Gaem Torents!?

Lutenent Worf

Turbine makes some outstanding games. The Lord of the Rings Online has been my main MMO for the past 5 years or so, and Dungeons & Dragons Online is pretty decent too. Both games offer exceptional value – free-to-play with a cash store, and you can earn the currency needed for the cash store through gameplay, allowing you to unlock F2P restrictions. Basically, they set the model for how to make a good F2P title, which other companies have followed. I like their producers, who are always friendly in Skype conversations when they do their PR blasts for new updates and expansions. Turbine is a great game company.

BUT! My one gripe with the company is that they use Pando Media Blaster as the download client for their games. I hate Pando Media Blaster. I find it buggy and demanding, like a B-list celebrity throwing a tantrum in a restaurant or something, demanding ALL the attention and creating such a commotion that if one thing goes wrong, the whole system shuts down and has to be restarted. I’m on wireless internet, which can be intermittent during periods of lousy weather, and occasionally my connection sputters. PMB hogs every spare bit of bandwidth, so I can’t even really use the Internet while downloading a game, and when my connection sputters out because of fog or wind or whatever, PMB freezes dead, generates errors and can’t be shut down properly, and won’t resume the download when the connection is re-established. I have to restart the computer to make it work again.

Anyway, my buddy Kevbob started playing Star Trek Online, and I figured I’d check it out. It’s made by Perfect World Entertainment, a company I’ve been having good luck with over the past year. Their games have generally been solid and enjoyable. I did reviews for Torchlight II and RaiderZ and gave them both fairly high marks, and they are coming out with Neverwinter sometime this spring, which is also looking really good. So yeah… I go to the STO page, click on the Download link… and they have options. Apparently, you can get the game through Steam (which I don’t really like for a number of reasons), any of a number of file-hosting sites, or my personal favorite method: torrent.

Why don’t more game companies offer this choice? I hate 3rd party downloaders. Torrents are easy, they don’t break and bug out, you don’t have to lawyer up with needless legal disclaimers ducking responsibility for the use of another company’s crappy product… it’s all-around win.


Nu Theem!?



Trying out a new theme. Not 100% sold on it, but it’s slightly nicer than the last one. I would prefer a larger date tag for each post, and a bigger comments button. I could get those things if I paid for them. I do like the two widget columns – the static one on the left and the scrolling one on the right. That’s pretty cool. The actual content area seems smaller, and the pictures are definitely smaller. Guess I’ll keep looking…


Okay, landed on this theme. It has a nice look to it, flexible widget columns… I can set it up with one big content column in the middle, or the headlines like I have now. I think the headlines thing works better for this site because it accentuates the, umm, whaddayacallit… the off-putting aspects that will drive lazy or uninterested “browsers” away. The undiscriminating “casual browser” will just see the dumb misspelled headlines, assume the content is just as vapid and idiotic, and move on like they are supposed to. The ones who are clever enough to see through the ruse, and masochistic enough to want to keep reading, will click through.


Meh, back to full-content articles with a Read More button.  I might change my mind again later, but I like pages full of big-ass pictures.

Smrtfoanz R Smrt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The thing I was going to write on my phone, before I was defeated by technology, was about how amazing phones are nowadays.

Smrtfoan r smrtr then sum ppl!!

Smrtfoan r smrtr then sum ppl!!

I went to school (K – 8) in the 80’s. In the early 80s, we had a party line because it was cheaper. If you picked up the phone at the wrong time, you could eavesdrop on your neighbors. Some of our neighbors and even some of our relatives still had party lines long after we upgraded to a private line.

Our phone was a beige box that hung on the wall. The handset had a long cord, and the base had a big dial on it that you had to crank around. You hated everyone with 9’s and 0’s in their phone number (that’s a Louis CK joke, folks). We had that same phone for well over a decade.

Our TV set also had dials. And knobs that could be pulled off and lost by children. And it had no remote. You had to get up and cross the entire room to change the channel or adjust the volume. But not having a remote didn’t matter as much, because our roof antenna only picked up maybe 5 channels on a clear day. Continue reading