The ZX Spectrum – 28 today!

Happy birthday to the machine that got me into the world of computing – the good old ZX Spectrum! It’s a mighty 28 years old today, which makes me feel really bloody old. For me it’s never really gone away, of course – I still have several of them kicking around the house, and I haven’t owned a computer in the last 20 years which hasn’t had an emulator and a bunch o’ games permanently installed on it. But ah, for those dim and distant days of my youth when it was all still fresh and exciting! Read more of this post


End of an offline era (possibly)

Last weekend I have mostly been playing…. online. It was a free ‘Gold’ weekend for Silvers (although you would never have known if you didn’t know about it already – no advertising of the fact whatsoever as far as I can tell) so I thought I’d break with tradition and actually try some stuff out. Yes, believe it or not I’ve somehow managed to avoid ever playing a game online until now. And bearing in mind that I was a complete online n00b, I wasn’t expecting much of either myself or the experience in general. What I found was… curious. Read more of this post


Yes, I’m still here. Yes, I’m still alive. Yes, I am sorry to the (literally) half dozen people who read my dribblings for not writing anything for ages. I’m going to try and get this back on track. Yes I am. Soon. Ish. Gah!

A public apology to Half Life 2

Sorry, Gordon!You may remember from a few months back all the umming and ahing (technical terms) I did about purchasing a copy of The Orange Box for the princely sum of £1.74. What might not have been clear from that particular article is why I was so hesitant to pick it up, unless you’ve been following my Eurogamer “career” like some kind of freakish stalker. Which I know some of you have.

For the rest of you, I’ll explain – I wanted Portal. I didn’t particularly want Half Life 2 or Team Fortress.

Read more of this post

Old dog, same tricks (but faster)

You say Ubuntu and I say... er... Ubuntu?I’ve never much been one for keeping up with the Joneses when it comes to computer kit, mainly because I’m too cheap. Even when the PC was my main gaming platform, I always sort of resented having to spend money to keep it up to date every six months, and would instead just try to soldier on with what I had until it absolutely wouldn’t run anything any more. As I’ve moved onto console gaming, updating the PC has fallen even further by the wayside because I don’t even need it to run games any more – hence me sticking with a (nearly) five-year-old laptop at the minute rather than buying something new and sparkly. Read more of this post

Doubling Your Chances Of Success

Tasty!Once, when I was but a naive teenager with little experience of the world, I bought a box of Double Deckers. Chewy but crunchy, covered with Cadbury’s chocolate and not yet ruined by the addition of raisins, it seemed like a remarkable deal when the owner of the shop I worked in offered me a whole box of 70-odd bars for a bargain ‘couple of quid’ because they were nearing their sell-by date. Sticking them in the cupboard at home, I was well chuffed – “that’s my chocolate sorted for the foreseeable future”, said I! And for a couple of weeks things were great, too – fancy some chocolate? Double Decker on tap! Nice. Read more of this post

Psychology Theft Auto

"Don't you point that thing at me, sonny!"I’m a fairly conscientious criminal. When playing GTA IV, I don’t kill innocent people in the streets, and I swerve to avoid them in the road. If I push past someone and they fling an expletive at me, I’ll just carry on walking. If I absolutely can’t find a parked car to take, I’ll usually hold a car up at gunpoint and let the guy run away rather than physically dragging him out of the vehicle or shooting him dead. That sort of thing. I’m a nicer flavour of mobster.

Except for one case.

Upon reaching the second safe house, I find that pretty often when I come home there’s a street preacher standing on the path opposite, ranting on about God and stuff. And try as I might, I can’t resist wandering over and beating him senseless. Every single time. No guns, no blunt instruments, no ramming him with a car. Just fists.

Freud would have had a field day. 😀

p.s. there is more ‘substantial’ stuff coming – another article and the first review. Real life’s been a swine this week.