Thursday, December 04, 2008

Classic Quotes of our Time.

'No disrespect to him, man, but I'd be on the piss too if i was that ugly'

Liam Gallagher on Shane McGowan.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Famiclone Update #10

Here we have the Atlantis Video CD Player.
VCD players that have inbuilt NES emulation were 10-a-penny a few years back but they appear to have been superseded by portable DVD players that have emulation built in.

This one also doubles up as a FM radio receiver and can play MP3 discs.
It came with a CD containing 300 NES Games, mains lead, AV cables and 2 fairly cheap looking game controllers. The games themselves are not the usual .nes variety but seem encoded in some bizarre VCD format.
Don't know where it was made but i would presume China.
It's a heavy unit with an back lit LCD display on the front panel. It also has 2 integrated speakers and a cooling fan. According to the box the CD drive is manufactured by Sony (which i doubt very much).
Now the bad news. The one i got doesn't work so i am unable to comment on the emulation side of things.
When it arrived the CD tray wouldn't open. I took it apart and after eventually getting the tray to eject and putting it back together again the disc mechanism refuses to function.
According to the eBay seller i bought it from it was 'working perfectly when it was shipped' Paypal decided that i would have to pay to send it back for a refund which defeats the purpose somewhat?
Wasn't that expensive at around £10 but will now form an nonworking part of my collection as it's probably not worth the expense to have it fixed.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Short Book Review




The book of the film of the book if you catch my drift?

The Ring Trilogy of Japanese Horror movies are some of my favourite films. That scene with Sadako and the TV is up there with Danny Glick at the window in Salem's Lot. It never ceases to creep me out.
This is the original book which inspired the films and it's very very different.

The book takes in aspects of all the films and not just the first one. All similarities end there.

Our hero is male instead of female for a start.

It relies way to much on coincidence as Asakawa and Ryugi seek to solve the riddle of the cursed video tape before the week runs out.

It just doesn't work for me and perhaps this is a fault of the English translation?

At one point Asakawa finds out that Ryugi is a rapist but it doesn't seem to bother him at all?

Unlike the movies there is very little sense of urgency and the 2 leads are uninteresting and not very likable characters.

Perhaps if i had read the book before seeing the films i would have been more impressed but as it is i was pretty disappointed in this one.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Making plans for Nigel?

As a new round of International fixtures looms, here's a short message to Mr.Worthington.


In other world news the financial crisis deepens. In the USA the Government has stepped in with a multi billion dollar rescue package and closer to home my Government has nationalised the Bradford & Bingley. I'm not a financial expert but it seems to me that Banks are businesses like any other? If they are failing due to mis-management or whatever that is their problem? I don't see why my taxes should be used to bail out a failing company just because the Government says so. When my Dad was alive and ran a Petrol Station nobody gave him any tax payers money when he had a 'bad week', why should it be any different for anyone else? If i was American i would be very very unhappy.

Nice to see that the Conservative Party have stated at their annual Conference that will field candidates at every Constituency in Northern Ireland. And about time too.

In theory anyway this could mean the beginning of the end of the 'tribal' politics we have had here since partition. I'm not a particular supporter of the Tories but given a choice between the local Parties and the Conservatives, i know where my votes going. Lets hope they live up to their promises and that Labour and the Liberal Democrats follow suit.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Famiclone Update #9

I think the Sony Solicitors will love this one?
This is the Double Match Game handheld and it's made by somebody or other in China.
As you can see it's remarkably like the PSP. Right down to the box artwork.
It's a very impressive piece of kit. Comes with 5 built in games and mine arrived with a Multi-Cart containing 112 extra. All games are the usual NES/Famicom ones or hacks of the same. There is a pretty good selection and the Multi-Cart doesn't appear to have the usual set of games repeated over and over. I've only checked about 30 but so far so good. Carts are the same size and shape of GBA cartridges and One Station Carts also work fine.
It takes 4 AAA batteries but 9v mains adaptors are also supported.

Comes with English Manual, AV cables and a second handset. TV out and two player games are supported. TV out is fine.
Buttons are laid out exactly like those of the PSP and are acceptably responsive. The screen is smaller but is bright and clear. It is , as you would expect, a lot lighter than the PSP.
The only problem I've had is that one of the battery covers won't stay on when batteries are in place but that's a minor quibble.
Excellent stuff from those good people over at Cost was about £20.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Short Book Review



I have a story about Maggie O'Farrell.

You know how it is when you start a new job. You always spend the first few days dandering about with that 'Please give me some work to do' look on your face. Well i started a new job a while ago and deep within the depths of my new and almost empty desk i found a battered copy of Ms O'Farrell's 'After You'd Gone'. I dismissed it as a 'Woman's book' but was really bored one lunchtime and started to read it. It was fantastic.

This one is fantastic too.

It concerns a girl who discovers that she has a previously unknown Great Aunt who is to be released from a Psychiatric Unit. The girl befriends the Great Aunt and slowly but surely the events of her tragic life are exposed.

Ms O'Farrell has a wonderful imagination and perfectly tells the story of Esme Lennox. It's without a doubt one of the best novels i have ever read with each chapter containing a different and unexpected twist in this poor woman's life.

The only downside is that it ends too soon and the ending is a little bit ambiguous leaving this reader wanting more and wondering what actually happened in those last few chapters.

Very highly recommended!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Famiclone Update #8

Here we have the Play & Game Cassette Vision by YSN.

A fairly standard Famiclone from China.

110V and plays Japanese Famicom Cartridges. No built in Games.

2 Controllers, power supply and AV cables are provided but no instruction manual.

YSN seem to producing a lot of Clones and I've a few more of their efforts to list soon.

It's fine. Well built and the controllers are responsive.

Nothing much more to say really. It's standard, it works and the box is nice.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Famiclone Update #7

Got 4 new systems this week but haven't had time to test them all yet so i thought i would start listing some Pirate Famicom Cartridges. I've got dozens of these things and there are probably hundreds, if not thousands of different examples available. It's another of the things i love about collecting Clones.

This one is a single game pirate called NBA Basketball.

It's 60 pin and for the Japanese Famicom. Not 100% sure that this is a pirate but i can't find it listed on any Famicom cartridge sites so i presume it is? If anyone knows any more info feel free to let me know.

It's a sh*t basketball game. I hate most sports games with a passion anyway and don't even know the rules of basketball so was bound to hate it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Foot in Mouth disease....

As the competition hots up for this years 'Stupid Bitch of the year' awards, a surprise new entrant is none other than Hollywood 'starlet' and ex squeeze of Marilyn Manson, Rose McGowan.

Ms. McGowan has just finished filming some movie about those brave 'soldiers' and erstwhile 'freedom fighters' of the IRA.

Commenting on the film McGowan said that she would have been happy to have joined the IRA and that 'my heart just broke for the cause'.

Oh dear dear me.

Perhaps, as one of many many examples, McGowan would have liked to have planted the bomb at La Mon House? Or blown the legs off a few soldiers and Policemen? Or kidnapped, tortured and murdered Jean McConville?

Or, considering that this is the anniversary of the 9/11 New York bombings her heart might also have 'broke' for those poor downtrodden jihad martyrs?

At worst this is naivety beyond contempt. There is no at best.

Why 'C' list celebrities have to keep opening their stupid mouths about things they know f*ck all about is beyond me. (I'm sighing loudly now).

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Short Video Game Review.

My latest completed game is this one.
Sacred Plus for PC CDROM. An RPG by Ascaron.
It's easily reviewed in three short words - Generic, Boring and Repetitive.

First of all it looks OK. A Diablo style 2.5D world with none of those horrible third person 3D shenanigans that are impossible to control and make me feel ill.

The storyline is the usual type of nonsense for this type of thing. A world in danger when an ancient magic is released etc etc. I lost interest in the plot very very quickly.

It's easy enough to get into and all though it initially looks complicated it's not really. The interface is fine with quick select buttons in all the proper places.

The bad points are numerous i'm afraid. 'A massive world' it says on the box. It's not. Considering i completed the game with only 39% discovered is testament to that. A big proportion of the map is covered by inaccessible forest which limits your movement somewhat.

There are numerous side quests but they do quickly become very boring. 'Save my daughter who has been kidnapped by Orcs' type affairs. Problem is that they are far too easy. After levelling up a bit they are all the same. Kill a lot of random characters, nick the weapons etc they drop move on to the next similar quest....ho..hum.

There are also numerous glitches in the game. Quests that don't register as completed (even though they are) is a particular irritant.

AI is also hit and miss. Some enemies will just stand idly by whilst you pick them off from a distance, not moving even with 5 arrows stuck in them.

Another problem is that by about half way through you have the best weapon and it can't be upgraded any more and end up having to pick up 100's of inferior items just in case something worth buying might eventually appear in one of the shops.

The magic system seems to be tacked on with very little thought or imagination. You don't have to use it anyway as by the time you actually need it you have a strong enough weapon to cope with anything the game throws at you.
It ends with a wimper. The legend 'To be continued' is displayed. Somebody kill me...please!!!!
In all, very disappointing. And to think i wasted almost 40 hours on this. That BTW is not because the game is challenging, just that i'm shit at games.

Friday, August 15, 2008 it just me?

Been a bit of a strange few weeks in the world...
First, cast your mind back a few years. Iraq invades Kuwait. The entire civilised world does the right thing, sends in the troops and the proper order is restored (for a while anyway).
Russia invades Georgia, and it IS an invasion. The civilised world does....nothing.
Georgia has every right to defend it's territory from separatist terrorists and Russia has no right to interfere in a sovereign nations affairs.
So, where are the tanks and troops now? Let Georgia join NATO. Flood the place with NATO troops and Russia might think twice about attacking again.
A bit closer to home and today was the 10Th anniversary of one of the most heinous acts in Northern Ireland's short and bloody history.
I am of course meaning the Omagh bombing where 29 innocent civilians (+ 2 unborn babies) were murdered by a 'Real' IRA car bomb.
Make no mistake, this event was not carried out by 'dissident' Republicans, the 'Real' IRA or anyone else. It was the IRA in whatever shape and form they like to model themselves. They carried out this attack and their attempts to distance themselves from it is almost as sickening as the event itself.
To mark the occasion a memorial event was held in Omagh, although for numerous reasons many of the injured victims and some relatives stayed away.
Who then was sitting in the front row at the service? Yep, you've guessed it. None other than, self confessed IRA commander Martin McGuiness.
I wonder what the victims families thought about his presence? McGuiness knows exactly who carried out this attack and his presence is an affront to respect and common decency. This man has blood on his hands. Of that there is no doubt. He didn't 'rise' to become commander of the IRA in Londonderry by being good at paperwork. He should be behind bars. Instead he sits at an event like this! It beggars belief. DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson sat comfortably beside him.
There is one of those Militant Christians who is often in Belfast's City Centre. He wears a sandwich board saying 'The End of The World is Nigh'
You know he just might be right.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Famiclone Update #6

Here we have it then, not a Famiclone at all but the MD Max Lite handheld.
Made in China as usual and available in Blue, Black and White. A 2.7" colour TFT screen with TV out function. AV cables are included.
5 face buttons and the usual D pad controller.
No built in games.
As far as i know this one is the 'Big Brother' of the more common One Station Console (I'll update with that one soon).
It's 16 bit and the games come in minute cartridges. They really are the smallest carts i've ever come across. I got 2 carts with this one (see picture).
One is a 3 game multi cart, the other a 4 game one. Games are Mega Drive or hacks of Mega Drive games. I love the way the cart boxes mimic those of the GBA.
The games listed on the 4 game cart are incorrect as only 1 of them, Batman, is actually included.
Screen is bright and clear and the buttons are responsive. Very well made.
Further carts seem to be easy enough to get hold of and are very cheap. I've ordered some more from www.
It cost 99p from a Hong Kong eBay seller.
Not a bad effort at all.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sing if you're proud to be straight!

As a (fairly) normal Heterosexual male i was pretty unimpressed to get caught up in Belfast's Gay Pride parade last Saturday. Same thing happened last year.
It would be very hypocritical to call myself a Homophobe as i have enough Lesbian porn to last 10 men a lifetime. I enjoy Lesbian porn as i don't particularly want to look at another blokes swinging scrotum thank you very much. My own is bad enough.

However, i admit that i find the very thought of 2 men engaging in buggery (or even heavy petting) absolutely repulsive. It makes my skin crawl. Having had the dubious pleasure of the flexible sigmoidiscope on numerous occasions I can't possibly imagine what pleasure anyone can derive from such an act.

What 2 consenting adults get up to in the privacy of their own homes is, i believe, entirely up to them. What i don't see dosen't hurt me. This is precisely where i have a big problem with this parade.

From the little i did see of it, it appeared to be a lot of blokes dressed as women, gyrating themselves on floats to really bad disco music?

I was always led to believe that being a Transvestite and a Homosexual where two entirely different things? Apparently not.

I have witnessed many Gay men on TV stating that they just want to be left alone to get on with their lives. Fair enough.

So what then is the purpose of such a parade? All it does is to cement the stereotype many have of Homosexual men (in particular). Look at the 'bloke' in the picture. What's he trying to prove?

I would have no desire to take part in a Straight Pride parade as my sexuality is mine and nobody Else's concern.

Parades like Saturdays do the Gay community more harm than good and should cease forthwith.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Famiclone Update #5

Here we have the FC Mobile from Hyperkin.
It is exactly what it looks like i.e. a portable NES/Famicom. Back lit with a 2.4" LCD screen. Mines Red but it also comes in black.

AV cable and instruction manual are included along with the normal set of buttons and a handy headphone socket. 2 built in speakers. Sound quality is fine. It takes 3 AA batteries.
Hyperkin clones are usually of fairly good quality and this one is no exception. The screen is bright and clear and the buttons are responsive.
Takes NES cartridges. Not sure if it's PAL or NTSC? A lot of NES carts are non region specific anyway. It's made in China.

Not many problems with it. Carts are a bit of a tight fit and the large size of NES carts means that they wobble about a bit. I have a few portables and this is a problem with them all. But it's a minor complaint.
On the whole then it's pretty good for NESing on the go. Reasonably solid build.
Cost was about £15 with the normal extortionate shipping fees from the USA.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Famiclone Update #4

Here we go with another bizarre one from my collection.
This time it's the X-80000! Probably made in a sweatshop somewhere in China. There is no indication anywhere on the packaging to suggest where it originates.

'Cunningly' disguised as a XBox 360, it even comes in black and white. At least that's what the packaging would have you believe.

It includes 2 controllers, light gun, AV cables and a 9 volt power supply. It's 120w so needs a step down converter here in the UK.

Takes Japanese Famicom cartridges. I've tested a few and it seems to work OK.
It also has an amazing 58000 built in games! It doesn't as usual but does in fact have 53 repeated ad infinitum. The usual assortment of games ranging from the great, the average and the appalling. Circus Charlie seems to be a particular favourite of the makers as it pops up under different names about every 6 games or so.

All similarities with Microsoft's beast disappear rapidly when you try and use the thing.

It's the lightest console I've ever seen. The controllers are also the most unresponsive pieces of crap I've ever come across on a Famiclone (and I've got a lot of Famiclones). They also have the usual set of buttons, including 2 shoulder buttons, which serve no purpose whatsoever.

Other irritants are that the AV cable is about 2 feet long (just).
The big green X on the front is amusing as it's lit with a Red bulb which sort of defeats the purpose.

On the whole then it's not great but has a reasonable selection of games. The box is nice too.

Cost was about £20 from an eBay seller in the USA.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Short Book Review

Like many, of a certain age, a battered copy of James Herbert's 'The Rats' made it around my old school playground. It was like a secret that everybody knew. Hey, it had giant rats eating babies and loads of shagging. Perfect fodder for any adolescent. Read it again, as an adult and it's bollocks.

I stopped reading Herbert around about the time of 'The Magic Cottage'. Never went back until recently when i bought a copy of 'Others' for 10p in a Charity shop.

So whats it all about?

Very quickly.....a bad man is granted release from Hell in order to make up for his deeds whilst living. In return he will be granted a reprieve from eternal damnation. Problem is he will be a different person with no memories of his previous life and no knowledge that he has been released from Hell. Is that clear? Good?

The book starts badly. The Hell passages are very tongue in cheek and therefore it's difficult to give them any credibility. The middle section of the book is excellent.

The Hell returnee is badly physically disabled and Herbert's describes his life very well indeed. His frustration and depression with his disability is gripping stuff leaving the reader feeling a great affinity with the man. I've no idea whether or not Herbert has personal knowledge of living with a disability but he certainly writes as if he does. One particular passage where the main character is beaten and abused by a group of teenage girls is particularly powerful.

It all goes wrong though. He is a private detective whose investigation into a missing child leads him to an old peoples home where sinister goings on are afoot. Our hero investigates, falls in love (with another disabled person...hey, they are both disabled so MUST fall for each other obviously) and gets involved in a conspiracy of massive proportions.

The ending is very poor featuring a lot of nonsense about a corrupt Doctor who is earning a fortune making Porn Movies with Disabled persons and genetic abnormalities.

One nice point and an unusual one for Herbert is the almost complete lack of graphic bedroom scenes. It's very refreshing, all though he does write graphic bedroom scenes very well (if that's the sort of thing you want to read?).

All in all its pretty average. Poor opening, excellent middle section, poor ending.

I won't be rushing out to buy his latest but might pick it up a few years from now if it's 10p in a Charity Shop.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Vote for Rachel

I must admit that I'm hooked on BBC's latest 'Search for a Star' show 'I'd do Anything'.
I'm enjoying it almost as much as the 'Maria's' from a few years back.
Whats really gratifying is that Northern Ireland had 2 girls in the last 5 which is an incredible achievement for a small country the size of mine.
It was very disappointing that Niamh was voted off last weekend. In fairness her performance was the worst, on the night, of the remaining contestants.
I've been settled on Rachel from the very beginning. Bias most definitely intended.She has an amazing voice, acts very well and is gorgeous. Perfect for the role.

My Sister-in-Law is an old friend of hers, although they have been out of touch with each other for a while now. I have never met her which is probably a good thing as i, no doubt, would have went all 'Ally McBeal' had i been introduced!

So on Saturday it will be another 25p and another 'Thank you for your have voted for....Rachel' for me.
Fingers, toes and everything else crossed.

None of the contestants deserves to lose now, they are all equally good, but there will be tears at bedtime if it's another sing-off for Rach.
Go on can do it!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

And so it ends.......(Part 1)

So there it is then. It's final. Kaput.
At the grand old age of 44 i am to be Medically retired from my employer on 29/06/08 after almost 24 years service.
I'm on the scrap heap, over the hill with one foot in the grave.
I've known for a few weeks that it was happening but I'm getting sadder and sadder as the reality begins to sink in.

A lot of us, myself included, complain about going to work. Just wait until you have no more work to go to. Then you'll know. Oh yes.
If truth be told I've been struggling with my illness for years now. Really struggling for about the last 18 months. I suppose this was inevitable. I just wish it had been a few more years down the line. Oh well.
I haven't, i suppose, achieved an awful lot in my 24 odd years. However, I'm proud of what little i did achieve. I hope i made a difference no matter how small. I'm also proud and absolutely genuine when i say that i always tried to do my best no matter where i was located. A lot may possible not agree? So, fuck them basically.
My last few months weren't all that great. Since my Dad died i feel like i have the weight of the world on my shoulders and i suppose that was reflected in my output. My inability to sleep at night meant that my time keeping could have better? Those working flexi hours will, however, know that there does seem to be an unwritten rule that states it's OK to arrive early and leave early but not OK to do the opposite. Despite the fact that there is no difference and both are equally within the regulations. I was only ever actually 'late' about twice in all my years.

I'm not all that bitter. I could have done things a lot differently when i was younger. Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it?

In later years i came to realise that it just wasn't worth the bother. You have to accept the things you cannot change and only fight battles that you have a chance of winning. Go to work, do your best, leave. It's a fine Philosophy.

So what now?
You'll have to wait for part 2 for that one.

Reading - Stephen King - Duma Key
Watching - Battlestar Gallactica (Season 4)
Playing - Pandemonium (PC)
Listening to - Client - City

Coming soon - Part 2 of this bollocks, including a lengthy rant on the utter, utter incompetence of the Social Security Agency.
My not so good experience with Online dating

and..heck...if i feel like it i might even have a Famiclone Update.

Monday, March 17, 2008

And so it begins........

It was only a matter of time. It's amazing that the USA are now talking about protecting Democracy. Hypocrisy beyond belief!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Famiclone Update # 3

So, when is a Famiclone not a Famiclone?
When it's this thing for a start. A rarity indeed this is the Jamiko PC Boy, a clone of the Japanese PC Engine. Originally made by NEC and given a US release as the Turbo-Grafx 16.
Not only is it a PC Engine clone but a clone of the PC Engine Shuttle which itself had a very limited lifespan in it's native Japan.
It's very well made with 1 controller and strangely a 10v power adaptor as opposed to the usual 9v. It is PAL though.
I presume it's plays Japanese PC Engine games (Hu Cards) but i haven't actually been able to test as i don't have any Japanese games. Tons for the TG16 but zilch for the Japanese version.
Nice box with some excellent Engrish e.g. 'Never before has a fantasy of one been so magic', 'An encore performance bring magic home'. WTF!
It's made in China and cost a very reasonable £19.99, considering that it's brand new, from a very unpleasant eBay seller.
Click on the picture for a closer look at this great machine.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Famiclone Update # 2

The latest in my never ending quest for bizarre Gaming Consoles is this one.
It's the TV Joystick 36 in 1.Made in China (surprise, surprise) by Timetop, the same company behind the Gameking series of handhelds. It's shaped like a XBOX controller.

I've discovered that these are being sold in the UK by Maplin at the princely sum of £4.95. This one cost me 99p from eBay.
It's housed in a sealed plastic container and comes with an Engrish manual and the usual TV connecting leads. Powered by 4 AA batteries.

As usual with this sort of thing it doesn't contain 36 games. There are a total of 12 games included.
Note to maker - different levels of the same game are NOT different games.

It also claims to be 16 bit, but graphics to me look to be on the 8 bit side. Around Master System standard.
On the whole the quality isn't all that bad.

The games are:-
First Blood - Vertical 3rd Person shooter.
Stoneage - 2D platform game with really bad collision detection.
Bombs Away - Bomberman clone.
Gun Force - Contra clone.
Yo Yo Rabbit - Very poor 2D Platform game.
Sharp Knight - Wonderboy clone.
Firebolt - A 194X clone that's is unplayable as it runs way to fast.
Risker - Yet another Poor 2d Platform game.
Army Strike - Looks like a light gun game which is difficult when you don't have a light gun connection.
Adventure - Poor Maze type game.
Ice & Fire Fighter - 2D Platform Game.
Frantic Raindrop - Super Putty clone.

There is no cart slot.
Overall it's fairly well made and sturdy. One nice point is the inclusion of X and Y buttons which serve no purpose in any of the games.

Another slight irritant is the lack of a Menu screen, which is probably deliberate to make you think that there are 36 games included. The actual Menu is a very blurry screen shot of each game level.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Words speak larger than words?

There was a great letter a few nights ago in the Belfast Telegraph. So good, in fact, that i'm going to spend the next 10 minutes typing it out verbatum. It was signed P Mann, Co Antrim and goes something like this :-

'An American friend of mine was recently in Northern Ireland and requested that i take him to Parliament Buildings.
While gazing at the building's splendor, the conversation turned to conflict transformation and how former terrorists have integrated into a post-conflict society. I pointed at Stormont and said 'there are a few in there you could ask'. Puzzled, he nervously laughed and asked that i explained my blaze remark.
I informed him that our Deputy First Minister was a former IRA commander, one of the Junior Ministers was a convicted IRA bomber and prison escapee, two female MLA's were convicted bombers, and a further MLA was an IRA hunger striker.
He laughed again telling me in his unique Texan accent: 'Many people laugh at us Yanks, but thats like us voting for Al Qaeda after 9-11'. He is right.
In an interesting twist my friend then tripped on a loose paving stone. Embarrassingly, i told him that the Minister responsible for roads was imprisoned for IRA membership and posssession of explosives'

Excellent. I couldn't have put it better myself.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Today the world should hang it's collective heads in shame. The Serbian province of Kosovo has illegally declared it's independence with support from the USA and most of Europe.

There's nothing more to be said really. A state founded on terrorism, administered by terrorists and supported by those who have the audacity to claim that they are fighting a 'global war on terror'.
The decision now gives license to all other 'tin pot' regions the authority and blessing to violently rebel against the legal representatives of the state.
Terrorism works. This is the reward.
Kosovo IS Serbia.

Friday, February 15, 2008 more.

It was with more than a tinge of sadness that i tuned in to Sky One last night for the last ever episode of Journeyman. Like a lot of things worth watching it has been cancelled after just 13 episodes.
What a fickle lot the American public are.
It is a good, intelligent show and if you haven't caught it yet i suggest you do. It's like a cross between 'The Butterfly Effect' and the better episodes of 'Quantum Leap'.
Another one consigned to the dustbin as we hear that a new series of Ugly Betty is in production (God help us all).
Gone but not forgotten.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Famiclone Update # 1

Apart from watching Crusaders and listening to too much Carter USM, another sad thing in my life is my ever growing Famiclone collection.
For those not in the know, the Famiclone is a generic term which is used by collectors to refer to 'clones' of Video games Consoles which have been made, usually illegally, using another companies hardware.

The term originates from the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), or Famicom as it was called in it's native Japan. Hence 'Famiclone'. Nowadays it used to mean 'any' clone as opposed to one which just uses Nintendo's property.
At lot are made in the Far East, South America or Russia. There are literally thousands of different variations. Some are cheap rubbish, others are superb 'oddities' and a collectors dream.
Currently i have about 40 different consoles and i intend at some point to catalogue them all.

My latest addition is this one.

Cunningly called 'Game Challenger IV'. I shudder to think what parts 1-3 looked like.
As you can see, it is in fact a Popstation. This is basicaly one of those appaling block LCD games (with about 60 variations of Tetris included) based in a shell that is designed to look like a PSP.
It's made of cheap fragile plastic. Surprisingly, this one also has a back light.

Popstations are really common and can be picked up easily for 99p on eBay.
This one is a little bit different.

It's housed in a quite attractive lined box which also includes a set of headphones, a watch, a wrist strap and a fake leather key fob/wallet. I haven't tried the watch, but it's also cheap looking.
It's marked as A B & Co. According to the internet the only A B & Co i can find is a company which makes and repairs boiler equipment.
I can only assume that this one has been made as a promotional item for that company and distributed at a conference or convention.
I've never come across one before and it was an excellent buy at £1.24.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Short Book Review.

My latest finished tome is this one:-

Land of the Giants - The Trap by Murray Leinster

It's based on the pilot episode of Irwin Allen's TV show of the same name. I've been a big fan of 'Giants' since i was young and am a member of the Official fan club. Picked this one up a while ago in a local Charity shop.

It's shit.

It really is.

It's clear that the writer was either given a very early script of the pilot episode or that he has never watched an episode of the series, ever. The plot is nothing like the aired episode and the characters bear little resemblance to the ones i came to know and love from the series.

It's also a very boring book. The writer uses page after page of irrelevant technobabble which has no bearing on the plot whatsoever.

Not recommended at all.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Home is where the heart is.

This is my home. My Country. My nation.

It's called Northern Ireland. I'm proud of it.

I am sick, sore and tired of it being referred to as the North of Ireland, the Six Counties, the Occupied Six Counties or any of the other names some presume to call it.

It's NORTHERN IRELAND. No ifs, no buts or anything else. End of!