Category Archives: Games

Computer Frustration

Sunday morning… Ahh… Time to relax and play some games.

I just got my Warhammer Online pre-release codes on Friday and spent a good chunk of Friday night and Saturday downloading the 9 gigabyte client. I get it installed and running… it’s okay. I mean, the frame rate sucks compared to World of Warcraft on the same computer. I don’t know how much of that is “beta code” and debugging/lack of optimization, or if that is because it requires more power to make the pretty graphics.

I get my coffee and some toast, get settled at my desk and launch the Warhammer client… authentication failed. Oh, that’s right… the beta is ending. I check the website, and yep, they shut it down early this morning. No more Warhammer for me until Tuesday.

So, I launch World of Warcraft and login… “Your prepaid time has expired.” What? I don’t use prepaid game cards, I have a subscription that charges my credit card. I login to my credit card company and everything looks okay. I login to the Warcraft account management page, and it all looks okay. My account is enabled, however, it says that my next credit card change is pending on September 12th. I look at my clock… but today is the 14th? What the hell?

I call customer service, and they’re only open during the week. I go on the forums and see a bunch of other people with the same problem and the response from the Blizzard rep is “I can’t do anything about this, you’ll have to call the billing department on Monday.” Awesome.

So, I guess I’ll have to do laundry instead.

Dead Xbox 360 + long weekend = !@#$

Woohoo! FourThree day weekend!

As we start one of the Unique American Holiday weekends, I’m looking forward to three days of hanging out at the house and doing some cleaning. I would like to be playing Dead Rising or something on the Xbox 360. Shame it’s dead.

Oh, yeah, that’s right. The Xbox 360, which I purchased in February, died. It froze up while playing a demo of Hitman. For some reason, it appears that a lot of people are having the same problem. I’ve seen a lot of postings on sites like Kokatu and the like talking about how after 8 months, their 360 up and died. The first two articles on the Xbox Support page are the symptoms that I experienced, and the Xbox Hardware forum is over 50% “My Xbox died” posts.

You would think that after paying $400 for a gaming computer, they’d give you a longer warranty than 90 days. Nope. they offered a 2 year “extended warranty” in the package for $39.99. I should have bought it. Make note of that kiddies.

Make sure you buy an extended warranty for your Xbox 360!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I don’t care if you get the Best Buy warranty or the Microsoft warranty or Billy Bob’s Thrift Story warranty. I gambled that I wouldn’t have a hardware failure and didn’t pay the $40. Instead, it’s costing me $130 to get it repaired. The “good” news, if you can call it that, is that Microsoft will let you add the extended warranty to the refurbished Xbox. So, this time, I’m going to play the safe bet and drop the $40. It won’t keep you from the possibility of spending a three day weekend at home with your thumbs up your backside, but, it will keep $130 in your wallet.

XBox 360-O-Rama

Tuesday, The Wife had a doctor’s appointment. I work for a good company that allows me to take time off to be with my family, so, I went with her. After her doctor’s appointment, we went to Target to fill a prescription and get some odds and ends. The Wife loves going to the stores, and can spend hours looking at everything. I’m a targeted looker. I’ll hit electronics, and maybe wander around the grocery section. This trip was no exception.

As I’m wandering around the electronics section, I glance in the XBox 360 display and see a giant green box. They had a XBox 360 Core system in stock. Holy crap! I went and chased The Wife down and said I’d like to buy it, and wanted her input on it (being married, and all). She says “Of course” and so I go and get it. We also pick up a wireless controller and look for the hard drive (the two main items missing from the Core system). But, Target doesn’t have the hard drive… and the hard drive is required for backwards compatibility. So, we go to Meijer. No dice. We go to Wal-Mart, nope. We go to Circuit City and Best Buy, both busts. We call Fry’s, nada. We decide to go home and start researching.

We start hitting people’s websites. “Not in stock” “Item not available” “This item is no longer available.” I hit GameStop site and search for 20 miles and no one has them. I curse and shake my fist. On a whim, I try a 30 mile radius, and the GameStop in Shelbyville has “1-3” hard drives. AWESOME! I call them up… and they say they have one drive… and they’ll hold it for the 35 minutes to get there. We hop in the car.

We arrive, go in, and grab up the drive. As we’re checking out, the guy mentions that Wal-Mart next door had a bunch of drives. We get into the car and decide to jump over and see if we can get a second drive to sell on eBay. (They’re selling for about $30 over retail). We go in, go back to Electronics, and find the case. What do we find? 10 hard drives… and a XBox 360 Premium. What dumb luck. Two XBox 360’s in one day. We discuss it a bit and decide to buy the Premium, and return the hard drive and extra controller, and come out about $40 ahead of where we would have been…. So, for two hours on Tuesday, I had two XBox 360s in my possession.

*Yawn* XBox 360 Released

In case you have been living under a rock, the XBox 360 has been released. I have one thing to say: Whooptie-freaking-doo. Yeah, I’d take one if it was offered to me, and I might even buy one down the road a bit, but, frankly I don’t see the attraction of standing in line for hours in the cold rain to maybe get a chance to buy one. But, it’s a game console. I can think of things I’d rather spend $399 on today.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that I attended the Mac OS X Tiger “release party” they had at the Indianapolis Apple Store. I went for a few reasons:

  1. The Wife suggested it I think she just wanted to go look at the Pottery Barn stores that are also in the Fashion Mall.
  2. I was a Mac newbie. I was still suffering from reality distortion field sickness caused by a recent Mac purchase.
  3. They were giving away free stuff.

At least I was inside and warm, only waited about 45 minutes, and there was no chance that I’d have to harm another human to get what I came for (But, I left empty handed. Another story for another day).