Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hail to the Chief

Welcome back, Master Chief...

I picked up my copy of Halo 3 for the XBox 360 several days ago. And while I was there, I also picked up Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and World in Conflict for Windows. It will take me a while to get a handle on these games but the initial impressions are pretty good. The downside, ET:QW and WiC have pretty high system requirements in order to play with all the eye candy turned on.

More after this...

Friday, October 05, 2007

PayPal and the Philippines

It has been a year since PayPal was made available to Philippine users. Back then, locals were only allowed to send money. Good enough, if you are buying stuff online, I guess.

Numerous petitions were made to allow local users to receive funds as well. And finally, after a year of waiting, PayPal has added the Philippines in it's list of countries that can:

"Send. Receive. Withdraw to a U.S. Bank Account or a card.

Send and receive payments in these countries. Withdraw from your PayPal account to a U.S. bank account. In addition, withdraw to a credit, debit, or prepaid card in countries marked with a (cross)."

With this development, it probably won't take too long for local banks to make the necessary arrangements with PayPal so they can 'get some of the action.' In the mean time, the best bet would be to use a debit card.

Now, who will this benefit? For one, OFWs now have one more way to send funds to their families. Then there are the web designers, programmers, exporters and retailers. And finally, there's this little website called eBay; one man's junk is another man's treasure.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Idle Hands...

Way back in grade school, our art teacher gave us a block of clay to fool around with. This was real clay, the type used in making pottery. She gave us until the end of the period to sculpt a person playing any type of sport: basketball, baseball, etc. I decided to create a figure in the classic fencing pose with a toothpick to serve as his sword. The end product was a fairly decent work and I got a 97 for my effort.

Years later, I still like to create things, with most of my attention focused on scale models. I have completed dozens of kits since Grade 3, some have even been displayed in libraries and expos. Although I consider myself skilled, my talents pale in comparison with these extremely gifted individuals:

1) Michael Fictenmayer
2) 3Demonic
3) Gamera Baenre - Don't forget to click on the Completed Figures as well.

Then there are those who can create great works from regular objects normally found in a kitchen or an office. Take Patrick Laurensis' robot creation.

Yup, I still have a long way to go. *sigh*

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Fine Addition

The call came in early this morning informing me that this was ready for pick up. Lucky for me, I had a meeting near the area. Now, all I have to do is find enough space for it.

Image courtesy of HobbyLink Japan

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Postcard from Bree...

- Click to enlarge (original resolution was 1680x1050).

This was taken inside the Auction House in Bree. This is with all the graphics set to maximum. I wouldn't suggest doing this unless your computer is less than a year old, otherwise, gameplay's going to be a slideshow. I have mine set midway, but I still have some slowdown issues when entering a highly populated area like Bree.

Monday, May 21, 2007

One Ring...

I just picked up my copy of Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar from Datablitz the other day. Once I got home, I wasted no time installing the game. Incidentally, the game came in two DVDs! The game itself weighs in at a whopping 6.41 GB.

After activating my account, I logged in and waited through the usual updates. Ten minutes later, I was ready to make my first character. I liked getting into the thick of things, so I chose a female human Champion.

I'll post more details in a few days.


The Shizuoka Hobby Show has just concluded. I'm looking forward to the release of these babies:

Images courtesy of HobbyLink Japan.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The 360

Last week, I picked up my order for a(n) XBox 360 Premium Ed., an extra wireless controller and four titles: Gears of War, Crackdown, Ghost Recon - Advanced Warfighter 2, and Viva Piñata (for my wife). I've been saving up to buy the console since January and I must say that it's worth every cent.

Setting up the system is pretty straightforward, much like the Nintendo Wii: hook up the marked cables, turn on the system, sync the wireless controllers and play. Visual details on standard definition TV are acceptable, but the system comes into it's own when it's hooked up to an HDTV - call me impressed.

Playing alone is great, but connecting to XBox Live brings out the monster in the 360. Fighting AI gets predictable if you play long enough. In the end, nothing beats playing against other people. Of course, PC gamers have been fragging other players on the net for years so this is nothing new to me. What sets the 360 apart is the way it meshes the different processes into one tight package.

Game patches are automatically downloaded, searching for matches is painless, gameplay is mostly lag-free, even the VoIP system is good. So good, in fact, that all the nuances of an opponent's constructive criticisms are perfectly conveyed to the listener. This is where watching South Park comes in handy (Thanks Cartman), just mix in several ethnic slurs with various homosexual insults and you're good to go. One more thing, it also helps to know intimate details about your opponent's mom.

Like I said, it's worth every cent. Even my wife can't seem to pry herself away from the little piñatas. (I'll probably have to spring for another one.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a date with Kill3rboi's mommy in a couple of minutes.