Friday, May 25, 2012

An Open Letter to EA/Bioware

So I had an interesting conversation with a friend about DLC today, see it appears that Steam being Steam-Awesome again has put Civilization V and all it's DLC on sale so of course it's time to pick up the last two I'm missing at 75% off. This conversation let to another about the awesome of Dragon Age II DLC, specificlly the Mark of the Assasain DLC with Felicia Day (yes, I'm a nerd, so that instantly makes Felicia Day and anything she does on my to-do list - watch or play i.e. the game DLC; mind out of the gutter fellow nerds), when I let it slip that I haven't played it, nor any Dragon Age II DLC. This spawned an hour long conversation of how EA/Bioware doesn't want me to play any of their paid game DLC because it's never on sale; which tells me they don't want to sell it to me, which in my own nerd rage mind is what it means when DLC is NEVER on sale (Dick Move EA/Bioware #1), which at least to my knowledge not a single bit of DA II DLC has ever once gone on sale for PC.

FYI, at full price all this is way more than I even paid for the DA II!

This leads me to the heart of this letter, Why? Why does Bioware/EA not want my money? I mean I buy DLC all the time, I just, 99% of the time, buy it on sale, which I might add Steam does ALL the time, but Dragon Age II is not on Steam it's on Origin, and even then the DLC isn't on Origin, only the main game is and the DLC must be purchased from the Bioware Social site (Dick Move EA/Bioware #2), and to top it off I can't buy it for money, I have to buy "Bioware Points" then buy the DLC with that (Dick Move EA/Bioware #3). And while some cases the DLC matches an exact amount of the purchasable "Bioware Points" (800 points DLC = $10, 560 points DLC = $7, or 400 points DLC $5) other DLC has no match to any normal purchasable amount of points (6x 240 points DLC - no purchasable amount of points will equal clean one or all 6 purchase of this DLC leaving me with wasted money in some virtual currency I never wanted in the first place (Dick Move EA/Bioware #3.5 - hard to make this one a new Dick Move, but it does make #3 more Dick than the rest of this letter).

Do I report BioWare points on taxes as capital? Oh great now I'm confused!

So my request to you EA/Bioware:

1. Can you please either advanced your Origin Store or get rid of it and put your stuff back in Steam, I don't want the workd, just a little more cooler for the consumer, you know like Steam, as it stands now I don't even launch your stupid software unless I am playing one of your games that explicitly requires it to run (Dick Move EA/BioWare #4) - move DLC to your Origin store (or Steam if you decide your little adventure in store fails as hard as it will if you don't improve it), make it all purchasable for REAL money, not lame ass points, ok? NOBODY I know uses Origin EXCEPT when you make us, forcing customers into your store to play a game, lame, really lame.

I know it is! But all my friends are on STEAM!

2. Sales, everyone's got them, Walmart, Target, Steam, well JC Penny doesn't anymore, but they seem to do monthly price changes that act like sales, they just don't call them sales anymore, but when my jeans are $20 in May instead of $30 in April or June, that's a sale - so if the idea of "sale" scares you, call it something different, I'm cool with that, though you put full games on sale, so opening your mind to *wait for it* put DLC on sale *gasp* should not be that far fetched.

I own all this DLC, why? Because it goes on sale!
3. More Felicia Day, in everything, while I haven't played her DA II dlc I'm sure it's the best thing to ever hit DA II, someday when I can get GOTY version on a store shelf clearance rack as I don't expect to see your stuff on sale anytime soon, I'll be proved right that it's the best DLC for DA II EVER - having her in all your games (ME 4, oh GOD please) will make them better.

Ok so there is my open letter to EA/Bioware, I would send it to customer support but I've been there before, no thanks, plus it much more fun to take greviences to the Internet, especially Nerd Rage ones.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hello Blogger!

Well after an off again on again 2 week long hassle I've finally moved my blog over here to Blogger.

No more Drupal updates every week, just nice and easy blog platform.

All the Gremlins should be properly starved and locked away from the water, but if you find any problems leave a comment below!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Google Pictures (Picasa) and Google+

Great news for those of us who have been playing with Google+ recently - it appears that the Picasa Web Storage has gotten a huge bump as a result of Google+ membership!

I always liked Picasa (soon to be re-branded to just Google Pictures) but was never keen on the 1gb limit without dropping annual cash, now it appears us Google+ users get nearly unlmited space:

If you've signed up for Google+
Free storage limits
Photos up to 2048 x 2048 pixels and videos up to 15 minutes won't count towards your free storage.

Automatic resizing
All photos uploaded in Google+ will be automatically resized to 2048 pixels (on their longest edge) and won't count towards your free storage quota.

All photos uploaded to Picasa Web Albums over the free size limit will count towards your 1 GB of free storage. When you reach your storage limit, any new photos you upload to Picasa Web larger than the free size limit will be automatically resized to 2048 pixels (on their longest edge).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Facebook Places - Here we go again...

Seems yet again Facebook has released a new privacy invading feature Facebook Places. Though I do have to give some credit, for the first time they actually limited it to Friends Only, and did disable one part of it by default, here is how to disable/hide the new Facebook Places features completely to maintain your privacy.

1. Login to your Facebook account

2. At the top right select Account -> Privacy Settings

While better that Everyone, "Places" is still enabled for Friends

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ignoring the Java version during Citrix Installs/Patches

I frequently get asked How can I install the latest Citrix Hotfix rollup (or Citrix itself) while keeping a specific version of Java on my server. For those of us with that server that for some crazy application reason can not move to Java 1.6 but you still need to install the latest Hotfix rollup that requires 1.6uXX you can get past this with a really quick fix.

msiexec /update PSE450w2k3x64R06.msp CTX_USE_EXISTING_JRE=YES

The CTX_USE_EXISTING_JRE=Yes will ignore the install stopping Java check that forces you to use a certain version (that seems to always change).

The only thing to note is that on 4.5/5.0 you will likely lose the ability to use the XenApp Advanced Configuration tool (formally the CMC) on this server, so you'll want to make sure you have at least one server that is updated to the latest Java required for the latest HFR patch (like your dedicated Data Collector I know we all have right?) - otherwise you won't have access to the handful of items still in the older Java based CMC tool.

Sometimes disabling the Java check is needed, and by adding this switch you can remove the Java requirement for any Citrix patch, hotfix, hotfix rollup or even the Citrix install itself with only a small loss of functionality to the CMC tool

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Disabling Facebook Connect on Non-Facebook Websites

** Updated 7/19 - improved code after re-reading the ABPlus guide thanks to a user comment from Mr. Palant - also added Chrome code from reader tips**

Important, if you find a site where this does not work please include the URL in a comment below - as sites get tricky the code may need to be adapted or new blocks created

For reasons I won't get into in this post I'm very discouraged by the recent Facebook Connect changes that have, without my approval, spread my Facebook persona across various websites that personally I don't want integrated with Facebook. Some examples are the Gawker Media Sites, techcrunch or - I've recently started seeing little things like this all over sites: 

As seen from

Here is how to disable Facebook Connect completely

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Citrix Reciever for Blackberry

Article invalid now that the BB receiver has been released...