Category Archives: Mac

Team Fortress 2: Engineer Update

At long last, Valve has finally delivered the promised Team Fortress 2 Engineer class update!

After slogging through months of other less interesting updates like the Steam port to Mac and Valve’s horribly disappointing E3 “surprise” (Portal 2 on PlayStation 3…  yawn), the addition of Engineer achievements and unique class weapons is a breath of fresh air.  It’s the patch that fans have been clamoring for since the inception of class updates for TF2, and it looks like Valve’s lost no steam (pun intended!) in providing unique, fun, and rewarding additions to the game.

In total, the new update offers Engineers a new gun, two new melee weapons, a new sentry gun, a remote for sentry guns, and the ability to move placed sentry guns.  Additionally included are four maps and the requisite slew of Engineer-oriented achievements.

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Technnoyances

A list of four things in the world of tech that I find annoying, submitted for your approval in no particular order.

Unboxing videos

I’ve ranted about this elsewhere, but it’s worth repeating; unboxing videos are awful.  If there’s anything more pathetic to me than sitting around wishing you had some piece of technology, it’s doing so while also seeking out and watching other people open up boxes with the desired tech inside.

I understand doing research on products you’re thinking about buying, but I don’t see where the unboxing video fits in with all that.  If you want to find out what’s actually inside the box, you can find that info on websites or in stores.  If you want to see little bits of molded Styrofoam, you’ve probably got some in boxes you already own sitting around in your house or apartment somewhere.

If you want some new thing that badly, watching someone open up its box isn’t going to get you any closer to that goal.  Spoiler alert: it’s going to be boxed up the same as everything else you’ve bought: lots of tape, lots of Styrofoam, lots of plastic.  Whoopdy doo.

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The Underwhelming iPad

Yesterday was one of the most media-hyped tech days in recent memory.  Apple, makers of the ubiquitous iPod and popular iPhone, promised to unveil its newest creation yet.

For years, analysts had predicted that the company was working on a tablet computer, and it finally seemed that they would realize this dream.  In the weeks and days prior to this event, the media hit a frenzy as rumor after rumor leaked out about the nature of the tablet computer.  Every day, websites like Digg were inundated with submissions containing fan renderings of the product, musings on the functionality of the device, and rampant speculation of cost.

The endless hype turned out to be a double-edged sword for Apple however; it raised expectations too high.  When the curtains were pulled off the new iPad yesterday at Apple’s keynote, it was immediately (and largely) criticized by many.

And in my opinion, rightfully so.  The device isn’t ambitious enough, the cost is too high, and in the end, it just doesn’t fit in well with all the other gadgets people already enjoy using.  Here’s everything that I think is wrong with the iPad, and why it is already destined for failure.

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A Notch Below the Rest

USB Cable

The other day at work, I wanted to move around some of the items we have sitting on a table at the back of the room I work in.  This included a monitor, a small printer, and a large flatbed scanner.  The monitor and the printer were easy to move, but the scanner had run out of USB cord length, so I couldn’t move it any farther away from the computer it was attached to.  Thinking I had remembered seeing a USB extension cord floating around the office somewhere, I got out our box of random computer parts and started digging through it in hopes of finding something useful.

After only a minute or two, I came up victorious: one of our Macs had come with a USB extension cord for the keyboard that was about two feet long; perfect for moving the scanner.  I put the box of junk away and dove under the table to add the extension cord to the mix of wires coming out of the back of the computer.

The male end of the extension plugged into the back of the computer alright, but then when I tried to attach the female end to the scanner’s USB cable, I found that they wouldn’t connect to each other.

I checked to make sure the connectors were the same size; they were.  I flipped one end of the cable around, thinking I might have just made the mistake of trying to plug them in upside-down, but this didn’t work either.  Slightly frustrated, I pulled the cable out of the computer and brought it back into the light where I could examine it more closely.

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Diablo 3? Hell Yes!

Blizzard has announced that Diablo 3 is on the way!

And from the looks of it, this is going to be one of the most visually rich dungeon runs you’ve ever been on!

One of my buddies mentioned this to me last night on World of Warcraft, but I had not gotten an opportunity to check out the official site until this morning.  If you’re a fan of the Diablo series, I’d definitely recommend giving the website a look – Blizzard has released a large collection of screenshots (which I’ve got hosted here as well, in a gallery at the end of the post), as well as some wallpapers, concept art, lore, and a lot more.  It’s a great way to kick off what looks to be another triple-A title.

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