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Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Random rants and thoughts.

T-Mobile Sidekick LX 09: Preview/Rant

Posted by rapaleeman on May 13, 2009

Ok so I bit the bullet and upgraded my account to the new T-Mobile Sidekick LX 09.  I got it in last night and have been using it since.  Here’s some quick impressions.

The screen is stellar.  Amazingly crisp and vibrant.  Too good for the rest of the device really. 

The kick portion is really sturdy.  It is nice to know the screen won’t go flying off, but it is a pain to actually open it.  Definate 2-hand operation there.

The actual phone feels really sturdy, though the screen when open is a little loose.  The back has the soft touch paint and it is good.  Still pictures look surprisingly great.  Video, not so much. 

Keyboard is nice and large, almost too large in fact.  The keys are kinda far apart really.  Not uncomfortable, just different.  Really nice otherwise though.  Satisfying clicks on the keyboard to type.

The Twitter application is amazing.  I love the integration into the rest of the device.  This needs to be in every device.  Really.

So what about the phone?  The few calls I’ve made have been terrible.  Low volume, buzzing, hissing, pulsing sounds, and just generally not very good overall.  Essentially just the Sidekick 08 in this aspect.  I expected more.

3G has been good but the network seems down so it is constantly moving in and out of signal.  Really disappointed here too.

Let’s see, oh the GPS stinks.  It couldn’t find me in my house.  Got kinda close outside, but the real bummer is Live Search.  It isn’t integrated at all.  It is just an app, well so is the rest of the “communities folder” but the Twitter app is integrated.  The Search is definately not turn-by-turn google maps style.  It is better than nothing I guess, but really it is a giant let down.  I’ve had more success with google maps apporximation on the iPhone.

Also, this thing is slow.  It really does kinda jump around at a lower clip than the previous versions.  Things I could fly around on the 08, LX 07, or even the SKiD are a chore here.

Enough bashing.  I like the slim profile and all but it just doesn’t seem worth it to me to upgrade.  $200 plus a 2-year commitment seem really high in terms of price to keep this thing.  I’m going to try to return it.

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Where was I on the whole Twitter blitzkrieg?

Posted by rapaleeman on April 20, 2009

I got a few e-mails asking about the update on the right hand column where the blog description used to be.  Yes it is a twitter account.  I started it last week while I was out of town and missing my blog.  I didn’t want to type out a post on my iPhone.  That thing’s keyboard sucks.  So I researched this word I kept hearing the last couple of weeks and found something quite extraordinary.

I found a world that was compeltely new to me and surprisingly interesting.  Twitter is this revolutionary thing called mini-blogging.  You basically answer the question “What are you doing?” in 140 characters or less.  Essentially a text message. 

I know it sounds completely stupid, yet it is surprisingly awesome.  I am hooked.  My post will be more and more as time passes and I have no idea why.  It is essentially a mentally handicapped verison of the amazing text that you are reading now, but it is just so cool and helps me relieve a lot of stress.

So hopefully you will follow along with me as I do this Twitter experiment.  I won’t be abandoning the blog.  Not by a longshot, but to get my most up-to-date commentary, check out the Twitter.

Everyone should be on this.  It is so awesome.

Later.

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skate. 2 be upon us

Posted by rapaleeman on January 9, 2009

So I got home and fired up the demo.  Hot damn it is pretty beast, my impressions below.

First off, for a demo, the create-a-skater is fan-fucking-tastic.  The face is limited, but everything else is amazing.  The hats look great.  The clothes actually fit right.  The model of the character is good, and the clothing has a hell of a lot more variety than before.  Thank you BlackBox.

After the initial little video of your CAS guy which looks just like the opening CG from Tony Hawk’s Project 8 (yeah I know, weird) you have to do a little mission to get to Slappy’s.  Once there the game opens up and as you complete objectives you get some more time.  Not much though since after completing everything the most I have ever had was like 9 minutes and some change.

Now, before I touch on graphics lets talk the skating and walking.  Yes there is walking now and while I really appreciate the details of walking up and down stairs (it looks completely convincing) the guy (or girl) moves like a damn tank.  Like almost as bad as the first Resident Evil game.  I’m glad it is there, but it kinda stinks.  A minor gripe that makes moving the objects (which works suprisingly well) a pain at times.

So this is a skating game.  How be the skating?  Great as expected.  The game is a little off timing wise, but that is due to the 60 frames-per-second and the slight tweaks in the physics.  The character moves faster in the tricks, yet it seems slower (weird, but that is how I describe it so whatever).  The animations are all top notch and the stupid bail animations are gone.  The new ones look convincing enough (the hall of meat logo at the bottom is a little much after every bail though) and actually make the game that much more realistic.

The control scheme for the most part has not changed, however, using the A/X buttons in conjunctions with the right stick and the grabs is a little awkward at first, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t work.  Very intuitive.  I have been doing my favorite trick, the Airwalk, with complete consistency.   They seem kinda sketchy on paper, but they work.  The bonelesses are cool little tricks for a ton of style, and so are the no complys but those are a bitch to pull off.  Look cool but timing is hard.

The lip tricks that are new are simple to pull off and work as advertised.  Same with the Judo plant that, while a little tricky to time is really cool and definately a great addition.  Plus you can grab while you are grinding.  Nice.

Overall control-wise, the game is perfect really.  Everything feels the way it should.  The harder tricks in reality are hard here as well.  Plus I like how it sorta mimics how you do it reality.  Good touches and with the super smooth frame rate, it looks amazing in motion.

Now the graphics, besides the kick ass character models, are really good as well.  The overall look of the game is a little flashier than I expected, but it looks good.  Everything really pops and really impress me.  The cuts and marks on your arms and clothing is amazing and very realistic. The details like  that are all over the place.

The pros look pretty good.  I can definately pick them out.  Especially Koston who looked like he was popping out of a Berrics video.  Same with Reda who, despite the weird chin (he is a little chub chub) looks great too.

Overall, the game seems to be winner.  It will no doubt sell, but I am glad that things were addressed and fixed.  I am still a little worried about the story which kinda seems lame, but as long as it keeps the same laid back attitude (not sure about that) then the game will be Winner in my book. 

The game is great in the main place that matters though, control.  Still spot on and any fan of the series, despite having to relearn some timing, will have a blast.  My only complaints above are very minor and really about non-skating things that have very little impact over the entire game.

It seems weird that the game isn’t perfect, but doubling the bag of tricks, fixing the CAS, and creating a sequel to one of my favorite games of 2007 is no easy task.  BlackBox did it however and again, despite the little issues this game is a must purchase.

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Happy Holidays?

Posted by rapaleeman on December 24, 2008

Since I am not allowed to say “Merry Christmas” to people in my office in fear of being dubbed a “racist” or “prejudice” but come on.  We all are racist or prejudice in some way, shape, or form.  That’s the world we live in.  Where a simple greeting can be miscnstrued to becoming some kind of racial epitaph against another culture when all you said was “wut up?”. 

In any event, not trying to offend but “Merry Christmas”.  I’m sorry if you are offended but I am a caucasian male, who is of Irish descent and that is my saying of choice.  I am no longer sugar coating it.  Enjoy.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

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I’m thinking of going Blackberry.

Posted by rapaleeman on October 15, 2008

So I am thinking of going Blackberry.  I have tried a ton of phones and really there is just something missing.  I want a phone that is connected definately and it needs to have a full keyboard or at least a suretype like my Shadow (RIP) did.  The issue is that most of those phones have some kind of quirk or issue and it ends up pissing me off.

I returned the Sidekick LX because of the battery life.  The phone had a tinny sound to the calls and they were full of static.  I still think it is an awesome phone, but after careful deliberation it was not for me.  The phone had the update which was cool, but it started to kill the battery so that phone had to go.  I need more than than an 18 hour battery.  Yeah I’m serious it was that short.

So I am looking for something new.  I have really been debating the G1 since it looks awesome and completely customizable.  The issue is I don’t really want to mess with it.  I just want it to work though the keyboard looks money and I am a fan of touchscreens for the basic stuff.  Just not typing.

I am not a fan of Windows Mobile phones but I really like the GSM version of the Touch.  Sexy, sleek, and cool.  Just doesn’t have a keyboard.  Plus it is expensive.

In a way I am warming up to the iPhone.  I like the all touchscreen combined with an iPod since my iPod is now DOA.  Stupid thing won’t sync and makes funny noises, plus barely plays.  The big issue again is no keyboard to text with.  Also the evil empire is in charge.  You know, AT&T.

So I am now at the Blackberry.  Not one device but the service in general.  Sorta like a Sidekick in idea really.  The Blackberry servers in general handle the data while the T-Mob handles the text/voice.  Basically the same as Danger with the kicks.  It is 20 bucks for unlimited internet and 300 messages.  Not bad but I would need to add in a better text plan.  I can burn through that hella quick.

Now onto the devices.  I like them.  They are plain but functional.  Trackballs are good and no touchscreen increases the durability.  Everything is integrated (again like the Sidekick) and I am happy with that.  Battery life on all the devices seems really good. 

I got a free Pearl over the weekend (used but functional) and am thinking of unlocking it to use.  I want to see how it fits into my life.  Maybe I can become a crackberry addict.  Who knows on that front.  Time will tell.

Side-note: The Blackberry Storm (the all touchscreen BB) looks awesome.  If the keyboard is good to type on, then I may have to try to find a GSM one unlocked when they launch. 

End Rant

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