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Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - 20:11

Why Fandom Matters

Today I just had a conversation with Colin, a friend of mine in Manchester. I say ‘friend’ even though we have not talked in seven years, we realised today!  He owns this amazing record store called Vinyl Revival in Manchester. Before I lived in the UK, I would make annual pilgrimages to see him, and pick up hundreds of pounds worth of records, T-shirts, badges, mugs and assorted other memorabilia.  The store specialises in Britpop era, Madchester items, from original Factory Records posters to re-released compilations.  It became a joke, because I would literally have to buy an extra carry on bag after every trip to the store, and would be seen drudging through Heathrow back to California with bags stuffed full of books about the Happy Mondays almost bursting open in customs.  Colin would always hook me up with special limited edition items - he gave me one of my most treasured possessions, a Hacienda Members card. To someone else,...

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Friday, June 24, 2016 - 12:53

So we woke up this morning leaving the EU.

51.9% of the votes gave the LEAVE campaign the majority - a total of 17,410,742 people voted for it out of a country of 61.4 million.
This means only half the country voted and there's only 2% in the difference, but the numbers have it: the majority has decided to leave our European partnership and the other 73% of the country are just going to have to put up with it.  Because emmigrating isn't really an option.

You see, I'm not a patriot, but I do love this country.  I despise so many of our traditions, and yet we have the capacity for much kindness.  And despite having a particularly low opinion of people in general, there are those of us that have shined and achieved greatness the world over.  I utterly hate our government - whatever the future holds for us as a country, the news of David Cameron's resignation in October(?) is sweet and euphoric.

As for who will replace him?  Who cares...

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015 - 23:56

I've been asked what I think about some of the stuff that's going on in comic movie land.  What do I think of Ben Affleck?  What's my opinion of Jared Leto's The Joker?  Dawn of Justice?  Fantastic 4?  Aqua Man?  Wonderwoman?  What the Hell are you doing DC?  Do I think there's a Marvel endgame?

Well, you want the answer to some of these, albeit contemporary, questions?  Fine.  But in order to do that, here's some background and an attempt to get a half-decent wordcount in on this potential 'Flame-ath-On'... (see what I did there?... well, screw you...)

Superheroes are important to me.

That probably comes acorss as an entirely lame thing to say, but hey, I'm about to embark on a rant of esentially EPIC proportions so I may as well justify why in order to keep you all reading this particular entry to the INTARNETZ archive of random bollocks - for some folks, they can find moral guidance in the observation of...

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - 12:50

I so wish it was that simple.  Anyone that knows depression personally or through the proximity of someone who suffers it, knows that beating depression is simply not something that can be done so easily and, most annoyingly, it takes time, strength, couraqge and no small amount of soul searching to achieve something even remotely close to a recovery.  So, for this blog, this is a pick-me-up for thjose of you that are depressed or need to give someone a hand getting the ones they love back up and out of the pit.

KNOW YOUR ENEMY!

Now, if you're seriously depressed right now, the chances are, you didn't have the strength to get this far, and to those of you that have, WELL BLOODY DONE!  No seriously, that's the fucking spirit right there!  That's no small feat, and frankly you're really making excellent head-way - keep it up!

In fact... have a cat with a toothbrush!
...

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Friday, July 25, 2014 - 19:30

This time of year is always pretty eventful where I work.  It’s the time of year where BA and BSc students are coming to the end of their major projects, and there’s usually some pretty cool experiments to get involved in.   Last year I was incredibly lucky to take part in a demonstration of full 3D audio, with a 9 speaker set up that took mixing techniques and immersive audio to a whole new level.  I wasn’t sure that could be equalled, that was until a student put up a post looking for volunteers to try out the Oculus Rift as part of his dissertation project.

For those that don’t know, the Oculus...

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Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 14:55

The 25th May is an important, and busy day, in the geek sub-culture.  It was on this date in 1977, that Star Wars IV: A New Hope got it’s cinematic release in the US.  A film that arguably changed the perception, and presence, of Sci-Fi on the big screen.

It is also the day that Terry Pratchett fans mark as the Glorious 25th, remembering the Glorious Revolution from  “Night Watch”

Furthermore, it is also the day that many Douglas Adam’s fans (myself included) make sure they know where their towels are.

Unsurprising, then, that the date was co-opted to be celebrated officially as Geek Pride Day.  ...

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 10:57

Yeah, that's usually the way I've found to endear yopurself to a bunch of folks you haven't seen in a while...

It's not like I haven't been busy, or anything, but I've been super... oh who am I kidding?

I've not been my kind of busy in AGES!  The sitting down and writing, getting games designed and developping some proper RPG stuff just simply HASN'T happened.  All those dice have been left unrolled, all the pages of those gorgeous Eclipse Phase books have gone un-dog-eared, there isn't a single post-it note jammed in to a squirrely looking folder of GM notes... or any of the rest of the gubbins that can ensue when I get busy with the good stuff.

Truth is... and it's a little hard to admit... but... I've been... working...

...

Yeah... actual work.

Don't frikkin' LAUGH!  Do you have any idea how annoying this crap is?  Seriously, customers are a pain in the arse.  ANd don't get me started on Area Managers...

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 12:29

Okay, so it isn't quite a native solution, but there is now a workaround that allows you to watch Netflix and other Silverlight content on Linux.

Having done this myself this morning, I can confirm it works on Ubuntu 12.04.

So, here it is:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pipelight/stable

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install pipelight-multi

Once you've agreed to everything and completed the installation run:

pipelight-plugin --enable silverlight

Then you should be all ready to go. Fire up your browser and enjoy. I would advise that you also install a user agent switcher on your browser to spoof the fact that you're not on Windows.

Friday, February 21, 2014 - 09:49

Following in the footsteps of Jonathan Green I thought I would give a bit of an insight into my general workspace. As I use my office for several things from developing software, through writing to recording music it can have several different configurations. The one I'm going to talk you through is my software developing workspace as that's what I'm supposed to be doing instead of writing a blog post about my workspace, but hey.....

My Desktop

So, here it is. First impressions... Yes, I know it's a massive mess of cables, but it actually could be a hell of a lot worse as a whole mess of the networking and power cables are actually in cable runs behind the unit. But...

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Monday, November 25, 2013 - 20:20

Something amazing happened this weekend. A little sci-fi show you may have heard of celebrated an unprecedented 50th birthday. That's right, it has been 50 years since our favourite mad man in a box first took to our screens. It's been a whole year's worth of build up for most and even longer for those of us who are huge fans of the show. The internet has been peppered with supposition, over-analysis, actual fact, lies, mis-truths and more damn prestidigitation than you could shake a question mark shaped umbrella at. So what did we come out of the other end of it with?

*takes a deep breath*
Best monsters documentaries and episodes, featurettes on all doctors, sneakily released minisodes with a missing regeneration, Big finish audio recordings with all five remaining classic doctors, the loving crafted An Adventure In Space and Time, a massive three-day celebration event in London, The Science of Doctor Who lectures, a wonderful parody adventure written and directed by...

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