Star Wars

While I was in UGC, getting tickets for *Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy*, I figured – what the hell…


Bleedin’ Spyware

I’m putting it down to a momentary lapse in concentration.

Esat told us our line went ‘live’ on Friday, so I spent a while trying to remember what my username and password was. I must have spent a good half hour trying various combinations (It turns out the username goes in the form of *$username*@iolbb, not as the salesman told me).

So when I finally did get the right combination, I was so thrilled at having broadband at home again that I left the laptop for a few minutes to go bop around the room. I must have bopped for less than 10 minutes before I realised I’d left a Windows machine connected directly to the internet.

Too late.

And so, my first few hours of broadband are being spent de-fucking my laptop. It must have five different types of spyware on there, and no one tool is catching it all. Although, loathe as I am to admit it, Microsoft’s Antispyware has, so far, been the best, having already caught four things. There are still a couple of other things left on there, if I’m reading windump and ‘netstat -ao’ right.

I hate the internet.


Land of the Dead

Being a huge fan of *Dawn of the Dead* and *Day of the Dead* (not so keen on the original *Night of the Living Dead*, but I love the remake. Go figure), I have to thank 28 Days Later and the Dawn of the Dead remake for bringing zombie films back into vogue. It’s questionable that without those films to lay the groundwork, George Romero’s long-awaited *Land of the Dead* would have been made.

The official site of [Land of the Dead]( went live last night, including the first trailer for the movie. First impressions suggest that it’s heavily influenced by the remake of Dawn of the Dead. Very kinetic, and very nu-metal. It still looks fantastic though.

Roll on June 24th.


First steps in Blender

I’ve been playing with Blender on and off for a couple of years now, and have only recently become confident enough to use it for showing things to other people. I’ve found it’s an amazingly useful tool to have around, if only for the amount of design work I get asked to do. Recently, I used it to create a pretty swish rocket ship logo, which was eventually scrapped because it was too similar to something a competitor used. (As a side-note, I often wonder if our competitor’s rocket was also created as a result of an [over-indulgence in Tintin]( I guess we’ll never know).

Here’s the first things I’ve posted over on Blender’s community website [elysiun]( It’s part of a series I’ve been working on, rendering NES characters in 3D pixels (click for the hi-res version)


Tomb Raider: Legend

Eidos recently unveiled the [‘new look’ Lara Croft](/dorkus/pictures/05/04/tr3.jpg), which was greeted with a mixed response in the gaming community. Some cried “WHERE ARE HER BIG TITS GONE?!!” while others said “Okay, we like where you’re going with this. You’ve got our attention.” I think I was somewhere in the latter camp.

My interest in the Tomb Raider Franchise dropped off around the time they made the move to the Playstation 2. The games had lost their way, moving from a ‘Tomb Raider’ to ‘Generic Action Girl’. “Run around the streets of Paris!” the press-release for *Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness* cried, “Chase across roofs!”, “Use stealth!”. Well, yes. That’s all well and good, but there are a hundred games out there, doing the running-shooting action and stealth thing a whole lot better than a game that was famously [rushed by the publisher](

I first played Tomb Raider on the Saturn. One of the few advantages to owning a European Saturn (since we missed out on all the hundreds of fantastic 2D shoot-em-ups released in Japan) was the release of Tomb Raider a full six months before the Playstation version. And it was breathtaking. Even without a lot of the graphical lushness of other platforms, it was still jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Vast levels gave a fantastic feeling of space. The action was spot-on (even if the story wasn’t), and the music was unlike anything else in video games at the time.

The recent iterations have been either a diluted mix of the things that made the first game so magical or an unmitigated disaster stemming from the developers try to ‘re-invent’ the ‘brand’. Ultimately, the original developers’ complete failure to do anything spectacular with the franchise led to the publisher (Eidos) yanking the game from them and giving the task of developing Tomb Raider 7 to Crystal Dynamics – previously known for Project Snowblind and uh.. uh.. The videogame of *102 Dalmations*?

Thankfully Crystal Dynamics seem to understand what went wrong with recent Tomb Raider games and are bringing the franchise ‘back to its roots’ in *Tomb Raider Legend* by taking the focus off Lara and putting it back on the gameplay. So, Lara’s tits are smaller and the levels (looking suitable Tomb-y) are apparently huge and magnificent, and very reminiscent of the early games. And even more reassuringly, they have brought back the music from the original game (if the background music on []( is anything to go by).

She won’t be making the [cover of The Face]( again (because the magazine is gone, but that’s beside the point), but there’s definitely still life in the old girl yet.