Web Page as a Medium

I have spent so much time learning to write and also express different ideas on a web page. There has always been this certain appeal for me to websites. It probably all began when I started getting into HTML in 1999 or 2000. So, that’s ages ago. But that is where it this interest started for me.

I was far from a professional. At first I didn’t even study anything related. At the time I was still a student in elementary school. This was even before I went to high school. It started as an interest and a hobby for me. I didn’t think that I would become some sort of professional in this exact field. But that actually happened a bit later. But lets just say that I was sort of free to do whatever I wanted at this time and I also found many interesting subjects in this time in my life. That was also a time when I got deeper into gaming.

So, there has always been an interest for me in designing and programming websites at least at some level. I am still not a seasoned professional. I am still taking those steps toward understanding this form of art and also a very strong medium. Because I think that’s what a web page really is – a medium. There are so many things you can express in a website. It might be a single page application but I myself started with static HTML. I soon got to CSS also.

I started building websites with simple HTML tables. I liked creating different types of interfaces and menus and also logos and headers. That was fun. I liked modifying images and changing how they were colored and represented in a web page. Soon it came to my understanding that tables weren’t a good way, anymore, to design a website. So I learned some newer techniques. I got far. I still stumbled as I encountered something like PHP, MySQL or JavaScript. I understood how powerful they could be but I wasn’t ready to move on to actual programming. I think that would have been too much for me to cope with as I was learning everything on my own with no teachers or other students or even a decent theory book.

I did learn more later. Today, I can create a static website. I still don’t know how to use React deeply and thoroughly. There is still lot to learn. Websites are now fully responsive and can be used with different kinds of tablets and phones and maybe even some other mobile devices. I think the medium is still there. You can write a book on a website. You can play a movie on it. There are several ways to draw content to the screen using your favorite web browser. You can create a game for others to play. And all this is achieved with a certain limit and you don’t have to actually install any other software than just your web browser.

There are many types of browsers available. Microsoft still has its own browser and it is currently called Microsoft Edge. Google has its own web browser. It’s called Chrome. You have also, the descendant of Netscape, Mozilla Firefox, which is very popular. Then there are browsers like Opera and Brave. Web browsers do gather information about you, the user, in form of cookies.

There are countless possibilities in what way you can deploy this medium. The content has to be in a form of HTML and it’s functionality is defined in JavaScript, be it as a framework or vanilla. You can also tune the look and view of your page with CSS. Together these, sort of, languages form a web page. This form is very different from what you have when you write a story. Then you are only using a tool like Word. You have a very limited way to control the content. Then you have complex ways to express your content with a pen or even a brush with a paper. This means actually drawing something. Creating a website is more technical and also more simple way to express some ideas you might have.

Websites keep interesting me a lot even today. I like fiddling around with digital photography and writing stuff. I like also the technical stuff. The programming side is very interesting. I think I have now a grasp of what can be achieved with a web page. I just have to grab myself and start working. There is lots to do and I have lots to achieve, still.

About Modern PC Controllers

This blog post deals with controllers for PC. I have used these three different gamepads for gaming on Windows 10. I don’t know, exactly, how these controllers work in Linux gaming. So, that part is out of the context of this post. Let’s get to it!

There are three, mainly, three controllers I have used. They are Sony Dualshock 4, the controller of PS4, Microsoft Elite Pad, that is designed for Xbox One and, my latest addition, PDP Neon Carbon that is used, mainly, with Xbox Series S/X. All these gamepads can be used with Windows 10.

Dualshock 4 (the red controller in the image) needs an app so it can be used. That app is DS4Windows. This gamepad works very well with PC. Only thing that is really annoying is the mapping of buttons. As I have learned by my experience, Windows apps tend to map controllers as Xbox One or Xbox Series S/X controllers. This is a bit irritating. I think this issue can be solved. There are for example USB dongles that can be used as a solution. As I noticed this problem I had a quick fix for it already – I changed to my oldest gamepad that is Elite Pad (the one in the middle in the image).

Buttons have been configured correctly when you are using Xbox One’s gamepad. It is often taken care that a controller that can be used in a Xbox Series console will be compatible with Windows also. I think you can even take a Xbox 360 controller and plug it in so you can use it to play with a PC.

By the way, all these controllers I have been using have had a wired connection. I haven’t even tried to get bluetooth to work with these. Why would I do that? My desktop doesn’t even have a bluetooth itself. I use a bluetooth dongle for a wireless connection whenever there is a need for such. It also seems that all these three controllers have a USB-to-micro-USB connection. Even the third gamepad, that is meant for new Series X, also sports a micro-USB, instead of the most popular, USB-C. This however makes only a little difference. And basically all you need is a cable that has about a metre or one and a half metres of lenght.

So, I was very involved in this and I was using the Elite Pad. It is of a very good quality. It was expensive and it has served well over ten years of use. After all, it started to break down a bit. There was a part, that I think was originally glued to its place, that I had to remove. It was sticking out and the controller didn’t fit so nicely anymore. I decided to get a newer controller. Of course my thoughts were to buy a controller of Xbox Series X. I had some thoughts about DualSense, but since Xbox and Windows go well together, I decided to go for the Xbox on this one.

It first seemed that the replaicment would definitely be a combo of wired and wireless. It would be an Xbox Series X controller. I first thought that I would buy the official controller. I made my way to a store. I found out that they were actually out of these controllers. I noticed an optional model. It actually was this PDP Xbox Series X controller.

The controller was only 45 euros or so. So it was 20 euros cheaper than the official controller. When it comes to gaming this kind of a swing can be a gamechanger. And that’s how it was for me in this situation. I got the gamepad and went home as a happy duude.

First thing I noticed with this controller was that it doesn’t have a battery included. It is a wired controller. It has a functionality and you can remove the cord. This might seem useless but it actually makes sense in a way. You can replace the cord if you are on the move or if it gets damaged in some way. It is very light. The feel is awesome. I like this controller and I haven’t noticed anything to complain about. It is compatible with Windows 10 and you don’t necessarily need any app to use it in this way. There is some sort of an app avvailable as a donwload.

We can have a tiny summary here out of this blog post. I am very content on my new controller. It is a nice update to my old Elite Pad. I have to say that Elite Pad really served very well for its price of 130 euros. It has an option to load a battery in it. It also has some adjustments and a bit of weight for the controller to feel good. It was although time to move on with it. You can also try to use PlayStation controllers with a PC. Some games might feel better this way. I didn’t go through Linux or Mac gaming in this blog post but as you can probably figure there is a wholea other world in that way also.

Microsoft is Buying Activision Blizzard

You have propably heard the news already. I’m not the first one to write about this. Let’s make it completely clear – Microsoft is going to buy Activision Blizzard. In this text I will tell you some of my thoughts about this subject.

There are lots of questions here. What happens to yet to be released upcoming games (like Diablo IV) and is Microsoft actually going to be releasing games only for Xbox and PC. We don’t at this moment have a clear response.

There are several high quality and appreciated games that have been released under Activision Blizzard. These include Call of Duty series, World of Warcraft, Diablo series and StarCraft just to name a few. How is Microsoft going to carry the legacy of these huge titles?

Microsoft has been quick to deliver Xbox Series S consoles while it has had its problems in delivering Series X. How will Nintendo and Sony react and repsond to this move? One thing that affected this situation is the existence of sexual harrasment in Blizzards working environment. This propably brought the price of this acquirement down.

Microsoft has been eager to buy big and succesfull gaming studios and attach them to their gaming consoles and as part of their brand. As time progresses we will see how these changes in the industry affect gamers everyday life.

Xbox’s Answer to Gran Turismo

Xbox was released just a bit after PlayStation 2. The first PlayStation already had it’s racing game. That game was Gran Turismo. At the time it was the most realistic driving game ever released to any gaming console. As Xbox started to challenge PS2 they just had to have a good quality racing game for the system. This is where Forza Motorsport comes into play.

PS2 had Gran Turismo 3 and it later had the fourth game in this series also. I am familiar with many of these games but, actually, haven’t played all of them. You might already know that I am a big fan of racing games be it rally games or other. Actually back when I was playing PS3 only I played a lot of Need For Speed Shift 1 and 2. They differ a bit from Gran Turismo and it’s rival Forza Motorsport. But they also are street racing games and you also have circuits that you race on instead of real streets or muddy tracks (or something like that).

So I’m talking about how Forza Motorsport seems to feel compared to Gran Turismo. I have played this racing game only through twenty percentage or so in the career mode. I did play Gran Turismo through earlier and I have played just a bit Gran Turismo 3 and 4. I am playing with a Xbox 360 and this game was released in 2005 for original Xbox. Thanks to _Xbox 360’s backward compatibility it plays very well on it. All of the games of original Xbox aren’t compatible on the 360. But this game is.

You have several cars to pick up from. I think it’s supposed be like that you more like collect these vehicles. In Gran Turismo you had to really consider selling your cars to get money for updates. You can also tune your car. Every car feels a bit different. I don’t see a big difference on how the cars behave if we compare these games. Forza Motorsport does have this green-to-red display element that gives you an idea about at what speed you should approach the next corner. This wasn’t available in the first Gran Turismo. The driving seems to be very realistic.

You can definitely play this driving game with your game pad. I haven’t even tested it as my current driving wheel only supports PS3 and PS4. I think it plays just well. This game is taking a long time to complete. I am not very sure if it’s a good choice if you want to play a racing game as it is a bit old. You can see it from graphics and they are a bit dated. Music in this game is very generic compared to it’s competitors.

After all this is a good game. I originally bought it from flee market for three euros. It’s definitely worth that. It is a keen part of history of driving games. I didn’t mention this but the Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport are not released on other consoles so Gran Turismo you can play with PS2 and Forza Motorsport you can play only with an Xbox. I took the picture featured here as I needed some graphics for this blog post. I have lots of games for Xbox 360 as you can see. To be honest I haven’t had time to play all of them. I do have Forza Motorsport 3 and I am definitely at some moment going to play that game. I am also looking for a good racing game for my Xbox Series S.

Original Xbox vs PlayStation 2


+ Better controller and better feel for FPS games like Halo

+ Hard drive included so saving games is smoother

– There is actually no working emulators for PC


+ Good support for PC emulation

+ USB connectivity

+ Lots of used games available because of huge popularity

– Need for memory cards (though nowadays you can buy for example 128 MB card that holds all your saves)

There are many differences between these game consoles that had to battle against each other in the beginning of 2000s. Above I have made some pros and cons for these two devices. We can start from controllers. Xbox had a different layout for buttons in its controller. While PS2 laid out the analog buttons side by side Xbox placed them quite differently. I don’t know technically how Xbox managed to be more playable when discussion turns to FPS games.

These consoles had many games that were only released for Xbox or PS2. Xbox had Halo. PS2 had God of War games and Gran Turismo. Xbox sold 24 million units as PS2 sold amazing 159 million units. That should explain why there were more games released for PS2 and why there is now lots of used games on sale right now for PS2. I remember that players had back then an attitude against Microsoft. It was entering gaming industry and Xbox was its first gaming console. It already dominated PC operating systems markets. Many thought it to be too large company and now it entered the world of gaming.

In my humble opinion you really can’t tell which one is better. They are different consoles and have different abilities. They both reflect the time and situation that gaming was in as it was the beginning of 2000s. I like to play both of these systems. It takes me back to this time and brings up a lot of nostalgia inside my mind. There were also many identical games that were released for these systems. So I really can’t tell which one is better – you have to figure it out yourself. If you have any comments or something to add feel free to comment below.

What in the world was (or is) DOS?

DOS stands for “Disk Operating System”. It has to be mentioned also that it was developed by Microsoft. It was the most popular and most used operating system before Windows, and even Linux, started to dominate. Windows brought graphics to user interfaces of operating systems. MS-DOS required users to type commands to for example list files in a folder, move from one folder to another and to start a program or launch a game.

It has to be mentioned that while DOS was the most popular main stream operating system it wasn’t the only one. In academic world there existed an operating system called UNIX. I have stumbled on UNIX as I have studied computer science. In UNIX you have to write commands also.

This article deals more with the use of DOS and games that you could play on it. I am not going to explain more about technological views of DOS. I remember playing many games. Some games were clearly made for children to learn new skills. My dad even programmed a tool for me to learn multiplication table.

I remember times when I tried to program a simple game with QBasic. This is crazy. I remember the kinds of floppy disks that were used back in the day. I can hardly translate the names in Finnish that these were called. If you want to know the bigger and flat one that had less space on it was called “lerppu” and the newer, smaller and one that had more capacity was called “korppu”. So remember this words if you ever have a chat with a Finnish nerd.

I have written earlier another post about this topic. You can read it here.

The Story Of Remedy Entertainment

I chose to write this post about Remedy Entertainment. It was formed in Finland and I am born and living now in Finland. This makes me somewhat proud because I loved Max Payne series and Alan Wake. I evenn played Death Rally back in the days. I am not so familiar with latest releases but I can believe that they are of high quality. Latest games that were released include Quantum Break and Control.

Remedy was formed in 1995 in initiative of Samuli Syvähuoko. It was based on Future Crew that was a demo group. Demos were small multimedia type programs that actually didn’t have any interaction so they weren’t full games or anything else you could play. Demos we’re developed by underground coders, graphic artist and electronic musicians. This scene was popular in Finland in the 80s.

Remedy started working in Syvähuokos parents garage and there was no salary offered to the team developing their first game. Their first game was called Highspeed. Apogee became interested in this game. So it was later released by Apogee. The name was changed to Death Rally as Apogee wanted at some more content to this game. This is also the first game of Remedy that I got my hands on. I remember playing this with keyboard that I shared with my friend. The game was good and very entertaining. It ended up selling over 100 000 copies. This was only the start for Remedy.

As Remedy was successfull they started to form ideas for new games. In 1996 they started to develop first game of Max Payne trilogy. The game was first introduced to public in 1998 at E3 fair. The game was 3D and it reminded of Tomb Raider. Max Payne was released 2001. I remember the first time that I played it and I remember it clearly. Graphics were good, games environment was appealling and “bullet time” had me shaking my head on how good the game actually was. I couldn’t understand how this kind of piece of art did actually come from my home country.

Max Payne became a brand. There were two more games released in this series and there was a movie called Max Payne also. So it was a big thing all over the world. Then came a game called Alan Wake. That I remember playing on PC and later on Xbox 360. The game was good but in my opinion it didn’t have same feeling in it as Max Payne, a police working in New York, had. Game was althought good and I liked it. So there was lots of work that they did together with Microsoft as Alan Wake was released only on Microsofts gaming systems (PC and Xbox 360). The year was 2010. Alan Wake sold about 4,5 million copies worldwide.

In 2013 Remedy was already working with Quantum Break which was finally released in 2016 to Xbox One and PC. It is the biggest production in history of Finnish videogame industry. After that they started working with their next game that was called Control. This game was released last year (2019) and was very anticipated by gaming fans all over the world.

I have been interested in gaming since beginning of nineties. Remedy makes me still proud as it was formed in Finland – my home country. It made me have fantasies of becoming a game developer. But I found out that I’m not the only one that wants to work there and it is a big company. I have to admit that since they have office in Finland I have submitted some job applications, believe it or not, there. It is very hard to get to work there and you definitely have to have talent and skills if you really want to work there. This might not be a surprise since I have a background in programming and Remedy is very popular company and even bigger in Finland.

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