From Tamagotchi to SimCity Build It

I am not sure if you remember the Tamagotchi at all. It was a small device, kind of “Chinese electronics” (sorry, I know most electronics are made in China anyway, so not sure why the ones that does not have a non-Chinese mark are mostly so creepy), where the child needed to take care of a pet.

Probably there were other games with similar behavior, but this is the first game that I remember that needed constant attention, as it worked in real time. From time to time, the device will ring and flash, asking the player to do something, like feeding the pet, or playing with it.

From Tamagotchi we got to different other games with real time behavior. Probably the most common is the FarmVille, the game from Zynga. You all know the game, so probably I do not need to talk about it. But the player is a farmer, and needs to take care of animals. Events occur from time to time, if the player is playing, or not. So, it cannot be compared with other games like the old Sim City. There, things happen from time to time, as well. But the player can change the speed of the time, or just exit or pause the game, getting to the last position next time it plays.

Well, the kind of FarmVille games continues. There is another one, very similar, for Android, Hay Day. Probably there are much more. But I just happen to have installed that Hay Day some time ago, as I really liked the chicken on its icon.


Well, recently I just downloaded SimCity Build It for Android, from Electronic Arts. You know, I am, or I was, a SimCity fan. So, why not to get a SimCity version and play it? Who knows, even buy it?

But I got frustrated. Why? Because SimCity Build It is Hay Day (or FarmVille) in disguise. The mechanics are exactly the ones from Hay Day. Even the market! But if Hay Day is prepared with some caution (for example, to make a strawberry cake, you need flour, sugar and strawberries), in SimCity Build It, to build a house, you might need some iron, plastic or some wood. But you might also need some seeds, or a couple of hammers or even a measure tape. Yes, you might need seems to build a building. Yeah, that makes sense (not).

And, again, this is a “real time” game. You can’t pause it, you can’t exit it, you can’t speed forward for some time. You do not control or play the game. The game plays you.

This also leads to the discussion on the old “Pay to play”, or the new “Pay to win”. I confess I prefer the first. You might even release a free shareware version (lets say, 5 free levels). Just make that clear in the download page. Then ask for some amount of money to buy the full game. But this might be a good discussion for any other future post.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)


Fun! I read the trilogy in five volumes (yeah, I read that joke somewhere) a lot of time ago, even before the movie. So, before 2005. But this long I am looking forward to watch it, and finally I did. It was very fun to remember the book story, to recognize the character names, to remember the story of our planet as a computer (yep, it is).

Well, before some other comments, let me just say that Zooey Deschanel is extremely cute in this movie.

Getting back to the movie, also nice to remember the origin of “babelfish”. It is a shame that the current babelfish (.com) lost all connection to the story of its name. Search for old babelfish, from Altavista, to remember the interface, and the babelfish reference.

No, I will not talk much about the 42, or the Ultimate Question about the Universe and Everything. Just that if you want a proper answer, never forget to prepare your question with caution.

And finally, what can I say? Just like the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, DON’T PANIC!

Don't Panic!
Don’t Panic!

Cube Zero (2004)

Cube Zero
Cube Zero

Yeah, I liked the first two (Cube and Hypercube) and noticed recently that a Cube Zero was available since 2004. So, I decided to watch it. Well, given it mentions zero, this should, probably, be considered the first on the three movies (you know, that stuff like Star Wars, making time go back…).

I like this movie not because of the concept, or jokes, but because I like to wonder what traps will be in the next room. In fact I think this concept would be great in a computer game. Anybody around willing to write a script for it? Maybe I can find some friends to develop it.

The Flash (2014) S01E01

Danielle Panabaker @ The Flash
Danielle Panabaker @ The Flash

If it wasn’t for The Flash, a character I like, Danielle Panabaker would be a good reason to watch this series. Anyway, The Flash doesn’t have the charisma of Quicksilver in the latest X-Man movie, but maybe he can gain it. That quietude is of Quicksilver is just great. In this series, The Flash seems like some kind of idiot, but maybe it will change. So, for now, giving a chance to this series.

Java, and Cloning Arrays

Java-Evil-Edition-orfjackal_netJust to let you know, in case you find this kind of problem… Java is able to clone uni-dimensional arrays of built-in types, like int, but it is not able to clone multidimensional arrays, as a multidimensional array is an array of arrays, and an array is an object. Not sure this is the explanation, but the truth is… clone is useless in this evil language.

If you want to prove it yourself, just try the following code.

public class TestClone {

    public static void main(String[] args) {

    	int[][] boardM = new int[1][1];
    	int[][] copyM;

    	boardM[0][0] = 1;
    	copyM = boardM.clone();

    	boardM[0][0] = 2;

    	if (copyM[0][0] == boardM[0][0]) {

    	int[] boardV = new int[1];
    	int[] copyV;

    	boardV[0] = 1;
    	copyV = boardV.clone();

    	boardV[0] = 2;

    	if (copyV[0] == boardV[0]) {
    		System.err.println("oops, too?");

The Big Bang Theory (Season 6)

Leonard being a Show Off
Leonard being a Show Off

When all the four geeks get a “girlfriend”, my auto-esteem goes down. Anyway, Penny continues brilliant, Sheldon continues unsupportable, Leonard the same guy, and Raj gets even more feminine (wait for the last episode). Amy is great, and her face expressions are even better than Leonard or Sheldon ones. No big news on this season, other than the new girlfriend.

And, finally, somehow I understand why some people said TBBT was getting too offensive. I understand but I do not agree. We should know to deal with our history. It can be difficult, but we should.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Evan Peters as Quicksilver
Evan Peters as Quicksilver

I read some time ago a paper (or was it a presentation) stating that there are a dozen of stories, that are changed and adapted, generating all the movies we have seen since the story of the world. I am not that drastic, but it seems that at least there was some kind of information sharing between the writers of this movie and the writers of Star Trek, into the Darkness. Why? Same base… somehow it seemed that the current status of the X-men World story wasn’t flexible enough, so lets get back into time, and change the story, so that now we can rewrite it, making some characters that were dead alive again. For Star Trek it was similar, the actors were idolized, or almost, and therefore, they got back in time to somehow introduce the new actors.

Not that I am against the idea. If you read an older post about the Star Trek movie I really gave my congratulations to the writers for that idea. Now I am not sure if I should congratulate again, as it seems the idea is not new.

Anyway, the movie is good. The story acceptable. Lots of action, fun, and a lot of different mutants around (I like when there are a lot of them, not just one or two). But what I liked the most? The scene I captured above, with Quicksilver. Not just I like the character, but Evan Peters is great. Please, please, please, make him come back in future movies.

A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

A Million Ways to Die in the West
A Million Ways to Die in the West

The first western I was able to see and like. True. Like specially the color. Great. I am not sure, but I think a lot is CGI. Nevertheless, great imaging. Also, like the jokes. Good the jokes about things too modern. Good the jokes about the different ways to die. And yeah, it is always good to know all the ways there are to die/kill. The story is not brilliant or new, but is good enough. And when you laugh from time to time, it is great. I liked it.

Need for Speed (2014)

Need for Speed
Need for Speed

I am a Fast and Furious fan, and a somewhat retired Need for Speed player. I had fear regarding this movie, trying to, at first, mimic the game, and at last, compete with Fast and Furious. I must admit I was wrong. The movie is very enjoyable and somewhat unpredictable in some situations. At some extend it is the usual Hollywood movie, but in some other situations, it is not. I do not want to give spoilers, as this is a quite recent movie, but I must say that the Need for Speed (game) imitation is only at the end, and not that bad.

If you like cars, velocity and dangerous stunts, then this movie is for you. There are a couple comedy situations (as the one above) and a little drama too. So, a kind of complete movie.

If there is a sequel, I will be watching it. Voted 8 in 10 at IMDB.

Modern Family – Season 5

Sarah Hyland as Haley Dunphy
Sarah Hyland as Haley Dunphy

And the fifth season of Modern Family finished. And I should tell that the episodes that I liked most are the last ones. Not really the last (spoilers: on the wedding) but some previous. Also, I love how Lily can interfere and comment her dads. After a talk with a friend I knew most people dislike her character. I must say I like it a lot.

Of course, this is not a movie, so I can’t talk much on the story… as they are 25 stories, the big view, and each one of the 24 episodes. Some are better than other, of course, but in the overall, this series is fun to watch.