Saturday, July 31, 2010

command&conquer 3: tiberium wars

After buying the game in uh january, I finally started playing command&conquer 3 a week ago. I postphoned playing it for various reasons, the main reason being that I didn't think that I'd like it, and I can't be bothered doing effort during the schoolyear. Lol that sounds bad, like playing a game is so horrible that I have to do effort for it.

Anyway since it's vacation now, I didn't have an excuse anymore and started playing the campagin. It was way nicer than I expected. The videos between the missions had real actors, it made me feel like I was in a movie. The missions were fun, and because the game is so fast paced, I didn't even get a chance to get bored. I finished most of the GDI campaign now, and did part of the Nod one. This is probably the most that I've ever played a campaign, so congrats c&c, you made me like a campaign.
Most of the missions in the campaign consist of the same routine: collecting tiberium and building a base with the funds that it gives you, all while the enemy attacks you. Then you build up your army and take out the enemy base. In the other missions, you just get a few units that you have to complete objectives with.

Tiberium is a powerful mineral that spreads rapidly across the globe and is toxic to carbon based lifeforms. Despite it's negative effect on human life, tiberium is a very useful energy source.
The main objective of the GDI is to stop the spread of the toxic tiberium and destroy the terrorists of the Brotherhood of Nod. The brotherhood is a religious organisation that believes in the potential of tiberium as the catalyst of the next stage of human evolution and tries to accelerate its spread. The leader of the brotherhood is Kane, a charismatic man whose authority within the brotherhood is unquestioned.
Earth is divided in 3 areas: a red zone where tiberium has spread so much that human life is impossible, a yellow zone that's heavily contaminated with tiberium and a blue zone that's protected by the GDI and is still free from tiberium exposure. Most of the world's population lives in the yellow zones, and this is also where the brotherhood of Nod has its bases. When the brotherhood launches an attack on the GDI, the third tiberium war begins.

This game has really pretty gfx, but I only found that out after days of playing with these crappy gfx, the lowest settings possible:
The game probably decided that my cheap laptop could only handle that much. But when I changed the gfx settings, I found out that the game could actually look like this, and not lag:
A significant difference, right? Look how much nicer the tiberium looks, all glowy and stuff. And the units have shadows. I like shadows.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

sand sculptures

pictures taken at the sand sculpture festival in Blankenberge (2009)

Fullmetal Alchemist: brotherhood

The first fullmetal alchemist anime was good, one of the better animes out there. It got me emotionally involved with its good story and likeable characters. Ed, Al, colonel mustang, the homunculi, everything seemed perfect. I was surprised to find out that the anime hadn't followed the actual manga story, or at least not towards the end. Because the manga was still in progress at the time, the anime producers just made up the entire last half of the series. Apparently, the manga story very different. It was much darker, more complex, explained things better. It even had new characters.
Sounds good, right? So I started reading the manga, in French because French manga's are cheaper than English ones. But I didn't get very far before the French started to annoy me, and I forgot about fullmetal alchemist.
This would've been the end of my fma story, but one day (probably 1.5 years ago?), I heard the glorious news. Fullmetal alchemist: brotherhood would be a complete remake of the fma series, but following the actual manga story. Yay.

The first episode of fma brotherhood was a filler about an ice alchemist. This episode was used as a introduction of the new series, and to emphasise that this would be different from the first fma. The next 15 or so episodes overlapped with the first fma series, so they went over the story pretty fast there, expecting that most people had seen the first series already. Because it was so rushed, I didn't really have time to grow to like the characters and care about what happened to them. Tragic events that had been very emotional in fma1, just didn't feel make me feel anything in brotherhood.
But after that, it got better. Much better. Once they got past the part of the manga that fma1 had already covered, they slowed down again, and things really got interesting. It was nothing like fma1, it was an entirely new story. A story that just kept getting more interesting after every episode, and kept me captivated until the epic ending.
Here are some random screenshots:

Anyway, this is truly a good anime. You should all watch it asap.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

handy s60v5 applications

Here are some s60v5 applications that I find very useful:

Time machine

A very nice timer, the most complete one that I've been able to find. You can use it as a clock, stopwatch or countdown timer. When using it as a countdown timer, an alarm will play when the time hits 0. It can't record lap times; if you want that, you could download Timer Lite Touch from the ovi store.


It's so annoying, having to lock your phone every time that you put it in your pocket. And on a touchscreen phone, you can't lock it by pressing buttons on a keypad, you have to use a lock switch. From the first day that I got my phone, I've been afraid that the lock switch would break easily because you have to use it so frequently and it seems kinda fragile. It seems like one of the weak points of a touchscreen phone.
PocketLock is very simple: it uses the proximity sensor to sense whether the phone is in a bag or pocket, and will lock the screen when this is the case. It's free to download from the ovi store.

Download in ovi store


Uses the flash of your camera as a torchlight. Very useful, I use this about every day. You can also send morse codes and use your phone screen as a torchlight (in different colours).

Download in ovi store
Download illegal version (you'll need to unsign and sign this one for it to work)


Lets you assign a button to take screenshots of your phone screen (I use the camera button). It's what I used for the screenshots in this post.

Download in ovi store


The camera normally can't take panorama photos, but no worries, you can do that with this application. It will only stitch 3 photos together though, so you can't take large panorama photos. Shame, but this program is the best that I've been able to find.
Here's an example of a panorama photo that I took with it:

Download in ovi store
Download illegal version (you'll need to sign this)


This is the best drawing application that I've been able to find. You can draw circles, rectangles, lines etc, set the transparency, change pensil dimension and chose a colour using the RGB model. There's also an option to undo the last action. You can load an image to draw on and save your drawing when you're done with it.



Way nicer than the file explorer that comes with the phone. The thing that I like most about it is that you can select multiple items at once, something that the nokia file explorer can't do.

Download (trial)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

signing s60v5 applications

I swear that every single time that I saw a game that looked totally awesome, it turned out to be unsigned and I couldn't install it on my phone. Many of my days have been wasted on trying to find a way to sign them, nothing worked. It seemed like signing applications would forever stay an impossible dream. Until finally, I found a blog about a Chinese website where you could register and download a program that signs your apps. I didn't have much hope that it would work, after all, nothing ever worked. But it did. Now I'm a happy person that can play awesome games, like spb brain evolution, marble maze and many many more.

Here is the awesome blog with instructions. Thank you.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


These glasses may look very ugly, but the technology behind them makes up for it. The power of the lenses can be adapted manually, as explained on the Adlens website:
The operating principle of our patented liquid lens technology is simple. The lens is a hollow chamber with a thin, clear, strong plastic sheet stretched across inside.

The variable lens power comes from a clear, high refractive index fluid. The fluid is pumped into (or out of) the chamber between the plastic-like sheet and the lens. As the amount of oil increases, it pushes on the plastic sheet, changing its curvature. The more it curves, the more the lens power increases.

When the fluid is pumped back out, the lens curvature flattens, reducing the power. The base hard lens has a negative power, meaning that with little or no oil, objects are demagnified.

The product is aimed mainly at developing countries, but in my opinion, it could be very useful in the developed world as well. Having a kid with bad eye vision can be terribly expensive for parents. Take me, for example. When I was young, my parents had to buy me new lenses every 5 months or so. Lenses aren't cheap, and the old ones just get thrown away. Seems like a waste of money, no? With these liquid lenses, parents could just buy one pair of glasses and have them adjusted every few months. But if Adlens wants their product to reach a market outside of the poor developing countries, they will have to come up with a nicer design for their glasses. I can't imagine that any sane parent here would let their kids wear glasses that look unfasionable like this...

But this Rwandan kid looks pretty happy with it. :)

...Ok actually, it does look cool. In a crazy pilot sort of way.