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Malik (7/26/10)

I never turn off my DS. Well, almost never. With the simple sleep mode of closing the screen, and how little battery life is drained in this mode, it makes no sense to ever turn off the system if you have constant access to a charger. Plus, when it can take about a minute or so to resume a game like DQ9 from an off system, and with how you can only make a complete save file in town, it's just easier to skip the on/off cycle.

Sadly, DQ9 is just annoying with this. You can, once per day, log in online to the online DQ9 store. This store offers a limited assortment of rare items for a good price (we're talking in game gold, and not some lame real money transaction). You log in, the game downloads a new inventory, and you buy stuff. To keep it slightly limited, you can only log in once per day. The problem is if you keep the system on for more than 24 hours and you clean out the store on the first day of playing. Then, if you log in again, the game downloads a new store inventory.

That should be all well and good...but then the inventory of the previous day remains. So, if you try to buy something, you'll find the store's items are all the same from the previous day, but probably it's all sold out due to you having bought everything already. So, then you turn off your game and log in again to try to refresh the inventory...only to be shown the same old items with a message telling you that you've already logged in for the day and have to wait.

Maybe I'm alone in my style of using the DS, but with the sleep system in place and working so well, it is too convenient to ignore. However, when games don't take into account this ability of the DS, it definitely makes me wonder if I'm the only person who's this lazy (lazy enough to not want to track down a save spot or deal with the time to load my game again every time I play).


Malik (7/28/10)

Why is it that the same type of crap constantly comes along as predictions of the future? I mean we have all sorts of "well informed predictions" about everything. If they all came true, it would be hard to say where we would be today...actually, no it wouldn't be. If every doomsday revelation of any sort came true, we'd be dead.

Just look at the 1950's and 1960's. Take any of these predictions and we'd all be having flying cars right now...useless flying cars since we'd all be dead from a nuclear strike from Russia. Go two decades years later, and we'd all be dead from a nuclear fallout from our own reactions going Chernobyl on us. Go another two decades and we're all dead from an Iranian nuclear strike. Actually, go back to the 1950's and we're still alive since we all knew duck-and-cover would stop a nuclear blast from hurting us. You can find these supposed informed prophecies all over the damned place.

My favorite is always the technology based ones. I mean right now we should all be playing video games in virtual reality setups that were science fiction in the 1980's and 90's (think Lawnmower Man or Virtuosity)...and are still science fiction today...but our modern sci-fi vision is a damned bit more impressive. There are also no longer any console wars since Sega and Nintendo merged into one giant company, or one defeated the other (let's pretend that there aren't three major console makers and that Sega didn't in fact destroy themselves).

The best of the best, however, always comes from where PCs should be today. I mean we'll never need more than 640kb of RAM, right? We'll also no longer be using PCs anymore, since they are outdated. We'll also all have super computers in the palm of our hands, via the Star Trek tricorder. Go back really far and we'll one day have computers in each home that only takes up the entire garage.

The one about desktops being gone is the top one for me. How many times have we heard it? I don't even know. However, we can still find talk of this sort today. I mean laptops are selling better than desktops right now. It is true, but it's also a blind style of perspective.

By a blind perspective, I mean I can say that we're doomed to freeze to death when I look outside at sun down. After all, the sun is leaving and now we're doomed to eternal cold. However, that's pretending that one observation equals the entire big picture. It's like reading a Where's Waldo book, finding Waldo, and then saying there were no other shenanigans on the page. You saw Waldo, but you didn't see anything else.

Waldo is the slower pace of desktop sales compared to laptops. Then again, we're in a different style of world today than we used to be. The main difference being two simple facts; we are in a world in which no one wants to slow down and sit still (we live in a short-hand, I want it now, I must go faster society), and that laptops have fallen greatly in price.

The forgotten fact is that laptops will always be behind desktops in technology. If you are a graphic designer of some sort, you need a desktop to keep up with evolving visual arts technologies. A laptop just cannot cut it when you want to make a deeply rendered 3D structure on a deadline. The same goes for gamers, who still do make up a large amount of PC users, who would rather push their games to maximum settings instead of going for "medium" on all visual settings. Desktops keep ahead of the PC technology curve far better than laptops, and also are far more upgradeable for the next round of technology. In other words, as long as technology improves, and you want to keep as modern in your use of technology as possible, you need a desktop to handle it. When DirectX 10 came along, if you wanted a graphics card to handle it, you were looking at a desktop. When DirectX 11 emerges in the future, you will either want a desktop to use it, or you will need to wait a good amount of time for a laptop to come along with such a video card.

To even hint that desktops are doomed is the same line of logic used in the past to say PCs will not be game machines in the near future. It just isn't based in reality.

Although, there is one interesting fact I find in that linked article; almost half of all Windows based desktops are four or more years old, while almost a fifth of laptops are less than a year old. I find this interesting because it shows more of the big picture than anything else. Laptops, for one thing, have pretty set expiration dates. Since laptops tend to start at lower levels of technology than an equally priced desktop, they will become obsolete quicker. Plus, laptops are getting cheaper all the time, so they are more attractive to the more casual of PC user (the type who wants to write documents, check email, surf the web, and watch videos on the run). Most of all, desktops can be fully upgraded, so a new $500-$1000 desktop is not needed when you can just periodically upgrade a single component for a fraction of the cost.

Anyway, I just had to rant about this. Even with a final line or two about how desktops will not go extinct immediately, this type of doomsday talk in technology is just the type of subject to annoy me. While the people who talk about this stuff in professional settings (like in major media outlets) may be able to claim they are technology experts, I think a divide exists in technology between those with "book smarts" and those with "street smarts". Users have "street smarts" enough to understand what they use and why they use it, while the "educated" types seem to rely too much on stats and not on practical ways to interpret such data.

Then again, these "educated" types are the ones who are "smart" enough to see that the rise in illegal downloads of music and videos is directly tied in to the loss of profits for record and movie studios. I mean it can't be that quality has gone down and people just don't want to pay for crap, that has gone up in price while dropping in quality. I mean that just goes against the stats that somehow tie in two non-binding data sets.


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