Damon says: Fallout: New Vegas is definitely the most fun I've had wasting away in front of the Xbox for days at a time. I'm new to the series, but I'll be picking up the next installment and possibly some of the previous ones.
Usually I play games in fairly short bursts. When I do play for several hours at a time, the game is usually finished in a few days. New Vegas was different in both respects. I found myself playing all day for weeks.
What's even more surprising is how difficult it is to say exactly what was so fun about the game. Some specific things I enjoyed were:
I spent a lot of time optimizing and upgrading my gear while exploring the vast dystopian wasteland, helping random strangers, and shooting people or radioactive creatures that looked at me funny. Perks are a neat way to enhance leveling because they tell you exactly what you get out of them. For example:
The story is long and twisted, especially with all the side quests. Each side quest builds your reputation with a particular tribe and often deteriorates your reputation with another. I found myself making alliances early but wanting to break them later. It's nice that the right thing isn't always obvious. Most of the time you're left with deciding between death and taxes.
It's also interesting how much conversations and story paths change depending on your actions, your speech selection, and your companions. I was a bit disappointed toward the end though when I discovered that there are essentially three different endings. I was hoping for something a bit less cut and dry.
Aside from the technical problems, this is a fun play and highly recommended.
I managed to put together a wireless accelerometer the other night using my two new XBees, an Arduino XBee shield, an XBee Explorer USB, an ADXL330, and some Python. I struggled a bit with some of it, so here's what I learned: First, a parts list. XBee 2mW Series 2.5 Chip Antenna Arduino XBee (with XBee Series 2.5 module) XBee Explorer USB ADXL330 I'm not sure exactly what the specs are on the XBee that comes with the Arduino shield. But, it is definitely a series 2.5. The first thing to do is to configure and upgrade the firmware on your XBees. To do that, you'll need X-CTU (for the firmware upgrade at least, but it's also nice for configuration) which, unfortunately, is only available for Windows. But, it works fine from VMware. First up, the XBee we'll hook up to the computer to read incoming data from the accelerometer: Plug one of the XBees into the Explorer (it's also possible to do this from the Arduino shield by shifting the two XBee/USB jumpers to U