Sunday, August 21, 2011

another blog

Can you have too many blogs? Not if you want to compartmentalize everything you do. I started another blog to document all the crap it takes to finish old video games. I'm taking a page from the Japanese show " Game Center CX" where this guy forces himself to play old games. I don't do that, but I like the way they keep track of all his statistics every time he plays. Things like "86th attempt" flash in the upper corner of the screen... or after a cut scene the announcer says that he's been playing the same level for the last four hours.

That got me thinking. How many times do I die before I win? How long does it take? How many game overs? I've started tracking that information as I try to conquer old video games. I can't wait to see the data. I'm sure it will explain how bad I actually am at video games...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

ebooks or whatever

Borders is going out of business. Lots of folks laud this as the continued downward spiral of printed media in general... Newspapers are doomed and books will soon follow with the amount of electronic devices, phones, tablets and whatever else that can hold thousands of books. Bookstores are losing customers as more and more people either download their reading material or find other ways to circumvent the system. But do people actually read anymore?

I've been reading stuff on my iPad since I got it, but for some reason I've never really been able to read a complete novel on it. Up until a few days ago I wasn't exactly sure why. There are tons of apps that let you read crap on Apple devices. I've even looked at my mom's kindle and thought that it was pretty awesome too. What's kept me back?

I think reading off a screen messes with my eyes... There are modes to decrease the brightness, nightmodes, and such... but it still doesn't get rid of the fact that I'm starting at a screen. Just doesn't feel right for some reason. That's probably where the Kindle wins over an iPad I guess. But if there are pictures or illustrations, the iPad is the ultimate device.

Do I miss the page "feel" of a real book? Not really. When you turn the pages while reading a book you do eventually have more pages on one side as you hold it. It's kind of a visual indicator of how far you are and how many more pages are left by gauging the thickness of the remainder. On a screen all you see is a fraction like "125/258". So even after reading for a while I don't have the same indication of what's left that I get from holding a physical book in my hand.

Even with all those problems the best thing about reading stuff on a tablet or whatever is that you have the option to store tons of books on it. I have more books than I'll ever read, and with the available amount of electronic books increasing everyday, that will never change. So I guess I'm set for an awkward night out or while stuck on a bus, train, or plane. Who knows. I like being able to have entire series of books without worrying about a missing volume that I can't find somewhere. I like reading books series all at once, once all of them are out. It's just easier that way.

All that being said, I finally finished a novel "cover to cover" (I guess) on my iPad. It was ok.

Could electronic devices make books more interactive and a better reading experience? Yes.

Has it happened yet? Nope. I'm still waiting.