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3561  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amaozon Kindle on: February 09, 2009, 11:39:59 PM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on February 09, 2009, 11:12:08 PM

Watch where you spread thoughts like that, rittchard, it might get you into trouble...   icon_wink

eek!!!!  sorry to offend anyone lol.   All I can say is I've seen and held the Kindle, and seen and used the iPhone extensively.  Anyone who knows me knows I am an absolute gadget whore and will buy/try just about any of the latest tech.  But the Kindle physically felt to me like a really cheap piece of hardware and the screen/text just didn't do it for me, I just couldn't convince myself to buy it after trying it out.  Contrast that with the complete surprise I felt while reading The Metamorphosis on the iPhone, I was stunned by the quality and I love the page-turning animation.  I never thought I'd want to read a book on a portable device, but now I find myself reading the iPhone quite often (cough bathroom cough).
3562  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [Chick Flicks] He's Just Not That Into You on: February 09, 2009, 11:31:01 PM
So as possibly the only male to have seen this movie over the weekend  icon_cool  I have to say it was overall an enjoyable chick flick.  Actually it's like 4 chick flicks smushed into one giant chick flick, so buyer beware!  Unfortunately this leaves some plots given less attention, but that's always the problem with an ensemble.

The standout performance is Ginnifer Goodwin.  If you've watched Big Love, you'll already be familiar with her and probably love her as much as I do.  She's just that adorable.  Here she's given the anchor role searching for true love and constantly getting beat down.  But in spite of the situation she always carries hope and the actress uses her beaming smile to capture your heart.  If the amount of "ahhhhs" in the audience counts during one of the films' "money lines", she could very well be America's next RomCom queen. 

Not so good, but probably the reason the movie did so well, is Jennifer Aniston.  She comes across yet again like Rachel, or maybe her character from The Breakup (nice nod at the audience in the script), and really just doesn't get much to do.  It's kind of a blah role but I always enjoy seeing her and it almost seems like the audience roots for her more for her sad real life lack of romance than anything in the movie. 

Then there's Jennifer Connelly.  I swear she played *the exact same role* (picture perfect wife that gets cheated on by gorgeous hunky husband) in Little Children, except more neurotic this time.  No idea why she'd want to re-enact the same basic role, it was all in all kind of misplaced if you ask me.  Scarlett Johansson does a bit better as the yoga instructor seductress going after her husband while simultaneously leading on her puppy dog boytoy (Kevin Connelly).  Last but not least is Drew Barrymore, who was very good in her few scenes.  Definitely wasted in the movie overall though.

For the guys, we have Bradley Cooper as the gorgeous cheating husband.  He does a decent job in kind of a thankless role, but he's so hot we forgive him.  Ben Affleck could have been replaced by a robot, possibly one his most stale roles ever as the "perfect" boyfriend with a catch - he doesn't believe in marriage.  And then we have Justin Long (yeah the Mac guy) in what ends up being the male lead.  He doles out all the smarmy "he's not into you" advice, so of course you know he's going to fall for someone in the cast eventually, no surprise.  He does an OK job in the initial portion, but jsadly ust isn't leading man type of material. 

The movie was a bit overly long, but had ample payoffs in not one but two (or three) super sacchirine final moments and plenty of decent laughs and cringe-worthy scenes along the way.  Personally I would have cut about 20 minutes, eliminated a plot line or two (particularly the cheating husband and Jennifer Connelly), moved Bradley Cooper to the male lead, and wrote in more for Drew Barrymore to do.

All in all it's a decent chick flick, though I do feel sorry for those of you straight dudes who have to take your wives/girlfriends to it for Valentine's Day lol.
3563  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heroes Season 3 (spoilers for our less fortunate European friends) on: February 09, 2009, 11:07:55 PM
Response in spoiler for added confusion  retard

Spoiler for Hiden:

Quote
I think maybe it was supposed to be a wink to the dad-trap you mentioned.  Maybe the fact that Pete makes it through the hug, but gets zapped right after was supposed to be funny or suspensefull, but failed?  I agree it could just be sloppy writing, though.

Also, I guess Pete could have been trying to take Nathan's power so he could escape, but that's definitely reaching on my part.

He already could fly at the end of last season - unless you are going with the theory he can only hold/handle one power at a time now, and for some reason had a different current ability.


3564  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amaozon Kindle on: February 09, 2009, 11:04:42 PM
I'm curious to see if Apple will compete with the Kindle or just leave Amazon to control the e-book space.  I have an app for the iPhone/iPod Touch called "Classics" which is an amazing ebook reading experience.  The quality of the text looks gorgeous relative to what I've seen on the Kindle.  Not to mention being able to literally thumb through pages giving it a more visceral feel.  Also looks like a group called Iceberg Reader is now releasing lots of different books for the iPhone, the only problem is they are individually priced and it looks like are more expensive than the typical Kindle price, not to mention the small number of available books.

I would love to see Apple release the rumored iPad (with approx double the screen size of iPod Touch) or something like that as a reader.  Either that or just have a software reader that could access all the Kindle library.  Doubtful either will ever happen, but it's certainly an interesting competition to ponder.  I've played with the original Kindle a bit, and as a piece of hardware there is just no comparison to the iPhone or Touch.  And yet they are still charging $359?  iPod Touch with 8GB of memory starts at $229 and the book reading is just a side capability!  Full iPod functionality, real web browsing, color screen, touch screen, a gazillion cool apps... for the first time ever, an Apple product is actually cheap in comparison lol.
3565  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Netbook Gaming 2009 on: February 09, 2009, 10:18:11 PM
I played NWN: HotU for about an hour or two yesterday.  The game looks pretty decent all in all but ultimately feels a bit too choppy during combat.  It's nice that you can play most of the game with the keyboard.
3566  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Help! Quick NWN 2 disks Question on: February 09, 2009, 10:16:14 PM
Cool!  Thanks for the info.  Will probably try to re-install tonight.

Any opinions on whether Storm of Zehir is worth getting?  I keep seeing mixed reviews/opinions.
3567  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: February 09, 2009, 07:22:31 PM
EEE 1000HE Full Reviews are up:

http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/09/asus-eee-pc-1000he-review-roundup/

Sadly for me it appears they are NOT using the GN40 chipset, so no help really on the graphics front.  I guess I shouldn't be too surprised given the increase in battery life and lack of info promoting the new chipset.

So now what's left is the (much) better keyboard, and much improved battery life, slightly better overall performance, in exchange for some extra weight (compared to my current 901).  Tough decision.  I do have to admit one of the things I dislike the most on my 901 is the keyboard, so this may be the answer to making it much more usable. 
3568  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heroes Season 3 (spoilers for our less fortunate European friends) on: February 09, 2009, 06:57:09 PM
Am I really the only one who found the "hug" absolutely, incredibly lame?  There are so many ways they could have played it out (with the same outcome) without making Peter seem like an absolute, inconsistent idiot.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Rant on.  Just the scene before, Peter confronts Nathan and tells him he will never be on his side and opposes him.  To which his brother responds by asking him out on a dinner date.  Trap alert!  Trap alert!  Trap alert!  He then proceeds to ask Peter what powers he still has.  OMFG are you serious?  Here's where I thought Peter (at least the actor) plays the scene well enough to give us the impression he's not a 100% idiot by responding coyly and with at least some bit of suspicion towards his brother's motives.  Now THE VERY NEXT SCENE, there is no transition (that I recall), Nathan is magically INSIDE Peter's apartment (gee that's not suspicious, couldn't he have waited for their hot dinner date?) and then proceeds to have a similar argument, which ends with Nathan asking Peter for a hug!??!  BTW those of you with brothers, do you hug as much as these two do?!?!? Even while fighting?!?!?  I thought for sure it was a clever wink to last season's Dad-powersuck-hug and Peter would decline before getting captured.  But nooooo.....  Peter goes in for the hug and gets zapped like a pussy.  Sigh.  The only way I could forgive this inane plot point were if they play it off that Peter deliberately allowed himself to get captured in order to try to help the other capturees.  Rant off.
3569  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movies] Push on: February 09, 2009, 06:47:30 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on February 08, 2009, 03:36:33 AM

ooh, this is out already?  I got a Jumper vibe from the trailer, and since I loved Jumper I'll be going to see this too.

Yeah it was very similar to Jumper in many ways.  The whole idea of an underground society of super-powered folk and other powered folk trying to control/contain them, plus the way the movie felt like part 1 of 2 or a trilogy.  Jumper clearly had a bigger budget and better effects, but I personally felt Push was the better movie.  Better cast, story, and a much grittier feel.  Sadly, Push only made $10M this weekend so I doubt it will get a sequel made.
3570  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Help! Quick NWN 2 disks Question on: February 09, 2009, 06:42:30 PM
Can anyone tell me if the original NWN 2 (DVD version), I think it's the Limited Edition, comes with 1 or 2 DVDs inside?

I was recently thinking about re-installing and found a single DVD in the box along with an empty DVD sleeve.  I didn't want to run through the whole install only to find I needed a second disk (which is clearly lost at this point).
3571  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age is looking good! on: February 08, 2009, 09:43:43 PM
Obviously this is a pointless debate as now we'll never know - it clearly would have depended on just how good the game was and if adding the Live component and possibly achievements etc would have made it an attractive dual buy down the road.

Still, given that we are talking about Bioware here, one of the most respected PC developers still around, I think the numbers may be more substantial than you think.  They have three 2 million sellers (BG, BG2 and NWN) as well as KOTOR, Mass Effect, etc.  They are a big name these days and I could easily see them selling 500k to a million in the first 6 months. 
3572  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [Movies] Push on: February 08, 2009, 02:42:58 AM
I have a feeling this will be another movie that I'm in the minority on (see Wanted thread), but I really enjoyed it.  OK yes I am in love with Chris Evans, but that's beside the point.  Errr back to the movie, also a big Dakota Fanning fan.  So now I've got Chris and Dakota on the run with psychic powers, what more could I ask for!  And a guest appearance from Ming Na!!  It's just too much!!!!  There's also a pretty hot chick in there for you straight guys (Camina Belle).  She reminds me of a grown up Winnie from Wonder Years.

I would compare the overall film as a grittier, more earthbound version of Heroes/X-Men.  Psychic powers such as telepathy, reading the future, reading an object, psychic screaming, memory wiping, and of course, the "Push" - implanting thoughts/mind control, are all represented, but unlike Heroes everyone sticks to one power, and aside from the telekinesis being a bit overpowered, the abilities are much more under control and don't overwhelm the story. 

A lot of little plot twists and turns (some make sense, others don't) that keep you guessing (including a nice Memento-esque bit using Chinese "red packets" for those familiar) mixed with a distinctively Asian background and style (all filmed in Hong Kong with quite a few Asian actors and actresses as well as extras for fodder).  Chris Evans does a good job trying to keep up with Dakota, who is really becoming more and more interesting as an actress as she hits her teens.  Not too much difficult for her to do here, but I love what she can convey without dialog, just that little bit extra than your typical actor/actress.

My only complaint would be that Chris doesn't get the big payoff power scene (actually one of the bad guys does, really), and the movie seems more like a set up or just part 1 of a two-part movie than it does a stand-alone entity.  Here's hoping for a strong sequel to tie up the loose ends.
3573  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movies] Wanted impressions on: February 08, 2009, 02:29:47 AM

Quote from: rittchard on June 30, 2008, 08:55:10 PM

I loved it from start to finish.  I kind of get the reference to 300 (which I also loved), but this is still a very different genre of film.  Tons of great action sequences and visual effects and "over the top of the top" kind of fun.

What I think is understated about the movie is just how good a cast they assembled.  The material is only so good, but with a lesser cast it would be harder to swallow.  I am a total James McAvoy fanboy now, and while most reviews seem to ignore/dismiss his performance here, I think he is what carries the movie and makes it believable from a character standpoint.  He plays the nobody nerd to perfection, conveys fear and pain from being tortured perfectly, and shifts to the sexy hero effortlessly.  And man, those beautiful blue eyes... oh yeah  nod   Angelina Jolie is good, too, giving an almost understated performance yet standing out in all of her scenes.  I read she deliberately removed a lot of her dialog while filming, and it works - she conveys so much with just a single look.

Ah ha!  So at least I am consistent.  I watched it again on Blu-Ray the other night and still loved it.  Wasn't thrilled with the ending, but still enjoyed it all in all.  Kind of surprised to see all the hate for the movie continue.  I guess I can see that if you don't get into James McAvoy and the direction style, you may just never get into this movie and find yourself picking apart the rather threadbare plot.  As for me, I probably could have watched a whole movie based around the office cubicle and the horrible job.  For some reason that first 10 minutes really sucked me in.
3574  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: February 06, 2009, 07:34:52 PM

Quote from: TiLT on February 06, 2009, 03:18:16 PM

Quote from: Moliere on February 06, 2009, 02:24:07 PM

Lost has proven that no one is dead unless you see them decapitated and then you personally burn the corpse. Even then they might find a way to bring the person back to life.

How so? Those who have died so far have stayed dead. There's potential that Locke may return to life somehow, but I'm not so sure. Nobody actually believed Jin was dead, particularly since we didn't actually see him die in the first place.

And Hurley seeing ghosts doesn't count.

I think because of all the ghosts and flashbacks and time travel and a couple of returns from the dead (Locke, Keemee, that eyepatch dude), there's the illusion/feeling that people don't stay dead, but in general I'd agree Lost has been pretty consistent with dead people being dead.  And there's quite a few, major and minor characters:

First season brother and sister pair - both dead
agent chasing Kate - dead
Greg Grunberg - dead
Nikki and Paulo - dead
Charlie - dead
Ana Lucia - dead
Libby - dead
Eko -dead
Goodwin - dead
Ethan - dead
Arnst - very very dead
Keemee - dead (I think)
Eyepatch - dead (not confirmed, maybe he healed in the ocean)
Hot Others chicks that beat up Charlie - all dead
3575  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age is looking good! on: February 06, 2009, 07:08:04 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 06, 2009, 01:54:15 PM

I seriously doubt EA is losing *that* many sales from people who would have bought both versions. 

Probably not, but like CK I'm likely to only buy the PC version (cheaper) version now.  So even if it were a small % of people, say 50,000 x $60 (Xbox version) that's still a cool $3M.  Maybe it's nothing for EA, I dunno.
3576  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age is looking good! on: February 06, 2009, 01:08:09 AM

Quote from: Sarkus on February 06, 2009, 12:39:10 AM

Meanwhile there are a million good business reasons to delay the PC title of something you now consider to be a multi-platform potential franchise.  Shared marketing being an obvious example.  And as bad as EA's situation is right now, they are hardly about to collapse and so desperate that they must push things out the door as soon as they can.  We aren't talking about Interplay in their last years quite yet. 

Yes, but aren't there also a few million reasons to release the PC version first?  As in the developers keeping their good faith word to support PC gamers, but more importantly, getting a good portion of losers like me to buy BOTH versions lol.  Why not pick up like 500,000 PC sales NOW, and maybe get another 20-30% of die hards to buy another copy of it later by calling it Console Uber Edition or adding some trivial content or whatnot...

Anyway, in my sorrow over no DA:O I went and picked up NWN: Diamond.  I never played any of the expansions which seem to have got great reviews.  I'm going to try playing one of them on my netbook smile
3577  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: February 05, 2009, 02:37:33 AM
Hmm Blackjack, your latest info is creating doubts for me.  I hope there is more interesting info when full reviews come out on the 1000HE regarding the new GN40 chipset and its supposed "HD capable" graphics.  I didn't expect much difference from the processor or bus speed improvement -the GN40 is the big thing.  I don't expect it to be comparable to Ion but it would be nice if it were close or at least closer to X4500.  Of course given the battery life improvement, even X3100 graphics capability would be a nice step.

I know I will upgrade my netbook at some point, the question is if the 1000HE is significant enough or if I should hold off for Ion. 
3578  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: February 04, 2009, 01:31:36 AM

Quote from: ravenvii on February 03, 2009, 03:11:05 AM

Actually, speaking of the MacBook Air, I'm contemplating buying one. It's $999 for a last-generation refurbished one at Apple.com, which is a borderline decent price, considering that it's specs is still much better than the even the latest netbooks out there.

It's really a tough call due to the pricing, though $999 is getting within reason.  I was going to do a full write-up comparison between the netbook and the MBA, I may still get around to it.  Things like the screen, the full size, backlit keyboard, the wonderfully responsive touchpad, lightweight but sturdy construction, and the overall performance still put the MBA in a class by itself.  However the Netbook's got it beat in pricing, upgrade-ability, more ports (especially the SD drive!), cuter/smaller form factor and battery life. 
3579  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age is looking good! on: February 04, 2009, 01:17:50 AM
This makes me very sad, and of course had to happen just when I was getting interested!
3580  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heroes Season 3 (spoilers for our less fortunate European friends) on: February 03, 2009, 09:32:53 PM
Apparently Peter needs HUGS.... badly.   mad

While I liked the general tone and the direction a bit more than some of last half's horribleness, overall this looks to be MOTS crappy, unreasonable writing and consequent awkward acting and performances.  I would have much preferred they take a step back and explore the characters for a couple of episodes as they tried to re-integrate into "real" life again.  Instead we have yet another round of mostly forced action and poor/haphazard/random decisions (both writing and characters). 

Not sure if the Fugitive theme is going to work, and for a whole half season?  Guess we'll see...
3581  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age is looking good! on: February 03, 2009, 12:56:27 AM
For some reason I've suddenly become totally obsessed with this game starting some time around last weekend.  I don't remember what triggered it, but now I just can't wait.  Unfortunately it looks like there isn't even a confirmed release date yet.  Maybe March?
3582  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Land of the Lost on: February 03, 2009, 12:50:03 AM

Quote from: walTer on February 02, 2009, 08:19:14 PM

Sleestack ftw!

I actually watched this EVERY Saturday.  I'm in.

Me too  icon_razz

I'm still not sure about Will Farrell as the lead, but who knows.  It might be hard to take the sleestacks and Chaka too seriously now that I'm 40.
3583  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: February 03, 2009, 12:44:34 AM

Quote from: Canuck on January 30, 2009, 11:11:04 PM

I'd be happy to have a 12 inch netbook as long as the price as right.  My current netbook isn't really an ultraportable anyways, more like an ultralying-in-bed-on-a-Sunday-morning-browsing-the-forums netbook.

This is what makes the Macbook Air so compelling.  It's essentially a full featured, close to full size laptop with the weight of an ultraportable.  Sadly the price is completely in the wrong zone.

In other wasteful news, I pre-ordered the new EEE 1000HE (yes I just bought the 901, shhhh!). 

http://i.gizmodo.com/5144486/asus-eee-pc-1000he-and-its-95-hour-battery-life-available-for-375-preorder

I don't actually know if I'm going to keep the pre-order, I just didn't want to regret it later, plus there's the $25 off right now.  It's so odd how little information there is about the new chipset (GN40) which is one of my primary interests.  But also 9.5 hours of battery time sounds insane (even though I don't believe it), and I am very curious about the new keyboard.   
3584  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Archon for iPhone!!! on: January 30, 2009, 07:02:37 PM
Nice sex toy, what exactly do you do with that blue thing?   ninja2

FWIW looks like the guys working on the iPhone version (and now own the license) also have a PC (or other) version in the works.  Seems kind of early in development though.

http://www.archonclassic.com/
3585  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Thinking of giving up my desktop for a laptop....need opinions on: January 29, 2009, 09:47:59 PM

Quote from: Xmann on January 28, 2009, 02:06:47 AM

i've also been looking at the Acer Aspire thread and see where a newer model is coming shortly.   i really don't need a laptop until May or June....should i maybe hold out and see what the newer models bring?

and ya, an external cd rom would be a necessity. 

but hell, if i have to add an external drive...should i maybe just go with a laptop already with a drive?

For what you originally stated, I do think you'd be better off with just a conventional laptop.  Not that I don't like the netbook, but it really serves more of a niche, where it sounded like you wanted something with a bit broader range of use (and it would be your only/primary computer).  If cost is a primary issue, you can still do pretty well under $500:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9173217&type=product&id=1218044029374

You get a better/faster processor, more RAM, more hard drive space, a DVDRW drive, bigger screen with higher resolution (1280x800) and larger keyboard, better graphics capability, etc etc. for the price of $100 more and a larger form factor and weight.

Netbooks are fun and cool and cute, don't get me wrong, but I wouldn't want one if it were the only computer I had access to.  You might want to ask your wife too what she would prefer.  If size/weight/portability are not the absolute top concern, my guess is generally people prefer a larger screen, keyboard, etc. 
3586  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Anyone else playing Sacred 2? on: January 29, 2009, 09:31:28 PM
Thanks for the recommendation.  I did start at Silver and so far am having a blast.  I died a couple times early on, but have put points into +hp and have started wielding a shield and better armor for better survivability.  The game looks incredibly deep in terms of character development/builds and thus for replayability.  Some interface quirks I don't like (particularly with comparing your present gear with new things.  BTW how the heck do I see my current weapon stats?!) and I was confused at first with the right click arts (looks like you have to level up to get access to more of them?), but I'm slowly getting more into the details of the interface.  Feels like a nice game you can really sink your teeth into over the long haul. 
3587  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Archon for iPhone!!! on: January 29, 2009, 07:33:23 PM
Not sure where to post this, but I was so excited to read this:

http://toucharcade.com/2009/01/27/classic-game-of-archon-coming-to-iphone/

I used to love that game so much even though I kind of sucked at the action part.  I was actually always hoping for an updated PC or console version, but getting it on the iPhone is great too  thumbsup
3588  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: January 28, 2009, 09:35:30 PM
Regarding Ion, if it indeed integrates the 9400m chipset, I can say based on the MBA's improvement this is a huge leap in graphics technology.  Video runs tremendously better all around, and at higher resolutions, and gaming is just a step below being able to handle all modern games.  They claimed (and this was more or less confirmed in benchmarks and gaming performance) a 4x improvement over the Intel GMA X3100 graphics, which is already a generation above the GMA 950 that's coming standard in netbooks.  So for about $50 more (conjectured) your netbook might be outputting a movie in full 1080p HD, possibly handling Crysis, and definitely handling Warhammer Online.  I thought I read somewhere (rumors?) that Intel had something to do with the slow entry of Ion, possibly developing their own GPU chipset solution.

I realize this capability isn't necessarily a big deal for the general netbook buyer, but having the capability isn't going to hurt anyone, and it may just be one game or app that changes the landscape for what's desired in a netbook.
3589  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Anyone else playing Sacred 2? on: January 28, 2009, 06:38:11 PM
Gonna finally start playing this (hopefully tonight) after a few hours of installing last night.  Any starter recommendations?  Is it still recommended to choose the Silver difficulty level even for beginners?
3590  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Netbook Gaming 2009 on: January 28, 2009, 06:32:54 PM
Just tried this last night:

Wizard101 - it's a family-oriented MMORPG-lite type of game, described as a hybrid between Harry Potter universe with Magic: The Gathering in that you roleplay a young wizard in school, and combat is played out using card decks.  There are also a variety of mini-games (I tried a Bejeweled variant and a concentration one).  Base game is all free, with option add-on or subscription modes as well.  The graphics look amazing on the netbook, even on all lowest settings.  There's a bit of lag in crowded zones, but other than that it felt like a really excellent match for the netbook.  Almost every command has a keyboard equivalent so it's very playable without an added mouse.  Downsides: it's online only, and thus far the cards and strategy seem to lack the depth of games like MTG and Astral Masters (speaking of which I need to check that one out again).
3591  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 24: Season 7 (spoiler tags are certain!) on: January 27, 2009, 06:26:42 PM
Just playing devil's advocate here...  I realize this is only a TV show so it's easier to make judgments, etc when characters are making tough choices.  But I am curious to hear if people really are saying the govt should back down/give in any time a terrorist makes a legitimate threat?  Isn't the whole point of not negotiating with terrorists an important method of not allowing them to control/manipulate things?  In fact, as 24 fans, isn't that one of the fundamental Jack Bauer rules - never negotiate with the terrorists?  Why is it different in this scenario?  Would you feel differently if All-State guy made the call? 


Anyway, I'm still enjoying this season quite a bit more than last, here's hoping they keep up the pace!
3592  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Thinking of giving up my desktop for a laptop....need opinions on: January 27, 2009, 01:38:45 AM
Just noticed this new one from MSI being released soon (I think):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001P5GKD0/ref=noref?ie=UTF8&s=pc

or with Blu-ray and better screen:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001P5GKCQ/ref=noref?ie=UTF8&s=pc

Looks like a winner, similar specs and price as the Gateway but in a smaller size/footprint.   If this had been out back when I was looking, I would have picked this one for sure.
3593  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Thinking of giving up my desktop for a laptop....need opinions on: January 26, 2009, 07:02:27 PM
Hey X,

There are tons of things to consider with a laptop, from size/weight to price/performance... if you list out the features most important to you, it might be easier to make a recommendation.

Presently I believe the "best buy" (no pun intended) for a full gaming laptop (one capable of handling even the newest of games) is available at.... Best Buy:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9172511&st=gateway+fx&lp=1&type=product&cp=1&id=1218043606827

I checked this unit out at the store - my only complaint being it seemed rather heavy and clunky if travel was a concern.  Since it sounds like you are looking at more of a desktop replacement for multiple weeks at a time, this might be fine for you.  I did a ton of research a few months ago and found nothing with as good a bang for the buck, I mean price/spec ratio there was almost nothing even close - I would have bought it but the size/weight was just a bit too much for me.

If you are thinking really small (and cheap!) you might want to check out the netbook/ultra portable thread, there are a ton of great units out now for less than $500 (some even <$400), most of which can play games approx. up to WoW but not beyond that.  And of course in the in-between space there are tons and tons of other options.  Actually, if you want a really excellent, solid notebook design, you might want to consider a Macbook.  The latest low end model is at $999 and because of the new 9400m chipset, will be able to game almost to the top tier games like Warhammer Online (you have to set up a dual boot to Windows for this).

http://www.apple.com/macbook/white/
3594  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Netbook Gaming 2009 on: January 26, 2009, 06:33:08 PM
Just to get the ball rolling, I now have 2 old school games running well that look like keepers.

Might and Magic 7 - one of my old all time favorites.  Took some manipulation (software graphics and disabled Direct Sound) to get it going, and I had to make a Clone image thing to allow it to play with no CD, but it was worth it... kind of.  I had a blast with party creation and deciding where to put skills and points in, but once I entered the game I explored a bit and was promptly dismantled by a couple of dragonflies lol.  Looks like I've got some re-learning to do with the interface, I couldn't even figure out how to engage in combat.  The graphics are pretty ugly but decent enough on the small screen, and I like that the game is fairly playable without much mouse interaction.

Magic the Gathering (PC game) - another of my old classic favorites.  Similarly, it took a while to get it up and running again.  I had problems with installing the Spells of the Ancient expansion, it made it all the way through before giving me some bizarre error, which was enough to make the game not start.  I opted to go with a tedious Manalink patch procedure instead, which finally got me running the original core game.  Also had to tweak a couple of "compatibility mode" settings to get it all going.  I only played a few minutes on the overland game, but it seems to work fine in keyboard or mouse control.  Graphics again are fairly unsightly but what can ya do!  The main card interface looks decent in 1024x768 pan and scan and I still love the gameplay and AI of the main card battles.  Only complaint is it's a bit difficult to click on the cards at times using the touchpad.  Otherwise a very nice fit for the Netbook.
3595  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Netbook Gaming 2009 on: January 26, 2009, 06:25:00 PM
Not sure if there was a thread like this before, but with the Netbook phenomenon growing, I thought it might be a good time for a new discussion.

I'm not just interested in what is playable or not (though that is always of interest), but what you are playing, which games "fit" the current netbooks best, and why, etc.
3596  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: January 23, 2009, 12:53:06 AM
Got my EEE 901 last night, but haven't had much time to get acquainted.  Mostly I was just removing extraneous applications, etc.

First impressions were definitely a mixed bag.  The keyboard was slightly better than what I recall seeing at BB, but still a bit too small and definitely lacking compared to the ones I played with in 10" models.  I'm also having some issues with the touchpad doing wonky things some times (probably just need to adjust some settings), not sure if it's just due to the size.  I love the form factor in general, it's so petite but the screen is still very serviceable and attractive.  I'm not sure if I'd be better off with a 10" model...  this one already felt heavier than I'd imagined once the battery was installed, kind of chunky all in all, so I'm not sure if I'd be pleased with an even heavier one.  Boot up time was pretty nice, and the wireless N connection was easy and seemed pretty fast.  Removing programs, however, felt excruciatingly slow, possibly due to the SSD?

Eventually I'll probably write a comparison between this and the MBA, even though it may not be fair to compare something that costed close to 6 times more!  Still they compete for me in the same space as the "take it everywhere" unit and weigh about the same amount, so it's hard to not internally make comparisons.  The fun (hopefully) part with the EEE will be once I start getting some old school games going.  May start with some Might and Magic or Wizardry, maybe MOO... we'll see smile
3597  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! on: January 22, 2009, 06:43:48 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on January 22, 2009, 05:51:19 PM

I've heard you either love it or hate it, and as I am looking for great TV series to add to my DVD collection I am curious, but cautiously apprehensive.  And the idea of time travel or "time shifting" makes me even a bit more skeptical.

I think it's true that you either love it or hate it.  Or that you might grow to either love it or hate it as you watch the show.  Every season has been different enough that it's plausible you may be upset or happy depending on how much you liked the previous season(s).  I would highly recommend watching Season 1 and just see if you like the main characters.  If like some fans you just get into the characters, and feel like you are willing to go along with the ride anywhere they take you (that's me!), you can try the next seasons.  Most people felt the show lost its way a bit in Season 3 but recovered well in Season 4.  Personally having watched every season of the series "live" first and then on DVD again, I'd say every season has its unique charm and a few top notch eps with a few throw away ones in between.

As for the premiere last night, all I can say is.... whoa.  I get the feeling they are going to alienate some fans because they are going full bore with the sci-fi/fantasy elements.  I love that they aren't compromising, for better or worse.  I'm still processing the episodes, so much was going on and only some parts of it made sense to me.

Spoiler for Hiden:
So is the island moving in time, or just the people, or only select people?  Seems like it's the island since it vanished from sight, and yet from the people left on the island's perspective, it seems like it's just a certain collective.  Richard and the Others didn't seem to move with Locke.  Juliet, Daniel, etc rule out the possibility it was only Filght 815 survivors.

I love the concept of Desmond's "unique" ability to bridge time - though it does clash with the "rule" that you can't change the past.

Funny how the number of survivors, I mean fodder, seems to ebb and flow.  I was under the impression almost everyone save the core cast was dead after the Keemee massacre last season.  Then last night there were yet again a bunch of redshirts getting fried by the night arrows lol.

I did enjoy the Survivor-esque inability to start a fire smile

Hooray for Ana Lucia cameo!

Hurley's T-shirt was priceless!

Really enjoyed the last minute with Finola whatever her name is, she has a great presence.  It's almost like Judi Dench dropped in for a cameo.
3598  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: January 21, 2009, 07:00:09 PM
Oh yeah, thanks for the recommendations on drives.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping it will be able to use either my MBA's external drive, or perhaps a much older one I still have lying around.
3599  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Ultra-portable discussion thread on: January 21, 2009, 06:58:45 PM

Quote from: Canuck on January 21, 2009, 08:42:46 AM

Can't you play games on your Macbook Air?  The netbooks work great for old-school games so long as the resolution doesn't go above 800x600 because of the netbooks' resolution.  There are plenty (and I mean ridiculous amounts) of games that would be perfectly playable even as recent as 2003 or 04 but can't be played because the lowest available resolution is x768.  Hopefully that will change soon.

Oh yeah the new MBA can pretty much handle even the newest of games now with the chipset change, which is why I really don't "need" a netbook.  The limitations on the MBA, though, are expansion (limited disk space) and battery power is not what I'd like.  So even with the decent Win XP partition I gave it, I pretty much used it up on just a few games (Warhammer Online, Sacred 2 and the new King's Bounty).  I'm thinking on the netbook, I could plausibly install/prep a lot of much older games, and put them onto SD - hopefully not needing to keep it plugged in as well with the 6 cell battery so it would be more like a giant PSP/DS  icon_wink  If disk protection is needed, I have CloneCD which I think will work.  Drive space is no longer an issue when SD cards are so cheap, which is certainly an advantage the netbook has.  Oh yeah, one weird thing I read in only a single review was that there was a hardware button that could change the resolution to 1024x768 - this was never advertised anywhere else so I'm not sure what the guy was thinking or why he'd say that.  Or maybe I misunderstood.

Edit: I checked again and more than one site has listed that the 901 has two 1024x768 modes, a pan and scan, and a compressed one.  Not sure what this means in terms of software support, i.e. if it just uses that same software trick that was mentioned earlier.

Quote from: Blackjack on January 21, 2009, 05:40:18 PM

I stopped by the Best Buy near my office today. They've rearranged the laptop section a lot, and now are showcasing a few netbooks. I finally saw an MSI Wind. It seemed smaller than I expected (they don't have an 8.9" Wind to they?). AA1 was there. I'm sure they have an EeePC somewhere but I couldn't find one. Regular laptops are getting so small now, you have to look closely at prices sometimes just to figure out if something's a netbook or not.

I did that last night too.  Some kind of bad news for myself though, I really did not like the keyboard on the smaller EEE they had displayed, it felt tiny and kind of cheaply made.  I'm really hoping it was an older model but I think it may just be the same keyboard I'm getting.  I loved the keyboard on the 10" version.  Amazon's description for both says it's a 95% size keyboard but now I'm thinking they just copied some generic description.  Anyway, BB had one version of the AA1 (not one of the common ones) too, whose keyboard I also liked.  Oddly all the units I picked up felt heavier than I thought they would, and none of them had the battery installed I think.  I'm a bit torn now because the 10" screens definitely seemed much more attractive.  My BB actually did a decent job of keeping all the netbooks together in one section.
3600  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Classic Wizardry-style CRPGs? on: January 21, 2009, 06:41:19 PM

Quote from: EddieA on January 21, 2009, 08:09:38 AM

Atlus has two games coming out soon that are based on old-style PC RPGs.  The Dark Spire for the DS is similar to the old Bard's Tale-style games, while Class of Heroes for the PSP bears a strong resemblance to the Wizardry games.

Thanks for the recommendations, both look interesting.  Dark Spire seems extremely Wizardry like but I'm not sure I like the art style.  Class of Heroes definitely looks like fun, but maybe a bit too cutesy for my taste, I'm not sure.  I'll likely end up checking them both out.
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