Sims 3 Details in Two Weeks Time

I remember how fun The Sims was when I was playing it during high school. It allowed you to design your own home, make your Sims live a dream life and play “God” perhaps.

Then the second one came out which was better with its improved graphics, livelier animation, better AI interactions and family genes so that got me playing again for a while. Following that came a barrage of expansion packs which I didn’t bother with at all because they were all rubbish in my opinion. As much as I wanted more objects to decorate the game with, the new material just felt somewhat detached from the main game. Some kind of second thought add on.

Now with Spore’s release date set, it makes sense EA is going to reveal details about the next Will Wright game in two weeks time on March 19th. But what could they do with Sims 3 to make it better than the last instalment? Well, another graphical haul will probably be in order. I just hope my PC can run it!

Sims 3 Teaser

Firefox 3 Finally Allows Searching Through Cached Websites?

Update

Never mind. It’s still just searching through site names and not their contents. I should read things more carefully -_-;

The latest version of Firefox 3 has been available for beta testing for sometime now but, I haven’t really bothered trying it out to see what the new features are like. Then I came across this article on the BBC today and found out it’s going to offer “a combined search and bookmark tool” as well as support “offline working”.

Typing “cameras”, for example, into the url bar, will bring up a list of the sites that the user recently visited that have cameras in their names.

“If you buy shoes, that’s all you need to remember – we will use search, as you’ve come to expect it, to help you find the places that you have been visiting,” Ms Baker said.

Internet Explorer have had a similar feature for some time now but doesn’t exactly work the same way. From what I’ve read, I have the impression that Firefox will finally allow you to search through your browser’s cache (i.e. websites stored on your computer for quick access). It’s one thing I’ve been missing since abandoning IE because if you ever forget to bookmark a site with content that you like, you’ll be able to find it again without the trouble of running through the pages of results in a search engine which could take hours.

Firefox 3 Beta 3

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Microsoft Office 2007 Window Switching Delay Resolved!

After installing a student copy of Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate Edition, I found that every time I tried switching between documents or windows, its application windows would pause for a few seconds before being usable. It’s been very annoying but fortunately, I came across what was causing the problem.

It was the “Acrobat PDFMaker Office COM” add-on. All I had to do to was disable it by going into Word Options, Add-Ins, click Go next to “Manage COM Add-Ins” then unchecked the box.

A Problem with Add-Ins

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A Release Date for Will Wright’s Next Evolutionary Game, Spore

I’ve stopped playing PC games since buying myself a DS and Wii because there hasn’t been any titles that’s caught my attention on it lately.

However, here’s one I’m looking forward to playing. Will Wright’s next game after his big hit “The Sims”. Spore – Another great sounding sim where you watch life evolve from bacteria all the way through to intelligent beings with you influencing their evolution of course.

I’m really curious to know what the requirements will be to play it on Windows but, since the release date isn’t until September 5th, I’m guessing it will be a while until they’re revealed. Just hope my PC can handle it!

Also sounds like the game will be going multi-platform with versions for the DS and Wii too although I doubt I will be buying either if I’m playing it on the PC.

Spore

Changing of Keyboards and Methods of Typing Kanji

Right. Changed my keyboard today because my old IBM Aptiva one that came with my original retail PC was getting a bit clogged up. This new Maxell branded one was actually bought a few years back in Hong Kong when my brothers were planning on learning how to type Chinese but, they ended up not using it so now I am instead. It’s full of Chinese symbols and uses the layout from Hong Kong so it’s taking a bit of time to get used to.

Maxell Chinese Keyboard

The hot keys on my Aptiva keyboard wasn’t working with Windows XP and didn’t have a new driver for it so, it’s good to have ones that work on this new keyboard. Another good thing is it doesn’t require any drivers for the extra buttons to work even though it’s a non-USB keyboard. Only bad point is the backspace key is so tiny!

While I’m on the subject of Chinese keyboards, I want to take a brief look at how hard or easy it can be to type Kanji (Chinese characters) on a computer. In this post, “Kanji” will refer to all Chinese characters in general and not just Japanese characters.

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Kaomoji-kun, Japanese Emoticon Figures and The Life of an Otaku

Nice clear starry sky for Silent Night. Hope none of you are getting a hangover already for those going out for the night!

As for me, I was browsing around the YesAsia site today to see how the HK version of Byosoku 5 Centimeters movie was selling and had a glance at what “Minis” they were giving out. I saw these.

Kaomoji-kun Figures

Gachapon figures featuring Japanese emoticons! Must get one!

You can see plenty of these emoticons on Japanese blogs or, MMOs such as FFXI and Megami Tensei IMAGINE. I’m sure you’ll agree they look much more interesting than Western emoticons that you have to view sideways. If you watch J-Drama then you’ll definitely have seen them in popular shows such as Densha Otoko (Train Man), the Otaku “fairy tale”.

Yujin, the manufacturer of these figures, made this comical promotional video that shows you the typical life of the stereotype “Otaku”.

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PSU Fans Busted, The Search for a New Replacement

My PC’s been randomly shutting itself down again whenever I run intensive processing tasks such as compressing large files so, that could only mean one thing. The heat problem was back.

After booting on the PC again I ran SpeedFan to check what the temperature was and found my CPU was running at near 90C! I thought to myself, “WTH!? I just replaced the silicon paste a few months ago!” I reached out for the case to open it up once again, annoyed at how I was going to have to take off that annoying heatsink. However, something else was running very hot. The top part of the case was almost too hot to touch while the rest of the case was pretty cool. It looked as if the PSU was overheating.

Broken Q-Tec PSU

Sure enough, I found one of the fans on my 550W Q-Tec PSU had died and that was why my CPU was heating up too. They were quite close together due to the layout of the ATX motherboard. Never knew the PSU fan helps to keep the airflow inside a PC going until now. Thought it was just the auxiliary fans that did that.

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