Sunday, December 30, 2007

Re: Fighting Games Died When Anime Based Games Were Born

Ok, this is the first review of a review I've done so bear with me.

While checking my email, I get a Google Alert about someone who recently wrote about how fighting games died when anime games were born . But recently games have been showing up on Youtube and Gametrailers showing some nice scenes of the next Soulcalibur, Tekken, and Super Smash series. They look amazing. I have faith that they will be amazing. But time will tell.

And as for spawning "anime" games, Soulcalibur and Tekken have their own fan drawn anime out there. So would the Soulcalibur and Tekken series now be called an anime game or a fighting game? Soulcalibur was broken when someone pulled off a Yoshimitsu death combo that programmers didn't fix for arcades and now can't be used in competitions (or so I'm told).

Now I'm not sure if Dead or Alive was a fighting game or an anime game. If it was considered a fighting game, I use that as a counterpoint to this article. DoA was nothing but a joke to me when it was released for the Xbox360. The first time I played it, I fought players (not AI) who had already beaten the game several times through. A few good timed hits and chain combos and victory was in my hands, 7 times in a row. To top it off, DoA is one of the only fighting games I know that spawned, not one, but two volleyball games where the only difference was the number represented the number of engines used to program the breast physics.

Give me a break.

However, looking on the anime side doesn't really support my argument. The high flying and flashy franchise has many people buying the games from anime, even if they are horribly designed. I have yet to even see a good Inuyasha game and the Dragonball series has reached another level with Dragonball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3. That's not even mentioning the side games: DBZ Sagas and DBZ games made for the Gameboy Advanced. Bleach and Naruto can be redeemed to a point, but you need knowledge in the Japanese language and a JPN Playstation (or mod chip) to play them. Plus the gameplay isn't style the classic 2D style that the "old" gamers like. It is innovative and allows for 4 players on the screen with a 3D environment.

To put things to rest, if you want a real fighter game while not losing touch with your anime roots, just get MUGEN. It has <insert your favorite character here>. And I'm not kidding with that tag. You will be able to play with that character in this game. The only bad thing is you have to have a lot of patience in getting characters and backgrounds imported into MUGEN. Have a huge roster of fighting characters go up against a huge roster of anime characters. Problem solved.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Rant: Where did the 10 second rule for computers come from?

One of the biggest mysteries that I've run into ever since I've started computers with the legendary rule:

“Power the computer down, wait 10 seconds and restart.”

Or something to that effect.

I remembered one of my first computers that was ever declared mine (since I was too young to still have a credit card), and setting it up in my room. My parents had since strayed away from computers and the dot-com boom was a recent tragedy to the internet. I can still remember the fresh instruction papers from Gateway that looked like a Sunday morning cartoon newspaper that told me to assemble my computer in the way the told me. I felt bad for the person who couldn't do it as the most of the instructions were actually pictures instead of words. But as I got my computer up and running I remember seeing the troubleshooting guide telling me that if my computer locked up to “depress the power button, wait for 5 seconds until off” and then waiting like a kid counting down the days until Christmas, wait yet another 10 seconds until pressing the power button.

Being as rambunctious as I was, I decided to try it out. First, I waited the 10 seconds and tried it. After that, I would then try pressing it right after it powered down.

Nothing changed; no smoke, no bang, no sign came out saying I didn't follow instructions, nothing.

Even when I started working on other's computers, people would tell me about the 10 second rule.

So now, I've looked around trying to find out the origin of this rule among computers that I've kept in the back of my head until now and I haven't found anything. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow when I'm not running on 4 hours of sleep.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Linux Mint: A Newbie's Perspective

After messing around with PCLinuxOS, I finally decided it was time to give Linux Mint a try. The funny thing was I had the torrent file around on my computer but I never got around to downloading it and decided to give PCLinuxOS a try because of it's popularity on But I had some small hardships with PCLinuxOS that I couldn't get over, like that fact that my wireless connection would keep randomly disconnecting or the inability of mapping my multimedia keys correctly.

My would-be first gripe about Linux Mint was its inability to load correctly. Of course, this was later to be found out that k3b didn't burn it correctly, leading to errors. A second disk later on proved worthy. Booting up from the LiveCD led me to a screen showing the familiar-to-me gnome GUI with the panel on the bottom. On of my original gripes about Ubuntu was that fact that the panel was on the top and many new users converting from Windows didn't know that the "Start" button was now at the top left instead of the bottom left. However, Mint was friendly to a converted-from-Windows user by making it easy to find applications and control panel settings. Also, I noticed that my screen resolution was finally natively set to 1280x800, something that PCLOS failed to find. Also, Mint found my Nvidia card and loaded a driver with the Restricted Driver settings. Another pleasant surprise was finding all of my multimedia buttons mapped correctly to my HP Pavilion dv2000 laptop, yet another thing that PCLOS didn't do. Finally, alsamixer mapped my sound to Master instead of the PCLOS Speaker and Headphone split. I was able to mount my partitions with a doubleclick under gnome GUI. PCLOS could detect my partitions from a LiveCD, but I had to "mount /mnt/sda1" in order for it to recognize it. Pain in the neck for those with no console experience.

Some of my first gripes about Mint was no fluxbox yet. This is only a matter of preference however as fluxbox is more for convering power and memory for when it's needed, a perfect implementation for developers and servers. However, I'm more of an essentialist. I want my computer to run at full speed when I need it but at the same time to sit in the corner like a good little girl (I can dream) and not eat up processing power while idling. GKrellM was not a default on the LiveCD and was another small gripe I had. GKrellM is a great monitoring system than any newbie can set up with very little trouble. I would like to see some more plugins work (ahem, Sound Scope please, hint hint) but for small basic monitoring uses, its great. I will try out two others later on when I get more Linux experience.

One of the things that struck me as odd was seeing mintInstall. It's nice to see an install program with web integration. However the site doesn't have many options but provides extremely stable programs and can be monitored for any essential updates. This is nice to see for the new user end. Starting off in Linux, I had no idea how to install programs, nor did I get the concept of packages. Seeing mintInstall, new users can now install programs without having to find it using a package manager. Just click on the program they want, and mintInstall takes over. Synaptic still comes with Mint for those who want more advanced packages or development packages.

Mint comes with Compiz Fusion. I thought I was going to die trying to install Fusion onto PCLOS, but it comes with Mint from the LiveCD. All I needed was to enable my drivers for 3D acceleration, install the Compiz Config Manager, and I got all the great features that I've been wanting for a long time. Getting some of the extra plugins will take work such as the Compiz Fusion screensaver plugin, but someone with time and patience looking through Google should have no problem getting the dependencies for these extra plugins.

Sound is great. It finally uses the full effect of my Intel digital sound card and switches between using the speakers and headphones when I plug into my headphone jack. No problems there. While my multimedia buttons don't like the controls of XMMS, it works through sound players like Amarok, Banshee, and Songbird. I use Banshee now because of the ability to sync my iPod. To all those who hate Apple, I'm sorry but the iPod interface works well for me and I've had very few software crashes. With Banshee and gtkPod, Linux and the iPod love each other, or as much as Apple's contracts will let them.

Totem is my Movie Player right now. MPlayer comes with it too but Totem has the nicer interface. However, it seems that Totem seems to have upgraded their codecs recently as I'm able to play DivX and H264 encoded videos. No problems playing my anime (happy happy, joy joy). Even when playing an older anime with subtitles that weren't supported well, Totem still had the option to use them and show them. It was completely flawless, but the subtitles came up about 90% of the time with no lag in showing it. Video was synced well with the audio too.

Pidgin is the Instant Messenger that Mint uses. For those who remember Gaim, this is it, only with the changed name. It was nice to see this instead of the annoying Kopete (KDE's version of an instant messenger). Still highly configurable and now it has the ability the give an alias to your friends. But it does more than that. For example, if you had a friend with three screen names, you could make an alias for them and drag all three of those names under one alias. Simple!

Overall, Mint is like they say: Minty fresh. Any beginning user could jump in with some help from Google and install Mint with no problems. Granted I had some problems with burning the LiveCD, that was because I used my laptop's CD Burner and didn't run a check on the CD after burning. My two mistakes and two cents. ;) Being able to name my computer from install (unlike PCLOS), mapped multimedia buttons, sensing native screen resolutions along with my Nvidia card, Compiz Fusion, and a great install program (mintInstall) are all a plus. GKrellM (or some system monitor) would be something I'd like to see in Mint's install system. Fluxbox would be nice but is not necessary. With as much software there is and seeing many essentials being very stable, our End Users out there can finally enjoy computing again with Mint.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Changing your hostname in Linux (PCLinuxOS)

With networking today, you need to have computers hook up with each other in order to file transfer, surf the web, or have a wicked LAN game between many friends (or just your roommates). Installing PCLinuxOS was easy enough for me but I found that trying to network takes some research. One of the fastest ways I found was changing a file and rebooting.

First, bring up a terminal and bring your superuser. If you have no idea what I'm talking about right now, it is best if you stop there and backup your system before continuing. I'm not saying that as a derogatory comment, I'm talking from experience. Messing with system files and partitions was not the brightest thing to do, but I didn't have any teachers other than a Linux disc and the internet.

Continuing on, find your /etc/sysconfig/network file and open it with your favorite text editor. I use vi but it's all text based and can cause panic if you find out that hard way (as I did) when you open it, you can't just save and quit like Microsoft Word or notepad. If you want to use something like Microsoft's notepad, use kwrite or gedit. Those are great starter programs that look very much like notepad.

When you bring it up, you should have a file that has one line:


Go ahead and beneath that, add this line:


Edit the second hostname to the name you want for your computer. For example, if my computer was a file server that held all my anime, I could name it this.


Notice the underscore. Computer names never have spaces in them. If you try to add in a space, it will return an error in Windows. In Linux, I don't know what it will do, nor do I want to find out.

Save your file and reboot your computer and your computer will be ready for local area networking. Just a small note, you don't need to do this if you want to just connect to the internet. This change is only needed for local area networks.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another site, Another blog

Blogging has been around since I started getting into computers. My first attempts at regular blogging were soon blocked off by my school as many derogatory dialogs were said and found by the very people whom these comments were made upon. Therefore, blogging was considered "bad".

However, once graduated, I found that blogging had exploded into a new source of much needed information that people couldn't find when searching on Google, in their local library, or even calling a friend and asking for their advice (if one could call it "advice"). So my search for a blog site started yet again.

I looked around at different sites that a few of my friends used. MySpace seemed to be a good pick as I could type, spew, or vent in anyway I wanted, and my text was well centered and easy to read. However, this started changing as HTML reached grubby handed programmers that implemented color changes on blog spaces. It started to get annoying to see changes such as red and black text on white, or rainbow-colored text on a flashy background that annoyed me to the point that had me finally ditch MySpace.

Joining up with Facebook, I found some friends that were in my local church. I immediately found Facebook was much cleaner and had better security than MySpace. However, it took me over a span of 5 weeks to find out that Facebook's version of blogs was something called "Notes". I never knew a "blog" and a "note" was the same thing, considering that fact that a "note" is something that I take in class and a "blog" is the doodles that randomly on the side on my note.

In any case, my Facebook notes never really reached enough people (or maybe they did and I never knew it). Looking around again, I found myself at Xanga trying to see if I could somehow establish a new account with them. However, with all the site changes they made from 2 years ago, I got frustrated with the constant barrage of emails, as well as the constant reminder telling me to "upgrade your account!" which never really appealed to me. I'm not one for huge visual appeal. That's what drove me away from MySpace.

Poking at Blogger finally gave way as I started to learn terms and usage in vocabulary of a blogger. So far, it seems simple enough and looks great. A plus given to the fact that it constantly saves my blog in the event that I post and my internet connection fails (which seems to be the case right now). However, I needed a place to post my thoughts as well reviews and details about anime and games. Let's see if Blogger suits my needs.