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.

Read more →

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.

Read more →

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 😀

Read more →

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.

Read more →

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.

Read more →

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.

Read more →

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.

Read more →

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.

Read more →

Spoonman

Feel the rhythm with your hands (Steal the rhythm while you can) Spoonman Speak the rhythm on your own (Speak the rhythm all alone) Spoonman Argh. I love this song, but it’s been playing in my head for 48 hours now. Even playing it in Rock Band last night didn’t purge it, which sometimes works; the drum track is a lot of fun - not that difficult, but very satisfying to play; you gotta love drum solos.

Read more →

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I didn’t like GTA IV very much. I know, I’m about a year late with that verdict, but that’s because I was unsure about it for a while and other games took preference - I ended up getting it for XMas after having it sloshing around in my ‘maybe’ list for a while by a friend who really liked it.

Read more →