Monthly Archives: June 2009

Scratching Backs

I helped out my mother-in-law, [Anne Brown]( with a computer overhaul. It took me the better part of two weeks, working on nights and weekends only, to strip the computer down to the hard drive and build it back from scratch.

Burl and Anne were great about the whole thing. We cleared off plenty of old software, moved pictures and other files around to make things easier and even got some bonus tasks mixed in. Their ink jet printer had stopped printing black some time ago, so a good cleaning of the print head with rubbing alcohol made all of the difference. I also put their laptop in the same “workgroup” as the desktop and shared the newly-cleaned printer. That will allow Anne to sit in the family room and print patterns for [pretty dresses for nieces]( while surfing the web.

I get a lot of good-natured teasing about my “geek brain” but it sure feels good to give back to some of the people who’ve supported me throughout the years. Anne and Burl have really been there in some tight spots, so computer work is some of the least I can do to say “thanks”.

Thoughts on the new Halo 3: ODST trailer

Bungie released a new trailer for Halo 3: ODST today at the E3 trade conference. I had a quick chance to watch it over lunch and it looks like there are some interesting bits:

* You can hold 3 standard greadades at once
* Landing from a jump incurs a health damage like the original Halo. There’s a health indicator at the top of the HUD that drops slightly when you hit the ground.
* You’ll use terminals and the Superintendent to navigate the city and possible do game saves
* Swapping weapons is done with the “B” button and not the “Y” button. Wonder what new function we might get? Since you’re not a Spartan, will “melee” even apply?
* Around 0:22 in to the trailer, you’ll see that you land separate from your team and are stuck somewhere high, forcing you to blow the hatch and jump down.
* HUD has a traditional compass and waypoint indicator like war-type FPS games like Call of Duty.
* Night vision adds outlines to highlight object shapes.
* What’s up with the “Remember Reach” spraypainted on the wall?
* Note at about 00:37 in to the trailer, the ODST trooper accesses the Superintendent through a data terminal that looks like a payphone. That’s got to be a way to leave messages for your buddies (so you know where to meet) and do mundane save tasks or get a map. Anyone remember the terminal behavior in Marathon? Kinda like that.
* At 1:13 in the trailer, you see a bit of footage from Firefight. Note the list of modifier skulls with the enabled one highlighted. If you’re in to gaming for score, Firefight is for you.