Good luck with your dissertation Ben! Good luck with your tournament Chris, even if you don’t want to go! Good luck breaking into J. McBride’s house George!

Man, so many things are happening right now. I’ve been thinking about France lately, and how maybe it’d be nice to move there. I’d have to talk to Robin first of course… And I suppose I should think about it 3 years from now after I finish grad school…

You only spent 2 hours on MoO3 Ben? I’ve spent a good 40 hours on it so far and I am shelving it only temporarily until the patch comes out. The thing is, I think the game could be really good; it just isn’t quite there yet, and unfortunately it’s by design. Fortunately, however, I think those design decisions are mostly superficial and they could fix it with a good patch.

Here’re some other quick reviews for things I’ve tried or gotten recently:

1. Freelancer demo: the demo was pretty short, but it was pretty clear that different space ports you visit are all pretty much the same, and the voices in the demo were not varied enough to make the repitition enjoyable. I was going to buy this game from playing the demo, but I talked to a co-worker who got it and he said that the actual game is nothing more than what you do in the demo. Too repetitive.

2. Viewsonic Tablet PC: my dad got one (recommended by the realtor he works for or something like that) to help him out with his real estate appraisal business. It’s pretty cool for note taking and for being wireless and portable, but it’s somewhat awkward to browse with, using that stylus… Fortunately, it supports all kinds of USB devices (it’s just a snazzier version of Win XP), so once we added a mouse things were fine. Is it worth $2,700? Not to me, but my dad, in his retirement now and doing appraisal to keep himself busy, is making (according to my mom) $90k a year. Jeezus. That’s way more than he ever actually made when he wasn’t retired. If I were to get a Tablet PC, I’d probably go for one that is a laptop with a swivel head so that I’d have a keyboard when needed.

3. cool pants from Xiamen: well, I didn’t actually try these on, but my dad (in an effort to keep one-upping me–first with his computer compared to my new Shuttle…) got these cool cargo type pants from China. They’re every bit as cool as mine except they have even more pockets and can zip to three different lengths. 🙂

4. Samsung 171v 17″ LCD monitor: my Sony 17″ CRT finally died after 7 loyal years. It was time to get a flatscreen. This model is not the best you can get, and it has this slight light to dark gradient from the bottom of the screen, but it was cheap! $500 at most places with a $100 rebate. My local Best Buy had only one in stock and it was an open box so I got an additional $50 off. $350 for this monitor is a steal. Still, if I were making as much as my dad, I would’ve gone with the 191t. That one is sweet. Speaking of Best Buy; I’ve read some reviews on the web which say their customer support is horrible, but I’ve never had a problem returning anything to them. I suspect that the quality of service is more tied to location rather than company policy. The Fry’s Electronics in Wilsonville (just south of Portland) also has very friendly sales reps and I’ve also not had a problem returning something there. Fry’s down in Palo Alto, on the other hand, is a horrifying experience.

more later from yours truly,


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