasn't happy to hear that, especially after planting her new Gem Tree.  But, at least now she has a better idea as to how to maximize her garden.

Quote
Pinatas can get unhappy enough that they will wander off, happened to me, make sure she is naming all pinatas and dressing them up.  Occasionally shower your garden with joy candy.

One of the two (either the badger or the racoon) is known to be pretty fickle and becomes depressed pretty easily, but she's been dropping joy candy all over the damn garden.  If he isn't happy with his name, nose ring, and joy candy, then I'm not sure what to tell my wife to do.

Quote
Different trees require different fertilizers at different times.  Not positive on those two trees.

Yeah, she knows about the different fertilizers needed, but she can't seem to figure out what the problem is with her banana tree and her knightshade bush.  Of course, when I asked if she's been reading the encyclopedia, she of course said, "no," and walked away with her head down knowing that perhaps she should do a little more research before resorting to the masses for advice.  She has a little bit of reading to do.  Thanks for the help.

Quote from: Doopri on March 05, 2007, 06:37:55 PM

Quote
My wife has run into some Viva Pinata questions

its okay pete plenty of people here have played this - you dont have to lie smile

 icon_redface

I really am married, and my wife really did have questions.  Honestly!  Check my achievements!  I've never even loaded up the game (unless my wife leaves it in the drive, and I assume NFS:MW is still inside, select "play game," and only then discover that it's not the game I expect when some giant paper mache bear is shaking his posterior on my TV). 
6590  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My wife NEEDS this song... on: March 05, 2007, 10:05:53 PM

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on March 05, 2007, 10:03:46 PM

I suspect this will be one of those ideas that sounds better in theory.  Good luck though.  That's how the rest of us learn.

Perhaps at some point instead of being happy someone is at the door ringing our doorbell, we'll instead be wondering, "F-ing christ, who can it be now."  But, at least the song will continue to remain applicable in some way. 
6591  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My wife NEEDS this song... on: March 05, 2007, 10:04:59 PM

Quote from: Zimix on March 05, 2007, 10:00:40 PM

Once you get the song, use Audacity to chop it into the 30 second piece that you want.  It will export to .mp3.

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Nice!  Thanks.  Now all I need is the actual song.  I was hoping to find a quick, free download, especially since we have no need to join an mp3 downloading service.  One option would be to buy the cd, but all we need is the one song.    
6592  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / My wife NEEDS this song... on: March 05, 2007, 09:40:28 PM
Just before Christmas my wife decided that she wanted an mp3-playing doorbell.  She wanted a doorbell to play a very specific song whenever someone came to our home, and the only way we could think of was to have an mp3-playing doorbell.  Unfortunately there didn't seem to be such a thing manufactured in the entire U.S.  So, she was forced to ship in an mp3-playing doorbell from Germany.  We finally have it hooked up and it works beautifully, but there is a specific song she wants it to play whenever anyone comes by.  Currently it plays some stupid Eminem song because it was the only mp3 file she had on our laptop and we wanted to make sure the doorbell worked.  But, I have quickly grown tired of the Eminem track I have to hear anytime someone comes into or leaves our house, so it is time to track down the song she wants to greet people whenever they visit our home.  She felt incredibly witty and original when the idea came to her, and I want to help to finally make her dream a reality.  I need the following song to make her dream complete:

"Who Can It Be Now" by Men at Work

Does anyone have this as an mp3 file, or do you at least know where I could download it?  Our lives will never again be the same.  Just imagine, anytime someone stops by and rings our doorbell, we'll be treated with a 30-second snippet of "Whoooo can it beeeee now" as we wonder aloud, "Gee, honey.  Who can it be now?"   icon_cool 

Also, how exactly would one go about saving an mp3 file as a specific 30-second portion of a song (but not necessarily the first 30 seconds of said song)?
6593  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: On second thought (a summary of past games that deserve to be mentioned agai on: March 05, 2007, 09:00:31 PM

Quote from: JLu on March 05, 2007, 08:55:27 PM

Well it isn't an unknown around these parts and not too old, but I had a blast with The Godfather over the past month -- first game I've 'had to get home to play' since Bully last fall...

Agreed.  I just can't seem to stop playing NFS:MW to get back into The Godfather.
6594  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: On second thought (a summary of past games that deserve to be mentioned again) on: March 05, 2007, 08:59:53 PM
I'm surprised at how much fun I've been having with Need for Speed: Most Wanted.  I rented it back when I first got my 360 and enjoyed it, but I didn't really feel the need to buy it once my rental period was up.  I had PGR3 and didn't see a need for more than one racing game at the time.  The graphics were nice, the police chases were fantastic fun, but the rubber band AI drove me insane.  Recently some friends left it at the house for me to play at my leisure, and I can't seem to put it down.  Even though I have Gears of War, Rainbow Six: Vegas, The Godfather, and Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter in my backlog, I keep booting up NFS:MW for "just one more race."  I keep wanting to complete just one more police chase, or one more race to work my way toward the next rival challenge, and even though I detest the rubber band AI, I still keep coming back for more.    
6595  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Viva Pinata Questions on behalf of my wife... on: March 05, 2007, 05:35:19 PM
My wife has run into some Viva Pinata questions and we're hoping someone here can help to steer her in the right direction.

1)  Her badger and racoon seem to have disappeared, and she never received any messages that they were eaten, ill, etc.  Can pinatas eventually get old and die, or is it possible for them to wander out of your garder?  We just can't seem to figure out what could have happened to her beloved badger and favorite racoon.  She can't find them anywhere.

2)  She was also wondering what kind of area you eventually wind up with.  She is currently at Level 34 and still has a "wee little square" as she calls it.  Is this the extent of the area she can expect, or will she eventually get more?  Because this will definitely impact her gardening strategy.

3)  Her banana tree and knightshade bush won't grow fruit.

4)  For some of the trees you're not supposed to fertillize them until they drop their leaves.  She's had some trees that still haven't dropped their leaves, and she's wondering how old the trees have to be when they drop their leaves?  She's been selling "uncooperative trees" and just planting new ones, but is there a way to "fix" this problem?

And she already knows about the Pinata Island help page (whenever she plays she has a laptop set up next to her for quick reference), but she can't seem to find answers to any of these questions there.

Thanks. 

   
6596  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Gears of War Friday Night: March 2nd on: February 28, 2007, 02:46:46 AM
I'd like to play, but my grandmother is coming into town around 2pm.  And unlike my wife's grandparents, my grandmother is actually fun.  For example, when we sent her a round-trip ticket to Phoenix for Christmas, we included a complete book of drink coupons for the flight.  She was just as excited about the free alcohol for five hours as she was about coming to see her grandson.   icon_cool  So, she may be tired from travelling, or she might want to head to the nearest casino and drink and gamble until the sun comes up.  There's no telling with her.  Depends on her mood.  Most likely there will be drinking, but it has yet to be determined if we'll be drinking at home, at a nice restaurant, or while rolling the dice.  Either way, her visit is going to be a blast.

If she crashes on Friday night from travel, I'll be up for a little chainsaw action (if she wasn't intimidated by the controller I'd even consider getting her involved in the game - she's that cool - but odds are she'll pass to save her reflexes for craps).  But, if I don't make it, at least I'll be partying it up with my grandmother, enjoying every moment I get to spend with her.  She's one special lady.  And, she even likes dogs.  I'll just probably leave out the story of his last swimming adventure. 

Maybe I'll see you guys.  I'll have to play it by ear.

Man, Ike is right.  I can't answer anything with a simple "yes" or "no". 
6597  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Long] Simba almost died today. on: February 26, 2007, 08:29:05 PM

Quote from: dedewhale on February 25, 2007, 12:27:00 PM

I am glad to hear everything is OK....I kept on thinking to myself that I should learn doggy cpr when I get the chance...because I would freak out if the happened to my Trooper.

Someone at OctopusOverlords posted a few links about pet CPR and mouth-to-snout respiration that might be of interest to you:

http://www.rescuecritters.com/cpr.html
http://www.berner.org/pages/dogcpr.pdf
http://www.doctordog.com/dogbook/dogdrown.html

I also have scheduled an appointment with an emergency vet to learn proper CPR and mouth-to-snout respiration.  Simba has loved the water from the first moment he visited Cosmo Park, and rather than deny him one of his absolute favorite activities (the look of utter joy and exhiliration each time he leaps from the dock and returns with his toy for another go at it, I could never even consider denying him such pleasure), I instead want to be better prepared for any potential future accidents or injuries.  I consider myself very lucky to have not completely lost it, and I applied some semblance of logic in trying to help Simba cough up the water that he had inhaled.  But if he had lost consciousness, stopped breathing altogether, or worse, I'm not sure i would have known what to do.  At least with some information and training from the emergency vet, perhaps in the future I can be better prepared for another emergency.  And next time it might not even be Simba, but another dog at the park, or perhaps one of his closest four-legged friends.  What then?  Many dog owners don't ever think about potential accidents such as drowning, and are rarely prepared for such an emergency (I am a perfect example).  At least I might be able to lend a hand if ever faced with such an emergency for another dog owner's beloved companion.

Quote from: deadzone on February 26, 2007, 05:07:29 PM

I know it inevitably happens, but try and stay positive and keep away from all the "what if" scenarios.  No need to do those since he's okay you know?  smile

As time passes the heartache and emotional trauma is slowly dissipating.  He's back to being his usual, crazy self, and I've come to even further appreciate his particular mannerisms and personality traits.  I find myself laughing even harder than I usually do when we play "hide and go seek the piggy" (we have him sit in the kitchen and then hide his favorite stuffed hedgehog, and then we yell, "Where's your piggy?  Go find him!" and he frantically runs about, checking every potential hiding place until he finally finds it, rearing up on his back legs, and diving for his well-earned prize), or praising him more than usual for the more difficult aspects of his training (such as four-post-hub, standing for inspection, etc), and now instead of asking him to lie down for a moment while Dad enjoys a frosty beverage after a long day at work, or taking for granted his intelligence and fantastic obedience, I instead welcome his attention and adore those puppy eyes as they stare up at me while his tail wags feverishly the moment I say, "Good boy," and rub his ears.  This ordeal has only helped us to grow closer, and I've developed an even stronger appreciation for such an amazing companion (not to say I didn't appreciate him before, but having been faced with the potential of there not being a tomorrow, I will forever appreciate his companionship today).

Quote
We have two black and tan mini dachshunds that we love like children.  smile  I'll get some pics up a little later of their 2 little crazy asses.  smile

I'd love to see the photos, as would my wife, as she adores dachshunds. 
6598  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Top Five Albums on: February 26, 2007, 06:05:22 AM
I'm almost apalled not to see Bruce Springsteen: Born to Run on anyone's list.  Apparently not many that hail from the great garden state.   icon_wink 

I'm going to take some risks with my list and choose what I would want to listen to if trapped with only five albums for the rest of my life:

1)  Bruce Springsteen: Born to Run
2)  Jimi Hendrix: Are you Experienced 
3)  Rage Against the Machine: Battle of Los Angeles
4)  Dr. Dre: The Chronic
5)  Michael Jackson: Thriller
 
6599  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Long] Simba almost died today. on: February 25, 2007, 09:04:13 PM

Quote from: juniordan on February 25, 2007, 08:24:52 AM

Penny and I feels so sorry you had to experience that. But we are happy to hear you both are doing ok.
Show Simba his new little syber friend 4 year old female Rat Terrier, Name Penny



I showed him the pics and he licked the laptop screen.  Guess that means Simba likes his new cyber-friend. 

Quote
Here is a little help to get you a Simba up and feel good about life again..

Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase

Hakuna Matata! Ain't no passing craze

It means no worries for the rest of your days

It's our problem-free philosophy

Hakuna Matata!

Hakuna Matata?

Hakuna Matata!
Hakuna Matata! Hakuna matata!
Hakuna Matata! Hakuna matata!
Hakuna Matata! Hakuna matata!
Hakuna Matata! Hakuna--

It means no worries for the rest of your days

It's our problem-free philosophy
Hakuna Matata!
(Repeats)

I say "Hakuna"

I say "Matata"



I just had to to do it  icon_wink





His American Kennel Club registered name is "Just Can't Wait To Be King".  And at this point, you'd think he already was.

Simba slept for the rest of the day yesterday, waking up occasionally to find a more comfortable position and once in a while to check to make sure I was doing okay.  Later in the evening I propped up a couple of pillows and joined Simba on the floor, and the two of us took a nice nap together (something we both needed).  I didn't sleep much through the night, seeing that calm patch of water with no bubbles surfacing where Simba had gone under every time I closed my eyes, along with the image of him collapsing at my feet unable to breathe, and then my mind started wandering to the "what if's", such as what if he hadn't made it back to the surface, or what if he didn't retain consciousness, or what if he didn't cough up the water and start breathing again.  I also began thinking about just how empty my life would become without him.  I hated the thoughts, but they were inevitable.  Even though I didn't get much sleep, I awoke earlier than I ever have on a Sunday morning and immediately went downstairs to see Simba.  I made a pot of coffee, and then I sat in my living room with Simba at my feet, sipping my coffee while gently stroking the back of his head.  With each passing hour the horrors of yesterday's scare are slowly dissipating, and talking about the ordeal with all of you has helped me to deal with some of the emotional strain I had stored up from watching my dog almost lose his life.     

You all have been so welcoming since the very first day I joined GamingTrend, and you all help to make up a fantastic community.  Thank you for all of the kind thoughts, and I am fortunate to be a part of the GamingTrend family.  You've all helped me to deal with a pretty emotionally trying time by reading my story.  Talking was difficult for me, and so the next best thing was to write a story of the day's events.  Writing seems to be a nice release for me.  I appreciate all that took the time to read my writing.  Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.  Thank you.   
6600  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Long] Simba almost died today. on: February 25, 2007, 12:34:12 AM

Quote from: mikeg on February 25, 2007, 12:19:27 AM

Pete, I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo glad for you.  I have had some of those gut-wrenching moments myself from time to time with some of the many dogs I have had over the last 30 years.  

My dogs are my kids.  Literally.  My wife and I chose not to have any children ourselves and we have spent our lives together taking in lost, unwanted, and mistreated dogs.  My fellow co-workers think I am a nutjob some times because of how I treat my dogs better than they do their own kids.  So, I know how it feels to get stressed and highly emotional about your beloved four-legged kid.

I am happy for you.  



Simba is like a child to us as well.  The unconditional love a dog shows his or her owner is an amazing thing.  One of the positives to come from this ordeal is that I appreciate Simba even more now than I already have thus far.  It didn't necessarily take nearly losing Simba in order for me to appreciate him, but having almost lost him has made me want to try even harder to show him just how much he means to this family.  There are days that I am terribly exhausted from a long day at the office, or I've just had a bad day, and the last thing I want is a drool-filled toy dropped in my lap, or to take two hours of my already shortened evening from a late night at the office to take Simba to the local PetSmart or Lowe's to work on his obedience training, and so on those days, I am embarassed to say, I take Simba for granted and think that I can always play with him later or tomorrow, or that he'll be able to entertain himself with a bone or hoof while I take a moment to unwind.  But having learned that there will not always be a tomorrow, I have learned a valuable lesson and will never again take Simba's love and companionship for granted.  Because there is no telling when there will not be a tomorrow.  He is a dear friend and an amazing companion, and he deserves the same level of unconditional love and loyalty that he shows me.  Not to say that he hasn't received it thus far, but I know I can do better. 

The next time I am just not in the mood to play or to focus my attention on Simba, I will remember this day and the horrible heart-wrenching emotions I experienced, and I will instead keep in mind that Simba merely wants the attention of his beloved master, and he deserves a moment of my time.  I learned a great deal today, and I think Simba's scare will only help to further strengthen our relationship.  This was never more evident than when he was resting his head in my lap at the emergency clinic staring into my eyes and I into his.  We are the best of friends, and always will be.  No matter what. 
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