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So I downloaded eve the other week with the intention of playing again, with a new character though as my old one is gone for good. Finally got around to singing up for an account and had a little fun, still need a lot more skill points and some money though before I’ll start playing more.

Eve online

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Posted 5/1/2009 Views 208  

Just thought I would share a few of the snaps I’ve taken with the W110, had a lot of fun messing around with it and have a few things like a light tent and a tripod. I am feeling a little limited by the camera though, but definitely need the general experience I think before I splash out more on a DSLR and maybe need to make sure it’s not just a fad. Either way these are a few of my favorite photos;



 
Check out these too;
Sonic 10th Anniversary Pack
Yujin Dreamcast Gashapon

 
I’ve also gone and ordered a couple of Gundam models, always liked the anime and recently watched Gundam Seed Destiny, wanted to find one that really didn’t need painting. In the end though I decided to pay an extra bit for some craft materials to do a good job of it like a bit of paint, a craft knife, things like that, won’t get here for a while though from HK. Will definitley get some photos of them when I’m done.

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Posted 2/1/2009 Views 304  
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I have been trying to decide which camera to get for some time, could not for the life of me make my mind up, especially considering my £100 price limit. At this range the more featured cameras are bigger, the smaller cameras generally more oriented towards general use.

I finally decided to go for the Sony W110, 7.2mp, face detection 4x optical zoom and some nice pre-set scene modes. What follows is a brief review and evaluation of these kind of features over a camera phone etc…

Firstly the zoom on the camera is brilliant, can’t go wrong with 4x optical zoom and the extra digital zoom is done very well, although with no anti shake technology you have to have a steady hand or a tripod. Check out the pictures below, as you can see when zoomed fully in at 8x the image is still good quality and doesn’t look too shabby;

 


Up to 8x mixed zoom


The camera is great in low light, there is a pre-set scene mode which will keep the shutter open for some time (usually about a second) rather than just using a very high iso (which adds incredible noise to the image), obviously this has to be used when the camera is resting or on a tripid, the results are great. On the left is an average phone camera, as you can see it’s terrible, on the right is the low light scene mode from the W110, the image actually comes out brighter than it looks to the naked eye.
 


Low light photo, Cellphone (left) vs. W110 (right)


Finally a lesson in post processing, most people tend to pop their images straight from the camera to their PC’s or online somewhere like facebook, most still have red eye and a lot of them could be very much improved with just a quick few seconds in something like Adobe’s Lightroom, the following image taken during daylight shows the difference a little tinkering can make (left is before, right is after);
 


Post processing is very important


In closing, I’m quite happy with the Sony W110, it was only £80 so under budget, which is always good. It meets my needs, which were to be compact, capable of 640×480@30fps video and have at least 3x optical zoom. Read on for a few photo’s I’ve taken with the camera. Read more…

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Posted 15/12/2008 Views 1,347  

Tried out Kane & Lynch as someone recommended it to me, I wasn’t expecting much but was prepared to be surprised… I wasn’t, the graphics are quite good, nice lighting and textures. The story also seems believable and there are some scenes early on which feel pretty good to play, mainly where you’re hanging out the back of a van mashing fully automatic fire into cop cars.

The main problem with Kane & Lynch however is apparent straight away, the control system and interface are terrible. Firstly the game seems to want you to use it’s cover system as bullets are flying at you from every angle and pretty mercilessly. But the game’s cover system is hard to use and cover is not easy to find, also the game makes a point of only letting you use cover on certain objects and only right at the edge of that object.

It seems also like the game wants you to use Lynch and the other goons who come and go as part of your “squad” you can tell them to attack targets or go to certain places. However, because the game wants you to use cover so much but gives you little not matter where you tell your cronies to go or what to do invariably they either get shot to shit or they get in your way. For example, I decided to run down some stairs only to realise that I was getting destroyed by enemy fire and promptly ran back out. The AI in it’s infinite wisdom decided to follow me down after I had already come back up and get themselves slaughtered, all 4 of my buddies dead and needing revival under a hail of bullets, I’ll let you guess how that went.

Another thing I had a problem with was lazy level design and bad playtesting, there is a level where you have to get out of a club with Lynch carrying a hostage, the club is full of people and the security guards appear out of nowhere, which whilst annoying would not be so much of a problem if Lynch could take more than 1 bullet without you failing the mission. Then to top things off, when you get to the end she runs away and you have to do exactly the same sequence again.

There was also a level where I had to shoot the driver of a massive truck, before it squished my daughter, I shit you not it took at least 50 tries. The guns in the game just aren’t accurate enough. That was terribly annoying.

Having said all these bad things about it though I can’t shake this urge to play it some more, I want to continue the story… Go figure.

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Posted 13/12/2008 Views 246  

banned for the info

Ooops, got myself suspended from the OCUK forums, I guess maybe I shouldn’t tempt fate, RIP “thanks for the info”, long live “Planks for the info” seriously a little creativity never hurt anyone, except maybe those with no sense of humor 😉

Additionally I’m pretty proud of myself, after completing work on the gallery I set about making some more mod_rewrites for the site, now I can make a thumbnail of any image on the site by just adding /thumb/ before the path and can also set the max width of any image I want my adding /sizer/****/****/ which means I don’t have to bother uploading files in any certain resolution, makes it easy to post the images on forums etc without having to pull them into photoshop or whatever.

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Posted 30/11/2008 Views 195  

I have been working quite intently on customizing a gallery, for no other reason than I wanted to make it look and work exactly how I wanted. It took a lot of reverse engineering and it went through several different versions and I think I’m done. Check out the gallery script here.

I also got a new laptop, a Dell M1530, I’m very impressed with it, faster, bigger and better than my last one and it looks good to boot. Manages to run Far Cry on all Very High settings, something which my top of the range desktop could only just do a few years back. Still haven’t finished getting all my programs onto it yet, but it’s nice to have a laptop again :)

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Posted 29/11/2008 Views 214  

It was in my rental list and instead of getting Mirror’s Edge I was sent too human, I might have been excited about this if I hadn’t tried the demo a few days ago and been very disappointed, but I want to up my gamerscore. The game was kind of fun but had a lot of problems, I put them down to it being a demo…

The most noticeable problem is the graphics, a lot of the screenshots of too human look good, detailed faces and close ups, but when playing the actual game you realise that it was built on an old graphics engine that has been pushed to it’s limits, some parts just look terrible.

One of the other problems is the learning curve, the game gives you hints but they are few and far between, the main hints being quite useless anyway, the major things like taking down the big bosses by jumping on them you kinda have to guess, I still don’t know exactly how that bit works and I’ve killed quote a few of them.

Camera angles are also a problem, but this is caused by them not using the right analog stick for the camera, which is bad but they replace it with melee control, which actually works quite well. You pull the stick on the direction you want to attack and when there are 20 enemies attacking its a godsend, jump in the air and pull the direction you want to fly to the enemy and take them out mid air, satisfying, but only for so long.

I’ll say this for the game: it’s fun and the graphics whilst limited look good in combat, however it is only fun for a short while, combat is very stunted and I didn’t really feel like I was getting anywhere with new weapons and levels. Cyberspace is a terrible waste of time and the story bits in-between the main action just prolong the game for no reason, I haven’t finished it yet, but I doubt I will because every level is pretty much the same.

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Posted 29/11/2008 Views 209  

Not a massive Trek fan, but JJ Abrams new Star Trek “reboot” has been looking good the past few months, no more so than today. The new trailer popped up yesterday and I have to say it looks very good. Part of me thinks this is one of those “the trailer was better than the film” [I’m looking at you Matrix Revolutions] scenarios though;

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Posted 18/11/2008 Views 229  

After hours of trying last night I’ve finally perfected video streaming from my server, basically this means that like on Youtube I can now put videos up and be able to seek to any point within the video without having the whole file loaded, something which I thought was not possible without custom server side software. However xmoov changed all that, check out the Far Cry 2 video a couple of posts down, as it’s a relatively long file you might want to skip through it, as we speak I’m updating the flv files so they will work.

I’ll probably write a quick guide on it at some point because as simple as the setup seems it did take me quite a while to get it working properly, especially with large files (the code needs a fix).

You may also notice the new skin on the latest videos; I found a nice skin for the JW FLVPlayer which I used originally, this and the [now] easy streaming capabilities mean that I’ll be using the JW player from now on. It also means I can skin Youtube videos too 😀

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Posted 14/11/2008 Views 254  

Had to share it;



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Posted 14/11/2008 Views 2,923