October 26th, 2010

Back in the UK

May 5th, 2010

Well we finally made it back to the UK, after our holiday was extended by 9 days. Flights started running the day after our original flight was cancelled, but we were caught up in the backlog.

Thankfully we were able to stay with family, despite SAA’s best efforts to get us to travel to Johannesburg. I’m very pleased we weren’t stuck there for 9 days πŸ™‚

Stranded in SA!

April 19th, 2010

We’re due to fly back to the UK at 4:40pm BST tomorrow. The latest on the volcanic ash that’s been wreaking havoc with air traffic into Europe is that they will reopen airports in North England and Scotland tomorrow at 6am BST and possibly in the rest of England later on in the day.

It seems that if our flight tomorrow is cancelled we’ll be on the waiting list along with about 150,000 other Britons trying to get back into the UK πŸ™‚

Nintendo announces 3D successor to Nintendo DS!

March 23rd, 2010

Wow big news – Nintendo have today snuck out a press release that announces a new 3D handheld that will be the successor to the Nintendo DS/DSi.

The new handheld has the temporary name ‘Nintendo 3DS’ and will feature 3D effects without the need to wear glasses. More details will be made available at this years E3. Despite working in the games industry for nearly 10 years I still haven’t had the opportunity to go to E3. Maybe this year?

Battlefield Bad Company 2

March 4th, 2010

I’ve been a big fan of the Battlefield series ever since Battlefield 1942, and can’t think how many hours I’ve spent playing it. So I’m particularly pleased that my copy arrived on my desk a few minutes ago, the day before it’s due out in the shops. Thanks Game!

Can’t wait to get stuck into this at the weekend!

Epic PS3 Fail

March 1st, 2010

Looks like if you own one of the old-style PS3s you’re out of luck as of yesterday – there’s some kind of bug in the calendar software that means it’s unable to properly handle today’s date, meaning if you even switch the console on it can leave to save-game loss, loss of trophies, inability to play online and various other shenanigans.

I’m interested to see how Sony will fix this – will they be able to push out a path over the network when people can’t connect in the first place?

Here’s one particularly unhappy customer who just wants to “eat cupcakes and shoot noobs on Call of Duty” – poor guy.

Edit: it looks like the issue has been fixed, about 24 hours after it started.

Nexus One is here!

February 2nd, 2010

Ever since they’ve been launched I’ve been refusing to get an iPhone. I have to admit that they’re great, but they’re just too ubiquitous and I would feel like a sheep if I jumped on board :-). I was very excited when Google announced the Android-powered G1 back in September 2008, and was sure that an Android phone would be a great alternative.

I’ve been waiting ince then for a decent Android phone to come out withΒ  a hardware keyboard (something like the HTC Touch Pro 2?), but on Friday I finally got tired of waiting and ordered the recently released Nexus One from the Google.com page.

Unbelievably the phone arrived first thing on Monday morning after being dispatched from Indianapolis. I was very, very impressed. Props to Google and DHL for getting it to me so quickly.

After two days playing with the phone I am very impressed. The 3.7″ OMOLED screen is very clear and bright, and the 1GHz snapdragon CPU makes it very snappy. More technical specs are available here.

There’s a bit of a division in my office between the designers, who generally favour the iPhone, and the developers, several of whom have Android phones. Until now I’ve been fighting the Android side despite not owning one, so I’m pleased that I’m now practising what I preach.

Here are some pictures of the phone when it arrives. Apologies for the quality they were taken with my old phone πŸ™‚

The Apple Tablet

January 27th, 2010

After months of rumour and speculation, the Apple tablet is due to be announced at today’s Apple event. Information that has appeared so far today are some grainy photos and rumour that the device will cost $800 on contract, or $1000 without.

Edit: well the event has been and gone and it looks like the rumour on the price was way off – it will be available from just $499. The iPad look like a scaled up iPhone. It has a 9.7 inch capacitative touchscreen, 1GHz Apple A4chip, 10 hour battery life and will come in a variety of disk capacities (16, 32 and 64GB), just like the iPhone. Wifi and 3G are available as options. There’s also been some interesting apps announced, like iBook (an e-reader application) and iWork (spreadsheet type stuff). The majority of apps on the app store will work on it – either in a window or scaled up to double size. It won’t be long before apps specifically for the ipad become available I’m sure, the iPhone SDK was updated yesterday to add support for the iPad.

The beginning of the end for Internet Explorer?

January 22nd, 2010

In my years of developing for Internet Explorer I’ve been continually having to battle with it’s half-assed implementation of web standards and non existent debugging tools, but have to continue supporting it because so many people don’t know any better. A small ray of hope has emerged in the last few days off the back of the Google/China showdown. Apparently the Chinese hacks were taking advantage of an undisclosed security flaw in Internet Explorer. Because of the this on the 15th Jan the German goverment issued a warning to Internet users to avoid using Internet Explorer. They were followed by the French government on the 18th who issued a similar warning.

Now it seems the malicious code only targets IE6, and Microsoft released a patch for it yesterday (the 21st). Hopefully these security alerts will have caused some people to jump ship from Internet Explorer to one of the alternatives, and we can see those usage stats, particularly of IE6, start to drop off.

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Browser Market Share

Aliens vs. Predator

January 22nd, 2010

We had a sneak peek of this in the office yesterday and it’s looking really, really slick. There have been many Alien vs. Predator games in the past (The first Alien vs. Predator games was released in 1999 and was by the same developers – Rebellion) but I think this is the first that really does the franchise justice. It’s out on 19th Feb in the Uk on PC, Xbox360 and PS3. More details.