Skip to main content


First impressions of Elden Ring after 77 hours

 Steam says I have played Elden Ring for 77 hours since installing the game 23 days ago. Some of that is undoubtedly idle time but I have probably clocked at least 50 hours of actual playtime and I am still very much a beginner.  Elden Ring is the 2022 mega hit game from From Software, creator of the hugely influential Demon souls / Dark Souls series. These games are notoriously hard core and make a virtue out of not hand holding players. Elden Ring remains true to the souls formula but in a bigger bolder and more accessible format. Elden Ring has been rewarded with huge sales and multiple critical accolades including several "Game of the Year" titles.  More accessible is a relative term. Unlike previous souls games Elden Ring does have a tutorial (if you can find it by jumping off a cliff) but it only teaches the very basics of melee combat. Most of the games many many complex systems are left for the player to figure out by themselves including things as fundamental as how
Recent posts

Nostalgic memories of the first time I built a PC in 2002 (from reddit)

 Copied from this Reddit comment: I am late to the party but your question brings back some nostalgic memories I would like to share: I first built a PC in 2002 so only twenty years ago and not twenty five. In 2002 building your own PC was not as common as today but enough people were doing it that guides were readily available and specialised retailers sold components. The actual steps of the build itself were not too different but they probably took a bit longer especially installing windows and drivers. The main components were still CPU, GPU and RAM and you still had multiple choices: Intel or AMD for CPU, Nvidia, ATI and a few few others for GPU. There were a lot more ancillary parts however. You needed a sound card, you needed a hard disk, a floppy disk and a CD/DVD drive. You also needed a dial up modem to get 56kbit ! internet. You needed a wired keyboard and a wired mouse. This wa

Playing the Call of Duty World War 2 games on Veteran Difficulty

The original Call of Duty made a big splash when it came out on PC back in 2003. Call of Duty has since  become one of the biggest franchises in gaming. Even though most of the money is now earned from multiplayer and even though the series has long since moved on to modern day and futuristic settings it still visits World War 2 occasionally. I recently had the opportunity to play through most of the single player World War 2 Call of Duty games on veteran difficulty and I would like to share my thoughts and comparisons.  I have middle aged reflexes and I am far from a leet gamer but I chose veteran (the hardest) difficulty  because I have replayed these campaigns several times over the years and it makes sense for me to up the challenge. I also think that playing a 2003 game on a modern PC makes things easier. I remember jerky response times making it hard to aim and survive during the frenetic battles scenes way back in the day. A modern gaming PC can handle those early games with but

How to eat safely at your desk

 This post is about eating breakfast / lunch / any other snack safely at your desk while working. Lets get the elephant out of the room before we begin: Eating at your desk is a terrible habit that is bad for you both physically and mentally. If at all possible you should switch off the computer and go somewhere else to eat. However the sad reality is that many of us regularly do so. In my case my computer is an integral part of both my work and my leisure and eating at the desk is a common occurrence. In fact this became so common during the enforced covid lockdowns that I learned, through trial and error two tips for eating at a computer desk and it is these tips that I wish to pass on today.  Tip 1: Never place a beverage cup between you and your mouse.   I am right handed and the intuitive position for me to place a cup of coffee is slightly to my right about 20cm from the edge of my desk. Unfortunately this is also the default position of my mouse. My first reaction was to move th

Grumpy Complaint about Ironing (From Reddit)

  For some reason I am chief clothes ironer in this house and it annoys me how much harder my wife's things are to iron than my own. This is despite the fact that my clothes tend to be much bigger and have a lot more material to cover. Reason 1: My clothes are all made out of cotton that can be steam ironed at high temperature. My wife's clothes are made out of a variety of light materials that will melt at anything above luke warm. Reason 2: Male clothing tends to be made up of a number of large flat panels. You just lay each panel flat and iron it. Even sleeves and trouser legs can be laid flat. Women's clothing tends not to have flat panels. It is made up of irregularly shaped pieces of material which are sewn together in escheresque arrangements. It is literally impossible to lie them flat. Reason 3 accoutrements. My clothes are all fairly basic. The only accoutrements you need to watch our for are the occasional button. My wife's clothes almost always have some kin

Necromunda: Hired Gun - A surprisingly enjoyable Warhammer 40k shooter

  There have been a lot of bad Warhammer 40k video games over the years and only a very small number of good ones. The first two Dawn of War games were excellent RTS games while Space Marine was a great third person shooter but Necromunda: Hired Gun is the first 4k based first person shooter I can remember actually enjoying.  The game pits you as a soldier of fortune undertaking missions on the gang ruled munitions factory planet of Necromunda. There is an overarching plot which sets you up on the trail of a shadowy figure who is stirring up trouble but the story is utterly secondary to the gun play and the gun play is quite good. Movement is fluid and controls are tight. There is a good selection of appropriately powerful weapons and bionic powers available. The missions are set in large open levels which allow plenty of opportunity for parkouring around with grappling hook, wall running and sliding. The maps do feel a but repetitive by the end of the game but there is enough variety

I'm playing Final Fantasy XIV. It's an MMORPG. Is it 2005 again?

I heard a recommendation for Final Fantasy Online a few days back and decided to give it a go. It is a long time since I felt the urge to play an mmorpg but I have been bouncing around between a few games recently and perhaps in a fit of nostalgia I remember the good times I had fifteen years or so ago when  World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online were cool. For a brief few years MMORPGs offered an exciting glimpse into the possibilities of virtual worlds. They also demanded a huge time commitment and required a lot of busy work which is why I and most other gamers eventually moved on. I am trying FF XIV at a very casual level, no guilds , no raids just questing around in the world. First impression are pretty good. There is a very generous free trial that appears to offer a lot of content with not many restrictions. the game has been around since 2013 so it is not surprising that it seems very polished by now and it looks pretty too. Of course it has a confusing array of locati