From technology to politics to video games; these are the random thoughts of a geek with too much time on his hands
Zoomba's Articles In Personal Computing
July 24, 2009 by Zoomba

Another week comes to a close as we inch towards the end of summer and the start of the holiday gaming bonanza.

Great Deals

This week we’re helping celebrate Paradox Interactive’s 10 year anniversary with a blow-out sale.  50% off ALL Paradox titles on the Impulse store. 

See the full list of Paradox games here.  All 50% off until July 27th!

Of course, there’s more going on with our Weekend Impulse Buys.  Check out the current deals we have running through this Sunday:

Now, on to new, updated and upcoming titles…

March 3, 2009 by Zoomba

If you’ve been following Impulse (or Stardock for that matter) for any length of time, you know one of the things that sets us apart and makes us unique is how accessible we are, and how easy it is to get in contact with us, be it via the forums, IRC, e-mail or instant messenger.  We know that a lot of our success comes from our outstanding community of gamers, and we are always looking for new ways to get news out there, and talk talk directly to gamers.

Now, some of you may already know this, but over the last few months we’ve started posting to Twitter.

 

Twitter, for those of you who haven’t heard of it, is a micro-blogging service….

Here’s the official description:

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages.  People write short updates, often called "tweets"  of 140 characters or fewer.  These messages are posted to your profile or your blog, sent to your followers, and are searchable on Twitter search.

It’s free, and doesn’t require any special software (though there are some excellent twitter apps out there.  I use TweetDeck myself).  It’s also incredibly easy to use.

We use our various Twitter accounts to announce releases, interesting news bits, and even a few giveaways.  Not to mention we just like chatting with other users on the service.

If you’re on Twitter, you can follow us and keep up on what’s happening with Impulse:

  • @Stardock – The Official Stardock Twitter Feed
  • @ImpulseDriven – The Official Impulse Twitter Feed
  • @IslandDog – Spencer Scott, Stardock’s Technology Evangelist
  • @mittense – Trent Polack , Game Developer
  • @Zoomba – My Feed!  Mike Crassweller, the guy who brings you weekly updates and more

Follow us and keep up to date on what’s happening.

If you’re on Twitter already, post your Twitter name in the comments below.  I’ll check on this thread every now and then and update this post with a directory of all of the Impulse community members and their Twitter links.

December 16, 2008 by Zoomba

The 2008 GUI Championships is coming to a close with the voting for the Best Overall events happening right now, and the final winners to be announced this Friday (12/19)

The top prize in this year's contest is the ultimate tool for the digital artist; the Wacom Cintiq 12WX.  Wacom was extremely generous in donating one of these tablets as the top prize.  As with the Radeon HD 4850, I'm going to take some time to show off the tablet, as well as share some impressions from members of the Stardock Entertainment Art Team that use these tablets on a daily basis as they work on games such as Galactic Civilizations II, The Political Machine 2008 and the upcoming Elemental: War of Magic.

To start with, lets talk a little bit about the Cintiq, what it comes with and what it's designed to do.

 DSCF2511  DSCF2518 DSCF2526
July 2, 2007 by Zoomba
Ok, Friday the iPhone went on sale. Apple stores around the country had lines overnight as eager gadget junkies waiting to get the latest and greatest shiny toy from the fine folks in Cupertino, CA. According to all accounts so far [David Pogue] [Walt Mossberg] [Robert Scoble] the iPhone is a fantastic piece of hardware that shows us exactly why Apple always gets so much hype for a new product. With minor quibbles aside (AT&T's EDGE Network) it appears to be a piece of hardware that really ...
December 26, 2006 by Zoomba
This is part 1 of a 5 part series offering a look into some of the new features of Windows Vista, slated for release to consumers on January 30th, 2007.  These articles will be posted once per week starting at the end of December and leading up to the commercial launch of Vista.

There’s been a lot of commotion over Vista.  It’s all over the press, people are writing about it extensively, and we’ve covered it in-depth here at WinCustomize through news postings and feature evaluations...
August 22, 2006 by Zoomba
Hardware dies.  It's a fact of life that at some point, your beloved gizmo will give up the ghost and go off to that great big CompUSA in the sky to forever rest comfortably in cushioned boxes with all of its fallen comrades.  Some hardware lasts longer than others, as is evidenced by the Macintosh Powerbook (original) that still runs weather data tools in my dad's lab.  Some hardware however has a short lifespan and can sputter and die sooner than one would expect, and typically ...
October 31, 2005 by Zoomba
A good number of you are pretty tech-saavy and as a result end up being the unofficial tech support person for your friends and family. Heck, I bet a fair number of you even do some tech support professionally. I myself spent a good solid 8 years doing front-line helpdesk work for both my High School, and later at my University. Today I do some higher-level support, but most of my work is centered around infrastructure projects.

Some time ago I wrote an article about a Computer Help spoof ...
April 13, 2005 by Zoomba
Part 2 - Readjusting to the MacOS Interface

Welcome back! This is the second part in a five part series examining the Macintosh to see whether it has come far enough to seriously entice PC users to jump the fence and try living the Steve Jobs way. Part 1 was meant to establish a bit of background so you know where I'm coming from in these articles. Essentially I started on Macs, made the jump to PCs in 1996 and have just recently returned to the Mac fold so-to-speak. This segment will focus o...
October 14, 2004 by Zoomba
Do No Evil. The corporate motto of Google. Seems like a good basic operating rule for any person or company. But how much should we trust what they say?

Let's look at the main service offerings from Google. All of which are tied together by their search technology.

Google Web Search - What we all know and love from google. Widely considered the most popular and functional web search utility out there, most people connect Google directly with the idea of searching for information, Goog...
May 7, 2004 by Zoomba
Ok, we've all see the Windows For Dummies books, the guides on how to use MS Word and Excel, and the technical among us scoff and roll our eyes at these books... but the average consumer gobbles these things up, the dummies books sell better than any technical programming manual, everyone it seems is buying these damn books. You'd think then that we'd have a more technically literate population. We don't, even the people who buy these books still have no clue. You want to know my theory as to...
February 25, 2008 by Zoomba

Windows Live Writer is one of a number of blog writing/management tools out there, and personally, it's my favorite.  It's completely free to download and use, works with both Windows XP and Vista.

Grab Live Writer here.

Essentially what Live Writer is, is a word processor for blogs.  Type and format until you're blue in the face.  Spell check, save a copy to work on later, insert rich media easily etc.  It makes writing long and complex blog posts incredibly easy.

Plus, it does auto-thumbnailing of images if you have somewhere to post them.

Configuring Live Writer is the only tricky part, and to do that you need only a few bits of information:

  1. The URL of your blog (i.e. http://zoomba.joeuser.com/ )
  2. Your login information (username/password)
  3. The JoeUser MetaWebBlog API File:
    https://www.joeuser.com/api/MetaWeblog.axd

Now, once you have Live Writer downloaded and installed, it's time to start it up and configure it to connect to your blog.

May 16, 2007 by Zoomba
Yesterday, we announced the availability of TweakVista Beta to Object Desktop subscribers, and at long last people outside of Stardock are taking this fantastic application for a spin.  Personally, this is one of my favorite applications that we've developed in the past few years, it's just that well-done and so insanely useful I wonder how I've managed to run Vista as long as I have without it.  If you're a power user and try to get every bit of juice out of your system, this is a mus...
November 3, 2006 by Zoomba
This is a test post
October 26, 2006 by Zoomba
Yesterday, I reformatted my main work PC.  It had belonged to someone else before I started working here, and when I started, I didn't think to take the time to wipe it down and rebuild it to make sure there wasn't any lingering wonkiness from old applications or files.  Well, after three months of me adding and removing my own software as needed, the system reached a point where pasting an image into Photoshop to resize was a serious undertaking that pushed the machine to the very edg...
April 12, 2005 by Zoomba
Note: This actually is turning out to be considerably longer than I anticipated. I will be dividing this article into a five part series. Here’s how they’ll be organized:

Part 1 – Looking back to the early days of my computing life… (Background information)
Part 2 – Readjusting to the MacOS Interface (Navigating the UI, noting differences with Windows as well as previous iterations of MacOS)
Part 3 – Software on the Mac (A look at apps bundled with the system, as well as what else is avai...