Tag Archives: microsoft


It builds, slowly.  It could be anything.  A stutter in framerate.  A texture tear.  Just the feeling that things could look better when I’m shooting Skaggs in the wilds of Pandora.  (Yep.  Still playing Borderlands.)  So I think about my current setup, and I have to wonder if there’s anything else I can do, other than reinstall Windows.

It’s mainly a gaming rig, so first it’s looking at  the video card hierarchy on Tom’s Hardware.  Then there is the requisite visit to the system guides on Ars Technica.  Then there’s window shopping for components on Newegg.  Maybe even a shopping list that gets created.

This process has repeated itself a couple of times over the last couple of months and it’s maddening.  Then comes the reading.  Dozens of articles to catch up with CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage advances that have come about since the last time I built a machine.

It’s approaching two years since I’ve built a new machine and I’m very much filled with the desire to build something new before I jump on the Windows 7 party bus.  There is a feeling of accomplishment after successfully putting together a working machine.  It’s something tangible.

Although ultimately, I may just scrap the whole project, pump two more gig of RAM into the rig, slap in a couple of larger, faster hard drives, configure RAID 0, install Windows 7 and then call it a day.

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Microsoft Tag – Linking real life with the digital world


Microsoft Tag

Microsoft Tag.  It’s a way for your phone to interact with a physical object, in this case printed material.

In a nutshell, you aim your Microsoft Tag iPhone app (bizarro world, here we are) at one of these “tags” and then it does. . .  something.  If it’s a website, then it browses there, if it’s a phone number, it dials out.  If it’s a text message, then I guess it just displays the text message.  There are apps for other phones as well, but the iPhone seems suited to this task.

Is this a big deal?  I thought that was the whole point behind QR codes in Japan.

To the right is a QR code.  You may have seen them before.

In 1994.


QR Code

While the idea is pretty interesting, I’m still trying to decide whether or not it’s useful.  I guess with our phones finally catching up with the internet, they may have some use, eventually.

I did, however, create a “tag” with this website’s address  embedded in it.

So I’ve got that covered, at least.

Update:  More research and some thoughts. Continue reading

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We'll turn this team around 360 degrees

I really do enjoy the xbox 360.  To be honest, it’s one of the better things to come out of Redmond, Washington. When given the choice, it’s my console of choice when it comes to titles that appear on more than one console.  Mainly for multiplayer, but sometimes because I am an achievement whore seeker.

It does online gameplay correctly.  (I’m pointing at you, Sony.)

Netflix is “in the box.”  It’s how I watched, Lust, Caution.

What they did not do well was the actual physical hardware.  You may recall I had the infamous Red Rings of Death failure on my xbox 360 last year.  This year, it’s a different failure. Continue reading

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Device Ownership

Yesterday was a bad day if you were an electronic device owned by me.

Total casualties:

  1. Logitech PlayStation2 USB Headset
    This headset just will not be recognized, no matter which USB port I plug it into. Other headsets work fine. Thankfully, I had a spare, so impromptu City of Heroes / City of Villains session was only marginally interrupted.
  2. SanDisk Cruzer 512MB USB Key
    Recognized by my MBP, not recognized on various ports on my XP box. Thus, nearly useless.
  3. XBOX 360
    Started out by not booting. Not even the 360 logo would come up. Then booting, but crashing when loading levels in Overlord. Then booting, loading levels in Overlord, and crashing when saving games. Finally, the Red Rings of Death.

The 360 did boot one last time to the dashboard. This was followed by a frantic copying of Morgan’s user profile to the memory unit.

That was its final act.

I think the worst part about this whole thing is that I’m not angry. The 360 has been doing strange things for the six months I’ve owned it. Disc Unreadable Errors in the middle of gameplay and seemingly random freezes, have basically desensitized me to the final reality that my 360 is bricked.

All I have to say is, “Well played Peter Moore, well played.”

Now I have to decide what to do with my plastic brick. I could send it to MS, and wait possibly a few weeks to get it back. Or, I could just go down to Target and replace it immediately, considering I opted for an extended warranty with them for $30.

Neither of the two options is very appealing. My tale of woe begins.

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Everybody's favorite price point

Aegis Wing is free if you have an Xbox 360 and a connection to the internet.

Crafted by three interns at Microsoft, this is the sort of thing that redeems my Xbox 360 experience after I lose some gameplay due to a disc read error.

The game is fun, features cooperative multiplayer (both local and over Xbox Live),  and is simple enough for pick up and play for anyone.

Did I mention that it’s fun?

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