Monthly Archives: February 2007

One more reason not to buy a PS3

Just when it seemed that Sony had run out of ways to mess up the European PS3 launch, they’ve managed to create a backwards compatibility crisis that was entirely avoidable, by switching from hardware to software emulation of the PS2.

I posted a couple of days ago about buying old PS2 games from eBay, and when I made the purchases, I checked on the US PS3 site to make sure they would be compatible with the PS3. This new cost cutting change means that a fair number of my PS2 games will probably not run well or at all. Thanks very much Sony.

I wasn’t planning to buy a PS3 imminently anyway due to the lack of good games, and the high price. This has just added another reason to not buy a PS3. At least before I could justify the PS3 as offering upscaled PS2 games running nicely over HDMI.

I’ll happily keep my PS2 for the next few years, and use my Xbox 360 and Wii for next gen gaming. Sony – spend the next two years improving the backwards compatibility of the PS3, release Gran Turismo 5 and God of War 3, drop the PS3 price to £150, and then it’s just possible that I’ll give in and buy a PS3.

Reverse Engineering a Pub Quiz

“Which Japanese city was flattened by a bomb called ‘big boy’?”

That was one of the questions in a local pub quiz last night. The correct answer to this question was apparently Nagasaki…

I’m not sure if my team’s correct answer of Hiroshima (Little Boy) or Nagasaki (Fat Man) was awarded any points (it’s only a fun pub quiz, and I resisted the urge to give the quiz master a quick history lesson on the Manhattan Project), but it did get me thinking.

One quick web search later and the source of the error has been revealed. The questions in the pub quiz were taken from that website. As well as five questions on bombs, there was a round of darts questions, which pretty much sealed our fate.

Still, we didn’t come last, and the free Sausage and Chips were very nice 🙂

I’m becoming addicted to eBay

Not in a serious way, but I’m finding it very easy to buy some of the best PS2, Xbox and Gamecube games that I missed out on when they were released. It’s difficult to resist when really highly rated games can be picked up for £6-8 inc delivery. I must stop though, as I doubt I’ll ever find the time to play through the games properly.

Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution (PS2), Outrun 2006 (PS2), and Crimson Skies (Xbox) are my most recent purchases. Now I just need to find a cheap copy of Burnout 2 on the Gamecube.

The Gadget Show

Just a quick note about The Gadget Show on Channel 5 here in the UK. I’d always avoided it, as techie TV programmes usually end up being complete rubbish. Recently however, I somehow ended up watching The Gadget Show, and I have to say that I quite enjoyed it. The presenters were up-to-date and were giving out genuinely useful advice. It was also refreshing that the prices displayed were realistic Internet prices, rather than irrelevant manufacturer prices.

smart reviews updated

I’ve just done a bit of cleaning up of the smart car reviews on The manufacturer name has been changed from the old MCC Smart to the current name of smart. In addition, I’ve grouped the fourtwo and city coupe reviews together, and I’ve changed Roadster to roadster. All this will have broken some links and RSS feeds (sorry about that), but should make the smart reviews easier to navigate in the longterm.

Open Voting for Comment Filtering

On and related sites (mobile phones and motorcycles), it’s now possible to vote on whether a comment is on or off topic, without being a member. On the reviews with lots of comments, I’ve added “On Topic” and “Off Topic” buttons to each comment. The total of on topic and off topic votes are compared to decide where each comment should be displayed.

In-text Advertising Trial

I’m trialing some In-Text advertising on Basically this is double underlined links that will appear in some of the reviews and comments. Hopefully this is going to be subtle and won’t distract from the content of the site. If anyone has any strong feelings about its implementation, please leave a comment or email me.

Comment filtering on

Because of the large number of off topic comments that have recently appeared, I’ve added a feature to enable the filtering of comments according to whether they’re related to the original review.

If there are enough comments to justify splitting by relevancy, the “On Topic” comments become the default view, with “Off Topic” and “All” being offered as alternative views.

Currently only the members and myself can vote on whether a comment is relevant, but my intention is to open this voting up to everyone in the very near future.

As a starter, I’ve trawled through some of the more active reviews, and have done a first pass at filtering the comments.

As usual, any feedback is welcome.

Emulation on a Core Solo Mac mini

Despite the relative lack of processing power, and the slow integrated graphics, I’ve been very impressed by how well my 1Gb Mac mini copes with running various emulators. In particular:

SixtyForce, which does a great job of emulating the N64. I’ve had great fun playing Wave Race and Diddy Kong Racing again.

Mame OS X – Arcade perfect Pacman and Galaga on a 46 inch TV 🙂

Book Recommendations

For anyone who is remotely interested in aircraft, pick up these two fantastic books by Jim Winchester:

Concept Aircraft: Prototypes, X-Planes, and Experimental Aircraft – Amazon UK

The World’s Worst Aircraft (From Pioneering Failures to Multimillion Dollar Disasters) – Amazon US

They’re both very affordable, and have loads of entertaining analysis about some of the stranger aircraft to have graced our skies.