Look what I found!

Primordia – The game that renewed my faith in adventure games

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It was 2am at the weekend when I finished playing Primordia, a point and click adventure game by Indie Developer Wormwood Studios, and Publisher Wadjet Eye Games. This game is simply amazing.

Truly amazing.

Primordia Titlebar

One of the best things about this game is its art style combined with the low-res, pixel-graphics engine used in the game, which adds and ‘old school’ feeling to the game in a way that is refreshing not jarring. At first I was sceptical but I picked this up in a Steam sale and after the first few minutes I couldn’t look back…

According to Steam, I’ve racked up over 10 hours playing this game, but I feel that I’ve been playing it much more. I think its more like 20, and it was great.
It’s an amazing game and has reminded to me the amazing potential of both adventure games and indie developers alike.

This game is full of so much character and attention that it appears to pour from every part of the game. It is a polished experience that needs to be experienced.

The puzzles are hard, but not ridiculous (I did get thoroughly stuck at one point however) and the pace of the game is consistent, fun, engaging and genuinely saddening in parts and especially when its over because no other reason than its over. I want more, really, but alas.

If you’ve ever liked ‘point & click’ adventure games (Monkey Island, anyone?) then you will love this.

Its available on Steam and GOG.
In the very least, I recommend you add it to your wishlist and buy it on sale.

You wont regret getting this.

Destiny is coming! There’s nothing you can do about it!

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2 days ago, Bungie Game Studios (Makers of Halo) finally revealed what their next project is, their first game since they split off from Microsoft Game Studios and became the masters of their own destiny again. Read the rest of this entry »

Raspberry Pi – I WANT YOU SO BAD!

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There are no words to explain my recent muted excitement over the past few months regarding the coming release of the Raspberry Pi board. Read the rest of this entry »

Transformers: Fall for Cybertron epic trailer!

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I thought I’d share the amazing Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Trailer, for anyone who may care about Transformers as much as I do.
I loved Transformers: War for Cybertron and this looks like it’s going to be a very worthy follow-up.
Also, Starcream getting a sucker-punch to the face by who looks like Ironhide is not to be missed, as is the welcome return of Grimlock!

Personally, I’m loving the dark foreboding end-of-days feeling throughout this trailer, very much like what Epic have been doing for some time with the Gears of War game series. Read the rest of this entry »

Run android Apps under Windows!

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Something I’ve stumbled onto today, from company BlueStacks that apparently lets you run your favorite Android Apps on your PC. Yes, that means your Windows x86 PC (No Mac version yet).

Download the BlusStacks ‘AppPlayer’ (117MB) and once installed, pops up on your desktop using a neat-looking Windows 7 ‘gadget’. This gadget pops out to show the apps you can sync with your device.

Something to keep an eye on perhaps…

Yikes! Don’t drop your new iPhone 4S!

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Found this video online, courtesy of SquareTrade, an insurance company (oddly enough!).
In the video at the bottom, they’ve dropped an iPhone 4S and a Samsung Galaxy S2.

This stood out to me because ever since I got my Samsung Galaxy S2, I’ve been afraid of dropping it.
My fear is mostly because the phone is so light and thin that it just doesn’t have that ‘reassuringly solid’ feeling of my older iPhone 3GS. Read the rest of this entry »

How I love Google’s logo-play

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Freddie's 65th Bithday!

Today (As typical of my Monday morning routine) I got up and zombied around at home, came to work somehow navigating the public transport system on autopilot then sat down at my desk and retrieved my laptop from my bag in the kind of smooth motion that comes with long practice.

After booting up and flicking through my morning email while longingly thinking about coffee, I opened Internet Explorer to find the familiar homepage of Google… But it was different, and it usually is. Read the rest of this entry »

The Return of the Commodore 64!

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I never owned a Commodore 64, I was a Commodore Amiga player when I was younger, and I remember those days with great pleasure. Games like Walker, Project X, Body Blows, Lemmings, Clockwiser and many classic others like Another World, Flashback and Cannon Fodder still echo in my mind with the ‘click-click-click’ of the double-but-still-single button joystick. I even remember a certain sibling would hog the damn thing playing epic marathon sessions of Sensible Soccer. So I had some mixed feelings of joy and regret when I heard about the return of the Commodore 64. Joy because it reminds me of the old Amiga days, and regret because I never got a C-64 and wish that I had, so that I could fully embrace its return with the deep nostalgia that it deserves…

Still, the new C-64 looks very cool, in a retro way.
At first glance it appears very similar to the original, with the same chunky keyboard and retro asthetic and feel. Upon closer inspection, especially toward the ports on the back and side, there appear to be more than initially meets the eye. I’m not really surprised, but still find that it looks odd having modern ports on such a retro piece of technology (Though to be honest, it wouldnt get very far in todays world with an antenna pass through or even scart port on the back). Commodore have clearly put some effort into bringing the machine upto modern day standards, at least in the connectivity department. I even see what looks like a HDMI port on the back, but it looks like a very PC-like back plate around the ports. I’d be interested to find out more about whats inside, but would not be surprised if there is an x86 Intel or AMD processor lurking there.

With some more investigation, there is also a choice selection of media card ports on the right side of the unit, suggesting that perhaps games (ROMs?) can be loaded from SD cards.

Somehow I get the feeling that the new revamped C-64 delivers the retro experience to the modern age, despite not physically seeing one. Lets hope the firmware or Operating System supports more modern offerings too.

Here’s hoping for the new Amiga to come out soon with similarly retro feel, though from details on the site, the ‘new’ amiga looks distinctly modern.
There are more details of the ‘new’ C-64 and upcoming Amigas on the Commodore USA site.

And here is a video from the Commodore Site:

Microsoft says “IE6 bad! IE9 GOOOOOD!”

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Yesterday, Microsoft released to the world its first non-testing version of Internet Explorer 9.
To go with this, Microsoft has recently launched a duo of websites aimed to convince people both that IE6 should be dropped, and also that people should upgrade to IE9 (Or at least 8, since IE9 is not available for Windows XP).

This is clearly quite a bold move by Microsoft, which made a lot of effort over many years to make IE6 the de-facto browser. There was also a lot of work put into making ‘IE-specific’ sites that worked best on IE6 due to subtle (Also some obvious and painful) changes in web code. This is hopefully becoming a thing of the past with IE9’s much touted compliance to web standards, and is welcomed by web developers far and wide. They have even launched a new site showcasing performance and web standard tests to prove IE9’s apparent greatness.

By visiting the ‘Internet Explorer 6 Countdown’ site, you can see some interesting statistics (Provided by Net Applications) of the global distribution of IE6 usage. At first it seems like a non-issue, when you consider that only 12% of IE users run IE6, when you really consider it, that 12% represents a lot of people. Try as I did, I could not find anything at all that could tell me what numerical value that 12% represents but if you consider that roughly 10% of people on this planet have access to the internet via computers, that is around 600 million people. That 600 million is obviously subdivided by people using Macs, PCs, etc, and that the total share of browsers subdevide that still, but IE still has a ~57% share of the browser world. At the end of the day you can reasonably say that at the end of all of it, thats Millions of people.

Furthermore, when you consider how some countries like South Korea (And I think China) have required their citizens by law to have IE6 Active-X plugins to access their online banking, the scale of the problem starts to become apparent. Again, that is the country of South Korea (48,747,000 people in 2009) required everybody to do this by law in order to access their online banking. South Korea represents 24.8% of that 12% of IE6 users.

Pretty serious stuff, that 12%.

Here is a snapshot metric of the IE Countdown site:

The Internet Explorer 6 Countdown
Beauty of the Web (IE9 marketing site)

Openbook – An interesting facebook people watcher

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Today, I read an article and that referenced a link to Openbook.
The author of this was very much describing some of the reasons he hated facebook.

I found it to be one of the most interesting things I’ve seen in a long time, in that it aggregates and searches… facebook updates!
Yes, that’s right! You can search for the any word or phrase that takes your fancy! Even search your name and see who mentions your name in facebook updates.

Although at first it seems like a whimsical and useless tool, it became apparent to me that this is an excellent tool for people watching.

When not engaged in something, I spend much of my ‘thinking time’ wondering about how modern life compares to its traditional equivalents, because of course everything we do is rooted in the history of something else (I defy anyone to find something that’s not ‘based’ on something that has come before). This is usually when commuting, travelling or otherwise waiting for something that requires me to wait. Recently I’ve started using that time to update this blog.

In this instance what became apparent to me was that this site allows anyone to ‘people watch’ facebook updates, seeing as facebook appears to have become an outlet for peoples thoughts and communications with friends. I did a few searches and dug up some very interesting updates when just searching for my name. Also, on many occasions I was once again deeply saddened at how much the fight for good grammar is a losing battle.

These are literally quoted and this is all public:

  • Kloe Albert – Ooooo! 1 new friend request.. 0 mutual friends. Sorry Mujhummad AbdullahKareem from baghda.. fuckk off mate !!
  • Red Georges – I heart Wikipedia…….’Kareem Michael McKenzie (born May 24, 1979) is literally human garbage for the New York Giants …’
  • Kareem A. Levingston – Yes I Be “KAREEM” Y U Hoes Steady Asken Lol “Hoes Be Talken Bout Me”,”Aint Nun New”
  • Prettyy Graa Nayy – upp ; cantt qo tu sleep causee i haventt heardd your voicee sincee ths morninqq causee i k.o’d wen i camee homee frum sku..anywayss im soo happyy wee backk tuqethaa eventhouqhh we weree onlyy brokee upp fa likee ah dayy or 2<3 Kareem Gucci Williams ❤

That last one was truly soul destroying for me.

Still, interesting stuff!