Category Archives: Reviews

The College Of Now

Colleges are becoming more and more technology oriented. Everything is moving to the web. Almost everything I need to do is accessible on the web. Here are the things you can do.

• School Email account
• Preorder books through college website (This is great when you get to school you just go to the bookstore and pick them up, they are all in a nice box for you. This eliminates the long lines.)
• Check class work and schedule online
• Check grades online
• Sign up for classes online(this tells you if classes are available and even how many seats are available)
• Converse with teachers
• Pay bills
• Pay fines
• Check for holds on classes and accounts
• Pay Tuition online
• check if your laundry is done online, or if there are any available washers and dryers
• get text message alerts for anything troublesome on campus

This is all very different from when my parents were in college, from what they have told me they didn’t have computers available and calculators were the size of textbooks.

This is my last post as I am now going back to college. Thanks for being patient while I blogged for my Mom. I found out first hand it is much harder being a blogger than I thought it would be.

Times have really changed and college has too by embracing technology making convenience come to you with the click of a mouse. One thing that hasn’t changed is the amount of work and participation to be successful at college.

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Outspark’s Fiesta User Game Review

Fiesta is the game sweeping kids around the globe by storm. I interviewed a player to see what all the commotion was about. It seems she couldn’t pick just one feature about the game to be her favorite, but here are some she mentioned. First was that she liked to use it for chat and the second was because she feels it has good graphics. I must say as a gamer, graphics are a big part of liking a game; it’s all about how it looks.

 I asked her why she liked the game for chatting because there are plenty of ways to chat without a game being involved. She said none of her friends liked using AIM or other chat windows. Also her mother doesn’t want her to use them.

Next, I asked her, why do you buy enhancements that last under 30 days? (Mind you she spends real money on this) she answered 30 days is a long time to me and its only $5. Also I asked about marriage because I thought it was funny that characters would want to get married on a game. She said she doesn’t want to get married now, and didn’t say why others did it. All she said was that you have to pay for the marriage as well and the dress costs around $15 real dollars.

I then asked about hair coupons and what they do. She said the coupons are only $5 and they alloy you to change everything about your character’s face and you can even switch sexes. To close it up, I asked if a lot of people curse and what happens when they do, since this is a child’s game. She said there is cursing, but it is all blocked out and she doesn’t see it happen very often.

I hope you find this player review useful and can help you make a decision on whether to let your kids play the game.

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Left 4 Dead Game Review

Left 4 Dead is a fairly recent game that I have played and found to be a lot of fun. First off, the story line is that some disease has broken out and has infected everyone in the city, except for the four people that are being played by you and your friends. It is just like any other recent zombie movie, they aren’t dead they are infected. If you have see 28 Days Later, or Dawn of the Dead you know what I’m talking about.

Well anyway, you start out in a specified point with your pals and you are walking through the city trying to get to the extraction point. Along the way you encounter large hordes of zombies and sometimes you run into things like little bosses. They all do different things, for example, you have this giant fat character that has growths all over his body and his job is to throw up on you. This makes your life miserable and makes all the other zombies come after you. Along the way you find new guns and ammo, as well as improve your health. If you die, your friends can find you in locked rooms and can save you almost like saving someone that was stranded.

Don’’t fret, story mode isn’t the only thing you have to do, also there is a form of verses. This is composed of two teams infected and regular people ‘er rather victims. As a person, you have the same job as in the rest of the game, to survive and make it to the check point and finally to extraction. The job of the other team (the infected one) is to kill you, the regular people. When you are on the zombie team you are one of the boss characters.  And at certain point in the level you are on, you have the chance to be a tank which is the biggest baddest zombie -like an Arnold Schwarzenegger zombie.

I find the game to be great fun and it is not in the least bit scary because you know when the zombies are coming. I would say 14 and up could play this game and have a lot of fun with it. So check out Left 4 Dead.

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Grand Theft Auto 4, Is It Appropriate For Kids?

Grand Theft Auto 4 is a fun game if you’re the right age. Most parents care if their children are playing games with violence, sex, cursing, and drugs so I feel it is good idea to let people know that Grand Theft Auto 4 has all of these aspects.

These aspects do not occasionally pop up, but are present at all times in the game – they are inescapable. In the game, you are a Russian mobster that has many jobs, from selling drugs to being a hit man. Your player does refuse to use drugs when presented, but he does sell drugs to others. When you are walking the streets you can kill any civilian or steal any car. The game also encourages you to kill police officers.

Grand Theft Auto 4 also allows you to get drunk, fall over, and have all the effects of real drinking including the ability to drive while drunk. As in real life, the effects of drinking impair your driving skills. You automatically swerve and hit people walking on the sidewalks.

I do not feel that video games affect children’s actions adversely although some people may disagree, as when I was a child I would play games with these themes. I never had the impulse to go kill anyone or do drugs. But, I do understand that if a parent feels that a game will influence their child they should know about the game before they buy it or allow it to be played.

I would strongly caution parents to play this game before their children do just to be sure that they know what is going on first.

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Adobe Air, What Is It?

Adobe Air is an application that allows for the viewing of the integration of multi media like Flash, Ajax and other applications with data, but on your desktop and not tied to your browser and works on multiple operating systems.

Just like a Flash plug-in an Adobe Air plug-in is needed to view applications built using Adobe Flex.  Although it is hard to wrap your head around exactly how Adobe Air is different from things like Flash or Shockwave, the big difference is that Adobe Air allows you to use the technology in free standing downloadable applications that are not tied to a browser. Adobe Air integrates the very best of multi media and interactivity through some of the newest web technologies, but not only the Web now on your desktop.

Although Adobe Air is not a hot property on the Web for browsing consumers at this point, it is a hot property for developers and being used as the backbone for new applications that are in the works.

Here’s a link to the Adobe.com website that showcases one Adobe Air product that was built for NASDAQ that will help you to understand what Adobe Air does. Built with Adobe Flex but played with Adobe Air this new breed of applications is coming and is sure to change the way you view and interact with data online and offline in the very near future.

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Vista Microsoft’s Black Eye?

Ever since Microsoft Vista has come out it has had problems. Problems like phantom crashes, inability to read ink levels in older printers and pre-Vista software doesn’t always seem to work. Printer drivers are a large problem because Vista will not display the printer tool box so you can never tell what your ink levels are. You’re always sitting there thinking, “should I give it one more try or throw out the ink and run the possibility of throwing out half the container?”

Even the Enterprise systems are having trouble. Their workers are unable to log onto the Intranet system. I have seen first hand this problem from military persons I know. Since the Navy has not upgraded the systems to be Vista compatible, Navy reservists who use Vista at home are unable to log onto their accounts from home. One officer I know personally has to run two machines one for Vista and one for XP.

Now, I on the other hand have had minimal problems with Microsoft Vista. I have a newer printer so all my printer drivers’ work perfectly. I, too, have had problems with some older programs I have running on Vista. Some don’t work and some barely work or crash when loading. Some even cause my computer to crash and it takes a few moments to recover. But these are only a few problems. I feel the good out ways the bad with Vista.

I happen to be a college student and at school we have all the latest and greatest software, including Microsoft Vista. I enjoy having the sidebar so I can check on the weather in the morning and when I’m just sitting at my computer I always have the slide show going on in my sidebar. It’s also nice because I use it to keep track of my CPU usage as well as my RAM usage.

Vista’s  file management system has been improved. Microsoft Vista gives you many options where you can now store your files with one click including Pictures, Downloads, Music, etc. instead of just the My Documents folder. None the less, my favorite part of Vista would have to be its beautiful layout with shadows and the invisible windows edge.

There seems to be no middle of the road when it comes to Vista, you either love it or you hate it. I for one love it!

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