Archive for September, 2005

September 30, 2005 4 comments

I was just reading on Anandtech about how Best Buy is looking into
selling used video games.  The game developers are upset about it
because they lose money on the deal.  I’m kind of torn on
this.  Being a future game developer myself, I like to see the
game industry make some money.  But I also like being able to
afford the latest games without taking out a loan first.  Let’s
break this down:

The average frontline game costs a boatload of money.  According
to Gamespot, it is estimated that developing a feature-rich game for
the Xbox 360 will cost over $8,000,000.  Let’s say that this game
costs $60 to buy in the store.  Assuming that stores markup the
games about 20% (which is probably a low estimate), that means the game
publisher gets $48 for each copy.  The publisher takes their share
out, so the developer probably gets around $40 for each copy of the
game sold (again, this is probably much higher than it really
is).  To amortize the cost of making the game, it needs to sell
200,000 copies of the game.  To make enough profit to invest into
another game, they need to sell 200,000 more copies.  For some
games (Halo 2, e.g.) this isn’t a problem – it had sold over 5,000,000
copies by last December.  Most games however don’t even come close
to that number.  Ninja Gaiden sold only 6,000 in in the 4 months
after its release.  That means it only needs 194,000 more to go to
break even. 

To have Best Buy sell used games means that Best Buy makes 100% profit;
none of the money goes to the publisher or developer.  Therefore
having a huge chain like Best Buy sell used games is a horrible
idea.  It will kill the gaming industry as only companies with
enough capital to invest in a top-of-the-line game will continue to
make games.  The smaller companies will be bought out or be forced
to disband.

Join me in refusing to buy used games.  It may save $10 or $15 but
it takes $40 away from the people who actually made the game.

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September 29, 2005 Leave a comment

I know, three entries in one day.

Rhapsody is pretty cool.  It also includes radio stations. 
There aren’t a whole lot of them, but the metal station is currently
playing some King Diamond, so it’s not bad.

My roommates and their girlfriends, Wes, and I all went to Damon’s
tonight to watch the Flyers preseason game against the Devils. 
Well, even though 3 of Philly’s 4 teams are only on Comcast Sportsnet,
which is only available on cable, Damon’s has satellite, so there was
no hockey.  We played the trivia game instead, and tore it up for
the most part, unless the question was about some obscure Robert
Redford movie from the 1972.  It was fun, although I wish we could
have watched the hockey game.

Good night to all.  I shall see most of you tomorrow.

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September 29, 2005 Leave a comment

I’m trying out Rhapsody.  Not the band, I already know that they
rock.  I’m talking about the online music service.  I figure
a free 30 day trial is pretty good.  So far here’s what I’ve found:

Their selection isn’t the greatest if you’re looking for current small
label bands, i.e. Symphony X or Into Eternity.  Otherwise they
have a pretty solid collection.  I had to get some old blues stuff
by Memphis Minnie for class and they have all of her albums on there.

That brings up another item:  Not all of the songs are
downloadable.  Some aren’t available at all, and some only
stream.  It’s okay though, because the streams are full quality,
and Rhapsody automatically downloads the ones that are downloadable
while you’re listening to something else.  After the 30 days free,
it’s $9.99 a month, or $8.33 a month if I pay for the whole year at
once.  I don’t know if I will, since chances are I’ll have gotten
everything I want by the time 30 days rolls around.  The best part
is that Rhapsody saves the files in properly organized folders in the
My Music folder of Windows.  So when I do cancel the program, I’ll
be able to keep everything I got (and if it tries to delete them upon
uninstall, I’ll just make copies first).

I’m going out to Damon’s tonight to watch the Flyer’s preseason. 
Pretty sad, since even the regular season doesn’t mean much in the NHL,
but hey, it’s something to do.  Come out and join me if you want
to.  The only others there will be my roommates.

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September 29, 2005 Leave a comment

I’m hungry.

There’s nothing to do tonight.  If you want some of the super coolness that is Spiv, call me.

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September 25, 2005 4 comments

I need a job.

The movie theater is not hiring.  Most other places in the Manor
Shopping Center were closed today.  Anyone have any ideas? 
My only rules are no fast food and no supermarkets.

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September 15, 2005 Leave a comment

So here we are at the end of the third week of school.  Here’s
what’s going on.  Classes are going well.  Wellness is
boring, but incredibly easy (as a freshman course should be to a 6th
year student).  Database is kind of boring subject matter, but the
professor is awesome (Dr. Elzer) and I know for a fact that this is
useful knowledge for the real world of programming.  Pop Music is
a waste of time, but is a required elective.  I say it’s a waste
because it’s a general education course, so it’s a majority of
non-majors in there.  That means that everything is dumbed down
and we spend an entire class learning what syncopation is.  At
least it’s kind of interesting since it’s taught by Dr. Corley (a black
man) so you get to hear a different approach to popular music in
America: that it’s all from East Africa.  You might be thinking,
‘wait, I don’t hear any African drums or chants in my Iron Maiden,’ but
you’re wrong.  Without Africa we would have no backbeat. 
Crazy stuff.  Last class Dr. Corley played an African song
alternating with a worksong from the south and they were almost
identical.  Really crazy stuff.  Solfege IV is fun.  I
know a lot of you might want to beat me up for saying that, but I’m
really enjoying it.  It’s amazing how carefree you are in the
class when you actually do all of the homework assigned.

The Tower is going very well also.  We have the framework of three
new songs, and one complete song, as well as a few covers.  I’m
predicting that we’ll be playing shows by the end of the year.  If
anyone wants to hear what we sound like, come on over to my house on
Wednesdays any time between 7:30 and 9:00.  Oh, remember your
earplugs…we’re quite loud (as a metal band should be).

I need a job.  If anyone has any suggestions for a place that I
could work mainly weekends for at least $7 an hour, it would be
fantastic.  I’m not looking for much, just $150-$200 a week, so
like 20-25 hours.

Well, I’m off to make myself some dinner.  Keep it metal m/

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September 11, 2005 Leave a comment

I talked to the band director, and he has agreed to let me be 15
minutes late on Wednesdays, so that means I can do the show until 6,
rather than stopping at 5:45.  While I’m not completely happy with
it, at least he and I could come to a compromise.  So, listen to
91.7 from 4-6 to hear some awesome metal.

I still haven’t heard anything back from school about working for the
helpdesk.  I’ll give them until Friday and then go out looking for
jobs elsewhere.

I sent my video card off to ATI on Friday, so I should hear from them
by Wednesday about what is going to happen.  In the meantime, I’m
running on a GeForce2 Ultra that I’m borrowing from the CS department.

The tower is going good.  I like the stuff we’re coming up with.

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