Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sale Ka Mela

It’s the time to file taxes and also receive some refunds on ones hard earned money from the IRS. And there are stores here which have begun advertising an ‘Income Tax Refund Sale’! It is a sad state of affairs where a country reeling under the threat of recession and excessive credit has its commercial organisations out to suck each penny of the consumer’s money.
And in case you miss the ‘Income Tax Refund Sale’ there is a ‘Presidents Day Sale’ coming up soon!
Update: A store has started a 'Winter Storm Watch Sale' for its cars. I am rendered speechless.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

360 Comes to Life...

I have long been an avid gamer. Starting from the days of playing Tetris on a local made ‘video game’; to spending innumerable summer vacations and late nights glued to my PC; to console gaming on the XBOX 360 today. When I first got the 360, it was because I was tired of staring at amazing game titles in stores, only to find out my 2 year old laptop had absolutely no chance of supporting them. And since I don’t use the laptop for much it did not justify spending a couple grand or more on a gaming machine.
So the 360 it was. And I was real glad to be able to play all the latest games on my 20” CRT television. I did have a little difficulty reading some of the font but the overall experience was great. Till now.
What changed was I gifted myself a 32” Sony Hi-Definition LCD television. After getting it home and fiddling around with the wiring and setup, I switched it on and just sat staring at how good it looked. And then I connected the 360, changed the settings to HDMI, adjusted the screen size and such other technicalities and finally inserted the NFS Most Wanted disc. And it started with a display that said, ‘EA HD’. And suddenly I felt like I had stumbled upon a portal that leads to this parallel universe. That only select people have had the privilege to access. All of a sudden there were sharper textures, crisp graphics and an unreal sense of reality! Everything looked so different that I began to wonder whether it was the same game I had already played. For the first time, I actually paused the race to admire the scenery! And about 5 minutes into my first race I had goose pimples all over. It may sound overtly exaggerated but I was actually staring open mouthed at the screen. The transition from a SD tube TV to a HD LCD TV is almost equivalent to a person used to the silent movie era getting a glimpse of the Matrix. Yes, it is that good!
I’m not promoting products here, but for all gamers out there, the 360-HD combination is something that I would recommend you save up for and spoil yourself with. I’m sure there will be a point when you will sigh and sit back with a silly grin on your face that just won’t go away. And just that one moment makes it all worth it!

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