All posts by southernprogrammer

I'm Bryan Price "The Southern Programmer". I'm a Software Engineer for 3-GIS. I enjoy computers, running, video games, and Alabama Football (Roll Tide!). I'm a home theater enthusiast and love science fiction, comics, and all kinds of other geeky stuff.

The Flash

CW's Flash

Seventeen years ago, I was twelve years old. I can distinctly remember thinking that there wouldn’t be another Superman show on television for quite a long time. Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman had finally gone off the air.  As a nerdy kid, this did not make me very happy. I had post-finale depression.

Four years later, I was sixteen years old. The memories of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman were still semi-fresh on my mind. But when I was sixteen, I viewed the show differently from when I was twelve. What had changed? I had matured a bit. I remembered how the show drifted from the earlier seasons’ roots. The particularly outlandish episodes like the ones with H.G. Wells in them stood out vividly in my mind.

H.G. Wells

So when the television show Smallville was announced, I thought to myself “this isn’t going to be very good”. In fact, my dad of all people convinced me to watch the pilot. As it turns out, the WB/CW did a really good job of bringing the man of steel back to the small screen. I even remember my high school girlfriend getting upset at how religious I watched that show. That was probably because I drooled over Kristen Kreuk. Sure there were some seasons where the show lost footing and some bad episodes. I have a friend who always mentions the episode where Lana turns into a witch. For them, that was the last straw. But you know what? I stuck with that show and I don’t regret it. The last season definitely made up for some of those seasons that weren’t quite as good. We finally saw Clark put on that cape, we finally saw him fly, and we finally felt the closure that we needed.

It probably doesn’t come to your surprise when you hear me say that I’m a huge fan of the CW’s version of the Green Arrow. This Green Arrow is different from Smallville’s version of Green Arrow. He’s dark, he’s gritty, and he kills people (or at least he did in the first season). Heck they even introduced Ra’s Al Ghul as a character (although he’s yet to make an appearance).

So with Arrow doing so great, what has the CW decided to do? They’ve decided to bring a new hero into the mix as a spin-off to Arrow. It’s been twenty three years since The Flash has had his own feature on the small screen. It’s time for a new Flash show! The show’s tone is already set from Arrow. It’s star is an attractive looking skinny kid named Grant Gustin who starred in Glee. But the most exciting news that I’ve heard about this is that the actor who played The Flash in 1990 (John Wesley Shipp) is going to play an important role in the show. I’m thinking they’re going to let him be some sort of mentor to Barry Allen. I think this is a great way to pass the torch. This is reminiscent of Richard Hatch playing an important role on the 2004 version of Battlestar Galactica.

I hope you guys are just as excited as I am to see the fastest superhero make his return.

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The New Adventures of Old Batman

Hot-Toys-12-Batman-66-Action-Figures

As a kid I remember loving the old Batman show. It was corny, over he top, and just down right cheesy. This show taught me to buckle my seat belt, never punch a man with glasses, and on days that you can’t get rid of a bomb it’s better to duck behind a bunch of steel pipes than allow it to destroy a group of ducks in the water.

Well what if I told you that there was a way you could enjoy some new adventures with your favorite childhood Batman? There is a semi-new comic called “Batman ’66” that is just that. I’ve read the first issue of this and I must say, I was rather impressed. Do yourself a favor and put your batteries to power and your turbines to speed. Roger? Ready to move out?

They’ve even come out with a whole new line of toys. The Batmobile is my favorite. They’ve even got an Egg Head figure in the works. Egg Head was played by Vincent Price… I wonder if he’s a long lost relative of mine.

I tend to think comics get expensive over time. A dollar an issue is more expensive than the volume sets. All of this being said, I may have to become a collector of all of this great new stuff.

Now where are my new 80s movies at?

The Walking Dead (By TellTale)

If you have a PS3, an XBOX, or a Computer and you haven’t been playing The Walking Dead game from TellTale, you should definitely check it out. It’s a five part episodic game that is more about the story than the game play. Depending on your decisions you will end up with different outcomes. Do you remember those “Give Yourself Goosebumps” books? It’s kind of like that but with a video game and zombies and all of the walking dead goodness.  Episode 4 is scheduled to be out this month. Additionally the TV Show is coming back this month too. Let’s just say this is enough to get excited about!

Why I’m a Console Gamer

Recently a friend and I had a discussion about what made us the types of gamers that we apparently are.  I guess it really has to do with what kinds of games that you started with.  When I was young, we didn’t have a computer.  My first real experience with video games was my parents’ Intellivision.  I remember playing Frogger, The Empire Strikes Back, Armor Battle, Las Vegas Poker and Blackjack, and others.  I also remember playing  in Microsoft paint and playing a flight battle game on my uncle’s Tandy 2000 computer. 

Growing up we also had an NES.  We only had 1 game for a long time on that system.  That of course was Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt.  We did rent some video games from the local video rental shop, but we didn’t actually own any other games.  I remember asking my father for more video games and he simply told me “Well you haven’t beaten the one you’ve got yet.”  So that was our deal, I save the princess, my sister and I get more video games.

So I had a mission.  I played that game until my thumbs hurt.  I utilized the warp pipes to get to where I needed to go faster,  I hopped on skinny pieces of land in the sky, I went through the water level in the final castle “super” and then I didn’t have to dodge all of the bullets and hammers from “King Koopa”.  I simply ran through him to drop the bridge.  I saved the princess, and come Christmas, we had all kinds of new games.  It was a sweet success.

Later on in 1995, we got our first computer.  I remember playing the original Simcity, Chessmaster 2000, and X-Wing and just learning general things about the computer.  Of course, I knew nothing of the command line or any of that.  In 2000, we finally got the internet.  I loved tinkering with things, loved taking pictures and modifying them and I loved making little cartoons with a program called swish.  We really didn’t have a good computer.  So I didn’t really play any kind of intensive game on the computer.  In 2003, a year before I graduated High School, we finally got a computer a DVD player.  It ran the brand new Windows XP.  (I have saved this computer from impending death several times actually.  It still runs! My Dad was using this computer up until about 2 weeks ago.)  I played games like The Sims, Roller Coaster Tycoon, and some Star Wars games like Rebel Assault

In Late 2004, I had just started College and had just declared my major as Computer Science.  I really needed my own machine to write programs on without interfering with the family PC.  I played a few computer games including Medal of Honor.   I never did much get into games on the computer outside of your run of the mill simulation games.  I was more of a Playstation, Sega, or Nintendo fan. 

I guess when I think “Computer Game”, I think of simulation games.  Maybe this bias is wrong.  Maybe I should give PC Gaming another chance.  It is a little easier to move the camers with the mouse versus a joystick on a controller, I’m just not as much of a fan on w a s & d and a bunch of other random keys that do various things in games are never the same across games.

Throughout this history, I did own other consoles.  I owned a Sega Genesis and a Playstation. But after the Playstation, I missed out on an entire generation of games.  I focused on things other than video games.  I missed out on PS2 and the XBox.  And to be honest, the only reason I got a PS3 was for the Blu-ray player.  But since I’ve gotten the PS3, I have played more games than I have played in years.  And I don’t consider myself a “gamer” anymore.  I’m definitely a casual gamer.  Maybe that’s another reason I like consoles.  Pure convenience.

With consoles, you don’t have to worry about the hardware being compatible with the software.  The software is specifically designed for the hardware.  And that is a nice feeling to have that perfect match.