Also one of the capacitors in it started to whine about a year ago. It comes and goes, but there are days that it sounds like a camera-flash charging up.
So we decided a few months ago that a new teevee was gonna have to happen and that we'd wait until the holidays to get it. Unfortunately, TV's haven't gone the way of computers in the past decade and gotten cheaper and better. They got better, but they also got lots more expensive. Let's be honest here -- had anyone ever heard of a $4,000 mass-market TV ten years ago?
So we decided to do some bargain hunting. We figured Best Buy was the way to go, because between the McDonalds win-tickets and the "12% off TV up to 36 inches" discount coupon emailed to me and a couple more deals I had laying around, we might be able to find something reasonable.
After bumping around BB for a while, we finally settled on an open-box 36-inch Sony old-school tube-type set. They had several of the Sony models selling open-box for $750. And on top of that they were giving away a $200 gift-card for anyone who would take 'em off their hands. So we decided to pick one up the next morning, thus giving ourselves plenty of time to get everything ready for it.
Yeah it ain't the latest HDTV plasma-lcd-whatever technology, but I honestly don't care. Also it's about two feet thick, but that also wasn't a problem because we're putting it in a corner.
Weight, however, almost was an issue. When I looked at the set at the store, they were packed in tight so I couldn't look around the back of the set to bask in it's impressive HUGENESS. (At this point, if you haven't opened up that link above, do so and check out the weight of the set in the specs).
Suffice it to say that I had no clue that Shelly and I were gonna have to drag a teevee set that's approximately the size and weight of an SUV into our home. I figured that since our old projection teevee was a monster, anything we bought nowadays would be smaller.
Of course, projection TV's are mostly air, so they don't weigh much despite their size.
Later that day we went to IKEA to get a stand for the TV. In retrospect it was a good idea that we bought the TV first. I had a good idea of the TV's dimensions, but I hadn't taken the set's weight into account. Thankfully, IKEA has stickers on all of their TV stands that say how much TV they're capable of holding before they collapse and send your TV deep into the Earth's crust. That narrowed our search down from about 20 stands to about three. We ended up with this one, which actually looks quite nice now that it's all set up, although the TV we got is about half again as big as the one in their little publicity photo.
And it looks and works great. After all of the coupons and wheeling and dealing that Shelly did, we ended up paying about $650. And now I have a $200 gift card and about $20 more worth of credit from their "frequent shopper" program.
On the game development front, things are proceeding apace. The schedule's a mite off right now because I'm getting ready to re-deploy the Mac games. I was never all that happy with the Mac games done with Zinc for Mac for the following reasons.
1. They were huge. I was expecting 'em to get big, but even the individual daily puzzles were coming out at 11 meg.
2. They were slow. Everything was running in "Rosetta" mode, which makes things nice and compatible but is just slow (doubly slow on my little single-core Mac mini).
3. They were memory hogs. After the rosetta runtime stuff was going, a single game could easily take up over 200 meg of RAM. And it's just bad form for a little puzzle to require more RAM than Microsoft Office.
4. They wouldn't work on Mac OSX earlier than 10.4. That's not a big problem for new Intel Macs, but lots of PowerPC macs out there are a version or two behind.
In fact, about all I could say about 'em was "they worked". MDM promised a Univeral Binary version in 2007, but that wouldn't fix all of the problems. After hearing someone mention mProjector (google for it) in the forums, I took a look. After a bit of testing, I determined that it'd fix EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM I had.
1. The individual daily puzzles are now about 1.5 meg each.
2. They run in native speed on Intel and PowerPC processors, so the speed is greatly improved.
3. They now require about 3.5 meg of RAM.
4. They'll now work on OSX from about version 10.2.7 on.
In short, the Mac versions will now be enjoying quality-parity with the Windows versions. And that makes me happy, because I wanna be proud of my work, and things beyond my control were preventing that from happening.
So there'll be a 1.03 update this week that'll fix a couple of minor bugs in Windows but will mostly exist to improve the Mac versions greatly.
I am basking in the glow of bottomless schaedenfraude at Pastor Ted Haggard's fall from grace. And you will too after seeing him smugly dismiss Richard Dawkins in Dawkins' documentary.
If only we lived in a world where ALL self-righteous pricks could self-destruct in such impressive fashion.