Wednesday, 30 December 2009

General Update

This is the first update since Christmas, and I have missed out the annual 'So, what'd you get?' post.
But this post is to say that I will be doing my 'Definitive Review of 2009' post shortly, and will also post some reviews on some DVDs that I got over Christmas. These were: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Rain Man, The Midnight Express and Extras.
After months of waiting to see my list of films, I get to see them all in the space of a week. I have also restarted my daily Prison Break marathons, in which I watch a disc of episodes per day until I don't have any left. I'm onto Disc 3 of 4 on Season 3, and it is getting pretty exciting, but I can't help but constantly think that everything is too convenient. Oh well. I still enjoy it. It also means that I'm going to have to find someone to sponge Season 4 from... I can get all 4 seasons on DVD fro £50 in HMV, but that's £50 that could also be spent on something worthy... like Buckethead CDs.
Expect a few posts in the near future...

Thursday, 17 December 2009

The Beautiful Ones

I have recently been listening to a lot of Poets of the Fall. And I mean a lot. More than Buckethead this week. That is some feat...
It's because I was on their website checking up on progress from any new albums they are doing. Turns out, they are, and it will be out in March 2010, and they are working with Remedy again to put some soundtrack to Alan Wake, also released in Spring next year. That track is called 'War'.
Coming from the absolute fantasticness of the last three albums, and almost everything I have heard by them, I have high hopes for it. I found a track that I had never heard that was released as a single with Lift from their first album called The Beautiful Ones. I could have bought it on iTunes, but despite my love for all things Appular, I got it from Amazon MP3 for the same price without any stupid DRM. As it was downloading I thought: 'Yeah, iTunes, your DRM regime is over! Suck it!'.
I got The Beautiful Ones and a live studio cover of Chris Cornell's You Know My Name, for 79p each. They are worth it. I strongly suggest everyone who reads this has a goosey of them as soon as possible.

My love for Poets of the Fall is as much as Buckethead.

I also watched The Midnight Express the other night.... I might put a review up soon. Might not.

Monday, 14 December 2009

The Heaviest Metal

This is the name for my latest work. The Heaviest Metal. It involves me making noises and recording them into GarageBand, then formatting them as MP3s. So far, my debut album has got two tracks on the 'Keep List'. A third I have saved, but is unlikely to actually make it into the MP3 stage. The tracks I have currently are called The Splat of Pegasus and The All-Seeing Eye.

I have designed myself some fantastic Album Art, and I have put my current tracks into iTunes and set up all of the labels and fields etc.
Artist: Alex Richings
Album: The Heaviest Metal
Genre: The Heaviest Metal
Rating: *****


Eat your heart out, Buckethead.
Click to embiggen.

Here they are in my Public DropBox Folder so you can download them.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Google Chrome for Mac

I got an email today about Google Chrome finally being released in Beta for Mac. I downloaded it, taking somewhere in the region of 20 minutes, and got it installed.
It asked me if I wanted to transfer all of my setting and stuff from Safari. I did, and it imported all bookmarks, history, favourites and passwords, apparently.
First off, the Passwords didn't happen. So I had to try to remember what they all were for iGoogle and GMail etc. (See my post on 1Password). So after all this business, I started to have a goose at the settings.
I wanted to have the bottom bar on so I could see where a link would take me when I hovered the pointer over it. There is no setting for this, but I found that a web address appeared in a bubble after holding the pointer over for a few seconds.
I also wanted Chrome to gather all my logins from Safari. It didn't. I had to try remembering them. After failing this, I thought of 1Password, and then came back to good ol' Safari.
I also didn't like how the Tabs bar is above the URL bar. This happened in the Beta for Safari 4, and that turned into a right mess. There is no option to change this. I also found that I had to actually click the '+' symbol to open a new tab. I am used to just double clicking anywhere in the Tab Bar. And for the 'X' button to close a tab to be on the left, not the right.
The Bookmarks Bar is also a bit big. It is the same as Safari, except it has a logo of the website next to the name. This makes it much bigger, and I could not fit all of my buttons on the screen without them being messy, confusing and squished.
When a new Tab is opened, it opens a Popular Pages screen, similar to the default in Safari, except this cannot be changed as far as I can see. I would have preferred my Homepage to load as it does in Safari, and every other browser I have used.
There is virtually no ability to customise the Toolbar, other than adding/removing the Home Button.
Also, after using Safari and Adblock for so long, I cannot understand how anyone can go without it. There are adverts on websites I never even knew had adverts. However, since Chrome is Open Source, a similar add-on may still happen eventually.
I understand that this browser is still in Beta, but for the wait I was seriously expecting something better than this. It's like the awful Safari 4 Beta, but all of the rubbishness was taken out of the final build, except from that blue loading bar that I loved in Safari 3. Sadly, in Safari 4 they decided to get rid of it.



You can download it from here if you want, but I would recommend just waiting for the Beta to end and the final public version to come out.
When they base the whole Chrome OS on this style, which they are, I can't see myself being a customer.

Chrome Browser [Beta]: 4/10.
Not as good as I'd hoped, but it is still in Beta so there is time for it to improve.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A few Slices of Good Internet

I found this website (Panoramas.dk) where you can look at flash animations of panoramic photos from all over the world.
On there they have The Grand Canyon in Arizona, Death Valley, Matterhorn in Switzerland (I've been there), Monument Valley, Ayer's Rock (not as good as it could be)... The best ones I found are 360º panoramas of the peak of Mount Everest and The Great Wall of China. I can't embed them, so you'll have to deal with the links.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Today is a good day.

As the title says, today is a good day indeed.
First, I got myself some killswitch action on my Ibanez. It is not really a killswitch, but a Shadow Kill Pot, which acts a a switch but still uses one of the volume knobs so I don't have to drill a hole or do anything dangerous. I was too stupid to know how to do the electronics of it, (especially with the Active Pickups) so I went to Soundslive in Newcastle and got Neil the Technician to fit it for me. It only cost £20, and it works on both pickups instead of just the one, which I was expecting. I recommend Soundslive. It is a good place. Neil will never read this, but thanks anyway.

Also, I got BUCKETHEADLAND on CD. As seen in the previous post, I was expecting it to come late next week considering I opted for the super saver free delivery. Two CDs of fantasticness, for only £14. The chances are against you if you find that for around that price again. The majority of times its sold for anything between £40-60. It's a good deal.

So yeah... A good day.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Bucketheadland

I have been looking for a cheap way of getting the Bucketheadland 1 CD since... Ever. And now, I got it for £14 from Amazon this morning. I cannot believe it. As soon as I saw it I bought it instantly. And I know it's not a copy or a scam because I bought it from actual Amazon, not one of those independent people selling through Amazon. And I got a discount from my student card. Note that the original Bucketheadland is like the Holy Grail to Buckethead fans. This is big news.

It's normally £40+, so I think that's quite that bargain.
Speaking of bargains, I also got the Fallout 3 GOTY edition for £20 from Gamestation today. Game were selling it for £50. Rip. It was £25, but I traded my original F3 in and got a fiver for it.

These two things make me a happy bunny.


Saturday, 14 November 2009

Caught in the Web of the Combine

I watched One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest for the first time today. It's going toneed a second viewing, like Fight Club, Pulp Fiction and The Matrix Revelations. It's some weird business.
It's about a mental institution, where Jack Nicholson is sent because he wants to get out of prison work. Turns out that Nurse Ratched doesn't like him much and everything goes downhill after that. I will definately have to watch it again, it was a good film, but it was odd, and the end was a bit abrupt.

That is about as much detail as I can give without ruining too much for those who haven't seen it. I'm not that good at describing what happened in films without giving away the whole thing.





























This only leaves a few films in my list to see...
-Rainman
-The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
-Midnight Express
-A Clockwork Orange
-The Godfather set
-Cronos
-Trainspotting

Monday, 9 November 2009

More Buckethead, Flaming Lips, Travis.

This is just an update to say that I'm still alive.
Also, that I got a few more Buckethead CDs from TDRS, which is always a good thing. I got Albino Slug and A Real Diamond in the Rough, and both are very good. ARDitR is great, but as expected, no match for Electric Tears. However, there was a bit of trouble with the postage. Not Travis's fault, but the Post Office's. Stupid Royal Mail. I had to pay a 'Customs Charge' of £12.11 because it was over £35 in value. Gay. So in future I'll be buying my CDs in smaller bundles.
On the plus side, however, Albino Slug was actually signed by actual Travis. I would have preferred Buckethead to have signed it, but beggars can't be choosers, and Travis still does something on the album apparently. If/when I get the Chicken Noodles albums I'll ask for them to be signed again because he plays keyboard all the way through them. I now wish that I got Population Override from TDRS, because that would be a good one to have signed.
I also got The Flaming Lips's Embryonic Super-Special-Ultra-Radical Deluxe Edition. Which is a larf.















Here is the signed Albino Slug cover. A good album. It says "Thanks for your support! Travis Dickerson". It's almost like having a hand-drawn In Search of The...


















A Real Diamond in the Rough, also a good album.















Embryonic, two music CDs on the left and centre, and a 96K DVD with 256 times the normal resolution of a standard CD. And some weird furry case thing. Ooh.

Here's something good for you to feast upon until the next time Buckethead does something. Because that's basically what my posts revolve around.


And remeber: Don't fake the Funk or your nose got to grow, Bobbo. Yeah.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Squid, Buckethead

I got me another guitar. I think it's the so-called 'guitar-buying syndrome'. It has now elevated from Guitar-looking-at syndrome to a full blown case of GBS.
Shame.

It's a Squier Affinity Telecaster in Butterscotch colour. I'm calling it Squid. **Update - I have changed it's name to Baron Klaus Nottingham** I got this guitar mainly to do experiments on that I'm too scared to try out on my other guitar, 'Iby'. I got it yesterday through the post from the Soundslive website. It'll be like Frankenstein's Guitar. A killswitch will be the first modification. On the chrome volume/tone/selector switch panel thing. I think it'll go between the two knobs.

I have also finished my pumpkin carving for this year. It is, obviously, Buckethead. Here is a picture of that:

Yeah, it's not great, but I'm still quite proud of it. If a kid knocks on the door tomorrow and says something like "Is that Buckethead from Guns N Roses?'' I'll think, 'Wow... He knows who Buckethead is.' Then I'll kill him because he said 'from Guns N Roses.'

Friday, 23 October 2009

New Design

I felt like a change to the way that all of these posts were organised. I liked the old 'Blue' layout, but I felt that the post column was a bit too small, and often my images and YouTube embedded videos would have to be snipped from the side because they were too wide. So I chose to use this style, 'Minima'.
After applying it and tinkering with the fonts and colours, I found that even though the whole thing was now a bit wider, it was still very narrow when you began to reach the bottom. It was now that I took matters into my own hands, and began fidgeting with some very dangerous HTML code. Obviously, I wanted the main column to appear wider by a few hundred pixels.
After some extensive Googling, I found a few other Blogs that wanted to so the same thing as me. They had posted their HTML codes to the article so I could copy them. I tried that, it made a mess. So I had to find way of making certain parts wider by doing some manual tinkering. Here is the code I eventually ended up with:


The red parts are the areas I had to change in order to get it the way I wanted. I had to increase the size of all of them, and then I had to make the sidebar move to the top right.
I have also changed the banner on the top of the site. It now has a small border around the black square, and i think it adds a bit more neatness. So I hope that all of the Blogoshpere is working smoothly. Any problems that you find, leave a comment and tell me what it is. I might try to fix it.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Shiny, Shiny, Shiny...

The other day, a new line of iMacs were released onto the Apple website for people's buying pleasure. They are all new, but they still have the same-ish design as the older model. It just had some plastic surgery on it's face.
At first the actual design is still pretty similar to the older model, except the black screen border reaches the very edge of the case, and the 'chin' is a bit smaller beneath the screen. The processor speed has also been increased, as well as most of the hardware has, up to 3.06Ghz. I think, the most important new addition to the design is the SD card slot on the side, below the DVD drive. It's about time.
So, other than improvements in the insides and some little tweaks on the appearance, it's fairly similar to mine. There are some things that I was expecting to see in a new model, but haven't happened: A Blu-Ray Drive would have been a welcome addition to some nerds like me, considering there's now a full HD screen waiting to be christened with HD Matrix Trilogy. I also expected to see some more options on the screen - as in, glossy or matte displays. There is also an upgrade to the Mighty Mouse. It is now called a 'Magic Mouse' and has literally, no buttons. It is the first commercial multi-touch mouse, meaning that you don't have to move any scroll balls, because it can sense when one, two or three fingers are on it. Swipe left to go back, swipe down to scroll down a page, tap it to click.

None of these things matter to me, really. I still love (my now ye olde) iMac 20". However, I still need to upgrade to Snow Leopard, and I might even get one of these Magic Mice. Then again, for £55, maybe not. Also, they are all wireless, which I don't really like, because wireless means batteries. And I'm not a fan of buying batteries.

My philosophy is that anyone who thinks that PCs look/are better, has either never even seen/used a Mac. Or they are just denying the truth. Either way, these people are stupid, people can't be trusted. People also voted for Hitler, and look at what a mess that turned out to be.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Autumn II

Remember a few months back I said that Witches on the Heath by Buckethead reminded me of Autumn? Well, I had a taste of the actual thing. I was walking home from school yesterday, and I usually go through some woods to cut off a corner that would take an extra 10 minutes to walk. I was walking through leaves, crunchy ones, and my iPod was just on random shuffle all. Baptism of Solitude came on, and while it isn't Witches on the Heath, it is still a similarly 'feeling' track.
I felt like I should seize the moment and take some pictures of the woods I was in when the song came on. I took them on the highest setting my phone can do, also known as 'Mega - 1152x864'.




























Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Fotolia - An Elitist Platform.

Yesterday I signed up to a website called Foltolia after seeing it on the Gadget Show on Monday. It is basically an online image store, where people can upload their photos and sell them, and then gain about 50% of the money. That is, of course if your pictures are good enough. Mine weren't, supposedly. I uploaded one of my favourite pictures that I took in Honduras on the beach - It is of a hammock in a tree, with the sea behind it. An excellent picture, if I do say so myself.
I then had to wait for approval. That was fine. I then got an email saying that my picture had been rejected because of 'one or more of' the following problems:
  • Blurry or out of focus
  • Over/Under exposure
  • Framing problem
  • Over or under saturated colors
  • Problems with contrast
  • Noise or Pixelation
  • Quality of routing
  • Interpolation problem
Now, I'm going to go through that list to check off what I have:
Not blurry or out of focus.
Not under/over exposed.
As far as I can see, no framing problem.
Over/under saturated colours, none.
Contrast is fine.
Noise? No.
Not sure what 'quality of routing' is, but I bet I have a very high quality.
Interpolation? Nothing has been added, if that's what it means.

I then tried to upload another of my favourite pictures, taken of Derwentwater in Keswick, in Autumn-ish time, the sun was low. Nice. They say it is too small, but it was taken on a 6 megapixel camera, and the minimum requirements are 4 megapixels. Joke.
So I decided that they obviously are too good for amateur photographers like me. They only want the elite, perfectionist photo-journalist willing to go into a zombie infested mall and write a scoop. (I didn't make that up.)
Here are the pictures I tried to upload...


The first image, rejected for the above reasons.
(Obviously, the watermark was not actually in the file I submitted, it's there to stop you stealing it, and not giving me a reason to sue yo' ass.)










The second image I tried to upload, failed because the image was 'too small'.












A third image I wanted to upload, but found that I couldn't because Canada Dry is a copyrighted trademark, and I would basically be advertising it.

Although, it is very nice.














So there you have it. My hopes and dreams smashed into a pile of unwanted binary and 'out-of-focus' pixels. Cast down by a load of snivelling little nerds, sat in Foltolia towers, rejecting real art in photography in case it puts them out of business.

PS, I've watermarked these images because I took them. If you want a copy of any of them, leave a comment and I'll consider it.
Just like my ISOT pictures.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

The Intertubes

Today, my internet connection reached an all-time low. It was running unbearably slow on pretty much every page, and I couldn't even load Google in less than a minute. So, I managed to crawl my way to the BBC iPlayer Speed Test website, where it basically, tests your speed. Wow. I got this result:

If this is too small to read, it says the following:
Download Speed: 236 Kbps
Streaming Speed (1): 91 Kpbs
Streaming Speed (2): 0 Kbps
Streaming Speed (3): 95 Kbps

Overall, that makes my internet speed around the 64 Kbps mark. Unsuitable for even radio streaming from the BBC website, let alone TV programmes. I would need 54 times the current speed to just be able to stream HD TV. That is disgraceful. Poor show, Tiscali.

So, after getting those awful results, I went to another website to check the speed using another program. this time it was SpeedTest.net. I got this result:

If this image is also too small, then the results are:
Download: 0.17 Mbps
Upload: 0.10 Mbps.
They say it will take me 4 minutes to download a 5MB MP3 file, 28 Minutes to download a 35MB video file and 642 minutes to download an 800MB movie file.
I think that those numbers are pretty optimistic.

There was also a little 5-Star rating thing for my ISP at the bottom. I gave Tiscali 1 Star.

Look at the speed I should be getting compare to what I actually am. Seriously?
Seriously?
It's 2009.




Come on. Sort it out, BT. I'm dying here.

Just to point out, Dial-Up internet, like off of the 90s, is 56 Kbps.
56. I'm on 64. This isn't Broadband.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

A Real Diamond In The Rough II

I know that I have said a few times that 'the next Buckethead album will be Albino Slug...' and then it never happens? Well, it looks like it is going to be put off again. The next album will be A Real Diamond in the Rough. I have just been listening to it on YouTube, and I never realised how good it was when it came out, and I wrote about it here. It's my birthday in 8 days as well, so I can hopefully go on a Buckethead rampage with my new monies.

As for the last CD he released, A Needle In A Slunk Stack, I am not a fan. Of the two tracks currently on YouTube, they both sound the same as Forensic Follies. All snippy and badly glued together again. One of the comments from Clee3421 for the track 'Needle in a Slunk Stack' said this: "Forensic Follies was a test album, him playing(hence follies) around with this whole remix idea. It's choppy and stitched together, and uses no original parts. He was simply testing the waters, saying "I'm gonna try this crazy shit, and document it in CD form"

Now with Needle in a Slunk Stack, he's made the pieces smoother, recorded some cool new guitar and percussion, and gave it a more "Buckethead" title, saying "This is what I was aiming for, my finished product". Follies was the blueprints."

I think that's a good way to put it. Let's just hope his next CD is more to my taste. Bear in mind that 'my taste' is most of Buckethead's stuff. I have actually warmed to most of ISOT, and a lot of it is still just awful frequencies.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The Deli Creeps

I got the Dawn of the Deli Creeps CD the other day, and even after listening to most of the songs on ye olde 'Tube, I am still surprised at how good most of the songs actually are. They are all good tracks with the exception of the ones where Maximum Bob is just talking about stuff and the last track, Random Killing. The best track on there is probably either Can I Have a Ride?, Dream Girl, Found Body or Buried Deep Stays Buried Still. It is also a little bit annoying that there was never a Deli Creeps version of Binge and Grab recorded in a studio, so the only version we have is a live performance from 1991 or something. In the same order, I also got Decoding the Tomb of the Bansheebot by Buckethead. I would say it is one of the better albums... Along the same style of Albino Slug and Pepper's Ghost. The best tracks on here are Asylum of Glass, Ghost Host, Checkerboard Incision, Sail on Soothsayer and Stretching Lighthouse. I know that in a previous post, I said that the next Buckethead album I got would be Albino Slug, but as I was scrolling up the TDRS page, Decoding the Tomb was in the list before the Slug.













Tuesday, 29 September 2009

My Weekend

This weekend I was away again. I was disconnected and internetless for two days - enough to start getting the shakes. I was staying in a cottage for the weekend somewhere in Bedale in North Yorkshire. It was a larf, I suppose. But, the people who owned the cottage must have known I was coming, because they actually did offer internet connection over wifi, but I would have had to pay for it, and it was £6 per day or £20 for the week. So I braved the cold, baron and empty wastelands of boredom of years gone by, where boring old TV is classed as 'entertainment', and people nearby are scared of technology, naming it as witchcraft rather than technical wizardry.
We went into the nearest town on the Sunday. Turns out that there was a sheep fair on, with people trading their sheep for a set of magic beans, judges wearing tweed suits and matching hats, a marching band wearing clogs and bells, sheep covered in rosettes, naming it 'The Best Sheep in the Land'...
Also, I went to the Black Sheep Brewery and looked around the gift shop. I was going to buy this shirt, but they had none in my size. If i remember rightly, I think that happened last time but with a different shirt... I didn't go into the actual brewery because a) I'd been in before, and b) it was swarming with people. So I left.
After this, we were heading back to the car after some food in a cafe, and I decided to go back through the sheep pens to get some photos.











If you don't live in the UK and are reading this, I'd just like to say that this 'sheep fair' is not a regular part of my life. I know that these pictures only add weight to certain images of 'The English' but I am not the kind to wear tweed and regularly attend sheep fairs.
The whole ordeal made me think of that Father Ted episode where Ted has to help Chris the sheep get back on top of his game after being scared by 'The Beast' in order to win a competition.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Needle In A Slunk Stack

Guess who has a new album out. It's only my favourite guy, Mr. Buckethead.
It got released yesterday on TDRS, and I have no idea what it sounds like because as of yet there are no videos on YouTube of it... Probably because Travis can't do next-day postage to people.
I'm hoping it returns to the usual Buckethead, keeping away from the Forensic Follies scandal.

I suppose I'll just have to wait and find out.

The only know existence of it is from the world's biggest Buckethead stalker, Bunghole30. He uploaded this video earlier today.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Zattoo

I downloaded a little App called Zattoo the other day. It is basically just a TV tuner, but with only certain channels that it can pick up... These seemingly being BBC 1, 2, 3 and 4, ITV 1 and 2, Channel 4 and Five. All the rest seem to degrade into rubbish or stuff that I didn't know existed, and things that I don't really care if they existed or not. Like Bloomberg, Red Bull TV, and the God channel (The London and European versions, in case you're feeling exceptionally religious).
It also annoys me that I cannot record anything from these channels, because it's coming from the internet, onto my computer, and when it stops to buffer, it carries on from where it left off rather than skipping to where the Live feed would actually be.
The main problem I have with Zattoo is the same that I have for the iPlayer, 4OD, YouTube...My Internet pipes (or lack thereof). In a previous post I already moaned consistently about them, so I won't go on abut them again for now. But anyway, it probably stops to buffer the next section of video every 15-25 seconds, and as the video is live I can't stop it and wait for it to load as I would with a YouTube or 4OD video. So although it is a great little app to have handy, I wish that it had more channels available, such as Dave, E4 and maybe some of the +1 channels. Film4 would be good, too but I imagine there will be lots of copyright issues going on with films and the like.

So, I might just uninstall it because I can hardly watch it in 20-second bursts... I might just wait for the programme that I want to go onto the iPlayer/4OD website/ITV Player. Then again, I might keep it just in case BT want to treat us. Maybe they can recycle some phone cables from 1990? They'll be newer than what we have now...

Stupid Internet Pipes. Ruining my life. Oh, and more great news... I think my router is knocking on Death's door... It keeps cutting me off and disconnecting randomly and has to be turned off and on again before it comes out of it's little tantrum. If I have to get a new router, it will have to be dual-band capable, and also have the power of 802.11n, so I, the resident Mac user, can take advantage of 5Ghz and super-fast sub-0.4MB 'Boradband'.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The Evils of 1Password

Yesterday I downloaded a rather highly-thought of program known as '1Password'. Its job is to store all of my passwords for logins, and then either keep them safe or replace them with complex and impossible to work out ones such as 'Hjs7bGy6s7GI'. This is all good, unless the program decides it hates you, and then it changes the passwords willy-nillily to what it finds amusing. It then laughs in your face as you fail to log in to your accounts all over the internet, and then guffaws and 'ROFLs' at you when you can't crack it's codes that it uses as passwords.
I learned not to trust it the hard way: Being locked out of my Google Account. It was the first password I changed, and turned out to be the most kerfuffley slice of time I have ever wasted. Once you cannot login to your GMail account, Google says: 'Neh. We own the Internet, and that password is in charge of your Youtube, Dropbox, iGoogle, Blogger, Bank Accounts...' So I was locked out of all of my most used applications and logins.
The solution: Try to log into iGoogle. When that fails, click on the password recovery page. Then, answer a few questions, and an email will be sent to your second email address. Luckily for me, I forgot the password to that one, too. So, I used my very, very old Hotmail account, from 2004, to log into my emails. In there, I had another email from Windows Live saying that there had been a new account created in 2007. I went to there, logged in, hoping to find the Google email. No. I found another email from Windows Live, saying that a third email account had been made in 2007 on an '@live.co.uk' thing. I logged into there, taking me to another email, only this time from Google, but from late 2007. This had been made for my first 'test' GMail account, which had a ridiculous name which I couldn't really put on any sensible documents. After logging in there, one final email that was unread from Google, supplying me with a link to reset my original password.
What a farse.
There are three morals to this story...
1. Don't use 1Password.
2. Remember what your secondary email address was.
3. Use the old fashioned, good old mind for passwords and the like.

^^Stay away from this logo^^

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Population Override

When I got Population Override a while ago, I never actually got around to posting a review of it up here. I don't know why that was, but it never happened. Also, I have noticed that it doesn't have that much recognition in my Blog as I'd like it to.
In the last few days, I have listened to it about five times, and I can't actually believe how good it was without me really noticing it the first time round. I remember comparing it to some of the tracks on ISOT, but other than that, it hasn't ever really been mentioned. The standout tracks on PO are Unrestrained Growth, Too Many Humans, Cruel reality of Nature, Earth Heals Herself, A Day Will Come, Clones and '...'. That's seven out of ten tracks are really good, and considering that a lot of Buckethead's albums have got a lot of filler in them, that's quite a good ratio. Even the three that aren't as good are still above the average standard of said 'filler', and are easily passable as good songs on their own.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Dropbox

The other day I signed up to a Dropbox account, mainly because I like the idea of MobileMe's iDisk thing, but not so much the fees that came with it. Enter Dropbox, a website that pretty much offers the same thing, but for free, and it seems to do a very good job of it. Although I'm limited to 2GB of space at the moment, its still very useful. I have moved all of my big-ish files into the Dropbox folder on my computer, and now I can access them from anywhere. This should be useful for transferring files to and from school when I don't want to use a memory stick. The only problem is that I have to wait hours or even days for the files to be uploaded to the 'cloud' before I can get them anywhere else because of my awful internet connection. At the moment, it will take me about 8 more hours to upload 14 small to medium sized files... Because my broadband speed is horrendous. On a very good day I'm lucky to get 1MB broadband speeds. The fastest I have ever seen it is about 28KB/s, and the slowest at 3, so compared to my other speeds, 18.2 is quite fast. I have also been reading forums about the upload speeds, and some stupid melon is moaning about having to wait four minutes to upload a 200MB file. That same file on my connection would likely take four days.
I await the day when I can download a HD film on the Xbox without having to plan two weeks in advance, or watch the BBC iPlayer without having to click pause for an hour beforehand, or even click on the HQ button on YouTube and have it stream the way it should..

Damn you, BT.
Damn you, Tiscali.
Damn you, crappy phone lines.

I'm always happy to accept more space, too, so if you feel like signing up, click THIS link or leave a comment and we'll both get an extra 250MB if I send a referral link to you.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Giant Robot

Today I got Giant Robot by Buckethead. One of the rarer discs I have, along with ISOT and my signed Beast CD. It cost me $14 from Amazon.com and has arrived today, only 4 days after it was posted apparently. The only downside to my fantastic new purchase, is that the CD case has been notched/cut out. Not a real issue as such, but I would prefer if the paper hadn't been cut on the spine.
So, now that I have Giant Robot, I only have 11 Buckethead CDs left that I want (that is, unless he releases more, which is almost certain):
  1. Bucketheadland Blueprints
  2. Bucketheadland
  3. The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell
  4. Inbred Mountain
  5. The Elephant Man's Alarm Clock
  6. Island of Lost Minds
  7. Pepper's Ghost
  8. Decoding the Tomb of the Bansheebot
  9. Albino Slug
  10. A Real Diamond in the Rough
  11. Slaughterhouse on the Prairie
Next on the agenda will be Albino Slug, No. 9 in my list. Pretty soon Buckethead will also have his own shelf on my CD rack. Maybe two if I complete my list. Three if I put ISOT on display, but that stays in a safe drawer on my old CD rack.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Subsiding Anger

Remember, this post, in which I raged at how the Serious Sam HD was not released when specified? Well, there has been good news on the home front, good Sir, and the Serious Sam HD website has changed. Yes, it is now better and an actual website as opposed to a single picture of cows in a field. It now has endless silliness, fun-ness and excellent-ness, and even has more new videos and even a Buy Now link, however, upon clicking this, it only takes me to a page saying 'Coming Soon'.
I can't wait. It may be sooner than anticipated after all.

Fantastic.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Anger

It is August 29th. The very same day that Serious Sam HD was supposed to be getting released. It has not been. I have fallen into the oldest internet trap there is: seeing one website that has the information I want and believing it without any other research. The internet wizard has fallen. So, as soon as I found out that it wasn't on the XBLA this morning, I swept over to the internet and did further research. Everywhere says 'Q3 2009' or 'Autumn 2009' the Serious Sam HD website says 'Coming Soon', and has a picture of a field with some cows in it, and the Serious Sam logo where the sun should be. The sun looks like it's rising in that picture, so maybe when the 'sun' gets to full height we will see the release.
Overall I feel conned. Let down. Disappointed. And it's all because some stupid twerp on the internet decided it would be hilarious to get me all excited and hen find out that it was fake info.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!1

Yesterday I bought a game off XBL Indie section called I MAED A GAM3 W1TH ZOMBIES 1N 1T!!1, and I think that it is the best arcade game I've ever played on the Xbox. It cost me only 80 points, and that kind of means it costs about £0.60 in real money. The music is excellent, the zombies are excellent and the whole game is excellent. Strongly recommended to anyone who wants to play a fun/pointless game for 'the larfs'.

Here's some gameplay footage:

Also, in two days, the year's most anticipated release is... released. Serious Sam HD. Gaw-juss!



Monday, 24 August 2009

The Definitive Review of Cornwall

I have just come back from Cornwall, where I have been , internetless and disconnected for 10 whole days. I have never, ever wanted an iPhone so much as I did then. 3G would have been a very welcome sight over in Cornwall, especially since most people there are scared of technology and probably crucify CDs. But anyway...
Cornwall is a silly place. I stayed in Bude, on the North coast of the West bit. It was filled with Cornish pasties, Ice cream, endless bottles of cider and people who were walking around the place with sufboards and bodyboards.
The problem with Cornwall is, it is too far away. Especially in a car. So, while I was internetless and bored, I bough Q and Empire magazines in a kind of weird 2-for-1 packet thing. Empire enlightened me to a film called Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. It is about a massive shark fighting a massive octopus, who were both frozen in mid-combat since the ice age.. Sounds like a brilliant film. Also, Q told me that The Flaming Lips have a new album out, and Muse's new album, out 18th September, is going to be odd.
While spending too long in the car, I also began re-re-listening to ISOT, but forgot to write down/make any reviews of each CD and track. So you'll have to wait a bit longer.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

See?

Remember the last post that I wrote, and how I very conveniently said: "I will start this 'project' tomorrow"? Well, it didn't happen. Surprising. But, what I have done is I have now put all of the 92 ISOTs into my iTunes, and on my iPod, so I can listen to them wherever, and I have also done the very boring task of selecting/picking/inventing the best unofficial names for each one of them (Taken from this forum page on TDRS), so that they aren't just called 'ISOT, Vol. I, Track 1" etc. I was very surprised, however, that iTunes actually knew what ISOT was, and came up with the right album name, artist and genre. I still had to change them. Then, after they had all been put on my computer, I scanned the CD covers for use in the library pictures, because I can't be dealing with no Album Art.

Here they are, all snug inside my iTunes...








And here are all the files I scanned all not-so-snug in a folder...
















So, if anyone stumbles across this hoping to find all of the missing artwork/covers for ISOT, I can provide them if necessary. It's 'cos I'm such a nice guy.

*Update* - I could also put them on my Dropbox public folder if you want. If you don't have an account click HERE for some extra megabytes.

Friday, 7 August 2009

In Search of The...Verdict

So, I have powered through 92 tracks, 9 hours, 27 minutes and 13 CDs of Buckethead's imagination, and to conclude, I must say... I don't really know.
It all seems to have merged into one big heap of sound. So, keeping to my earlier promise, I will now revisit each CD individually, and then review them based on each song, and I will also go to the trouble of getting the unofficial track listings from here so that they don't have to be called things like "Vol. 8, Track 4".
I'd like to think that I will start this 'project' tomorrow, but I know that that is never likely to happen. You'll just have to wait. Don't hold your breath, though.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The not very scary Xbox

I like horror games. My favourite game on the 360 is probably Condemned: Criminal Origins (see also, here), and I have probably played it through more that any other game(to the point where I know where all the birds, metal pieces and guns are in the first 5 levels). So I have both of the Condemned games, I have played F.E.A.R on the PC, Dead Rising is really a comedy, despite being classed as a horror. Bioshock isn't scary at all, Clive Barker's Jericho is rubbish... That only really leaves me with Alone In The Dark 5, which looks horrendous, Resident Evil 5, which sucked, and Silent Hill: Homecoming, which looks OK, but not great. That looks like the best/only option, so eventually I might get that. I'm also still waiting on Max Payne 3 and Alan Wake...













This picture just makes it look silly.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

In Search Of The...

Remember all the way back to October 4th, 2008, when I discussed the dicovery and magic of Buckethead's 'In Search Of The' box set? Well... I got it from TDRS. 13 CDs of weird Buckethead nonsense, combined with strange noises, sillily fast guitar playing, some shreddy-riffs that don't really have a tune or rhythm to them at all and some things that sound like a guitar sneezing. But after you get used to these things, and once you get sucked in, it all kind of starts to make something comprehendible.
I picked them up from the Post Office today at about 11, and started listening to them about 2 when I got back home. So far I have got to Volume IV/E while I have been doing other things, and I can say that so far it has been very Population Override-ey, constantly reminding me of Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. It also seems to get lost in itself sometimes, and just descends into a basic drum loop or basic sounds played over again, but manages to not get too boring. Some tracks, however, do, and they are simply a sequence of 5 drum beats for about 3 minutes at a time. So far, the only other album I can compare it to is Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Vol. II. Because it's weird.
Once I have listened to each CD,I might write a big, multi-post review of the album, detailing my thoughts on each individual track. But I know that that is as likely to happen as a lot of other things I intend to do, and if I do write reviews up then it probably won't get posted until 2010.
I think that by owning this entire collection officially certifies me as a 'hardcore Buckethead fan', but I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the merchandise for thine eyeballs to goosey...














<== All 13 volumes









<== The spines of each CD case, spelling out "INSEARCHOFTHE".

Friday, 17 July 2009

The Duke

There has not been any posts for a while because I have been busy with my Duke of Edinburgh's award with school. I had two 4 day walks in the space of two weeks and have just finished the final yesterday. Turns out we did far too much preparation with my very hateful teacher.
But anyway, I think that my walk was a success.

The real reason for this post was to show my excitement for the new Serious Sam game coming to XBLA on August 29th. I can't wait. This means that I will have to buy some more Microsoft points so I can download it on day 1 of it's release. I took this quote from 1Up.com to show exactly what this game is about, and what I'm expecting from it: "For all the talk of games as art these days, sometimes all you really want to do is shoot a few hundred disgusting monsters in their stupid, stupid faces."
There is nothing quite like killing endless swarms of ridiculous monsters and laughing insanely while doing it.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Autumn

If, at all, you have ever read any of these posts, you should know that I am quite fond of a certain Mr. Buckethead, and am a fan of his works on the release Electric Tears. My favourite track on that album is Witches on the Heath.
It always manages to remind me of Autumn, whenever I listen to it. It conjures a very specific image of 'Autumn' for me, one that is yellow, orange and brown, the ground is dry, it is slightly windy, the leaves are blowing around independently, without sticking together from wetness. The air is crisp and cold, but I am warm. The trees around me are not completely bare, but have some of their leaves left on them. The trees around me are mainly Sycamore, Maple and Oak. There are also some chestnut seeds on the ground, which crunch when I stand on them, the kind with the fur on the inside.
I'm not sure why I get this image when Witches on the Heath plays. As far as I know, I have never been in such a situation, especially when listening to this album. I did first buy it in the autumn of last year, but that should only really remind me of dark nights, cold and wetness mixed with mud and boredom.


Also, I want to know who that is on the cover of the Electric Tears CD. It can't be actual, maskless Buckethead, can it? Maybe it's somebody who he has listed in the credits inside the sleeve... I'll probably never find out.

Honduras Diaries

Hope y'all enjoyed the well overdue and clearly very much awaited for publication of my Honduras Diaries. I know that it only took a year to get them up here, but I have been very busy. It only just occurred to me while I was posting them, however, that I should have really waited until the actual 14th of July to upload the entry for that day. Too late now.

Anyway, now that the grand unveiling has taken place, expect many ore random updates, with no real theme or frequency other than 'when I feel like it'.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Honduras Diaries, July 30th

I’m writing this on the bus home and I have deliberately tried not to get any sleep on the bus to get used to our time zone again. It’s ok because I’m not actually tired anyway.

When we were in Heathrow waiting for our bags on the conveyor belt, I think I saw Richard James off Aphex Twin. I thought about asking him but decided not to.

Omar stole a blanket and a pillow from the plane because he thought they were complimentary. He is using them now, snoring.

I should be home in about half an hour.

:)

:(

Honduras Diaries, July 29th.

Last night was the best nights sleep ever, despite having to get up at half twelve to turn the air con off, and despite having to get up at 5:30. For our breakfast we had muffins and ice tea. I also filled my platypus from the water coolers for our 3-hour journey to San Pedro Airport. By the time we got there, I was desperate for the toilet, so while I was supposed to be waiting at the bag check in I ran to the toilet. When I got back I discovered that my Platypus decided to leak in my bag and all over the floor, so I put the “Caution: Wet Floor” cone over it and ran away. I got checked in and found that I shouldn’t see my bags until we get to Heathrow. That saves us checking them in twice.

The flight to Texas took 2 hours and 36 minutes.

When we got off the plane, we ran through the airport so we could get more wandering time. It felt strange running in an airport where I could be shot.

After we had checked ourselves in, I was hungry, so I bought a sandwich pita bread thing, and gave Omar and Johnny some money too. Omar got a lemonade and Johnny got a chicken thing. After about half an hour of walking about, we had to meet at Terminal E4 at 5:30. I had loads of change in my pockets, so I spent it in a paper shop and bought M&Ms and a Twix. I met up with Ollie on the way to E4, and he had bought me an octopus. I was amazed. He got me it because I was complaining about not seeing a squid while we were diving, when the instructors say they see them all the time. The octopus is called Opie.

The journey to Heathrow only took 9 hours instead of 11 because we were travelling with the Earth’s spin instead of against it.