It's Optimus Time !

optimus-time-tshirt-design


Check out this wicked 'Optimus Time', a sweet T-shirt design by The Atomic Rocket that I bought.   For those that are like WTF? it's a mix of Back to the Future and the Leader of the Autobots........

How to connect your Iphone to the Xbox 360



xbox-iphone

How to connect your Iphone's Wifi to the Xbox 360

I was recently  tidying chords behind the TV and I managed to break the internet when I un-plugged the modem - the connection to the ISP couldn't be made. I was gutted as I wanted to play some Dead Space but alas! My game save was 'in the cloud' so I was prevented from playing.

I sat defeated cursing my first world problem. Whilst doing so I got a text message on my Iphone 4S and I got a little twinkle in my eye. I could try and use the Wifi Hotspot function the phone has and see if the Xbox 360 would accept that as a source of internet.

The short answer, is yes, you can connect the iphone wifi to the Xbox!

Here's how to connect the two devices:

  • Turn your iphone's Personal Hot Spot on. 
  • Turn on the xbox
  • If you have an ethernet plugged in to the xbox, remove it. 
  • Go to the Network settings section of the Xbox 360
  • Identify the wireless signel of your Iphone - it will be your Iphone's name. Select it.
  • Enter the password of your hotspot wifi as given to you on the phone. 
  • Once satisfied the connection has been made, sign into Xbox and you are away. 

Using your Iphone's data does run the risk of you blowing your datacap and and you'll possibly have limited connectivity via your 3G network so I doubt you'll be doing a multi-player marathon anytime soon but you should be able to access your saved games at the very least!

I imagine this little trick is also be able to be used by Android phones and the like that have the same wifi hotspot connections.

Looking back at the music of Halo



Looking back at the music of Halo

I still remember the moment during my first Halo run through when I totally knew the game was amazing - it was during The Silent Cartographer level and it was time to leave the place. In a mad panic, I had to guide the Master Chief back up the the surface of the Halo, whilst a relentless section of music was playing - 'Rock Anthem For Saving The World'  featuring legendary guitarist Steve Vai.

Yeah, the choir doing their funky monks 'oooh ooah aaahs' is pretty cool but that moment is stuck with me forever. We remember....

10 years since Halo's original release, it's the stuff of legend that the Halo game had one of the best soundtracks that ever accompanied a shooter and this was a key element of the success of the game. Subsequent Halo games have followed in the tradition of great music - have they all met the standard set by the game that changed the way video games are made?

I thought I'd take the time to kick back and reflect on the music of Halo, have a chat about how music can influence a scene ....it's almost a love letter to composer Marty O'Donnell and less his well known counterpart, Michael Salvatori.

sheet-music-edorian-halo
The famous Halo 'E Dorian' monk chant as a musical score
Halo: Combat Evolved

This is the sound track to the game that changed gaming forever. Marty had already done a couple of gigs for Bungie in the form of the Myth series and as Microsoft had brought the Bungie studio to get their hands on the Halo IP, expectations were high. Marty duly delivered one of the most brilliant sound tracks ever. The monks' chorus, and the main theme riff with those wondrous string instruments are perhaps as recognizable to a gamer as the first notes to Star Wars are to a movie fan.

I already mentioned 'Rock Anthem For Saving The World' right?

While many people might know that Steve Vai played on a couple of Halo soundtracks, I wonder how many know that Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers had a go with his trumpet!

A subtle Oak, with a hint of dampness


I confess. I think I have an addiction to sand paper. I keep sanding things like desks and manrobes. Now I've gone and got a table to restore to former glories. Another sweet deal from Trade Me, this nice Oak Table has kept me busy for the last couple of weeks.

Here's the restoration journey in pictures and some wooden attempts at whimsical prose.

sanded-table-topWe picked the table up from someone's storage shed and I got the feeling the table had been exposed to a little dampness. I started with the table top as that's easy pickings, using an old sander recently given to me by my Cousin. The stain came off very easy and what was exposed felt a little damp. I left it to gain some exposure to the drier climes of the living room fire and began to work on the other parts of the table.

I turned by attention to the legs of the table at which point the sander started sparking bright flashes, hissing like a cat cornered by the Vet and smoking like Thomas the Tank engine after a hot date so I went inside and watched Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy which was thoroughly entertaining spy film starring  Commissioner Gordon. I wondered if any spy had ever been tortured with an electric sander to the face and then I went to bed.

I returned later and sanded the shit out of the table and chairs with my trusty Ryobi. Chairs. I don't think I'll ever be able to sand another chair for a while. They are really tough. Worse is the staining. So damn fiddly.

So the table and chairs were duly sanded and stained with a mahogany colour and the Oak wood responded marvellously and gave a orange like colour which I describe as Tiger.

The final part of the restoration was to cover the chairs. I got some nice leather-like chair covering from Spotlight (first willing trip to that place ever!), some hessian from a shopping bag a guns stapler.

Who knew gun staplers where so much fun? 600 hundred staples later, the chairs were presentable enough for Queen to sit on. Well kinda, my first effort was pretty rubbish, the final chair to be covered was pretty good!

Costs of the renovation:

Table and Chairs $180 from Trade Me
Stain - $50 bucks from Bunnings
Sand paper - $20 bucks from Bunnings
Chair covering - $35 bucks from Spotlight

All up $285 bucks which is a steal compared to buying the same thing in a fancy antique store somewhere where in Petone.

Here's the table in it's extended mode. It's like the Transformer of the table universe....


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