Sims 2 Open For Business Expansion Pack Review

With the Sims 2 Open For Business Expansion Pack, you get more add ons for the game. You can get new outfits, hairstyles, wallpapers, floors, and other things to make your store more enjoyable for your visitors.

In this game you can create your own shops and your sims can buy the stores and hire workers to run their shop. You can set what you want your worker’s uniforms to look like, how much you want to pay them, and if you want to fire them.

Some examples of stores are salons, toy stores, and restaurant.


Sims 2 Holiday Expansion Pack Review

On the Sims 2 Holiday Expansion Pack, you have an add on in the game. The add on includes things like different outfits, hats, and decorations. However, the Holiday Expansion Pack only includes 2 holidays: Christmas and Halloween.

With Christmas, you can get your family ready with decorations, Christmas trees, and decorative and festive wallpaper. You can even throw a New Years party for your sims and friends to enjoy. There are only certain days you can throw parties for New Years/Christmas. When you do decide to throw a party, Santa Claus will come to your house and leave presents under your tree for your sims to enjoy in the morning.

For Halloween, there are only simple decorations. No party, no trick or treating, just decorations.

Christmas was the big focus for this expansion pack.


Sims 2 Review: A 14 year old’s evaluation

Sims 2 is one of the most addicting games I have ever played. You can create your own person and customize every small detail about them (makeup, facial features, shape of face, ect.). Once you have created your family, you can also create your own house.

If you have never played, I don’t suggest reading the guide. Its a pretty easy game to figure out. The pictures and labels for building and customizing your own house makes it pathetically easy to build. If you want to take it a step further, you can create your own neighborhood by creating houses and shops for your sims to enjoy.

One of the most important features to this game is the sims themselves. Keeping them happy, fed, and making sure they don’t get sick can get tricky. Make sure your sim doesn’t die by always checking their needs. Make sure all their needs are always full green bars, or else your sim may die or become sick.

Another important feature is money. Your sim needs a job so you have money for food, bathroom/kitchen appliances, some sort of entertainment so the fun meter doesn’t drop, and a bed to sleep on. Those are the most basic things to have on this game and also the most important.


How To Rip DVD’s on Your iPod

I’m always looking for tools that can make me life easier…one-click even. I know ripping DVDs to a portable device is hardly something new, but I’ve been using an application from Xilisoft called DVD to iPod Converter that makes it one click.

Anyone who’s tried hacking together your own DVD ripping solution knows that it’s not easy or simple. There are always lots of steps using a number of applications to get something down to carry on your iPod or other portable media device. I was pleasantly surprised to see that after loading up DVD to iPod Converter, I was able to insert a DVD, click the Convert button, and let the software do it’s thing.

There are lots of options for different devices, file quality, screen size, etc. Check out the software here.

PLEASE READ: This is not intended to encourage the stealing of DVD content you don’t own. Use the software at your own risk.


Slashing Macs: PC Strikes Back

Could we be seeing cheaper Mac products on the market this year? Is Apple going to have to lower their prices in order to compete with Windows PC, Dell and other companies who are boosting their computer’s ability, while maintaining a lower price?

Joe Wilcox on AppleWatch shows comparison cost and hardware on a mid-range Mac and Dell Inspiron 518:

iMac: $1,199; 2.4GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 20-inch widescreen display (integrated), 1GB DDR memory, 128MB ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT graphics, 250GB hard drive, 8x double-layer DVD burner, Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11 g Wi-Fi, Webcam and Mac OS X 10.5.

Inspiron 518: $739 (after $150 instant savings); 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Quad processor, 19-inch widescreen monitor, 3GB DDR memory, Intel GMA X3100 graphics, 500GB hard drive, 8x DVD burner and Windows Vista Home Premium Service Pack 1.

Apple will continue to hold its edge on the market because of its user-friendly system, yet complex and cool image, but Apple must deal with competitor’s attempts to revolt against Apple’s image and higher priced products. Apple needs to lower its prices and bulk up on configurations and memory space, maintaining stability in its growing market share and stability in its superior performance.

Finance chief Peter Oppenheimer hints that, “We’re delivering state-of-the-art products at price points that our competitors can’t match, which has resulted in market share gains in each of our products. We plan to continue this strategy and to deliver great value to our customers while making a reasonable margin but not a margin so high as to leave an umbrella for our competitors.”

According to data collected by the NPD group at Gizmodo, the average Windows notebook goes for US$700, while the average Apple laptop costs above US$1,500, dropping a mere US$59 in the last two years. The umbrella’s been pulled out of the closet, and unless Mac lowers the cost of their products while continuing to create loyal customers with superior performance, they run the risk of wind catching their umbrella and blowing them off the top of the computer sales and performance leaderboard.


MarsEdit 2…A Bloggers Best Friend


If you’re a blogger, or even an aspiring blogger, you should check out Red Sweater Software’s MarsEdit 2 blog publishing software. I’ve been using MarsEdit 2 for a while now and love being able to edit blogs from a local desktop application. The interface is clean, you have access to both a WYSIWIG as well as an HTML editor, and you can manage media files (pictures, audio, video) right from the application. Also added to the latest version is expanded access to post preferences such as comments and pings.

Aside from the great features, there are two things I love about MarsEdit. First is the ability to create and edit blog posts offline. It’s rare that I don’t have an Internet connection, but it seems like when I don’t have access is oftentimes when I’d like to be working on a blog post. Second, you can have access to multiple blogs without logging in to each control panel separately. If you post to more than one blog on a regular basis, this feature alone is worth picking up the software for.

Check out the trial version of MarsEdit 2 and see what you think.


Keeping an eye on the ‘Dog Days of August’

Will the Chicago Cubs be able to hold on to their division lead? Will Manny Ramirez spark the Dodgers into the post-season? These are questions beginning to intensify as the 2008 MLB season moves into the ‘Dog Days of August’. Wikipedia describes these ‘Dog Day’s’ as, “a time period or event that is very hot or stagnant, or marked by dull lack of progress.” While the baseball days of August may seem ‘dull or stagnant’, the second half of the season is all about the division standings, positioning your team for a spot in the playoffs. There’s still a lot of baseball to be played, so its anybody’s league title to win.

If you’re a baseball fan like me, you love the game: the exciting moments, the heated races, the agony of missing the wildcard spot by a game and the ecstasy of hitting in the winning run in the World Series. While we’re still a ways off from those unforgettable moments in October, the foundation and culmination of the World Series begins now. The Baseball Widget 2.6 is a season tracker’s dream to keeping an eye on the last few months of the MLB season. If you’re a Mariner’s fan like I am, you’re picking a NEW team to root for during the playoffs and this widget can help you keep an eye on your new team. The widget is easy to understand and updates the standings quickly. Click the ‘standings’ icon at the top right of the widget to switch to division standings. If you want to know additional information about a MLB team, click on the name of the team in the division standings and the widget will link you to that team’s homepage. This widget can track previous scores of games, as well as the upcoming schedule, so whether you’re curious about the outcome of yesterday’s game or want to know what time to watch today’s, Baseball Widget 2.6 can get you that information quickly and accurately.

I’ll be using this widget as a faithful and reliable companion as the baseball season comes to a climax, sure to bring us exciting games and moments in the months to come. Not only will this widget track baseball standings and teams, but when you’re other favorite sport rolls around, you can track standings and schedules for hockey, basketball and football teams.

You can download the widget from MacUpdate at Baseball Widget 2.6. Question or comment about Baseball Widget 2.6 below.


A New Way To Learn…iTunes U

iTunes has added a whole new component to their iTunes store, that now gives the consumer a chance to not only experience music, movies and podcasts, but to stretch their mind and prepare for school or do extra-curricular learning through iTunes U. “iTunes U in the iTunes Store offers free audio and video content from top universities, famous museums, public media stations, and other cultural institutions. So whether you want to learn from the world’s leading thinkers, get a sneak peek at the latest MoMA exhibition, or simply brush up on your Spanish, iTunes U makes it easy.”

For my personal favorite study topic, American History, I found universities from all over the world, Stanford University, MIT, Arizona State University, universities in Asia and Europe, that had information that I could access and learn from for free. The iTunes store lists top downloads for each category, giving me the opportunity to grow my knowledge base and brush up on topics that I love.

K-12 iTunes U is also a noteable program that gives parents and kids a chance to learn about different topics such as ‘Ask a Biologist’ which interviews scientists and gives students an insight into life applications for Science and Biology, and ‘Caught Reading’, a beginning language arts program to help any teacher or parent in exposing and educating their kids.

iTunes U has now become a learning resource for every person in any category. A chance to do extra research, learn on the go with your iPod or MacBook or simply enjoy the pleasure of learning in a new and creative media format. Whatever your profession or place in life, iTunes U will open and expand horizons of learning that will create broader minds and brighter futures.


PimpMyNews Turns Blogs & News Into .MP3 files

I ran across the site today. Pretty interesting. Not only is it a great name (“PimpMy” in front of just about anything spells cool), but it’s a great little service that turns text from news sites and blogs into .mp3 files you can listen to on your computer or more importantly on the go. You can easily create a free account and subscribe to up to 10 feeds you want “read” to you. Sure the voice is a little computer sounding devoid of emotion, but it still feels very futuristic.

The feeds are great for downloading onto your iPhone or iPod to listen to while you work out, drive or anywhere you have some down time.