Posts Tagged ‘iphone’
Much of my Thursday was distracted when I heard that iDOS was re-released on the iPad and iPhone. I was sad to miss this the first time. When I found out there was a work around to get more than the provided shareware games on it, I was ready to experiment. I grew up on DOS, with the DOS for Dummies book in hand, doing whatever I could to tweak out the games I was playing. This was a super geeky moment for me. <
I found out the PhoneView for the Mac, which I just happened to purchase in a past MacHeist, I prepared to waste a lot of time on it. I immediately looked through my CDs for some DOS games. My first attempt was with the old standby, Quake. In PhoneView, it was a matter of selecting Apps, be sure to select to see all apps, and a message board posting told me the “Documents” folder was your C: drive, for the app’s purposes. Quake ran, though very slowly. Which is interesting since I’ve played with Quake for iPhone on my jailbroken iPhone Edge at a pretty good clip recently, which should be based on the same core. Next up was Shadow Warrior, the Asian population offending cousin to Duke Nukem 3D (since my copy of that seems to be missing a disc). Again, the game loaded, even giving me the CG intro video, but the menu sloshed enough to abort, as far as I was concerned. Last for this session, I tossed an old DOS version of Dragon’s Lair on. Loaded slowly (there was a slow “preprocess” that always took forever on fast DOS machines as well). I got in, the videos played, but the keyboard and gamepad were not nearly responsive enough to get past the first scene in the game.
This ended my first attempts, so I decided to aim a little lower. Thankfully, there are a few repositories for DOS shareware and demos to try. So I reached back and remembered one of the first titles by Epic (Unreal Tournament, Gears of War) called Jazz Jackrabbit, which was one of my favorite Shareware-titles-that-I-never-bought. And it worked! A little sluggish, but it certainly worked. After a couple more demos, namely One Must Fall 2097. Basically, at this stage, I’m comparing performance to my first 486 PC, so on that level, expect programs to run like they were on a 386, perhaps. This is, no doubt, a matter of emulation being developed since the iPad is more than powerful enough for these old games.
But the biggest geek out is trying to remember those old DOS commands I haven’t used in ages. And for your game playing, there’s a handy Command List History to I don’t have to remember what you did to get Jazz Jackrabbit running. The keyboard is more functional than expected for being crammed into an iPad like that. The alternative joystick and gamepad overlays are pretty well done, mimicking
It’s very sad that iDOS has been, again, repulled from the App store. It makes you wonder why it was approved in the first place (re-approved). Maybe the Shareware included was the key until the workaround to sort of “sideload” DOS programs broke the deal?
Will this whole be closed too? Will I ever be able to easily play my Commander Keen on my iPad?
Stay tuned, true believers!
For our purposes, I harken back to the good old days of the second commuter we ever bought at the Sorg household. We were so happy with our IBM Aptiva C66 from Radio Shack. An epic Pentium 166 powerhouse with ATI 3D Rage and a massive 2 GB hard drive. The first thing I usually do is load piles of old games that stuff my hard drive from the last machine. I had so much elbow room!
Then along came a game called Quake 2. It was the latest and greatest gaming. Scripted event. Smoother online play. It was amazing.
And it weighed in at almost 500 GB. A quarter of my hard drive.
I had a similar experience lately. As most know, I’m a bit of an enthusiast for the recent crop of Apple devices with my iPhone 3GS and most recent iPad introduction. I am more than happy with I’d Software’s offerings on this platform and it’s part of e reason our Nintendo DS collects dust and my Xbox, when it’s not red ringing, only serves up Netflix and Rock Band these days.
So I was excited to grab Rage HD. It was $1.99 for the HD version and I pounced on it. It worked just fine on my 3GS. It just weighed in at 1.2 GB if my 16 GB model. From a guy who is used to having pages and folders of games and apps on his phone, this was a shocker. I even had problems updating it from lack of space.
Once again, gaming pushes the hardware. And I’m back to that feeling of awesomeness packed into my shrinking space.
Last week, my brother had the oppurtunity to get his iPhone 4. This meant that my old iPhone Edge, which I had given him to play with as an iPod Touch without it’s service, was coming back home. This phone was bought from my coworker, used for a year, and then given to my brother, so it’s seen it’s share of use. So finally, I had a spare iPhone (I’m still running a 3GS) to play with.
So Friday night, I ventured into the world of Jailbreaking. After a bit of research on the different methods, I went with the redsnow option. The biggest hangups I had was the instructions that worked off of you just updating your phone to 3.1.3 (the highest you can update the iPhone Edge to.) or the need to not have the most recent iTunes, which I have on all of my machines. Those that this isn’t an issue, the Spirit method seems easiest.
My Jailbreak Philosophy. I won’t be jailbreaking my 3GS. Until I get the iPhone 4, or iPhone 5. When I buy one of these phones, I’m buying into the experience, for better or worse. Already, I’m seeing some of that experience breaking down as I tinker with parts of the OS in this version. I’m less afraid of bricking my phone than slowing down my usable phone.
I refrianed from the Android hack, since it’s so underdeveloped, and this was a good choice. Redsnow installed Cydia, the Jailbreaker’s supplement to the App Store (which still works) and you’re ready to go.
Cydia…has to be the roughest experience. It loads information every time I open it that takes forever on my wifi. But it will install and setup things tidily, after a little bit of command line display. But a better option is…
Rock Your Phone. This came with some of the emulators, and serves as a “monetization” outlet for Jailbreak developers. Basically the App Store for the underground. Some of the software I’ve played with comes with trials, and you’re app buying occurs over Google Checkout or Paypal. That feels safe enough. I have some caveats, but I’ll talk about them at a later date.
Categories. The jailbreak equivalent of folders. Not terrible elegant, but gets the job done. You also get the option to hide icons, like the call and messaging ones, in my case, that I don’t need since there’s no phone service attached. I refrain from multitasking, because it’s so much slower, and not even the 3G was allowed to in the official release.
Emulators. This is a huge reason to jailbreak. If you want the equivalent of all of your old consoles in her hands, this is it. The genesis4iphone and nes4iphone are both very serviceable. gb4iphone, mame4iphone and snes4iphone run at less than full speed on this first generation iPhone. But the best part? Many of these emulators support a Wiimote for gameplay! A great alternative over the soft, overlay buttons that numb your playing experience. These were games made for physical buttons. Some are ad supported, but some are actually four to six dollars on Rock my Phone. This seems curious considering the lack than legit status of the emulation community, but it’s a tremendous value depending of what side of that fence you’re on. (keep in mind you’re not supporting the companies you love with this sort of purchase. But then, you don’t when you buy used games, either.)
Quake. They got it running, and damn, it runs good. It’s not as smooth as the Doom and Wolfenstein releases, but those underwent a good bit of UI design thanks to Carmack’s direct involvement. But this is a great demonstration of what you can do. Quake 3 is represented, but seemed even less polished, or final.
It’s just a start, and I’ll be sure to talk more about fun things I find, or attempt, with this hardware.
Camera Kick - This was not my fault. Mostly. I was working a gig at a certain wrestling promotion that I normally didn’t work with an odd sized ring that was throwing off my mojo a little bit. The ringside was small with the fans very close and no barricade. A tag team match was going on when one guy walks down the apron from his tag corner, grabs the top rope, and swings his feet up into the head of his opponent prone in the corner. Sadly, it was a little too wild of a kick. The plastic front of the camera (a Canon prosumer model, if I recall) when flying into the air, to the awes of the crowd. Well, that ended the ringside shooting for the evening. Good thing my employer was insured.
Silent Ninja’s laptop – I take the blame on this one. We were attending a PPV event at Fox and Hound and my brother brought his weeks old laptop. The sweet one with the touch screen and swivel monitor. He spun the screen to show me something and wack! My Dr. Pepper was in the opposite side of his rotation, spilling an entire Dr. Pepper onto his keyboard. Thank you Best Buy protection plan! (and the only positivity I’ll throw Geek Squad).
iPhone bath - The lesson here, don’t put your phone within 10 feet of the bath. If the tech gods will find a way for it to fall in impossible ways into the elements. This was an interesting exercise in finding emergency appointment time at an Apple Store 7 hours from home in Manhattan to buy a replacement.
Soundboard damage – We know this one from the Wrestling Mayhem Show. It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Like not to pee in the corner over the studio that trickles through the wood floor and destroys my brand new equipment. The second time, I bought the $10 2 year protection that covered spill damage.
So there you go. If you want to be sure that you have a happy hardware year, head the lessons:
- Avoid haphazard wrestlers
- Beware new technology with crazy swivel technology in a restaurant setting
- Tech can defy physics to find water. Sort of like flies to a bug zapper.
- Toilet train your pets. I mean in the toilet. With the flusher.
I’ve had a long standing conversation with Chachi, as well as some others, about my view on the tools we use. We often go back and forth, often, about our feature sets for my iPhone vs his Android based T-Mobile G1 (the little early adopter…).
It’s been a good back and forth. Lately, there’s a lot of momentum of new, interesting, things for his phone coming down the line like the Google Nav, and having Layar long before I did. His platform has more interesting new technology coming along due to the open nature of the platform. Mine, in my opinion, feels more stable, and has way better video games. Until yesterday, we determined I have no loyalty. I’d drop my iPhone like a bad habit once the Android seemed more viable. I’m not a hanger on to technology, like some people I know that love their Windows Mobile.
As I mentioned before, my studio comprises of Linux, Windows, and soon, a Mac for video switching. The “cloud” concept has eliminated the need for us to fight over the computer standard war. I can have all of these formats and have everything synced and linked as I need it. The exception being running my Ustream channel on Linux is still troublesome. IM is handed in my Gchat (within Gmail that’s always open anyways). Documents are handled and managed on my Google Docs. (though you should back those up locally). The battle is going to start being service vs service, instead of PC vs Mac in the future.
So let’s tear down some arguments.
- Mac doesn’t make me better than you – Get over it. If it’s out of your price range, it’s not for you. You pay for the standard, the look and feel, the innovation of the hardware, and less clutter. There is nothing wrong for the web surfer to pick up a $500 laptop if that’s all you need. You probably shouldn’t be looking at the Mac anyways, unless you just want to impress your Mac-a-like friends. And frankly, $600 is not that bad for a small form factor computer that’s powerful enough to do just about anything, including run two operating systems concurrently. And don’t forget your Anti-Virus subscription when factoring in that “Apple Tax”
- I can’t get used to the touch screen. Give it a shot. It’ll take a week if you’re going to get it, and everyone that was stand offish about moving from a physical keyboard refuses to go back now. Touch is the future, and you shouldn’t be texting while your driving anyways (because that’s the real reason you want those buttons).
- How about some real competition. I support the Android wholeheartedly. I’ve often winced at the functions Chachi enjoys over my lowly 3GS, but I know that, in the end, that just will make my iPhone better. If not with a software update, then the next iteration that will await when this handcuff-like contract expires. In the end, we all win. Look at the sameness in the Mac vs PC arguments these days. They’ve competed back and forth, and now the PCs have had to step up on the innovation side.
So what do you think? What do you use? Are you willing to go to the dark side if it meant a better experience? Or are you and angry fanboy?
I didn’t get a chance to really get a pumpkin to carve and get into the Halloween spirit with all of the work and Podcamp and such this October. So I decided to start scouting the iPhone store for some (free) Halloween fun…
iGlowStick.It’s a glow stick. You shake it, and it turns a color with Halloween icons on it. Right. Well, hope there’s some techno music at V-Rock’s party.
Halloween Box. That I can tell, this is the official “Halloween Story” that you can read. And send to a friend. And that’s really it.
Top 100 Songs for Halloween. An app based around a themed playlist for Halloween tracks. Note: Had some issues going back to find this one. Could have been pulled for having an in store music purchasing thing. )
Halloween Sounds. Basically what it sounds like. Could be fun.
Crazy Snowboard Halloween Lite. This is a Themed demo of a snowboarding game. Nothing crazy. Just themed for the holiday.
Halloween Hotties Backgrounds Free Edition. Pictures of sexy girls in costumes. And some prompts to buy their video access app. Great for knowing what’s NOT going to be at your local Halloween party (unless it’s an Awesome Gay Halloween party, so NBC tells me…
iSpinIT Halloween Edition Free Edition. Sort of like the above app. But they’re 3D sexy girls you can spin. And save for background. I suppose for all the guys who loved Tomb Raiders….polygons…
So. Another Halloween aspect that can go digital. I wonder if there will be anything good for Thanksgiving before we’re buried in elf bowling and snow globe apps…
In an effort to write “what I know” I thought I’d start a new series on here for Podcasters. I’ve been doing Podcasts for four years, and streaming radio for at least a year previous to that, and have started from the simplest of PC microphones to a studio where I’m surrounded by equipment I’ve built up from spare computers and parts. Over the course of this, and in projects in the future, I’m always experimenting and building on what I know and have available. Please let me know if you find these sort of articles helpful.
A few weeks ago, I was introduced to Dropbox. It’s one of those things that had, and still does, come up on plenty of the podcasts I listen to, and blogs I read. Since then, I’ve started to integrate it into our work with the Wrestling Mayhem Show. Dropbox is a product that sets a folder up on your computer (Mac, Windows, or Linux. I use it on all three platforms). Whatever you put in that folder gets uploaded immediately, and synced to every other computer with a connected Dropbox folder.
I’ve integrated this by storing the Wrestling Mayhem Show’s assets in this folder. For our case, we have show intros, outros, weekly music, best of clips, guest liners, and more files that pertain to the show. This folder is synced up with all of the studio computers (four of them. 2 Windows. 2 Xubuntu), my laptop, and my office iMac. This keeps everything tidy and available in several situations.
- A computer goes down. As with recent problems, sometimes the hand me down hardware I end up building the studio from can fail. Sometimes right in the middle of the show. This gives me the option to load up the assets on a new computer in the studio, and hopefully, carry on (though likely saddling more tasks on already stretched hardware).
- Decentralize your production. Will, aka DJLunchbox, have a folder synced to this. In some cases, we may have downed internet, or have an emergency, during our live broadcasts. This way, he can take over and have all of the assets to broadcast and edit the show without me and my hard drive available to him. This lifts a huge weight on my shoulders that someone else can pick up the slack if something should come up. Important if you’re working with a team on a show and want to adhere to your attempts at a regularly scheduled broadcast.
- Share edit files. Just recently, we started that process of final show production moving over. With some equipment issues this week, the “good edit” ended up on a rather slow (but still useful) 1.3 ghz machine. Being on a different sleep schedule due to our varying work hours, I set the MP3 to render (marking about an hour of processing) straight into the drop box, making it available immediately upon completion to my associate.
- Remote files access. A nice little free iPhone App was released since I started with Dropbox that allows you to see everything in your folder. Granted, there could be files that won’t be able to be viewed on your iPhones, but checking on files that are saving to that folder, updates from your colleagues, or sharing show bites and image assets on the go to people can be rather handy. Files are downloaded on the fly when you select them, if applicable.
I’m using only a 2 GB free account, (though you can get others to join to up that to 3 GB) 50 GB ranks about $10, and goes all the way up to 100 GB. The 2 is enough for my assets right now (after I converted them to MP3), so should be enough for any show to share these sorts of files.
I don’t know what it is, probably my inner geek getting all crazed, but I like what’s going on in the cell phone realm right now. The amount of gadgetry is exciting, and the fact that it’s becoming more and more accessible everyday for the common person.
Now, I’m an iPhone guy through and through. I haven’t seen much use in Windows Mobile (though my friend Basick feels different about that fact). Blackberry is fantastic for what it does in the business realm, even though I’ve witnessed my coworkers frustrations with them between the Storms, physical keyboards models, and Verizon’s service not even working in our office building. Android is an awesome alternative to iPhone. It’s just too early in it’s development (I didn’t jump on iPhone until 2.0) and T-Mobile has been holding it back on the network side. (Pittsburgh is just now getting 3G through them).
So, if I’ve picked my side, why am I so happy? Being on the massively winning side sucks. Look at Windows. And as long as the iPhone doesn’t completely dominate, there’s a reason to push it to become a better device. We’re all embarassed to have only gotten both MMS and Copy and Paste in the last four months. Both of these rudimentary functions that all of the above mentioned phones have enjoyed for a good long time, I’m sure. Stiffer competition and feature sets will ensure my upgrade path will be clear, and I can migrate all of these games I’ve been playing the last year. (I’m not willing to buy Wolfenstein yet again…)
So why are things different now?
Marketing: Android has been growing as a device. The MyTouch is a smoother device than the G1′s clunky interface. T-Mobile’s run of ads including Jesse James and Whoopi Goldberg are great, but still don’t stick out as much as Sprint’s Palm Pre creapy-harpie-seance-girl-in-a-monk-orgy commercials. Only with Verizon’s “iDevice iDont” does someone with marketing muscle (we all know about the network people that follow you around by now) that can make Android a household name.
Inovation: Garmin has a phone? A GPS centric phone? That Garmin??? ’nuff said.
“Step the eff up” effect: Windows Mobile 6.5 looks nothing like 6.1. Rumors of Microsoft’s “Project Pink” run rampant. Blackberry Storm screams of “me too”, as does the scores of messaging and less than smart phones by Samsung and LG that pretend to be an iPhone with “apps” and fancy touch screen interfaces. No one’s perfect, but it’s got the industry thinking of something more than flippers and sliders.
It’s a great time to be a gadget-head in the cell phone market right now. When my phone does ten times more than my 1993 DOS machine, and at a much smoother click, it’s starting to feel like the future my 12 year old self looked forward to.
I’m on AT&T and I don’t have a problem with it. I’ve had my share of service hiccups and bad customer service, but who hasn’t. I don’t know a single wireless carrier where I haven’t met someone who has issues with their service. Two have Twitter/text issues with Sprint. T-Mobile has no 3G in Pittsburgh. Verizon shuts my internet off for no reason (thus not getting my FIOS business). AT&T’s customer service sucks. Even their store attendees hate it. (but I have a great experience with their stores, and thankfully, have the Apple Store at my disposal).
But I want some choice.
As I’ve already had some issues, and amazingly, we’ve had AT&T in our household since it was AT&T the first time circa 2003, we’re about due, I suppose. So when that day comes, and something goes down with our account that I can no longer tolerate, It would be nice to bring my phone to a comparable service. What if a misunderstanding happens where they claim I owe them obscene charges for text messaging or data that I’m unaware of. What if, like Leo Laporte, they’re foreign “counter” doesn’t work and I still go over my allotted time and data? I don’t have Laporte money. I guess I also don’t travel to China…