November 11, 2013

Good-bye Z2, Hello Unity!

Filed under: Misc

So on November 5th I started at Unity Technologies, http://unity3d.com/, after nine months at Z2. I really liked working at Z2 and have nothing but good things to say about them. I left because of the opportunity at Unity. One of the perks is a pro license for their game engine so perhaps I will get around to creating a tower defense game I have been thinking about since I first played Desktop Tower Defense (http://www.kongregate.com/games/preecep/desktop-tower-defense) some 10 years ago or so.

February 15, 2013

Good-bye PopCap; Hello Z2Live!

Today is my last day at PopCap.  Monday (2/18) I start at Z2live.  People have asked me why I left PopCap and I think it comes down to me wanting to work for a small company.  I really liked PopCap – I didn’t like EA.  EA made three major changes that affected me personally:

1. They let go the culture team

2. They switch healthcare providers

3. They went to bi-weekly paydays

I am sure if PopCap was still PopCap and not EA/PopCap  I wouldn’t be writing this post.

November 18, 2012

Goodbye Reddit, I hardly knew ya…

Filed under: Misc

I gave up Reddit today. There was a discussion on /r/Games about reviews for the new Hitman: Absolution game. Pretty much everyone was panning it but I am looking forward to it. I made a comment that said I couldn’t wait to play and was greeted with downvotes and vile responses. Now this is /r/Games not /r/gaming where you expect trolls and the like. Reddit-quette states that you shoudn’t downvote comments you disagree with only those that don’t add to the discussion. Well two other folks were also interested in the game and they were also met with downvotes and shitty comments. I can’t explain why exactly I felt the way I did but I recently watched the Jamie Kennedy documentary, Heckler, and I learned that some people just like to shit on other people for the fun on it. I decided I wasn’t really gaining anything by reading Reddit daily (except maybe being on top of the latest Internet memes) and I didn’t want to be shit on by anonymous people. So after six years I deleted my account. I know some would say I “took my ball and went home” but first and foremost I have my own mental health to look after and worrying about what people think of my comments on an internet site is not good for my health. I just don’t need it.

September 14, 2012

Finished The Saboteur

Filed under: Games

I finished The Saboteur today. What a wonderful game. It makes me sad it didn’t do better than it did. Pandemic studios who was did the awesome Mercenaries (and the crappy Mercenaries 2) did The Saboteur in 2009. I was able to pick it up during a Direct2Drive sale before Gamefly took over for them. I played for about 40 hours. After then end of the story you can still play the free play missions and collect the rest of the perks. I like that. So if you get a chance check it out!

August 5, 2012

MSL Curiosity landed on Mars

Filed under: Misc

Beth and I had Popeye’s takeout and watched the whole event live! It was really fun.

July 24, 2012

Games of 2011

Filed under: Games

I have been playing games during my blog post hiatus. I really never stop. I love video games.

Games I have played and fully finished are:

Bulletstorm
Deus Ex Human Revolution
F.E.A.R. 3
Mass Effect 2
Rage
Saints Row The Third
The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

Games I started playing but haven’t finished:

Barman Arkham City
Crysis 2
Dark Souls
Dead Island
Dead Space 2
Gears of War 3
L.A. Noire
Orcs Must Die!
Portal 2
Serious Same 3: BFE
SOCOM 4: US Navy Seals
Trine 2
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

July 23, 2012

Poor little blog…no one loves you…

Filed under: Misc

Over a year since my last post. I go back and read my earlier entries and wonder why I always stop. I guess because I don’t feel I have really anything important to say. I have decided though to pick it up again and use this as an outlet for me and me alone. If other folks stumble across it then so be it.

Well my two posts dealt with my decision to stop using Apple products and leaving Pelago for PopCap Games. On the former I am still 100% Apple-free:) On the later I am still at PopCap Games though now they are owned by EA.

The only thing I miss from Apple is OmniGraffle. There is no program that comes close to it. When I got rid of my iPhone I went to Android. I started with a Samsung Captivate then a Motorola Atrix then a HTC Titan (Windows Phone) and currently I am using the HTC One X (white one). Through it all I have stayed with AT&T. I was a pretty big supporter of the Windows phone until Microsoft announced WP8 and made every currently shipping Windows phone obsolete.

Regarding Pelago. I left because I didn’t want to work for GroupOn. I thought back then that they were a slimey company and I still think so. I don’t understand why Jeff Holden wanted to go there. Now they didn’t want me so it didn’t matter but I made my decision to leave before I knew they didn’t want me. Jeff could have easily let me go without another word but he gave me a huge chunk of money for my four years of time there and I was ever so happy. My wife got to go to Europe for five weeks because of it. I miss working for Jeff and Jeff (Ayars my old boss).

Pelago was great and I sometimes really miss it. PopCap is the best job I have ever had however. I get all the technical freedom I had at Pelago with none of the crazy hours.

I would like to talk about three of the biggest mistakes I made at Pelago which cost the company money which it could have used later on.

The first mistake was listening to initial projections on growth and buying equipment upfront for 10 million users. That was just so stupid. Lesson learned: Launch lean. Wait till the site falls over before spending money. Cost to Pelago: $500,000.

The second mistake was buying a pair of BigIP 6400s. Seriously we could have gotten by with 1500 LTMs. Again I was convinced that those 10 million users were right around the corner. Cost to Pelago: $80,000 to $120,000.

The third mistake was not putting my foot down when I got there and getting us off of Microsoft Exchange. We spent money on hardware and software for an upgrade that never came nor could have because of initial decisions to put us on the Microsoft Small business platform. Instead of biting the bullet and just killing it early on it just festered over three years until finally I moved the company to Google Apps for Domains. There is just no reason to run Microsoft Exchange at a company with less than 100 people. Don’t do it. Cost to Pelago: $25,000.

March 30, 2011

Time for a change…

I am leaving Pelago after four years. I have accepted a position at Popcap games! I am very sad and excited. Sad to leave Pelago who has been so good to me but very excited for a new chapter in life.

October 26, 2010

Goodbye Apple…

Filed under: Misc

Today marks the day I start purging Apple from my life. My music has been moved to my Windows system, my MacMini has been shutdown. Soon I will upgrade all my DRM tracks from iTunes to the unprotected ones so I can move all the music to my Linux system. My AT&T contract is up in February and I will be getting either a Nokia N900 or some Android phone and after that I will be Apple free.

The deprecation of Java is the last straw for me. My Anti-Apple sentiments has been building over the last two years but the Lion announcement and the Java blurb is enough.

When OSX first came out I remember them talking about Open systems. A first class Java platform, kernel and user land that was open source (Darwin). Safari was based on the khtml engine and became webkit.

Of course they did some nasty things back then as well:

Anybody remember Watson? Then Apple’s Sherlock? You know the complete rip off of an indie developer?

Anybody remember Konfabulator? Then Apple’s Dashboard? You know the complete rip off of an indie developer?

Anybody remember Delicious Library? Then Apple’s iBooks? You know the complete rip off of an indie developer?

Just a few examples of when I should have left Apple before but let it slide.

Then came the iPhone and it has been downhill ever since. Now don’t get me wrong the iPhone is a wondrous piece of engineering but it comes at a high price: completely closed development and walled garden.

This is a post I made on Reddit six months ago: http://bit.ly/dBqT1j and I was almost ready then to ditch Apple but I thought maybe there was a chance of things changing.

Lion and the new MacApp store shows that Apple is tightening the reigns more and more.

One more thing that really pissed me off. I have an original Apple TV and when Apple decided to not port the Netflix app to the old version I lost it. I just couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t been a victim of this before now and I wasn’t happy at all. There is NO reason to not upgrade the older Apple TVs other than to kill them off.

Apple is the new Microsoft, Google is the new IBM and Oracle is worst of both put together!

So I am putting my trust in Canonical:) (makers of Ubuntu)

What a strange time we live in.

Minecraft…minecraft…minecraft

Filed under: Games

You have probably heard some word of Minecraft, the indie emergent sandbox game, sweeping the interwebs. I have been playing it quite a bit but more surprisingly is my wife has been playing it! The last game she played was Warcraft III.

So why is the game so addictive? In a word: Legos.

Yup this game is basically an electronic version of Legos.

Check it out at http://www.minecraft.net/ – you won’t be disappointed!

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