Storage Devices Over the Years

I feel all nostalgic, looking back at how storage has evolved over the years, since I first started using computers in a none-educational capacity, back in the ’90s.

I have memories of the 8-inch, 5¼-inch, and 3½-inch floppy disks. I have memories of DAT tapes via an Amstrad, loading up screeching data for a very BASIC application. I recall buying what was possibly my first pendrive from PC World, for around £20, which rather unremarkedly earned me 128MB of storage. I remember buying CD and DVD writable discs, then rewritable discs. I remember just a few years ago—perhaps more than just a few—I bought a Hitachi external HDD, 500GB, for £60 from Argos.

We have so many ways to save our data. I reflect on all of this because I recently acquired an SSD, at long last, with its blazingly fast speeds, I’m reminded of the IDE cables – do you remember buying or salvaging a better cable in order to get better speed from your old IDE HDD? Those were the days. Fiddling around with master and slave, as though we were playing dominatrix to our old, mechanical platters.

I remember moving from IDE to SATA, stubbornly typing it as S-ATA, because that’s what so many magazines and online sources were doing – I was determined to type it how I wanted! Here I am, typing it like the rest of us, because most of us realised the hyphen is completely unnecessary. SATA was revolutionary. Not only has SATA given us more power-efficient devices, better cable management, and faster speeds, but they’ve done away with the bedroom master-slave business and allowed us to just simply plug it in and away you go – fantastic!

Now, here we are, the Dawn of the SSD, despite their existance—n some form or another—for quite a while, they have been more widely commercially available to the general Joe Bloggs since approximately 2002, around the time NAS flash SSDs transferred to our computers. I see SSDs now, and, probably like many others, I see them as the future. I think HDDs will gradually be eliminated. I see no way to properly obtain the speeds required for a lot of today’s computing with an old technology that is only so upgradeable. The fact is, the mechanical drive has moving parts, and this slows down file access. SSDs, however, as we all know, “have no moving parts,” as they are so often applauded.

It’s not just the performance of drives and their physical size, but also the size on the disk itself, or disc, if you consider the optical media. Back in the late ’90s, I had an old Windows 95 machine with, I believe, a 2GB PATA HDD and an old, slow cable. Honestly, the years and modern technology have not done well for my memory of the old wires I would use – I remember scrapping old computers for cables and amassing a rather big pile of junk.

We have cards, too—there doesn’t seem to be an end to the way in which we Ctrl + S our data. There’s MMC, SMC, SD, MicroSD, and many more. Our phones, our tablets, our cameras, and who knows what else often have little cards in them storing so much data; this makes me think on the physical size of the storage devices we now have. Look at the change from clunky HDD to a tiny, thin little card, and the card is now capable of more than that 2GB HDD I had when I was a kid! Astonishing.

To paraphrase a news headline by Extreme Tech: “Western Digital unveils the world’s first 10TB HDD,” apparently. Hell, back when I had a RISC computer, I believe I was looking merely at MB, rather than TB! How long before we’re toting 1mm Exabyte memory cards for our insanely high-pixel pictures and videos taken by our microscopic cameras? When exactly will we be satisfied?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m super impressed with technology and how it has developed, but, I have to say, I’m a little intimidated by the speed and furosity at which technology is blasting ahead, stopping at nothing to bedazzle and bemuse the consumer, bringing in the big bucks.

Oh well, save as.

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I Think I’m Anti-Christian

I’ve wanted to talk about this for a few days now, but for fear of causing an almighty ruckus, I decided to try to leave it be, that is, until now. I can already feel the warmth of all the Christian blood boiling, as I prepare for a torrent of, “You’re going to hell, non-believer!”

The crux of it all, is that I’m angry. One of my well-groomed pet-peeves is being pressured and/or manipulated into something; I guess nobody likes that, eh? I was christened as a baby, so I never really had the chance to say, “Hang on a tick, this ain’t for me.” I was forced to go to church, unsurprisingly. I was forced into religious education at secondary school, and I was also forced to go to some sort of religious education establishment for young children. Lots of force and pressure for something for which I never asked; how is this justified, and how is this a belief of my own? I was essentially brain-washed before I even had a fully developed brain.

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I am considerably indifferent, where religion is concerned, generally, but there’s something about Christianity, specifically, that has increasingly got on my nerves. I try not to generalize, where people are concerned, because we’re not all exactly the same; that’s all very well and wonderful, but when almost every Christian you’ve come across has been arrogant, condescending, abusive, or just plain full of faeces, you kind of stand up and take notice; it muddies my opinion, thus making it harder to be objective.

I’m a logical, rational person, … most of the time, so when I look at religion, I see many aspects worth questioning, such as the following:

  • We need answers in life; that’s how we work. Unfortunately, this obsession results in us looking for answers where there never were any. Take pareidolia, for example, which is commonly, “seeing images of animals or faces in clouds,” to quote Wiki. Basically, we see what we want to see, and we all interprate things differently.
  • Excuse the pun, but it’s rather soul-destroying to consider the possibility that when we die, we die and that’s it. We’re wired to cope; to survive. We have coping mechanisms like you wouldn’t believe! We’ll laugh, cry, rage, lie, and sometimes do nothing at all; you see it with grief all the time, so what’s to say religion is exempt from this particularly evident fact of humanity?
  • We already know that stories often get twisted over time, and with each person through which it passes, the story gets further contorted until it barely resembles what it once was. Is it not then perfectly plausible that the Bible(s) consists of nothing but grossly misconstrued stories and ideologies of a time since long passed? What if a man of the very distant future finds a bible in the ruins of what was once our great civilisation, only to discover it’s a barely legible copy of an old misogynistic magazine; does that then mean the magazine would be its own Bible?

Is God a megalomaniac? I ask myself whether these stories simply derive from a man who lived in a time without the psychological understanding we have today; a man who suffered from several mental health issues, such as narcissistic personality disorder. Perhaps Jesus suffered with delusions and hallucinations which resulted in him pinning unfounded meaning to them, due to the limited medical understanding at the time. It’s easy to come up with logical reasoning to debate Christianity, and I would wager also other religions, but the rebuttal from the Christian crowd is typically weak, ambiguous, and without evidence or often even plausibility.

Banner 2This debate has gone on for many, many years for a good reason: there are simply far too many holes in religion that make it incredibly difficult to not only be factual, but evidential. An inference is an observation, notion, or assumption based on evidence, which is something we can all do when it comes to religion, but has anybody given any actual evidence? I’m afraid faith is not evidence, either; as far as I’m concerned, it’s a cop-out.

Why the big, hairy, sumo balls should we need a dusty old tome to show us right from wrong, anyway? Are we so depraved that this is what we need in order to keep us on the straight and narrow? Damn, I best stop raping and murdering, ’cause Bible says so!

God will allegedly sentence you to the infamous hell for simply having a different belief to him. It seems somewhat inappropriate to condemn someone to an eternity of pain and anguish purely because they don’t see things the same way—essentially saying uniquity and freedom of thought is an entirely bad thing—regardless of whether they are a good or bad person.

I lost my “faith” at 16 years old, when I finally realised that “God” wasn’t going to “save” me, nor was he “watching over” me. It was painful to realise that, you know what, crap happens in life, and that’s just the way it is, but sometimes good things happen, too!

But hey, I’m just an unenlightened individual awaiting eternal damnation by your benevolent God, you know, because he loves me.

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My Take on the YouTube Channel: Vsauce

“And as always, thanks for watching.” – Michael

Hosted and created by none other than Michael Stevens, this mind-blowing, educational channel of wonder and discovery has captivated me since the very first video I ever done seen. Vsauce, one of three holding this name, (Vsauce, Vsauce2, and Vsauce3) has a subtle yet amusing tone, and an intellectual ooze that is neither pretentious nor arrogant. As of May 2015, Vsauce, created during the Summer of 2010, boasts almost nine-million subscribers and over eight-hundred-million total views—outstanding!

An image taken from the video, Mistakes, while Michael explains that the history of science is a

I have found Vsauce easy to follow, mostly as a result of Michael’s wonderful explanations and amusing or intriguing digressions that he uses to capture the minds of all sorts of people who might otherwise drift off. I find Michael to be a very talented public speaker and a glaringly charismatic man. The way Michael interacts with the camera is an art-form in itself; he draws you in to the mystery and wonder, with engaging body language and consistently clear speech that ensures you stay focused.

It’s not all about the in-your-face content, either. The music, “except for BiDiPi and some of Vsauce’s older videos,” Wiki explains, has always, “been composed by Jake Chudnow,” and is absolutely fantastic, without being too distracting. One of the “most recognizable pieces” of Jake’s music is Moon Men, which is often played in the background of Vsauce, whenever something particularly  profound or mind-boggling arises.

Michael explains what vicarious embarrassment is.

Vsauce has tackled some fascinating subjects, such as, “The Science of Awkwardness,” prefacing this video with this one, totally on-point question: “But what is awkwardness, why is it good, and who is—the main character of the universe?” I was particularly taken back by Dord, a video in which Michael begins by teaching us that Dord “was an accidental word for 13 years,” after which it had its “wordship revoked.” It doesn’t matter what Michael talks about, he always seems to find a way to suck me in.

Michael frequently offers up rhetorical questions that prompt the viewer’s imagination into action. Clearly knowing his stuff, Michael lays down the skills of persuasion thick, as Vsauce endeavors to grab your attention, hoping to get you thinking, to get you interested, and more importantly, to get you coming back for more!

DA FOREST – an excellent way to be mindful of what’s important when working a speech,  consisting of: Direct address, Alliteration, Facts, Opinions, Rhetorical questions, Emotive language, Statistics, and Trippling, all of which Michael uses very well. It’s easy to see why Vsauce is so popular, with its masterful speeches, fantastic music, and thought-provoking questions.

If you love to learn about new, wonderful things, Vsauce is the channel for you, but be warned, it’s addictive!

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Am I Too Old to Play Games?

I’m currently twenty-eight years old, almost twenty-nine, and I enjoy gaming as I have done since I was a kid. Occasionally, the Internet tells me I’m too old for gaming, that I shouldn’t be doing this, should be doing that, and recommends that I, “get a life.” Is this fair? I don’t think so; at least that’s the opinion which I voice. Deep down, like I often do, I doubt myself. So here I am, asking the question: am I too old to play games?

I think in order to attempt an answer to this question, I also have to enter into the debate of whether games are potentially a positive influence on us, helping us in various ways that actaully can make quite the difference.

But I'm so wound up!

When you’re stressed or outright angry, should you go out to the pub to get bladdered and start a fight with that local Scottish guy who keeps telling you how boney things are? Ach nae—you’re better off whipping out some hardcore games, sitting your arse in-front of a computer or TV, taking hold of that controller, and frantically smashing those buttons until you’ve had your fill. I think this works in my favor, because games are, for me, a stress-reliever, amongst other things.

What if I have no friends?

Come on, let’s face it, you’re sat at home playing World of Warcraft because there’s a big, scary world out there, with real, animated people who can physically interact with you. No? Well, I wager some of you—OK, let’s be frank—a lot of you, myself included, perhaps don’t have the best social lives, be it because we’re socially inept or simply too busy, … playing games. Whatever the reason is, there’s no denying that games offer us an alternative way in which to socialize, and so this is a point in my favor.

I played Gran Tourismo so now I can drive in real life!

Luckily, there’s a real license to acquire before one can legally drive. Behind the facetious subheading, what I’m really saying is that there is much to learn from games. I did actaully learn a lot about cars from Gran Tourismo. My dad, having a history as a mechanic, knows a lot about cars, and as such, was only too happy to tell me when I was speaking nonsense, but, surprisingly often, Gran Tourismo did a lot right. OK, you might argue that if I wanted to learn about cars, I needed only to go to college and learn such knowledge from Prof. Fancypants; well, good sir or madam, if I might interject! Isn’t playing a game a metric crap-ton more fun when it comes to learning, not to mention, as a result, more successful at teaching us things? Here’s some paraphrasing of what Wiki has to say about Gamification:

Gamification has been studied and applied in several domains, with some of the main purposes being to engage, teach, entertain, measure, and to improve the perceived ease of use of information systems.

Come on! That says it all, right? I’m sure if you dig deeper, you’ll find lots of positive studies that show how helpful it can be to play and learn, but don’t just take my word for it, or the word from the people with fancy qualifications, but instead try it for yourself!

As has been mentioned elsewhere on Taut with Thought, I’m interested in languages, specifically, English and German, but I’ve tip-toed into Dutch and French. I’m by no means a polyglot, but gamification helped me a lot with my German.

There’s a website called Duolingo that I would strongly recommend to anybody learning another language. Duolingo won’t do it all for you, but what it offers is truly useful—I think perhaps the most useful thing from Duolingo, is the community, some of whom offer sound, informative advice. I’ve also had some gamification from actaully playing regular games, like MMORPGs, but in German! The entire client all set in German, playing on German servers. Since I can’t go to Germany, that’s almost as close as I’ll get to immersing myself into the language.

My point, ladies and gentlemen, is that gamification often works, which I believe gives a solid point in my favor.

Thanks to gaming, I learned what morality means!

Admittedly, it’s probably not a great idea to base your entire moral compass on games like Grand Theft Auto, in which you eventually discover that you can get laid for the grand price of zilch, if you simply whack the hooker once you’ve done the nasty.

Wait! Put down the bat, inhale, and step away from that there dame. I’m saying Grand Theft Auto is the bad kind of thing from which to learn! Dammit, go back to your games— you’ve got more to learn about morality, son.

The thing is, and this is just a theory that just now cropped up deep within my brain, but what if games don’t teach us morality, so much as give us the opportunity to find our own morality? Perhaps you are a psychopath who enjoys boning then maiming your local prozzie; hey, that’s cool, because you discovered that from within a wonderful, vibrant game world.

I am of course mostly joking, but I think there remains a point here, somewhere, but I’m somewhat on the fence—what do you think?

Age is just a number, though.

Now that I’ve established some positive things to take from gaming, it’s time to add into the factor of age.

As we all too often see, there are a great many games that contain adult themes, such as sex, disturbing scenes, frightening imagry, and other such messed-up kit that you most definitely shouldn’t show a young child. With this in mind, doesn’t that then mean that a lot of games have been intentionally made more adult-friendly?

While a young child shouldn’t really play Grand Theft Auto, an adult sure as hell can! What about those freaky movies y’all watch on your little flick-box? What about the saucy material you read about late at night, alone, in the dark?—your sticky book made visible only by the moonlight glimming through the window pane. Come on, whether you’re in your 20s or 90s, it shouldn’t make a difference.

I just don't have the time!

Yet, you have the time to watch TV, read books, and to go out for the sole reason of getting bladdered—are you just making excuses for yourself? Games aren’t some shady, top secret you have to hide in a dark corner of your dank cellar amongst your shackled family and the used bog roll you just can’t help but to buy from eBay; that’s a thing, right?

To conclude:

Gaming may have started off as a gimmick for the incredibly bored youth of the 1970s, but that doesn’t mean we’re still living in such times.

A lot of the comments I get about my age and gaming come from kids, funnily enough; I put this squarely down to the fact that they—kids in general—have an idea that adults are all boring and serious, to which I profess: “Hell no!”

I honestly think that, logically, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with adults who enjoy playing games. I just see gaming as yet another form of entertainment, just like watching the TV, listening to music, or setting orphanages on fire.

If you’re an old fart like me and you still enjoy the odd gaming session here and there, I say go for it; ignore the kids and stuffy adults who tell you otherwise.

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What Is It like to Be Disabled by Anxiety?

A pain in the arse! Fine, I’ll be more specific: anxiety is a pain in my arse.

If you wrangle and tussle with anxiety, you’ll have likely had to explain it to somebody at least once, be it to a friend, a family member, a stranger, or even a medical professional. I hate explaining anxiety! I do not like going through the details, because just doing that gets me anxious.

In which ways does anxiety affect me?

Anxiety comes in many different forms, but for me, it’s through social anxiety and health anxiety, the latter of which is also known as hypochondria. Various things trigger my anxiety, such as being around people or my obsessive compulsive disorder—an entirely different yet commonly-linked subject.

I experience a number of physical symptoms, such as:

  • Trembling
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rapid or slurred speech
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Agitation, frustration, and discomfort
  • Unable to remain still
  • Muscle tightness and spasms

Then there are the mental symptoms, those of which often exasperate the anxiety, such as negative and critical thinking. You also have to take into account that anxiety itself triggers other issues.

Being all in a tizzy allows for more susceptibility to compulsions and obsessions, which is likely why so many people with OCD also have issues with anxiety. Tension often interferes with one’s ability to have a decent night’s sleep—I’ve always struggled with sleeping, and I suspect it’s largely a result of my issues with anxiety. Being stressed out also naturally makes it very difficult to physically, as well as mentally calm down, and therefore sleep.

Can I give you an example?

It’s amazing what we take for granted. I feel that so many people don’t realise how lucky they are to be able to do simple things like go into a Chinese takeaway establishment, despite there already being three people sat there in the waiting section for their meal(s) to arrive, which this just so happens to be what transpired mere moments ago.

I went out with the explicit intention to go and buy some delicious hot chips for a nice evening meal. First, I headed to one of the entrances into the small Co-Op, in order to grab a tenner from the ATM. Cash now in my wallet, and the anxiety rising from simply being outside; the ever-rising risk of a possible human interaction.

I got close to the old, paned door of the nearby Chinese takeout shop, excited but also preparing myself for brief interaction, and the painful sit-down on the sofa as I await the food to be ready, fiddling with my phone is I always do. Then, through the window, I noticed three dimly lit people sat down on the nice red and black sofas.

‘Screw that!’ I thought to myself, as I somewhat-subtly walked off towards the nearby Co-Op, grabbing a basket as I entered the shop. I proceeded to nervously wander around, now rather anxious from the awkwardness of before. Chances are, nobody gave a flying faeces, but in my head, it felt almost like they were looking at me, judging and ridiculing me—I became overly conscious of my every action, as I often am, when dealing with people.

That’s on a good day, but stands as just one of the great many sort of things that happen to someone like me, and they honestly can really clog up your day, dragging you down, sucking away at your energy, and ultimately leave you feeling rather useless. Perhaps one day I’ll blog about the harsher experiences I’ve had in the past as a result of anxiety going through the roof.

But I can still lead an ordinary life, right?

You done goofed! Unless your idea of ‘ordinary’ is biding in supported housing, being unable to work properly, often having physically and mentally draining symptoms, living off and relying on government financial support, having a constrained social life, and finding friendships and relationships particularly challenging to cultivate and sustain.

In all fairness, it is possible to reach some sort of level at which you do insignificantly manage, but, in my experience, this is with years of hard work and turbulence. It took me several years just to have the doctors really take notice. It’s just so much easier to ignore the severity of a situation if you can’t see it, eh? I once went through a very dark time that spanned a number of years, during which I was fairly self-destructive; despite this being bloody apparent to my GP, little effort was made to see that I would get the support I sorely needed.

News flash, those of you in the psych field: a smiley, jokey person does not always mean they are a happy person! You’d think they would grasp this rather simple concept, one that even I can figure out with absolutely zero qualifications in psychology. Looky here and let me edumucate y’all doctors who overlooked so many of us: it’s called a defense mechanism; a damn guise with which we learned to suppress and shroud the trials and tribulations we go through within, from ourselves and from you!

So, how do I cope?

Barely.

I tend to preach two things: distraction and relaxation—I’ll do things such as light incense sticks, listen to happy or relaxing music, take a soothing shower, get physically active, do something educational, or work on something like this here weblog for a few hours!

I underwent cognitive behavioral therapy some time ago, and that gave me some of the tools with which I could battle anxiety, but it was by far no cure. I had arrived at the conclusion long, long before I ever sought help, that I wouldn’t be cured, so I was prepared and did not go into therapy with any grand expectations.

Alright, what’s the bottom line?

Anxiety is tough and sometimes lonely, but it’s not the end of the world, despite the great many times I’ve felt as though it were! I was once told by a GP and was then further reminded by my therapist that I “will never be cured,” but that I can still “live a better quality of life.” So I suppose this is my better quality of life?

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The Return of Black within Windows 8.1

It took me a lot of faffing about over such a long period of time to finally stumble across the right stuff at the right time.

11qh66ps
The reason I put up the timer is because I wanted to demonstrate that it even themes properly with an obscure application like this simple Flash-based one. Notice the title bar isn’t black text? It took me a long time to discover a fix for that little problem. The start menu is there courtesy of a third-party program (obviously) which I’ll get to below.

Before doing this, backup your OS partition(s) using something like the Windows “Shadow Copy” feature, a third-party tool, or just gamble with System Restore; this is just in the event that something goes wrong, and for our peace of mind.

Everything was smooth-sailing for me, but should something go awry for you, I won’t be held responsible, for the decision to follow these instructions are solely your own. I also cannot be held responsibile for the pages to which this blog entry links, nor can I do anything about the software I point you towards. I hope you understand.

Now that we’ve got the prelude out of the way, here are the steps I took in order to finally get a fully-functional black theme going in Windows 8.1:

Step #1:
I enlarged the window borders (preference – further ensures the black stands out) by using a similar (Winaero Tweaker) tool to this: Tiny Windows Borders for Windows 8 It wasn’t damaging, does not need to be repeated, and seems to stick even when other settings change, such as another theme. Please ensure you scan all downloads prior to opening them.

Step #2:
I had previously downloaded and installed a brilliant (entirely free, without ads and nags) application that’s small, functional, and, in my opinion, aesthetically pleasing. You can get ClassicShell here: Classic Shell – Start menu and other Windows enhancements This will bring back the start menu, allowing for extra configurations, as well as most of the usual you’d expect from before this OS. Remember to play with the options to get it how you like, clicking “show all settings”, and especially set the skin to “Windows Aero” in order to get that Windows 7 look that goes so well when this is all done.

Step #3:
I downloaded and used UxStyle, which you can download for free. It’s absolutely imperative that you heed my advice of backing up (I used Windows’ own backup feature; use Google something like, “Shadow Copy Windows 8.1” to discover this hidden gem) just in-case something goes awry. I’ve used it a couple of times (and many more with Windows XP and Windows 7) without a problem, but it’s better safe than sorry, as they say. I had to restart the computer after patching Windows with it.

Step #4:
When I had Windows 7, I would use a sleek, black cursor pack called Obsidian, which you can freely download from this link; it goes very well with almost any black theme, I’ve found.

Step #5:
You can of course choose any background you like – I was gravitated pretty strongly towards this one, because I felt it matched it well.

Step #6:
If you use Firefox and would like the matching theme I use on the browser, then follow this step, but if not, skip to #7:

I use, “FT DeepDark,” version 12.0.1, made freely and publicly available by Stefano Rosselli.

Step #7:
The piece de resistance of it all is the main theme (or ‘skin’) which can be downloaded from this link. This pack containers 3 variations, if you fancy a change.

I’ve also recently discovered another theme that works properly and looks great: Base for Windows 8.1 I strongly recommend it. I also recommend checking out the Ribbon Disabler, which also works in Windows 8.1, because it’s handy for certain themes, and good for those who just hate the new ribbon in Windows 8.1!

That’s all there is to it. If this guide was helpful to you, then it would be fantastic if you would share this blog post so others can also benefit.

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A Gamer’s Nostalgia

I can’t decide if I’m taken away by nostalgia, or have just aged to the point at which I see things for what they are, as opposed to the clouded view I had as a child. That said, perhaps I also have a clouded view as an adult, due to how things were when I was a kid?

I’ve played a lot of games, over many consoles and PC setups, ranging from one of the Atari consoles, to a modern gaming PC. I still enjoy some games I play today, however, nothing will compare to some of the gaming experiences I’ve had in the past.

The first time I played Silent Hill on the PlayStation and found myself haunted by nightmares of those super-creepy creatures to which you’re introduced early on in the game—in my defense, I was far too young for such a freaky, gory game!

Silent Hill Bild
A typically gloomy look of Silent Hill that still makes me cringe.

The Metal Gear Solid franchise, when it was, as I would consider, its prime. Playing those Metal Gear Solid games was a lot of fun for me, mixed with the odd mental breakdown here and there, as I tried to get past all the VR missions and snag every dog tag; never again!

I think Metal Gear Solid appeals to a lot of males that secretly dream of being someone as badass as Solid Snake. Hideo Kojima did an absolutely fantastic job captivating people’s hearts and imaginations with this series, and I certainly hope the upcoming game, Metal Gear Solid 5 – The Phantom Pain, will live up to the name, and set itself apart from the many ‘AAA’ games that have been disappointing us with a torrent of bugs, performance issues, and subjectively lack-luster gameplay.

The RPGs, like Jade Cocoon 1 and 2; Final Fantasy 6, all the way up to X-2, which still stands at the latest Final Fantasy game I’ve played; Star Ocean – Till the End of Time, the game on which I had my first experience of what we now tend to refer to as ‘achievements’; and so many more games!

Playing Final Fantasy 8 actually inspired me to write a novel, rather hilariously called, “The Isle of Fantisle.” I was a kid, my English skills were terrible, and all I had with which to tell such a silly story, was an old typewriter and a small amount of ink which I couldn’t replace. I got seven A4 pages in before calling it quits, and to be frank, it was appalling but laughably so! Here’s an exerpt:

Where am i? Huh whats that? As i try to focus my eyes i see a dark figure holding some sort of stick like a javilen. I turn around to get my barings and to see where i am but when i look back the misterious figure dissapears. “Hello?” I asked with a frightened pitch to my voice as i haddn’t spoke since the shipwreck. No answer.

I think it’s safe to say I wouldn’t have won any awards for that, but hey, those were times long before I ever had the Internet, or even much Internet access! I think I was somewhere between 13 and 15 years old.

Playing Gran Tourismo 3 and 4. To this day, I still remember how exhilarating it was to race for 2 hours straight, and how unbelievably satisfying the end was, when you were awarded a car, some cash, and the right to shout, “I did it!”

One of the many cars you can race to your heart's content.
One of the many cars you can race in Gran Tourismo 4 to your heart’s content.

It was through playing and going on about Gran Tourismo that prompted my dad to plonk me in the driver seat of his very-real Vauxhall Astra van so I could experience what it would be like in real life. Funnily enough, I still don’t drive.

The demos! Never have I ever experienced the excitement and torture of playing a demo, than the days of old, when I would spam the first Siphon Filter, or the first Colin McRae Rally game. Nowadays, you don’t see a great deal of demos, or perhaps I’m looking in all the wrong places.

I have so many fond memories of gaming as a kid. Sure, I have since gathered more gaming memories, but nothing stands up to those first experiences and the increased inclination towards actually using my imagination; perhaps that’s what it’s about? Maybe gaming hasn’t changed all that much, besides the new technologies, and maybe we’ve simply ‘been there, done that’ so much that it’s just very difficult to find something new.

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Brand New and Squeaky Clean

Almost half one in the morning is absolutely a solid time to begin a project, right? Of course!

My name is JoeBlogs; well, no it isn’t, but it works just fine.

I’ve amassed rather a lot of thoughts within this big—but not too big—head of mine. I want to share with you the crazy, the happy, and the downright ridiculous nuggets of brain juice that gush out of every oraphice on my skull.

Read me loud and clear: there shall be ample amounts of brain juice!

I am entirely new to blogging, … well, that’s not “entirely” correct, as I have often typed gibberish out onto Facebook and other social sites. What? You meant to tell me that’s completely different? Guess I’m new after all.

So, enough of the unpleasantries—what sort of topics are you to expect from this blog?

  • You know, I’m only human, and as such, I feel emotions! I know, it’s truly remarkable, but with this power comes great responsibility, … to rant and vent like an angry keyboard warrior. I will likely brush upon some sensitive topics, and I apologise in advance if I offend you.
  • I’m somewhat into things of a computer nature, and have been for a great many years, so I will likely don my freaky geeky glasses, initiate Thuper Lithp mode, and begin to educate you fine people, occasionally getting some stuff wrong on the way.
  • I’ve been a guitarist for something like 13 years now, and so, there’s a pretty decent chance that I’ll blabber on about that side of things, eventually.
  • I do have some strong opinions about general things in life, including things like religion; there’s a good chance I’ll share these opinions once in a while!
  • German is my second language, and it’s quite the passion of mine! Don’t be surprised if you come across a blog entry of me talking about language learning, the German culture, how I’m progressing, and various other things.

Do make yourself feel comfy, have a drink by your side, perhaps some food, and get ready to enter the mind of TwT, for I doubt I’ll run out of things to blither and bleet on about. I will endeavor to post at least once a week.

Before I end this entry, I want to just apologise in advance for the ads. I loathe ads, but they are a requirement so long as I am doing this for free. If things pick up, which is my aim, then I’ll definitely consider paying for the bells and whistles, in order to make Taut with Thought look more professional—I hope you understand!

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