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September 2, 2005 20:41 - The PDA Pet Trick Failure

This PDA pet trick failure yesterday afternoon was a nasty incident for all parties involved.

Warren, my company's most recent hire, started this whole thing. He'd been bursting at the seams for days, and a boxer-pda-gameslot of people had become curious at this point.

People stopped asking when he answered evasively each time.

Warren was now saying that Prankster Mike (view Aug. 22 entry) and myself simply had to come over to his house.

I was initially reluctant as I had a lot of work to do, but Mike and I piled into his ancient Jetta at lunch as he only lives in a high-rise about 5 blocks away from work.

My trepidation about the whole trip had been warranted.

I knew that Bluto, his boxer, had been to obedience school last month, but I was still totally unprepared for what came next.

In quick succession Bluto sat, shook hands and rolled over on command. Mike and I were duly impressed. I knew that Bluto had been mischievous and had heard stories about his proclivity towards tearing up the place on occasion.

Then Warren removed his iPAQ h2200 and held his stylus out to Bluto.

To our horror, Bluto promptly snatched up the stylus and swallowed it.

He immediately started gagging and making a strange hacking noise. I was probably in shock because all I could do was look at his massive neck and marvel that it could stretch so long as he retched and convulsed in agony.

Warren was trying to put his hand down Bluto's massive jaw, which made matters worse as the choking became much deeper and more pronounced. Gobs of saliva were now dropping to the floor.

Mike later told me that he was looking at his Motorola deliberating whether 911 took canine emergency calls. Looks like we were all a little disconcerted. Warren was trying fruitlessly to perform some crude version of the Heimlich, but Bluto kept trying to get away.

We rushed him to the vet, with the doctor and Warren later poring over x-rays of Bluto's esophagus with the stylus firmly lodged out of reach.

Bluto was thankfully okay after his ordeal. When Warren drove us back to work, he claimed that he'd trained Bluto to hold the stylus in his mouth and click on the top left corner of his PDA screen.

The logistics involved lots of tiny bits of sodden dog chow and numerous protective PDA display covers.

He'd planned to make it seem like Bluto was launching PDA games via strategic icon positioning on the screen to fake superior doggy intellect. It turns out the trick was on poor Bluto.

He'd trained him for weeks, but not enough, apparently. The smell of Warren's hastily scarfed lunch while driving had remained on his hands, making his stylus appear more like a delicious soft chicken taco than a thin, metal and entirely inedible object.

Mike and I haven't really told anyone else at work. New recruits find acute embarrassment tough enough as it is.

September 3, 2005 18:13 - My PDA Ring Wraith Encounter

My PDA ring wraith encounter took place at the SFX Science Fiction Expo in downtown Toronto.

I felt compelled to attend as celebrities on the roster included Elijah "Frodo" Wood, and Tim "Tuvok" Russ from Star pocket-pc-ring-wraithTrek Voyager. It's a sheer, unadulterated geekfest. My presence has become almost expected every year.

I thought it was amusing that you could only see James "Spike" Marsters by coughing up an absorbitant, additional $80.

As much as I love watching Buffy and the Scooby Gang get down and dirty against vampires, it's an enigma how these things are decided.

Although the Expo started on the previous Friday, my wife Jessie, her friend Patty and myself wound up at the National Convention Centre doors at about 1:30.

This is because Patty is perpetually late. I'd taken to telling her that events start 45 minutes later than they actually did. This proved to be of no use as she still overshoots her punctuality targets by about 20 minutes each time.

Thing were already starting to wind down, but there were still a few weird things to see. Patrons with fake open neck wounds and large wookies, for example. I was sharply reminded of my weird encounter on the subway a couple weeks back (Aug 20 blog entry) but a few of these costumes were much bigger.

I'm still mystified as to why people actually pay to walk around looking like decaying corpses.

I was taking pics with my cameraphone and transferring them to my iPAQ 4150 in between Pocket PC Jawbreaker game bouts for mental notes on an upcoming article.

A seven foot tall ring wraith mannequin was in the middle of the display booths. I admired the black, tattered robes and the way that the dark cowl completely masked its face.

I was half-glancing at the PDA as I peered closer to have a better look at the costume when the immobile, mannequin-like creature moved his talon-like razor fingers and tapped me on the shoulder.

I jumped a few feet and very nearly experienced temporary incontinence. A small crowd laughed from a few feet away.

Inexplicably, Jessie demanded that I take a photo of herself with the ring wraith as a keepsake for this humbling moment.

Now they stare at me mockingly, side by side, on a daily basis from my Jessie's desktop PC as she's made it her wallpaper; a blurry, humiliating tribute.

September 4, 2005 22:08 - Why Play Bejeweled 2 Game in 'Puzzle Mode'?

Bejeweled 2 game for the Pocket PC has thrown in the Puzzle mode in addition to Action, Endless and Classic. bejeweled-2-puzzle-modeThere's no gem-swapping time limit, and no scoring system, either. There may not seem to be much point.

Puzzle Mode will prove to be of more benefit than you think.

The strategies that you employ while you solve the gem puzzles will not grant you strange, ESP-like powers when it comes to predicting those 5 gem Hypercube formations.

However, this advanced guide will definitely hone your colourful gem matching abilities in a number of ways.

You'll find my newly added insights in the Bejeweled 2 Puzzle Mode guide.


September 5, 2005 22:07 - Age of Empires Gold Pocket PC Rants

While playing Age of Empires on my desktop PC, the thought never occurred to me that one of the heavyweight age-of-empires-pocket-pc-tool-agechampions of the real-time strategy gaming industry would ever be ported to the Pocket PC.

It received a lot of kudos all around, but I'm never satisfied until I've picked out all the niggling issues that some folks tend to overlook and post them to my site. Along with the positive, of course, provided that there is any worth mentioning.

Some of my reviews can become almost criminally abusive, much to the chagrin of nasty little PPC game developers intent on dishing up the most foul smelling concoctions that you've ever had the displeasure of downloading.

If you'd like to view a tasty sample of exactly why some PDA game developers apprehensively peruse this site, my Putrid Pocket PC Award should give you some indication.

I've put Age of Empires through its gaming paces in my newest update, providing you with some info just in case you never thought pitting the miniature forces of Macedonia against the Romans on your PDA.

My Age of Empires Gold Edition details outlines the weak and strong points of this real-time strategy contender.

September 6, 2005 23:56 - AoE for Pocket PC-- Real-Time Strategy Sporting Event?

AoE for Pocket PC can be just as exciting as a sporting event. I'm serious.

age-of-empires-egypt-elephant-herdJust picture the Egyptians vs. the Macedonians, out on the baseball diamond. It's the bottom of the ninth, and the coliseum is jam-packed with nobles.

A Macedonian Slinger unit sends out the blistering fast pitch, and the Egyptian Swordsman cracks it for a straight homer.

As the latter breaks into his easy jog, a passing armoured elephant tramples him into the ground on second base.

A sad, tragic case of death by friendly fire.

Well, take away the field and all baseball associations, and that about sums up the majority of my day as my Pocket PC computer's artifical intelligence and myself duked it out for world conquest.

My latest upload explores strictly AoE Rise of Rome expansion territory and whether it actually adds any value to the standalone Age of Empires Pocket PC version.

September 7, 2005 19:09 - Pocket PC Leads to Gas Theft Musings

My iPAQ 4150 led me to briefly entertain thoughts of risky criminal behaviour today.

Just about the only couple of things to distract me from my steadfast PDA gaming these days are the Toronto Global gas-pumpNews announcements regarding Hurricane Katrina and gas prices, even though the latter pales in importance to the former.

They're both arresting enough to sufficiently depress me too much momentarily to play PDA games, until I remind myself that

a) I'm the webmaster of a PDA games guide site, so I owe it to my rapidly increasing readership to constantly update, and

b) All games, whether it be desktop PC or PDA based, are excellent if you really want to escape from mind-numbing despondency caused by current world events

The latter is especially true. If I'm in the Tim Horton's line waiting for my Large Wussy Special (see Aug. 29 entry), I usually play a quick shooter or some good old Bejeweled 2 if I get there a bit late and the lineup is extra long.

It takes the edge off of morose-sounding radio news broadcasts a little bit while keeping current with world issues.

For some reason, it never occurs to me to just skip coffee and maintain some semblance of punctuality. That's probably because I'll be an unproductive, cranky mess.

Those are the days that Prankster Mike doesn't have me in his cross-hairs. Hey, I'm not complaining. If you've been following my blog, you'll know what a nuisance he can be.

It's easy to prioritize when you start to complain about $1.29CDN per litre and then realize that the vast majority of the displaced in New Orleans don't own cars anymore, much less homes.

Still, after using a gas mileage calculator on my Pocket PC and grasping the enormity of the expense that I faced in the coming days, my thoughts turned to gas theft; a popularized, contemporary form of dine-and-dash, or rather, pump-and-peel-out.

Gas theft is actually on the rise, according to a recent CTV news story. How absolutely, positively shocking that a 40% gas price hike would result in such decadent, despicable behaviour.

The only discouraging part would be burning $20.00 worth of gas in five blocks with some flatout-style driving while I attempted to evade the Ontario Provincial Police.

September 8, 2005 07:25 - Bejeweled 2 Game for PPC: 'Endless' Strategy Needed?

If you're playing the Bejeweled 2 PPC puzzle game in Endless mode, you probably don't need to bring your game face on; that's why I haven't posted any of my unique strategy guides for this yet.

You can swap those little coloured gems forever if you really love those big, juicy high scores.

I've given the puzzle mode article a bit of a facelift to provide for some easier tips and tricks assimilation.

September 9, 2005 17:18 - Too Many PDA Accessories

When is it too many PDA accessories? I can safely say that I'm the poster-boy for Geek Weekly. This is largely pda-utility-beltbecause of my credo: if it can attach to my belt, on it goes.

Sometimes unfortunate accidents happen as a result (see Aug. 18 entry).

My belt vaguely reminds most folks of crimefighting vigilantes dressed like large bats. All I need is a nice looking cowl.

Don't get me wrong, I command a lot of respect for my IT knowledge at work, but I've heard more than one comment about having a grappling hook added, just to provide a bit more symmetry. Knowledge and respect aren't always present.

I have a circular, blue Bluetooth wireless headset case. The headset folds nicely into it, so it's clipped on right now. I dial contacts with it from my iPaq, so on it goes.

I have my Rogers v600 quad-band, my pride and joy, clipped on as well. I might get a call or two. It's also Bluetooth capable.

My iPAQ 4150 fits lengthwise into a case on my left-- my beloved Manbag, according to my colleague Darrin. More commonly, less clever ones refer to it as a PDA purse.

I've also got my pager on there, just in case, God forbid, an IT auditor had to be summoned in the middle of the night. As you can imagine, I rarely hear it's annoying, incessant chirping.

I guess there just isn't a huge need for Information Technology process reports in the middle of the night.

I'm simply not really down when it comes to my attire, so it's open season as soon as my colleagues discovered that I'm good-natured enough to rib. It's just that they do it to excess, sometimes.

My habits, unfortunately, are not hip enough either.

I've embarrassed my wife on several occasions with my proclivity towards playing PDA games anywhere, regardless of venue: my in-laws, church, weddings ...let's just say that nothing is sacred.

The PDA utility belt must come.

It's just that it's so gosh-darned handy. If you're held up anywhere, whip out your Journada, Axim, Viewsonic or iPaq and you're immediately playing classic arcade PDA Pac Man, or the Jawbreaker puzzle game, or an action-adventure game like Myst.

The possibilities are endless, and books are just bulkier.

E-books are convenient on an airplane, especially if you fly economy class and don't really want a Dell 17" widescreen laptop utilizing every square inch of real estate.

I just hope my manager never gives me a Blackberry. I guess I could always squish all my peripherals a bit closer together.

It's only too many when there's absolutely no more space remaining.

September 10, 2005 00:05 - 3D Pocket PC Street Racer Goes Gold

I've got some late-breaking PDA game news for racing game fans. OmniGSoft's Speed City has just been released. It purports to be all about bike racing in the tough concrete jungle's underground scene. I'm undertaking this trial with some reservation, largely... (Read Article)

September 10, 2005 12:40 - The Cheaters AoE PPC Guide

If you're a big-time AoE cheater, my latest site update outlines Pocket PC and desktop AoE cheats for this excellent real-time strategy port for the PDA.

Just don't abuse it by building a huge army of villagers and running amok. You'll find that it doesn't do you an ounce of good when deadly catapults start heading your way.

September 11, 2005 01:13 - Cockroach Disrupts Pocket PC Session

A filthy cockroach has unfortunately disrupted my latest Pocket PC gaming session.

I had been adding some screenshots for the Age of Empires Pocket PC article when my wife Jessie reported a pda-cockroach-encountersighting.

A disgusting one-and-a-half-inch sighting, that is.

You've got to expect some kind of infestation problem if you live anywhere near the city's core, such as my proximity to downtown Toronto.

Still, it's been a number of years since the last roach sighting.

I caught the tail end of a Global News story yesterday that I paid scant attention to-- something about enacting bylaws to repeal the use of insecticides, which in turn would result in a cochroach population explosion.

It's almost as if the cochroach had immediately heard the news and gleefully hopped the next garbage truck to my apartment, chortling with mirth at the sheer revulsion it was about to spring on its occupants.

It's just that I can't help thinking that for every one caught and killed, there's a whole fugitive family just waiting, feelers twitching.

So I've cleaned everything possible with bleach several times in feverish, obsessive-compulsive need, and I'll be buying the best roach bait money can buy.

Tiny nocturnal visitors won't be interfering with my PDA gaming.

September 11, 2005 11:11 - PPC Commodore 64 Emulator Download Dilemma

It defies logic that more free Commodore 64 emulator download resources don't exist.We have a plethora of gaming platform emulators available for our extremely versatile Pocket PCs for free - NeoGeo, Gameboy Advance and Super Nintendo, to name a few.If that's... (Read Article)

September 11, 2005 19:21 - PDA Casino Games Targetting Dell Axim x50v Owners

Jackpot Casino by Mobile Stream has targetted solely Axim x50v owners, according to the most recent ClickGamer newsletter.Mobile Stream has left out a large base of PDA owners in the process, with more versions promised.You'd probably understand why if you... (Read Article)

September 12, 2005 21:00 - Pocket PC TurboGrafx-16 Emulator Research Halts Abruptly

My TurboGrafx-16 Pocket PC emulator research came to a crashing, jarring halt today.I'd been gathering TurboGrafx emulator information for a surprise update to my Pocket PC emulator guide. I would have produced it by next week, with as much fanfare as I could... (Read Article)

September 13, 2005 18:25 - PDA Gamer Performance Review Embarrassment

I has just thought that corporate life could become this mortifying. I wonder if other PDA gamers experience similar issues at work.

tobacco-monkey-on-pda-gamerShamefully, my Bejeweled 2 puzzle gaming on the job has abated somewhat but was still very present.

You'd think that I would know better if you read my Aug. 22 blog entry, but I have some very valid reasons.

There are just too many periods that seem that much longer to a jonesing ex-smoker.

Waiting for IT reports to compile due to excessive server load, for one thing. Waiting in the Tim Horton's drive-through lineup is another, especially if you're out during the regular morning Toronto gridlock.

The former is somewhat valid, the latter decidedly less so.

PDA games play their part in swinging a crowbar at that infernal tobacco monkey clinging steadfastly to my back, screeching irrirtatingly and incessantly in my ears. It's a most welcome diversion.

My performance review took place at 2:00 Eastern Standard Toronto time on my floor.

I work at the primary IT building for a large financial organization, so as you can imagine, everyone seems to have an exaggerated sense of self-importance.

This ultimately makes Prankster Mike (see Aug. 29 entry) and I stand out like sore thumbs.

I'm professional by necessity, but Mike's corporate behaviour really borders on the surreal and unfortunately results in splash damage with some truly bizarre moments.

Something pretty strange occurred again, but I'll save that one for another entry.

My one-on-ones with the manager habitually take place in room that's been dubbed "the closet" and "the interrogation room" alternately.

It's truly the smallest meeting room ever seen at four feet square, putting you squarely in the manager's face no matter what innovating squirming you might perform. Clorets are a must have.

I've seriously considered the possibility of it being a converted cabinet.

Rick came up to me with his usual self-satisfied smirk and said that the interrogation room lights were cranked a bit extra hot today. I feigned laughter at this feeble, often-repeated joke and resignedly made my way there.

I really had nothing to fear at that point because I've always performed quite well, even though I've been explicitly warned against Pocket PC gaming on the job.

It started well as he pored over the performance review that employees mysteriously have to write themselves and have them subsequently revised by management.

My deliberate insertion of referring to myself as having "mystic guru-like IT development capabilities" earned a guffaw or two as he laughingly asked me to embellish just a little bit less.

An owl hooted in the distance, and our camaraderie came to a sudden halt.

Things had gotten a bit more grave as the sound had emanated from my Pocket PC. This was exactly the right time for me to forget to mute my iPaq 4150's audio.

I'm certain that Rick's just about ready to chuck my PDA out the window after this, the umpteenth infraction.

I removed my iPaq 4150 from the case to disable the screensaver, forgetting about my unfnished Bejeweled 2 puzzle game underneath. I had paused it in Action mode.

He knew that I'd just started up the game because I had been taking reminders from him ten minutes before the meeting.

His ensuing parable about corporate image and the sudden subsequent editorial hack attack on the remainder of my written review has finally convinced me.

I have to be way more surreptitious about my PDA gaming to keep this on the down low.

Sometimes I wonder if he reads my blog.

September 13, 2005 19:43 - Recent Pocket PC RPG Release News

The folks at PDAMill have struck PDA game gold in the past, but this entry while idly browsing made me sit up and take notice.A new role-playing game release called Arvale II: Ocean of Time has been released.Palm owners have been left in the ditch as this is... (Read Article)

September 14, 2005 22:21 - Pocket PC Age of Empires Strategies for the Weak Willed

My Pocket PC Age of Empires Strategists' Handbook will strongly appeal to the more weak-willed among us.

If you're not inclined to just keep on killing off your civilization units ad nauseum, my AoE for Pocket PC tips aoe-picwill make the learning curve decidedly less steep.

Why test your Pocket PC real-time gaming fortitude when you can fast forward to the fine, nitty-gritty nuances of savage civilization war? It's time for a little less character building and a little more cheating.

If you think that memorizing AoE strategems is morally questionable, that is.

I've posted a culmination of tips and tricks over time that thankfully also apply to this excellent real-time strategy game.

The more seasoned RTS gamers may recognize some often used unit groupings in my Killer AoE Combo Attack section. Optimal times to build Wonders, general Age of Empires rush tactics and Town Center building strategies round out my latest site update.

September 15, 2005 20:10 - Hurricane Katrina Victims Don't Have a Cow

Allow me to take a PDA game break for a moment as I relate some unusual news from this morning.

I'd been consuming 28 fatty grams of breakfast Sausage McMuffin at the time and driving my slightly weathered mad-cowgreen Civic to work.

DJ Scott Fox on z103.5 reported that Canadian forces helping in New Orleans had been asked to stop transporting food for the Hurricane Katrina survivors in New Orleans.

Apparently, they have enough. I'm not so convinced, so I won't let that deter me from making another donation.

According to the DJ, President Bush has also expressly forbade Canadian beef, due to our recent border issues with cattle.

Apparently one lunatic cow started it all.

This sole mad cow is responsible for the suspension of beef delivery to the survivors, even though Canadian health inspectors have made their rounds many, many times and have slaughtered entire herds, just in case.

Further testing was conclusive; the mad cow was acting of its own accord when they discovered it hiding in the book depository, looking guilty as hell.

I wonder how one would outline this scenario for someone who hasn't seen food in days. I guess you'd have to mention the .013% probability mad-cow disease factor.

Whoops, sorry-- no tasty burger for you, my starving, homeless friend. No beef stroganoff or beef stew, either.

I took one last, audacious bite and finished the remainder of my McMuffin. It really didn't taste that bad.

September 16, 2005 14:18 - Age of Empires Pocket PC Edition DeathMatch Guide

One AoE Pocket PC word of caution about Deathmatch-- don't try to play and drive.

The battles really can become a bit too involved.

Feel free to peruse my Age of Empires Deathmatch Guide for a few specific tips on one of my favourite gameplay modes for this real-time strategy winner.

September 18, 2005 17:31 - Hockey, Fraud and PDA Game Musings

As always, real life proves to be vastly more entertaining than my constant PDA gaming. A very amusing Toronto Star story of NHL-based fraud surfaced today.

penalty-boxApparently, a man in a hospital lobby met with a family with an ill 12-year old, offering to have his photo taken for a fee. He claimed to be an ex-NHL player.

The family agreed and paid for the picture. The police confirmed afterwards that the guy never played for the NHL.

My brother and I shared a good laugh over the story over rounds of NHL 2006 on my desktop PC.

The depressing part is that he wouldn't have been any better off panhandling, either.

Panhandling near Ontario bank machines and bus stops, as well as car washing for cash, have been forbidden since the deceptively titled Safe Streets Act in 2000.

The homeless now face fines of $500 for the first offense and a $1,000, with jail terms of up to six months for subsequent offenses. That amounts to quite a bit of windshield wipes and "brother/ma'am-can-you-spare-a-dime" queries.

If you live by the "out of sight, out of mind" credo, then presumably Toronto is safer since we no longer see them that often. In some way this is supposed to make life better.

Probably not for them, though.

By the way, I don't presume much when sweeping dustbunnies under the carpet, either.

Makes you wonder if the fake NHL confidence man was once homeless.

It takes no small amount of desperation for that steely resolve to look an ill 12-year old in the eye while regaling her family with tales of that slapshot that almost, almost made it but hit the top bar instead, costing the Leafs the Stanley Cup, and how he and D'Arcy Tucker used to booze it up after every win on the road.

Today, it looks like the crowd is now booing scornfully at Christopher John Richer, 39, charged with two counts of fraud in an unconscionable manner under $5,000 and one hideous fraud attempt under $5,000.

Loosely inspired by these events, I fruitlessly hunted but have not yet found an NHL based PDA game.

Hey, if FIFA can make the transition from console to Pocket PC, surely NHL can. We'll be waiting for bated breath after Mobile DirectX surges.

September 18, 2005 22:35 - The Ultimate PDA Sin

Warren, our company's newest recruit, has committed the ultimate PDA transgression.

Prankster Mike and I spontaneously head over to Warren's house at lunch. It's a matter of convenience as he lives pda-game-coaster-mugclose by the office.

It's also a nice refuge from Sycophants Incorporated.

He's been in surprisingly good spirits since his PDA pet trick failure on Sept. 2. It seemed for a while like he would never live it down.

Mike and I still heckle him at times in our so-called character building sessions.

Mike and I got to his apartment at about 12:30 this past Friday. I glanced at his cluttered coffee table while Warren was grabbing some plates for his taco.

A large glass mug was sitting on the table. On closer examination, I noticed that the mug was standing tall on his old Palm Zire 21, since replaced with a Pocket PC shortly after playing some games my iPaq 4150.

Warren noticed my look of utter disbelief and laughed, claiming that he had to find some use for it. He insisted that he couldn't even give it away.

Mike picked it up and muttered an expletive, laughing heartily.
The Palm's display was marred with circular glass condensation stains.

As far as I could discern, effective cleaning may involve a complete soaking of that delicate circuitry in a big bucket of bleach.

In spite of this, I persuaded him to put it up on EBay as a novelty item. With hope he'll clear at least two dollars on the sale.

September 19, 2005 22:07 - The Cordless Controller Fixation

I have a cordless controller fixation.

logitech-rumblepadsI'll make one thing clear.

These aren't for my Pocket PC, as much as I relish the sheer ridiculousness of playing some NASCAR car racing game clone in split-screen mode while staring at a tiny display.

The shameful, junkie urge first presented itself as I was perusing my local Best Buy store. The expedition had started innocently enough while I browsed for a digital camera battery with my wife.

The Logitech Rumblepads were a hefty and very daunting $59.00 each, beckoning and speaking seductively of 2.4 Ghz thirty foot freedom.

It never occurred to me to buy just one controller since I haven't yet eschewed human contact for shiny, expensive technology. At least not yet.

Two controllers, a couple of beers and some Madden PC gaming action over s-video from a desktop PC on a Toshiba widescreen. Just add some nachos and it doesn't get much better than that.

Now I habitually lose the gamepads in addition to the remote.

I've detected a pattern, though. Apparently, any wireless device within a 5 foot radius of my television goes missing with alarming regularity.

Understandably, my Pocket PC is my favourite device while travelling and taking in some PDA game rounds in front of the TV during Arrested Development commercials.

Laptops are fine, except they can be somewhat bulky. Not ideal when your favourite pastime is gaming, and definitely doesn't combine well while commuting. Unless you don't mind having your seatmates take in the some Quake action too.

My iPAQ is discrete enough, for example, to take your civilization to the Iron Age without prying eyes commenting on your half-assed, coffee-deprived and awkward Age of Empires tactics.

September 20, 2005 19:23 - The Nature of PDA Game Addiction

PDA gaming can become inconvenient.

In an attempt to wean myself off of the Bejeweled 2 puzzle game on my iPAQ 4150, I decided to switch to pda-gamingAge of Empires, merely for research purposes, of course.

Insidiously, my proclivity towards Pocket PC game addiction reared its ugly head once again. It all began when I started playing Age of Empires during commercials while taking in Global News.

As it turns out, Bejeweled 2 had fewer negative repercussions on the domestic front as my wife Jessie has taken to dropping the occasional snide remark about my Pocket PC gaming.

This occurred most recently while conducting a Macedonian assault involving armoured elephants and long sword infantry.

I suspect that the novelty of pausing and rewinding live TV with our Rogers-supplied PVR has become annoyingly stale for her.

It's considered somewhat sacrilegious when Dr. House has been paused midway through delivering a sarcastic quip to a terminally ill patient.

At work, I failed to notice that my desktop PC had frozen during compilation of a quarterly report until half an hour had elapsed, forcing me to produce some deft pretexts when my manager stopped by on a so-called spontaneous visit to my cubicle.

PDA puzzle games usually involve short, quick plays, making for an all-season type of Pocket PC game convenience.

Mounting a real-time Pocket PC strategic assault means having to pay a bit more attention to the big picture, lest you get cut down by an enemy AI civilization rampage on the hardest difficulty level.

My iPAQ has provided more than enough blissful distractions during daily commutes to earn my own, personal award for The Ultimate Gaming Platform that also reminds me of mundane errands, meetings and contact phone numbers.

It's too bad RTS Pocket PC gaming and work don't mix well.

My diet will consist largely of Jawbreaker and Bejeweled staples for the time being. Away from work it'll be a different story.

Well, back to preparing my final AoE assault.

September 22, 2005 19:34 - GameBoy Color Pocket PC Freeware News

Stress testing with Pocket PC freeware, especially game console emulators, may not always yield positive results. For certain Pocket PC emulators, however, performance may just exceed your expectations. I conducted my GameBoy Color game roms testing like I... (Read Article)

September 23, 2005 06:52 - PDA Game Assists With Hurricane Rita Gas Hike

My PDA gaming came in handy when I decided to head out after 11 o'clock to the Petro-Canada down the street.

This was after reading with some trepidation that 70% of oil refineries in the gulf would be shut down due to pda-gaming-while-waiting-for-gasHurricane Rita, resulting in crude oil hikes.

It looked like most of Toronto had the same idea at the same time as I watched the lineup for gas snake around corners.

Sunoco, Shell, it didn't seem to make a difference. The rip-offs were still present in varying degrees.

I parked my aging Civic and pulled out the Pocket PC, turning off the ignition as I had no desire to burn $10CDN worth of gas while waiting, and wound up filling up at $1.06.

It's a sad day when motorists line up for gas prices like this, but the thought of shelling out $80 for the same amount of gas the following morning provided more incentive than usual.

My iPAQ took the edge off of waiting and proved to be a worthy, temporary distraction as I played the Bejeweled 2 puzzle game and paid scant attention to the enraged motorists ahead.

I returned home to a strange CTV News story regarding "gas rage" as a man attacked two motorists with a crowbar in the gas lineup, then sped away.

It's fortunate that I don't have time for gas rage these days since the current Global News story says that gas is currently at $1.04 in the immediate vicinity and hadn't risen as expected.

I also noted that crude oil prices had actually gone down, which once again summoned the image of gas station owners aiming darts at the gas-price dart board.

By the way, this is after noticing an unconscionable $2.04 at a Sunoco a fair distance away last night.

Instead of fuming, I'm going to break out the Pocket PC again. It's much better than dwelling on unwarranted increases.

September 24, 2005 09:46 - PDA Gamer News: Address ActiveSync 4.0 Woes

For the PDA gamer using the latest version of ActiveSync (dubbed ActiveStink by my colleagues), you'll find that this incarnation is not as problematic as its predecessors.

In general, ActiveSync hasn't posed much of a problem for me, but Chris Herrera released an ActiveSync 4.0 troubleshooting guide that you might want to take a look at.

This especially applies if you make a habit of downloading Pocket PC freeware games or purchased Pocket PC downloads.

One caveat: Chris presupposes some PDA gamer technical knowledge on your part, so depending on your technical savvy you may find some solutions perplexing.

If this is the case, you might just want to buttress your resolution fact-finding with some googling for more thorough walkthroughs.

September 25, 2005 13:17 - Pocket PC Galaga - Galaxian With A Vengeance For Your PDA

How is the Galaga Pocket PC arcade game different from Galaxian? Well, they both involve aliens intent on killing you, for one thing. If I had to sum up this Pocket PC arcade game in a sentence, I would call it Galaxian with a vengeance. Sort of like seeing... (Read Article)

September 26, 2005 23:33 - Free Galaga Resources for your Desktop PC

Quality free Galaga arcade game resources only appear sparingly on the net, but there are surprisingly excellent freeware downloads available.A surprising DOS-based Galaga contender with authentic gameplay and a free Flash-based Galaga download were the best... (Read Article)

September 27, 2005 19:06 - Strange World of Warcraft Multiplayer Plague

News of a strange multiplayer plague halted my almost incesssant Pocket PC gaming for a few minutes.

man-with-pigApparently, an online plague involved a swine factor in the World of Warcraft massively multiplayer infection.

The infection was said to have struck thousands of players, with reports of bodies lying in virtual towns.

You'll find the complete article, titled "Deadly Plague Hits Warcraft World" here.

In short, online players battling Hakkar, the God of Blood, can apparently be hit with a virus that proves instantly fatal to the more susceptible, inexperienced, lower level characters.

Someone had the bright idea of infecting a pig and releasing it into a nearby town, resulting in thousands of online casualties as they succumbed to their terminal digital ailment.

There's also a reference to player outrage after an infected guinea pig spread a deadly virus in the popular Sims gaming, outraging many devoted Simites, my wife among them, back in May 2000.

The "deadly digital disease" as referred by the World of Warcraft article, is being feverishly worked on by the team at Blizzard. Best of luck patching those servers, folks.

September 28, 2005 21:07 - The iPAQ Custom Paint Job

I have to give kudos to the more adventurous of the Pocket PC owner demographic.

flame-decorationWhile browsing through varying PDA forums to pick up the buzz for the latest games, I came across a most unusual post.

This guy wanted to have his hx4700 painted by an autobody shop and wanted to know what size screwdriver the case screws would require.

The thread goes on for some length, with another bizarre post by someone looking to give his PDA a woodgrain finish instead.

I would really like to see him pull that off without voiding the warranty.

Amazingly, the first guy received a response-- torx size 6 for the screwdriver. Yes, just hand that monkey a wrench, sir.

He'll probably wind up in my routine predicament, which is basically up that nasty old creek without a professional. I become quite obsessive about my home projects sometimes, with disastrous results.

All I know is, while I'll tempt fate by overclocking my iPAQ 4150 to 530Mhz in the name of PDA game research, as a general rule of thumb I will steer clear from any sort of wanton physical PDA abuse, apart from episodes like my Aug. 18th mishap.

If I were to throw caution to the winds, I would paint a cool looking flame deco against a black backdrop. With my luck, splashes of orange would make it to the display screen.

September 29, 2005 19:06 - iPaq Trumps iPod Nano Display Strength

Yes, my iPaq 4150 is the hands-down winner against the iPod.

ipod-nanoThis might seem a bit bewildering as the latter is one of the newer iPod offerings from Apple, and my iPaq is, well, a Pocket PC.

It comes down to display screen strength.

My iPaq has fallen quite often over time. It's largely a distance of a few feet, but its most notable fall was down a couple of flights of stairs on Aug. 18.

Yet, inexplicably, no screen repair service has ever been needed.

Apple is being flooded with complaints from users of the iPod Nano that habitually carry the MP3 player in their pockets.

Apparently a strong sneeze or stretching awkardly while yawning are just a couple of ways to crack its fragile LCD display, leaving teens and adolescents saving their allowance for weeks in tears.

The majority of the customer base is demanding a complete recall of the units.

If that were the case with my own PDA, it would have smashed several times over already.

You won't see accidents occur with slow-paced games like Jawbreaker, but I have the unfortunate tendency of trying to focus on several tasks at once, sometimes while gaming.

Start up a rousing game of Age of Empires Pocket PC edition or some Galaga classic action and try clearing the coffee table at the same time. You'll see what I mean.

Amidst all the distractions, something must give.

Apple admitted to the Nano quality defects. Maybe they should take a cue from Hewlett-Packard's penchant towards titanium-like display screen strength.

Still, I think I'll show some more caution in future instead of testing the boundaries of Murphy's Law.

September 30, 2005 23:08 - Voice Activated Pocket PC Gaming

I'm not certain whether voice activated Pocket PC gaming is for me. All things considered, the last thing I really need is to make PDA gaming any easier. My hobby takes up enough time as it is.A recent offering by Vito Technology called Voice2go 1.1 purports... (Read Article)

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