Sunday, February 04, 2007

Weekend Tech Roundup

I had my first chance to play with a Nintendo Wii this weekend. I don't want to overhype it, but it is beyond awesome; all other gaming systems are crap. Granted, we were playing golf and bowling and such, not a shooter or strategy game, but I've never had so much fun with such simple games. Instead of pressing left-right-type buttons, you wave the controller around in the air. You can put spin on your bowling ball, work the kidneys with low blows in boxing, throw a wicked curve ball, etc. If you're into mindbogglingly boring games like Madden football (cover two! cover two!), you might not like it; the Wii is all about actual physical motion.

In more sedentary action, I've really been enjoying a blogging tool called Performancing, a blog editor that's an add-on to Firefox. I've found most blogging tools to not be worth the hassle, but this one's really easy to use. It basically splits your screen in half, the top half being whatever web page you're at and the bottom half being the blogging area. You can do one-click publishing (you don't have to go and log in to your blog), and it's got lots of easy-to-use formatting options to spice things up.

Finally, I've been giving OpenOffice a try (for Mac users it's NeoOffice, I think). It's to MS Office what Firefox is to Explorer, a free, open-source, community-built office suite with all the bells and whistles. Previous versions were buggy and subject to security flaws, but 2.1 is pretty solid. While OO is a community project, it's number one contributor and backer is Sun Microsystems. It's completely compatible with MS Office files, and like Firefox, it's got plenty of add-on options to tweak it just how you like it. And did I mention it's free?

Speaking of "free" and "community," you guys got any good tech dope? Anyone else try the Wii or one of the other new systems? And what's this about Gabbo?

15 comments:

Studiodave said...

I can't believe you are dis'in the PS2.  My PS2 which has brought you the joys of 72 hours of solid Jedi Master battles.  I remember leaving for work on that Monday am in 1998 with you thinking it was 2 am on Friday.

I also remember one IRod who ate 5.5 lbs. of pistachio nuts.  And one IRod who lay on the couch for 45 minutes as my dog crunched on the empty shells.  When I ask him, what the hell he was thinking - I got a Jeff Spikoli "There's no birthday party here" type response.

My wife remembers yelling at me as the dog had diarrhea  throughout the house the next day.  Stupid shells.

OK, sorry for the rant. Super Bowl celebration started early in the SD house.

Otto Man said...

Hey, who let the nerd post come in on the Holiest of Holy Days?

I'm hoping the only reason all this tech talk is coming out is because Thrillhous got into a box of fortified wine again.

Otto Man said...

Note that I posted at 4:20. Even my comment timing is cool.

Studiodave said...

His name is Otto. He likes to get blotto.

Kaj Kandler said...

Not sure why you think that former Openoffice.org versions are buggy or a security risk. Since Version 2.0 OpenOffice.org has been rather stable and I never heard of major security vulnerabilities, that stayed unpatched for long.

If you ever need help with your new OpenOffice.org, hop over to Plan-B for OpenOffice.org and be my guest.

Sylvana said...

I REALLY want to try Wii bowling!

S.W. Anderson said...

I have OOo on one PC and haven't had any problems with stability or security. The one downside I've noticed is that it's slower loading than MS Word or Excel and sometimes gives me the impression my PC is handling a really big, heavy load of code.

There is improvement of those things in the 2.01 (I think it is) version I most recently upgraded to. Considering it comes at no cost, it's amazing.

Thrillhous said...

Thanks for the link, Kaj! I like your tutorials - much better than those damned books, even the "for Dummies" books. Besides, I don't much care for books that call me a dummy right there in the title.

I don't have any personal experiences with security bugs in OpenOffice, just read about some when I was thinking about giving it a try, such as here and here.

Thrillhous said...

Studio, I believe that was a PS1. There were times that weekend when I felt like I could see through time, but I'm pretty sure we didn't have access to a machine that didn't come out til 2000.

And hey, your dog wasn't the only one who had diarrhea after that weekend.

I do loves me some fortified wine, Otto, but I was actually only drunk on enjoyment of the Wii (and malt liquor). That thing is so awesome. Although I'm pretty embarrassed at how sore I was the next day; much more so than after those catastrophes I used to conduct in the weight room at college.

Studiodave said...

Doh.

InanimateCarbonRod said...

The wife used the Google spreadsheet last week and loved it. She was collaborating with her sister in another city doing a bunch of morose family/death/money things on a spreadsheet. It was very nice to talk to someone on the phone and type in figures in real time rather than emailing files back and forth.

I really want a Wii, but the woman wants to postpone the introduction of a gaming console to our house. (She uses the word "never," which I think means "maybe next year"). Pre-kids I showed her how in GTA you could sleep with hookers and then beat them up and take your money back. For some reason, she doesn't want our 3 year old exposed to this kind of thing.

Mrs_Thrillhous said...

I didn't know those Google spreadsheets could be used like that!! T'hous is allergic to math (and retirement planning), so it'll be great to get online with someone to crunch numbers.

As far as technology goes, I'm glad I didn't have a baby 10 years ago. (Besides the fact that it would've put a damper on my raging partying 20's.) Today's breast pumps are only barely adequate.

Thrillhous said...

Thanks, Mrs. T, for queering the post with breast pump talk.

Thrillhous said...

And Sylvana, you totally need to check out Wii bowling. It eliminates the two things I hate most about going to a real bowling alley: waiting for the jerk in the next lane to bowl, and pants!

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