Posted: July 20, 2012 by Josh in Rants


So, I considered naming this post ‘Comic Books’ but then I changed my mind because that would make me try to decide what was a book and what wasn’t. Therefore, I decided to change this one. When I read comics, I don’t read them physically most of the time. I usually read them on the Comixology app on my iPod Touch. Now that I’ve lost my iPod Touch, I can’t really do that any more so I have resorted to reading comics that I’ve borrowed from the library. It’s the only way that I can really read comics because any comic shops that we have near me are pretty creepy.

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Bulletstorm Review

Posted: July 18, 2012 by Josh in Rants


So, I bought Bulletstorm in the Steam sale the other day and I decided to finish it really quickly. Once I started playing it, it wasn’t all that hard to do. Bulletstorm is the best shooter I’ve played in quite a while. Bearing in mind that I have COD fatigue (which is basically just a fancy way of saying that I’m bored as hell of samey military shooters), I was really looking for a shooter that did something different. And Bulletstorm is definitely that shooter. 

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Board Games

Posted: July 16, 2012 by Josh in Rants


So, to begin, I used to be a fan of Monopoly. I don’t feel that this needs an explanation because everybody knows what Monopoly is because… Ahh… It’s Monopoly. It’s the classic board game that people decide to play when they are feeling bored and don’t want to watch TV or talk to other people.

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I Gots A Busted Machine

Posted: June 26, 2012 by Josh in Rants


So, tradegy has struck. My BackTrack machine has a busted something… After an update that I did the other day (fairly large because I hadn’t updated for a few days at that point), I rebooted and got the usual terminal output that you usually see when booting linux. That all seemed fairly normal. But then, tor started to do a little bit of weirdness. Usually, it starts up with linux (or BT, at least) unlike a Vidalia style thing but it usually doesn’t output all of it’s stuff so verbosely so that you see how far through it’s checks it is. So when it starts to do that, I though ‘Oops…’

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Etiquette [Part 3] – Just Help Out!

Posted: May 22, 2012 by Josh in Rants

So, I love people. And messing with people. And socialising in general. You will see that in this post. With that, it’s anecdote time.

I was walking home yesterday, probably at about 11:30 in the AM and I walked past an old woman trying to lug a big bag of what appeared to be cement up her garden path. She gave me a smile that was actually more like a grimace and I returned it. As I walked on, I thought: ‘That’s a pretty huge path…’ and it was. It was probably 20 feet long and at a 55 or 60 degree angle. I instantly asked myself how the hell she was going to get up there with that bag and felt kind of bad. So I backtracked a little and offered her my help to carry it up the path. She accepted, thanked me and I got on with it. I lugged it up the path with an iota of the effort that it seemed to be taking her and she thanked me. We chatted for a second then I took off, waved goodbye and felt good about myself.

All I am saying in this small post is just help out. If you see somebody struggling with something, just help them out. They’re not going to kill you (I hope…) and they’ll probably thank you for it.

Don’t You Just Love Education?

Posted: May 21, 2012 by Josh in Rants

As a weekly thing, students at our college have a bulletein emailed to them which alerts them of any interesting things that are happening at the college in the week. Check out a couple of choice slides from the most recent one.


‘Old’ Music

Posted: May 10, 2012 by Josh in Rants

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So, of late I have been listing to Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code. You can go and Google that if you want to know what it’s all about but it’s basically just a radio show that’s streamed live and then podcasted. It’s open source and he takes songs that have been dropped in people’s dropboxes and plays those, which replaces the call-in feature of a normal radio show. I started listening to it because I had heard on No Agenda that he had started back up again and even though I didn’t listen to it before he stopped; I thought I’d give it a try.

I listened to the latest one which was his ‘tribute to the fallen’ episode. He played loads of music from folks that he missed (who were obviously dead) and because he worked in radio and TV for ages, he had stories about a bunch of them. I didn’t really know what to expect going in because I’d never heard the show before and in the opening, he mentioned that he was drunk. Good times!

I really liked it but not just because of the show itself; I loved the music that he played. Stuff like ‘I Can Dream About You’ by Dan Hartman and ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’ by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong. Music that I’d heard of but never actually heard myself. I made myself push on the couple of tracks that I didn’t like but the good thing is that, with it being a podcast, if you don’t like a song you just fast forward the show: bonus! Because of this, I found a bunch of amazing songs that I have added to my Easy Listening playlist and now listen to all of the time.

This just reinforces my philosophy of musical diversity. If you only listen to one genre then you are severely limiting yourself. If you like music instead of only liking rap or metal, you will find music that can suit any mood that you’re in. Maybe it’s just me who finds that music helps them to change their mood but I’m pretty sure that others feel the same way.  In that case, you can use jazz to relax and metal to amp yourself up or some combination thereof. Today’s message is basically ‘Enjoy All Music!’ which I think is simple enough to understand. Go and broaden your horizons, folks!


Scrivener Has A Name Generator!

Posted: May 10, 2012 by Josh in Rants

Just a quick one and before you mention it – I know, I’m behind the times. Scrivener has sat unused on my PC for a while because I haven’t been writing all that much of late. I’ve had revision and coursework to do so other things have kind of taken a back seat. But I decided; bugger it, I might as well write for a bit this morning. What did I find when I updated Scrivener? A name generator, that’s what. This thing is fantastic! I no longer have to search obscure websites for names and such! I do usually make up my own but if I happen to need an Arabic-sounding female last name, Scrivener can help me! And it’s pretty good as far as name generators go. I’m sure there’s some super expensive software that can be bought that will do better but this one is just fine for me. Winner!

The Perils of PayPal – A Cautionary Tale

Posted: April 27, 2012 by Josh in Rants
So, here’s an interesting question: What happens when a student from
some third-rate university decides to purchase a collect only item from
Ebay? The answer, one would imagine to be simple: the student pays,
collects the item and all is well. You would, in that case, be dreaming.
The most unfortunate event to befall me of late is that I happened to be
the seller in a transaction eerily similar to this. Selling an exercise
bike (because I have a real one…) should be a simple thing. You list
it as collect only (because really, who could post that?) and someone
buys it and collects it. Everything happened, except the collecting
part. The buyer paid about 5 minutes after the end of the sale, so they
were seemingly rather keen to receive this item. I tel them my address
and contact details so that they can contact me to arrange a collection
time. All is well.

I then receive a phone call on Wednesday. It is of an angry student
wanting to know where their item was. I explained calmly to the student
that the listing had clearly said that the item was collect only and I
would be happy to arrange a collection time on the phone. The student
said that they could not collect the item as they lived far away and
they expected me to provide free delivery of the item or they would
complain about it to Ebay. I mentioned that they should go ahead because
they were clearly at fault here, I had not made any mistake.

Over the next couple of days, emails were exchanged about fairness
and morality (one would imagine a student to be slightly more mature
than that) and Ebay was called. Ebay sided with me because it was not my
fault but PayPal put a hold on the money that the student had paid to me
so that I did not see a red cent of it, if you will. I phoned PayPal and
was told that as per the terms of service that I agreed to upon creating
a PayPal account, I had to provide tracking and delivery of all items
that I sold. Now, I mentioned that the item was listed as collection
only on Ebay but the nice Filipino gentleman on the phone told me that
this did not matter, the terms of service did not make a distinction for
collection only items. I was told that my only option was to give a
refund and sell the item again. I was not pleased.

I, therefore, would advise you to read your T’s & C’s before signing
up to anything but I know that nobody does. Hell, I only ever read them
when I am doing something with a bank or my very personal details. Even
then, there’s rarely anything that you can do about it, even if you
don’t agree; you just end up kicked out of the site anyway and when
that’s something that you need to do, you end up having to agree. A
prime example of this is with Student Finance but I’ll go into that one
at a later date…

The Mobile Phone As An Excuse

Posted: March 2, 2012 by Josh in Rants

Do this the next time you’re out and about. Take a look around you at all of the people who are on their mobile phones, doing benign things like checking Facebook and BBM-ing friends. The second that most of them enter the building that they are aiming for, they will put that phone away. Especially when you’re walking somewhere deserted, occasionally you will meet another person coming the other way. As long as they don’t stab you, more often than not they will get their phone out the second that they see you and then put it away the second that they pass you.

Why do they do this? You might ask. Well, nobody nowadays seems to want to talk to anyway. Even just your phatic conversation of ‘Hiya. Nice day for it, ay?’ and such. I can’t possibly understand this because I generally like to look around me and take in the sights. Even in a hold like some areas around me, it can be useful to look around you and take in some conversation. Because, as everyone should know, what you can find out from normal, everyday chatter is fantastic. 

Now go out and pay attention, for all your sakes.