Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Guitar Hero III - Where have you been?

For Christmas my wife and I got our family (we have three boys 11, 10, and 9) an XBox 360. But not any old XBox, the Halo 3 edition. My 10 year old and I have been playing Halo for years (Halo and Halo 2), so getting the 360 late last year once Halo 3 came out, seemed a no brainer. Since I'd been playing Half Life 2 for a while on our old XBox, my wife also got me the Organge Box for Christmas (great set of gifts btw, thanks honey). I've always liked Halo but Half Life is a way more engaging game, the physics are better, you can interact with just about everything and the gravity gun is hard to beat. I also think the the story is way more interesting. However, for pure game play, not much else comes close to Portal, Valve's new game introduced as part of the Orange Box. So Christmas was great I played a lot of Half Life 2 and Half Life 2 Episode One (almost finished). Then it happened... A couple of weeks back we were at our local Best Buy and they had a pallet of Guitar Hero III wireless guitar and game bundles. We've been talking about getting Rock Band so we could all play, but we thought we'd start with GH3 first. When we got home I started to play on easy to get the feel of the game and ended up almost finishing the solo-career game. I'm not sure how to describe the experience you get playing the game but the first thing that came to mind was "this is the ultimate air guitar experience." If you've ever listened to your favorite song and wished you could play the guitar (I know, I should have learned to play the guitar, but I didn't and now I'm too lazy), then GH is for you. After playing for a couple of weeks, my wife started to play and it has been a blast. We are almost through the co-op career on Medium but Knights of Cydonia is kicking our ass! So if you were wondering where the Seam Maven archetype is, now you know, GH3 has taken all my free time, and what a great ride it's been. BTW, now I find myself wishing all my favorite songs were in GH3. While driving to work I keep thinking, I want to play that on my plastic wireless guitar :-)

Thursday, February 14, 2008 and Seam

As I mentioned a while back, I now work at One of the things I've been working on for a couple of months is bringing JBoss Seam to Overstock. First off, just to clarify where we are using Seam: We will not be using Seam for the public website, the one you might be familiar with here however; we will be using it for internal application development. This is a really exciting time for me at Overstock because I'm helping to usher in some new technologies like Seam and my other favorite open source project, Maven. Since something like Seam is new to Overstock, I've had to put together some training courses, get "the seam Book" and put together a Maven Archetype to jump start projects. Over the next couple of days, I'll be posting a working pom file (along with a download) you can use for your own Seam/Maven project. My efforts are based on Michael Yuan's posts about Seam and Maven, with tweaks so you don't have to inherit from the Seam pom. One last thing on the Seam front, in case you missed it, there is a new Seam community site now available. The best part of all is that it is built on Seam. If you cannot eat your own dog food than your framework sucks :-)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Goodbye to a family friend

On Thursday, January 31st my Dad, Bill Maki, and a stroke. What I didn't know till later in the day was that a longtime family friend (45+ year and my Dad's best friend, Bill Kapush (another Bill), was admitted to the hospital with chest pain. There is only one hospital in my home town and they were down the hall from one another. The next day, Friday February 1st, while still in the hospital, in the care of a nurse and in mid sentence, Bill Kapush put his head down and died! I couldn't believe it, on Wednesday, January 30th, Bill Kapush, Bill Maki, and my mom were having dinner together and everything seemed okay. Two days later and my dad has had several strokes, has been diagnosed with dimensia and cannot talk too well and Bill Kapush is dead. My dad and Bill had stated to talk to one another every day for the last few years, it was part of their routine, another change my dad will have to make. I'd like to offer my condolences to the Kapush family, I know it was a big shock to all of you and my thoughts and prayers are with you. If you live near your parents, why don't you drop by and say hi, if you don't live near them call them today to say hi, or better still let them know you love them, you never know how fast life can change everything.