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"It's the All-American roadster. Apart from the bits that are German..."

James May 
T.M.R'S WORKSTATION :: THE OLD WEB LOG 
 .:[ Once bitten... ]:.Posted: 22:05 on Wednesday, 06 April 2005 
State: happy  Music: Sadness Part 1 

Well, we're back online after a four day outage - or at least, an outage for the Boss and m'self, since King the Bitey Puppy (tm) decided to chew his way through the cable connecting the switch downstairs to the hub up here... i mean, i know it says "CAT5" on the cable but i didn't know the little bleeder could read that well! Anyway, one 100M drum of CAT5 and a bit of threading it through holes in walls and up the stairs later and bingo - our bandwidth drought is over... thank goodness for that, i was actually having to watch DVDs and read stuff again!

Speaking of watching things, i'm still really enjoying Doctor Who and seriously looking forward to the next installment this coming Saturday; the second episode was very neatly done, the cast were great, the Mill's work on the CGI was sterling, i liked the story and there were just enough cute little cultural references (the "iPod" and a certain "classical ballad" that fit the external shot of the space station perfectly) to relieve the tension. What i really liked is that the Doctor is a tiny bit darker this time and we got just a little more back story about what's happened since the TV movie and this new regeneration. And the Doctor isn't perfect, not everybody made it this time and we could see he felt bad about that...

Another good bit of drama i was looking forward to last Saturday was the live performance of The Quatermass Experiment on BBC4 as part of the TV On Trial thing they were running. It was a brave move on the Beeb's part, even through their fourth and less mainstream channel, to attempt a live drama for the first time in some twenty years and particularly brave to try some sci-fi since they're even more fraught with "danger" for performers. All of the actors did a really good job too, i only counted one minor fluffed line, David "Casanova" Tennant nearly falling arse over tit running around a corner and recovering beautifully and a shot where one person moved in the way of another and they had to cut cameras quickly - after that, it was class television and we don't get enough of that these days... special mention to Mark Gatiss as well, i know Tennant's down as the favourite to play the Doctor next season but Gatiss is second from the top of my personal list for that job; he was brilliant as the scorned scientist, lots of moody moments and the final apology to Quatermass... fab stuff. Oh, top of my list as the Doctor is Bill Nighy at the mo...

As a finale, a little branch to the "kids" end of the telly scale; i've recently been watching and seriously enjoying Megas XLR on Toonami - the story of a woman from the future, the giant robot she's been working on that ends up travelling far further back in time than the battle she was attempting to change the outcome of and two Jersey slackers who watch way too much cable television and play video games... Coop and Jamie are a tad cliched as slack-jawed couch potatoes (think Bill and Ted or any other similar combination) but still work well as characters whilst getting some fantastic lines. Kiva (voiced by Wendee Lee, stalwart of imported anime like Outlaw Star) is the typical future girl ice queen who starts to thaw (in particular, "The Driver's Seat" where she and Jamie finally start to see eye to eye worked very well), the bad guys are suitably over the top and it's not afraid to take the mickey either; "The Bad Guy" features a hysterical parody of Power Rangers and Battle of the Planets in the form of S Force, five amazing teenagers with super powers who are even partially voiced by the original BOTP cast! It's on at odd hours, but well worth watching...

 .:[ Meanderings ]:.Posted: 10:13 on Tuesday, 12 April 2005 
State: busy  Music: Nemesis (Gradius Rotation) 

Okay, so we weren't online for long... the battered 10/100 hub used for the upstairs part of the network decided it wasn't happy with it's lot in life and began throwing up all manner of errors; that's now been sorted by swapping which port the cable was connected to and throwing the uplink switch but i'm still at a loss to explain why just changing the cable should make a difference!

Anyway... without wanting to generate another vast paragraph about Doctor Who it was bloody brill, the viewing figures seem to reflect that since it was up on last week as well as being the top rating for terrestrial telly for the entire day (yes, that means it twonked the Grand National and Ant and Dec) and, best of all to my mind, parents have been calling the Beeb switchboard and emailing the official site to report that their kids were hiding behind the sofa - result, since said parents were happy about it!

And just proving how much an icon Doctor Who is, i've just noticed a Rackspace advert on El Reg that features the TARDIS and a tagline about needing "a server set up yesterday" - how cool is that?

 .:[ The aliens are coming! ]:.Posted: 00:43 on Saturday, 23 April 2005 
State: nervous!  Music: Gem'X 

Okay, so i'm not one for the whole conspiracy theory gubbins but there's this bunch out there called the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce whose website i've just been reading; it's dull as ditchwater for the main part, all conferences, publications, press releases and PR, so nothing of note - until you slip through the very lax security (i got the link from another site here and they gave the password as "bison" - it works too) and start reading the worklogs there - scary stuff indeed as the PR on the main site starts to make a lot more sense... i really think the aliens are coming now!

On more mundane subjects, i've got a vague idea for a new C64 game (no, if you already know what Armour Storm is i don't mean that and it's still on the go) so i've been doing a little doodling of graphics and base level code for it, as well as generally sorting out some of the sites we're hosting over the past couple of days. This 'ere new game is a puzzler by the way, based on a couple of shareware PC games and a couple of C64 freeware titles with random ideas thrown in by yours truly as i go. Oh, and for those who didn't get it, the U.N.I.T. bit in the first paragraph was in jest but it's really worth reading both the sites 'cos they're bloody funny stuff!

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