Thursday, May 24, 2007

Shocking price difference!

The other day, i had an evening to myself, H had gone to her dad's for his birthday. I couldn't get the time off work so i was home alone. 

I decided to watch The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift, as i hadn't seen it before, and it was something to watch.  It wasn't that great, but watching it reminded me sooo much of 'Need for Speed: Carbon'.

So the next day, i went hunting for NFS:Carbon.  I didn't want to pay more than £20. I could get it second hand for that.  Most places offered it for £35-£45 though.  Ebay had a few for £25 but still a tad expensive.

Then i remembered an email i had got from Asda (part of the wal*mart family) saying that they had xbox360 games from £13!  So i checked it out, and they had NFS:Carbon for £17!  Wicked!

However, it so happened that that night, we were visiting Tesco (a rival) so i thought i'd check their website for the price.  £25.  hmmm.  I thought that whilst i was in there, i might as well get it for £25. Save P+P, get it sooner etc.  However, when i got in-store, it was marked up as £40!.. Woah!

So between the 2 stores, they was a price difference of £23!  That's no good.  So i went home and ordered it!  It turned up the other day, but not had a chance to play it yet! 

Soooon. :)

All stickered up!

I made a post 2 weeks ago (here) saying that i'd been given a window sticker to put in my car window, but the sticker was actually too long.

I wasn't too sure whether to reduce the kerning manually, but placing the letters closer to each other, and risk putting them on bent, or to just drop the www. from the sticker.

I decided to drop the www. bit, and i put the sticker on the window.  It looks pretty pretty good!


Sunrunrally sticker

Sunrunrally sticker

Sunrunrally sticker

Friday, May 18, 2007

Jellybass volume one

I thought I'd let you know about Jellybass volume one.  A fantastic mix of electronic beats & basslines.  Think Mr Scruff.

Visit to grab the free 30 minute MP3 download! 

I Must say, i really really enjoyed listening to this mix yesterday, and will definatly listen to it again and again!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

One year on...

This time last year, i was going through a strong time testing my willpower, and it was probably one of the most daunting things i've ever done.

You see, I'll be 26 this year.  I started smoking when i was 16, and had been smoking roughly 20 a day for 9 years.  I didn't particularly like smoking, but it was a nice social tool.  It helped when I was at college, it helped when I was at work, and it helped when I was with friends, but it stunk, and generally, i'd wake up with a mouth that felt so dry, it'd resemble the bottom of a bird cage!

I am also rather built.  Not through muscle you understand, but fat.  I weight about 16st, and am generally overweight.  Not quite obese, but getting there, however, noone ever thinks i weigh as much as i do!  Anywho, another reason i wanted to give up smoking was for my health.  I was already putting strain on my heart and stuff through being over-weight, but smoking was just adding to the problems!

And the final problem was the cost.  When i gave up smoking, i was paying £4.35 for a pack of 20 fags, and they were the cheaper 'sovereign' variety.  But smoking 20 a day at £4.35 would equal about £30 a week, or £120 a month, and obviously, over a year, that'd be £1,587.75!  That shocked me! 

If i gave up smoking, within a year, the money i would of saved on smoking would of paid off my credit card! 

So i mentioned to Helena (my girflriend) that I was thinking of giving up smoking.  She said 'Good for you, but you'll never do it'.  And being the competitive man I am, I set out to prove her wrong.  I said "Right.  May 16th is the day i'll give up".

And i did.  I remember that May 16th 2006 was a Monday, so the Sunday before was the last day i would be smoking.  I remember driving back from Eastbourne with 2 fags left in my box.  I had one whilst driving, and then had my final cigerette on my balcony when i got home.

After a week, i felt so proud of myself, and so was Helena. She then said "you'll never keep it up!  I bet your smoking within a month".

Again, being the competitive man I am, i thought 'I'll show her!'

A month went by, and again, i gloated at the fact that i'd proven Helena wrong again.  So she turned to me and said "I bet you wont keep it up for a year!".

And here we are.  One year on, and i've not had a cigarette since I gave up!  And thanks to my 'Quitomzilla' extension on Firefox, i can reveal several stats about my giving up, which are:

  • If i had been smoking, i would of smoked roughly 7,300 cigarettes in the past year.
  • I've saved £1,590, however this isn't accurate, as the price of cigarettes have since gone up several times, so i've saved more!
  • I've been smoke free for 1 Year, 13 hours & 50 minutes.

I'm so proud of myself for doing it.  I used nicorette gum to help me through the withdrawel symptoms, but after a week or so, i no longer needed the gum!

Looking back on it, when Helena was telling me she didn't think i could give up, i felt a bit bad because i thought she thought i couldn't do it because i wasn't strong enough.  However, i know realise that Helena knew about my competitive streak, and the fact that i like proving people wrong, so she was just saying those things to encourage me to give up!

So thank you Helena & everyone for the support!

If you smoke, i'd urge you to give up!  It's great!  Oh, and it's true what they say, the ex-smokers are the worst for moaning about smokers lol!

Finally finished Gears o' War

As i mentioned yesterday, I got my 360 back.  And a lot sooner than expected after reading stories on about people waiting months! 

Upon opening the box, my console was all neatly wrapped up along with a letter saying that the motherboard was faulty and had been replaced.  There was also another sheet of paper telling me i'd have to re-sync my controllers, and also a customer service survey which i'll be filling out tonight!  Also, to my surprise, was a one month voucher for Xbox Live 'Gold'.  Wooo!  So I'll register that soon and maybe have a bit of multi-player Gears!

Speaking of which, for the last 3 months, i've not played Gears purely because i was stuck at the end.  I Just couldn't defeat General Raam.  I tried and tried... and then gave up!

So after reading on the net about how you kill him, I tried some more... and still failed.

So I waited for Helena's brother, Colcoo to visit.  Last time he visited, he brought his Wii, so we didn't have a chance to co-op on Gears, but he's been down for the last couple o' days, so last night, we fired up the 360 and to my surprise, we defeated him on our second attempt!

Now obviously i couldn't do this on my own!  I had trouble staying alive for more than a minute, however, in co-op mode, player 2 can revive your health when your dying which definatly helped last night!  And obviously a few well placed sniper shots from Colcoo and a machine gun to the head by myself, and we'd finished the game... 5 months after i got it.

The problem is though, we finished it on... umm... casual.  Easiest of the easy.  D'oh!

So for a laugh, we started another co-op game on 'insane' and that wasn't as hard as i had expected.  We managed the first act before switching games!

But yeah, man, the 360 rocks, and co-op play is. just. awesome!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

360 is home... sort of!

At last, my 360 has just arrived back, via UPS, from Microsoft after i had to send it back for a repair!  However, it's not quite home yet. It's sitting here next to me at the office.  So it's not quite home, nestled under the TV, but it will be tonight!  I Promise!

Shame it didn't turn up yesterday though, as i was home alone last night and would of had some serious fun, but it's here now, and that's the main thing!

I would get in a couple of hours gaming tonight, catch up and all, but we're going out for H's dads birthday!  Shall be fun :)  However, colcoo should be with us tonight after the meal, so fingers crossed we can squeeze in a bit of co-op Gears of War!

Time to get a new game i suspect, a welcome home present if you will!

Another game i'll miss out on...

I've just read on the Gamerscore blog that a new xbox arcade game called Aegis Wing, which will be given away for free to xbox LIVE subscribers for this week.

This week, Xbox LIVE Arcade is making Aegis Wing available as a free download for Xbox LIVE subscribers for a limited time.

Hmm.. First off, is this just for gold members or anyone who connects to live, regardless of whether it's a gold or silver membership?

And secondly, it doesn't matter to me because i still don't have my Xbox!


edit: Reading X3F, they've mentioned that the game will be unavailable outside North America.  D'oh!

...the game is also set to be absolutely free ... in North America. Unfortunately, the game will be unavailable outside of North America at all.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Six 360 games I'll be on the look out for...

ok... maybe not so awesome for you but I think it's good news.. well, five six bits of good news really.  Let's start with number 1.

Simpsons for the 360

Now I've played a couple of Simpsons games in the past.  The best one I've played is probably Hit'n'Run for the PS2.  The rest were mediocre.

However, the 360 is here (or not in my case), and EA have come up with a new Simpsons game which isn't tied into the movie

From watching some of the game clips on youtube (couldn't get the clips to work on xbox360fanboy), it looks true to the cartoon, and also looks highly entertaining.  Especially for a Simpsons fan like myself! 

I shall be watching this one closely!

Forza 2 release date

So Forza Motorsport 2 will be released in the US on the 29th May.  I'm assuming the UK launch date should be around the same time!  I Hope so!  Yah, this bit of news isn't that awesome, but still, I can't wait!

Bomberman coming to XBox Live Marketplace

Now this brings back memories!  Played this loads when I was younger, played it a bit on the saturn, and also played it over wi-fi on a DS and it's always a riot!  So I'm happy to see that it's coming to the Marketplace. 

No reports on when it arrives though!

Project Gotham Racing 4 vid

Gamerscore blog has got a post & video available for download (you can stream it but it's 50+mb in size) displaying the weather in Seattle on Project Gotham Racing 4.  Man it looks schweeeeet!  Those effects look spot on and the graphics look absolutely gorgeous!  I can't wait to see more of this one!

Happy Tree Friends to appear on XBox Live Marketplace

Ahhh, those cute little furry animals which like to slaughter one another.  It's coming to the Marketplace, and hilarity will ensue!

X3F are reporting that Sega are publishing a game based on the Happy Tree Friends called 'Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm'.

Specific details aren't given, though the press release mentions a "physics-based reactive environment" and "accidental mayhem."

it's being developed by Stainless Games, and according to X3F, it'll be out in the later part of the year!

edit: make that six!

Saints Row 2 confirmed for 360

THQ, the developers who brought us Saints Row, are currently developing the next in the series.  However, it wont be out until 2008.

According to the Aeropause post:

Not much was said, but one thing of mention was that the game would deliver, "an all-new cross-platform gaming experience."

Oooh.  Sounds interesting! 

Thursday, May 10, 2007

zomg! too big for windows!

So you know I've got dealings with, right?  Well I met up with my mate KeithTrue who's running it last night to work on some designs for the new advert!

During his visit, he handed me a SunRunRally window sticker (which I'd been asking for for ages)!   Hurrah I thought, until I opened it up...

It's massive!  I wanted a small discreet item that would fit in my rear quarter window to match the PGAC window sticker i already have, but noooo, the  window sticker is actually too big for my rear quarter windows!

So what am I to do?  My first thought was, instead of applying the whole lot as one sticker, i'd apply each letter individually, de-creasing the kerning and allowing it all to fit, but unfortunately, it's pretty tight as it is! 

So my only other option is to chop off the www. and just leave it as

Sticking it in my rear window, or along my windscreen is too much for me, so that won't be happening!


Forza 2 Demo Released?... D'oh

Microsoft are just taunting me now.  They've released the Forza 2 demo onto the marketplace, and my 360 is nowhere to be seen!


Still, the only saving grace is that it's only available for Gold members at the moment, and I'm still on silver membership!

Wooo, i like to wait an age for my marketplace goodness... not.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

360 spring update is available...

... and I dont have my Xbox!  How inconvenient!

It was posted to Microsoft last Friday.  I've tracked the parcel via UPS, and it's arrived at it's destination.  So fingers crossed, some happy chappy is fettling with the internals, and pretty soon, my 360 will be on the back of another UPS truck happily heading back to me!

I was in the mood for a bit of gaming last night.  Maybe a bit of Gears, I thought.  Or some target practice on Mercenaries or even a bit of cat & mouse on Need For Speed: Most Wanted... but nooooo, I dont have my xbox any more.

So I sat down and looked at my PS2, remembering all the good times I had playing on it!  I Grabbed my CD wallet which holds all my games, and upon flicking through the wallet, I soon realised why I wanted an Xbox360 as opposed to a PS3.

Dont get me wrong, I've got some good games for my PS2, but they're all very samey, and to be honest, I didn't feel like playing any of them.  The only game that's held my attention on the PS2 recently is Simpsons: Hit & Run but even that is getting rather boring rather quickly!

Please Mister* Microsoft technician sir.  Please fix & return my 360 as fast as humanly possible!  Thank you

* I realise that some Microsoft technicians will be female, so for the sake of political correctness, read that as Mister / Ms

28 weeks later

Maan, I've seen adverts for this on buses around here, but I've only just popped onto the website, and damn it looks good!

I've just recently finished reading 'Cell' by Stephen King, and that is along similar lines to this and it's all still fresh in my mind so I cant wait to see this one! 

Problem being, my girlfriend hates zombie flicks, as they give her nightmares (awww bless!)  So I'll be waiting for it to arrive on DVD before viewing!  haa!

That'll give me a chance to watch the first '28 Days Later' and get that in my head!


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Putting the 360 to rest

Some of you may remember that i posted last week about my Xbox playing silly buggers.  Well, I gave it another go on Sunday.  H was on the PC, and I was at a loose end so I thought i'd give Saint's Row another bash!.

That failed miserably.  Meh!

So last night, i phoned Xbox Customer Support.  And to be quite honest, they were really nice.  I spoke to a lady called Naomi and she almost gave me a heartattack when she told me my 360 wasn't registered.  I thought that'd mean that it was not under warranty but after a quick run through with a couple of questions, i was told that my 360 was still indeed, under warranty and would be repaired, free of charge!  Woooo

So we quickly ran through a couple of things from the knowledge base, Naomi kindly informed me that all the facts pointed to a hardware fault and my 360 would need to be sent away for repair!

She said she'd email me the shipping labels (which i've now got), and i could send my Xbox in for repair as soon as i got the labels.  So my 360 is all packaged up in some bubble wrap (here and here).  However, there's a slight problem.  The address on the shipping label isn't what i told them on the phone.

So i've had to phone them up again this morning and told them the address was wrong.  Unfortunatly, they'll have to send me a new shipping label with the correct address, but this wont get to me until tomorow, so that means another day's delay when it comes to getting my box back!

Never mind though, as long as i do get it back, that's the main thing!  I was even contemplating purchasing another 360 (just a core system) to replace my busted console.  I've never thought like that before.  I've had plenty of broken consoles (3x Master Systems, 2x Mega Drives, 1x Snes, 1x CD32, 1x Playstation and 1x Playstation2), but i've never thought "right, let's go buy another one" before i've even looked into the problem.

But yeah, that's the sorry state of affairs at the moment.  I've plugged my dusty PS2 into my new TV now so at least im getting some gaming in.  A few hours of "Simpsons: Hit & Run" last night provided some amusement...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I'm after a Joost or Demonoid invite...

Can anyone help me out?  I'd like an invite to either Joost or Demonoid!

Ta muchly,

hisjunk [at] gmail [dot] com

edit: thanks to some kinds folks over at Lifehacker, im now on Joost!

Get well soon Kennedy!

I've not mentioned this before on my blog, but last year, one of my good friends, Kennedy was diagnosed with cancer of the mouth. 

He's a strong lad, but faar too young at only 23! 

He's gone through his course of chemo, which lasted roughly a year!  Unfortunatly though, I heard yesterday that the cancer has returned.  The last 2 sessions of Chemo that Jimmy (DJ Kennedy) went through wasn't strong enough and the cancer has re-formed which is a crashing blow to his recovery plan.

I've had some fantastic times with Jimmy!  He never fails to make anyone laugh!  He is one of the nicest guys you could possibly meet and i wish him the best in his recovery!

Speaking of which, my girlfriend Helena will be running the 'Race for Life' charity run in Croydon on 13th May 2007.  It's all in aid of Cancer Research, and Helena has stated that she'll be running for Jimmy...

I Race for Life for..Jimmys recovery xx

If you'd like to sponsor Helena in her run and donate to Cancer Research UK, please click here.  You can donate via credit card, and it's a one off donation and very secure.  Every little helps and remember, you'll be helping so many people! 

Dont forget, if you do want to donate and your a UK Taxpayer, please GIFT your tax to Cancer Research.  This means that any tax on your donation will go to Cancer Research instead of the taxman!

Thank you for reading, and let's all wish Jimmy a speedy recovery and send our thoughts out to his family & friends!!

Thumbs up from KennedyThumbs up from Kennedy Hosted on Zooomr

Oh crap!

I think my xbox360's about to die.

For the last couple of weeks, it's been crashing on me.  I'd be mid-way through a race on PGR3, and it'd freeze.  I'll be punching some punks in Saints Row, and it'll freeze.  I'd be 'bussin a cap' in someones ass in Mercenaries: playground of destruction, and it'd go pear shaped!


After posting on the forums about my problem, it turns out that this is the start of what is known as the Xbox - Red ring of death.

Basically, the green lights on the front of the box turn red to suggest there's a problem with the box.

I e-mailed Microsoft, and told them about my problem.  They suggested reading an article in their knowledge base.  I Read that, and followed the instructions and still no luck.  I tried playing Saints Row last night.  I tried 5 times, and every single time, it'd crash within 5 minutes of turning it on!

I Then posted on the Xbox forum and pretty much everyone said that the 360 is on it's way out!  Jord619 mentioned that his 360 done the same thing before seeing the red ring o' death.

You will be getting the 3 red lights of death soon, this is how it started with mine.

I've yet to see the red ring o' death, but im pretty sure it's lurking there.  Waiting until i least expect it, and then BAM!  I'll be 360-less, and cast back into the previous generation of consoles!  I'll have to dust off my Xbox1 or PS2 and bring them out of retirement!

This creates a problem though!  On Saturday evening (well, midnight!), H & I decided to have a move around of the lounge.  We moved the decks, the sofa's and the cabinets to create a more open space in the Lounge.  As nice as that is, it just wont work when it comes to the PS2 or Xbox1.  Purely because the controllors are wired.  It wont reach my sofa!  Arrghh!  Damned Microsoft & their inferior yet fantastic product!

It's come at such a bad time for me, as on Sunday, H's dad kindly donated his old 28" widescreen TV to us to replace our old standard tv.  I was getting excited because i could plug the 360 in via component cables, I could also plug in my headphones so that i could get proper sound and H could read a book or something in silence (as opposed to shooting, screams, and engine noises!)..

But it's all gone pear!   So tomorrow evening (when i've got an hour or so), i'm going to phone up the UK Xbox support team and see what they can suggest!

I hope they can replace my box, or fix it for free.. It's only 8 months old goddamnit!