ICAR Luxury Supercars Experience

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to drive a Ferrari 458 Italia with some friends on one of those exotic, dream car experiences you can find every now and then. It’s difficult to describe just how good of a time I actually had. As a simulation racing enthusiast it’s always been a dream to do what I do in the virtual world out in the real world. It really was incredible. I’ll cover the day from arrival to registration, instruction to the pits, the course tour to actually driving the course, and finally the photos and videos they take in the car while you’re on the track.

IMG_0375 Check the end of this post for a video as I walk out to the car, run my laps, and come back with a big smile. :)

 

Continue reading “ICAR Luxury Supercars Experience”

Asus Eee PC trackpad acting strange? It’s easy to fix yourself!

I just recently bought an Asus Eee PC 1215B. It’s a great netbook but there are some unfortunate sore spots. Once they’re fixed, it’s pretty great. The first is the trackpad acts wonky after about 15-20min of usage. Crack open your Eee and don’t worry it’s not as bad as you think! My particular issue was silver electrical “tape” on a certain screw that was touching other metal. Others say there’s a pad too close to the grounding metal connector. Either way it seems like it comes down to bad electrical connections. The other problem is my FN keys just recently disappeared on me. Not sure why, still looking for a fix for that.

Windows 7: Not bad

My father has been running Vista for a number of years. We told him it was a trainwreck. He never heard the end of it while he had that computer. And we all see how horrible Vista was now that he has upgraded to Windows 7.

My father has been running Vista for a number of years. We told him it was a trainwreck. He never heard the end of it while he had that computer. And we all see how horrible Vista was now that he has upgraded to Windows 7.

Win7 looks very similar to Vista but comes with a major overhaul of both low and high level components. Compared to the Vista machine, this thing is a joy to work with.

The hard drive is quiet instead of thrashing all the time. The responsiveness and general speedy feel of everything in the GUI makes you feel so much better about the tools you’re working with.

And the boot time. Wow. This thing boots to login in less than one minute. Vista took five minutes (it was ridiculous waiting for it). My linux and XP machines can’t match this one for boot times.

So, good job Microsoft. You didn’t produce another trainwreck!

Now how about we work on getting rid of that ugly DRM and getting way more useful GUI options and features. See KDE 3.5’s advanced window options for hints.

If Windows were as productive as KDE, we’d have one less major reason to look to alternatives.

Ubisoft: Are you stupid?

In the past, we asked Ubisoft, “Are you stupid?” Well, Ubisoft has turned around and asked you and I, “Are you stupid?”, with the release of Assassin’s Creed 2.

In the past, we asked Ubisoft, “Are you stupid?” Well, Ubisoft has turned around and asked you and I, “Are you stupid?”, with the release of Assassin’s Creed 2.

I wrote a while ago about Prince of Persia for the PC. Ubisoft was trying an “experiment.” This game had no DRM and they were going to see how well it fared. According to metacritic, and user ratings, it didn’t fare so well. It was a pretty mediocre, uninspired game. It looks like ubisoft has their answer on DRM.

And that answer is apparently a resounding approval for more DRM. And this isn’t just run of the mill DRM. This is ridiculously dumb DRM.

So, I have to ask you Ubisoft, “Are you stupid?” But really, Ubisoft’s answer is “Are YOU stupid?”. To get that answer, we’ll just have to see how sales do.

Left 4 Dead 2: Second Impressions

Now that Left 4 Dead 2 is actually out it occurred to me I should write my second impressions on Left 4 Dead 2.

Now that Left 4 Dead 2 is actually out it occurred to me I should write my second impressions on Left 4 Dead 2. My earlier first impressions were quite negative. I still haven’t bought the game and I still don’t think it’s worth what they’re asking. I would pay max $29 for it.

But, Left 4 Dead 2 grows on you. I was wrong about the “shock” sound of the shotgun. Turns out I was using the assault shotgun. Its sound sounds more reasonable as you play it. The normal shotgun sounds like the old one. The AK-47 is especially satisfying for a machine gun.

I’ve also gotten used to the extra things like acid or those guys that sit on your head. I guess I just have to learn the tricks.

Speaking of tricks, here’s a quaint little rhyme to help you deal with hunters.

When I see a hunter,

This will be my creed:

Duck and swing, duck and swing,

Until I make him bleed.

Hey, Ubisoft, I bought PC Prince of Persia, the one without DRM.

You lost the magic of Sands of Time and you had no idea how to get it back. You deserved what you got.

When Prince of Persia launched, Ubisoft said they were trying it without DRM, and delivered this snarky comment along with it,

Youre right when you say that when people want to pirate the game they will but DRM is there to make it as difficult as possible for pirates to make copies of our games. A lot of people complain that DRM is what forces people to pirate games but as PoP PC has no DRM well see how truthful people actually are. Not very, I imagine. Console piracy is something else entirely and Im sure well see more steps in future to try to combat that.

Community Manager UbiRazz

Perhaps the “Razz” in “UbiRazz” is more indicative of what the “community manager” role is all about. Getting the community up in arms?

Now, this happened a long time ago and I didn’t have anywhere to write about. So I’m writing about it now even though I bought this the day it was released.

Barring UbiSoft’s arrogant behaviour, and yes I will apply the community manager’s behaviour to Ubisoft, they did two good things. First, the lack of DRM. Second, the PC version of Prince of Persia was released at a $29.99 price point. That’s about the maximum I’m going to spend on a game unless it’s an 9+ rating and I know I’m going to like it (I bought the Sands of Time trilogy at full price).

So, I bought it. There. You happy now Ubisoft?

Maybe you shouldn’t be so happy because the game isn’t all that great.

It’s technically sound, which is why industry critics gave it a decent score. Good visuals, new art style, good sound, decent gameplay. But isolated analysis like that isn’t what game are about. Take a look at Metacritic’s user rating.

So, I took your bait, I bought your game, and you did two good things, no drm and price point, but then you released an average game.

What does that say to your users?

It says your no-drm and price-point were gimmicks to sell a poor game.

Nice try, Ubisoft.

You lost the magic of Sands of Time and you had no idea how to get it back.

You deserved what you got.