Saturday, April 30, 2011

Weekend Programming

I plan on spending this weekend learning to program a little more. As you may remember, I had purchased a book on iPhone program developement. Well that book did not work for me because I didn't know Objective-C prior to buying the book. Lucky for me I was within my 14 day limit and was able to exchange it for a different book. I am currently using Objective-C for Absolute Beginners: iPhone and Mac Programming Made Easy. The approach this book takes is by slowly easing you into Xcode. To do this, the books incorporates the use of a program named Alice. Alice is a drag and drop program that allows the user to program using OOP (Object Oriented Programming). I am a little short of being half way through the book. The great thing about this book, other then slowly easing in the user, is that it has exercises at the end of each chapter. These help to re-enforce what you just learned. So, my weekend will consist around this and other work. Hopefully I will be creating applications soon.


Friday, April 29, 2011

3DS Test Drive

Over the course of last week I was able to check out the newly released 3DS. I, like many others, was skeptical at first as to whether the device would work. After some fiddling around with the menu screen, I booted into Pilot Wings. The man at Gamestop showed me where the 3D switch was and how it changed the dimension of the game. I put it on max so as to have the full effect. As I was playing he said "Did you find 'the sweet spot'?". I wasn't quite sure what he was talking about, so I nodded my head in disagreement. He took a minute to explain to me that because of the layering, there is one spot you have to find where you get the full effect of the 3D. After moving the device backwards and forwards I finally found the spot. It is different for everyone, but when you find it the game really pops. This is not to say the 3D is amazingly crisp, it is not, but it does work in a sense. If you tilt the device left and right while playing, you can see all the different layers. That in itself was very interesting.

The next thing I learned about where the game cards. Each 3DS comes packed with 6 game cards. When you go into the game card program and lay the cards on the table, it will scan the card and create a 3D game right on the table. You can see all this happen in real time, and the game takes into consideration all the other things that are on the table. The 3DS I used didn't have the cards, so I didn't get to test this feature out.

The final thing that I tried was the head shooting game. You unlock more for this game with the more faces you gather. I was able to scan my face into the game and start playing. I do recommend that you NOT use 3D for this game. See, the game is an augmented reality game, so you are forced to move around. This makes you not able to hold the 3DS in "the sweet spot". It makes this game less fun.

Overall with game line up, and the starting price, I would not get a 3DS yet. Yes, I would like one in the future, however it is not worthing paying $250 for the console, plus an extra $60 for the game. There will be good games in the future, such as paper mario and legend of zelda, but right now it is best to wait.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Portal 2

Chell as seen in Portal 2
The sequel to Valve's single player 2007 hit, Portal, is now here. Portal 2 is here and it lives up to the hype around its release. The game takes place 10 years after the original. You still play Chell, the main character, and this time you are challenged with harder more mind boggling levels. The game tends to focus on the backstory of Aperture Science, while revealing some other startling information. I won't go farther then that, as I don't want to spoil anything for you guys.

The game mechanics are the same for the most part. The newest addition to the game would be the new "Gels". Gels give you either enhanced speed or enhanced jumping height. There is one more gel, but I will let that one go as it may be a potential spoiler.

The great thing about the game is that the facility almost seems alive as you play through the game. Walls are moving and being fixed constantly. In addition, junk is being disposed of constantly. One thing I found to be a nice addition was how music seemed to correspond with your actions in the game. The faster Chell moved, the faster the music got, and the more intense it became. As for Co-op, I can't speak about it yet as I haven't gotten to play that part of the game. Hopefully I will be able to play co-op mode. From what I have played though, this game is definitely worth the buy.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wii 2 Rumored

While most of the internet is focused on unlocking Portal 2 early, there has been a rumor spreading around about the next generation Nintendo console. Nintendo's new console is rumored to be announced this year at E3. In addition, the console is rumor to out do all the current generation systems, except for PC of course. Another rumor is it will be backwards compatible with current Wii titles, no word on Gamecube titles though. There are also some wacky rumors, such as the remote will have a screen on it so you can see what you are playing, or that the code name is "Project Cafe" because you can take it to a cafe and play it there. There is also speculations regarding what the system specs will be, one being it will have an IBM PowerPC processor, an ATI R700 graphics card, and 512 MB of RAM. Whether any of this is true is unknown, but it is too long until we find out. Only about a month and a half until E3.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Rumor Confirmed

The Wall Street Journal confirmed yesterday that Apple will be releasing the white version of the iPhone 4 this summer. The phone had been delayed for almost 10 months because of "manufacturing problems". Although this was never specified as to what the problem was, Steve Wozniak state in an interview that his white case mod had an effect on the camera while using flash. If that is the case, then Apple has found a work around. Something else to note is the fact that it is the iPhone 4 getting the white version this summer, not some other iPhone. This would help thwart the rumor that there is a new iPhone being released this summer. Besides the fact that Apple made it quite clear there would be iOS 5 announced later this year, that does not stop people from thinking that a new iPhone will be released. If you are in the market for a new phone, and want a white one, wait a little longer and you will get it. There is no announcement yet on which carriers will be receiving the new white version, but it is assumed both AT&T and Verizon will get it. 


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sata III

For some time now I have been considering upgrading to an SSD (Solid State Drive). If you don't know what a solid state drive is, have a look at my article on solid state drives vs. hard drives. So it would seem real simple to just go out and buy an OCZ Vertex 2 and be done with it. However, there is one thing which is stopping me. SSDs are now moving to 6GB/s SATA, also known as SATA III. The difference between SATA III and SATA II are the speed, SATA III is much faster. The reason I don't buy SATA III drives is because I don't have any SATA III ports on my motherboard. I can't upgrade my motherboard because I am running a hackintosh, and because my Intel chip is an LGA 775 socket. Support for the LGA 775 socket is going away fast because it is old technology. So what do I do? Well, thanks once again to Reddit I have a solution. I asked Reddit if there was a way I could get these SATA III ports that I needed in some sort of expansion slot or something. As I was hoping, there is a way.

I was shown this Highpoint expansion card. This card allows me to have two SATA III ports on my motherboard. Well, not exactly on it, it is an expansion card. My hope is that in the future I will be able to buy an OCZ Vertex 3 SSD along with this expansion card. This would allow me not only to use the Vertex 3, but get close to the maximum speed I can out of it. I might even get another Vertex 3 when Lion comes out since it supports trim. These are just plans for the future, hopefully they will come true. If I had the money for this stuff right now, I would probably get those items.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Forget Wall Chargers

Ever needed to charge your iPod, but you have no more wall space left? Or maybe you don't want to leave it plugged into the computer all night. Well, there is a solution! FastMac TruePower U-Socket is that solution. It not only comes with two three-pronged outlets, but also comes with two USB adapters. This allows you to plug your USB device straight into the wall when charging. This would be a great addition next to a night stand if you charge nightly. The only two flaws I could see with this product are power outages and space. Unlike when charging on a computer, the wall is not protected by a surge protector, meaning this might fry your gadget. However, I would think there is some sort of safe guard built in, either in the gadget or the wall socket. The great thing about this product is it allows you to charge your USB device without having to use a wall charge; thus, saving space for another piece of technology. This nifty little device will run you about $23 and can be self installed. However, unless you're an electrician, I don't recommend installing it on your own. Last thing you want is to be shocked while installing this.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ready to Help Charity

I know a lot of you out there like gaming, and that is good... really good. Purchasing games usually can seem like your throwing your money away, but fret no more because Humble Bundle has returned! That is right sport's fans, you can now help charity and game your heart out at the same time. Now, you could be mean and not pay anything for the bundle, but why would you do that when you can name your own price? Last bundle made almost 2 million dollars, and gave out almost 10 games. And the best part is, they are cross platform. Well, in this one only three are cross platform, but three is better then none! You can join in the fun today at The bundle goes on sale today at 9 AM PST, 1 AM EST. Make sure to give a little.


Monday, April 11, 2011

A Small Lesson About Online and In Stores

After this whole ordeal with choosing where to buy the book, I learned something. Online is always cheaper then in stores. When I went to the store to pick up the book, it was full price, were as online it was half that price. I asked the cashier why the price was at full and not the price stated online. She explained to me that online stores have no overhead. In other words, they don't have anyone they have to pay, unlike stores who have to pay their employees and buy the books. In addition, the store provides a convenience for you by allowing you not to wait for shipping. You can order the item in the store and get it in minutes, unlike online that makes you wait. Online also has shipping cost, which runs the price up a little bit, but not by much. It really boils down to if the customer is willing to wait. If you are not willing to wait, you pay the extra bit of cash and drive to the store. If you can wait, you order online and receive the book when it is delivered. This was the little lesson I learned when I went to purchase my book.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Book It

Yesterday I went on a small rant about how Kindle is slightly unfair with the way they sell their eBooks. The more I talked with people, the more I realized there is no need to pay $20 for something you can't physically have. It is for this reason I have decided to purchase the book in a physical version. Although it will cost me an extra couple of dollars, I have a physical copy of a book. Plus, the book itself is very big, so it is very hard to lose because of its size. In addition, I took time to consider when I would be using the book. This book is to be used when I am creating an application in Xcode, so I don't want to be reading the book on the computer while I am trying to work on it. I don't want to read it from my iPhone either, as that would go to sleep too often. Although it is a big book, I don't mind. I think jumping between the index and the chapters would be tedious on a computer compared to a physical copy. We will have to see how this works out. I am really hoping to follow through with this book.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Kindle Books

Books can be expensive, especially when they are teach something. In my case, the books I am looking at purchasing are about $20 each. Not the type of money you just want to toss around. The thing is, I would like to buy the books for both my iPhone, and Mac, Kindle app, as well as a physical copy. Now, the kindle copies are good because you only have to buy it once and use it on all the devices. However, I don't seen anyway to buy the physical copy too without buying the kindle copy. This is a disappointment as I would like to only have to buy each book once. I find this sort of a greedy system which Amazon has set up. I wouldn't mind if this was for a book that is $1, but two books that are $20 each is quite a lot. If I had to pay for both kindle distribution and physical copies, I could end up paying a whopping $80. So now I must figure out if there is a way to only pay once.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

iPhone 4 360 Video Lense

  It is very rare that a product so inventive come along for the iPhone. A majority of a time, it is apps or features that make the news. This product on allows you to simply attach a camera to your iPhone lens. The camera then responds to touch gestures on the phone's screen, allowing it to pan a full 360. As you can see from the video, there are many great uses for this product. What make it even better? The ability to re-watch your video in full 360 degree mode. That allows you to pan around in the video you took. Plus, the app is free. If you wish to donate to the cause, you can. Check out the GoPano Micro Kickstarter Page. This great product is already passed the pledge amount, but it is never to late to get in on the pre-release action.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Anonymous takes on Sony

The infamous group Anonymous is at it again. This time taking down Sony's playstation network servers. This comes in response to the legal battle Sony has been having with Geohot, the young man behind the PS3 jailbreak. It is not clear whether Geohot organized this or not, but it is clear Anonymous has some beef with Sony. Anonymous claims the following gives them the right to attack Sony:
“You have abused the judicial system in an attempt to censor information on how your products work. You have victimized your own customers merely for possessing and sharing information, and continue to target every person who seeks this information. In doing so, you have violated the privacy of thousands.”

As of now all of Sony's sites are working, however PSN is going through spastic outages. Sony, not wanting to say they have no control over it, has deemed the outages "maintenance issues". Nice try Sony.


Monday, April 4, 2011

iPod Nano to Get Camera?

It looks like the rumor mill has turned up some pretty interesting information. The site Modmyi has posted an image of what seems to be the next iPod Nano, but with a camera. The camera, which was part of the 5th Generation iPod Nano, was removed during the release of the 6th Generation Nano. The reason it was removed was because it was believed that the 6th Generation Nano was too small to be able to take picture. However, I would not be surprised if Apple added the camera, as that would follow along their current marketing strategy. Like with the iPad, the 6th generation nano was released with no camera. When iPad 2 came, it brought with it a camera. Apple tends to make it seem like their technology must be bought the second it comes out, but if you just wait a year some new feature will be added to it that will make it way better then the first.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

What Happened Yesterday?

Many of you may have noticed that yesterday came around, and there was no update. In addition, there was no mention as to why there was no update via my twitter. Well, yesterday I had the brilliant idea to update to Ubuntu 11.04 on my laptop. I did not feel like burning a disk, so I decided I would use the terminal method I found online. All I had to do was go to terminal and type "update-manager -d", without the quotations. With that, update manager will open and show the option to update in the top bar. After doing this I let it download the packages and start installing. However, something went wrong while it was installing. My entire computer froze on the spot. I couldn't get it to respond, so I had to shut it off by holding down the power button. This of course ruined the update, and although I could boot into ubuntu with the new update, nothing worked. It was at this point that I decided I prefer a copy of the installation on a disk, where less could go wrong.

With this decision, I went to the ubuntu website and started downloading from one of the links. The first link had a very low download speed, which led me to believe it was a very busy server. So after a couple hours I decided to try from a different server. The second server which I tried was much faster and downloaded in twenty minutes. Then I simply burned the iso to a disk using disk utility. After that, rebooted into the disk and start my installation. I had to be careful to select the advanced option since I didn't want to overwrite my other operating systems. Once the installation was complete, I restarted and booted into Ubuntu 11.04 without any issues. Now you know why there was no update yesterday.