tirsdag, juni 27, 2006

Microsoft Office 2007 beta 2 (software)

Microsoft Office 2007 beta 2

While one can say most things about Microsoft products and solutions: There is no office beater in the horizon – only the next version from Microsoft. This time around Microsoft wants to re-invent the way you use office. A swift and dangerous move from Microsoft because for the first time since the office suite was created you might be lost when trying to do something? Or maybe you where lost many times already – and now you will have to learn it all over again?

Yes, but for the good. Now we all can take the office introduction courses all over again? Now your average office application will look at you – with strange eyes on Monday morning. Most of all its new and fresh and you might just be inspired to do something in office again. Be inspired to discover all those silly things that you thought where funny in beginning of office.

You have a fresh look. A fresh UI that tries to work for you. The way you like to work. And make every day easier for you. So you can spend more time on playing some silly game or maybe watch the Soccer World Cup.

Will it be worth another upgrade? Of course!

Will it change your productivity? Probably.

Will it be loaded with irritating bug and security holes? No reason to think otherwise.

(he he)

The best part about it is however that Microsoft lets us test Office 2007 beta 2 for free for a year – and to be honest – that is a great deal!

mandag, juni 26, 2006

VG Lista Top 20 Show (Concert)

This is of course all 14 year olds wet dream but does it has anything to offer for anyone else?

Yes. The list of band and artists that perform was quite strong and even if we had to listen to a bit of brainless teenager music – we also had some quite entertaining moments. The only drawback of course was really that it was only 1-2 songs per artist/band.

Highlights was of course Dum Dum Boys (they also played a full concert for Bellona’s 20 years celebration same night) and Seigmen!

The crazy Finnish guys from the European Song Contest: Lordi came as well. ”Hardrock Halleluja” something to think of to all the people that thought/thinks that Rock is the work of evil – mohahaha

Aylar was singing (playback or not – it doesn’t make much of a difference) Sabrina’s ”Boys” - the whole thing is more for the looks than the music.

All in all the show was well compiled and most of us enjoyed it a lot. At the end it had more than 100.000 viewers – and about 80% of them didn’t want to leave at the end of the show until they had heard just a few more songs.

All in all – This annual summer happening seems to get bigger every year. And is a good preparty to a hell of a night on the piss..

torsdag, juni 22, 2006

Galactic Civilization 2 (game)

I am weak for turn based strategy. Reason why? Its your own pace. No rush. Hours of fun and building up your own empire and squash all enemies down. Down under your feets.

While Galactic Civilization 1 was a lot of fun. And there for a big hit – even if it wasnt that polished. In its second installation we do get more of the same. Poished to death.

And weeeeee: it workes like a charm. In fact – this games building system is far better than the one in Civilization 4. Each turn is a week – instead of a year. Which gives you a fantastic of 52 turns a year. A game that will get you building and building – frenzy for weeks and years all the long.

The tech three is endless. Endless. You keep researching and yet there are a neverending list of things to research. Extremely hard to find your way trough thech. But yet more fun and challenging. The so called diplomatics and other happenings happens at a better and less irritating pace than in Civilization 4.

The graphics are .... great enough to keep me happy. Way better than the first installation. And it is easy to keep an overview of what’s happening – even when you have a huge size galaxy to conquer.

The music is good. It sounds like these people have been playing HOMM 4 too much though. But all in all good quality and a little like in Age of Wonders (I) the music has a few ”not so well” hidden references to other stuff.

The final verdict is.. This is just an awsome game. A Civilization beater! Sid Meier – play this game and learn till the next Civilization game... Or maybe you can make us a new Colonization soon??

Psychonauts (game)

After numerous recommendations to this game – I finally decided to give it a try. Reason: Being stuck with rainy days on the south coast.

Ok first things first. This is not a new Grim Fandango – it can never be as Grim Fandango is a adventure game and Psychonauts is a platformer. While Grim Fandango is hilarious and will make you weep of laughter – Psychonauts will make you smile

Psychonauts is great game – and all of the crazy and humors elements are there. But there is just not the same room for laughter and gags in a platformer – even if they try.

It is a 3D platformer loaded with craziness and fun. Plenty of power-ups and humor. And all the things that make you go further and then some. So yes it is hilarious! It is great! One of the best platformers ever made – and that is a achievement to remember as there is some truly excellent platformers already made.

I am not gonna say to much about the world you are thrown into as its all a part of the fun to and joy of the game. Really. Its best to know as little as possible. Let the game surprise you.

I promise you : this is one to buy and you will never stop playing until its finished.

Heroes of might magic 5 (game)

To begin with: To be a bit crude: This is basically HOMM3 remade in 3D. Then again it is more.

First of: I don’t think HOMM4 is a bad game at all. It is different. When they created HOMM4 they listened to a lot of the community. Mostly the wrong people(?) The people that didn’t find HOMM3 challenging anymore. They had played other games like Age Of Wonders (I) and wanted a different game. They wanted an updated game, hence HOMM4 plays very differently than the other games in the Heroes of Might and Magic universe.

This makes HOMM4 a very different challenge. Ok – yes it had bugs and yes you can easily exploit them. But if you don’t – it is still a quite capable game. Only things I really mind are that the gfx is such 14 year girlish...

But of course HOMM4 flopped. As when all the people had theirs say in what they wanted: They basically wanted something that didn’t feel like Heroes anymore – and so – a winning formula was lost..

Or was it?

In the development of HOMM5 (by the same people that gave us the challenging Etherlords II) they tried to get back to the original formula that is so addictive from HOMM1-3. But yet make it a game that is up to today’s standards.

Believe me: transferring a 2D game like this into something that is playable in 3D is not an easy task. And except for a few times when its really hard to see some things on the map. It has been done flawlessly and beautiful.

Will the new 3D graphic demand too much from you PC? Well yes and no. If I put everything on low including resolution. I can play it on my laptop with a Radeon 9600 mobile. Of course it will put off a few lowest end systems – that can not play it. And that is always a bit dangerous as 2D games like this always has a lot of players on low end systems.

The music is updated of course and beautiful. Some inspiration from HOMM4 we still se here. But overall a much more complete music experience.

No more to the game. Even if the game play is a lot like HOMM3 there is actually plenty of new stuff going on under the hood. In fact almost everything had been reinvented. And this requires us to slowly interpret a new way of playing and new strategies.

Somehow everything that is new, is so carefully implemented that it feels like: this is how its always been and meant to be. In fact its like the magician that tells you that you have never seen before but assures you that he has been waiting for you: and asks you ”Why took you so long?”

The gfx engine is beautiful. Not top notch. But it gives you several smiles seeing your opponents getting it big time: Being crushed by your forces.

There is of course much more to say about it. But I think time will show if HOMM5 can become as popular as HOMM3. I think it is a superior game – but times have changed. When it comes to strategies and of course the AI’s new aggressive level: it will make this into an interesting journey. In fact I think the brilliant balancing of this new Heroes just might attract new players to the field.

Oh and... sleepless nights.. here I come...

fredag, juni 09, 2006

The Norwegian Military Tattoo

Oh well, as many of my pervious colleagues as well as superiors can verify: I am not a parade kind of guy. But hey – I had heard nice things about Norwegian Military Tattoo for a long time (again we are talking about years) and so when Svein asked me to join I knew it was time.

The Norwegian Military Tattoo is a fresh (??) entertainment mix of parades, weapon drill, music and other (fitting) entertainment from all over the globe.
And yes. It works. It entertains us. Amazes us. And keeps us thrilled.

And in the end.. The HM the Kings Guards Band and Drill Team comes out and puts everything we’ve seen so far all to shame. And these soldiers are conscripts! That’s really amazing. And it makes us feel a bit proud of being Norwegians, and we can almost shed a tear of patriotism – almost.

(I would really hate to be that soldier that dropped that rifle)

All in all a great night and possible I will do it again. Depends on how keen I will be on parades (huh huh) for all of you that missed it – it is possible to get the DVD (extended version).