Saturday, November 22, 2008

Picking Video Games

After almost three months of searching around the streets of Jordan for any solution for modding my Xbox 360, I have finally been defeated and have not found any shop at all. In the end, I had to go ahead and order original games for my Xbox from Amazon. I ended up spending my entire years’ savings on three games and a controller, for £150.

Before I go on and tell you about the games I chose to play for god knows how long, I’d like to give you some advice on how to choose a game. It’s a rather simple procedure that ensures you get the best game for your money and don’t end up getting disappointed you spent your well earned money on a pile of rubbish.

The main point you must always take into consideration, and is the biggest impact on whether the game is good or not, is seeing critics’ views. Looking up the game on a popular review website, like IGN or Gamespot, is the first part of choosing a game. As a general rule of thumb, even before reading the review, look at the games score. Generally, any game over 9 is excellent, and don’t take this easily.

For example, 8.9 is not excellent, and reviewers really do take into consideration everything to determine if a game really does make the point of excellence. Games over nine are the ones to go for first, but there’s nothing wrong in going for something over 8. Below eight, however, is a no-no.

There are things you mustn’t look for. One of the first is well awaited for sequels, or in other words a new release to a popular series. Just because the company did it right before it doesn’t mean that it’ll do it better again. In fact, sometimes it comes out worse, like Need For Speed Undercover. Another thing not to look for is over-hyped reviews, such as the ones from magazines, since they tend to give a perfect full score to anything they find seems good, which isn’t always the case.
Putting all of that into mind, picking a game is simple.

Even if you’re stuck on two similar games with just about the same score, try watching a video review. This shows you game play and also tells you what’s good about the game and what’s bad. It’s a two in one deal, and you’re sure to get out of it picking the best one.

Considering this all, I went ahead and picked three sequels to games that reviewers considered excellent, or above nine in the score. The first was Gears of War 2, a sequel to an already excellent game, with better stunning graphics the second time.

Next was Fallout 3, an RPG that wasn’t much heard of until the third made its way through and marvelled all critics. This is a game that combines graphics, with a good storyline and interesting styles of game play. Lastly was the latest sequel in the Call of Duty series, World at War. According to reviewers, even though this went back into the World War once again, it managed to keep its name and stay a brilliant shooter.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Making HDR Photos

Sometimes when you take a photo, its either good in some areas, and bad in others. This is usually because of over or under exposure to light in the scene, and there isn't much you can do about it with one photo.

This is where high dynamic ranging comes in. The main concept of this is that you take multiple photos of exactly the same scene, but using different exposures. Then, a special piece of software analyzes all the photos then merges them together, using the clearest selections of the image for each part.

In the end, what results is a clear image with outstanding results most of the time, and a photo with no over exposures or under exposures. I decided to try it out, took out a camera, positioned on our balcony, took three pictures with different exposures.

There are many different software that merge photos into high dynamic range photos, but by far the best - according to the Internet folk - was Photomatix. I tried it out and it gave far better results than when I tried in Photoshop CS3.

All in all, these are the results. First photo is the three photos before merging. The second is when Photomatix works its magic on the three photos. And the third is the HDR photo after a few touching up on Photoshop. Now, go out now and try it your self.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Not Another Header

Usually these days, when I smell my mothers cooking, I know that shes making something good. It all began when she began making creative things, as in trying new recipes and non-traditional foods, so the cooking now is much better than ever before - thank you, mum.

So, as being my creative and inspirational self that I am - brag, brag - I was searching the internet when I stumbled upon a rather simple, powerful and magnificent tool called Wordle. To sum up what this nifty tool does, I ask a question: have you ever wondered how to make a word collage?

Wordle is your answer. Either enter a whole load of text, your blog address, or a name, and with a bit of magic and voodoo, the program begins making your jumble of words. By default, it won't look as you want it, so you'll need to tweak with the settings and randomise a bit to get the result you want.

If you prefer the one I just used in the header, then choose half and half for the layout, heat for the colour, and telephoto for the font. In the end you'll have to print screen it all, since the programmers couldn't be bothered to make a function to export it as an image.

In the end I couldnt think of anything creative enough to place the title of my blog, so I just made a few adjustments and made it the header of my blog for now. Until then, I would have thought up of something creative enough.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So What's Next?

Now that Barak Obama is the new President of the United States of America, what do we expect to see from him?

I've heard some really strange things from many people over the past few days, over the fate of the days and months to come. Some are hopeful that he'd just pull all the soldiers out of Iraq. I mean, imagine how optimistic people would be when they say he'd do that. And imagine the reaction of the opposing countries.

For some the middle name Hussain and the Arab originality is just too frightening. There are rumors that Obama is really a Muslim deep inside. And the ideas of him turning to radical Islam have already popped up, which I saw on Hard Talk a few days ago. Sense of humor?

And for the more pessimistic side, people just keep remembering Martin Luther King and relating him to Obama. Even though the state of black people in the world these days has changed immensly, people really believe in his fate. Talk about superstition.

But for me, I'll just sit back in my computer chair watching the news and hoping a miracle will fall down from the sky. And its a good thing Americans are not Arabs. I mean just imagine McCains supporters out on the streets shooting in the air, waving thier flags and smashing cars. Hehe.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I really hate spenders, careless spenders who God has blessed them with money and they just take it a little too far. Here is an account of a 5aroof - sheep - that I wrote as in first person, for the entertainment value.

I am a sheep.

I never save a penny since all the money will do is collect dust. I must spend everything I get, but it must be all for me. All I do when I enter a shop is buying, even if I don’t need it, and when I buy a book I judge it by its cover. I love gimmicks. If I find something that looks good, I will buy it. I don’t care if I need it or not, since I have too much money and too much things to buy. I usually end up using the product for a while then throwing it away, or just putting it in the bin from the beginning.

I am overweight but I have no clue as to why I am, even though I eat everything under the sun. My ideal outing would be running around a mall to watch a movie in the cinema and eating all the overpriced popcorn, then eat way too much from an expensive junk food branch, then run around a bit more trying to find more places to spend money on. I must spend all the money in my pocket that night; otherwise I will suffer from severe depression, for some reason.

I always get the most expensive choice of item even though I probably don’t know what makes one item better than the other. My television is extra flat and large, and I have every subscription and every dish in the world, just so I can be a perfect potato couch. No evening meal is acceptable if it doesn’t have all the best courses from all around the world in extra large size, and I usually have to get a take away from an American junk food branch because home made food is not of my standards.

My favourite topics are food, money, clothes, movies, games, and many more useless topics to burn more money and waste even more time. Instead of keeping my great stories of travelling around the world and eating a truck load of chocolate, I have to tell everyone in a bragging way and despise anyone who dares to contradict me.

I feel that other people who try to save money are idiots. Why do people buy DVDs, when they can buy a cinema ticket and watch it on a very large screen with very loud sound, which makes watching a film so much better. Or why do they walk, when they can go around in expensive cars with low mileage for so little energy. And why do I have to see people in the same clothes? Are they so poor they can’t buy new clothes? I’m so good I never wear the same shirt twice!

How many people do you know match this description?