Showing posts from April, 2015

Computer game ads in Comic Books (80s-early 90s) Part 3

Continued from Computer game ads in Comic Books (80s-early 90s) Part 2

The Metal Gear Ultra (1988) ad published in Marvel Comics was pretty eye-catching. The ad lists some of the gear you use during the game. I like that the Transceiver was considered Snake's most important tool unlike idiotic games which focus on guns and firearms. 

Tengen USA had a pretty impressive library of games for the NES as shown in this 1985 ad. Pac-Man and Tetris are classics in their own right, though they were around even before appearing as a cartridge for NES.

Sony Imagesoft was bullish on movie-based games even on the Game Boy platform. I'm told by gamers that movie-tie ins are never successful (except for that 2004 Spider-Man 2 game). Although both movies didn't do well at the box office, my brother insists Steven Spielberg's Hook (1991) and Bruce Willis' Hudson Hawk (1991) are underrated.

The original Frogger was a huge success for Sega, Atari and Commodore 64. I'm not sure about…

Find my phone on a Lumia 925 (Windows Phone 8.1)

Prior to a recent Windows Phone 8.1 update, the Find my phone option on my Lumia 925 didn't work. If I tapped the option from the Settings page, the screen would briefly flip to the options and then go back to the main Settings page.

The Lumia update back in March 2015 allowed the use of Find my phone on my Lumia 925.

To use Find my phone with your Windows Phone device:

1. Sign in at using your Microsoft account or the user account you created for your Lumia device.

Note: If you're not sure if you've set this up before, log in to any web service such as Outlook or Office and access the site. If you've set this up previously, you won't need to log in a second time. Click your name on the upper-right hand corner and click My phone to check if you've registered your Lumia.

2. Click your name on the upper-right hand corner and click Find My Phone > Find my phone.

Your Windows Phone name will be listed as well as your mo…

Mobilegeddon and Blogger

Is Blogger affected by the whole "mobilegeddon" business with Google? Probably not considering that Blogger is essentially a Google product - not a high profile one such as GMail but a Google service nonetheless.

However, if you're concerned your precious Blogger site is losing hits because Google is prioritizing web pages that have mobile compatibility, you can always change the template settings and enable the mobile template option.

To enable a mobile template for your Blogger site:

1. Click Template and under Mobile, click the Settings icon.

2. Select Yes. Show mobile template on mobile devices.

3. Select a mobile template from the list and click Save.

Note:Unsolicited But Offered is hosted on Blogger and has had the Mobile option enabled since its inception. Hits for this site dropped somewhat roughly around the period of "mobilegeddon" but it's more of my flying back to China from Japan. Contrary to popular belief, your location does affect your read…

openSUSE KDE 13.2 Basics: Recurring Applications and Taboo

If a specific application for your openSUSE 13.2 KDE installation keeps reinstalling itself even after you uninstalled it, you can mark it as Taboo using YaST Software Management. Preinstalled applications for KDE such as the default set of KDE games, Apper and KWalletmanager are just some examples of applications that YaST may reinstall when you run an Online Update or install a software package. To prevent an application from returning to your system, you can mark the software package as Taboo using YaST's software manager.

To mark an application as Taboo using YaST Software Management:

1. In YaST Software Management, click the Installation Summary tab before clicking Accept.

2. Check if there are any applications listed that you previously uninstalled, such as Apper or KGet.

3. Right-click on the software package name and click Taboo --Never install.

4. Click Accept.

Note: You can remove the Taboo mark anytime if you decide to install the software package in the future.

Computer game ads in Comic Books (80s-early 90s) Part 2

Continued from Computer game ads in Comic Books (80s-early 90s) Part 1

Parker Brothers sure likes to make Star Wars game. ThisReturn of the Jedi: Death Star Battle(1983) advertisement has Tie Fighters and X-Wings aplenty. You get to fly the Millenium Falcon, but we all know only Han has the balls to fly that thing!

There was a time when ninjas were actually cool (just ask Frank Miller), but by the time the 90s hit, they were somewhat passe, though there were games such as Taito'sWrath of the Black Manta(1990). Millenials, of course, think ninjas look like Naruto (groan).

Humour was used a lot in game ads and some cartridges came with promotions, sweepstakes and raffles such as this 1983Super Cobraad.

Tradewest tried to leverage the popularity ofBattletoadsin this 1991 ad and even talked trash in the ad against a few mutants in a half-shell.Nintento Power, Nintendo's official publication for North America, heaped a few awards on the game and even featured a comic strip of the Battl…

Computer game ads in Comic Books (80s-early 90s) Part 1‏

How do you know if a self-professed comic book "fan" is a real comic book reader? Answer: you ask them about ads in comic books in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Readers in the golden years of Marvel Comics were familiar not only with the writers, inkers and pencillers, but also talked about advertisements that ran alongside the four-colour books.

Star Wars: Jedi Arena(1982)by Parker Brothers

*All scans from the author's own collection. Images were resized and cleaned up using Gimp.

Many of the ads in comic books serve as a looking-glass to yesteryear and showed the times that people lived in. From Evil Knievel toys to authentic rubber basketballs by Dr. J to Striped Chips Ahoy and to Hostess cakes endorsed by Marvel heroes, advertisements in comic books were as interesting as the books themselves. They were funny, inventive, colourful and entertaining. If you found old commercials inYouTubefunny, comic book advertisements were equally educational and hilarious.

Note:One of the trage…

The Next Tech Faux Pas: Power Banks

With the popularity of smartphones and tablets still lingering in the tech market, it was only a matter of time before mainstream consumers discovered small power banks and portable battery packs. Unfortunately, it looks like public usage of power banks is becoming as bad as the ludicrous selfie stick. I've been seeing more and more people walking around with power banks in their armpit attached to their smartphone or tablet. And I'm not just talking about bus stations and airports. The practice of constantly charging your mobile device using a portable charger stuffed in your pocket while walking around or waiting is remarkably silly (and dangerous) and shows how overly dependent people are on their mobile devices.

Hardware manufacturers have been focusing on extending battery life for years and it's considered the Holy Grail of consumer electronics. Power banks are a cheap and somewhat practical stop gap in the interim. What mainstream consumers aren't aware of is t…

A Wi-Fi Review of Naha and GRG Naha Higashimachi Part 3

Continued from A Wi-Fi Review of Naha and GRG Naha Higashimachi Part 2

4. Breakfast at GRG Naha Higashimachi is healthy and simple: bread, hard-boiled eggs, orange juice, tea, UFC coffee, salad, rice balls and miso soup. Considering how expensive UFC coffee and miso soup are anywhere around the world, I enjoyed it immensely. Other visitors may get tired of the salad and types of bread they offer every morning though.

Devoured the breakfast every morning. You can take a cup of UFC coffee to your room if you want.

In a more tech-related commentary, the breakfast room has small placards indicating that you shouldn't use your smartphone during breakfast time. As expected, there was a douchebag (American) who completely disregarded the gentle request every morning.

5. Like most hotels in Japan, doors to the GRG Naha Higashimachi are locked at midnight. So if you plan to go out and drink at several izakaya's or coming back from a diving trip, make sure you have your magnetic key. In…

openSUSE 13.2 FTP server for iOS, Android and Windows Phone Part 2

Continued from openSUSE 13.2 FTP server for iOS, Android and Windows Phone Part 1

FTP server app for Windows Phone 8.1

The FTP server app for Windows Phone 8.1 by independent developer D_Pavel is a master class in Windows app development and design. It's a brilliantly simple and useful app for Windows Phone users.

Run the FTP server app for Windows Phone 8.1 and click the Add (+) button to specify which folders on your Lumia are accessible via FTP.

FTP server
by D_Pavel doesn't just turn your Lumia to an FTP client. Running the app creates an FTP server on your WLAN. You add a folder to the Folders screen and assign a login and password on the Password screen - that's all there is to it.

You can add a simple authentication password to your Lumia's FTP

FTP server for Windows Phone 8.1 will even tell you what FTP address to connect to if you have no idea how to find it on your Lumia.

My openSUSE 13.2 workstation accessed the FTP folder using Dolphin without any proble…

openSUSE 13.2 FTP server for iOS, Android and Windows Phone Part 1

With OwnCloud, BitTorrent Sync and half a dozen fantastic cloud services such as OneDrive and Google Drive available, it's surprising how many users still set up a personal home FTP server despite its lack of security and features compared to newer file sharing, streaming and direct transfer methods (DLNA, Bluetooth, etc.). However, if you still want the simplicity of an FTP server on your LAN, then setting one up using openSUSE 13.2 is an easy and good option.

As always, there are several ways to set up an FTP server on Linux, but this article uses the yast2-ftp-server module and vsftpd. If you installed your openSUSE 13.2 system using the Live CD, you have to install these two packages using Zypper or YaST2 Software Management separately to manage an FTP server from YaST2. openSUSE's official documentation has a pretty good entry on setting up an FTP server so there's no need to repeat the steps here.

The areas you have to pay attention to when setting up an FTP server …

Unsolicited Question: Embedded video and PDFs

Q: How good is support for embedded video on PDFs when viewed in mobile apps installed on tablets and smartphones?

Not very good. Although the ability to embed video to PDFs has always been available using Adobe Acrobat and similar publishing applications, there are many reasons why it's not common practice. Apart from Adobe's FrameMaker 11 Reviewer's Guide published in 2012, I haven't seen video embedded on PDFs in years.

The FrameMaker 11 Reviewer's Guide from Adobe had a few well-made embedded videos. The PDF clocked in at a hefty 57.18MB.

In an informal test, I created a test PDF using Adobe Acrobat Pro 9 and embedded a video using the standard Flash conversion tool included with Acrobat Pro. The PDF worked fine on enterprise workstations running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. I then copied the PDF, which had ballooned to 7 times its size,  to my iPad 2 with iOS8, Lumia 925 with Windows Phone 8.1 and ASUS MemoPad HD7 with Android 4.2.x. Unsurprisingly, the video pos…