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5.31.2008

Video Game Trade Store in Fort Wayne

This post is for the CAG members in Ft. Wayne.

I went to Video Game Trade and checked out the place. It's next to Golden Corral on Lima Rd. They have a decent inventory and the manager seemed friendly. Prices seemed fair, nothing was way too expensive, I saw several good deals to be had on older titles.

Their trade policy is different from McVans and EB. They give you 50% of their selling price for a trade-in game. So if the used title sells for $40, they give you $20 in trade. This means it's a good place for trading several cheaper games for one newer one. If you're looking to trade one game for another and only pay a fee, then check McVan's instead. But if you want to unload a batch of games for titles of a different age, popularity or console, VGT looks like the place.

They had 2 Wii's in stock!

Here are some pics.






5.21.2008

Disc Replay - bunch of PS1 stuff


Disc Replay in Ft Wayne has a pile of old PS1 and other CD games about to go into stock. They said they'd hit the shelves by Friday or so.

5.08.2008

Linux - Getting a Dock for Ubuntu

I use a Mac at work. I like the layout, and so when I started playing with Linux on my aged laptop, I was looking for a lightweight distro that looked nice on my older hardware. I tried Dream Linux, which has a nice OS X / Mac styled look to it, but some of the graphical effects and resolutions just wouldn't work with the old Radeon Mobility 9000 in the notebook. I switched to Ubuntu because I figured it would probably have broader support and I'd be able to find more documentation to fix any problems. It also has a pretty good repository of add-on software that doesn't require a lot of command line knowledge to install.

I liked the Compiz Fusion system for compositing the desktop. I added on the Avant Window Navigator dock for that OSX styled launcher/dock at the bottom of the screen. Together they looked nice, and has lots of eye candy, but my poor old notebook couldn't really handle it. Windows tore and stuttered when I dragged them around, and programs seemed to hesitate when launched.

I uninstalled Compiz and went back to using the default Ubuntu window manager, Metacity.
Unfortunately the cool AWN dock wouldn't work under Metacity. I found out that the problem is that AWN requires compositing to run. It turns out that you can enable compositing inside Metacity and use AWN. There are good instructions here.

So now I have a nice looking fast Linux install, and I get to keep my Dock.

Now I need to figure out why AWN is not drawing a dock on all my desktops, but only on the first one.

5.03.2008

Homebrew Bubble Solution

This summer we've been taking Marie outside to play with bubbles a lot. She's a bit obsessed with them, so Daddy's been doing a lot of Googling for fun bubble stuff.
I've been working on homemade bubble formulas that a little better than the store bought stuff.

I just finished brewing my second batch of bubble mix. I'm trying to get good performance with minimal ingredients and extra steps. I know there are better mixes than mine, that use several types of soap and incorporate various lubricants, surfactants, and whatnot. This is just a general purpose solution for when you need a LOT of decent quality bubble mix.

MacroGeek's General Purpose DIY Big Bubble Recipe v1.2:
  • 1/2 Cup Dawn Ultra Concentrated, original scent (avoid the stuff with extra bleach, scents, or microbeads)
  • 1 Tablespoon Glycerine (ask a pharmacist to get it for you)
  • 1 Tablespoon Equate Personal Lubricant (Wal-Mart's generic KY Jelly)
1. Mix these and simmer in a saucepan to cook off the purfume & alcohol in the soap and to thin the Glycerine & Lubricant. Low heat for say 5-10 minutes.
2. Pour this into a clean 2 liter bottle and then fill most of the way up with clean tap water. (I've balanced the quantities in this recipe out to make 2L so that you don't have to measure the water)
3. Shake the bottle well until the lubricant and Glycerine begin to mix into the water, then uncap and leave in your garage overnight. This helps get the remainder of any alcohol or scents evaporated out.

So far this has worked great for small bubbles, our bubble machine, and medium sized hoop style wands. I'm still testing it with my big 3' string blower, so when I do that, I'm usually cutting this mix 50/50 with Super Miracle Bubbles store bought solution. This seems to give that stuff the extra kick to make really big bubbles that seal before popping.

5.02.2008

Linux - adventures in Ubuntu

I've been playing with Linux again. A few months back I was running my laptop on a dual boot setup with XP Pro and OpenSuSE. I tried Ubuntu back on the Feisty Fawn release. I was never quite happy with Ubuntu because the built in ATI drivers wouldn't let the Mobility 9000 in my laptop run at the full resolution of my display. I tried various config file settings and command line fixes, but I couldn't get it running. OpenSuse seemed to work out of the box. I eventually got bored with it though and used Acronis' partitioning software to
delete the Linux partition and resize my Windows partition back to the full size of the drive.

One of my coworkers recommended the newer versions of Ubuntu so I gave Hardy Heron a try. Install was very easy. You can now import your XP user accounts, bookmarks, and files. The optional Wubi installer lets you install and uninstall inside Windows using a virtual disk file
instead of partitioning. Heron recognizes my video chipset using the open source ATI driver, but I did have some problems with windows tearing when dragged around the screen. I can install and run Compiz with reasonable settings. I did a similar install on my desktop machine and it was very impressive. Compiz looks great on my GeForce 8600gts and the whole system is super fast and responsive. If I can get WINE up and running with my limited Linux skills, I'll be very
happy. I don't think I could ditch Vista due to my games and the media center features, but I wouldn't be hesitate to put Ubuntu on a Internet / home office / homework computer for someone to save them some cash.