Dec 302010
 

I wanted to take a moment to thank Mr. Vasken Hauri. He is the author of the excellent Tagline Rotator Plugin for WordPress.  I use this plugin to rotate the quotes from the movie The ‘Burbs in my blog tagline.  He recently updated the plugin to version 2.0.  When I updated to the new version several bugs manifested themselves including duplicate entries and various additional characters being added to words with apostrophes in them.

I sent an email to Mr. Hauri and he literally responded within 2 hours and he updated the plugin to fix the issue the next day!  That’s service!  Thank you to Vasken for writing an excellent plugin and for providing personal service.  This is even more commendable when you factor in he does this for fun (not for profit) and he responded during the busy Holiday season.  Thank you sir!

Nov 272010
 

Pics from the most recent November 20th, 2010 WXW event! I am the current WXW Heavyweight Champion (in white tights on left), and Daulton Kelly, the WXW Hardcore Champion.

Oct 282010
 

Lucasarts has destroyed The Force Unleashed franchise. This game is SHORT. Shorter than a midget in a Chilean mine short. Granted I played on Easy mode but it took me all of 4.5 hours at most to finish. There are truly only 3 worlds. Yes, you read that right….3. In order, it’s Kamino, Cato Nemoidia, Dagobah (for like 2 minutes and there is no combat), Salvation (long and pretty boring indoor sequence), and then, amazingly, back to Kamino again! Annnnnnnnnd, that’s it.  The story is unimaginative. My five year old son could write a more coherent narrative.

Kyle Katarn. Photo Credit: TheForce.net

Although it’s mindless entertainment and was fun to a degree, this is a quite simply a poor excuse for a sequel and frankly Lucasarts should be ashamed. When you have a quality franchise like Jedi Knight laying domant that arguably had better combat and a much better story, I don’t understand how this game was green lit. It’s an insult to the first Force Unleashed to call this a sequel. Kyle Katarn from the Jedi Knight series had a much more interesting story and the multiplayer was awesome on the PC. Heck even Jedi Knight II and Jedi Academy were on the original Xbox Live and were passable. But I digress.

Simply put, this game is worth US$20 at most.  I don’t know anyone who could recommend spending the full $60 on this game. Lucasarts very well may have just killed this franchise before it really got started. I liken it to Mass Effect. Mass Effect was a solid first entry for a new franchise that set the tone. Now imagine if Mass Effect 2 were 1/3 as long and had a non-existant phoned in story. That’s TFU2.

Oct 182010
 

Today marks the 25th Anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The NES was released on October 18th, 1985 in the US.  I remember getting the NES on Christmas morning 1985. I still have it and it still works! What else can be said about this console? Some of the best games ever made came out on the NES, giving birth to franchises that endure to this day such as Mario Bros., Metroid, and Castlevania.  I remember playing Gyromite and Duck Hunt all Christmas day.  Soon after I got Super Mario Bros. and the rest is history.

My personal NES favorites are Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Tecmo Super Bowl.  Too bad they didn’t have achievements back then.  I would have unlocked the “Win the Superbowl with every NFL team” achievement in Super Tecmo Bowl!

So Happy Birthday NES and thanks to Nintendo for creating such an amazing product.  I wonder…would I have become such a huge gamer had the NES never existed?

Sep 142010
 

I must say this up front: I am unabashedly in love with my iPad. I use it daily for many tasks. I get my news from Reeder (which is the best RSS reader in the App Store bar none), Twitter and Facebook fixes, and of course gaming. When I first got the iPad I gave serious consideration to selling my Macbook. I was sure the iPad could replace it. I was very close to listing the laptop on eBay. When I decided to bring this site back after a two year hiatus, I soon realized I couldn’t simply sever myself from the full desktop computing experience.

The realities of setting up a website, even one as simple as a WordPress blog, still require the investment of time and the use of powerful tools. This is one area where the iPad cannot compete. Tasks such as website administration, managing FTP connections, SQL databases, bulk image uploads, and general CSS code editing and tweaks are not easily done from an iPad. A multitasking OS environment is an absolute must. This may be obvious to some as the iPad is generally known for consumption, not creation. Nevertheless, it was interesting to see my lofty expectations quickly grounded. After having not used my Macbook Pro for a solid fours months, I suddenly needed it more than ever.

The process of migrating this site from Serendipity to WordPress alone was a one and a half week effort (a few hours a night). I was knee deep in SQL databases, choosing themes and plugins, and tweaking code to get exactly what I wanted. My iPad sat on the sidelines. After that experience I’ve landed in a great place. I no longer saddle the iPad with the unrealistically high expectations of replacing a desktop computing experience. I can now truly enjoy it for its intended purpose. I now realize it’s going to be a while before the iPad or something like it can truly replace the desktop.

The iPad is indeed “magical and revolutionary” for its ease of use and media capabilities. It is obviously the beginning of something bigger in the world of computing. I can’t wait to see what happens next. But for now, I’ll be doing all my “real work” from a laptop or desktop. What ever else I can get away with will be done on the iPad.

Sep 052010
 

The truth about Ikea instructions

I’ve actually had great luck with assembling Ikea stuff. Today I got a new couch and I should have gotten it together in about 20 minutes. But(!) the fine folks who packed the couch box decided to give me one striped screw. So I hop in my car and take a 25 minute drive back to Ikea for one screw. I get it, drive back home, and……..I discover they gave me two nuts of the wrong type!  No way I am driving back to Ikea, so I head to Lowes. After 20 minutes of searching (with a friendly hardware department worker helping me) I found this (queue chorus!).  I am now sitting on it. 20 minutes of assembly with two hours of driving and shopping for a one nut in between.

At least the couch is comfortable.

Aug 252010
 

I was recently accepted into the Xbox Ambassador Program. I am very honored to be part of this special group.  I’ve been a member of Xbox LIVE since 2004 and I enjoy helping gamers on LIVE and answering questions on the xbox.com forums when I can.  Here is a brief explanation of the group from xbox.com:

What are the Xbox Ambassadors?
The Xbox Ambassadors are members of the community, just like you, from all over the world who love Xbox LIVE and are willing to help where they can. Ambassadors can be found on the official Xbox.com forums or playing on Xbox LIVE.

I was very excited to be accepted into the program to help make Xbox LIVE a better place for everyone.  The Ambassador program is managed by DMZilla and MacheteBetty.  The program is run in their spare time along with their official responsibilities at Xbox.  Gamers should be appreciative that Xbox LIVE management has carved out a special team like this to help the community.  In addition to answering questions on LIVE and xbox.com forums, we have “Ambassador Playdates” as well! Check the Xbox LIVE Dashboard on your Xbox 360 console for future events.  We recently had a great playdate where Burnout Paradise was the featured game.

If you are interested in connecting with an Xbox Ambassador please see the list of all U.S. based Ambassadors (My gamertag, The PerfectCr, is there!). Also, be sure to visit the blog of Xbox Ambassador leader DMZilla.  If you like, feel free to send me an invite on LIVE!  See you out there!

Aug 152010
 

I attended Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando Friday 8/13! Tons of fun. I took my two sons while my baby daughter had girls day out with Mommy. My 5 and 3 year old boys held up rather well. They are big Star Wars fans already (my doing!) so they were in heaven.  They especially love the well done SW: The Clone Wars animated show on Cartoon Network.

Being a huge gamer one highlight for me was being able to briefly play Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II and Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars. Both were excellent and I have no doubt the finished games will be great.  We also witnessed a live Sirius/XM interview with Matthew Wood, voice of General Grievous in Episode III.

Another interesting area was the Tattoo Pavilion.  I was able to stop at several of the booths and check out some the excellent Star Wars tattoos.  I saw Stormtrooper tattoos as well as Rebel Alliance and Imperial symbol tattoos being done.  I also talked to one artist who traveled to Orlando from overseas.  He asked me about my gaming arm sleeve and gave me compliments on it.  It was great to receive compliments on my tattoo from another tattoo artist.

The Orange County Convention Center here in Orlando was a great venue.  Everything was well organized and we didn’t have to wait in many lines at all.  SW Celebration had previously been held in the West or Midwest so it was great to see it in the Southeast.  I hope Celebration VI can be here too!  After the break, check out my Flickr gallery of my SWCV pics!
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Aug 142010
 

About two weeks ago I decided to bring back my blog.  And by blog I mean an area to jot down random thoughts that are too long for Twitter and/or Facebook.  I started PerfectCr.com in 2005 but got away from it the past few years.  I first discovered WordPress when I saw the iPhone app. (iTunes Link) There was only one issue; my “old” blog used the excellent Serendipity Weblog System.  Luckily I had performed a back up of the old S9Y SQL database knowing one day I would start back up again.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with S9Y.  In fact the software is very good, flexible, and open source.  The lead developer Garvin Hicking is always on the forums ready to answer questions.  However from what I’ve seen WordPress is a bit more user friendly.  That paired with the simplicity of creating posts from the iPhone/iPad app was enough to get me to switch.

The next step was to search for a method to import my old S9Y database to WordPress.  After performing some Google-fu, I ended up at Snowulf.com.  Jon there had taken an earlier version of the importer and updated it to version 1.4. Just let me say Jon was extremely helpful.  I bothered him on Twitter for well over a week as well as posting several questions on his site.  He was patient and very helpful.  Frankly I may not have been able to complete the import without his help.  I performed the steps he outlines in his readme and the import went smoothly.

So here we are!  I choose a minimalist theme and will continue to update some broken links in my older posts.  Glad to be back and I look forward to adding more content as time passes.