Age of Windows; Age of Suck

In my opinion, Age of Empires; Age of Kings was probably the pinnacle of the “Age of” series.  It’s the best RTS I’ve ever played.  Starcraft I just never could get into and Warcraft was neither immersive or intuitive.  I haven’t played the Total War Games so I don’t know anything about those.  However the Age of Empires series is something I grew up with.

And being developed by Microsoft The Age of Empires Series will last far into the future as long as there are windows OS’s right?  right?

Wrong.  Windows Vista and to an even greater extent Windows 7, both break the graphics of the game.  The break renders the ground textures into what has been called toxic waste.  Now I know windows doesn’t have the best track record with games.  But you would think if their own profits were at risk they would you know patch it or something.

The process to fix this is something that would end with most people calling text support. And even more complicated it differs depending on which OS your using.

To fix;
right-click the icon and select properties
open the compatibility tab
Set compatibility to XP service pack 2

And then possibly;
check run in 256 color
check run in 640×480
check disable visual themes
check disable desktop composition
check disable display scaling on high DPI settings

OR

right-click the desktop
select personalize (windows vista) or screen resolution(windows 7)

(vista)select display settings
select 16 bit in the color tab

(Windows 7)select advance settings
select monitor
set colors to 16 bit

If that doesn’t work alt tab with the game open change it back to 32 bit and then back to 16 bit until it works.

Do you see the problem here? but whatever it is fixable and I get to play my game.

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Star Wars Prequels

Given that everybody on the internet seems to agree that the prequel trilogy to star wars sucked, I am inclined to rant on the subject.  Many have brought up it’s shortcomings and flaws.  Many have called it garbage and an insult to the sequels.  and you know what?  they are entitled to their opinions.  but I think they’re wrong.

I will admit the movies have flaws.  each and every single movie has a flaws and plot holes.  The real problem i think that most people have with the prequel trilogy is it isn’t new anymore.  They are looking through rose tinted glasses at the days of their youth and remembering the awe of one of the very first movies to incorporate modern-day special effects and wondering why these new movies don’t inspire that same awe and wonder.

Well for starters these are prequels so there is absolutely no mystery or intrigue or surprise that we won’t see coming.  We know Anakin is going to become a bad guy, we know Obi-wan is going to be a good guy.  We know who lives and who dies.  Who wins and who loses.  What is going to happen and when.

Who is this little boy in the desert?  Anakin Skywalker in the future Darth Vader.  This bad guy is going to die?  No, no he’s not in fact he’s going to win.  Oh goodness Yoda is in trouble!  don’t worry he’ll be fine, he is in the future (except for dying of old age).

second as i said it isn’t new.  go back in time 50 years with a cell phone and amaze people go forward in the future 50 years and cell phones will have been replaced by something cooler.  Star Wars for all intents and purposes created modern-day special effects.  They used the fucking cutting edge on a tight budget skunkworks project back then.  Now special effects are used in practically every movie being made.  They aren’t going to reinvent the wheel.  Technologically they can’t.  You can’t upgrade the best we have. the studios have used special effects since the Jedi returned and have been making the best to use in every movie ever since.  And to cap it all off The matrix had just revolutionized what special effects could do mere weeks before episode 1.  Is It any wonder that you aren’t amazed by Gungans vs. battle droids right after seeing two super hackers systematically tear apart a computer controlled government building (with guns… lots of guns)?

I’ve heard George Lucas is good with a tight budget and bad with a large one.  I don’t think that holds true because everything the prequels do wrong the originals do just as wrong.  I would posit that episodes 1,2, and 3 are just as bad as 4,5, and 6.

Stale wooden acting and generic stereotypical cast, over the top action, gratuitous fanservice in the third installment.  And frankly episode 4 was just as boring as episode 2.

I liked episode 1, 2, and 3 they were what I expected.  I’m not sure what everyone else expected especially because no one has seriously said what they would have done for the prequel trilogy.  Some have said they just would not have made them, and to that I respond “well weren’t you the one clamouring for the prequels back in ’95 when the trilogy was rereleased?”

numb3rs

I love the show numb3rs.  David Krumholz is one of my favorite actors because of this series.  I’ve  been rewatching the whole thing on netflix. (i recommend netflix btw, it’s a convenient and well priced service, just hope it stays that way).  Last night I watched episode 31.   I dunno how I missed it but I’m glad I had.  this was an episode with no math tricks and no twists to the case, and it was horrible.  

  For those who didn’t watch the show, it is about a group of FBI agents fighting crime (see also criminal minds, Lie to me and without a trace).  The originality of this series comes from the lead FBI agent (played by Rob Morrow) having a little brother who is a math wiz.  and not in the “he got straight A’s and was mathletes team” math wiz.  No he graduated from Princeton at 14 and became the applied math prof. at CalSci at 21.  The little brother is named Charlie Eppes and is play by David Krumholtz and most plot have him using mathematical algorithms and probability models to out think the criminal.

This episode i watched though… there was none of that.  There was no out thinking the criminal, there was no witty math metaphors and it turned into the worst kind of boring crime drama.  They busted a meth lab, they found out the meth dealer had other vices (child porn) and that he was after his daughter and ex-wife.  the way it played it seemed to be building to some sort of twist at the end.  Maybe the meth dealer was trying save his daughter from child pornographers.  maybe he wasn’t the guy in the meth lab.  maybe his wife has some shady stuff… ultimately the only twist is that there isn’t one.  Police find daughter and mother first.  THen they get the bad guy trying to leave the country and then it ends after some characters talk about something pointless.  It was the worst kind of filler, that which adds nothing and doesn’t even entertain very well.  And the end is unresolved.  the dealer is shown in cuffs and then he asks for a lawyer and is walked off screen. 

??? and?

Nothing and the main character feels bad because when he was a child he thought he saw something bad happening at the neighbor’s house.  he talks about it then cut to black. None of it is ever brought up again. 

as i said worst kind of filler.

Ear infection

I have a middle ear infection. It is by far the worst pain i have ever felt. It’s not like mono where i could control when the pain hit me in the throat with a hammer. No this is pain that flares every time my sinuses have action. If i was feeling okay this would be fine. However i have a cold and that means my sinuses are bearing the brunt of the upper respirtory infection. So my ear pops all the time. And every time it does i’m hit in the head with a hammer. and it’s not just my ear, oh no, i get to feel pain on the whole left side of head. And remember pain for sniffling, coughing, sneezing, burping, wheezing or just yawning. I hate being sick.

Tails Dragon Tales

I wish I wish

 with all my heart

 to fly with dragons

 in a land of —rt

This is the rhyme to go to dragon land in the show dragontales.  I know it’s a childrens show.  I know it doesn’t matter but by god my kids watch and that means I have to watch it.  or hear it at least.  And I think even then it wouldn’t bother me except one thing.  It sounds an awful lot like the last verse is “in a land of heart”.  I don’t know thats what it is, it’s sounds like alot of words;apart, fart, tart.  but the one that makes sense in the rhymeis heart.  That is annoying and it makes the rhyme not rhyme.  A word cannot rhyme with itself in a limerick.  This drives me nuts.  Evey time I hear it.

And yeah I know, welcome to parenthood.

large companies

Why can’t large companies function correctly? They just can’t seem work out problems and kinks when they get net profit of 1 million. Is it just because stockholders eat their brains? Or souls? I mean BP has just been bumbling along for a year cleaning the gulf and they still aren’t done. And if they think they’re going to pull through this intact, I’ve got news that should have been known on day one.

They aren’t.

Google bought YouTube and linked it to everything.  Now i need a google account and link it to my Facebook account.  WHY?

I used to have a YouTube account. it was nice.  I go, I’d sign in, i’d watch videos.  Now signing in is an adventure in how soulless a company can become.  an adventure in failure. i can’t just give my email address and reset my password. why?  and don’t want a google account.  i don’t use Gmail or chrome, i hardly use google. 

this is incompetence.  Google is supposed to find things.   YouTube is for videos and i don’t need to have everything following me around on the web guessing what i want. 

i just want to like a video for Christs sake.

A Few Mini rants

I figure I may do this often but instead of thinking up like 500 words on one subject I’ll do a few small rants of no more than a paragraph or two. looking back over the other posts I notice this is getting kinda angry and I don’t want just anger rants. That in mind I thought a couple of rants praising stuff i like.

Think Positive!

Team Fortress 2

Yahtzee once said that if you had “been remotely interested in online shooters in the last decade” (said in 2008) “you already know everything about team fortress and TF2 is basically that with all the corners cut off and polished to a mirror shine.” seeing as i spent most of 1995-2007 playing a Sony console or gamecube i knew nothing of the desolate wasteland that had become PC gaming. It is still that but like the people in fallout they built several small towns. Some are well run if a bit sinister (steam) and some are raider filled trash dumps (games for windows LIVE).

So with little working knowledge of online shooters I jump in.  Now online I have played halo, I have played call of duty, I have played unreal tournament. team fortress 2 is so much better in so many ways.  And maybe I’m wrong but the population of people I would kill in real life for being totally retarded is ridiculously lower.  I’ve had conversations about aboriginal natives while playing this game.  the classes let you know what you’re suppose to do without being too easy and are deep enough that with enough practice you can become an unstoppable machine.  And thankfully unlike some other games not having disposable income isn’t a hindrance. you can buy all the special weapons if you got the cash or you can just get them in-game for playing. 

After typing this (if child will let me) I’ll probably play it.

Some anime

Netflix (I’ll rant at some point)  recently enlarged their anime portfolio.  Being the gigantic nerd that I am, I am ecstatic! ^w^.  recently butler black and ken-ichi; the mightiest disciple have been watched.   they also have the entire inuyasha series (again will rant) it’s in japanese with english subtitles.  Now I don’t mind this and it’s probably because only like half the episodes were ever dubbed in english but it is weird getting use to new voices for familiar characters.i’ve seen some other stuff I’ll get around to.  I’ll probably rant at some point.

Ken ichi is good in that it’s about fighting and seems like some with a black belt actually advised on the show.  the characters are solid and unlike DBZ instead of starting with the most powerful fighter and having  to make stronger and stronger enemies until you have a god as a main character that’s has to be nerfed at the beginning of the next spinoff it starts off with a know-nothing and progress at mild pace from there.  it’s good in a way I haven’t seen since arc 2 of bleach.

black butler is grim dark and set in Victorian england.  not a lot of action but one hell of a butler.  Lots of subdued supernatural which i like.  i hate when there are giant demons walking around causing havoc and everyone seems to be looking tin the wrong direction at the wrong time every time.  It’s really disturbing and usually lamp shaded or just ignored.  suspension of disbelief and all that.  this however takes the better approach of everything supernatural being just believable enough that yeah if you saw the aftermath you wouldn’t think is was a giant demon dog.

also rugrats seasons were added.  I’ve been forced to reverse my childhood opinion wild thornberries was a better show.  They’re both still okay, but WT is cleaner, better written, and more interesting.  RR gets too stale after awhile which is clear because they kept adding new characters (in order; susie, dil, chuckie’s step sister).  and all grown up is still an annoying pile of failure in my opinion.