Saturday, March 29, 2008

Games: finishing games

I was reading Kotaku and one of the post was of interest to me. The question asked was "Do you ever finish all your games?" Its a good question. For me, i only finish games that are really compelling and fun. But many games i don't finish.

Some of the more recent games i finished are Bioshock and God of War Chains of Olympus. I think one of the keys of why i finished these games is because for Bioshock's case the story was too good that i needed to see what happens in the end. For God of War, the story was ok, but the gameplay is just the best and it never gets old decapitating your enemies.

I would say part of the reason i don't finish games is that i don't play much anymore. Academics, my girlfriend and my friends are a hard balance enough, games don't really come into play unless i am playing games with my friends. But that usually consist of us playing SSB64 or RockBand.

Any single player game i play usually happens during my breaks (like the one i have now). If i am not playing my 360 (i didn't bring it down) i am playing my psp (i didn't bring that either). So now, i'm playing C&C 3 on my pc (well my mac but i have vista installed).

While playing C&C, i realized i have lost the RTS mindframe. I used to be good back in the days of Red alert 2. But now, i got pwned by the CPU on easy, yeah easy, on the last mission of the GDI campaign.

I'm more of a FPS person now but i still don't finish all my games. Some games i haven't finished: Mass Effect, Call of Duty 4, The Darkness, Assassin's Creed, Gears of War, Okami and Company of Heroes. All these games are great game and i haven't beaten any of them. I am hoping in the summer i will focus more of my free time towards my single player games.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Producer Profile: Kanye West

I felt every once in a while i should put a post on a producer in rap and what they have produced.

So if anybody has met me in real life they know that i am a big big kanye fan. So i would like to talk about some of his production. First off, i'm not going to talk about the obvious ones on his albums but more of the ones many people don't know.

TI - Doin My Job
Before Kanye was famous he worked with TI on his album "Trap Musik." This one has Kanye filling the beats with a sleazy-saxophone sound and it is a very hot track.

Jay-z Takeover
This was were Kanye became famous as a producer. His productions on the Blueprint (which he always flaunts about it getting 5 mics on the source) were top notch. This one probably shines the most despite the mainstream popularity of Izzo because it uses a sample from the Doors -5 to 1. Pretty much proved that rock music can work with rap songs.

Monica - Knock Knock
This was one of kanye's first r&b songs he produced and it has a very cool twilighty feel to it. The remix was also hot cause of Kanye's rhymes.

Ludacris - Stand Up
I couldn't believe this was a kanye track until i saw who produced it. Probably sounds the least like a kanye track yet still catchy and pretty much became a club anthem.

Alicia Keys - You don't know my name
This is a track i argue is much better than "It Ain't you." The beautiful piano and the choir really help Alicia sing her heart out.

Petey Pablo - I swear
What i like about this song is that its completely different from the typical petey pablo songs (freek-a-leek). Instead with a real catcy guitar riff (i think it is a guitar), he talks about the love for his homies. Great kanye produced song.

Slum Village - Selfish
This is by far the best kanye-produced song. The piano riff is catchy and smooth. Great theme to the song and the ever amazing John Legend to sing the Chorus. I really want Kanye to make more songs like this.

213 - Another Summer
The most under appreciated song produced by Kanye. 213 was group with Snoop, Nate and Warren G and this song was just relaxing and soulful which basically screams Kanye produced track.

Mariah Carey - Stay the Night
This was one of the songs that really showcased Mariah voice talent in a very classy song. I think no one could really show that except Kanye. Kanye fills the track with his endless creations of piano riffs.

Mashonda - Hold Me
Another song which is amazing but not appreciated enough. Mashonda is Swiss Beatz wife and a great singer who was also on Cassidy's "Get No Better." This song not only had the Kanye R&B feel that i love (similar to the Monica song) but he raps a really cool verse. Mashonda is an amazing singer and this track really showcases it. Unfortunately the song didn't get big.

Teriyaki Boyz - I still love h.e.r.
Teriyaki Boyz always get the best producers. Since Kanye loves Bape stuff and TB are part of Bape music, there pretty much had to be a collaboration. After his first album Kanye really utilized orchestra to give his music a better sound and this can definitely be heard on this track. Plus he gives a great verse (plus i don't know what the TB are saying in their verses).

I think Kanye is an incredible producer and slowly becoming a really good rapper after his last album. I just can not wait for more tracks by him i pretty much like all the ones he makes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tech-Rap and Dances

So i have been browsing the web and i have started to see a trend in rap that i would like to share.

Rap is starting to use a lot of techno beats, its insane. I have heard so many on the radio. Don't get me wrong, i'm not saying this is bad, i'm just writing what i see.

I don't when this trend began but i remembered couple of years ago seeing UK rappers using techno beats. I've always that it would be a UK thing. But i feel Kanye's new album and Timbalands productions of Justin Timberlake and 50 cent's song has definetely helped it into the mainstream. Now i'm starting to notice old techno songs being used as beats. But i don't know if i can say its a good thing for the techno people.

I heard this new song from the most viewed today by a Miami group called Grind Mode called She's So Fly. I won't lie, i really feel the song but one thing that annoys me a little is along with this song comes a new dance...the jook. Check out the guy in the black darth vader shirt. And the Rock Band drums. Gotta love how things that was nerdy is becoming mainstreams. Nerds are taking over!!

Which comes to my next topic. There is never an end to these new dances. I thought we have passed that phase where we needed to apply a dance to a new song to make it appreciable to the public. Apparently Soulja Boy proved me wrong. I also heard a new E-40 song called Turf Drop. I thought going dumb and ghostriding were the only two things in hyphy movement. Apparently there is a dance called turfing. Can't wait to see if this catches on or not.

I'll try to post more, cause right now i have so much more to say but i feel this is enough.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

things have changed

wow, its been two years since the last time i wrote in this. I actually forgot i had one and it was funny to see the things i liked back then (very similar to what i like now) because that was the whole reason i created this.

I had to update to the new google-esque blogger because i was till on the old one.

Anyway thought i would post some things when i wanted to. Like new things i learn from the wonderful world wide web.

But i'm going to guess nobody reads this but me.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

back to talking about my first love...

So as you can see i haven't been blogging as much as i should (due to the amount of work i've had, as a matter of fact i have a midterm tomorrow, but i need a break) but now its November. This is the starting season of christmas shopping and also the Nintendo Wii AND the PS3. Everyone is waiting for these consoles, even Cartman (watch the latest South Park).

So there has been a lot of talk about who is gonna come out on top in this next generation of consoles. So i have to give my opinion on this. And i'll break this up into each console.

Xbox 360 -

I'll start with the one that is already there. Many people really expected that Microsoft could not survive in this market already dominated by Sony and Nintedo, but with a huge bank behind them, they pretty much proved everyone wrong. Say what you want, but the Xbox 360 is a great system, even if it is just a PC. Microsoft truly understands what it needs to do to stay in the gaming market, good games! One word, Halo. While you may not like the game, 10 million others do, and thats why it is at top. Not only that but the GTA series on there and many other top notch games.

But what i really feel helped Xbox bypass nintendo in the current generation is its understanding on the potential of online play and the way they utilized it. Xbox live is by far an amazing system. They pretty much understood that game developers don't want to spend time getting the servers up, or programming more stuff for the online portion. And with the new Xbox live arcade (where you play all these old games) and Achievements Microsoft has enticed more people to get the system. Everytime i see the system, i almost feel like buying one.


Since the first Playstation, Sony has been a big leader in gaming industry. There are enough exclusive titles to make a majority of players fall under Sony. GT series, God of War, Guitar Hero, MGS....list goes on. Sony has pushed the technological aspects of the industry demanding only the best graphics, gameplay and all aspects of gaming.

With the playstation 3, they have by far the most amazing console right now (graphically). But will it deliver?? i don't know. Many people believe that Sony will fall. I have a hard time believing that but this is by far one of their biggest risks. The problem is Sony has not realized that most gamers have budgets. $600 system is not cheap. I love the playstation, but i'm pretty sure i'm not going to buy one when it comes out but probably later when it is cheaper. ANd the six axis controller? I am one of those people skeptical about that cause it felt it was done to respond to nintendo's wii. (before any of you guys say i'm no nintendo fan i'm just saying what i think). I wish Sony all the good luck, because i hope they can get through this with flying colors.


Nintendo has been in games for a long time. Every game they make, they deliver. It doesn't have to be graphically great, its just a blast to play. People who play Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros know.

Nintendo wii is a system which makes sense. While many hardcore gamers want the best graphics, most casual gamers just want games that are fun and Nintedo is responding to that. The graphics aren't all that great which is a smart move (making the price of the system lower). Instead they focused on an aspect that needed to be changed for a long time. The Controller. Now FPS can finally feel like FPS (Red Steel and Metroid). I think one thing they are lacking is online system (i haven't heard of anything but if there is, do tell me). If that was there, it would have been an incredible system, but the controller and zelda is enough for many people to buy the wii (plus the price...$250!). But will people really enjoy this new way of gaming. Well i guess we have to wait till November 19th.

What is weird is that there is no real clear cut winner. My opinion is that Nintendo will finally regain its throne as the best after a long 10-15 years. But all of them look like they are gonna be a success. So i guess we just have to sit down and figure out the bigger question...

Which one do i buy?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Linux is too damn cool

Right now, i'm on Ubuntu. I have finally realized that linux is so much cooler. Now, you probably wonder, whats so great about linux, its hard to use. Let me go through all the reason it is good.

1) Free - FREE, absolutely free. You don't have to pay like $400 bucks for it, instead its absolutely free to use. Its SOOO free that you can go to the ubuntu website and order as many CDs as you want and shipping is FREE. (If you are wondering how they do this, it is cause when they first came out a prince gave them like 2 million dollars because he believed these things should definiteley be free.) Now there is stuff like Red Hat which you pay a bit, but there are many other distributions and many that are free.

2) Customization - Linux is all about customizing. If you don't like something about your computer experience well then do something about it. Right now, i have this Mac style interface but 10X better. I have a dock, which also is fun to play with because you can throw the icons around and it will come back to the dock. And i'm using a mod called Beryl, which does things like expose (in mac, where you can see all your windows) and there are some cool effects. One thing is when ever i open and close my windows in spins to the corner and fades, it looks awesome. I have also changed my icons so they look cooler.

3) Incredible support - There a thousands of people that all are linux pros. They are very helpful people and there is such a large group of people that are helpful.

3) puzzle - Ok for many people this is not a good point for linux, as a matter of fact, it is a bad point of linux. Linux is not for the person expecting something that can work right of the bat (although that hardly happens in windows too). Linux is difficult to install, many softwares we use today are not supported for linux and to get things working takes some time. But i look at it as a puzzle and a challenge. And hey it helps you learn linux, and there are many linux administrator that get the big bucks. Nothing is more satisfying when you finally able to get a video to work after 2 hours.

I guess the last one sums up all the bad things, but i find it too be a good thing, so hey, its great. But yea, i still have windows cause i need to use some stuff on it (and play games of course). But i really feel after coming to berkeley, i've become more nerdy, thanks to my fellow EECS people. But its all good, i still listen to gangster music.

On another note, here is a new song from Jay-Z from his new album. The lyrics are meh, but the Beats are OF the HOOK. Major props to just blaze.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Web 2.0 (the rebirth of the Interenet) and why it is good to be CS major

The internet is making a comeback. If you have not heard, Google has acquired YouTube this past week for about 1.65 Billion dollars. Billion people, Billion. Last Fall eBay bought Skype for 2.65 Billion dollars.

I was reading an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the difference and similarities of the 2000 Internet bubble and Web 2.0. The thing why the first Internet bubble didn't work is because they were just too early and not many people were on the internet at the time. Now according to the article, 42% of people in the US have high-speed internet and 75% of all US are regular interent users.

If you notice, MySpace was the first social network to really blow up, but it was not the first one to come up with this idea. One of the bigger sites before myspace was friendster, but it didn't become big. Why not? i think it was too realy for its time. People didn't realize the internet as a means of social networking. How did MySpace become soo big? That i feel is pure luck.

But the sensation of MySpace really made current generation avid internet users, one aspect that was needed in the internet. Next up is the interactivity of the interent. Here along comes AJAX and flash.

Ajax, is a web language which allows users to have more interactive websites, like for example when you click something like "show cart items" instead of opening a new page, a small box pops up on the same page.

One of the best examples of Ajax, and the first to make Ajax popular is Google Maps. Before in Mapquest, in order to see what is east of some map, it would have to reload the page. But with google maps, it just moves to that side, smoothly.

Flash has become bigger than ever, especially with the ability to stream music and video with better quality. This has made the internet exponentially better and has made sites like MySpace and YouTube major success stories.

The internet has become better and in the end everyone wins, website companies have more revenue and internet users have better websites to use. So why is it good to be a CS major?
When i started my college last year, the internet was not like this, things were barely starting to roll, but in terms of being a CS major, it wasn't that good, the Internet bubble was popped 4 years ago and many felt the internet wasn't really going anywhere.

Now with this new revenue, it will cause for more job openings. This year i went to a couple of career fairs and if you were dressed up, people would jump on you. Many people will argue that this has always been the case for any engineers, but i felt that now, there is a lot more.

The beauty about this is that you don't have to be a CS major to enjoy these things. Just a love to learn programming. Me and a friend of mine (Niels) talk about this stuff all the time. If any of you guys have ideas of a website, you should seriously look into it, and if so, you should learn web programming languages like PHP, AJAX, Ruby on Rails, Perl, Python....and any others. It is great to have a sense of job security. Web 2.0 train is starting to turn its wheels, and i plan to get a good seat on that train.