Friday, June 26, 2009

Bark: The real big news story of the week

The mystery of how crop circles get created has finally been solved. It's nothing to do with aliens or hoaxers. No, it's wallabies off their heads after snacking on opium poppies.

Fucking awesome.

Bark: Michael Jackson broke the internet

Inconsiderate bastard.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bark: Why you should always buy Sennheiser

I'm going on a bit of a health kick for the summer, and unusually for me, I've hit the gym twice in the last three days. When I was getting ready to go to the gym tonight, I realised with a dawning sense of horror that my dear lady had just washed my gym kit, which was a bit ripe from my session on Sunday.

Unfortunately, she'd neglected to tell me that she was going to wash it before I saw it hung out on the line. The reason I was horrified was because I knew that Fleur had just stuck my kit straight into the washing machine without bothering to check the pockets (she never does) and I'd left my best set of mini-headphones in the pocket of my cycling shirt, as I use them to plug into the TVs on the cardio machines at my gym.

Over the years I've had a pretty terrible record with breaking sets of in-the-ear headphones (one of the reasons I upgraded to a set of wireless gaming headphones for my PC a little while back, because at least I can't accidentally pull the wires out of the earphones - usually by treading on the lead or moving too far away from the jack socket and almost taking my head off in the process - if there are no wires to pull out), so having had this set go through the wash, I wasn't confident about their chances of survival. Thankfully, they only went through at around 30 degrees (rather than a boil wash), so after they'd dried out, I tested them on my laptop and they still worked! And now they smell of lavender, which doesn't make any difference to the sound quality of the music, but does make the whole experience a little more pleasant, nonetheless.

Granted, earphones aren't exactly hugely complicated bits of electronics (they're just coils of copper wire and a couple of magnets wrapped up in plastic and a occasionally a bit of rubber, really), but the fact that they'd survived being thrashed around in the drum of a washing machine for an hour or so was pretty impressive, I thought.

Byte: Now with added Madness!

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that my post archive now goes back to 2003, rather than starting in December 2004. This is because I've used a nice bit of functionality in Blogger to integrate all the posts from my old blog.

I'll probably delete the old Mad Iain blog now that I have all the posts consolidated in one place, and will spend a little time over the summer weeding out all the old posts with dead URLs and broken image hotlinks. I haven't imported any of the comments from the old posts, because (as I remember) some of the comments threads did have the tendency to turn into slanging matches because of a bit of cross-pollination of ire from the old State forum, and we don't really need to drag all that up again here. A lot of water has passed under the ruined remains of that particular bridge by now.

I did originally intend to do this blog integration job on my own little piece of internet real estate, but in the end I decided that doing it this way was a whole lot easier, and free, to boot. Never underestimate the attraction of doing something something quickly and cheaply as opposed to spending lots of time and money to essentially get the same result... What? What did you expect? I am Scottish, after all...

In other news, you will have also noted that it's been very quiet around here for the last few weeks. All will be revealed in a month or two - but I'm not quite ready to talk about it yet. (How's that for being enigmatic?)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Byte: The Old Republic

As game trailers go, this is pretty epic.



Yeah, I want this one for review... I will, however, be a bit disappointed if you can't do the fighting combos you see in the trailer in the game. There's nothing worse than seeing all these flashy moves being showcased and then the game utterly failing to deliver on your ability to do them within the game. (Which, I would note, the opening cinematic of World of Warcraft didn't do - broadly speaking, your characters can do everything you saw - shapeshifting, commanding demons, etc) It's right up there in game-crimes with allowing enemies to perform actions that you, as the player cannot. I'm specifically thinking about Unreal 2, here, where you had Skaarj leaping, jumping and rolling about to avoid fire, while you lumbered around like a pregnant elephant. Still, getting back to The Old Republic, the hype looks good - whether it will live up to it is quite another matter. BioWare have long been one of my favourite developers, though, so I'm pretty hopeful.