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Archive for August, 2006

Wikipedia again

Yes I’m addicted to it, for some reason I was looking at the entry for Liverpool and then thought perhaps there’s one for where I live… Burnley. There bloody well is! Even Padiham which is a small town a mile or so down the road has one. The only reason we go to Padiham is because it has two cracking takeaways there: Gate of India and Double Dragon (cookie to the first person to guess what food each one serves). I’m tempted to tweak the Padiham entry to add them in…

It’s bizarre the stuff they have on there, I mean I shouldn’t be surprised, but the thing is, it is fairly accurate. The description for Barnoldswick is pretty much spot on, as is Skipton, although not as interesting. Amazingly, and I have no idea if this is true, but Brierfield, which is a couple of miles from home and is where my grandparents live, apparently inspired Tolkien when writing Lord of the Onion Rings:

Mordor, the evil town in Lord Of The Rings, was reportedly based on the town of Brierfield. JRR Tolkien would often visit the neighbouring town of Fence, where there is a clear ariel view of Brierfield. At the time he was writing the book, Brierfield would have been covered by a large amount of thick, black smoke coming from the factory chimnies. He realised that this was how he envisaged Mordor, and therefore based it on Brierfield.

Unfortunately I can’t find another reference to that, so I reckon its shenanigans, but it would be cool if it was true.

Mass dampers eh?

A quick search on Google Groups told me what they are:

It’s basically a weight about the size and shape of a hockey puck of just a few grams suspended inside a cylinder full of fluid, such as hydraulic fluid. When the nose bounces up and down, the weight slides up and down opposite of the nose in the cylinder creating a harmonic counter frequency to the nose bounce.

Apparently they’re similar to the tuned mass dampers that you have in skyscrapers that when hit by strong winds or other forces (like earthquakes) move in the opposite direction to help counter balance the affect. Clever stuff.

German Grand Prix

I was in Whitby visiting relatives last weekend so didn’t get chance to watch it properly. It’s been interesting to read that Renault’s sudden decline is down to them being unable to use mass dampers at Hockenheim (however that’s been overturned for the next race).

Not that it’ll matter since Alonso has a two second qualifying penalty. It’s certainly not going well for Renault and Ferrari are capitalising on that. The driver championship lead is now down to just 11 and I reckon that’ll disappear completely within the next couple of races. The qualifying penalty will basically ruin Alonso’s weekend since the Hungaroring is not an overtaking track.

It’s not making for good viewing at the moment!

PSP update

Mercury1I’ve been a bit of a crap bastard updating on this front. Other than LocoRoco, I have bought a few other games recently. Archer Maclean’s Mercury, Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play and Formula One 2006. Out of the three, Mercury is the most entertaining. Midway is collection of 21 old arcade games and it pretty poor as a whole. Marble Madness, Joust, Gauntlet and the Mortal Kombat games are worth a look, but the other than that, it’s not much fun. Paperboy drove me up the wall.

And Mercury can be just as infuriating but equally just as rewarding. It’s kind of similar to LocoRoco in that you don’t have direct control over something, but instead move the level. However it is more of a puzzle game than a platformer. Here it’s in 3D and you can tilt in any direction.

Mercury2The object of which is pretty simple. You have various balls of liquid mercury and you have to guide them through a series of levels. Each level has different objectives, like you need to get a certain percentage to the end or do it in X amount of time. The really evil levels have combinations of the objectives. But it’s not quite as simple as that since you have different colours to contend with. Certain barriers only open if your mercury is that colour so you have to mix colours together.

At the moment I’m stuck on the boss level of world four (of eight). It’s one of those games where at times it’s just trial and error as to how you get through. Graphically it’s really nice to look at and the animation and physics of the mercury is excellent. It looks like there is a sequel in works, but without Archer’s help, which could be seen as a negative (I wonder if he’ll make anymore snooker games?). Anyhoo, wait and see me thinks.

I’ve not played F1 2006 much but I’m not overly impressed by what I’ve seen so far. It takes ages to load and graphically it’s poor in comparison to Ridge Racer and Wipeout Pure. I’ll have to try it a bit more, see if it redeems itself… that said I doubt it, having James Allen blaring at you when starting a race is real pisser… bring back Murray Walker!

MPQ Archive Update

Progress has been pretty good. I’ve got various important bits and pieces working now. News and Review posts now load up from the database, along with their comments. In terms of how they look, well they’re no different from the mock up shots last week.

I’ve also got most of the sidebar links working and the archive lists of reviews and Top 10 lists are in. Difference with these is that I’ve added page navigation in, instead of showing a long vomit of reviews.

MPQNewTop10 MPQOldTop10

For the full size review screen shots I’ve made it so that they open up in their own window with the site template wrapped around it. Looks a bit nicer that way.

MPQNewArchivebyScore MPQNewScreenshotView

I’m currently waiting on Jay to get back to me on how to do the logo image. I’ve got about 15 maps (yes 15, that’s the short list!) I want done up and I’ll get it so they circulate round. Should look really good!

I’ve had fun tidying up the various reviews, comments and news posts since a lot of them were full of formatting code, e.g. <font color=”#FFFFF”> and various other horrible tags. RegEx has removed the majority of the crap, but there are some news posts that look truly awful and will have to be done by hand.

Anyhoo, any suggestions or feedback, please let me know.

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