100 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007
(n.b. by scientist, I mean one who actually uses science to solve a problem, not someone who is called a scientist and then punches their way to victory).
Or runs off to write a GUI in Visual Basic to track an IP...
Got the Sapphire and Steel DVDs. Still creepy.
My brother got a Big Trak for Christmas once, along with the trailer and we all played with it constantly. But it didn't freak the dog out like the one on the advert.
Ditto with the Atari VCS. PacMan was a massive favourite and we would work in shifts trying to get the score counter to rollover. The ghosts always moved in the same way if you moved PacMan along the same route all the time. A local video shop used to rent out cartridges and we would get The Empire Strikes Back to play on it, which was a remarkably good game.
My favourite ever Chrimble present was an Aiwa personal stereo, a beautiful brushed aluminium device that I carried everywhere. I'd begged for one after listening to my Hooked on Classics tape on an uncle's original Sony Walkman.
I agree with another poster who said that kids probably don't get the same rush of excitement that we olds did in the 70s and 80s. I think it was truly a Golden Age for interesting and engaging toys and gadgets. Thanks for the memories, Reg!
I saw an Horizon documentary about phages a good number of years ago (when antibiotic resistance wasn't even being talked about in the meeja), which showed a bunch of Russian boffins scooping water out of sewerage plants. Can't believe that the West is only just coming round to looking at this. It'll be interesting to see how this research progresses.
(Except that the Daily Mail won't have any Superbug of Death stories to 'report' on)
Quite like it
It's an okay update. The flatter icons are growing on me (make third party icons look a bit messy and silly now) and I like the new Control Centre, something I've been envious of my Android-weilding chums for some time. But I have noticed that the up-down slide of Notification and Control Centres can be a bit hit and miss.
I do like having multiple pages for apps in folders but, like a previous poster commented on, only having a 3x3 grid of icons on each page is a bit pointless, especially on the iPad.
One thing I'm not keen on is that the Photos app no longer displays photos in full screen, unless I'm missing something obvious. The Collections idea of organising photos is probably useful but not something I see myself using.
Overall, it's a decent upgrade for my three year old iPhone 4 and I see no reason for switching for Android (won't touch Microsoft) just yet. But a bigger screen iPhone would be nice...
Upgrade took ages to download but that's only because I live in the sticks and my broadband is delivered by arthritic donkeys. Otherwise no installation problems.
Great review, though slightly depressing to know that Myst is now 20 years old!
I remember playing Myst on a Mac LC475 in 93-94. Preferring sometimes to escape the real world, Myst was perfect and totally immersive to me. I remember trying to plot the underground railway on the Selenitic Age because I didn't realise that the sounds made by the rail car related to another Age and so I wandered around for hours, totally lost, trying to find the end. Myst succeeded in making you work for your eureka moments, pushing you to make apparently unrelated connections to complete a section of the game.
Riven I absolutely loved and spent about six months playing nothing else. I even took to long drives to figure out a problem whenever I got stuck. Like many players I also took to noting down puzzle solutions in a little book. I think it was the genius of the games that made you feel like you were an explorer.
The following sequels, whilst great to play and beautiful to look at, didn't really engage me as much as the originals, probably because I felt the puzzles to be too convoluted and obscure when compared to Myst and Riven.
Purchasing both titles for my iPad was a no-brainer, but would love to play them again on a desktop. I heard somewhere that the original source files for Riven were lost and so a higher res version cannot be re-rendered for today's PCs?
Great article, which, on a Monday morning has made me go all misty-eyed as I think back to wet early morning paper-rounds and various personal stereos: a Toshiba, with the the FF and RW buttons over the tape spools, and then a gorgeous aluminium Aiwa that was not much bigger than the cassette itself.
My first 'home' recorder was an Hitachi mono thing I got for Christmas in 1983 (along with Sky's Cadmium, the first proper album I ever owned). Being a withdrawn teenager, I used to put 'comedy' tapes of and my mates together but to make it sound even 'funnier', I used to let the batteries drain first so the tape would run slower. Playback at normal speed later meant that my voice was speeded up, thus adding the to the comedy gold!
The only problem I ever had was with cheaply manufactured tapes that the Hitachi would eat from time to time (some of the longer albums had to be put on to thinner tape) and would have me trying to tease the tape out of the mechanism. Sellotape worked wonders for sticking tape back together if it ever broke.
I think only this can sum this story up...
Whatever did we do before social networking?
Got out of support a long time ago
So I do feel for tech support guys and, if I ever have a problem, I try to be nice to be nice.
I'm in design and development now but share an office with our IT manager (it's only a small company and so he's the one and only IT guy). However, because I use computers for more than just banging in numbers and printing stuff out, I'm also expected to answer IT problems whenever I pick up our IT guy's phone and know instantly what the problem is. As I'm not really qualified to answer IT-related support questions I generally just ask them to call back, and usually get a bit of attitude in response.
Best internal support call I got was "Is there a problem with the network? My keyboard has stopped working!" She had kicked it out the back of the PC. Yes flower, we plug all keyboards into the company server now...
Does the course that the rozzers undertake teach them how to write a GUI in Visual Basic to track the tea-leafs' IP?
To paraphrase Marcus Brigstocke...
Put on a Pink Floyd record and chill the fuck out
Pretty much agree with the whole list, except Hungry Horace, which I never played: I was put off my Horace Goes Skiing.
Elite was by far the best game of the 80s. I used to play it on a mate's BBC Model B with another chum, a Spectrum owner. Because of the frankly weird placement of the Break key on the Beeb, and because we had to wait half an hour for Elite to load from tape, we had the rule that if you accidentally pressed it during your allotted hour of play, you forfeited your go, no exceptions. Said friend then got a 5.25 floppy drive to load it from, unbelievably fast load times!
And yes, nearly 30 years later I'm playing Oolite!
Used to play Jet Set Willy a lot on the other friend's Spectrum. I had a Vic-20 and so was stuck with Perils of Willy. Had Jelly Monsters and a bunch of text adventures on cartridge, including Pirates' Cove, which was ace!
Of course, there are many games not on the list. Others that stand out for me were Sentinel, Sabre Wulf, Imogen, Repton 3. Of the latter, I designed and tested a whole load of levels on graph paper before begging my mate to lend me his Beeb so that I could code them.
Thanks for the great memories Reg and fellow posters!
Re: Hoping for a bit more romance in the series
Only as long as the theme for the reception isn't Red...
Re: The best
I bought the Lord of the Rings Blu Ray set a while before buying an actual player! Only a bog standard Panasonic 80 quidder. The GoT discs do look amazing though: the prologue scene of episode one in the snow looks absolutely gorgeous.
Totally agree. I expected so much more from Danny Boyle and was pretty much bored for most of it. I'm trying to rack my brains now to remember the plot (apart from spaceship going to try and stop the sun going out) but can't...
Re: Overpriced gadget from a corrupt company
I see what you did there! I was going to suggest that you take your meds until I read the last paragraph!
Don't ownan iPad (though I am a 'fanboi'), but I'll probably be going for the 3 a couple of months down the line...
I wonder if this result will be splashed across the news broadcasts as much as the initial result was? I doubt it will even get a "and finally..." mention, leaving the masses believing that Einstein was wrong, science is wrong and that we should all believe in the religionist claptrap that the anti-science establishment have been vomiting all along...
I've been a Mac user since 1990, having gone through an SE, and LC475, G3, G4 and now Mac Pro and MacBook Pro. I've always found that though Macs are inherently expensive, their shelf life is much longer and they keep their value well. My current rev1 Mac Pro is now edging into 'over the hill' territory when I discovered last week that the original X1900 graphics card won't run Portal 2 (any recommendations for a new card that is compatible with this model?) and the original SuperDrive is becoming very flaky. Still, throwing more memory at it and plugging in bigger disks (2x 2Tb, 1x1Tb, 1x500Gb Western Digitals) continues to keep this a relevant machine for me, even if I would like a new 12-core behemoth.
In that time, friends and colleagues have gone through various incarnations of cheaper machines - laptops and desktops - and upgraded at least a couple of times due to hardware failures and Windows support.
Similarly, I have managed to turn other people on to Macs over the years and their satisfaction levels have remained consistently high.
Yes, Apple kit is expensive. Yes, you can get similar specs for less cash but overall Macs last longer, hold their value and generally support the latest OSs and applications. Running VMWare on my Mac Pro also means that I can run work stuff if I need to.
My only regret, being an Apple user, is that I didn't buy APPL stock in the 90s...
I'll wait for 2015 when the Mr Fusion comes out...
To paraphrase Chief Wiggum
What IS the fascination with my forbidden closet of mystery??
Great little game
I never really played this in the arcades (much preferred to throw my hard-earned 10ps into Bubble Bobble) but discovered it many years later on MacMAME and had a strange several month addiction to it. Not played it for years though but I think I might dig it out again. Classic game!
Actually, you're right; I meant Eccleston in the "reimagining". As for the old school, I'm a little bit too young for Hartnell. I vaguely remember Jon Pertwee but Tom Baker was my Dr of choice, with some genuinely scary episodes. Was it "The Ark" where victims got absorbed by some weird alien blob (presumably the picture in the main article)? Scared the crap out of me did that...
I'm not a fan. I kinda stopped watching after the excellent Blink and Empty Child episodes. I found the Rose Tyler / Dave Tennant running around the universe giggling like a couple of ADHD kids on a Red Bull trip annoying after a while. Unfortunately though, I'm vilified by my fellow geeks for not watching it, as not liking it makes me 'un-British'. Even more so for not considering the "edgier" spin-off Torchwood, the biggest pile of unwatchable shite I've ever witnessed. Yes John, we get it, you're gay.
So I ditched Dr Who for the far more interesting American sci-fi: Battlestar Galactica, V, and Flash Forward. Better production, better acted. We Brits can do ace drama; I just don't think think we're that brilliant at sci-fi. Dr Who started off so well with Chris Eccleston (though I generally watch anything he's in) but then just descended into kitsch.
No problems for me
And I kicked the download off at about 6pm. Download was slow but that's because I live in the sticks. Complete upgrade and restoration took about three hours in total. The only thing that went wrong was that I lost all my application groups and had to reorganise my application icons, but not really an issue.
Not had much chance to play with the new OS but it seems a little zippier on the iPhone 4.
So you think people using an iPhone are illiterate? Read your own post and then maybe get that bullet hole in your foot looked at.
Yes, I am an iPhone user but know the difference between "there" and "their", "its" and "it's", and know exactely [sic] how to spell "exactly".
You're assuming that someone actually cares...
Well done sir!
Fondleslab is a great term for tablets, but your French translation "slabettes de fondlage" had me soiling my keyboard. Kudos!
"If religious people actually believed what they said they believed then anyone saying anything against their religion would be laughed at and mocked rather than attacked."
Very good point. Religion is the only thing that automatically assumes immunity from any kind of criticism or analysis, obviously because their 'arguments' are so easy to refute. I'm sick and tired of a secular society having to tippy-toe around these godbotherers, for fear of saying or doing something that they deem "offensive".
Kudos to Phones4U for running this though. However, I think that using religion to sell anything would, as an atheist, put me off. Shouldn't we Free Thinkers be more offended?
Or perhaps the opportunity to make a new Sky 1 show entitled "Guilty or Not Guilty" - if you think the defendent is guilty, press Red now!
I would have thought that this would damage the right to a fair trial, the cornerstone of the English legal system? And aren't journos already allowed to report on court proceedings, within strict parameters?
"Ofcom's decision treads awfully carefully though the rights of the religious..."
This is what pisses me off about any form of religion: that it considers itself immune from any kind of criticism, selling tat to the gullible and vulnerable in the name of 'faith'. Had a mainstream non-religious channel made such claims, I suspect Ofcom would not have tread quite so awfully carefully.
And yet we have to 'play nice' to this section of society that believes in magic sky fairies and tells people that they're going to hell if they don't talk to him/her/it every night.
I'll stop now. Once I get on to religion I tend to just ramble and rant inanely. Mine's the one with the God Delusion and Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy in the pocket...
More new words needed
Being Blackadder / Simpsons / etc. fans in our office, us lads are trying to get the words "embiggen", "cromulant", "contrafribularities" and "interfrastically" into the common tongue. Though no-one we know outside these walls know what we mean however.
Nice to see that The Reg uses "embiggen" now and again though!
Come to think of it, "nerdgasm" would be a good one too...
But I wanted to check out my Blu Ray player that evening and I'd only made the decision a couple of hours earlier to buy one! I agree that a tenner is probably a tad on the steep side but I'm fairly new to the world of digital videogramme equipment...
A company selling stuff with a mark-up? Surely not!
I bought myself a Blu Ray player a couple of weeks ago from a "high street electrical store" and was asked if I wanted a HDMI cable because one wasn't supplied in the box. A gold plated cable from them cost £30 but it came supplied with a little bottle of screen cleaner.
Similar HDMI cable from Tesco: a tenner.
I hate to break it to you Apple deniers but companies do this a lot. Kinda page one of "Economics, How to Make a Profit". And, like many others have said, this is a bargain if installation is allowed on a fresh disk, without Snow Leopard being on there first...
Received mine this morning. Found on Amazon.co.uk for £42, so snapped it up. Now all I need is a Blu Ray player! Was going to wait until next month but I think a trip to Comet/Amazon/Richer Sounds is in order some time later...
I thought the whole point of the the Flying Spaghetti Monster was to highlight the inherent ridiculousness of organised religion and blind faith in a magic sky zombie? Becoming a recognised religion pretty much legitimizes the concepts they were rallying against. Or are they being "ironic"?
Could someone enlighten me?
Is it just me
or does it seem to be the case that the more expensive something is, the tackier it is? This looks shite.
You have a fungus desk?? Sweet.
But I suspect that the inevitable Daily Mail / Express article will be even funnier. Though in entirely a different way.
Is the whole "May I be the first to welcome our toadstooloid overlords" meme still de rigueur?
Got my iPhone 4 last year, with a 24 month contract and was considering flogging it to Mazuma / Envirophone / etc. to get the latest slidy aluminiumness! Then I realised that I really was an Apple whote and thought it best to wait until next year!
Crossing fingers for a big screen though. Buddy of mine has a HTC somethingorother with a bigger screen that the iPhone and it looks awesome!
I don't know why Branson comes in for so much flak when, as you say, he is investing his own money to push the boundaries of technology and engineering forward. We need to get out of this "we're shit" attitude in this country and support our innovators and visionaries, instead of bitching about them. But I guess hoi poloi are only interested in (insert name of vacuous z-list celeb here) and every minutae of their pointless lives...
Read Branson's biography. It's ace!
Hopefully, this is a good thing
I am of the opinion that there is room in the world for both Android and iOS. Friends of mine use Android and I'm an iOS man. I know little about the former (because I've never used it) but word on the street is that the next major release of Android is going to be a biggie and I really hope that Apple take note and come back with something as good, if not better, which can only be good for both companies.
I feel that the current iOS is looking a bit dated and so hopefully v5 will be something pretty special.
Raw British cynicism at its best! Someone calls to say you've won a prize; we immediately assume that it's a con. Makes me proud to be English! Had the winner been over the Pond in the Colonies you wouldn't have been able to do anything for all the high-fiving...
Stiff upper lip icon??
If there was a Razzie for most hyped but failed to deliver movie of the year then Cameron's Avatar should win it. And I paid for a ticket; worst £10 I ever spent...
Good movie then?
Going to see it with my geek chums after Chrimble and the only evening showings are in 3D. I must have weird eyes because 3D doesn't work on me and only succeeded in giving me a headache. Disovered that after going to see Avatar, which was a decidedly medicore film...
Beginning of the end
If they manage to manufacture this device as a sex aid for the ladies, that's us men fucked. And not in the good way...
Thanks for a very good read. I like my scf-fi but hate anything Star Trek for exactly the reasons outlined here. There seems to be this smugness amongst the characters that they know they are much cleverer than the viewer and spout all kinds of technobullshit that the Fanbois take as literal. A friend of mine, a big fan, heard that when Stephen Hawking was given a tour of the set he was heard to say "yes, I'm working on that!" when he saw the Warp Drive. He seems to think that Star Trek 'invented' many of the things we use today, communicators became mobile phones, etc.
This is why I'm a BSG. The technology isn't stuffed in your face and so the story can concentrate on real character development. Characters have weaknesses and faults set against the wider arena of political machinations. I'm a fan of Babylon 5 for the same reasons, which, whilst a bit cheesy in parts, does have some incredible dialog. I want dialog, I don't want a show with a load of bollocks about how a hypermegaplasmeriser works or seeing the characters dicking around in a hologram suite...
Thank you Reg!
For giving two fantastic phrases that I will endeavour to weave into every day conversation: Boffin Botherer and "leaky as a Swiss cheese rowing boat".
Who remembers the halcyon days when the interwebs only appealed to us geeks? When there were probably only about four sites in existence, you could have a proper conversation in a chatroom and none of this Web 2.0 malarky? Who's great idea was it to open it up to easily led Great Unwashed??
The BBC nicking someone's idea and passing it off as their own? Never!
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