Zhooibaal\’s house of the unholy

29 March 2006

Extra HDDs and Thrustmaster Fragmaster

Filed under: Bargain hunting, Non game, PC, PC gaming hardware, Retro — zhooibaal @ 20:39000000

It has allready been a couple of days ago, but haven’t felt like creating a blog entry on this before.

Harddisks

I have bought and additional 250GB IDE harddisk and have swapped my old CPU (Athlon XP 2600+) for another 120GB IDE harddisk and a PCI Ultra ATA133 controller. Giving me a total of 790GB of harddisk space *grins*.

As you probably all know, the total amount of space on a harddisk is always lower than the amount printed on it. So effectively I now have 742,21GB of total harddisk space. But even this fact is argueable. You see, the amount of GBs on a harddisk is calculated differently by the harddisk manufacturers than by Windows (or Mac OSX or Linux or Solaris or Beos or whatever OS…). It goes in a way like this:

1000B = 1KB
1000KB = 1MB
1000MB = 1GB

But any OS will calculate it like this:

1024B = 1KB
1024KB = 1MB
1024MB = 1GB

So, this way it will always seem like the actual amount of space is lower than promised, let’s take a 120GB harddisk as an example:

Total capicity given by Windows: 114,49GB
Total capicity as printed on the label: 120GB
114,49GB x 1024^3 = 122932701429,76B
122932701429,76B / 1000^3 = 122,93270142976GB

As you can see the capicity in “normal human terms” really is 120GB, it’s even a bit over that. Allthough I personally find this approach quite a bit misleading, the user will always see what the OS gives him, but it is the way they do it and there is nothing we can do about it.
So if you want to know how much space the disk you are going to buy really has, this is the way to find out.

Fragmaster

Another thing I bought is a Thrustmaster Fragmaster for a lousy €6,00 and that is maybe the strangest joystick I’ve ever seen. If even I can call it a joystick. I mean, it doesn’t even really look like a joystick. it has 2 handles directly attached to eachother and mounted on a single swivel like construction. It has 4 axis:

  1. X
  2. Y
  3. Rudder
  4. Throttle

The X-axis and Y-axis are used by moving the entire handle construction over the base platform, simply “sliding” it around. The rudder is used by turning the handle to the left or to the right and the throttle is used by moving the handle forward and backward like you would with a normal joystick.
I have no idea yet if this contraption is actually a good gamecontroller as I haven’t yet been able to get it to work with any game, but the testing tool shows me that it *is* functioning correctly and it seems to be very responsive and I must say that the handles are quite comfortable and the whole thing is easy to move around.

It has a total of 10 buttons: 4 triggers (2 on each side) and 3 buttons on top of each handle.
Unfortunatly it only has a gameport connector and my main pc (Slash Dev) has none of those, but my old pc (stoomketel) has one and there aren’t any Windows XP drivers for it anyway, so I’ll leave it connected to stoomketel for the time being.

There isn’t much more to tell about it right now, so here are some pics:
Thrustmaster Fragmaster 1Thrustmaster Fragmaster 2

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28 March 2006

Desktop Earth

Filed under: Non game, Other, PC, Random — zhooibaal @ 12:49000000

A friend of mine (Michiel) just sent me the link to this and I found this to be quite interesting, even interesting enough to post a blog entry about it.

It is called Desktop Earth and is a little app by Márton Anka from Code From the 70s. This little app generates an image showing where it’s currently light and where it’s currently dark based on a high-res image of the Earth.

I think it looks really cool and I currently use it as my wallpaper on my laptop.

Here is a screenshot I took, I set the night image to “Moonlit Surface” (1280×800):
Desktop Earth on Deimos

Another neat little app that I stumbled upon today is FolderIcon XP. It might prove to not be the most usefull app out there, but I think it might just help me with organizing my files and folders a little bit better. Why? Just because you can change the colors of folder icons or give them completely new icons. This way you can have a different folder icon for every different kind of data you have.
Or, ofcourse, you can just add colors for the fun of it.

FolderIcon XPFolderIcon XP 2
Sweet *drools* colors 😛

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25 March 2006

A NES out of nowhere

Filed under: Bargain hunting, Games, NES, Retro — zhooibaal @ 19:48000000

Today I had planned to go and pick up a Microsoft Sidewinder Pro Force Feedback, but it turned out to be the one without force feedback and it had a gameport instead of USB which it had in the description. So at first I thought that I went there all for nothing. But then the subject of old videogame consoles came up and the seller said that she had a NES lying around catching dust which I could buy so that my trip wasn’t completely for nothing.

So she called a few people to ask if she could sell it and yes, now I have it.
Original box, 2 controllers, 2 RF splitters (one reserve I think) and 9 games for €35,00, that’s not too much if you ask me.

As I said, I got 9 games with it:

  1. Super Mario Bros.
  2. Super Mario Bros. 2
  3. Super Mario Bros. 3
  4. The Legend of Zelda
  5. Tom and Jerry
  6. Duck Tales
  7. Slalom
  8. Super Spike V’Ball
  9. Tennis

I have tested the console with Super Mario Bros. 2 and haven’t yet played any of the others, I will do so in the near future and add the games to my videogames list with ratings ASAP.

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23 March 2006

Today’s new additions

Filed under: Bargain hunting, Games, Movies, Retro, Sega Saturn — zhooibaal @ 22:30000000

Allright, I ordered a 2 Saturn games and a DVD movie from gamesgarage a little while ago and today they finally arrived:
Games:

DVD movie:

Bug!

Bug! is a cute little platform game where you play a bug called Bug. I find the approach of this game rather unique. It is basicly a sidescrolling platform game with a pseudo 3D look, but you have the ability to move in 6 directions:

  1. left
  2. rigth
  3. forward
  4. backward
  5. up
  6. down

What I mean by this is that you can move left and right like in a traditional sidescroller, but it also has paths that are connected at a 90 degree angle to the left-right path allowing you to move in 4 different directions on the ground. Added to that there are also paths that stand straight op from the main path allowing you to walk up and down on a 90 degree angle. Especially the vertical walking looks really funny.
The game’s style may look pretty childish, but it is a really fun game to play and a nice diversion from the traditional sidescrolling platformer.

Battle Arena Toshinden Remix

Battle Arena Toshinden Remix (BATR) is a tradional 3D 360 degree fighting game. According to critics it might not be as good as Virtua Fighter but I tend to disagree to a certain degree.
In my honest opinion BATR has better playability than Virtua Fighter, especially for a beginner to the genre. The easy setting is really easy and is very well suitable for those who aren’t any good at fighting games like myself and it is also very good to get to know the controls and learning how to attack and defend. With Virtua Fighter, even on the easy setting, I couldn’t get past the second fight without getting my ass kicked, so I think BATR is quite a bit better for me.
The graphics of this game are comparable to Virtua Fighter with one exception, the character models are textured and the character models of Virtua Fighter are flat shaded. I believe there is also a version for the Saturn of Virtua Fighter with textured character models, my friend Daniel told me that and ofcourse there is Virtua Fighter 2 which also has textured character models and, as far as I can tell from the screenshots, it does look a bit better than BATR.
Anyway, I find BATR to be a very fun fighting game and especially in single player mode, more fun than Virtua Fighter. I haven’t played either in 2 player mode yet, so I’ll have yet to see which one is more fun in 2 player mode.

Lemony Snicket’s: a Series of Unfortunate Events

It’s just a shame that I’ve never stumbled upon the special edition of this movie, but finally I have it on DVD anyway. This movie is in one word: brilliant. You may disagree with me, but I can watch this movie over and over again without getting bored of it. I used to have it on a burned DVD, so a fake one and I’ve been looking for a proper one for quite some time and now I got it at a bargain price, beit the standard edition without the fancy box displayed at IMDB.
This film is all about 3 kids who lose their parents in a terrible accident: their house burned down. To make things worse, they are being placed under guardianship of their beloved uncle Count Olaf. They soon discover that this Count Olaf isn’t the kind of person you want to be with so eventually they are removed from the house of Count Olaf and placed under guardianship of the next previously unknown strange family member. During all this moving from guardian to guardian a lot of, let’s say, unfortunate events occur and some details are revealed even before the chapter has properly begun, but that only adds to funfactor of this movie, believe me, it’s true.
If you haven’t seen this movie, go rent it or something, you’ll love it, now my search continues for the next DVD: Tim Buton’s Corpse Bride and the special, extended edition of Sin City… MUST… HAVE!

That’s it for now, here are just a few pictures of the new aquisitions:
Games:

Movie:

As you might notice, the title on the cover of this movie is Dutch, however, the movie itself is in English. I would actually feel pretty fucked if it would have been only in Dutch, but it’s English and French. I would still had preffered Dutch over French though…

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22 March 2006

The videogames list

Filed under: Games, PC games, Random — zhooibaal @ 16:52000000

Today I have added my Windows and DOS game to my videogames list which can be found here. Some of the entries still need to be edited, but those are only a few in the Windows section.

  • Abomination
  • Amsterdoom
  • Speedboat Attack

That’s it, edit those and add the Supervision games and it’ll be complete. I think I’ll do that tonight, if I do that, you can probably see that for yourself. That’s it.

In other news, today I got creative with stickers! I found a bunch of old stickers lying around in my room, so I decided to put all of them on Stoomketel, here is the result:

And as a final little thing, I also took a picture of my desk. You may notice that I have 2 PCs standing there, with 2 keyboards and 2 mice yet only 1 screen. Well, that screen has both DVI and VGA and I can switch between them, so both PCs are connected to it at the same time.

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