10/31/2012

Women 3.0: Carol Bartz




Name: Carol Bartz

Short biography: Born in Winona, Minn., in 1948, Carol Bartz attended high school in Alma, Wis.—where she both excelled in math and was homecoming queen. In 1971, she received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. After graduating, Bartz worked for companies such as 3M, Digital Equipment Corporation and Sun Microsystems. From 1992—2006, Bartz was the CEO of Autodesk, a company that produced 3D software for architectural design purposes, and from 2009—2011, she was the CEO of Yahoo. (Our first Woman 3.0, Marissa Mayer, succeeded Bartz in the position.) Bartz is married with three children and currently lives in California.1


10/29/2012

My Favorite Women in Video Games: American McGee’s Alice






Games she appeared in:  American McGee’s Alice, Alice: Madness Returns


Is she being rescued/saved as a key plot point: Alice is traveling back into Wonderland in order to save herself.

For our video game BFF date, we would: I’m not sure I would want to go anywhere Alice likes to, she tends to run with a creepy crowd.

10/24/2012

Gadchick Reviews; The Google Chromebook




I’m an early adopter to Google Docs (way back to the Writely days), and love just about anything Google makes. From the Nexus tablet (hands down the best tablet for the money), to the ability to mod your phone with Android, and who doesn’t love YouTube. So when Google announced that they were working on their very own computer OS, I was thrilled; and when they showed off the first line of Chromebooks last year, I was all over that as well....until I saw the price! It would cost almost the same as netbook running Windows.

Last week Google made their first attempt at producing a laptop people may buy. When they came out with the newest Samsung model, which is a mere $250, I didn’t pause to pre-order it. Was it worth it?

The first thing you need to understand about Chrome OS has what I like to call a Cloud OS--which is to say it works best when you have an Internet connection or 3G. You can perform tasks offline, but it’s limited at best.

The second thing you need to know is Chromebooks are not powerful computers--nor do they need to be; Chromebooks are best used as secondary computers--a lightweight device that you travel with or use on the couch; it does normal web tasks beautifully and can do basic Word Processing and Spreadsheets like a champ. But it stops there. In short, it’s everything I imagined it would be for an easy notebook.

If you use the Chrome browser on your PC or Mac then Chrome OS isn’t very different; the biggest difference is the task bar on the bottom.



If you are looking for a computer for your kids, you really can’t go wrong. It’s not going to run some graphic intensive video game (although you can download game apps from the app store). If you’re a broke college student, a Google fangirl, then this is the laptop to get.

If you’ve never used Google Docs, give it a try; it’s not a Office Word killer, but it’s free, so you can’t complain about the price; what it does do better than Word, is allows multiple users work on a document at the same time; it’s perfect for collaboration and sharing a netbook in a family.






This is the one feature I was particularly fond of was the ability to have multiple users; it’s ridiculously easy to set up; once it’s there anyone with a Google Account can set up an account on the Chromebook. Once they do, it automatically syncs all the other Chrome accounts they have--so if they happened to be browsing a page on Chrome for iPad, they can get that same page opened on their Chromebook. It also has a great battery life; my first use got well over 5 hours using the brightest screen settings; and, unlike my Mac Air, the battery life on the Chromebook didn't start heating up that I could hardly put it in my lap.

SO is it worth it? I still think the price could be lower, but it’s a solid laptop for somewhat looking for a secondary computer. Unlike a normal computer, it’s pretty foolproof; you can’t delete a file and corrupt your computer. There’s also hardly any learning curve. As an added bonus, Chromebook comes with 12 passes to Gogo (which let’s you access the Internet aboard most airplanes domestically) and 100 GB of Google Drive storage--both of those things are worth a little more than $200, so if you use those services, then Chromebooks are a remarkable deal. For 16GB, and weighing under 3 lbs, it is a great deal. It has one SD card slot, and 1 USB port but don't expect much more with a light notebook. It also has one HDMI out for plugging into your big screen.

The holidays are around the corner, so if you are thinking about putting one under the Christmas tree, you can order one here. Order early--they seem to be selling rather quick.

Women 3.0: Sandy Lerner



Name: Sandy Lerner

Short biography: Sandra “Sandy” Lerner was born in 1955. After attending school—in 1975, she received a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University (CSU), Chico; in 1977, she received a master's degree in econometrics from Claremont Graduate School; and in 1981, she received another master's degree in statistics and computer science from Stanford University—she went on to co-found Cisco Systems, Inc., one of the world’s foremost networking technology companies, in 1984. And in 1995, she founded makeup company Urban Decay.1

10/22/2012

New York Comic Con Recap – Cosplay Popularity Contest


 
One of the top questions I’m asked when people find out that I attend comic conventions is, “Do you wear a costume?” As often the most visible attendees and the people always chosen for the local media interview, cosplayers stick out to people who have never been as the most common attendee.

While I personally don’t wear a costume (I dress for conventions as a fashionable geek) and costumed attendees are still outnumbered by the unadorned, cosplayers are one of my favorite parts of any convention. The innovation and care seen in every costume astound and surprise me. Plus the childlike joy of seeing someone dressed in full costume from your favorite movies, television shows, and games never goes away.

This year for New York Comic Con, I took a look around the exhibition floor to see who attendees chose to dress as and how this reflects on the popularity of different video games. Video game cosplayers may not have been as plentiful as Doctor Who cosplayers, but what I did learn reflected some games people are excited to play and the continued influence of indie games.

10/19/2012

Mass Mentions: What was your first screen name?

This week we asked, "Do you remember your first screen name? What did you use it for? #massmentions."
@MacgirlsAdv: When I was 14 and had an online journal, before they were called blogs! It was 'purple rose' #massmentions
@abandy: AllieBundy13-- for AIM. I was-- you guessed it-- 13 years old
@FireworkDeLune: hanako66 circa 1992 I think? Carried me through chatrooms for almost a decade
@eeelishalynn: LynnSMB42 circa 1998 for PurpleMoon (so old!), Livejournal, and AIM
@CampfireChic: Antifasion for AOL. Back when you were limited to 10 characters for your sn.
@JenniferMabe: angelbaby1073 and I used it for aol about 14 years ago
@bethfury: behappy52 on aol, used it throughout high school
@DaisyatHome: I have used so many names I can't remember the first. One of the earliest was Crickett_19 circa 1995, 19 was my birthday, not age.
@ourcitylights: Mine had "grrrl" in it, but # of r's unknown
@AGirl_InTransit: my first ones were plaidchicka and prelilangel
@srslyliz: “Egurl2003” hahahah
Follow us @Gadchick to find out next week’s M@ss Mention question and join in the conversation! Don’t forget to find us on Instagram (@gadchick)! Happy #FollowFriday and have a wonderful weekend!

10/18/2012

How To Host A Successful LAN Party

One LAN, or local area network, party that we had earlier this year sticks out to all who attended as “the best” that they had ever been to. Besides the obvious; invite hilarious people that get along, make sure you have a venue large enough to accommodate everyone, desk area/seating for each computer, and time (usually a whole day - this LAN lasted from 10AM ‘til 5AM), there are other things that need to be taken into consideration. I am going to break down the elements of what made this particular LAN so successful.
-Planning: The night before, agree on a “setlist” of heavy hitter games. It also helps if everyone defrags their drives and has a few gigs of free space to install any new games. Remind everyone to update their games too. Some LAN parties start with a wasted hour or two of downloading and installing.



-The Games: There are heavy hitter games such as L4D, Counter-strike, WoW, etc etc.. the-more-the-merrier games that can continue all night. The next tier of games could be good 2 to four player games, such as Portal 2. League of Legends, Starcraft 2, etc. The “Low Tier LAN” games are, well, non-PC. Nothing like a break from the keyboard to do a little Mariokart 3DS, or a quick Xbox Call of Duty session, so feel free to bust out the consoles. It's always fun to throw in a couple of games that guarantee laughs too like Team Fortress 2, Mount and Blade, Bloody Good Time, or Air Buccaneers.
-Extra Cables To Bring: powerstrips, DVI/HDMI (LCD screen cables), regular black power cord cables, CAT-5 network cables.
-Network type: Although wifi is now at fast speeds (dual-band routers, N-type adapters, etc), it’s still recommended to link up in good ol’ fashioned Cat-5. Nothing beats physical cable, as wifi can become complicated with signal strengths when spreading out. Modern wifi routers can probably handle a few computers, but any party over 8 people and it’s time to bring a switch/router with enough ports for Cat-5.





-Location: Depending on the size of your party, space may be an issue. Nothing beats a classic garage or basement LAN, as the average room can heat up with 4+ computers. Another thing to consider is power. If all 4 outlets in a room have multiple power strips, you may trip the circuit breaker if too much power is being drawn to one circuit. ***A good tip is to have a few computers use extension cords that connect to outlets in opposite sides of the building.*** (we managed to have only one power outage during the 9-person LAN shown above)
-Gamer fuel: Marisa’s healthy snacks are a good option if you have time to prepare them. I usually will throw any current dietary concerns out the window during a LAN party and go for ordering pizza, copious amounts of Mountain Dew (to help with reflexes at 5AM), a variety of chips, and various movie size candy concoctions.

Have fun!

10/17/2012

Women 3.0: Adele Goldberg



 

Name: Adele Goldberg

Short biography: Adele Goldberg was born in Cleveland in 1945 and lived here until she was 11; she and her family then moved to Chicago. Goldberg attended—and received a bachelor’s degree in math from—the University of Michigan. In 1973, she earned a Ph. D. in information science. Since then, Goldberg has worked for Xerox, System Concepts Laboratory, ParcPlace Systems and other programming companies.1


10/15/2012

New York Comic Con Recap - Unveiling New Comic Book Technology



Comic and pop culture conventions are often a great place to learn about upcoming and new movies, television shows, or books. However, many companies are choosing to use these events to launch new technology or celebrate new capabilities with existing tools to further drive innovation in that existing media.

New York Comic Con this year saw tons of amazing announcements, but two in particular stand out to me as major developments that are bringing great changes to comic books for technology-loving comic book fans.

10/10/2012

Women 3.0: Sandy Carter





Name: Sandy Carter

Short biography: Sandy Carter has a bachelor’s degree in math and computer science from Duke University and an MBA from Harvard. The author of books including The New Language of Business: SOA & Web 2.0 and The New Language of Marketing 2.0: Social Media, Carter is fluent in eight programming languages and a social media expert; she has been with IBM for more than 20 years. Carter is also the mother of two children.1


10/08/2012

What Should I Try? - Gaming Recommendations

The earliest video game systems’ strengths were never the variety of games. From Pong to tennis to table tennis, developers focused on what was easy, understandable, and fun for consumers under some very specific themes. With the growth of technology, development of new systems, and expansion of the culture, your local gaming store can provide hundreds (if not thousands) of options that go way beyond our earliest options.
But for people new to gaming, these choices can be overwhelming and confusing. What is the difference between FPS and TPS, what does cross-genre mean, why are there so many “Games of the Year”?  While resources like r/gaming on Reddit, or sites like IGN provide reviews and suggestions, we’re still a while away from our own personal gaming genius ala ITunes to help us choose.  Luckily for you gentle reader, Gadchick is ready to provide you some guidance depending on your mood.

10/05/2012

Mass Mentions: What was your first CD?


This week we asked, "Today the CD turns 30! Do you remember your first compact disc? #massmentions."
@ourcitylights: Green Day's Dookie.
@mandyannecurtis: Mine were Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas and Boyz II Men's Christmas Interpretations. #massmentions
@thetinysea: Brooks and Dunn's 'Brand New Man.' lmao :)
@Mopalicious1: mine was Salt n' Pepa! Haha I was like, 7!
@CampfireChic: my first CDs were The Wallflowers: bringing down he horse; Ace if Base: the bridge; & Mariah Carey: Daydream. #1995
@thedeadformat: Selena, Amor Prohibido. That's right.
@runningboard: my 1st CD ever was Linea 77's Too Much Happiness Makes Kids Paranoid, bought from Bionic Records in Fullerton. #RIPBionic
@vividot: my first cd was The Bodyguard soundtrack. It was a gift along w/ my first cd player (a jvc that lasted thru college)
@TishChambers: I still remember the day I got my very own CD player and my first CD- Spice Girls SPICEWORLD! (My brother got it, too! Ha!)
@iamemmamusic: Sarah Vaughan's The Divine One
@JenniferMabe: Daydream by Mariah Carey, I got a Best Buy gift certificate for my 11th birthday. The PC was my only way to play it.
@emilymayhem: It was some kind of "silly songs for kids" CD that included Purple People Eater and a song about meatballs. I think I was about 6.
@Drussy2: Michael Jackson's OFF THE WALL.
@cadiec: dookie was my first cd, I still have it...
@FireworkDeLune: The Simpsons Sing the Blues
Follow us @Gadchick to find out next week’s M@ss Mention question and join in the conversation! Don’t forget to find us on Instagram (@gadchick)! Happy #FollowFriday and have a wonderful weekend!

10/03/2012

Women 3.0: Deborah Estrin




Name: Deborah Estrin

Short biography: Deborah Estrin was born in Los Angeles 1959. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1980, a master’s degree in technology policy from MIT in 1982, and a PhD in computer science (also from MIT) in 1985. In 1986, Estrin accepted a teaching position in the computer science department at the University of Southern California; she taught and conducted research there until 2000, when she started teaching in the computer science and electrical engineering departments at UCLA. Since 2002, she has been at the forefront of the study of a revolutionary technology called embedded networked sensing.1

10/01/2012

Great Games On Demand

With the launch of video game system based marketplaces for XBox, PS3, and Wii, smaller developers and unique games have been able to grab an audience and give players new options without heading out to the store. However, sometimes sorting through the options can be overwhelming especially when you are just looking for something fun to try out.
If you’re looking for some great games that are showing the different risks developers are taking, try one of the games below: