Category Archives: Fun Stuff

Tour through Google Data Centers with Street View

Google today announced they have created Street Views of some of their data centers that let you go through and see parts of the building most would never see. There is also a video showing things off also, but it’s fun to see what you can find that they put in for fun such as an Android guy off in some corner or a screen showing something for fun.

While you can’t go every place in the data centers you can look around a bit and see what it would be like to work in one of these buildings. Including things like showing the crews brake areas and some of the office areas. Right now the only data center you can walk though is Lenoir, NC but it looks like they may add more along with the outside.

Check out the video they made of the data center or the street map of it for you self. You can also get more data center images on the Google Data Center About page.

Somebody That I Used to Know – Old School Computer Remix – Video

The Verge pointed out this interesting video of old tech playing Somebody That I Use to Know using an old HP Scanjet 3C that makes a sound that changes based on the speed that is quite close to sounding like the words if you have herd the song. YouTube user BD594 seems to have made a few of these types of songs, so check them out also.

There is other scanners with music talent a comment pointed out the HP ScanJet 5100c doing Ode to Joy.

Natural Selection 2 Pre-Order on Steam

Looking for a new First Person Shooter or Real Time Strategy game? Then check out Natural Selection 2; this is an Alien vs. Humans game that is a rebuild to the original Half-Life modification called Natural Selection that lets players try to take over and build up resources to defeat the opposing team and take over a location. The Marine Frontiersmen have upgrades like jet packs, flamethrowers, exo suits with mini guns, and arc cannons that help them fight the aliens. The Aliens known as Kharaa infest the maps and have the ability to evolve into wall climbing Skulks, flying Lerks, slashing Fades, or crushing Onos.

Both teams have resource collection devices that give them the resources to upgrade their powers and give them new equipment or evolutions to help them fight the other team. The maps are large and each team has to try and control as much as they can until they can push the others base using different strategies to eliminate the other and win the game.

The game has been in beta for other the past year and is being developed by small Indie developer Unknown Worlds Entertainment who is made up of original developer Charlie Cleveland and others that built the original Natural Selection. They built their own game engine known as Spark that is made for fast development by using Lua to code the actual game in. The concept art and lots of the environment art was developed by Cory Strader, and original music composed by David John and Simon Chylinski.

I have been playing both the original and the beta of Natural Selection 2 for over a year now and have had fun playing along with the development of the game. The game relies on lots of teamwork and a commander who knows how to build strategies. The commander plays in a top down view and drops structures, researches upgrades, and supports there team players. Each member of the team also gets a set of personal resources they can use for weapons and evolutions and the number of resources they get is determined by how many Extractors or Harvesters the team has.

You can now Pre-Order the game on Steam for $24.99 and you get an upgrade to Digital Deluxe Edition that includes Natural Selection 2, a 1 hour soundtrack, a 40 page digital art book, excusive wallpapers and avatars, and exclusive in-game marine model. Once the game comes out the Deluxe Edition will go up to $40. Right now they are saying it will be release sometime in October, but I would without a thinking twice say that the date will be October 31 2012 Halloween, this is because that was the day they release the original Natural Selection.

This is a really fun game and once you learn it you will have hours of enjoyment, I have so go ahead and order today!

Black Mesa Half-Life 2 Mod

Good news for all you PC games out there, the rebuild of the classic game Half-Life using the Half-Life 2 engine called Source is set to release the first part of Black Mesa that they have finished. After 8 years of working on this project the community developed re-envisioning will be out to play September 14 2012, with what they say to be 8 to 10 hours of game play. While they don’t have all of the levels done in the later part of the story they wanted to release this much of the game so people could play and experience what they have made so far.

Half-Life the game was release November 19 1998, and was about a secret government researcher who was put into the middle of an alien outbreak that the military is just trying to cover up but with the help of fellow scientists they do what it takes to stop the aliens from invading earth. Half-Life 2 was released November 16 2004, and brings back the hero Gordon Freeman to find earth had been taken over by aliens. At the same time Half-Life 2 came out Valve the makers of Half-Life release a recompiled version of the original Half-Life but did no updates to the game. That’s where Black Mesa came in to rebuild the original story in modern mapping and game play.

The original sound track made by Joel Nielson is available to download with a donation selector on the download page. They also have a mock “Offer of Employment” letter to Dr. Freeman that adds some fun to the release. From the screen shots and videos I look forward to getting to play though the game that they have so far. I was one that enjoyed the original game and played though it many times. Half-Life was also responsible for a good portion of my gaming including mods such as Team-Fortress Classic, Natural-Selection, and some Counter-Strike, all who now have newer versions such as Team-Fortress 2, Natural-Selection 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offence.

Look forward to a game review of Black Mesa coming after the release September 14 2012!

SimCity Beta Open for Registration

If you are a SimCity fan or someone that has enjoyed the game in the past you can sign up for the beta of the new SimCity Closed Beta. From what I have seen it looks like the game is going to be fun and have lots of great updates that make it exciting along with more detail to the worlds and the game also includes Multiplayer mode so you can build a City with your friends. This beta is Windows only, but they will have a MAC version out on release.

The defining city simulation is back! Create the city you desire and make the choices that shape your city and power the Sims within it. Every decision, big or small, has real consequences.

To sign up for the beta check out the link below and login with an EA user and agree to the long long long agreement and fill out your gaming experience. The one problem you may have problems with is getting a “DxDiag” but it’s not hard, just go to C:\Windows\System32\dxdiag.exe and get a DirectX Diagnostics report by running that program and clicking “Save all information” then upload that file “DxDiag.txt” when asked.

Beta Link: http://www.simcity.com/en_US/beta/info

Tek4.ME My New Technology Blog

A few weeks ago I quit my normal crummy job that wasn’t helping me with my goal of working with computers, technology, or the internet. I had gotten my degree as an Information System Administrator but the job market for IT workers is very hard because there aren’t that many jobs where I live, but I had a few ideas on how I can still have an income.

First I have done some service calls for a company installing Internet, and those pay good for the work, I also have some friends that has been offering to get me doing the service calls they do but in my area. Because these calls aren’t consistent I plan to do some other stuff with my time when I’m not just taking care of my kids.

So my plan is to write on my Technology and Gadget blog Tek4.ME as much as I can. It will have topics such as news about upcoming Apple, Microsoft, Google, and other Companies new products and services. The blog will also have tips and tricks for best using your technology and online services. Some of the articles already up include my Hands on Review of the Nexus 7, information on why YouTube won’t be part of iOS 6, and what’s new in Windows Essentials 2012.

Finally I would also like to start building a few websites a month; this would be things like setting up and building a site using WordPress or Drupal for any type of business or organization. If interested check out more information at Grand Junction Computers web site.

Please follow us on RSS, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook for all the updates!

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Windows Essentials 2012 Update

If you have a Windows 7 computer you most likely had Windows Essentials installed by the maker or would want to get this set of applications that help do more with your Windows system. It was also called Windows Live Essentials but they seem to have dropped the “Live” from the name.

The main pack includes the following programs: Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Messenger, Mail, Writer, Outlook Connector, SkyDrive, and Family Safety. Lots of these applications were part of Windows in the past, but they now get updated more often than when Windows OS gets updated.

The two applications they are showing the biggest updates include Movie Maker and Photo Gallery. Movie Maker is a free video editing package that lets you easily edit home videos and put them up on sites such as YouTube.com or make them into DVDs. Photo Gallery is a photo organization and manipulation tool, it lets you fix problems with your images and do things like panoramas.

The update to Movie Maker includes a new Video Stabilization to reduce the shake that may be in your videos if the camera wasn’t on a tripod or a windy day. There are also more options for adding music from online music sites and how they are added to your video. They also improved adding text overlays to the videos so it will be easier to read. And finally they now by default encode video in H.264 rather than Windows Media Video making sharing easier.

As for the Photo Gallery they only did a few little updates such as making a Auto Collage and updating services you can export to.

For both applications they can now directly export to Vimeo, but most people will probably stick with YouTube because it’s a Gold Standard for sharing videos.

Another note that the other applications get bug fixes if you had them installed and will require you to restart your computer for them to be setup so expect that. But this is a nice set of additional applications that make using Windows better, there are a lot of other applications that do all of this but these integrate with Windows. In most cases you can do all of this Online now using Google or Office Live.

Download the Web Installer

Windows Essentials Web Site

Google IO 2012 Live!

Check out the Google IO 2012 Live Video and my G+ stream.

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