Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Opera Mobile 5 on Blackberry

So there's a new browse for the Blackberry. Because my Macbook is currently out of battery, I am typing this on my Blackberry Bold using Opera 5 beta. It is pretty slick, fast enough and looks very nice. It also doesn't stumble on Javascript. However, it is clearly beta, as there are UI issues that aren't sorted out such as I recently had, a hung browser at the speed dial page until I, of the push random buttons mentality, hit upon hitting the enter button, upon which it loaded in a hurry. Far more sinister, however is the tendency for the backspace key to go into rapid repeat whether or not it is held down. Before you press backspace, you need to be ready to press the next key immediately to avoid the problem. It also does not do the appropriate space bar short cut in a URL such as the @ sign or the periods. Blackberry users know what I'm talking about. You also can't insert an enter character, as that closes the edit box, so this will be a single big paragraph.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Children's Book

The wife and her partner are working on a children's book. Check it out at and vote for her in the online contest explained on that site.


Football! Football season is finally here. I've logged ten hours or so already. I even got to watch my team, the Redskins, lose on national TV! Oh, well, half the teams have to lose, and the Redskins are good at it, so it's ok.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Favorite Blackberry Game So Far

Easily, Civilization. I'm a civ head, I will admit, playing freeciv on my linux box with a simply massive world size. Of course, the Blackberry is not so capable.

On the Blackberry Bold, there is a version of Civilization that is rather engrossing. Essentially, two cities face of and send military units at each other. The units move at a set pace depending on their type and can only be stopped by walls or another type of unit that forces them to stop and fight. It is a bit like paper/rock/scissors in that the infantry units can kill the range units (archers, cannons, so on) by walking through them essentially, unless the range unit hits them first. Mobile units, elephants, cavalry, tanks, so on, can kill both infantry and ranged units by walking over them. There is a tech that you can research that allows infantry to kill mobile units, but only if in a forrest. Ranged units can kill mobile units at a distance.

There are plenty of techs to research, on three tracks. The maximum tech is limited in the lower levels leading the player to have to survive level three in order to find out what those techs do.

The computer opponent is pretty good, devilishly good in level three, but cheats a bit. Overall, however, gameplay is rather good. I've been playing it whenever I have a little downtime and am not tired of it yet and it has been weeks since I got it.