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Yeah so... This month's Retro Gamer. 98 pages. 64 pages if you exclude ads and filler. Hmmm. As a subscriber I don't like these no text covers. I am assuming they think they are doing something creative and arty, but it just comes across as pretentious. So in a couple of years when I want to take out my old RGs and have a good read, like I do with my The Ones, C&VGs and Zapp64s I have to just guess what is in the fucking magazine. Marvellous! I think they want us all to go out and buy a second copy. I'd prefer a copy like the punter in the street has. They are better designed. Now I come to think, they probably do this as it buys time just to bang a one image down over the logo. This month's cover star is a disassembled SNES in all its blueprint 'glory'. Which seems very familiar as they have done that before. Maybe a Megadrive? Bloody pretentiousness. No TMR (Jason Kelk). My favourite section (by far). Home Brew / Public Domain. Well put together and every page packed. Even manages to feature profiles of the developers, jam competitions and all sorts. Sadly TMR has been very sick. Get well Jason! Thankfully rather than just bung in some old bollocks about the Amstrad winning the 8bit war as they did the first month, they have not put anything there. I miss TMR. I miss him answering my bloody dumb coding questions and I miss his brilliant contribution to this ailing mag. For some reason some time ago Jason got demoted from the 'Loading...' page wall of sketch images. Maybe he told Darran what a cushy number he is on. No wonder he looks so smug. Too many two page filler screenshots with Darran Jones' boat staring out at me. Don't get me wrong, I don't not like him. He might be a nice man. A very nice man. A very very nice man. I've never met him, but I tell you this! after 170+ mags and 15+ years of seeing him gazing glassily out at me from the pages of his magazine, I could probably recognise him in any crowd. One issue had so many pictures of him, his family (I assume) and assorted mates and colleagues I thought I had not bought a copy of Retro Gamer magazine at all, but one of his family's photo albums by mistake. Bloody Ian Lee. I hate him. I don't know why. It is irrational. I have never met or spoken to him. Got an air of the 'bluffer' / 'chancer' about him. Annoying tv rent-a-nodding-dog. Nick Thorpe seems to still be doing the business. I've not read his SNES piece yet, but I have always enjoyed his stuff in the past. No contribution from Graeme Mason this month, so there is that at least. The man who thought Mayhem in Monsterland was a home-brew. Lure of the Temptress is one I will get stuck into but outside of that and the aforementioned SNES section... ? Also going to read the section on Joe Blade 4. JB was one of my favourites. I know it is very simple but I enjoy it none-the-less. David Jones's Knight Tyme gets a feature. I spoke to him once about his work, seems like a very nice bloke so I'll be devouring that section. Magazine just seems to be drifting... This month there is some stuff for me (4 bits). Last couple of months very little. I don't read them cover to cover like I used to. None of the sections have not been featured in other magazines. I suppose there is nothing more retro than recycling features from old magazines and I don't have a problem with that, but occasionally it feels like they're just 'phoning it in.' I've been a subscriber for many years, on and off, and I got every issue of the original magazine, before it was rebooted, with better layout and better quality paper, granted, so I've earnt my right to say my bit, but maybe I will stop now. Subscribing that is. I don't know. They had that clown Kizza/The Laird/* Insert all known socks here * working on the mag for years. He was getting paid by them. He knows nothing. How can I trust a magazine that published anything that arsehole put together ? Is this a rant ? Am I wrong ? What do others think of Retro Gamer these days?
I was listening to the 60 Minutes podcast and they were doing a segment on the Bloombox, which is based on a fuel cell. The thing which annoys me is they call this "green energy". Umm, folks . . . you're generating electricity by consuming gaseous hydrocarbons (typically natural gas), which isn't green IMHO unless you are capturing bio-methane. And even then you're replacing the power grid with some sort of hydrocarbon delivery system. They also talk about avoiding grid losses, but half of my gas bill is "delivery charges"! Pushing gas down a pipeline ain't free folks! This is not to say a fuel cell can't be used to generate power, or that it won't have value in some situations. But listening to the segment I couldn't believe the hype and spin which were being presented as fact. (OTOH, it's a good thing it wasn't broadcast with last week's segment on con artists and Ponzi schemes. Bloombox has taken a lot of VC money, and the few boxes they have sold weren't cheap either.)
Ok, I have been reading 80's programming stuff online lately, and here is something: https://www.atariarchives.org/pmgraphics/chapter3.php I keep getting the feeling that someone typed this book from memory and didn't really test the code in it. Because it seems that there are lots of missing parenthesis and even missing words. on that page, line 30 is missing a closing ) in one place then referenced again with the ). And in the memory reservation line, the initial DIM statement, it is written twice with a D$ and once with an A$ ... but I can't figure out what that means, or is referencing, and neither can the compiler. Ok, I feel better. I have been given more up to date docs to read, I just had to vent so I can move on. I think my neighbors heard me saying HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LEARN WHEN THE EXAMPLES WON'T EVEN RUN?? after like the 5th program I typed in was so buggy I couldn't get it to work, even enough to figure out the rest. Wait - I wanted to recreate my 1985 experience with programming - I think this is it lol! It's just like the back of Compute! ok thanks for listening.