Xbox 360 Gamercard WordPress Plugin

I found this nice WordPress plugin by Oliver Baty which allows you to include your Xbox Live game card somewhere into your blog. I made some changes to the plugin which allows me to display my game card anywhere inside any of my entries. Now, I simply write [gamecard haugeoy] (don’t laugh at my score 🙂 )
[gamecard haugeoy]
or [gamecardfull haugeoy]
[gamecardfull haugeoy]
anywhere in my blog entries. Please remember to use HTML mode.

You may want to download the plugin with my modifications but please don’t blame Oliver Baty for the changes I have made and remember that the plugin is provided without any warranties.

Changes to the original plugin (version 1.3 beta)
Unfortunately my webhost does not provide Curl installed so I had to modify the plugin and make it use fopen instead. I replaced some of the code. Edit: the changes were included in this post but the code was removed because it caused some problems with WordPress 🙁

The Way it Should Be: Digital Distribution

Valve's digital distribution platform Steam

I have been a long time user and fan of Steam, Valves digital distribution platform for computer games. Steam makes buying reasonably priced games from a decent sized catalog of games, easy. Steam gives me lifetime backup of my games and I can download them whenever I want and play them from any computer with an internet connection.

There are a couple of other digital distribution services as well: Stardock and their Impulse platform and Direct2Drive to mention a few. I tested Stardock the other day and I was impressed or almost scared of how easy it is to buy and download a new game.

First, select the game you want to buy.

My cart at Stardock

Then, pay for it using Paypal (at Wikipedia) or any credit/debit card. Paypal is an electronic escrow service which I recommend for safe and easy payment on the Internet, especially if buying from ebay.

Checkout at Stardock

Finally, you download the game using Stardock’s Impulse platform. The download speed was very satisfying and I maxed out my internet connection the whole time.

Impulse, the distribution platform

This is how it should be done. Fast and easy sales and distribution. The price is relatively low, the time it takes to buy and download the game is minimal, the game will be automatically updated, I can uninstall it and download it later and I do not have to have a lot of DVDs floating around, fearing that they may get broken.

A PhD on Open Source on Open Source Part 3 – Setting up a Latex Thesis Template

In the previous part of this series I wrote about using Latex to write a thesis. I will now give stepwise instructions to how to set up a new project using Eclipse and Texlipse and how to use a thesis template. The template is a skeleton made for writing a thesis based on a collection of paper, not a monography. The Latex version can be downloaded and adapted to your own needs.

First, download and install Eclipse. Second, install Texlipse by following these instructions. Then follow the four steps below.

One, create a new project.

Create a new project

Two, select a Latex project.

Select a Latex project

Three, give the project a name.

Give the project a name

Four, select the output and source folders. I always use src and out and so does the template.

Select source (src) and output (out) folders

Five, extract the files from the template into the project’s folder under the your workspace. Finally, refresh  the content of your project.

Refresh project files

The project is now ready to be modified all you want. Good luck with your thesis 🙂

RTS or RT? World In Conflict

WiC - Linked in from Gamespy

Image linked in from GameSpy

The acclaimed World in Conflict (WiC) is a fun, beautiful and fast paced video game for the PC. It has a several infantry, armor and air units, a decent story, and good looking destructible environments, smoke, fire, water, and explosions. Never have artillery barrages and nuclear explosions been so beautiful on the PC.

Nevertheless, after finishing the single player campaign I am left with a feeling that something is missing. WiC is supposed to be a RTS/RTT game but where are the strategies and the tactics? Pounding your enemies to pieces using artillery and air strikes before rushing them with, freely replaceable, tanks does not require a lot of thinking nor strategy. When the pace of the game is so high and the penalty of loosing a tank is so small, the most important thing you need to think about is the placement of your artillery fire. Flanking and other tactics which were very useful in games like Company of Heroes are not really necessary and in many of the missions you are not given the luxury of time to apply any tactics as Ivan keeps coming in waves.

The developers of the game, our Swedish friends at Massive Entertainment, have done a good job creating a quite fun game even though it lacks some of the tactical/strategical aspects of other games. Norwegian Rangers are even included in the game, however with a quite poor English accent and I suspect our Swedish neighbours are trying to make fun of us.

I Do Not Write Email

Personally I write a lot of email. To a computer nerd, email is probably like the hammer to a carpenter. I am not really interested in politics, little less US politics but I got a bit worried when I read that US president candidate John McCain does not use email. The current president is probably not going to get any awards for technological inventions nor will two times runner up Al Gore for inventing the internet. Nevertheless, the US and US based companies have been an important part of the many computer related inventions we have today. Despite previous efforts what will happen if the next president is unable to benefit from the technology all of us depend on every day? Maybe it is better to vote for the other guy?