Wales Comic Con 2011 – The Review

Sunday 5th June 2011, I arrived at the campus of NEWI*1 GlynDwr University for Wales Comic Con. This was my first visit to this event since I missed out last year due to Vampiric Eye Disease causing me to be unable to leave the house during the daylight hours.

Upon arriving at the campus I immediately encountered a slight Problem. In an attempt to prevent others for making the same mistake, I tweeted “Note to self: when going to a con, check location before leaving house. #walescomiccon.” Yes, I knew it was on the Campus, but there were dozens of buildings/complexes that could be housing it. Luckily as I was pulling my car into a car-park, I spotted a couple of StormTroopers*2 standing guard at the door to the sports centre. And when a marine walked out of the building followed by an Alien with a dog collar, I KNEW where it was. (more…)

Sherlock – Bringing the classic into the Modern age

Originally Posted at http://rockthelan.com

The BBC have just finished showing a new three part mini-series call “Sherlock” which brings the Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes detective stories into the modern day, with modern technology. You have Holmas armed with smartphones, the Internet, modern forensic labs and all the benefits of modern technology. While Watson who’s just back from serving in Afghanistan no longer writes in leather bound journal, but instead has an online blog. Even the famous phrases from the books have been updated, Holmes’s statement when struggling with a hard problem of “This is a three pipe problem” now calmly states “This is a three patch problem” London is mostly no-smoking these days.

Episode 1: “A Study in Pink”
The first episode in any series (even a mini-series) is basically all about introducing the characters, and setting everything up. This can occasionally lead to a slightly slower “starter”. This was not the case with Sherlock, Yes they introduced the characters of Holmes & Watson, and showed their meeting for the first time, and moving into 221b Baker Street. While that was going on they also had time to show shadowy groups, secret criminal masterminds, and one of the best games of Russians roulette you could imagine. (With strong leanings to the princess bride)

Episode 2: “The Blind Banker”
Another brilliant episode that’s starts simply with Watson making Holmes take a simple case (They need the money) from Holmes’ old school friend. A simple “how did someone break into a secure room” case. It’s not long before the case expands into hidden codes, Chinese Triad assassins, Ancient Artifacts, Murder & Romance. With a very tense ending. Theres no relaxing in the middle episode.

Episode 3: “The Great Game”
WOW. What can I say about the season finally that will not give away any spoilers? It starts with a double case, Mycroft Holmes requests help investigating a suspicious suicide and some missing top top secret plans. Meanwhile after a suspected gas explosion across from Holmes flat a locked strong box is found with a letter addressed to Holmes inside. This leads Holmes on a series of challenges set by some mysterious person. Holmes gets less and less time to solve cases before some innocent gets  blown up.  This all leads to a climatic meeting in a swimming pool, and the most annoying “I NEED to see how it ends” endings you could hate to witness.

Basically this show is one of the best things I’ve seen on BBC for a long time, and the way they have brought such a classic character into the modern day is amazing. And I am now waiting for a Second and longer series to begin filming.

GN

Originally Posted at http://rockthelan.com

The Guild – Why You should be Looking forward to July 13th

This Article was 1st posted @ rocktheLAN.com on Mon, 2010-06-28 13:31

The release date for the fourth season of “The Guild” has been announced as July 13th.

Now it is possible that this means nothing to you, Maybe you have never heard of the Guild, Or heard just bad things about it, or just that you saw the logo in this post and thought. “Nope. Not for me!“.  Well Read on dear Reader, allow me the chance to change your mind!

The Guild is a Comedy Web Series, written by Felicia Day (Yes her from Doctor Horrible). Its a series about a group of Gamers who play WoW as a guild. And get themselves info some very odd situations.  The best part is its broadcast on Xbox-Live, Zune, MSN, etc before being released on youtube and its own website http://www.watchtheguild.com/.

So put simply it is a Free web comedy you can watch on your xbox, and its about a group of geeky gamers and the problems that can cause in the real world. What’s not to like? Season 3 even had the Internets Wil Wheaton playing a evil character (Is anyone else spotting the tendency to put him as the badguy? it’s like he’s an English actor :o))

I will admit to having heard a few reasons not to watch the show, and I will address them here.

Reason: “I don’t play WoW, So I won’t get it!”

Answer: I have never played WoW either and I still enjoy the show. You don not have to be a WoW player to “get it”. Any internet gamer who plays multiplayer games should find themselves recognising situations and people, wether your an WoW Guild, A FPS clan, or whatever. Its more about Gamers and less WoW specific.

Reason: “Its got that red head from Buffy in it. I hate Buffy”

Answer: Seriously ? You refuse to watch a very funny show because you did not like Buffy? Madness, Yes Felicia Day had a part in the final season of Buffy, but why hold that against her. She’s an intelligent woman (she writes the guild shows, the comics, etc), She is a real life gamer, and if i dare to be sexist a nice bit of eye candy!.

Reason: “I don’t really have the time”

Answer: WTF? the episodes are like 10 minutes long if that. you can watch a whole season in under two hours. You can make time for that. And all the back episodes are online for you RIGHT NOW!

Now that we have dealt with the negative people out there, I suggest everyone else go to http://www.watchtheguild.com/the-guild/auto-tune-the-guild/* and go watch the Season 3 recap.

And on a final note we here at Rock The LAN Three-Ninjas would like to wish Felicia Day a Happy Birthday for today.

GGN

 

*: Note Auto Tune the Guild Link is No longer working.

The IT Crowd: Season 4 Premier

The IT Crowd Season 4 Premier airs next Friday, and the nice guys at Channel 4 have put up the 1st episode a week early as a treat for us. Unfortunately its only available for people in the UK. (Or anyone in the US with access to a UK IP/VPN/Proxy) So here’s a mostly spoiler free review.

The official episode writeup is as follows:

Jen wants to stretch herself in the workplace so applies for the post of Entertainment Manager. But when she finds out that amusing her boss Douglas’ business connections has its darker side, she has to turn to Moss and Roy for help.

The IT Crowd kicks off its new season with a classic episode, Roy is devastated after his long term girlfriend leaves him without even saying goodbye, Moss is busy creating the soundtrack to a D&D evening, and Jen wants a new challenge as company Entertainment Manager. Everyone keeps telling her that she is not suited for the job, but she is convinced otherwise. After all, how hard can it be to just take visiting businessmen to the odd show or cultural events?

At this point you know its going to go wrong, especially as people keep hinting the old entertainment manager was basically a pimp. And when she is asked to “entertain” three businessmen who are expecting a week of drinking, wenching, and down right debauchery.

quote: “You took us to something called the vagina monologue, and its just women talking, its false advertising.”

At the same time Douglasis trying to give back his “Shit head of the year” award, he won after a lovely interview with a womans magazine where he described women as beingessentially no different to radiators . along with other sexist views.

quote: I like my women like I like my toast, Hot and consumable with butter

I am going to leave it here so I do not give away the ending, or any of the other bits. I will say, this was a very funny episode, and the cast were on fine form. And if the rest of the season is as good as the 1st episode we are in for a good one. so to the writers & actors I say “Eiffel Tower

I’ll leave you with the wise words of advice. “Have you tried turning it off and on again?

Getting More from Your Wii

This are many things you normally do with your Wii. You can play with it, Sing with it, Get fit with it. Lots of things.  But have you ever wanted to do MORE. get more fun with your Wii?

NOTE: Anyone here looking for water sports, please go away now. Unless you are a Good looking Female with an ENTP personality, who should send me her Photo + CV.

This post is about the Nintendo Wii, and how to get more from it.  The Ninja Temple got a Wii last weekend. Mainly to get Wii Fit and play the fun looking games with the Balance Board.  Only thing is, we have not yet got the board, only the Wii.  Within Twenty four hours of receiving the Wii in the post the immortal words were uttered. “Hummmmm! I wonder if we could use this as a media server to stream films/tv from the network?”

After these words were uttered all other projects were dropped and the Wii was studied and hacked/jailbroke/improved.  Here’s the process we used, in case anyone else out there wants to play media files on a Wii.

NOTE: This is only a “soft mod” you do not open the Wii at any point, or do any physical modifications to the device.

For this you will need 1xSD Card. (we used two cards to save time, but you only really need one).

You need your Wii connected to your wireless network. (You can do this with a none networked Wii, But networked is easier)

You will also need to download a few files off the internet and unzip them.

Phase 1: (Getting the Homebrew Channel)

The HomeBrew channel is a Wii channel that lets you run Applications & Software written by third party’s, extra applications, and games that are made available for you to use by people other than Nintendo.  It also helps for you launching Linux apps, or distro’s.  So before we can have fun we need to get this on the Wii.

FILE Pack 1: Download <=- Files not stored on this Blog.

  1. Download this pack, and extract the files onto your SD Card. (There should be three folders & four files)
  2. Place the SD Card into the Wii (The slots under the cover at the front.)
  3. Click on the SD Card Icon (Bottom Left), You should get a warning screen (Press OK), You get a black screen with disclaimer (Press 1 )
  4. You now should have a screen with three lines. Homebrew channel, which can be isntalled, DVDx, also can be installed, Bootmii, which possibly will give you an error. Install Homebrew Channel, DVDX. On bootmii option, select “prepare SD card“. After it finishes, install it as boot2 (if possible) or as an IOS.
  5. When your finished, Remove the SD Card and return to computer.

Phase 2: (Fixing the Nintendo Fix to Stop people doing what were doing)

You see, Nintendo did not like people getting full use of their Wii’s so the put a fake empty bit of code in the area most programmers use, this prevents “Other” code being fully run on the Wii. Well we say “Hack The Planet!” and fix this fix. :0)

FILE Pack 2: Download <=- Files not stored on this Blog.

  1. Download this pack, format SD Card. and extract the files onto your SD Card.
  2. Place the SD Card into the Wii
  3. Go to The Homebrew Channel, Press the Home button and select Bootmii (Some Wii’s auto start Bootmii so you can skip this one)
  4. Wadmanager should start.(On ios select, select ios36
  5. Select SD card and (Press A).
  6. Select ios249 from wad folder and (Press A).
  7. change the action to “uninstall wad“, (Press A).
  8. When your finished, Remove the SD Card and return to computer.

Phase 3: (Adding cios)

You need this fix if you want to stream media over the Wii’s WiFi. or if you should want to play “Backup Games

FILE Pack 3: Download <=- Files not stored on this Blog.

  1. Download this pack, format SD Card. and extract the files onto your SD Card.
  2. Place the SD Card into the Wii
  3. Go to The Homebrew Channel, Press the Home button and select Bootmii (Some Wii’s auto start Bootmii so you can skip this one)
  4. At the beginning you should see ios249 highlighted. Keep pressing left on the wii pad until you see “Do not reload IOS” at the ios select screen, press A.
  5. If you have internet connection, select “Network install“, else select “SD card“, (Press A).
  6. When your finished, Remove the SD Card and return to computer.

Phase 4: (Setting up the final Card)

You are all finished now. You just need to set yourself up for day to day running of Apps. Oh and to add a media player. Basically you can place apps in a folder called apps on the SD Card and they become runnable from the HomeBrew Channel. To get you started :-

Format the SD Card and extract File Pack 1 back onto it. This one has a few applications already on it for Playing Back up Games and fixing a few bugs.

To get a media server on there, Just download and extract to the apps folder. I tried and liked two applications.

1) Geexbox Which is a multi platform media server. The only downside is that it can not access the Wii’s WiFi drivers so will only play of USB harddrives, or using a Wired Network connection. There is a Lite version that can use WiFi.

2)MPlayer CE Which is the one I’m using, It works from the box over the Wii’s WiFi. and plays a good amount of different file formats. And connects to local media, or network media using ftp, Windows Shares, SMB Shares.  You do have to edit the smb.conf in the MPlayer_CE folder to add up to 5 network shares (and optional passwords)

And its as easy as that. You can go from Taking a Wii out the box, to having it up and running as a full media server in less than an hour.

Happy Hacking.

P.S. The password for the files listed is: www.wiihacks.com

Don’t go out tonight, It’s bound to take your life. There’s a bad moon on the rise.

Last night I did something I regret, now I am not going to go into the details as to why I did what I did since the reasons are slightly questionable on the legal front.  I will only say in my defence I did it to be Helpful and nice to someone else.

What was it I did?” I hear you ask……………………

I hear you ask……………………

I can wait all day!……………..

R: ::mutter:: “What was it you did? Happy Now

I watched the film “Twilight – New Moon”.

I have not read the books, So I did not know what the big hype was about. I had seen the first film since I am a fan of the Vampire genre, and did not realise its a teen angst emo mopey pile of depression.

And I have to say, the second film was even worse. I kid you not, after the two hours I was happily considering hanging myself to make the depression go away.

Seriously. at one point they just had the mopey girl sitting in a chair moping as they put month names up on screen to show how long she could keep a good mope up for. And it was infections all the other characters caught it.

At one point they stopped the teen emo angst for an action scene (about two minutes long out of the two hour film) This they then ruined by doing it to a mopey soundtrack.

At one point a friend who had read the books asked on  IM  what part of the film I was up to, and got the following plot description “The annoying mopey werewolf just told the annoying mopey vampire that the annoying mopey girls dad was organising a funeral”  I think that sums up the whole film nicely.

The film needs a health warning at the start.

WARNING: If you suffer from depression do not watch this film as it contains scenes of a depressing nature which could cause suicide.

GN