Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Firefox 3.0

Mozilla is trying to break the record for the most software downloads in 24hrs with its new version of firefox. Surely enough it is a hit and that hit broke their servers long before any records.

At the time of typing this the mozilla site has crashed but there are mirrors up such as this one for windows.


That mirror is also swamped so best of luck in getting a download.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Siblings go 'Up and On'

Life is filled with moments of unparalleled pain and joy, ironically the two go hand in hand. If my father were still alive its arguable whether or not when I found out my sisters passed for The Combermere School I would have been as emotional as I was.

Plenty of statements starting with "if he were here" and "he would have been" floated around and in the end I'm just so pleased that the hard work that I saw my siblings put in at lessons and in their homework payed off.

All sentimentality aside I am very happy with the result my sisters acheived!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

EURO 2008: Group of Death

So I watched both games yesterday and the France v Romania game was horrid, as the commentators like to say, as a spectacle it just didn't come off. The ball would be 3 or 4 yards off the Romanian penalty box and there were 8 or 9 players, excluding the keeper, between it and the net. The French just weren't inventive enough and poor Ribery was made to run around for nothing.

Good, that is out of the way.

Italy vs Netherlands is an almost comical clash of 2 complementary colours the blues indeed took on the oranges. After the first goal I was excited because the Dutch scoring first meant the Italians had to open up a bit more than they like to and with Cannavaro out it seemed like the back line might not hold as well as it normally does making for some spill and thrills.

What I didn't anticipate was Wesley Sneijder growing eyes on the back of his head and poping the ball over his shoulder to make it 2-0. At the half I felt for the Italians as the same sluggish midfield that I saw let Milan slip to the UEFA Cup was struggling again. In the end though, the game wasn't lost for a lack of opportunity it was for a lack of finishing. Luca Toni spurned a few chances that could've made the difference.

In the end though the better team on the day won and it was, for the most part, good football. I enjoyed it.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Quick note: Went to St. Maarten

Went back to St. Maarten over the weekend and got 95% of the stuff I wanted but was so tired I didn't get to play tourist properly, photo compliments Cami.

Did get new sneaks, work clothes, socks etc. oh and Wiimote/nunchuck so when I get back to Barbados I'll be able to whoop my sisters in Wii Sports tennis. :-)

Phantom Hourglass Completed

I beat the Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and my general impression was that it wasn't difficult and the overall game was enjoyable but they didn't do the best job with the back tracking, item switching was a pain, the combat system wasn't fully fleshed out and some parts of the game felt like filler. Filler I don't mind as long as it is side quest filler.

In the main temple where you spend like 30% of the game when you backtrack with new items its easier to get past certain floors or you can practically skip floors all together but in most cases, for me, because of the save system the risk of burning up your time in the temple to find an easier route didn't feel worth it. I'd spend 5mins in real life or 2mins on the clock in the game figuring out how to save 1min on the game clock and like 3 or 4 mins in real life and if I wasted too much time and reset the game I had to start from outside the temple which was just a pain.
When things did go right though it felt good.

The touch screen combat could've tended toward Ninja Gaiden type combat moving from enemy to enemy swiftly. Instead you mostly had to clumsily switch items and then have a fit on the touch screen to kill enemies and bosses alike. Speaking of the boss fights, they were brilliant. All of them were different, made good use of 1 item (which was essential to not going mad trying to switch) and had a big feel to them even if they were pretty easy after you figured out what was the trick.

The last boss fight however felt a lil disconnected; partially because you had little to no idea what really motivated this thing to be evil. I mean "it was born evil!" is all well and good but unless you are talking survival horror the creature coming from nowhere and having no logical weakness isn't really acceptable. That and having zero personality, the story of the true enemy could've been told through out the game but instead it was a few cut scenes. Still, finishing it it off was pretty satisfying. You can knock FF games but you can't help but something when you whack the person that has been tormenting you from the first time you selected attack.

As I said overall it was a good experience but they couldn't done alot better, you don't really expect good when you play a Zelda game you expect excellent.

Deal, or No Deal?

I LOVE Deal or No Deal and this comes from someone who generally things game shows are stupid and wishes reality TV would go back where it came from and Scifi could have like 3 or 4 channels just so I could swap between episodes of Stargate.

Deal or no deal is fun to watch for one simple reason, its the closest thing you will ever get to "Ha Ha your poor!" a game show envisioned by a comedian on Comedy Central where the Contestants bet their own money and no one leaves until someone is poor! The thing is that they choose the most animated people that act so excited about everything that when they eliminate the million dollar briefcase I can't help but fall off my chair lauging as they (a) meltdown and continue choosing cases in hopes of winning big still while destroying their chances or (b) TRY to act excited when they win $40K when they had $200k on the board the round before.

The last episode I watched had a guy who came from humble beginnings and his wife to be and best friend as supporters. The best friend, on every round, is like "GO For it bro" meanwhile the chica is like "Deal, we can buy a house and get married". When the dude says no deal to $212K his lady is ready to eat him for lunch, and believe me she probably could, and then when he opens the case and the prize money drops to 189K his girlfriend is visibly pissed but his best friend is still like GO FOR IT MAN. Me? I'm on the floor splitting my side that he is even considering opening another case.

At this point I'm dying laughing but they add something to the deal and he comes to his senses and says deal. Turns out he was holding the $300 case...lucky him eh? Was still funny to watch, but not as funny as the guy that won $10 then got a second chance and won $400.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A New Hope for me and Linux

Well this year is shaping up like I could fully return to the Fedora, maybe Ubuntu, on my home PC. I had switched back after software incompatibilities and all the issues with Java on open source plat forms. Additionally OpenOffice still didn't meet the grade and the net is still an IE friendly place which meant not having IE available, short of a VM, was also a problem. The final problem is a real alternative to outlook because at work we use an exchange server and when in Rome, it is wise to do as the Romans.

Now this year IE8 and Firefox3 are on the way and IE8 promises to adhere to web standards so essentially IE and FF are taking their next step together which means I won't be missing out when using FF3.

OpenOffice 3.0 seems to go a long way in terms of bridging the gap between itself and office, added to the fact I don't like Office 2007 where as with 2003 it was fine but I just wanted an alternative.

The OpenJDK solution that Sun is putting forward and is now integrated into the release of Fedora 9 and Ubuntu 8.04 means the Java headaches (while not completely gone) are practically a bad a memory.

Finally the Thunderbird email client now supports a calendar plug-in and the office email supports IMAP4 now. I still prefer Outlook since it is a more tightly integrated and functional email client/organizer however there are still things like Scalix and HP Openmail that have promise to them.

So basically by year end I could have a satisfactory Office, Browser and Email combination on an open platform for me to make a switch.