Thursday, December 29

Santa arrived late last night..

Well it's been a few days filled with Xmas cheer, hence why there have been sod all updates around here, but you don't want me drunk in charge of a blog entry, believe me..

First up, I have a PSP!! And I tell you it's a sexy bit of kit.. the games are excellent, the video playback is awesome (my 1Gb memory stick duo is currently hosting the Doctor Who Christmas Special - which was fabby too) and having it being able to browse the internet too just makes it the most fantastic thing ever. Now if I could only stop being snotted on the football game, it'd be totally excellent (losing 2 - 1 to Sweden was particularly embarrassing). If you too have one of these fabulous gadgets, check out Feed Your PSP - this is an online magazine for the PSP with loads of articles on TV, Sport and Music with downloadable content right to your fabby Sony gadget.

Oh hang on did I mention football..? Was at Goodison park last night (shit ground) watching the mighty reds add more misery to the poor blue half of Merseyside.. have such a sore throat this morning after two hours of constant singing (well we had to try and give the place some atmosphere - the bitter bluenoses sat there in silence!).

Friday, December 23

Bah Humbug!

Well here I am, still in work on the last working day of the year.. there are currently three people in the office (shortly to be two as one of us has half a day off - the lucky git) and it looks like the majority of the people here are going to be doing the full day.


It used to be companies smiled sweetly at their employees when it came to the last day of the year, and said "Oh what the hell, let's call it a half day and have a quick festive pint before Christmas arrives"

but it would now appear that times have changed, that we are to be chained to our desks for every last working second of the year. I tell you, the Ghost of Christmas Past and his pals are going to have their work cut out this evening.

"Bah, Humbug"

Come back, Charles Dickens, the workforce of Great Britain needs you..

...Any way Merry Xmas and all that - back to .NET for me..

Thursday, December 22

Alter Ego

Remember the time before FPS?
Remember when you didn't need to check the specifications on the back of the box to determine if the state-of-the-art PC you bought last week wasn't now too obsolete to play the latest releases?
Remember the time when games didn't come on DVDs, nor even CDs or floppy disks but on cassette?
If you can answer "yes" to all of the above, then you probably used to own (or at least have access to) one of the 8-bit home computers and enjoyed the "Golden Age" of gaming - the time when games were written in bedrooms, not in Software Development departments and titles could be purchased for a mere £1.99 from your local newsagent (Mastertronic - joy!).

They were good days weren't they?
Well despite the fact that the Sony PSP is now breathing life into these old classics (for example System 3, makers of the acclaimed Last Ninja title which 1 in 4 Commodore 64 owners bought (and the rest of us copied onto a TDK C90), are bringing back classics like Last Ninja, Summer Games, etc tarting up the graphics and releasing them for this portable uber-gadget), you don't need the latest gadgets to revisit some of your fave 8-bit games. They're all there .. on t'tinternet.
Do you need to load emulators?
Not at all some of them are just there for playing in your browser.
That's fabulous that is..
Take, for example, a truly unique Activision title - Alter Ego - you can play that in your browser of choice (hopefully that browser is Avant Browser as IE sucks) and what a unique game it is!!
You can also play Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy!
So, it's Christmas and you're stuck in work, fire up your browser, click the links and rather than the corporate slog in the festive time, relive the time when games were fun and you didn't need a £300 lump of ugly plastic stuck next you your telly just to play them!
Happy Days

Tuesday, December 20

Well... d'uh!!!

So telly is finally getting a bit festive, you can already see the endless "Top 100" lists that are always, always presented by Jimmy Carr, you can see the Christmas Specials (where the set designer will throw up a few bits of tinsel and the person in charge of wardrobe will make sure everyone is wearing coats, scarves and wooly pullovers) and you can see Eastenders is getting more depressing..

However telly at this time of year can also become the dumbest examples of programming ever.. Take last night's Channel 4 documentary show Dispatches which offered to lift the lid on "What's really in your Christmas dinner?".

I expected some shock revelations in this, but an hour of serious documentary making exposed the following facts:

1) If you undercook the turkey you're at risk of Salmonella - gasp

2) That quite a lot of the food we eat over Christmas is fatty and not good for you - a stunned silence there then

3) That a £50 a kilo piece of salmon tastes better than a Supermarket bought salmon costing £4 a kilo - I almost shat myself at the power of this revelation, I tell thee

4) Sprouts are good for you - by this point I was a gibbering wreck at such scandalous truths being exposed before my eyes on British Television

The bint presenting this then proceded to chuck all the turkey, mince pies, etc in the bin.. What a dumbass.

Of course Christmas is bad for us, that's why we only do it once a year and why most of January is spent detoxing and complaining about how much we ate/drunk and how long its going to take to shed the pounds we gained during the Festive excess.

That's the whole fucking point.

These days it seems you're more likely to get serious hard-hitting journalism on CBeebies than prime time Channel 4. I wish I was surprised, but I'm not..

Monday, December 19

'Twas the week before Christmas

And I'm still in work.. others have started to take their Christmas holidays and there are no impending deadlines in the offing and so I'm facing a tedious week to say the least.

It's a while since I flexed the ol' Blog muscles, so much so it's hard to know where to start..

Because I was slightly unimpressed with the telly offerings last night, I ended up taking the "Test the Nation" interactive quiz on BBC1 last night. Most of the evening (in-between the annoying links from Ann Robinson (who must be onto her third face lift by now - one more and she qualifies for a free pubic goatee) and Philip Schofield - the less talented and charismatic one from the Broom cupboard on CBBC who can no longer hold onto the coat-tails of Gordon the Gopher) was spent realising just how much of this year has passed in a blur. No wonder I've not blogged recently, the year's seemingly been on fast forward since the bells rang in 2005. Anyway thanks to the red button on the remote and some inspired guessing managed to amass a score of 50 out of 70 which, when I compared my results, meant I didn't do too badly at all.

But now I have the slow wind-down to Christmas to endure.. wishing that I could start on that pile of booze and mince pies we've bought in preparation.. Roll on Friday and the beginning of a hazy week, no doubt, where I will probably spend most of the week in state of midly drunk (which is brilliant).. Oddly I have actualy managed to find a couple of programs in the Radio Times that I actually want to see over the festive period (beyond the depressing EastEnders episodes and the exciting prospect of the Doctor Who Christmas special) and these have been dutifully added to the Sky+ planer, but on the whole Xmas telly is a very frustrating affair this year. And I can remember kids, when the Christmas editions of the Radio Times and the TV Times (as you had to buy both back then and the idea of a E.P.G would seem like science ficton) used to bring wonder and awe into the house as you looked forward to two weeks of quality viewing. Those days, sadly have passed, and now I can see the telly box beig off more than it is on..
But it's not all bad, have the fun of Scalextrix at 7:00am on Christmas morning to look forward to and, of course, the traditional Xmas dinner - one thing that never fails to disappoint no matter how old and cynical I become.

So bring on the tatty Xmas Specials, Slade singing "So here it is Merry Christmas" and yet another pair of unwanted socks because it's gonna be another fabby yuletide..

Merry Xmas you bollocks, and a happy fucking 2006!