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Archive for "Portfolio"

March 6, 2009

New-style Music-Games Column

Wanted to note two quick things:

Thing the First: My weekly column about music games is up over at Green Pixels. We did something a little different this time, reorganizing the column as a collection of links to let you dig into the catalogs of the different artists. I think you’ll find it more useful than previous columns.

And Thing the Second: Don’t worry, fans of office-related destruction, I’m still working on the Ziff-trospective, Part III — I had some things that needed tending to over this past week, but I’m planning to have it up over the weekend or early next week. Thanks for your patience.

February 26, 2009

New Review: Korg DS-10

ds10coverAh, I thought I’d posted about this one when it went up, but apparently I didn’t. Green Pixels posted my Korg DS-10 review earlier this month; it’s a nifty little gadget that’s all about turning a portable game machine into a full-fledged musical instrument. Go have a look if the idea of near-limitless musical twiddling interests you.


New How-To: Access Your To-Do List From Anywhere

0223_todo-2_380If you’re anything like me, your life revolves around a detailed to-do list. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve encountered a ridiculous amount of frustration in trying to find a full-featured to-do list you can access from anywhere. But I’ve suffered so you don’t have to: my Mac|Life how-to on accessing your to-do list from anywhere has gone live. Go, read, enjoy. And stop banging your head on your desk.

February 9, 2009

A Brief History of Internet Gaming

[While trying to help one of my nieces with a school project, I dug up the bit I contributed to EGM’s award-winning Future of Videogames piece from early 2007. But after looking at it again, I realized they had to cut my Brief History of Internet Gaming sidebar down quite a bit to fit it into the mag. This is the original version.]

1969The first ARPANET link is created, building the first strand in what would eventually become the Internet.

1978 – The first multi-user dungeon (MUD) is created. Little more than a customizable chatroom, the MUD is nevertheless the predecessor to today’s MMORPGs.

1985 – Quantum Computer Services launches Quantum Link, an online hub for the Commodore 64, featuring simple multiplayer board games. The service is later renamed America Online.

1991 – Neverwinter Nights, the first MMORPG with graphics, is launched on AOL. It costs $6 an hour to play. Its server capacity: 50 players.

1996 – Quake is released, shortly followed by QuakeWorld, a client for playing the game over the Internet. The era of the online FPS is born.

1997 – Ultima Online is launched. 100,000 subscribers sign up within the first six months, only to be brutally PKed and have their boats stolen.

1998 – The Dreamcast is released in Japan, becoming the first game console to launch with a built-in modem. Also, the last.

1999 – EverQuest and Asheron’s Call are launched, completing (with UO) the unholy triumvirate that has strongly influenced MMORPGs to this day.

2002 – Xbox Live is launched on the original Xbox, setting new standards for communication both in-game (with standardized voice chat) and cross-game (with a unified login and friend list). PS2 and Gamecube also debut online functionality, but neither approaches XBL in popularity.

2003 – EverQuest is ported to PS2 in the form of EverQuest Online Adventures. The gaming world notices, yawns, and goes back to hunting for new Final Fantasy XI screens.

2004 – Halo 2 is released, featuring one of the most popular online components in any console game. Within the next two years over half a billion games of Halo 2 will be played online. Also this year: World of Warcraft launches. You may have heard of it.

2006 – PS3 and Wii are launched. Xbox Live takes note of the systems’ respective online offerings, heaves a sigh of relief, and returns to lounging on its jewel-encrusted throne.

2007 – Halo 3 launches. A crippled Internet limps along under the strain of a few million players all getting online at the same time.

2008 – “Internet2” is completed, offering researchers and universities 100 Gbps transfer speeds.

2009 – Debut of 100-Gbps streaming porn.

2010 – Most metropolitan areas now offer free Wi-Fi within city limits. All that shared bandwidth makes users nostalgic for the dial-up days.

2029 – The Internet, now self-aware, sends a T-800 back in time to kill Sarah Connor.

2050 – Humans move to an internet-only existence, uploading their brains to permanently live in the electronic world.

2112 – Attention, all planets of the Solar Federation: We have assumed control.

January 21, 2009

New How-To: Control Your Mac From a PC

Oh look, Mac|Life put up the how-to I did about using VNC to operate a Mac remotely. Mac users may find this useful, especially those of you using Macs as media centers.

January 13, 2009

Writing About Music Games

Hey, did you know I do a weekly column over at Green Pixels? It’s about music games. You should check it out. This link to their music games tag listing should include all the columns, now and going forward. Why not hop over there, check them out, and leave me a comment?

January 12, 2009

New Review: Bounce Trap

You can read my review for one of the iPhone’s least interactive games over at Mac|Life. Hope you enjoy it.

January 10, 2009

More iPhone App Reviews

Another heaping pile of iPhone App reviews can be found for your reading pleasure over at Mac|Life.

Hero of Sparta

Warfare Incorporated

Frenzic

Toy Bot Diaries 2 and 3

If you like what you read, please drop a comment on the review, rather than here. Comments closed by way of encouragement.

January 2, 2009

Year-End Honors

Well, this is neat: One of my how-to pieces has been chosen as one of the Top 10 Mac|Life Articles of 2008. It’s the one that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to use a Rock Band drum kit as an input device in GarageBand. I had a lot of fun writing it and, uh, testing my procedures.

Testing them a lot.

Anyway, if you’re a Mac user, have a look at the whole list; there’s lots of great stuff in there.

January 1, 2009

Everything Old…

Just a quick procedural note: Any post older than this one is a reprint of one sort or another, either from my 1UP page, my short-lived blog at johnnyhighground.com, or the magazine I worked at for, oh, about ten friggin years.

So if you come across any references that strike you as odd, please excuse them.

I am, however, going to leave comments on all these old posts open for awhile, at least, so if you feel like contributing to any of the preceding topics, please do. And please, enjoy.