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6346  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Apple's iPad on: February 02, 2010, 02:06:28 PM
That makes about as much sense as people holding themselves above other people based on the number of times they've had sex.

What about the number of people you've had sex with? Number of locations you've had sex in? Number of... species?
6347  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: No Saga 2 outside Japan? on: February 02, 2010, 01:59:19 PM
SaGa's not a very good series anyway, so this can stay in Japan.


I believe I win this round.
6348  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Obama's State of the Union Address on: February 02, 2010, 11:10:04 AM
Most of the stuff I had any personal attachment to in Lima and Bowling Green are sort of... gone now, though. There's also this sort of reverse gentrification thing going on, making Bowling Green get sort of rednecky and... Lima was already rednecky but it's getting on par with Wapak now. Neil Armstrong came from Wapak and it's most famous, now, for having probably the lowest percentage of African American's living there in the state*, if that says anything.

They're doing a lot of construction on campus right now. The building's'll be done sometime next year, well after I've graduated. Right now, though, the campus is just a giant mudpit that smells vaguely like sewage all the time.

* Not sure if that's true. But the town's population's almost 10000 and I think all of the other towns with really low black populations are all under 2000 people or so.
6349  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Apple's iPad on: February 02, 2010, 10:51:54 AM
noone's perfect, and noone's perfectly stupid.

Dude stop being a dick. What did Herman and his Hermits ever do to you??


what the hell is "how things psychologically reads across the screen" supposed to mean anyway?

Nothing. Like user-friendliness, it's a meaningless buzzword that conveys the notion that a product is easier to use while taking the burden off the people developing the product to actually explain HOW. It's advertising jargon. It's not a real metric for anything.

In terms of interface? Superiority, if you want to call it that, comes from how the interface was designed in the first place -- the core philosophy. Apple embraced and contributed in the drive to make computers human-friendly, from how things psychologically read across a screen to the steps between the user and the computer's functions.

Piggybacking off what Leyviur said, what does any of this actual mean? Yes, they DID embrace the philosophy of making computers accessible to the individual, but the Apple 2 was from, what, 1977? The notion of making computers that people can use isn't particularly NEW anymore. While all of what you're saying here's true if you strip out the marketing terminology, there's nothing particular unique about this philosophy now.

A lot of time goes into making sure the Mac OS is generally "invisible" as far as user reception is concerned. There's a lot of subtlety which goes into the design, and it does make a big difference.

What exactly does this mean? I'm assuming you mean that the interface is designed to be invisible to the user, so that they're only aware of working on the task at hand an not with working with the interface, correct? I'd want to say transparency might be a better word there, but that would sound more like "shows you exactly what it's doing at any given time" which isn't really what GUI's do. So I guess invisible's probably the best word here, if we're on the same page.

The problem is, that's only true if you grew up using Macs. I grew up using Windows. This doesn't say ANYTHING about OSX or Windows, mind. Just that you have different mental models depending on where you came from.

* The process of closing an application in OSX is different from in Windows. My initial thought is that pressing the red button on the top right-hand corner of an OSX window would make the program quit. It doesn't. It just minimizes it to the launcher bar. You have to click and hold/right click on the icon in the launcher bar to actually exit this.

While this doesn't present an issue to Mac users, this IS less-than-intuitive for a Windows user and actually prevents somewhat of a security issue on campus because Windows-users, attempting to use the public Macs, don't realize they're not actually QUITTING the application but just minimizing it, and thus may accidentally leave themselves logged into their webmail or other sensitive sites.

* Finder, in functionality, feels pretty much like Windows Explorer. This is fine, but the lack of a true Start Menu equivalent in OSX is sort of jarring for me, at least. While I go through Windows Explorer to launch a lot of programs/manipulate files/whatever, the Start menu is faster to use, by far.

* The way that the application's toolbar is always on the top of the screen and not actually attached to the same window as its program also feels peculiar coming from Windows, because you have to actually change focus to the window of a program before you can use its toolbar, whereas in windows if you have to windows open at the same time you... don't. Especially annoying with the latest iMacs because the screens are huge and it's very easy to tile windows.

* While the mouse is far from tied to the system, I do have to say that I find the Mac Pro Mouse really unintuitive. Because there's only a single button on top, it took me something like three years to realize that it's actually got different regions of sensitivity so that you can right click on things. Except even realizing that, because the buttons are fused, it requires a lot more precision than it really should. I'm not too big on the little scroll nub instead of an actual scroll wheel, and I'm not sure what the side buttons are supposed to do because they've never consistently done anything/the same thing on the Macs I've used.

* Also not big on the new keyboard they're using now. It feels flat and devoid of tactile feedback. Also I hate how they put metal spacers between the keys. My fingers always end up hitting them and that feels really odd to me.

Now, since it sounds like I've been ragging on the Mac -- and I'm not. I'm just illustrating that it's not nearly as intuitive as you might think if you're approaching it from a different mental model -- I want to make a few points.

* MacOS strongly tends towards a unified interface. Windows used to but stopped which is why you now get complete clusterfucks like the latest interface for Microsoft Office. Does anyone actually know how to use that? I sure as hell don't. Granted I used OpenOffice, but sometimes I'm on a lab computer, and they use MS Office. That interface in particular breaks just about every concept we learned in HCI class. Because Macs have a unified interface, programs are pretty much guaranteed to work around the same principle throughout the system.
6350  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: No Saga 2 outside Japan? on: February 02, 2010, 10:11:37 AM
In regards to Metroid, after playing the BBCA/Amiga/Atar SI/C64 game Exile, it's just... well...

* Exile has a physics engine. A sort of simple one, but it has fluid physics and particle physics and consistent gravity for objects. Keep in mind that this is a BBC Micro game we're talking about, from like... 1988.

* Exile allowed for some seriously emergent gameplay by playing with the physics.

* Exile's world was just more interactive. Unfortunately I don't remember a lot of specifics, but you could do things like get water to put out fires -- with a rudimentary fluid physics system in place -- feed things to monkeys to get them to be useful, turn mushrooms into bombs (I think. It makes sense in game. The mushrooms break down nuclear matter or something)... Just lots of little details the metroid games lacked.

* Taken from wikipedia: "Exile's AI programming featured innovative routines like creature strategy code that knew about noises nearby, line-of-sight vision through the divaricate caves and tunnels, and enemy's memory of where the target was last seen, etc."

Although, in regards to Metroid, I think the very first one for the NES is my favorite. Metroid 2 didn't bother me nearly as much as it bothered some people (presumably because I played it after having a GBC, meaning I could set the color scheme to something reasonable and not as headache inducing as the original 'various shades of green' from the ORIGINAL gameboy) but the whole lava flow thing created a bunch of arbitrary restrictions and, similarly, Super Metroid, for all its merits, did use items in what ultimately amounts to a disappointingly lock-and-key setup on some occasions. With the original Metroid, you got the ball, bombs and the missiles and you were pretty much free to go wherever.

Actually I honestly have to admit to not even really liking Super Metroid all that much. Especially after watching let's plays from the later parts of the game I never got to because some of that stuff just looks, like, "Wow, okay, were you on crack when you came up with this?"
6351  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Apple's iPad on: February 02, 2010, 01:26:05 AM
How are Macs superior to PCs, anyway? Nobody's ever explained that to me.
6352  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Apple's iPad on: February 01, 2010, 10:33:25 PM

6353  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: February 01, 2010, 09:51:46 PM

Declared war on Novgorod because I was generally feeling pissed and irritated and got some mission to subjugate them, and then an event came up giving me a CB against them, so...

Took the capital and the CoT that went along with it. Which is a VERY GOOD THING. Novgorod's now some little bitch-ass nation stuck in Siberia.

Of course, Sweden pounced on me during this time. I peaced them out by giving up a core on Utsyug. I don't even OWN Utsyug and don't really plan on going after it any time soon so whatever.

Then Lithuania attacked which was bad because I still didn't have an army from the mongol incident a few years ago. So I had to build one fast and then kick them the fuck out. Eventually I managed to pump them for almost 300 dollars and uh... giving up a core on Tula. I probably could've pressed on militarily and taken a few of their provinces but revolt risk started going up in a bunch of provinces. Don't really have any issue with Lithuania anyway although I WOULD like to get Pskov from them (or get Pskov released as an independent nation).

6354  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Apple's iPad on: February 01, 2010, 09:30:54 PM

The original Mac was actually a pretty cool system. Despite being black and white it had, as you said, the highest resolution of like, anything back then, which actually mattered a lot, looking back. A lot of DOS games from the era, despite having 16 colors, look horrible. Might and Magic 1 and 2 are the clearest example of this I think.

Also it's easy for me to see why they took the direction they did. The Apple 2's display was absolutely horrible, despite being in color. Someone explained the random pixel coloration thing to me once. Something about speed over accuracy?

In any case, some of the Mac games looked impressive as hell.

Anyway, I don't really... what I don't really buy is this notion of Apple's flawelessness. There aren't any companies that produce absolutely perfect work every time. I mean, on the Windows side, I'm completely happy with XP and I don't really have any problems with Vista*, but ME wasn't usable and the original versions of 95 and 98 had issues. And I'm not sure how windows 3.0 and earlier really qualify as anything more than cutesy DOS frontends.

The main issue I have with Vista is that it seems like it's, essentially, an OS geared at big, multi-user PCs. It does a pretty good job of that, I think. You can set it up to work in a Linux-ish manner where everyone's got their own profiles, files, etc and can't do anything they're not supposed to. The problem is that it was marketed for home users, and that kind of setup just doesn't make *sense* there.

My main issue with OSX is that I do sort of feel like there's this glitz over functionality trend. I'm not saying it's not functional. It functions quite well. It's just like... 3D, rotating jellyfish screensavers? Really fancy visual effects on the menu? Really? Do we need that? Of course, Vista does that too and I think that's sort of silly as well.

With the macs, I seem to recall some large period prior to OSX coming out where there sort of wasn't a decent Mac software base and there were lots of issues with intercommunication. I mean I'm sure a lot of the hardcore Appleites would deny that Apple ever had a big wandering aimlessly in the woods period but uh... Apple prior to 2001 sort of looked like that to everyone else.

In any case, I don't own a Mac and probably won't for any time in the near future. They're expensive, as computers are wont to be, and I'm not at all clear on why they'd be a superior product. Additionally, as far as software goes, there isn't any uniquely Mac software that I feel compelled to need/use. on the other hand, there is a lot of stuff exclusive to windows that I use on a daily basis.

When I tried Kubuntu out a couple of years ago, I have to admit, I liked it a more than windows. Except I didn't use for more than a period of two weeks because there just wasn't any software I particularly wanted for it.

Dios GX:

Fucking shut the fuck up for fuck's sake.
6355  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: No Saga 2 outside Japan? on: February 01, 2010, 09:14:15 PM
Most of SE's remakes have either been downgrades or just slapping new art on an old game without modernizing it any, no? I have to admit I haven't played a lot of them, but Sword of Mana was sort of fsked up, FF3Ds was alright but needed some damn savepoints, and FF1 + 2 PSX were... essentially the same as the NES games. Just prettier.
6356  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Obama's State of the Union Address on: February 01, 2010, 07:24:09 PM
Sometimes I think, you know, I could stay here and wait for it to change, or I could just leave. I'm trying to remember what I'm patriotic about. I'm trying to remember what the American dream is. I'm trying to remember something besides mud and sprawls. I'm trying to think of a reason to remain but it's getting harder.

I want to go home but I don't know what home is anymore.
6357  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Apple's iPad on: February 01, 2010, 07:01:26 PM
Actually here's a simple exercise.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/apple2/tales-of-the-unknown-volume-i-the-bards-tale/screenshots/gameShotId,182142/ Apple 2.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/macintosh/tales-of-the-unknown-volume-i-the-bards-tale/screenshots/gameShotId,167144/ Mac.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/tales-of-the-unknown-volume-i-the-bards-tale/screenshots/gameShotId,44874/ Dos.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/amiga/tales-of-the-unknown-volume-i-the-bards-tale/screenshots/gameShotId,43706/ Amiga.

Amiga wins.

Amiga ALWAYS wins.
6358  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Nintendo reveals new RPG from Hironobu Sakaguchi and Monado becomes Xenoblade on: February 01, 2010, 12:58:05 AM
Why are you people still saying "HM NEW XENO GAMES?" like it's a good thing!!

Because 3 out of 4 of the games were pretty awesome?  Of course, since Iwata admitted there's basically no attachment whatsoever, my excitement just went down 95%.  That's good though, I didn't really need an incentive to pick up a Wii any time soon.

It should be noted that I was going to post a comment on mesh's post but I thought was a bit too flammie to post. But after this post I now realize now that I was wrong.

Shh! Don't tell them that.

Let them wet their panties in excitement of a new PS2 era JRPG on a console before they realize that they're wetting themselves over a PS2 era JRPG and go back to hating on the Wii for not having any games.

That said I'm not going to hold my breath for That Last Whatever in case it pulls another A.S.H.

I'm not really sure what you're saying by that but I will note that any time I end a sentence in two exclamation points it's probably facetious and if I end it in a space and then two exclamation points it's almost certainly facetious.

also any digs at percieved XG sequels would more stem from me wanting them to just remake the first damn game and do it REALLY GOOD instead of doing a bunch of reboots all the time.
6359  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Apple's iPad on: January 31, 2010, 10:00:34 PM
You'd really be better off actually reading a post before you replied to it.

I'd really like an explanation as to how "I think both systems are pretty similar and don't really see how one's actually better/worse" than the other counts as elitism.
6360  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Apple's iPad on: January 31, 2010, 09:14:40 PM
It's like Steve Jobs can piss into your cupped hands and tell you to drink it and you'll think it's just the greatest thing on Earth.

To be fair, I've dranken Steve's urine and I must say that of all the urine I've dranken -- and I've dranken quite a lot -- it's the best urine I've ever done dranken.
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