Rift – A new MMORPG

I don’t play many computer games these days, it’s either I’m growing up or my obsession with gadgets is taking over…  I think the latter is more likely.  The games I do tend to still enjoy are those that let me develop and build the skills of a character or play to gain achievements of some kind.  MMORPG’s (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) fit the bill here, but it’s often hard to find a good one.

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Professional Writers!

For some months now, Robert has been writing a book and is now in negotiations to write a second.  Well it would appear he’s not the only one in demand!

I started Hemorrdroids.net with a couple of Android loving friends at work around 9 months ago and we’ve built and built on it, becoming more known in the genre.  My hardware reviews have apparently caught the eye of some people as just before Christmas I was contacted by someone from TechRadar, the UK’s biggest tech website, asking if I might be interested in writing reviews for them.

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Home Cinema Experience – Full HD!

I almost surprise myself when I think for how long I went without a decent home cinema setup.  A year or two back I bought a reasonably cheap surround sound system.  Last month I suddenly realised my TV in the living room was only 32″.  It didn’t bother me until I realised it was actually about the smallest TV I could have!  This had to be changed, so off I went to the internet.  I wanted full HD (1080p) and DLNA so I could stream content direct to the TV from my home network and it seemed John Lewis had an amazing deal on a Samsung 50″ Plasma, but I would have to wait as it wasn’t in stock.

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Android Explosion

So I’ve had an Android device for around 18 months now.  Starting with a HTC Hero, moving on to the Nexus One, dabbling with the HTC Desire and Dell Streak before moving on to the Samsung Galaxy S and no on to the HTC Desire HD.  I’ve been very happy with each one and the Android OS is moving from strength to strength. In that time the OS was on 1.5 and it’s moved to 1.6, briefly 2.0 then 2.1 and now FroYo 2.2, with Gingerbread 2.3 on the horizon.

Two weeks ago, my Orange contract finally came to and end.  I had already bought my Desire HD SIM free, but I was able to upgrade to another free DHD and lower my monthly payments!  This extra DHD was then sold covering all by £30 of my costs.  It was funny to think Orange thought I was still on a HTC Touch HD, an old Windows 6.1 device…

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Snowdonia Sequel

It was only 5 months ago since we last went to Snowdonia, but we liked it so much, we thought we’d go back!

This time myself, Lee, Mike and Steve set out from the Little Chef in Burford, following Steve’s well planned route through Wales to our hotel in North Wales.  The weather was pretty good as we set out, but it was almost exactly as we passed into Wales that the clouds appeared and it wasn’t long before the rain was falling.  A little drizzle at first, we didn’t let it slow us, but it soon picked up, so we pulled over and donned our waterproofs.

As with the first trip I was using an app on my phone called Trip Journal to log our route.  This time I was using my Samsung Galaxy S, which has a bit of a better camera and I was better prepared with a spare battery and a cigarette charging point on my bike!  This meant I could leave GPS on the whole time to track more accurately where we rode.  (Apart from the one stage it turned itself off!)

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HTC London

As part of my duties for hemorrdroids.net, I went along with some collegues to the HTC London event being held in Farringdon last night.  Partly encouraged by the promise of some free phones, partly just really looking forward to playing with the new HTC Desire HD and Zed, we got their nice and early at 3pm.  Not surprisingly, we weren’t the first there…

The Facebook event had around 1,000 confirmed attendees, so we half expected there to be 100 there already but in fact there were only 4 or 5 people there before us though. Luckily there were two seats, of which I took one of so no knee and back aches for me!

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2010 World Cup

The 2010 World Cup ended this weekend just gone.  The England team are back home and the newspapers are telling us all where they went wrong.

For me, it wasn’t as bad as everyone says.  Game one had us against the US, who really aren’t that bad a team.  Only a year ago they beat Spain in the Confederations Cup, that’s no mean feat!  All started well, Gerrard put us ahead after only 4 minutes and we were generally playing better than them.  Unfortunately, Rob Green’s blunder in the 40th minute put the US level, which we then just couldn’t overcome.

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Back In The Gym

It must be two or three years since I’ve regularly been working out in the gym.  I used to go quite often to Fitness First near Oxford Circus before work, but then things changed and we tended to start at 7am rather than 8am and there just wasn’t enough time to train any more.

Me in July 2010

Since then, my weight has gone up and up until recently I’ve peaked over 21st for the first time. Some of my belts are on their last whole!  It hasn’t helped that I’ve been limited in physical activity by my knee and back problems. Recently a colleague at work started going to a new Fitness First that opened on Baker Street, literally 5 minutes walk from work. As well as being so close, they also open at 6am, which would mean I could get to work for 7:30am if I had an early morning training session.

So, I’ve been down and signed up!  It’s £63 a month, even with corporate discount, but only for a 4 month contract, so I have time to see if it fits with my routine.  This way, if I just can’t keep it up for one reason or another, I can finish it after 4 months.  I paid £55 joining fee, but if I can go 20 times in the first 8 weeks then I get this refunded!

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HTC Desire vs Nexus One

Earlier this year I upgraded my phone to a Nexus One.  Not my first Android device, but my first on a big screen.  I took the plunge as I was fairly confident there wouldn’t be any better hardware released in the next 6 to 10 months.  It wasn’t long until the HTC Desire was then released here in the UK.  The Desire is pretty much HTC’s version of the same devise that I have, but with a couple of changes.  They use their own Sense UI interface that I loved on the Hero and it has physical keys. Losing Sense UI was something that kept me with the Hero for a month after the Nexus One was released…

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Knee Operation

I think the problem with my knee started back when I was 20, playing for the Leicester Lemmings, I intercepted a ball and was running it back when I was tackled by someone swiping my foot, twisting it behind the other foot and I fell on my knee.  I played on at Quarterback, literally limping or hopping to play.  It swelled up like a football so I went to the doctor the next day.  They booked me in with a specialist who then booked me in for an MRI scan.  It was 9 months later that I had the scan and they then booked me back in to see the specialists.  In my stupidity, everything felt good by then and I was busy with work, so I cancelled. Continue reading Knee Operation