Monday, 30 April 2012

This blog's split copy

Google sent me out an email to my regular email account stating that I had an "unregistered" blog. This was a surprise to me, and I treated it suspiciously. The reason is that I use this blog for most of my postings. I investigated further.

I may have set this one up initially, but I thought I had deleted it. Everything I saw about it pointed to something I would have done.

Long story short, I now have available. And as you can read from the first page, I do not know what I will do with it yet. I may turn it into my own personal rant / twitter / pic of the day blog.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Avacyn breaks out of the Helvault

I can now confirm what was in the Helvault (as you may be able to see from my previous post). It is Avacyn breaking out of the promotional material:
And I can also confirm that along with the promotional material, there was spindown life counters with the Avacyn Restored symbol on it, over-sized cards of Avacyn, other angels, and Griselbrand, and additionally, some Angel / Demon two sided token cards. All images of these products were spoiled a day or two before the release. I was fortunate enough to obtain the life counter and 4 of the the token cards. I did not try to get the over-sized cards - which I believe would be suited for Commander / EDH.

I am not overly impressed with this set in a sealed format, but neither am I disappointed with it. It has a feel that for this Magic: The Gathering (MTG) set, it is only somewhat connected to the rest of the block via its flavour and the undying mechanic. It did have a feel that it was made for the Commander / EDH format. I do not think this is a bad concept, but playing it in a sealed format meant I did not have much to do until turn 4 or 5. If my opponent could swarm out better smaller creatures than me, then he was able to subdue me. In my sealed pool, I did not have much that was large or any cards with the miracle mechanic - so I did not experience those mechanics. I did not feel that this set was strong enough to stand on its own. I believe that Innistrad, and even Dark Ascension were far better stand alone sets.

My final record was 1 win and 3 losses. This is a step down from the Dark Ascension pre-release where I won one more match, but better than the Innistrad pre-release where I did not win any matches.

Still, it was a great atmosphere at Games Laboratory. The staff there did a great job of organising and running the event.

Saying that, I have yet to play in a draft format with this set.

Does anyone want to comment on their experiences with the set so far?

Friday, 27 April 2012

What is inside the Helvault?

Games Laboratory has a Helvault for the Avacyn Restored set of Magic: The Gathering (MTG) pre-release tonight.

Anyone want to guess what is inside? I will confirm it tonight! Wish me luck!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

No more N900 - now onto Android

This week I sadly said goodbye to the Nokia N900. The N900 came out in 2009, and offered so much promise as to what a truly free open sourced phone could offer, but Nokia managed it to failure.

I got my N900 after I was introduced to it by Ax - back in 2010. He showed me his N900 with all the great features:
  • Keyboard slider design
  • 5 Megapixel camera
  • Linux (Maemo) as its Operating System
  • No tedious technique to "root" the device
  • Command line available
The device was a symbol of freedom. I was able to do what I wanted to it, and I did not have to go through Nokia to do it. Unfortunately, Nokia decided to continue development of the operating system, and moved onto MeeGo. MeeGo being Linux itself was also a good step, but it did not back port it to the N900. Nokia made it for the N9. Then Nokia made a horrific decision - they entered a partnership with Microsoft. Their phones went from being Symbian based, to running Linux, to in the future running Microsoft's mobile version - Windows Phone. I was not impressed. They should have gone to Android.

Regardless of their decisions, I stuck with the Nokia N900. I even purchased a second unit when my initial unit's micro USB port started to malfunction. KittyKat also had a N900, but made the jump to an Android phone (the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10) after she accidentally dropped the phone, and then ran over it. Little did she know she was paving the way for myself.

My second unit's micro USB port started to malfunction again, and I knew this was leading to an untimely end for the unit. It must have been a weak point of the phone, as I found out recently that Ax's N900 went down the same path. Ax is now using an Android phone as well.

What makes Android interesting is the fact it is also a Linux based phone. Unfortunately it does not have the initial freedom in-built to it like the N900 does, as the system is more locked down, but it does have the potential to be "root'ed". Therefore, it is goodbye to the N900 and hello to the Sony Ericsson Xperia pro. Fortunately, it has a slider keyboard, that is similar to the N900, the form is somewhat less clunky than the N900, and it has a 8.1 Megapixel camera.

In the first few days of using this new device has been interesting. I am still getting use to the new keyboard, and the new layout of the desktops, but otherwise it has made a good replacement.
Sony Ericcson Xperia pro Android desktop
I have already noticed there has been more applications written for the Android system than the Maemo system. This is evident in the Google Play site - the Android's market site. Another observation I have made is that Android multi-tasking is not as good as I have witnessed on the N900 - with the Android phone only really being able to background 6 applications. Other than that I am pleased with my new device, and if I do anything exceptional with it, I will write about it on this site.

Monday, 16 April 2012

I drove on the new GDE

I will usually speak about how bad Canberra can be. In this post, I want to mention something that Canberra finally have fixed. And in fixing it, they have slightly improved the region.

Previously on this blog (here and here), I have mentioned that the Gungahlin Drive Extension (GDE) caused more problems that it fixed. After 7 years, it is finally complete. Well done to all involved!!

Pity it took so long, was done incorrectly the first time, and injured people with a collapse of a section of it in 2010, and cost over $200 million. Seeing how it is around 9 kilometers long, it works out to over $10 million per kilometer. Not the best allocation of funds, but seeing how Canberra was designed for the car, and public transport is an after thought, this may be seen as a huge cost savings in the future.

While driving around Canberra in the weekend just past was improved, and there seems to be a better connection between the north part of the city and the rest of it, it is still a very sparse and sterile city. I hope the region improves more, but I doubt it.