Category Archives: Computing

Deponia

Deponia (2012)
Rufus, ill-tempered and entirely too convinced of his own greatness, lives in the most remote sector of the garbage-covered planet Deponia. He dreams of a better life in the floating cities of wealth and beauty high above the planet surface. When a lovely young woman falls from these privileged spheres down into a neighboring trash heap, Rufus sees his chance to escort her back home. However, getting her there safe and sound will involve a wild chase across Deponia full of twists, turns and mystifying mix-ups…

Chaos on Deponia (2012)
Some time has passed since the last game, but Rufus is still attempting to escape the trash-filled Deponia to the skybound Elysium. The lovely Goal returns to the planet’s surface, and her damaged brain implant continues to spell trouble for itts inhabitants, this time in a literal split-personality kind of way that greatly impacts puzzle solutions and her relationship with Rufus as well.

Goodbly Deponia (2013)
Reaching Elysium and saving Deponia seem to be just within arm’s reach for Rufus and Goal. But Rufus’s innate talent for chaos and mayhem also seems to have reached a whole new level. And so, instead of his great triumph, a crippling setback awaits. For the first time, Rufus is ridden by self-doubt. Of course, he wouldn’t be Rufus if he let that get the best of him. To tackle this new heap of problems, however, one Rufus just isn’t enough…

 

Review:

The first game was OK, the main character, Rufus being a tolerable jerk. The great cartoon styled graphics and the other characters balanced the nature of Rufus. He seemed to be at least apparent of his own flaws.

In the second shorter game he had become repulsive and starting to get really annoying. However in the third game, he continues in the same vein, his unrelenting revolting attitude brings the tone of the game down from being a comedy, to borderline racist and offensive.

As adventure games, there is are faults in all of them. One solved puzzle does not lead naturally to a clue for the next. So when you finally stumble on the solution for a situation, there’s never a sense of progression, of having achieved – instead the game either bends the plot to have your success be a failure, or it just ticks a mystery box and then leaves you equally lost.

The game’s penultimate chapter – an absolutely enormous section – has you playing as three different characters, each in their own sprawling location, with an inventory that’s shared to ensure maximum confusion and dead-ends. Figuring out what to do next is a needle in a haystack, and so very often those needles are entirely nonsensical.  So many puzzles require you gather a bunch items without being given any clue why you’re after them .

It’s such a huge failure of adventure design.

If it wasn’t for the walk-through to get through the narrative, I would have abandoned the series after the first game.

 

Birth of the Spreadsheet

Many years ago at the dawn of the microcomputer age my school sent a party of sixth formers to the University of Canterbury for an open day. The one thing I can still remember is the computing department.

Here we were shown all the latest hardware before seeing the business end of the system, the terminals.

For the next hour a post-grad student showed us the latest game, the awesome “Star Trek”. We spent time being shown how to get around the universe in double quick time, and how to
eliminate as many Klingons as possible. Since then the game has evolved into what we now know as the spreadsheet.

The Universe has grown from a small 8*8 grid to something like 256*8000, but the objective remains the same. Just hop to a solar system (cell) have a look around, eliminate any nasty
Klingons (formulas that don’t work), refuel (press “recalculate”) and move somewhere else. The “End” key is just another way of entering hyperspace and moving instantly to another galaxy
without messing about with all the arrow keys.

But remember the ultimate terror of the universe, the dreaded “circular formula”. It’s just like the Klingon universe, you know it’s there somewhere, it has to be destroyed, but all
the wisdom of Spock isn’t going to tell you where to look.

Just try running Lotus 123 under PC Ditto on your Atari and you will hear a strange noise. Listen carefully and you will find it’s Scotty whispering “you can’t push her any faster Jim”.

Of course everyone knows that the Atari pointer was inspired by a computer designer working late at night who happened to stare thoughtfully at a plan of Starship Enterprise hung on the wall.

Those of you that remember the old version of Star Trek will be pleased to know that it has turned up in the cover disk of the May 1990 issue of ST User.

PC Club 2004

Review of a Christchurch PC Club Meeting

Thursday 4 November 2004
Graeme Stewart (club president) showed us his toys. He started with a few USB micro drives, explaining that he used them to transfer his personal files between work and home. He had a problem with windows not recognizing the new drive letter for the microdrive, other programs found it but not in the windows setting. The problem was rectified when the discovered that TWEAKUI has deactivated the drive letter. Something used in older versions of Windows to speed up operations as this stopped windows scanning all possible drives.

He showed a how Roboform (fills HTML forms) and Leechget (downloader) worked.
Then his most interesting toy, a photographic printer. He used to use a ink-jet to print photos, but found that unless used frequently, the jets clogged and he needed a new cartridge.

The HiTi 630PL printer doesn’t have that problem. It is a home printer for about $400 that produces continuous tone prints that are identical to those produced by a commercial photolab. The 6×4 paper and printing cartridge comes in packs of 50 for $80 ($1.60 per sheet). Graeme had his camera and took a photo of the group. In a few minutes he had a print. Great little printer for home use. The only problem I have is that it doesn’t print images large enough for my CD covers. However its big brother, the 730PL prints on 6×8 paper, just the size I need.

After the talk I met a interesting chap, John Everingham, webmaster of the Elvis Costello Home Page.

A very impressive site with lots of info. He is doing CD covers like me, but all his are of bootleg Elvis Costello shows.

Creating a Web Page

Part 1 – What Not to Do – 2016-01-03

The proposal is that I can take Genealogical info from Legacy Family Tree and get it on a web page. I did this many years ago, each page had to be transferred via FTP to the served. With over 2,000 pages this took a longtime. It should be easier in 2015 with the site building software now in use.

I found software that should do this:
http://zippersoftware.com/wp/wp-legacy/what-is-wp-legacy/

It uses WordPress. So off to their site…….
I started with a free site and put some basic pages up. After a few hours I was getting familiar with the software and producing nice pages that worked fine on the PC and phone.

The first problem was that the free site would not allow the customization to add plugins, so I upgraded to their Premium $99 ($150 NZ) option. This should allow the use of the plugin. But it didn’t appear to be an option. Weird.

After more extensive reading I found that there are two different versions of WordPress. The software running on their site is different to that that other hosting sites use. So despite paying for their service, it wouldn’t work. Fortunately I could get a refund, so three hours after starting I was finished with the WordPress site. The site building software I liked, so I needed a web host that used WordPress.

Continue reading Creating a Web Page

Watery Sunday

A very wet and raining sunday.
Perfect for working on a web site !

New resolution: One Post Per Day …. to infinity and back.

I’m going to be trawling back through stuff I have written –

reviews, notes, artwork, photographs etc

 

First Post

Resolution, to get a website online in 2016 !


Previous History Online

(Written 22/4/2005)

The genesis of this site was formed about 10 years ago when I did a web page design for the Christchurch OS/2 Users Group. The design was not used, but was put on a friends University of Canterbury private web space some years later. When that ceased, I had no where to put my work and it languished in my backups for some time.

Several years ago I started to collect and collate information for my family genealogy. Originally this was done in a small OS/2 program that worked brilliantly. Last year, when I got a new PC, all the data was transferred to Legacy Family Tree and work continued until the family tree eventually spanned about 500 years and had over 2,000 names. The original intention was to put this on CD for distribution, however when I found that web hosting prices had come down to a price where I could put large volumes of data on a site for minimal cost, the design of this web site began.

I have also been writing snippets of humour, stories and even a poem (I promise that this will be the only one I will inflict on the world). There have been digital photos and CD interface designs through the recent years.Unless otherwise stated, all the text and images are my own mess.

At last, I can collect everything together and present to the Internet world a compilation of my work.

This is the ‘first pass’ of designing the site. More will be added soon.

Any (helpful) comments are welcome

Nigel Baker 22/04/2005

 

19 April 2005
Site activated, uploading of web pages commences. Problems with links and images as the server is UNIX and filenames are case sensitive. Begin fixing problems

23 April 2005
Officially ready !
Links and images fixed. Initial emails sent out.

24 April 2005
Uploaded:
Guards, Albert Terrace letter, Hopwood Story, SM58, Baker/Preston Wedding photos & Thornycroft Farm.

26 April 2005
Another set of photographs added to the archive.

1 May 2005
Added first of the music reviews. Updated this page.

18 September 2005
Now have Broadband with new email.
Email addresses changed

16 October 2005
Tom Baker’s Birthday added to features

11 September 2006
After nigelbaker.net expired, the site became unusable.
New Domain name registered with NZ Web I.T.

19 December 2006
Woolscours of New Zealand Updated

25 December 2006
Added photos from Christmas Day and Jane & Bridgitte’s Wedding Photos