I finally managed to find some time to play a couple of rounds of ‘Civilization 4: Beyond the Sword’ (2007) and while I’m hesitant to judge it right now, I’m not overly enthusiastic about it (previously.). Particularly considering the current hardware I’m running it on, all across the board (from the custom dialogs to the AI) it is god awful slow. I’ll see if I can revisit this in a separate item.
People who’ve followed this blog, should be familiar with the praise I heaped on X3: Reunion (old material right here): I decided to pick up the game where I left it a couple of years ago. Just recently, I decided to move up to ‘X3: Terran Conflict’ (which incidentally, is also available for the Mac): Excellent once again. Since this is the last game in the X-Universe, it’s going to be curious to see what Egosoft (company site) will come up in the near future.
Minor update: Additionally, I noticed that in Civ4:BTS for some of the technology discoveries some other person’s voice was used (definitely not Leonard Nimoy’s).
A couple of thoughts that crossed my mind:
Ever since I installed Civ4 on this Vista 64-bit machine (which didn’t go all too well, if I remember correctly) I ‘ve found myself start to dislike the game: I think ever since patch 1.61 was released (or maybe it was the one before that, but 1.61 was definitely a Vista required install) the game has been behaving differently and particularly ‘less diplomatic’ so to say.
Earlier this day, I updated both IE and Firefox on my older XP machine (My 2004 Toshiba A40 machine). I figured out that since Firefox was updating to some 3.0.11 version, I might just as well do an upgrade to Firefox 3.5. Frankly, I was surprised how flawless this went. Mozilla is doing some stuff good, I guess. Talking about the A40 “Tank”: this was my second personal laptop and it ‘officially’ retired in December 2006 or so, but eventually returned back in my hands last year. I did a lot of programming on that one and indeed it made it to The Netherlands were family members more or less seem to like it only because it was blue and sturdy.
I also played ARMA2 a couple of times and I’m sort of mixed about it. I’ll probably move a review to another date, but there’s probably hundreds of people curious if the game will run on their machines: I run it in high-mode (post-processing turned off, some graphical settings set to ‘normal’) in 1280 x 800 and it’s excellent and definitely playable. My (laptop) specs are seemingly ‘old': a 2.0 P7350, 4 gigs of RAM, 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT.
Via (the always excellent) 3 Quarks, a new theory how the Great Pyramid was built. The original site that hosts a video and 3D animation (from Dassault Systems) requires an extra plugin (3D Life player), which also works on Firefox (Windows). If you’re not into plug-ins, you can also download the PDF.
2K Games announced a new Civ IV extension pack (previously on xsamplex), which includes:
New Civilizations: The expansion pack includes ten new civilizations, such as Portugal, Babylon and Netherlands and their associated unique units and buildings.
Via Digg, I found this video of an interesting way of using your fingers as a mouse with the help of a camera (4:45 minutes long). The interviewer is a douche bag, yes: if you listen carefully what the programmer is trying to explain, much of it will make sense. Not revolutionary, but yes, an interesting approach to tackle this specific problem.
If you were ever into fractals (and I suppose, every programmer or nerd would have been), there’s this amazing movie of a quite deep zoom into a Mandelbrot. It keeps going and going, so to say. The first time I saw a fractal to be drawn (on an MSX-2), it took a full day to finish it. With a cluster of PS3s…