Nothing specific from the help desk today, but I just wanted to refer you to several tools I use frequently in my job. Some of them I have been using for years, and one of them for literally over a decade. These are applications I trust and I use. I am in no way affiliated with any of these products, and am only recommending them because they genuinely work for me! Put some of this stuff on your flashdrive and you’ll have the Swiss army knife of IT toolkits.
Now I know some of you may say I left out some other useful tools, or your favorites – this isn’t a comprensive list of everything I use regularly, these are just some of the ones I immediately turn to. I’ll gladly say I also use several resources like RogueKiller and ComboFix from BleepingComputer.com, sites like InternetHealthReport.com to diagnose internet connectivity issues, and use other products like Microsoft Steady State, Comodo Time Machine, RollbackRX for keeping a system in running order, MetaSploit, BackTrack, and ImmunityCanvas for pentesting, and Acronis TrueImage or even Norton Ghost when they’re called for in system imaging. But the list above are some of my favorites. If they’re not working for you, I’d encourage you to find something that will by using AlternativeTo.
This week’s Xbox Tip of the Week isn’t difficult – infact it’s VERY simple. Xbox Live, over the last year or so, introduced the Xbox Deal of the Week. These deals are for Xbox Live Gold subscribers, and every week they put a small handful of DLC, Live Arcade games, retail games, etc… on sale. But, after dashboard updates, sometimes it gets a little confusing trying to find what games are on sale this week. Or, what if you’re away from your console? What if you’re on vacation and you’re missing out on a 50% off sale on a game you’ve been thinking about paying. We’ve got a solution for you!
Xbox.com has an easy to bookmark Deal of the Week Page right on their website! Even better, from there you can click on a deal you want, log in with your Live ID, and purchase the game at the sale price. Then, the next time your turn on your console, whenever that is, it will download to the Xbox 360 unit. I use this site myself, frequently, and encourage everyone to bookmark it!
I was introduced to this video this week, it’s up to half a million views, but I hope it grows to a hundred times that and someone tells George Lucas to go back and do what this kid says. Star Wars will always draw people in to theaters, no matter what – but that doesn’t make them good movies. It just means we keep hoping that it will be good. We want Episode I to be better than we remember it. If it were done the way YouTuber Belated Media wishes it had been done, I would actually own the movie!
Back on WinBreak.com, I started a series of articles called The Backorder. The Backorder would feature either reviews or just a little announcement of sorts that I would be playing a game that I should’ve played long, long ago. It’s time for a new installment of the backorder.
It’s also time for a guilty admission: I never played Final Fantasy VII. It’s not that I never beat it, never finished, never loved it, never hated it… I literally never played it. I have fond memories of watching friends play through it. I watched them traverse some beautifully created hand drawn landscapes, and watched them cast spells with CGI effects that rivalled Hollywood cinema. But I never once took a controller in my hand and led Cloud and co. on their journy.
It’s true, and I’m not too ashamed to admit it. I’m not a big RPG fan. I always hated combining items, or being over-encumbered, or not knowing when to use which armor against what attack… the games had too many little details to pay attention to. I’m a gamer-jock: I just wanna go in and blow stuff up. So I never played many RPG’s, and most that I did, I never finished. But I’ve looked back at several and decided this might be the year I finish a lot of games that I started ages ago (or never started at all), particularly those in the RPG genre. I’m thinking this year will involve Final Fantasy VII, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. But I have to start with the game that gets every person I know to say “you know what the best time of all time might’ve been?”
My quest isn’t just to play the game, it’s really an attempt to find out what made non gamers, girl gamers, boy gamers, hard-core gamers, JRPG gamers — so many different people — all say how much they love this game. I started playing it again, and I’m only 30 minutes in. I have to tell you, the graphics don’t hold up well. It’s blockier than I remember it being, I can see why people are begging for an HD Remake. But the combat is tight, the soundtrack is still incredible, and the action is still palpable. I’m looking forward to getting to know my characters and playing through the story that spawned an entirely new generation of RPG fans and really gave rise to a new era of JRPG gameplay elements. I’m hoping to see what everybody else saw. The kind of thing that makes people want to pay over $200 for the “black label” edition of the game.
If you have any particular memories you wish to share, or tips for me while I’m playing Final Fantasy VII, feel free to share them below!