Saturday, May 26, 2007

Death in the Family

Well, a member my family died today. This family member was: loyal, entertaining, supporting, and a lot of fun to be around; always happy to keep you company even in the loneliest of time; content to take the brunt of various confrontations; great at helping to keep in touch with others; and was just an all around great companion that kept my life a little less boring.

I am of course describing my Xbox 360. My wife, conspiring with Sonic the Hedgehog, caused the unfortunate death. Last night, she played through a few levels of Sonic then decided to try them again only to have the 360 refuse. We rebooted the console and were greeted with the infamous Red Ring of Death. I tried to resuscitate by unplugging everything, blowing out any dust, and hooking everything back up but it was too little, too late.

So, now you, my unfortunate reader, get to experience what happens when your Xbox 360 dies. I plan to blog the entire experience from the initial phone call to tech support through the unboxing of the replacement. For any of you not looking forward to the posts, I feel your shame as I did not really want to have to post about this process.

Farewell old friend, luckily I have my PS3 to keep me company till your replacement arrives. Then again, if the PS3 works out better in your place on my big screen TV, I will have to move the new 360 to the smaller, less used plasma in my life, where the PS3 currently lives. So goes the circle of life. Maybe this is the time to consider moving on to an Elite 360...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sharing Media with the PS3 and the1.8 Firmware Update

Finally! The 1.8 update has connectivity for other computers on a network. It was easy, the PS3 recognized my media folders through Windows Media Player 11 (WMP11) and all I had to do was grant sharing permission to the PS3 on my computer and viola! Instant streaming movies, music, and photos! This, in my opinion, was something sorely lacking for the PS3 to be the media hub Sony talks about.

But, if you do not have a DLNA-supported program for the PC (Macs too) you will have to install one. Windows Media Player 11 and Orb are both such programs for the PC, for a Mac try iTunes or maybe iCommune. (I am not a Mac user, if neither of these work, you might try EyeConnect) Once you install the program you need to open it and turn on your PS3. The PS3 should recognize your PCs media share and show your media under the appropriate section on the XMB. To get the share to work using WMP11 you must allow the PS3 to share the media. WMP11 should tell you in a pop up that a new device is requesting a share, click the message and allow the share. If it does not offer a pop up, you will need to go into the settings on WMP11 to allow it. On your PC go into the options for WMP11, click the Library Tab, click the configure sharing button, and make sure Share my media is checked. If it is, make sure you allow the unknown device, if it shows in the list of devices, as it is most likely your PS3. If it still doesn't work, I don't know what else to tell you other than check out the WMP11 website.

Everything worked easily for me. But if you are running into troubles you should make sure of a few things. Make sure your firewall is not blocking access, make sure you have a home network setup on Windows with sharing allowed, and make sure WMP11 is updated to the current version. If you are still having complications I am sure Sony either has or will have PS3 support for this feature on their website. To find out everything the 1.8 firmware update has to offer, check out Sony's 1.8 Firmware documentation page.

Edit: Minims - New light weight multiplatform upnp media server for Playstation 3. It is in the Alpha stage but might be worth checking out, it is free I believe.

Edit: Mac users, I have been told iTunes should be able to do this. Try the following if you are having troubles:
1) Open iTunes.
2) Edit -> Preferences
3) Go to the Sharing Tab.
4) Check "Share my library on my local network."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Halo 3 on September 25th, 2007

Can you hear it? The squeal of Halo fanboys the world over screaming in an decidedly non masculine fashion! The official release date for Halo 3 has been announced as September 25, 2007. Now the real anticipation begins.

(Via: Major Nelson)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Thoughts on Spiderman 3 - The Movie

Just returned from seeing Spiderman 3 at the Imax Theater in Dallas, TX. I have to say seeing a movie on a six story screen is great, to an extent. The problem with seeing a Hollywood movie on Imax is the original film is converted to a format that is over 10 times it's original size. Anyone who has ever blown a picture up knows, you get a lot of grainy pixels in the image. It is worse when you have to sit in the front row and look up the entire movie. Anyhow, enough theater complaints, let's move on to the movie.

Overall I liked Spiderman 3. There are a few boring parts and I am not really a Kursten Dunst fan but the action scenes really made me forget my boredom. Some of the Sandman and Spiderman CGI scenes did not look as real as I expected them to either which really annoyed me. Doesn't anyone screen this stuff? If you create CGI footage for your film you should make sure it fits into the overall scope of the film shouldn't you? If it doesn't fit, try something else. Bad CGI scenes usually pull me out of the story and ruin the movie for me. I have had the same problem with many movies such as Matrix: Revolutions, Star Wars, The Hulk, Ghost Rider, and Superman Returns just to name a few. Wow, notice most of those are comics made into movies. Anyhow, Spiderman 3 is worth seeing and we had fun.

Though I think we may have had more fun stuck in stand still traffic jammin' to Weird Al Yankovic's White and Nerdy with all the windows down and the stereo booming extra hard. We got some strange stares from the other motorists making us laugh quite a bit. If you get the chance, go see this movie. Take some friends and have some fun with it, we did.