It’s not perfect but don’t buy the haters argument’s – Battlefront

In light of the recent Battlefront 2 trailer release I decided it would be good to re-hash Battlefront(2015). The TL;DR is that people are blinded by their nostalgia from Battlefront 2 in particular. I replayed Battlefront 2 on stream leading up to the release of this game. Battlefront 2 had no story to speak of. The entire campaign is a set of cut scenes amounting to essentially “Remember that battle they didn’t show in the movie? We were there!” followed by playing a bot match with the occasional objective. There was no story to speak of in Battlefront 2. The following is a review I wrote on Amazon’s feedback page in support of the game. I probably should have posted it here initially but I thought it would be most effective on Amazon. Here it is, unedited.

Battlefront Logo

Posted: December 9, 2015

Don’t buy the anti-game hype from most of the other reviews. Many people are mad because the game didn’t meet their unrealistic expectations due to all the hype. Also make sure you are comparing launch numbers to launch numbers when comparing this with other games.

Continue reading “It’s not perfect but don’t buy the haters argument’s – Battlefront”

The Gaming Appendix Episode 3 – Ratchet & Clank HD Collection and Crusader Kings 2

The Gaming Appendix has released Episode 3. This time around we re-visit the Call of Duty Black Ops 2 single player campaign. We talk about the gorgeous textures available in the Ratchet & Clank HD Collection. Finally Crusader Kings 2 goes real time and seems to be an epic play. Watch the video or go to The Gaming Appendix website for the audio version and RSS feed.

Why Windows 8 Is Bad

Windows 8 LogoI’m about to bring the Windows H8.

So this weekend I was back at my parents place for a few days and my brother wanted to game together. I was running Ubuntu on my laptop so I was kind of limited for options. I happen to have a couple of Windows 8 keys handy and had a usb stick with me so I figured it would be a good time to both throw down something I could game on and show my family exactly why they shouldn’t go to Windows 8.  Boy did Windows 8 come through for me on the latter.

So first are several bugs and UI decisions that I’ve noted else where in the past.

Continue reading “Why Windows 8 Is Bad”

Backup!

THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!

Back up your data!

If it’s your PC back it up to an external drive. If you can move that drive off site all the better. Give it to a relative or put it in a safe deposit box. In this day and age of “cloud” there are also numerous internet backup solutions you could use as well.

Backups aren’t just limited to your PC. Your phone, tablet and your video game consoles need to be backed up too.

If your phone has a microSD card slot go pick up an extra card just for keeping a backup. There is no doubt an app for your phone/tablet platform of choice to save a backup to that card. Do the same as before and store it some place safe preferably away from where the data is normally used.

Last but not least and some might be surprised to hear this your video game console can be backed up too. If you have a PS3 go find a USB hard drive that is equal to or larger than the drive in your console and under the Settings > System Settings you’ll find a backup utility. Be warned it compresses your data so it takes a while to run. And then go make sure you sync your trophies.

If you have an Xbox you’re consigned to USB drives no larger than, correct me if I’m wrong, 32GB. I also believe this will be changing in the near future(or has all ready?) so you can plug in any drive. Plug in your drive and go to Settings > System > Storage > Transfer Content and select the items you want to backup. Make sure if you didn’t backup save games that they are at least syncing to online storage.

For a home user I would say do this at minimum once a month to ensure you are never out all your data. Thank you for your time and attention!

Mobile HD Video Recording & Streaming Rig

As streaming and live IP broadcasts gain popularity there’s an increasing desire to make a better and better quality broadcast. Unfortunately most of the time that means you have to invest in bigger better more expensive equipment.  You’ll see professional broadcasters like twit.tv and many of the events captured on twitch.tv being recorded and broadcast with large multi-thousand dollar rigs just to get a good quality broadcast. Well, what if you could shoot 720P, stream it, and record at the same time plus a plethora of connectivity options? What if you could do that with equipment less than $1000 and that you might actually all ready own? I’m about to tell you how to do it.

Things you’ll need:

  • A laptop or netbook
  • An Android phone or Sony PSP
  • An HD webcam
  • If you’re using a PSP – PSP diag battery
  • If you’re using a PSP – PSP custom firmware
  • If you’re using an Android device – Android Sideshow software
  • A backpack or laptop bag.

You can use any number of devices to get this working so I’m not going to go in to details. This is the gist, you need storage, view finder and lens. You see where this is going? The laptop functions as storage and communication, the PSP or Android device as the view finder and the webcam as the lens. Microsoft Windows Sideshow allows you to use the sideshow device(psp or android) as a second monitor. Connect the PSP or Android device to the laptop via either wireless or USB. Set Windows on the laptop to sleep the monitor but not the rest of the laptop. Open the monitor application for your camera and then put the monitor video on the sideshow device. Connect your connectivity of choice, wifi, 3g or what ever. Run your streaming management app and connect to your live stream. Now close the laptop and throw it in a backpack or laptop bag. Be sure to leave the bag cracked to ensure heat can escape. Now strap the camera to the back of your PSP or Android device and shoot till your hearts content, your drive gets full or your devices run out of juice.

An additional and interesting thing is that a producer or buddy or whom ever can then use remote management software to manage whats going on on the laptop in the bag if it’s wirelessly connected. In addition if your laptop or netbook can handle it you can also record and stream at the same time. Having processing power closer to the subject matter opens up plenty of interesting possibilities.

If you find this article and idea useful please do share your live stream URL or link to your awesome HD youtube links so we can all check out the outcome!

Guild Wars 2 Beta

Thought I’d share a few thoughts on Guild Wars 2. This is the second such beta weekend I’ve been privy to and it’s been nothing short of spectacular. I’m not the RPG type. I prefer my FPS’s to anything else so the fact that I really enjoy Guild Wars 2 is saying something. It’s got all the trappings of a standard MMO but with all the BS removed. The grind is minimal. The action isn’t hard to find and the loot is plentiful. The icing on the cake is that you buy the game once and enjoy it till a paid expansion comes out. This is the way games were meant to be. Takes notes devs and publishers.

To get a little more in detail this time around the bugs with connectivity seemed to be gone. Our groups would stick together while switching between servers properly this time around. Most of the bugs came in the form of skill points that were bugged. Showing 1 of 2 NPCs to beat but none present. Or some that simply had the NPC make small talk with out triggering the event.

Small bugs aside it’s shaping up nicely and is going to be a wonderful gem of a game for a killer price. If you want to check out some Guild Wars 2. Check out my game play video below.

Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Live Stream

Windows Server 8 Beta

Following up on my little overview of Windows 8 Consumer Preview I decided to hit up Windows Server 8 and see if and how the metro UI translates over to the server. As I’m sure most who have yet to read in to Server 8 fear that we’ll be poking little squares around the screen to try to make things happen. You can relax. While the new improved server management console does take some design queues from the Metro UI but Microsoft didn’t try anything to crazy. While some of the settings have been moved around a bit it’s all still there as expected. I don’t need to bore you with all the feature additions etc. You can peep those here. I’ll give you a taste for the re-worked UI in screen shots.

Server Manager Dashboard

Select Roles

Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Long story short I’m now a slightly disgruntled consumer after my first hour or so with Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Here comes the long story for those that are interested.

First the Metro UI. Does it look nice? Yes. Does it work nice? No. First, Microsoft, why the hell would you think you can pull off one UI for two types of input that couldn’t possibly be more different? Metro is designed for touch interfaces not keyboard and mouse. I could re-hash those issues but they are addressed else where on the Internet.

The second big thing is the backwards compatibility. WHY!? WHY Microsoft won’t you cut the GD cord!? Apple successfully wiped the slate with OS X and survived just fine. Asking your user base to get with the times isn’t a crime. In fact not doing it is holding things back. Now we have another slightly fatter OS and one that despite all it’s speed improvements is using a lot of code that frankly doesn’t need to be there. The result is that the only true pure version of Windows 8 will be the one’s based on ARM that have had all the backwards compatability cruft striped out of it. Turns out that’s the same version that will be able to run on phone and tablet hardware. Imagine an x86 version of Win8 that’s 1/4 the size on disk and even faster than it all ready is!

Finally Microsoft, at least in this preview, has given the massive middle finger to netbooks. One of the machines I tried it on is a netbook with the typical netbook resolution of 1024×600 and every native Windows 8 application threw the error that the screen resolution is not supported. This included of all crazy things Internet Explorer!? As it turns out this must be some thing controlled through the Metro UI because if I went to the Desktop and ran IE from there it worked fine. Even though companies are jumping off the netbook bandwagon like it’s on fire that doesn’t mean there isn’t a massive install base of netbooks so why put out such a large swatch of consumers?

Ultimately the uneven nature of the UI implementation, the cruft due to the insane need to be backwards compatible with 10+ year old software and the poor hardware support do not result in much enthusiasm from this geek. May be when the ARM based touch screen enabled ultrabooks come around Windows 8 might be seen as a winner.

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