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Showing posts from June, 2012

Dear PC Game Devs, please stop asking for aspect ratio before letting me choose screen resolution.

I have noticed an increasingly bonkers trend in PC games where the graphics settings insist that you choose the correct aspect ratio before they will let you choose the right screen resolution.  To make things worse there isn't even a consensus on what the different aspect ratios are called. Installing Dragon Age II recently I had to set an aspect ratio of 16:10 before it would allow me to select the correct 1680 x 1050 resolution for my monitor. On other occasions it has been sufficient to say "widescreen" but when I went to install Warhammer 40k Space Marine the magic aspect ratio turned out to be 8:5. I know that could be worked out from simple arithmetic but given that Space marine offers a choice of ten different aspect ratio's including such gems as 683:384 it was frustratingly hard to find the right answer.   This is completely backwards because most gamers know the resolution of their screens so if they just asked for the resolution then the programme c

Cable company customer service

I hate ringing my cable company. It isn't because they are unhelpful, I have always found them courteous. It isn't even because of the automated answering service. I have always found it possible to get through to a human relatively quickly. It is simply because long experience has taught me that whom ever I am speaking to will try their hardest to get me to pay more. This has to be deeply  ingrained in the company's policy because the most innocent of inquiries will result in some additional surcharge being suggested, often for no increase in service. I have also learned that most of these surcharges are completely avoidable but once you are on the phone to a representative of the company you need to carefully navigate around a minefield of suggested charges in order to get away  without increasing your monthly bill. Example from a few years ago: I am ringing to cancel "XYZ channel, we don't watch it any more and I no longer want to pay for it. "Certainly

Your game doesn't work with my password manager

If you play online games (and nowadays even offline games) then you need lots of secure paswords. The best way I know of generating and maintaining a  secure password is to use a password manager such as the excellent Keepass . Keepass will generate and store hundreds of passwords and lock them all up in military grade security. Instead of being restricted to the simple monsyllables that my 48 year old brain can remember (dog, cat ...) I can use long strings of assorted hieroglphics to thwart any would be hacker. The beauty of a good password manager is that you don't even have to type in these long and complex sequences. Keypass will copy the password into the paste buffer and from there you can ctrl-v it into the password field. This works great for most programmes and websites but it doesn't work for some games. When trying to install Dragon Age last night I had to tpe in my Origin account details to activate the game. Sadly they have disabled the paste buffer when ent

Wot I am playing

My gaming has been a mixed bag recently. From a recent humble indie bundle I have played: Limbo: Excellent atmospheric 2d platformer. The best bits are at the start unfortunately but I found enough of interst to keep me going to the end. Bastion: I finished my first play through last night. Highly polished and very enjoyable action rpg with a strong storyline that is cleverly narrated  as you progress through the game. There are tonnes of options (weapons and upgrades) and I was initially frustrated to realise that you cannot replay levels in the game because there aren't enough levels to try more than a few combinations. However finishing the game seems to have unlocked a new mode where I can go back with all the stuff I have accumulated so I may replay it a few times to experiment. My favourite combination so far is flame thrower and mortar by the way. Super Meat Boy:  Incredible hard but quite compelling platformer.  I have completed about twenty levels but I am afraid t

Lotro now on Steam

I am a week behind the time with this news but I just noticed that Lotro is now available on the Steam platform. I spend more time in Lotro than any other mmorpg so I have a special love for the game even though I am not playing it at the moment. Checking the Steam forums indicates that a number of new players have been tempted to try it since its Steam release. Good news all round I think.

The rules of EVE online

I am not actively playing EVE at the moment but since I decided to keep up my sub for training I occasionally log in to update the skill queue, look around and maybe run a mission or two. I was too tired to do much last night but logged in anyway for a look around. Someone was touting a blueprint for sale in local chat. SECOND RULE OF EVE: Anything being offered in local chat in Jita is a scam. This however was not Jita and even though I was I tired I knew that honest pilots who couldn't be bothered hauling their goods  to a trade hub sometimes tout their wares in local in the hopes of making a sale in this quiet system. You can occasionally pick up a bargain this way. THIRD RULE OF EVE: If it looks too good to be true. It is. A quick glance at EVE Central showed that this blueprint was being sold at a considerable discount to the market price. Tempting. The pilot might be too lazy to haul it to a busier system but perhaps I could make a few million doing so. FOURTH R