So much like the other million and a half blogs out there covering the Apple marketing machine I will let you know my thoughts on the iPad. Along with all the other confused and probably amused people out there I just have to ask why the name reminds us so much of an apple branded feminine hygiene product (even my sister agrees)? Seriously, the product is forever going to give this impression:

Moving on, the tech specs of the machine is rather hard to judge since it is using all new processing architecture; ie I don’t know how powerful it is. I believe that apple is trying to target users who want a netbook into buying one of these. That and their screaming rabid fanboys and girls who will brave apocalyptic conditions to line up for one. But really where does the iPad technically compete? If it is basically running the iPhone OS then it is just a really big iPod touch with more processing power! Will you pay $USD499 for an enlarged iPod touch?

The screen runs at 1024×768 which is a little disappointing for a 10 inch screen but I suppose any higher resolution would make it hard to type anything- or cut too deep into apple’s profit margins. There are no usb ports, I repeat NO usb ports on the tablet. If you need usb ports then you will need the iPad dock which is an additional accessory and in turn additional moolah you need to shell out. But really why would you need usb ports anyways when you can only transfer apple authorized files from the apple store or from itunes?

So not only is apple trying to sell an enlarged ipod touch for $499 under the guise of a netbook, but they are conflicting the utility of the netbook by restricting the material you are allowed to install into it. Nothing new there I suppose (see ipod/iphone). When you are shelling out your hard earned dough you should also note that multitasking is for suckers, since this $500 brick doesn’t do it. You are going to be just as special as all those other idiots you are lining up with when waiting to buy one.

My theory is that when people buy apple merchandise they are purchasing a lifestyle as opposed to a product. They are purchasing something which will enhance their image in some way shape or form towards their ideal self. I find that a bit sad since they rather spend money on changing something that cannot be bought. The reality of apple products is that nothing they make is new or is practically better than anything else on the market. Everything they make has been done elsewhere for cheaper and in my opinion if you buy an apple product then you are just another sucker with too much money on their hands.

What I would like to see is how we can implement this device in other fields. If we can unlock the hardware and open development up then I believe this device shows promise. Instead of focusing development on useless lightsaber apps imagine what you can do if you made the product more durable, stripped it of software/hardware locks and gave it to say doctors or field engineers. Too bad though, since that will destroy the “cool” hipster image that defines apple nowadays and it won’t happen.

So, now what?

January 27, 2010

Car audio has been installed and I couldn’t be happier! Took me long enough to get around to it and it’s good just to get it over and done with. Now I can sit in my car and crank that music up until I go deaf… more or less. The place I took it to was pretty far but they had awesome service and the installation was great; so you do get what you pay for.

Managed to score myself a brand new copy of Darksiders for $50 which I am pretty happy with. It is a mix between DMC and Zelda so really it is just a competitor to God of War. Never played GoW but I am liking Darksiders since it reminds me so much of Zelda! Equipment, chests, “heart pieces” mixed with a bit of combo fun, everything that is in Zelda, Darksiders has, even a trusty steed and an ultimate form! Still trying to finish off Lost Odyssey though, I just need a short break before I get back into it!

Moving out is temporarily put on hold until I can sort out a few issues regarding work, but I will get back to it soon enough!

Interesting

January 20, 2010

I have recently had a chance to “test drive” my friend’s apartment for 6 months to try moving out away from home.  Have to say that I have been thinking about moving out for a long time and at long last I have an opportunity in front of me. My parents are fairly doubtful with regards to my personal and financial wellbeing in doing so but I believe it wouldn’t be too hard to prove them wrong.

Also getting my car audio stuff sorted tomorrow, quite excited to get it all done since it will be a professional install, not a backyard job like with my soarer. This means I will be without a car for 3 days, but at least I will be driving very happily when I get it back!

Haven’t been gaming much in the past few days, but I did win Darksiders off ebay so I need to pick it up on Saturday, which is coincidentally when I get the car back.

Poetry make-up Monday

January 18, 2010

Listening to some older Maaya Sakamoto stuff, especially loving her 30 minute night flight album. Her voice and lyrics are so gorgeous! This is inspired by her song “bokutachi ga koi o suru riyuu” – the reason we are in love. The song doesn’t actually have a lot of description but tells of the reason through actions and events. Even though there are no imagery the actions are much more interesting…

my reason

your eyes seem to light up so much more
than these stars we are gazing upon,
you point to constellations like an artist
displaying her own masterpiece.
i don’t know why we chose this place
but nonetheless i am grateful it exists;
if only to share this instant with you.

your eyes may be in the heavens,
but mine were always on you,
fixed; my absolute point of reference-

you flitter about just like these snowflakes
dancing in the park.
you leave angels in the snow but i
know that they are only moulds of the original.
soon the impressions will disappear
but the one you left in my mind will only fill
with longing.

my mind may wander away from you,
but unlike the snow
my love will never thaw-

intangible and indescribable;
if i could hold this feeling in my arms
i would never let it go.
but i thank you most of all, if only because
you are the one who is holding on so tight.

Weather in the red

January 13, 2010

It has been crazy hot and humid the past few days, especially when contrasted with the prior cool weather before; from a nice 20-25 degrees up to a tropical 30+. I hate this changing weather since you can’t ever adapt to it and it also messes with my cold/hot resistance. I usually acclimatise fairly well after a few days but it is wreaking absolute havoc on me since my body is prepared for warm temperatures and then it gets shoved into the oven. At least it has cooled down a bit back to 20-25 degrees for which I am grateful.

Currently I am thinking about moving out for a bit just to test the waters so to speak. I would be moving in with a friend who owns his own place so hopefully I get mates rates with the rent! Since this is a temporary thing I won’t want to put too much money into it either since I am not able to afford too much. It would be nice to live alone and do my own thing, as well as be able to prove that I can be independent to my parents. Moving out with a friend would make the place quite a bachelor pad since it will just be the two of us living there.

In gaming news, I am finishing off Lost Odyssey and my impressions of it at the 4th and final disc is very favourable. The story really moves along in the 3rd disc and much is revealed, the storytelling flashbacks are becoming more scarce which is a shame since I really enjoy reading them. The gameplay is quite rewarding though, since the difficulty seems to be just right- the game is not hard for the sake of being hard, but it is very challenging sometimes and I faced a few game overs before beating certain bosses. Not to blow my own horn but it has been a while since I have game overed so often in any JRPG.

Once I finish Lost Odyssey I do intend to buy either Bayonetta or Darksiders, or I could put off the purchase and finish off some post-game content in Lost Odyssey or Star Ocean. I think the latter is probably better for my wallet anyways.

Year of the gamer

January 11, 2010

2010 is turning out to be an epic year in terms of gaming, with half a dozen top titles hitting shelves in just the first quarter. Bayonetta, Darksiders, FF13, Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, Super Street Fighter 4 amongst the x360 titles. This is all very exciting news but my problem is that my budget doesn’t allow me to buy all of them which is a bit of a downer. At the moment I am still playing Lost Odyssey and that needs another 30 or so hours before it is finished so it will definitely take a while but I am aching to play the massively hyped Bayonetta and want to dip my fingers into Darksiders which is a more well rounded mash-up of DMC and Zelda with a more congruent storyline than Bayonetta.

Later in the year there will be Supreme Commander 2 which is going to involve many hours at lan as well as CnC4 which looks interesting. I have been following CnC loosely since the very first game so it is something that I have grown up with and it would be nice to see the series conclusion after a long 15 years or so. Prince of Persia has a new game out as well which brings more of the same, so I think I will pass on that since the first 3 made by Ubisoft more or less sated my appetite for that type of game to the point where AC felt routine.

I haven’t even finished Forza3 yet which is at least another few dozen hours and I am still squeezing a few hours into SF4 every now and then just so that my skills stay competitive. So many good games coming out can sometimes be a curse.

Return to routine

January 8, 2010

Back to work I go. So far so good, I have been taking it fairly easy but there are a few changes coming on which I am somewhat looking forward to that will help me out.

In other news, I bought Lost Odyssey for x360 on Sunday and it is surprisingly good, however the graphics are showing their age somewhat, based on the U3 engine without much AA the character models are lacking compared to say PC graphics. With limited hardware I think that art direction should be the way to go since there is only so much one can do in optimization. Same goes with “Star Ocean: the last hope” which I recently finished, the graphics are fine, but I would prefer smoother and softer graphics and less sharp, detailed character models. The story of Lost Odyssey is great so far, even though I’ve only sunk in 20 hours or so, but what really stands out are the protagonist’s memories which are revealed as the game goes on. These memories are snapshots of Kaim’s 1000 year existence and shows the types of people that he has met in the past and what type of person he is.

Next game on my list is either Dragon age or Bayonetta, but there is a long way to go with Lost Odyssey, not to mention that I haven’t finished Forza3 yet.

Back to gaming I go!

So, it’s 2010 already

January 4, 2010

I am not a pessimist, but even though the new year holds a lot of hopes and aspirations for everybody for me it holds more of the same. I don’t know whether or not to feel sad about that really. It all feels like an accumulation of knowledge and experiences and I suppose I am celebrating the new year as such. For me it isn’t about starting afresh or looking forward to the things ahead, but rather a retrospection on what I have achieved and how I will use that in the future; in other words a way to plan the year ahead. I have always been one to take whatever comes and I feel that continuing on this path is what I need to do for now.

If there is anything that I want to achieve in 2010 it would be the following:

1. Change departments at work + payrise
2. Learn more Japanese
3. Pick up something new

It really isn’t a big list and is, as I believe, quite achievable as long as I put my heart into it. So here is to the new year and best wishes to everybody.