Star Wars


Review: ASUS EEE

WarCraft III

RS3 Raven Shield

Laptop Observations

A vs P II


The Sims

Ghost Recon

MechCommander II

Vampire: The Masquerade

Operation Flashpoint



Mad Ogre is currently running: Dell 8300 , P4, 1.5 Gigs of DDR RAM, ATI 9600XT 256 Graphics card, running on Windows XP Professional Edition & SUSE Linux 10. I am using an MS Ergonomic keyboard and a Logitec MX500 optical mouse.

Mobile computing is done with an HP Laptop, it's a dv5000t (Centrino Duo) with a 512 meg Nvidia GO 7400 graphics card, 2 gigs RAM, and a 100 gig hard drive.



Computers, Web, Technology, and Nachos.     Email Ogre about Tech Stuff!

Compaq iPaq:  I was never really a PDA guy.  I at various times wanted a PALM device but after I really played with one I decided I really just didn't like it.  After trying out everything at the local CompUSA I fell in love with the Pocket PC format of handhelds and specifically the iPaq family.  I purchased an iPaq 3870 and we got along great.  Search and you will come across various comments about it spanning the last 6 months.  During that time I have come to the understanding that these little devices are the future of personal computing.  The 3870 at 200 MHZ was faster than my first 3 or 4 desk top PC's!   With 32 megs of RAM, it was more powerful too.  The PPC operating system is basically "Windows CE" or "WINCE" for short.  Yeah, I like PPC better too.  Other than a cringing name, it's a pretty good package.  The OS is user friendly, easy to use and learn, and not far off from what your used to using with your desk top machine.  It syncs wonderfully with your desk top unit and all the files from Office's WORD and EXCEL transfer over and are useable.  Adobe Acrobat, Windows Media Player, and MS Reader make it a fully useable laptop replacement.  There are offerings out there that allow the connection to an external monitor, camera, keyboard... pretty much anything you would need that your laptop can do.  I no longer use any laptop when I am out and about... the iPaq has fully replaced it.  The only downside is mass storage and that is only because I have not purchased a mass storage device for it such as a 1 Gig SD card, or the 5 gig IBM Micro Drive.  The Toshiba PPC offerings are very nice as is the Dell Axim or whatever it's called.  They are nice... but neither have the shear volume of add-on features that you can throw into an iPaq.  Let's talk wireless.  CF card wireless adapters easily install and configure (once you learn how to do that) and allow you ability to email and have net access from anywhere... not tied to a desk and not anchored by a 30 pound laptop back with all your stuff.  Packing around a laptop I felt like "Jacob Marley". (that's a reference to A Christmas Carol for those of you 40 watts or under)   Well, let's just say that I have now seen the light and feel the freedom of what I call REAL MOBILE COMPUTING.  Even without wireless... stock standard... I can take all my files and work on them.  Read all my emails... respond to all my emails... all at my leisure.  Oh, and I can bring about 3 dozen full length books with me at the same time.  All this would normally require a laptop bag and a freaking duffle bag.  Not any more.  I can carry my iPaq in my front left pocket of my pants.  I can go all day and even forget it's there.  Because it's not something I am having to deal with along with a slowly dislocating clavicle.     Now the iPaqs are available with the Intel X-Scale processor at 400mhz... this just makes everything better.  The new transflective screen makes it all even better yet.   More later.  In the mean time, check out my list of books you can download and put on your PPC device (or Palm if you suck) or my list of PPC themes to customize your unit.

New Game: Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.  This game has a lot going for it.  You play some WWII super trooper and get to bust in on all of Hitler's most special places with guns blazing.  Loads of fun.  You have a good selection of weapons at your disposal... but I find the pistols to be the best.  Especially the silenced High Standard.  For some reason this little quite gun is almost the most accurate and certainly the most effective.  With one shot, you can bowl over a Nazi - or if they are lined up right - two of them.  Nice.  Two bad that kinda clean shot doesn't happen very often.  The enemy has a terrific AI.  They fight you like you fight them.  With lots of aggression and some cleverness.  They don't shoot like storm troopers either... they will hit you.  A lot.  Bring some Band-Aids.  They will duck, roll, and take cover to reload.  They will also try to pin you down and then lob a grenade into your hiding hole.   Something to remember about the Nazi's... they are evil, yes.  But they are also smart and very good at what they do... which is killing you.  I played it through on the hard setting and found some missions damn near impossible.  Some tips... if the Nazi has a grenade in his hands, he is going to throw it.  If he is throwing it - where ever you are has just become a bad place to be.  Ergo - you see a Nazi with a grenade, rush his Arian ass and hose it with your SMG.  But be careful... you don't want to rush a Nazi or two and suddenly run out of rounds.  That's a bad thing.  Reload early and often.  If your packing a sniper rifle, reload after ever shot if you have a moment.  Reloading after spending 4 or the 5th rounds is a bad idea because it takes too much time.  If you know a room is full of krauts, don't peek your head in there... that's a bad idea.  Better yet, lob in a grenade and then transition to your SMG and hose down anyone bright enough to come running out.  The krauts know what a grenade is, and when they see a live one bouncing into the room, they will do what you would do and vacate the place ASAP.  Be ready for them.  Another good tip is to use max range to your favor... pick off as many bad guys as you can from as far away as you can.  And most importantly, use short controlled bursts.  It really sucks to run out of ammo completely.  Nazi's often wear big thick heavy coats.  These coats absorb a lot of energy and reduce the damage a round does.  The only clean way of taking down an enemy is a head-shot.  Try to take them when you can.  But it is a lot of fun to run up to a guy and stitch him from crotch to chin.  On the other hand, it really sucks to have one of them run up to you and stitch you in like manner.  I really like this game... seriously.  Especially the situations that are taken right from Saving Private Ryan... like the radar installation for example.  Or the part where the family tries to pass off the little girl and the soldier gets zipped by a sniper.  Yeah, that place is in there.. but the family is not.  The car is there too... and the tower... and of course the sniper.  Feel free to through a round low through that tower window as soon as you see it.  He is there.  Waiting for you.  If you don't ID the spot and the tower quickly - he will get you.  The beach landing at Normandy is something that will really make you think.  It's a total bitch in the game... just think about what your Grandfathers felt when they had to do that for real.  If you can't imagine that, take a cordless drill and point it to your gut and have at it while someone his hitting you over the head with a mallet..  If the battery has a charge - you will probably get a good representation as to what D-Day felt like.   Not a lot of fun.  Great game.  Seriously great game.  The only problem is that it uses the Quake III engine.  Don't get me wrong, the QIII engine is great... just not realistic. I would rather have had this game built on the Soldier of Fortune II engine... this allow you to lean out around the corners instead of stepping all the way around and making yourself a nice fat target.  It is also trying to be a bit more realistic with the weapons.  Oh, one more thing... the dogs.  When they are running at you wanting eat you... before they get to you, aim low... below the nose.  I give MoH2 an 8 out of 10.

Top 10 PC Games:  These games will forever relegate console gaming to the little children and to computer illiterate.  Even with versions ported over to the console... just not the same.  Hot Keys and user defined controls with a mouse, stick and keyboard rule gaming.   In a nut shell, these games are why we have computers.  Screw spread sheets.  Its all about games.  I don't care what anyone says, you don't need a G-Force graphics card to work Excel spreadsheets... but you do need it to play games, Baby!  Give your boss the finger and boot up one of these games for some serious fun. Just be ready to loose sleep.  Kiss your wife goodbye before you install it - you wont see her for a few days.  Make a standing order with your local pizza shop for constant delivery of food and drink for about 3 days.   Unplug the phone.  Lock the doors.  These games are going to take your full attention.

10. Combat Flight Simulator.  This is the best and most realistic fighter simulator there is.  Really excellent flight physics model with an outstanding selection of aircraft.  This game is expandable and hobbyists can create new aircraft.  You can download any aircraft you like and put it into the game.  BTW, in Multi Player, playing with no cheats on 100% realism I was unbeatable.  That is, when my connection was good.  Sometimes I ended up with a 1 frame a second frame rate and I was a sitting duck.

9.  StarCraft & Brood War.  Everything that WarCraft II did well, Starcraft did better.  WarCraft III edges it, so it beats it out in the overall big picture.  StarCraft is not just WarCraft in Space, this game added some serious dimension to the RTS genre of gaming.  (you get the hint that Blizzard makes good games. huh?) Like all Blizzard titles, the game is story driven, and it makes you play it just to let the story unfold. 

8.  Diablo & Diablo II (after all, itís all one story).  This was the font of all that was Roll Playing.  Game play like never before.  Diablo addicted me for 6 months.  Almost cost me my marriage.  If Diablo was like cocaine... Diablo II was like crack.  Everything improved. Better character classes and better level designs.  Act II is a work of art.  The only problem is the reliance on getting back and forth between your area of operation, and "Town".  Constantly going back to town... always going back to town... that got old.  Especially in act III which is a piece of crap.  You quickly wish that you could just skip it all together.

7.  Neverwinter Knights.  This game is Roll Playing at it's best.  There is none of the repeated and relentless trips to town like the Diablo games have... this is what Diablo & Diablo II should have been.  The game is EXCELLENT.  The game is so well done... and the game is Immense.

6.  WarCraft II & III  Creative and inspiring game play and story line.  You wanted to keep winning levels, just to see what happened next.  At least I did.  Cut Scenes are worth playing the game alone.  Fantastically done. Especially in WarCraft III.  Amazing cut scenes.  Orcs Rock. 

5.  Undying.  Oh My Gosh... Scary game.  Creepy like no other.  You get CHILLS just from the damn music.  There is no multiplayer, but that's okay.  This game is meant to be played alone.  Alone in the dark.  Wear headphones. 

4.  Max Payne.  This game is AMAZING.  It could very well be number 1 ever... if it wasn't for those retarded "Dream Sequences" and the fact that you only play it once through.  Players of Payne know what I am talking about.  3rd person perspective with a 1930 detective story noir vibe mixed in with The Matrix's Bullet Time.  The game just kicks ass.  You finish it and you want more.   

3.  Ghost Recon.  Rogue Spear is good.  Damn good.  But I have to admit, Ghost Recon trumps it.  Better graphics, better interface and controls... bigger maps.  It smokes ever other FPS out there save one... I'll explain that in a moment.  However, it still takes a back seat to Rogue due to the massive aftermarket support Rogue has and Ghost has yet to fully develope.

2.  Operation Flashpoint.  This game doesn't look near as good as Ghost Recon or even Rogue Spear... but that's okay.  The game play is better than those two.  The maps redefine the word HUGE.  This is a war simulation and its' done very well.  Rogue Spear doesn't give you the option of boosting an attack helicopter, or carjacking an APC.  Those are options.  Ambush that Jeep coming down the road, and if it doesn't crash too bad - it's yours.  Drive it off into the sunset, Baby!  Yeah!  Sniper rifles that function with realistic ballistics, satchel charges, mines, a map and compass, radio, binocs, and a wrist watch... all are tools that you will need in order to win this war.  Make one mistake, catch a bullet through your lung and you are SOL.  My favorite missions are the tank missions.  You take on missions as Infantry, a tanker, a chopper pilot, and an A-10 pilot.  This is serious gaming.  Not for the wussy Quake or Unreal Tournament player.  This is Twitch Candy like those games.  This game REQUIRES you to think on your feet instead of just reacting.  You have to plan ahead.  Your ammo supply is limited, your mission is difficult, and you have a time limit.  Oh, one more thing... Its awesome to be on a battlefield, see a dead soviet trooper, and snake his AK-74 and spare mags.  Because the AK is a far better weapon than the M-16.

1.  Rogue Spear.  Screw Quake.  This is what a FPS game is all about.  Realism, tactics, strategy.  Screw Counter Strike.  There is no running and jumping like that in real life.  You try that on a modern battlefield and your mince-meat.  Same with Rogue Spear.  You gotta take your time, think things through... and still quick on the trigger.



Copyright G H Hill 1999-2012

Graphic Artwork by Martin White


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