Great Books With Terrible Movies

Lets face it. Very few books get acceptable movies. I came to grips with this a long time ago. I believe there are two main reasons why the movies end up being terrible. The first and the more common occurrence is the exclusion of characters or events. The second is the compression of time.

My philosophy on this topic is pretty simple, but difficult to execute unless you have pretty good self control. Don’t watch the movie within six months of each time you have read the book. So, if you have read the book twice, don’t watch the movie for at least a year. I didn’t read the Lord of the Rings within a two years of all the movies being released and I had forgotten a lot of the stuff they left out. I wasn’t super disappointed with the movies.
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Budget Gaming: The Left 4 Dead series

In college, I was stuck in a video game purchasing mode that was uncontrollable. I may have owned over 40 Playstation 2 games at one time. Over the past five years, I’ve learned to do a lot research into games I purchase. Re-playability and bang for your buck are the two biggest factors for me. I’m a big fan of XBox live achievements also.

The Left 4 Dead series can be one of my favorite games that offers a completely unique experience every time you play. Both games have five campaigns. Each campaign has four to five chapters. Both games have a DLC campaign that have two or three chapters. A third DLC campaign is scheduled for release October 5th that will feature the characters from the first game. It looks like it is available to download for each game with different features for both games.

Starting with the second game and jumping down the first one can be kinda rough. The second game features an additional weapon tier and melee weapons that really help out with big crowds of zombies. The first game only has single and dual pistols as your “backup” weapons.

The first tier weapons include a pump shotgun and uzi style full machine gun. The second tier has an auto shotgun, assault rifle, and semi-auto sniper rifle. The second game adds an additional version of each weapon to each tier that has a different ROF, magazine capacity, accuracy, or damage rating. The second tier shotguns are the tactical and combat shotgun. The tactical shot gun has a wider spread making it better for closer ranges than the combat shotgun.

The “Director” is the true villain of the game. The directer determines item, weapon and enemy placement. You’ll encounter boss infected, called Tanks, in different locations every time you play a campaign. The same applies for all the weapons and item pickups. This means that playing on “normal” could end up being as difficult as “hard” depending on how the director is acting.

The series is great. It’s even better when you play with a party online. Regardless of which one you purchase, expect a lot of play out of the game without getting bored. I’m really hoping a third game comes soon.

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Zelda T-Shirt: +30 Nerd Cred

Dorkly.com is one of the many geek/dork/nerd blogs I subscribe to and actually read. Well today they posted up an article titled 7 Real Life Items and Their Stats that hits home for me. Yes, I own a several toy lightsabers and one of the expensive ForceFX sabers. This is what caught my attention:

Ok, big deal. Its a Zelda shirt. Well the Zelda shirt in the picture is the first video game shirt I ever bought and it started my awesome video game t-shirt collecting. I own like 4 Zelda shirts, a Zelda track jacket and a Hyrule hoodie so I must have +302 nerd cred. I don’t care about the -10 girlfriend… I’m married and she buys me the stuff!

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Visual Studio C# Enum Switch Snippet – Blew My Mind

So I learned something TOTALLY COOL from a coworker today! I’m always excited about learning something new when it comes to coding.

I’ve frequently been in the situation where I’ve wanted to create a Switch statement while using enums.
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Equipment Counts! A lesson I keep learning!

I consider myself very fortunate that my parents raised me the way they did. I had to pay for anything “extra” after I was tall enough to push a lawn mower. This included video games, paintball, and camping stuff. I learned when I was 8 that quality counts. I used my allowance to buy a hand saw from Walmart. My family has always been big do it yourselfers and carpenters and I was ready to have my own tools. I purchased a multi function saw that you could swap the blades for four dollars. Now, when your allowance for chores is only two dollars a week, four dollars was a good amount of money.

I quickly learned that this purchase was bad on two levels. First, I learned be very careful when buying a multi-functional tool. A TV/VCR combo may sound like a good idea, but what happens when the screen goes out? You have a giant VHS rewind machine. Second, I learned its not a good idea to go cheap on stuff you will regularly use.

Over the years, this has been drilled in my head by learning the hard way. I bought cheap video game controllers, that would quickly break and rattle. I would get cheap hiking shoes and go on a ten mile hike with my boyscout troop. I would come home with giant blisters from wet feet and poorly fitting shoes.

What did this do? It taught me a valuable lesson about quality. I learned to only buy official licensed Nintendo controllers and go to an established outfitter for hiking boots. I’ve owned 3 pairs of hiking boots in the last 10 years because I bought quality. The first two pairs have been heavily worn out and I’m still wearing the third pair to scout events. Now, I’ve never had a good sense of style. I wore those boots EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK. I could go all day on that.
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Give Windows More Desktops with VirtuaWin

If you are within 30 feet of me at the office you know I’m grumpy when it comes to workspace. I’m not super excited about moving away from my monitor to only work on my laptop screen. The 1200×800 resolution feel really cramped with working inside of Visual Studio, Flash Professional, and several other IDEs that take up a lot of space on your screen. There isn’t much I can do about hardware so, I started looking for a software solution.

I’d have to say the one thing that the one big thing I wish Windows had was built in multiple desktops. The Mac OS has “Spaces” and several Linux OSes have built in Virtual Desktops. I really enjoy using the virtual desktops in Ubuntu. Windows doesn’t have anything that I’m aware of that is built in like this, but there are several pieces of software that allow you to have multiple virtual desktops. I started using VirtuaWin about a month ago and I’ve been very happy with how the software operates.
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

My First Video Game Band – The Minibosses

Nothing makes me warm and fuzzy inside more than revisiting my childhood….. minus elementary school….. and middle school… and while we are at it jr high and highschool. OK, so lets just say video games. I loooooved playing video games when I was a kid. I still consider myself a kid at heart, but kid kid.

I love music. I always have. My Dad raised me on Billy Joel and he always played the guitar for the family. I figured out I really loved movie soundtracks when the Star Wars Special Editions were released. The first 10 CDs I owned were movie soundtracks. I use to listen to MIDI tracks from VG Music when I was in high school during programming class. I eventually stumbled across Overclocked ReMix. They had some cool techno remixes that kept me entertained for a few years. I eventually stumbled across a torrent that would change my life. They were called…. The Minibosses.
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

jQueryPad – A Great App for Quick jQuery Development

jQuerypad allows you to quickly develop javascript/jQuery code without a bunch of database calls or heavy CSS slowing down page load. It’s a great tool for experimenting or optimizing code.

It doesn’t require an install. Simply unzip the file, plug in your HTML markup and start coding away. Your code is written to a file so you can easily export it or view it later.

http://www.paulstovell.com/jquerypad

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

10 Games That Deserved More From Me

I do not have much time anymore to play video games. I try to make it count when I do. I want to get every penny out of the game now a days. I played through the original Bioshock and earned every achievement for example. I “completed” my goal almost through my third play through. There are tons of great games that I neglected over the years that I really wish I had time to play through and truly enjoy.

If any of you don’t know about my obsessive video game collecting…. look HERE. I had a problem with buying video games that I never played/completed. The “Pile” made it over three feet tall of games that I never played and completed.

Here is a list of games I owned or tried to own, and would love to revisit if time allowed.
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.