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Sunday, 24 April 2016

Round up time.

After an unscheduled appearance yesterday telling you in plain English how to update your PS3's firmware for offline scum, here is a tedious round up of smaller stories.  Incidentally the first was supposed to be up last week.

Dragon's Heaven Neo Geo.

There's been quite a buzz about this early alpha fighting game.  Neo turfmasta managed  to buy some early sram dev karts on Yahoo! auctions.  Thanks to the battery still being viable in one of them he managed to extract most of what was there except for onscreen text, music and energy bars.  Those were held on the other two ram carts and as the battery died so did the data with it.   Further info surfaced (Japanese only) that it was being made by FACE and ex Techno's staff (as they had no real fighting game experience) based on the Gowcaizer engine.  As I've said before its  obviously an alpha, but the sprite work is actually quite good and there's an alignment mechanic going on reminiscent of D+D dependent on whether you are neutral, lawful and chaotic.  There's a bit more info here on the Neo Geo forums.

Romancing SaGa 2 getting an English release.

Its only for mobiles at the moment, but they are translating one of the last untranslated SaGa games into English. Japan gets a Vita port as well, but so far its only for Android and iPhone which is cool.  I really hope they do a good port of this I gave up on a free version of FF2 due to the crappy virtual pad they used and later Final Fantasy ports have been hamstrung with poor quality sprite work and rather substandard filtering added to that.  Gideon Zhi of AGTP has been working on the original Super Famicom game for a while now and reckons its an absolute bastard to work with.  So fingers crossed for a good port to phones.

Green screen PS3.

Half the problem with this I found out is using legacy bits and pieces, the TV I have is a large CRT which can support 60hz (America stuff works with it) and the SCART cable is from my old PS2 which  fits but is hardly ideal.  Remember running DVD's on PS2 where they would play in various shades of green, due to I guess, nonsense.  Will see if I have any other leads that will do it, can remember I think it came with component failing that I will have to get a flat screen and a run it through HDMI.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

PS3 Official update guide.

Yeah so we managed to grab a PS3 from the bin.   The person said it didn't work and as there was a few of them that were less complete than this alongside a knacked Xbox 360, we took a punt on the off chance that we had a hard drive ( we did from a much more fucked PS3 80GB literally it was just a shell) and some leads from an old PS2.  Its got a nasty dose of the green screen, much more than the PS2 ever did and I'll need to look into ways of fixing that but it works for now, we're running a DVD I got from Hackney. 

It did give me a not compatible error and to be fair after some googling I managed to fix this. And here's how.  Note it implies that you are running this offline and grabbing all files from PC.

Step one

Grab your firmware from Sony.

Step two

While it downloads, stick a flashdrive in, it unpacks around 220MB so anything above 512MB is fine ; ).

It'll need to be formatted to FAT32 format (though most are already in this).

and your final task will be to create 2 folders, one called PS3 open this and create a folder in this called UPDATE.  Yeah they're in all caps.  It'll look like this PS3>UPDATE.

Step three.

Open the folder the update file and drag it across to the UPDATE folder.  Do NOT rename this and remove your flashdrive.  Stick it in your PS3 and press the PS button (or whatever its called on my one is called P3 but its the button between the start and select).  Follow the onscreen instructions and it'll reboot.  I reckon you could grab a SATA laptop HD and grade up like this.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Hackney Junk Tour

 We were originally going to go to Islington as it was horrible out, but ended up walking into Hackney instead.  If your tastes go towards the left wing and you don't like a proper high street then Hackney is the proper place for you, as its a shambles of a place sprawling all over the shop like a bad rash.  True it has the Hackney Empire and a few other cultural bits and pieces but fuck me is it grim there.  Its best summed up with a pub I saw called the Cock Tavern, and yes I did see many leftie ponces walking down the street and that.  No shit I actually saw someone buy the Tardian (Guardian) newspaper in a mini market on the high street (there was of course no Smiths or Lidls or anything else recogniseable just a load of independent shops).

Ironically all those sandal wearing, stop the war Corby trouser press fanatics made for quite a nice array of Charity shops.  There is a weird Independent one in town, a Sense on the high street as well as a particularly grim Cash Converters and the Salvation's Barmy.  So what did I get for my cash.

Quite a lot of Electroclash to be fair as well as some other weird shit that turned out to be pure gold including a combined cookbook and album on Disko B.
Some highlights so far include.

Farhan or Farxaan Muse Gaari.

 I've no idea who this guy is only that he has a Youtube channel and that he doesn't have a bad voice at all.  I normally despise african music due to highlife, its all jangly guitars and Jesus, true the guys from Awesome tapes From Africa have been redressing this with some stellar releases but I ain't a fan at all.  There is some autotuning which is done well and quite a bit of organ work on the reggaeish tracks here so well worth tracking down if you ever come across his CDs.  Also Gaaaaarry (Fools and Horses)

Death and Vanilla.  To Where the Wild things are.

This is an odd one too.  Imagine a mash up of Warp records fay 60's Library tunesmiths Broadcast and Scarfolk the Hauntology people.  Full on washes of Psychedelic guitar and synth that invoke the former and imagery on the sleeve that reminds me of the latter.  For further information please re read.

Also grabbed a few dvds as well including BTTV music magazine and an episode of slices with Monolake.

Coming home we find that the toy museum in Bethnal Green is having a special show for Smallfilms stuff including some much loved shows such as Bagpuss and the Clangers.  Of course we stopped off to have a butchers and its quite informative there are bits and pieces used to make up Jones the Steam from Ivor the Engine and the Original Bagpuss toys, including Madeleine the doll.  Madeleine is fucking sinister in real life, sort of a mix between a rag doll and a meth casualty.

Get Momma's Gin for her.
Its only a small area but definitely worth a visit if you are in the area and that.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Butterflies at the Natural History Museum

Took a trip up town to see this spectacle of nature.  Every year the Natural History Museum in South Kensington puts on this show. Its in a polytunnel out in the grounds near the tube entrance, as you come in, you buy your ticket from the shed nearby and enter inward.  After the lab like plastic strips separating the outside from the inside you'll find yourself in a small tropical rainforest area complete with path and a few boards up with fun facts on the Lepidoptera.

There are plenty of things to see including a hatching area where if you are lucky you can see a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis or the table of rotting fruit which is favoured by some species.

Not pictured rotting Pineapples
 The fruit theme is explored further by the addition of orange and lemon bushes alongside some less recognizable flora. 

So what is there to see?
You get a few large species including Morpho, Owl Butterfly, some Swallowtails and an Atlas Moth bringing up the moth side of things. Some were quite tatty looking, especially the Eggfly with frayed wings and the like, possibly due to age and that. 

In the center was a shed with rows and rows of Chrysalises on poles.  I noticed a Monarch or another Danaeus species newly hatched as well as a Sulphur Yellow too.  They also had a guy in a shirt holding up an Atlas Moth which is truly huge. 

If you want to know the size check his hand in comparison.
After checking yourself for any stowaways in the mirror you can exit through the strips into the gift shop where you can buy all sorts of butterfly related tat and such. Reminds me a bit of the old butterfly house at Syon Park but that is now sadly closed.

Butterflies at the Natural History Museum.

It Costs. £6.50 to get in, Natural History Members get in free.

You can get there by Tube on these lines

Piccadilly. District and Circle exit at South Kensington and follow the signs down the tunnel as you go out.

(In fact this makes a great day out, there are a cluster of  museums in the area and a short walk will bring you to Hyde Park as well).

Sunday, 3 April 2016

R.I.P. Ronnie Corbett

Really sad news, we lost Little Ron aka Ronnie Corbett during the week.  For those of you unaware of who he was, he was a giant of British comedy despite being only 5 foot nothing. Known for being part of the Two Ronnies comedy act, but he did other stuff such as the sitcom Sorry with its surprisingly nice theme tune and the fuck awful Ronnies Animal Crackers with its associated oddballs and that. 

I will not give the usual life eulogy but instead give you a virtual two Ronnies show as a tribute instead.

It's a masterpiece of a sketch show with Big Ronnie doing the puns and word play and Little Ron doing his famous in the chair Monologue which was boss. We don't get its like anymore as we have piss awful stuff such as Citizen Khan around now.

The running order
After the opening credits they would always open with some News Stories, and indeed finish with a few late items of news too.  A chance to get some good word play in

Then it would be a  pre recorded sketch with Big Ron pulling an absolute masterclass in puns and worldplay before it shifted on to something like the Swedish Pronunciation sketch or the Yokels which were always nice. Failing that it would either be a doctors office sketch or a bit in a Gentleman's club (think golf club for old bores and you'll be halfway there)

Some music is always nice and they would have a singer such as the Lovely Barbara Dickson or Inane Paige singing a song.  This was always an excuse to put the kettle on as it wasn't that great and would go on for a while.

Next would be the serial such a the Worm that Turned or The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town written by Spike Milligan. 

After that you would have another sketch of either a party or one set in a bar we give you the classic name droppers here which shows Little Ron at his best.  He always played these sorts of characters that seemed to wind up Ronnie Barker and its fun to see them play off against the other.

About this time we would have a monologue from Ronnie C.  These were his forte and were always worth a look if only for the amount self deprecatory humour here.

Finally there would be a big musical number.  Often they would be in drag for this and with little time to rehearse it always came off impeccably.  I'll give you the Plumstead Ladies choir as its one of the best, taking in some comic opera and light drama as well as more puns.  Before having time for a few late items of news.

Sort of like this.

We've just heard that Male Feminist Jonathan McIntosh has been arrested by Toronto Police after staging a nude protest in solidarity of women's rights. After a short chase  through the streets he crashed into a parking barrier where he checked his own privilege. (Sad to say I made that up)

I can remember a Viz take on the Two Ron's where they were reunited in Heaven, doing the infamous Fork Handles Four Candles sketch.  Big Ron was asking for "a low grade polish" but of cause meaning Halo Grade Polish, poignant and funny at the same time.

Its goodnight from him and its goodnight from me. Farewell Ronnie C.