The Great Shark Hunt

Gonzo blogging from the Annie Leibovitz of the software development world.

Page 5 of 182

Xbox + Keyboard + Mouse = Heaven

This *is* too cool. A nice add-on for your Xbox or PS2 to allow you to plug in a mouse and keyboard.

I’ve always played FPS games on my PC (is there any other way?). Last year I hooked up with the ThoughtWorks guys and would play Halo late into the night. Let me tell you, playing Halo with a game controller is crap.

I kept asking them “why is it so slow” while they were commenting how fast it was? I’m used to doing a 180, fire off a few rounds, and jump back to carry on without breaking a breath in UT or Quake. Halo was painful as I watched the scenery as I lollygagged around.

Now having a keyboard and my XBox (won one at some silly Microsoft architecture touchy-feely thing) together? That just plain rocks. Of course the bitching I hear now from the console purists is that it throws a wrench in the level playing field they claim they had before. People with the mouse/keyboard combo will outplay a controller. Well, duh.

I’m all over MapPoint…

…like a fat kid on a… never mind.

No, this isn’t a SharePoint thing. I don’t know who it is that got me switched but I was reading a blog and lingered over to MapPoint to check out the rumblings. I’m sure thousands of people out there (and the 3 that read this blog) have used MapQuest. Plug an address in, get a map back and directions on how to get there from wherever you want. Very cool stuff.

MapPoint is the Microsoft version of this and it’s pretty slick. Maybe it’s just infrastructure, but I found it much snappier than MapQuest. Also IMHO the maps are better looking and you can reduce all the clutter that’s usually on a map and print out just want you want.

Like I said. Cool stuff. Yeah, a geek that gets hyped about a website and it’s not porn. Probably something wrong there that I’ll talk to a therapist about someday.

While it’s relatively straightforward to produce126 inch by 200 inch + maps in strips with MapInfo (a desktop GIS mapping tool) using a large format plotter, you can do it with MapPoint–MapPoint_LargeFormat_Printing.html

Check out “Huge Detailed Maps With MapPoint 2004” in a recent newsletter

And finally Eric Frost, besides being a cool name for an X-Man villian, is the Editor and Publisher of MP2K Magazine and has an RSS feed for MapPoint articles:

Will Wright on The Screen Savers

Somewhat old news but I missed the original airing on September 16, just before The Sims 2 was released. Will Wright showed up last night on a repeat broadcast of The Screen Savers with a few things to say about the game.

Creator Will Wright sat down for an interview with Alex Albrecht, who asked him whether the concept of a game about interior décor and toilet-flushing was a tough sell.

“When I was trying to sell the idea for the game, it didn’t do very well,” Wright admitted. “But people make a deep connection with the game and it becomes about them. The players can drive the experience wherever they want to go – it’s very open-ended.”

Does he ever get weirded out by some of the customizations that fans create?

“Actually, the coolest thing about the game is what the fans have created for it, taking it to peculiar directions like armadillos and nude Japanese politicians,” Wright said. “To me, that’s really cool – in a creepy way.”

The Sims 2 will include lifespans for its characters as they will grow older, and it will have different sets of behavior for different ages. Children may run away from home, while grandparents might help kids with their homework. But morbid players take note: babies can’t be killed in the game through mistreatment. Social Services will come and take them away.

Fun stuff.

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