21 March 2008

Powering dreams, one lap at a time

What's the point in two posts in rapid succession? Why not just one? Two questions I refuse to answer to, so keep them to yourself.

After the Australian Grand Prix, I reflected on how well Honda Racing F1 had done there, hauling themselves up from an unpromising off season following a dismal 2007 to be the faster of the mid-field cars, even get one of their cars (The one not hit by an errant Toro Rosso) into a podium (On racing merit) position. Disqualification aside, it was epic.

And so, we turned to Malaysia (Birthplace of one of my friend's mothers in an pointlessly unrelated piece of trivia). And our jaws dropped further. Jenson went P9 in Free Practice 1. We were into the top ten pace!

Then, he knocked us all flat in Free Practice 2. In a low fuel run, Jenson hauled the Honda into P4, besting the McLaren (Fastest car over a single lap in the field) of Heikki Kovalainen!

And with rain predicted as almost and completely a certainty for qualifying and the race respectively, Jenson Button - the rain master - could well be on for a podium. And dare I say, challenge for the win?

But honestly, even finishing 4th would make me as happy as a kid with a big ice cream. All I can say is:

Come on Jenson!

Jens Out (For true this time)


So, today, I went to Toys R Us.

I played a little Tux Racer on the Eee they had on display, then took the ticket to the checkout, shoved my card in the slot, entetered my pin, claimed my Eee and left. Took about 10 minutes total including some time ogling the Doctor Who stuff. Painless.

I've got it setup and I love it, It works like a charm. Been hitting up forums, the chatroom from Forumula1.net, watching YouTube, iPlayer and MP4s. Even chatting with my frinds via Microsoft's Windows Live network.

The biggest job was redoing Firefox using the Minifox theme, Tinymenu extension and moving the navigation toolbar contents into the menu toolbar, before removing the empty navigation toolbar. All done to maximise viewing space.

I also did away with the status bar as irrelevant.

Right now I'm letting it charge for a while because it's been taking a pounding since it achieved full charge at around 1 or 2 (I forget). I ran it to dead at about 4ish I think and ran from outlet power for a while, before allowing it to charge a bit, then punding it again.

It's pretty, small, light and it was dirt cheap.

Love it.

Jens Out

17 March 2008

Epic: Honda are back

Earlier this year, I worriedly posed the question:

"Does/will the Honda RA108 suck?"

Off the back of group testing in the off season, the answer was seeming like an emphatic yes. Honda were making overtures of a new aero package to be tested privately in Jerez, but we received little information on the results and basically no pictures.

So, Australia arrived and Honda fans settled ourselves in to watch the RA108 at least make mincemeat of the Super Aguris in the achingly poor RA107B/SA08. But then something amazing happened.

Jenson went P11.

Several times.

The Honda was on the midfield pace. Not just on it, just about leading it. We had been expecting to be behind the slowest midfielders.

For Honda fans, after last year, this was like winning the WDC and the WCC at once. We were sniffing points consistently this season and a decent qualifying saw RB go P11 and JB P13 (Later 10 and 12 after Glock was penalised. JB was on a P10 lap at the end of Q2, but a small mistake meant he was marginally slower than Rubens). Between them was, of all things, Fernando Alonso's Renault.

Although Jenson was eliminated at the start by Vettel, Rubens did well and could have taken P3 if not for an unfortunate series of events to do with the safety car.

But the result (DNF, DQ) doesn't matter. It's the pace. Honda is not slow. It's not even mediocre. It has some speed.

Racing speed, not qualifying speed like the BMW.

We're eying a double points finish in Malaysia. And if it rains, JB could well do P3.

Looks like this year will be way better than (The not bad) '03, but not as good as '05/'06. But after '07, it'll seem better than '06 and '04 put together. And it's a solid base for the Jenson Button/Ross Brawn Honda Racing F1 Three-Year title assault staring in '09.

Hamilton, watch your mirrors.

Jens Out

12 March 2008

Digital Print Media

More details on the project for which I am currently recruiting talent.

I'm looking to launch a successor to GizzedUp. Wanna Play? Magazine (Working Title) will be a multiplatform, digitally distributed video games magazine, exceeding the pages per issue of GizzedUp by a wide margin.

The magazine is to be laid out and exported to the widely used PDF format on industry standard Mac hardware running OS X (Version 5) Leopard, the OS for creative professionals and publishing using the successful publishing software Pages '08, a component of iWork '08.

Most exciting of all, the content of the magazine will be crowd-sourced, opening the pages to anyone to have their review, news coverage, editorial, recurring feature - whatever they choose to write - published for all to see, with their name or handle proudly displayed alongside.

The magazine will be issued no fewer than six times per year and up to thirteen (Content permitting).

Readers and contributors will be able to hit up The Work Board on the magazine's website to see what writing needs to be done (In a general sense, the work board will simply list "Review for Issue X" or "News Writeups", with contributors choosing what specifically to write about. The board will be updated to include a list of which games or news items or so on have already had articles selected for publication) and with any luck discuss the magazine and gaming in general on the forum.

This winter, I'm getting back into the (digital) print media.

And yes, I know. About time too...

(PS: This Blog will live on though)

ASUS To supply my next desktop too?

ASUS announced the stylish and powerful Essentio CS5110 - a silent-running multimedia PC with Intel Core2 Duo processing, 250-500GB of storage, up to 4GB of RAM, a 256MB nVidia 8600 GT (Not the finest card ever, but capable) and a blue-glowing (Wii-style) slim slot-loading Blu-Ray optical drive.

No word on pricing, but if the price is right, this beauty, or an updated variant of it:

Will undoubtedly be the replacement for my aging Dell Dimension 5150.

I had considered a Mac Pro, but I'll be paying for it with EMA and I do want to, you know, buy it before 2012.

Jens Out

11 March 2008

Wanted Ad

Wanted: Graphics Designer
Purpose: Designing logos, symbols and background images for upcoming video game focused project.
Details: This will include one-off work designing a brand symbol/logo, layout imagery (EG, content banners, tabs, section logos), but also recurring work designing colourful, but not distracting, high-resolution imagery to appear behind text. Photographic editing, or photoshopping if you prefer, possible, but not definite.

Web Developer Position Filled

Apply for either position by contacting me, for example via e-mail at:

07 March 2008

Jeff Gerstmann is back and he's got a new trick

Jeff Gerstmann is ten times as slick as the last time, the last time you saw him, now you can see why the internet adores him. You might think his new trick is...

Anyway, abandoning the Magical Trevor riff before I have to do any major thinking, the one and only Jeff "You can't beat 100%" Gerstmann, who you might
remember as the guy at GameSpot for the majority of his eleven year tenure there, is coming back to the internet after a brief spell on arch-nemesis television.

Of course, since Jeff was dispatched from Cnet's GameSpot, a lot has happened. First, Ryan Davis and Alex Navarro left, whittling GameSpot's key personalities down to Ryan MacDonald, Brian Eckberg, Kevin VanOrd and Brad Shoemaker. And two of them (VanOrd and Eckberg) could well be the next to go.

Navarro and Davis had teamed up with Jeff for a podcast
associated with Ryan Davis's blog "Arrow Pointing Down". Now, Davis and Gerstmann (And probably Navarro, though that is unconfirmed) have commenced the soft-launch of their new home.

The Casfesisonal (Casual-Professional, menaing it adopts a casual friendly atmosphere with a professional staff doing professional reviews and news coverage in a friendly tone) Giant Bomb (dot com)

And I for one couldn't be happier. The new site, complete with a video series about setting up such a site called How to Build a Bomb, is an exciting development set to go full scale this summer.

I've already made it one of my most key hit ups in my daily bookmark run and I can't wait to see what it evolves into. I'm also excited to watch How to Build a Bomb. This kind of skunkworks really appeals to me, not least because I'm a huge fan of Gerstmann and Davis's work.

And also because I might have a little something up my sleeve for lauching late this year.

Let's Play,

Oh for Pete's sake

You can't BTO the Combo Drive into a SupeDrive.

Sigh. Again.

Fine, then I'll up the RAM to 2GB to match the Air I was going to buy.

A lot of the time, things suck.

Jens Out

06 March 2008

iPod touch: Apple Promises to punch you once, square in the bean bag every 3 months if you buy it


Once again I find myself forced to want to kill Apple (The entity personified, not the staff). The January Software Update, AKA App Pack was bad enough. I could not buy that and simply do without a couple of features. I did want those features (Not the apps, didn't give two shits about them), but I could live without them.

Now Apple is going to charge me for the right to shop in the OS X Mobile AppStore? Now that's just out of line. But you know what? Fine. I'll pay the taxes. Mainly because ads which get in the way of syncing my iPod piss me off, partly because Apple's never going to listen to my money not flowing because other people's is and partly because I want those fucking 3rd party apps.

Games like Touch Fighter and Super Monkey Ball. Instant messaging. I did buy the iPod touch with the awareness that Apple were intending to sell 3rd party apps for it. It was part of my vision for my future use of it: a digital entertainment hand-held computer.

But I've come to some decisions:

1) I will not buy another iPod touch. My next iPod will be the 3G iPhone as soon as it's at the price point of the current 8GB model - and it better have more Flash than that or else I'll just keep waiting.

2) Apple is dreaming if they think I'm trusting them enough to spend the money for a MacBook Air now. The Eee will be able to function as an ultraportable so my Mac will be the considerably cheaper MacBook. I'll only pay extra for a better optical drive (A Combo drive in 2008 Apple? What the fuck are you on?) and the remote (WHY are those not free any more?).

Apple's gone to quite some effort to piss me off. I like the company generally, but not enough to put up with this rubbish.

Still not enough to turn me off their superior products.

Jens "Buy ASUS hardware, support Linux over Windows, give Apple money (But not too much)" with a J signing off.