Blog'n the night away...

360 Repaired and Game Updates

Friday July 20th 2007
Finally got my 360 back from MS. That only took an entire month! They did not even fix my old 360. They simply sent me a new-ish one as a replacement. Looking at the label on the new 360 I see that is was manufactured in June of 2006. So it's not brand spanking new. I hope they at least replaced the heat sinks in this one with the new ones I've been hearing about. I guess I'll find out after some marathon gaming sessions.

I wasted some time last week watching the E3 coverage on G4. E3 is the Electronic Entertainment Expo. It is the big summer trade show for the video game industry. They basically lay out all the games that should be out for the following holiday season. As usual 75% of the games released in a year come out during the Christmas months. G4 does an okay job with the coverage. At least I recorded the entire expo on the DVR. That allowed me to fast forward through games I couldn't give a flying fart about.

Most upcoming games I'm looking forward to, are all coming out on the 360. The PS3 is still in for a world of hurt. Here is the short list:
  • Halo 3
  • Bioshock
  • Mass Effect
  • Grand Theft Auto 4
  • Assassin's Creed
On the Wii, I only have Mario Galaxy, and possibly Metroid 3 took look forward to. There is also a fitness game coming amazingly titled, Wii Fit. What makes that title interesting is that it comes with a balance board thing that you use to exercise on. My increasing butt size might want to keep an eye on that one.


Thursday June 21st 2007
My Xbox 360 has given me the dreaded red ring of death (RROD). The red ring of death is when you turn your 360 on and instead of the normal logo on your tv, you are greated with 3 blinking red lights on the front of the 360. The cause of the red lights is unknown to anyone outside of Microsoft. It basically means your source of game goodness is trashed and needs to be replaced. Crap. I called up jolly MS on the phone and was told since my system was out of warranty, I would need to cough up $140 bucks of hard earned bread to get my system fixed. Double crap. I've only had my 360 for little over a year now. I'm not alone here. Many others are having the same problems as me. Even the guy at the UPS store told me he sees plenty of the 360 coffin (the so called box you get to ship your dead xbox back to MS in). Various polls around the net have some people reporting returns of three or more times. How this defect rate is not making bigger news around the net amazes me. If anything, MS is a ninja at keeping this a secret.

Oh well, I have my Wii to keep my company for the next few weeks as I wait for my 360 to return. At least I was able to complete the main quest line in Oblivion before it croaked. In fact, that is probably what did it in. Because of that game I was putting more hours on the 360. The problems are most likely heat related as longer play times cause the system to run very hot.

Blah Blah Blah...

Thursday May 17th 2007
Hi there!
Where the h-e-double hockey sticks have you been!? πŸ˜‹

It has been busy around home base here. We have quite a-lot going on lately. I'll cover that in future posts as we complete the goals we set out for this summer. OOoooo, so secretive he is. MMMmmmm.

What I have accomplished lately was adding a RSS feed to this page. You can now grab my blog with your favorite feed reamer.. err... I mean reader.

Things at CodeWeavers have been going very well. Our Mac product is doing nicely. I'm quite pleased with how well things have turned out this last year. We still have plenty of work cut out for us.

I recently signed Kirby up for his own page at Dogster. Dogster is like MySpace, but for Dogs. If your dog wants to be a pup-pal with the Kirbster, feel free to do so.

Cannon S3 IS

Friday March 30th 2007
Spring is almost here. Finally, cabin fever is almost over. My butt and gut have grown over the winter. Since our big Seattle Sutton extravaganza this is the most weight I've put on. Somewhere around 15 lbs over the winter. Yikes! I'm looking forward to getting back outside around the lake on the blades. Speaking of blading, I took Kirby out for a small run with the blades. We had one awesome day last week where it got up to 80F. Kirby was a little afraid of the blades. He kept up with me, but he made sure he was not going to get very close to the wheels. A few more times of going out should hopefully cure him of that.

Cannon S3 ISWe picked up a Cannon S3 IS from Newegg this week. This camera is a decent upgrade from our Cannon A80. Specs are: 6.0 megapixel, 12x optical zoom, Digic III chip, image stabilization, and ISO 800 support. The S3 lays somewhere between a digital SLR and a point and shoot. The lens is much better than the A80 for example, but you can't change lenses like you can say on a Rebel SLR. This is about as much camera as I think I need. So most of our gallery pictures from this point on should be from this camera. The deal from Newegg was nice, they threw in a 1 gig SD card, a camera bag, and a tripod.

Check out my Twitter blog. Twitter basically is a mini-blog that you update in real time. I have my IM configured so I can simply IM that blog directly. Major blog updates I will still make to this site. But what I'm currently up to from minute to minute can be found there.

Last weekend I put in some good time on the Xbox 360. I managed to finish off three games over the weekend. Gears of War, Condemned: Criminal Origins, and Tomb Raider Legend. I started playing Oblivion as well. I am still not sure if I will get back into World of Warcraft anytime soon.

Back to the fun!

Website Redesign

Monday February 26th 2007
A new theme! Today I "got'er did" the theme for this site. It is the same layout basically, just with a slightly different look. I also updated the pictures used for the random photo on the home page. I grabbed a few of my favorites from various albums. The old images were almost 10 years old. I don't think I look that different, but I agree, they did need an update.

This weekend we were hit by a large snowstorm. I didn't take an exact measurement, but I would say there is about 14 inches of snow. A perfect chance to test out our new snowblower. Okay, not new new, but new to us. I added a few photos for your viewing pleasure.


Tuesday February 20th 2007
MAME the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. I found myself regaining interest in this venerable emulator again. It's been so long since I updated my MAME environment that most of my roms where invalid and had to be updated. MAME is up to version .112 right now, the last version I was using was .85. What got me interested in MAME again was there is a new build for linux called sdlmame. Finally a build for Linux that can actually run well. Sorry, but old xmame was just crap. I could never get it configured to run as well as Mame32 on Windows.

My Wah!Cade LayoutThe downside of the Linux build is there is no GUI like in Mame32. Fortunately there are plenty of Front-Ends available. The one I found is called Wah!Cade. This is by far the best front end I've tested so far. So very customizable. Best of all, it is all controled via your joystick. It is really designed to be run from an arcade cabinet. As you see in the screenshot here, I made my own custom 1680x1050 widescreen layout for it. Wah!Cade also supports separate layouts for each emulator. I hit a button on my joystick and change to the SNES and Genesis game lists. Very very slick!

Someday the true goal is to build a stand up MAME arcade cabinet. For now, I'm happy using my X-Arcade joystick. I'm currently researching what is needed to build a cabinet. I'll post more in the future as I get closer to this goal.

The PS3 still sits un-used right now. Not exactly the best $600 I've ever spent. I really don't think anything much will happen with the PS3 this year. I've also been so wrapped up with MAME stuff lately that I have not logged into World of Warcraft in over 2 weeks. I think I needed a break from that addiction anyway.

I just noticed this is my 52nd blog post. Umm.. woo! ...or something. 😊 This means the code to jump to the next page of blog posts finally kicks in. The limit being 50 posts per page. Heh, only 2 - 3 more years until the next page is complete.


Saturday February 10th 2007
Lots of stuff to post today. This really should be like 4 separate posts, but hey, it's my dang site. Shut yer trap! First off. Welcome to the New Year, only a month late. All I can say is wow! Is it really 2007 already? I was still just getting used to 2006. It still had that new year smell. 😊

Christmas was excellent as always. We had another successful "Newman Holiday Extravaganza". Big BIG thanks go out to everyone that stopped by for some winter cheer. The surprise HIT at this years party was the Nintendo Wii. Friends and neighbors hooted and hollered while rounds of Wii Sports Tennis and Bowling were played. It was amazing to witness.

In January, my good friend Rob came over from England for a week. Just in time to catch our best snow of the year. Up to this point, we hardly had any to speak of. We all went downhill inner-tubing at this hill in Wisconsin. The hill had a tow rope, so you could just grab on and not have to walk up the hill. Being pulled up was almost as fun as sliding down. I had many flashbacks of Calvin and Hobbes flying sleds of of hills. The snow was really coming down that night. Fresh powder and tubes == many face washes. My beard had icicles hanging off of it by the end of the night.

Speaking of icicles, it has been butt cold out the last week. We are talking temps dropping below -15F, with windchill reaching -30F. Colder than a Witches titty for certain. I guess we still can get a real Winter here in MN.

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade was finally released this month. Finally I can level up my main character Splortch from level 60 to level 70. Granted, I only just made level 60 a few months ago. Some have been waiting to level up 60s for over a year. Contain your aggro kids. I also joined a new guild back in early December. Keel Haul. They are a great group. Thanks Dana and Deb. You pirates rock! Yaaar!

Lastly, I broke down and bought a PS3. At this point they are in stock everywhere. Hard to believe only two months ago these things were going for up to $2500 on eBay. I thought the regular price of $600 was high. Ouch! To get the PS3 I finally cashed in the pocket lint money I have been hanging onto for the last 10 years. I had about 50lbs of silver coin that I took to the bank and had just enough to get the PS3. At the moment there really are no good games for the PS3. I'm thinking of the PS3 as more of a media center system than a game system these days. I have no idea how the war between HD-DVD and PS3 will turn out. So having both the HD-DVD add-on for the 360 and the PS3 will allow me to not worry about which will win this stupid format war and just buy the movies I want to see in HD. It will be a long time until downloadable movies reach the quality of the HD disks. I'm not sure Sony will recover in the game market. I only see 2 game coming on the PS3 that interest me in the next year. Metal Gear Solid 4, and Rachet and Clank. At this point I feel the 360 is winning the next-generation (now current generation) battle. Microsoft is putting forth a good effort, and the 360 is really a fantastic all around gaming system. The PS3 has a lot of catching up to do.

Wii Mii

Tuesday November 28th 2006
Check us out! This is Karen and I in Mii form. Aren't we just adorable? Well, at least Karen is. Sorry about the bad quality photo. It is the best I can do with my Cannon pointed at my TV in low light with a flash. You can actually just have fun creating Mii people for everyone you know. The best part is that everyone you create will appear in Wii sports as opposing players or background fans.

I've been playing with my Wii for the last few days and the more I use it the more I enjoy it. Getting off my arse to stand and play some active games is just good times in the making. The only downer is that I have been unable to find a second Wiimote. So Kitten and I just take turns with Wii Sports and Excite Truck. There has not even been any stamping of the feet or crying or anything. πŸ˜€


Sunday November 26th 2006
After my third attempt at waiting in line at Best Buy I finally manged to snatch up a Wii for myself. As Stimpy would say, "Happy Happy Joy Joy!". My first attempt was last Sunday on the launch day. I was under the impression there would be enough consoles to go around so I only arrived 20 min prior to store opening. Needless to say, I underestimated demand. The Best Buy employees already handed out tickets before I even got there. No dice. Next I thought I would camp out on Black Friday starting at 3:30 am to get a Wii. WRONG! No consoles that day. According to a Best Buy yellow shirt they were holding the shiny white Wii back until Sunday. FRICK! Well, Sunday it is then. This time I was not going to hold back, I arrived at the gates the the blue devil at 6:20 am. Store opening would be at 10 am. It was going to be a long cold wait, but at least I met some nice and interesting people in line. I was number 11 in line. YES. At 9 am an Angel with a yellow ticket name badge handed my golden, err blue, ticket. Finally!

My Wii Launch Lineup:
  • Wii Sports
  • Excite Truck
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Wii Consoles use a System code as a way to contact friends online. If you want to add my Mii to your Wii just add my code to your Wii address book:

6979 6251 0093 9066

I spend a good chunk of time today playing my Wii games. About 5 hours in total. The Wii actually reports and tracks your game playing time. A nifty feature. So far I am very impressed with the controls. Everything is easy and intuitive. It just feels "right" to me. Nintendo is onto something big here.

Level 60!

Saturday November 25th 2006
I did it! After 14 days of game play I have attained the max level in World of Warcraft with my Dwarf Hunter. W00t!

O.K. Now what?
Please Wait...