Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Game Developer Map

I've started my own little Google map of local game development studios.
I'm not trying to map the world with it, but I think I'll perhaps build up a list of all the commercial games studios in California.

If your studio is missing, drop me a post or email...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Buy n Large

If you've not been there yet, head on over to http://www.buynlarge.com/.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mio C220 GPS First Impressions

I recently bought my first GPS for the car, a Mio C220. What first attracted me to it was that, at $199, it was the cheapest one :). I then read some reviews online, and people seemed pretty happy with it.

What you get
It’s a pocket sized device, with a color touch screen, and a 400MHz processor. The map comes loaded on a standard removable SD card. It’s pre-loaded with the map for North America, but it comes with a DVD with more maps. It comes with a car charger and a suction cup for sticking it to your windscreen. It’s also got a built in speaker for giving directions.

  • The UI was a bit confusing at first, but you get used to it pretty quickly.
  • The touch screen works pretty well, though it’s best if you’re using your little finger and are not driving. Using fat fingers and driving at the same time is a recipe for surprise lane changes.
  • The big thing I initially missed was a ‘text to speech’ function. Instead of saying ‘In 100 yards, take the 66 north’ it says ‘In 100 yards, turn right’. This can be frustrating as freeway turns are often on the same side of the road and close together. At first I had issues which would have been helped if it had said the name / direction of the road to take. However, you gradually improve about ‘seeing’ how far distances are, glancing at the map screen, and generally interpreting what it wants you to do.
  • One of the things that a review said was that it had a quick screen update time. I’d say the screen updates at between 5-10 frames per second. The result is good. I wouldn’t want one which updated slower.
  • The device is pretty small and lightweight, which is nice. Some other GPS devices have bigger screens. That would be nice, but I think the C220 is about big enough.
  • Some other GPS devices can play MP3’s or show photos etc. Personally I’m not a big fan of cross over devices. I like phones which just call people, cameras which just take pictures, and fridges which don’t know when I’m out of yogurt. So I actually like that this GPS just serves one purpose. It means I’m not paying for more than I want, and the manufacturer didn’t have to compromise on the creation of the device, and could focus on its core task.
  • It doesn’t come with a USB cable. Though, the USB socket is a standard small socket, which I already have a cable for. Also I don’t anticipate needing to plug it in to my PC very often; just when I want to swap in the UK map for a visit home.
  • It also doesn’t come with a protective pouch. It’d be nice to have one for when you take it out of the car, as otherwise it just has an exposed screen.
  • Overall, I like it very much. It takes a lot of the stress out of driving to new places.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This week in ducks...

Sorry the posts have dried up a bit lately. I'll get back to it soonish...

In the meantime, here's a fun bit of news about ducks. I'm a fan of ducks.