What’s next from the creator of Wing Commander?

We’re nearing the end of a countdown, leading up to an announcement on 10/10/2012 at 10 AM (New York time) from Chris Roberts, creator of the Wing Commander franchise of video games. Wing Commander, without hesitation, was the game that made me a “PC Gamer.” Wing Commander III, then IV, then Prophecy… sure I had DooM, Duke3D, Quake II, and Unreal. But I never threw myself so deeply in to any saga as I have the Wing Commander games. And when I heard that Chris Roberts started up something new he’s posting over at RobertsSpaceIndustries.com (RSI) – well, you can guess I’m going to be onboard that vessel when it launches.

While we don’t know what the final announcement will be in its entirety, we have been handed several clues. Whatever it is, it seems that there will be some sort of closed “beta” phase – this is hinted at by the “golden tickets” that you can only get by signing up for the site BEFORE the announcement is made. Also, since the “RSI” unveiling, Chris Roberts has been slowly taking visitors through the history of the Wing Commander universe. Several polls have been posted on the site, many of them trying to get a feel for what someone wants in a game. But if the game were this early in its inception, that they were just getting ideas, would they really be teasing it like this? I doubt it. Another recent poll asked what made Chris Roberts’ games great – the feeling of playing a movie? The large universe? The visceral combat and flight simulation details? I’m starting to think that these polls aren’t trying to gauge responses, but rather build hype.

Recently, members of the of the site received a message from one of the administrators. Though not spoken aloud, there are some clear indicators that this game is going to be an MMO Wing Commander experience. Why else would we “golden ticket” holders be told that, “should you choose to join us on our new adventure — will receive defining gold decals for your spaceship to immortalize your early support.” Certainly wouldn’t need those decals in a single player game. True, it might be nice, but I far more often see “founders” emblems in online games. The brief letter ends with “Together we will shape the universe – one or one million polygons at a time.” By together and at a time are they alluding to all at once? Is in, simultaneously? Online? Shaping a persistent universe?

All of this, paired with my February discovery of an extension with the U.S. Patent Office of the “Wing Commander” brand, and other rumored work involving Chris Roberts’ and some original Wing Commander III and IV cast members in Detroit, I think we’re going to see something new. An MMORPG that will feel very much like Privateer, take place in the Wing Commander universe, and rather than just a handful of cut-scenes, it will involve video briefings by familiar Confederation faces. I guess we’ll find out in just a few more days, though, won’t we?

Going "legit" with digital movies – is Vudu worth it?

I recently decided to try my hand at building my digital movie collection. I’m an avid music collector and of course love my video games, but I only ever owned a few dozen movies over the years. The advent of Netflix has been perfect for someone like me, who doesn’t own many movies, but likes to watch the occasional TV series or movie. Still, there have always been a few movies that I’ve had in my collection – and while my TV Series I’ve been “ripping” down to my hard drive myself, I find the process tedeious. I wanted to find a new way to have “my” movie stash, online. Continue reading “Going "legit" with digital movies – is Vudu worth it?”

Chase Mobile app comes to Windows Phone 7 – one big, happy, mobile banking family

I was pleased to see this week that the nation’s biggest bank, JP Morgan Chase (or, just Chase), has released a Windows Phone 7 app that is as full-featured as the Android and iOS counterparts. Check balances, pay bills, and even deposit checks to your account with the official Chase MobileĀ® app for Windows Phone 7.

And, just in case you’re looking, here are the iPad, iPhone, and Android versions.

Outlook freezes / locks up / crashes after opening

Last week we talked about what to do when Outlook won’t open, but what if it opens, then almost immediately locks up? If your Outlook says “not responding” when you try to open a piece of mail, it likely means you have a corrupt PST file. Luckily, Microsoft anticipated this happening, and has armed you with the tools to fix it!

Some quick background – a PST is your archive of mail – whether it’s something you archived off by choice, or it’s where your computer stores mail after it’s been downloaded from a mail server, such as Gmail, Hotmail, or a local ISP like Time Warner or Verizon. Any time you use “POP” mail with Outlook, you have a PST.

To fix a corrupt PST, you just need to locate an application that is installed along-side Microsoft Office called “ScanPST.” On a 64-bit Windows 8 computer running Microsoft Office 2010, I found the ScanPST application to be here:
C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice14

Depending on your version of office, it might be under another Office “version number” but most versions of Office, even the older ones, will include ScanPST.

When you double click the file, it generally auto-detects the file you need to scan, but you may need to browse to your data file before you click on Start. By default, Windows 7 & 8 should store the PST’s in this location:

In Windows XP: C:Documents and SettingsUSERNAMELocal SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftOutlookOutlook.pst

If you are in a corporate environment, the location may be different.

Once you have the proper file in place, click on “Start” in ScanPST. By default, you should allow it to make a backup, then let it run through it’s 8 phase repair process. As always, depending on the size of your PST (how much mail you have), and the speed of your computer, it can take a while. Even when it looks like it isn’t doing anything, it probably is, so just let it go for a little while. When it’s finished, you should be able to open up Outlook without any issues!