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Tycho / on Fri, Apr 7 2006 at 8:18 am

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On Sacks

I would sooner acquire crabs, but Microsoft has decided to acquire Lionhead - adding their uniqueness to its own.  We have created a strange comic about it.  Since Lionhead only really makes games for Microsoft platforms, this is sort of like paying someone to accept money.

I really wonder what branch of moon mathematics supports a purchase like this.  It hardly looks strategic, anymore - it looks like collection.  It is as though there is a bare mantle somewhere in Microsoft which must be populated with the shiny objects of the world.  Lionhead develops "promising" games, but it takes too long to do it and the results rarely ascend the sheer face of their early promises.   I’m glad there is  a Lionhead, floating out there disembodied, trying things out, with the industry cache to maintain the experiment.  I just don’t know why you would buy it.

I bought another copy of XP, and using Apple’s Boot Camp beta I was able to throw a copy of Windows onto my Mac without any difficulty whatsoever.  Indeed, the only portion that could be called weird or onerous was seeing the blue DOS-looking installer smeared over my widescreen display.  If you haven’t investigated the process, it’s almost insulting in its simplicity:  the Mac will actually burn a disc for you that includes the latest drivers, along with an installer that puts everything in its proper place once the system boots.

At Sakuracon, I was put in the odd situation of being made to defend the Macintosh as a platform - I would describe the effect on me spiritually as "Karmic Whiplash" - but as much as I prefer the user experience, purchasing a computer that can run one of the three major OS options and some sliver of the Earth’s software can’t really be called pragmatic. Sanctioned Windows booting recongifures the propositions in play: now there is simply a computing option that runs every major OS.

I purchased the iMac largely so I could gain the invulnerability that comes with criticising something from your own context:  picture the comedian who is free to heap racial slurs on his own people.  What happened instead is that I grew to crave it.  Playing the new Tomb Raider demo or Oblivion day of - and having this software run well - is not a footnote for that beleagured constituency.   As a mobile option, I think it’s already a compelling choice - but until the full desktop line becomes available, these developments are largely nerd trivia.  When Apple starts making machines that you can replace the videocard in, machines that run every OS and every application without the taint of performance sapping emulation,  the conversation will become very interesting.

(CW)TB out.

well, the dead do rise


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