Sunday, October 23, 2005

We Love our Katamari!

Alvis has a Playstation2 (2ndGen). We play Grand Turismo 4 and Kindgom Hearts on it a lot. She has some others, but those two games get the most gameplay. I have seen the little gem called Katamari Damancy for some time, but it wasn't high on the "get" list. Yesterday we finally picked up a copy of it and it's sequel. I don't think we have turned off the PS2 in over 10 hours! It is a really cute game and the music is a jazzy fusion. It can be played in a 1 or 2 player mode. Even Lavie picked the game play up and had a hard time setting it down for the Astro's game. (That's some serious conflict!)

Funny Bits!

Did you know that a guy sunk the Mark Twain riverboat at the DisneyLand opening ceremony? Yep. Read his account!

President Bush to throw out 1st through 120th pitch of World Series game (seen on The Onion).

Inside the hidden gags and jokes of those old Loony Tunes cartoons. Enlightening stuff.

Now to the Tech Stuff!

  • Have you heard about Flock yet? It is (basically) a re-package of Firefox 1.5 (Beta) designed for power bloggers and bookmarkers. Some of the features it uses are kinda different (making "stars" instead of bookmarks) but it does have some redeeming values. I loaded in my XP system with no problems and it seems to run well. I created a account. (more here.) Played with it for a while. I haven't tried the blogging feature yet. Blogger Paul Stamatiou gives a really good rundown on it with helpful screen captures. It is still in Beta and reports are that it is kinda crashy still. So just beware and consider it testing still with some planned features not yet implemented in this build. I'm sticking with my FireFox builds (1.0.7 and 1.5 RC2) for blogging still--but I will be keeping an eye on this one....
  • has released version 2.o (Final) of Open Office. It is on opensource (freeware) build of a full featured office suite. Check it out.
  • In the get it before it's gone category--check out ShrinkTo5. It is a DVD backup program. Now--to confess--I don't have a DVD burner yet. That is on my "purchase soon" list. I only have a 16x CD burner and it is killing me now. I use a 52x (cd-writer) at work for my image building projects. Prices on DVD burners keep marching downward and I even saw a 16x dual layer burner reviewed the other day. So, I can't comment on this software yet, but it is open-source.
  • DeepBurner is another similar application. It has a Pro ($) and Free version. Also neat is a Portable offering that you can store/run off your USB drive. Cool!
  • Moving on, we discover that VMware has released a freeware "virtual machine" player. Virtual machines are basically a virtual computer running on your real computer. It is a good way to isolate operations on a "pretend" computer so you don't mess yours up. We like to run virtual machines when we examine suspicious files, malware, viruses, etc. That way if the software croaks the system, it is just the virutal one and not your real pc. Neat! Microsoft has a version called Virtual PC. Note to self: see if the bosses can get a copy or two of this for work.
  • A while back I mentioned that Microsoft has an XP PowerToy called Virtual Desktop Manager. I had been using it on my laptop, but eventually decided that while it was cool, it just didn't really give me any enhancements besides being able to switch between four different desktops. So I uninstalled it. And soon was presented with lots of Blue Screens of Death. Not cool. Bad. Very Bad. Especially if you are a SysAdmin. And it's your own pc. Bad. So I eventually resolved the issues by reinstalling my video drivers. Lesson: if you decide to install the virtual desktop manager powertoy and then pull it off, go ahead and reinstall your video drivers just to be safe. It does make sense that the app would plug into the video display files, but why it would corrupt the settings is beyond me. Consider yourself warned.
  • Crimson Fields--it's a strategy game like the old war-game board-games I used to play as a kid. Freeware. Screenshots.
  • FileCommander--a freeware Windows Explorer replacement tool. I haven't tried this one yet. I prefer FreeCommander myself and use it heavily instead of Windows Explorer. But this take has 4-pane view if that is your style.
And for my gem-find of the week: Notepad2. It is well worth replacing your Windows Notepad application with this thing. Freeware and Awesome!

Next post, a review of the anime movie Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho (The Place Promised in our Early Days). I finished watching my DVD last night. Very poetic. Very sentimental. Very beautiful. Very deep.

Now on to the laundry....

See you in the skies!

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