Tag Archive: iTunes


Chilli, Pie & Ice-Cream

Czesc, 

Wednesday night was our second play through of Star Wars Risk: Original Trilogy Edition. Paul was the Hutts, Matt K and I were the Empire and Brendan played both Rebel factions because I could not find a fifth person to join us for chilli, apple pie and ice-cream. Ingrates. Rebels won – I tried to be subtle in placing the Imperial base at a pinch point which the Rebels managed to take after tough battle. This is what comes of banking on a wing and a prayer, though I did succeed in duping everyone as to its actual placement (small consolation). They thought I was being C Rather than play a second game, we broke out 7 Wonders with all expansions except Babel. Paul won by two points, scores as always on BGG.

Turning to Thursday’s big news story, the decision of the High Court in determining that Article 50 may only be decided by a vote in Parliament rather than by the Royal Prerogative. Don’t want to be a political moaner but this story I felt, kinda needed a paragraph or two. I actually read the text of the decision and it was indeed spot on. In a nutshell, the decision states that triggering Article 50 will affect fundamental rights of people in the UK as well as causing the 1972 Communities Act to disapply. As these things are determined by Parliament rather than by the Head of State (i.e. Brenda), it is not appropriate to use the Royal Prerogative in this regard.

The press reaction was typically furious, at least from those elements who campaigned for a “No” result in the Referendum. Leaving aside the hypocrisy for a moment, it’s really been a damning moment exposing “yellow journalism” at its worst. One newspaper feels like its saying to its readers “here are three traitors, go out and liquidate them”, another is following on one MPs comments about the unelected judiciary (because elected judges work soooo well in the USA) and how that needs to be overhauled; usual rent-a-quote crap. And of course, there was a less-than-subtle jibe that the plaintiff in this case was born in Guyana (which used to be a British colony, lest we forget) and “foreigners are subverting our law”. The left wing papers aren’t gloating (obviously) but speculating on the likelihood of an early election. That’d be interesting to see as all parties were divided between Yes and Nos (I think the Yes’ outnumbered the Nos by 4 or 5-1). If an early election comes to pass, how would it affect MPs wishing to stand?

Buried away in the margins was a poll which said that if the referendum were to be repeated tomorrow, the “Yes” camp would win. All in all, I’m reminded of that ancient Chinese curse: may you live in interesting times.

Not much happening over the weekend. Thinking of a wander over to Borough Market, maybe Games Quest or Orc’s Nest – y’know, the usual fleshpots. This week’s music spree has continued, several more tunes bought. For me, this is a very unusual occurrence given a lot of my music tends to come from Kwed and Overclocked & Amiga Remix. No one-fixed genre or anything, just celebrating November. Or something.

As you can tell, this blog post was intended for Friday. I’m terrible.  

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Surgery Was A Success

With my data now transferred to my laptop and it’s brand new hard drive, so begins the long road to recovery.  It’s taken me the best part of three hours to sort out my iTunes and getting it all functioning properly but after gutting the library and starting again with a new approach to system restore, I’m confident that the issues are now all resolved.  Phew, there’s something very reassuring to know all your data is where it’s supposed to be.

What I wasn’t expecting was a reinitialisation of the generic software suite with the latest updates; I had assumed I’d get a version of Windows 7 exactly like the one I left.  They gave me new stuff – new Games, new System Tools to play around with.  And perhaps another unexpected side effect for the better was a brand new, clean file registry.  The only downside is that my copy of Office 2010 is in absentia and I’m damned if I can remember where the key is.  However – the work offer is still on IIRC so I can get Office 2013 for £8.

It’s 1am here and I’m trying to set up my download list for Steam (I decided to just leave those games when recovering data and download upon return) so I won’t be going into too much detail about Belfast.  Sufficed to say it was better than expected – I think that I preferred it to Dublin though based on a single trip apiece, I’m willing to go again to both.  Not that the two cities are in competition.

I will say I got all 50 achievements on Lego Indy 1 today – so that’s a mere 7 games I’ve completed start to finish.  Sense of accomplishment tho’.

Später

I confess my enfeeblement last night – after the unsuccessful quiz, I went home, flopped onto the bed and just couldn’t bring myself to be vertical for an hour except to brush teeth. This is what comes of going to bed late and getting up…well, sooner than I’d like. It showed in the pub at the quiz, sunken into the sofa chewing a Fab ice-lolly. Two actually; they are 90 calories each (plug, plug). We didn’t do very well; John sets a tough group of questions.

Still confused by Rise of Nations – Steam edition. It has been beefed up for HD etc and I don’t have a problem with that but the fact remains that on my PC, it plays with noticeable jumps, lags, appears to crash when maps load (taking forever), even with graphic options turned down. I cannot understand why I can play much sexier games like Civ V on full with my aging laptop and yet RoN languishes. It’s just hard to believe any software company would release such a buggy product these days? Don’t they do extensive testing, betas et al? Although I don’t yet have it, perhaps the Age of Mythology re-release would offer more personal insight as that game is older and would be a good comparison. Age of Empires 2 runs with no problems on my laptop so there must be…something.

So, my spy network reports that the Doctor has been sighted in London. Just like him to reappear under my nose without my knowledge. This bears further watching and waiting. Sufficed to say, my mood isn’t good.

Getting fed up of my iTunes playlists recently so at work, I’ve been listening to ripped video game soundtracks through YouTube. Readers of the blog know I enjoy the video game remixes offered through Kwed, Overclocked, Remix Amiga, Remix 64 but there are still some original soundtracks I’d like to be able to collect in one place – preferably through legitimate means. Playing board games – video game music works remarkably well. I play Civ V music when playing Risk Legacy, some Legends of Zelda & Super Mario when playing Settlers of Catan (don’t ask, it just works). Going to experiment to see what works with Eldritch Horror – naturally AoE 3 for AoE 3 and AoM for AoM. What would work with Zombie Dice?

Tatio – please put Parasol Stars on Virtual Console and XBLA. We miss the further adventures of Bub and Bob.

It’s actually going to be a fairly tame, lame couple of weeks coming up, not that I mind of course. But there is a distinct lack of (major) activity occurring, or at least that I’m willing to get interested in. There is of course the annual moustache parade in London Saturday week which I’ll be once again avoiding – big pile of poo. And we’re coming up to the usual Wimbledon rubbish which I have zero interest in. Though I did mention to Dr Doom the other day that something I haven’t done in a while is to go bowling, probably not since Alex’s birthday so that might be an idea. There’s also the laser tag game in Canary Wharf (Bunker 51) which I’d also like to try, see what they have going for themselves. Not all empty days of gaming…though those are never really empty.

Design – Who got it right?

I’m still not convinced by the new iTunes skin which came out about a month ago.  Rather than having a complete desktop feel, the software has been more “Apple-ised” with menus hidden away towards the top of the screen.  It’s not as if you’re already assaulted with visual images anyway so why the designers felt the need to start the obfuscation process defies conventional reasoning.  However, a couple of extra features quietly buried away _have_ been rather useful, particularly the ability to add songs to a queue when either listening to a set playlist or on random.  If that was already there people, DON’T let me know, it’ll just be too irksome.

To Xian & Stephen’s for dinner last night and I’m very pleased to report that it was an all herbivore affair.  Yes, the carnivores were miffed by the fact there was no meat on offer.  Alas it means I’m obliged to throw something together the next time (so I’ll have to consider dates, times and the like).  It’s interesting to see how the flat now they’ve finished all their work on it.  Despite not having a massive amount of space, they have done wonders in opening everything up to give the illusion of more room (no curtains on windows, shiny reflective surfaces).  Does make me think what I want to do with Casa Trevelyan next – it’s true, when one person remodels, everyone else feels the urge to pick up a hammer and saw.

The nightbus home last night was… rather quick.  Either that or I was so engrossed in James Noir that it seemed that the trip didn’t make any major impact.  I missed my stop by two and had to get off somewhere up Leytonstone High Road.  Was totally my fault though I was pleased by the fact that the usual Essex flotsam didn’t appear to be on there in any great numbers.  Prejudiced?  Yup.

Otherwise the weekend has been fairly sedate.  I had a +10 mile walk on Friday night not getting home before 10 followed by some Age of Empires Online dragging the Egyptians from Level 13 to Level 16 and kicking ass at the Camel Racing.  Almost caught up on the usual domestics too though the oven has been crying to be cleaned for a while now.  I have the kit, I just don’t have the urge to develop chemical burns in doing so.  It’s one of those nuclear strength numbers which is also used to clean the Space Shuttle or something.

And just because it’s Sunday and I’m listening to it/them right now, a YouTube link to Rambo (feat. Hanna Kappelin and Larsec) by Visa Roster.  Granted it’s actually Ocean Loader 2 but what the hell…

Losing Something

I give up, I really truly do. If you don’t like blog posts which feature whining, moaning, whinging or general bitching, I suggest you move on because this is ranting at its worst.

Three or four things are about to send me into the nut house this week after today. The first is the fact that Frederick the Cat can’t stop pissing in the bath tub. I am close to felinicide with that creature as it has plenty of opportunity to outside. In fact as it’s a warm today, I took the opportunity to open doors and windows to air out the stink of human habitation. So the bloody animals have opportunity to go outside and defecate to their hearts content. But no, that little crap-factory quadruped comes inside just to piss in the tub.

Second – it’s frickin’ happy hour around here. There have been a succession of bin-divers rummaging through my rubbish bins and recycling bins today stealing whatever looks remotely good. I know because my laptop faces the main windows in my house and I am sat here watching another one right now.

Third – A large amount of mail has come through my door as of late addressed to people who don’t live here and who have never lived here. I don’t care about the potential illegalities but I’ve opened it all and it’s all bills. Mobile phones, computers, porn channels on Sky (I kid you not). Whilst credit ratings are in the sewer, this is going to push them below the surface into the real slurry.

Fourth – I can’t seem to ever have five minutes to myself around here as there’s always someone lurking in the background.

Fifth – More of a private one but sometimes there are people who don’t take a hint and thoroughly reinterpret statements.

I’ve had to resort to Sonic Wanderer’s Parallaxed in order to insert a bit of calm but the only mental image I can conjure up is me doing Step Aerobics to Wii Fit Plus as this was my favourite track to exercise to. It’s still by far my most played song on iTunes with 219 plays since I made iTunes my default player and dropped Winamp. Though I miss modplayer to listen to all those ripped Amiga tracks. It’s still a mystery how Eric Prydz’s Call On Me is in my top five but it did sneak on to a couple of playlists which could explain things.

Ah for the sheer hell of it, I’m going to publish the top five most played tunes:

1. Sonic Wanderer – Parallaxed (219)
2. Guru Josh Project – Infinity (2008 Edit) (197)
3. DigiE – Phoenix Wright Tranced Turnabout (186)
4. Future Sound of London – Papua New Guinea (183)
5. Eric Prydz – Call On Me (Radio Edit) (154)

Though having typed the above, +1 to the first three on the list.

Oh, I shall post my History Month Magazine shortly.

In Praise of Multimedia

Man, you have to love this weather – people are even more selfish in the cold than they are in the summer months. I don’t know whether it’s the cold air, the layers upon layers of clothing people wear or the stinging sensation of exposed skin but it’s clear that behaviour becomes harder to predict. Though you can anticipate bad behaviour, that much is certain. I’m not looking forward to the snow at the weekend if it comes to pass – being on a bus and having stay-home kids lobbing snowballs at the windows because they’re just “so funny” or slipping about on the ice – Eric is still off work over a year later…

I’d offer a report on games night last night but aside from Mario Kart and Boom Blox, there’s not much to report. I have to admit I’m getting more than a little bored with those games but that’s more the fault of Nintendo and the third party developers who just haven’t invested much in the range of multiplayer games for their five-year old console. Then again, I’ve always been a fan of co-operative rather than competitive unless we’re talking N64 Goldeneye, Starfox or even Diddy Kong Racing (which at least has a few different modes in the mix).

Actually…multiplayer gaming can be a bit of a bitch all round as it happens with it being tacked onto a game as an afterthought rather than an integrated process. Now this can work, strangely enough for certain games but for most of them, it’s a clunky, messy addition which doesn’t quite have the same charm or appeal and the worst part is when it doesn’t quite work on split screen mode. But people want televisions over projectors which could otherwise go some way to alleviating the issues and console gaming in my opinion still doesn’t lend itself easily to online gaming.

Frost, fire and frippery – good old Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a much better film than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but it can be argued that they had more imagination in the 1970s compared with today, even from Tim Burton (who really should have made a sequel to Beetlejuice as Michael Keaton was fantastic in that). Despite a promise to myself not to do so, I’ve already started replacing DVDs with Blu-Ray discs, chiefly as HMV seem to be giving them away at the moment and next on the radar is WWATCF chiefly as its in the “offers” range together with V for Vendetta. However, blu-ray releases which coincide with my happy collection are fewer and farther between so it may be some time before I am able to complete the collection unless iTunes adds a few more titles to the online store.

Finished Darth Plagueis this morning on the Tube, it was a very good read and highly recommended to all fans of the Sith. I dare say it’ll pretty much be the “authorised biography of Palpatine” at least as far as Star Wars novels go without actually being said book. The idea to concentrate more on the Muun Sith Lord rather than the red-haired noble from the planet of Naboo was the correct one as it allows preservation of some of the mysteries of everyone’s favourite villain. I cannot recall which book it was that wrote about Palpatine and his motives in a more first-person perspective but that was a bad, bad idea. Alas there are no more books to look forward to until about May but that’s ok, I can just get my sticky fingers on older titles though it’s becoming clear that I’m going to need a 32GB iPhone for my next device rather than a 16GB. Perhaps even a 64GB – I don’t know. It is fantastic to be able to carry around one’s multimedia library on a device no bigger than your hand and listen to and watch whatever you like so long as its charged up.

And finally in this random post which is utterly disjointed but I careth not – I completed Streetpass 2 this morning after killing the farting griffin. I got a stupid wig for my efforts. Well, I guess I have to start it a second time and try to unlock the levels I missed out on the first time.