Hey there, this site is pretty old now. I've decided to leave it up as I put a lot of work into it and would hate to see it disappear.
Search results for: Neal Grosskopf
Neal Grosskopf @ 3/8/2007 10:53:27 PM
Category: Web Sites
For my very first review I will review Pagebuildr.com, a social networking site created by my former boss Jason Irish. Pagebuildr allows users to create their own templated website. It also allows users to add multiple page types such as blogs, forums, and image galleries.
The site looks great minus a few things here and there. The only drawbacks on the site are the page load times, which seems to take forever, ability to customize pages more, and the endless confirmation pages.
Pagebuildr would be a solid 9 or 10 if it can over come these problems. Besides these problems the site is really great and I'm willing to bet that in a few years there will be thousands of users using the site
Neal Grosskopf @ 3/14/2007 9:52:51 PM
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America is a really funny movie. Before I rented it I had my doubts. I had seen Ali G In Da House and I didn't find it that funny. I mean it had it's moments but that was it. The thing that makes Borat so great is that you actually believe Sacha Baron is a foreigner. He really should win some awards for this movie. He never once cracks a smile during the movie.
What makes the movie even better is that fact that most if not all the people in the movie, were getting tricked. This element of the movie reminded me quite a bit of the old Tom Green shows which still are some of the funniest stuff to date. The movie does have a few things that might offend the casual movie watcher so don't watch it if you're offended easily. I'm personally not so I found it quite funny. I give Borat a 9 out of 10.
Neal Grosskopf @ 4/3/2007 9:25:18 PM
I am reviewing the chewing gum Stride, yes the gum that claims to have a long lasting flavor. I thought being the gum connoisseur that I am I would review it. The size of the gum is between that of a Trident stick and that of the regular stick. It is sort of a larger version of the Trident gum stick. The price of it at the store I bought it at was $1.19 and it comes with 14 sticks. Regarding the flavor it does seem to last quite awhile. I have been chewing my piece for about 3-4 hours now and I can still detect a faint flavor. I would probably comepare it to Polar Ice which also last a very long time. The gum also appears not to deteriorate like other types do. I give it an 8/10.
Neal Grosskopf @ 5/14/2007 7:06:02 PM
After purchasing a new laptop I recently had the chance to use Windows Vista for the first time. We have all seen the annoying Mac ads about Windows Vista telling us why we shouldn't get it. After using it (on a brand new computer which makes me a bit bias) I like Windows Vista.
I really don't see any reason from somebody who purchases a new computer to uninstall Vista and put something else on there. Now for people without Vista I don't really see a reason for them to update either. I mean Windows XP was a really, really good OS compared to many of the others. XP did everything we wanted and better. Vista on the other hand is similar to XP but with pretty colors and such.
Some nice features in Vista are when you're navigating folders you can click in the address bar on folders 3 levels above and go directly to them. Another nice thing is the new various way you can view files while exploring them. Also there are the new gadgets sidebar taken from the Mac of course but it is still cool. I personally enjoy getting rss feeds updated constantly with my gadgets. One thing about the gadgets is they seem to loose focus when you click off of them and then they disappear. If there is such a feature it would be nice if they would appear above all other windows and remain open all the time.
Some of the downfalls of Vista are the annoying User Account Control popups (UAC) not to be confused with UAC. Basically UAC is a safeguard for Microsoft to cover their butts if your computer messes up via spyware or the new Bonzi Buddy. To the dumb computer user this will scare them, to the normal and advanced it will annoy them. While the Mac commercials like to rip on this over and over again it's really not a big deal. Go to the control panel, click a button and voila, your back to normal (just like Windows XP again). No more popups, no more Mac commercials.
So if you really like Windows XP and want Vista, I say buy it. If you are just curious I say wait until your next computer. If you have just bought a computer with Vista on it, Enjoy!
Neal Grosskopf @ 9/16/2007 3:20:34 PM
It's been quite awhile since something has been rated. (People feel free to use this feature) Also the problem has been that I haven't seen any movies worth reviewing and many of the one's I'm looking forward to aren't out on video yet or in theater. Regardless I'm rating Star Trek: The Original Series today. The fan boy in me started earlier this year, around February when I was at Emily's on a Saturday night when the show comes on at 12:30 on FOX. I decided to watch it since I like corny shows and movies.
It's now over a half a year later and I own all 3 seasons on DVD and all the original series movies (6 in all). So what's so great about it? It's not the special effects, those are horrible although I've always thought that special effects are way overrated. The reason I like Star Trek is because of the great writing, great stories and acting. In my opinion all the spin offs of Star Trek after the original series lacked in one of these categories but had great special effects. It just goes to show that if a show doesn't have a good story or acting, it really doesn't matter what it has.
One of the best things about the series is the relationship between Spock (logic) McCoy (emotion) and Captain Kirk who is a mix between the latter. Spock and McCoy argue back and forth in a effort to sway captain Kirk's choice. I would have to say that Spock is my favorite character on the show simply because there are many times that I wish I could be more like him (minus the pointy ears). The way he stays calm and collective during emergencies is something everybody could use.
Unfortunately after 3 seasons and almost 80 shows, the show was canceled mainly because NBC gave it a horrible slot in it's programming. I give Star Trek: The Original Series a 10/10.
Neal Grosskopf @ 10/23/2007 8:25:04 PM
28 Weeks Later is post apocalyptic movie based in Britain. It is the sequel to 28 Days Later and is set in the time period after that movie. The movie is loosely related to the zombie horror genre although the characters in the movie aren't technically zombies but infected people.
This movie seems to be a bit more on the action side than the horror side. The reason being for this is our main cast doesn't remain in one locale for very long in the movie unlike most other zombie movies where the cast is tied up in one building for the entire movie. By making the characters constantly on the move, it is harder to get to know them better and your attention is focused more on the events happening than the characters. This is a vital flaw in the movie. The action however is good and we are given an accurate sense that Britain has really been evacuated and that people are being brought back to it.
I would recommend this movie for the casual movie goer and horror fans. I think even non-horror fans might like the movie and horror fans should be pleased with it.
Compared to many of the other zombie genre movies coming out now days this one is ahead of the pack but is in no way ahead of the classics from the 70's and 80's. I give this movie a 8/10
Neal Grosskopf @ 12/2/2007 1:34:10 PM
Motion City Soundtrack's new cd Even If It Kills Me, unlike many bands, manages to stay true to it's previous cds. Too often now days, a band comes out with a new cd and it sounds completely different than anything they've done (cough, cough...Fallout Boy). MCS on the other hand stuck with what they are good at and didn't veer off the beaten path.
If you're new to the band, they are an pop punk/alternative/synth band on epitaph records.
Even If It Kills Me is their third LP. Of the 13 tracks on the cd, only a few are songs I don't like which is difficult for bands to do, in my opinion, since I am very picky when it comes to music. Most the songs on the cd are very upbeat and have very witty lyrics. I give the cd a 9/10.
If you want to share the love with me, preview the cd on Amazon.com
Neal Grosskopf @ 1/8/2008 7:05:23 PM
I recently purchased the PC video game Unreal Tournament 3. I'll start out by mentioning that the game requires a pretty powerful computer to run it. Fortunately my computer is able to handle the game with no problems.
The problem is the game is very, very buggy. I've been playing UT since the first version and none of them have gave me as much trouble as the current installment. The game is filled with bugs and constantly crashes for me. On the official Epic forum there is an entire 10 page post dedicated to the game's errors, most solutions involve completely whipping out your computer and making all sorts of changes to your graphics card. I am the type of user that never formats my hard drive or starts from scratch so those are not viable options. I constantly get errors either when starting the game or while half way through a match which is really annoying and is making me want to go back to Unreal 2004 and just enjoy life.
Also the game developers felt the need to "dumb" down the game's menu system. No longer is the game customizable via the menus. You now must sift through dozens of .ini files located in your my documents folder in order to make the simplest of changes. I think much of this is due to the fact that Epic made the same game for the PS3 and the Xbox 360 and I believe they tried to re-use as much code for them as they could. This meant that the PC version of the game lost while the console gamers won.
They also got rid of several game play modes and re-vamped the single player action. Really all they had to do was upgrade the graphics to the previous game and nobody would have complained! The game feels like they removed more features than they added.
There is one redeeming factor to the new game. The graphics. The graphics in the game are beautiful. This is hands down the best looking game I've played to date. The other good thing about the game is the new vehicles introduced to it. UT has always been known for it's great vehicles and they came through this time.
Despite those positive factors I give this game a 5/10. If Epic would have stuck to their guns and not tried to re-invent the wheel, they would have another perfect 10/10 game on their hands but until the bugs can be fixed, this game is a failure.
Neal Grosskopf @ 2/10/2008 7:05:08 PM
I recently got "The Thing" through my Blockbuster Online movie rentals by mistake (well out of order anyways) I decided to rent it because I was a big fan of his other movies such as Halloween 1 & 2 and Assault on Precinct 13.
The Thing is very similar to the movie Alien which came out around the same time. The only difference is it is set on earth in Antarctica. The setting in Antarctica helped the movie out a lot.
The movie is basically about an alien(s) that can morph into any living creature it encounters. There is a good amount of gore in the movie and the story seems pretty good as well.
It stars Kurt Russel who apparently did numerous movies with John Carpenter during the 80's and 90's. The rest of the cast is quite small so you can get to know the characters well enough in the movie as well.
The movie felt very long which was good because often times movies rush into things too quickly and don't give enough time to develop the characters and plot line very good.
I give The Thing a 9/10.
Neal Grosskopf @ 5/5/2008 6:50:01 PM
Day of the Dead is a 2008 remake of the original 1985 classic zombie movie by George Romero. Romero is known as the king of the living dead movies having fully created Night, Dawn, Day and Land of the Living Dead. With this being said, it is difficult for any remake of the classics to exceed their greatness.
As with most movies I get now days I come in expecting them to completely suck so that I am not let down. While watching this movie I kept that same attitude although I was never completely let down. There really wasn't that defining moment where I turned my back on the movie. On the flip side there also really wasn't that moment that fully entrenched me in the movie.
Day of the Dead made a few mistakes regarding the zombie movie genre. First of all the zombies were fast, in fact they weren't just fast, but possessed powers they could not possibly have once dead, such as running on ceilings. While I'm not totally against the idea of zombies being capable of running, I am against them being super human.
The next cardinal sin the movie made was it never slowed down. It was like the director/writer was insecure with their work, and had to keep the action consistently happening so as not to let the viewers down.
Just because it's a horror/end of times movie does not mean dialog gets thrown out the window. In fact the slowest parts of Romeo's films were probably the better parts. The whole idea of diverse people being confined to one area is what makes zombie movies so great. The struggle with each other, and not the zombies is what makes the movie.
Regarding the remake status of the movie, there is very little to talk about. Some characters had similar names or same names, and at one point the main characters were in a military bunker. While Day of the Dead (1985) was a great movie Day of the Dead (2008) was average. I give it a 7/10.
Neal Grosskopf @ 8/13/2008 8:43:34 PM
Call Wave is an voice mail replacement for cell phones. I get really terrible service on my cell phone where I currently live so I seldom check my voice messages. To top that off Verizon has one of the worst systems for listening to voice mails (which consists of listing off 100+ key combination to do random actions.) Another problem with them is their delay in alerting me when I have a voice message. Sometimes I'll get an alert on my phone only to find out somebody called 2 hours earlier, and I'll listen to my message and the phone will alert me again as if I didn't listen to it. Call Wave to the rescue.
Call Wave is a replacement for Verizon's crappy service. Call Wave will send me a text message AND an email every time I miss a call or receive a voice mail. Since I check my email more often than my phone this service works perfect for me. You can also turn of the text message alert option if you do not have a plan for texting.
Even more impressive are Call Waves features. In the email it sends me, It send a MP3 file with the voice message attached. It also gives me a link to immediately text message the caller back. Another feature it has is it gives me the location the caller called from, such as Appleton WI. This comes in really handy when trying to determine who the unknown caller was.
By moving my entire voice mail management system online, Call Wave works better for me. For those who still like the old fashioned way, you can still check your messages from your cell phone using Call Waves menu as well. I give it a 9 out of 10.
Neal Grosskopf @ 9/30/2008 9:04:40 PM
SPORE is the latest game from the creators of The Sims and Sim City. Having played both of those games and enjoying them, I thought I'd take a chance and buy this game as well.
The premise of the game is to evolve from a cellular organism to a full blown species capable of space travel. The game starts out by allowing you to customize the look of your cell.
After that you basically run around eating other cells and then you earn the ability to to upgrade your cell, either with weapons or friendly features. I of course chose weapons every time
to start my conquest of conquering everything in the game.
After awhile of that, which is probably the only boring part of the game, you move on to walking on land. There is a great deal of customization in this part of what your species looks like. With this stage you can start attacking other species and also add members to your gang of warriors.
After this the game zooms out more and allows you to control multiple members of your tribe at once. This part of the game is similar to real time strategy games. I found this part to be quite a bit of fun but not to hard to manage like some other games are.
After that you move to outer space. If anybody has watched Star Trek this part of the game is a lot like the original series. You travel from star system to star system contacting alien life forms and either helping them or conquering them.
I slowed down a bit at this stage and got a bit friendlier trying not to aggravate too many other life forms.
The game has got a rash of bad reviews on computer nerd sites due to its' anti-piracy DRM that is included with it. While DRM is evil and all, the game is really great and I would probably only care about the DRM
if I owned the game but didn't buy it.
The only complaints I have about the game is there is no way to reverse evolve or return to stages earlier in life (other than starting a new saved game) Sometimes I'd like to go back and be a tribe again.
I give SPORE a 9/10
Neal Grosskopf @ 2/5/2009 7:31:30 PM
Chris Retlich recently encouraged me to download VirtualBox which allows you to run a separate OS simultaneously with your default OS. I then decided to install Windows 7 beta which I had downloaded a few weeks earlier but did nothing with.
I already have Windows Vista and despite all the rumblings about it I haven't minded Vista all that much. I think it's more public perception than actual quality of Vista that is the problem. I wasn't expecting Windows 7 to be much of an improvement due to the fact that it's being released so quickly after Vista was released. The installation of Windows 7 went very quick and required very little input from me. When the OS booted the first thing I noticed was, "gee the taskbar looks different". One of the major changed Microsoft has made is the way the taskbar works. It now acts like a mix of the old versions of Windows and Mac OSX (or more like a glorified version of Nextstep which is what OSX is.) What this means is there is no longer a quick launch toolbar. What we have now is icons such as IE8 sitting in the taskbar automatically and when clicked, are the icon that you use to switch back to IE8.
Another useful thing in Windows 7 is the way you can interact with windowed programs. You can now drags windows to the top, left, or right of the screen and they will automatically resize in different ways. If you drag the window to the top of the screen it will automatically maximize. If you drag it to the left of the screen it will automatically consume the left half of the screen.
Another change is gadgets can now be undocked and moved around the screen freely rather than be stuck on the side. This was one of my biggest complaints about them in Vista and has been fixed. There also appears to be a whole slew of things in Windows 7 related to multi-touch which gives users with the proper hardward the ability to use their fingers/hands to manipulate Windows without a mouse.
Finally, Windows 7 has a better manager for UAC and also a better manager for all those annoying balloon tips that popup in the taskbar area.
Another feature I just recently discovered, is if you right click on a file, you're given the option to "recover previous version" which appears to be a version control feature that uses Windows Backup. It will be interesting to see how well this feature works.
Also another extremely needed feature in Windows is a screen shot generating tool. Windows 7 FINALLY has a tool that allows you to grab various regions of the screen and to save as an image file. Lets hope this will mean I won't have to waste my time at work generating screen shots for co-workers anymore.
So what sucks about Windows 7? My only complaint is that since they got rid of the quick launch toolbar, there is no longer an easy way to "show the desktop". They did create a really small button in the bottom left of the screen near the clock to accomplish this, but since I have such a large monitor it's too much mouse moving to quickly access it. I also am very displeased with Internet Explorer 8's rendering capabilities as it appears it is creating new rendering bugs that don't exist in IE6 or IE7 and also IE8's failure to emulate the rendering of IE7 and IE6 in capability mode. If IE8 is officially released as it is now, it will a worse browser than IE6 is.
I give Windows 7 a 9/10.
Neal Grosskopf @ 3/24/2009 9:55:38 PM
MP3tag is a MP3 tagging program. If you're not familiar with MP3 tagging, you should be, especially if you listen to a lot of music on a MP3 players such as the iPod or the Zune. MP3 tagging
is also useful if you have a lot of songs on your computer. If you properly tag your MP3 files your MP3 player will group/sort your files in a more logical manner which will
allow you to find the music you are looking for faster. This also holds true on your computer whether you are using iTunes or Windows Media player. Many people will tag their
music within iTunes or Windows Media player; the problem with this is, if you were to clear out your library within those programs you lose all your track information, because the programs do not
directly edit the MP3, but just store the tagging information in a separate database file. If you use a tagging program like MP3tag, you won't have to worry about this anymore.
I recently ripped my entire CD collection as WAV files (for backup) and then I ripped it all again as MP3 files. I did this because I plan to buy an MP3 player in the near future to basically put all the
music I own on (which in MP3 format, appears to be 35gb). Fortunately when I ripped the music as MP3's I ensured that my files were tagged. What I discovered was, while my ripped music was properly tagged, my other MP3 files on my computer were
not. There was one saving grace for me, which was that I had named almost all of my MP3 files in a similar structure i.e. ARTIST - TITLE.MP3.
MP3tag fortunately has a parsing feature that can loop through my MP3 file's naming convention and automatically tag my files. I first ensured that all my files were named according to my naming convention
and I then had MP3tag do the rest. It was really easy, and I managed to tag 2,000 MP3 files in a short amount of time.
Another cool feature of MP3tag is it can actually take your tag information and rename your MP3's file name. This was especially helpful when I had all the tagging information correct but had an inconsistent
MP3tag was also useful because I could 'mass tag' files by selecting them all at once, then in the left column apply a value to all of the files. MP3tag also comes with an auto-numbering track number
feature where I can automatically assign track numbers to a list of MP3 files. I found that many of my tags within the track number column were inconsistent such as 1/13, 1, 01 etc.
MP3tag also makes editing one-off file tags much easier than using the Windows interface which requires you to right-click on a file, go to details, and then edit the file there. With MP3tag I can
just down-click on a file and the tag automatically turns into a textbox. The program probably saved me 20 hours of time that it would have taken me to do, in the Windows interface.
There are a few cons when using MP3tag. It comes with a 'tag sources' feature which will try to identify your songs and auto tag them. It uses a few different sources to achieve this. I tried using the tool
but it appears to be very unreliable and difficult to use. For instance I can search for an album name by supplying the program with an artist and a title. The problem is, the results it returns only lists
album names, and not the artist and track name. Without those two columns I am unable to determine whether the album actually contains the track or not.
Another complaint I have is the program doesn't appear to be able to edit iTune/Apple's .M4A files. While I don't have many files in this format It's annoying that I can't edit them.
Overall, MP3tag is a really great program and I recommend it for anybody remotely interested in organizing their music. I give it a 9/10.
Neal Grosskopf @ 5/16/2009 9:30:18 PM
I just finished watching the re-boot of Star Trek: The Movie, so I figured I'd write a review on it. Like all remakes I was very skeptical of how good the movie would be. Too often in remakes, they lose the meaning of the original work. I think the Star Trek movie kept much of the original meaning, but also presented it in a much different way than any of the previous Star Trek TV shows or movies have before.
I'll first start our by reviewing the casting choices for the movie since characters are very important to the success of a remake. I think probably the character that was most like the original series was Dr. McCoy. It was almost a dead-on impersonation of DeForest Kelley from TOS except for his appearance. The next most similar character was Scotty. I would say that Spock also bore an extremely close resemblance to Lenard Nemoy that it was scary. The only difference with Spock was his voice was a bit different and that was hard to get over. Finally Captain Kirk, probably bore the least resemblance to the original. The characters appearance seemed a bit off, and his actions did as well. Overall, I think they did an excellent job with the casting, which had to of been a difficult task.
Next I'll review the special effects. This movies had by far the most complicated and advanced special effects I've ever seen in a movie. This is something not typical of any of the other Star Trek movies or shows and will probably annoy a few Star Wars fans who have always had the monopoly in this arena. J.J Abrams did a wonderful job creating some of the stunning scenery in the movie.
The plot of the movie was a bit confusing at first, and in a sneaky way, the movie does away with the timeline of events of the series by the use of time travel (in a Back to the Future sort of way). Because of this, Abrams won't have to worry about canon from the franchise by using an alternate timeline. This is both good and bad. It's good because we'll get fresh stories and won't have to strictly adhere to the past rules, but it could be bad because Abrams could start creating a really bad alternate storyline.
Here's a few other random thoughts about the movie. Spock quasi-dating Uhura was stupid and very unlikely for his character. The Romulans also did not look 'enough' like the Romulans we've seen in prior work. The interaction between Spock+Kirk+McCoy did a very, very good job in bearing resemblance to the original series, and in essence WAS the original series. It was extremely funny to see a 'Red Shirt' die in the movie (like the old shows).
Overall it was a really great movie, and I hope they decide to make sequels. I give it a 10/10.
Neal Grosskopf @ 10/6/2009 9:50:07 PM
I've always enjoyed playing old school videogames from my youth. I'm constantly reminded that graphics are nice, but gameplay is the most important factor in a game. Recently I got the itch to play Doom 2. I cranked up
my install of Windows XP, installed the game (if you can call it installing) and played it. Unfortunately the game is so old (almost 15 years) that I was unable to use the mouse in the game. After 15 minutes of
playing terribly, I looked for a solution. I first found a mouse driver but that didn't work. Next I tried an old school joystick I use to use but that didn't work either. Finally I found on a Doom wikia, a source
port called ZDoom.
Back in the 90's Id released the Doom source code for Linux. Some savvy people took this code and converted it for Windows. The next step was to enhance the game to make it playable with modern technology. One of these
enhancements was a source port called ZDoom.
ZDoom adds many of the features of modern first person shooters. You can now jump and crouch. The game also lets you define custom controller options (something that was lacking from the original Doom.) Because of this
I was able to apply my tried and true FPS controller settings to an old school game like Doom 2. In a way, this made me a super-player and made the game much more enjoyable.
Probably the coolest thing about ZDoom is the modders went back and updated many of the textures in the game for higher resolutions. I can now play Doom 2 fullscreen at 1920x1200 without extremely blurry graphics.
The graphics don't look earth shattering but I will say they look good enough that I can once again play the game without being distracted by the blurriness.
ZDoom also comes with an updated network play option that supposedly makes it easier to play against friends. I haven't tried this yet but it would be fun to play with friends.
A few other features the game includes is an updated HUD that is much more useful than the original Doom 2 HUD. The new one shows you your ammo for each weapon along with with other stats like secrets found/total secrets
and enemies killed/total enemies.
Overall ZDoom takes a classic game and makes it playable again along with a few modern conveniences we come to expect from modern FPS. I give it a 8/10.
Neal Grosskopf @ 4/8/2010 8:21:29 PM
I recently bought a new TV set that came with Netflix embedded into the TV's software. I had previously been using Blockbuster, mostly as just a holdover since all my movies were entered
using that service. A friend of mine recommended Netflix, and since it was integrated into my TV I gave it a try. Since then I have been quite satisfied with the service.
One of the best things about Netflix is I can pick out movies on my computer and they will show up on my TV letting me pick from them since my TV is hooked up to the internet.
Not all movies on the service are available this way, and not all of the movies available are in HD. Regardless, this is a really awesome option. In a way it's almost like I own
the movies because they can permanently sit in my streaming queue on my TV.
Also, while using Blockbuster I would often pick out obscure 80's horror movies that I'm interested in. It seemed like these movies were always stuck in "long wait" mode and half
of them never shipped. I have a feeling that Blockbuster didn't have these movies available in the first place and was just trying to lead me on with them. After using Netflix
I've found that all of these movies are available and immediately.
It seems like Netflix might be slightly faster with shipping times than Blockbuster. Overall I probably average about a movie once a week or sometimes twice a week. I do think that Netflix
ships my next movie quicker than Blockbuster did.
Overall I'm quite satisfied with Netflix and all of the devices they're available on. I could pick between my Xbox 360, Blu Ray player or TV set to watch movies on and I'm quite happy
with the available movies to choose from with the service. I give Netflix a 9/10
Neal Grosskopf @ 12/29/2010 6:36:19 PM
I'm reviewing my new Western Digital 150 GB VelociRaptor hard drive. What's special about this drive is it spins at 10,000 RPMs. Typical hard drives spin at 5,400 or 7,200 RPMs which means that they take longer to find data on the drive. While it may be related to much of the other improved hardware in my new computer, I have noticed that my computer now boots much faster and applications installed on my VelociRaptor run much faster than normal. Because of this I installed Windows 7 on my drive.
The one drawback to the drive is it will cost you a bit more money for the performance and you'll get less capacity for the price. I offset this by buying a 1 terrabyte drive to host the remainder of the files on my computer.
I give the Western Digital 150 GB VelociRaptor a 10/10.
Neal Grosskopf @ 10/26/2011 8:31:54 PM
I bought Dead Island a month ago after reading about it in some of my RSS feeds. I was a bit hesitant at first since I hadn't done a great deal of research on it first but, the game turned out to be a surprise and I've found it to be incredibly fun!
Dead island is a mix between a first person shooter (FPS) and an role playing game (RPG). One thing that sets it apart from other FPS games is that you almost exclusively using melee weapons (weapons that you hold in your hand and do not shoot). While there are guns in the game, they aren't very effective against the zombies. The guns can be used to set off explosives such as propane tanks though. The hand-to-hand combat really makes for a distinct game like no other out there.
The RPG elements allow the player to upgrade and customize their melee weapons making super weapons. Also, the player is allowed to upgrade their abilities to their choosing allowing for distinct gameplay each time you start the game over with a new character.
I've owned the game for little under a month but according to Steam I have 65 hours of gameplay into it. I'd this clearly states that the game is a classic in my library. I give it a 10/10.
Neal Grosskopf @ 5/16/2012 8:15:52 PM
Pop Punk's not dead? For the last 10 years the genre of pop punk has been dying a slow death. In the early 2000's Emo, Screamo and Metalcore took over as the predominant genre in the scene and because of that, pretty much every pop punk either disbanded or converted to another genre. Probably the best example of this is Blink 182. Their self titled CD wasn't even close to pop punk, the genre they helped create and popularize. So for the last 7 years, I've been listening to pre-2005 bands.
Enter The Wonder Years. I did a random Google search one day on the term "pop punk's dead". What I found is during the last couple years there's been a revival and The Wonder Years are one of the bands leading the charge. Their second CD, The Upsides is a perfect example. After my first listen, It sounds eerily like The Starting Line's "Say It Like You Mean It" which has always been on my list of top 10 CDs.
No surprise, the band grew up a mere 30 miles away from The Starting Line in a Philadelphia suburb. While the lead singer sounds almost exactly like Kenny from The Starting Line, the band does have some differentiators.
The Wonder Years are a bit faster in tempo than The Starting Line. Their lyrics are also a bit more personal to the lead singer. He frequently makes references to friends, inside jokes and locations that the average person would know nothing about which is somewhat of a drawback but I've never been too lyrically focused with music.
The guitar riffs are the real standout on this CD. It's melodic punk to the extreme. There is seldom a second on the CD where there isn't at least two guitars playing two separate melodies to combine them into one great sound.
The overall arrangement and song selection is pretty good. There are 2-3 songs that I don't "love" but when compared to other bands releasing music now days they are well ahead of them. The songs that are my favorites are REALLY my favorites. They're of the charts on a 1-10 rating. Say, a 15/10. I've found that their faster songs seems to fit into this category more than their slower songs.
My favorite songs are well spread out through the track listing:
2. Logan Circle
4. Dynamite Shovel
7. Hostels & Brothels
9. This Party Sucks
11. Washington Square Park
Overall I give The Upsides a 10 out of 10! It's by far my favorite CD purchase of this year and I'm extremely happy to have run across this band.
Sweet! Installing my OS on it really makes Windows run fast!
That's a nice system Chris. I'm assuming as long as you have a library card that is free? Now if you could just get them to mail the DVD to your house.
That's pretty cool. It's crazy how such an old game like Doom is still going thanks to open source.
I didn't want to post the full title in there because it would be a bit lengthy and maybe span more than a line. The movie is really funny. You should try going to a video store and renting it. Our local video store has numerous copies of the movie on hand.
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