Thursday, November 27, 2008

Google, Vinegar, and Dents

I received a gift in the mail yesterday. A beautiful calendar from the Computer History Museum. I've actually been planning on creating a vintage computer calendar with the computers from the Personal Computer Museum. The gift is nice, the calendar is great, but I'm more excited about the card that came with it. It's a Google card. If you've ever received one of these cards then you know how I excited I am. Why? Well first of all, it's from Google - do I need to say more? It's also completely Google in terms of simplicity. No copyright notice, no ISBN or UPC code. Just "Google", in colour, with a little "TM" symbol. I have it at my desk. I'm showing it to co-workers like I did when I got my first 100% perfect test in grade school. I'm such a geek.

I've also been playing around with Balsamiq. Like the stuff inspired by its name, Balsamiq Mockups are intended to help improve the flavour of your designs. If you've ever designed a web page or software user interface on a napkin, then you know exactly what this tool does -- only better. I never thought anything could be better than paper but this actually trumps it. Not only that, but you don't need to go through the process of scanning your napkin or paper into the computer you simply tell it to produce a PNG file.

Yesterday I felt better after getting the Google card but not before I realized I dented my car. I was putting away my original tires after getting the snows installed and I dropped the one tire. It fell, "grazing" the back quarter panel of my car leaving a dent around the size of my fist which should soon follow anyways. Hate that.

My week of hell with the JCI Brantford Santa Claus Parade is soon coming to end - and it couldn't be soon enough.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

3D Gaming, Swap Meets and Toes

I like free stuff - heck who doesn't? So that's why I was excited to find out my buddy Neil had managed to arrange some great free prizes from the likes of AMD, iZ3D and Blitz Games (among others). Of course, nothing is really free right? But all he's asking is that you fill out a survey. Call The U-Decide Initiative, the survey is catered to either regular old 2D gamers (like I used to be) or those folks that own true 3D hardware (like me now). Check it out!

So I had a few bucks to burn this past weekend and headed into Brampton for the annual (sort of) CGCC Swap Meet. This group of Canadian Gamers is quite the bunch and I blew my wad in under 15 minutes I think. Wow. It went fast. Got some great Genesis stuff - my collection is taking up more room than I have now. So sad.

And finally a note of caution. Because I'm a computer programmer and casual gamer by trade, you'd think that I'd be out of harms way for any kind of physical mishap on the job, right? Well ... running the Personal Computer Museum means lugging around old things and yep, you guessed it - I dropped a 19" CRT on my foot. The worst part? I left it to its own devices and now it's infected. Doctors, pills, bone scans and a bit of radiation later and I'll be fine ... but don't be a dolt like me and leave it. It got so bad a few weeks ago I took a drill to my toe. But you don't want to read about that here.