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

30, Male

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Dean's News

Posted by Dean - June 1st, 2012


[ My Video Game Collection ] - [ Previous Month ] - [ Following Month ]

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So, this month I plan to do absolutely nothing. Not because I want it to be that way, but because I have nothing to do. In previous years that might have bothered me, but not this year. Although I technically have nothing to get up to this month, I do have some things to do.

I've rearranged the layout of my bedroom with the aim of freeing up some corner space, allowing me to place a bookcase against both of the joining walls. This way I'll have the space to bring my game collection out of the cupboard and finally have it on display. It's looking like it might take a while before I actually acquire some bookshelves though as the last few months have seen me spending the majority of what I have on retro gaming stuff and I'm now left with little to no spare cash. Hopefully I'll get enough money to complete my plans sometime soon, but who knows.

I feel like a lot of my recent monthly updates have been centred around video games. The reason for this is that since my exams ended, video games have essentially been my main hobby. More so than they used to be. There's just something I enjoy about getting a new retro system, finding awesome deals on eBay and browsing car boot sales. I'm also playing games a lot more than I have over the last few years too. I now have a massive backlog of unfinished games and it's my aim to get through as many of them as I can.

YouTube is another thing that has been keeping me occupied. I've still been uploading a couple or more videos a week and I'm still enjoying it. I'm not really sure what it is that I enjoy though. I guess making the videos makes me feel as if I'm actually speaking to someone about video games. Not many of my friends are into video games and even less are into retro games, so it's nice to be able to discuss this kind of thing with people on YouTube. It also gives me a chance to show some of the things I've added to my collection to people who actually take interest in it. YouTube is still something I plan to stick with, although I'm not sure how active I'll be when university starts up again.

My exam results should be made available sometime soon as well. For the first time since I started uni I'm actually a little nervous about these results. I'm sort of convinced that I've failed one of the classes and that's something that I really don't want to happen because it would mean having to take another exam at some point in August and that will mean trying to revise the entire course on my own which probably wont go down to well. So fingers crossed that I managed to scrape a pass. I wouldn't even be too bothered if it was a D.

So, that's about it for this month. Like I say, I don't particularly have any plans and the awesome weather we had seems to be gone now, so a good chunk of my time will probably be spent gaming.

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Mohican Update - 14/06/12

So, a little over a month since I started, here's how things are looking now. Reckon this is probably the sort of length I'll stick with. Either that or I might let it grow a little longer but thin it out. It's currently about 3 inches in width.

June - An Empty Month


Posted by Dean - May 1st, 2012


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First up, I've actually stuck with this YouTube thing and I've now been regularly uploading gaming related videos to my channel. So far it has just been videos showing my new additions, a tour of my entire collection and one video response to the question "Why do you collect video games?" but I'm enjoying this so plan on continuing to make this a regular thing.

As some of you may know, last month saw me buying a Nintendo 64 and a bunch of games for it. This made an awesome addition to my collection as it's a console that I've always wanted to own and really got my back into actively video game collecting again. As a result, I ended up buying a lot of games in April and decided that I'd stop buying more for a while to let me get through the ones that I have and so that I can let my money regenerate a little. Well, this didn't quite work out. I saw something listed on eBay that I just couldn't let slide. It was a console + 10 games that I ended up winning for £25. That console is a Sega Master System and for that price, it was an awesome offer.

I've never owned a Sega Master system or a console from its generation, so it will be interesting to add it to my collection, especially since it comes with a bunch of games too. Unfortunately, it wont be coming with an original Master System controller as the guy said it broke long ago, but instead he's giving me a MegaDrive controller that he's been using with the console, so maybe I'll see if I can pick up an original controller at some point. But yea, I'm pretty excited to be adding this to my collection. It's a good console to collect for because the games sell for very little here which is obviously appealing on my budget.

In other news, I have my last exam this week although the previous exam that I sat didn't go too well in my opinion, so I reckon that I might be having to resit that one, but here's to hoping that I don't. Once that exam is out the way all the remaining pressure will be lifted off my shoulders and I will be a free man. I'm sure having nothing to do for several months will get boring, just like it does every summer but as far as I'm concerned, it's a well needed break.

That's about it for this month. There's nothing exciting planned or anything like that. I'll probably just be playing a lot of video games, browsing the internet and going for long walks in the country. Sounds good to me.

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Fucking eBay - 09/05/12

I should never have signed up for eBay. Although maybe eBay isn't the problem. Perhaps is this revived compulsion to collect video games. Either way, I can't help it. I find myself browsing the video game section of eBay too often. Up until today things were going well and I was able to resist buying more stuff. Not because I feel like I'm wasting money, but because if I keep buying more new games/consoles, I'll never get around to playing the ones I already have.

Regardless, I now own my second proper Nintendo system and that is the Nintendo Gamecube. Not a console that I'm all that familiar with in all honesty, but people always seem to have good things to say about it, so to get one boxed, with a controller, memory card and three games for £25 I can't really complain. But still, this seriously need to be the last thing I buy from eBay for at least a couple months. It's a real money drainer.

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Growing a mohawk - 11/05/12

Fuck society, I'm growing a mohawk. It's still just a sprout but I'm sure that if I remember to water it every day and use some miracle grow it will be big and strong in no time. Expect the pic to update as visible progress has been made.

May - A Retro Gaming Month


Posted by Dean - April 1st, 2012


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CHECK OUT MY NEW YOUTUBE CHANNEL!

As of two days ago my third year of uni classes came to an end. I still have some coursework due in later this week, but aside from that this month is meant to be a revision month before I sit three exams in late April/early May. Usually I've not bothered with much revision and still come out with good grades, but this semester I really will need to revise. A couple of those modules were insanely hard.

Aside from revising I plan to try and be productive from now until September, which is when I go back to uni and start my final year. I've been tinkering around with some basic web development, which I'd like to get better at over time. I feel like I've been advertising this a lot but:

CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE! I coded it all from scratch and would appreciate any feedback. Things you like, things you don't like and perhaps some possible additions that you can think of.

I'd like to focus on more than just web development during my time off. Of my motivation to be productive remains, I'd also like to take a shot at Android Development. It's something that I've always (for no real reason) assumed to be above my skill level, but the more I think about it the more I realise that I could probably make a decent attempt at creating something. My only problem is the lack of creativity that I have. A big problem that I have is that whenever I want to start coding in my spare time as a way to improve my ability, I can never think of what it is that I want to code.

If I do get into this Android development and find that I can actually grasp it and make something half decent, it might be away to make some money on the side. I can't imagine I'd get much, if any, but it would be nice to turn a hobby into a method of getting money.

I've also not played my Xbox in about a month now, so I'm going to have to get back into that at some point. I still have SKyrim, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and a few other games to beat. Skyrim is something that I really want to beat. I was waiting years for that game, played it for a while after it was released and then had to toss it to the side in order to do work.

Oh, and have a fun April Fools Day (if this still applies, although there's a 1:30 chance it wont).

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Bought a N64 - 03/04/12

Well, today I won a bid for a N64. It will be the first real Nintendo console to make it's way into my personal collection (not counting handhelds). It seems like I got a pretty decent offer. I paid £25 for it and it comes with Goldeneye, Turok 2, Mission Impossible and a F-1 game. I then went on a bit of a spending spree that I may regret later. I bought Ocarina of Time for £17 although it's apparently fully boxed. Paid about £7 for Super Mario 64 but it's cartridge only. Finally, I bought a boxed Banjo Kazooie for £12.45.

Been an expensive day. This is costing me about £60! I better not regret this.

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My N64 Arrived! - 06/04/12

When I awoke this morning I saw several packages sitting at the bottom of the stairs. Upon inspection I realised they were mine and it felt like Christmas. I knew what was in them, but that didn't matter.

It's awesome that a proper Nintendo console finally makes its way into my video game collection. I've tested the console and most of the games, all of which seem to work perfectly. My boxed copy of Banjo Kazooie is pretty much in mint condition, which is always nice. Ocarina of Time, the other boxed game, isn't in such nice condition, but regardless, games are always nicer in their original packaging. Especially when it's games that were so highly thought of.

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Back Into Collecting Video Games - 12/04/12

Only a couple weeks back I thought I was starting to grow tired of gaming. I'd pretty much given up on it. My usual online buddies were never around an ymore and there just weren't any single player games that grabbed me for some reason. It has been even longer since I was last actively collecting video games, but I think I'm getting back into it. I only purchased the N64 because I always thought of it as a great console that I never got a chance to play, and now that I own one, this thing has really got me back into gaming.

Now that gaming has actually grabbed me again, I want to start actually collecting games again. The summer is boring for me and I usually spend a good amount of time gaming, but new releases are out of my budget seeing as I don't have a job. Older games on the other hand can be bought for very little and usually immerse me just as much as current gen titles.

I want to start building up some of my collections for the systems I own but have hardly any games for. Mainly the PSP but I'll probably also look into some Sega Saturn and PS1 games, since I don't have many of the decent titles for those consoles. I'm not too sure why I got back this compulsion to buy old games, but it's back and here to stay by the looks of things.

Something else that I've been considering doing is starting to upload videos to YouTube. This isn't something I've done before and I find the concept of talking to a camera a little odd, but I have enough game related stuff to speak about, so I figure it might be something to help cure the boredom that I will no doubt start to get within the next couple weeks. Whether these videos will turn out to be worth watching, I have no idea. Whether or not I actually do this isn't decided upon yet either, but we'll see.

April - A Revision Month


Posted by Dean - March 1st, 2012


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This is going to be a pretty crazy month for me. The workload that I currently have is huge and it's starting to demotivate me. I feel like every time I get one thing finished I get three more things thrown at me. I feel like I'm neglecting some things in order to focus on others and that always leads to the thing that I've tossed to the side coming out badly. There's just so much to do in such a short period of time. Maybe I need to work on my time management.

On the plus side, the end of this month marks the end of the semester. So in four weeks time I get a month off to revise for my three exams and the in the following weeks I sit the exams. After that, I get a nice six month holiday. It's well needed, but I reckon I'm going to have to look for a job this summer. I've been going to the pub most weekends recently. Sometimes for both the Friday night and the Saturday night. On some occasions my entire Saturday has been spent sitting in the pub. It's expensive when there aren't people willing to buy me drinks and if I keep this up I'm going to have no money left before the summer gets here.

Last month I also got talking to some pretty nice girls when I was out. It's not all that often that I come across new people that I'm happy to sit and chat with for several hours, but these folk were different. I admit, I took a bit of a shine to them but whether or not the feeling is mutual is yet to be seen, or I may never find out depending on how I go about things. It did get me thinking about things though. Should I actually start trying to find myself a girlfriend? Twenty years old and I've never actually bothered to try and get myself a girlfriend before. That then led to me wondering how hard it would be to find someone I actually like and could spend my time with. Either way, it has put my mind in a bit of a mess for now. It's not good having a whole load of coursework on my mind as well as thinking about this.

March isn't looking like it's going to be particularly exciting for me. If anything, I just want it to be over and done with. I'm losing the willpower to work hard at uni because I feel like I'm being worked so hard. My attitude has gone from "I need to try and do well" to "Fuck it, as long as I have something to submit I'll be alright". It's not something I like to admit, but it's the truth.

Anything interesting happening this month with you guys?

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Rebuilt My Website - 10/03/12

Some of you may recall that I originally had a website that I built from scratch and coded myself. I then replaced it with a site managed by WordPress. Well, now I've decided that using WordPress is boring, so last night I decided to design my website again from scratch. I started with absolutely nothing and within a few hours I had something similar to how it currently looks. See for yourself: deansplace.pcriot.com

It's fairly basic, but does it really need to be anything more? I like knowing that I coded the entire thing with no outside help. Plus, it's a good way for me too touch up on my web development ability. I'll aim to improve things as time goes on, but for now I'm quite happy with the design. I just need to add some more content to it, but as I have coursework and such to be doing instead, it might take a few weeks.

Anyway, take a look at my site and let me know what you think. I'd appreciate any feedback!


Posted by Dean - February 1st, 2012


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This is going to be quite a busy month for me in terms of coursework and there's probably going to be a lot of coding involved. I have two main projects that I'm working on right now. One more than the other which is probably going to turn out to be a very bad thing by the end of next week.

The first thing that I'm working on is a website as part of my 3rd year group project. It's basically a site for a building society's customers to register and apply for mortgages. Exciting stuff... I think that our group was given one of the more boring options. I'd have much rather coded a system for a video rental store. At least then I'd understand how the system works. Mortgages are a bit beyond me right now. I guess I'm learning a little about them through this project but I'd rather just get on with the coding.

My part generally just consists of adding functionality to the web pages. It's just some php to transfer data and there will need to be some javascript for input validation, as well as some server side validation which I may or may not fall into my responsibility. Hopefully we get this project done with time to spare, but right now it feels as if it's going to be a bit of a mad rush at the last minute.

The second project that I'm working on is a Turing Machine simulator that I'm going to attempt to build using Java. It seems quite challenging and even the more advanced coders in the year seem to be having some problems getting the first part working. The first part probably does seem like the hardest part. We have to parse an input file which contains mathematical entities in a human-readable form and we then have to print them out in proper mathematical notation. There's similarities between coding this and coding the compiler that I attempted (and failed) last year. It's going to be tough.

There really isn't much going on for me this month out from the academic world. At least, nothing I'm aware of just yet. I've been thinking of renting out an unmanaged VPS (virtual private server) and acquiring a domain name. Mainly just so that I can get some experience using and running an unmanaged server and partly because I'm hoping to take up coding as more of a hobby. Right now it's strictly something that I do at uni and no more. If I can turn it into a hobby and get a job as a coder after I acquire my computer science degree, I'd essentially be getting paid to do a hobby, which seems like a good thing. Although then it may have the opposite effect and make coding in my spare time seem more like a continuation of work. Either way, starting to code as a hobby would develop my skills and that alone is worth it.

The only downside to this server idea of mine is that it would cost me most of my monthly income, which isn't much at all. Right now I have no job because I don't have the time for one. The only time I have to work would be the weekend, but the weekend is also my only real free time which I don't particularly want to sacrifice. I have no real living expenses right now, so money isn't something that I particularly need to live. It's currently just used to keep me amused. I have no intention of profiting from whatever projects I'd end up working on, so I'd be making no money from the server's content either.

I do quite like the idea of having my own server to tinker about with though. I also like the idea of building a better website than the one that I occasionally update just now. I'd like to build something from the ground up. My current blog type site uses WordPress, which I find boring but it makes adding new content easier than it was with my old site which I coded from scratch.

Will I end up renting some server space or wont I? What a tense conclusion to another exciting monthly update on the world of Dean.

I'll leave you with a picture. Toast-Tony was taking requests so I suggested "a cow with a green eyebrow, down by the bay". Be sure to check out his art.

February: A Coding Month


Posted by Dean - January 23rd, 2012


[ My Video Game Collection ] - [ Part 1 ] - [ Following Month ]

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I'm going to say in advance that if you want a better, more detailed description of what happened, look for Bahamut's news post. It's almost certainly going to be better than this. My recollection is pretty patchy, mainly because for 48 hours the only liquids I consumed were alcoholic and partly because we visited the Kyoto Lounge twice, which has fucked up my ability to recall what we did on what day. Oh, and chances are there's typos EVERYWHERE! I also wrote this in a bit of a rush before my memories become even more lacking. I may try and tidy it up at some point.

Friday

I arrived in Manchester at about 10:30am on the Friday, which I guess is pretty early but I don't have much of an option. Seeing as it was too early for most people to be up and about I decided to take a look around the Arndale Centre for a while. I figured browsing HMV would have been a good time killer only to find out that they closed it down... bastards.

Anyway, at around 2pm Luis arrived at the hotel shortly followed by TDK1987. It was then a case of dumping my bag and sitting around the lobby waiting for other users to appear. Turns out there were already a few sitting at the bar but Luis and I hadn't realised. I think after a short while a good chunk of the meet's attendees were all sitting in the lobby and eventually boarded a taxi to the Kyoto Lounge. All except Coop and TDK1987 that is as we somehow managed to forget them and run away.

We made it to the Kyoto Lounge (Coop and TDK1987 turning up slightly later and a little more wet than everyone else) and pretty much had the place to ourselves with the exception of maybe one or two people on the PCs. This is also the point where I consumed the first beer of the meet. The first of many. The first of that 48 hours booze binge that I mentioned earlier.

Some of the users ended up playing TheHappySheeps' board game. I forget what it's called. Katan or something? Anyway, when they were asking the bartender if he didn't mind them playing it in his bar he proceeded to ask what platform it was on, assuming it to be a video game. Their response was "cardboard", much to the amusement of the bar tender and several of the users. When I asked Oliver what this game was about, he told me that it's essentially a game of Jewish farmer wars, so I swiftly moved to another part of the bar in order to avoid having to play. lol.

We were at the Kyoto Lounge for what seemed like a few hours, but I don't think anyone actually played video games. Most of my time was spent speaking to the users, mainly DumbassDude and LazyPint, from what I recall. We generally just seemed to hang out and chat for a while before we went to the bar that was scheduled for Friday, The Odder Bar.

The Odder Bar was a pretty interesting place. Mainly because it was odd. Odder than most bars in fact, if you couldn't guess by the name. They just had some unusual decor, such as clocks covering one wall. It was a nice enough place, but it would have been nicer if they had drink prices closer to those of home. Manchester seemed more expensive this time than I remember it being last time, but I probably shouldn't have cared. It's an annual event for me, so it's not like I'm out there getting robbed by bar staff every weekend.

More than anything, the Odder Bar was another chance to get speaking to some of the users that I wasn't previously familiar with. I'm struggling to remember who the people users were that I met for the first time and got to speak to in the Odder Bar, but I seem to recall asking Will what later seemed like an excessive amount of questions about China and his experiences there. I then discovered that BBM and Ledgey had turned up and they're always a good laugh. I'm struggling to recall what we were talking about, but Leo seemed really, really happy or kinda drunk. It's hard to tell with that boy.

After discovering that a fair amount of users had already left, we decided to round up the remaining users and head towards the Karaoke bar, which is where we were reunited with the rest of them. It was also the first time that I encountered liljim this year and looking back I probably should have spoke to him for a little longer because poor jim wasn't feeling too great and had to leave the meet a little earlier than expected.

I think I must have spent more time talking to people just outside the karaoke bar because I can't recall many people at all doing a song on the karaoke. I certainly wasn't one of them, but Bahamut gave us a rendition of "Get by with a little help from my friends" which I was totally not prepared for. I was expecting some metal. Think I also recall seeing mrSimon sing but I can't remember the song. What happened outside the karaoke bar was, I'm guessing, far more entertaining.

My old chum Fim turned up Matt, eventually, and as always, a handshake wasn't enough of a greeting for Fim, so I ended up getting a hug. Although that wasn't the strangest hug that I received during the meet... But yea, after me moaning about beer prices (as Scots do) Fim took us to a Spar where he and Will decided they were going to buy cans/bottles and drink on the street like a couple of hobos. Friendly hobos though. Speaking of which, we met a very friendly hobo a few minutes later. The friendliest hobo I have ever met...

His name was Thomas. He was a happy Irish chap who took no shame in admitting that any money we gave him would be spent on booze, unlike the previous guy who claimed that he needed 81p to get him a bed for the night. Thomas was speaking to us for a pretty long time and he gave us a few laughs. All hobos should be more like Thomas, because as it turned out being a cheerful Irish drunk with no home is a good way to make some money. A few of the users seemed to quite happily hand him some cash, which he did later use to buy a can of Strongbow and he came back to prove it.

After Thomas departed I spoke to Fim and Matt for a bit before considering whether or not I wanted to stick with the NG users or head off to a club with these two. It was a tempting offer because I speak to Fim a reasonable amount online and I've met him twice before but we seem to have this tradition of only meeting up for a couple of hours, even if I'm down in Manchester for a whole weekend. In the end I decided not to go. Partly because this was a NG meet and deserting the NGers didn't seem like the right thing to do, so I stuck with them.

We headed to some bar that I can't remember the name of after being refused entry to another because the group of us was too large and clearly intimidating. Internet users are scary people and would quite easily beat an entire bar of hardy Mancs in a brawl, so I think the bouncer made the right decision by not letting us in. The pub we went to instead was far more welcoming. Well, I say that, but the guy at the door was probably a member of the Gestapo in a previous life. Never before have I seen a bouncer to rigorously examine ID cards, although Oliver did like about 4 in his photo.

Once we all got inside I got my first Guinness of the meet. It was a long wait, but Luis drank the last one in the Kyoto Lounge and the karaoke bar doesn't even serve it. I bought liljim a pint but that seems like nothing compared to what jim has done for me recently, but that another story and I'm keeping it top secret in order to add some suspense to this post.

Some time passed and a few users left whilst others decided to hit another bar. I figured I'd go back to the hotel because I'd been up since 4am and by this time it was now 2 or 3am and I needed some sleep. Plus, Coop was heading back and seeing as we were room mates I didn't want to come barging in a god knows what time whilst he was asleep. Seemed like the safest and best option.

Saturday

A 10am wake-up and Coop was already recording stats and watching sports highlights. He was also kind enough to let me use his laptop to deposit. How many people get to say that they've used the mighty Coop's laptop? I can. I could feel the power surging through me as I pressed down on those keys.

Saturday was the day that we just planned to sit in the Kyoto Lounge all day and actually play video games this time. First we went out hunting for lunch. I had my first ever Subway although I wasn't all that creative. Cheese, ham and lettuce. LazyPint mocked my decision but it was still pretty tasty. I believe we also met Luis who was out for coffee at the time, all on his own without a cluster of adoring NG fans around him.

We did eventually round up the rest of them and make our way to the bar. We forgot Black-Ops though. Apparently he was too busy being beaten by socks filled with soap at the hostel to arrive on time. We did make it to the bar, Grant included, and got started on the main day of the meet. I had a game of Halo Reach with Coop, SomaGuye and Chris. Pretty sure Chris won but I'm certain he whooped my ass. Halo Reach is alright, but it's no Halo 3.

I ended up playing some Guitar Hero with DumbassDude. It's safe to say that he dominated at that but it was fun none the less. I seem to recall someone, although I can't remember who, taking a photo of us play. In theory it could make good profile pic material, in practice I bet it will look horrible.

That was really about the only gaming a done. I prefer getting to know the users to I spent a fair amount of time trying to speak with everyone for at least a a few minutes. Eventually Luis invited myself and LazyPint to the pub across the road. It was nice. The bar staff even lit a candle on out table after a while, which made things even more romantic. But seriously, it's nice to be able to chat to users in smaller numbers like that in a less crowded environment. It was also quite a privilege to be hand picked by Luis, assuming he didn't just pick me an Kieran because we happened to be standing closest to the door...

A few more users slowly made their way over to this bar. Ockeroid was the first, then a few others such as BezMan, LegolaSS, Bahamut, DumbassDude and probably a few more that I've neglected to mention. The prices were far more reasonable in this bar to which made me happy. I even had a few Jagerbombs in there, which isn't something that I normally drink but it seemed like something that might wake me up a bit. Meets are tiring things, so I can only imagine how Luis must feel throughout the weekend. He's a dedicated man alright.

DumbassDude had a few games of pool with with me before we realised that there were no other NG users left in the bar. We went across the road again to see if they were still in Kyoto Lounge but they were gone from there too. This meant that me and Lee had to make our way back to the hotel unguided and in the dark. We had a rough idea of the direction and set off. Obviously we made it back, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this post. The surprise was that when we actually got back, none of the NG users were actually around. Turns out some of them were in the pizza place right next door to Kyoto Lounge and we walked right past time. Lee even wanted to go in there for something to eat, but for one reason or another we never went in.

Sunday

Sunday was a fairly quiet day, although not uneventful. By this time most of the users are already away home and just a few remain. It gives me another chance to get speaking to some of these guys in a less chaotic environment, which is always nice.

After checking out of the hotel and saying bye to Wonchop we set about looking for Coop's coach station. It was some effort but eventually we found it and I departed from my room mate. That left Kaynslamdyke, Bahamut and myself. We decided to track down Luis to meet up with the other remaining users at his flat. It feels like Luis' flat gets invaded on the Sundays when I assume he wants quiet time, but he stroked my face, so hopefully we weren't too annoying to have hanging around.

Most of the remaining users set out for lunch at a cafe just around the corner where some really pissed football fan got a little too threatening. Thankfully he was too pissed to speak normally, forget become too much of a problem. Keith explained to me how the world works, amongst other things and I discussed life as a BBS with Bahamut.

We went back to Luis' flat for a little while again before Chris asked if anyone wanted to go for a look at a science museum which was apparently near by. What a great and interesting decision that was... Well, it wasn't too bad really. It was a bit of a laugh I guess walking what felt like half way across the city only to discover that you can get around this entire museum in about 5 minutes. It's safe to say, I don't think it was as interesting as Chris promised us it would be. My decision to check out the second building wasn't all that great either.

This is the point where the last of the NGers departed, with the exception of Chris, Will, Luis and myself. We headed back to Luis place where Will and Chris decided to plan on how they can make 'easy' money during the London Olympics. I can't let you in on their business plan, but all I can say is that they're going to be minted. Maybe. Probably not. We'll see.

However, after the business idea brainstorming session came to an end, it was time for us all to go our separate ways. Luis stayed at his apartment where he told us he planned on walking around naked, seeing as he now had it to himself, Will went to the train station and I went with Chris to the bus station.

The End

Essentially, that is the end. If you actually read this entire thing, I congratulate you. I wasn't expecting it to be this lengthy but as I started typing more and more came back to me. More than anything, this is just a way to preserve my memories. Any enjoyment or boredom that occurred from you reading this was an added on extra. Hopefully there will be some photos of this event cropping up at some point, but I'm pretty sure there will be nowhere near as many as last year. I saw Luis, Wonchop and Coop taking photos, so we'll see.

Users I met for the first time:
Will, Chris, DumbassDude, Idocreating, TDK1987, LegolaSS, SomaGuye, Coop

If I've missed out anything that you can recall, or I forgot to mention you in the post and you'd like to be included, leave a comment and I'll sort it out.

January [part 2]: A Meet Month


Posted by Dean - January 1st, 2012


[ My Video Game Collection ] - [ Previous Month ] - [ Part 2 ]

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Well, happy new year. We made it to 2012 and the world hasn't ended, so I guess that's a pretty good start.

The first downside to January is that the Christmas holidays end and I have to go back to university. Back to lectures, coursework, group work, presentations, exams and worst of all, 6:30am wake-ups. It's a horrible thought but I guess on the bright side it's only 12 weeks before the summer holidays begin and they are the highlight of the year for me, I guess. Let the countdown begin.

I guess on the plus side there's always the NG Manchester Meet to look forward to on the 20th. If you're reading this and happen to be going, let me know. It's less than three weeks away now and even so, I'm still not all that certain of which NG users I'll be bumping into. I definitely plan on being there now. Scary to think that it has been a year since I last saw some of you guys there already.

It's also my 20th birthday on the 17th of this month, so I'll no longer be a teenager. I feel like I'm starting to grow old, yet I still don't think of myself as an adult. When do you actually become an adult? I don't mean legally, because 18 year olds shouldn't be classed as adults. I mean, what are the requirements before you can officially consider yourself an adult?

Something else that we're meant to do at the start of the year is make out new years resolutions. Usually I don't bother too much with this because they're always boring things that people never stick with, but for once I'm going to try and stand by these.

New Years resolutions:

- Stop leaving coursework / assignments to the last minute.
- Spend more of my free time studying.
- Stop pointlessly spending money.
- Continue to try and keep in better shape.

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Dungeon Defenders - 02/01/12

After one of my friends, Toast-Tony, started playing a game called Dungeon Defenders on Xbox Live he seemed to think it was awesome and eventually persuaded me to buy it so that we could co-op it. I generally don't buy XBLA games, but holy shit thing game is awesome. Worth every penny of the £10 that is costs, so get out there and buy it. Well, you don't even need to "get out there". Just sit in your seat, turn on your console/pc and buy it. You wont regret it. Hell, I might even play with you if you ask me nicely.

If you need proof as to how good it is, Tony and I literally just spent 11 hours playing it today. Now, before you start telling me that 11 hours of straight Xbox time is pathetic, fuck off, because Tony and I are the definition of cool. He'll probably vouch for that if you don't believe me, making it two against one and your opinion therefore invalid.

Seriously though, awesome game and well worth a shot. Download the trial and see for yourself.

January [part 1]: The First Month, Again


Posted by Dean - December 1st, 2011


[ My Video Game Collection ] - [ Previous Month ] - [ Following Month ]

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Well, I've been writing these monthly news posts for the past year now. I'm not sure whether or not I'll go for the same format next year or just go back to making random news posts. I quite like the structure that comes with writing these every month, so I'll probably just end up doing the same thing again next year. That's good news for you, because you get to read even more mundane shit about my life. Yay!

So, what does December bring? Well firstly, exams. I have three exams to sit. Computer Graphics on the 5th, Artificial Intelligence & Intelligent Agents on the 8th and Foundations 1 on the 14th. I'm not particularly looking forward to any of them, but I don't think they should be too bad. I guess I can give my opinion of how they went after I sit them, because I know you're just so eager to know.

Aside from exams and all that jazz, Christmas is also pretty close. I've still bought no gifts for anyone yet. For the last Christmas (or two) I've been trying to avoid buying people DVDs because lets face it, they're shit and boring. Now my problem is that if I want to be more creative with my gift ideas then I actually have to spend time hunting for stuff. So if any of you guys have suggestions for what I could get my 17 year old brother or my 11 year old sister, please leave a comment and save me some time.

It's also just over a month until the NG Manchester Meet, which is quite scary considering I'm still not even 100% sure that I'll be able to attend. I'd love to go back see some of the people that I previously met and some new users that I've not yet met. Quite looking forward to finally meeting Tramps (assuming he goes) and iMini, having a laugh with Jawdyn again and reuniting with my homie, Fim, for the third time. The Manchester Meet was great fun last year, so if you're reading this and considering whether or not it's worth going, I recommend it.

So that pretty much sums up my expectations for this month. Feeling festive yet?

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Computer Graphics Exam - 05/12/11

Well, I think the exam went reasonably well. I realised at the end that I'd made a few silly mistakes early on but by this point it would mean having to change my entire answer, so I just stuck with it and hopefully you get marks for carrying on with a wrong answer or something. Either way, I think that went fairly well. I'm predicting a B for that class although hopefully that wont jinx it.

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Artificial Intelligence Exam - 08/12/11

The general opinion amongst the people that I spoke to who sat the exam thought it was pretty damn hard. I have to agree. It seemed far harder than the three past papers that I looked at and there were some things in there that I didn't even recognise from the lectures. Oh well, hopefully I did enough to pass. My prediction for that exam is either a D or C at this rate.

Also, due to severe winds I'm pretty much stranded on campus for now. Hopefully I wont actually have to spend the night here but as a last resort, that may happen. I don't have much luck with things like this. Last year I almost got stuck on campus due to heavy snow. Seriously, wind stopping public transport? Get a grip of yourself, health and safety people.

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Foundations 1 Exam - 05/12/11

Well, this turned out the be the exam that I feel most confident about. It was also the last of my exams so now I'm officially on my Christmas holidays. Yay! Think I have to wait a fair while yet before I get any of my results back though.


Posted by Dean - November 1st, 2011


[ My Video Game Collection ] - [ Previous Month ] - [ Following Month ]

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November (and late October) seems to be a pretty good month for gaming. I've not really been hyped for a game since the release of GTA IV and even that was pretty minor compared to some games from previous years. However, a few days back saw the release of Battlefield 3.

I was excited for Battlefield 3 to an extent, but not overly. I've been playing it for the last few days now and I wont hesitate to say that it's awesome. I think this could be considered the best FPS that I've played. We just need DICE to get the servers sorted and it will be near perfect, despite all these people with their constant whinging about how terrible the game is. The game is only 'terrible' because you fools hype it up so much and expect them to have suddenly solved every possible issue that a game might have. Well, that's just not how it works folks. I've been reading through several Battlefield 3 dedicated forums today and all the crying was amusing in a pathetic way. If you hate the game so much, stop playing it and stop trying to get DICE to alter things to make it easier for you. Actually, just go play COD.

Next up will be the release of Skyrim on November 11th, which is also Remembrance Day here in Britain, so don't forget to remember those people who gave their lives to defend this great land of ours. But yea, Skyrim is a game that I've been waiting on for the last few years. It's predecessor, Oblivion, still remains one of my favourite games and Bethesda are probably my favourite developer. I still don't actually have the game pre-ordered though. A mixture of scepticism that it will be what I'm expecting and lack of money are what's holding me back. It might not hurt me to wait a while, find out if the game is as good as I hope and then spend my money on it, rather than risk losing £40 to a game that I could have waited a while for. I'm not expecting it to be bad or anything, but I could probably live without it for a little while longer.

I also have a whole load of coursework to get done this month. I have to do some fairly simple modelling with OpenGL, code an expert system in CLIPS, finish a logic assignment and continue to work on my year long project. Having all these new games to potentially distract me doesn't help all that much either.

That's about it for my expectations of this month really. Still the thought of the NG Manchester Meet occasionally comes into my head from time to time, which I'd like to add that I may or may not be attending. I was originally a definite attendee but it all comes down to whether or not I think I can afford to go there and still have enough to last me until summer. Are you planning on going to the Manchester Meet? If so, let me know. It just might end up influencing my decision.

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I'm a BBS mod now - 22/11/11

Tonight has been hectic. Out of the blue I'm asked if I'd like to help moderate the BBS. It's nice to have some trust placed in me and the ability to contribute to a forum that has amused me for the past four years now. Hopefully you guys will behave and save me from having to do cruel and wicked things to you, like not letting you post for a whole three days.


Posted by Dean - October 1st, 2011


[ My Video Game Collection ] - [ Previous Month ] - [ Following Month ]

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I actually can't think of a single thing which might be happening this month that might be of any interest at all. I've settled into my uni routine now and even though I don't enjoy the 6:30am wake-ups I am starting to get used to them again. I've already finished one coursework assignment and have three more that need to be completed. Thankfully I still have a while yet before any of them are due.

Well, that about sums up this month. Exciting, I know. Here's a nice song to make up for the lack of content here this month:

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The Attack of the Spider - 05/10/11

After getting ready this morning I was sitting in my room waiting to leave for my bus when all of a sudden I turned around and saw a HUGE spider sitting on the wall right next to my bedroom door. For those if you who don't know, I have a pretty big fear of spiders once they pass a certain size and this thing was a monster. It took me a couple minutes before I could actually leave the room and then ask my mum (I know, I'm a pussy) to get rid of it. Then I left for my bus.

When I got home I took out some anti-spider spray that I obtained some time last year and it seemed to work back then so I have sprayed it all over the possible entrances to my room. Here's to hoping that it works again, because I can't stand being trapped in the same room as a spider. I also can't understand my fear. I'm a big burly Scotsman and I'm scared of a little spider no more than a couple inches in lag span. I'm certain that it's going to be a life long fear of mine.

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Website Redesign - 08/10/11

No, sadly this is not anything related to the long awaited NG redesign. It is however related to the redesign of my personal website. Some users, such as Jackho have claimed to visit my site from time to time but I never updated it much. This was mainly because it was a simple site that I coded myself from scratch and it wasn't the easiest thing to update.

I'm now using WordPress as a content management system for my site which makes things FAR easier for me and this means that I'm more likely to actually update it. Ever since I started writing news posts monthly here it means I cant really post random crap without upsetting the pattern and this is where my site comes in handy. Chances are that I'll be posting updates on it fairly regularly, so if you're even remotely interested in what I get up to or just need a method of killing a few minutes, check it out: deansplace.pcriot.com