Monday, July 30, 2007

Still alive, still gaming

Yes, I know it's been quite a while since my last update. But I've been real busy with work and other things. In no way have I stopped or even cut down on my gaming and related activities though.

A couple of weeks ago I had a marathon run of "God Of War" which actually left me with a bruise (!) on my left thumb. Oh, how I love this game. It is totally one of the top five games ever in my opinion (I have yet to play "God Of War 2" though..).

I'm also making good headway in "Manhunt" and I believe I'm nearing the end of my blood drenched rampage. I'm enjoying the game quite a bit, and therefor I'm utterly pissed off by the fact that the sequel "Manhunt 2" has been more or less banned around the globe. It just sucks that adults can't decide for themselves what kind of media want to subject themselves to. I for one was looking forward to "Manhunt 2" quite a lot and it saddens me that a game that I believe would have been awesome and a lot of fun now might never be released, and if it ever sees the light of day it will probably be a toned down version. Thanks a lot censorship-fascists. What's next? The banning of all games that don't exclusively feature cute and cuddly creatures? I love Sonic, Mario and games like that but for fuck's sake, I'm 32 years old and I want to be able to play adult games just like I'm able to enjoy other "grown-up" things. Censorship is never the proper way of dealing with things.

I've also made some progress in "The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess", although it's depressing how much I have left considering I've had the game since four or five days after it was released.

I bought "Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition" on release day and I've found to be nothing short of fucking awesome! I haven't played it all that much but enough to be seriously impressed. The wiimote is a perfect fit for this game. Blowing the heads of zombies and angry villagers never was more satisfying than on the Wii.

Speaking of new games, another huge disappointment was the news that "Project H.A.M.M.E.R." seems to have been canceled and will not be released. Possibly it will just be released much later, but I'm not holding my breath. I have no idea why this is but it makes me very sad that I won't be able to play it since I've been looking forward to it A LOT, and it looked like such an awesome game. I want my blunt-force crusher game doggammit! Please Nintendo, rethink your decision and give us this game. I'm begging you.

Also I've immersed myself in some serious retro-gaming. Mostly Sega MegaDrive and games like "Mortal Kombat", "Mortal Kombat II", "Golden Axe" and "The Revenge Of Shinobi", but also plenty of Virtual Console goodies like "Ice Climber", "Kid Icarus" and "Punch-Out!!". Because of my increased amount of retro-gaming I've also had a bit of shopping spree on a couple of auction-sites.

For the MegaDrive I've bought "Golden Axe 2", "Bio Hazard Battle" and "Zero Wing" and for my GameBoy Advance I got "The Legend Of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords". I also got a couple of PS1 games; "Tenchu: Stealth Assassins" and "Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins".

I've found that "Zero Wing" deserves a lot more credit than it gets. It's actually a really decent shoot-em up. Although I have to confess that I bought it mainly for the hilarious intro-sequence, but that's not the reason I've ended up spending several hours with it the past week. So if you haven't already, please check it out and give it a chance OK?

As if that wasn't enough I also bid for and won "Golden Axe 3", "Thunder Force 4" and a "Mega Key 2", all for the MegaDrive. The last item is a cartridge that makes it possible for me to play games from the US, Japan and Brazil on my European PAL-console (which I need since "Golden Axe 3" for example was only released in Japan). These items have yet to arrive though.

Anyhoo, my summer vacation started today, I celebrated it by playing "Super Smash Bros. Melee" for a couple hours with a friend from work, and I'm looking forward to many more hours of gaming in the forth-coming weeks. Yay!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

iPhone hackers work for Apple

It's been widely reported about various progress in the hacking of the iPhone. A couple of days ago Engadget reported that apparently a hacker named "Nightwatch" has compiled and launched his very own application on the device.

In order to accomplish this feat "Nightwatch" has constructed an ARM/Mach-O toolchain that henceforth can be used by others to follow his example and consequently have third party native applications running on the iPhone instead of just Web 2.0 apps running in the Safari-browser.

Of course this is a positive breakthrough since developers and iPhone-owners have been screaming for an API and the possibility to develop and run real apps on the iPhone. But it shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody. As with all such things they are always broken sooner or later, it's just a matter of how long the apparatus can resist the efforts of it's hackers.

But most of all, I'm very sure this came as no real surprise to Apple. In fact, I'm positive they counted on this happening sooner rather than later, and they surely will reap the major benefits from it.

By releasing a device that's received more pre-release hype than anything I've ever seen before Apple has assured (almost at least) it's success and that it will sell millions of it. By then refusing to give third party developers access to an API or an SDK they've assured that the caffeine-crazed hackers of the world will do their best to break into the device and have it run third party software. Once there is a fairly stable way of developing apps for the iPhone, which shouldn't be far away now, a new market opens up which while not feeding money directly into Apple it does making their money-making product even more desirable. And they've done nothing themselves to make this happens except release the phone and withhold the API, all the real work the hackers have done for them. So basically, they've been working for Apple all along. They've just not gotten paid a dime for their hard and commendable work.

Another positive thing in this scenario, from Apple's point of view, is that as long as no official API or SDK has been released they don't have to deal with support and complaints regarding third party applications. It's not their fault if you installed and ran some app on your iPhone that made it go up in flames since it's not their toolchain that built that app and they certainly didn't license it.

So even if it looks like Apple 0 - Hackers 1, it's really the other way around if you think about it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Twitterer and widget maker

The past couple of days I've been playing around with Twitter and it's API. It's pretty simple to use, hardly astrophysics or anything, and with the widget for Blogger looking like ass I decided to hack my own. And so I did.

The fruits of my labour are plainly visible to the right in this blog. It's nothing fancy, just some basic HTML, CSS and Javascript, but I think it looks pretty good. And if anybody gives a damn the code can be downloaded from here.

In the days ahead I'm gonna pleasure myself (oooh...) by writing a Twitter-applet for the Gnome desktop as well. Now don't misinterpret the sudden focus on Twitter. I don't think I'll ever be an avid twitterer (is that a word? probably not) and I'm not exactly falling head over heels with excitement over the thing. I just wanna play around with some free API:s, and for that purpose this one is as good as any. Also, anything that allows me to interact using the command line gets a "yay!" from me.

curl -u -d status=Posting+to+Twitter+using+curl+is+teh+shit%21