Month: September 2011

Tweet Friday: 2011-09-30

  • Tara bought me Twinkies Saturday. I've never had them before then. I like them, and really wonder why I've never had them before… #
  • I would like a new nose please, this one seems to be leaking… #
  • Got a Jury Duty notification in the mail. With any luck it's nothing that'll keep me too busy. But part of me is kinda excited ๐Ÿ™‚ #
  • How To Watch Reality TV [Comics] http://t.co/6librTNS via @geeksaresexy #

City of Heroes is Free!

Free as in beer and all that.

I started playing City of Heroes since the day it launched, and it was the only MMO that I played for the longest time. There were a few others that I tried out, but none stuck the same way. I guess it’s the idea of playing a Super Hero that made it for me ๐Ÿ™‚

The years went on, I paid monthly, and stated to play less and less. It was after not playing for a couple of months did I finally decide to hang it up and call it quits. Cancelled the account and went on with life.

Then, one day, I got an email from a Super Group I used to belong to. It was the only time I played with the same group of people every week. It was nice as we all progressed at the same time and these people knew how to play. Something that you don’t run into often enough in games like these. Back to the email. It told me that COH was going free, and it peeked my interest.

Logging onto the website told me I would return as a prestige player, meaning that it would be free but I would retain all my old achievements. This was good to know as I had built up powers and the like that I didn’t want to loose ๐Ÿ™‚

Weeks went by and finally, yesterday, City of Heroes Freedom launched. I fired up the client and gave it a whirl. The following is my account of about two hours of play:

(as a note: If I mention that there’s something new, it could just be new to me)

Logging in is the same, and I was expecting to see that I had two character slots. Seems that, as a returning player, I actually get 9. This is nice. Granted, there are more than 9 servers, but whatever. That, and I didn’t loose any characters, but I can’t unlock them all. Still not bad.

Went onto Freedom, unlocked a slot and created a character. There is a new option that mentions Play Type. This is new to me, and really all it does is filter the Archetypes. Nice for new people.

After that character creation is still pretty much the same. Choose your archetype, power sets, starting powers. It was nice to see that, as a free player, my choices for everything seemed to be the same as before I left. I suspect that there will be new power sets in the future that I would have to pay to unlock, but right now there’s plenty to choose from. Also, the two archetypes that would have to pay for I’ve never been able to play anyway. To get them you would have to have one character at 50, and I never got that far ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

The costume screen is the same, and a lot of the unlockables seem to be costume related. Doesn’t bother me none ๐Ÿ™‚

Jumped into the tutorial, and it was all new. It also had this cool comic book intro. And it’s interesting in that, at one point you get to choose to either help a hero or kill them. Your choice then sends you to either Villans or Heroes. Which is a little odd, as the archetype are already split up into hero/villan, so I suppose it’s possible to be a hero in the villan setting. Could be interesting to try.

After that, to be honest, it was the same old same old. The updated graphics are great to look at and adds a lot to the game.

Before I logged in I was rather worried at how limited it might be, and how that limitation would be thrown into my face. I’ve played other free-to-play MMOs, and they seem to give you things that you would have to pay for to use. COH doesn’t seem to be doing this. I’m not getting rewards that I can’t use. But if I wanted to, I could buy power sets, costume parts, etc. But that’s my choice. I just hope that the purchased stuff isn’t over powered that it causes imbalance. Not that COH was ever unbalanced ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also, according to the devs, there will still be plenty of free updates, so use cheapies won’t be left in the dark or forgotten.

I guess the question is; is the fact that it’s free enough for me to come back on a regular basis? Or for that matter, to convince people I used to play with to come back?

If nothing else, it relieves the guilt of paying for something that I’m not using. And at this point, playing for a couple hours a week, hell, a few hours a month, is still worth it.

So, if you used to play COH, would you come back? And if you never played, is the fact that it’s free enough for you to try?

City of Heroes is Free!

Free as in beer and all that.

I started playing City of Heroes since the day it launched, and it was the only MMO that I played for the longest time. There were a few others that I tried out, but none stuck the same way. I guess it’s the idea of playing a Super Hero that made it for me ๐Ÿ™‚

The years went on, I paid monthly, and stated to play less and less. It was after not playing for a couple of months did I finally decide to hang it up and call it quits. Cancelled the account and went on with life.

Then, one day, I got an email from a Super Group I used to belong to. It was the only time I played with the same group of people every week. It was nice as we all progressed at the same time and these people knew how to play. Something that you don’t run into often enough in games like these. Back to the email. It told me that COH was going free, and it peeked my interest.

Logging onto the website told me I would return as a prestige player, meaning that it would be free but I would retain all my old achievements. This was good to know as I had built up powers and the like that I didn’t want to loose ๐Ÿ™‚

Weeks went by and finally, yesterday, City of Heroes Freedom launched. I fired up the client and gave it a whirl. The following is my account of about two hours of play:

(as a note: If I mention that there’s something new, it could just be new to me)

Logging in is the same, and I was expecting to see that I had two character slots. Seems that, as a returning player, I actually get 9. This is nice. Granted, there are more than 9 servers, but whatever. That, and I didn’t loose any characters, but I can’t unlock them all. Still not bad.

Went onto Freedom, unlocked a slot and created a character. There is a new option that mentions Play Type. This is new to me, and really all it does is filter the Archetypes. Nice for new people.

After that character creation is still pretty much the same. Choose your archetype, power sets, starting powers. It was nice to see that, as a free player, my choices for everything seemed to be the same as before I left. I suspect that there will be new power sets in the future that I would have to pay to unlock, but right now there’s plenty to choose from. Also, the two archetypes that would have to pay for I’ve never been able to play anyway. To get them you would have to have one character at 50, and I never got that far ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

The costume screen is the same, and a lot of the unlockables seem to be costume related. Doesn’t bother me none ๐Ÿ™‚

Jumped into the tutorial, and it was all new. It also had this cool comic book intro. And it’s interesting in that, at one point you get to choose to either help a hero or kill them. Your choice then sends you to either Villans or Heroes. Which is a little odd, as the archetype are already split up into hero/villan, so I suppose it’s possible to be a hero in the villan setting. Could be interesting to try.

After that, to be honest, it was the same old same old. The updated graphics are great to look at and adds a lot to the game.

Before I logged in I was rather worried at how limited it might be, and how that limitation would be thrown into my face. I’ve played other free-to-play MMOs, and they seem to give you things that you would have to pay for to use. COH doesn’t seem to be doing this. I’m not getting rewards that I can’t use. But if I wanted to, I could buy power sets, costume parts, etc. But that’s my choice. I just hope that the purchased stuff isn’t over powered that it causes imbalance. Not that COH was ever unbalanced ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also, according to the devs, there will still be plenty of free updates, so use cheapies won’t be left in the dark or forgotten.

I guess the question is; is the fact that it’s free enough for me to come back on a regular basis? Or for that matter, to convince people I used to play with to come back?

If nothing else, it relieves the guilt of paying for something that I’m not using. And at this point, playing for a couple hours a week, hell, a few hours a month, is still worth it.

So, if you used to play COH, would you come back? And if you never played, is the fact that it’s free enough for you to try?

Hello world!

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Tweet Friday: 2011-09-23

  • Queen – I'm going slightly mad – most elegant use of all the 'he's crazy' phrases… #
  • @flying_squirrel I'm in Liberal Land where Vote Compass is concerned…not sure how I feel about that in reply to flying_squirrel #
  • @SCOTTDKPARKER Should you not be working, or is there an update that I missed? in reply to SCOTTDKPARKER #
  • @SCOTTDKPARKER Arg! Sorry to hear that ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I'll keep my eyes open for stuff, but I don't think we're doing a lot of hiring… in reply to SCOTTDKPARKER #
  • Quick Question: Does anyone actually read my posts on LiveJournal anymore? Or is it all Facebook/WordPress/RSS these days? #
  • What is with my sudden obsession to have correct MP3 tags? I have 22K+ MP3s, and they all need to have the right tags. When did this happen? #
  • Dislike the new facebook newsfeed so much, I'm only going to look at FB via TweetDeck! Take that FB! Oh, you didn't notice… #

One Year

10:40 am, 5 lbs 3oz.

That was the time and birth weight of Liam one year ago today. Looking back, I really can’t believe that he was ever that small.

His eyes, when they were open, were black as pitch. Now they’re a radiant blue, and he’s a hit with all the ladies.

His hands were so tiny, not even able to wrap themselves around my finger. Now they’re into everything; food, cat hair, and whatever he can grab.

His hair, which was there at birth, kinda went awol. And now he’s a little shaggy. Need to get that boy to a barber!

Tara and I talked about this last night and wondered what our live was like before we had him? How on earth did we fill our days? We’re still not sure.

One thing is for certain; that little boy brings so much joy into our lives that I can’t think of a world without him.

 

 

Blog Clients

So once gain I’m playing around with blog clients.

I was using MS Live Writer, but since I’m upgrading the work lappy to Windows 7(woo!) I tried it in 7…and it’s kinda ass. Also, for some reason, some of the plugins don’t seem to be installing, or if they install, they’re not working.

Also, it’s not really that portable. I would need a seperate install and config per computer. And since I could either blog from the couch or the basement, it would be nice to be able to plop it in dropbox and run it from there.

I want to say that it’s amazing that there’s not more offline blogging software, but I suspect it’s a bit of a niche market that really didn’t grow. In fact, of the ones I’ve found, very few have been updated in the last few years. LiveWriter being the exception.

Initially I tried Zoundry Raven. It’s got a good interface, saves posts offline, and allows for a portable install. It also, nativly, allows to post to more than one blog at a time. This requires a plugin for LiveWriter. So I setup the wordpress and LJ account, and start blogging. And publish. And LJ doesn’t get published to.

Hmm

Try again, same problem.

Now, there are two servers that LJ can publish from, so I try both, and they just give different errors.

Arg.

But really, who reads LJ anymore? Just in case, I’m now trying BlogDesk. It seems to be ok, and with a little tweeking, I have it running from dropbox properly. It does all the things Raven did, and seems to be lighter and faster.

Don’t know yet if it’ll publish to LJ, this post will be the test.

UPDATE: Nope, for some reason it’s not. I suspect it has something to do with the age of the client and I’m sure the LJ API has been updated since, well, 2006 ๐Ÿ˜‰

UPDATE AGAIN: Since I started writing this, I’ve tried a couple others.

w.blogger has the benifit of having a portable version, so I can just unzip it and pop it into Dropbox. Howeve,r like the rest, it hasn’t been updated in ages. The current version being released in 2007. It does allow(in theory) to post to both WP and LJ, although I haven’t tried it yet for LJ. The wizard to add accounts is nice, and while it should allow to publish to more than one account, you have to switch back and forth between them instead of a single option. There is a tool to publish to more than one account, but it assumes that the multiple accounts are of the same blog software. For instance two WP accounts or two LJ accounts, not one of each.

And lastly(for now anyway) there’s ScribeFireNext, which is browser based. Once again, it will allow to publish to more than one account, just not at the same time. Mind you, switching back and forth between accounts is much easier than w.blogger. Also, it’s still being worked on and has updates this month ๐Ÿ™‚ So it should actually work with LJ if I need it to. It will import the blog settings based on the URL of the blog, so that’s helpful as well. It’s one annoying feature so far is it seems to pop up ‘ads’ every now and then on the side panel. But otherwise, it works nicely. And I suppose I could install it to a portable version of FF….

So yea, new(to me) blog tools. I just didn’t like the default one for WordPress.

That, and offline writing makes life a little easier.

Computer Sabbatical

This was a bit of a dare from Tara. Could I go a day, or weekend, without getting on the computer to doโ€ฆstuff?

The short answer is yes.

The reason, I think, for this dare was that my focus was way out of whack. I really couldnโ€™t concentrate and a damn thing or sit still really. I would always be going back online to look this or that up, and really, it was never anything important. And it was taking my time away from my family. Something that I really didnโ€™t want to happen at all.

So, come Friday after work, I closed the work laptop(which is also kind of a personal laptop now) and it didnโ€™t open again until Monday morning.

Nor did I run to the main computer to do any computing. No surfing, game playing, nuthin.

And you know, it felt really good. Sure, I was a little twitchy here and there, but all in all, it was a really nice experience. To be unplugged from the world, and not worry about it.

In fact, itโ€™s been such a good experience that I very often just close up shop after work and not worry about it again until the next day.

Has this helped with my focus and concentration? A little. Iโ€™m not totally ADHD, just a little ADD(hyper has never been a good description for me).

Has it helped me spend more time with my family? Hell yes. Itโ€™s done wonders for that I think.

Not to say that I was a negligent father or anything, but I wasnโ€™t always in the same place as my body. And this has helped.

If you find yourself online too much, I really suggested you give this a try. You might discover other cool things to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

Father Son Day

It’s Friday, and it’s the first day that I get Liam pretty much all to myself.

The day started as most do, with Tara getting Liam up and my getting him a bottle. Switch on the cartoons and we’re good to go. As a bit of a twist, we drove Tara into work today so that she didn’t have to take the bus. Tara and the bus don’t get along. They tried, they were never able to work it out.

However, we left early and since traffic was pretty good, would have arrived at work stupid early, so a detour to Tim’s was needed. Coffee and timbits in hand, we sat in the parking lot and just chatted and munched. The Apple Cinnimon timbits really reminded me of Apple Jacks for some reason.

With Tara saftly at work, Liam and I headed home for breakfast. Traffic is always easy on the way back, so we got home in record time. Liam puttered in the living room while Daddy made pancakes and melon(didn’t so much make the melon as sliced it).

Both he and I gobbled them up and then made our way to the mall to return stuff that either wasn’t needed or fit properly. That’s the problem of buying jeans when the store is busy, it almost always results in a return trip. I should really know my own sizes better. I don’t.

Took Liam home for a nap. It was a busy morning and he was pooped. Our daycare provided says she just puts him on his back, gives him his bear and blanket, and walks away. Tara and I had tried this in the past to little success, so we just kinda stopped trying. Seems that, somewhere down the line, this is all he really needed, and he went down like a charm.

Then it was Daddy time. I really don’t remember what I did ๐Ÿ™‚

I got the boy up for a snack and and play time, and then off to the hospitol to have lunch with Mommy. This served double duty as she got to show Liam off to all her co-workers. And as per usual, he was the cutiest kid ever! We ate in the new cafateria, and I have to say they’ve done wonders to the place. It looks modern and clean, and so much larger than the last one. Also, the food is great(unlike most).

Back home for a longer nap. The afternoon naps are really important these days. Otherwise he’s super cranky. And again he’s down for the count right quick.

Daddy time again. This time it’s toodling around on the computer, playing FF2(4) on the lappy, and doing some general tidying. I try to nap, but since the playpen doesn’t have a monitor, I found I really couldn’t get a decent sleep. That’s fine, sleep will come later ๐Ÿ™‚

I got the boy up for more play time. We’re having a lot of fun these days just crawling around at break neck speed, climbing everything that can be climbed, and yelling at the vacume cleaner when it’s running. Not sure where that comes from, but still.

Our day ended when we went to pick up Mommy from the bus stop, and then it was family time.

Next week will be a little different. We’ll still have lunch with Mommy, but we’re also starting our swimming lessons. I think that’ll interfeer with the morning nap, but maybe I can move that around somehow. We’ll see how it works out ๐Ÿ™‚

Tweet Friday: 2011-09-16

  • It has been a very quiet day; Tara is at work and Liam is at his grandparents. It took all of 5 minutes before I started talking to myself.. #
  • Know the best part of Thursday? Realizing it's actually a Friday. Mind you, Saturday is the new Monday, and I don't know where Monday lies.. #
  • The Rust in Peace Remaster is mostly ass. Dave just can't sing as well as he used to. What possessed him to resing everything? Honestly ๐Ÿ˜ฆ #