Saturday, May 21, 2005


Wow, I can't believe e3 is already over. It seemes like it just began. Anyways, there was just so much information, my head was about to explode! The new consoles were my top priority (as was everyone else's.) There was tons on the PS3 and Xbox 360. I'll begin by listing the specs of each.

Xbox 360:

Controller2.4GHz Wireless
Form FactorConsole
Graphics Processor and Memory
Embedded Video Memory10MB
Graphics ProcessorCustom ATI Processor
Graphics Core Clock Speed500MHz
System Memory512MB UMA (Shared with GPU)
Vector Units1 VMX-128 unit per core (3 total)
CPU Math Performance9 Billion Dot Product Operations per Second
System Memory Bandwith22.4GB/s, 256GB/s to EDRAM
Memory ArchitectureUnified Memory Architecture
Shaders48-way Parallel Floating Point Dynamically-Scheduled, 48 billion Operations/s
Video Memory512MB UMA (Shared with CPU)
Fill Rate (pixels)16 Gigasamples/s using 4X MSAA
Fill Rate (triangles)500 Million/s
Product Identification
Product LineMicrosoft Xbox 360
Video Output
Resolution480p, 480i, 720p, 1080i
Expansion and Connectivity
Digital Media FormatsDVD-Video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, WMA CD, MP3 CD, JPEG Photo CD
Game Media FormatDual-Layer DVD-ROM
Other I/O Connectors3 USB 2.0, 2 Memory Slots, Ethernet Port (RJ45)
Controller PortsSupports up to 4 Controllers
Plug and Play Storage20GB Removable Hard Drive
Standard AV Output Connectorsn/a
Integrated Communications802.11 A/B/G Wi-Fi ready, adapter not included
Processor Core Spec3 Cores, 2 hardware threads per core
Marketing Performance Measurement1 TFLOP
Processor Clock Speed3.2GHz
L2 Cache1MB
ProcessorCustom IBM PowerPC CPU
Integrated Devices
Built-in FeaturesBackward Compatible with Xbox (limited), Stands Vertically or Horizontally, Interchangable Face Plates, Xbox Live Service, Media Center Extender
System Memory
Memory Bandwidth22.4GB/s main memory bandwidth, 256GB/s to eDRAM, 21.6GB/s FSB
Media Drive12 x Dual-Layer DVD-ROM
Decompression Channels320 Independent Decompression Channels
Surround SoundMultichannel Output (software driven)
Sampling Frequency48KHz 16-bit


ControllerBluetooth Wireless
Form FactorConsole
Graphics Processor and Memory
Embedded Video Memory0MB
Graphics ProcessorRSX "Reality Synthesizer"
Graphics Core Clock Speed550MHz
System Memory256MB XDR
Vector Units1 VMX vector unit per core
System Memory Bandwith22.4GB/s, RSX 20GB/s (write)/15GB/s (read), SB 2.5GB/s (write)/ 2.5GB/s (read)
Shaders100 Billion Shader Operations/s
Video Memory256MB
Product Identification
Product LineSony PlayStation 3
Video Output
Resolution480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Expansion and Connectivity
Digital Media FormatsCompatible with CR-ROM, CDR+W, DVD, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD+R
Game Media FormatBlu-ray BD-ROM
Other I/O ConnectorsEthernet (RJ45), 6 USB 2.0, CF Slot (Type I, II), SD Slot (Regular, Compact), Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, 1 x Optical Audio
Controller PortsSupports up to 7 Bluetooth Controllers
Plug and Play Storage2.5in Removable Hard Drive (Unkown Size)
Standard AV Output Connectors2 x HDMI, 1 x AV
Integrated Communications802.11 B/G Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0
Processor Core Spec1 Core, 7 x SPE 3.2GHz (256KB SRAM per SPE), 7 x 128b 128 SIMD GPRs
Marketing Performance Measurement2.18 TFLOPs
Processor Clock Speed3.2GHz
L2 Cache512KB L2 cache, 256KB per SPE
ProcessorCell processor
Integrated Devices
Built-in FeaturesBackward Compatible with PlayStation 2, Stands Vertically or Horizontally
System Memory
Memory Bandwidth25.6GB/s main memory bandwidth, 22.4GB/s video memory bandwidth
Media DriveBlue-Ray BD-ROM
Surround SoundMultichannel Output (software driven)

Although the PS3 has a slight edge over the Xbox 360, the Xbox 360 sports a menagerie of games superior to the PS3. If you'll take a look at screenshots from each console's real-time renderings, I'd like you to guess which one is the PS3 and which is the Xbox 360:

If you guessed the first was Xbox 360, you'd be wrong. It just goes to show that raw power doesn't mean a better gaming experience. I mean, all the PS3 has come to it in the way of action is MGS4 and its crappy-ass shooter "Halo-killer" sequel, Killzone 2. The Xbxo 360 has all of the innovation on its side. Kameo: Elements of Power, Prey, Halo 3, Gears of War, Perfect Dark: Zero, DOA 4, Call of Duty 2, and a whole bunch more! All the Ps3 can throw at the Xbox 360 is raw power and an online component as good as this generation's Xbox Live.

Ps3 vs Xbox 360 aside, the Nintendo "Revolution" was pretty disappointing. They didn't even unviel their fabled super-dooper amazing technicolor magical controllers. All they had was some non-working mock-up of a prototype. Laaaaaaamo! Anyways, back to the current generation...



VALVe showed Half-Life 2 on the Xbox (it's really ugly) as well as showing demos of their upcoming tech demo for their new lighting system (kind of and oxymoron, isn't it?) and... well, to tell you the truth, I was a bit preoccupied with the next-gen hardware and titles to really give a crap about current-generation titles.

And so sums up my e3 bizzare. You found out many things, like how my bias for Xbox 360 is as strong as my hatred of Microsoft. C U Lata'!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Firefox Business Cards

Anybody who supports that wonderful, splendid, magnificent open-source browser should print these out and distribute them wherever possible in their area!

Here's a link to the Firefox business cards

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I never realized how ugly the G-Man looked prior to Half-Life 2...

Monday, May 02, 2005

Washington D.C.

I'm so lucky to get a free trip to Washington D.C.!!! Apparently my social studies teacher, Mr. Gunnell, nominated me to go to Washington D.C. with some law enforcement association. At first I though it was some kind of a scam (that was until the chief of police call my house and told us to go to some meeting in The Dells.) So we went to the meeting and got the normal orientation things. After a couple of weeks had passed, the day had come when I was to leave. I drove to the Madison AAA and boarded the bus. Enter: "The Trip."

As you may imagine, an 18 hour bus trip isn't a walk in the park. Hours upon hours of absolute boredom and awful, awful Adam Sandler movies. After the second showing of Happy Gilmore, the chaperones turned off the movie and yelled "lights out!" If you've ever tried to fall asleep on a bus, you can truly understand my agony. Bus sleep is different from regular sleep because you can only get in an hour or two of solid sleep before some bump of noise jarringly awakens you, then it takes you another half hour to fall back asleep. So you don't really get a good night's sleep. Anyway, after one and a half days of that nightmare, we finally arrived in D.C.

When we first entered D.C., we were all astonished by the elegance of the city. We saw every government building; from the USDA to The Department of the Interior to The State Department, we saw it all (or most of it, anyway.) Our first stop was The White House. Yes, that's right, The White House: the place that, since 9/11, has been OFF LIMITS to the general public (of course, we're special, so we got in.) In contrast, after The White House, we were promptly bussed over to the rather depressing Holocaust Museum. That place leaves you in a very bitter mood after you've been there; because seeing mass genocide and starvation isn't the most cheerful thing in the world... Then we went to Ford's Theatre, also rather gloomy. And from Lincoln's famed death, we went to Linclon's famed life, represented by the Lincoln Memorial. Then we went to the Vietnam and the Korean Memorials. By then it was mid-after noon, we ate lunch and moved on into Virginia to visit Mount Vernon. That place was cool. You have the Potomac river in the background, a historic mansion in the foreground, and a necessary for your dirty business ;) . The sprawling estate wore out even the younger kids, so you can imagine how excited we were to find out that we were going to yet another monument before we could go to our hotel: The FDR Memorial. Personally, I found this memorial to be one of my favorites. Although by then it was 9:00 PM and it was dark out. Those waterfalls were beautiful in the moonlight. The Jefferson Memorial was just near the FDR Memorial, and that may have been the most beautiful thing I'd seen the entire trip: The Jefferson Memorial just a couple hundred feet away with a pond shimmering in the city lights. Then we went to our hotel and everyone fell asleep without delay.

Day two entailed the same amount of discomfort as day one of the touring. We kicked off the day with a visit to the WWII memorial. The cool thing about that place was that they honored American Samoa. After doing all of our routine "touristy" things, we moved onto the bus and drove to Arlington National Cemetery and watched the changing of the guards, that too wasn't a very exultant place. We saw the portraits of the fallen display there as well. Then we walked resignedly to the bus, once more. We drove to our final D.C. stop, the Washington Monument. That was also cool, the elevator had windows that fogged and unfogged to show the stones in the monument. Then we bade farewell to the fair city known as Washington D.C. and headed to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Civil War was very bloody, and yet somehow it still managed to be boring. I mean, the battle was cool, but the war just seems so... stale. But our guide certainly was very, very intense, so that made significantly more interesting. And so ended our trip to D.C., and I will sign of with a quote from the Gettysburg Adress:

"But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or to detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here."
- Abraham Lincoln
Gettysburg Address November 19, 1863

I love this button (everybody print it out and wear it!!!)