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Showing posts from March, 2007

Is it a game or is it an alternative reality?

I downloaded the puzzle quest demo last night because I had seen it highly recommended on several blogs Tobold is a fan, Bill Harris is a fan, Spencer from Siliconera is a fan). The game seems to be primarily designed for handheld gaming devices (PSP, DS) so the graphics are pretty basic but the format is quite novel. It is an RPG with story and character progression but combat is based on a tile swapping puzzle game. Combat takes place on a board covered with tiles of different shapes and colours. Players take turns to swap tiles in order to get three of a kind in a row horizontally or vertically. Getting three in a row has beneficial effects such as charging a mana pool, increasing cash or damaging your opponent. Mana (of which there are four kinds) can be used to cast spells which benefit you or damage your enemy or affect the game board in some way. Play continues until one opopnents life is drained. It makes for an engrossing strategic challenge immersed in a fun RPG format


Guild wars is notable for having the best user created support site I have ever come across. It is called Guildwiki and you can try it out here . The site is absolutely encyclopaedic. It covers every quest, every character, every location, every skill, every item and just about every blade of grass in the game. Unlike many wiki's it is extremely well edited and easy to navigate. In fact it is so good it has come to dominate all other Guild Wars reference sites and I doubt if there is a Guild wars player out there who doesn't use it. Here is a sample article listing the skills available to a warrior character . Here is a sample mission walkthrough. This one site has all the information you need to play and enjoy this game. Othe rgames have support sites. There is a wiki for World of Warcraft for example. When I was playing WOW it was not very complete and it was poorly edited. It seems to have gotten a lot more content since but just look at a sample wowwiki page and tell me

Winning the battle of the 8:15

I scored a minor victory today in the morning public transport battle. The train was crowded as usual, standing room only. I squeezed in with my fellow commuters. A young woman squeezed in in front of me and chose to spend the entire journey in conversation on her phone. This is not in itself a crime but this particular lady felt that she needed more room in front no doubt in order to better express herself during the conversation. Unfortunately I was standing directly behind her so the only way for her to gain the space she desired was to push me back. This lady was far from elfin but you you might still consider it unlikely that she could easily push back a 14 stone (90 kg) specimen like myself. However there is a simple method by which the unscrupulous commuter can abuse the normal good will of fellow travellers to win themselves more territory. It relies on the normal swaying motion of the train and works like this: Often while in transit standing passengers find themselves moved b

Why buy insurance?

I guess I say no to extended warranties or purchase protection cover for two main reasons. The first reason is a gut feeling that all extended warranties are a rip off . My second reason is a bit more thought out and rleates to why we need insurance at all. As I see it insurance is purely a financial proposition based on risk. In crude terms the average payout of an insurance policy equals the actual payout that would occur in the event of a claim times the probability that that that claim will occur. What is more if the insurance company has any idea what they are doing then the expected average payout will always be less than the premium the company charges you. Excessive sales margins just make the picture worse. Any company foolish enough to offer insure you for a premium less than the average expected payout is unlikely to remain in business long enough to re-imburse your claim. Insurance is in effect a gamble where the odds are always stacked against you. Not much different in s

Upgrading to a Nokia 6233

I upgraded my phone in January from a Nokia 6230 to a Nokia 6233. I'm not exactly a power user of phones but I can say that the new phone is nice to use with a lovely clear display and big easy to press buttons. The only bad point is that the included 2 megapixel is awful. I don't know why they bother with 2 megapixels at all since the optics/sensor/filtering arrangment is clearly incapable of supporting it. As an indication of how bad it is consider that a 1600x1200 (2 mega pixel) photo taken on high quality mode is virtually indistinguishable in quality from the same photo taken in medium quality 640*480 mode when uploaded to a PC and examined. Anyway I don't take many photos with my phone so I was generally happy until last week when the phone developed a permanent orange vertical line superimposed on top of the display. This was abit dissapointing for a phone that was less than two months old. I brought the phone straght back to the shop to discover that I was just outs