Christmas Present Idea

Stuck for an idea for a Christmas present for the man who has everything? Try this, the Iraqi Information Minister DVD!. Available here.

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“Ideal Career” Test

I just did an “Ideal Career” test on Emode. Maybe it has something to do with being made redundant in May this year! OK, so I’ve been managing to make ends meet, but it’s not the same as having a full time job and a guaranteed pay cheque at the end of every month!

I actually found the seven page test quite interesting. It didn’t say I would be an ideal bus driver or brain surgeon, but it did say this . . .

“As an Analytical type, you don’t want to be limited by established rules and regulations. Your inquisitive nature demands that you sometimes question authority. Otherwise, you might not be able to find fresh approaches, or come up with new solutions to a problem. It’s not that you act without weighing the pros and cons of a situation — it’s more that you’re willing to take justifiable risks if they’ll further your success.

You’re smart enough to know when you need help and are confident enough in your abilities to ask for it. You understand that sometimes there are no clear right and wrong answers, and that’s just fine with you because you tolerate gray areas better than most. In fact, pondering potential outcomes can sometimes be more interesting than coming up with the definitive solution for you.

Your right job doesn’t have to be about self-expression, but it needs to be a job you can be proud of.

So there you go. If you want to take the test, you can do so Here. Oh, and if anyone’s got a job (or contract / consultancy work) for a New Media Marketing type person, get in touch, here. :-)

The Ghosts of Christmases Past

In December last year, I received an email from Matthieu telling one of the most horrendous Christmas sagas ever. If you haven’t seen it, please do read it here.

Today, comes some feedback from this site from someone who only identifies himself as “Geo”. Geo writes:

Looking back through your archives and Christmas pasts I could sympathise with the car disasters and the way everything seems to go wrong sometimes. It got to remind me of a Christmas many moons ago in the not so swinging sixties I had my first car (a Ford Prefect) first job(a Farmhand)and a rare opportunity (a Saturday off) for me and my chum to do some festive shopping My mate turned out to be a very keen shopper with lots of siblings to cater for so he soon became laden down with bags of goodies so while I continued shopping he went off back to the car and filled up the boot. Later when we returned to the car with more stuff we had a bad shock , the boot was empty, everything was gone.

My friend was devastated. These were hard times, minimum wage was under five pounds for a 48 hour week and he’d spent over twice that amount. As for the car, it was unscathed unlike today’s smash and grab tactics this job was neat. As we found the boot and the car to be relocked, it seemed thieves in those days were all gentlemen.

It may have been futile, but at that time, everything was reported to the law, so we drove round to the local police station and told our story. To our amazement, after confirming what we’d lost, the ‘Dixon of Dock Green’ (Old UK Police TV series character) reached down below his counter and produced all the missing gifts. All our reservations about mutts in helmets were dismissed as we tried to imagine what marvellous policing had produced this result.

Superplod continued questioning us about the car, was it a Ford Prefect? Was it grey? Was it locked? Why all the Questions? Well, he explained, sometime earlier a bemused man laden with shopping had unlocked the boot of his car and found it to be magically filled with Christmas shopping, and of course, as he was another proud owner of a grey Ford Prefect he did the honest thing and handed himself in! So there you go Steve, a Christmas car grief story to warm the heart with an unusual happy ending.”

Thanks Geo! What a great Christmas Story. You didn’t leave me your email address, so I can’t thank you by email. Hopefully you’ll return sometime and see your tale here. When Matthieu gets around to reading this, I hope it gives him a smile; and whilst on the subject, here’s to a better Christmas this year, Matt!

URU

Click to go to the URU web siteHow did I miss this? Actually, I just caught it on the day of release. URU is the next chapter in the Myst – Riven – Exile saga, except that it’s different.

For one thing, despite the excellence of “Exile”, it’s nice to see Cyan and the Miller brothers, Robyn and Rand, back in the driving set for the release of URU. I haven’t seeen the game yet, but I’ve read all the reports and the playing environment sounds very much like “Worlds” (see below) but obviously with a game, puzzles and story line. To put it this blankly, is to demean what is I’m sure a superb piece of work. I simply mean, the new iteration claims to take place in a fully 3D environment and the player can create his or her own Avatar from a set of components. The idea being you can look like “you” or how you’d like to look and walk around the environment fully without “pointing and clicking”.

Beyond the single player game, there’s an online version where users can join in the game together, seeing each other in the 3D environment, to solve puzzles in what is described as an “endless” game. I guess what they mean is that Cyan will keep releasing new “Ages” into the online envorinment. This aspect is subscription based of course. I can’t find any mention of how much yet, but UBISoft do say broadband is a requirement to pay it. (Not the case on Worlds, a fact to which I am proof.)

I have really only one observation to make, and even that is more of a question. The screen shots seem to have lost the “photorealistic” look of Riven and Exile. Will this detract from the immersive feeling engendered by the previous games? On the other hand, will the fully 3D interactive interface plus (I am assuming) Cyan’s usual superb sound and music tracks make up for it? As soon as I can get a copy of the game, I’ll let you know!

Incidentally, If you’re wondering after my opening line, where I (eventually) heard about URU, it was here . . .