Friday, March 23, 2007

Results of a fitful sleep

I had a bizarre dream last night.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and I were making a disturbingly large ottoman, sometimes known as a footstool. Only this was no stool. We could've eaten dinner on this thing, it was huge. John and I were stuffing a fabric tube with cotton which we were then going to cut into four pieces for the legs. I don't think it would've held up.

But I wasn't worried about that. I was laughing hysterically at Jim while I was searching for a pen I could use to mark up the fabric tube. Lying on my side, much in the same position I usually sleep in, I couldn't get up or move I was laughing so hard. I don't remember what he said.

The only benefit I've seen to intermittent sleep is that I seem to dream more, or at least remember what I've dreamed. Jim Gaffigan has been making more frequent appearances on Comedy Central and you might also recognize him from recent Sierra Mist commercials.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

PS3 and Resistance: Fall of Man

I went over to my friend Vic's house this weekend and played Resistance: Fall of Man on his PS3.

Before I go on, I have to say that even though I have been disappointed (and predicted as much) with the price of the PS3, the lack of games for the PS3, the lack of innovation in gameplay on the PS3 and the arrogance of Sony and its corporate representatives regarding the supposed superiority of the PS3, I was still excited to have some one-on-one gameplaying time with it. When someone says they actually have one of these things, that in itself is impressive. The mere possession of such an electronic beast signifies a weighty committment to gaming and to the belief in future potential.

I played Resistance for about an hour, making it through maybe four or five levels after struggling a bit to learn that the button that fires grenades is always the button that fires grenades, never becoming the melee button when next to a wooden box, and I have to say it is extremely well done. The graphics are superb (I played on a 720p CRT TV), the small details like foliage and surface textures were pristine, and the framerate was always solid and smooth. The story is interesting, the weapons are cool, and the gameplay is compelling enough to keep me interested. The quality of graphics and type of gameplay were about equivalent to Gears of War for the 360.

I did not try online play, but Vic said it's a lot of fun to play a deathmatch with 20+ people. He also said though, that there's no real "matching" system, that you pretty much are just thrown into a game with people you may or may not know. Maybe that's not a problem once you have a list of friends built up, but since Sony doesn't have a centralized "friend" management system that works across all games like Microsoft's Xbox Live service, your "Resistance" friends can't easily be your friends on any other games.

He showed me all of the media bar options and we surfed the web a bit. That sucked without a keyboard. Typing user names and passwords with a Sixaxis is not fun. Also, it appears that if you don't have a widescreen 1080p television you have to "pan and scan" to see entire web pages. We visited this very blog and couldn't even read the entire column of text across because it stretched beyond the width of the screen.

Last week's Game Developer's Conference (GameSpot's coverage here) revealed more about Sony's Home service and at least one promising new game, seemingly revitalizing interest in the PS3. Even Gabe and Tycho had to admit to being intrigued. Gabe lists some interesting observations he made upon experiencing the PS3 once he had it home.

I can see the potential, but I can almost guarantee it'll be 2008 before I have one. Late 2008. An Xbox 360 will be first, then a Wii. I have too many friends to catch up with on Live and there are too many great 360 and Wii games to play for me to buy some other console with mere potential.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

On using Google Docs

Over the last few weeks I've been using Google Docs & Spreadsheets to great effect. Having documents-in-progress at a centralized network location is simply convenient, especially for those like me who haven't jumped on the USB thumb drive bandwagon. I still carry around 3.5" discs. It's nice not to have to worry about which version of a document I am carrying with me or which version I emailed yesterday. GDocs also appears to keep a complete archive of revisions which can be reverted to at any time.

The sharing is cool too. Right now I'm collaborating with two different people on separate documents that I want each of them to be able to see and/or modify at their convenience. GDocs tracks who you have shared with, what privileges they have with that document, and ties that collaborator's contributions or modifications to an identity so you can see who contributed what, where and when. Collaborators do not need to have a Google Account to have access, you just "invite" them to share your document using their email address. There's also a real-time chat window next to the document for instant discussion.

Also, current documents you're working on offline can be uploaded, modified and then exported (yes, you can export as a PDF) at any time, all major formats (including OpenOffice's ODF) accepted. As far as I can tell all formatting and formulas come through ok. There are publishing options I haven't explored yet, including adding documents to your blog. Maybe this calls for a chart.