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Archive for July, 2008

Movies: Batman The Dark Knight ( 2008 )

Posted by JungleBoot on July 23, 2008

I don’t know about you but I walked out of the theater a bit drained.  This movie could have been two seperate films.  Still, it was great.  I like that Christian Bale returns as Batman along with Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine in their roles.  It feels right when film makers maintain continuity.  However, the big suprise is Joker — Heath Ledger.  Heath Ledger, in my book, finds redemption in his portrayal of the Joker.  The performance was brilliant.  I hope his family will be able to receive an Oscar in his name.  It’s a shame this was his last film.  His career was about to truly take off and recover from Broke Back Mountain.

Posted in Movie Reviews | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

General: Playstation 4? WTF?!?

Posted by JungleBoot on July 23, 2008

I have encountered several blogs, forums, and articles that mention Sony may deliver a fourth generation playstation by 2010.  Some of these sources take a more conservative delivery date of 2012.  And considering the sources, it could all be crap.

Still, I just bought the damn 40GB (gigabyte Playstation3 for $399.  Add a game and tax to that and you’re walking out the store less $500.00 USD.  Didn’t this game console just come out?  Game developers haven’t even really started taking advantage of the new capabilities.  So, why?  Why in the world would Sony deliver the PS4 after 6 years?  Anybody?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Information Technology: Organizational Moves

Posted by JungleBoot on July 5, 2008

Every once in a while companies relocate and have to move employees and their equipment.  In the information technology (IT) world, it’s called a move ( a highly technical term).  The move can be smooth or as painful as the IT manager allows corporate bosses to make it.   Here are some tips that could make your next corporate move easier:

  1. Allow your IT managers to do their job and get out of the way.  Corporate bosses should only assist in greasing those squeaky wheels that give the IT manager problems.
  2. If deploying IP phones, for the love of God, label them with the correct Seat-ID and User.
  3. Don’t allow people to weasel their way into a different location after equipment is ordered.  A move plan should be finalized prior to moving any IT equipment.  Anyone desiring to change seats should take it up with the appropriate manager after the move.
  4. Any updates that are required for laptops or desktops should be made available on a network share.  This will prevent your desktop support “contractors” from having to download the same few files repeatedly.
  5. Define the role of contract desktop support for your user community.  Let them know their only purpose is to support the move.  They are not there to handle issues that normally go through the help desk.  Remind the users they are still required to use the help desk.
  6. Don’t allow “needy” middle-management employees to manipulate the contract desktop support people into performing tasks not related to the move.  Everyone’s employees are important  — not just theirs.  You should provide the contractors with an upper-level management approved answer they can provide without fear of reprisal.  They should also be instructed on how to deliver this response and when it is okay to walk away.  The internal problems should remain internal and not rest on the shoulders of the contractor.
  7. Identify “problem children” and assign them to your own people or “straighten” these people out prior to the move.
  8. Include “all” instructions on any scripts you hand out to the desktop support contractors.  If you have things that must be written down later, someone will get it wrong.  Finalize your scripts as much as possible.  Maybe this goes without saying, but use the smallest number of steps to accomplish a task.  Instead of writing the steps out for navigating to an admin tool, provide the command to type in the Start -> Run dialog (ex: inetcpl.cpl for Internet Explorer options or devmgmt.msc for Device Manager). The idea is to minimize mistakes — less steps equals less problems.
  9. Provide a point of contact for all problems and have someone else cover this individual’s duties for the duration of the move or make one of the contractors the focal point for all issues to filter through.  This person should have the most experience.

I’ll add more should I ever work on another move contract.

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GAME: Neverwinter Nights 2 and Mask of the Betrayer

Posted by JungleBoot on July 5, 2008

Don’t expect a long drawn out review of this game and it’s expansion.  There are plenty of gaming sites that do just that.  I only wish to express a few dislikes I encountered while playing.

I always thought Dungeons and Dragons ( D&D ) was cool since highschool.  It was a world of fantasy that allowed you to escape and live a more heroic life.  You could be who you wanted to be — nothing wrong with that.  Right?!?  Isn’t that what every game offers — escape?  Come to think of it — Lord of the Rings probably inspired the game.  Who knows?

Anyway, The gaming community refers to Neverwinter Nigts 2 with NWN2 and its expansion as NWN2: MOTB.  It makes it easier to find related material on the web.  Perform a search and you’ll soon recognize the popularity of D&D.  It is the world that has spawned many fantasy movies and novels alike.  The game was nice.  I had a good time playing it.  But in the end, it’s just nice.

In the beginning, the movement controls were a bit cumbersome.  Gaming convention dictates that W, S, A, and D will move you forwards, backwards, turn left, and turn right.  Instead, W, S, Q, and E are used with A and D used for strafing (Player Character mode or FPS).  My opinion is most folks play in the afore mentioned mode.  The other mode, strategy mode, provides a top-down look and reminds me of an arcade game.  It sucks!!!  You do have the option of remapping keys.  I just never did it.  A game, in my opinion, should work out of the box with as few bugs as possible.  I know — keep dreaming.  So, that is my first gripe.

My second gripe is my major gripe.  This problem exists within the original campaign and the expansion pack.  Sadly enough, it is a problem that has never been addressed in any patch for a game a few years old.  Every conversation takes the focus away from your player character (usually the party leader) and places it on a character behind you — thus turning your back towards an enemy.  Once the banter is complete, you start out a fight with your back turned unless the bad guy got the last word.  The whole time your player character turns in the direction of the speaker while the scene plays out.  It sucks.  The last thing to occur in each of the interactions never takes place.  Your player character should re-face the enemy and bring the “focus” back to your character.  A small thing, but a huge oversight.  It ruins the game.  This one fix could have made the game much more enjoyable.

Other gripes, some “world transitions” – entering a house, entering a cave, traveling from one location to another – place the player character behind the AI controlled characters.  The occlusion system sucks.  Walls don’t disappear when they should and other objects get in the way.  In MOTB, the FPS camera is constantly reset after world transitions and the user has to reset it.  There is more.  But, I’ll let you figure them out on your own.

Game tip for MOTB:  Don’t kill all of the Greater Shadows of the Void in the Death God’s Vault.  There are enough offering urns to loot to last the whole game.  In other words, you can control the hunger.

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