Category Archive for 'Games'

Links: McKellen, family, friends, Neko Case live, tech, Qtek, Okami, Miranda July

Thursday, May 18th, 2006

First, I would like to post this link to a very snigger-worthy article where Ian McKellen says “Well, I’ve often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying this is fiction.” You have to love Gandalf up against Christians who are utterly insane. Read that link, I dare you. Speaking of such, how about this moron?

Speaking of morons, there were a few about in town on Tuesday, when Andreas and I went to see Zak’s band, Clawfinger. Speaking of which, here’s an interview with the man [in Swedish]. They were good! Energetic, funny, bitter and hard like turning coal into diamonds by sphincter-force!

Sis and kidsA couple of days before that, Mikaela and I visited my parents, where my sister and her kids were, and a lot less scared of me this time around, thank Bog! Hardly a few minutes went by without our tossing balls or my looking for them while they were hiding in all-too-obvious places, sniggering away merrily.

At that evening I went to see Neko Case. She was good. Really, really good. Her voice howled beautifully though the beautiful hall that is Södra teatern, probably the best place for a gig in Stockholm. Last time I was there I saw Sparks live, which is captured on this DVD“>this DVD. Back to Neko. I cannot say enough goodness about her last album, “Fox Confessor Brings The Flood“, which you have to buy, by the way. She played a few old songs that I didn’t recognise, and they were very good as well. In-between songs Neko said stuff like “This next song is about killing your boyfriend. Or girlfriend, for that matter”, or just stories like how she was hit on by a Swede the other evening and he complimented her by saying she was extraordinarily thin, hailing from a country filled to the brim with fat people. What a compliment! Oh, us Swedes. Her band was fantastic. The slide-guitars, the twang, the bass, drums and the backing vocals. But Neko’s voice was really spot-on. I don’t listen to country, and her style isn’t that, I’d say; she calls it “country noir” and I agree. I haven’t heard her earlier solo-albums, but this was nerve-wrecking. I hate to sound like a cliché, but it’s hard to see somebody sing so well without looking exasperated or strained in the least. Fucking Neko. Fuck her for being so great. Here‘s a fresh interview with her. Anyway, she had humor as well, which reminds me of Clawfinger: any artist that mixes harsh lyrics with a sense of humor when live come across as unserious or very amiable; both artists are the latter. If you get the chance, see them both.

Samsung has announced they will sprout a hybrid disk-drive. So WTF is that? From said article:

A hybrid hard drive is a hard drive that contains a flash memory chip that stores data and applications. Because the processor can retrieve data from flash, the drive–which spins constantly in an ordinary computer–can stay asleep most of the time.

This means Samsung has stepped in the same direction as Microsoft, who are manufacturing a similar function for Windows Vista, titelled SuperFeltch. I wonder how the hybrid-drives will work together with Vista.

Search-engines. Almost *.* use Google, but there are other options. Snap.com provides a quick and visual way to show search-results, while Clusty displays results as clusters. For instance, a search for “Morrissey” brings you an array of categories on the left-hand side of the screen, for instance “Smiths”, “Pictures” and “Music.”

I’ve been trying out a very small freeware program called Visual Tasktips, that “provides thumbnail preview image for each task in the Windows Taskbar, like in the upcoming Microsoft Windows Vista.” It works well with all applications that are Win32-compatible, but doesn’t display the contents of java-based programs. Still, it’s nice and small.

I’m eager to try PS Hot Launch, to see if that’s an ActiveWords-killer. Most likely not, but that’s because the programs do the same thing in quite different ways; first, PS Hot Launch is free while ActiveWords is 50USD. So what’s PS Hot Launch? From the site:

PS Hot Launch is meant to quickly run different applications, open documents, go to the right folders and web pages, send mail to a specified address, etc.

Anyway, I have been trying ActiveWords for a couple of weeks, and it’s quite an interesting program. What does it do, really? To regurgitate from their site: “ActiveWords enables you to work faster and more efficiently by turning everything you type in Windows into actions”. True. The program stays like a bar at the top of my screen, monitoring my every key-tap. When I type text that is recognised by ActiveWords and press F8, the program launches whatever instructions I’ve given it. Examples:

I create a new e-mail, type “emall” and press F8, presto: it types the name of the recipient, a subject-line and the template I use for letting bosses know the information for a newly added user. Sweet.

I type “wsus” and press F8, and a browser opens up, directing me to our WSUS server.

Even though PS Hot Launch does not provide the same functionality, it might be well worth the usage if you launch a lot of applications daily. Otherwise, I strongly recommend the brilliant, free little launcher I always use: PStart; it sits quietly in my system tray and doesn’t use any memory to speak of, and allows me to do buckloads of stuff.

I’m pining for a new mobile phone, especially as my current one is falling to pieces. I’m thinking about a Qtek 8500, which comes across nicely in this review, and then there’s this one, but I figure I may miss the notepad that’s available in my Qtek 9090. Of course, I may patch that by using a moleskine.

Hey Lindsay! If ya can’t beat the paparazzi, use them. I guess she has nothing to do with it, but anyway.

Wanna see something extremely weird? Check out the trailers for Okami, a coming game.

Mikaela and I saw Miranda July’s “Me And You And Everone We Know” yesterday. It’s a really sweet film, reality-based: sombre, happy, refined, storytelling, which contains quirky characters but who aren’t quirky enough to make me hate their fucking guts. The kids in the film act really well, and somebody should bind George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to chairs and Ludovico them until they get the idea that kids can be great actors if you direct them as if they’re thinking individuals and not tests on how much you can make an audience hate kids.

And oh, don’t forget to start hiring Pete Doherty to decorate for you. Browse down a tad to see the pictures in that page.

Hammer-smashed face: friends, party, film, reading

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

Viva la resistance! But why’s the resistance in my head?

Yesterday was a blast. Or rather, let’s start with the day before yesterday. Rade came by to spend this easter weekend in Stockholm. We played video-games, ate and went into town, bought a bag full of ice for 50SKR (~7USD) and went to his sister’s place, where she was shacked up with Peter, her boyfriend, watching some Swedish detective-story. Rade and I sat in the kitchen talking, and as Tamara and Peter emerged, she started mixing caipirinhas based on muddled, slices of lime (of course), loads of mashed ice and Pitàº. Very nice! We sat and talked the night away, but went to Allmänna Galleriet where crappish music was played but we still had fun – Peter and I poked Tamara in the face appx. five hundred times and I took this film of the scene. On the way home I missed the subway with two minutes and had to wait for a remaining 28. While hovering about the train-station in central Stockholm city at appx. 01:30 is somewhat boring, there were a few wonderful moments, mostly due to people with a few loose screws; a man dancing to tunes known only to him lounged into a vending-machine, a woman went around screaming insanely for five seconds and then stopped, only to repeat this gala performance every ten minutes.

Medborgarplatsen So, what happened yesterday? I went into town to meet Rade and Tamara at Medborgarplatsen, where they sat near to Christer, a very exibitionistic man who often roams the south of Stockholm city. Ardent readers may know him from this picture I snapped of him last summer.

Rade and I went walking. He had his mind set on purchasing a nice watch for Selda, a girl he’s more or less pursuing; it turned out to be the perfect present, just the watch she desired. Sweet! We went to Amida Kolgrill where we had massive portions of cous-cous, grilled lamb, veggie stuff and lounged. We then went to an Italian ice-cream shop where I had a cone with coconut ripple. Now, I don’t mean the regular, industrial shite ice-cream that most people think of when you say “coconut ice-cream“, but this was the real McCoy: naturally sweet, the ice-cream had loads of grated coconut in it. That’s just what I desired on what was the first really sunny Stockholm spring-day of the year.

Skånegatan, Stockholm I bought the latest single by Swedish band The Radio Dept., who have just churned out their latest album, “Pet Grief“. That’s one to remember. Quite short, but well worth the money, the album evokes memories of Pet Shop Boys de era “This Couldn’t Happen Here“, oldish New Order-tracks crossed with Electronic and The Smiths, even. A low-fi filter bringing a lonely echo-effect build most of the ambience of the album while pianos, an old drum-machine and semi-acoustic guitars twist great sound-scapes over melodic synths and a droning voice, making this one of the best albums so far, this year. I didn’t believe it either, but check it out.

Anyway, Rade and I went back to Tamara’s place, right outside of which I managed to photograph this woman hiding behind a plastic bag, drinking milk from a carton. Anyway, we went to my place, played a little NBA Live 2006 and Rade then went to see Selda while Mikaela and I took it easy.

Holmes!I’ve been enjoying “The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes“ more and more, and received “The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Novels“ last week, which means I now have all three volumes of the New Annotated canon, as edited by Leslie S. Klinger. Very nice indeed, the volumes use impeccable typography, extensive annotations (although I think some of them, e.g. gossip on what some women might really have meant, as with Violet Hunter in “The Adventure of The Copper Beeches“)1 – and utterly brilliant research and mind-work has been done, e.g. a monograph titelled “The guns of Sherlock Holmes and John H. Watson, M.D.“, a list of the most venomous serpents in India, and very importantly, critisisms at Holmes’ (at a few times) flawed thinking, e.g. the notes named ““¦And the Calculation Is A Simple One“, where Klinger details Holmes calculating the speed of the train in which he and Watson went “flying along“ to Exeter, in the story “Silver Blaze“. Mostly, the annotations are very valid, in-depth and not at all disturbing while reading the stories; if one desires to skip them, this is very easily done as the annotations are printed in the outer regions of the pages instead of at the bottom or as an appendix to each short-story or novel. Also very mentionable, there are loads of illustrations by Sidney Paget from the original published editions in The Strand during the 1800’s.

I read Holmes for a while, and then Mikaela had made a pasta dinner (using great pasta), cocktail-tomatoes and olives, which turned out very well; Björg then popped over, we all chatted along, drank champagne and went to a party.

Shop, car, south of Stockholm Our hair-dresser held her annual party together with her partner-in-hair, Simon. As expected, Marco was bartending and very nice; his restaurant, Locanda, is apparently faring well and I’ll be sure to visit it soon – check out this Swedish review to get the feeling why people love the place, and don’t forget to check out Marco’s cook-book. People were nice, the music was upheld by Simon and his friend Anders. Too bad Joel Mull was ill and couldn’t make it, but this didn’t stop us from chatting with people, dancing and it was nice to see Björg getting attention! We arrived home at appx 04:30 and almost passed out immediately. Speaking of food a few sentences ago, I just saw a list of the 50 best restaurants of 2006 and they hail El Bulli, which seems like a dream come true, not least judging from this semi-old review from The Guardian. Good restaurant-reviews is a bit like reading good prose.

Today: not much going on. Thankfully one of my colleagues silently chose to upgrade servers at work so that I didn’t have to, so Mikaela and I watched a couple of films. We saw “Match Point“ yesterday by the way, and it was very good, above all expectations; even though I like Woody Allen’s films a lot, this one was not very Allenesque, despite a lot of creative nuances that reeked of his handiwork; the music was very much in-place, and the opera said a lot about the movements in the film – mind you, I wouldn’t had the foggiest about that if I wouldn’t have had Mikaela at my site during the film. “Rigoletto“ and “Macbeth“ say a lot, actually. By the way, I just thought of another reason to not find out stuff about films before you see them: I just tagged “Match Point“ at allconsuming.net, and even though I didn’t care for the reviews by the users, it’s impossible to dodge the tags when you’re searching for a film. One of the tags actually spoil quite a bit of the basis of the film (for me) and I’d gone cross if I’d seen it before I saw the film. Today we saw “The Lady Vanishes“, an old Hitchcock-film that takes place on a train. It started moving quite slowly and picked up the pace after a while. Good acting and greater directing made the film what it was, not to mention a few twists, but I don’t think it’s even near what Hitchcock accomplished with “Spellbound“ or “Notorious“. We’re currently watching “A Bittersweet Life“, a very intense film by Ji-woon Kim, that promises good things. I believe dear old Quentin Tarantino has seen it as well, and stolen a bit of it for “Kill Bill 2“.

Shadow, cracking ice, sun Speaking of art, I’m looking forward to A Death In Belmont, a coming book on the murder of Bessie Goldberg by Sebastian Junger. This is a quite interesting article on him and the book courtesy of The Guardian. Speaking of books, I’m very much looking forward to Will Self’s coming work, “The Book of Dave“. Here’s the synopsis:

“The Book of Dave“ is based around the rants of Dave Roth, a disgruntled East End taxi driver, who writes his woes down and buries them only to have them discovered 500 years later and used as the sacred text for a religion that has taken hold in the flooded remnants of London. Will Self’s big bold book dares to take on the grand themes in the grand manner. It is at once a profound meditation upon the nature of received religion; a love story; a caustic satire of contemporary urban life and a historical detective story set in the far future.

Very interesting indeed, especially since Self has written one of the best books I’ve read in ten years, “Great Apes“.

Links: politics, tech, music, clothes, racism, dirty, love, hate – the usual

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Berlusconi tries to sit upon Italy forever, Rob Corddry is “racist”, The Guardian has published an article on Germano Facetti, the man who renewed the role of art in books. Or, rather, on books. He is the person who during the 60’s designed the jackets adorning the books that were published on Penguin. Dirty trousers are turned too clean. Microsoft churns out Strider URL Tracer and Academic Search, while Google turns their calendar out (finally) – even though I’m still holding on to 30Boxes. Network Magic might help home-users with a Windows network. Ten different video-sharing sites are reviewed, Primal Scream will soon release their new album, “Riot City Blues”, and a link to a snippet of “Country Girl”, their coming first single off said album, is offered. Savant kids, a new Larry Levan-compilation is out and you must love-hate a certain tee. And lion-cubs.

Eskilstuna, there I went

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

I’ve visited Rade in Eskilstuna! Video, pictures and stories abound.

Tech: extensions, PS3, Linux and MS Office 2007

Monday, March 27th, 2006

I’m stoked about MS Office 2007! A new video is out, so check it. Also on a Linux toolbox, PS3 in-game-pictures and a simple site to check unknown file-extensions out.