The Haus

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Sweet New Clie

Sony continues to kick major Palm-powered butt. They just introduced their new Clie PEG-NR70, which includes a 480x320x16bit screen, built-in MP3 DSP, 16M RAM, and a 66MHz processor. It has an innovative design clam-shell design that includes a hardware keyboard. Very cool stuff. Too bad this sucker is going to cost a cool $500. Thanks Slashdot.

Sweeney Pokes Fun at the GeForce4 MX

Looks like Epic's programming guru Tim Sweeney decided to take a few friendly swipes at NVIDIA's GeForce4 MX at the GDC. My favorite is him labeling himself as "Carmack MX". Methinks they should unchain poor Tim from his PC more often :)

CrossOver Office 1.0 Released

Codeweavers (the makers of the CrossOver plugin I'm always raving about) has announced CrossOver Office that allows you to run Windows productivity apps under Linux. Right now it supports Lotus Notes and most of M$ Office (excluding Access). I personally loathe Office, but it might be nice for someone wanting to wean themselves off Windows. If they get Quicken to work right, then we'll be all set.

And yes, I've tried Kapital and GnuCash, but neither one really cuts it for me. I'm hoping that changes.

UPDATE! Slashdot linked to this Newsforge review of a beta version of CrossOver Office. Here's a snip:
"Codeweavers has done some incredible work by hacking wine to let you run Office 97/2000 on your favorite Linux distribution," says Hetz. "However, lots of people won't like this product. If you're using vi/emacs as your word processor, or you just fell in love with Latex and you're doing all your emails in mutt -- then you don't need this at all (unless you want to support Codeweavers -- they DO give all of their work back to the LGPL Wine tree). If you're a corporate user, or you're used to working with Office 2000, and can't live without it, or you don't like the Linux alternatives -- then this product is for you."
As I pointed out above, the 1.0 release does not support Access or IE, most likely because of the bugs some of the reviewers encountered.

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

JKII on Sale Next Week

A little bird told me that Jedi Knight II will be on sale at Best Buy next week for $39.99. If you're planning on grabbing it (ahem, A.T.), you can probably save some cashola if you wait till Sunday. Unfortunately, Might & Magic IX won't be on sale. Guess I'll have to wait another week.

Threewave 1.5 Info

155&Rising has a new editorial on the CBDTPA, Doom 3, SoF II, and most importantly the Threewave 1.5 mod for Quake III Arena. I really like Threewave and the new additions only make it better. It will include a bunch of cool new graphics affects, some brilliant team communication features, and a deathmatch mode that uses CCTF runes and the grapple. Playing CCTF gives me flashbacks of playing Q1 CTF with Skip, Crawl, The Master, and Eeyore for ridiculously long periods of time. Ahhh, memories.

Big Week

Lots of new games are being released this week; I'm looking forward to Might & Magic IX on Friday. Well, I'll wait for reviews and for Best Buy to put it on sale first.

While gamers are waiting for their new toys, lots of people where I work are waiting for the swinging axe of layoffs. A few weeks ago they called for volunteers, and the rest will be volunteered. I hear that announcements will be on Thursday, and Last Day will be Friday. They will pay 30 days in lieu of advance notice, and then "hope" that employees will come back to help with the transition. As Bugs Bunny would say, Har har, har dee HAR har! Give me a day's notice and I'll give you a day for transition. Well, my boss says that I'm safe, but whose job is really safe in this economy? I mean, besides A.T.'s?

A.T. Hun comments: Heh, there are some advantages to my line of work :) Of course the economy really isn't that bad. I think companies are taking advantage of it to bury some bodies, as it were.

BTW, I believe the exact quote is, "Har har, HAR dee, har HAR!"

J.t.Qbe comments: No, you're thinking of a different quote. "Har har, har dee HAR har" has been part of my life for the last 30 years, and I know how it goes. Pathetic.

You're right: the IT job market is actually improving, at least in some areas. Western/central Michigan has more jobs posted on the job boards than I've seen in a while. Our company is an old-time mainframe maker and we still have some very old-time mainframers among us. The volunteer call is a chance for them to retire. We also have a little bit of deadwood, and that won't be too big a loss. But the cuts are going to be bigger--some guess 15%. If I have to find another job, I can do it--maybe not easily, maybe not in Michigan, but somewhere. If all else fails, I could come back to my fallback career (oops, Mrs. Qbe told me not to mention that to you, lest you get overexcited).

The Master comments: Here, boys, let me help you out with that Bugs quote (help came from here).

J.t.Qbe comments: Cool site, but that isn't the particular quote I had in mind. . .

J.t.Qbe comments: *UPDATE* I just heard from my boss that my job is safe from this round of cuts. That's a big relief--and good motivation to get ready for the next round. . .

Past Two Days' News

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