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"Again, with two small children it's incredibly hard to commit yourself to anything because you're just getting interested in it and someone comes along and goes I want Thomas The Tank Engine on, and screams the place down until you put it on."

Jo Brand 
T.M.R'S WORKSTATION :: THE OLD WEB LOG 
 .:[ Bloody typical!! ]:.Posted: 01:27 on Thursday, 01 April 2004 
State: annoyed  Music: none 

It's typical really; just as i get around to adding loads of new functionality to this site, the broadband connection goes down and totally disconnects it from the outside world! All that work and i'm willing to put money on the IP number changing when it all comes back online, so i have to piddle around with reconnecting all the sites... bugger!

"There are three kinds of death in this world. There's heart death, there's brain death, and there's being off the network."
Guy Almes

 .:[ Quiet Friday morning... ]:.Posted: 08:48 on Friday, 02 April 2004 
State: tired/happy  Music: Cut 'n' Remove 

Woohoo! Had a great time at the club last night and i'm all sort of mellow and relaxed now. So i'm having a "quiet" morning just doing a little housekeeping on Gridrunner with the music up loud until the Boss gets back and we go into town. =-) Off to pick up a couple of PS2 mice and a small hard disk to get Uridium back up and running...

Oh, a sneaky reminder to myself whilst i'm here; the web log software needs sorting 'cos it doesn't deal with DST correctly! =-)

Since i'm quite a bit of a Spaced fan, i'm seriously looking forward to seeing Shaun Of The Dead, the romantic comedy. With zombies. It's even replaced (temporarily) the Ikaruga artwork i normally have as my desktop wallpaper, so i must be excited about it!

MK Double Dash!! is still proving popular around the house, i've managed to unlock everything at 50cc and 100cc as well as getting gold on one set of tracks at 150cc so the kids have more new cars and Toad and Toadette to play as. Since i've always been rather fond of Toad as a character, the appaearance of him and his other half is cool and i've started playing with them as well as Daisy and Peach. =-)

 .:[ Vague meanderings ]:.Posted: 14:59 on Sunday, 04 April 2004 
State: relaxed  Music: Sonic3D 

Been doing a spot of C64 code doodling over the last day or so, i've been sort of inspired by the effect in Gasman's Shiny Demo and have been wondering about getting it into the breadbin. So far, not much is happening but the theories seem to check out okay. =-)

 .:[ Men at work... ]:.Posted: 21:34 on Monday, 05 April 2004 
State: contented  Music: Lethal Xcess 

[Dig, dig, crash!!]

Oops! Been doing a bit of surgery on the site and sort of managed to break it a little -everything should be stable again now and i've added a project entry for Shyfter on the 2600 as well, since it's quite a way to being complete. It's nothing special, but i've quite enjoyed playing it for the last half an hour having left it for a few months. Reaxion A8 is being finalised too, fingers crossed... =-)

It looks like 2004 is going to be a good year for C64 games; not only is WVL's Pinball Dreams starting to look really sexy even though we can't play it yet and Soci's Grubz starting to feel like Worms on the C64, AEG of Smash has nearly finished Turrican 3 and the wobbly cam DivX of it looks nothing short of stunning. Of course, i'm too much of a cynic to judge the playability from screens or video, but i've a lot of faith in AEG as a Turrican fan and he's putting so much work in it'd surprise me if he forgot that element...

 .:[ Rasser frassin... ]:.Posted: 01:15 on Tuesday, 06 April 2004 
State: annoyed  Music: none 

Four days between outages of the broadband... not impressed guy, really not impressed and liable to be even less impressed (if that's possible) if our IP changes after this... =-(

 .:[ Phew, that was lucky... ]:.Posted: 10:34 on Tuesday, 06 April 2004 
State: mellow  Music: Wings of Death 

The broadband came back up about an hour ago and, for the first time ever, our fixed IP remained fixed so yours truly didn't have to go scrabbling around the various admin tools and sites to repoint domain forwarding. [Does the happy bunny dance!] So i've decided that i'll let them live... this time.

Had a bit of a rough night as well, having added the 2600 version to the projects page i spent a while mulling over the idea of putting Shyfter onto other formats and i think i want to do a Plus/4 (or possibly even a C16/Plus/4) version. i did consider an Atari 8-bit mix too, but the tests i did last time seem to indicate that it's not actually possible because of the dirty lines; in order to have interesting graphics rather than just coloured squares, i'd need to split colours four times on each scanline (the 2600 version splits eight times a line). If i get these going, i'll do a C64 port as well but it's so easy on the breadbin it's laughable really... =-)

 .:[ Wheeee!!! ]:.Posted: 01:01 on Thursday, 08 April 2004 
State: happy bunny  Music: none 

Yay! i'm the winner!! [Jumps up and down and does the happy mushroom dance] Managed to unlock Mario Kart Double Dash!! mirror mode and a few more things after so i'm a happy bunny. Took a fair bit of driving to do as well, it gets really bitchy at 150CC!

i've been working on OSG as well, tidying things up ready for launch and adding a few new "features" that nobody'll notice as usual... =-)

On the down side, my poor (t)rusty ten year old Samsung 3NE finally started losing it's marbles today... Poor thing's done good service and i'd like to get it fixed, but i suspect it'd cost less to replace. =-(

 .:[ Happy mushroom dance!! ]:.Posted: 01:13 on Friday, 09 April 2004 
State: well pleased  Music: none 

Well, after something like three weeks of playing, on and off, i've finally managed to totally unlock Mario Kart Double Dash!! and got a new end picture after the staff roll, a new titles picture and the parade kart as a reward for playing! Happy mushroom now!! =-)

 .:[ Widescreen square eyes... ]:.Posted: 00:42 on Sunday, 11 April 2004 
State: sleepy  Music: RayGing Blue 

Well i'm shattered, but a quick post to explain why; the Boss and i spent the evening out at the cinema. First we went to see Welcome To The Jungle and enjoying it. i'm already a fan of Christopher Walken, the high point being the father in Catch Me If You Can and Sean William Scott won my "vote" in Bulletproof Monk but i've never seen The Rock act (unless WWE counts...? =-) and i must admit to really warming to his character. i'm going to have to sit down and watch Scorpion King at some point...

Then we popped out of the cinema and have a very nice meal (i had some tagliateli which was in a fab cheesy sauce with mussels, prawns and calamari and Sue had a selection of chargrilled meats, salad and fries) before heading back into the cinema for The Girl Next Door, which was also really good stuff. i actually expected the film to end far earlier than it did, it just seemed to pack so much story in that i thought we'd arrived at the resolution about halfway through!

Whilst we were out, i noticed that there's a cool poster for Kill Bill Volume 2 around at the moment; Uma Thurman's character in her wedding dress and holding the katana. It's an incredibly... umm, striking image! =-) If i didn't have Shaun of the Dead as my Windows background already... Oh, speaking of which i'm well pleased to see that Shaun is not just getting pushed by Universal but well and truly shoved - we saw the second trailer twice in the cinema and half the phone boxes in Leeds have the posters on them (with the tagline "the line's dead and so is everybody else") and the Boss isn't saying she doesn't want to see it any more! =-) Me, i'm looking forward to it big time... Anything with the writing pedigree behind this is bound to make me happy.

 .:[ Wages of sin ]:.Posted: 01:05 on Wednesday, 14 April 2004 
State: tired  Music: none 

Just a small post to keep my hand in, so to speak. Had an enjoyable time watching tonight's episode of Sin Cities Unleashed - inappropriately named for this installment because the theme was fetish. Nothing to add really, but it was a fun half an hour! =-)

Oh, and fingers crossed i've sorted the posting date problem out on this web log...

 .:[ Woohoo!! ]:.Posted: 14:53 on Wednesday, 14 April 2004 
State: bouncy  Music: Grand Monster Slam 2 

Just a quick note 'cos i'm in a really good mood (despite a slightly irritating sore throat). i had a bit of a marathon session at the cross assembler last night adding and repairing a few final cosmetic details in Reaxion A8 and it's gone to "release candidate 1"! RC1 should be tight now, it's locked down to five levels for testing purposes but the game engine runs fine when switched back to 99 level mode so fingers crossed it may only get to RC2 before it actually escapes! =-)

 .:[ So long... and thanks ]:.Posted: 12:40 on Thursday, 15 April 2004 
State: a little sad  Music: Sing For The Moment 

i finished reading The Salmon of Doubt yesterday... well, obviously i didn't because, sadly, Dirk Gently's third outing is only an amalgamation of early drafts of the first eleven chapters and that's why i've taken my good time getting around to it; as a fan of the late Douglas Adams' work i was more than a little concerned about reading what wasn't quite his final half-a-book in case i didn't like it.

In the end it wasn't a problem at all and i found myself enjoying Dirk's meanderings just as much as usual and, when i ran out of words it was slightly bewildering because i didn't know what happened next. Then realised that i'd never find out...

Reading all the tributes to Adams prior to the story was sad in itself because, even when you take into account that an editor has picked the pieces present for their content, they were all so genuine, so sorry to see him go. But the self-described "keening lament" from Richard Dawkins originally in the Guardian that was snuck in after Dirk's abortive outing where i didn't expect to find anything more than the book ads on the back pages (i don't read indexes, what can i say?) was very personal and i got very close to a sniffle or two there.... Adams worked with Dawkins' wife Lalla Ward on Doctor Who and introduced the two of them, 'Who fans worth their salt will know Lalla as the second Romana and indeed second Mrs. Tom Baker for a time. The most notable story Adams worked on, for me at least, City Of Death - he co-wrote it with Graham Williams under the pseudonym David Agnew and was script editor. City introduced my all time favourite one-shot 'Who character in the form of a private detective called Duggan (played by Tom Chadbon) who was possibly a proto-Gently since Dirk's first outing was, in part, an amalgamation of City Of Death and Shada (the latter was never shown because a BBC strike prevented filming from being completed).

What's also quite sad is that Adams had taken what he described as a "needed break" from writing novels to pursue other interests (Starship Titanic being the first example that springs to mind and i really must try running it again now i have a new machine) and he was just getting back into the harness with several ideas for new books before his death. Okay, that probably sounds selfish of me to want another Hitch-Hiker's or Dirk Gently installment but what we do have in Salmon reminds me just how good a writer Adams was so i don't make any apologies. i'm going to go back to Mostly Harmless, the only Douglas Adams book that i didn't thoroughly enjoy because of the ending, and re-read it with the knowledge that a sixth book was on the cards and if anyone could have written himself out of that ending it was Adams. i'll never know how he would have done it but just knowing will hopefully change the slant of the story a bit...

Anyone who doesn't know Adams' work (and, if you're the sort of person who orbits in the same eccentric circles as i do, how'd you manage that?!) should head over to www.douglasadams.com and immerse themselves.

 .:[ Geek humour ]:.Posted: 18:21 on Friday, 16 April 2004 
State: tired  Music: Warp 

Just a quick note; during the shopping trip to Asda that we've just got back from, i found a rack of AOL CDs and, either by design or accident, a pack of Asda brand coasters had been added to the AOL ones... Well, it made me laugh! =-)

 .:[ Progress ]:.Posted: 09:22 on Tuesday, 20 April 2004 
State: shattered  Music: Let Forever Be 

i did most of the final work on the loading pic for Reaxion for the Cronosoft release yesterday; it still needs a few tweaks here and there and possibly a few more details but generally speaking it's done. All i have to do is fix a minor flicker, remaster and add the Cosine intro and it's ready to rumble.

Since it's been asked for a few times now, i'll probably spend a little while typing up Sean's Using EMS article as well. With my brain feeling lightly toasted, it's probably best i don't work on any code 'cos it won't run afterwards! =-)

 .:[ Happy mushroom day! ]:.Posted: 22:33 on Thursday, 22 April 2004 
State: bouncy  Music: Z-Out 

Yay! Not only is Reaxion remastered with a snazzy Cosine intro before the game and it's loading picture drawn up but it also made a little appearance in issue 3 of Retro Gamer in a piece about Cronosoft. Whee, "fame" at last! =-)

The Boss and i were out for a cinematic experience, this time off to see Kill Bill - Volume 2. i have finally forgiven Uma Thurman for The Avengers today - she got really close for the first volume so after two good films in a row, she's earnt it. Of the two, we both preferred the first film but that's because there's a little less action this time and we're both sluts for a bit of violent combat. =-)

That said, there were a few moments that made me laugh out loud (no spoilers, just watch out for the bit with the grainy footage and dodgy camera work =-) and Thurman, Daryl Hannah and especially David Carradine put in wonderful performances. i'll have to get the first volume on DVD at some point...

Speaking of DVD, still haven't got Matrix Revolutions yet. That's one for a marathon session when i do get it, all three films and Animatrix in one sitting...

 .:[ Flirt by text! ]:.Posted: 00:56 on Thursday, 29 April 2004 
State: poorly  Music: Nemesis 

Not much of an update, but something's bugging me; i watch a lot of late night telly, i have done ever since the idea of 24 hour television stations seemed like a good one to the companies and this means that i've probably subconsiously memorised every single chat line advert going. Anyone who finds the phrase "if you're stuck around at home, make new friends on the telephone" will probably know what i mean here... even if you don't really pay attention to the adverts, they still sort of seep into your brain.

Lately a couple have been annoying me a little more than usual though, at least more than the "calls cost a quid a minute" disclaimers. First up is the one that goes something like "if you want to be with the in crowd, call...". Well, i could be wrong but the "in crowd" is normally comprised of the more socially adept people in society, something tells me these pretty people in the adverts wouldn't be using vastly expensive phone chat services to communicate when they can just go out.

Then there's the one where a semi-naked blonde phones a service and starts flirting away with a guy whom she then goes to meet. This woman (and indeed the guy) are more pretty people but she's obviously not all that bright; she owns a mechanical telephone with a dial despite having a set of nails that would make the average eagle jealous! Still, she can't be as dim witted as anyone who uses the service assuming that she or one of her many clones is going to be on the other end of the line...

In fact, the advertisers must assume an extreme level of gullibility in their target audience, but recently there's been a new twist recently; the boom in SMS services has led to the "Flirt by Text!" advert. This one takes assumption of idiocy in the viewer to new extremes because the pretty people in this advert (and they're all female in various states of undress) aren't even sending text messages. In fact, they're all using land line phones and talking, in other words not even using the service being advertised.

Are people really stupid enough to fall for that...? Sadly, it seems so.

 .:[ L@@K! R4R3!! ]:.Posted: 01:14 on Friday, 30 April 2004 
State: still a bit poorly  Music: none 

Picture Stuart Fotherington's just finished a charity eBay auction of some of his old work disks. Of particular note were a series of floppies with graphics and sprites for (and possibly a playable demo) of Megatree (the third installment of the Jet Set Willy saga) and one labelled as Psyclapse, the name of one of Imagine's fabled "mega games" from the olde days.

The final sale was for 207, quite a bit of dosh for eighteen 5.25" disks of unknown content and with that in mind i'm considering auctioning the workdisks for my own game Cyberwing. Yeah, i know it's labelled as the budget release of California Games II for the Amiga but the disk in the image is actually a 1581 formatted disk with the three original Zeus 64 source files for said blasting game. The second disk just in shot is the source and data back-ups for the release version and there's two other 5.25" disks that are the receive data (for my cross assembing version of Zeus) and a scrap disk with a few work files on.

So, i'm open to offers (as soon as i've ripped copies of the data off) and 7.50 with a bag of wine gums thrown in for good measure seems quite reasonable at this end...? =-)

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