Category Archives: technology

XboxOne: the beginning

Eight years after the Xbox 360 debut we now have next-gen consoles. Though my gaming tale began long ago on the dusty shores of Barstow, CA. At the time I was five or so and my family picked up the original NES brand-new with Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros. What encouraged them to pick up the system, I’m not sure, and should probably ask them sometime. At any rate, this console fueled my brothers’ and my addiction to gaming. Thereafter we on to enjoy additional machines: SNES, Sega, N64, Dreamcast (for Street Fighter 3rd Strike), PS1 & 2, Gameboy (multiple iterations), PCs/Macs, etc. We toiled with friends on their: Sega Saturns, Sega CDs, Gamegears & TurboGrafx, Jaguar 64s, etc. Any new console was exciting in and of itself.

In college my gaming definitely dwindled. Though I did own an Xbox as did many of my friends. We Halo’d and Rainbow Six’d over beers. We even managed a Street Fighter Puzzle Fighter Arcade cabinet and spent many a late night fighting it out. Grad school brought me back into the gaming fold with the Xbox 360 and Halo 3.

Today marks day five of the latest and greatest Xbox. So far I’ve plugged away a good 15+ hours into Dead Rising 3 and enjoyed football games passed-through the system. The TV system allows one to easily check up on a live-game and jump back into the football game should things get interesting. The Skype system via Kinect is also novel, though not as intimate as using a tablet or mobile device. Viewers get more living room than person and the angles can be odd. My favorite XboxOne features to this point are:

  • Voice command to record gaming clips
  • Ability to edit & upload the clips to the Internet/Web
  • Snapping TV to the side of a video-game in progress
  • The clarity of VOIP
  • How damn fast the machine is to load a game, respond to commands, etc.
  • #1 feature: the new controller

I seriously love the new controller. The layout is smart and the re-sizing clean. The thumb sticks grip and provide smooth movement. Hopefully the sticks break in just a bit more for faster strafing, etc. Overall the controller is light-weight with the heavier points evenly distributed for balance. I am all the more engaged for it.

Lastly, Dead Rising 3 just might be my game of the year. I have not played the uber-story and drama driven Last of Us. Nor have I played Bioshock and the latest GTA. Dead Rising speaks to me. Filled with campiness, gore, b-movie story-lines, and fun- DR3 is not trying to be a shiny gem with lovable characters, clever origin stories, or celestial greater-than-thou heroes/events. DR 3 as my instant classic makes sense, considering my first video-game involved an Italian-American plumber whose, “objective is to race through the Mushroom Kingdom, survive the main antagonist Bowser′s forces and save Princess Toadstool.” [wikipedia]

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Calvetica

I love this app:

“Adam deserves all the credit for getting his hands down into the code like Han Solo digging into Tautaun guts. Gross? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.” – source

 

 

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iPhone 4 an Homage

The new iPhone is legit.  I’m sure you’ve read or heard the reviews. The screen is amazing and the camera/HD video are unparalleled in mobile phones. After using the Blackberry Curve 8320 this is like stepping into the future. It’s responsive, snappy, and manages to find itself useful in multiple facets of my life. I am always making lists: albums to pick-up, beers I like/need to try, books/comics to read, etc. Now I make lists in the Evernote app and sync it to my Mac and the web. It captures websites, images, and video too- a personal organizer in my pocket. I can also search my library site online and request items for pickup.

This Sunday Cristina and I went to the Farmers Market.  We picked up some delicacies whilst checking recipes for different veggie combinations.

During down time I am crushing people at Words With Friends.

I have also alphabetized every screen and folder in my app collection. A little OCD? Sure. It’s my experience though and I am more efficient for it.

C and I also FaceTimed with good friends back in Vegas. On my lunch break I FaceTimed with a buddy in Massachusetts. I actually had conversations of depth, rather than the usual tweets or text updates in which we often engage. We gave tours of apartments and working spaces/views. After a few minutes it felt natural. Moreover, I  manage my Fantasy Baseball team, check my bank account, listen to streaming music (Pandora plays exceptional tunes and I’m really picky), and so much more.

I look forward to more augmented reality apps. For instance, Yelp has a ‘monocle’ view that displays bars, restaurants, etc. based upon your location. These are bars in my neighborhood, all I had to do was stand up and aim my iPhone:

My next venture may take me deeper into comics; and there are a handful of free comic books in order to develop mass addiction.

The screen and  Apple’s ‘Retina Display’ are brilliant. It’s better than my computer and LCD TV. It takes resolutions and colors to a new level. It’s a great device and is working over-time on my behalf.

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