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"The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country."

George W. Bush 
 .:[ First post! ]:.Posted: 13:58 on Saturday, 01 January 2005 
State: awake...!  Music: True Faith 

Well, here comes another new year. Generally speaking, 2004 wasn't a particularly bad year, although it had it's moments, then again so did i...

On the "retro" front, the C64DTV is due a PAL release soon, so that's a new platform to play with; 256 colours, palette remapping and a DMA with stepping features makes it very interesting from a demo coding point of view...

My new year's resolution is 160x200 pixels. Shyte joke i know, but do i care...? Nope. =-)

 .:[ Infinity and beyond ]:.Posted: 19:40 on Monday, 10 January 2005 
State: giggly  Music: Psyvariar 2 

You always know it's going to be one of those days when you're writing PHP and the test code just totally ignores multiple boundary checks, instead preferring to brutally savage the web server by attempting to print the word "fnerk" a couple of hundred thousand times...! Gotta love program logic.

 .:[ New arrivals ]:.Posted: 15:32 on Friday, 14 January 2005 
State: happy  Music: Wide Awake 

PictureWe have not one but two new arrivals this week, the first is King who is pictured napping a few hours after coming into the house and finding his feet... erm, paws. He's a black lab, about seven weeks old at time of writing and King is a contraction of his full name, since he's a pedigree pup we even got a pedigree to show his lineage!

So far the Boss is being all soppy and the two kids already home from school seem very pleased to meet him a day earlier than they expected, although the three cats are all giving him a very wide berth for the moment and Casper, to date the only one to get near him), looked particularly unsure, but they'll get used to having another dog around the house soon enough i hope and it won't put their noses too out of joint when they realise they can still get our attention when they want it.

PictureThe other new arrival is nowhere near as fluffy or cute; we've got ourselves a new web server; again it's being named due to it's lineage, so meet the box that will be named Voidrunner when it's reformatted, installed and connected to the network. Our current box (called Gridrunner and yes, i know Matrix was Gridrunner 2 rather than Voidrunner but i preferred to skip a generation for the cooler name) is going to be recycled as a mySQL box to serve Void, so fingers crossed i can start to look into playing with databases a little more deeply...

 .:[ Musical chairs... ]:.Posted: 18:07 on Friday, 21 January 2005 
State: tired  Music: Stormlord 

Okay... so i've spent the entire afternoon opening machines up, changing around hard drives and CD/DVDROM drives and writers, then reassembling the machines - and after all that, i've finally got everything i planned to do today out of the way! The Boss has her shiny new DVD writer fitted and the old 80Gb drive from her previous machine to remove data from at her leisure before i format it, my box has DVDROM and a better writer now, the web server has a decent 50 speed CDROM and i'm left with an older writer for the machine we're passing on to Claire...

The server goes live tomorrow, so if you notice any outages in this site that's probably the reason why. Sorry!

 .:[ It lives! ]:.Posted: 21:18 on Saturday, 22 January 2005 
State: happy bunny!  Music: Frontier 

Yay! After a few hours of cleaning up where the television and so forth sit, pulling out all the cables and tidying everthing up, Voidrunner moved into her new home, was fired up and, after a bit of a false start, was connected to the outside world. All our services seem to be up and running, the web sites are all back as they were after a little tinkering with the domain forwards and, fingers crossed, Void's sitting there idling away to herself quite happily. Next stop, making sure i've got everything off Gridrunner and reformatting her for use as a mySQL server!

PictureAnother new toy arrived this morning... no, not the squeaky Noo-Noo plushie, the Knight Rider video box set (that was a Chrimble prezzie!) or the machine switch box; that vision in red and black is a USB Competition Pro joystick in the picture. It's really nice too, the box says "return of a legend" on the side and that's pretty much what it is; what looks and indeed feels like an original Comp Pro stick, two extra fire buttons (four in total) and a USB cable to connect it up.

The feel is absolutely spot on, at least it's how i remember the original feeling some seventeen or so years ago, and there's no doubting that it's solid; it feels as robust and well constructed as the trusty Zipstik i've got plugged into the C64. And, since the new Comp Pro is retailing for about a tenner, it's priced around the same level as the original was all those years ago; well worth that dosh because, although it's about twice the price of a cheap control pad, i'd say that you're getting a far nicer piece of kit for that money.

 .:[ Googlewhacking ]:.Posted: 00:25 on Thursday, 27 January 2005 
State: happy  Music: none 

So we were in town earlier and stuck our heads around the door of Borders because i wanted to get Retro Gamer 12 and, since he's due to do a signing a few weeks into February, there was a promotion of books and a DVD by Dave Gorman. Now, i'd heard of Gorman previously from the show he did about four years ago where he went around the world looking for other people who shared his name and i'd sort of noticed his Googlewhack Adventure book in the past, but now it was on a 3 for 2 offer and we had two others that the Boss wanted so i grabbed it.

Then we wandered upstairs to the Starbucks that the Leeds branch has and, at the top of the escalator, was more Gorman merchandise and i noticed that the DVD was reduced to 5.99 - one impulse purchase later and off home i go... Once the kids are in bed, i decide to sit down and have a look at this 'ere DVD and, after noticing it's got a cute little music video by Rob "B3ta" Manuel and laughing at that a little, i started the DVD proper...

...and laughed myself closer to silly than usual for nearly two straight hours! i won't give any details, suffice to say it's a true story of something Gorman sort of fell into and his account of things is fast-paced, full of asides and wonderfully delivered with incredible enthusiasm and a selection of sometimes eclectic but entertaining pictures that are cycled through as the story unfolds. i don't normally recommend anything directly, but if y'see a copy of the DVD and have a little cash burning a hole in your pocket, grab it because it's really worth watching (i take no responsibility for anything, let alone that claim being true in your eyes just to cover my arse...!) The book is being "saved" for the train journey to Disneyland Paris so i'll comment about it more when i've actually read it!

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