Coded blue.

Friday 28 March 2003

Portrait w/ game controller

Pic of the day: Thrustmaster. Er, that's the hardware. I mean, the joystick thingie ... game controller, dangnabbit. I think I shall refer to it as a gamepad now. If gamepad has any ecchi connotations, I just don't want to know.

Hardware madness

OK, I am not quite sure what color to give this entry. Technically it should be green, I guess: This is everyday life, and mostly harmless. On the other hand, it is very computer geeky and most closely related to the blue game entries.

Today I bought a game pad, one of those controllers that you hold in both hands to control game machines. Except this one was made for the PC, not for the Xbox or Game Cube or whatever they are called. Yes, this is related to the hand thing, the pain in my wrist and fingers. I hope that by being able to hold my hands in front of me, I will be able to relax those muscles that I usually strain when using a mouse and keyboard.

Installing the Thrustmaster was a snap, literally. It is a USB device, so I just put it into one of the free USB ports. A few seconds later, the device was ready to use. For certain values of use. Dark Age of Camelot did not have any options for this kind of controller, not that I could see. Morrowind, on the other hand, had quite a lot of options. The game let me combine mouse, keyboard and joystick. There are still some functions that I can only perform with the mouse, such as moving things from one place to another. But central functions can be handled entirely with the control pad: Walking, jumping and running, casting a selected spell, drawing and using a weapon, opening doors and talking to people.

Since I am not used to this kind of game controllers, it was not as fast and easy as using only mouse and keyboard. Still, I got used to it to the point where I could walk from Balmora to Seyda Neen and dispatch whatever critters I met along the way. Not bad for the first hour with new controls!


More dramatic changes in hardware may be coming up. Computers with DVD burners have finally entered the Norwegian market at acceptable prices. With a DVD burner you can store an entire season of an anime on a couple of disks instead of a whole stack of CDs. Besides, the new generation of hard disks has arrived: 180 GB is now quite affordable, and the same are 2GHz CPUs and a Titanium 4 graphics card.

Actually, it is not like I need this right away. Or normally I wouldn't. The problem is my current desktop computer: It still insists that it has never heard of the combined CD and DVD player which came with it and which I used until last Sunday. Clearly this is a problem which requires a screwdriver. And my experience with handing things in for repair is that it takes time, a whole lot of time. A whole lot of time, and then some. Basically, I don't have the computer anymore. So it is either back to the laptop for an unknown stretch of time, or forward to a computer designed for file sharing.

I don't usually buy new computers this often. Then again, I don't usually change the way I use my computer drastically, either...

I am not sure whether the idea of buying a brand-new computer looks sillier and sillier because I talk about it, or just because it is getting later and later. Anyway, it is getting late, so I will just stop here.

(Still using the speech recognition software, so even writing this has taken a lot of time. This also explains the really weird typos that I won't discover unless I read it again next year.)

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Commute: Work or leisure?
Two years ago: A family of one (dimension)
Three years ago: Provincial
Four years ago: Spring and roleplaying

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