Category Archives: NextGen

Wii, XBox360 and PS3

Load "Emulate This!",8,1

RUN

I got my first computer in ’89, a AMIGA 500! My first very own computer which I loved and used year over year (and I still have it). I will never forget the classic Demo IRAQ by Animators which is one of my absolute favourites as I still follow the scene through the decades. Just got me more into computers as well as games like Giana Sisters, Silkworm, Maniac Mansion and many more. That’s why I am a big fan of all those emulators for different system out there.

Probably the most successful is the Nintendo Wii. Wait? What, the “New-Gen” Wii Console? Yes, this Nintendo Wii! With it’s Wii-Shop Channel it offers you the ability to download-to-own all those great old games from the NES, SNES, Turbografx, MegaDrive and many more. “The Legend of Zelda”, “Super Metroid”, The “Castlevania” Series, “Altered Beast”, “Golden Axe” to name some. Actually as I think the games are pretty expensive (5€ for the cheapest games, up to 10€) measured by their age, I already have spent to much money and time on them and probably will much more ^^’.
For those who do not own a Wii or want to play other old games I collected some common known good emulators.

ScummVM
scummvm_0_0_3_full.pngTo those who remember the SCUMM System I would point out the ScummVM Project. And to all you others: Damn scumbags ^^’! Read and learn!
Scumm was LucasArts’ (LucasFilm at that time) Adventure Scripting Engine. Fabulous games as Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island and Indiana Jones are based on it! Written also by Ron Gilbert, who just announced his new project, it was one surety for the success of LucasFilms at that time (besides Gilbert and Schafer). So who loved those old skool games and many more back then (Beneath a Steel Sky, Flight of the Amazon Queen to name a few), go ahead and download ScummVM.
ScummVM is a Virtual Machine that emulates all old gaming frameworks (mainly SCUMM but many have been implemented like Sierras AIG …) to allow you to play all those original Adventures that gave us so much fun. It is available for several platforms on the market, not only the PC but UNIX, MacOS X, NDS, Symbian, Amiga and so on.

PicoDrive
picodrive.pngAnother great emulator for PDAs and Symbian Phones is PicoDrive. It emulates an old Sega MegaDrive/Genesis System to allow you to play classics like Sonic – The Hedgehog or Golden Axe.
The Cyclone 68000 based emulator for WM PDAs is just one example of those many many emulators for nearly every system that was ever build. But especially on a good Symbian Phone this is just fun. To play Ghouls’n’Ghosts or Sonic or Streets of Rage (The Original) is sometimes better than playing through graphically great but boring nowadays games.

PCSX2
A more modern approach for emulation is PCSX2, a Playstation 2 emulator for Windows PCs. Playstation 2? you might ask. Yes, the PS2! The PS2 that still is being sold by Sony Computer Entertainment to compensate the PS3 sales. And as such the emulator works better every new release but has the flaw that it needs an original PS2 BIOS, and those are solely copyrighted to Sony. Therefore the emulator is somewhat legal but delivered without a PS2 BIOS. But today’s computer generation probably know enough possibilities to find these, but I am so not encouraging this ^^#.
As said the emulator works good. Not perfect, but good. An overview of the games that are playable, PCSX2 has put up a compatibility chart. There are many games like Final Fantasy or Metal Gear that are nearly flawlessly playable. But one requirement is a very good computer as the emulator and it’s plugins need a good load of CPU Power!

WinUAE and TBL Demos
As introduction I told you about my old Amiga500 and the Demos I loved to watch. I still love the Scene and it’s outcome. One of my favourite groups throughout the years are TBL, The Black Lotus.
Those magicians at the keyboard have created more masterpieces than Kubrick or Spielberg. And even if they made some PC Demos over the years, there best works are on the Amiga System. Silkcut, Starstruck, Ocean Machine or Little Nell to point my favourites out (more on pouet.net). They fascinate by teasing out even the last crunch of the System, the last breath it can bare.
To watch those Demos you must have a Amiga System or you must stick with the screen caps. But there is one alternative: The WinUAE! The Amiga Emulator is commonly known to play most TBL Demos at a decent speed rate. Besides Demos you can also play games like those old Cinemaware classics. So this is probably a good solution to feel this old AmigaOS feeling.

TBL – Starstruck (Live from the Assembly 2006)

Again THX to all Site- and Emulator-Makers for their time and effort to give us this fun (and images). For a very good overview of all those Emulators around have a look at AEP Emu.

The "Happy New Year" Post

Long time, no see! Your hopes and prayers have not been heard by the lord itself as I am still blogging and blogging on. But first and foremost I wish every reader (yes, you two) a Happy New Year and a wonderful 2007. That your finest hour may come.
I know I haven’t posted something for a long long time but I was somehow distracted (and as the title of this blog suggests, gone far beyond INsanity). From now on I will try to keep up a regular post frequency (at least this is my New Year’s pledge ^^’).

I don’t want to make this very long as the new year has just started and should not be filled with that much stupidity right along but what troubled me the last weeks:
I got my Wii as the countdown suggested and I am very happy. It is a good and solid console with more good games to come. The control works great as if you have never used anything else before. The Party Games like Wii Sports and Wii Play are pretty good. Much fun with some people and some beer ^^’. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is just terrific, great, best game from Nintendo ’till this day. Most other games don’t work as they should but time will tell if Nintendo can keep up some more good games, as every console has a hard game start. Red Steel should have been the new experience in the Ego-Shooter genre but it did not quite work out. Most reviews rated it pretty bad. I tested it for 2 days and I must say: The controls could be better but are easy to adopt. After some hours you will know how to fight, how to move. From then on it is a funny and cool game with intermediate graphics and a very nice Arcade-Feeling like House of the Dead with your Lightgun. A sequel is already in the work so I hope they learn from their mistakes and will make a great next-new-gen-Ego-Shooter ^^’. And as NexGen Wars shows I am not alone with my positive thinking.
Two things could be better. First the Virtual Console. Itself is just a great idea and works great but the prices for such old games like the first Sonic, the first Legend of Zelda or R-Type are with 5€ to 10€ just by far too much. And the overall internet capability of the Wii is pretty limited. Currently no game can be played with others online, not even Red Steel and things like the WiiShop are pretty slow. Everything requires reload. I hope Nintendo will improve and focus their work on these two things.

Everything else just somehow goes and goes on. University sux as always, still no very concrete diploma thesis. Life itself is the hell of a burden ^^. Some good movies have been released. Apocalypto by Mel Gibson. Maybe controversial but I pretty much liked it. It was true and strong with great stills. The newest James Bond… long story short, best Bond movie with the second best Bond actor. Now I am looking forward to Babel and Pan’s Labyrinth, two very promising movies and I will tell you about as soon as I have seen them.

For now… the end is near… the year is over… another one just started… 2007… The End!

What troubled me…

…this week was my 24th birthday. Yep, twenty-four! 20 + 4! Some will say: “Damn young lad! Has to grow up yet!”, others will get corny about their mid-twenties: “Oh yeah… 24! I remember… she even had no teeth!” Tscha, that’s it. I am getting old. Older every year and I damn you, whoever you are that figured this out!
I begin to feel like I have a Startlife-Crisis. Everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Murphy’s Law is all over. Every time I see this young folk party, getting drunk and speak with a funny accent I start questioning myself: When will I die? Is an upper power watching over us? Will there be a life after this hell? And did I look as stupid as these kids when I was drunk? Who knows… I do not care any more!

What’s to sum up of the last twenty-four years I spend living… at least more or less. Prepare for fast-forward. Prepared for fast-forward? Fast-forward… Now: Born on the 17th of November in Bremen, Germany I started to puke all over this world. Lived in three different locations till now. Did nothing else but went to school. Damn it! That’s pretty much it! I went to school! I go to school for 19 years. NINETEEN!!! OK, the schools changed but always school. Elementary school, grammar school, college-preparatory and nowadays I study at the University of Bremen, trying to get my degree in Computer Science. Since I am 16 I work additionally to my school. And do not forget my 9 month with the German Bundeswehr as military service is duty in Germany (at least for the cool guys ^^’).

That is my life until this day in fast-forward. Nothing special as you can see. Nothing big that I have achieved. Just living and trying to get along. And if I have a look at other people my age or born at the 17th of November I get headache. Christopher Paolini, born November, 17 in 1983. Has written Eragon and Eldest. Great books, at least Eragon. Haven’t read Eldest yet but Eragon will be a major movie this December in cinemas all around the world. Or Jessica Biel. Born March, 3rd in 1982 she performs since she was 14. Next big movie will be The Illusionist with Edward Norton. Also in 1982 William DeVries transplanted the first artificial heart. Barney Clark was his patient. ICQ, Carl Zeiss, Danny DeVito, Martin Scorsese, Phrack and so many more have their first appearances, inventions, downloads et cetera on a November, 17.

Conclusion
What’s to conclude here? I am getting older but on the other side I still have so much time and so much to do. At least I have a blog. An achievement I… ahem… I… jeez, every idiot has a blog. But we had our little party this Friday with some good beer and fun (at least I think so). We will back us, anyone each other while we are getting older and someday we will look at the blogs of the future on our fluid displays and we will laugh at all those young internet freaks that have to share their life with the internet because they have no friends… ahem… I… think I have to go ^^

Movies, Movies, Movies
I have one more. A lot of movie news came up the last week. Many new facts and many new trailers. First of all I am looking forward to the Casino Royale start. I had my doubts but Daniel Craig seems to prove that a new, rough and emotional Bond has been born. The best of both worlds (Connery and Brosnan) from what I saw and read. I hope I won’t be disappointed.
I watched Children of Men this week because of the good reputation of Alfonso Cuarón and I liked it very much. It was a realistic look at a future filled with emotions that has become quiet. A very touching and emotional film that also was very brutal. But Alfonso Cuarón showed his expertise in filming. Great single shot sequences that will blow even those away that just want some action movie.
Two important trailer found their way into the net. Spider-Man 3 and The Simpsons Movie. After a good first comic adaptation the second Spider-Man got me kind of disappointed. To heroic, bad Octopus, worse love story between Peter and Mary-Jane so I was pretty happy to find out that the third one will be darker, has Venom in it and takes up the moral of the comics. And The Simpsons Movie… yeah, its The Simpsons so it will rock ^^’
I eventually wanted to give you a peek at Grindhouse, the new (two) Movie(s) by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez but The Weinstein Company don’t want us to see it. I watched it and I must say: This movie will kick ass and chew bubblegum. Horror-, suspense-, splatter-movie with a 70’s atomic cataclysm style! One hell of a movie with Rose McGowan and her M16 as leg ^^’
Another big event this weekend was the After Dark Horrorfest. After Dark shows 8 films to die for in selected theatres in the United States. Only this weekend from November, 17 to 19. 8 movies that would not have been released! There are six trailers at Apple.com and they look good. At least for people that like such freakin’ fuckin’ movies. I do!

So that’s it from me for this week. I will go take my drugs and cuddle myself into my rheumatism blanket. Until next week folks!

What troubled me…

…this week was my Wii reservation. A made that reservation at Amazon.de and thought as soon as they know how and when to order the Wii everything should be fine: I get my E-Mail, place the order and will be the happiest freakin’ man at the 8th of December. But I was very wrong. At Thursday this week Amazon.de emailed every person that put a reservation on the Wii. It said “Now: Order your Wii. Limited quantities available.”. “Ok, then go on and order it!” you might think but I attended a seminar at the time I got that E-Mail. “So what? Order it later that day!” you might say and I tried so but the presale was online for about 20 minutes. That was a timeframe I could not make. “Poor man!” you think (at least I hope so ^^’) and yes you were right but I could not stand the fact to not play Zelda at the 8th of December.

I went to my local retailer and asked for their help. With teardrops in my eyes, crawling on the floor I begged for mercy to give me the chance of holding The Sceptre of Light in my hands at the first day of the new dawn. And they had mercy. The Wii is as good as mine and you will hear from it many many times ^^

Doom your AcrobatReader
This Friday I had to make some changes to an old program I worked on. It is about programmatically report generation, so nothing very fancy or interesting but it had to be done. There is a “GuideProgramming” for this amazing report generator but due to the fact that it does not really apply to the library it is somehow worthless.
What’s with Adobe Acrobat? Ah yes! So I had this “NoGuide” and more and more reports for testing reasons. My whole system got slow, simple browsing or text editing with my editor was impossible. I was in a really bad mood and got more and more annoyed by the AcrobatReader. Always 10-15 seconds of waiting just to open a 2 sheet paper I want to read. Filling up the memory with 40-50MB. I thought “Damn it! It can’t be!” and started to look for alternatives.

I asked a friend and googled for alternative solutions. A simple PDF Reader cannot be too much to ask for, can it? The first thing you will find if you look for a “pdf reader” in Google without looking for Adobe products, is the Foxit PDF Reader. I found some more PDF Reader but every single Software was Shareware or had something else that pissed me off. So I tried Foxit and I instantly was happy. I clicked on a PDF and it opened up in less then a second even with Eclipse and VS running. Some titles and the page displays font was bold but the speed was so marvellous that I made it my standard PDF Reader.
There is one thing I hope they will implement very soon: Foxit opens an instance for every PDF, even if another clean instance is running. With more and more PDF Reports opening up for testing that can get a bit messy. But nevertheless everything else works fine and the idea of clicking on a PDF and actually see it at the same time makes this program worth a big recommendation. So download and install this rapid PDF Reader.

Intel Demo Competition
INTEL has called out for the first “Intel Demo Competition”. In cooperation with ASUS and Digitale Kultur e.V. Intel summoned probably the five best European Demogroups from all different countries. The contestants are as follows:

The rules are pretty simple. To show off that Intel is the best hardware manufacturer (and as supporter of the Demoscene for some years now) every group got an identical machine, an Asus Intel Centrino Duo Notebook to make a Demo on. A Demo has to be between 30 and 40 seconds long and has to run on that machine. How long the Demo has to be was determined by DJ Hell. He produced five tracks for these five Demos. All contestants had about 10 weeks time to finish their work and now is the time to vote.

All Demos can be seen online at the Intel Demo Competition Website or downloaded from the same source. There is a voting running to decide which group made the best Demo of them all. The voting is open till December, 1st. Then we will know who will be the first European Intel Demo Competition Champion. So go ahead, watch them all and vote for your favourite.

Blue Screen of Death
WindowsMfeOh hell yeah, Windows nostalgia. The Blue Screen of Death is back and we missed it, don’t we ^^!? And who if not Microsoft can give it back to us. No, Vista has not been publically released yet. But it is MS who brings you the BlueScreenSaver. A small ScreenSaver for your crash proven Windows PC that will make you reminisce about the good old Windows95, Windows98 and WindowsME times. It gives you just a simple BlueScreen with a more or less real error message. Actually there is nothing special about it, just 640×480 pixel of Windows history but I love it ^^’.

Fanboys
To end this wonderful, delightful and splendid post I would like to present you the Fanboys Trailer. A journey for friendship. A journey to give their dying friend his only hope to see Star Wars – The Phantom Menace. Fanboys shows us this journey of four guys that are way too much into Star Wars. See them rock the Skywalker Ranch and Role over the enemy, the antagonist, the villain Star Trek ^^.
Go, go, go and watch the trailer over at IESB! Itse very nice man!