Archive for the ‘Random Writings’ Category

On-Line Games and Bad People

April 3, 2013

So I retired from work, that is, retired from sitting at a desk all day staring at computer screens and started to find myself at home, sitting at the computer all day, playing games such as World of Warcraft, Eve-online and others. I got hooked, and found myself playing from first thing till bedtime.
With time on my hands, I was able to invest 10 hours, 14 hours and sometimes 16 hours a day fighting bad guys, planting turnips and pvp’ing my way to oblivion. It’s a strange thought, but I had to tell myself that most of the players were way younger than my sixty odd years.

Many of the other players I interacted with were quite possibly, from the way they used grammar, diction and communicative skills, five years shy of their fifteenth birthday. For  some, the image of a sixty year old player was too much to comprehend and they demonstrated this with vile communications, un-civil manners and stupidity that would earn then them more than a slap if their parents were watching.

I have been a communications technician since I joined the Royal Air Force in 1967, I have built and owned computers since they first became available, and one, a kit called the UK101, had a whopping 1k of memory, one thousand  and twenty four bits, smaller than many cookies in this day and age. Yet other players assumed I was stupid, uneducated, prepubescent and or worse, a target for their own filth and venomous attacks.

I have learned playing on-line games requires a considerably thick skin, the ability to effectively remove yourself socially and the need to ignore anything that interacts with you that you find distasteful. If I had children, I would unplug them and send them outside to play, in the fresh air, with physical, not pixel, toys.
The very best aid to surviving on-line games, is the ability to switch off the ‘game’ and do something else, anything at all, but to tear yourself away from doing whatever it is you are doing at the time.

Some of the things I do, is write blogs, grab the camera and shoot at something, work on the engineering tasks I have in the shed, grab the piano keyboard and wind up the headphone volume, write my php for my text tasks, grab the iPad and sit somewhere nice and chill watching youtube rubbish, even grab the flight simulator and fly my aeroplane across the Rockies to San Luis Obispo.

It does not matter what I do, as long as I severe that connection with rude, childish and ignorant people I found on the web playing games.

The more I stop playing World of Warcraft, Eve-online, Aion, Star Wars et al, the better I feel in myself and the more I enjoy my days.

Remove anonymity from the web?

April 3, 2013

Until the birth of the Internet, privacy was what you made it for most people. Celebrities such as senior politicians, movie stars and sports heroes, their lives spilled over into the media, the media that helped them make their fame. They may have had the funds and opportunity to lead a dual life, a secret life divorced from the media, but for the main, if their lives were hyped up by the media, they sacrificed some anonymity in order to reap financial or other reward.

The average person could walk along any street away from their home, in any town, and unless they made an effort to appear conspicuous, they were as anonymous and private as they wanted to be. It was and still is accepted, that if you make no attempt to force yourself into the public eye, publicity will pass you by as silently as the clouds cover the night-time stars. We accepted that any photograph taken in a public place was as free from restriction, as if the observer was at the point the picture was taken.

Then, along came the Internet and introduced more people to the nasty side of normality. Normal people when talking to strangers were polite. If asked who they were, they could, and still can, tell a lie. It is normal to lie to strangers in order to protect yourself, your thoughts or your intentions. Telling a lie is not a crime for the most part.

If a person approached a total stranger, swore at them, called them nasty names and tried to assault them, that person would feel the force of reprisal, counter-attack or the hand of a police officer, and quite rightly so. Yet, with today’s internet demand for anonymity, that person believes he has a right to be obtuse, offensive and as mean spirited as he wants to be without fear of retribution.

Anonymity on the web is not a right, social values are not swept to one side simply because  the internet occupies the time and space between the offender and the victim. If every person who used the internet did so in the knowledge that they could be held responsible for their foul mouthed unwanted interjections, the web would be a much nicer place.

If you would not say it in front of your aunt, you should not be saying it on the web to total strangers. I read an article on the internet pages of a national newspaper and was unsurprised at the vileness of the comments and the scathing attacks on the correspondent and other contributors.

Facebook and Twitter are laced with off colour remarks and opinions, filth, stupidity, foul-mouthed offensive remarks seem to be the norm in this day and age, civility for many seems to be consigned to the scrapheap. Is it time to remove the ability to be anonymous, and time to introduce responsibility for our words and actions on the net?

Random Sunshine

June 3, 2011

It is another yet another Friday, the trigger for a million different ways to spend a weekend. This is the first Friday this month, a rare event, and one that cannot be repeated this year. The sunshine earlier in the morning invaded our senses and caused with no undue certainty, for the kitchen door to be opened to the garden, giving both the cat free access and the gentle warm breeze the ability to wander into the house as the muse took it.

I have been engrossing myself in online games of the multi-player style for the last couple months, and as the days have blended together disfiguring the calendar into a grotesque admonishment, an apology for entropy. Now today, I find myself under a shady umbrella beside our garden table, tapping away enjoying a balmy influx of delightful weather. This must be the second best day this year, if we get another warm zephyrs day, it will possibly be a new record for the meteorological office to boast about.

Our small English garden is awash with birdsong, the regular whine of aircraft engines passing overhead to and from Manchester or Liverpool. Missing is the incessant racket of children ‘enjoying’ themselves, telling me the nearby infant level school must be closed for yet another school term holiday.

Our lawn needs cutting again, but that, I remind myself, is now the task of the housing companies gardener teams. The rag-taggle band of guerilla gardeners with a creed to inflict themselves onto the quietness being enjoyed by innocent victims. The come armed with the most noisy encroutriments imaginable. Leaf blowers, strimmers, hover mowers and all powered by raucous petrol driven engines.

But I am enjoying this rare wonderful weather and writing about it. What could be finer?

Summer sunshine finds my garden flowers

April 9, 2011

This weekend is a typical English Summer weekend, for out from nowhere appeared clear blue skies, a gentle breeze and hours upon hours of unending sunshine.

I have taken the chance, to spend a few moments in my greenhouse hide-away to make my first new tech blog. I have a new small camera, and my iPad and a head full of ideas.

The garden is beautiful this time of year with the spring flowers in abundance, sadly, the only ‘fly in the ointment’ is a close neighbour has a radio station playing full blast with electronic screaming, badly rhyming lyrics and a discordant cacophony.

I can hear a Robin nearby declaring his intent to be the noisiest bird on the block and his chirrups, whistles and unabashed song lift me and fill me with a need to start writing.

I have connected the camera memory card to the Apple IPad adapter and plugged same into the slot in the iPad, downloaded the images and have to select one for publication.

Dan de-lion, who’s spectacularly golden head reflects the sunlight vividly among the sea of deep green leaves that form the rest of the plant. Many, including my partner, bless her, feel the humble dandelion to be a weed, an unwelcome invader, and a plant to be removed at all costs. But for me, it is a dazzling celebration of the changing air that tells me winter is past and that apart from wind and rain, the sun has again come to my home. This incredibly powerful plant, simply in it’s design, unchanged for countless millennia, carries so many good things for the pharmacist, for the artist and for those who use the flowers as a year clock, describing each change in season as accurately as any escapement regulated clock on the mantelpiece.



IPad blogging, hindsight and Japan

March 29, 2011

WordPress seems to offer a simple application for daily or topic based blogs. Easy to set up an account, though I did find it easier to use my desk based pc to create the wordpress account.

As I am still waiting for my camera connectivity kit, and The software to manipulate those images on the iPad, but then I hope to be able to add pictures to support the blog.

Typing on the iPad is quite easy, though I am not a touch typist, rather more of a ‘hunt and peck’ typed. The keyboard, built-in, exhibits a tiny ‘click’ as each finger tip stab is registered providing some degree of feedback.

I have been going to the website as it shows, overlaid on google maps, the sheer number of earthquakes in and around northern Japan in the last week. The tectonic plate sub ducting under Japan seems to be generating an earthquake storm and my first thought, was that southern Japan seems to suffer very few earthquakes, so why did they not build their power stations a) in the south and b) Inland from the coast or on the western coasts to negate the effect of a tsunami. Hindsight, a wonderful tool! My previous managers used the tool of ‘hindsight’ as the preferred weapon of choice for needless disciplinarian.

I am starting to feel comfortable using the iPad as a blogging tool, and look forward to getting the adaptor thingy so that I can add pictures on the move.

Using iPad as a blogging tool.

March 27, 2011

As I write this, my heart is leaden. If this were a novel by Terry Pratchett, I would be anticipating a merry quip, a punchline, something sobering from Vetinari. Sadly, I am not such a clever author, and wish only to see my simple stories presented in the manner in which I write them.

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