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Friday, 13 November 2009

This is what happens when you’re bored in dorms…

It took a few hours but it was TOTALLY WORTH IT.


There are pictures too!


I love dorm life.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Some musings on University Life (and other random things) [UPDATED]

I’ve been here for about 2/3 weeks now and I’m enjoying it.  There’s a lot of freedom and you don’t have people constantly nagging at you.  The course moves much more quickly too, they literally throw you into the deep end.  Well anyway, here’s some thoughts on my life here:

uni life

Yea, this picture is totally irrelevant but it was one of the first things to come up after searching “university life” on Google images.
  • My dorm shower is weird.  It has two turney knob things, the one above controls the pressure of the water and the one below controls temperature.  Simple, right?  Well, no.  The pressure is highly adjustable, which is good, gives some great showers.  The temperature knob has a sticker on that goes from red to blue, obviously red means hot and blue means cold in this context.  That’s a given.  So the first time I get in, I put it to about half-way which sounds logical; then I’d adjust the temperature from there.  The shower’s built so you have to close the shower door or water goes everywhere, so there’s no escaping the shower water either.  At first, the water was cold (which is predictable because most showers start of cold then get warmer), I let it get warmer then start showering.  But then something strange happens… it continues to get hotter.  To the point where it’s scaldingly hot, no kidding.  I immediately dial it down a notch, but it’s still hot.  This repeats a few times until I reach the very blue end where it’s meant to be cold.  It’s not.  It’s actually still hot.  So basically, the shower goes from HOT –> SCALDING –>THE TEMPERATURE WATER BOILS AT (100 degrees) –> SKIN-MELTINGLY HOT –> MIDDLE OF THE SUN HOT.  They should replace the sticker on it with a one that goes from red to black, the current one is much to deceptive.  To add insult to injury, after I come out my dorm-mate tells me: “Oh yea, the shower is really hot BTW.”  *cue ¬¬ face*
  • The university campus is big.  And I mean REALLY BIG.  So big, that I had to emphasise this with bold capital SHOUTY letters.  I was there the other day and was walking around with a friend and we walked while talking, then after some time we looked up and both said:  “Where the f*ck are we?”  We had never seen this before, which was a bit unnerving although it was quite cool looking.  And yes, we did get out alive.
  • Apparently the dorm blocks Xbox Live, which sucks.  Even though I didn’t bring my Xbox with me; I’ve been meaning to but never got around to doing it and would also need a TV/Monitor.
  • I’ve started learning two new programming languages: Python and Haskell (with OpenGL).  I had heard of Python before, mainly through Google’s efforts on their Google Apps and Google App Engine.  But I was WTF with Haskell at first, having never heard of it.  I thought there was some relation to PASCAL but turns out there’s no connection whatsoever.
  • PsychoDuck is back.
  • The computers they have at the computer labs in the Computer Science block are SWEEEEETTT.  Too bad they run Linux which means a lot of games don’t run on them (I’ve already tried my RTW flash pen drive).
  • I’ve joined a few societies including BBCSoc (British Born Chinese Society) and HKSoc (Hong Kong Society).  I’m thinking of joining CompSoc (Computer Society) as they hold LAN nights (followed by curry apparently) and y’know, who wouldn’t wanna be cool and join the computer society?
  • Speaking of societies, I now play for the HKSoc football team.  It’s currently just 5-a-side but there’s gonna be 11-a-side matches soon.  But having tried out playing in the league last week, it seems to be a step down from the league I was playing back at my home town.  Well, it’s a lot less ferocious anyway.  Oh and the game I played last week was for SPARTA FC.  No kidding.  Turns out HKSoc weren’t playing –and the guy forgot to text me *shakes fist angrily*- and SPARTA FC were down a player so I joined them temporarily.  Against BBCSoc.  Oh, the irony.  We (as in, mostly the members of SPARTA FC) utterly trounced BBCSoc.  It’s quite befitting to call them SPARTA FC I think.  Apparently the name came out when they spent a wild night in Prague together… Yea, I pictured it turning out somewhat like The Hangover but X-rated.


Again, no relation to what I’m actually saying.  I bet it got your attention though.
  • Surprisingly, I haven’t been living off pure noodles.  I’ve hardly touched the box of 30 noodles underneath my bed, sort of depressing really.
  • It’s warmer here than my home town, I sleep with the window open.
  • My university has a clock tower and I’ve always wanted to see what was at the top of it.  Unfortunately, I don’t see any clear instructions to get up there.  Damn.  They also project movies (or video, at least) on it at night.  Somehow I managed to miss this totally until about 2 hours ago.
  • Living 5/10 minutes away from university rules.
  • I like programming.
  • Somehow I found this on Brad’s website (bornegames.com).  Don’t ask me how, or I’ll have to kill you.  No seriously, I would.
  • A lot of American shows have started up again.  Currently watching: How I Met Your Mother (LEGEN- wait for it –DARY), Heroes (it’s got off to a good start for this season), Big Bang Theory (you just gotta love those nerds).
  • Morrisons has been having a really big sale lately, I managed to get a 35p loaf of bread.  35p!  It was so cheap that I’m now comparing that to everything, annoying a friend of mine to no end.  Seriously though, I’ve made the comparison like twice today.  There’s also 60p packs of Hula Hoops!
  • It’s about a 15/20 minute walk to town, which isn’t very far.  But I find myself procrastinating and putting off shopping anyway.
  • The University Student Union is AMAZING.  I love it.  Watched a show called Hypnodog and laughed my ass off.  Not to mention there are quite a few bars and a pub there.
  • Got part of my student loan.  Still somewhat worried that I won’t have enough money to make it through the year with rent and the need for food.  Oh wait, silly me, who needs food?  At least electricity and water is free, I’ve been abusing it to no end.
  • Speaking of abusing free electricity, a friend of mine borrowed a rice cooker (from my sister, weirdly) and cooked 15 cups of rice –which was over the limit it provided- then left it on “WARM” for a whole weekend.  His room now smells like a paddy field and he wants to move rooms.
  • A kettle and some tea does wonders for thirst.


  • I miss playing on my Xbox.  Good thing I get to play it when I get home.  Seriously considering getting a TV and bringing it over.  Anyone wish to donate some money to me?
  • LittleKuriboh is beyond awesome.  He's super-special awesome.
  • At a forum I go to they’re getting a bit frustrated at my continued teasing of something I tested that they didn’t get to test.  They’re still trying to probe me for information, little do they know that I’ve posted about it here somewhere.
    waste of time

    My sentiments exactly.

  • Spotify is awesome, I love it.  The ads can get a bit annoying (especially when a few come at once), but hey: it’s free!  What do you expect?
  • It feels weird learning a (two, in fact) programming languages from scratch.  There’s a lot of stuff I could bring from my VB experience but it’s hard to apply to it.  Not to mention I’m still extremely hazy on Haskell.
  • I’m also told to do some HTML and CSS stuff for Computer Science.  It feels weird to do this again after so long.  We’re not allowed authoring tools like Dreamweaver either (thank god, it cranks out some weird broken code).
  • Derren Brown does a mean accent:



I think that about sums up my random thoughts.  I may post some more later.  I understand it would probably be easier if I just used Twitter to do random musings like this… But I refuse.


[UPDATE]  Another good one:

  • The most depressing scene I’ve seen is just as I get through the ticket gate, I watch the train I need to catch pull away from the station.  ;(


Oh and I found this while digging around my laptop:

This was the original essay.

Link to this essay



This is the revised version for media after my teacher said it was to “Computer Science-y”.

Link to this essay


They’re quite long, aren’t they?  I have a (much) trimmed down version of this somewhere.  But I can’t be bothered to look for it.  And man this post has past 1500 words.  Man.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Well, this is my dorm…

It’s a bit bare bones, but I can deal.

Man, it didn’t feel that long ago since I left Secondary School…

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Guess whose going to Uni! [UPDATED]

Yes, it’s been confirmed.


University, here I come.


[UPDATE]  I figured I owe you guys some more content and I was meant to have a longer post, but time constraints and excitement meant I had to cut short (seriously) the original post.

But anyway, today was results day for A-level students.  The day that can make or break the next few years for a student.  The day where people cry, laugh or breathe a sigh of relief.  Fortunately, for me I got the required results I needed (and more!) which means in just over a month I’d be blogging from my sweet-ass dorm.

However, for many others, who have not gotten the results they so dearly needed – I give you my condolences.  I know how difficult A-levels are and the weight of expectation can be overwhelming sometimes.  Luckily for me, I thrive under pressure so I’m not bothered by circumstances like this but many are.  And sometimes, it just drains your heart and soul.  You’ll feel emotionally and mentally wrecked by the end and it may seem difficult to be optimistic about circumstances like this.

So I only have these words for these people:  Try again.

That may sound harsh when read out loud, especially since tone of voice is hard to convey through the internet, but I mean this in the kindest of ways.  Don’t give up, keep trying until you achieve what you wanted to achieve.  The precursor to success is failure; it just means you’ll have to work harder next time.  When life keeps knocking you down, just keep getting up and plowing straight ahead.


Anyway, enough crazy off-topic ranting.  I just went on a complete tangent there as I pretty much type what I think of – obviously I cut out irrelevant content, otherwise you’d be seeing a lot more references to food.

I was going to describe my original feelings of today but now I realise I didn’t feel much about today.  Making it rather anti-climatic.  I was only reminded at the start of the week and even when my friends are worried and can’t get to sleep, I don’t feel that.  I’m the kinda guy that takes what life deals at me and then throws the crap right back at it.  I recognise that worrying about something out of my current control is absolutely stupid, it’ll only serve as a detriment to my mental health.

Not to say I didn’t have my doubts; while I was fairly certain I had gotten the grades I needed.  One can never be completely sure, there’s always that small inkling at the back of the consciousness (or sub-consciousness) that always thinks pessimistically about what could happen.  But as long as you the pessimism doesn’t take over and consume your mind, you’ll be fine.

And wow, this is beginning to feel like some zany story.

So, without further embarrassment to myself, I’ll end this post here.  I’m going to be busy up until I’m settled in at my new dorm, so don’t expect much activity here.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Turning 18

So yea, I’m now officially –by law- classed as an adult.  And let me tell you about how that is.

It’s the same.

I’m seeing little to no difference at all.  Every kid looks forward to this day so you can now do anything you want (within legal boundaries, that is).  But nothing magical happens.  A fairy doesn’t appear at midnight to spray some fairy dust on you and take you to magical adult-land.  Although, admittedly, that would be kinda cool.

Great, now I’m thinking about how adult-land would be like (and btw, I have no reason why I’m typing adult-land in italics).  I’m imagining a world where the internet isn’t full of douche-bags and Xbox Live aren’t full of 12-year olds playing 18+ games.  Wow, that tells a lot about me if the first thing I think about are the internet and XBL.

Anyway, I digress.  Hitting the magical 18 feels no different than any other day.  Ok, sure I don’t have to go “Erm… er… yea… about that…” whenever someone asks me for ID when buying a 18 game or trying to get into an 18 movie – which is cool, but I guess I just expected more.  Like my brain just explodes with the sheer awesomeness of being an adult and everything that I didn’t really understand before just becomes shockingly clear.  That might be a bit naive but all I’ve gotten is the fact that I sort of missed being young and in school.  Things seemed were simpler back then, someone could point me towards a patch of grass and I would play in it for hours.

Oh great, I’ve just become an adult and now I’m starting to feel too old.  People have always said my mind is more mature than my actual age, but I didn’t think I’d be thinking I’m growing too old now.  I thought it’d be about the time I hit the 30 mark – which everyone seems to fear… for some reason or another.

Turning 18 has brought some perspective into what I want to do in the future.  In the immediate future, I suppose I want to get into University this September – which promises to be an awesome experience if it’s anything like I think it’s going to be like; which it probably won’t be.  But what about the future future?  Like where I’d like to see myself 5, 10 or maybe 20 years into the future.  It may sound crazy, but I haven’t really thought much about it before.  I’m more of a “in the moment” guy, I find it hard to think past tomorrow.

Strangely though, I see myself playing video games for a long time.  I just find the interactive medium really tantalising, it’s at the forefront of technology and it’s always changing.  Always improving itself (supposedly).  I’m not just talking about the mainstream video game scene either, sure they churn out some of the biggest hits and the biggest sellers.  But, for true innovation, you’ve got to turn towards the indie scene and the flash game scene.  That’s where you find true variety and not just endless sequels due to the fact that flash games don’t use hype and they only become popular if they are fun.  That’s why I’m liking this trend where flash games are converted into XBL/WiiWare/PSN games.  It’s great to see this happen and arguably, Behemoth paved the way for the industry with Alien Hominoid and they haven’t looked back.  Castle Crasher’s is amazing fun and I’m loving the idea of co-op platformers.

Wow, I guess I really went onto a tangent there.  But you understand where I’m coming from.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

What a sad state of affairs

I was just poking around my website when I saw my archives:


Looking at that, I’m asking myself:  What the f*ck happened?

No, seriously.  In 2007 –when I started up this blog- I managed 279 posts.  Then 2008 rolled around and that became 38 posts (that’s about 13.6% of the posts from the year before).  And now it’s almost August and I’ve managed 4 posts (5, if you include this one) so far this year.  I used to be so enthusiastic about posting here, but my desire to post has just diminished like a slowly dying fire at the crack of dawn.

Now, I know it’s not about quantity but quality(and hopefully, you’ll also agree that my writing style has improved for the better); a good example of which would be GaijinSmash or The Sneeze.  But what I’m saying is that: why is it so hard to keep up a regular posting schedule.  Something that my friend, Duck may tell you too.

It may be that initially, it’s something new and exciting.  But as time wears on, it becomes like a chore.  Monotonous and the same every-time.  Not to mention that most of blogs like mine get little to no traffic, so there’s almost no incentive to continue writing.  That’s why comments are so important, it shows people actually read a blog and wouldn’t mind helping to improve the blog by giving constructive criticism or just give a pat on the back for the writer.  Ever since late 2007, I hardly ever received a comment and I just couldn’t tell if anyone was actually reading what I would post up onto the great information super-highway or all my traffic was just someone being directed here by Google Images to steal one of my images.

There’s just not enough support given for most of us small blogs to continue writing, which I understand is a lot to ask since there are tons of small blogs out there that have little to no traffic.  But that’s not really what I’m asking.  There are some genuine diamond in the rough blogs out there that should really get more coverage than they currently have.  All I’m asking is to support some of them.  Leave a comment, tell them what a good job they’re doing. It’s not something mind-blowingly hard.

I’ll let you think about this proposal and ultimately agree with me.






And while you’re in this mindset, why not start with my blog?

Although doing so may not even bring me back to posting regularly, I just don’t feel motivated to anymore.  So now I just lurk around the internet like some crazed stalker, watching YT videos and browsing forums; in particular Duck's forum and the Bornegames forum.  Maybe I’ll see some of you guys there.


EDIT#1:  I’m visiting some relative near Manchester and we’ve rented out a pretty awesome hotel.  Just thought I’d show you guys quickly.

The room is pretty sweet!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Monday, 29 June 2009

I win a T-Shirt

Apparently I’m a lucky winner of a Windows 7 competition. And subsequently received a t-shirt and Windows 7 RC disk for my troubles.

165814 Yay!

The letter reads:

Dear John,

Congratulations you were one of the lucky winners of the Road to windows 7 competition! Please find enclosed your Windows 7 T-shirt and your Windows 7 RC disc.

And some other stuff you don’t need to worry about.

I quite like the t-shirt, it feels pretty good. And what better way to make people think I’m a nerd by wearing a windows 7 shirt! Hooray! I’m not so sure about the RC disc. If I wanted to I could get the RC from the internet, and it’s going to start shutting down soon anyway so it’s a bit pointless. It would’ve been better if they gave me the RC and a subsequent product-key for Windows 7 so I wouldn’t have to buy it. That would’ve been a good prize, but alas they didn’t (at least, I don’t think so).

I’m still chuffed I won, I’m not really sure how many people entered (my guess is not a lot, if I won). And it’s weird to have another t-shirt sent to me not long after I received the Little Big Planet t-shirt… which I don’t think I’ve shown you guys. It doesn’t really fit me –it’s too small, for once- so I gave it to my sister. It wasn’t really my style either, too superfluous. I’m not sure where it is now, but I haven’t seen my sister wear it once.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Exams are finished!

Yep, my college life has –hopefully- come to a close after today’s Maths (Statistics 2) exam.  If I get the grades I require, I’ll be going to university this September which should be awesome.

I feel like I’ve been lugging a giant boulder around me for the last 2 years, and today I finally threw it off my back.

Picture is unrelated.

In other news, some friends and I went paintballing last Sunday which was a blast.  I won’t bore you with the awesome details (like how many headshots I got) but I ended up with no paintball marks at all.  While everyone else had at least several.  It was a great day and I’d love to do paintball again.  It’s not exactly cheap though, ended up costing me £53 all-together.

Still playing L4D at the moment as I promised myself that I’d only get Prototype after my exams have finished but I didn’t get to go to town today; probably won’t be able to go tomorrow either.  So it’s Friday at the latest.  :(

But no matter, L4D is still an amazing game to play with friends.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Origins of my gaming hobby

I’m not going to make excuses about my long absence from posting here, it’s been… what?  5 months?  Even VGCats is updating more than me (HAR HAR).  It’s probably inexcusable to the majority of you but many things have been going on in my life, as well as the coming of exams.  But the main thing is probably the dying of my passion to post.  More likely than not, you saw that in the last few posts that I did.  It was new and exciting at first, but eventually it become a chore.

Anyway, I digress.  The blog is probably going to become a place to output my creativity whenever I want to so posting will not be frequent.


I spent a night over at my uncle’s the other day.  And some of you may or may not know this, but my uncle was probably the reason I’m such a gamer now.  I recall nights when we would be huddled round a screen together playing some new fantastical game that he had bought.  We would stay up until very late (and I mean very late, especially considering how old I was).

But now, he’s in his mid-30s (I think), married and has 3 kids.  He doesn’t really have time to game anymore and it’s sort of depressing to see, he’s reduced to playing only in the wee hours of the morning.  And even then, it’s only every other day at most.  Not to mention the mid-range rig he sports is in his children’s room, so he has to play quietly.  Quite unlike the days of yore, when we would scream and shout at our epic wins.

He’s also been reduced to buy only from bargain bins, for obvious reasons, so the majority of the games he plays aren’t particularly great and I don’t really have the heart to tell him.  It’s upsetting to see someone who use to be at the forefront of gaming to lag behind so much.  The latest game he bought was “The Spiderwick Chronicles” for the PC.  And no, I’m not joking.  Luckily for him (and me), it didn’t work on his computer and neither on my laptop.  But he looked genuinely sad that the latest game he bought didn’t work, and it felt like someone tore out my heart and replaced it with a cold hard stone.

Don’t think that it’s all bad though.  His gaming collection is still massive, he has tons of games from yesteryear, and quite a few are real gems.  I decided to browse through his gargantuan collection and here are a few of the games I found:


>Sim Ant

>Sim City

>Theme Hospital

>Theme Park

>Rome Total War

>Shogun Total War (two of them in fact)

>Civilisation 1,2, 3 & 4


>Balder’s Gate

>Neverwinter Nights

>Quake 1 & 2Typing of the Dead

>Halo 1


>Dune 1,2 & 3

>Star Wars: KOTOR

>Quite a few old-skool Lucas Arts click & point adventures

>Games from the Thief series

>Typing of the Dead – no, I’m not kidding


>Age of Empires 1 & 2

>Games from the Alone in the Dark series

>Clive Barker’s Undying


And the list goes on.  I could probably sit here until the end of time just listing his games but I have better things to do (like revising for the 2 exams I have on Monday), there’s still some duds in his collection but that just makes it all the better.  Currently I think he’s playing a game called: “Imperial Glory” as well as some other games.

Anyway, this post was mainly to show you one reason that I’m such a big gamer now (although it’s one of the primary reasons, it’s not the only one).  Seeing as how my uncle is now, it seems like somewhere along the lines I deviated from him as I only really play console games now – I occasionally play PC games.  A far cry from way back when, where I would only play exclusively on the PC.  I guess part of the reason is the cost necessary to keep up with the latest specs to play the newest games but also console exclusivity – like Nintendo games etc.

I’m just wondering what I’d be like at his age.  Would I still be gaming?  Would I only get to game after in the early hours of the morning?  Would I only be playing on the PC?

There’s so many questions that I could ask.  But I won’t know the answers to until I actually get there.  At least I should have a good time getting there.  If all goes well, I’ll be gaming through university and after that.  I don’t see me dropping my gaming obsession hobby anytime soon.  Simply because of the intriguing new ideas the game industry keeps bringing in and the escapism factor, as well as entertainment factor.

Maybe when I’m my uncle’s age I could be gaming with my children, who knows what tomorrow will bring?  That’s what makes life so exciting.


Currently playing: Left 4 Dead

Looking forward to: Prototype

As I said, I have no idea when my next post will come.  It may come tomorrow, next week or another 5 months later.  It’ll come when I feel the urge to write again.  Until then: ciao.

[EDIT] As a note, I don’t mind if any of you guys add me on XBL.  Maybe we could play some L4D/GTA IV/Halo 3 together.  Just make sure you state that you know me through the blog.


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