I play video games, watch Star Trek, listen to British punk and drink Guinness.

Age 31, Male



Joined on 2/16/08

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Dean's News

Posted by Dean - April 4th, 2013

I'm disappointed with myself. For the past couple years now I've been updating these posts on the 1st of each month. I think this is the first time that I've actually forgotten to make a new post on the 1st. Damn.

Anyway, this month will see me finishing my honours project for university. The project itself is pretty much finished but I still have the dissertation to write, which has an upper limit of 60 pages. I think I'm allowed to recycle some stuff that I wrote before Christmas so I should already have about 30 pages done. I'm still finding it hard to get the motivation to just sit down and work on this. I want nothing more than for it to be done with but I just can't bring myself to work on it. Ideally I'd like to have this done as soon as possible too because I don't want to be rushing around at the last minute trying to get it done.

It also seems likely that I'm going to be spending a week living in my Dad's flat, which is on the other side of town. He's away on holiday and asked if I'd look after his dog for a week, so that might be interesting. Although from what he's told me, there are some pretty "interesting" characters that live in his area.

I've been playing more video games than usual just now as well. Not too sure why because I rarely play them these days. Currently switching between Final Fantasy VII, Mass Effect and L.A. Noire. They're all pretty great although I've already beaten Mass Effect and L.A. Noire in the past. Just replaying them because I had an urge to give them another shot.

Posted by Dean - March 1st, 2013

With a few exceptions, March will be my last month at university. I'll still have two exams to sit and do a presentation of my dissertation project at some point but other than that I'll be done with uni at the end of this month. Hopefully I'll be graduating with a degree in computer science. In honesty though, I have no set plans for what I'll be doing after I graduate. I have nothing set up, which is a little scary I guess.

I've been doing a fair bit of thinking recently about what I want to do after I graduate. Right now I'm pretty set on the idea of trying to find work in Edinburgh and then move there. Or somehow move there and then find work. Either way, moving to Edinburgh is at the front of my mind right now. It's something I've decided I'd like to do sooner rather than later. I'm just not so sure how easy or hard the whole process will be. As of right now I don't live too far from Edinburgh. I can get their in about an hour to an hour and a half by bus, so I'm assuming if I were to find a job there I could commute from my home town for a while until I have am income to pay for my own accommodation.

Speaking of accommodation, that is another thing that I've been thinking about. How weird would it be to start a life in a new city on your own? Ideally I'd probably have wanted to move to Edinburgh with flatmates but at this stage most people have already had regular flatmates for the past few years so I'm probably out of the loop in that regard. How knows, maybe I will find some flatmates if I do end up moving to Edinburgh. Although if you could afford to, would it be better to live on your own? I guess I'd prefer the social aspect of living with people but having said that, they'd have to be people I got on with pretty well. I guess I can only think of a small handful of people that I wouldn't mind living with.

There's a few reasons that I want to move to Edinburgh. Firstly, it seems like the logical choice if I want to get a software related job. Ideally I'd like to be doing something like web development rather than developing standalone software, but who knows what I will or wont end up doing. There's still no guarantee that I'll even get a job in this field. Maybe I'll get lucky. Another reason that I want to move to Edinburgh is for a fresh start. I don't mind living in my current town but my best friend moved away a while back and I've started to grow distant from the rest of my chums. It's a bit lonely here. Moving to Edinburgh isn't really a simple fix for that issue but at least I'm likely to get speaking to new people or get to know some of my chums who already live in Edinburgh a bit better.

So yea, I don't really have a great deal to talk about this month. Again.

Posted by Dean - February 1st, 2013

Due to a lack of anything interesting happening this month I thought I'd dedicate this news post to Star Trek, my new found love.

In early December I somewhat randomly decided to order The Original Series of Star Trek. If you couldn't guess by my display picture and user icon, I now love Star Trek. It's by far the best TV show I've ever seen and I now own about 350 hours worth of Star Trek episodes on DVD. That's the complete Original Series, The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. At the time of writing this, I'm about half way through season 4 of The Next Generation, so I'd estimate that I've watched about 140 hours of Star Trek so far and I have a lot to go. To make it worse (or better), today I just got the Legends of The Final Frontier Collection in the mail, which gives me 10 Star Trek films to watch as well. That adds about another 18 hours worth of Star Trek to my collection and will give me a chance to see the crew from The Original Series again.

All that I'm missing now is the animated series, Voyager, Enterprise and the 2009 film. Voyager is the only one of those that I'd still really like to have. The rest I'll just pick up if I see them at a decent price. Although having said that, I can't get Voyager at a decent price right now. Well, compared to what I paid for TNG and DS9 anyway. I'm hoping Amazon will drop the price to what it was around Christmas time at some point because I'm not really prepared to pay their current asking price for it.

I find it a little odd just how much I've taken a liking to Star Trek. Prior to randomly buying The Original Series, I had no interest in Star Trek. In fact, I'd even go as far as to say that I disliked it. I always considered it to be "boring Sunday afternoon TV" because when I was younger and used to go over to my Dad's house on weekends, Star Trek re-runs would usually be on TV. Back then I thought it was so dull, but now I can't get enough of it. I've never considered myself to be such a big fan of any other TV series (except Still Game) so it's weird that I've invested so much time and money in Star Trek.

Star Trek really is a great franchise. Don't be put off by people calling it nerdy or because of the strange things you hear about Trekkies. Give it a chance and I think you might like it. It's certainly a lot better than I ever expected it to be and I'm still not even half way through!

Legends of The Final Frontier Collection:

February: A Star Trek Month

Posted by Dean - January 1st, 2013

Hope you guys had a good Christmas and a happy new year! Looks like you're being treated to a third year of these monthly blogs from me.

I don't really have a great deal that I expect to happen this month so instead I'll waffle on about some other things.

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I'm not really someone who sticks with new year resolutions because I can never think of anything that will benefit me or is realistic to stick to. I don't smoke, drink excessively or eat a load of junk food so none of those common resolutions apply to me. I honestly can't really think of anything.

I guess I'll just be a bit vague and make my resolution be to have a healthier lifestyle. I'm not really sure what that will involve doing though. I guess I could try to eat less junk, although like I previously said I don't actually eat all that much junk. I've gotten into the bad habit of drinking Pepsi when I'd usually drink water, so that will have to stop. I'd try joining a gym or something but I was discussing this with Ejit and I still don't think I like the idea of a gym. Doesn't really seem like somewhere I'd fit in. We'll see though. I definitely wont be signing up to a gym while I'm still at uni though. I don't have the time.

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First off, Christmas. Christmas was pretty great and I got some cool loot from it, so I guess I'll start with that. I'll just list some of the more interesting/useful things I got.

Persona 3 FES and Persona 4
The complete Star Trek: The Next Generation on DVD
The complete Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on DVD
A new electric shaver
Some Diesel aftershave, which I actually like

Why am I telling you I got slippers? Because slippers are great. I've never really had any before so I used to either walk about my house in socks or wearing my trainers (sneakers, to you yanks) which wasn't ideal. Slippers are perfect though. They make things so much better. That electric shaver is so much better than my old one too and the Diesel aftershave actually smells pretty nice, which is cool, because a lot of the aftershaves I have are pretty meh at best.

As you could probably guess, there's also a lot of Star Trek there for me to get through. I just started on season 2 of TNG last night and it's pretty great. I miss Spock though :( Then if all that Star Trek wasn't enough I have those Persona games to play at some point and they'll take forever to beat as well but they're meant to be fantastic games, so I thought I'd recommend them as gifts.

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Okay, so I don't actually have a new gaming PC yet but I reckon that in a few weeks time, I will. I'm hoping to have it sorted by the end of January. It's my 21st birthday on the 17th and apparently that's quite a big deal, so I might be getting a decent amount of money (by my standards) thrown in my direction. I'll be combining some of that with the money I have just now to build a PC that's actually capable of gaming. I've never owned a decent PC and given how much time I spend on computers, I think it's about time I got myself something a little better. Not to mention I don't think the next gen of video game consoles will interest me, so this will be what replaces them.

Really excited to get this new PC but I'm still working on putting together a list of parts. I've changed my mind several times. I still don't know whether to go with one of Intel's shiny i5 processors or whether to just save myself some money and go with the AMD Phenom II 965. I'll be adding 8GB RAM to the list and I think I might go for a Nvidia 660 GTX but I've not really done too much research on graphics cards. If you have a recommendation, let me know.

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Unfortunately, I have to go back to uni on the 8th. I'm fed up with it now to be honest. On the plus side, I'll be done with it by Easter and then I get to move on into the real world. I still have no idea what I'll do after I graduate. I don't even know if I want to bother looking for a job that's related to my computer science degree (assuming I get the degree) such as working as some kind of software developer. It would be hard to find work like that in my town I reckon, so who knows what I'll end up doing. I'll just be happy to have an income and eventually think about getting my own place. I'm not sure how far into the future I'll have to look before that happens though.

Posted by Dean - December 1st, 2012

Snow fell yesterday which is pretty convenient because it meant that the first day of December had snow on the ground, just as it should be in December. Hoping we don't get too much snow until my exams are over though because the last thing that I want is to get snowed in on my uni campus.

Speaking of exams, I have three to sit this month:

Mobile Communication & Programming - 6th December
Rigorous Methods for Software Engineering - 10th December
Computer Network Security - 13th December

I'm not expecting any of them to be too difficult but the first two will probably be the most challenging for me.

In other news, I think I'm on my way to becoming a Trekkie. I can't quite recall why I started watching some of the original Star Trek episodes earlier this week but I did and I love them. They're just so entertaining. In celebration of my new found love, I have a new user icon and display picture. Only reason I changed them is because nobody seemed to know what my old user icon was and I got tired of that display picture. Now they've been taken over by Spock and Dr. McCoy. I've actually ordered the complete original series on DVD so that should be here some time next week. I'll be watching that over the holidays. The Next Generation complete set may also be coming to me in the form of a Christmas present, if I accept. That will give me A LOT of Star Trek to watch.

Not much else has been happening recently. Been busy finishing off coursework and now I'm technically on holiday with the exception of my exams. It's nice to have some time off.

What are you guys hoping to get for Christmas?

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Star Trek - 05/12/12

My complete set of the Star Trek original series arrived yesterday and I watched the first 3 discs (12 episodes) and I have to admit, I love them. I was a bit hesitant to buy this because a lot of the reviews stated that the packaging resulted in scratched discs which started to skip as you were watching them. Not experienced that while I've been watching them and none of the discs are scratched. They're stored in cardboard pouches quite tightly though so if someone just yanks them out, they probably will get a scuff.

Anyway enough about that. I'm becoming a Trekkie. Hopefully I'll have The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine ordered soon.

December - A Snowy Month

Posted by Dean - November 1st, 2012

I'm not sure November really has much in store for me, besides coursework submissions. I think I only have about 3 weeks of classes left until my exam leave starts and those three weeks will fly by. I guess on the plus side that means my Christmas holidays aren't too far away. That will give me something to look forward to.

Second paragraph and I'm already out of uninteresting things to tell you. I'm racking my brain here trying to come up with something else to say but I got nothing. This is looking like it will be the shortest monthly update I've written in 2 years.

Considered participating in Movember but then I remembered how much I hate facial hair. Too itchy. Oh an it's not long until Guy Fawkes Night. I'm sure that will be exciting as fuck.

Posted by Dean - October 1st, 2012

[ My Video Game Collection ] - [ Previous Month ]

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Well, I think I'm going to have a lot of work to get through this month. It's scary how time flies. I've already been back at university for a month now. Only having to be in three days a week is really deceptive and I'm not starting to notice that coursework is slowly building and I really need to start making some progress with my honours project / dissertation.

If you're interested, the idea behind my honours project is that I'm going to attempt to achieve audio stream between two Android devices using ad hoc WiFi. So far, it doesn't seem like it's going to be all that simple. I'm not familiar with Android programming, but it should be easy enough to learn. Audio streaming on the other hand seems to be way more complex than I imagined. There seems to be a lot of stuff going on under the bonnet that I've always taken for granted. Ah well, it will be a challenge at least. I just hope it's not too challenging!

I'm also finding myself wanting to spend more of my free time programming or reading up on programming related stuff. As far as I'm concerned, this is a good thing because despite having been programming for the past 6 or so years now, I still feel I should be a lot more knowledgeable. I think the reason that I'm not is because unlike most good programmers, it's never been an actual hobby of mine. It has always been something that I'd only do as part of my education. It has always been pretty rare for me to program something just because I wanted to. Most of the time it's just because I struggle to come up with projects of my own that are actually achievable for me and would be worth while developing.

I've gone through phases of wanting to take programming more seriously in the past, but they never usually stick. So far, things are looking a lot more promising this time. I came very close to coding my own forum using PHP and MySQL at the end of the summer. I'll hopefully get back to finishing that off at some point and maybe even try and put it to use. I'd probably end up needing to rent my own server for that though, which if I find myself getting more into web development, I just might do. Depending on if I have the money to spare of course. I've thought of renting a server in the past because I currently make use of free servers just now but they're slow and really limit what you can do on them.

Speaking of money, I'm usually skint but I've essentially sold my car so I should be getting money from that some time soon. It's not a lot, but enough to keep me going for a while although I'm tempted to blow that money on building myself a nicer PC. I've never owned a decent PC and as I'm losing my interest in the current gen of console gaming, I think switching over to PC gaming might be the logical step. I don't know though. I spend a lot less time gaming these days and my current computer is fine for my day to day computer use, so I might be better off just keeping the money and waste it on other shit. I could use some new boots, trainers, a jacket and all kinds of non-exciting items of clothing, so I might have to spend it on that.

I think my parents are also going away next week which means I'll have the house to myself for a while. Kinda. I think my brother will still be around. WHOO PARTY AT DEAN'S PLACE!

Nothing else springs to my mind right now, so that's probably it for another monthly update. It was terribly exciting for you, I know.

Maybe you guys could help me out actually. Since I mentioned that I'm always struggling to think of little programming projects of my own, is there any kind of web application or small piece of software that you can think of being useful to you? For example, are you ever browsing the web and thinking "man, I wish there was a site that did [insert idea here]!" If so, leave suggestions in the comment box and if it sounds interesting to me and I think I might learn something from it, then I may just try and build it.

Posted by Dean - September 1st, 2012

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Well, I have nine more days of freedom (including today) before I go back to uni for my final year. I'm not particularly excited to be going back either. I'm just at that point now where I want the education stage of my life to be done with so that I can move on. It's sort of scary to think that in about seven or eight months time, I'll be done with university. I'll be done with education as a whole. I'll be moving onto life in the real world, or at least I'll be starting the transition to life in the real world.

I've been doing a fair bit of thinking about that recently. And by "that" I mean moving on to the next step in life. It will mean finding a job, saving some money, moving out of my family home and finding my own place. I'll also have to decide if I want to stay local to my hometown or move out into a city. I'm not particularly fussed either way. Aside from my family living here, I have no real ties to this town and I don't really planning on moving to some really far away location. If I did move, somewhere like Edinburgh or Manchester would suit me fine I reckon. Still undecided on that one.

Like I said, there isn't really anything particularly making me want to never leave this town. I don't really have any super close friends here, I don't have a girlfriend here and I don't have any real reason to particularly want to stay here, but the same thing can be said about moving away. I guess the main benefit if I were to move away would be the new life with new people. Here, I don't really feel like there's much opportunity for meeting new people, making new friends or finding myself a girlfriend. Maybe I just don't try hard enough. In fact, I know I don't.

Anyway, recently I've been trying to get back into better shape again. I'm about a stone heavier than I was in January and I like to reverse that. It's not something that particularly bothers me but I think I'd just like a healthier overall life style. I'm not talking about joining a gym or anything like that because it just really doesn't seem like my scene. I'm just trying to stop eating junk food and stuff. If I'm hungry, I replace packets of crisps with an apple and stuff like that. I've just been trying to consume less calories and burn up more. So I've not been eating junk food as much and I've been going on some pretty tiring uphill walks, so hopefully it should pay off in time.

Not really got much else going through my head just now. I have my uncles 50th birthday surprise party a week today. That should be fun. Couple his brothers (my uncles) will be going along with two of my cousins possibly and a whole load of my uncles friends that I don't know. Probably wont stay around for it all but still, sounded fun. Shame they're having it in what is probably the most expensive pub in town.

Well, that's the contents of my mind for another month. Mainly just pondering and imagining how the future might turn out, which seems silly, but it doesn't seem like it will be long at all before my life starts to change. Should I be excited or nervous? Who knows.

Posted by Dean - August 1st, 2012

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My almost six month summer break is almost over. Where did the time go? That can't have been six months already! Well, I guess that's because it's been more like four and a half, but whatever. I imagine that the remaining month and a half will fly by.

I don't really have much happening this month. There was a chance that I might have had a short term job until the end of the summer but at this stage I'm not sure if it's going to happen. It would have been nice to get some work experience and perhaps some contacts for future job applications, but we'll just have to wait and see I guess.

As usual, video games have my main focus recently. This summer I've really gotten into my video game collecting hobby and added a hell of a lot of titles to the collection. Most of them have just been things that I could find cheap on eBay whenever I had a couple pound to spare but I've made some really good finds.

In one case I even managed to get an uncommon, or maybe even rare, PS2 game at a market from a video game reseller. Usually I'd never buy anything from his kind because they charge a fortune for everything. However, this guy had a PS2 copy of Ys: The Ark of Napishtim for £4. There are never many copies of that game on eBay and the asking price for them is usually about £20, so to get a copy so cheap is great. It may quite possibly by the rarest thing in my collection now.

Towards the end of the month I may be living on my own for two weeks. My Dad, who lives at the other side of town, is going on holiday and asked if I'd take care of his dog for him. Since the dog most likely wouldn't be allowed to stay at my place he said I can stay in his flat for the two weeks. Whether or not this goes ahead remains to be seen, but he said I'd be getting paid for it and given that I have no income, I'd be more than happy to do it for the cash.

So yea, not an overly exciting month for me unless you consider video games exciting. My YouTube channel has gained eight subscribers in about three days which is pretty good for me. I've been continuing to upload game collecting related videos and it's nice to see that some people have an interest in what I say.

I'll leave you with an image of that game I got from the market. Still not played it yet but I really want to, just got so much stuff to get through. Anyway, here it is:

August: A Final Full Month

Posted by Dean - July 1st, 2012

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So it's not July and I'm left wondering where the awesome summer weather is, because it's certainly not here yet. A couple weeks of really great sun in May/June surely isn't all I'm getting, is it?

I'm a rock star now:

Anyway, up until a little under a year ago I had perfect dental health. No fillings or nothing like that. Then I was given two by some dentist that really didn't seem like she knew what she was doing. It was pretty obvious she wasn't all that experienced when she had to call in the other dentist from the practise to show her how to operate the equipment while she was giving me a filling.

I switched dentist after that I decided against getting the other two fillings from her that she claimed I needed. Met my new dentist a few days back who seems much better. Downside is that he said the filling I got last time is broken and needs redone. On top of that he thinks I need another two fillings done on the teeth above, which aren't the two teeth that my previous dentist wanted to give fillings a year ago.

So on the 9th and something like the 13th I'll be off to the dentist to let him mutilate my teeth. I don't mind getting it done. It doesn't bother me but the only discomfort I can recall from last time was the aesthetic injection. Injections don't bother me, but the location they stick the needle for these fillings is awkward. They inject you where the top and bottom jaw joins and you can feel the needle moving about in there. It's really strange.

It's cool though because I have more than enough games arriving in the mail this month to make up for it. If I remember rightly, there's 13 of them mainly for the Master System. 9 Master System games, 3 PS2 games and an Xbox 360 game. There might possibly be another two coming. Jercurpac offered to mail me a couple Master System games that he found, which is cool. I guess that just really comes down to the price of shipping. No idea how much that'll be and I think I get given a customs fee when/if they arrive here.

My PSP has been given some life again for the first time in a while. I've been playing Star Ocean: The First Departure and I love it. Such a great game and it's looking like the start of a series that I'm really going to love. I already own the next two games in the series so I'll be moving onto them soon after. Fantastic Sci-Fi RPG series.

One of the PS2 games that I'm waiting to arrive is Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King. It's meant to be a pretty lengthy game and one of the best games to be released on the PS2. Thankfully I managed to find a copy on eBay that was being sold with the official Piggyback strategy guide at a reasonable price. Piggyback guides are really well done from the previous one I've used and it's always worth picking them up for older games if you find them at a reasonable price. In many places you'll see them listed at ridiculous prices.

All these new games meant I had to find a place to store them, because the bookcase I recently started using was already pretty full. I pretty much just removed the few sports titles that I have to make some room for the new arrivals and cleared the books/comics I had on the bottom shelf to house PC games and loose/spare copies. As much as I like having my games on display like this, it is a bit of a pain in the ass when I get new games.

July - A Painful Month