360 degree amazement

So, I got PGR3 and Perfect Dark Zero for my XB360.

Oh dear. What time is it again? 1am? Oh I really should go to bed now.

PGR3 is predictably good – I loved both PGR1&2 and this is basically more of the same, though there are some notable absences from the cars list – where PGR2 had lots of Porsches, this one has nothing (a licensing issue I wonder) other than Ruf souped-up Porkers.

I’m getting to the point where I can more-or-less drive round without hitting stuff, but playing on XBox live is quite frustrating – the number of times you approach the first 90-degree bend after the start line, wondering how to position the car – if you take the racing line, you’ll get smacked into the barrier by the guy on your inside (there’s no such thing as “Racing Accident” here … it’s all just adreneline) or the guy immediately behind won’t have found the brake yet so you’ll start to brake and turn in, only to be nerfed into the barrier by laughing boy at the back.

Oh well … another few races and I’ll figure it out …


PS – does XBox Live appeal particularly to the Dutch? I seem to come across lots of games with ‘NL’ in their tag name…

Christmas Card lists

It’s that time of year when the postman delivers a bundle of cards every day, and every day I feel more & more guilty that I haven’t even started writing mine yet.

This year I’ve already noticed that lost of “ordinary folk” are sending cards with printed address labels, which means I guess they’ve got some software to do the whole shebang. I’ve pretty much stayed away from printing labels because I’ve found it takes longer to set up than just writing the damn things to start with, and the amount of labels wasted due to misprinting (margins etc) is pretty high.

Maybe it’s time to reconsider that particular piece of technology, or should I just stick to exporting Outlook contacts to a spreadsheet, then sitting down with a printout of that sheet, a couple of glasses of mulled mine, some mince pies and actually handwriting everything 🙂

— Ewan

XBOX 360 – first impressions

I ordered my XBox 360 form Amazon at the start of September, and it arrived the other day. I haven’t tried it on the big TV yet (still running a CRT so no dreams of HD for me, at least for a few months yet) but I want to put it in my study so that I can watch TV from the Media Centre PC installed in the lounge and so that I can play games on my LCD monitor in the study.

First impressions

  • The power supply is *huge* – 12v, 16.5A!
  • The box itself is much heavier and more solid than you think it looks
  • The media centre extender functionality is very cool – the TV tuner in the Media Centre PC streams the live video content over the network really well
  • Halo2 is every bit as good on the 360 as it is on the XBox “classic” – I never even bothered with the original Halo2 game, but playing Live is just too good
  • All I need to do now is find somewhere that has a VGA cable in stock (I’m currently viewing on a portable telly) and to actually get some 360 games for it!

I picked up a copy of Project Gotham Racing 3 today, having ordered it about 3 weeks ago. Trouble is, I’m now going to be away from home for the rest of this week so I’ll just have to wait until the weekend to see how good it really is…

— Ewan

Yet another Microsoft blogger

I’ve been on the road recently with the “Exchange Unplugged” tour with a bunch of other bloggers (Eileen, Jason, Allister and John) and was ribbed as being “so important he doesn’t have a blog”… so thought it was about time I started one 🙂

I’m a technology specialist in Microsoft UK’s “pre-sales” group (ie I spend most of my time talking to large customers about technology, the idea being that if they know more about what it can do for them, they’re more likely to buy it) and basically concentrate on “messaging” – meaning, Exchange, LCS and mobile devices.

I’m hoping to add some value on this blog, rather than just point at everyone else’s blog: I periodically contribute to the Exchange Blog (blogs.technet.com/exchange) and have done the odd bit for Eileen (including the first published ‘Blogcast’ almost exactly a year ago).

— Ewan