Category Archives: Life

Bank 2.0 – An Ideal of a Better World

I’ve just read Matt Mullenweg’s thoughts on starting a bank. Not just any bank – but a safe bank.

In the current climate of consumer resentment to their bank, it seems like Matt’s thoughts on starting an internet bank using tried-and-tested internet strategies is a geat idea.

Of course, there is all the fine details. How difficult would it be to get a loan from SafeBank? Or how would one deal with credit cards or “reasonable” fees…

Still, a very interesting premise and one that I might steal for a speech idea! Nice one, Matt!

A book?

I’ve always wanted to write a book.

A lack of imagination or talent doesn’t help matters. I’ve mused on science fiction in the past – but it never did fit right with me.

I’m musing over events in my life at the moment and keep thinking of snatches that have the potential to be stories. Not anything particularly gripping – but I summised that if you take all of the moments in your life and expand them to the point they include the others involved, and all of the intricacies and threads that are woven into those lives… It boggles the mind.

So I’ve decided that if I can keep thinking the way I am at the moment, I could just do with a notepad, pen and a point of writing things down as I think of them. Maybe I’ll get lucky.

Wii Wii

I bought Claire and me a Nintendo Wii last month. I’ve found the console extremely enjoyable. I’ve had the standard fare of games such as Wii Sports and Wii Play. I managed to add a couple of games to the collection, too.

What I find greatly appealing about the Wii is that there is no doubt that it is targetting casual gamers.  I haven’t owned a games console since I had a SNES in my teens.

I think that it is a fair assessment to say that if I was a hardcore gamer who wanted to perfect every single game, I’d have opted for an XBox, or the mortgage-busting PS3. I think it’s fair to say that the PS3 priced itself out of the game any. The XBox wouls have probably been my choice of console.

Retro-gaming is Fun

One of the nice features of the Wii is the access of the Virtual Console store. Just for a bit of fun, I downloaded Sonic 2 and completed that over the period of a few half-hour sessions. I had forgetten how easy the game is.

Then I treated myself to Mario 64 this Easter. What a joyful surprise playing this game was. I’ve only just completed it with the 70 stars, but I feel compelled to crack on and go for all 120 stars. Mario moves well, and the whole motion is slick. “I feel like I missed out 10 years ago,” I told Steve while evangelically raving about a game he played on the N64 all that time ago.

Gamecube Bongos

One of the other neat things about the Wii is that it is 100% Gamecube compatible. We splurged on eBay by buying a Gamecube with 4 Bongos, Donkey Konga 1 & 2, a couple of controllers and a few other games.

Obviously, the Gamecube is immaterial to me, but over Christmas a colleague of Claire’s brought a pair of bongos and Donkey Konga around to our house. We had a great time, and I knew that I’d like to have a bit more of that!

I took the bongos up to Yorkshire and we played 4-way Donkey Konga and had a great time. It’s a cool party-piece. Probably more so than any Wii party games.

Cool Controller Stuff

One thing that really has got me excited (although I haven’t tried any of these things) is the extra stuff that you can do with a WiiMote. Johnny Chung Lee’s website has a number of projects that use the WiiMote for 3D headtracking (which is incredible), Minority Report-style finger controls and a makeshift interactive whiteboard. If you have a Wii (or even if you don’t) you should take a look.

So Where to?

I’ve been enjoying playing the thing. It will be interesting to see if I still play it in a year’s time. I’ve read on various gaming forums that people see it more as a fad than a real console. I’ve been more engaged by the drop-in/drop-out idea of playing games, so I think this fits quite nicely with me.

Lacking Somewhere

It’s been a little while since I last posted, so I thought that I’d better throw something up for 3 reasons.

  1. I’m sitting at a computer installing over 10 CDs worth of software, and extremely bored
  2. Lots is happening in my life, a great deal of which I can’t go into on this blog
  3. Some stuff does happen, but I’m always too busy, and so I end up forgetting.

Well, no more! One of the core reasons for less posting is that this blog is fundamentally self-serving. I use it mainly for my own reference, so that if I need to do something IT-related I can load up the blog. Likewise, if I’m talking to someone I sometimes say, “I had that problem – search for it on my blog.” It’s a doddle. The investment in time is always a catch, though, and so I sometimes slip up and not post for a while.

So a rundown on cool things that I’m keeping an eye on or doing is coming right up.