Here’s some more Valve love for you.

Team Fortress 2 has been near the top of my Most Played Games List for some time now. It is a title which keeps on giving, because Valve are continuously supporting it.

Just to be clear, I purchased this game when it was first released as a part of the Orange Box. The Orange Box contained Half Life 2, Half Life 2 Episode One, Portal and Team Fortress 2. So, for sixty of my dollars, I received two of the most acclaimed first person shooters of all time, one of the most acclaimed puzzle games of all time and an expansion pack for one of the aforementioned first person shooters.

If that wasn’t enough, Valve have regularly released new content for TF2 in the form of free updates for each of the game’s nine classes, as well as other content patches to fix bugs and to respond to player feedback.
We’ve seen updates for the Medic, Pyro, Heavy, Scout and now Valve keenly introduce the Sniper Update.

If you haven’t played this game, I can highly recommend it.
There is deep gameplay hidden beneath the cartoon-y exterior. Valve are constantly working to improve their unlock designs to ensure that the new weapons and items do not unbalance gameplay, but rather provide more options in how classes are played. The newly unveiled Huntsman Bow will bring the Sniper down from his corners and long sightlines and closer to the fray. The payoff for the risk being the opportunity to pin his enemies to the wall.



Tip for success #87: When negotiating, instead of saying “Ok, now put a cherry on top”, say “Ok, now wrap it in bacon.”


Shamus Young is an inspiration.
He is able to juggle a large amount of hobbies and responsibilities and makes it look easy. I have a lot of respect for the fact that he finds time to be a father, a husband, get his paid work done and to disport in the same number of hours that I achieve half of those things.

His latest project, Procedural City is best described by outlining its three primary goals (as quoted from his introduction to the project):

1. The goal is to make a nighttime cityscape that is mostly made of lights and suggestions rather than real detail.

2. The city will be entirely procedurally generated. That is, the program will contain no art assets. No textures. No models. Everything must be built from scratch at startup.

3. I’m budgeting a week of nights and weekends for the project. So, probably about 30 hours of time total.

The results are fairly astounding. I love procedural generation. I’m not sure how I feel about the potential reduction in reliance on human artists, musicians or even level designers, but I guess thats the way things are going these days. Having said that, nothing procedurally created can really outshine the loving care that is put into a hand-crafted level, texture or piece of music.

Check out Shamus’ latest video showing off the project.

Shamus has also created some other things which have really grabbed my attention.
He has been featured multiple times on one of my favourite podcasts, Fear the Boot for his ability to run and document his D&D campaigns. These are a really good read if you’re into D&D – they should provide you with some inspiration for your own.

He has also authored one of the funniest web-comic series of all time, DM of the Rings (DMotR).
If you have ever seen or read Lord of the Rings and have either played, or are simply interested in learning about D&D, do yourself a favour and read this webcomic. It has a lifespan, Shamus knew to stop it before it got old which means that it is at quite a readable length.

Keep up the good work Shamus.


If you:

  • Are a geek,

  • Know a geek,

  • Are related to a geek,

  • Married a geek,

  • Work with a geek,

  • Are good friends with a geek,

  • Walked past a geek once and wondered what that smell was,

  • Don’t know what a ‘geek’ is,

  • Aren’t sure whether you are a geek,

  • Would like more of an insight into the life of a geek,

  • or, simply don’t get geeks,

…you should watch the following video.
If you don’t have the requisite hour to spare, the file can be downloaded and watched in parts. The default format is mp4, so great for your iPod.
Wil Wheaton hits quite a few nails on the head.


This is totally awesome.
Somebody needs to market a product that does exactly this, without the horrendous whirring noise that is to be expected from a hard disk with no cover on.
Thanks Israfel.


Bice and I went for coffees this morning.
We walk past five cafes to get to Villino Espresso to order our usual Double Restretto Flat White, Chai Latte and other assorted coffees for colleagues.

We wouldn’t do this if we were not specifically ‘into’ the Villino experience. If we were simply going to purchase a hot drink, why would we walk past five cafes to do so? Villino offers a whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts – parts which are available across disparate cafes, but only together in one place.

Believe it or not, this post isn’t all about pimping my favourite cafe. This morning, we discovered something strange.

Bice had a hankering for doughnuts, so we made our way – Villino drinks in hand – to Donut King. Donut King are known for there lovely hot cinnamon doughnuts. The fact that they have a sign on the counter that says “Great Coffee!” does not necessarily inspire much confidence in the prowess of their ‘barista’. A gentleman greeted us and immediately (but reasonably politely) enquired as to the origin of our beverages.
Having received his answer, he informed us that they too make “pretty good coffee” themselves and suggested that next time, we give them a try. He asked us what we had and I promptly replied with “a doppio ristretto flat white” in an attempt to flummox him with my coffee wankery knowledge.
After making Bice’s “donuts” for him, he returned with a small flat white (on the house) and told me to give it a try when I got back to work.

I did so and was pleasantly surprised. Not because the coffee knocked my socks off, but because I had assumed that the gentleman from Donut King wouldn’t know a good coffee from a cup of cigarette ash and water.
To be honest, the coffee was far better than the slop that is produced in a large proportion of cafes around Hobart – Better than it should have been, considering the source.

The moral of the story? Don’t judge a coffee by the logo printed on the cup.

PS: You can rest assured that I’ll still be going to Villino tomorrow morning. It wasn’t that good.


In the midst of a trip down nostalgia lane, I re-discovered this wonderful advertisement from the Antena Anti-Boredom Campaign.

This is one of the funniest videos I have ever seen. Care to attempt to top it? (keep it clean please – Also, warn about language etc.)


A friend recently asked me “What is Geek Chic?”, by which I assume he means ‘What do geeks think is awesome?”.

I answered with the following:
(In no particular order)

Can you add any more?