A month since my last post? Preposterous!
Anyway, I’ve been meaning to post. Honest. I was initially going to do one chronicling (looks wrong?) my time volunteering at Redgrave Community Shop, as a couple of weeks ago I ended my nine month tenure there. But my computer crashed on that last day and by the time I had it back up (which took a while as it’s over four years old and showing its age) I didn’t really feel like it. There wasn’t much to say anyway.

There have also been a number of other happenings since the last blog entry. I’ll touch up on some now before the “main event”.

On the 15th May I celebrated my 19th birthday. I mainly got money (around £100 in total, with an extra £50 or so coming later or in cheque form meaning I couldn’t get it very quickly) but also got a preorder of ModNation Racers and a few other things, including some old but lovely copies of such games as Far Cry Instincts on Xbox, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap on GameBoy Advance (win), and Call of Duty 1 on PC (also win).

After staying up until 4am to play these for extended time, I was woken up three hours later by my dad asking if I wanted to go to Banham Car Boot Sale. Bleary-eyed and wanting bed, but realising that a nice supply of money + Banham Car Boot Sale = jackpot, I accepted. There, along with a couple of old GameCube games, The Getaway: Black Monday and a couple other throwaway items, I found an Xbox 360. It was £60 with a functional wired controller, a usable but dodgy wireless one, a headset, an additional component cable (basically old HDMI) and a copy of “Gears of War”. I wasn’t sure if I wanted it though. What if it was faulty and was a RRoD-bricked machine? I couldn’t test it. But, thinking about all the games I wanted for the thing but never could get, I risked it. It paid off.

I now have, along with Gears of War and a copy of the excellent Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City I also bought at Banham for £20, these games: Dead Rising (£8 – stunning game bar a few blasted flaws), WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2007 (£2.30 – mostly to help complete the set, I now have 2006-2010 unbroken), Saints Row (£5, not very good, but to get some back story as I have the multiformat Saints Row 2 already), Project Gotham Racing 3 (£2.30, not keen but it has the slick Geometry Wars and Retro Evolved demo which both win hard), and Fifa 07 (99p, not played. Got it because it was 99p!). On other gaming notes, I got a copy of Amplitude on PS2. I’ve only been looking for a copy of this game for seven years (more than a third of my life) – when I held it in my hands it was gratifying, akin to Mario holding Luigi’s balls.

So, five days ahead and I got ModNation Racers. It was disappointing. After a couple of days loving it, I hit a difficulty spike and spent the next four or five slugging through the last stages with frustration beating out fun. Then I discovered it was region locked online. This means that, not only could I not play anybody else I know that owns it, but it also means that because 99% of UK MNR owners seem to hate ranked matches, I can never find one. So it’s just lost all appeal.

Lastly, here are the answers to the quiz in the last blog. 1. Kaitlyn. 2. SNES – I’ve never owned a NES, PlayStation was my second console and Megadrive was something I got in the PS2 era for retro laughs. 3. Yellow, and at the time it was entertainment perfection. 4. Wheelcage: Test & Win, though all four are levels I’ve published. 5. XIII – I own the other three on Xbox, though prior to having SSX On Tour on Xbox I did own it on PS2, and I have Metal Gear Solid 2 on PS2, though not the special “Substance” edition. 6. Bottom – I have no Young Ones, a quarter of the Fawlty Towers series, and the entire Blackadder collection on DVD. 7. Robert Rodriguez – did films such as Sin City, Planet Terror and From Dusk ‘Til Dawn. Tarantino would be second, I doubt either of the others would be in the top ten. 8. Yellow, though in the past it’s occasionally swapped with green. 9. Inflatable sheep. I have no idea if he was even aware what it was meant for. 10. Pair of pliers. It also has a keychain which is all too good at getting in the way of the goddamn pliers.

Quick breather!

11. Lopham. “Redgrave & Lopham Fen”. 12. Lindstrom. La Roux inspired “La Rolloux”, LCD Soundsystem did “Get Innocuous!” which was one of my addicted songs at the time of a particular gravity flipping game, and Padded Cell did “Signal Failure” which was, of course, a direct influence. Lindstrom did influence a game name, but that game got canned very early in so it doesn’t count. 13. A Bug’s Life. But I still like it, which is testament to how good Pixar are. Now don’t screw up Toy Story 3, right? 14. Insert, because I hate that thing when you type and it autodeletes stuff infront of the cursor. 15. Crazy Taxi 2 on DC. I own Crazy Taxi on PS2 and CT3 on Xbox, and played the Dreamcast version of the original at a 1999 motorshow. 16. Goes Forth. The only series I don’t like is the first. 17. Impaled it on a screwdriver, which in bloody retrospect was a bad idea! 18. The Matrix. The others are poor. 19. Jesus. 20. A woob woob woob Dr Zoidberg!

Okay, so now that’s done, the laptop. I’ve needed one for quite a while, given possible future needs to move house and that the computer I use and have done since April 2006 is a family desktop that’s horribly outdated and unreliable. So, today, I ordered one. Total cost of £603.50, though without the reductions it would’ve strayed into £810-odd. To save the effort, here are the specs.

Module Description
Base Intel® Core™ i5-430M (2.26Ghz, 4Threads, turbo boost up to 2.53 GHz, 3MB cache)
Microsoft Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit- English
Memory 4096MB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [2×2048]
Keyboard Internal UK/Irish Qwerty Keyboard
Video Card 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD5470 Graphics Card
Hard Drive 500GB (5400RPM) Serial ATA Hard Drive
Optical Devices DVD +/- RW Drive (read/write CD & DVD) with DVD Burn software
Wireless Networking Dell Wireless 1397 Mini Card (802.11 b/g)
Cables 1 Meter Power Cord (3 Wire) – UK
Shipping Documents English Documentation
Gedis Bundle Reference N0655803
Standard Warranty 1 year Collect & Return Hardware Support included with your PC
Enhanced Service Packs 1 year of coverage included with your PC
PalmRest Silver chainlink palm rest – with Black Chainlink cover only
Order Information Studio 1558 Order – UK
Primary Battery Primary 6-cell 56 WHr Lithium Ion battery
Carrying Cases No Carrying Case.
Dell System Media Kit Studio 1558 Resource DVD (Diagnostic & Drivers)
Camera 2.0 Mega pixel Integrated Web Camera
Colour Choice Black chainlink
Accidental Damage Support No Accidental Damage Support
Online Backup DataSafe Online Backup 2GB 1 year
Theft Protection Solution Computrace LoJack for Laptops, 1yr license – included with your PC
Telephone Contact NO – Dell may NOT telephone me in relation to my order and related products and services
Labels Wireless Label CI5
LCD 15.6″ High Definition (1366×768) WLED
DataSafe (Services Owned) Datasafe Local 2.0 Basic
Microsoft Application Software Microsoft® Office Starter 2010 (Word Starter, Excel Starter)
Protect your new PC McAfee® SecurityCenter 15 Month Subscription
Power Supply 90W AC Adaptor
Operating System Recovery Options OS Media MUI Windows® 7 Home Premium (64 BIT) Resource DVD

That’s about all there is to say. Oh, it doesn’t mention – it’s a Dell laptop. Should be here in about two weeks – if I can get round to it, I’ll put up my thoughts on it when it arrives.

Anyway, that’s all for now. See y’all!

~Andrew