My New Year’s Resolution

January 4, 2011 3 comments

Just thought I’d post this for myself. You know, to try and keep myself on track and to reflect on how well I did as the year ends.

*My goal for this year is to be more aware of what’s necessary and to be better at letting go of what’s not.

It sure sounds simple but I assure you it is not.

Categories: Life, Me Tags:

A Season of Making… then Giving (Kindle Style)

December 28, 2010 4 comments

Well Christmas has come and gone and as I age, I realize it’s not the same as it used to be… But that’s not the story today. Today I just wanted to share my gift giving endeavor.

To start off, my wife has been wanting a Kindle for quite some time. This was even before the most recent Kindle version (third generation). Anyway I decided to get her one for Christmas. Now financially it’s not really within our budget but through cashing in different credits from different programs, I was able to procure one for roughly half price. This was great but when purchasing anything “nice” for a clumsy person, you better have a way to protect that investment.

In spending quite a bit already on the Kindle itself, I really didn’t feel the need to spend another $35-$60 on a case. I’m frugal (or cheap if you prefer) like that. I decided to consult the interwebernetz for possible ways to hand make a case. I found quite a few creative ways that people have made cases for their Kindles and it amazes me to see how everyone has used their own personal strengths and skills to do so. Every homemade case I have seen is so unique and creative. One thing that my search did was it got my creative juices stirring. I studied design in school and am a package designer by day. I have the necessary skills to make my own sweet case. I work at a company that does book binding and custom packaging so all of the materials are at my disposal. Why the heck did I bother the internet anyway?

So there I was. I had an idea, I had the necessary skills, and I had all of the supplies. It was time to design. One beneficial thing when designing a package is to have the item in hand to be packaged. Unfortunately at the time I had no Kindle so I had to build around dimensions that I found while searching the internet.

 

Handmade Kindle Covers

First off, in looking at different pre-made cases, I considered a standard book style but that would leave an opening on the right of the case. I felt an extra panel would be extra protection. I came up with a very clean mini Tri-fold binder. The right panel somewhat interferes with use but I felt the extra protection was well worth it.

 

Handmade Kindle Covers

Next step would be the closure. I considered velcro dots but I personally think velcro tends to cheapen any product. I considered magnets but through testing, the adhesive tended to fail before the magnets. Also I am unsure if magnets affect e-ink screens. I couldn’t find any solid information on the internet either so I decided not to take the chance of having my protective cover be the actual thing that destroys the item I was protecting. My final decision was to use an elastic band. I went through many different options to attach the bands to the binders but I eventually came up with a rather elegant solution. Hope you would agree.

 

Handmade Kindle Covers

Final step was to find a way to attach the Kindle to the binder itself. I didn’t want to use any adhesives because I hate the residue that they can leave on plastics. I wanted it to be secure yet easily removed if need be with no damage to the Kindle or the case. I had already used bands as the closure and knew that the bands themselves wouldn’t damage the Kindle. I think I found a rather clever way of piecing everything together into a nice package.

 

Handmade Kindle Covers

Through the entire process I was essentially using extra materials from previous mockup requests. The great thing about that was using up waste materials. Also it gave me a variety of materials in which to cover my binders with. I mean really, you can’t go wrong with faux white snake skin or whatever it is.

 

Handmade Kindle Covers

I was quite pleased with the final products. If there were only one thing I would change, it would be to add another elastic band across the center (below the screen) for added support and peace of mind. Well that will be for my next version 😉

The lady was pleased so I guess that’s all that matters right? If the lady is happy, everyone is happy 😛

1000 Trophies

November 15, 2010 2 comments

1000

Just broke the 1000 mark on trophies. Coincidentally it was also my Heavy Rain Platinum trophy that made the 1000 mark. My 11th platinum trophy was also my 1000th trophy. How strange and almost mind bending. My head asplode!

15 Minutes of Fame

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

After being freshly pressed I had an obvious increase in traffic. I also had an increase in spam but that’s ok. It was kinda fun to delete it. Anyway this was my 15 minutes of fame and it was glorious 😀 (said in a voice similar to Will Farrell in Old School).

Site Stats

Categories: Blogging, Me Tags: ,

Things I have Learned as a Gaming Parent

October 28, 2010 131 comments

In no particular order:

#1. Spare time used to be game time. As a parent, spare time no longer exists. Game time and sleep time are now used interchangeably.

#2. When deciding on a game, game ratings were never even considered pre-parenting. Now mature rated games actually mean something. That meaning is – This is a (cannot be played around the kids) game.

#3. “Kiddie” games are no longer off limits nor are “casual” games.

#4. The PSP becomes less of a portable gaming system and more of a portable “shut the kid up” tool. (Ok I only let her watch Cars or Incredibles on it from time to time but only as a treat. I don’t actually use it to “shut the kid up” even though it tends to do just that. It just sounded funnier).

#5. Controllers should never be left on a surface that is lower than a couch/coffee table + 3 ft lest you want to play with greasy food covered controllers. This is also true when you have friends over who have potato chip hands. In that situation you need the controllers behind lock and key.

#6. “Fake” game controllers are never good enough. The only acceptable controller to a child is the one that is currently in use.

#7. Video game cosplay has a coolness factor of x10 on your own child. Not to mention an equal x10 cuteness factor on that mini you.

#8. Spontaneous on sale/clearanced gaming purchases have been replaced by on sale/clearanced kids toys or clothing.

#9. The cost of daycare for 2 children is roughly equal to buying a PlayStation 3 console (or a 360) plus a game – every single week (give or take depending on what daycare of course). Ouchies.

#10. Expendable cash actually existed before the advent of my children. Nowadays I’m happy when I can afford to buy a $3.17 Jr. Bacon cheeseburger meal from Wendy’s.

So… Anything you have learned as a gaming parent?

PS3 HD Compilations

October 1, 2010 4 comments

Now that the God of War Collection has been out for a while and there is the announced ICO & Shadow of Colossus Collection, what HD compilations would you like to see?

Zone of the Enders 1 & 2

Personally I’ve been rooting for a Zone of the Ender’s Collection. Z.O.E. 2 is one of the best games that the PS2 has to offer in my opinion. A compilation disc would at least chide me over until Kojima decides to stop milking the MGS teet and work on Z.O.E. 3

Maximo 1 & 2

Another series that I’d like to see get the HD treatment is Maximo. This game and its younger brother Army of Zin were based on the Ghosts n’ Goblins Universe. Basically if you wanted to play a 3D version of Ghosts n’ Goblins, you just needed to play one of these. I loved these games and I don’t think they got the credit they deserved.

PSP Go – A Great yet Ultimately Failed Project

September 21, 2010 2 comments

I’ve now had my PSP Go for a little over 3 months and I felt the need to share my thoughts.

First off, I love my PSP Go. I only have 3 games for it and a handful of demos but what I can say is that they all look great. it still amazes me the graphical capabilities on such a small machine. By small I mean it fits into my pocket. It even fits in my jeans pocket WITH the soft cover. That’s impressive. Even though it’s so tiny, it still feels solid and not cheap.

Being able to load up a game directly from the systems is awesome. There is something to be said about being able to carry your library of games without literally carrying your library of games. If I had to carry all of my games around via UMD’s I’d probably not do it. I’d have a single game in the drive at all times while I’m out and about only to switch out when I was at home. I’d have to plan ahead and I really don’t want to bother.

It comes with 16 GB of internal storage. It seems that the memory size of PSP games vary anywhere from 50MB to 1.2GB. That’s a pretty large margin and the 3 games I have on my PSP Go take up roughly 3GB already. If this is any indication of the average size of a PSP game for download, you should burn through that 16GB rather quickly. Well I guess it’s a good thing that you can expand that memory with a memory stick micro. I believe the current maximum is an additional 16 GB effectively doubling the storage.

Movies look great on the Go. I often let the lil girl watch Cars on it. She loves the thing. Entertainment anywhere I say.

Bluetooth is a great feature. I’ve sent photos and music to and from my phone. The bluetooth also allows my PS3 controllers to connect to the PSP Go. A handy feature that I have not yet used but a handy feature no less.

Remote play has been a great feature for me. Syncing up the PSP Go to my PS3 was simple and has been very handy in the proper situations. I have a large catalog of photos residing on my PS3 and being able to access them at any time has been quite useful. If I’m visiting family I can show them pics of the kids from my PSP. It’s great! I can also remote play some games but I haven’t done enough of that to really comment. All I know is that for the one game I played remotely, it did not seem responsive enough. I haven’t done it again.

Now overall this is a very high quality system that has some great features. I am very glad to have it. Even so I’ll tell you what I think the problems are with this system and why it’s just not doing well in the market. I’m sure everyone will agree with my first point.

The price point is unreasonable. $250 for a portable system when you can purchase a PS3 for $300. That’s only a $50 difference. It makes even less sense when you can get a standard PSP 3000 for about $170 which does almost the exact same thing as a PSP Go does plus it plays UMD’s.

Next big problem would be that the price of the download versions of UMD’s are typically equal to (if not more expensive than) their UMD counterparts. I don’t care how they argue it, a downloaded version of a game should be discounted. Publishers don’t have to go through the expense of creating a disc or packaging. Heck they don’t have to even worry about shipping costs. This savings should be passed on to the consumer.

Another problem with the download only concept is that not all UMD games are actually available for download. Prime example would be Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. Now if you are trying to push a download only gaming device, all the games should be available for it. I’m just sayin.

The biggest hurdle of the PSP Go to be successful is the total lack of support from Sony. They started off so gung ho about it last year but now you only hear about it in hushed tones. Hell even the PSP 3000 has more support than the PSP Go. They still make UMD’s and they come out with different PSP 3000 bundles monthly it seems. It’s very obvious at this stage that the PSP Go was a testing ground for the PSP2. Yes I know, the PSP2 hasn’t been announced yet but there are rumors aplenty and that’s all that’s needed for a large sum of people to just wait it out. At a price point of $250, I’d say they are right to do so. Actually, the fact that they aren’t bothering to support the PSP Go is further proof that they are working on a PSP2.

My opinion still stands that the PSP Go is an awesome system. A failed yet awesome system. It’s only failure is that Papa Sony just has no pride in his child. He loves the older brothers so much more and the PSP Go is treated as the red headed stepchild of the family.

Way to go Sony. Way to go.