• Game Reviews,  Technology,  Writing Resources

    Priced to Die

    “Why We Should Fear Ourselves More Than Pirates” So now that I’m seeing reports of SOPA and PIPA having been defeated by overwhelming negative opinion many are breathing sighs of relief. And others are cursing violently (but generally silently). Among game developers and writers, my two primary areas of interaction, opinions are mixed. Many are worried about piracy eating into their revenues. For freelance writers and indie game developers it does not take a lot of piracy to put a stranglehold on their revenue stream. Still I think there’s a larger concern than pirates for content creators. Why We Should Fear The $0.99 App and Novel One interesting thing I’ve…

  • Game Reviews

    Recently Played – Emissary of War

    As I noted a few days ago former BioWare co-worker Tobyn Manthrope recently released a new videogame ÔÇťEmissary of WarÔÇŁ for iOS devices. Well I finally squeezed some time in to play through the free first chapter. It was fun. Regular readers know I’m a fan of tactical RPGs and though Emissary doesn’t have a huge range of character types or special abilities what it does have is engaging and interesting. The combat was difficult enough that I died several times and had to rethink the tactics I used to get through the situation. Players control two characters — a warrior and a potion throwing sidekick. They have direct control…

  • Apple - iPhone/iPad,  Brent's Toys,  Game Reviews,  Lego

    Lego Games on iPod and iPad

    Our sons (3 and 5 years old) are playing more and more with Lego, which pleases me greatly as I was a Lego kid growing up. Being a hoarder I kept most of my old Lego as well we have bought several newer sets for the kids. In the last couple months the two of them have started to show more interest in the Lego than simply playing with the vehicles and sets we assemble for them. Now they are starting to build their own things… which is awesome. The other night I decided to check the Apps store on the iPad to see if they had any interesting Lego…

  • Writing Resources

    iPad App – Noterize

    A few weeks ago I purchased the iPad App Noterize to assist me in editing a novel that is still in draft form. Wow. This is probably the most useful application I have on the iPad. Basically you import a pdf file (from a variety of sources) onto the iPad and can then make markup notes on it using a stylus. You can write notes or paste typed sticky notes on the manuscript and then send the annotated manuscript back to the computer. The editing experience is identical to paper without the mess. It also allows you to record page specific audio notes, which was useful with a story I…

  • Brent's Toys,  My Life

    iPad + Kobo + Instapaper = Awesome

    Longtime readers might remember me ranting about not enjoying the reading experience at online magazines such as Strange Horizons or Clarkesworld. I very much dislike scrolling and prefer a paging experience. This is probably one of the reasons I really like reading eBooks on the iPad as all the book apps use a paging interface. Anyways yesterday I stumbled upon a good solution… using Instapaper I can flag stories I want to read later and then read them through the Kobo app on the iPad. This gives me the ability to page-read (no scrolling!) So I’m happy. And now I’m going to go sit downstairs by the fire and finish…

  • My Life

    Request – iPad & iPod Touch Recipe Manager

    There is nothing writing or game design related in this post. Just saying. As the cook/mealplanner/shopper for the house I’m trying to make my time spent doing these things a bit more efficient. To that end I’d like to use my iPad and iPod touch to help manage the dozens of recipes I have scattered across various cookbooks. (Yeah I’m a techno geek and I’m looking for an excuse to mess around with the devices more. But I think there’s the potential for this to save me time in the long term. Maybe.) Anyways what I want is the following: Ability to add my own recipes. I like Epicurious but…

  • My Life

    Back from Vacation

    Been away for several days visiting family back in the homeland. Very pleased that I had the iPad this time around. In the past I’ve brought one of my laptops and I have to say that the iPad was more useful than they. I had no problems with battery life, maybe not quite getting 10 hrs but close and much of it on borrowed wifi. For draft writing (I finished a good portion of initial planning on the second novel) and semi-formal blog posts, the iPad is more than sufficient. Not certain I’d want to use it for final draft material but on the short vacations I take, that is…

  • Brent's Toys,  My Life

    Reading PDFs with iBooks on an iPad

    With the latest version of iTunes and iBooks I can now read pdfs through the iBooks app on my iPad… this makes me quite happy as the other PDF reader I was using didn’t have bookmark support (and iBooks does). And it means one less app I have cluttering my screen real estate. I do like that Apple continues improving the usefulness of their myriad of portable devices. Yeah, I know its just to wring more money from us in the future, but still, I like seeing things improve. On the iPad I’m now currently reading the latest issue of Black Gate and a sample copy of Realms of Fantasy…

  • Brent's Toys,  My Life

    Got iPad

    Well I did it. Even despite some reservations I bought myself an iPad. My main concerns with doing so stemmed mostly around the way Apple limits and controls apps. But I put my principles aside for the love of geek and bought it anyways. So with less than a day of using it I can really only say that it is pretty cool. I’m writing this entry on my deck enjoying a nice evening and I imagine more of my posts will be written this way, as long as they are link light. I’ve used the iPad pretty painlessly for Twitter and Empire Avenue looks sweet on it. And I’ve…

  • Writing Resources

    Story available on the Kindle

    While I don’t have a dedicated ebook reading device like the Sony reader or the Kindle I have been reading eBooks and stories on my Ipod Touch for almost a year now. I have all the various bookstore apps on it including Stanza, eReader and Kindle. But what I hadn’t thought about, ever, and I should have probably, was republishing my previously printed stories this way. I had looked into Fictionwise to see if they’d take my story reprints but I’m not established enough to qualify. After reading a post by Michael Stackpole where he was talking about updating his stories on the Kindle I checked into it. Now I…