Back from E3

Tuesday, June 09, 2009 [03:22 PM PST]

    I'm finally back from the adventure that is known as Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) - its actually been several years since the last time I went. While the conference isn't back to the 'glory' of the good old days, it's certainly much better than I've heard it has been in recent years.
Ghostbusting at E3 can be hard work...
    The press events were interesting (although I didn't actually attend any, since I was in meetings most of the time), the general consensus was that Microsoft did the best. They had some big names like the Beatles and Speilberg, they scooped up some great franchises like Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy, and they demo'd some cool hardware (Natal). Sony was smart enough to ply their audience with liquor before doing their song and dance - but their wand thing looked a bit lame to me, but I suppose it's better than nothing, and to be fair, probably nothing short of a PS4 announcement was going to trump MS. Nintendo was there, and I heard they did a press conference, but no one really had any opinion about it and they weren't really hyping anything beyond what was expected.
    I didn't get a huge amount of time on the floor, but the games that stood out to me and looked cool were Mini Ninjas , which reminds me a bit of Ninja Town (not in gameplay). One of my favorite developers, Rocksteady Studios , has a new game called Batman Arkham Asylum that looks really good and has been getting some great buzz. I went through and checked out their studio a few years back when they were part Argonaut and was really impressed by how they ran things - great team and I'm not surprised at all to see them doing some great work. Assassin's Creed 2 was in full force as well, and what I saw there looks great - hopefully it won't be as repetitive as the first.


Bring out Murray!

Monday, May 25, 2009 [09:41 PM PST]

    I got a chance last week to go to see Flight of the Conchords live show - absolutely great show, I have to say it was probably one of the best live shows I've been to. I think part of the
Flight of the Conchords Live, Dodge Theater, Phoenix Arizona
reason it was so good was partially because they both clearly were having a good time, but I suspect another big reason was because it's a comedy thing. For example, a couple of times they messed up while performing a song, but they went with it which made it into something even funnier than if they had done it perfectly. One thing that I was left wondering is why they don't record and sell DVD's of the actual show you go and see - everything was projected in HD, and I would have loved to own a copy of it. Probably something related to intellectual property rights, etc - really a shame...
    On the release front I've put up a new utility called AnonyMac, nothing terribly exciting, just a simple utility to allow you to change the MAC address of your NIC if you need to. I've needed to do it in the past for network testing before, but I think it's more common for users to use it these days to get a wireless access point they're using to re-issue their IP settings when they're having problems. It also has all the manufacturer MAC address allocations, so you can easily see who the manufacturer of a particular MAC is.

Use it or loose it...

Tueday, May 19, 2009 [03:14 PM PST]

    I've had feedback from quite a few LinkExaminer users that are using the program to tune up their website, and many questions revolve around the SEO column, and how to use it. Although it pains me to do it, sometimes I actually will sit down and put finger to keyboard for something other than code, and I've written a new article on using a link checker for search engine optimization (SEO). While I obviously use my program in the article it really applies to any link checker, plus many of the tips are just good practices whether or not you even use a link checker.

Let the links flow...

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 [02:41 PM PST]

    The last few weeks of work have paid off and the latest AnalogX release is now available - AnalogX LinkExaminer! If you're not familiar with what a link checker is, then this probably isn't for you. ;) What it basically does is scan all the pages of your website following the links much like the search engines do. When it's done, you can see if you have any problems with the site, such as broken link, etc. It also has the ability to generate both a sitemap of the site when it's done (in the XML format the Google likes), as well as custom template-driven HTML reports. All and all I think it turned out quite well and hopefully everyone will get lots of value out of it!

TV, links, etc

Saturday, May 02, 2009 [11:27 AM PST]

    First off, thanks to everyone who helped out with testing the link checker - just the final finishing touches need to be completed and it will be up on the site, expect it sometime this week.
    As happens every year, several of the TV shows I enjoy are up on the chopping block, in particular Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Chuck, and as with most Internet-popular shows there is a grass roots drive to help save them. The thing I find most interesting is how the main actor from Chuck told fans of the show to go and buy sandwiches from Subway (one of their main sponsors) in order to send a message to the network. This is particularly insightful and cool way to send a message - as opposed to what fans of the show Jericho (which I also liked) did, which was send tons and tons of nuts to the network. While this did send enough of a message to get the show back on the air, the budget was next to nothing and it was more of a token move than anything else. Another resurrected show, Family Guy (which I also enjoy), got its second chance due in large part to DVD sales.
    So, it will be interesting to see which (if any) of these shows gets picked up again and if they do, do their budgets get chopped to nothing. Personally I like Chuck's approach (plus the fact that the actors actually seem to want to get the show renewed) as well as the idea of supporting a sponsor of the show in order to keep it around - this is probably the most likely to manifest the desired outcome, since it really is a win-win-win. The fans win because the show is renewed, the advertiser wins because it helps them connect with their customer base, and the network wins because it knows it has advertisers on board for another season.