My Diary
[ 19/01/00 | 24/01/00 | 27/01/00 | 28/01/00 | 29/01/00]
January 2000, The start of a whole new number change, Trains, Drunkenness, Various digressions, and the history of Top 5


New day, new design. I've been pondering the sucess of my trip home. The reason, such as was given, was that I wanted to be at home for my birthday, and the fact that our family went out for a meal for the first time in about 5 years was nice, but I still failed to do the two things I went home to, Namly to arrange a gathering of my friends from Secondary School.

Sunderland is patently the wrong name for the place I am. Windyland would be more acurate, Anything-that-isn't-heatyland would be better. Anyplace that has wind that nearly blows *me* away (and I am not a delicate person folks) is not a place I would come for my holidays. And I am not even going to dignify with a rant the people who made the "Low Cost, X-Tra Thin" shopping bag that snapped while I was fighting with the wind. Surfice to say that even if I *did* feel like Chicken Tonight tonight, I can't now unless I enjoy broken glass in my chicken (I like adventurous food, but not that much).


I'm bored.

In my bordom I have been playing the Messiah demo, which is almost compltely the oposite to all the games I normally play. I am one of the many people in the world bemoaning the death of the Adventure Game genre. You may have noticed that in Top 5 I tend to pounce upon all adventure games annouced, because there is so few of them released. Thus I am hoping that Monkey Island IV is more than vaporware and that Simon the Sorcerer 3D is doesn't have too many "Action Elements". Lucasarts have always been the best makers of adventure games, but the two genius' behind most of them, Ron Gilbert and Tim (Person whose surname I can't spell), have both left, Ron went to form Cavedog which has been making Real Time Stratagies (Total Annaialation) and is working on a game that sounds suspisiosly like a Lara Croft style 3D Platformer called Good and Evil, about which I know little except the name.

One of the other producers of "Classic" Adventures were Perfect Entertainment, makers of the Discworld series of games, but they recently went bust. They reformed under the name "Teeny Weeny Games", A company which was involved with the Discworld games too, but I don't know how it worked.

So I have been designing. I have updated this site (you may have noticed) and I ditched the Sumpog design I was working on for one that looked vaguly relivant to Computers. I resisted the urge to change the design of Aquarionics main. All right, I didn't, but I couldn't think of any better designs.


13:00 - Near Peterborough
I wish someone would invent a device. This device would have one function, and that is to scramble all mobile phones in a small area.

Then Railtrack should install it on my train. My train, as in the one I am on as I write this, is the London Kings Cross to Edinburgh service, AKA "The Route of the Flying Scotsman".

So I am sitting, writing this entry on an old-fashioned Reporter style notebook in pencil, stuck in the Smoking section of that train. (Who would have thought that a train leaving london at 12:30 would have all of it's seats booked except some spare in the Smoking section. I am *not* a happy bunny). It's now 5 past One and I am somewhere between London and Newcastle, probably closer to London... hang on, the tea person is coming...

...1 for a cup of sub-standard tea? ye gods, It's not as if the tea is any good.

2:45 - Memo: Check out prices of First Class tickets :-)
There is a collection of people behind me who, in my nice and kind way, I will only describe as "Loud Bastards". They have been shouting and giggling for over 2 hours now, and it's beginning to grate.

And this time Friday where will I be? On this same service, going the other way. Down to Great Yarmouth for a(nother) weekend of drunkeness. Then back to Sunny Sunderland and maybe I'll remain in the same place for a two weekends, a feat I havn't managed since christmas. This month will go down in history as the month I travelled over 2000 miles without leaving the UK. Oh gosh, the Loud Bastards are about to start singing. Where's my MP3 player?...

3:00 That didn't work, they are now singing "My heart will go on" loudly, out of key, and generaly badly enough that ripping their collective hearts out and displaying them on a silver plate is a mild idea.



Another birthday, another year older. Depressing really. I mean, in the past 12 months I have failed many exams, passed significantly less, Got into Sunderland Uni, told I should get out again, got *very* drunk, stayed far too sober (at different times, natch) Met a whole new subsection of friends I will met (on average) a few people of every 6 months, got paid for doing what I like doing, got paid even more for doing something I didn't like doing, bought a domain, designed 20 different websites, been threatened with death by a drunken wannabe, found the chicken, discovered User-Friendly, Sluggy, Slashdot and Linux (all within a week), and in general continued to be in pursuit of happiness without ever actually finding the stuff.

Instead of being a vaguely depressed 18-year-old computing student, I am now a vaguely depressed 19-year-old computing student, The more things change...

Nevermind, a new year, a new set of numbers (if not a new millennium), and a whole new set of dreams to fail to achieve.
Happy Birthday Aquarion.

Ye Gods that was depressive. I was planning to update this with a large rant about, and how they managed to take 10 days to e-mail me to say I'd got the numbers wrong on my credit card and therefore would not be getting my ("5 extra for next day delivery") order. Gits, but now the game has actually arrived, shock horror, and a whole new Discworld Adventure is mine.

Or will be when I get to play it.

The problem is that I'm currently in the south of england, where I come from, whilst my 'pooter is in the north, where I live, So I'm currently typing this on Meshtrix, my Dad's all singing, all dancing, all DVD playing, p400, CD-Writered, 19" screened super-computer (The names for the 'pooters in my house are almost totally random, and all by me, Mine is called Deep Thought, the one upstairs is Simplicity, Dad's laptop is currently Astra. The only running theme is that mine are all named after other computers (My Amiga was called Hal, because it had a habit of going screwy) and I name dads for corruptions of their manufacturers names)

And I even begun to spool cheque the site :-)
The main thing to be checked is still T5, but I can't do that by remote, and I'm having to do it by loading the files I have into Word 97, and manually changing the html based on the squiggly red lines.


Tomorrow I'm travelling home, so next update will probably be Mondayish.


Lesson learnt from weekend:

Never drink anything you didn't mix

This weekend was spent at a "meet", which is when people from one newsgroup meet, shockingly enough, usually to drink large amounts of alcohol. This meet was in Scotland, and don't ask me to describe it, for it is likely I will a) wince, b) fail to answer you because I have a 4 hour gap in my memory I don't want filled. More details (and maybe even piccies) going to the eddings section soon.

Webwise not much progress was made, mostly due to the aforementioned party, but as I woke up totally and completely at 5:30 this morning I have spent a fairly industrious couple of hours working on the new Sumpogs site (the link left goes to the old one) which has, in fact, has as many redesigns as it has updates.

The next stage for Aquarionics, I think, is some kind of Site Map. Someone was telling me that I should have a link to every page on the site from the front page. Since Aquarionics currently has exactly 600 files as I type, 242 of which are HTML of some kind, some of which are graphics, and some of which are Directories (Why Windows Find lists directories as files I don't know). Since this would mean having almost 250 links on page 1 (Ok, so that's an exaggeration since each page in Aquarionics and Top5 is made of one SHTML file and one HTML file, but there are in fact 192 html files alone), it is almost impossible to do this.

(Those stats again, Since January 1st, when Aquarionics went online, I have uploaded 600 files. The site (Including all sub-sites) has nearly 200 pages and yet is still under 6 megs in size (The biggest sections are the photo gallery in Eddings and the whole of Top5) Aquarionics consists of various subsites, The Aquarionics Main (That's this) Eddings, Greyscale, Top5, Sumpogs, Craig's page of Colours, and Notes (which is under construction, and is thusly not linked to from anywhere), of which all of them except Craig (Which is the only page I didn't write) has gone though a major redesign before it went up. Top 5 is the newest section, with every page having been written from scratch since Aquarionics went up (Most of the text of everything else was imported from the old site). The section I am proudest of is probably Top5, since I created all 30 pages of it in under 2 days)


Decision made.

I've been meaning to do something vaguely like this for a while, so now I will. It's Wednesday, and all my exams are not only over, but dead and buried. Unless, of course, something terrible happens and I end up resitting exams, which is something that I really don't want to do.

Spent the last 2 days reworking an idea I had at the end of 1998, which was to follow 5 games from announcement to completion. Last time I called it Follow That Game, and added a element that people voted when they thought that the game would come out.

And then got depressed when nobody voted.

Then I concentrated on one game, Lionhead's Black & White, Building first a web-site (Grey Areas) and then an e-zine (Greyscale) based on it, Then the news flood turned to a trickle, then stopped altogether, so so did I.

Thus I return to where it started, Following 5 games. There are no counters or vote counters on the site, so I have no idea if people are visiting or not. I would, of course like for people to say they like it, but I am no longer building a website along the idea of my progress being reliant on other people, because it doesn't work.

Which is sad, really.

Anyway, the re-working is called Top 5 and, if you have an allergy to text links, you can click on the button to the left to go to it.

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