World of Christmas

During this holiday break I’ve been exploring the world of Azeroth using the 10-day trial Blizzard offers. I did this because I’ve been hearing so god damn much about the game. I mean, they even devoted a whole South Park episode to the subject. If Matt and Trey care about World of Warcraft then it might be something I want to at least investigate.

I created a trial account and was just a few minutes later playing the game using my own Tauren character.

Hack n' slash those goblins!

Hack n slash!

At first I was underwhelmed, the world I entered seemed bland, uninteresting and very little stuff was going on. This might have been because it was in the middle of the night but that’s the time I thought most people were playing… I was wrong I guess.
My first impression was that everything seemed very slow and there didn’t seem to be much of a story, but first impressions aren’t always right so I kept on going. The basic RPG elements were all there, talk to a NPC, get a quest, go away somewhere and kill some monsters, come back to town and get a reward, repeat.

After doing some fairly uninteresting quests and gaining a few levels I was able to explore the world further and entered the village of Bloodhoof. There I met some people and went on some slightly more interesting quests while more parts of the game was introduced to me. I for example learned that I could fish, make a fire, cook, skin a wolf, get killed by a wolf or try to hunt down rhinoceroses (kodos) while getting killed by wolves.
And there seemed to be lots more you could do (just not in the trial), like training your very own kodo for getting around quickly or capture a wild animal and make into your own pet.

Fishin'... yay...

Fishing... yay...

It’s fun to play in groups, when there’s a social element to the game, but just playing on your own isn’t so grand. It’s very easy to chat with people while hacking enemies to bits due to the control-style, so if you’re in a group of people on a quest to kill some goblins or whatnot you can chat the whole time and have a good time.

On your own it mostly feels like any old hack n’ slash RPG… except slower. But still, I have to admit, it’s starting to grow on me. There’s just something to this game that I can’t really put my finger on that makes turn on the game over and over again every day now. It’s like they put cocaine in it or something, I dunno… Anyway, I’m considering buying it at this point but probably not playing it every month, maybe just a few months of the year.

btw, I found a nice santa-hat, so I decided to make a christmas card:

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Disappearing tray icons fix

Having troubles with tray icons disappearing after a reboot? You’re not the only one. This is a very common problem in Windows XP and has been known for a long time, but for some reason Microsoft never figured it was worth fixing, so even in Service Pack 3 you’ll have to live with this… Or do you?

There are tons of bogus fixes for this problem that requires your to disable services etc.
One of the most common semi-working fix out there is to get a program like Startup-Delayer to delay the starting of certain chosen programs and services to make sure they don’t all start at the same time. And if they don’t all start at the same time, you’ll have a perfect tray with all the wanted icons. I have found this to at best be a partial solution, since the speed of starting the different programs and services varies and thus the delay you set for each program won’t always be what’s needed.

What works for me is to use a very nifty program called PS Tray Factory. It has the ability to restore system tray icons, other tray icons and can even sort tray icons if you wish. You can also use it to minimize certain programs to tray, hide chosen programs from tray, etc, etc.

I have found the sorting and minimizing features to be a bit buggy myself, but that might be because the software was last developed back in 2006 and is not used to some things that programs do today. Regardless, it handles the thing I care about really well. It successfully restores missing tray icons after a reboot or an explorer.exe crash.
The only downside with this program (besides the fact that it isn’t being developed anymore) is that it isn’t free, but if this is something that is really bugging you, then it might be worth your money. Check it out.

The best fix would of course if Microsoft got off their asses and did their job by fixing this age-old bug and stop messing about with ridiculous operative systems like Vista. But for now, this is a working solution.

Or if you really know what you’re doing, you could check out tasmanians patch that fixes the core of this problem.

Media Player Classic enqueue shell extension

My favorite media player is the absolutely awesome Media Player Classic by Gabest. Sadly Gabest isn’t developing it anymore (but some other cool dudes on doom9.org are making some new versions of it using the latest source), but it’s still very usable today.

Sometimes when I watch videos with MPC I find that I want to add some more videos to the playlist so that’ll they run after the video I’m watching. This can be done from the program, but you’ll have to muck about with opening the playlist and browsing through the programs little “Browse…” feature. It’d be very convenient to be able to add videos, songs, etc, to the playlist by just right clicking on them in Explorer (Like you’re able to with Winamp).
Well, this is possible thanks to the command line switches MPC has.

In Explorer goto Tools -> Folder Options and select the File Types tab. Select the file type you want to enable this for (for example .avi) and press Advanced. Press New. As Action type in:

Enqueue in MPC

and as Application type in:

"C:\WINDOWS\mplayerc.exe" /play /add "%1"

That is, if that’s where your Media Player Classic installation is located. If you installed to another directory, you need to adjust the above line to fit your installation. When done editing, press OK three times to get out of the menus.

That’s it! Now you should be able to right-click on any .avi file and select “Enqueue in MPC” and the video should be added to MPC’s playlist. I suggest you also add this Action to the following file types: .avi .mp4 .mpg .m2v, since those are all fairly common for video files.

The new weekday-names

I propose a new weekday naming-system:

  • monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, saturday, sunday
  • catday, catsday, catnesday, catrsday, catday, caturday, catday

Why? Because days are named after gods we have worshipped in the past and I think it’s time to update the weekdays to gods we worship of today. No I don’t mean Jesus, Allah or any of that horseshit, anyone can see that stuff is bogus. I mean come on, the earth was made in 7 days, 6000 years ago? You people make me sick.

No, we need to set our worship-drives to maximum while changing to cat-gear. I mean, who doesn’t like hilarious cute cats with bad grammar? That’s right, no one. And if you happen to be that no one, then you are a dark soul my friend and you should seek professional help. Like, right now… seriously, go away.
Anyway, back to what I was talking about. What was I talking about? Oh yes, lolcats are awesome and need to be worshipped. We should make enermous statues with pointy ears, build churches with lots of sand in them, etc.

But we should begin with changing the weekdays to their cat-counterpart. We already changed saturday to caturday, what’s wrong with changing the rest? Ok, it could potentially be a bit annoying to have three days named “catday”, but let’s just change the week structure aswell to get around that:

  • monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, saturday, sunday
  • catday, catsday, catnesday, catrsday, caturday, catsomeday

I removed one of the workdays, for convenience, so now we’ll work less and as a result be happier.
All of this might have been a little bit complicated, so here’s a nice little summation of the awesomeness this proposal will bring,

End result:

  • No more focus on ancient gods
  • Less workdays
  • More lolcat pictures will be posted online
  • People will be happier
  • The financial crisis will be over

So there it is folks, it’s time for change and the world has recently been open to change, so I think this will work out just fine.

Good Old Games(?)

The website Good Old Games™ launched earlier this week as a public beta. It’s been around for a few months but it’s first now that it’s starting to get some actual Good old Games™ in their store.

The idea is to sell Good old Games™ that are 100% compatible with Windows XP/Vista, that contains NO DRM, at a low price.

It seems like a really good idea and all, but, they really do need some more games on there. So far, it’s full of games were the “goodness” is kinda debatable… Such as:

  • Battle Chess: Special Edition” - A chess game? Yay…
  • Evolva” - I got this game for free with a PCGamer magazine, I don’t have it anymore though since I threw it away. It had a bit of a MDK-feel to it, but the concept was too done and boring already.
  • F/A-18E Super Hornet” - Some random flight-sim. Never heard of it before.
  • I.G.I. 2: Covert Strike” - Another game I acquired for free. I played it a few times… I remember not being able to finish the 4-5th level (something like that) because of a bug that kept comming back regardless of if I reinstalled it/patched it/whatever.
    It’s kind of like a bad ripoff off “007 GoldenEye” for N64. I managed to sell it for $3 though.
    The only user comment (as of now) on gog.com about this game reads:

    “Not good. I don’t like this game [...].” -Pajk

  • Kingdom: The Far Reaches” - Wtf? is that santa-claus?

    santa

  • Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader” - A quote from the user comments sums up the lack of excitement you should be feeling for this game:

    “[..] Lionheart failed to deliver.” -jopo

  • Shattered Steel” - Some old mechadroid-shooter. Lame.

But don’t worry, the store has a few gems and hopefully in the future it’ll be full of them. The gems include such wonders as “Operation Flashpoint” for $10, “Freespace 2” for $6 and “Fallout” for $6.

Anyway, the real story here is that there is an actual webstore out there, selling games, without forcing DRM on your ass. And that, is most definitely : cool.