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Strip 513, Volume 3, Page 165

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< Piro >

Sanae and Akio (Nagisa's parents from Clannad)

"a little obsessed"

Saturday - January 24, 2004

[Piro] - 22:53:03 - [link here]

This is really kinda sad, when i think about it.

I've got a little 2:37 minute AVI file here that i've been watching over and over most of the day. It's not even really animated - most of the images are stills, and most of them i've seen before. The music is new - good stuff too ("Megumeru" by Eufonius) been listening to it most of the day, off and on. What is it? The opening for Key's new game Clannad that many of you know i've been looking forward to for quite a while now - or at least a sample of what it might be (I won't really know till i get the finished game).

Reminds me of my first exposure to Kanon - it was a AVI file of the opening. First time hearing the song "Last Regrets" which is still a fave of mine. Funny the things that inspire you. It's also sad how much i'm looking forward to something that isn't animated, is only 2d for the most part, and as far as i know doesn't introduce anything really groundbreaking or new as far as gameplay goes. Pretty sad how just the art and the mood of the game is enough to make me eagerly await it's release, as well as all the stuff that will come out connected to it (hmmm, goodies). It falls squarely into the genre of stuff that I like best. Word is that it will be released early this year. It's about time. God, I'm such a pathetic Keyfan. ^^;;

One of the problems with most American games these days, i think, is that developers feel the need to always push the envelope, to make things 'better', bigger framerates, better netcode, more advanced AI, more polygons, better weapons, etc. It's gotta be the most advanced, newest, the best game engine ever - one that require you to buy a new computer...

Bleah. That's a whole 'nother rant. Got other things to talk about first.

Regarding Megatokyo Volume 2 - As many of you already know, Megatokyo Volume 2 is out there, having been released last week. Some of you have even managed to find a copy, even in places like Australia and the UK :P. Thank you for the kind words about the book, and even the critiques - people are saying exactly what I figured they would about the short story included in the book :) No offense taken, guys, I know exactly what the problems with it are. :P

I've also received some irritated emails telling me that they had been told by various bookstores that the book had been delayed. That's not true - the book shipped early last week, it's just that it may take a while for the books to find their way thru distribution channels and onto some store shelves. Your local comic stores were probably be the first to get them. Other stores, like Amazon, Borders, Waldenbooks, etc, might take a little longer (some stores are telling people mid February, for instance - not sure if it will really take that long). The Meagtokyo / ThinkGeek store should have books early in the week, just waiting for our shipment of books to arrive.

As for pre-orders, Dark Horse has all the mailers labeled and ready to go - I think they started packing and shipping last Friday, so you can expect all of your books to ship no later than mid week. If your book doesn't arrive in three weeks, be sure to email me and I'll see what happened :)

I was going to rant today mostly about something that irritated the hell out of me the other day, which Seraphim alluded to in her rant - I'm a little irritated with Apple right now.

If you remember, I purchased my mac G4 system about a year ago, and I've had very few problems with it - it's been a great system to work with. Some things have bugged me (for instance, having to pay almost $200 for a system upgrade to a computer that was not even 9 months old when OS X 10.3 came out) but probably the most irritating thing that apple does is push the sale of their Applecare extended service plan crap.

Granted, I come from a 'I built it myself out of spare parts and stuff I purchased online and there is no hope in hell anyone can help me fix what is wrong' PC background, so sure, the idea of paying for a service plan is a bit irritating. What is REALLY irritating is that after making the decision to pay premium for the mac systems in the first place, that the applcare stuff is *not* cheap. $250 bucks for... pretty much nothing. At least not till after the one year warranty runs out, right?

Ok, you may also remember that we got Seraphim a 15" powerbook when they came out. Damn nice little laptop, she's been inseparable from it since we got it. First thing that sort of went wrong with it had to do with the defective screens they used for the first batches of 15" powerbooks (the infamous 'white spots' on the screen, if you follow the mac news stuff at all). Sure enough, her computer developed them. We decided to do nothing about it because she couldn't afford to not have her system for the two weeks or so it would take to repair it. That and I didn't feel like fighting with them about it. Other than that, it's been working fine. Fine till I got home from Japan, that is...

Literally, not 4 hrs after I walked in the door from my rather long and convoluted flight, the light on her screen flickers a few times, and goes out. Open and close the screen a few times, it flickers a little, but then stays off. I can see that the computer is working, just the backlight is out.

Yes, things do go wrong with machines, even good ones. Laptops have problems, it's a pain, but it happens. I checked the warranty, and it was what I expected - one year warranty on parts and labor and stuff. 90 days on phone support. I figure that's unimportant, not really needed anyway. The thing is broken, I just need to send it in and get it fixed.

So I call them up, and the first thing they try to do is sell me the fsking Applecare extended warranty plan. I wasn't interested in that - it's still under the 1 year warranty, let's get this fixed and I'll think about it. Once I got rid of him, the next guy prodded me about it again. What the hell? Stop trying to sell me the goddamn applecare! I want this thing fixed!

Turns out that since 90 days had passed, that it would cost me $49 just to talk to the tech person. I asked him if he was joking - its broken, it needs to be sent in for repairs. Of course, you see where this is going - they have to walk you thru all the 'its probably the idiot between the chair and the computer that is the problem so lets walk thru some diagonistics' crap - and for that, I had to pay 50 bucks (or, of course, pay $250 for Applecare, at that point the phone call would also be covered.) Screw that, I paid the fifty bucks. Really not happy at this point.

Then, after a series of diagnostics, all ending with 'I can't see anything on the screen, there's no backlight', I finally got them to process sending me a box to return the thing in. Took over 40 minutes on the phone. Seriously questioning my 'switch' at this point.

Anyways, time helps you cool off. Also the fact that I got a sales call later that day from some poor bastard at Apple who was contacting me regarding my FIRST mac purchase of the year - the G4, for which my 1 year warranty was almost up, and wanting to see if I wanted to get the extended plan for two more years. heh. Did I chew on HIM for a while. I'm getting cranky in my old age.

Dumb thing is, I did want to get the extended coverage for my main machine - it's a year old, it's nice to have - I just don't appreciate being pressured into it. The guy knocked 50 bucks off to cover my bad experience earlier that day. What sucks is that this only covers the one machine. Hell, what incentive do you have to buy more machines when you need to tack a whole extra $250 bucks onto each one just in case something breaks? Not a good way to keep customers like me happy.

I don't think I'm wrong not being happy about all this. I spent a lot more money switching to the mac platform than I would have sticking with the windoze world. I ponied up and paid for what needed buying, including new software, licenses where needed, etc. The whole Applecare thing just feels like an extra grab into my pocket that makes me feel pretty used. And add to this the fact that Seraphim is without her laptop for a good two weeks right in the middle of her school term. Not fun. Not at all.

Anyways, even so, I do like these machines, it's just feels kinda rotten to have this come down this way. I mean, it took the Clannad OP to cheer me up, for chrissakes. :P

Oh yea, need to talk about japan... ok, next rant :P Pretty sad how life moves in and just kicks you square in the butt soon as you get home. :) I filled up a whole rant and I've only been home a few days. Ah well, Wednesday then :P (once again, more rants, more comics this year - you all are sick of the promises, so I wont promise, I'll just do :P)

< Dom >

Oop ack!

"Wired living"

Wednesday - January 28, 2004

[Dom] - 23:30:00 - [link here]

Okay, okay, I promised Seven Samurai 20XX, but I felt more like ranting about work than about games, for once.

Working at Wired is definitely interesting. I knew that when I sat down for my interview and two of the editors said "Before anything else is said, we'd like to say that we're big fans", while my future boss looked at them oddly.

But oddly enough? It's a lot like working at GamePro, except that now I have a bigger toybox. Case in point, last week I went to see Nintendo show off Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (where it turned out I knew more about the game than the presenters... that was a little embarrassing), Metroid: Zero Mission (which is great looking) and Pokemon Colosseum. And then I started thinking about E3 registration. About then I started thinking "I DID change jobs, right?"

Then I went to the Sega event on Monday (meeting back up with a few of the GP guys, which was nice) and listened in on Sega announcing their upcoming lineup after Sonic Heroes, which includes Dororo, Samurai Jack and the game I'm most excited about, Astro Boy.

Unfortunately, I saw a writer for Viz grab Astro Boy's ass, which is something I could have lived a long, happy life without seeing. But at least I saw the game, and what I saw gave me the urge to play it, which is always a good sign. I would've been excited for Nightshade/Kunoichi, but... uh... I already own it. Oh well.

Oh yeah, I have to do that "writing" thing. I should get back to that. I'll write more, and more coherently, later.

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