The moment my life went wrong

Back in the Summer of 1983, I was a child you would recognise from the wreck I’ve made of childhood.

I was an extrovert, I was never in the h

 

ouse, I was out with a massive group of friends any chance I could get.

Then December comes. As any other kid, I looked in my mum and dad’s wardrobe’s looking to see what presents I would be getting for Christmas. Nothing. A little weird, so I took a risk and looked in my oldest brother’s room and there in the back of his wardrobe was a Woolworth’s bag with black box, about a foot long, half a foot deep and wide. On the front was a black machine with what looked like blue keys.

What the fuck is that?  Guess it’s for my middle brother or something, so I presumed my present hadn’t been bought yet.

Come Christmas Day, I wake up excitedly and rush downstairs with my brothers and we start unwrapping presents. I’m given this box and I unwrap it and it’s the same box I saw before.

Aaaaah… look at that beauty

Same question, what the fuck is it? Sinclair ZX Spectrum Personal Computer. What is a computer? What is a Spectrum?

So my brother’s set it up for me (they’ve obviously used it before!), plugged into a colour TV, cassette player and a few WH Smith’s tapes. The fuckers didn’t even bother buying games for it but pirated them from someone in their work, along with a list of games I could buy for £2.50 or something. A tradition I’ve carried on every since ha.

So they put in a tape and we wait, and wait and wait and then I’m presented with this screen. The first computer game I’ve played.

Let’s remember, this is 1983, and computers by modern standards were crap as you’d expect, so  it’s hard to imagine the impact this made at the time, or as I prefer to see it now, what a complete fucking disaster this made of my life.

For the next six to nine months, I hammered that fucking rubber keyboard and Kempston joystick as I refused to let some fucking sprites on a screen beat me. Jetpac, Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy, Pssst and Football Manager was hammered morning, noon and night.

The number of hours I wasted on this game. FML.

But then the boredom set in. No more “yay let’s play Atic Atac”, more “oh god, do I have to play these shitty games again”, but that god for the manual, which gave very, very basic instructions on how to “program” it and this was the point my future life went to shit as I typed in those long program listings from Sinclair User that never fucking worked first time around, that took longer to debug than to type in the first place, but at least it gave me a skill I have to this day of finding problems very quickly and fixing them.

I can still remember me and my brothers writing a game called Miners Strike, which was basically Space Invaders but instead you fired policeman at miners. Well it was topical at the time, and the hell of doing graphics as binary characters with the help of pen and paper.

So this is how my future life was decided. My mass of friends drifted away, going outside was rare, I was kicked out of the school football team and basically I turned into  what kids of today are like: glued to their xbox’s and playstation’s, never going out, anti-social.

Over the next year or so, I learnt Z80 code but then moved to the Commodore 64, and it was the same story… I got bored of the games and started coding on it instead as it was much more entertaining to me.

Then I joined the 16 bit generation in July 1987, and what was left of my personality soon disappeared as I joined “the scene”, writing tech demos in what was bascially a European wide pissing contest to see who could do the best effect better than anyone else.

Ah it was fun.

Now it’s my job, I’m a developer for a living, sat in front of two monitors for eight hours a day, writing crappy code and fixing issues before I go home and spend another five hours at my home computer before going to bed and the whole sorry cycle starts over again.

Sounds a fucking blast doesn’t it.

Computers in Hollywood, never realistic… but fucking Jurassic Park is the worst.

You have a Velociraptor bashing (no pun intended) at the door, you need to lock the doors quick as it’s only Sam Neill holding the nasty little fucks back.

So what method do you think the brains behind Jurassic Park decided would be the best way to secure a big fucking metal door.

  1. A fucking lock on the door?
  2. A switch next to the door to lock it?
  3. A fucking archaic Unix graphic file browser where you have a 3D representation of the file structure, and you have to find the program to lock the doors?

Of course, it’s number three. For fuck’s sake.

Just interested in where the fire alarm is, the parent folder?

It is actually a real piece of software called FSN, or Fusion by Silicon Graphics.

Domain searching… and now I can’t stop laughing

Following a high level web team meeting yesterday, we wondered why no one had registered sh.it as a domain. It seems the Italians were one step ahead and it’s current status is Unassignable.

Well that’s a little unfair, but still, there’s other possibilities. Is there a .ks TLD? Well yes there is, it’s for Kosovo but given that no one can agree on the status of that country, it’s not yet available. That’s bolloc.ks fucked then.

Can’t quite think of any more right now… but I know there’s a .ck TLD, so let’s have a look. Ah the Cook Islands, and it looks like they have a few second level domains as well, let’s just have a look… what the fuck!

Seriously Cook Islands? You think it was a good idea to have a company level domain called .co.ck? Do you have many registrations by any chance?

Experience with an iPhone 5

Well someone was selling an iPhone 5 cheaply, so why not, and with an unlimited 4G data plan from Three, so thought it would be a time for an experiment.

First thing that got on my tits was the screen size. After using a Nexus 5 since it’s release, it was a strange experience to go back to a smaller screen especially when it came to the poxy keyboard on the iPhone. Swiftkey was the first app to be installed.

But on the whole, the iPhone 5 is quicker at loading apps and with Chrome installed instead of that crap called Safari, I’m liking the experience and maybe if it was an iPhone 6 I would get on with it better, but I think I’ll be upgrading to the new Nexus 5 when that is released later this year rather than the expense of a iPhone 6. It’ll make a good work phone as no one other than PPI salespeople seem to know the outside phone number of the web team’s desk phone!

But you know the best thing about an iPhone?

1437993706_thumb.png IMG_0018

Fuck yes 🙂

MacOS media keys stopped working

The Play/Pause media key in iTunes stopped working recently, and while ploughing through pages and pages of answers, I suddenly remembered the last experience of when the Next and Previous media keys stopped working.

That solution involved killing off the Google Music extension in Google Chrome as it hijacked the keys, so it couldn’t have been that screwing up my Play/Pause button.

So just for shits and giggles, I went to chrome://extensions and scrolled down to Keyboard Shortcuts at the bottom, and what do you know, Black Menu for Google was hijacking the Play button.


Click on the dropdown where it says Global to In Chrome and hey presto, I don’t have to click to iTunes to pause music anymore.

FFS