Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Lack of games for the DS

I own a Nintendo DS and other than Mario 64 which I bought at the same time as the console, I have no other games. I also don't see any games here in Australia that I would really want to buy right now. I've been waiting for a sign that things will get better but the Nintendo Australia website isn't giving me any guarantees.

I know people have talked about how strong the DS showing was at this years E3, but those games could be years away from an Australian release. So I guess for now I'll just have to keep dreaming of games I'd like to see...

My Nintendo DS Game Wish List
  • Super Smash Bros.
  • Mario Party
  • Mario Kart
  • Mario Golf
  • Golden Eye
  • Quake
  • Wave Race

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

OpenOffice, is it any good?

As you may know OpenOffice is a free open source alternative to Microsoft Office. You might also know that version 2 should be coming out soon (as it's currently in beta). My question is though, is OpenOffice (in it's current form) a viable alternative or just something you use if you have no other choice?

If you have ever used OpenOffice 1.1 then you will know that it's a great piece of software but it does have it's short comings. The biggest problem would have to be the support for Word documents, where it has more than a few issues displaying them correctly (mostly due to tables). The menus are also quite confusing at first if you have come from Microsoft Office Office, although that might not be a bad thing(?). It's also lacking a database like Access, and the load up times leave a lot to be desired (from my experience). These all sound like big issues, but are they?

The fact is that I'm using OpenOffice 1.1.4 right now to draft this post and that's because it's stable and it works as it was intended to. OpenOffice isn't all about compatibility with other software, it's about creating and editing documents and I do that in the recommend OpenOffice format so I can view and edit them later. If I need to share a document with others not using OpenOffice I'll use the fantastic export as PDF feature. That way anyone will be able to view the file and see it as I intended it to look, but you can always save as word document format if you have to (which works fine). I also feel like I have more power over how the program works, with options to enable and disable everything that I find frustrating and annoying (auto correct, help, complete, etc...).

OpenOffice is a great piece of software in it's own right, it might not have everything that Microsoft Office does now but it's still early days. One thing I would recommend is asking yourself this question, is Microsoft Office worth AUD$220+ more than OpenOffice?

Note: If you plan to use OpenOffice and still need to view Word documents I would recommend installing the Word Document viewer from Microsoft found here.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Apple using x86 to power Mac OS X

It's official, Apple with be changing from the current PowerPC (IBM) architecture to Intel's x86. Personally I can see this causing a lot of issues with the software we have developed and are developing. As we are using Macromedia (Adobe?) Director I don't have the luxury of just recompiling our software, I'll have to wait for an update to Director before that happens. Of course what about our older software that was built in previous versions of director. As most Director developers know it's had some major syntax changes in the current version (MX 2004).

I guess the only thing I can do is wait and see what happens, you never know it might cause the end of the Macintosh and save me a lot of development/testing time (but I doubt it).

Guild Wars, level 20 and beyond...

I've been playing Guild Wars for a few weeks now and I must say it's a great game and unlike any other MMORPG I've played before (coming from EverQuest & Star Wars Galaxies). I would also compare Guild Wars with games like Neverwinter Nights and Dungeon Siege more than I would other MMORPG's to. Some of the reasons being that in Guild Wars it's easy to find a group, do a quick mission and feel like you character has advanced in the game world. Even if you can't find a group you can always play it alone with the aid of AI henchmen if you really want (although I wouldn't recommend doing that if you can help it).

Now that I've hit level 20 I'm hoping that the game play will change, not that I'm bored with it. I should now be able to concentrate more on questing for items, helping my guild and competing in player vs player matches (PvP). I'm not sure what to expect yet but I hope that the game can keep me interested for a little bit longer.