Updates May 2012


CSS3 has some new tricks that make designs a lot easier to make, especially since some of it can be done with simple code instead of using images. Such as:
Rounded borders
Unfortunately, Internet Explorer does not yet support a lot of the CSS3 functions I've learned about so for the time being I won't be using most of the CSS3 elements.


I've been thinking about changing the colors of my website. Not permanently, but just to see how other colors looked besides red and black. There are ways to use Javascript to switch images when a button is pressed or something of similar function, but I'm trying to figure out how to do that so it will switch CSS files. Most of my site is dependant on CSS and if I wanted to switch colors, I'd need to switch the CSS because most of the design is in the CSS file. Here is a sample of a blue design:


So I got an e-mail from some survey site (sponsored by Comic-Con International) asking me to answer a few short questions about purchasing badges for Comic-Con. They were mainly concerned with how badges should be sold in advance; whether or not it was a good idea to have people who attended the previous year to have first access to purchasing badges. They are no longer having on-site badge sales for the following year anymore because apparently there were too many people who showed up and they had to move to another site to deal with all the traffic. I answered that giving people who attended the previous year too much of an advantage when buying badges was not such a good idea. Based on the questions, the people who had attended the previous Comic-Con could essentially buy badges much sooner than anyone else and they could buy them for multiple people. So those who are attending for the first time or they didn't go the previous year have a much lower chance of getting a badge. I suggested that if people who attended the previous year were going to be able to buy badges early, then they should only be able to buy for themselves and people who also attended the previous year. They didn't ask, but concerning the 4-day badges with and without preview night (they sell out in a matter of minutes) they should only allow a certain number to be purchased early because if they are all bought then there won't be any for the rest of the people who want to buy badges.


After 2 months, I finally finished Tales of Graces f. By "finished" I mean I got all the Trophies (since this is a PS3 game) but I actually completed the game twice. I'm considering playing it through a third time but I have Prototype 2 that I'm working on (I have about 85% of the Trophies) and Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 (I have about 60% of the Trophies but I've completed the game twice so far). I don't usually play games to get all the Trophies or Achievements (for Xbox 360 games) but all the games I've played recently have easy to acquire Trophies/Achievements. For Prototype 2, I earned over 70% of the Trophies in less than 10 hours of gameplay (although the game itself is pretty short). I don't even bother with getting Trophies/Achievements for some games because they are either too tedious to acquire or they are only obtained online. For example, in the Dynasty Warriors Gundam series, some Trophies/Achievements require that you complete a certain number of missions or particular missions individually. Most of the missions unlock after you complete other missions or you use a particular character to obtain those mission (and most missions are only available to particular characters). There are dozens of characters to choose from and hundreds of missions to complete so obtaining them all takes quite a while. I've played the game for over 50 hours and I still have yet to obtain most of them. Games that give Trophies/Achievements for completing online tasks can be especially difficult to acquire. For example, in Halo 3 there are some achievements that require the player to eliminate other players with a particular weapon or under certain conditions. The difficulty comes from the fact that you are playing against other people and there is no guarantee that the conditions for which you are trying to gain an Achievement will be met. I had trouble with one Achievement where I had to eliminate three other players with one shot of a particular weapon. This weapon was only available on certain levels and it was a highly desirable weapon so everyone was trying to get it. The fact that the Achievement required me to eliminate three people simultaniouly made it even harder to do. I eventually got the Achievement, but it was by pure luck.


Sometime in 2010 I came across a free MMO game called Grand Fantasia made by Aeria Games. I had played Runescape a number of years earlier and had gotten tired of the MMO kind of games, but I tried Grand Fantasia anyway. I liked it and played it for about a year and also played a simialr game called Kitsu Saga (made by the same people). I stopped playing both games last year and a few months later I found out that Kitsu Saga was shut down due to a lack of players. I was annoyed because I was doing much better in Kitsu Saga than I ever did in Grand Fantasia. I vaguely remembered something about accounts being deleted after 6 months of inactivity so I tried to use my log-in inforamtion and unsurprisingly, my account seemed to have been deactivated. I didn't particularly care, but out of curiosity I tried to send them an e-mail through their website about getting my account reactivated and they gave me an error message saying I couldn't do that.


So it has come to my attention that Tales of Graces f will be getting a European release. Its not the most recent game in the "Tales of " series of games, but it only made it the US in March on the PS3 but it was released in Japan back in 2009 on the Wii. So Gamestop had a pre-order bonus (in the US) where customers would get some downloadable content if they bought it from them. For the European version, they will get the same content but with an art book, soundtrack CD, behind the scenes DVD, and a collectable box to put everything in it. The reason for this is because (according to Namco Bandai), European customers have to wait until August 31 for Tales of Graces f. Obviously, American customers are complaining that the European customers are getting the better deal just becase they had to wait a few extra months. On top of that, the European customers don't have to pay extra for their stuff. Pre-order bonuses mean that the extra stuff comes free of charge if the game is pre-ordered from a partiular place. Special Edition versions mean the extra stuff besides the game comes at a higher price (usually ten to twenty dollars more). So essentially European customers are paying the same as the American customers, but they get a lot more stuff. To counter the growing outrage from American customers, Namco Bandai stated that the catch was that for the Europeans, the game can only be pre-ordered and once it has sold out, it is gone. They indicated that they are not going to produce any more copies and that the pre-order version will be the only one for Europe. They didn't say how many copies were being made, but considering that they are covering all of Europe I wouldn't be surprised if it numbered in the 100,000 range. I think the USA got cheated because we typically get video games released first while Europe has to wait a little while. But that shouldn't justify giving them a better deal. Click here to see a photo of the pre-order content.


I'm trying out WordPress as a potential web design tool that I can use. It is mainly used for bloging but somehow I think that it is not used for what I am thinking about using it for. At the moment I'm not going to provide a link to it because it is still in the early stages, but if I end up using it for something you can expect a link sometime in the future.


Last night I was watching a rerun of the season 4 finale of the TV show "Bones". During the episode the heavy metal band Motley Crue performed their song called Dr. Feelgood. I've heard good things about this band and I thought it was going to be cool to see them on a popular TV show, but when they started playing I instantly got a massive headache. Their playing was just AWFUL. The drums didn't have a beat to match the guitars, the vocalist was screaming gibberish, and there were some other noises that I couldn't identify. I had to turn the sound off because it was so bad. Later I listened to the whole song on YouTube and it sounded very different. For one thing, it was good. I don't know why they sounded like crap on TV, but it really didn't give me a good first impression of them.


I made a new section for my autograph collection. Over the years I have gathered autographs from a variety of people (mostly in the comic book and television industries) and I thought it might be interesting to show a few of the pictures on my website. Instead of making seperate pages for each individual picture, I just made a direct link to most of them. I used .png format because .jpg didn't seem to display the pictures (it would come up with a page not found notice) so the file sizes are larger and may take longer to display on some computers.


I went to my local comic book store today for Free Comic Book Day to pick up a couple of free comics. What I noticed was that their Japanese import section had been significantly reduced. Their entire selection was pushed into a back corner and they really didn't have anything interesting. Among the various stuffed animals and PVC figures were random DVDs, some CDs, a few knicknacks like key chains and wallets, and maybe 50 volumes of assorted manga. In years past they had a much larger selection but I assume that they were trying to move away from the Japanese imports either because they weren't selling very well or they just lost interest in selling them (I'm thinking the second reason). It is an American comic book store after all so I can't really blame them but the imports were my whole reason for going to the store in the first place.


FOX should try and rework their advertising. Every time I want to watch a show on their network, they usually have advertisements promoting the upcoming episodes but they use decieving tactics that make it so that people would want to watch the shpw more. For example, I saw a promo for an episode of House and they described it as the series finale. However, the season finale didn't air until 5 weeks later and FOX kept saying that every episode was the series finale. In the promos for the season finale of Bones, there was footage that clearly wasn't in the episode (after I saw it) and they made it seem like events were going to happen that didn't actually happen.
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