Techspec

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Digg Podcast

First I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Vash and I'm one of the newest writers to Techspec. As many of you know Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht (who's finally resurfaced) are now going to be doing a podcast on Digg and some of the most dugg stories and their favorites. They are planning to release an episode within the next two weeks.
-Vash

posted by Vash at 11:26 PM | link | 2 comments

The iPods Makeover

Apple made some big announcements this week about the ipod. All of the original iPods have been replaced with the iPod photo(color screen) for the same price of the original iPod (the U2 special edition iPod is now also in color).Apple also cut the price of the 1gig iPod shuffle from $150 to $129.Rumors of a 2gig and 4gig iPod shuffle as well as an 8gig iPod mini have also been going around. iTunes 4.9 was also released which has the infamous podcasting feature. I highly suggest for everybody to get an iPod if they don’t already have one as well as get into podcasting.This independent media era that we are going through is historical and I highly suggest that you contribute to it.
Phatlip12

posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 10:44 AM | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Canadian copyright law update - you can stop it!

While this has been circulating around the Internet for some time now, many people do not have details on the new Canadian copyright Bill, or information on how to stop it. The Canadian government has finally introduced and tabled what is known as Bill C-60. For those of you that may be unfamiliar with Bill C-60, it has been compared to the infamous DMCA in the United States, but perhaps with other "fair use" issues, and other implications to P2P technology. For example, previously in Canada, if you owned a CD (owned being the keyword), it was not illegal to copy the music from that CD to another medium, even if that CD has some sort of copy protection scheme. The governments of the past understood that you have paid for that content, and that upgrades in technology should not prevent you from using what you have paid for ... unfortunately the Canadian government today has lost that vision.

Bill C-60 is not yet law. An organization is submitting a petition to Parliament on behalf of Canadians who are opposed to this backwards step in technological advancement.

A brief summary of how Bill C-60 will affect Canadians can be foudn at: http://www.digital-copyright.ca/billc60/Consumer_Fact_Sheet.shtml

Information on the petition, including instructions on how to join it, and Bill C-60 can be found at http://www.digital-copyright.ca

--Opus X
posted by Opus X at 1:47 PM | link | 1 comments

Friday, June 24, 2005

Firefox 1.0.5 Test Builds

Firefox 1.0.5 test builds are now available to download:
Mac
Windows
Linux
Phatlip12
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 6:18 PM | link | 0 comments

Games of the Past

My childhood was pretty boring. I lived in the country for the most part, and my gaming extent was confined to a 150 Gigahertz, 16 Mb of RAM, Compaq Presario, which if you know anything about computers, you hold the Compaq in the same light as Hewlitt Packard computers. Cheap, and pretty much…terrible. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t pass the time while playing some overall great games. You’ll recognize a few games on this list, but some you won’t. Or probably wont that is.

Age of Empires
Yeah, the first one. Screw the 2nd one. The first one really opened me up into the world of pc gaming, and besides another game that blew me away at the time, which was Chrono Trigger by the way, was the definitive game to have back then. With its beautiful graphics, and nearly infinite replay value, this game could hold your attention for a long time coming. This only was helped by some smooth online play, which allowed even me on my 33.6kbs dial-up modem to play relatively well. Plus you can get it and its expansion, Rise of Rome, for only ten bucks now. You can’t beat that.

Crime Fighter
Time to dig way back here. What could very easily be the predecessor to today’s Grand Theft Auto series, this game does exactly the opposite of what it says you should be doing. Instead of playing as a crime fighter, you begin as a weak little nobody in the crime world and must move up by completing tasks like kidnapping kids and selling them for cheap labor, blackmailing the mayor with nudie photos, and causing large train wrecks for money. But what makes this game awesome is the absurdity of it all. You may attempt to break into a house, only to find that Rambo owns it. You may try and kidnap a kid, but upon nabbing the kid, all the grandma’s in the park pull machine guns out of their purses to attempt to stop you. And you thought Grand Theft Auto was bad. This is a really old DOS game, but does fine on Windows.

Star Wars Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight
The first Dark Forces game was good, but this improved on the idea so much, it easily gets the nod. The first game to give you Jedi powers and the first game that allowed you to run around and slash people up with a lightsaber. It also allowed you to choose, depending on whom you killed and what force powers you use during the game, between the light and dark side of the force, each with a separate ending. Truly awesome game. What’s really strange about this is that there is still a small mod community around this game at http://www.massassi.net/.

Bad Mojo
I had to include this. You play as a cockroach. Sounds exciting already huh? Back in the day though, this game had some serious graphical muscle, and look surprisingly good with its photorealistic graphics. But, oh right, the story. You are a mad scientist who transformed himself into a cockroach. You must survive the everyday perils of a cockroach, dodging a hot oven, scalding hot chili, and of course, insect traps. What’s also cool is they recently re-released the game with the name Bad Mojo: Redux, which is pretty much the same game, but it’s only for twenty bucks. You owe it to yourself to give this game a look.

Grand Theft Auto
I had to put this on here, because a lot of people hadn’t even heard of the series until the third iteration came out. The original was a top-down version of essentially the games you play today, except playing top-down is a bit harder than it is in 3D. Recently Rockstar released this as a classic free game. So, especially since it’s free, you should definitely check this game out.

Duke Nukem
Before the series went 3D, and now has gone AWOL, the first two Duke games were classic side scrollers, and surprisingly good games. It didn’t have the gratuitous violence, and the women like 3D did, but it did have a solid action component that was surprisingly more fun than it probably should’ve been. The 2nd iteration was by far more sophisticated and more fun than the first one, so check that one out first.

Lemonade Stand
Do NOT hate on this game. Everyone of you know that one time or another, you were attempting to set the prices right at your stand, so you could get maximum money without losing customers. While this game has turned into a cheap, quick, online flash game, it used to be an original DOS game, with super simplistic graphics, and mostly just text. But as boring as it sounds, it was highly addicting, and I’m sure it all made your mommies proud that you were learning supply and demand at such an early age.

Quake
The first game in the series redefined the First Person Shooter, and brought the genre into a new age with its graphics, and the real quick reactionary abilities needed. It also had superb level design, and good lighting for a game of its time. It’s also had the netcode necessary to hold impressive multiplayer battles, which is the primary reason this game became such a huge hit.

X-wing Alliance
I’m a big space sim junkie, joystick and all, and the last really excellent title in that series to come out is X-wing Alliance. A deep, deep story mode, with extra goods depending on how well you do in some of the missions, and some very unforgettable online play made for one hell of a space sim game. And again, for its time, the graphics were great.

Alright, I think I’ve compiled a pretty good list of PC games that you might have missed from back in the day. I’ve also included some links here at the bottom to point you in the right direction of where you can find demos or full versions of these games on the Internet today.

Links
Age of Empires – http://www.microsoft.com/games/empires/downloads.htm
Crime Fighter – http://www.pssoft.de/english/
Star Wars Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight – http://www.3dgamers.com/games/jediknight/
Bad Mojo – http://www.download.com/3000-2097-858713.html?legacy=cnet
Grand Theft Auto – http://www.rockstargames.com/classics/
Duke Nukem – http://www.3drealms.com/downloads.html
Lemonade Stand – http://www.lemonadegame.com/
Quake – http://thegw.com/archives/quake/demo.html
X-Wing Alliance - http://www.gamershell.com/download_4673.shtml
The Gipper
posted by TheGipper at 10:34 AM | link | 2 comments

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Apple+Intel=Mac & Windows ????

Perhaps the biggest buzz going around in the computer world now is Apples decision to ditch IBM and go with Intel. Intel, the chip of the PC world is now a chip of the Mac world. This transition has brought up many questions such as "Can I run Mac OS X on a PC?" and "Can I run Windows on a Mac?". Many believe that it is possible, some have already made claims that they did it. Pics of a Dell laptop running Mac OS X(video available here) were released on the internet recently as well as a pics of a Mac running Windows. None of these pics can be confirmed yet but it brings to question "Will I see the Mac OS sitting on the shelf with a sticker on it that says now available to PC users and vise versa for Windows?" Only time can tell...
Phatlip12
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 1:27 PM | link | 2 comments

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Free Forums

If you're anything like me, then you want a centralized place for viewers of your website to go and communicate with one another. I have been wanting something like this for a while and today I finally stumbled onto a solution: myfreebb.com. I love that place!

I've been fooling around with trying to install a PHPBB forum on a free webserver from dhost.info, but it just wasn't working as well as I had hoped it would. The whole system just wasn't very reliable. This place gives you a PHPBB 2 forum with plenty of themes to choose from and an administrative control center and everything. Signing up was just like anything else: an activation email and you're ready to go.

I've always liked the way PHPBB looked and this was perfect for what I wanted to do. The real challenge is getting anybody to sign up for it and be active. With an internet saturated by message boards, it takes somebody with a real following to make anything that people will visit But this is something for you guys if you've been wanting to set up a forum for your clan or guild, or whatever you call your online gaming group. So check these guys out.

-Steve
posted by Stephen at 7:20 PM | link | 1 comments

IpodderXP out at Gnomedex

IpodderXP will be out and on display at Gnomedex! There will also be a public beta! This is a great for all of us Windows Lackies!!!

---More to come
UAB Tech Guy
posted by UAB Tech Guy at 12:30 PM | link | 0 comments

Console war not only a war for video games

One thing that the next gen consoles will surely bring is excitement which is something that everybody should have considering it is truly a technological revolution. The next gen consoles include the Xbox 360, Playstation3 as well as the Nintendo Revolution. One thing that all of these gaming consoles have in common is they are also computers. They may not run Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux (the Playstation 3 is supposed to come with a distro of Linux) out of the box but they all have the potential to do so (the Revolutions specs aren’t yet known but they are rumored to be very similar to the other’s consoles).

Why would anybody want to spend well over $500 for a PC with the same specs as that of a $300 Xbox 360? This just goes to prove to the consumer that computers can and will be built cheaper in the future. Such a decrease in the price of computers could lead to a computer being in ever house much like its predecessor the telephone. One thing that Microsoft loves to do is crush the competition. How could Microsoft crush the competition in the console world as well as making a further advance in the PC world? By allowing the Xbox 360 users to have some form of Windows on their machine. With the now upcoming release of Windows Longhorn many have begun to wonder how Windows Longhorn and the Xbox 360 will tie together. There is obviously more pressure for Microsoft to infatuate Windows into the Xbox some how as Sony is planning on releasing a distro of Linux with the Playstation 3 hard drive. The last thing Microsoft wants is to lose the console war as well as allow Linux to make any sort of gain on Microsoft. Millions of Playstation 3’s will be sold which means that there is a potential that millions of more people will be introduced to Linux. Believe it or not, the console war could also be a war not only for video games but also for the next leading OS.

If there is one thing that people like it is all in one devices. The problem with all in once devices such as media center PC’s is they are very expensive. The Xbox 360 is going to come with a media center extender much like the media center hacks for the original Xbox. This allows for the user to be able to listen to their music, watch their DVD’s, and view their pictures all on the same box. Add that to the fact that the Xbox360 is only $300 as compared to an expensive media center pc and you already have a deal.

Microsoft as well as many other companies learned a valuable lesson due to the hacking of the Xbox. This lesson is that people will eat the forbidden fruit. They will find ways around things in order to get what they want. I believe that it is time for Microsoft as well as other companies to listen to the people. Permit us to eat the forbidden fruit, make a profit your self and give the consumer what they want. The console war could be the start of something great or a complete failure for Microsoft. The choice is theirs, they can listen to what the consumer wants or they can watch as we get what we want anyway.
Phatlip12
digg this story
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 12:12 PM | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Techspec's new look

As some of you may have noticed I have made some minor changes to the Techspec. I have a new banner that is bigger that was made due to the kindness of cbradio from the Scopetech forums. I also added some links as well as extending the content area of the site (which is much easier on the eyes). I am working on getting a hosting company so that we can make the Techspec more professional. The Techspec is going to be bigger and better in a matter of time!
Phatlip12
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 5:46 PM | link | 0 comments

Friday, June 17, 2005

Go Make Something

In a world where everything we hear and see is controlled by the urge to make more money, there is a movement bubbling up from the underground. People all over the globe are finding ways to express themselves and be heard. Between blogs, podcasts, and internet TV shows, the possibilities are endless for user created content.

Blogs are increasing by the thousands everyday, whether they be by aspiring journalists or just people eager to tell their story. Blogging has even become so huge that the word “blog” was officially added to the dictionary late last year. This form of media has helped to fuel the fire of independent media, convincing people that they can be heard if they have something to say.

Podcasts were the next step in the movement, allowing the common man to make his own radio show. It’s not easy to get on the radio these days. There are too many rules, regulations, and bad number one songs to keep an average person from making the content they want to make. Podcasts have allowed people all over the world to say what they have to say without worrying about what “The Boss” thinks. In podcasting, you are the boss.

IpTV is the final frontier of independent media. There are ways for a TV show to be distributed all over the world through the internet. If anyone has the desire to be seen on TV they don’t have to wait around for someone to notice their talent. They just need a camera, a computer, and the drive to create something that big corporations won’t.

Now is the time to rise to the challenge and make sure that the large networks know that we don’t need them anymore. Technology has finally given us the ability to make whatever content we want and have it seen without the assistance of larger corporations. So take advantage of this moment in history and go make something.

-steve

posted by Stephen at 2:28 PM | link | 0 comments

Thursday, June 16, 2005

My Life Bytes Promo played on Daily Source Code!!!

Thanks to Adam Curry from Daily Source Code for playing my promo for "My Life Bytes"!!!

You can listen to "My Life Bytes" via The Feed or The Website! If you like what you hear, vote for me on The Alley or The Pickle!!!
UAB Tech Guy
posted by UAB Tech Guy at 10:09 AM | link | 1 comments

Thursday, June 09, 2005

iTunes + Podcasting: Am I the only one drooling?

Many of you have heard that the new version of iTunes (4.9) will have capabilities of subscribing to and downloading Podcasts. Oh joy! Did Apple just make life even easier? Is that even possible? It seems so.

Steve Jobs demoed iTunes 4.9 at the latest WWDC. I wasn't at all shocked to see how easy the process was to subscribe and download Podcasts. Apple gathered 8,000 Podcasts and threw them into their music store.

Apple itself also released a Podcast to it's New Music Tuesdays section of the store. It's pretty simple and has a DJ that tells you about and lets you listen to samples of new music. The cool part about Apple's Podcast is the album art switching as the 'cast goes on. The current sample of the song playing displays new artwork in the artwork section of iTunes and switches as the samples switch. Pretty sweet.

Will this kill apps like iPodder? Probably not. But there will be a lot of healthy competition playing out in the coming months.

iTunes 4.9 with Podcast support should be out within the next 30 days.

::Looks at watch::

--InX
posted by Jonn Dailey at 8:21 PM | link | 1 comments

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Apple - QuickTime - Download - QuickTime 7 for Windows Public Preview

QuickTime 7, the latest version of the world's most advanced digital media technology. Download the public preview to get a first look at the exciting new features in QuickTime 7 for Windows.

Link Here
UAB Tech Guy
posted by UAB Tech Guy at 12:36 AM | link | 1 comments

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Systm Release 2

Episode 2 of SYSTM is going to come out some time this week!

read more | digg story
Phatlip12
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 6:48 PM | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

WSJ.com - Blogging Becomes A Corporate Job; Digital 'Handshake'?

Blogging Becomes A Corporate Job; Digital 'Handshake'?

In its short lifespan, blogging has largely been a freewheeling exercise in online self-expression. Now it is also becoming a corporate job.

A small but growing number of businesses are hiring people to write blogs, otherwise known as Web logs, or frequently updated online journals. Companies are looking for candidates who can write in a conversational style about timely topics that would appeal to customers, clients and potential recruits.

Link Here
UAB Tech Guy
posted by UAB Tech Guy at 12:50 AM | link | 1 comments