Articles by Michael Anderson

Review: BandGeek for iPhone

Anyone who has spent five seconds around a band room at some point in their life knows that the frequency of a middle A note is 440Hz – but what is its’ MIDI note number? Don’t know? Well then it is time for you to hit the iTunes App store and pick a very useful musical utility – BandGeek. Note: if you are asking ‘what’s a MIDI’ at this point, you should probably move along.


Mobile Edge ECO Messenger Laptop Bag Review

To frame for a second just how eco-centric my family is, let me give an example: on our recent vacation to Ohio, we returned with two trash bags full of recyclable materials because we found the recycling in the area we stayed inadequate. Also, a recent report showed that simultaneous to an explosion of ‘green’ advertising, as many as 98% of all ‘green’ product advertisements are misleading. So, when someone claims to make an eco-friendly product, I am immediately skeptical. Therefore the Mobile Edge ECO Messenger gets a double-look here: first and foremost for its utility as a messenger bag,…


Review: Mass Effect Galaxy for iPhone

There is a fine somewhere between cynicism and being an actively suspicious consumer … and when I heard about the release of a game called Mass Effect Galaxy on the iTunes App Store that would somehow tie into the upcoming Mass Effect 2 for the PC & XBOX360, I had a hard time deciding which of the two feelings was foremost in my mind. Because I felt that this was on the surface little different than Burger King having all of those cheap X360 games a few years ago as a big promo. Sure, they were games … but it…


Gear Games Review: Tradewinds 2 for iPhone

Striking the right balance in porting a PC franchise to a handheld gaming system is always tricky, as some games do it well (Anno 1701 and Sim City for the DS) while others struggle with the limitations of the platform (Dungeon Siege for the PSP and The Settlers for the DS). So while reading the press release for Tradewinds 2 got me intrigued about how it might play out, that excitement was tempered by the long history of mixed results bringing PC games to handheld gaming systems – not to mention the memory of playing the terribly mediocre Mass Effect…


Review: Peggle for iPhone

Just a couple of weeks ago I highlighted the awesome $0.99 sale on Peggle at the iTunes App store. As I mentioned, the concept of Peggle is simple: you are presented with a board of pegs, some of which are orange. You have a ball shooter at the top center of the screen. The goal is to remove all of the orange pegs from the screen using the balls from your shooter. Since gravity and physics are the laws in the Peggle universe, you need to estimate the trajectory of bounces off other pegs if you hope to clear all…


Myst (iPhone / iPod Touch) Review

As noted in my original article when the game was released, Myst is a classic adventure game released for the Mac in 1993 that was the best-selling PC game for a very long time until the arrival of the Sims franchise. Aside from being the ‘killer app’ that was largely responsible for the CD-ROM drive gaining traction in the marketplace. Since the initial Mac release and follow-up PC release, the game was re-released on the PC as a fully 3D game, got a series of sequels and even a (failed) online game, and more recently been released for the DS…


Review: Spb Geo Game for Windows Mobile

Spb is a name most users of Windows Mobile know well. From their Mobile Shell to Weather and Wallet and a host of other useful and entertaining utilities, these guys have done well by the Windows Mobile community over the years. Their latest release is a simple but challenging and fun game for Windows Mobile and Android – Spb Geo Game. This game is clearly in the ‘edutainment’ market, as it asks some challenging questions but makes it fun along the way. The game has two main modes – World Flags and World Capitals – and provides plenty of challenges…


Review: iLaugh for iPhone

Everyone loves a good laugh, though sometimes coming up with something funny or original can be a challenge. For my tween sons, the breadth of humor consists primarily of body parts, bodily functions, and silly quotes from movies. However, as we mature (hopefully) we would like a bit more substance and diversity in our humor. Enter iLaugh, the new App for the iPhone and iPod Touch that puts a database of over 50,000 jokes at your fingertips!


How much is that MP3 Download Worth? How about $80,000?!?

I am a staunch anti-piracy fighter: I engage in forum discussions about it on a regular basis, and also being a hardcore PC gamer I see the direct impact of piracy on that hobby. I see how it has impacted where developers target their games, how many top-level PC games are released, and the increasingly draconian DRM schemes used to try to thwart piracy … most of which simply punish honest customers. I constantly rail against piracy and try to stop folks from doing it when I can. That said, I have absolutely no love for the RIAA , the…


Star Walk for iPhone / iPod Touch Review

If you ask my wife, the money she spent buying me a telescope a few years ago was wasted. If you ask me or my sons, we’d disagree. It isn’t that we use it all that much, but I chalk that up to living in the Northeast – it is hard to hit that small window when the temperature is right for standing outside at night and it gets dark early enough that we can all enjoy it together. The folks at Vito Technology have a great solution – Star Walk, an educational astronomy app for the iPhone andiPod Touch…


70% of Kindle Owners are Over 40 … how about YOU!?!

Anyone who hangs around discussion forums for just about anything has run into the ‘How Old Are You?’ poll / question. Evidently there was a similar thread called “Average Kindle Owner’s Age” in the Amazon Kindle Forums. None of this is surprising. The amazing thing is that someone took the time to compile all of the data presented in these posts and do some analysis! Stephen Peters of Kindle Culture is writing a book called, unsurprisingly, Kindle Culture, and they went though all 1700 posts and compiled all of the data. So what does it all say?


Hot Pursuit for Windows Mobile Review

Games for devices such as PalmOS and Windows Mobile PDA’s have typically gotten much less attention than those for consoles and handhelds by big names such as Sony and Nintendo. What that has meant is that it is harder for game producers to get their games into the hands of those who might enjoy them: so-called ‘hardcore’ gamers would know about the games but be typically looking for a more serious and involved experience, while the more ‘casual’ gamer would be less likely to visit the online stores to get the games. The Apple iPhone changed that with the tight…


Review: Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars for Nintendo DS

I remember reading a New York Times article that was calling the recently released entry in the Grand Theft Auto franchise of video games ‘one of the most important’ video games released in recent years. The article talks about how by bringing a fully fleshed out entry of the M-rated series to a platform generally associated with under-18 children, it signals an important milestone in the history and maturation of the video game industry. That is an awful lot to heap on a game that is barely larger than a SD card, so I will take a look and see…


Earth Day Thought: What Plastics Do To Your Body

As we all (yes, ALL) try to do better by Mother Earth in general, and particularly today on Earth Day, and try to ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ wherever possible, it seems that the ‘Reduce’ part often gets lost in a sea of packaging that we do manage to Reuse and eventually Recycle. An article at Care2 discusses some of the chemistry behind all of those plastics and how they might impact us.



Modern Gaming Like It’s 1993!

I usually put into context how long I’ve been a gamer by saying that I was anticipating the release of Wolfenstein 3D in 1993 and was already a fan of the franchise. Huh? You didn’t realize there was a Castle Wolfenstein franchise before the release of the seminal first person shooter (FPS)? And wait, how does this all relate to the ‘modern gaming’ promised in the title? Don’t worry … I’ll get there!