806 posts • joined Wednesday 26th March 2008 15:10 GMT
Re: Dragon designed to use cheap 'reject' RAM chips
Same trick that Sinclair used.
RF is a problem, but so to can be the RGB outputs of older machines. Often the voltage values are out of spec and while tolerated by analogue TV's, LCD's dislike them. Took a resister to one of the pins in the SCART to get the black level down on my Amiga. My SNES has a pattern over the RGB when displayed on an LCD but is fine on an old CRT.
And don't even start me on C64's and S-Video. The Chroma/Luma output was designed for Commodore monitors only. It happily also worked on analogue TV's when S-Video inputs became common. However on an LCD both my 64's display a chequerboard pattern than no resister so far has been able to totally remove meaning, for now, I'm stuck on grotty old composite.
Re: I've never understood the need for on-screen logos
Why someone has downvoted you for posting a verifiable fact about cue dots lord only knows. Obviously doesn't know what a cue dot is or why they are in vision!
Re: Wait a week
That's a practice they first tried with Doctor Who. Ironically the series got the best ratings that any show had got against Corrie for years, so for 1989 the Beeb made sure they held no press launch and did no pre-publicity. It worked. Ratings were down and despite ratings reviving after the producer held his own press call it was justification enough that the series was considered dead.
There are teardowns of clone chargers online. Some of the cheap ones from fleabay are terrifying.
What's worse is that many of the cheap clone devices are stamped with CE and other regulatory markings. Of course they aren't certified but that doesn't stop them putting it on there anyway.
Re: I've never understood the need for on-screen logos
You can watermark without needing DOG's. Trust me, it's been going on for years. Little boxes sit in the broadcast stream and can add watermarking that is undetectable. I was involved in a trial for this 8 or 9 years ago with a major broadcaster and have no doubt it has become far more sophisticated since.
DOG's had their use in the early days of analogue satellite when the box had no other way of displaying a channel other than a number. But execs liked them and so as OSD's were developed for the boxes, the DOG"s remained.
The BBC tried DOG's for 1 and 2 on digital years ago and had to back down. So now they are slipping them in via the back door for the HD channels.
Re: From the people who bought you Rick Dangerous
And worse, it took the 2D mechanic of a duff platform (Rick Dangerous) and put it into 3D. Fall into pit, spears out of nowhere, not so much a test of skill as a test of memory.
If Tomb Raider had featured a male protagonist it would have sold a quarter as many copies and would be remembered as just another Playstation game. However sadly it's cult status is assured by the fact it was the number 1 "self pleasuring" aid of the PS1 era.
From the people who bought you Rick Dangerous
From the people who bought you Rick Dangerous, we present Rick Dangerous with tits in 3D.
Hated RD (I despise games that play unfairly) and hated Tomb Raider as well. However sex sells and so did Tomb Raider so I guess I'm in the minority.
Re: " It was nice for McGann to list the companions he's had while working for Big Finish"
Never say never for Ecclestone. Tom Baker wouldn't do it for years and then started doing Big Finish. Janet Fielding wouldn't do anything for Who for years and got badgered into it by her former co-stars who kept on telling her what a hoot it was.
Until recently it was impossible to get Lalla Ward and Tom Baker in the same room let alone to work together and just the other day they announced that they were doing Big Finish together.
Things change, people mellow and actors talk to each other. Alot of the success of Big Finish recruiting the big names is other actors telling them what a good gig it is. It's quick, there are no lines to learn and you'll enjoy it.
The early Daleks needed static power to survive. In the second Dalek story when they come to earth they have little dishes on their bases that are supposed to collect the power needed for them to survive.
After that it is quietly forgotten about.
Completely wrong. He is not the same character. It's a re-imagining. He is never referred to in the series at all and it was never intended he would be.
Also there is no movie of the "first 3 episodes". However there are movies of the first 2 Dalek stories.
Re: Tonight's "Adventures in Space and Time"...
"When Hartnell stories run out, they merely need to find a Pat Troughton lookalike, and continue with his stories."
I'd wait a bit if I were you. That batch of missing episodes that were found last month might not be the last you hear of missing episodes being found.......
Re: There's a difference
The original transmission might but there's been a number of re-versionings of it down the years. Even the dodgy copies UK Gold used to transmit had new end credits added and had been mucked about with. I'm not a copyright lawyer so I couldn't tell you at what stage it becomes a new work.
The DVD versions have been fully restored and the copyright remains with 2 Entertain/BBC Worldwide. Tonight BBC4 will be showing a restored version I'd imagine and as such they'll be paying a fee to use that version. That version won't expire for a good 45 years yet!
Series 2 introduces the Daleks
Series 2 introduced the Daleks? You mean the 2nd story of the 1st series!
Also El Reg advocating watching illegal copies on Youtube. You do know it's on BBC4 this very evening?
In the days before radio station playout software was both cheap and reliable, I used Winamp to varying degrees to run the playout for 3 RSL's. The final one in 2002, everything came off of Winamp.
You could run multiple instances and get each instance to play out via a separate sound card. That's not something you can take for granted even today with non professional software. Meant I could route each instance through a separate fader.
I was still using it as my main media player until 2008 when I migrated to the Mac.
Also spoke to a friend this morning who at this very moment is using Winamp to play a test feed on a soon to launch broadcast service. Can't say more but the versatility of Winamp and small footprint made it ideal as a reliable player ahead of the proper pro kit being switched on ahead of launch.
Hope they open source it but somehow doubt that will happen.
Re: A novel proposal
The only phone number I can remember is my own and 0891 50 50 50 due to watching too much late night television in the 1990's.
Nice .co.uk domain you have there. Would be a shame if your rival purchased the .uk version. You'd better stump up then.
Here's a nice (if dated) piece on the Radiophonic Workshop and how Peter Howell created the 1980 version of the theme. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIZIu72Clp4
On the basis of yesterday
On the basis of the mini episode the BBC put online yesterday, Paul McGann. Or at least the best Doctor that we never got to see.
1.3 million views in a day and a half on Youtube + most viewed thing on iPlayer. Oh Paul how we wish we'd had more!
Re: Missing experiences...
I've always assumed the early location scenes of Attack Of The Cybermen were shot on a cold day........
Re: Time Lords as foes?
The Rani is a great character and well portrayed by Kate O'Mara but she always ends up with terrible scripts. Really one of the great wasted characters and opportunities of Doctor Who.
I'd welcome a return with the new writers. Let O'Mara come back and then regenerate her into whoever they want.
Daleks and stairs
The story Dalek did not show how Daleks deal with stairs for the first time. Anoraks would argue it was done in the 1960's comics but on TV it was actually at the end of part 1 of Remembrance of The Daleks in 1988.
Davros is also seen hovering in a story a couple of years earlier but IMO that effect doesn't really work that well.
Can't work out William Rogers. Spends his days complaining about DAB, but his company has been busy acquiring shares in DAB muxes including Surrey, Somerset and Cornwall. Seems to me that he's rather hedging his bets.
I wonder how long BT can stomach bankrolling this. Many others have tried spending big up front to try and buy success but really only Sky succeeded and that was only because Murdoch had really deep pockets and was prepared to play the long game. Think back to OnDigital!
There's a story about the first match shown on OnDigital where it would have been cheaper to chauffeur drive each viewer to the ground and buy their ticket than it cost to cover the match. That's ignoring the cost of the rights!
Re: BTW there was other stuff, too
That was the NODD, or Nexus Orthicon Display Device. The footage generated was treated in the vision mixer live to give it a colour (older readers will recall first of all it was blue on black, then yellow on blue and finally lime green on blue).
The successor to that was called the COW, or Computer Originated World. People sometimes assume that the COW played out from tape but it actually ran from a big metal box and really was proper CGI running live. Impressive for 1985 and probably very expensive.
Re: Trial of a Timelord Opening Shot
The space station model ended up at the Longleat exhibition. Sadly during the 1990's there was a fire and it was badly damaged. I think it still exists but is very damaged/melted.
What's more annoying about that sequence than the stars is that when it was remastered for DVD they omitted some of the audio FX from the tractor beam bit that helped sell the shot.
Doctor Who was instrumental in the use of CSO at the BBC. The production team among the first to embrace it and used it heavily.
Indeed the Who producer was asked to create an in house video to explain the technique to production staff of other shows who might be considering using it. The video used to be on Youtube but alas I can't find it at the moment.
Around the same time the BBC acquired a machine to play back slow motion footage. It did this via a magnetic disc not unlike early computer hard disks, except it recorded analogue video.
The machine was hideously expensive and very fragile. While this new wonder machine was being used on Who, it was discovered that if you gave it a kick it would produce some very interesting electronic effects that were great for making it look like whatever was on the screen was being electrocuted. So they did exactly that, they kicked the machine! Thus the zapping effects on the story Ambassadors Of Death were created.
Re: Ah yes
Don't be daft. He'd be exactly where he is now. The difference being it would have been a gentle decline rather than going over the cliff.
Trial of a Timelord Opening Shot
The opening effects sequence of Trial Of A Timelord are still stunning. First use of a motion control camera for a UK TV series. IIRC. Cost them 20 grand in 1986 money which was a huge amount in terms of the episode budget at the time (don't have 1986 figures, but in 1989 Who was 100 grand per 25 minutes). Inflation allowing it's expensive by the standards of the new series as well.
The 1987 titles were also ahead of other TV shows at the time. Produced on Sun workstations (IIRC) by a company called CAL Video, the producer was able to negotiate a considerable discount in return for an on-screen credit and the ability for CAL to be able to link themselves to some high profile CGI work.
Re: Dear Old Lord Sugar
"He said home computers weren't full of magical chips. So built crap computers using off the shelf parts for his 8-bit range."
Yet he flogged 3 million CPC's and was completely immune from the home computer crash that took down Acorn and Sinclair. In fact he had retailers knocking at his door begging him for more CPC's at that time and he didn't have the inventory. He'd sold his machines and didn't have warehouses full of kit that he couldn't shift with the banks bearing down on him.
Then you start saying the CPC is built using off the shelf parts without actually knowing that it has a custom designed gate array chip in it. Granted Sugar had to be persuaded to go down that route by his designers and that the chip gave Amstrad a lot of grief in development (IIRC the original contractor was Ferrenti who screwed up) but it is in there.
Granted sprite handling facilities would be nice but Sugar saw what was going on in the market with rivals failing left right and centre. He got a machine into the market on time, sold 3 million units (at a considerably better profit than his rivals thanks to the bundled monitor), made money didn't and destroy his company in the process unlike many of his competitors.
Re: Dear Old Lord Sugar
Indeed, Amstrad did stock 'em high and sell 'em cheap. But the name often is associated with cheap crap, which isn't always fair.
The earlier computer ranges (the CPC and PCW) were well specced and well built because Sugar was very conscious of the poor reliability of his rivals, specifically Sinclair (the Scottish manufactured Spectrums had a absurdly high return rate which contributed to Sinclairs problems). I have a news item somewhere in a New Computer Express which surveyed computer dealers and found the CPC had by far the lowest return/repair rates in the first year of use than the ST, Amiga, Spectrum or C64. There was a slight irony in the fact the Amstrad manufactured Spectrums were still one of the worst!
There's instances of journalists using their PCW's on a daily basis for 20 years + (can't find the article now but there was a Guardian journo who only gave up their PCW a couple of years back).
So credit where credit is due. Of course most of the rest of their kit was cheap crap. Remember the camcorder without a zoom?
Sugar did not form Viglen
Article claims Sugar formed Viglen in 1975, he didn't.
Sugar got control of Viglen in the mid 90's after it became apparent that Amstrads brand name had been badly damaged by the whole Seagate hard disk fiasco. They lost a whole load of market share and Sugar decided it was probably easier for Amstrad to leave the PC market and him buy up an existing company instead.
So around the time the Sid James lookalike got control of Viglen, Amstrad got out of the PC market.
Years later Sugar was vindicated with a huge payout from Seagate. But before that whole mess Amstrad was the market leader in Europe for IBM PC clones so the compensation, no matter how large, was scant compensation.
Re: I don't think it's just a Dr Who thing
Ocean used to do a nice line in film tie in's back in the day. Batman The Movie, The Untouchables and The Blues Brothers being particulaly good even if they did all follow the same platform based gameplay.
And their Robocop game topped the software charts for something absurd like 18 months! A huge selling game they got for peanuts as the movie hadn't been a hit.
Destiny Of The Doctors
Destiny Of The Doctors was a TERRIBLE game. The only good thing about it was the video sequences starring Anthony Ainley as the Master. The game itself was woeful and was coded by idiots.
On the hardware of the day it ran terribly. Ended up getting a refund as it was basically unplayable and crashed a lot on hardware that ran Quake perfectly well.
As for Dalek Attack, Your Sinclair put it perfectly when they described it as a game where "the Doctor shoots people with his famous laser gun". Just a generic platformer with Doctor Who bolted on and five quid added to the price.
Poor Bonnie. Very talented lady who was given nothing at all to work with. Blame the writers, blame the producer, blame the script editor, but don't blame Bonnie.
When your character outline is just a couple of sentences and you were hired on a producers whim against the wishes of the script editor, you try and make something of that character.
McCoy was unfortunate as he was drafted in at a late stage and had to work with reworked Colin Baker scripts. Sadly many people judge him by his diabolically awful first story rather than the superb stuff he was turning out towards the end. Everything about Time And The Rani is awful but by the time you get to Fenric, Ghostlight etc he's putting in good performances and it all feels far more settled.
JNT was not trying to kill off the show. In fact at times it was a miracle he kept it running at all against bosses who absolutely loathed it and literally wished him dead. People are often quick to point out his duff decisions but he also made decisions that are with the modern show today.
There's a superb book on JNT that came out a few months ago called The Life And Scandalous Times Of John Nathan Turner. It's certainly the best book on Doctor Who I have ever read due do the sheer breadth of sources it quotes, how deeply it delves and how it tracks JNT's career from being one of the youngest producers at the BBC to his tragic demise. There's also some wonderful input from Russell T Davies who manages to put into context just how appallingly the BBC management treated both JNT and the show
Honestly, get it.
The vast majority of the studio sequences in Inferno were directed, uncredited, by producer Barry Letts as Camfield had been hospitalised by a heart complaint. Camfield was so upset by this and worried about his prospects of working again if it got out that he had a heart condition that Letts swore not to tell his BBC bosses and directed the remainder of the serial uncredited.
Camfield did return to Doctor Who to direct a Tom Baker story, but afterwards his wife made him swear on the alter of Ely Cathedral that he would never do another Doctor Who as she was scared it would kill him!.
Incidentally Graeme Harper could be said to be a progeny of Camfield and they certainly share same directorial flair and energy.
Re: I've visited the BOSS!
"I did visit them here before they were demolished and moved to Abertillery!"
Did you dress up as a milkman or cleaning lady to gain entry?
The Green Death has a lovely cliffhanger to one of the episodes:
"You disappoint me, Doctor. I should have thought you'd have guessed. I am the BOSS. I'm all around you. Exactly. I am the computer."
A few years ago Mark Gatiss wrote and starred in this for the DVD release.
Great to see so many of the cast involved.
Things Creative Cloud can do that CS6 cannot
Things Creative Cloud can do that CS6 cannot:
1- Have your password stolen by hackers
2 - Lock you out of your software with no notice because although you updated Adobe with your new credit card details, they decided to continue to use the expired card instead. You are on site over a thousand miles from home working on a live shoot with a fast turnaround which makes reactivating the account "tricky". FCP-X saves the day. (this is what happened to a friend of mine)
Third party batteries are a whole minefield in themselves. You go to all the effort of replacing the battery in a device like a Tom Tom and find the device dies again within 3 months as he seemingly good quality battery is a dud. You hadn't even cheaped out and gone for the 5 quid Ebay battery, but got the expensive battery from a seemingly legit supplier.
Applecare is a damned if you do, damned if you don't affair really. This time I took it out precisely because of the sealed in battery issue. My old Pro used to guzzle a battery every 60 cycles Apple were not interested in despite those batteries being supposed to be good for hundreds of cycles. Was told by a friend with a similar problem that Applecare bent over backwards to help him.
So you end up paying extra to get the warranty service you'd hope for by default.
There's actually a dirty little secret about the US TV movie. Back at the time a US based writer told me a couple of weeks before it aired that it wouldn't never go to a series.
Fox, the US network who were funding it had 1 slot to fill. They could buy in Doctor Who from Universal (who made it) or make their own sci-fi series called Sliders. Fox bosses preferred the Sliders options as although it would have a higher initial cost, they would own the show and could recoup the costs from overseas sales, VHS etc. With Who the BBC and Universal would be creaming off all the cash with Fox just buying in a rather expensive show with no hope of a return.
So despite all the obvious flaws with the US pilot and the low ratings, it would never have made a series anyway. Doomed before it even aired.
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