May 24, 2007

Technically Fun

I haven't written much in this blog recently I've noticed. I definitely haven't written up a movie review for "Night of the Demon" especially. As it's a really good movie, I'm going to have to spend some time doing that soon. And, for reasons that will become apparent later in this post, I'll do it at work.

The initial jubilation at having a macbook soon turned sour when I realised the delete key didn't work correctly. Now, for those of you who have never experienced a Macbook, some interesting comments:

1) The delete key when working from Windows (via Mac's Boot Camp) does not function as a delete key. Instead it is a backspace key. You can trick it into thinking its a delete key by having the FN or Function key depressed.

2) The keyboard itself is completely flat. Or rather, the keys on the keyboard are completely flat. This is something of an unnerving experience (as Elsha found out) as pretty much every PC keyboard has a curve to it so your fingers know where the middle of the key is, so when you depress it your fingers have purchase.

But you can get over those two. You can't get over having a delete/backspace key that you have to HAMMER, to do anything.

Mac Desktop Support is also different to PC/Dell Support. I'm normally used to explaining the situation and booking either an engineer to come fix the issue, send a spare part out for the user to fix or having the computer picked up by courier.

Mac Support said "Oh. Right. You're best off buying another one."

What? Buy another one? What's wrong with this one?

"Well, you just said, it's got a dodgy key."

Yes, but I don't want to buy another one when I can get this one repaired. It's only a keyboard issue, how long would it take to be repaired?

"4 weeks. Give or take a week."

WHAT?!? 4 weeks for an engineer to unscrew the base, remove the connectors between the motherboard and the keyboard plate and then to check/replace the key connection?

"Yup. Or you can buy a new one, and send the old one back in. Since you're on your 14 day 'remorse' period, it may work out quicker."

So that's what I did. Bought a new laptop, had the old one picked up. Total swap out time, 3 days. BUt I still can't work out why it takes 4 (!) weeks to repair a keyboard...

Anyway, laptop is back with me and I've already installed Warcraft 3 on it.

Warcraft 3 is a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game where you do some exploring, build things and generally go around destroying other people's bases. Blizzard (for it is their product) have added some unique features into the game, like having Hero Units that can pick up special in-game items that increase their statistics and off-side quests to complete. So your paladin hero might get a quest to go destroy an Orc base but on the way there, he gets a quest to go save little davey from the bad gnolls - upon completion you get rewarded with a special item.

RTS games are a favourite of mine, especially Starcraft, but I still have a hankering for TBS - Turn Based Strategy - games like Laser Squad or Ufo: Enemy Unknown. TBS games differ obviously in that you take your turn by positioning your units, and then the enemy (computer or human) takes their turn, and if anyone moves into your line of sight - *BANG* they're dead.

The difference between the two is that in TBS there is of course no real time requirement. You don't need to pause the game because there's no timer ticking away.

On the other hand, assembling a vast army in, say Starcraft is monsterously satisfying. Nothing beats sending 12 Terran Battlecruisers on an errand of absolute carnage (except perhaps 12 Protoss Carriers or 12 Zerg Guardians).

Finally, I've been doing a bit of background reading - one of the things I love the most about World of Warcraft is its lore. The history and storylines behind the the game make it, in my opinion, a much more immersive experience. It's ok not to know who Medivh or Illidan are, but knowing what they did and the consquences of their actions make the game come more to life.

So I've read The Last Guardian by Jeff Grub and Lord of the Clans by Christie Golden. And just for good measure I did some reading of the Diablo universe - written by the excellent Richard A Knaak, who should be known by every fantasy reader, if not on their bookshelves somewhere.

So, anyway, laptop working correctly, but little or no work to do on it at the moment. I've been browsing various websites, reading up on lore and just generally increasing my knowledge of Small Business Server 2003 in the hope that it may be of some use later but, currently, there is no web testing going on.

I hope that will change soon, I'm so ready to start...! So, in between increasing my knowledge of all things technical, I will try and catch up on some blogging. :)

No comments: