Monday, November 30, 2009

MySims Camera DSiWare Review



Who wants to pose virtual people onto your pictures? Nobody, that's who. At least that's what I thought. Obviously, I was wrong.

When I first read the description of MySims Camera, I wondered how they could possibly do 3D poses and animation yet maintain ease-of-use and convenience. It turns out that the poses are canned, and that the animation are really on the preview only. However, it works very well. There are quite a bit of animation that you can choose from. If you look at that flying Superman pose, that's actually swimming animation. The sideways portrait is actually not supported. The rotation doesn't permit it, so only one pose is possible.

The most important thing is: Do I have fun? Surprisingly, yes I do. I don't even play Sims. I don't have any of the game. However, the character selection, even limited to 7, is terrific, and I keep smiling at the result. Therefore, it is very well worth the price of $2.

You can, of course, create a series of MySims inspired notebook. But it also functions well as a comic creator, even if you have to drag Photo Graffiti to the process. Can you take a picture of a calendar and add MySims character to it? Can you make MySims themed playing cards? Yes and yes. For two dollars? This is great!

There is also a tie-in with existing MySims games. Supposedly there will be new characters. Unknown to me is whether the poses library will also be expanded. However, as I said before, I don't play the game, and I don't have any. So the question now is, will I get MySims Kingdom or MySims Agent?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

myNotebook Blue DSiWare review


I have just downloaded a DSiWare program called myNotebook: Blue by nnooo. I'm a sucker for app type DSiWare. However, I can safely say that you should stay away from this one as far as possible. This is one of those program that is poorly designed.

I'm not saying that a notebook program for Nintendo DSi is a bad idea. In fact, it is a terrific idea. However, the execution for this program is very much lacking. The music is intolerable, and the first time I turn the music off, it didn't turn off! I had to lower the volume down to 10, save, quit, and re-run the program before it will take.

There is no exit button to the DSiMenu. Huh?

Unlockable paper type: a very bad idea. Can you imagine having a word processor that requires you to use the program before it gives you "unlockable" fonts? Especially, if there's no way for you to know how to unlock it? What's the big idea?

You only get 2 paper types: Lined and Square. No blank pages?

No zoom function. I know not many people want it, but I do.

No color yellow.

Pen type: Thick and thin line is provided. 2 rather indistinguishable pen types and an eraser.

Writing on pages: This really annoys me. You have to turn the Nintendo DSi upside down for writing even-odd pages. This you MUST do EVERY SINGLE TIME! Of course, the press material says that "you CAN ..." I think there is a big difference between "CAN" and "MUST". "CAN" implies that you can use the program either left or right handed. "MUST" implies that unless you can read and write upside down, you'd better practicing turning the device often. It is the latter, and the official video either skip this info or glossed over it. In this case, "MUST" means unless you do, better accept that you'll be skipping every other pages.

No Photo import/export function.

Playing paper games? Flipnote Studio does it better!

Okay, enough ramblings. Now for the things that they should have done to make this a good offering:
1. Custom paper design: I've been photographing paper and use the Graffiti function to do this. A dedicated notebook program should be able to do the same or better.
2. Color choices: A pallette choice would be great, even if it is limited to 256 colors or even websafe colors.
3. Don't make the user flip the device on every pages! Have it shown 1-2, then 2-3, then 3-4, and so on. Trying to conform exactly as real-life paper counterpart is counter productive.
4. If you have lined pages, a typewriter (keyboard) function would be nice, and then provide fixed pitch and proportional spacing font.
5. Skip the unlockables, please.
6. Respect DSi convention by providing exit button, even if you do it via select menu.
7. Skip the nearly indistinguishable pen type, and subtitute marker capability. Especially nice with expanded color pallette.
8. Import and Export to Photo. Ability to crop picture would be a plus. You can do a scrapbook style project. A much more worthy capability than "Playing paper games (not included)" statement.
9. Playing paper games: Better provide them on your website. Like I said: Flipnote Studio does it better. Photo Graffiti not too bad either. Without ability to import custom paper type, this claim is useless. It's like claiming you can play chess by drawing and erasing playing piece. Technically, that's true, but it is very, very inconvenient.
10. Organizing note: Flipnote Studio does it better with the calendar capability. And Flipnote is FREE.

In conclusion: If you feel that I keep saying Flipnote Studio does it better a lot, then you are absolutely correct! Skip this myNotebook offering, and download Flipnote Studio instead. What's more, if you do play paper games, you can upload your games to Hatena website and share the games with a lot of other people. And yes, with Flipnote Studio, you can import from the camera, thus giving you an unlimited custom paper design.

Normally, I don't give bad review since I am of the opinion that if I think it's bad, I must have misjudged the product. However, I don't know anybody who is sane who would be willing to use this considering that it is very inconvenient to use and of limited capability. Had Flipnote Studio not exist or is much more expensive, then this may have a chance. As it is, I wouldn't download it, even if it's free.

Improved Random Blog?

So I was reading Blogger Buzz that says current Next Blog will yield relevant blog. So I tried it, except it kept sending me to WoW blogs, of which I have no interest. As I played around with my Yam Carving blog entry, it sent me to DJ blog with loud music. Well, that's the last of that. I closed it quick.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Dinner


I decided to get a jump of Thanksgiving dinner and pig out tonite instead of tomorrow. Went into TA and hit the buffet. I suppose it's okay. However, the turkey was a big disappointment.

If you look at the picture, then you can see that it is drenched in blood, signifying undercooking. Apparently, the oven was set too hot. I took an outer slice of it, with the skin on. The skin was way too salty.

In the end, I end up just taking my usual chicken and rice combo, although I did pile in veggie stuff also.

I won't be going back there tomorrow. The fast food place has Tuscan pasta I'd like to sample.

Friday, November 20, 2009

McCabin McDonald


I'm at McDonald in Strafford, MO. It is a very interesting place. It bills itself McStop Of The Ozarks. There's on the receipt. Manager Melissa Bryce.

Have you seen log cabin decor in a fast food restaurant before? Lots of wildlife pictures adorn the walls. There is a humongous fireplace in the middle of the room.

The service is excellent. I was still smarting from yesterday's money slip, so I ordered from the discount menu. The cashier was extra polite. I like that a lot. Then again, this cashier was an older person. The one who ripped me off was a young person. Therefore, I say that McDonald needs to hire more older person. Even here, the young person are sedate instead of rambuctious. So kudos to manager Bryce. You do well in hiring good people!

If you ever come this way, I 44 exit 88, Missouri, then check it out! The food, unfortunately, is still McDonald fare. Next time I come this way, though, I will have one of those Angus Burger.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Belle Plain KS McDonald


I think this McDonald in Belle Plain Service Plaza, Kansas has some weird vibe about it. I was ordering my food, but then the change is only $3. "Didn't I give you a twenty?"

"Nope. You gave me a $10" He showed me a very tired $10 bill I've never seen before.

Since I didn't really look at the bill I gave him, I cannot say for certain that he cheated me. OTOH, I keep all my $20s together. I have partition wallet, and I pulled the money from that side of the wallet where I keep all my ATM money. It is possible that a $20 bill may end up on the small bill partition if it comes from $50 bill as change, but change do not enter that partition, as I use it to meter my weekly expenditures.

Well, when in doubt, never come back here again.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Boiled Egg


Many ways to boil an egg, but the best method I've found is to just steam them in the rice cooker steamer. I can fit 10 eggs per tray. This would be good for boiling/steaming large number of egg. As I simply cook dinner in the rice cooker pot, the egg can go on the steamer for automatic hard boiled egg. No timer necessary. I store them in white vinegar. Supposedly, you should mix 50/50 with water, add a cup of salt, and boil the solution. I simply use straight 5% solution, as it is more of a short term preservation technique for me.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sausage on skillet

Wings America in Avoca, NE. I ordered the sausage skillet and they really serve it on a hot skillet. It reminds me of my college days when I'm too lazy to clean and just eat the fried rice out of the wok. I don't do that nowadays. Then again, I don't fry my rice anymore. It's all rice cooker now.

Colorado Snow

Oh, the joy of owning a car in Colorado. Falalala.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

BMI Calculation


I've just done a check up. Blood pressure is 138/88 85. A bit high. Healthy would be 120/80 75. So that would be something to look for. BMI is 26.9. Normal would be 25 or less. I do pack in some muscles. As it is, I am currently 8 lbs overweight. Not too bad, but can use improving also.

The BMI calculation is as follows:

Less than 18.5 Underweight
Less than 25 Normal
Less than 30 Overweight
30 or more Obese

Monday, November 2, 2009

Heartland Outdoor


Heartland Outdoor is a small outdoor store in South Hutchinson KS. It is nicely set up. Don't miss the "Final Battle" diorama. Also arrayed along the wall are trophies hunt. A deer has his antler wrapped in barbeb wire. Ducks are arrayed flown about the room. Nice decor, IMO.

No Parking


Somebody has a good taste in decorating Travel Plaza in South Hutchinson KS. Lots of neat little touches everywhere.

Normally, the sign says "No Parking". This one says "Don't even think of parking here".

Burger Breakfast


There's this restaurant, Biscuit Cafe, in Fountain CO that is proud of its handmade burger. So, they have hamburger for breakfast, which is hamburger topped with eggs. Delicious!