Sunday, July 29, 2007

Saviour-V teleports into the Blood Phoenix Sanctuary, just as the hidden panel opens to reveal the ReviewMe Monitor....

Heh. Just thought I'd call it that. Anyway, for all you motorcycle builders out there, today's review is dedicated to you. Although it's more a mini-review, at the moment.

Saviour-V grins as the ReviewMe monitor turns on, and after a few moments of the "DOWNLOADING..." message, it beeps and displays the current review's subject...

Building A Custom Chopper Frame

Simply put, this mini-course is meant to focus on 9 common problems that most motorcycle builders face when building their rides. This course is free, but you'll need a valid e-mail address to receive each part of this course.

As of right now, I've only gotten 1 out of 9 parts, but I expect more in the next few weeks. But to whet your appetite, let me share that first lesson with all of you:

The ReviewMe monitor flickers briefly, before displaying the information in question...

"Problem #1: What is the difference between common pipe and tubing?

A: This is also a very important and critical issue. There is a significant difference between pipe and tubing. The mechanical values are very different.

· Pipe is measured on the ID (inside diameter).

· Tubing is measured on the OD (outside diameter).

Even though most pipe is rated to withstand a great deal of internal pressure, its molecular structure is too brittle to be bent without damage. Weakening common pipe may also fracture if not cut properly and is often difficult to weld. On the other hand, most tubing is suitable for cutting, bending and welding. These are necessary factors when choosing a material to build a motorcycle frame."

The information stays up for about 5 minutes, before it is erased...

Hope that little tip will give you an idea of what to expect. However, if you want more information on how to actually build a bike, visit Custom Choppers Guide.

Round there, you should be able to buy a few DVDs that can provide you with enough information to start building your meanest machines. Toughness and leanness not guaranteed by me, though.

Anyway, have fun.

Saviour-V grins, as usual, before teleporting out of the Blood Phoenix Sanctuary, just as the ReviewMe Monitor slides back into the hidden panel....

Saturday, July 21, 2007

As usual, the monitor that Saviour-V uses for his reviews is still as he left it...just as he teleports in....

Right. Review #5 on the cards comes from the Annie Books Series.

Unfortunately, given my work in real life, I've not been able to contact them personally for a full review PDF, so I'll only be working with the two sample chapters from their book "A Prairie Day With Anne".

But I will provide a little background on Anne. Anne's a fictitious character created by Michelle Fattig, who wrote this book, and many others on Anne. And the reason? Like Anne, Dr. Michelle has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and her books explain life from the eyes of a child with ADHD.

Ironically, I've got ADHD myself, although I sometimes like to think that I don't have it.

But enough reminiscing. Here's the URL for the sample chapters (Chapters 12 and 13):

Sample Chapters from A Prairie Day With Anne.

As for what I think of those two chapters, I'd say that Dr. Michelle's portrayal of Anne is quite similar to my own ADHD-addled past as a child. Like Anne, I went through a few periods of insecurity and impulsiveness, and even now, I sometimes slip into them from time to time. And yes, I used to get taunted for being different, back in my younger days.

Saviour-V smiles slightly....

Dr. Michelle seems to have done a good job of explaining things from a kid's point of view, but since I've not had the time to pick up the PDF from her personally, I can't really be sure if she's managed to capture the many aspects of a person living with ADHD. I will admit that the chapters I've managed to review are relatively well-written, though. They're also quite lightweight, which may help kids enjoy Anne's story on their own, and allow parents to briefly explain things, too.

I'll go out on a limb here. I believe that this book is worth a good read for kids with ADHD, and for parents trying to help their children make sense of their gift. Heck, ADHD's not a calamity, just that it makes one a little more special in terms of thoughts and actions.

Of course, feel free to peruse the Annie Books website, and draw your own conclusions from there. And with that, I bid you all adieu. You guys have been a wonderful audience.

The monitor on the wall slides back into the panel, and the panel closes shut. Satisfied with this, Saviour-V teleports out...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Inside the Blood Phoenix Sanctuary, a hidden panel on one of the walls opens up to reveal the monitor that Saviour-V usually uses for his reviews, but strangely enough, the person in question isn't in the Sanctuary...


Oops. Sorry, he's here.

And rightly so, Mr. Narrator. Got in here through the underground entrance a while back. Anyway, I figured I should change my usual reflex and NOT teleport in like I usually do. And review #4's up.

Saviour-V picks up a glass and fills it from a nearby water dispenser, before glancing at the monitor....

From XZIST Games, I give you the review for their game: People Shooter.

This 9 MB executable seems to have been written in C (an old programming language that's still used today, by the way), and personally, it can be a resource hog if you don't have enough RAM to support it. In fact, on a 512 MB RAM-filled laptop, the graphics and textures started to glitch up after the 3rd time playing it, before the game crashed.

The premise of this game's simple, although it's not really for the kids. Of course, I wouldn't really recommend it to the adults either, unless you guys have a good sense of humour. In my case, after a few playthroughs, I think I've a good sense of boredom.

In People Shooter, you have to kill people (obviously) who happen to be throwing themselves off the walls of a castle. You do this by left-clicking on them to shoot them, for 200 points each. You get 8 bullets, which slowly replenish themselves when you're not shooting, but you can also shoot the ducks that randomly wander in from the sides of the screen. Shooting a duck once gets you a bullet back and 50 points, but a second shot causes them to explode in a flurry of feathers, and gives you 5 more bullets and 100 points.

If you fail to kill a person before he hits the ground, not only does he make a nasty mess on the ground, but the bar on the left of the screen will fill up with blood. And the more you miss, the more it fills up. When it's fully filled up, it's game over, because "the hell reserved for suicide victims becomes full and blows up".

Fortunately, to keep some space cleared up in Hell, the flying demons (more like flying rejects from Hell's processing labs) that fly in from time to time can be shot, which reduces the blood inside the bar.

However, given that there are far too many targets and not enough bullets, one is forced to rely on both skill and luck to survive this relentless onslaught of lemmings.

Personally, my biggest gripe was the fact that there were no power-ups to make killing a breeze, or to slow down the pace of the falling people. Worse still, that bullet limit is a problem, because you can't really reload your gun unless you kill a duck, and you won't get more bullets unless you use two bullets to kill one. So running out of ammo is a big problem.

In any case, the game's mildly entertaining for the first 5 minutes or so, but given that it doesn't have much variety, it gets boring and more difficult after that time-frame.

Of course, I think there are far more skilled players than me, so feel free to download that game, and beat my high score of 12,000 points or so, with a mouse and a touchpad. And have fun, more importantly.

Saviour-V grins, and teleports out...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Saviour-V teleports in, again...

In case you're wondering, work and writing reviews don't always mix well together, so when I teleport out, it's usually to get some work done. Without further ado, I bring you review #3:

The premise behind is simple: What if us humans exchanged items we had for items that we need? Sounds good, in a way.

Basically, if you want something, you'll need a certain amount of switchbucs (no, that's not a typo), which are earned from trading items that other people want from you. Additionally, you can "buy" switchbucs by donating a small sum of money towards Switch Funds - SwitchPlanet's initiative to help charitable organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the American Red Cross.

The idea is sound, but there are a few limitations.

The first of these is WHAT you can trade. Right now, you can trade DVDs, CDs, computer and console games, and books. However, they are planning to conduct trade in other things, such as clothing and consumer electronics, in the near future.

The second is WHERE you can trade. To be exact, this site seems to be geared to residents of the USA and Canada. Not to bring up an issue, but I believe it would be nice to accommodate people of other countries in this initiative. If most of the issues related to trust (not to mention postage charges) are ironed out, that is.

That aside, a third issue relates to how much switchbucs one actually needs to obtain to trade with someone else. Although I've not been able to conduct any trades, given my current location, the founder has tried his best to co-ordinate efforts to prevent over-valuing of items, from what I've managed to determine from the forums (and the switchbuc calculator on the site)

To summarize, this is an OK idea, but it will require more effort to become the best idea. There are teething pains, no doubt, but I believe that SwitchPlanet has the right idea. It will take time, though.

Anyway, I'll conclude the last two reviews tomorrow. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

Saviour-V teleports out, as the monitor slides back into the hidden panel...
Saviour-V teleports into the Blood Phoenix Sanctuary again, as the monitor blinks once more...

Review #2: Backgammon

This comes courtesy of, and unfortunately, the log-in issues of this program are much worse - I've only managed to log-in once, and I've never been able to log in again, even after changing usernames. Fortunately, no spyware, adware, trojans, or the like, are present.

The similarities between Play89's online pool and Play65's backgammon are in the interface, and what you can do. In other words, you can either play for fun money, or for real money.

Tournaments are a given, as usual, but I didn't manage to check them out, so I can't really say much about them.

The same old message comes out if you're a Malaysian player that's TRYING to relog-in to the game:

"Sorry, but we cannot accept players from your country."

Here, I'd say that the guys at Play65 should try to accomodate players from any location in the world, or limit gameplay to a certain degree. Or something.

In any case, if you're looking for a quick chance to relax during a lunch break (and perhaps make a little cash on the side), you could give this a try, but if you're Malaysian, expect some frustration.


Saviour-V teleports out again, while the monitor begins retrieving data for the next review....
Saviour-V teleports into the Blood Phoenix Sanctuary, as usual...

OK, marathon review time. First of five. Not much to say.

Saviour-V notices the hidden panel open, and nods at the title shown by the monitor that pops out of it...

Our 1st review in this marathon line-up:

Online Pool

To be exact, this comes from Basically, you download the executable (no spyware, trojans and nasty stuff, thankfully), start it up, register at the log-in screen, and you're ready to go.

Saviour-V sighs momentarily...

Of course, there is no utopia. In the case of Play89 (and in the 2nd review, Play65), when I tried re-logging in a second time, I got the following message:

"Sorry, but we do not accept players from your country."

Strangely enough, I got in OK the first time. So, I make another account, and log in. OK the first time, but again, when I leave for lunch, and try to log in with the new account, I get that same error message.

Which brings me to a quick question: are Malaysian players not allowed to play, even for fun money, or is there something wrong with this system? Because there was absolutely no question related to the nationality of players when I registered.

Oh, well.

As for the game itself, if you're familiar with Yahoo! Pool, you can choose a room to either watch a game in progress, or play a few. And if you're playing for fun money, you'll get it replenished if you hit zero dollars; a luxury absent from real money games.

There's also a few tournaments you can participate in, and receive real money from, even if you're playing for fun. Although I've not participated in them myself.

The truth is, this is OK if you want to pass the time, but Malaysian gamers like myself would have trouble enjoying this a little because of the log-in issue. I really do hope that a more reliable system comes up.

OK, next!

Saviour-V teleports out of the Blood Phoenix Sanctuary, while the monitor begins retrieving data for the next set of reviews....