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841  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Books Read in 2007 (Keep It Updated) on: April 08, 2007, 12:14:40 AM
have about a year of books to report on!

Freax: The Brief History of the Computer Demoscene, Vol.1
- Tama'r Polga'r
Computer "demos" are a form of digital art and programming prowess combined - and from an underground which has only become slightly more mainstream in the advancing years.  this book attempts to chart the history of the scene  from the Commie 64 to the Amiga.

The Doors of Perception / Heaven and Hell - Aldous Huxley
"Brave New World" author takes mescaline and discovers the ego-less world.  Best peyote advertisement ever!  Huxley is able to convey a sense of the altered experience in a way that intrigues, not bores (unlike, say Philip K Dick).

Sputnik Sweetheart - Haruki Murakami
Narrator falls for best female friend, but she's attracted to a MOW (Mysterious Older Woman).  Like in all Murakami books, the younger woman disappears and there is an inner journey required to try to find her, stuff doesn't happen, etc. 

Euthypro, Apology, Crito & Phaedo - Plato
The days leading up to Socrates' execution, presented mostly as a dialogs.
What is worth living (and dying) for?  Socrates talked it and walked it - virtue par exemplar, classically speaking.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler
- E.L. Konigsburg
Claudia and Jami run away from home and live in the Metropolitan Musesum of Art for a week, and uncover a mystery about a Michaelangeo-esque sculpture of unknown origin.  I never read this when I was younger, so I finally got around to it...

L’Inferno – Dante (Ciardi translation)
i don't get what the big deal on this book is.  maybe i have to read the original italian or whatever.. goofy and laughable.

On Bullshit - Harry G. Frankfurt
A shortish treatise on how "bullshit" is different from lying (in that the latter, the speaker knows that what they say does not correllate with the facts; while the bullshitter cares not at all if what they speak of is false or not) and a few theories on why the practice is so widespread.

You Can’t Win - Jack Black : one of the better memoirs i've ever read, and definitely one i'll be re-reading in the future.  this tale of a hobo/thief's life and times at the end of the 19th century was direct inspiration for Wm. S Burroughs' autobiographical material.  Black has a very readable direct-and-level writing style, and some of the 'getaway' tales he relates make it impossible to put the book down.

Old Twentieth - Joe Haldeman : isn't 'The Forever War'.  kinda predictable.

The Lilies of the Field - William E. Barrett : picked this up off the 'classics' shelf at the library, cuz it was short - worth the time investment.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal - Christopher Moore : nice attention to historical setting and atmosphere .. but definitely annoying to read.  a lot of his writing is just straight-up cringe-inducing..

A Dirty Job - Christopher Moore : clunky exposition and same complaints as above, but the concept behind this one seemed to fit Moore's writing tone better.  he knows how to carry on a running joke.  still, i don't think he has much of a 'style', and i kept wishing this one was written by Neil Gaiman...  not sure if i should read any more of his books.

Don Quixote, Book I - Miguel Cervantes (Edith Grossman translation) : more comic than i thought it would be!  lots of digressions, and the story really isn't about Don Quixote and Pancho so much as it is commentary on.. pretty much everything?  maybe i'm reading into it too much.  some masterfully written passages, in the old style of speaking.  for a story that appears to eschew fairy-tales, the descriptions of (imaginary) fantastic elements and the use of hyperbole go over quite well - Cervantes knew his source material!  Book II will be started sometime later this year.

Pafko at the Wall - Don DeLillo : pretentious, overwrought writing about something i don't really care about (baseball).  at least it was short...
842  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: Help me buy a PSTriple! 360+PS2+PSX+DS+PSP+GBA+Mac Software+BSG+Import Liquor on: April 04, 2007, 06:19:27 PM

Quote from: depward on April 03, 2007, 06:07:08 AM

Hard to find liquor in the U.S.
*Obviously for those 21+ years of age.  Will need to prove age if interested*

I have a never-been-drunk unopened bottle of hard-to-find liquor in the U.S.  It was obtained in Spain. 

how would you ship this one?  (and i may be interested)
843  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 2 first-party Wii titles "Indefinitely postponed" on: April 02, 2007, 09:18:15 AM
a person i know who works for Nintendo confirmed that HAMMER is 'dead'.
844  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 3/07) on: March 30, 2007, 10:07:34 PM
+1 to Nakor
845  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. For Sale on: March 26, 2007, 11:11:34 PM
there always seems to be at least a few copies of a new game on here shortly after release, usually from people who need to buy everything right away (even if they might not necessarily be into it), or bought into the hype threads and found the game wasn't for them, or it doesn't run well on their system and their store doesn't take returns for some reason (or they don't feel like returning it themselves), etc.
846  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 3/07) on: March 26, 2007, 12:06:28 AM
+1 to Hrothgar for freebies
847  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: Hall of Fame Traders Look Here on: March 26, 2007, 12:06:02 AM
got it yesterday!  thanks
848  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Top 10 Hardest to Beat Console Games on: March 22, 2007, 05:47:34 PM
Megaman 1 is freaking hard
849  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GP2X - portable computer/console hybrid on: March 22, 2007, 12:24:30 AM
there is a Playstation emulator, but it's never going to reach the quality of the new one on PSP. some of the older 2D games are definitely playable.  if it's the only reason you're buying the GP2X, don't do it...  you can get a comparison of most of the major emulators vs the PSP here.

the NES, SNES, Genesis, GBA emus allow you to save at any point.  i don't remember about MAME (it has whatever features the original MAME has).  you'd have to look up the rest - it's not a feature i often use outside the systems listed above.

the unit is only available via importers in the US - i went through and they're reliable.

i really like this portable!  if you have any sort of tinkering bent, it's the only way to go with a handheld.  there is so much you can do with it.  i recently got a DS, played it for a bit, then went back to the GP2X, as the DS felt so limited and expensive compared to this.
850  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Anybody own a GP2X? on: March 21, 2007, 08:38:21 PM
the GBA emulator has improved immensely over the past week - runs a lot of titles at full-speed, now.

this device is awesome.  i'm on my second one, as i left my first one on the bus and never saw it again frown
851  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GP2X - portable computer/console hybrid on: March 21, 2007, 08:34:48 PM
NES - works great, a few quirks (eg sometimes the music in Super Mario Bros will be twice as fast as it should be)

Genesis - awesome, no complaints and SegaCD support is coming along well (tho those games take up a fair amount of space on the SD cards)

SNES - ok.  getting faster; older games run fullspeed or nearly fullspeed.  transparancy support was just recently fully implemented, i believe.
852  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / GP2X - portable computer/console hybrid on: March 21, 2007, 01:07:13 AM
There has been much talk over the past dunno-how-many-years of the convergence of console gaming and the PC game scene.  Welcomed by some, lamented by others, but seen by many as inevitable... blah blah journo-speak, that someday is HERE NOW - witness Gamepark Holdings GP2X device.

The GP2X is of Korean origin, with its manufacturer born from the split with parent company GamePark (creator of the GP32).

i've now owned 2 of these units (left one on the bus and never saw it again)

from the website:
Product Name: GP2X-F100

CPU: Dual cores, ARM940T @ 200Mhz + ARM920T @ 200Mhz
Dimension  143.6mm* 82.9mm*34mm
Mass (w/o batteries): 161g/5.68oz (GP32 NLU: 163g/5.74oz)
RAM  64Mb
Storage  SD Card
Connection Type  2.0 high speed
O/S  Linux
Power supply  2AA
Display  3.5" TFT LCD
Resolution  320*240(QVGA)

Video Codec support: MPEG 1, 2, 3, 4, DivX 3.11, 4.x, 5.x and higher, XviD
Format support: AVI, MPG, MPEG
Audio Formats: MP3, OGG
Resolution  MAX 720*480
Frame Rate  Max 30 fps
Bit Rate  Video Max: 2500Kbps, Audio Max: 384Kbps
Caption  SMI

No. Channels  Stereo(L+R)
Frequency Rate  20Hz~20KHz
Bit rate sampling  16bit/8~48KHz 
Equalizer  Normal, Classic, Rock, Jazz, Pop

Additional Function
e-book, game

Image Viewer
Image Formats: JPG, BMP, PCX, GIF, PNG

Continuous playback time
Battery Life (2 x 2850mAh AA): 6 hours video, 10 hours audio

emulators are plentiful.  i've currently got Atari VCS, NES, SMS, Genesis/Megadrive, SNES, PCEngine/TG16, Atari Lynx, GB/GBC, GBA  NeoGeo Pocket, NeoGeo and of course MAME (v.34 romset) all running on it.  for computers, there's the C64, Spectrum, Apples, Atari ST - even an Amiga emulator that's a bit slow, but it tends to work... there is also an early build of DOSBox.

of particular interest is that it runs SCUMMVM, Exult (Ultima VII), Ur-Quan Masters (Star Control 2+), OpenTTD (Transport Tycoon Deluxe), some of the old id/3DRealms games (Commander Keen series, Wolf3D, Doom 1-2, Quake, Rise of the Triad, Duke3D, Shadow Warrior), Descent 1-2, Marathon 1-3...

as the devkit is freely available, you can program your own games/apps/whatever for it.  most games use SDL, and a preliminary OpenGL was developed recently.  if you want a Linux-y command line, you can download STerm as a shell prompt for Busybox.

should this portend the future of entertainment media, we're off to a good start.  if you have any questions, ask away or check these links for all the information you could want:
853  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Devil May Cry 4 on PC! on: March 20, 2007, 07:10:20 AM
the PC versions are done by Capcom's Taiwan-ese or Hong Kong studio (forgot which), and are pretty bare-bones/minimal ports.  just enough effort is put into them so they run on fairly high-end Windows rigs without toooo many problems, and retail for $19.99 USD.
854  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: Fallout Collection @ GoGamer $14.90 on: March 20, 2007, 07:05:00 AM

Quote from: Greggy_D on March 19, 2007, 07:44:51 PM

Do these run on XP without any issues?

since it came out in 2002, this reissue collection is meant to run on 2000/XP (and the system requirements actually don't say anything about ME or 98 being supported...)
855  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: Hall of Fame Traders Look Here on: March 18, 2007, 03:22:02 AM
please add:

True Crime
Splinter Cell
Rogue Ops
Rails Across Americer

and send me your paypal so i can throw a few dollars at you
856  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: Hall of Fame Traders Look Here on: March 17, 2007, 01:45:05 AM
Future Tactics
857  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Casual Games- Should we cover them better here at GamingTrend? on: March 13, 2007, 11:41:13 PM
'casual' is just a marketing buzzword.. it's just shareware in the Modern Era.  haha.

i would like to see these covered, as most of the games that fall under this casually-named 'casual' heading are also indie titles, which is where i do my day job (and i do want a stronger indie presence for GT).
858  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: CGM down for the count on: March 13, 2007, 11:35:39 PM

Quote from: Destructor on March 13, 2007, 09:43:30 PM

And here may be why they went under:

that would be really lame if that were the reason.
859  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: FS/T: Advance Wars: Dual Strike (NDS) on: March 13, 2007, 11:17:22 PM
still waiting for a response...
860  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: Hall of Fame Traders Look Here on: March 13, 2007, 09:53:38 AM
1) Stubbs the Zombie!
2) Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven
3) Twisted Metal Black
861  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Trackmania United on: March 13, 2007, 09:47:33 AM
i played Trackmania Nations with my Xbox gamepad and it was fine. 
862  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Psychonauts PC with 360 controller on: March 13, 2007, 09:44:23 AM
i play it with the (old, huge) Xbox controller and the XBCD drivers - it handles very nicely.  i can't imagine the 360 controller being worse.
863  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: FS/T: Advance Wars: Dual Strike (NDS) on: March 11, 2007, 07:38:31 AM
864  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: House Clearing Sale on: March 07, 2007, 09:11:55 AM
what's the model number on the Altec Lansing headset..
865  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Could it be my power supply? on: March 04, 2007, 12:12:17 AM
it does sound like the PSU is dying (and i had an Antec that failed on me as well)
866  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: LF: Arcanum and Space Rangers 2 on: March 03, 2007, 10:04:55 PM
i will trade you my copy for God of War
867  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Trackmania United on: March 03, 2007, 02:37:44 AM
it uses 'Starforce Lite' icon_confused

Protection Technologies used a different strategy with the game Trackmania United: a Lite version of Starforce is present, without the StarForce drivers, with the game asking for the original CD every three days.
868  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Indie Game Sites? on: March 02, 2007, 10:48:21 PM is all freeware - this is where i discovered Spout and all the ABA titles.  many neat indie Japanese games..
869  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Trackmania United on: March 02, 2007, 10:44:57 PM
as soon as they kill the Starforce requirement, i'm all over it.
870  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Master of Defense - free download, today only on: March 02, 2007, 10:41:28 PM

give it a try...  it was winner of's 2006 Strategy Game of the Year award.
871  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: G.O.O.D. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. P.R.E.V.I.E.W. !.!.!.!.! on: February 20, 2007, 02:34:00 AM
it should be noted that i can still play most *new* games on 'high' detail settings with my Radeon 9700 Pro.  a lot of people seem to think that if a video card is nearly five years old, it's obsolete... heh.
872  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 11/06) on: February 06, 2007, 02:17:54 AM
+1 to Simon for the freebie
873  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: Free Stuff on: February 01, 2007, 07:54:24 AM
874  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: Stuff for sale, games and movies on: January 29, 2007, 07:38:13 AM
i'll take A Scanner Darkly
875  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Please recommend a good freeware MP3 ripper/encoder on: January 21, 2007, 06:07:00 AM

Quote from: unbreakable on January 15, 2007, 08:43:36 AM

I think WMP only lets you rip to various WMA qualities, MP3, and WAV.

..thus why i don't use it.
876  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Please recommend a good freeware MP3 ripper/encoder on: January 11, 2007, 11:01:57 PM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on January 05, 2007, 05:14:28 AM

I don't want to cause waves, but what is wrong with just using Windows Media Player?  What features are you looking for that aren't available there?  It's all I really use, but I have pretty archaic needs. 

is it possible to rip Vorbis OGG with WMP?  it must be, but it's gotta be kind of a pain.
877  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: casual games? on: January 09, 2007, 02:45:51 AM
or you could use like, a square, a circle, a diamond, a star, etc... 9 different shapes

Kakuro uses simple addition - give that a try, if you're so inclined

Stiffler - have you tried Word Krispies yet?
878  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: OMG!! Possible GoW for PC? on: January 09, 2007, 02:39:02 AM
the original Halo is still my favorite online FPS game (beating out Unreal Tournament, Battlefield, blah blah whatever you'd care to name) .  i've played it many, many hours on PC, and only about 2 on Xbox.
879  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: FlatOut 2 demo on: December 11, 2006, 03:47:03 AM

Quote from: Windows95 on December 04, 2006, 05:05:24 AM

The dartboard minigame drives me nuts, lots of times I scored but the game registered a miss.  icon_mad

this is one of the 'refinements' to the dartboard game that i was talking about - there are certain sections of the dartboard 'highlighted' (shown in the upper left-hand corner) and you have to throw your driver through that particular ring or wedge section - otherwise it says you 'miss' even though you hit the target.
880  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: FlatOut 2 demo on: December 11, 2006, 03:42:35 AM
i've played the original FlatOut quite a bit, and just got the demo working.

initial impressions:
FlatOut 2 has enhanced physics models over the first one, with a lot* more objects and junk on the racetrack.  the graphics have been worked over as well ...  i won't say 'enhanced' as the original game did (and still does) have very nice graphics, with incredible natural lighting.  FO2 looks more '2006 gfx trendy', with a lot of HDR-like lighting and some exaggerated motion-blur effects.  it runs very nicely with my Radeon 9700 Pro with detail set to "Very High", tho it does pause briefly now and then (usually when a lot of graphic detail is suddenly displayed on-screen) - it did that on the original FlatOut as well, so i have to figure out how to alleviate those pauses. sound effects are about the same, and the 'unsigned band' soundtrack of the original has been replaced with the likes of Audioslave and Rob Zombie - due, no doubt, to the increased development budget.  doesn't matter much to me, as i just turn the music off anyways.  it bothers me how some of the car models are overly shiny and new looking; while you can still get rusted-out patched-together heaps in FO2, i liked the original game in which all the crusty-lookin' cars looked like they were specifically re-assembled for dirt road rally races.  the control over your car is more precise than in the first game (though i did like the 'driftiness' of the first one) and the full-on collision situations where your driver is flung from the car have been reduced, with more wide-open tracks and easily-destroyable obstacles.

i'm not sure i like the refinements made to the minigame sections, but that may be just personal taste speaking. demolition derby mode is much improved in a number of ways over the first game - the damage model on your car seems to have been made more robust, and you can even lose wheels. 

unfortunately, one can't navigate the main menu with the game controller - it's all keyboard driven, unlike the first game!  boooo to that.  FO2 does* play very well with a gamepad (i use an Xbox controller) with full rumble support.  i have not tried a steering wheel, as i don't have one.  replays still have a limited command set, and you still can't save them for later viewing.

overall, i like what i see of this game so far, even if it is a bit 'big-budget' and more accessible. it's in no ways resembling a sequel failure along the lines of, say, Carmageddon TDR 2000 vs. Carmageddon 2.  i would recommend that if you like either FlatOut or FlatOut 2, to definitely check out the other game. both bring different aspects of arcade-y rally racing to the table, and aren't redundant, especially since the original FlatOut can be quite difficult.
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