Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stuff & stuff

So, been on Froyo for half a week now. Guess it's OK... generally the phone feels "snappier" - jury's still out on whether it's improved the battery life. The WiFi calling is a mixed blessing - sometimes it works, and sometimes it pretends to work - other party can't hear me (which I think was one of the reasons the Froyo update for the Slide took so long, but apparently they didn't get it all worked out). And it still says "wifi calling uses plan minutes" - but we have "free wifi hotspot calling" from a grandfathered promotion on our phone plan, so it doesn't really (for me). Still could use more actual memory for the phone, but I haven't seen many "RAM upgrades" (or whatever) for the MyTouch 3G Slide. Oh well.

On the other hand, this was interesting: last night I called my dad to wish him happy birthday (yeah, he's a CPA, and his birthday is April 15). We eventually started talking about Simunomics, an interesting online game simulating "business." And, after a short while, I was talking to my dad on speakerphone, playing Simunomics on the phone's browser, and having a text-message conversation with a friend (whose power was out at the time). All while sitting in my recliner in the living room, with Xena on via Netflix on my PS3 (actually, Xena was paused; I won't be watching tonight, as my wife is out of town - I'm going to wait for her return before continuing; we're almost through with the entire show, about 10 or 12 episodes of the final season remaining). My, how technology has changed our world, and it just keeps marching on.

Now, for some tips to those of you using a Logitech GT Force Driving Wheel with GT5. Last year I (finally) got GT5 (I say "finally" as I'd pre-ordered it nearly a year before, and the release date just kept getting pushed back). With some of my Christmas money I bought the Logitech GT Force Driving Wheel, specifically for this game, and specifically to enter the Nissan GT Challenge. (I failed to make the cut in the challenge, in part due to the issues with the wheel; I was something like 9 seconds off the best pace of those who led the challenge, at least on the first of the three tracks.) At first I tried just putting the wheel in my lap, which was horrible. Eventually I attached it to a table-tray and set it up with a folding chair (the recliner wasn't conducive to working very well w/ the tray/wheel/pedal setup). Still found it quite annoying that the wheel didn't significantly improve my lap times any... in fact, it was easier to control the car with the standard PS3 controller. (Eventually my lap times did improve, but while faster, it was very difficult to control, and much less consistent than with the standard joystick controller.)

Well, I'd just about abandoned GT5 after that, instead playing Medal of Honor (with my brother, or my other brother, online, and sometimes with my 5-year-old nephew, who generally outperformed me in most cases). Today, though, GT5 has made a return to my play time. And the wheel. I've set up with the TV tray, and my "office" chair (works pretty well, actually, for this, although I really would like a Playseat). Was still finding the wheel awfully annoying, as it was way to easy to spin out the vehicles. Well, after running a few times, I finally decided to look at the options again, and found a setting for the wheel for amateur, professional, and simulation. This relates to how much the system "corrects" for oversteer. It was set to "amateur" - that is, the most "help" to correct an oversteering vehicle. Well, I looked at the descriptions, eventually decided to try "simulation," and instantly found a completely different controller. Gone was the unintentional spinout in every other corner, replaced by a smooth, realistic control/feedback system. (My theory is that both the controller/system and I were attempting to combat oversteer with countersteering, leading to sudden, excessive opposite-lock inputs that cause the vehicle to spin out in the opposite direction to the turn.) So, my tip is this: play with the various controller settings if you're not satisfied with your steering wheel's performance. (For GT5, it's under "options" on the "GT Mode" - left hand side of the screen.)

And if you want to give Simunomics a go, look me up - I'm in Bellerive, doing business as "None Yet, Inc." Why "None Yet?" Well, this is Microsoft's doing. Back when I had to reinstall Windows every other month, it would always ask me for my name and my company. For company, I always put "None Yet" (since this was a personal computer, and I don't yet own a company). Thus, anytime I start a company somewhere, I always call it "None Yet."

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