Remakes and comebacks are always in vogue, but unfortunately they almost always disappoint. Whether it’s that a brand new take on an idea just doesn’t quite work as well, or whether it’s an original team getting back together after a decade or more apart and the spark has gone, too often there just seems to be something wrong or missing. I suggest that this tendency should be called ‘George Lucas Syndrome’, in homage of he who epitomised how far you can fall from the heady heights of bygone triumphs.

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My office has finally been christened as a legitimate workplace - I now have a photocopier 😀 Well, of sorts - it’s actually one of those All-in-one devices, which I finally decided to buy because I was fed up of laboriously scanning multi-page contracts / licenses on a flatbed. I went with a HP Officejet J6410 - it was cheap, got some very good reviews, and I’ve generally been happy with other HPs over the years.

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Laptops are great, of course, whether you’re travelling or just enjoying the flexibility of having a PC wherever you want in the house at any one time, instead of closeted in a fixed location. But if there’s one dimension in which they suck (barring upgradability - but then modern laptops are pretty nippy these days), it’s ergonomics. Laptops are excluded from the design standards that regular PCs have to adhere to, simply because it’s hard for them to comply within the form factor we expect.

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I hate DST (or as we call it, British Summer Time). What a daft idea - let’s make our population endure 2 1-hour ‘jetlag’ incidents every year, complicating scheduling between time zones and screwing with people’s sleeping patterns - I saw a bunch of friends last night and at least 50% of us were tired (and undoubtedly were sub-optimal workers that day) because we’d been forced to get up an hour earlier than we were used to - something that seems pretty common and does have a cost.

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Cool, another relatively unknown (in the US anyway) British band is getting their start in Rock Band next week; Glasvegas with their track Geraldine. It’s a really good song, so great that it’s in there. Should I be ashamed that I’m glad Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” is in there too? Probably. And… Spongebob. Yeah, that Spongebob, it’s not some quirky ironic punk band or something. Bizarre - one for the kids though I guess 😀

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Deck13 are one of the longest-running commercial users of Ogre in the game industry, having completed 3 full retail games using it now. They have 2 more in the works, and one is Venetica, an action-RPG; and it’s looking really nice. I uploaded a bunch of screenshots to our gallery recently which were passed on to me direct, but they have more on their website too, like the one shown here.

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Like many of my friends in the UK, I’m a Pandora-mourner. The great thing about Pandora was the great range of music, the unobtrusiveness of the client, and the robustness of the stream - all issues that Last.fm significantly under-delivers on in comparison. Not only is Last.fm’s interface not as pleasant, any time I’d stress my machine (such as hitting all the cores at once with a major batch build), I’d get streaming hiccups.

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DNS hosting is one of those awkward things - it’s absolutely essential to anyone who controls those little textual brands we call ‘domains’, but it’s an invisible service which you don’t appreciate much on a day-to-day basis. The chances are not good that any user of the internet, after a session of heavy web browsing, will say “Wow, DNS was awesome today”. I’ve used a few approaches to DNS over the years - in the early days when I was naïve, I used the built-in DNS of my web host; which I learned the hard way was a serious mistake, since switching away from a crappy web host is made more difficult when they hold the reigns for routing your domain too.

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In the past, I’ve made no bones here about the fact that I consider proprietary console platforms to be a sub-optimal content delivery platform for games. I understand why they’ve got to this stage (desire to seed the market with advanced, standardised tech at less than cost price, requiring lock-in to recoup later), but that doesn’t make them a desirable end-game. Closed systems are by nature market distorting, and can hamper innovation, because when only a chosen group of ‘authorised’ developers have access to deploy on it, you’re not maximising the amount of content innovation available.

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This is cool - last weekend OGRE was one of the technologies behind an interactive public event called Animation Decathlon, inspired by London 2012, which involved kids in London playing a kind of version of Track and Field via Arduino-controlled custom ‘thumping pads’ 😀The images were projected onto the side of Kensington and Chelsea town hall, and the BBC has a page about it. If you think the characters look like they were drawn by children, that’s because they were 😀The characters in the game were drawn by kids from the borough and animated by the creators, Quadratura.

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