I have succumbed to the nasty side of the consoles when I finally realized that I will never get that $500 dollar graphics card for my awesome quad-core PC.
Yes we can, as Obama chanted! My friends have made an effort to lure me to the console side and they didn't stop at that - no they tricked me into buying one of them Xbox 360's! Another product in my house which has the name Microsoft on it's back (or front which makes more sense). It's the 120 GB Elite model that is now hooked up to my sweet Full-HD TV. I have to note that this is the first console I have ever owned - that doesn't mean it's the first I've played on. Although you are getting this news right now the purchase was made right before the launch of the New Xbox Experience.
Couple of notes then on the NXE, well it's now more like the Media Center in Vista of Windows 7 which I like quite a bit and Microsoft is trying hard to make it functional but still wrap it up in eye-candy which right now doesn't hurt me. I have heard complaints about the Guide being a bit sluggish at times but that hasn't affected me as much so I cannot say for sure if this is an issue for me personally. The Avatar thing is totally OK! I don't get the people nagging on this addition. Overall I like this update very much and it has done it's mission well and that is to make a rather old console or I should say interface feel fresh, new and exciting!
There are a lot of things to mention when it comes to the features but at the end of the day it's the games that are the heart and soul of any console. My collection consists of three AAA-titles: Halo 3, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Gears of War 2. In the early days I played a hell of a lot of Halo 3 but lately I have only been playing Call of Duty 4 online and leveling up to the 55th level which in fact is the Commander rank and the last rank at that. Yesterday I finally finished the game on Veteran difficulty which was really challenging and now that I'm done with the campaign I feel really good!
I came across the Google Chrome browser just a couple of minutes ago and here is a short summary of my first thoughts.
Where do I begin? First off when I heard about it I was a bit reluctant to it as I'm a proud user of a small browser I like to call Mozilla Firefox. So I gathered some information about it and at first it didn't seem that interesting. And I said to myself that it would never beat Firefox - no way! The interface looked bad (on XP anyway), the tabs were too far off to the top and it just looked very strange... Well look what happened; I am now writing this blog entry in the Google Chrome browser. That means I haven't completely turned to the dark side where your first choice is the right one and fuck the rest.
Competition is pretty awesome actually, it means more options for us and more thinking required for the developers. This brings me to the competition between the most popular browsers: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera. Firefox is customizable, Internet Explorer has, eh... a large chunk of the market (if you can call it that), Safari is said to be fast and Opera works great on mobile devices (right?). But where does Chrome come in, what does it bring to the table? Well, as it's based on other open source software like WebKit and Mozilla, Google proclaims it to be more stable, faster and secure and all that comes in a simple interface. OK, we have all heard that before - basically after each software update.
With all that in mind I downloaded it and installed it and when it first came to view I was completely in love with the interface. In Vista it's just the way a browser should look like - simple but stylish! When you are in a new tab you get a nice thumbnail list of recently visited sites (Speed Dial - Opera, I know), search your history option and recent bookmarks. Simple and fast. When you type in the address bar you get a speedy site list of possible matches to the address you are typing (autocomplete stuff - checked). Then you have your bookmarks that I imported from my Firefox 3 browser. And then you have the main window - the heart of the browser where your sites show up. First impression on speed - yeah it renders the sites you go to fast and according to Google it should be twice as fast as Firefox 3 and the Safari 4 beta. You have a task manager so that you can close slow tabs and now comes one of the things I though was really cool!
Multiprocessing means that each tab has it's own process and all tabs you have open don't slow the others down. The tabs work separately and if one crashes then it doesn't affect the others and the whole browsing in multiple tabs experience doesn't get sluggish. All in all I will now follow the evolution of Chrome and hope version 1.0 will be released soon! Now I wait and see what they'll do about extensions and then I am completely sold.
Maybe Google is right about starting from scratch and making something work great for today's web standards.
In a world where the game business is worth more than the movie or the music businesses, one man must find his way and try to steer clear of those evil console makers. Will the good in him prevail or is it the dark side that takes hold over him?
How's that for an introduction?! Anyway, I just wanted to write my first post in my blog. Let's see where this takes us...