by Mike Shea on 15 May 2006
Two days ago my fiance (yep, I'm getting married!) bought me an Xbox 360 for my 33rd birthday (buy me presents). It is a lot better than I expected. I hope to write a longer article about how it meets the my Ideal Console criteria, but in short, it does. It is beautiful in high-definition, sounds great in Dolby Digital 5.1, and has built in networking. I bought both Call of Duty 2 and Oblivion and I love them both although it is taking me a bit to get into Oblivion. I bought the PC version a month ago but it ran like crap on my 3.2ghz 1gb ram 6800 GT system and it plays almost flawlessly on the 360 except for some load time issues. Call of Duty 2 is the best WW2 FPS I have ever played.
I love my new 360. I won't succumb to paying for the $100 network adapter or the $50 Live Gold account or all of the other things that MS expects you to buy to make up for the loss on their system. Burnout 3 and Perfect Dark Zero both look good though, I may get those sometime soon.
I am reading Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon and I love it. I am getting into cryptology in a big way, playing with my own home-generated one-time pads and with modifications to a Vigenere cipher. I love pen and paper encryption techniques. The book is a big one but now that I am deep into it, I can't put it down. Stephenson is a master of point-of-view and shows his skill as he switches between the brilliant but nearly idiot savant Waterhouse and the testosterone-enriched morphine addict, Shaftow. It's a great book.
I did a new ink test on a variety of pen inks. Noodler's ink is still the strongest for fountain pens but I no longer endorse the use of the Pilot G2. Instead, the Uniball 207 offers a chemical proof, water proof, fade proof, and acid-free pen for about $1.30 each. Go replace all your Pilot G2s with Uniball 207s.