Like a bee

So busy at work, we get a rush whenever there’s an event. Father’s Day rush right now.

Haven’t been writing enough. I was thinking of getting a decent webcam and doing more Petercasts.

Part of the problem is that I type all day at work, so that when I get home I don’t really want to type more. Plus we’ve been out cycling quite a bit, which is nice. The whole family too. Young Master Brandonbutt is deliciously pleased with his mountain bike and has picked up cycling for the first time very, very fast. Faster than I did.

AMD here we come

For the very first time I am considering switching everything on my latest PC back to AMD, CPU and GPU. Why you ask?

Digital surround in games.

AMD has uncompressed 7.1 PCM built-in to their graphics cards, and NVIDIA ones, even the geet dead pricey ones, have a link so you can plug in an SPDIF jobber. Which fully supports the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround that a whole three games support on the PC. Even games which output Dolby Digital 5.1 on the console (like how PC versions won’t have controller support, but way more often). And Dolby Pro Logic? Forget it.

It mostly strikes me as bizarre that NVIDIA cards just plain don’t do it.

Playstation Store

When the Playstation Store updated from the older version with the blue panels to the new version with the surround sound and huge touchscreen buttons, I and many others were noticeably nonplussed. Replacing a usable interface no matter how its used with a touchscreen abomination is a feckless and moronic decision at the best of times, but this is doubly true when on a device that doesn’t have a touchscreen interface available.

Well, that was then and this is now, and I can finally see why they’ve done it.
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Xcom: This is Bullshit

I really wanted to like Xcom, I really, really did. All my friends seem to like it, lots of fans of the original seem to like it. I do not. I can’t even be bothered to dignify it with a full playthrough. I proclaimed the eponymous ejaculation, ‘This is Bullshit’ just after the third time I tried to maneuver my dude into cover only to be beset with twitching betwixt levels of terrain, not actually going in to the cover despite it being clearly flagged as cover, and not being able to reach and reside in what appeared to be a clearly blank space. It wasn’t just that I was annoyed at of course, that was merely the proverbial straw that caused the camel to ragdoll gracelessly about. Some of the changes are actually quite welcome, two turns for each guy makes a kind of sense I guess, and the tactical part of the original could, at times, be slow and unwieldy, so doing something about it is perfectly fine. The original could benefit from a autosave system, which is bizarrely off by default, but I’m assuming that’s to keep the usual people happy. You know the sort, the sort that rants about how challenging the game is before they mention what the gameplay actually is. Gamers seemingly have so little self-control we actually need an option to enforce not loading rather than … well, not loading. And this of course is to be celebrated. Making a wrong move because the game can’t decide which elevation level you mean after you haven’t selected a new level be damned apparently.
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Skyrim DLC

Well, shockingly, the release of Skyrim DLC was actually closer to eight months than six.

What is to be done about Bethesda though?

Is it time for a boycott of their products, shall I vote with my wallet? Shall I encourage others to do so?

No, for one, I want to play the games, but that’s not a very good reason.

The main problems with a vote with your wallet mentality are that:

Those with the biggest wallets get the most votes.

Which is important, but more convincingly:

Voting with your wallet may not send the message you really intend to send. All not buying a game shows is that you haven’t bought a game. It doesn’t tell anyone why you haven’t bought it. For example, if Bethesda find out that PS3 owners haven’t purchased any DLC they could assume with no other information available that PS3 users aren’t hugely interested in DLC. If the next Bethesda game fails on one platform, or even if all console and PCs owners join together in cause against arbitrary paid-for platform exclusivity (it could well be the other way around next gen after-all) and refuse to purchase their next game; it may only register as a general lack of interest in the sort of game they make.

What instead? Well, that’s pretty simple. Complain. Complain loudly and in the appropriate places. On your own space, or on theirs where they’re likely to see it. You can withhold money if you like or not, but the important thing is to write it down.


Replace the public voice of Silent Hill with someone who doesn’t want to rewrite classic Silent Hill games and doesn’t use YouTube-level arguments like “The sad part is the people saying Downpour sucked never even played it.”

How about that?

I find Tomm to be neither the good natured saviour of Silent Hill, the powerless figure-head who just wanted to do the right thing, or even the straight villain people have … accused … other people of … accusing them of … its complicated … anyway.

He is a terrible public speaker who says very silly things. He shouldn’t be the public voice of anything.

Goodbye Tomm, its been … interesting I guess?

Yes, that is an actual quote.

If you’re cold, your pets are too

I’ve seen this probably four or five times on various social networks.

Obviously, I agree with the goal, but the wrongness always really bugs me. No, your pets don’t feel temperature like you do, and what they may tolerate, you wouldn’t, and vice versa. Dogs sweat through their tongues, Chihuahua’s shiver when I’m warm, Siberian Huskie’s bounce in the snow when I’m freezing.

I don’t know, I worry it could have the opposite effect and people will leave their pets in cars reasoning that they’d be fine so the pet will too.

Perhaps a message of “don’t leave your pets out over winter ya heartless bastard” would do the trick better?