A couple of months back I went looking for a good lightweight calendar to add to my PortableApps 'toolkit'. After trying a handful of freeware apps, I was grabbed by Console Calculator, aka CCalc because of it's ease of use and intuitive operation (intuitive for a programmer, anyway :) ). I have been using it regularly since then, having bound it to the calculator key on my keyboard. I had no idea though how powerful it actually is.
I noticed today while working something out that it has a "Vars" menu, containing pi and ans (the previous calculation result). I decided to spend a couple of minutes checking through the help docs, and to put it plainly, this is an awesome piece of software. In addition to having a large library of common (and not so common) functions and being able to easily declare and assign custom variables, it supports similar declaration of simple mathematical functions. This functionality is all supported in decimal, binary and hex as well, making it an incredibly useful tool for debugging. If, like me, you hate the clunkiness and inconsistency of the default windows calculator then check it out. Just to support the author's ideal (he doesn't even make a way to donate available) type in "gospel" when you start it too :)
Prince of Persia Classic
The Xbox 360 calendar has been a bit slow of late, and that includes the Live Arcade release list (Pac Man CE, woo frigging hoo), so the release of a new game on the arcade was more than welcome. Having that release be one of the best (and quite possibly the best) arcade release to date was nothing to complain about either! Gameloft (the developers behind many excellent mobile versions of other Ubi franchises) has developed an incredible remake of the original Prince of Persia that wowed PC gamers all those years ago. The basic gameplay and even the level layout remains faithful to the original, but the pink and blue backdrops and raster animated prince are replaced by gorgeous 3D renditions that bring Jafar's dungeons and palace to life like never before. The likes of Namco and Midway would do well to learn a lesson from this title about bringing a well loved classic to modern gamers.
This is an absolute gem of a game, and well worth the 800 point asking price, even if masters of the classic might just breeze through it on their first attempt (which by the sheer nature of the game will take under an hour).
Thursday, June 14, 2007