Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Xmas/New Years update

Yet again, it's been a while since I've updated my blog, but in that time a lot has happened.

That new job I was going crazy over? I got it!

For a while there, I couldn't quite believe it because my luck had been so damn crappy recently. Things have been very hectic since as I try to get use to my new co-workers and routine, but at least I don't have to deal with the job centre any more! Woot!

I finally got my 80GB PS3 back from the shop I sent it to to be repaired. It never got repaired, so I ended up buying a special screwdriver just to get my Lost Planet 2 game disk back! It seems like even in death, my old PS3 continues to torment me from the grave!

Now it just sits there in my bedroom, awaiting whatever judgement will befall it in the new year! The only thing stopping me just throwing it out into the trash is the fact that these things can still go for £200+ on ebay... >_>

Wedding bells are in the air for a couple of friends of mine in the new year also. Both guys have steady/semi steady girlfriends that have taken them to the next level! I for one am happy for them. They're both really cool guys that deserve happiness in this chaotic world right now! I may not be a fan of marriage, but it doesn't mean I'm gonna hate on those who want to do it! Love is a powerful thing, and I still have hope that I'll find someone special myself in the future! (fingers and toes crossed!)

Even though I don't mention my artwork on this blog much, I just want to say things are going quite well! I've been doing commissions, and even participated in a gift exchange! My artwork is really improving, but I hope I can learn some new techniques in 2011 that will really make my work pop and sparkle!

There's not much good Sci Fi on TV these days, but one show that piqued my interest is "No Ordinary Family", a show about a normal family that gains super powers. This show is filling in the void that was left when Heroes finished (the last season bombed!).

It seems the shows I grow to like always seem to get cancelled before they hit their prime. Lost finished its run last year, Flashforward was cancelled after just one season, Startgate Universe will pretty much be done after next year, but we still have the "V" remake (for now!). I just hope No Ordinary Family gets a good run too, because I love it!

Christmas was crappy as usual, but at least I could game online with my friends on PS3! I can't tell you how cool it is to team up with other games online instead of playing alone! (That actually sounds kinda sad, doesn't it?)

Well rounding up this update, I'm not out of the woods yet, but things seem hopeful for the future. I just hope my recent good fortune doesn't run out just yet! Have a happy New Year everyone!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Last chance

You have no idea how much I have been the past week! Basically, one of the graphic design vacancies I continuously send my CV to in the vain attempt of getting a job actually came back to me with an interview.

I was totally unprepared for it, and subsequently was not only late for it but was completely blown out of the water by the two other candidates that were there on the same day.

Despite that, I got a SECOND callback by the company (really?!), and was then given a design task that had to be completed in time for the following morning! At this point I was totally fried mentally and physically, but I managed to do it.

An now I am currently waiting for them to get back to me to confirm whether or not I got the job. At current counting, it has been 4 days. I am at my wits end. I can't take the pressure anymore. I am LOSING IT!!

Do you want to know why I am losing it? It's because despite all of the hoops I have had to jump through over the past few days, and the constant telling myself that I will NOT get the job, the simple fact of the matter is this:

Since my last job, this is the CLOSEST I have gotten in 2 years. If I don't get this job, I am convinced that my professional career is finished. This is my LAST CHANCE.

No pressure. *cries*

Thursday, 30 September 2010

The PS3 rant (continued) - Yellow Light of Death Edition !

Its about that time ladies and gentlemen. Time for my periodical rant about the pitfalls and frustrations of owning a Sony Playstation 3.

Just to fill you all in, I currently own a second hand 80Gb PS3 Phat version (original).

I bought it at about the time Metal Gear Solid 4 came out in 2008. I've run this machine in more or less the same way I ran my PS2 (which to this day still runs without incident).

About 2 months ago, my PS3 suffered what is known in the industry as a "Yellow Light of Death" which renders the console completely unusable until it is fixed. I was caught in a situation I had not foreseen due to the extreme heat over the summer months, which must have caused the insides of the console to overheat and melt the connections inside.

I was left with two options:

A: Get a new PS3 (which considering the prices, I really didn't want to do)
B: Try to get the current one fixed.

Fortunately, I did know of a shop in Central London that does console repairs, so I headed on over with my PS3 in the hopes that all my hard-earned gaming would not be lost...

Unfortunately, things have a habit of not working out the way I imagine they will (that happens a lot). The guy at the shop said they could fix it, but the repair would be temporary because the YLoD problem is inherent to the design of the console. That means, the bloody thing is destined to break down again the moment I switch it back on again!

Considering the risks, I opted to go ahead with the repair in the hopes that at least my save data would remain intact.

Jump forward 2 weeks later, and I get my PS3 back WITHOUT MY SAVE DATA!

As you can surely guess I was furious, but in hindsight, I guess I couldn't blame the shop too much for this. The way the PS3 is designed is so complicated and locked down, there was virtually little chance that the repair guy could have saved the console AND the data inside.

Fortunately, I had made a backup of some of the save data from last year, but anything after that date...gone.

The shop gave me a 3 month warranty on the repair job so that, in the event the damn thing broke again they would fix it for free. It's just as well, because it broke down within 2 months!

Resigned to my fate, (and smart enough to back my saves up this time!) I took it back to the shop, knowing in my heart that this may be the last time, and that I would have to get another Playstation 3 if I wanted to continue my gaming future...


As of 15/10/10, I called the shop to find out what the situation with the repair was. I was told that they hadn't even started because there was a dispute over whether or not the engineer would come to deliver it back to the shop or not, something stupid like their "tarnished reputation" over having to keep repairing clearly faulty consoles or whatever.

Sufficed to say, its not been done, and I shouldn't expect it to any time soon! Wonderful! (sarcasm).

As an act of frustration over this debacle, I scoured the next for prices for a new or used PS3 120Gb Slim. I am very surprised that these things can still go for as little as £240 on it's own with no games!

I ended up going back to my trusted friend Ebay to see what I could find. The odds were better, but I was still looking at a £100-150 reduction in price.

Ironically, I saw one going for £160 and decided to try my luck and put a bid in at the very last second. Before I knew it, the price had jumped up to £190. Thinking I was sure to be out bid anyway, I bid £200. To my surprise I wasn't, so now I have a PS3 Slim heading my way within the next few days, although knowing my luck I'll be out when it comes and will have to go and collect it from the local sorting office!


And as of 1st of November, I have been playing my new PS3 Slim with only minor problems. I have had a game not work on me when I put it in, but that was solved by buying a more expensive version of the same game (more money down the drain thanks to Sony!).

I have not heard anything from the shop regarding my old PS3, which still has one of my fav games stuck inside it! (Thanks again Sony!).

I could go on but I think I should wrap up this whole report now, for fear of descending into a downward spiral of hatred (haven't I done that already?). Sufficed to say, as much as I hate it, this is the way I will have to deal with my gaming needs in future.

Do you know something? When I place my hand near the back of my PS3 Slim when it's on, I can feel a tremendous amount of heat coming out of the rear vent. Seriously! You'd think Sony would've solved to problem of overheating in the revised model!

This leads me to the conclusion that at any time in the future the same thing will happen again, and I'll be right back where I started...with a Yellow Light of Death!

Let this blog post inform anyone who is interested in getting a PS3...

Coming Full Circle

If I told myself 12 months ago that I would end up right back at the very place I had tried to get away from, I would look at myself in disbelief and say "Seriously?!". If I had known that sobering fact, who knows maybe I would have tried harder to get a job?

Well regardless, I'm back. A few things have changed, but most things have not. I still see some old faces here and the there, and the familiar stench of corruption hangs in the air.

I'm not gonna sugar-coat it anymore. No-one there reads this blog, so I'm more or less gonna say what I feel. I left that place because it made me miserable.

I had to think about that place before I had to go to bed, and the first thing I thought about when I woke up. Days began to blur into each other, so I wasn't sure what day of the week it was. Being there dulled my senses made me feel ill just thinking about it.

It made me not want to get up in the morning. At times it made me want to kill some, if not all of the people there. I'd almost be temped to say it made me want to kill myself.

I'm not joking.

Near the end, I was in a spiral of despair that I STILL haven't recovered from. And now I'm back doing a Web Design course.

There was no way around it. Try as I might, I couldn't avoid it. If I had refused to go back, the Jobcentre would have stopped giving me money, money I need to survive.

If there is any consolation, its that I only have to be there until Christmas. It won't be easy, but I think I can handle it. I was there for 4 years so I think I can handle a couple of months, especially since I know there is an end in sight. That alone gives me hope.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Yellow Light of Death!

The last few weeks have been quite the ordeal, and its all thanks to Sony and their much touted "Next Gen Console", the Playstation 3.

Now I could go on about how frustrating it is to own one, but I'll save the rant until after I have explained what happened.

In July the extreme heat of summer had pushed my PS3 to the limit of its capability, causing it to suffer what is known professionally as the "Yellow Light of Death" or YLOD for short. In laymans terms the YLOD is when the extreme heat generated inside the console causes some of the connectors to melt. This is similar to the Microsoft Xbox 360's infamous "Red Light of Death", and renders the console completely unusable. The only option after that is to get it repaired, or buy a new one.

Because I didn't want to lose all of the valuable data on the Hard Drive, I opted to get it repaired by the same guys that fixed my beloved PS2 (which still works).

But this tale was never destined to have a happy ending, my friends. Not only did I lose all my data and game saves (aside from a few backups I made last year) but I was unable to communicate to the guys I play online with what had happened. As far as they knew, I could have died, and they would've been none the wiser!

The nature of the repair was such that the shop could only give me a 3 month warranty on the repair because they knew the chances of it happening were high (thanks Sony). The upshot that when it happened again (not IF) they would fix it again for free, which is not much of a consolation if the guy just wipes the hard drive again.

What the hell happened? Why do I own a "Next Gen" console that despite all of its bells and whistles doesn't even last more than two years? Just imagine how frustration it is to know that at any moment you could lose hours, days and months of gameplay in an instant?! If you can't tell by my writing, I am NOT happy!

I'm left with the option of getting one of the new PS3 Slim models that are currently in circulation, but I can't help but feel short-changed by Sony for making me have to shell out so much money just to enjoy my favourite games.

Gaming...has changed.

I will be writing a post about my feelings on the whole sordid situation at a later date.

Stig Zeon!!

Those who know me know that I love the BBC car show called Top Gear. I love Jeremy "Jezza" Clarkson, Richard "Hamster" Hammond and James "Captain Slow" May.

There is also the Legend that is The Stig, the mysterious enigma of a tame racing driver that can drive pretty much anything to the extreme limits and beyond!

I also love anything Gundam related (but you already knew that, didn't you?).

I while back, I came up with the idea for a cool pic that combined my love of these two awesome things into one SUPER awesome thing. Using my extensive Photoshop skills, I have created what you see before you today! I have titled it "Stig Zeon", a fusion of The Stig and another legendary non sentient being, Char Aznable's Custom Red Zaku II.

I did a search online beforehand to see if anyone else had come up with the idea first, and seeing as NOTHING came up on it, I believe I'm the first person to come up with this play on words! Unless I'm proven wrong in some way, this post will stand as a testament to my love of Gundam and Top Gear! Enjoy!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Hideo Kojima LIVES!!

Last week, I took a chance on something I wasn't sure would work out the way I had hoped. I am happy to say that it did!

For those who don't know, I am a big fan of Hideo Kojima, the creator of the Metal Gear Solid videogame franchise, and various other great games like Zone of the Enders and Snatcher. He's been around a long time, and is currently one of the most recognised faces of the videogame industry. As one of my few heroes in reality, I would love to meet him in person.

Unfortunately, my cowardly ways have persuaded me against doing so in the past. Heck, I'm terrified of meeting any of the people I am a fan of for fear of totally humiliating myself in their presence! (aren't we all?)

I had already missed a chance to meet Kojima-San when he was in London to do signings for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots because I had a job at the time. (maybe an excuse?) I was frustrated that I had possibly missed my only chance to meet the legend in person.

Then just last Thursday, I saw a ad in the Metro newspaper that said Kojima-San was coming back to London to do signings for the latest Metal Gear game on the PSP, Peace Walker!

I don't have many real life heroes, but I consider Hideo Kojima to be one of them. He almost single-handedly defined the Stealth combat genre within videogames, spawning any number of imitators. His games also have more depth and intrigue in their stories than any other games out there. The Metal Gear series has a Timeline and Character geneology that could easily rival Star Trek and Star Wars!

Cue Nerd-gasm! The first thought that entered my head was "This may be the ONLY chance to see Hideo Kojima in person!", but then the next thought was "Why bother?".

Let me explain a little something about myself. A lot of times when I have wanted to do something where the outcome was uncertain, a little voice in my head would say things like"why bother", "It's too much hassle", or "Something could go wrong". It's because of this stupid voice that I have not been motivated to do a lot of things in my life. It is the voice of fear. Fear of the unknown. Most people can ignore this voice, but I have to deal with this voice every time I wake up in the morning and when I go to bed at night.

This voice almost convinced me not to go to see Hideo Kojima, but as many people say, sometimes you've just got to ignore that voice!

Before you ask, no I didn't get a copy of the game signed by Kojima-san. The voice beat me on that part, but I was happy to settle with just seeing him in person (I'm weird like that). At the very least, I have some video footage I captured as proof that I did it.

Maybe next time I'll build up enough courage to go up and meet him face to face! (I am such a noob!)

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Roy's Lament

It's been about 9 months since I last made a blog entry. I bet you all have been wondering what I've been up to up until now? Let me tell you:

Virtually nothing.

Granted, I've tried to do some more drawings and write some more stories, but my lack of enthusiasm has meant that I don't feel like any of my work is worth uploading.

But then I hear you cry "what have you done instead then?". To put it simply, I've been happily gaming away on my Sony videogame consoles like there's no tomorrow (and for me, it feels like there is no tomorrow).

And when I'm not gaming, I'm thinking. Thinking about my life. Thinking about how miserable I really am, and how my life seems to be wasting away right before my eyes and there's little I can do about it.

Yesterday was my birthday. I am now 29 years old. I don't have a job. I don't have a girlfriend. My family think I'm a loser. I don't have any friends.

To commemorate these facts, I've made a short video which pretty much sums up how I'm feeling. If worse comes to worse, at least I have evidence that I was well aware of my life as it stands. The picture and sound quality aren't great, but it's not important. What is important is what I decide to do from here onwards.

I've never been a fan of birthdays. Too much hassle.