I’m having an enjoyable break. I still have work, but it’s work where I’m not bothered every 2 minutes, so I can actually get some stuff done.
Dabbling in drumming on my acoustic drums, which I had only played once since moving in to CSU. It’s totally different than electric drums, which have been feeling rather limiting recently. But I think that the electronics are forcing me to focus on my technique and rhythm, since they aren’t so boomy and loud to play. Less fun to play = more focus on improving my playing.
But banging the crap out of my Ludwigs today felt really good. I played some solo grooves for a while, then Rush, then The Who, then Steve Kimock. I’m in a classic rock phase where super-technical fast fills and ghost notes are less fun than just straight-up old rock beats with fat tom fills.
Having fun with Ubuntu Linux, as well. If OS X doesn’t come out for x86 systems in January (I have a completely unrefuted suspicion about this) I might opt to ditch Windows instead of upgrading to Vista. I’ve basically decided to experiment through the end of the semester, and then migrate to the system I’m happiest with over the winter. The contenders include XP Professional, Vista, Ubuntu 6.10, openSuSE 10.2, Fedora Core 6, and (maybe) OS X Leopard.
I’m also looking at the new video game consoles, as well. For the last ten years, I’ve been a straight-up Sony PlayStation gamer. I don’t play video games too much, but all of the really fun games have come out for PSX or PS2. Stuff like Gran Turismo (I’ve owned 1-4), Ape Escape, Crash Bandicoot, and the Final Fantasy series keep me coming back (every game I mentioned has also been Sony-exclusive). The Xbox gained a lot of network play with the likes of Halo, and many “simply fun” games have dominated the N64 and GameCube. I’ve never had much of a thing for first-person shooters or the bright colors of Mario Party 36.
But now there are next-gen consoles for each system. The Xbox 360, after some rough (and fiery) starts, has emerged as a great console overall. It’s really easy to program, and great games are coming out for it. Gears of War has to be the most beautiful game I’ve ever seen. And it’s a cheaper system, too- it’s been out for a year, Microsoft has already started to turn profits on these boxes, so prices are likely to go down sometime soon.
Enter the PlayStation 3. It has come a year after the 360, and pushes hardware limits so far that manufacturers are unable to make too many at a time. We’re talking about an 8-core PowerPC-based processor, plus a crazy 533-MHz graphics system. Compared to the 3-core 3.2GHz Xbox 360, this unit blows the competition away (and three cores is nothing to cry about!)
But that’s just hardware. Programming multithreaded games- forget 8 cores – is very difficult. Basically, once developers actually learn how to program the darned thing, it will definitely blow the 360 out of the water. But it’s gonna take a lot of time.
Not to mention that the PS3 costs $600. Forget it. My strategy for now will be to wait at least a year and see if the PS3 flops or flourishes. In the meantime, it’s really annoying because I have no PS2 of my own (it was the family box and I moved away) so all I have to game on is my old PSX emulator on the laptop. Which is totally fun- I mean come on, I have Final Fantasy VII! But I want to play XII now, and have nothing to play it on. I don’t want to wait a year or more to find out about the PS3 to be able to play these games. I would almost rather buy a 360 and a PS2 now (total: $429) than a PS3 later ($600).
I have the opportunity to score a $100 Xbox this week. No, I won’t tell you how. But if it doesn’t go through (limited supply) then I will wait the extra year to see if the PS3 is worth it.
Unless I cave and buy a PS2 just to play Final Fantasy XII and Gran Turismo 4.
Yes, I know that nobody is reading any more.