It's been just under a month since last blog post, and much has happened.
First, and easily most important, I've been spending a lot of time playing Mario 64 on my DS. I never played it on the N64, so the whole thing is new to me. Playing without an analogue control stick makes some parts tricky - the touch screen interface doesn't quite cut it for this, so it's really down to just practising with the D-pad. All those years practising on Street Fighter 2 have now paid off, so I'm now cruising collecting stars and beating up Bowser.
With only a few days to go until 2006, it's time for some predictions about Linux and the upcoming year. I'm notoriously bad at this, but in the off-chance that something turns out to be right, here we go:
And the results of this lunchtime's Mario Kart DS races:
Mike -- 139 points
Graham -- 112 points
Paul/Nick -- 85 points
Yes, Mario Kart DS is the office game du jour, helped by the growing number of dual-screen Nintys around various magazine teams. It has received largely positive reviews -- deservedly so as it's better than most of the derivative tripe on the shelves -- but few writers have made any detailed comparisons to earlier Mario Karts, particularly the SNES version.
He beat me fair and square, but I'm rather happy that it's only by a little. Plus I learnt that you can tap L1 to hurry up the item selection, and you can ram people off bridges. He's a crafty one, that Saunders. Still, I'm sure he'll treat us all to a comprehensive explanation of why Mario Kart DS is clearly not the game of champions and that he'd easily beat me at Mario Kart SomeOtherPlatform. Enjoy! :)
I've been away for a week on my annual pilgrimage to meet my wife's family in Hungary. Each visit changes my perceptions of the country as I learn more about its culture and people, and I thought I'd share some of my insights with you. At least that's how this blog post started, but it ended up mostly being a rant about the Hungarian language. Onwards!
Had a quick look at the BBC News site this morning, and noted that it seems to have broken its own record for the number of quotes in headlines. Thus a 'new mammal' has been seen in Borneo, Gordon Brown is promising to be a 'Blairite', and Paul Gascoigne has been arrested over 'assault' (this is the first story I clicked on, readers).
A while ago I blogged about the problems with desktop Linux, and hopefully by now you've taken my advice and visited the Better Desktop project. Now, you may well be thinking, "but that's Novell! I can't possibly afford such usability testing." You're right: getting people into a testing area, watching what they do with an array of video camera, etc - that all takes money. But you can still do a whole lot to see how people are using your software and where you can make improvements.