Yesterday I discovered LEGO's superb Digital Designer program (also known as lego factory). This is a fully fledged computer aided design (CAD) program that allows you to construct a vrtual lego model from a huge variety of bricks. The program is powerful yet extremely easy to use - a superb programming achievement. Even more amazing is the fact that having designed your virtual masterpiece you can then buy the pieces you need to make it all at the click of a button. There must be a very sophiticated warehousing system behind this that allows lego to pick individual kits for every order. I am happy to report that lego digital designer got the thumbs up from my two kids (5 and 7). However something became apparent very quickly as we built our virtual models. You can have any colour brick you want as long as it is a very masculine red or white, green, grey or blue. There are no pink or purple bricks. I thought this was surely an oversight. Surely lots of girls like to play with lego and they might appreciate the more feminine colours. A quick trawl of the website revealed that lego don't make a range of pink bricks. The do offer a range of "Clickit" toys aimed at girls which focusses on jewelry design but it is not the same thing. You can't build trees and houses and people with it. Googling around showed some people on Ebay selling a rare item called a "Girls Pink Fantasy Bucket". I could find no reference to this item in the current lego product offering. Perhaps this was a failed marketing experiment. I find this hard to understand. Are girls really not interested in the world's greatest creative toy? I am so surprised I think I will write to LEGO and ask them about it.
I mentioned before that I intended to try Portal 2 in "unofficial split screen co-op mode. Well split screen on a small computer monitor is a recipe for a headache especially when the game defies gravity as much as portal. However a minor bit of extra fiddling allowed us to drive two seperate screens from one PC. The Steam forums describes a complicated method of doing this that I couldn't get working so this simpler method which worked for me might be of use to someone. 1. First I followed the instructions in this post to get split screen multi-player working: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1847904 A minor issue not mentioned is that you need to enable the console from the keyboard/mouse options menu I am using keyboard and one wired Xbox360 controller as suggested. Getting the controller to switch to channel 2 was tricky at first but as Chameleon8 mentions plugging it out and in again during loading works. The trick for me was to do the plug / p