Let’s see. Yesterday I got to play with the following toys because they either arrived or I finally got the chance to play with them.
1) Tiger – Borrowed the Tiger DVD from my friend and installed on my PB (Don’t worry, technically I am not pirating because my copy will be arrived tomorrow in the mail). Took me awhile to install because I had to clone the original drive first, installed a fresh new hard drive and then installed Tiger. In fact it took most of the evening, but thankfully I did it while half-watching TV (NCIS and House). Just like with the upgrade from Jaguar to Panther, Tiger has given my aging TiBook a new lease of life with huge gain in speed. Although I think the speed gain is partly due to my new hard drive which has higher spin speed and larger cache. Oh and the new hard drive is bloody quiet!
2) External hard drive enclosure – Why waste a perfectly good hard drive? So I also bought this very nice hard drive enclosure from Other World Computing to “reuse” my old PB hard drive. Installation is child-play even without any instructions.
3) Wireless surround sound headphones – These new Sony headphones kick-ass! My friend Jeronimo has the older DS3000 model and they impressed me when I tried them out at his apartment a few months back. Mine is the newer model, DS4000, and it has a optical pass-through so you don’t need an extra optical output to hook these headphones up. So now I can play Halo 2 into the depth of night without disturbing the neighbour or the “Sleeping Beauty” (a.k.a. the “Princess”, a.k.a the wife).
4) Halo 2 headset – To go with the headphones, I bought these Plantronics game headset so it will fit my ear/head better. I was doubtful for a long time whether they will be indeed more comfortable but they are. And because the microphone broom can be bent to be closer to my face, now I don’t even need to talk as loud to be heard. The only negative thing is that the cable is slightly shorter than the Microsoft’s headset and thus I kept pulling the headset off slightly.
5) New iPod – Not for me, but for Leah. Still not sure why I have bought Leah a new 20GB iPod to replace her ancient 2nd Generation 10GB iPod 😉 But I guess having a nice bonus from work eases the wallet pain…
Last week I’ve finally reached the point where I need to take some time off work. So I took today off and the plan was to play the new Halo 2 maps in the morning and then work on ecto after lunch.
The new Halo 2 maps are fantastic! Slayer games in Warlock is just absolutely bloody fucking insane! Lots of dark corners to ambush people and with the newly rebalanced weapons damage, lots of grenades were thrown. Not to mention tonnes of close quarter combat with the loser being beat down.
Containment is huge! CTF or Assault game will be great with all three types of vehicles (Warhog, Banshee, and Scorpion!) available. Lots of sniping and rocket action.
I haven’t played Turf with any other players yet (I played Warlock and Containment in custom games with people from XBox Live) but Turf’s layout will be perfect for ambushes. Lots of above street level hiding places where the attacker can be easily caught in cross fires from multiple directions.
As for ecto development, I managed to fix a few minor bugs but I got bogged down with setting up a MT test environment as well as a corrupted Thunderbird profile. This requires me to start with a brand new profile and download all the emails again from the server. Not a big deal? It is when you have 4000+ spam emails that I don’t but do want to download again. I don’t because it takes so long and so much bandwidth, but I do because I want to train the Thunderbird Junk filter with these spam emails. Thunderbird also seems to have problem with recognising spam emails that I’ve already downloaded so it tries to download all 4000+ of them again every 15 mintues! In the end, I went to the server and deleted all of them. I hate POP3 email server, why can’t we all have IMAP email server (like .Mac?).
So I’ve succumbed to the game console temptation after Halo 2 was released this week and bought a Xbox this evening. The main reason is that a group of us in the office decided that we should setup a team to play online. And since I loved playing FPS game online I couldn’t really resist with playing Halo 2 on Xbox Live! with team speak. I am still getting used to the game pad control with its very different way of movement and POV. I miss my mouse for aiming!