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Cursed Treasure – Free Online Tower Defence Game

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Found Cursed Treasure at towerdefencegames.com yesterday, and I’m quite impressed.

The rating on towerdefencegames.com is currently at 4.63 / 5.

Cursed Treasure is a web based game and is free to play, with 15 levels available. In this impressive Tower Defence game you are trying to prevent the local townsfolk by plundering your treasure, by building towers to shoot down the would be thieves.

It uses the ‘creep canyon’  method of path control, and you can place your 3 different tower types on the appropriate terrain – Grass for Orc towers – Dens, Ice for Undead towers – Crypts, and Rock for Demon towers – Temples.

Some terain is covered in forests which have to be cut down, using a mana fueled spell, before you can place a tower there.

You earn gold by killing the creeps who come to steal your gems, and generate mana over time.

Gold is used to purchase towers, but each purchase of a type of tower (orc, Undead, Demon) increases the cost of the next tower by 20 gold for that tower type.

Gold can also be used to upgrade towers, once they have achieved enough XP from attacking creeps. At level 4, you can choose one of two upgrade paths for your tower.

Mana is used to trigger one of 3 spells – Cut Out clears a forest tile so you can place a tower there. Frenzy doubles the rate of fire for your towers for 5 seconds,  and Meteor does an Area of Effect strike where targeted.

Your score after each game translates into an ‘XP Bar’, which grants you 3 new skill points to spend on the three skill trees – one for each tower type. The skills improve towers, spells, or add other new abilities. One handy Demon ability returns gems dropped by creep after a certain amount of time on the ground.

Careful selection of skills allows for the easy generation of gold, which I found very usefull. The game seems pretty tough if you do not do this, which may be a better challenge for those who really like a good challenge. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out what the trick is to easy money though. And no, it’s not a cheat or exploit.

The creep are well thought out. Basic units, fast units, healing, shielding etc all worked into nicely the theme of the game. As the game progresses these units gome in higher levels as well, bringer more of challenge at the higher levels.

There’s some replay value as well, as each game you get scored on how many of your gems you have left. The highest ranking – ‘Brilliant’, is attained if you complete a level without a creep even touching any of your gems.

The game is a lot of fun to play, go check it out!

Written by admin

March 29th, 2011 at 11:31 am

Posted in Games

Witcher Director’s Cut for $9.99 on Steam

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Steam is offering  The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director’s Cut for $9.99!

I had the chance to play a friends’ copy a few years back, till my PC died.. Still sad I couldn’t play it through.

The game is well worth it, and the Directors Cut should be sweet.

Written by admin

March 26th, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Posted in Diary

Earth hour!

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Don’t forget Earth Hour tonight!

Switch your lights off from 20:30 to 21:30

;-]

Written by admin

March 26th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Diary

Not lazy, just busy (Part 1)

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Time management is exactly one of my strong points. But part of my new approach to life is the improve those things I’m not great at, and making time to keep this updated is part of that.

So, quick (or not) recap, my last post was around December 13th, so what’s happened since?

December 14

Firstly, the reason for my sudden silence was the imminent arrival of our baby girl. The due data was around 31 December, 2010. After our doctors visit on the 14th of December, the doctor informed us that we might have to do a C-section soon if the baby hadn’t dropped yet.

This being our first pregnancy, and my suffering from a pretty large myoma, there were concerns that the baby wouldn’t be able to turn around, or drop down for the birth. Our main concern had become the health of my wife and our baby.

Change of plans

A follow up visit on the 21st confirmed the doctors fears, and a Caesarean was promptly scheduled for the next day at 11am. We were due at the hospital at 9.

The reality of what was about to happen had suddenly sunk in. Up till then we were wondering if it wold be a natural birth, and C-section. Natural birth would mean another wait of up to 2 weeks, whenever the little one decided she wanted to meet us. But it also meant preparing mentally for labour, with all the pain etc associated with that.

C-section meant a relatively easy delivery (we thought) but a much longer recovery time.

As we walked out of the doctor’s rooms, we were faced with the strange feeling of elation combined with shock, as we realised that in 24 hours time we’d be parents.

I went back to the office, and told my boss I was taking my leave from the next day. See you in 3 weeks time. Ciao.

2+1

December 22, we got up, my wife couldn’t eat anything. A full stomach + anesthesia = bad idea. we left for the hospital at 8, got there at 8:30, half an hour early for checking in. Nerves were mounting. My main job at that stage was to stay calm, and reassure my wife, and help her to get through what lay ahead.

The first of which, was waiting. That was pretty hectic. Then prep for surgery. It seems few things in life compare to a surprise catheter. Please ask you nurse to give you advance warning…

Then you wait for your booked theater time. When your wife gets wheeled down to the secret floor in the hospital, that you can only reach by pressing 3 of the elevator buttons at once.

You go to the waiting room there, and eventually I get taken to a dressing room, where a friendly orderly helps me get into scrubs. You just put them on over your clothes, so everybody can see your an impostor.

Then you get wheeled into theater. It cold in there. And when you’r on the table, you don’t get to dress warm…

If you’re the special person about to have the baby, you some awesome things to look forward to:

1) The spinal block – especially fun when the Anesthetist has to explain to a new nurse how it works. The words “You know its going in the right place when you can feel a slight pop as it goes into the spine” are not really the words you WANT to hear while you wife is bent forward around a pillow. She wasn’t thrilled either.

2) The bottom half of your body going dumb. This makes turning back onto the bed and lying down a pretty awesome challenge, especially when you are 38 weeks pregnant. The cold really sets in then as well.

3) The anesthesia taking hold. Your blood pressure dropping, and unpleasant feelings all around from from the stuff they’re pumping into you. With any luck, the nausea will distract you from the doctor cutting you open while you’re fully awake…

4) The aforementioned cutting. But only for some layers of the abdomen. Muscle apparently heals faster when it’s torn, instead of cut. The the doc and a nurse tug on you stomach muscles to open up access to the womb.

5) And while your husband is making sure you’re OK, and trying not to let on what he’s seeing on the other side of the little curtain, he suddenly get called to the other side, cause the baby is coming out and it’s photo time.

6) The challenge for the father then, is to get the camera in position, and try and get a shot as the doctor has instructed, while not getting in the way of people wielding scalpels and vacuum hoses.

7) Suddenly a little brown and red squirming thing is pulled out of the mommy’s tummy, and is hastily held over the curtain. As a mother this can be confusing. You weren’t cute aware they had started, and with feeling sick, you’re not sure what’s going on. Suddenly they shout ‘It’s a girl’ and you look up at this little ball of ‘New-to-the-World’. We like to call her Layla.

8) The dad then has to escort the baby to the exam table, where the pediatrician checks that the little one has all 10 fingers and toes. They do other things too, like clean the airways, wipe hear clean, and draw a bit of blood. And they do the Apgar tests, to measure color, reaction etc. Layla scored 8 out of 10. She doesn’t make too much of  fuss. The second test scored her at 9, as she obliged us with a slightly more convincing cry.

9) Then baby gets popped in an incubator to keep warm, and she and dad get taken back to the maternity ward. This could be to make sure daddy stays out of the way of the doctors, or maybe it’s to show daddy that baby doesn’t get swapped along the way…

10) Mommy is left in the operating theater to get stitched up. Which takes some time.

11) Baby is weighed and measured in the Maternity Nursery. 3.08kg, 51cm.

12) We wait for Mommy’s return. Takes a while, but she’s back all fine.

Advice

If you are going to have a baby, here’s a tip: don’t take ANYTHING yellow. Some people have difficulty telling Jaundice from the reflection of yellow clothing or blankets. They then scare the crap out of you, and order uneccesary tests.

24 Dec

With one day before Christmas, you wish that you could take your wife and child home, and have your first Christmas at home as a family. But new mums should stay in hospital for a few days, especially if they’ve had Cesareans.

Luckily, the nurses and Doctors are so eager to have you out of there, they sent us home anyway. Maybe not the best idea, but there are some perks.

Firstly, Mommy doesn’t have to deal with other new moms in the room. Not a problem as such, except when the new mommy and daddy next to you are on their phones all the time, at the top of their lungs. Common courtesy seems to be very uncommon these days. We had our phones on silent, and went outside to talk, or at least kept our voices down. Most other people don’t bother.

At least at home there was peace and quiet.

For daddy, it was a busy 3 weeks. Cooking, cleaning, changing diapers etc while mommy recovered.

But that first Christmas Day at home was magic.

Written by admin

March 26th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Posted in Diary

Elder Scrolls 5 Announced

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The release date for 5th installment of Bethesda Softworks Elder Scroll series has been announced: 11 November, 2011

Wikipedia has more info.

It feels like yesterday when I was playing Elder Scrolls: Arena…..

Written by admin

December 13th, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Posted in Diary

Debian 5.0.7 Install: Part 1

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I’m installing Debian 5.0.7 on a server at work. I have dabbled with many other distros, but have decided to try Debian at last.

Being quite familiar with the Ubuntu distribution, I wanted to try Debian, which Ubuntu is based on.

1. Getting the installation media

Easiest way to install Debian is to download the installation media. If you don’t need a ton of apps, take a look at the Network Install ISO.

Internet Solutions has a locl FTP mirror of the Debian install – ftp://ftp.is.co.za/linux/distributions/debian-iso/current

I will be using the debian-507-amd64-netinst.iso image for my installation –  approx 140MB.

If you have a lot of time / bandwidth available, you can download the full installtion pack as CD or DVD ISO’s. These discs contain the entire software library for Debian. This is also handy if you need to do an install at a site with a no internet access, or a poor connection. Also handy if you need to install to multiple machines.

With the Net Install ISO, it will install the basic operating system, and most apps I will need to download off the internet. Since I will only need a few apps, this is no problem, and I’m only installing one server.

Once I have finished making a backup of the current server installation, I’ll start the Debian install

Written by admin

December 13th, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Posted in Software

Should have stayed i bed…

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I love this weather, I feel bad having to waste it sitting in the office. Should be home with my wife, making her pancakes and watching movies.

Spent half the day trying to sort out a work issue – backups to our NAS devices are slow. Realised there’s nothing I could. Western Digital is still crap. But more on that later.

Am about to install my first Debian Linux server. Will report back on that in a while

Had a great weekend though.

My oldest nephew turned 5 last week, and we we’re at his party on Saturday night. Had such fun playing with both my nephews. Who needs a gym when you have 2 16kg free weight begging to be lifted and carried around. I’m suprised I’m not stiff after that.

Sunday was pretty kewl too. Brunch with the in laws, lunch with some friends, and spending Sunday evening half asleep watching TV.

Trying to get as much rest in as we can. It’s going to be a luxury soon.

Written by admin

December 13th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Posted in Diary

21 Days

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Our lives a going to change dramatically in the next 21 days. We’re expecting new family member to join us soon.

And it’s going to be exciting.

And a little scary.

When we first found out we were pregnant, I couldn’t stop smiling. It was on mothers day that we found out, and a visit to the doctor two later confirmed it.

I had stared a new job a week before. One that is closer to home, less stressful, and that came with a good pay increase. This helped a lot, I didn’t have fears or worries about our financial situation which plague a lot of expecting parents.

We had also gotten married recently. As two people who had never seen the need in getting a piece of paper to prove that we love and care for each other, and are committed to each other, we had always  thought it was a little silly, and unnecessary. But we had, after over 6 years together, decided to do it. Take the plunge and get married. Like we had joked about the day we met.

So there I was, recently married, adjusting to a new job, and I had just heard that I was going to be a dad. Your world changes a LOT after that. You look at the world differently. Your motivation in life starts to change, and you look at the world differently.

Of course, everything is fine, until you start realising that your little baby is going to need stuff. Lots of expensive thing that fill giant baby shops. And they say you need ALL of it.

I started phoning friends in a panic. Begging borrowing what they had left from they’re little ones. But there was so many thing we still needed, and you wonder how can you ever afford all of it?

The realization soon dawns that people have raising children in the most conditions, without all the luxuries that the modern world provides. And you feel a little better.

Of course, once you have resigned yourself to this, life throws a curve ball at you. After days of pain, my wife was admitted to hospital. Most women experience pain at some stage of a pregnancy. But we realized that what she was going through wasn’t normal, and we rushed to the hospital at 1am.

Initial sonar scans showed a ‘tumor’. When you hear tumor, the first thing that comes to mind in Cancer. I was faced with the possibility of losing my wife, and raising a new baby girl on my own.

But the tons of medical TV shows don’t always mention that there are OTHER kinds of tumors. Ones that aren’t life threatening. Apart from the extreme pain, my wife was OK after a few days, and was able to come home. I wasn’t going to a widowed father, raising a daughter on his own. My wife was going to be ok.

You realise all the fancy baby gadgets can’t love and raise your child. And that your family is going to be ok makes you appreciate what you have.

Many kids aren’t lucky enough to have two parents around to love them and take care of them, but our little one will.

We had Christmas party last week at work for children from a children’s home. Orphaned kids, and kids who had been taken away from their parents, or parent who just gave them away. Perfectly normal, beautiful kids. My heart broke at the sight of a little 3 year old girl, cute as a button. Who would abandon or abuse somebody like that?

You need a gun license in this country to own a firearm You have to jump through hoops, be trained, and by psychologically evaluated. They inspect your home, talk to you family and friends, and then decide if you can handle the responsibility.

You don’t need a license for a child.

Then came the baby shower. We didn’t do the conventional thing. Never understood why grown women had to eat molten chocolate out of nappies like it was poo…

The generosity of our friends and family was overwhelming. Just as you realise you don’t need every luxury in the world to raise a child, somebody gives it to you. We are truly blessed to have so many people who care about us, and helped us so much.

The baby room is ready. Her clothes are washed, folded and packet in her cupboard. Baby monitor, bottles, toys nappies, creams and wipes are all on standby.

So are we.

The car is packed. Baby seat, baby bag, nappy bag, mommies bag. I know the road to the hospital. The doctor’s number is on my phone. My wife is upstairs asleep, the miracle of her body is putting the last finishing touches on our baby girl.

Nobody told HER what the due date is, and she’ll come when she wants to. So we’re ready. Just in case.

I cant wait.

She’s going to be awesome.

Written by admin

December 11th, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Posted in Diary

LagFix – 2 days later

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I installed LagFix 2 days ago using the One Click Lag Fix APK from XDA in order to try and speed up my Samsung Galaxy S.

Once you install the OCLF it creates a new program in your Applications. This app gives you shortcuts to install the various fixes and tweaks that are included in the pack. Some have requirement progams that need to be installed, such as the z4root to give root access to the device, and the EXT2 tools that provides a locally mounted disk / partition to speed up the device. These are installed from the OCLF app.

So I opened a few apps to see how it performs. Keeping in mind installing the EXT2 Tools required a reboot, I let the device run for 36 hours to make sure we’re not just getting speed boost from new new boot and clean memory space.

To, apart from the 15 or so widgets I have running, I have the following going:

  1. Adobe reader with an 11MB PDF with lots of graphics – scrolling is fast, it scrolls immediately, with no lag.
  2. My Media Gallery
  3. Video Player opened from the Gallery, playing a 200MB avi – playback is smooth and crispy on the 480×800 AMOLED display, jumping around to another point in the video takes about a quarter second.
  4. My Contacts
  5. A Calculator
  6. File Expert – a file system explorer
  7. Phone Explorer – shows phone and device info
  8. Google MAPS
  9. Google Mail
  10. Normal e-mail program

RAM usage shown 250MB of 326MB in use

Have found one problem with the phone, default task switcher only shows 6 apps, even though I have more open. Does the iPhone 4 have this issue I wonder?

It’s not a train smash, I could just download a new Task switcher. It’s not really a phone like in the old days where you are limited to the software the phone was shipped with.

Just a few years ago you were limited to the basic operating system, which handled everything from phone calls, messaging, games and settings. You could add Java and Symbian apps, and of course the iPhone blew open the application potential for the high-end phone.

But with the Android OS on the Galaxy S, there is very little that can’t be changed. Phone & call managers, messaging, e-mail, mapping, task managers, IO schedulers and memory management tools.

Now if only Samsung SA would release FroYo…

Written by admin

December 11th, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Posted in Mobiles

90’s Revisited: Toad the Wet Sprocket

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Rediscovered this the other day – Fly From Heaven by Toad the Wet Sprocket

They got their name from a Monty Python sketch ;-]

Really like the song from their 1994 album Dulcinea, video is is little 90s, but the music is good.

Takes me back to my last year of school, when life was simple.

Fly From Heaven

“Fly from Heaven” is sung from the perspective of James, who is portrayed as Jesus‘ literal brother and upset about the manipulation of His word. – Wikipedia

Interesting lyrics.

Also have a look at:

Something’s Always Wrong

Walk on the Ocean

Written by admin

December 10th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Posted in Diary