Sunday, December 27, 2009

Scary old passport photos


Guess who, originally uploaded by epredator.

One of the joys of the modern age is that we have visual records of us at all stages of life. Like this passport photo that surfaced this christmas.
Thanks Dad !
Do you have any odd passport photos to share?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Predlet mashup of RATM In the Name Of - Noddy Styleee

I tweeted the other day that Predlet 2.0 thinks that In the Name Of is actually In the Name of Plod (from Noddy). As soon as here hears it on the radio he launches into to as you can see.

There is still time to donate and buy Rage Against the Machine 4 Xmas

Everyone even the man himself has seen sense.
(The lyrics get a bit wild for sensitive ears later on, but music is supposed to challenge)

The band are giving the proceeds to charity as well as the donations people are giving to shelter as well as downloading the single.
Not long to go. Go on you know you want too.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let's rock - Support Rage Against the Machine for Xmas


Let's rock, originally uploaded by epredator.

It's time to get good music back, a social movement up against the PR machine fits for where we all are today. The predlets are up for that (though need the radio edit!)
Yes ok so the Xfactor lot are on the same label as Rage Against the Machine but this feels like its generated from a pub conversation not from a PR brainstorm.
When buying the Killing in the Name of single don't forget to also donate to shelter if you can.
The details and facebook group are here

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Frankenstein pockets


Frankenstein pockets, originally uploaded by epredator.

One of the reasons I do software related things is that I whilst I have a practical mind I do not always have the technical skills to deal with the physical.
My favourite pair of trousers had the right hand pocket wear out. This often happens as this is where my keys and change are kept all the time.
So, rather than throw them away and fork out for a new pair (whilst not very rock and roll) I cobbled together a fix.
The sewing wont win any prizes, but it will stop the steady leak of 5 pence pieces trickling down my leg.
I was trying to do this in a bit of a rush so part of the job is actually held on with gaffer tape, but thats tonights excitement to get stitching the other side.
Who knows a career in fashion may await?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Sorting out Darth Vader

Predlet 2.0 has taken to doing the things boys do. Things become guns, and bad guys need sorting out. There may of cause and effect, nature nurture conversations here but he was having fun and living out a bit of Star Wars. Darth Vader is a bad guy (in general lets not worry about the subtleties of redemption) and bad guys need "sorting out".
So he did, and he wanted it filmed.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

More Marmite


More Marmite, originally uploaded by epredator.

I am still loving the labelling on Marmite. I had not seen the "is perfect one" it was a nice surprise in the Ocado delivery.
Its nice to be able to have a laugh unpacking the shopping !

Friday, November 06, 2009

A waste of sign


A waste of sign, originally uploaded by epredator.

You have to admit this is just a little pointless :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Boo


Boo, originally uploaded by epredator.

Happy Halloween everyone

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

predator fire


predator fire, originally uploaded by epredator.

More forza 3 in game shots this time a ferrari predator style

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Epredator Scooby


Epredator Scooby, originally uploaded by epredator.

The full image not just the bonnet scoop :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

predator car forza 3


predator car forza 3, originally uploaded by epredator.

Forza 3 is proving to be brilliant, the custom car painting is much easier so the true artist are doing some awesome things already.
I just did this predator cartoon style face and I have to say I was pretty happy with it

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Breakdancing Predlet2.0

Predlet 2.0 started to bust some moves that looked a little like bboy floor work. I showed him some more breakdancing on youtube and have gave it a go :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Horrid Marmite


Horrid Marmite, originally uploaded by epredator.

Some great marketing and labelling on Marmite. A downloadable ebook is available on the story of how horrible marmite is.
It is really funny to consider labelling something as being horrible isnt it?
I love marmite BTW.
It is clever to play on the polarised attitudes to it as they have done for years. Many brands would shy away from this.
Making people feel part of the tribe who likes or dislikes marmite is clever engagement or blind luck on their part :)
Any other examples you can think of ? I am sure there are some.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Trains aren't what they used to be

What a way to travel to London? It might as well be given the woeful lack of power, wi-fi and phone signal on the trains form Southampton to waterloo :)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Waiting on Forza 3 - It is looking and feeling very good


Forza 3 crash, originally uploaded by epredator.


DSC_0097
I have to say a a racing game fan I am really looking forward to Forza 3. The live demo 1 TRack 5 cars has been very entertaining and competive already.
Its not worth arguing over the GT5 vs Forza. They will both be great, but Forza 3 will be this month, and also be loaded with those brilliant user generated content features that made the previous incarnation so much fun too.

See you on the track!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Winkles Wedding


Winkles Wedding, originally uploaded by epredator.

It's not all hi tech gaming in our house you know.
I have always been interested in board games of all types too. This is a game called Winkles Wedding, a christmas favourite when I was a kid as it belonged to my grandparents. I have no idea how old the game is. Though its more of an experience than a game.
Someone reads out the story and you turn over a card with an amusing word on it that fills in the gap.
I love the cards and the font and have fond memories of it.
A quick google found very little though board game geek indicates this was published in 1920.
Anyone else remember this?

Can you roll cars in Dirt 2?

Yes you can


I had already been impressed by the demo, in particular the Avatar integration over on Feeding Edge the game itself is a really impressive off roader.
A mix of real rally stages (with co pilot reading the pace notes), and stacks of buggy racing and point to point.
The changes in the surfaces from the dry to the muddy and sticky make this one very impressive simulation style racing game.
I have been playing totally with the in car view, which means you get the full effect of splashing in a muddy puddle and waiting for the wipers to clean your screen as you hurtle into a sharp blind left hand bend.
If you like driving games (and if not why not) then this is an awesome blast.

Colin McRae: Dirt 2 (Xbox 360)
Colin McRae: Dirt 2 (PS3)
Colin McRae: Dirt 2 (PC DVD)
Colin McRae: Dirt 2 (Wii)
Colin McRae: Dirt 2 (PSP)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

WWE legend creation


WWE legend creation, originally uploaded by epredator.

Then I become a WWE wrestler and took on the Ultimate Warrior....


WWE Legends of Wrestlemania (Xbox 360)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Which is more cute? Snow Leopard or Hello Kitty?

It was the last day of school holidays and Predlet 1.0 was busy playing with Hello Kitty, whilst I was busy upgrading my Mac with Snow Leopard.
Its hard to tell which is the most cute :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

bike loop


bike loop, originally uploaded by epredator.

This a a view of some of the loop I ride off road on bridleways around chilling between solent view and meon shore near bronwich lake.
Usually head straight down and then take the right hand loop back and return up to the inland start point again.
There are some more bits and pieces of track to get to and from teh house, but this is the main burn.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Briliant Free Running

I just caught the end of the Barclaycard World Freerun championships from Trafalgar square. It was amazing. They have a highlight video posted.

The eventual winner doing an amazing horizontal move, holding onto a bar, and walking up in thin air, incredible piece of strength and performance.
There is even more inspiration at http://www.urbanfreeflow.com/

Thursday, August 13, 2009

On yer other bike

I started playing Trials HD, the brilliantly addictive XBox Live downloadable game last night. It took me back to playing Kickstart 2 back on the Commodore 64, but then rushed me forwards in time with fantastic physics, awesome visuals and a very flowing analog feel to the controls.
If you have an Xbox 360, go and at least try the demo.




This Gamespot video shows what you have in store, but it is still full of surprises.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On yer bike


On yer bike, originally uploaded by epredator.

7 Days, 7 bike rides, target achieved. Each ride has been a little longer starting at 1 hour and up to 1 hour 20. The initial ones had my heart rate up at 155, but now its a more sensible 135-145 range. A good workout, but still enjoyable.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Its back and so am I


Its back, originally uploaded by epredator.

Back in the late 90's I used to exercise a lot. Every day either some moderate weights at home or out on my bike.
I decided that it was time to get going again, the web, virtual worlds and the predlets had taken up so much time the past 10 years fitness was not high on the list.
So in true mid life crisis style I started again.
My old Saracen bike was in bits, so I initially used the one we had for putting a predlet on a back seat. It was ok but not as much fun as my old big bike.
So last night I fixed it, new tubes, a bit of oil and it was in a good state.
I also went and got a new Camelbak, and put some batteries in the heart monitor.
Working at home and for my own company means that whilst I am really busy I can still practically workout during daylight hours with little impact to the family. A unique opportunity that I have to take.
So I have jusyt got back from another hour off road, at about 155 heart rate. Hopefully the fact I feel the addiction again will keep me going.
It was a strange experience back on this bike after so long, it seemed to familiar like an old friend. The things missing were my extra tech.
back then I had an old fashioned GPS, a lead battery front spot light, a regular trip computer and a space for the phone.
Bizzare to think how much the tech has changed in particular with GPS in everything these days.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Escapees from monkey world


Escapees from monkey world, originally uploaded by epredator.

yikes look what came back from holiday

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Untooning by Pixeloo

I have seen some interesting pictures recently about untooning out favourite virtual characters and making them look real. Its sort of uncanny valley the other way around.
This homer is brilliant, but visit Pixeloo to see more graphic wizardy, and not just untooning.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Budget gaming? Surely not - Battlefield 1943

Given the weird nature of starting a business like Feeding Edge I don't get to buy as many games off the shelf as I used to. (At the moment :) ). So I am finding that I am getting a lot more out of budget games. In particular the brilliant Battlefield 1943 on Xbox Live. (This is also out on the Playstation store too).

In BF1943 you play online matches usually 12 vs 12 on relatively small islands in the South Pacific. Its a capture the flag(s) game and features several player types and lots of vehicles including fighters and bombers.
It is a very fast and frenetic game and the nature of the terrain means there seems to be a lot less camping by snipers so it is very n00by friendly. Still the good players are particularly good, and better when on your side.
The brilliant dynamic that was introduced was that the game type called Air Superiority, which is solely a fighter plane head to head was not unlocked at the start on either PS3 or Xbox. The developers promised to unlock it for the first platform to get a combined score of 43 million kills. Xbox won.
I am a big fan of the fighter plane genre. It sits better with my flowing style, like car racing. I also feel I have better situational awareness and understand the dynamics more than when I am infantry in a field. So it was great to be up in the sky zooming around.
As the game is only online and really only has 4 levels to play on it is considered a budget game, costing £8-10 depending on the system. It also features free to play in that both systems have a demo, so you can just dive into real games and get on with it. It is slightly easier to notice that on the Xbox as all the Live games tend to offer trial downloads, on the PS3 the trial is hidden away and separate from the adverts for the £9.99 version. The PS3 store is also a click away and somewhat aloof, whereas the xbox dashboard pretty much screams at you that 1943 is going on.
So if you have either system down load 1943 and have a go. It really is only the price that makes this a budget game, the production quality, the destruction in the environment and the rush of playing making this brilliant fun.
You will of course get griefers, buy friendly fire tends to be off, though the current trend for AA gunners on boats in Air Superiority to blow up your own planes before you get in them is a bit annoying. Especially if you have to wait for a ride to arrive. Still its all part of the game and being online something they can easily fix or patch without too much impact to us all.
See you in there :)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 - all types of Fail

The last few weeks I have been getting quite frustrated with my Experia X1 mobile running Windows Mobile 6.1. It seems that whilst I don't have that many applications on it its got very "sticky". Its almost like a full version of Windows running in that sometimes something sparks up, then dies, but there is no indication of it running yet you just know its in there somewhere clogging up the processor.
On several trips to London it seems to get itself even more confused. To the point I have started turning on aicraft mode when traveling around so that it does not get itself confused with wireless networks, 3g, 3.5g, edge etc. All that seems to bork it big time.It then needs multiple power offs and battery removal none of which seems to quite work.
The really weird thing was that on my Windows vista desktop, once I started trying to use the synch for all the address and contacts (as opposed to XP that I had on my previous work laptop) I found that it really did not work very well. In fact moving to a MacBook Pro proved easier to synch that with a windows to windows option! Using the brilliant missing synch I atleast felt I had things backed up. They may be on Vista but it is so unstable I cant trust it.
With my wife's iphone having a recent and significant software upgrade, that went very smoothly, I thought I should really try and use the Sony Ericsson updater service to patch the phone. I was half expecting to get a great Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade, but my initial excitement was soon dashed when it turned out that Vista could not do the update properly. Not only that but the phones archaic update process means that you loose all your setting and it wipes the phone, plus you have to do some weird bios mode, holding the power and volume buttons until you see coloured stripes. (A bit different to the plug, download and synch of the iphone eh?).
I wrote the the customer service asking why Vista did not work with Windows mobile and this phone for updating. The answer "oh just send us your phone for 10 days and we will do it". Fail!
Obviously there is no Mac updater, and I am not putting bootcamp and XP on this Mac just to patch the phone
Luckily I found a XP machine and used that. I say luckily as whilst it did an update I can't say I cant see, nor feel much difference. It did manage to wipe all the settings and programs. So I had to dig up a few things, lost some of the much bragged about Panels, and I really cant be bothered to install them again.
So the upshot is that I am very unlikely to bother with any Sony Ericsson phone again, and certainly not a Windows Mobile one. I know that is the obvious thing anyway, but really life is too short to faff around. With all these wonderful phones like the iphone around that just work, just update, just deliver there really is no room for this sort of slack deployment.
Its turned out the camera is not that good, often very washed out, not a patch on the Nokia N95 (so sorry for the Shozu uploaded pictures that look rubbish until I fiddle with them). I did not get another Iphone as we already had one and I was not yet an Apple convert (yes I know I know!) and it did not do video as the new 3Gs does, but the X1 video gets very clunky as the Windows Mobile wants to go off and do something else it thinks is much more important. These crashy threads are the programs that seem not to be running but are that warm teh phone up and eat the battery sometime.
I guess I should have known, given how hard it was to get the thing int eh first place, but I was feeling pioneering again.
Oh and the keyboard (the best bit) has started to not work very well on the bottom row.
Starting to look like an epic Fail.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Thinking outside the egg box


Thinking outside the egg box, originally uploaded by epredator.

Imperial measurements led to a cultural ideal that eggs are delivered by the dozen (12), or more usually a half dozen (6). Of course there is no real reason why the number cant be different. Yet after all these years of seeing 6 eggs in a box I found it odd to see 9 in our recent delivery from the online grocery store Ocado.
That slightly weird uncomfortable feeling when things are not in their usual place is a good one to seek out. It does not mean bad things are going to happen merely that you have got set in your ways and something new is occurring.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Party Ben mashups

One way and another (as I wrote over on feeding edge) I have got introduced to the work of Party Ben. Musical mashup maestro.
All his stuff is over on his website and all over other parts of the web.
Check out the Every car you chase mashup of police and snowpatrol. It is so subtle you would not believe.
I was transfixed when I heard this in Second Life, and waddya know there's a video mashup too.

I really love both these main songs, and it is a brilliant combination.

Monday, June 22, 2009

E3 Pre order Picks, Games or Biz?

Whilst on the subject of games I have had to be a bit more choosy in what games I end up getting whilst setting up Feeding Edge. Moving from a two income family to a single income and a startup entrepreneur does not make for instant high amounts of disposable income :)
However, games have been a driver for me to even start with computers in the first place and the crossover of work and play means that understanding them is even more important.
As the games companies start to figure out social media and the interactions we have the style of gaming changes.
My first essential pre-order pick in that respect is Forza 3.
I have always like the Playstation Gran Turismo game for levelling up but Forza 2 with is car customization and paintwork, combined with marketplace sharing took this a stage further.



I will remember the previous Forza 2 for being able to make a custom version of the Ferrari 430 that I drove on my 40th birthday.

Ferrari F430
eightbar f430
I was then able to send a version of this to my fellow eightbar at the time Roo and then also work that into various metaverse presentations and blog posts
Combine that with being into cars, loving driving games past all other games and its pretty much a given that Forza will grace my collection on the 360.

The other must have will have to be


Playing Prototype made me remember how much I really enjoyed crackdown originally :) The various points of obsession of trying to reach places like the top of the main tower, and the vertigo it could introduce are classic gaming moments in my memory.
So thats the list at the moment. I wanted to make this a top 3 but there are a few vying for 3rd place.
The Beatles Rock Band (Xbox 360)
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360)
Gran Turismo 5 (PS3) Still no release date!
Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360)
Halo 3: ODST (Xbox 360)
To name but a few (not including Eye Pet which the predlets will love of course)

Prototype - That's one absorbing game

I have been playing Prototype this weeked on the 360, (other formats available)it was a fathers day gift from the predlets.

My mini review starts with the fact that so far its seems very slick, very polished and a proper next gen title.
If you want to know what it is like it is best to apply some comparisons to other games.
Take Crackdown (Xbox 360), add some Assassin's Creed - Classics Edition (Xbox 360), a hint of Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360) and mix in some Spider -Man 3: The Movie (PS3). Throw in a few Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360) components and a little Dead Rising (Xbox 360) Zombie bashing with some arcade Capcom style combo treatment and you are pretty much there.
The basic movement in Prototype takes place around another huge rebuild of New York. There is a virus spreading and causing all sorts of battles of zombies, army and mutants. You play Alex who is himself some sort of Prototype hybrid of the virus giving him super powers to sprint and bounce of walls, climb tall buildings, leap and glide around the city.
It does not have the same challenge of Crackdown in the climbing, i.e. in Crackdown some places were hard to reach until you had leveled up. In Protoype it just changes the way you may reach them as you spend experience points to upgrade to things such as a high flying glide.
There are lots of collecting and freeroaming style mini missions, races and tokens to collect if you choose not to follow the story arc.
Following the arc though has some very stylish flashbacks, as you are able to attack a target and absorb them you gain their memories, which pieces together the story for you. These are very well done, as is the whole voice active piece. Games have really come of age on that front and Prototype is no exception.
Another Crackdownesque piece is when you land from a high fall, the pavement cracks as you land with a bass laden boom and nearby cars are thrown aside.
When in the one on many combat sequences you end up with a range of styles and powerups to use, lots of flying combos and the ability to be very free form in your destruction of the target.
The violence is quite pronounced as there are lots of blade and explosions that have an adverse affect on the constituent parts of your adversaries, so there are a few body parts left lying around. Still it does have an 18 rating!
As usual though the 18 rating is more related to the language. There is much effing and jeffing and referring peoples mothers as in any gritty film or programme. This is always in context, but it does mean that its not one to play when the kids are around even if they are off outside. They may pop in at any moment into a cut scene and get the full treatment.
The Assasins creed influence extends not just to the parkour elements but also to when on street level, in a disguise walking amongst people they have put in the shoving out of the way side swipe that was in many a demo of Assasins Creed.
Unlike AC though the city and the people do not annoy quite as much with repetition of phrases.
The city is truly huge, bounding around it is great fun it its own right.
I think Prototype is going to get a fair amount of gameplay from me, and its certainly one to get hold of if you can
There are PS3 and PC Versions too
Prototype (PS3)
Prototype (PC DVD)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

any idea what this toy part is from?

This toy part turned up in a clear out of the predlets toy collection. We have no idea which set or product it is from, any ideas anyone?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Look Out - Predlet 1.0 does Kill Bill


Look Out, originally uploaded by epredator.

With her bug eye shades and a platic pickaxe its hard not to be intimidated by predlet 1.0 :) I loved the attitude.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

guitars, computers and patience == awesome

This is a brilliant video, it clearly has been doing the rounds, but I had to blog it. The time and effort taken is fantastic. Its another example that you still need talent, patience and craft, computers do not solve everything, but bring new art forms to light instead.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wimbledon on the Wii

I was blogging on my company blog over on Feeding Edge about my involvement and history at the Wimbledon tennis championships and happened to notice the article about the new EA sports Wii game Grand Slam Tennis that has actually got the real Wimbledon in it.

All the tennis games up to now have have South London or some aberration of the name. In games it always feels right to have the real place, the real names. Any slight deviation ruins the experience. I remember in F1 when the Geoff Crammond game had all the drivers but one called "A Canadian" on the roster, complete with instructions of how to use the editor to type Villenueve's name in yourself. It is a bit more tricky to deal with 3d models and graphics. I understand the branding and licensing issues but somethings that are so public and want to be represented should just be there. So, if you want to play on Wimbledon's hallowed centre court try one of these two wii packs.



Or without the new motion controller pack
EA Sports Grand Slam Tennis (Wii)

Friday, June 05, 2009

Rolling waves


Rolling waves, originally uploaded by epredator.

I loved taking this photo it was a surprise as to how like sand the water looked. I was snorkelling and out at sea

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cesar Manrique a Yaujta?

We took a trip to Cesar Manrique's place here on Lanzarote. He had created a fascinating home in the lava rocks and his house was full of his art too.
Of course it was a little odd to see this :)
Skulls
The island is full of his influence, with some amazing wind sculptures adorning many a roundabout.
There is a full set of pictures here
It also struck me it was like a posh version of Luke Skywalker's uncles place on tattoine as you move down into the cave elements of the place. Still all very stunning.
IMGP4103