Guitar Hero vs Rock Band Review

In the past couple of years, new sensations have been sweeping the nation in the forms of Guitar Hero and Rock Band. In the unlikely case that you have never heard of or played either of these video games, they require you to play plastic model instruments in time with a song track hitting as many notes as possible on varying difficulties to suit your skill level (both have Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert for the brave).

Guitar Hero Review

Guitar Hero IIIThe Guitar Hero franchise has been growing in popularity in the past few years so that most everyone has played it at least once, and for good reason. The latest in the series, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, is one of the most played games today and chances are that anyone with either an Xbox 360 or a Playstation will have it. In my experience, it is so far the easiest to pick up and play. I say this because notes are easier to hit than any of the other Guitar Hero games because there is a larger area around each note for that note to be hit. The “grace period” is longer and you can hit a note, even after it’s past or before you’re supposed to, to a certain point.

The actual difficulty of the note charts of the songs, however, is much harder than Rock Band and any other Guitar Hero game and is meant more for the hardcore “rockers” rather than the casual players being the most difficult songs to play so far. So, notes easiest to hit, but also a lot more of them and faster. The song selection is excellent, as usual. There is a nice mix of classic rock, metal, punk and hard rock. Rather than list numerous examples, you can find the song list easily on Wikipedia or even guitarhero.com.

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Remove scratches from your mobile phone

From my experience, it’s actually pretty easy, but it can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the severity of the scratches. If you have the minor scratches that come from having some keys or loose change in your pocket with your phone, then this will work great for you.

I made a buffing wheel out of one of my girlfriend’s make-up applicator disks (Make sure it’s 100% natural cotton). They are pretty cheap at Walmart, I think it was like 3 bucks for a pack of 50. Anyway, I made the disk using a piece of milk jug. (Just cut out a flat part to fit your cotton disk). I connected the plastic disk to the cotton disk using a VERY THIN layer of rubber cement. I put a small machine screw through the center, and just to be safe, covered the tip of the screw with a drop of plastic silicone.

Pop that bad boy into your Dremel tool, and buff on 5000 to NO MORE than 15,000 RPMS. Any faster, and enough heat is created to mar the finish. Hope this helps someone.

GPS: Digital Directions in a Physical World

From my experience I’ve learned that you can trust your GPS systems…only so far.

The Office - GPS EpisodeHaving recently seen the episode of The Office where Michael drives his car into a lake while following the directions of his GPS device, it brought back some recent experiences I had with my GPS system.

I would definitely recommend purchasing a GPS device. It has saved us time with shortcut, provided emergency bathrooms, directed us to a Wendy’s Frosty, and helped us avoid more than a few long construction delays on the highways. And this was only on our 9-hour trip to Florida. So I will say that I really like owning a GPS device, but on the other hand it has also given myself and my family some head scratching moments such as…

We did avoid some highway construction coming back from Orlando to Daytona beach last summer, but the detour ended up costing us $5 in tolls. I should have had the avoid toll road option selected but usually in Virginia, where I live, tolls aren’t a regular occurrence.

The shortest distance selection sometimes has you driving along side a major highway. You look at the highway and think to yourself, “I should probably get on the highway, but the GPS knows best.” Of course, you get on the highway and then traffic pops up and then you try to get off the highway and the GPS directs right back to the road you were. Of course this isn’t the GPS device’s fault but it is frustrating nonetheless.

When you are in new construction or not-so-new construction (your GPS is already out of date when you get it) you’ll look at the GPS map and find triangle graphic, which represents your vehicles, in no-man’s land. So the GPS has lulled you into trusting it and convinced you that a map wasn’t needed, then you are riding in a digital desert hoping the GPS recognizes a road soon so you can be directed once again. Otherwise you feel you’ve entered the twilight zone and dropped out of this dimension.

Oh, and don’t forget your power supply. Since it is portable you may think that you have more than enough power for the trip and then the thing you know you are without power as the battery has given out on you at the worst moment and the your reliance on technology has left you without a handy paper-based map. Good news here though, you can buy a Motorola phone USB charger and it will work with Garmin StreetPilot C340, which I own. Thank you to the Best Buy employee who told me that bit of news and saved our vacation. ;-)

The most frustrating thing about the GPS is the fact it will tell you when you will arrive or when you are supposed to arrive. The unfortunate part of this is the fact that when you are late it takes the self delusion away from you that somehow you can make a 3-hour trip in 90 minutes. And as heavy traffic takes it’s toll and delays you even more your 3-hour trip is now taking 4 hours and the GPS is smiling at you knowingly as if saying, “You are SOOOOO late and you should have left 3 hours earlier like your wife suggested.”

Yes, the GPS will foster a dependent relationship that is both filled with love and hate.

Alternative to Google Search Engine? ChaCha Search

ChaCha Search EngineFrom my experience Google is the best search engine on the web, but it isn’t the only search egine and sometimes even the almighty Google has come up short in the search results. Of course there is Yahoo! and Live Search by MSN and a few people use Ask. But there is another search engine that I like very much and recommend you give it a try: ChaCha

Here is a description of the ChaCha Search Engine from ChaCha’s About page:

Tired of search engine results that aren’t even close to what you’re looking for? Us too. So we started thinking about a better way to search the Net… and we figured out what was missing… people.

That’s how ChaCha was born. The first search engine that uses the brainpower of really smart people to find anything you want on the Internet. Here’s how you use it:

INSTANT SEARCH – Just like all those other search engines… only better. Because ChaCha keeps getting smarter. Our search experts are constantly handpicking cool, hard-to-find sites so you get only the best, most relevant results… OR

LIVE GUIDED SEARCH – Instant search not cutting it? One click hooks you up with a live ChaCha Guide. A real person that will ask you questions, understand exactly what you want, and send you results that are dead-on. Computers can’t do that. It takes a community of people who are motivated to help you get the answer you seek – no matter what it takes. The brainpower behind ChaCha.

While you may not agree with all the search results being the most relevant you can see the differences from your first search. Try the guided search, but be careful what you search for, it can be a bit embarrassing.

A Paradigm Home Theater Experience

From my experience Paradigm speakers are the best bang for the buck you can get for your home theater! Over the years I’ve owned many different brands of speakers including Cerwin Vega, JBL, Infinity and Bose. Yet none of these can compare to the price and sound quality of my current Paradigm home theater setup. And to top it off, the Paradigm’s cost less than my previous Bose speakers. I currently have the Mini Monitor system, except that I opted for a larger center & surrounds.

The first time I heard Paradigm speakers in the showroom, I fell in love with their rich, vibrant & authentic sounds. But it wasn’t until my Mom was visiting and said, “Wow, I can’t believe how good this sounds, it’s better than the theater,” that I truely marveled in how good a value they are. It takes a lot to make people, like my mother, who normally say they can’t tell a difference in sound quality take notice of how good something sounds.

War Driving (Wireless Network Surfing)

From my experience war driving is a lot of FUN! Simply put war driving is driving around and using your laptop to search for wireless networks.

There are several ways to go about war driving that can make it more fun than a pain. First off, get a wireless network card with a prism2 chipset and a little hole for an external antenna. Orinoco (now owned by Proxim) makes a PERFECT card for that meets these requirements. It’s almost like the company made it specifically for war driving! Next get yourself a copy of Linux. I use a bootable version called Knoppix STD. It should also be noticed that there is a new distribution of Linux called “War Linux” I have yet to try it out but “War Linux” promises to be the best choice in bootable Linux war driving. It comes complete with Kismet, Wavemon, and nmap! If you are a windows users and you insist on using windows and your prebuilt wireless in your laptop be sure to get NetStumbler.

Some of the fun things you can do while war driving is keep a record of all the wireless networks you come across and submit them to other sites to share with others. It should also be noted here that while scanning for wireless networks connecting to them without consent of the owner, is ILLEGAL! So don’t do it!

Resources:
http://wardriving.com/
http://airsnort.shmoo.com/
http://www.netstumbler.com/
http://www.proxim.com/
http://www.cantenna.com/

Watch this:
http://revision3.com/thebroken/ep1

Watch this too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8EQ8HR

post by Ricky Raymond
http://www.rickyraymond.com

Refurbished iPod

Refurbished iPodsFrom my experience, having 3 iPods in a home with 4 people will not be enough iPods.

Everyone needs their own iPod.

You can try and save money buy sharing an iPod, but it just won’t work. The money saved will not be worth the aggravation being an iPod short will bring into your life. I will also add that it a great deal to by them refurbished. We have bought several this way and they look and work like new plus you save up to 25% or more depending on the model. Give it a look-see at Apple’s store for Refurbished iPods.