I love music. I may be a computer geek, but I’m also an artist and an occasional DJ, so there’s always something on my iPod when I’m writing, coding, or surfing the Internet. A number of bands I love are very “tech-oriented” synthpop or EBM (short for “electronic body music,” a sort of hybrid between industrial and dance) — in other words, music to program to. The tech-fetishist, often geek-friendly lyrics of bands like Psykosonik or Covenant and the synthesized, catchy beats produced by Melotron and Neuroticfish provide an excellent beat for those who need upbeat inspiration for their cyber-pursuits, be it coding or gaming, hacking or network security.
However, should you require something a bit more mellow, My Bloody Valentine is my new favorite. Their music is fluid, ambient, and laid back — but it’s got enough bite to it to be interesting. It’s very sexy, in a sort of synthesized way. If you’ve got a hot date with the cute girl from your web design class (or a hot guy you met at last weekend’s LAN party), and want something to play while you discuss XHTML 1.0 Strict Validation over dinner, this is your band. Another great pick is Massive Attack, which is much more ambient-techno than MBV but still makes for great background music for dinner, art, conversation, or romance. Throw on either of these bands for instant ambiance that still appeal to the part of you that wants something “tech-y” to listen to, without sacrificing the atmosphere.
If you are a current Windows XP user and want to try out Mac OS X but don’t feel like spending the cash on a new system then give this theme package a download. After downloading the install package and patching your UXTheme.dll file, then you will be able to experience Mac OS X on your Windows computer – at least the visual part. No need for a Mac emulator here. This is also great for people that love the Mac OS X interface and absolutely have to use a Windows based system.
Read More | FlyakiteOSX
The million dollar question remains truly unanswered, which next generation console is the best? Well the Microsoft Xbox team aims to try to answer this question by comparing all the numbers that are being fed to us by both PR departments in a four part series. Still wondering which console they say is the best. Can you blame them for stating that their console is the best? They clearly do make very good points and do give the PS3 proper credit; however to say that one console is better than another at this point is a mighty bold claim. What we need to see are in game stats and to experience both consoles ourselves to really make that final conclusion. One thing for sure is that we will all find out soon enough if the next Xbox lives up to expectations.
You ever wonder why some game that you can’t stand gets about a dozen sequels, yet the game that you really want more of never gets made? It is a shame. Here is a look at a few games that should get sequels, but aren’t.
Maniac Mansion and Day of the Tentacle
Lucas Games created some of the greatest 2D visual adventures ever made. The original Maniac Mansion game created a whole scripting engine and game concept. PC graphical adventures were a highly influential game series in the early 80s and it presented a huge amount of options to the game player. Manic Mansion was a well made spoof of the graphical adventure and the 8-bit Nintendo port was the only game that you could microwave a hamster until Nintendo found out about it. If you made a port of Maniac Mansion to the Game Boy Advance it would rule.
While Andru and I were at E3 we saw a trailer for an awesome game called Gears of War for Xbox 360. Unfortunately, out of all the press kits and access that we had there were no trailers for us to give you all. We were able to score some screenshots for you though. I personally think that this game will be the “Halo” of Xbox 360. The gameplay looks excellent and the graphics are amazing. We don’t have any storyline details yet, but we’ll pass them along when we get them.
Editor’s Note: I actually did get a bit of the background on the game during the Microsoft press briefing. Gears of War can best be described as a hybrid third-person shooter and survival horror game. There are locusts which do not like to be in the light. If you can stay near light, you have a better chance of surviving. The trailer shown at Microsoft’s conference was truly amazing. These screenshots are in game.
Atari has yet another Dragon Ball Z game called Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi. This game is pretty amazing. In the previous Budokai games, you were limited to a certain area, but in Budokai Tenkaichi it’s a free for all. I played this game for 15 minutes and I was blown away. The levels are completely interactive and destructible, more than 4 different gameplay modes, over 60 playable characters, controllable flight ability, and more. This game really grasps the DBZ world and puts it on your console.
First things first, Major Nelson works at Microsoft under the title of “Xbox Live Director of Programming.” He has had a blog for many years and his credentials seem to be unquestionable. That said, Nelson believes the Xbox 360 team is trying to insure full backwards compatibility with all Xbox games. Currently the goal is to have the top games playable at launch, and all games playable thereafter. A timetable has not been set, but he believes the rumors about “recompiling” games is plainly false.
Read More | Major Nelson’s Blog
Super Mario Strikers is one of the four new titles which Mario and his crew will be making an appearance in this year. We got our hands on this game, and although it was an early build, it is thoroughly enjoyable. In fact, I am willing to say that this is the greatest Mario sports title ever, period. In this build, two teams were available - Mario and Donkey Kong. Each team captain has a few Koopa Troopa’s or Toad-like teammates. Now, the soccer mechanics are just great. If you remember Sega Soccer Slam, I would say that the actual soccer game actually plays a bit better in Strikers. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Mario title if there weren’t some twists. Unlike what you will find in the latest iteration of Mario Tennis on the Gamecube, the power-ups and distractions in Strikers don’t seem too gimmicky.
It is stuff like this that convinces me that the world is going downhill fast - but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy it. Case in point, this Fish Stick Frying Pan. I mean, you look at it and you can just tell that you won’t be able to use this for anything but fish sticks - it is both sad and exciting all at once.
Read More | Cool Hunting