Virtual reality; a demo.

With time to kill and shopping to do, I needed a break after an hour. Remember how much I detest clothes shopping? Since it was early, the staff in PC World were happy to give a demo of virtual reality gaming.

Using a Sony PS4, and a sci-fi racing game and the headset (pictured) we went ahead. I know there is always a process of setting up and customising kit as there were problems to overcome. Here is a list with starting with the least significant:

  • Sound: harsh and loud,
  • The game, frantic and stressful,
  • Blurring, and chromatic aberration,
  • Vertigo, felt as dizziness.

I think the game was called Wipeout. What a ridiculous cartoon game for children. I had to stop before the round was over with my head spinning and stressed. The fault may lie with the game, a flight simulator usually has a clear horizon line. In Wipeout, the banked track as the bit that made me dizzy.

I’d better not be too dismissive until I’ve tried a proper flight simulator. From what the staff said, it sounds like the focus on this console is arcade games. That’s not encouraging for me.

More interesting would be a similar setup that enables players to explore virtual worlds. Surely, it must be possible with current technology to generate a procedural planet and populate it with user content. Better still, one that we players can create scenes, buildings, vehicles and objects.
There would be a way to get back into 3DS Max and build a world, maybe with the Unity engine. What fun to make a familiar building but with hidden secrets.

Galaxy Mini 3.

17°C, grey still.
Still poorly, but the aches and racing heart has stopped. Today has been restful.
Just good day then, to set up a new phone. I bought a Samsung Mini 3 which seems to work far better. There are things that I miss, the device status widget, mid-word switching predictive text off. Gingerbread’s keyboard was better though apostrophe use is easier now.
In use, it runs far better: I won’t be late for work waiting for the GPS app to load. GPS reception is better, the phone latches on at home now, no more missed tracks until I am 2 miles out.
Hope I get used to this keyboard soon.

Can I have a new mobile phone?

20°C, heavy storms with thunder. The sun gets a look in too.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Mini II. It runs really badly, sometimes with a 30″ delay before text appears on screen. Internal memory is low most of the time (about 90-120Mb) despite running a cleanup app. several times a day.
I suspect that the data flow bottle-neck is in the system memory. An 800Mhz single core processor doesn’t help

Angle-poise lamp, with phone.

Here is my mobile, reflected in an angle-poise lamp.

First thoughts: Galaxy Mini III. More RAM, better camera, dual-CPU and an easy swap for my current sim card. The screen is supposed to be brighter (Amoled) which may mean the phone is usable in bright sunlight.
I have a cheap but more than adequate contract where I pay £7 per month. Data, calls and text are more than enough- I have never gone over the monthly cap.

Only trouble is- the best deals seems to have gone. There were several below £100 a few months ago. Is summer a bad time to buy a new phone? Perhaps I should wait until after my holidays where the chance of loosing the phone is higher.


18°C, mixed, but nice.
CA: 20.
Blimey- I have an email that warns of copyright violation on my home internet account. So this evening, I spent my time adding filters to the firewall. The time consuming part is where legitimate services become blocked and I have to allow them.

Service- ADSL Broadband Service has been used to download copyright material. The infringing material relating to-

Evidentiary Information:
Initial Infringement Timestamp: 06 Jun 2013 11:43:24 GMT
Recent Infringement Timestamp: 06 Jun 2013 11:43:24 GMT
Infringers IP Address:
Protocol: BitTorrent
Infringed Work: Paranormal Activity 4
Infringing File Name: Paranormal Activity 4 (2012) [1080p]
Infringing File Size: 1611048660
Bay ID: e468159c10d0e6f1da3c1a5fe55175112f0b7109|1611048660
Port ID: 50474

Router (dsl-g624m) dropouts

9°C, calm & grey.
Still ill as the line in the Smiths song goes, but I’m bored with talking about it.
My router is probably the cause of poor internet connections at home. The latest stage in this sorry, tedious saga is a new firmware.
Every time I try something, the smartphone & laptop connect and I am filled with optimism. Then after streaming media, like a online video (my favourtite is Vimeo), the waiting sign comes up and it eventually time-outs.
Another idea is that the routes is failing, perhaps a mechanical failure. Often the connection fails after some time watching BBCi Player. Perhaps the heat can stress a weak component or solder joint.
The only solution to that is a full replacement.

Kissing you is like…

9C, clear
“Kissing you is like kissing gravel, you look better upside-down.”
…Listening to kristen Hersh

Rosie had a run in the woods. Golden light filtered between tall trunks set against deep blue sky. Rainfall inside the wood was heavy though. Not a cloud beyond.


drawn on phone

Tried a drawing app on my phone. It’s good enough but this screen is too small to make it practical. Or is it that my fingers are too big?
Shame that.

Smart phone

17°C sunny.
Got a new phone today.
This is going to take some getting used to. I got a Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 in the end. For this post, I’m trying the touch screen T9 keypad. Finding the apostrophe in mid-sentence is rather tricky. Phones like this can cost tonnes but I chose the Mini 2. Physically more practical, though the keys on the touch screen are very small.
Impressive features are the GPS, wireless internet and mapping. Perhaps the lasting judgement will come from the valueof any apps, like this WordPress one.

Peleliu layered

19°C, showers later.

Peleliu looks much better in FSX. The island, like most in the Pacific is built on a seamount (a volcano), with some jungle and edged with coral reefs. Waves actually break offshore over the reefs and not so much on the beaches which is the tricky bit in FSX. 

This screenshot shows it from the top, there should be shallow white water with coral to the right (East side). After all these years I have learnt new stuff about the way the sim handles water. The sea surface is generic but tiles placed underneath give the water its colour. FSX documentation is uneven on this, but it claims to cover everything from muddy river deltas to oceanic depths with or without plankton. There are, it’s said, sixty textures to choose from.


18°C, wind & sunny bits

Ill and off work but after a monster sleep, you find me feeling better.

Making Scenery for FSX like old times. The default land texture for Peleliu in the Pacific is a joke. It should be all tropical jungle, but MS have put dry farmland on the little coral & volcanic island.

What is should be like is closer to this:
 The island’s shape is still wrong, but I’m not sure how much more I want to do on this one. There is plenty of detail that could be added, there are coral reefs, beaches with black sands and channels in shallow waters (The German Channel) and of course, other small islands slightly to the north. Visually, the result could be rather appealing. All this tropical island paradise conceals a grim human history- The Battle for Peleliu during WW2. The US Marines invaded and forced the Japanese occupying forces out with a huge loss of life to both sides. The jungles now conceal tank wrecks, demolished bunkers and crashed planes. There are, of course, memorials on important sites there.
I’ve been watching a series called Pacific on blu-ray which tells the story from the USA side.

So there is an ugly story hidden under the canopy of palm trees on this beautiful tropical island paradise.


5°C, light winds, snow threatened then stayed away.

The desktop computer is no longer faulty. It couldn’t connect to the internet and this seemed to cause other problems too. The odd thing is, I didn’t fix it, no-one did. Perhaps pulling out the connections, or restarting the router has done the trick. Now it sees the internet after about three weeks of floundering. Best bit is that my iPod has new tunes and is all synchronised. Perhaps it was all down to a poor connection. It was a close call, I nearly bought a new router.

So for fun, I turned the overclock back up to 2.88Ghz & launched a flight sim– Rise Of Flight. It’s a good one, though not easy. Probably true of Cliffs Of Dover which I may buy sometime this holiday.