“Mann Co. acquires Blood Eagle assets in landmark sexual harassment case”.

HEADLINE: Mann Co. acquires Blood Eagle assets in a landmark sexual harassment case. Diamond Sword purchase excess BLU mercenary surplus as part of settlement negotiations.

mann, co, mann co, logo, products, fights, sell, weVS.

blood, eagle, logo

mannco

Saxton Hale
Mann Co. CEO
Australian Extraordinaire

In a press conference held today with Saxton Hale, CEO of Mann Co., the landmark harassment case was discussed involving the acquisition of resources held by the Blood Eagle Clan.

Reports indicate that Blood Eagle tribesman references Saxton Hale as a “girly wuss”. Mann Co. replied by allowing Mr. Hale to airdrop in to an unknown battlefield while wrestling with poisonous cobras that caught fire during the freefall. After using the now charred snake skins as replacement hat bands, Saxton proceed to “Beat the crap” out of a tirbesman who referred to himself only as “a pathfinder” upon finding out that the tribesman’s only job was to “run away”.

Tribal warriors still seeking to remain actively employed have been offered temporary mercenary positions within Mann Co. pending a probationary period.

Negotiations were vicious, but a court appointed mediator assisted with the dealings before running away for “undisclosed reasons”.

More reports will follow upon Mr. Hale’s return from a gorilla punching expedition currently scheduled for Friday.

mann, co, tf2, team, fortress, tribes, ascend, vengeance, spinfuser, spinfusor, soldier, orange, rocket

Okay, that was fun and all, but I don’t think it’ll ever get approved by the TF2 or Tribes communities as a whole. But hey, it’s fun to play with photoshop.

Regardless, this isn’t what I’m posting about today.

Instead, it’s about cross training.

Cross training you ask?

Yes… Cross training. And not the dumb kind that involves shoes, or exercise, or any legitimate effort. Screw that noise.

Instead, I speak of cross training of the video game type.

soldier, video, game, training, cross, maggots, awesomeI have been heavily involved with two FPS games over the last couple of years. Team fortress 2 and Tribes.

We already know that I’m a filthy sand raker (Though Blood Eagle is quickly gaining steam in my book for some reason), but when it comes to TF2 I’m never quite sure if I’m more of a BLU or a RED fan. Both are awesome, BUT, unfortunately, (because I’m usually a blue team kinda guy), RED is taking the lead because BLU uses dumbass apple style products.

If there is one thing I stand by, it’s that fact that I CANNOT stand anything the supports the Apple mindset, culture, or mentality. iScrew iThat!

iDumbasses!

ahem… back to the topic at hand.

I’ve been playing these two games.

I’m usually a medic or an engineer type when I play Team fortress. Not a lot of aiming required and I can let the machines do most of the work for me. I like that. Not a lot of skill, and plenty of time to look good while I help others on my team. Yay for being a team player, right? Right!  TEAMWORK! (Queue up some Tenacious D right there).

Now, in tribes, I started as a soldier because I didn’t wanna be a heavy, and pathfinding wasn’t my thing. So, I spent my time and I learned to shoot at people. I then unlocked technician (I’ve been playing since early beta) and found that I really liked this class. Turrets are awesome but I’m still HEAVILY involved in actually shooting at people.

I worked on my aiming skills.

Spinfusors? Hell yeah!

Machine guns? Bring it.

Thumpers? *giggles*. Yes, I do love this weapon.

I’ve learned to shoot. I’ve learned to aim. And I’ve learned to lead my shots and actually hit stuff.

This is something that I had never really learned how to do in Team Fortress. I just could never quite figure it out. My shots were “too slow” in my opinion.

I’ve gotten good with the spinfusor again and my thumper is warm from use. I’ve gone fast, I’ve dropped turrets, I’d repaired generators, and I’ve shoved grenades down the throats of more brutes than I can care to count. It’s been glorious good fun. 

Anywho, I fired TF2 backup again today after being in tribes for a little bit during the last week or so. I sat down and picked soldier since there were too many engineers on my team. I saw the scout screaming across the screen in the distance (They really aren’t THAT fast ya know.”, and I let a rocket loose.

TF2, Team, Fortress, Rocket, In, Flight, Soldier, Launcher, awesome, tribes

KER-BLAM!

That scout just took a rocket to the friggin FACE!

Suddenly, after spending WAY too much time with a spinfusor in my hands, I could aim and shoot rockets. This is new. This is exciting. This is reason to giggle as I proceeded to run around the server and shoot people in the friggin face. I’m not any good with a sniper rifle or even with the knife of a spy, but when it comes to rockets and pipe bombs of a demo man… I’m freaking dangerous!

I enjoy many games. These two are my current favorites. And while I didn’t expect to get any better at one because I played the other, I found that the unexpected side effect resulted in way more than I could have hoped for.

-R.H

*edit: Because Words

The first step to case modding. (Case Modding 101)

So, most people that are in to gaming on their computers know what a case mod is.

You buy a stock case.

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You punch a window in the side.

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Maybe a blowhole for the top.

101, basics, bill, bleeds, blowhole, case,casemod, dremel, easy, first, handles, how, how-to, jigsaw, job, list, mod, modding, monstermawd, owen, paint, paintjob, pc, plunge, pre, pre-mod, simple, to, tools, tutorial, video, window, school, gaming, gamer, game, LAN, party, lan-party

Possibly a custom paint job.

101, basics, bill, bleeds, blowhole, case,casemod, dremel, easy, first, handles, how, how-to, jigsaw, job, list, mod, modding, monstermawd, owen, paint, paintjob, pc, plunge, pre, pre-mod, simple, to, tools, tutorial, video, window, school, gaming, gamer, game, LAN, party, lan-party

Stuff it full of amazing components.

And go.

Well, I had always been interested in case modding. I looked at it with a wonder and an awe that I can’t really quite explain. I loved the way cases looked when they were all fancy with all of the fun little trinkets that a case could contain.

My big problem is I had no skill to do such wonderful work. Or at least this is what I told myself. So, because of this, I found myself purchasing pre-modded cases.

101, basics, bill, bleeds, blowhole, case,casemod, dremel, easy, first, handles, how, how-to, jigsaw, job, list, mod, modding, monstermawd, owen, paint, paintjob, pc, plunge, pre, pre-mod, simple, to, tools, tutorial, video, window, school, gaming, gamer, game, LAN, party, lan-party

They look okay, in fact, some of them even look downright awesome, but you are aware that you have the same case as hundreds or even thousands of other people out there.

For some people, this is okay. For others, this might be considered partially unacceptable.

Well, after  years of owning pre-mods, of using bland cases, and of using computer cases that were pleasing to the eye but still plain, I decided I finally wanted to go a little bigger and do my own mod.

My first mod.

101, basics, bill, bleeds, blowhole, case, casemod, dremel, easy, first, handles, how, how-to, jigsaw, Job, list, mod, modding, monstermawd, owen, paint, paintjob, pc, plunge, pre, pre-mod, simple, to, tools, tutorial, video, window

In fact, I posted pictures of the results recently. It turned out quite nicely.

Well, the point of this post is to actually encourage you to take that first step.

I started by purchasing a coolermaster Elite 343 for my new computer. It’s a great case. Pleasing to the eye, small enough to tote around, but big enough to hold all of my components nicely. I was happy with the initial case. But I was curious so I started digging around and I found that there are many resources online for case modders. Many videos. Many tutorials. Many places to get good information for taking that all important first leap into the world of actually cutting holes in a $50 piece of steel.

I’ve decided to take a handful of them and put them here. I have also decided to take a few short lists and post them here so you have an idea of what you need to purchase if you want to make your life while modding considerably easier.

So, without further ado, I offer a list, a string of videos, and some verbal encouragement. With a little luck, a little willingness to try new things, and a little bravery that causes you to pick up a jigsaw, you can have something that just screams your name.

Here we go.

The Tools

The following is a list of tools that will make your adventure in modding WAY easier. Not all are required, but all are useful.

-Safety Glasses (REQUIRED!)

-Jigsaw with a 20tpi blade (Cuts steel)

-Handheld drill with drill bits

-Hole Saw

-A rotary tool (Dremel or some other brand)

-Tape Measure

-Masking Tape

-Pen/Pencil

-Hand files

-Handheld rivet gun

-Screwdrivers (Phillips and Flathead)

See? The list of tools are all things that you most likely have sitting in your garage or basement already. Even if you don’t, I think the rotary tool is the most expensive one. Do you have friends? Do any of them have any of these tools? Might you be able to borrow a tool? Possibly bring them over with their tools to help you cut up your fantastic case? Just a few things to consider.

The Mod List

Okay, so there are a number of mods that someone can do to their computer. I offer you the following four suggestions that are super simple. Deceptively good looking. And while they have been done to death, are a GREAT place to start modding. I give them to you in the order of difficulty.

-Case Handles (Four drilled holes. That’s it!)

-Blowhole (Five drilled holes, and 10 to 15 minutes with a rotary tool)

-Case Window (One drilled hole and 20 minutes with a jigsaw)

-Painted Case (3 hours with a can of spray paint)

See, this list is short, but it offers up some great ideas. Almost everyone starts with one of these four projects. Each is awesome because they give you the opportunity to do things how you want to do them in a way that has your own personality and style to them.

Since I do enjoy writing, but I am also notoriously lazy, I am going to post a few links to help you with these projects. While I could explain them in depth and detail, the videos that I am going to share do a much better job since you can actually SEE what you are doing or what is going on.

Lets look at our first mod…

CASE HANDLES

See, this is super simple. Now, you don’t have to purchase your handles from MNPCTech.com if you don’t want to. Believe it or not, I bought mine at walmart out of a clearance aisle. Just look wherever someplace sells drawer handles or gate handles. Simple.

Case handles are the easiest mod you can do to your computer.

Okay, next one…

CASE BLOWHOLE

Case blowholes can be done on the side or the top of a case. While I did my blowhole up top, the video below will instruct you how to do a blowhole on the side.

Again, SIMPLE! It’s not hard at all to do these simple mods.

Okay, so you have handles now. You have a possible blowhole on your computer, be it in the side of the case or on the top of the case. That’s awesome. BUT, how can we go a little bigger?

Well, lets move on to mod number 3.

CASE WINDOW

With a single drilled hole, and a jigsaw (Or a dremel if you feel so inclined), you are about to put a window on the side of the computer. Now, the acrylic (Plexiglass) that they use is available at most any walmart or home improvement store. Home Depot has the perfect size for about $3.00.

But, I digress, on to the video.

… All I can say is that wasn’t hard at all. No, NOT hard. I did this recently even, do you want to know how my case turned out? AMAZING! Straight edges, smooth after I took a file and sandpaper to them, and after putting in the channel edging, it looked smokin’.

But, this leads me to mod number 4.

CASE PAINTING

I like red, blue, green, black, and a handful of other colors. But, my case, while it was black, just didn’t “pop” the way I wanted. So, this is what I decided to do. Icebreaker red.

Well, I thought to myself, I’m not good with a can of spraypaint… is there a way I can learn?

heh…. yes. Yes there is.

Now, I listed tools, I listed some videos, but now I’m going to talk about something that is just as important as the basics I posted above.

TAKING THE PLUNGE

Case modding is an amazing hobby. There are SO many things that you can do. The only limit is honestly your imagination. Recently, I mounted speakers in to my case so I didn’t have to lug speakers around to places with me. I thought that was pretty awesome.

I’m considering mounting a monitor to my case on a swing arm right now. Possibly putting in storage space for a keyboard and mouse. I don’t know. But, regardless, this is what I am enjoying doing right now.

So, this is what I want to say to you as you read this.

Case modding is not hard!

It really isn’t. It’s fun. Sure, we all make little mistakes. But honestly, that is half the fun of learning the hobby. Taking that first step to put a drillbit to the steel was the hardest part of the process.

As I stood in my basement with a fully dissasembled, BRAND NEW, computer case before me, I had my drill in hand and was nervous.

My lines were drawn, my cuts were figured out, and my first hole was ready. I put the bit to the steel, pulled the trigger, and at that point, I was committed. I don’t have skill when it comes to things like this. In fact, I often half-ass them. But I found that once the drill hole was in, I was in for the long haul. I pulled out the drillbit, plunged my jigsaw in to the opening, and pulled the trigger. I haven’t looked back since.

I know the material from the videos and the blogs. I knew that if I followed the lines on the case, or used a piece of wood as a guiding edge for my saw that I could cut a straight line. Once I made that fourth straight line and the plate of steel fell from the case and tinkled to the floor, I knew that ground had been broken.

This wasn ‘t hard. This was fun.

5 minutes with a file to get rid of a sharp edge and I suddenly had a place to put my newly opened plexiglass.

I had modded my case.

You can to. I know you can.

Hell, if I can do it, any untrained monkey with a jigsaw can do it.

I promise you, it’s easy. Just take the plunge.

Jump in.

Mod it till it bleeds!

(On second thought, just mod it… don’t bleed. That usually requires a trip to the emergency room)

Metroid

It’s time for another video game post.
I like video games, I really do, but quite often I wind up liking a video game that I’m NO good at. I like the concept, I like the game ply, but really, I just don’t have the mental or testicular fortitude to finish it.
In this case, it’s Metroid.
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The game had awesome controls, it had a amazing story line, and the basis behind the game was EPIC in every sense of the word.

I originally played the game on the NES when I was only about 9 years old. I was HORRIBLE at it. I then picked it up on SNES and was still horrible at it.

I moved in to Metroid Prime on the game cube… guess what… I was horrible at it. I always found myself getting scared of a game. Seriously, how stupid is that?

Anyways, I would play, I would research it on the internet, and I would enjoy looking at it as a fanboy.

Well, I picked up an SNES emulator tonight, I picked up a copy of Super Metroid, and I’m going to sit down and try and play it. I’m interested in how it turns out.
I might get scared. I might give up. I dunno. We’ll see what happens. Hopefully, I don’t totally suck at it. And if I do, I’ll just pick up Super Mario Brothers again. I know I can beat that one.
Final Fantasy 7 is in my list too. 🙂

Descent: 6DOF

Here is an interesting off topic post. Not much to do with World of Warcraft, or church, or personal life, or much of anything like that. It’s more of a nostalgic post with a bit of an attempt to draw some attention to something I personally enjoy. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of what I’m about to talk about.

So, with all of that in mind, I want to talk about something that I have been involved with for the last 15 years.

DESCENT

Descent was a video game for the PC that was made by Interplay back in 1995. It utilized a lot of the same things that made DOOM popular. The big difference was that it added a third degree of freedom to your play. Instead of running around on the ground (Hence the term “Ground-Pounder”), you were given the ability to move forwards, backwards, left, right, up, down, and rotate a full 360 degree clockwise and counter clockwise. This gave you unlimited freedom of movement. Interplay dubbed this “A full 360 degrees of freedom”, or as the player community called it “6 Degrees of freedom (6DOF)”. This was a HUGE advancement in game play that the other gaming communities just couldn’t compete with. The problem with this though was if you had a weak stomach, there was always the chance for vertigo to set in.

When I first found this game, it was the shareware version of Descent on my father’s laptop from work. I was enthralled by this concept. I played every chance I got. I was always a little afraid of dying in the game, or of getting in over my head, but I still figured it out and I loved it.

Fast forward a couple of years and Interplay released a sequel. Descent 2. It was the same successful formula of game play, but added better graphics, new weapons, new robots to fight, and improved multiplayer support. Now, this is where I get in to the meat and potatoes of this post.

Descent 2: Multiplayer! There used to be an online gaming community called HEAT.NET. Heat.net was awesome because you could talk to people on the internet in a chat room type of fashion, and when you wanted to play a game of Descent, you just clicked the icon, and you were able to play with up to 8 people in one game. It was great. I spend almost two years straight playing on HEAT.NET before they shut down. That was a sad day for me. But, I found a replacement. Kali.net. It was just as good, but it turns out that this is where the “greats” of Descent played. All those people that essentially ran the gaming community hung out here.

When I started playing on Kali, I used the free version of the software which would let you play in a multiplayer game for up to ten minutes at a time. Now, I have ADD so 10 minutes was an eternity for me, but I was happy to play like I did. After I realized that I loved playing this game as much as I did, I broke down and made my first online purchase. I spent $20 to buy a registration key for Kali. My addiction to 6 degrees of freedom only got worse at this point.

Then… I met Andrea!

I started dating the girl that I eventually made my wife. I would go over to her house and connect my 800 MHz laptop to her 300 MHz desktop by way of a direct serial connection and we would play Descent together. She died a lot in those games. A whole lot. But she married me anyways. Anyways, as we played in her guest bedroom, I would let her log in to Kali occasionally and play online with my friends. Then something happened. I figured out that I was serious about this girl. To this day, she still doesn’t know this story (Surprise Andrea!) How did I figure out that I wanted to be with her forever? Simple. I went home, logged on to the Kali.net, and I purchased her a registration key. I bought my girlfriend access to my online gaming community. Pretty dorky huh?

Fast forward a few more years. The guys that made the first two made a third. Descent 3. This added the ability to get out of the mines and fly around outside as well. This was a huge advancement. It added improved online play through Parallax Online (PXO) and the introduction of two new ships to fly. I’ll get in to the ships and all of that in a few minutes. But this made the addiction worse. I would get my friends to play with me. I would throw LAN parties where we would play descent until people just got so tired they couldn’t play anymore. It was amazing.

Then life changed. I got married. I joined the Coast Guard. I had a child. Then I picked up World of Warcraft.  Then I had another child. Then I moved. Then I moved again. Eight years I was detached from the community that I loved.  And now, here I am. I’m stationed on a boat that is gone for weeks on end. I am rarely home. And I had to find something to fill my time.

Something that I could do for a few minutes. Something that I could do for a few hours. Something that I could do without internet. Something that I could with the internet. Something that I could play that would keep my brain occupied while the boat rumbled around me for hours on end.

Descent!

That was it. That was the answer.

I went down in to my basement and I dug out my old joysticks. I pulled out an old copy of the game. I snagged a copy of those games and expansion packs that I didn’t have any more. I downloaded the add-ons, the level packs, the upgraded texture packs, and the art to make my own cases, CD labels, and game play books. I went to www.kali.net and I downloaded the software. I dug out those two dusty Kali.net registration keys and I plugged them in. I installed my games, configured them, hooked up to my trusty iPhone internet tether, and then it happened. The words that primed me for this post.

Prepare for Descent

I sat there for a moment. My ship hovering in the entrance corridor of level 1. The Lunar Outpost. This was it. I was playing again. I was actually doing it. For a few brief moments, life felt… happy. Nostalgically happy. I slammed the throttle forward, gripped the joystick tightly, and prepared to unleash hell in a game play environment I hadn’t touched in almost a decade. And it was good.

Now, this post is only about half over. While the words that I have typed are personal experience and I hope you can take some sort of joy or entertainment value from them, the next few paragraphs are the part that I hope pique your interest. I hope that you can read them and say “Wow, this looks kind of cool.” Or “Hey, I should really consider this.”.  So with that, here it is.

DESCENT: The reason I have been flying blind since 1995!

Let me start with some of the technical aspects of this game. What it is, and what’s available.

Descent: First Strike – This is what started it all.

Descent 2: Counterstrike – The new and improved version. This is my personal favorite.

Descent 2: Vertigo – The expansion to the wildly successful Descent2.

Descent 3: Retribution – This was the amazingly beautiful version that took you out of the mines.

Descent 3: Mercenary – The expansion to Descent 3.

Doom didn’t just introduce the masses to a first-person, action 3-D shooter, it spawned a variety of first-person clones. Some of these clones, like Dark Forces, were welcome additions to the genre. Others were just more of the same. Only one 3-D shooter adds a whole new dimension to the field: Descent. No exploding body parts or fireball-vomiting demons here–Descent puts an industrial spin on the genre by taking you into the bowels of huge factory-like space stations to fight mining robots gone mad.

Consider this: in space, there is no up or down. Descent uses that concept to hit you like a 9G turn with a labyrinth environment and free range of motion on the x-, y-, and z-axes. Nudge your spaceship into a room, and watch out—attacks can come from your left or right, from above or below you. You’ll spin your ship around while firing missiles and lasers until vertigo isn’t just an Alfred Hitchcock movie, but a way of life. Surrounded by this chaos you must rescue scattered human hostages and gather powerups while trying to keep your firepower and shields at their max. A 3-D rotating map is available for those who can’t handle the bewildering turns of each level.

Now, the multiplayer for me is where the money is at. Shooting at friends is fun in things like Quake and UT2K4, but it gets even better in this kind of scenario.

Now, I wanted to try and explain a bunch of the facets of this game in this post, but I find that my creative prowess right now is a bit stifled. So with that, I’m just going to say what I’m thinking instead of making it awesome.

This game is fun. It’s TONS of fun. There is a high learning curve, I won’t dispute that. A lot of people that play it for the first time walk away after two minutes saying it’s too hard. But those of you that are reading this right now know that we play hard games. (World of Warcraft anyone? Crazy hard when the theory crafting is involved) So, seriously, take a look at some of the links that I have below. Do a little reading on it. Download a demo or two. Hell, try the full game. If you are interested in what you are seeing or reading, then shoot me a message and I’ll hook you up with some AWESOME stuff. But seriously, this game was epic before epic was purple. (Actually, the Fusion Cannon was purple and was considered epic.)

Anyways, I’m going to quit prattling on and get to the awesome resources that are available. Enjoy.

Forums and Message Boards:

http://www.planetdescent.com – This was the second most used forum for the game. The casual player went here for discussions and most everyone came here for downloads, demos, maps, and other sundries for the game. If you want the demo, this is the place to find it.

http://www.descentbb.net – This is where the hardcore players hang out. It’s primarily a forum, but still has good discussions considering the small size of the Descent community. A must for assistance with some of the more difficult aspects of the game.

Downloads:

Descent 1 Demo – The noise that started it all. Low-res, but a classic.

Descent 2 Demo – This was the mainstay of the multiplayer community for years. Better resolution, but still fairly low res. This one is my personal favorite.

Descent 3 Demo – This brought you out of the mines for a new experience. Better online support, better graphics, better sound, and an actual story line. If you want something single player that’s good fun with an actual goal, this is the one for you.

Improvements:

Now, Descent was awesome on its own, but to make it better for online play, there was an update made by a group from Denmark called D2X-XL. This made it so you could have insane resolutions and better network support. It’s a MUST for anyone who wants to play online.

D2X-XL Home Page

Online multiplayer support:

Http://www.kali.net – This is the chat interface that will let you find people to play with. This one is a must if you want to try it online (Which is recommended.)

http://www.slyclan.de/ – This is where you get VORTEX. It’s the software that lets you chat and play Descent 3 online. If you decide to pick up the game, then this is where you get your multiplayer from.

If you have read this far, then you are most likely interested in what you saw. Just drop me a comment or an e-mail or hit me up on AIM (rubyhunter4) and I’ll do what I can. I’m looking to build the community. Maybe you want to help.

Peace out. Hopefully, I’ll see you in the mines when I’m not hanging out in Azeroth.