* Posts by tsdadam

56 publicly visible posts • joined 11 May 2010


El Reg blows chow down at Justretch.com


I always liked molestationnursery (which I believe was in mole station) and penismightier (than what kind of sword?).

Speed of art,or speedofart was a good one too.

Court battle date set for £300m BT Cornwall termination dispute


I live and work in Cornwall, on the very same Council network that BTC are now supporting.

Trust me, anyone dealing with them day-to-day, let alone on a massive scale, knows just how bad it is now.

I've seen a lot of the numbers they're talking about, and to me (and a lot of others) it's astonishing they even need to put a case forward, it's not even close.

Intel's Compute Sticks stick it to Windows To Go, Chromecast


The Amazon Fire TV Stick fits nicely between Chromecast and ICS. Can install Kodi, Plex and others on it for your own media, doesn't need a phone/tablet to control it (although you can), and comes with a bluetooth remote and on-screen navigation. Cheap too!

Rezzed: Indie gaming shows off its finest


Re: I remember it well....

I'm not sure if it was Carmageddon or the sequel, but yes, one had an excellent soundtrack filled with Iron Maiden among others.

My crowning glory for years was having my solution for one of the levels (using an electro bastard ray if memory serves) printed in PC Gamer. Oh the fame, the adulation.

Evolve: A shoot-em-up full of scary monsters and super creeps


"Bursting with more monsters than a Godzilla convention"

What, three?

Wetsuits, sunshine, bikini babes and a competitive streak: Epyx California Games


Decathlon ruled supreme though. You could also bring down a bird with the javelin in that

I think that was Track & Field.


Reading the instructions = cheating??

For those of us loading these games on tape, reading the instructions was the only thing to do while waiting for the Spectrum to scream the game into existence.

Cassette inlays; gone but not forgotten.


Re: I think the comment about the initially baffling controls is spot on.

Along with the utterly sadistic, completely impossible, Combat School

Top Ten 802.11ac routers: Time for a Wi-Fi makeover?



They've managed it with printers. So why not routers or TVs?

Because they don't need to. The only reason printers have an easy name is because people have to find ink for them. People (i.e. Joe Public) go to an electronics shop to buy 'a 42" TV with 3 HDMI ports'. They might want Sharp or whatever brand, but that's as far as they go. There are no consumables, and the only time they're likely to ever look for it is if a friend asks so they can get the same one, or if they call someone to get it repaired.

Valve says no Steam Machines until 2015, fingers crossed


Re: Wrong move IMO

The last revision of the pad I saw looks like it has four buttons in a diamond shape (a la ABXY) on _both_ sides of the pad.



I haven't tried it for a while, but I know from personal experience in the past it was easily possible to have two games running on the same account at once.

PC 1: Sign in to Steam, activate offline mode. Play game.

PC 2: Sign in to Steam on same account. Play game.

One account, one game purchased once, two people playing at the same time.

Yes, they have checks every so often (or did) for the offline computer, but in the scenarios given, this would work fine. As I say though, it's a while since I've done it, and then it was two computers on my same home network.

On the flip side though, what about this scenario:

Two people in the same house with their own consoles/steam machines. Both want a copy of Super Awesome New Game to play online at the same time with their friends. If we use something like Watch Dogs as a recent example, the Keeper of the Wallet is going to be forking out around £20 less every time they buy a game, and given how cheap older titles are on Steam (and stores that sell steamworks keys), buying the same game twice for two separate accounts isn't too bitter a pill to swallow.

Swings and roundabouts.

JJ Abrams and Star Wars: I've got a bad feeling about this


I agree wholeheartedly, those rose-tinted specs are strong it seems. Yes, Jar Jar was annoying, but at least he never swung on a vine doing an impression of Tarzan... That single moment is much worse than any one thing Jar Jar ever did.

Motorola Moto E: Brill budget blower with one bothersome blunder


Another one here

Never used the front camera. If my facebook feed is anything to go by, there are some that would miss it, but I'm certainly not one of them.

Gigabyte Brix Pro: You don't need no steenkin' Xbox... when you have 4K-ing amazing graphics


Re: A shame

I've done exactly this in the last couple of weeks. All in around £600 quid. That bought me:

Core i5




GTX 760

mITX Motherboard

Antec ISK 600 mITX case

Corsair 500W Modular PSU

It sits handsomely under my TV, is smaller than my receiver, and so far has no problem running everything I've thrown at it in 1080p 60fps.

What the frag? Earn millions as the world watches you SLAY rivals


Re: Recording Software

Nvidia's bundled Shadowplay also does a pretty good job with not-too-bad a hit on the FPS.

HTC One M8: Reg man takes spin in Alfa Romeo of smartphone world


Double-tap to wake

It's far from useless. I have it on the LG G2 (which, by the way, this review has made me even more glad to have chosen), and it's so handy that I get annoyed at absent-mindedly trying to do the same on the tablet. Phone on the arm of the chair in the evening, or on the desk at work, and want to check time or whatever? Just double-tap the screen - no more claw-hand trying to hold the phone still while you press the power button.

I know, I know, if you're reading this and haven't tried it it sounds really petty and a stupid thing to pick out, but once you've used it you'll wonder why every phone doesn't have it.

Wii got it WRONG: How do you solve a problem like Nintendo?


Mode 7 Starwing?

I think you're mixing up your Super FX with your Mode 7. Mode 7 was the background scaling and rotating Effect Du Jour that was used in a ton of games from the likes of F-Zero onwards. Super FX was the Argonaut-developed chip that was popped in Starwing and others.

HARD ONES: Three new PC games that are BLOODY DIFFICULT


Re: Less than generous respawn points ... rehashing whole swathes of levels again and again

"And, actually, that's kind of the point; games are not just for kids - those of us who grew up playing hard, unforgiving, non-saveable games (I'm looking at you, R-Type, Probotector*) are now adults, with jobs and responsibilities; kids of our own even.

Most of us remember those old-school games fondly but our relationship with games has matured and changed as we (hopefully) have."

The difference now is where the games come from. Arcade coin-ops dictated the games we wanted to play as kids. Coin-ops were designed to draw you back, no saves, and be completable within about half an hour or so. Wham, bam, thanks for your 10p, please come back again in 5 minutes to see some more of the game. We all read magazines back then longing to see those two sacred words next to a review of a home conversion:

"Arcade Perfect"

I still love these quick fix games, and difficult games too (the two are not synonymous, have a go at Dark Souls), but each has its place.

I have an urge to go and play Karnov now :)

No sign of Half-Life 3 but how about FOURTEEN Steam Machine makers?


Re: Difficult to predict

"Question: since it's basically a Linux PC does this mean it will support Netflix and all those things"

As it stands, that's one of the few things that won't happen.

Netflix won't run natively on linux at the moment, just through dedicated hardware and manfacturers (Roku etc), but 'desktop' linux cannot run it.

Yes, there are shoehorned implementations that let you do it with packages related to Wine, but nothing for linux as it is.

It's an interesting thought though, with Valve's weight thrown behind it, maybe it'll help nudge Neflix in that direction.

Vladimir PUTIN officially HARDER than CHUCK NORRIS


Re: Wrong Art - Chuck's 9th Dan too.

What can I say, I was a at a loose end while my coffee brewed :)


Wrong Art - Chuck's 9th Dan too.

Chuck earned his way in Tang Soo Do, not TKD. Sure, he got graded in TKD too, but TSD is what he's known for, and he's a 9th Dan in that.

Reboot the formula: F1 and FIFA tweaked for another year


Re: Does FIFA ## still cheat?

I can't say I particularly notice either of those, and I've played a lot of it over the last 3 or 4 years (was a WE/PES person before that).

Your second point though is probably due to the computer switching up to attacking or ultra-attacking when losing in an attempt to claw the match back. If you play clever and defensively (cover players, don't constantly try to tackle, double-up if you can) you can actually catch the computer with counter-attacks more often when it's happening.

The quick formation change option in 14's pause menu also means you can quickly change-up without diving into menus if you need to alter the game. I like the game, far better shooting than the last couple of games and finally some inertia on sprinting!

Former Microsoftie in AUTOMATIC BEER MAKER funding plea


Re: Shortcuts, shortcuts, shortcuts

@phil dude: Are you talking about boiling the wort, or pasteurising the bottled/canned finished beer?

If you're talking about boiling the wort, the yeast is always added after the heating. I boil my wort for at least 60 minutes (more often 90) on a strong rolling boil. It does what you're talking about but also drives off Dimethyl Sufides (DMS) responsible for nasty tastes, and helps isomerize the bittering oils in the early hops.

Beer is naturally pretty resistant to nasties once it's fermented. In fact, even while it's fermenting it's pretty hardy. The thick foam (krausen) forms a natural barrier, and from then on there's a nice layer of CO2 sat on top of the beer. The PH change in the beer helps make sure nothing nasty takes hold too.

Pasteurisation of beer is a bad thing if you ask me. Hop flavours and smells aren't as good, and it can taste a bit... old.

(sorry if I got the wrong end of the stick, I'm not trying to tell a microbiologist his stuff :) )


Re: Real men drink real ale

I'm an ale drinker, and I love a lager too, but a _good_ lager. Even a simple comparison between something like a bottle of Budvar and a bottle of Coors or Budweiser will show you that lager can taste of something other than brown and water.

Ironically though, making a lager is MUCH more involved and needs much more time and care than knocking out a pale ale.


Shortcuts, shortcuts, shortcuts

As any all-grain homebrewer will tell you, getting the wort out of the grain is only half the job.

There's no provision for chilling the wort (throw it in a bucket of ice...), and the fermentation is treated as something trivial that happens afterward. Temperature control during fermentation is just as important as the rest of the brew. This machine never even gets to a full boil, and starts at about 50% efficiency, I get better from my £30 home-made mash tun and £150 boiler.

Four weeks is the bare minimum I would expect to get anything even approaching a nice beer into a glass, but they reckon you can drink it after a week?? Then they talk about adding the kegs to your kegerator for serving. Anyone who goes to the trouble of building a kegerator isn't going to be too bothered by doing a full mash.

I suppose it could be useful for making up small test batches of a recipe, but that's as far as I'd go. For the cost of one of these you could easily put together a 23 litre all-grain setup and buy enough grain, hops and yeast to make beer until the end of the world :) Brewing's a labour of love, it takes time.

Campus Party: Did it start Silicon Britain or let 5,000 geeks sleep together?



When I read the original article I thought this was going to be a case of a load of hobbyist programmers getting together to make some useful, original apps.

Instead they seem to have shown some people 'Hello World' in Python on as RasPi (probably) - but wasn't this event intended for developers? And how to overclock a computer. Why overclocking? It seems so pointless. For people playing games, fine, but for developing apps?

The whole event was talked-up in the original article as being for developers, the post-event write-up sounds nothing like it. What a waste of a potentially great event.

Sony sets dates for US and Euro PS4 unleashment amid Xbox heckles


Re: At least with a console

Personally, this generation I'll be doing the best of both worlds. A mid-range PC with a half-decent GPU sat under the TV in the living room.

There's no need to keep going down the 'constant upgrade' route if you build a small PC for the living room. Unless you own a 4K TV (I don't) you don't need to cater for anything over 1920x1080 resolution, so there's no chasing max resolutions all the time. My three year old GTX-460 card (which was decidedly mid-range at the time) still spits out Battlefield 3 at that resolution looking a whole lot better than the console version.

A mini-itx (i.e. shoebox-sized) PC will do just about anything the next crop of consoles do in terms of games and media, the games are cheaper, and I have a big back-catalogue of games that I can still play on the same hardware. If something fails, I replace that bit rather than getting the console replaced (3 times with my 360, once with PS3). Don't get me wrong, I love the console experience, I really do, it's just that there's a viable alternative this time around that I'll still be able to play a lot of the games I would have bought on console. For less.

All of this said I'll no doubt pick up a PS4 when the price drops, but only_if_ there are enough decent exclusives. :)

Mint 15 freshens Ubuntu's bad bits


Awesome, but...

I've run Mint almost exclusively on my recent cheapo Lenovo laptop, and it's been brilliant. There's genuinely almost no reason left to boot into Windows for me now, and I love Cinnamon. Cinnamon + alt tab coverflow switching + windows 7 style grouped tasks addons = nigh on perfect for me.

Why nigh? Well, because despite the majority of high street laptops coming with 16:9 screens, there's still no option of a vertical panel in Cinnamon. Windows and Unity manage it, and I know the likes of XFCE does too, but I want it in Cinnamon, and can't have it. That precious vertical screen real estate is still eaten by the panel.

I know there are options like installing Cairo or Docky and using that, but I want the bona-fide original panel there.

Christ, that looks like a whinging post, and it shouldn't be. Mint 14 was great, Mint 15 is better.

Interview: Steve Jackson, role-playing game titan


Sorcery Spell Book

The first thing I thought when I saw the picture of the spell book from Sorcery was just how much it reminded me of the box for Ultimate's Knight Lore. It's not really that similar at all, just one of those pictures that instantly fires something off in your brain and takes you back 20+ years.


Re: Bigger

He's got Caylus and Tikal there, so he's already doing well, could do with Castles of Burgundy though :)

Review: Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch Ultrabook



Apparently just having a touchscreen is enough to push this review into the Tablet section of the site instead of Laptop ;)

Review: Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2


Re: Wouldn't boot in Linux

If I were to guess, I'd say so (Secure boot thing). UEFI is rife sadly, and Lenovo's bios/uefi is weird. My recent Lenovo laptop with Windows 8 pre-install won't even recognise its own Optical drive as a boot device unless the setup is changed back to bios/legacy mode.

Trip the fight fantastic


Re: A few comments

While I agree whole-heartedly on the KB/Mouse vs Pad for the sort of games you're talking about there (FPS, RTS), I'd have to argue that there are areas that a gamepad kicks the pants off of a keyboard/mouse combination.

Take sports games for example, or platformers, or 2D fighters. A good pad or joystick knocks spots off a keyboard and mouse here, and that's because of the largely overlooked downside of using a keyboard for movement, and that's it being digital. Say what you like about using an analogue stick for aiming (and yes, it's rubbish), but analogue movement is what's missing.

There's something archaic about having a walk/run modifier key. Or maybe try playing fifa on the keyboard and watch that same twitching you mention as you alternate between left and up-left trying to follow a non-45 degree angle. No amount of tweening's going to fix that.

The holy grail of controllers will have analogue movement, with relative positional aiming/cursor control - and do it well. God only knows what it'll look like, although that PS4 pad has a touch-pad controller. It's not where I'd like it, but it's a start.

Signed, a massive BF3 fan (mouse + keyboard) who wouldn't dream of playing a fighter or sports game without a good pad.

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Re: Square Syndrome

Personally I quite like the way the game's done it. To me it feels like a mix of 'doing what it takes to survive as everyone tries to kill her' followed by frequent cinematic breaks of desperation.

As the reviewer says though, it's a game at the end of the day, and the combat is actually pretty good for the most part. Sure beats pogoing around trying to shoot marauding dinosaurs like the original :)

Twenty classic arcade games


Re: What was that one called...?

You're actually thinking of Mad Dog McCree (I think), Quickdraw McGraw was a cartoon horse.



Sinistar made the space invaders look as scary as E.T.

Microsoft notices Xbox gamers actually slack-jawed TV fans, adds 43 new apps

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No problem with Gold

I've had a Gold account since the original Xbox (~8 years) and personally find it excellent. It's by far the best all-in-one friends/games service on a console, and its uptime is fantastic. I have a PS3 too (never payed for their equivalent premium service), and yes, it's a free service, but at the same time Live has never been down for weeks, or leaked my details. Cross-game voice chat, messaging, invites etc have been the norm for a long time.

Oh and for the 'who pays for two subscriptions?!' brigade, consider an alternative situation. I have a netflix account which I primarily use my PS3 for, but because I happen to have a Gold account (which I pay for anyway), I now have *another* device I can use it on. Win-win as far as I'm concerned :)

Far Cry 3 game review


Re: Do they really play this to review it?

I was just thinking the same thing, it's three pages that tell you -about- the game, but not what it's like to actually play it...

Taito's Double Dragon



I vividly remember this cab at my local leisure centre (among other places), where they had the volume turned up to 11. The high-pitched 'ching' noise as you kicked a knife out of the air is a joy to behold :)

Double Dragon 2 was also a great game. Who can forget 'Pogo' and timing the jump and kick just right to get the helicopter kick.


Thumb Up


The best Ghostbusters game by far was the Megadrive version. It was nothing like the 8-bit versions, instead an excellent platformer with Super-Deformed caricatures of the actors from the film.

It's still worth a play, great game.

Microsoft job ad advises 'Xbox 720' out by Feb 2014


It doesn't say next generation anywhere

A 'new' Xbox in this context could just as easily be a refresh on the current hardware.

I remember all the stuff they were saying about giving it PVR capabilities (I seem to remember them filing patents for DVR/TV capabilites), could a new Xbox not just be a different model, maybe along the lines of a media center?

Spy Hunter


Master System

I remember the closest thing on the Master System - Action Fighter. Pretty good fun, and for some reason the cheat code of DOKIPEN has stuck with me 'til this day, in the same way WE5TONE for Wonderboy: The Dragon's Trap has too :)

Streetfighter 2: The World Warrior

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I was going to post the same thing about the arcade. That's the experience that made that game for me.

I remember seeing a preview in C+VG/Mean Machines (I can't remember which) before the release and poring over the screenshots for weeks. Once it finally arrived - wow... Hordes of kids stood around the cabs, piles of 10p pieces by the joysticks for the unwritten 'next player' rule of the arcade, and those magical moments when someone from out of town would turn up and play like a god with some character you never bothered with before.

I was one of those SNES importers (through Dream Machines I think it was back then) and this cart hooked up on the pass-through converter provided me with far, far too many hours in front of the TV. What nostalgia tends to ignore though is the hideous NTSC-PAL issues which saw us over here with ~100 lines more vertical resolution (i.e. huge black bars top and bottom), and the fact that the game ran at about 85% of the true speed thanks to the 60Hz/50Hz refresh difference.

It didn't matter though, I still remember pulling the blinds and having 'best of 99' battles with my mates :)

Speedball 2 Brutal Deluxe


Re: No mention of Ice Cream?

Typically this appeared just the same time as my own post on the same thing :)


No mention..

..of the most memorable bit of speech from those hazy Amiga days?

"Ice Cream!!"

I loved the Bitmap crossover stuff too, like Super Nashwan from this game and Xenon 2: Megablast :)

Basic instinct: how we used to code


They could get away with anything...

Just looking through that listing for Towers of Hanoi, t he description says it's "velly velly good".

In my head is a picture of Peter Sellers in Murder by Death as Mr Wang :)

Soul Calibur V



I love the 'Soul' series, so I've been looking forward to this. A quick question though. Given that there are almost no negative points (maybe no Ryu/Ken, but as the reviewer is a self-confessed SF fan you'd think the lack of Shoto scrubs would be a good thing ;) )to speak of in the review, and a lot of praise for game-balancing, why has it only been given 75%?

WHSmith Kobo Vox e-reader


That was my point though, if it's an e-reader then a slow processor should never be a negative point in a review.

Jack of all trades, master of none.



I can't say I've ever, not even once, accidentally turned my Kindle off. And I agree with the above comment on 7 hours of battery life, that's appalling for something marketed as an e-reader.

The bit that got me most though is the comment that the biggest drawback is the sluggish processor. On a device that's essentially designed to show a page of text, and then flip to the next page after a minute or two, there's no way in the world that processor speed should *ever* be an issue.

Companies should stick to making dedicated e-readers or tablet, not hybrid Frankenstein's monsters.

Santa's Xmas Caper


Christmas bits in games...

The one that jumps out at me first is Crude Buster (Two Crude Dudes). One of the bosses was - if memory serves - a small maniac throwing petrol bombs dressed in a Santa outfit. What sticks with me is him shouting "Ho, Ho, Ho. Psycho Santa!" :)