Friday, January 30, 2009

Netbook Pro tips & tricks

I recently wanted to install drivers for my Avaya Wifi card through ActiveSync. Infrared was my only option since I don't own the USB sync cable. Normally this shouldn't be a problem but it was in this case! I figured it out in the end. There's an Irda Switch option in the Control Panel . All I needed to do was check the 'Enable Irda Switch transmit data polarity' checkbox and voila, I was able to sync no problem.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Where to?

Where is this blog headed? Well, at the moment it seems to be sailing into the Handheld PC waters. Palm vote was mine and the one for Retro Computing is probably from Andy :) The poll will be left open until the time runs out (12 days) however the focus of the blog will almost certainly end up on Handheld PC with occasional articles about Palm and possibly Retro Computing.

At this time I'd like to ask you to suggest a new name for the blog. Comments are open.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

About Blog Contents

While I enjoy writing about different things, I'm beginning to feel this blog is missing a common thread. This would probably help attract more readers which is what I'm trying to achieve. I see no point in writing a blog that will only serve itself. I'm currently thinking about covering mostly Handheld PC form-factor devices, Palm OS based devices and peripherals for both. There are also other options and I'll soon be posting a poll about what you'd like to read. Please leave a comment, if you have any suggestions or just want to express your opinion.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Game Review: Alan Probe Amateur Surgeon

You take on a role of Alan Probe, a pizza delivery boy who dreams of becoming a master surgeon. The story begins with Alan, distracted by his medical magazines, crashing his delivery van into a solitary hobo. The guy then guides you through the whole operation where you have to put his rib cage back together. This part of the game is basically a tutorial and it introduces the tools you'll need in the beginning. The hobo (who turns out to be Dr. Bleed) will also assist you during the largest part of the first chapter, giving you tips about the surgical procedures as you go.

When I first saw the game title it brought back the memories of an old game called Life & Death. Fortunately, Alan Probe: Amateur Surgeon is far from it in terms of complexity. Its cartoonish graphics, black humor and unusual characters quickly suck you in. The first couple of patients are easy enough to operate on. At your disposal there's an array of various improvised surgical instruments such as your trusty pizza cutter, a cigarette lighter, a corkscrew, a car battery and even a chain-saw! You can access the instruments by clicking the icons or by pressing the appropriate number keys, which is much faster and soon becomes neccessary.

As you operate you have to pay attention to your patient's heart-rate and the timer. If the heart-rate drops too low or the time runs out, your patient dies and you have to restart the level. The same happens, if you do the wrong action too many times.

Overall gameplay is great and the game isn't too hard, except for a few patients, but it does become very repetitive over time. You will soon realize that most of the time you have to deal with closing wounds over and over again. This is made more difficult by the fact that sometimes the lighter and gel don't register properly. As a consequence it takes you longer to 'fix' cuts that are close together. On the other hand, most injuries are diverse and wacky enough to keep you interested throughout the game.

+ great gameplay
+ cartoonish graphics
+ plenty of levels
- sometimes hard to close wounds
- repetitiveness

Rating: 9/10


Christmas Edition:

Monday, January 5, 2009

HPC News

My Case Logic external hard drive case review was published by HPC:Factor today and you can read it by clicking here.

I recently became interested in forum userbars. Since I didn't want to use an existing userbar, I decided to create my own. There are many tutorials available on-line: here and here for example. You can find the pixel font and the instructions on how to use it here.