Saturday, 19 of April of 2014

Category » Geek Life

The Real Talk for Geek Dads & Future Geek Dads

Theirs that point in life in which you have found that special lady in which she will someday wear that most famous costume in geek movie history, which might lead to the birth of your first born. Then parenthood steps in and the important question comes up:  How can I explain Star Wars to my little padawan?  Well the guys from Asylum.com came up with a video on how to deal with this problem.

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NES inspired stuff that will make you Geekgasm

If you’re like me, an old school gamer who love to play NES from time to time, you will drool when you see these awesome goodies inspired by one of the coolest consoles ever.

Let’s Start with the NES bed sheets:
holy crap!
You’ll sleep like a 8-bit Baby ^_^

Next it’s the NES coffee table
me wants!

Not only has a fully working Big size NES controller

It has an lid to attach more devices. Awesomesauce!

Coming up next is a Giant NES controller PC Case Mod

Made by some kids in Sweden for a School Project, it only cost them 1500 Kronor (like $300) to make. It’s kinda big but sure is amazing what you can do with so little money.

Lastly, I leave you with my favorite, the NES controller Coffee table
too awesome for words
This baby has storage space for all your geeky needs
kewl!

And not only that, the coolest thing about it is that is a fully functional NES controller!

Now that’s what I called Hardcore \m/

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Journeying Back to When Happiness Was Measured in Bits

Video games can bring back a lot of memories…

My wife and I are in the process of remodeling our old house. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been moving stuff around, throwing out old junk and finding long forgotten treasures. One of the wonderful surprises I found scrimmaging through old boxes was my old, first generation 16-bit Sega Genesis.

For geeks my age, video games are an important part of our identities. We’re the first generation that was able to experience video games since childhood. In fact, as we grew up, the modern video game industry grew up along with us. Gaming has always been an important part of our lives, and our memories.

I pulled the Genesis out, got a replacement power adapter, and plugged in my old friend to my state-of-the-art HD LCD television. (That is, after about an hour trying to figure out where could I plug in the console’s coaxial cable. I hadn’t seen one of those for years!) I looked at my old cartridge collection and decided that the only possible game I could play at that moment was the game that originally came with my console, the now classic Sonic the Hedgehog. (Yes kids, consoles once came with a game included!)

I inserted the game cartridge, a bit forcefully (did it always take this much pressure to insert a game?) and I turned the power on.

It’s 1989. I’m ten years old. I’m at my older cousin Joel’s house. And I’m staring dumbfounded at the television. The colors are spectacular and the speed…the speed is unbelievable! Like nothing I have ever seen before. My 8-bit Sega Master System back home looks like a dinosaur (and don’t get me started on that old 4-bit Intellivision!) The music fills my head in wondrous tones. I ask my cousin, “What are those rings for?” “You pick them up for points,” he answers, “but if they hit you, you lose them. And if they hit you again, you die.” “So, it’s like protection, like an extra guy?” I reply, still staring dumbfounded at the spectacle before my eyes. “Yeah, sort of,” Joel  says.

The next day, I run up to my best friend Berto. He and I have struck up a friendship based on our similar tastes in comics (X-Men!) and the fact that we’re the only Sega fans in our class. Even our third best pal, German, owns a hated Nintendo Entertainment System, with its dorky games and its retarded, mustachioed mascot. In unbelievable excitement, I tell him the wonders I had witnessed. He listens intently and smiles a devilish grin of glee.

I play with Sonic for a while, making it up to Spring Yard Zone without losing a guy. The control felt a little awkward at first, my hands having been used to the chunky 360 controller, but it doesn’t take long for my fingers to feel at home and years of playtime come flowing back. A good video game plays like riding a bicycle, you never unlearn what you have learned.  I’m surprised that I still remember all the shortcuts, all the correct routes. I even manage to take three Chaos Emeralds from the special stage before deciding to move on to a new game.

I take out Sonic and look around and something catches my eye. It’s Streets of Rage, one of my all-time favorite games. I plug the cartridge in and switch the console on.

It’s 1992. Berto, German and I are finishing up one of our many Streets of Rage speed runs. We enjoy this game. We love the Yūzō Koshiro-composed music, and we love the many ways we can bash in punk heads in this game. While we play, we talk about everything and nothing at the same time. We’re preteens with little worries in our lives, except schoolwork and how we’re going to manage to get enough cash to buy Sonic 2 during the long awaited Sonic Tuesday.

The second boss, (we call him Freddy, as he is a cheap knock-off of Freddy Krueger but with TWO razor sharp gloves) constantly gives me trouble and I always lose a guy in that fight, no matter how much I try. “You’re relying too much on the flying kick,” Berto tells me. “Try to walk around the stage, to try and catch him from behind.” I nod, sweating from the effort, and try my best.

My old Genesis is performing admirably. I make it to the second stage, up to the Freddy confrontation. My instinct is to start jumping like a rabid kangaroo and drop kick some justice on the yellow-haired boss. But then, I remember what Berto said to me almost twenty years ago. I calm down, move my guy around randomly, and do grabs from behind. I make it out of the stage without losing even a drop of my energy bar.

I play some more of the game, noticing little things. Like the cool little details put in the game, a rolling can on the beach, a sudden downpour. Even though the graphics are incredibly dated, they do still have a certain charm.

I turn off the game and look around some more. Poking from behind Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles, I see a cartridge with big, white letters in a dashing red background. I pick it up. It’s Super Street Fighter II. Without even thinking, it’s already inserted into the console. I turn it on.

It’s 1994. Berto, German and I are joined by our newest friend Ricardo, with which our little band of misfits is finally complete. We’re playing a four player tournament in the nifty new Tournament Battle mode of Super Street Fighter II. As usual, me and Chun-Li are getting our asses kicked…by Zangief no less. “You’re doing it wrong,” Berto tells me. “You’re a fast character, he’s a slow one. The trick is to keep him at bay with your fireballs, only coming close to do fast hit-and-fade attacks. Don’t let him come close.” I listen intently, trying to absorb the lesson. Although I’m able to hold my own with the fiery Russian, German and Berto’s Ken and Ryo beat me mercilessly. At the end of the tournament, it’s German’s Ken versus Berto’s Ryu. Ricardo and I are watching in awe. They seem to be dancing in air, instead of fighting. They pull of the moves and combos so effortlessly, it seems like they characters are controlling them, not the other way around.

After the battle is done, we sit down to have some pizza. We eat, talking about the future, already thinking about the college years that loom ahead. Little do we know that those college years are going to break us apart, forcing us to live different lives, lives that don’t include having each others’ daily company. We are completely oblivious, that, even though  we’ve spent most of our young lives together, seeing each other every day at school and spending most weekends roaming around the mall, dressed in flannel, jeans and Beavis and Butthead t-shirts, time is forcing us apart, apart to grow up and become adults.

Berto decides the pizza needs something. He grabs a piece of the brownies we were having for dessert, and slathers in forcefully on top of his pizza slice. “It’s a chocolate pizza!” he exclaims, with the same devilish grin he’s had since we were in grade school, and he chomps down on his Frankestenian creation.

I turn off the Genesis. I’m back at the present. It’s been over fifteen years since I graduated high school. Fifteen years since I left the comfort, friendship and support of my three best friends to venture, all on my own, to the new challenges presented by college. In these fifteen years, video games changed, and so did we. As life became more complex, so did our video games. Gone were the controllers with two buttons, and with them, those simple games you could beat in one afternoon with some friends and some soda. Also gone were those afternoons where the only thing we worried about was that math test or how to tell a girl you liked her. They’ve been replaced by controllers with 15 buttons, games that take days to finish, and worrying about jobs, bills, relationships and children.

But I don’t complain. We all grow up eventually. And I’m thankful that I had all those carefree days with a controller in hand and three amazing friends to share in the fun. Those days, and those friends, helped form the man I am today. They shaped my values, my sense of responsibility and my view of life.

Even then, I am forced to realize that, no matter how hard we try, no matter how many times I turn on that Genesis, I can’t have those days back. I’ve changed, we’ve changed. Even though I still consider those three crazy kids my best friends, things will never be the same. Along the way, we lost part of ourselves, for our Berto, that rogue with the devilish grin, passed on to the next life along the way. And even though the three of us that are left still occasionally meet to chat, have some beers and play some video games, but it’ll never be the same. Those short moments cannot compare to spending every single day with that family you’ve chosen for yourself. And, even when we’re together, there is still a huge gaping hole where our fouth Musketeer should be.

Happiness won’t ever be measured in bits, like it once was. Heck, even video games themselves don’t mention bits anymore. Life, and video games, have changed. And there are no regrets. It’s good that life doesn’t have a reset button. For Sonic, every time I turn on the game, life is a blank slate. Every experience, every new skill learned, every challenge encountered, is forever lost for that little blue hedgehog when I switch the console off. But for me, every new enemy I have to squish, every fire pit I have to brave, every Zangief I have to hit fast and hard, stays with me and becomes a part of who I am. And, even though they are long gone, I would not ever want to change those afternoons playing video games.

It’s funny how video games can bring back a lot of memories…

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Cool music video concept (and be a part of it)!

This could be you (you'd be lucky if you had ugly eyes)So I just found out about 2 guys (C-Mon & Kypski) who came up with a nice new concept for a music video titled “More is Less”: they allow you to be in it.

It works by visiting http://oneframeoffame.com/. Once you agree to the terms (1 click away), you are given a random frame from the video that you have to pose for, in which you’re supposed to mimic the original pose by one of the artists. Then the original frame will be replaced in the video around an hour after you submit.

They filmed a whole video of themselves dancing, moving, and making faces and silly stuff in front of a white background, so you see this footage interpolated with the user submitted frames, and the final effect looks really cool. Plus the song is really catchy, and the story/explanation behind it is pretty cool too:

THE STORY OF ECHO

Hera, the Queen of Mt. Olympus, cast a spell over her servant Echo for talking too much. As a punishment, Echo could henceforth only repeat what someone else said.

Poor Echo! She was in love with handsome Narcissus, and yearned to tell him so! One day Echo saw Narcissus admiring himself in a clear pond. Looking at his reflection, he vainly said to the face in the water, “I love you.”

Echo repeated, “I love you,” and meant it. But Narcissus thought it was his reflection that spoke and stood gazing at himself until he died and Hermes led him away to the Land of the Dead. Echo pined for him till she, too, faded away. All that was left of her was her voice that can still be heard in certain hollow places, senselessly repeating the words of others.

Give it a try!

Oh, and see if you can spot me! Okay it might not be that easy, I’m one of the guys in 1:43. There’s also a C3PO (1:38), and fellow resident geekster Valerie (1:56).

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One step closer to Wireless Energy!

Wouldn’t it be amazing to live in a world where we don’t have to depend on batteries or wires all over the place? Imagine a “wire-free” desk where you can spread your legs and not bump into at least 5 or 6 cables, and a battery backup. Ever since the wide spread of wifi, wireless energy has become one of the most anticipated technologies, and it seems someone has finally tapped into making it work:




This footage is from the TED conferences site. In case you don’t know what TED is:

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with the annual TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK, TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Program, the new TEDx community program, this year’s TEDIndia Conference and the annual TED Prize.

They have amazing talks from people working with new technologies, plus a whole lot of demos of new technologies, such as the one above. Highly recommend you browse around and check it out.

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