As an ardent Star Wars fan, I must shamefully admit that I played the critically acclaimed Knights of the Old Republic game only a couple of years ago. Though, it wasn’t really my fault as I have been trying and failing to make the game run on my computer for almost 6 years. I originally got the game when I was 10 only to discover that, for some reason, it refused to work on my PC. It didn’t launch and if it did, it crashed as soon as I reached the main menu. I tried to fix it, but at that age I really wasn’t very knowledgeable about these matters and soon gave up. My second brush with it was around two years later when a friend told me that he had gotten the game to work on his computer. He said that some of the files on my CD must have been corrupt and so, he gave me his CD to install the game from. I remember sitting excitedly in front of my monitor waiting for the installation to finish so that I could get on to playing the game, but once again, I was disappointed. This time, an error popped up on my screen every time I double-clicked on the launcher. I scoured the net for solutions, but none of them seemed to work for me. This attempt to run the game ended the same way as the last – in my surrender. Finally, I got my hands on it again two years ago and this time I was determined about fixing it. I spent hours digging through forums and watching YouTube videos on the subject. Eventually, I think the game sensed my frustration and acquiesced. I literally leapt up in joy when the game worked. However, there were still a few kinks to solve – the game refused to save, cut-scenes refused to play and the aspect ratio was stuck at 800×600. These required an hour more of work, but when it was done, I felt so relieved. I reclined in my chair and prepared myself for a great Star Wars experience. However, I never anticipated it to be that good.
Disclaimer: I’ll try to avoid as many spoilers as I can, but a few things may slip in.
Let me just say that when I heard about this game and it involving fairy tale characters, I immediately thought that it would be quite childish, a far cry from Telltale’s uber mature The Walking Dead. (The setting of the game did manage to pique my interest though and I gave it a spin.) However, within the opening ten minutes of the game I was proven wrong, so wrong. It’s just as mature, its characters are just as diverse and fleshed out and the story is captivating. These “fairy tale characters” have been adapted for adults and throw out swears and curses as often as Kim Kardashian gets plastic surgery (by that I mean, very frequently. She went from looking like an Oompa Loompa to whatever the hell she looks like now). However, it never feels out-of-place to see that because of the perfect setting. I won’t spoil it, but I’ll just say that the fables, as they’re called here, are in a bad way. Bigby Wolf is just as likable a protagonist as good old Lee Everett and the supporting cast here may even be better than that from The Walking Dead. I can’t call The Wolf Among Us better than The Walking Dead because the two are so different, but they’re definitely on the same level, if one were to compare.
I’ll be quite honest, I’m a die-hard Microsoft fanboy. However, even I’ll admit that they’ve looked really shaky in the past few years – they’ve played it way too safe and they’ve been way to happy to retreat into this shell of theirs. They’ve basically looked like a former shadow of themselves. Microsoft was too comfortable in their shoes after the enormous success of Windows 7; they thought they had the “Midas touch”. Clearly they had forgotten about Windows Vista and how poorly received it was. Then came Windows 8 and it was such a disaster that Microsoft was jolted back to their senses. The damage control started, major changes were made in the company and they seemed determined to right their wrongs. Fast-forward to now and Microsoft seems like it’s on the verge of dominating everything again.
I’m reading this book 20 years after it was written (it was written in early 1995) and though that has its disadvantages, it’s also surprisingly advantageous in some ways. In this book, Bill Gates (the founder of Microsoft, for those of you who don’t know) predicts the technological advancements of the coming years. The advantages that I spoke of are that not only do you get to read about what one of the greatest minds of the 20th century thought the human race might be able to achieve technologically in the next few years, you also get to see how many of his predictions turned out to be correct (hint: most of them).
I love how he relates stories or experiences from his school-days or college-days to certain products and his passion for technology really shines through in these anecdotes. They also shed light on the technology of yester years and it’s a delight to read, especially for someone as enthusiastic about tech as me. It’s funny to think that 14.4 kbps and 28.8 kbps internet speeds were considered blazing fast at that time, but I guess people twenty years from now will be saying something similar about our current speeds. The funny thing is that he too talks about the technology that was present during his childhood and compares it to technology as it exists now (1995). It’s mind-boggling to think just how much technology has evolved in the two decades since this book was written.