choose your poison

Microsoft Vs Apple

I am in the very lucky position of having access to several PCs running Windows 7 and a couple of Apple Macs running the latest version of Mac OS X (Snow Leopard at the time of writing). I have a computer buying / building compulsion and I am undergoing therapy for it – online of course.

I have been using Windows since Windows 3.11, which was released around 1993 and worked quite well. I have also been using Apple machines for about the same length of time. I’m not an expert on either of them. I just have an opinion.

My fiancee describes herself as a “Macophile“, which I was amazed to learn is not a criminal offence; it is just apparently a dedicated Mac user. She tells me that you don’t use a mac, you experience it, and interface with it. Perhaps she needs online therapy too, I don’t know. I certainly don’t experience my Mac, I use it, usually for designing websites and it is all very friendly and Disney like.

The thing is, I don’t choose to use my Mac for anything else apart from webdesign. I don’t browse the web on it. I don’t use it for email or to write letters. I don’t use it to watch movies or listen to music. I have never activated it’s built in web-cam. I don’t use it to manage my Ipod and I don’t use it for games (mainly because there are hardly games any for it). There is a good reason I don’t use my Mac though; I don’t think I deserve a Mac!

If I look at myself as a human being, I am not bad, but I am no Dalai Lama or Ghandi either. I think I deserve to be slightly disappointed, a little inconvenienced and a little bit bullied. In other-words I deserve Windows. I deserve to have the occasional Blue Screen of Death. I deserve to have Microsoft nagging me about updates, I deserve to have an operating system that becomes increasingly unstable over time, until ultimately it will need reinstalling, and if I don’t it will destroy all of my work as punishment. I think Microsoft have possibly managed to code Karma into their operating system, whereas Apple just designed an operating system.

This morning I read about Mukul Asadujjaman, who is a New York City taxi cab driver who found $21,000 in the back of his cab. He drove 50 miles to an address he found with the money and returned it to a 72 year old lady. He is probably a  Mac user, and if not he will have a bullet proof installation of Windows 7 that will never fail him.

Bill "Dubious Business Pratices" Gates

Look at Bill (I basically stole MS DOS (for $75,000) and the idea for windows) Gates. That poor sod has no choice but to use Windows for the rest of his life. How would it look if he suddenly became a full time Mac User. He even has to use Microsoft  based mobile phones, which poo! He can’t use an ipod, he has to use Microsofts Zune, which is also poo! The poor guy has made a rod for his own back. Sad Really.

 

Steve "I'll leave Karma to the Universe" Jobs

Steve Jobs on the other-hand is a Buddhist! He gets to use the iPhone and listen to his Ipod Shuffle. Alright he might have been described as an egomaniac, but his operating system doesn’t punish you, it leaves that to the universe in general and allows you to carry on with mundane things like checking your face-book page.

I think what you need to ask yourself about your preference between Microsoft and Apple, is what does that choice say about how you see yourself? Are you the kind of person who deserves an operating system that “Works”, or are you the kind of person that deserves an operating system that “Judges”? If you are honest with yourself, I think you may be quite unsurprised. I know I am. It isn’t surprising that over 92% of computer users are happy to be judged and punished by Windows. It helps them feel a little bit better about themselves.

Personally, I like Windows, it makes sense out of life. You know where you are going with it. It is going to punish you sooner or later, it is only a matter of time. That is what I deserve, and probably what you deserve too. There is nothing you can do about it, so you might as well just get on with it, install your favourite games and ignore the inevitable.

Bury your head, have fun, enjoy whichever OS you feel comfortable with and if your bored give Linux a go.

ZenEmu. X

movie203

Movie-A-Minute

SO you are at a dinner party, and as often happens (at least to me, you may go to more interesting parties) the conversation turns to Classic Movies, usually because these people are usually of below par intelligence and have no opinion on anything relevant. Talking about Classic Movies is the only way they can attempt to justify the fact that their university education wasn’t a complete waste of time. Suddenly you are left in a social black hole, not knowing what these rather dull people are talking about, you are a suddenly social pariah. There are a lot of movies out there and frankly most of the older ones are rubbish. Have you seen Citizen Kane? It is Crap, I am sorry but it is!

Anywho, bring up Movie-A-Minute on your phone, and you will find a quick synopsis of most the incredibly dull cinematic torture, without having to actually watch it. Suddenly you will find yourself socially acceptable again and people will talk to you. You might even meet someone at the dinner party and have sex, possibly even a life long relationship, all thanks to this quaint little website.

Let me give you an example:

Citizen Kane

Directed by Orson Welles

1941

Ultra-Condensed by Samuel Stoddard

 

Orson Welles

Rosebud. (dies)

Reporter

What does it mean?

Everybody Else

We don’t know.

THE END

Surely that is better than two hours of black & white boredom. Absolutely ingenious.

Have a look at http://rinkworks.com/movieaminute
It may save your social life.

Have fun, be socially acceptable, but not too socially acceptable.

ZenEmu X

Run Pee

RunPee.com

Run PeeJust a quick post, but it is something extrodinary. Again I have randomly come across a stroke of genius!

RunPee.com is a webste that provides an extremely inportant function. It tells you when is the best and safest time to run to the toilet when you are watching a film at the cinema. As I am quite often rather drunk when I get to the cinema, this is a fantastic service. I am amazed thay don’t charge for it! There is a RunPee application available for the Iphone owners among you. You can tell it which movie you are watching, start the timer and your iphone will vibrate to let you know when to go take care of business and how long you have before something interesting happens.

Shame this didn’t exist in 1999 when the Blair Witch Project was released. I could have gone to the loo after the opening credits…. at home, and not bothered going back.

Ingenious!

Watch, enjoy, run to the loo.

Have fun

ZenEmu X

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Saira

Saira

I must admit, I am not a huge fan of Platform games, mainly because I am not very good at them. Batman the Movie and the New Zealand Story both defeated me on the Amiga when I was quite young, and I have not trusted the Genre since.

A while ago I came across Saira, which is a small independent game written byNiffla, who seems to be a rather talented chap. Not knowing what makes a good platform game or a bad one, all I can say is I quite liked Saira. It has some puzzle elements, a story line, and it was only ridiculously difficult for me (I’m sure your average 10 year old could nip through it in a matter of hours), it took me three days.

As you can see it looks nice too, with rather spiffy, and i suspect hand drawn backdrops.

Anyhoo, it has a free demo, but the full game is only $12 USD to buy! For that, it has to be worth taking a punt, doesn’t it?

While you are there, make sure you check out Niffla’s Other games; they are still in my to-do list, but I am sure they are equally admirable.

Have fun, save the Human Race, and find Bobo.

ZenEmu X

Welsh flag

Wales & L.E.D. Sheep.

For the more American among you, Wales (I am not Welsh), is a part of the United Kingdom. It is landlocked onto England, to the west.  As you can see, the welsh have an unusually interesting flag with a dragon on it. I quite like that.

The Welsh like hills. In the south where their weren’t quite enough hills, they dug coal out of the ground, and used the waste to make more hills, then built villages on to of these “Slag-Heaps”. Inventive I am sure you will agree?

Welsh was used along with Navajo during the second world war, because every word in the language is made by throwing completely random letters together. If it is night time, or the wind is blowing from the south east, the spelling changes too.

The Welsh are also incredibly inventful when it comes to place names: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a small Welsh town on the Island of Angelsey. The name of the village translates to:

Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio of the red cave.

The English would  of course just have  called it St Mary’s, but that is much less interesting.

Many fine and famous people have come from Wales, including artists, poets, musicians and singers and Merlin, the Wizard!.

There have been truly awful people too, like Catherine Zeta Jones, Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones.

Up until the 1980′s, it was a country largely dependant on coal mining and sheep farming. Wales has an area of a fraction over 8,000 square miles, but it also contains somewhere are a lot of distasteful, and frankly I feel, unfair jokes about the Welsh, and Sheep.

One of the least known facts about the Welsh, is that they are the absolute masters of cocking about, as seen in the video below, which I think is fantastic.

I wanted to call this post “Do Welsh People Dream of Electronic Sheep?” I am glad I didn’t go with it because that might be considered Welshism; But more importantly, Author of Do Androids dream of Electronic Sheep, Philip K. Dick, didn’t have the decency to come from Wales, he was American. Strangely, that was the book that Bladerunner was loosely based on.

Although I am not Welsh, I live in Wales incidentally, and it if a wonderful and beautiful place, with not as many hobbits as you would think.

Anyway, L.E.D. Sheep, here you go:

Bydd yn ofalus

Zen Emu X

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world-of-goo-1-600x359

World of Goo.

I like physics based games, they make me happy. I am a simple soul with simple tastes and as such World of Goo made me a very happy chap.

World of Goo is simple really, you have balls of goo, with which you have to make structures to save a certain number of the same balls of goo. There are many levels and several chapters to work through.

What makes this game really happy and shiny is that it isn’t a simple one trick pony. New types of goo with new features are introduced all the way throughout the game. You can also replay levels to try and beat your first score. Every single level has its own unique challenges, looks beautiful and there is no repetitive nonsense.

Crikey! this is starting to sound like a review. Better stop there.

I should mention that you can get World of Goo on PC, Mac, Linux and I believe it is on the Wii channel somewhere too. I haven’t played the Wii Version as my door would blow shut if I removed my little console from it’s current position.

It is region and DRM free too, which is nice and trusting of the lovely people at 2dboy, so don’t take advantage. It is’t expensive to buy – $20 USD.

You can get it from : http://2dboy.com/games.php or a Nintendo WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! store near you.

Have fun, Eat Meat, Drink Fruit Juice and be happy.

Zen Emu. X

machinarium-20090415113414059_640w

Mechinarium.

I recently came across this little gem of a game. Sadly you will finish it within hours of buying it – yes thats right BUYING it.

It is simply one of the most jaw droppingly beautiful games I have ever come across.  I don’t do detailed reviews, but I will say the backgrounds in this game are hand drawn and the music that comes with it (in MP3 format) is worth the price of the game alone. The whole thing is obviously a labour of love, and worth the measly sum of £13.00 ish or $20 USD

This doesn’t just look good, it is a nice little puzzle game too. The basic premise is that you control a robot who has to manipulate his environment to sole puzzles, help himself and help others of is kind. It is all very sweet and definitely worth a look. It will give you at least six hours game-play and make you feel happy, what more can you ask?

You can even play a demo of it which has been done in flash – through your browser so no huge demo file to download and install.

Give it a glance at http://machinarium.net/demo/

Also, just quickly, I am a big fan of independent games, so if you get a minute, have a look at the Independent Games Movement, which showcases some of these fantastic games.

Good luck, Have fun, Eat your greens ect.

ZenEmu X

Natalie Tran

Natalie Tran: Community Channel.

I probably have a fairly old fashioned and, well British attitude to YouTube. Lots of very strange looking people explaining how to make a battery out of a lemon or turn lead into gold, that kind of nonsense.

Natalie Tran

A few months ago someone pointed me towards Natalie’s videos, and I became an instant fan! For the more American among you; you may have to concentrate a little harder on Natalie’s videos as she is Australian.

She does have a little bit of an odd fruit obsession, but then for some reason Australians eat frozen Yogurt, but she is very funny and always makes me laugh. Someone once told me Natalie explores the Human Condition, that’s bollocks frankly. I think Natalie explores being… well Natalie. Good on yer Sport.

You can find her here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/communitychannel

and for the Online stalkers among you:

http://twitter.com/Natalietran & http://www.facebook.com/pages/community-channel/6783117830

EDIT: And now it appears that Natalie is off to travel the world – you can follow her adventures at:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/blog/natalietran/

Enjoy, have fun ect.

ZenEmu. X