Archive for the ‘Beta testing’ Category
I have been using Windows 7 for about 2 weeks now and so far the experience has been fabulous. I am running build 7000, it is fast and stable.
One of the most noticeable and sleep new features is the new toolbar.
The toolbar automatically groups common windows together, which can then be expanded by hovering over the icon in the toolbar. In the snapshot above you can see that I have two instances of PowerPoint opened, as well as three instances of Internet Explorer 8. Also, and this is one of the sleekest features, you can see that I have placed both Tweetdeck, Zune, Word, Excel, and OneNote in the toolbar at a fixed location. So, whether the program is currently running or not, it will always be in the same location on my toolbar. In order to open the program you can simply click on the icon, or hold down SHIFT to open multiple new instances of the application.
Finally, if you look closely at the IE8 icon you can see that I currently downloading something, the progress being reflected by the green status bar in the icon.
So, I had a chance to play Halo 3. WOW, what a game. The graphics are amazing. Stunning quality and a great fluidity. Of course there are some funky new vehicles included. Two that I tried where the chopper (a weird combo between a motorcycle and a drill-like looking thing). Also there is a mongoose which you can think of as a one-man warhog, or beach buggy.
Realistically, it was to be expected that the graphics are even more amazing and that there would be a series of new weapons and vehicles. But, what really fascinated me where two new game features called “Forge” and “Theater.”
Forge enables you to enter multiplayer maps and alter them to your liking. You can add more weapons, or remove them from the playing field, or you can move them around the area. So, if you get bored of playing the very same map you can completely revamp it, adding some more exciting little details 😉
The Theater, however, is by far the best new feature of Halo 3. After completing a game, you can select the theater from the main menu. Basically, what you now have access to is a recording of the game you just played. This isn’t your ordinary instant replay, though. Because in addition to being able to experience the game again from the Master Chief’s head cam you can also cycle through the other players in the game and experience their viewpoints. The coolest mode is when you detach the camera altogether and with the help of your two thumb-sticks and the back buttons begin flying around the ENTIRE game absolutely free. You are not bound to the area right around your player and can move anywhere you want. Fly up high and watch the battle from up above, or do what I did. Fly ahead of your own player, spot that next enemy, zoom in on them, listen to their conversation, then spin around and watch from their perspective how your own player approaches and makes the kill. WOW!!
I have never seen anything quite like this and all-in-all this is once again an addicting little game. The level of detail, the speed of the game, and the absolutely mind-boggling new theater function drew me in completely.
I just got kicked off my email and phone for the next four hours. I am part of the newest roll-out for the new unified communications beta. Starting at 4pm today I will be using our new Unified Messaging tools.
Certainly a damper to my productivity right now, but I am looking forward to trying out the new system. It should be very exciting and I will definitely post about my experience here. I will be using the new beta of Office Communicator 2007 as well as the Catalina Unified Messaging (UM) telephone. Stay tuned for more to come.