SInce I follow a fair few tech and DIY / hacking blogs, I’ve been spamming Facebook and Twitter with status updates which are more “Have you seen this cool thing!” rather than actual things about me. To reduce this, and cos I thought it would be cool, I’ve set up which aims to provide you with one awesome thing a day. Its connected to Twitter, just follow @anawesomeaday if you’re interested, or point your RSS reader to!

It’s currently powered by Tumblr, although they seem to be having problems with their queued posts feature, so am manually posting each one ATM. Hopefully they will fix it all up soonish!

Recently, O2 started selling Jogglers for 50 quid a pop. I wasn’t interested- the UI and stuff you could actually do with one was pretty limited.

However, they are actaully an OpenPeak OpenFrame device, and the UI they run is all coded in Flash and runs onto of a custom Ubuntu install. The specs for the OpenFrame are quite nice, so I picked a couple up and with a bit of help from the community that has built up around this device, I now have a little web pad, running the Netbook Remix of Ubuntu! Putting your own OS on it is as easy as constructing your own bootable flash drive. The EFI looks for any external bootable devices before loading the internal O2 branded software.

This has potential, maybe with a bit of magic…

If you had a Dreamcast like me, you will know these games well. Sure, Rez was out for PS2, and a version ofJSR was out for the original Xbox as Jet Set Radio Future, but they came out for DC first I believe, and they were awesome. More examples of fantastic gameplay, but music that really sealed the deal, and these tracks are also available to download on the lovely Interwibbles- JSR music is here, and Rez is here. There is in fact a CD of music from and inspired by Rez, but its pretty rare and thus expensive. However, RezHD is on 360 arcade, I recommend you give it a play!

And If you like the music, you should check out Underworld, and their song Rez, which inspired the game! (It’s avalible on Youtube, though it seems to merge into their song Cowgirl, which is another good track so you should check out that too!!

Back in 2001, a small software company called Introversion Software created a game called Uplink. Uplink was a game about computer hacking, and whilst it didn’t have super fancy graphics etc, it was damn atmospheric, and I spent many hours playing it 🙂 One of its plus points I think was the music, which was an interesting mix of chilled out ambient stuff and electronic sounds which worked pretty well with the gameplay. Recently I remembered it and wondered if the music was available, as I was making a playlist of that style of stuff, some orbital, Underworld etc, which I find is good for putting on and semi tuning out to whilst you are doing something else (such as writing my thesis!). It’s still available if you wanna see what I’m banging on about on Steam, for the grand old price of £5.99

An Uplink screenshot

Turns out the music is available, Interversion produced a Bonus disk containing stuff about the game’s development and other stuff, and although they no longer sell it, you can download a copy here. Along with this, they provide the original music, along that 3 tracks that didn’t make it into the game, as old school MOD files. MOD files were a bit like MIDI files in that they contained instructions on how to play the music instead of a recording of it, but with the added benefit of being able to include the samples the instructions played inside the music file. They still however sound pretty awkward and lo-fi, which I think adds to their charm 🙂

If you want the original MOD files, they can be found in the download, you’ll need a MOD player however, as they aren’t widely used anymore. I used CocoModX on OS X which seemed pretty good, apparently VLC, Amarok and Winamp can play them back too if you’re on another platform, but I’ve not tried them.

BTW, going in further back, the music for Lemmings is available too, here, in the same MOD format! Reminds me of playing it years ago, and I recently found you can even play it online. The story behind its development is fairly interesting too.

A few weeks ago, it occurred to me I has no real memory of what I was doing around a year ago, in terms of what I was getting up to in my spare time, so I decided to create this blog to document just that. If any of it is any use to anyone else, then that’s a bonus! I also plan to document most of my projects here, as well as little things I do and think other may be interesting. Hey, we’ll see how it goes.

I’ve had multiple goes at this for a while, mainly coding my own blog system and website from PHP, Python or just static HTML, and all have fallen by the wayside. They took too much time to implement, and even though I pretty much completed them all, I was left without much desire to add content! They were good learning exercises though, and now I’m happily moving to, having given a WordPress install on my uni’s Computer Society server a go and getting bogged down writing my own Flickr and category filters, and again not using it much!

So if you find any of it useful, give me a shout, or if you have comments etc. I hope at least some of it is interesting to someone!!