Azekeil (azekeil) wrote,

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Hum Drum

Back in Bristol again after a longer than anticipated but not unpleasant stay in Cheltenham. Sleep and health have both suffered from the weekend, but that's not been helped by my reasonably obsessive playing of Unreal 2. Apparently if I don't hear anything by the end of the week I can assume my job is safe at LogicaCMG. That will be one less worry, but I'm still hunting for projects (little success) and external jobs (I have yet to receive a response to ANY of my applications).

One potential project I have found is in Leatherhead for 4 months, which would see me staying at my mum's house near Guildford and seeing kissycat1000 on weekends - less than ideal but I'm getting rather desperate. Which brings me to my place in Bristol. I need to see about sorting out some sort of arrangement as it just doesn't make sense to pay 4 months' rent and bills for a place I'm not going to be in! So, more stress and uncertainty, which is not helping. Still, if I do stay at my mum's I will be dragging her screaming and kicking into the 21st century by getting her ADSL (cable, my first choice, isn't available in her area).

On the upside, this weekend is the weekend of the ride, so I'm looking forwards to that and to meeting dennyd. It's a shame my exhausts are in such a bad way though :/ I can't really afford to do anything about it now (as they are £500 for both sides) and even if I could it would make no sense until I hear what the outcome of my speeding offence (committed Dec 16th) is. I find it a bit dismaying that I can be left in limbo for so long. I will do some further investigation and see if this leaves me any legal loopholes.

I have been playing Unreal 2 for the last couple of days, finished it tonight. Not a long game, but very pretty, a few slightly new ideas to the FPS genre, but most importantly it had a believable and somewhat gripping plot! In this sense the shortness of the game meant the plot was kept moving and you were kept hooked into it.

The ending was very moving and dramatic and made me realise that computer games have begun to enter the arena of being like a film that you control the actor in. Admittedly the plot was linear but did have twists and turns, the setting was action but then it is an FPS game, the characters had different styles and interacted but the manipulation of the "reader's" emotions was transparent enough to be a little offputting.. but the whole thing came together well. I have heard that some of the level designs and ideas are nicked right out of other games but I haven't enough experience to say.

I must say I welcome this new step in computer gaming. Up until now, games have had plots that sound like they were written by a pre-teen for their homework, or have had a reasonable plot but been let down by the graphics (perhaps a game concept before it's time?) or sound or just not been immersing enough.

Unreal 2 got a good (but not perfect) balance of everything from the weapons to action (perhaps a little easy) to story to pace to graphics to sound. It definitely marks a new era of computer gaming.

There are things like MMORPGs like Everquest ('EverCrack'?) or suchlike but these are not short-term commitments suited to the kind of lifestyle that all but the most devoted computer gaming nerd can afford. Unreal 2 offers a glimpse of what short-term immersion on computers might be like, much in the same way films are for the general populace.

There is no multiplayer option for Unreal 2, but I expect there will be an expansion or another game based on the engine which will offer that.

Well that kind of changed into an unintended review really.. er, whoops.

I have many plans for geekiness, but I can only really hope to accomplish them if I pretend I am a serial device. jikatal helpfully found some 160GB drives which I have been seeking for literally months. Just my luck to have uncertain finances at present! I have contingency plans and will forge ahead with collecting an infinitesimal part of the internet on my servers just as soon as I have finished sorting out the Linux gateway box. That will leave me free to concentrate on getting RAID5 set up on there as well.

Other projects involve a potentially novel and cheap way of getting quiet water cooling and also setting up a quick Windows box to host the current file server disks as the hardware in the server at the moment is flaking out every day or two due to being zapped one too many times by naughty power supplies. Of course there is the never-ending pile of old PCs to sort out, and of course the films that need encoding. kissycat1000 made the mistake of introducing Jordan to a new Postman Pat DVD and as that machine is the only one with a working DVD drive it means that computer, TV and hifi are taken up with his DVD. On repeat. Ad infinitum. Poor kissycat1000.

Oh, and I have a little theological study I want to do as well, results to form a post sometime in the near future. Something that's tickled me and could be of benefit to a selection of people.

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