Thursday, May 10

Reading microsoft the wrong way?

So Microsoft are launching live for windows. This idea is that gamers on windows vista will have the same access that gamers on the xbox360 have (incidently i own one :)). However, lots and lots of people are reading this totally the wrong way.

The PC market is expanding, constantly expanding updating and changing. The problem for consoles is, after each new generation, a gamer may decide that the new console from a different company, such as sony or nintendo, is far better than the current offering they are sitting with. So how do you hold gamers for the time it takes them to switch over for the next generation, keeping them thinking within your mind set?

Easy: you give them something which makes them feel powerful, clever, better, strong. You give them a identity which they can show off to friends and rivials. This identity is your Gamer Tag and Gamer Score. Together, they identify you as you play online via Microsofts xbox360.

So now Microsoft are expanding this to include PC gaming, and in doing so they have caused some uproar about how they are expecting gamers to pay for something they have had for free for so long. They are expecting games to pay for the ability to earn online achievements, to have online match making and other various things which PC gamers have had for so long.

ExtemeTech has written about this fact, but I think they totally missed the point. The point is Microsoft now have a way for them to stop supporting the xbox360 (in a few years from now) but their customers might decide they dont want the next console in the line. Many people skip console generations for various reasons, cost being a large one, or sometimes wanting to wait to see which console will reign supreme.

A good example of this is the xbox360 and Sonys own Playstation 3. Many people at first waited before buying a xbox360 up to a point until Sony released the news that the PS3 was running late. However, what if Sony had some online system, where gamers could keep their reputation, continue to expand in their gaming persona, which then would still exist, when the new console finally came out?

Microsoft have already seen how people who gained friends and fame on the xbox (1) were pleased to be able to carry this gaming persona onto the xbox360, and now they are offering the chance to carry it onto PC gaming too.

So, some might think Microsoft have gone crazy, trying to charge for something which has been free for so many gamers before them, but anyone with a Gold account on a xbox360, is also a gold account for live on windows. Any xbox360 gamer can already access all of this, and maybe some PC gamers will even consider buying a xbox 360 seeing how this amazing online system works?

Tuesday, May 1

Well i thought some - new computer to build and sort

After thinking for awhile about my present problem, i attempted to bridge my wireless and wired connections so that every machine on my network would end up in the subnet, simplifying the whole lot.

However, a small problem existed which didn't appear to be pointed out anywhere. A wireless card (or at least, mine doesn't seem to be able to) can't be put into promiscious mode (which means it picks up on all packets sent accross the network) AND to be associated with a network at the same time.

So this caused a huge problem, i could watch all the traffic passing me on the wireless, but couldn't respond as i wasn't actually attached to the network. I was like a bystander watching a football match but I'm not one of the players so i can't effect the game play.

Shame no one picked up on this problem before i got everything ready and went "live".

However, one good thing did come of this, Shady, who's PC was/is connected to the router in my room, which gains access to the net via my PC (and IPTables) found he couldn't connect to the net when he got home, so he tried his wireless card, which hasn't worked for a looooooong time, and it suddenly burst into life. While this is nice it hasn't stopped us having a network cable drapped between our two rooms, as well as the one in the roof which the landlord doesn't know about ;)

So, I next went to my girlfriends for the evening, and was hoping i could pick up the spare belkin wireless router might of allowed me to create some kind of repeating network which would be on the uplink of the router, taking my PC out of the network to act solely as a client.

However, it seems we had given away the spare router to a friend (DOH!), but instead i knew she had a computer in her room.... a plan started to slowly formulate in my head. If i could use this spare pc, in the place of my own PC, i would be able to allow my machine to reboot/shutdown/etc whenever it wished and this other PC could run quietly in a corner.

So now i have a spare machine, plus 3 random hard drives i dug up. Still got to check what O/S is installed, and then start the process of replicating the needed parts on this new system. I could go for some firewalling solution such as shorewall, but there would be no point as im already behind a secure enough firewall.

Wish me luck :D

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