Migrating to Word Press

I absolutely detest having to move from Windows Live Spaces to Word Press. Not that there is so much love for WLS but the migration has caused so much formatting problems that some of my entries have turned out, for example, to be yellow blinders simply because the default and ‘FOC’ background for Word Press is the default white. If you want to change it, then you’d have to pay a sum of money to these people. Further, Word Press screwed up some of my previous entries by enlarging the fonts for no apparent reason, and making them so grotesquely large. I’m not going to spend so much time to tidy up my previous posts, unless they attract some form of readership. But anyway, screw you, Windows Live Spaces for your kind inconsideration in abandoning us at the mercy of Word Press.

So, Windows Live Spaces shall soon be no more. Again, hardly any surprise as you would be hard-pressed to find anyone still sticking to WLS with its buggy picture uploads and somewhat limited blogging tools. The Windows Live Writer tool was useful and was certainly easy on newcomers. So, Word Press is the new place to go to for blogging needs. I did maintain a blogspot account once but hardly bothered with it until I lost the login name and password and soon it was set adrift in blog-wilderness.

Now, I’ve had really no time to tinkle with Word Press and what it has to offer. Having a fulltime job doesn’t allow me such luxury to meddle with the bells and whistles and would just have to absorb everything from the get go. I’m preparing a summary as I don’t really have anything important to write at this point of time.

 

(a) Videogaming

 

Ok, first up on videogaming, I foresee the PlayStation 2 to finally get discontinued in 2011. Of course I’m still faithful to my PS2 and not yet making the leap to PS3 (or PC or whatever..). Sure, what more is there to salvage from this console which time will eventually forget in favour of better graphics and versatile gameplay that current-gen consoles could afford? Gamers with an affinity for nostalgia would argue that the PS2 has a great library of games for everyone. While this may hold some water back in say, 2007, the machine can only do so much to mask its limitations. When you take a look at the Sony PS2 website for the American market, you would be wondering aloud at why Sony is even bothered to continue a show of ostensible support for the PS2 when clearly in other regions such as the console’s native Japan and Asia, the PS2 has been delisted from the lineup of PlayStation brand products. The general consensus is that the PS2 could not even gain parity with its competitors during the last-gen war in terms of raw console power and only by the inclusion of some strong franchises such as the Grand Theft Auto series as well as some strong in-house titles such as ‘God of War’ and ‘Gran Turismo’ did the PS2 break free from its other competitors, one of which resorted to games fit for kids (or fully-grown adults with childlike tendencies) and faded into quiet oblivion whereas the other literally built a low-end PC into a disgusting-looking black box and marketed it as a video game console. Sony evidently is marketing their best-selling console to date as a family-friendly console but even the youngest of children knows the difference between an inferior product (famous though it may be) and a top-notch yet sleek gaming machine.  

Also, you would hear the devil’s advocate pointing out to you that the established fanbase of PS2 console owners meant that Sony could partially rely on such volumes to combat the Wii, at least until the PS3 strides out on its own from the shadow of its famous brother. Regardless, while I’ve not played on a Wii console before, I’m pretty certain that its games have better textures so as to be able to run games like ‘The Conduit’ which I think is visually stunning.

Still, after all is said and done, PS2 did have a mighty fine lineup of first-rate titles that every gamer should be pleased to appraise for themselves. The massively-designed ‘GTA:San Andreas’ still has something to offer; ‘Metal Gear Solid 2’ and 3 really had delightful eye candy that most people would never thought possible on the PS2; the array of RPGs like ‘Kingdom Hearts’, ‘Persona/Shin Megami Tensei’  and the latest ‘Sakura Wars-So Long My Love’; the psychedelic selection of games like ‘Killer 7’, the great ‘Resident Evil 4’, the engaging ‘Yakuza 2’ and the ‘God of War’ series contributed significantly towards the enduring popularity of the console.   

Meanwhile, as a fitting final bow, the PS2 would be adopting FIFA 11 and PES 2011 into its games stable but one has the gnawing feeling that this may also not be the final season, particularly for the latter game which gained ascendancy with the PS2. If self-reporting editorials are to be believed, football fans in India opt for the PS2 version rather than next-gen offerings simply because they cost less. But whatever the case, PS2’s time would surely come.

sony-ps2-update

 

PS2 game of September 2010 – Sonic Mega Collection Plus

pa.124560.2

I had this game for the PC version and it costs RM25 or so from Pasar Seni and I got this one from an online trader for close to RM75. But that’s alright. I had wanted to play this one on my PS2 console and my Uncle Wong shop selling PS2 games doesn’t stock this neither.

Straight off the box, you get to play ‘Sonic 1’, ‘Sonic 2’, ‘Sonic 3’, ‘Sonic Blast’, ‘Sonic Spinball’, ‘Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine’ and six other Game Gear games (of which makes me feel really old – the GG not the Genesis ones). You get to unlock more games, which should include ‘Comix Zone’, ‘Ristar’ and ‘The Ooze’.

If you are overtly concerned about the value in buying such a title where ROMs are aplenty on the internet and where emulation does (sometimes) a better job at bringing the original right at you, perhaps you may be content to know that the collection also includes full-game manuals for each of the games, plus some largely interesting but superficial covers of Sonic comics where Tails really acted and looked dumb. Not like this cute one here:

officialtails  

Also, you get to view the movies from the PS2 game ‘Sonic Heroes’ and, well, not that much more. Still playing these games on a proper console does evoke a small feeling of playing on the original Mega Drive system (or Genesis, if stateside) and that should be enough.

One last word on this title though – be prepared to allocate lots of space for the save games in this set as each one could take up to almost 250kb each on average. You can watch as the saved games slot pile up and ending up with not enough space in the end. I did have a spare unused 8MB card though which negated the problem.    

 

(b) Miscellaneous

 

(i) Take a Shower! – Hey Malaysians, I know the lot of you are really foxy people but when you get up in the morning, consider taking a shower before you step out of your home, ok? Whether in the LRT; while queuing up to buy some milk and bread; waiting in line at the bank, I simply can’t evade them. The wondrous aroma hits you right up your snout and knocks you out. Now now, I know we live in a weather where sweating is not uncommon. Stock up on the talc or the cheap perfume – who cares? Personally, I’m using CK Eternity Aqua and I’m loving it. Point is, BO is a big turnoff whether you be male or female, skunk or rat. Pointless rant…whatever…

skunks-247720348

 

(ii)  Read of the month: Niall Ferguson’s ‘The Ascent of Money’ – 

 

P-M-B-9780141035482

At about 9 p.m. one working day last week, I saw this book for sale at Kinokuniya @ KLCC and left my office at 9:10 to get it. Arrived at the book store almost out of breath and located it almost immediately (Kinokuniya’s bookweb page shows you a map of the store where the book is located – thumbs up). Read Introduction and Chapter 1 straight in the LRT (yes, the LRT is good for reading books which you can’t do when driving) but ended up having to backtrack the previous pages that was read as it was 10p.m. after work and the brain capacity has apparently been tested to the limits.

The narration of history in the book is a tad messy; they are all over the place. But once you get used to Ferguson’s style of writing, you would find a treasure trove of history about finance some of which may be helpful towards impressing your next romantic date about some ‘serious’ book you have read. You get to read about the birth of banking and why the Dutch (via the Dutch East Indies ‘Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie’) were considered financially savvy in establishing the world’s first stock exchange (the Amsterdam Stock Exchange) as opposed to owning the world’s largest silver mine which the Habsburgs did. Sounds like fun, does it? 

But seriously, I haven’t had much time reading this book beyond the first chapter yet but will soon, after I finish Michael Crichton’s ‘Pirate Latitudes’; Haruki Murakami’s ‘After Dark’; ‘Finance in a Nutshell’ by Javier Estrada; and Mario Puzo’s ‘The Last Don’, the last of which I found a rather painful process to finish after breezing through his magnum opus, ‘The Godfather’ much earlier this year.

The book retails in Kinokuniya Malaysia for RM67.50 and is 442-pages thick though the final chapter ends on page 362. It did make me wonder as to why 80-pages were spent on acknowledgements, credits and indexes.

 

 

 

 

  

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