Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pre-Loading a Pre-Order

A while ago, I pre-ordered the new Need for Speed game: Most Wanted.  I received the following email recently:


My pre-order is available for pre-loading. Pre-loading!? Is this like pre-boarding a plane? Am I being Punk'd?  Sorta.  Basically, "pre-loading" means that you can download the software and have it ready to run on the official release date.  The software is locked until the publisher releases the software for you to use.

Really?? In today's world of electronic delivery, why do we even have specified release dates anymore? If I can download the software, then it's ready. Why put some artificial "hold" on it in the first place? Oh, because people buying it in the store will have a disadvantage? Well, duh.  Here's the problem I have with in-store purchasing these days: It doesn't matter.

That's right, if you buy software in the store, there is a VERY good chance that you will have to download a full-length update to the game anyway. So, why bother buying it? When I got Battlefield 3 as a gift, I loaded all 8 Gigs of it, then had to wait as the game was updated from the 'Net anyway. The physical media provided me NOTHING.  Don't get me wrong: I absolutely **HATE** this change in software delivery. If I choose to buy the media, I should be able to use it right out of the box.  For several years that was how things worked. Not anymore. So, why bother?

And, because electronic delivery is essentially the only way to get software now, then why bother with "pre-loading?" Once I download it, let me play it. All the hype and hoopla over release dates is manufactured. It is time to put it to bed. Release the game. If someone pre-orders and they can download it, then they've got it. Period. If there are hard-copy versions available to buy in the store, then let people buy it, install it, and run it. Since they will have to download a full-version update anyway, there is no benefit to making the electronic-delivery purchasers wait for some made-up "release date."

Now that I've had my chance to rant, I'll go pre-load my pre-order. Should take about 8 hours on our CenturyStinks 1.5mb DSL... Yeah, that's right. The fastest speed we have here is 1.5mb. Welcome to the reality of "broadband" in rural America.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

IPad Air...ball

At one point, the iPad Mini was rumored to have the name "iPad Air." At a $329 starting price point, they should have kept the name and added "ball" to the end of it. They completely missed the mark. Sure, die-hard fandomites will suck these up just because they are Apple. But, why would anyone in their right mind want one? Other 7-inch tablets are $199-$250. Meanwhile, the big brother is now on its fourth generation, thrown in as an aside to today's Mini launch.

I cannot possibly recommend the Mini to anyone: school or otherwise. Common Core specs aside, the Mini is an absolute waste of money. Want a smaller form factor? Get the new Touch. Want iPad functionality, get a real iPad for $70 more (even an iPad2 is a better device than the mini - and, since the 4 is out, the 3 will most likely drop in price). Apple could have absolutely walked away with the entire tablet market had the Mini been better-spec'd and lower-priced. Finally, Apple throws out a junk ball not seen since Newton. They shoot and miss.

The only saving grace for Apple: Windows 8 will surpass the Mini in absolute fail-ability. Two disastrous tech releases in one week. That's got to be some kind of record.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Zoom the Desktop on Mountain Lion

Apple, in its infinite wisdom, disabled the CTRL-SWIPE for zooming your desktop in Mountain Lion.  Why? Who knows!  The upside is that you can easily fix this:

System Preferences
Accessibility
Zoom

Once there, uncheck the first option. Select the second one (leaving Control, if you want or change it to whatever you want).

Here's a screenshot: