10 Years of Achievements

12th December 2006.  The day the world bid farewell to disk drive pioneer Alan Shugart, and grumpy grandad Frank Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond).  A Tuesday.  Also the day I unlocked my first achievement on my brand new Xbox 360.

A lot can happen in ten years.  People can forge a career, a relationship, move house, raise children, or simply end up turning tricks under the bridge due to bad life choices.

In addition to some of the above (I’ll let you figure out which), I’ve somehow managed to rack up 100,000G on Xbox. Continue reading…

Amazon Quicksight now in General Availability!

Late last night, Amazon announced that their proprietary AWS data visualisation tool, Quicksight was now generally available in the US and Ireland.  Quicksight aims to be a PowerBI-esque drag and drop visualisation tool, that allows you to access your data from AWS (and other sources) in seconds, regardless of scale.  I’ve had a very quick go this morning, and visualised some data from a modest 1TB Redshift cluster after just a few minutes.  The biggest challenge was finding out the correct IP range for Quicksight to enable access to my VPC (Thank you serverfault).

More to follow…In the meantime, try Quicksight for yourself here: https://quicksight.aws.amazon.com

Battlefield 1 cover art

Battlefield 1 Open Beta Review

I cower in a crater, left in the middle of the Egyptian desert by some recent artillery barage, and drop a medkit by my feet.  Heart pounding, I look left and right to make sure nobody is following me.  My vision is blurred, breathing heavy as the medicine starts to take affect.  Cautiously I peek my head over the lip of the crater, scanning the distance for some sign of the sniper.  I work up just enough courage to sprint to the next crater when out of nowhere, a horse thunders past and it’s sword-wielding rider cuts me down, just as a biplane loops overhead.  This is World War One.  This, is Battlefield 1.

Continue reading…

Success kid

7 tips to balancing parenting and gaming

The biggest adjustment with having a kid is just the sheer amount of time they take up.  And I don’t mean that in a bad way at all.  Especially after they start walking and needing constant supervision.  I regularly find myself recalling pre-child times and wondering just what the hell I did with all my time.  The following tips are just a few things that I’ve learned throughout the last year and a bit, that are mostly common sense.  I thought I’d share them anyway.  Some of you may relate, some may find inspiration, some may be able to add more! Continue reading…

Assassin's Creed Unity screenshot

Is less sometimes more?

Video games are based on rules.  To quote my man Morpheus, “what you must learn is that these rules are no different than the rules of a computer system.  Some of them can be bent.  Others can be broken.”  The more that a game attempts to give you, the more variables are introduced, and the greater the scope for bugs and other general weirdness. Continue reading…