That Classic game of…Blodia?

25 February, 2008

When I bought my new 24 inch iMac, I transferred across all the files from the old iMac, including the game Diablo 2: Lord of Darkness.
However, upon starting up the game, something didn’t quite look right…



Will Wright Talks About “Spore” at SXSW

15 March, 2007

Will Wright, creator of  the Sims and SimCity series, and the man behind the upcoming game “Spore”, which promises to simulate the development of species through open-ended user-guided evolution, has spoken at SXSW (the interactive, film and music festival and conference in Texas, USA). The folks over at Wonderland have transcribed much of what he said, and it makes me really, really want this game.

When it comes out, I may even have to buy a new Mac, install Windoze on it, and then buy the Windoze version of the game, just so I don’t have to wait the 3 months to 9 nine years we normally have to wait.

Of course, it’s all ridiculously ambitious, and won’t be nearly as good as it is in the imagination, but this bloke has always pushed the boundaries of games. Without things like this, we’d be stuck with ever-increasingly realistic first person shooters (and yet in none of them will you be able to look down and see your own feet…)

Book Buying on the Cheap

11 January, 2007

I can’t remember the last book that I purchased for full price from a local bookstore. And at $24 for a paperback, or $35 plus for the annoyingly larger trade paperback size, it’s no surprise. So , when Dymocks has a sale, I’m there with bells on.

So, I picked up these the other day for $10 each (all in trade paperback size, sigh):


Judas Unchained by Peter Hamilton.

It’s the second in his series, started by Pandora’s Star, of which I’m working my way through at the moment, and enjoying. But, damn, they’re long books.


Looking for Jake and Other Stories by China Mieville.

The oddly named bloke from London has put out a collection of short stories. I’ve read the title story, and it’s a nice elegy of loss in a weirdly de-populating London. So classicly Mieville that it’s almost asking to be parodied, though. A concordance of Mieville’s works would probably consist entirely of words like: dark, soot, gibbering, wretched, soot, trash, lurking, smoke, grey…


The Etched City by K.J. Bishop

From Publishers Weekly:
Combine equal parts of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station, throw in a dash of Aubrey Beardsley and J.K. Huysmans, and you’ll get some idea of this disturbing, decadent first novel from Australian author Bishop.  

 Similar quotes on the book’s praise pages inspired me to try this one out, and yes, I did judge it from its pleasantly dark and gothic cover.

OK, it’s fantasy, but at least it’s darker, more “realistic” fantasy, and a random reading of a couple of pages suggested that the writing was not your normal fantasy-styled adverbial overload (Prince Goober scowled darkly; the unlikely band of misfits rode uncomfortably; the fairy laughed airily, while the dark lord growls menacingly), or ridiculously named orphan boys who are unknowing royalty/wizards/gimps saving the woman/world/universe after some turgid, three-book-long  trek over an unlikely map that you have to keep referring to if you want any idea of what the hell is going on.

It was dark, it was readable, and the bit I read contained a threat of sewing up a religious nut inside the belly of a dead mammoth. That sold me.


20 December, 2006

Last week we went out for our Christmas work party to the very good Cobar bar and restaurant. The week preceding had been a series of piratically-themed challenges (walking the plank, finding pieces of a treasure map, calling female work collegues “buxom wenches” and so on), culminating in a frenzied dig on a beach searching for boxes of treasure (that’s real treasure: hundreds of dollars worth of vouchers, booze tokens, and er..beads). ‘Twas most humorous when one team couldn’t find their box, and neither could anyone else, including the organisers who buried it, resulting in a fairly large square meterage of sand being excavated with ridiculous toy spades.

The whole week was called Pirates of the Cobarrean. (Get it?)

We got dressed up on the actual day of the party. Now, some people can carry off a pirate costume with a certain panache, such as random models from the internet:


Slightly alcoholically befuddled workmates who insist on wearing patches on both eyes – now that’s a different story…


Free Mac App Every Day in December

7 December, 2006

Every day during December, the MacAppaDay site is offering an item of Mac software that’s normally non-free, for free. Go along, join up, and download. The only catches are:

  • There are only 5000 copies of each item of software, and they do run out
  • Most of the software will not be free to upgrade in the future, unlike if you had actually purchased the software.

Those aside, so far the software has been useful or at least interesting: Shoebox (a photo organising app that you use in conjunction with or instead of iPhoto); YummyFTP (a very fully featured FTP client); ShadowClipBoard (a nice multiple clipboard utility), Cookie Assassin (for a tidy way to manage your browser cookies),  and a couple of others that I can’t seem to recall right now. I started slow and missed out on the first couple of days, but have been grabbing them since. Even if you don’t need it now, why not get a free piece of decent software? 

Each day’s new item conveniently goes up at about 9pm, so get going!

Who Polices the Police?

25 September, 2006

Who polices the police? – The police police.

So, who polices the police police?

Police police police police police police.

(Yay for Wikipedia)

Solution to the Frog Jump Problem.

5 September, 2006


It appears some people need a helping hand with getting the Frustrating Frogs from one set of stones to the other.

It’s an interesting test of how well people can think ahead – I know that from watching people try it here at work, that they keep doing the same thing over and over again and getting the frogs stuck.

So here’s a way to do it.

Assume  the stones are numbered 1 to 6 from left to right. Click on each one in the following order:

Stone 5

Stone 3

Stone 2

Stone 4

Stone 6

 Stone 7

Stone 5

Stone 3

Stone 1

Stone 2

Stone 4

Stone 6

Stone 5

Stone 3

Stone 4 

Not so hard, neh?