Tuesday, 30 June 2015

WarThunder : BF109 - Stealth Damage Model Change

I would swear that there has been a stealth change to the damage model of the BF109... And a change at the fundamental level, take a look at these three screenshots....

They are three different fly outs...

Do you notice the common element?... yes, a wing tip missing, the spar exposed - but still present?.... and the aircraft can still be flown and controlled, but you are counted as shot down!... In the lower screen shot I actually held that E4 straight and level for five minutes and nearly managed to hold it til the end of the game!

But, this damage seems to come out of nowhere, and always against low-calibre fire!  It's almost like Gaijin have decided "Take a low cal hit in that box, and your wing tip falls off"...

There's no pattern to it, no reason, I've has it from behind, from head-on, from oblique angles, even from passing bombers!... BOOM no wing tip... 

And it's such a sudden change in and stark alteration of the damage model...

Monday, 29 June 2015

Matthew James : George Cross?

In the aftermath of the despicable attack on holiday makers in Tunisia last Friday, here in the UK we are of course looking at both the serious implications of the attack; asking when and where one might be safe to let ones guard down; but we're also looking, desperately for a good news story out of the tragic events.

It's all part of the British Stiff Upper Lip, I believe, we're told the British Death toll is to rise above 30, and all we can do is hold those families in our minds eye and wish them as well as we can.

However, the stiff Upper lip, and saving grace story, seems to be that of Mr Matthew James, a seemingly ordinary 30 year old father on holiday with his fiancée and in the midst of the attack he used his own body as a human shield.

One can only suppose his girlfriend's blond hair would have attracted attention of the gun man, and this man stepped in and took those shots for her before allowing her to escape.

Reportedly today, safe and stable in a Cardiff hospital one has to ask should he receive an honour?

The George Cross perhaps "For acts of Heroism and courage in extreme danger"?...

Monday, 22 June 2015

Gaming Update

Well, aside from blogging about shoes, I have actually been gaming this weekend... And I've been improving the man lab a little.

I've still not had the chance to clear the corner and drill the holes to wire ethernet directly to the router downstairs... However, I have had the drill out and fitted new black-out blinds to the window.  This made the room a lot darker for game play, and allowed more uniform lighting for when I plan to stream.

Gaming wise, the weekend started with board games, a little D&D, then some Pathfinder and finally Scrabble... Yes, physical gaming at it's best.

H1Z1 also featured a lot, the wife and I enjoying hardcore Battle Royale mode, and achieving a 3rd place finish on just our second game.

WarGame Air Land & Sea was also played, I finally went into skirmish  mode against the AI, and first was defeated squarely but then pulled a draw.  My major losses were a squad of Royal Marines whom I'd moved up in their lynx helo carrier, who were overrun with a pact flame tank when the lynx 20mm rockets ran out, and I had no support near.

However, I held my flanks successfully and I am getting the balance of supply.

WarThunder also featured, I spent several hours playing about and working with the settings of both my X55 Rhino and Track IR, to better fly simulator battles.  Initially all controls were being set and checked in the P38 due to it's balanced torque and ease of take off.  I worked on the aiming and gunnery settings, the sensitivity and profiles of the joystick and the Track IR.

There's still work to do there, the Track IR for example is very twitchy, so I've got the sensitivity too high somewhere, but I did notice the Track IR was just generally playing me up, it maybe it's age... Gimball lock was common when glancing down, despite it not being set possible on the profile I had loaded.

---- And in news from the blog ---

This is my 800th Post... Huzzah!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Hotter Shoes

This is an unusual topic for me to cover, we're talking about Hotter brand shoes, for those of you not aware Hotters are a brand of shoes which are loved and raved about by ladies of a certain age, they make their husbands wear them and generally they buy dozens of pairs.

However, Hotter are getting a bit too big for their boots, no pun intended there, years ago they were a catalogue only brand, and returning things to them was a breeze and they did everything they could to help.

Unfortunately that level of customer service  has fallen away, firstly my wife had nothing but trouble with them, shoes rubbing, not being right and even their special wide fitting not working, we ended up in shop after shop and then just gave up.

My mother-in-law however has persisted, and recently bought three pairs... not one, and not cheap... three pairs... One of which had a distinctive bow motif on it.

One of the bows however, after one wear, just looked terrible, it looked mottled and out of shape, so she got hold of the customer services and said she was happy with the wear in of the shoe, but would like to order a new box.. Not just get, not just freely receive, she liked these shoes and the brand so much she was willing to fix the shoe herself.

Their response... "No"... and later... "They [the bows] only come in pairs" and they asked some extortionate price for this bow.

The mother-in-law is utterly and totally dejected by this, she's asked me to come here to my blog and air her frustrations and to basically say, the Hotter brand is fast falling out of her, and I guess all her circle's favour.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Gaming General Update

So what have I been up to this weekend?... Well, on Saturday I spent the day at the Bloomfield campus of Derby College.... A lovely place, but sadly lacking in sign age so myself and the little one I had taken with me god soaked..

Little one?... little one?... But you don't have kids Xel!...

That's right, I don't, instead I took the dog, I took Sid actually and we went on a poodle clipping course... And since then have spent nearly £75 on equipment to start to clip the dogs myself, this is a stop gap measure between trims by our actual dog trimmer, but comes off of the back of having to try to fit dogs needing clips in to gaps in our schedule, our current clipper (an artisan expert) just hasn't the flexible schedule for us to chop and change... So I'm going to learn and fit interim trims in.  Don't worry, she knows all about this, she sold me the powered clipper unit we're going to use :)

In gaming news, I spent £9.99 on the Steam summer sale for the Wargame Air & Land series, including all the DLC packs.  I'd been looking at that game for a while after watching VulcanHDGaming playing it:

So I'm going to be playing that tonight.

I'm also playing H1Z1 Battle Royale with the wife... She's obsessed with that game, still only got second place as our best result... but she loves getting single blast shotgun kills, and yells and screams, and describes it as "arse itching time", when the tension is high.

I've also been enjoying dropping bombs on people in combined arms realistic tank battles in WarThunder.... My current favourite mode to play.

In the vanilla Wow Stuff I'm now level 40 on one of the characters, so ready to purchase the old first mount, when the wife picks a colour I think...

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Network Hardware Time

Yes, we've been back in the old house for a while now, and since I stripped all the networking gear out of the man lab in the other house and returned I've not touched it.  It's all been sat on my desk doing not a lot for over six months.

This weekend however, it's time to run a new Ethernet cable from the virgin cable feed, up through the first floor into the front bedroom, this cable is a bit of a beat, I've bought a double shielded cat5e, so I should finally be getting an unfettered full bore connection from my main rig.

The big tasks are going to be drilling the hole, from above this is simply through the floor board, and I've got a wire/pipe detector to make sure it is safe.  But from below the hole in the ceiling has a pelmet and the room is immaculately plastered... I kind of wish Ken had of listened to me when I asked for wiring conduits to be added, but hey ho.  So, hopefully I'll get through the pelmet and border and through the plaster board and into the lath & plaster Victorian ceiling without issue... Once I've gone up like that I'm going to use a plastic pipe to feed it through the hole and cut it off, giving a clean smooth drop for the cable.

Finally, I'm going to feed this shielded cable along the skirting in the room to the desk, and then spend Hours... and I mean HOURS.... sorting the cables.  My cabling solution is just all hanging at the moment, so I might look for some cable tied, tie a bunch into position and then hot-glue those bundles onto the underside of the desk.

Wish me luck...

In other news, you can view my last play sessions on Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/xelous/manager/past_broadcasts

Friday, 12 June 2015

Story Time - Police Raid

I've been in a court of law once, for about 11 minutes, it wasn't intimidating to me, because I knew I'd done nothing and there was confusion going on, but it's a story to tell.

It was, I think, a Tuesday morning and there was a sudden shock wave through the whole one room apartment I lived in as the door swung in and move police officers than the room could handle piled in.

This was a West Midlands Police morning wake up call.

They were searching for a Michael something or other... My name is not Michael, and I produced my drivers license.  But at that time license had no picture, so they didn't believe it was mine, I needed my passport... Which my girlfriend had...

The trouble therefore was she was at work in Gloucester, and I was under effective arrest in Warwickshire.

Anyway, I was allowed to hastily dress and taken to I think Georges Street police office in Birmingham, so I'm now even further from my passport proof and release.

The girlfriend is on placement as a teacher, so she can't just leave school to bring me the passport.  I'm stuck.  I've used my call to get hole of the girlfriend and now I'm stuck in a cell.

I get questioned, and they detective seems to think "he might be the bloke".

The deal seemed to be that the previous occupier of my flat, also a white twenty something with a beard, was a drug dealer and they thought I was this person.

It was some national operation to clamp down on the distribution level before drugs could get onto the street, an admiral task, but had nothing at all to do with me.

I don't even want to call my parents, they'd just flap and worry and be no use, my Nan would vouch for me until the worlds end, but none of that is going to prove who I am.

I have no police record, I'm a good boy, so they don't have me on record, and without my being booked in or charged with anything they can't officially take my finger prints or process me.  They want Michael something, and they have a guy saying he's "Jonathan".

They're stuck, I'm stuck....

Anyway, around 3 o'clock the girlfriend leaves work, she gets my passport, drives not to Birmingham, but to my flat with it... where she hands it to the police officer who's guarding the broken down door.

He then radio's his control... But he's in Warwickshire remember... I'm now in Worcestershire... Wires get crossed and after 4pm the police decide to let a magistrate see me, as this magistrate knows the person they're looking for; he's apparently very well known to this magistrate...

So, we leave on foot from this building in Brum and walk across past the Palisades shopping centre and into another concrete building, where there's a door, we go straight through and the magistrate is in session, so we sit waiting... eleven minutes, that's how long he took to deliberate on something, he then turned his attention to me, lowered his glasses to see me properly and said... "That's not him".

I've never been apologised to more in my life.

In the rush for them to put it all right I get driven home and they fix the door and I get assured I'll get a letter from the chief apologising in about a week.

I think my turmoil is over, and I go to work the next day.  I immediately take my boss aside and start to explain what went off, and he just glazes over, he takes no interest and decides I'm full of shit.

I'd had enough of this chap anyway, I'd had enough of the role to be honest, and so I asked to speak to the directors.... When I walked into the room to speak briefly with the two directors, I didn't find them, I found my boss, his brother-in-law and a neutral secretary.

I just look from one to the other, decide I've been stitched up, and quit...

I was young, carefree and reckless, as the role had been a good two years programming in web interfaces and involved customers like Tesco, Coop and Woolworths.  But still, I could not be bothered.

Sure enough a week later I had the letter I wanted, and thought about sending it to the boss... The trouble was... 

My name is "Jon Bond"... and the name of the Chief Superintendent on the letter was... "Jon Bond"...

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

When I were a lad (Mining Kid Rebuttal)

This Bernard Hare guy annoys me, not because he's speaking any untruth,  no, he's annoying me because he's the one speaking at all, he takes a very Yorkshire centric view of mining, and I don't want that to spread too far, yes mining was big in Yorkshire, but the Nottinghamshire coal field was the biggest, people should remember that.  And kids, such as myself, came to the same conclusion he does, but without the need for any dramatic life lesson.

My father was a miner, and later Coal Preparation Plant Foreman, I saw the miners strikes, I saw the hard shifts and the wage quickly spent on mortgage, rates and bringing up two lads...

I saw it... I lived it... I grew up on an estate, which at the time was rough and ready, but at least friendly, an estate famous now for the number of shootings which occur on it, two murders having happened on the very street I grew up on, one in a garden I myself have stood in and played.

The down fall of that society was written on the walls in the late 1980's, along with the rest of this nations heavy industry of any note, Coal, Gas, Steel, Telecomms... All used to be "British", now they're only British in name, if at all...

So I had myself an education, I read, and tried to write and festered over papers and hoarded stationary as an ends to a means, as an attempt to keep myself on the upper side of those papers, rather than the darker side of a coal face, not that I had the option, as by the time I came to working age all the jobs were either low paid and menial, or they had no career progression path.

So, here I sit, it's been over twenty years since the pit my Father worked at shut, I've been working all that time, and I've had this same job I work now for twelve... I'm a computer programmer...

And I made damn sure I was, rather than end up in the social economic bracket this guy seems to have fallen out of through the angelic guidance of his father, rather than his own realisation.

This is what this tale tells me, not of his fathers lesson, but that a now educated man who can apply himself and must have some sort of empathy, even as a child needed leading by the nose, that lack of insight by that child... "Why does my Dad go off on one after he's had a few drinks"... You didn't ever think it was to unwind or even to try and relate to his own kids?  So you had something in common, even if it was his playing a silly, outrageous, game.

At ten, I was aware of the lack of money, the struggle to heat the house, the lack of food, Mum skipping a meal or two, Christmas being a single gift of utmost practical requirement (a bottle of Matey Bubble bath) and nothing more.

It just strikes me reading it, that us Nottinghamshire coal kids, of which there were more, more pits and more kids; we had an insight into a better life we wanted sooner... Your child ambitions were set at your pavement level and never looked higher, before your Dad's dramatic psychological shoving out the groove.