Microsoft

This is a list of posts tagged with Microsoft.

Year in consumables: 2011 games

Portal 2 cover artI love video games.

I hate video game publishers.

I guess that’s biting the hand that feeds you, but it is true. And, it is for a very simple reason. Their scheduling. The continued trend towards releasing new games in the Fall to capitalize on the pending holiday shopping season is killing me.

I get it. I understand that games cost a lot to develop, market and support. So they need to maximize their return on investment by releasing at the best time possible. But, I would argue it is the worst time possible. They are forced into competition with every other publisher and game doing the same exact thing. Thereby increasing the competition for people’s dollars. And games aren’t cheap these days, which has led to rising reliance on used game sales, which the publishers hate because they don’t get a piece of that. So then we get stuck with there attempts to curb that by adding on weak multiplayer experiences in games that should not have them. And that is at the expense... Continue reading »

Ill communication

I just listened to Ill Communication on my way home from work tonight. I left at 9.00p. I realized that it would be a great title for a blog post, so…

I was at work for the second night in a row until 9p, so that’s ill. I have gone just over a month without posting, so that’s ill. If I went a calendar month without a post, that would be ill… therefore, here’s your fluff piece to put a stop to that.

Seriously though, I intimated in the last real post that I’d fill in blanks later, so I guess this is it. I think that blogging during the summer can be a bit tough when you don’t have some regular topic to shout about. I definitely have never had that, so it is here and there. Well, weekends are straight out because the last thing I want is to be in front of a keyboard on a weekend. Weeknights have also been straight out because I have been getting home late most nights and since those are due to work, I have had enough of the keyboard for a day. When not, I want to spend it on the couch in front of the 360 for a game or catch up on su... Continue reading »

RRoD roundup

Well, even though it didn’t matter that much, the second go around with Microsoft’s Xbrick 360 replacement program was smoother than the first. For the most part, it was always informative in what was going on and it was certainly a bit faster. That said, I thought I’d post a little wrapup/roundup for the heck of it. I mean, if I end up using it, it will die again and I’ll have a third opportunity to evaluate the process…

Anyway, it didn’t matter as much because I did go out the day after mine died and pick up a newer Arcade model with the Falcon chip and HDMI port. While I don’t think it is any quieter than the older one, it has been nicer with the HDMI, except for the ghosting, but that is only when I turn it off, never in gameplay, and I think that has more to do with now using HDMI over Component cables as I never noticed it prior to that… so, whatevs. This one has a newer DVD drive too, but it seems to spin just as loud as... Continue reading »

RRoD

Red Ring of Death+2

Another one bites the dust.

At first, I thought The Simpsons Game was just glitching when Lisa blew a Saxophone attack and Marge was coming back to health. Then, it froze again on another big, loud event a minute after I started playing again. That was an exploding car. The third time happened about 10 seconds after I fired it up. The fourth power on was greeted with the Red Ring of Death.

Apparently this animal is not in danger of extinction.

Now, the current system was *manufactured* on 2007-08-23, therefore it has the older 90nm Zephyr chipset. It was the replacement for my first Red-ringed 360 last Fall. I have no idea what will be sent back this time, so tomorrow, I am going out to buy a Xbox 360 Arcade system. No, I am not playing GTA IV, I am playing The Simpsons Game (the one that revolves around Marge’s quest against an Itchy and Scratchy game of the same genre 😉 ) and Army of Two (with Ed) at the moment, but I am not waiting 3-4 weeks for a replacement given I use mine ... Continue reading »

Spambino ale

I prefer my April Fool’s jokes to be something that actually fools people, or rather, me, but that can be pretty hard when you read everything on the day with a grain of salt. That said, some are better than others in trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Anyway, I wasn’t going to follow up my previous aside with anything when I wrote it, but after a night of drinking tonight, I feel the need. So, let me start with what I culled from the internets today, and believe me, I wasn’t looking real hard, or really, at all…

No pending repair

OMFG! My patience with Microsoft is being tested to its fullest now.

I logged into their wonderful support site tonight to check on the status of my brick and it states that I have “No pending repair.” Really?

It used to say something like “Received at facility” or some other such thing last week. Now I have to get on the horn and b!tch someone out I think.

I’ll give them until tomorrow to sort it out. I’m sure it is just another glitch in their carefully thought out site

Remove your hard drive

But what if that is the broken bit?

I got a follow-up e-mail from the Microsofties today. The packaging to service my Xbox has been shipped (which is a little funny when you think about it). They are sending me a box to box and send the 360 back to them. Ed commented on the way Nintendo is handling their hardware failures and I totally agree with him; they are doing it the right way.

Microsoft should send me a loaner console so I can continue gaming while they fix mine. I’m even losing money on the deal because I can’t use my Xbox Live subscription without a console. I read some posts in a message board that some people are being credited an extra month for longer repairs, but it wouldn’t be an issue if I had a loaner, right?

Now, here’s the kicker: “Once we have received your Xbox console at our Service Center. Your Xbox console will be serviced and you should receive it within 4-6 weeks.” Never mind the poor... Continue reading »

Rush job

So, I finally put my 360 in for service last night. Lucky for me that my procrastination in doing so resulted in skipping the need to wait on a phone queue for a dimwit service rep to barrage me with useless queries about the state of my box.

Over the weekend, the folks at Microsoft launched a service site for the 360 where you could register and track your console after it gets red ringed and sent in for service. Of course, it appears they rushed it as I had numerous issues using the what should be simple to use site.

The first issue was it did not properly show my 360 after I logged in. Now, I had previously registered it under my xbox.com/gamer profile, so since you use your same Windows Live ID to login, it should have found this, but it did not. I logged in and out a few times, but no joy.

I finally decided to give the “Associate a device you registered on the phone with your Windows Live ID” option a shot. What the heck, I didn’t register it over the phone, but you never know. Well, this... Continue reading »

Downloadables

Microsoft has gone on a quiet little spree of releasing some good stuff for free downloads over the last month or so. I thought I might provide the links here so that you can update your stuff and be as secure as possible.

I highly recommend the Defender Anti-Spyware software, so if I had you install the beta, get the final version now. The Zune XP Theme is a long-time coming, it is just too bad they released it about 3 months before Vista is available. It is a mostly black theme that embarrasses the blue, puke green or silver theme you are using right now.

Lastly, if you are interested in an alternative browsing experience than IE, give Mozilla Firefox 2 a ... Continue reading »

Rotten Apple

I have been meaning to post on this for a while, I just keep forgetting. Not unusual for me.

Anyway, most folks have seen the latest ads on the telly by Apple. I guess these are version 2.0 of their famous “Switch” ads from a couple years ago. If you haven’t seen them and you are absolutely dying to know what I am talking about, then by all means go and visit the Apple web site and watch them all. I’ll patiently wait here. I got nothing better to do.

Okay, if you are reading this far, you have seen one or left and actually came back! (Thanks)

So, what did you think? How do these ads speak to you? I mean, other than the fact they want you to switch and use a Mac instead of a PC… cuz they said that, right? Did the slacker kid from NBC’s underrated series Ed — wait, wait… you are probably more familiar with his role in Dodgeball — convince you to buy a Mac? You don’t want to be that dork with the specs, right? Just cuz y... Continue reading »