E3! I love being a gamer.

After watching the Nintendo and Sony E3 presentations today live on G4TV, I have to say I am completely overwhelmed, by one of them anyway ;).

Nintendo: Their conference was first. It started off quite boring I thought, and when EA came on and talked about their present and future garbage games that they’re pumping out on the Wii, I was ready to change the channel. Ninty obviously saved their big guns for the end. What they announced that I am excited for:

  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii – I loved the DS version, and this one is touting a multiplayer component of some sort. Hopefully (but doubtfully judging by the name) it will not be a direct port of the DS version.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 – The first one easily the best 3d platformer I’ve ever played. This definitely has me excited.
  • Metroid: Project M – Okay so this is one series I’ve never really played (embarrassed), but the news on this one is just too exciting. Nintendo is co-developing the game with Team Ninja, the guys behind the fantastic Ninja Gaiden franchise. The trailer is pretty cool, so here is the video:

Overall, their conference was pretty “meh”. The extreme enthusiasm of the on-stage presenters (mainly Cammie Dunaway, I very much dislike her) for the lack-luster material they were presenting for the first 95% of the show was frustrating.

Sony: Totally caught me off guard. This presentation was good, very good in my opinion. It did start off slow, but they played their cards right. Why I liked it:


  • The PSP Go was officially announced. Kaz Hirai humorously said it’s alternate name is “The Worst Kept Secret of E3“. Not many new details compared to my last post. It’s 50% smaller than original PSP. I must emphasize it’s not meant to be a PSP 2 nor replace the PSP-3000. In my last post about this, I was extremely upset with the PSP Go. After seeing it on video, I must change my opinion. This thing is very small and very slick. I want one.
  • Gran Turismo PSP – This is the game I’ve been wanting on my PSP since day one. It’s going to have 35 tracks, and get this OVER 800 cars!
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker – The trailer wasn’t very good, but it’s Metal Gear Solid. Looks like there is going to be multiple Snakes. YES.
  • Resident Evil Portable – PSP exclusive. 2010. No other details.
  • Assassins Creed: Bloodline – I don’t know any details besides that it will be out this fall, hopefully it doesn’t stink.

I am very surprised overall with the games coming to PSP. I thought the PSP was down for the count. I am very pleased with what Sony showed.


  • Rockstar North (creators of Grand Theft Auto Series) are making an exclusive PS3 title called Agent. That’s all Sony said in the conference, but what I can gather is that it’s an espionage game based in the 1970’s. I am hoping this game will be a AAA title like Rockstar always seems to put out.
  • Final Fanatasy 13 trailer was shown and it kicked ass, but here is the big news. Final Fantasy 14 is coming exclusively to the PS3. It will be an online game similar to FF11.
  • Another PS3 exclusive, The Last Guardian was shown. It’s from Team ICO (the creators ICO and Shadow of the Collosus). I have to be honest, I’ve never played any of their games. But is “I want to” good enough? Both ICO and SotC are regarded as masterpieces and this game looks absolutely beautiful.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Rising for the PS3 was announced. Looks like 360 and PC owners are getting it too! I just hope that doesnt mean they have to cripple the game somehow to accomadate all 3 platforms.
  • A trailer for Gran Turismo 5 was shown. For some reason it got me super excited. I want this game so bad.
  • A big surprise for me, a new game called Modnation Racers was announced exclusively for the PS3 and previewed. It’s a kart racer, but it has creation abilities similar to Little Big Planet. You should watch the video to do this game justice. It looks very polished already.
  • Several minutes of in-game footage of God of War 3 was shown. The video finished off with Kratos slamming a monsters horn through its eye. Saying it was epic is a definite understatement.
  • New singleplayer footage of Uncharted 2 was shown. This is my most anticipated game of 2009! A few hours after the conference I received an email from Sony, “oh.. boring..” I thought. I read the email; I was invited to the Uncharted 2 multiplayer beta! And it starts tomorrow!! I am so stoked for this I can’t describe it.
  • And saving the best for last (well Sony didn’t, I am), Sony unveiled  a new product for the PS3. Two engineers came out; you could tell they were not the normal overly enthusiastic presenter type. Somehow you could just tell whatever Sony was going to show, it was going to be amazing. Then an engineer brought out an oblong funny looking controller, and the video incrementally got more amazing. Here is the video:

Obviously Sony took some ideas from Nintendo, but this motion controller appears to be incredible. I love the fact that they were showing a working prototype in it’s early stages right on stage by none other than two engineers. Call me a fanboy, those tech demos look better than most Wii games I’ve played.

I must bring up Microsoft’s “Natal” which they unveiled yesterday. It’s very similar in concept to the PlayStation Eye Toy.  Maybe I’m biased, it looks too good to be true. WAY too good to be true. To be honest, it reminds me of what Sony used to do. Showcase a product that hasn’t even been made yet. This just looks far to advanced to be possible. If this works as good in real life as it does in this video, I will buy a 360, so chances are I won’t be buying a 360.

So far E3 has been a joy ride. I can’t wait to play these upcoming games, so so many games *drools*.

Mumble Makes Talking Cool Again

There is a new voip app on the block, and it’s name is Mumble. It’s very similar in purpose to Ventrilo and TeamSpeak. The reason I like it:

  • available on OSX, Windows, and Linux
  • open source
  • low resource
  • low latency
  • easy server-side setup
  • very useful headset setup wizard
  • clean non-flashy interface
  • minimizes to system tray (I know this is a minor feature, but very handy)

You can download it here: npopson.com/software/Mumble-1.1.8.exe or sourceforge

After installing Mumble, connecting to a server is a breeze. Just click the “Server” tab, then “Connect”. There is a long list of public servers, or you can click “Custom Server” and connect to mine. =). Address is npopson.servegame.com, port is default (64738) and don’t forget to pick yourself a username.


The server should be on 24/7 since I set it up as a Windows Service.  This isn’t a tried and true program, so I can’t promise it will be perfect, but what I see looks very good.

PSP Go! Announced

Leaked photos and specs of the PSP Go (not to be mistaken as a PSP 2) have emerged, but all I see is disappoinment.
Specs: press-sony-psp-go-1

  • 16GB Flash interal storage
  • Bluetooth for tethering and headsets
  • Memory Stick Micro slot
  • Playstation Network Full Integration
  • 3.8 inch display
  • 43 percent lighter than the PSP-3000
  • No UMD drive

Personal opinion here: Aesthetically this looks “cheap” and internally it’s very similar to the PSP-1000, PSP-2000 and PSP-3000. What they added was 16GB of internal memory and a bluetooth channel. What they dropped was a UMD drive and Memory Stick Pro Duo slot (which previous PSP’s / Sony Camera’s use). The PSP was launched in Japan in December of 2004, the hardware is outdated.

Not all is bad though, this definitely has potential. I could see this online-only approach picking up a lot of independant developers, similar to Apple’s App Store. Funny thing is, the PSP I have from launch day (March 2005) can access this same PlayStation Network, and I can get a 16GB Memory Stick Pro Duo card for $100. In a way, it’s kudos to Sony for supporting their hardware so long, but at the same time I am ready to get a new portable gaming machine, and the PSP Go! is not it.

Anyway, check out the official pictures from Sony in all their high-res glory after the break.

Source: Engadget









MGS Teaser Wallpaper

Hideo Kojima, director and producer of the Metal Gear Solid series, has a rather tantalizing teaser website with a countdown timer to June 1st. For the past couple of weeks, the site has been flashing the letters e, 3, 5/S, E, R, and P in randomized order. In the last day however, the site is now flashing an image of Big Boss (aka Naked Snake); the main character from Metal Gear Solid 3. So what the heck does this code mean? My guess, which will undoubtedly be wrong; “e3 PlayStation Exclusive Remake”. E3, being the electronic entertainment expo, where all the bigwigs of the gaming industry showcase their upcoming products, which is set to begin on June 1st. Among other things at e3, there is rumors that Sony will be announcing the next PSP, and/or the PS3 slim.

Maybe this will be a remake of Metal Gear Solid 3 for the new PSP (which may not even exist). I’m not entirely a fan of remakes, they should be for something that wasn’t done right the first time, so hopefully I am completely wrong.

UPDATE: Well, Kojima now has added more to the tease. Along with the letters e, 3, 5/S, E, R and P, there is now a 6, C, and an O. Even more significant though, there is an image of what looks to be Raiden, rocking the prosthetic look like a champ. However, as far as we know, Raiden doesn’t have brown eyes, nor an eye patch, so who could this be? Judging from the brow line, it seems like it could be a girl.

UPDATE 2: Turns out there is going to be a PSP game with multiple snakes, and a PS3/360/PC game called Metal Gear Solid Rising.
Here is the trailer for Rising:

Anyway, I took the image of Big Boss and shoved it into a wallpaper.


Standard 1280×1024 Version
720P 1280×720 PS3 Version
Widescreen 1440×900 Version

Kojima obviously likes messing with me. Maybe it’s actually “Popson’s Stupid; Elusive e3 Rickroll”.

Check out the teaser site and comment on what you think the code means, you know you’d feel awesome if you “totally called it”!


In trendy fashion, here is a wallpaper for “Raiden”.


Standard 1280×1024 Version
720P 1280×720 PS3 Version
Widescreen 1440×900 Version





And for the heck of it, here is one of both of them together (note: thumbnail is deceiving).


Standard 1280×1024 Version
720P 1280×720 PS3 Version
Widescreen 1440×900 Version






Nick from the comments requested I do a wallpaper similar to the deceiving picture of Snake and Raiden pictured above. Here it is: I actually kind of like this, I didn’t think it would work out.

Snake and Raiden Morph Standard 1280×1024 Version
Snake and Raiden Morph Widescreen 1440×900 Version

I also did a fairly not-good wallpaper of the clear sky that is shown now on the site.. I kind of like it though:

Metal Gear Rising Sunny Landscape Standard 1280×1024 Version
Metal Gear Rising Sunny Landscape Widescreen 1440×900 Version

Comment on what you think, or any suggestions you have for a wallpaper. I have a LOT of free time so anything is possible.

An Awesome Carpentry Tool!

Edit: Turns out I’m the only person ever not to have heard of a biscuit jointer. You should read on and comment on my noobish-ness anyway.

At first this post was supposed to be a short “I love this tool”, but it kind of turned into a tutorial. You may have heard of this tool, and know everything there is to know about it, in which case, I’m wasting your time.

Today I started on my Dad’s kitchen renovation. After ripping off the old arborite, trim and tiling, it was time to make some forward progress.
First on the list was to apply the 3/4″ maple trim to the edge.

My Dad’s friend, who is a professional carpenter, recommended I use a biscuit jointer to attach the trim. I have never in my life heard of it before, but I decided to give it a shot. Turns out it’s absolutely awesome!


(Avoiding all edibility jokes) A biscuit is a small piece of wood about 1/8 ” thick of varying width/length.
Regarding the tool itself, a small (4″) blade is mounted horizontally inside the biscuit jointer. When pressure is applied to the front edge/guide, the blade glides out and is exposed to the material. Before starting, it must be adjusted to the proper depth and height for the material. In this case, the counter top is 3/4″ thick, so the jointer is set up to penetrate at the midpoint; 3/8″. The penetration depth must be set up for slightly more than half the width of the biscuits being used. In this case the depth was set to about 1/2″. Now I know this probably sounds like nonsense, it will make sense in a minute.
A shot of the trim-less counter top:


bisquit5Once the length of maple was cut to shape, it was time to prep for the jointer. There is an easy way of determining where both pieces of wood should be jointed. Holding the maple carefully in place, and drawing a small pencil line (5″ away from the edge) across both pieces gives an exact point where the jointer should be used on both sides. Subsequent pencil marks were made approx. 10″ apart down the length of wood.


I applied the jointer to the counter top. It was convenient that the person who used the tool previously left a red mark at the center, where max. depth of the blade occurs.bisquit6

Using the jointer is actually extremely simple. Holding the tool off the wood, turn it on. Once it gets up to speed in about half a second, slowly and flushly (I don’t think that is a word, but I like it) set the guide onto the table, and then push in a forward motion so the blade enters the material. Then pull it out and do the next joint, or turn it off. Repeat on the other piece of wood.

bisquit7The result is a nice little slit. It will hold half of the biscuit.





I found it easiest to apply the wood glue to the maple, including inside of the slits, then gently tapping the biscuits into their slits with a rubber mallet (doing it on the fixed counter top would cause the glue to run). Apply glue to the rest of the biscuit and quickly apply the entire assembly to the counter.


I was aware of other methods of jointing such as drilling holes and using wooden dowel, but I always find those methods very”finicky”, especially when all I need precision. One screw up and you have to drill an entire series of new holes. With this method, the two materials will ALWAYS be jointed perfectly flush to each other, and there is just the right amount of horizontal play to get things aligned perfectly with a mallet.

And the result is a nail-less, perfectly flush trim that is incredibly solid (much stronger than if it were applied using nails or screws).


And now to take a break and drink a coke before applying the arborite. I wish I could learn how to pour pop correctly.


A friend in need is…

Indeed, I’m completely clueless when it comes to any sort of web-development. Thanks to Kevin Morrison and Benson Trinh, I now have a beautiful search bar and rss feed setup.

For those who don’t know what an rss feed is; basically it’s a simple way to get news updates, and it works with any browser like a “dynamic bookmark”. For a far more detailed description, click here. You may be surprised to know almost every major website has one, including Facebook, for status updates and notifications.
Subscribe to my feed by clicking the blue rss icon rss at the top right of this page, and hopefully I’ll be pumping out some quality entries here soon!

Spur of the Moment

Last night, with the influence help of my friend Simon Tam, I decided I needed a personal webpage. That was a 3 second decision. Alas, it was a 3 hour decision to think up a website name. It was an insightful experience though; I think I’ve been nominated for the most uncreative domain-name guy.

Anyhow, I really don’t know what direction I should go with this site. On the main page I could write about my everyday events, like… drinking a glass of milk, watching the Blackhawks get destroyed with a sad face, or some crazy combination of the two! Truth be told, I don’t really want to write about my life all that much (so when I do it better be damn good).
In a nutshell, what I want to write about is:

  • Technology – mainly computer related; hardware and software
  • Video games – impressions, reviews, anticpations
  • Education – engineering related; math and physics
  • Sports – hockey with a hint of tennis
  • My life – we’ll see, hopefully nothing too personal
  • Tutorials – where I consider myself knowledgeable (so there probably wont be many of them)

Hopefully in a year, I can say to myself “Wow, the Avalanche are going to the Conference final the website has come a long ways”

Beauty Shot of Shadow