The ZX Spectrum Revival

Somehow I see a lot of those golden oldies arriving on the PocketPC. This made me just surf along some ZX Spectrum sites and get the good old nostalgic feeling.

icemark – an unbelievable interesting site dedicated to the Lords of Midnight and Doomdarks Revenge. I can remember the day that my Doomdarks Revenge arrived (on cassette). I listened to the audio story and then began playing, slowly drawing the map. In the downloads section of this site there is the map (!!) and the complete audio story. But also a pocketpc version. You can also find source codes for among others Sabre Wulf and Atic Atac… what an amazing cool site. I freaked when I saw the sabre wulf map

The Crash magazine archives are wonderful to read. Like the review of scuba dive from Durell, sigh, how many hours I have wasted on this game, or wheelie from Microsphere, this is was such an amazing different game back then, wow. Played it for ages. I also re-read about the games which are part of my neural network: jet set willy, sabre wulf from ultimate, from microgen and so on. I can remember that my granddad owned a ZX Spectrum and that he bought automania and I spent many days at my grandparents played the game. the matchpoint tennis game was amazingly playable with some good sprites as far as I can remember. And then there is pyjamarama, which is for me the grand icon my the zx spectrum age. Tir Na Nog was mystefying to me, I read long reviews about it in the Spectrum magazines and thought it was the greatest thing I would ever see on this planet, but never got hold of it until some years later. I didn’t understand it back then, but it made a big impression. starstrike was a game I played for a long, long time. To me it was addictive as anything. I got shadowfire as a pack of 2 games, (engima). I also played these two for ages. the fourth protocol I bought this and got the book alongside with it, but… I never understood the game so never got into playing it. Frankie goes to Hollywood was a game which I read about in the magz and which was hyped like whatever, it’s still imprinted in my brain. I played monty also at my grandfather’s, I remember he really wanted me to solve all levels. If you are my age then the way of the exploding fist is probably also in your brain. I can remember it was popular on the commie too. And then there is elite, I believe I have the poster from the ZX spectrum magazine still somewhere in the big box, alongside my countless drawn maps, etc… Is this the greatest spectrum game of all times? Not for me, for me that is Tau Ceti, this is the game that I played for the longest time and which moved me from planet earth into its realm forgetting about reality. Although Commando comes in close in terms of months playing time.

The world of spectrum of Martijn van der Heide offers, among others, a GIGANTIC list of emulators. There is so much to be found on this site that it dazzles me. I found in the best games 100 that Elite is choosen #1, and the great escape is #2, which is also a great game. Surprising that manic miner didn’t make it to #1, since this is also a/the icon of that spectrum Era. Browsing through the issues of these old spectrum magz is therapy! Every page makes me go “ah…yes”, many of these images and drawings are hardwired in my brain. I notice they still are looking for some scans of older magazines, so let’s see if I have some missing issues here in my bookshelves FULL of ye olde computer magz.

jasper is the online zx spectrum emulator, and could lead to some serious addictiveness!!! (Note that the ultimate games have been brought offline since rare requested it, check the rareware timeline for the ultimate link).

Yet Another Joost Beta Tester

Today Joost extended it’s beta program. I got an invite, so I downloaded it, to see what the buzz was all about (participants are Warner Music, Endemol, Ministry of Sound TV).

My first emotion was the obvious special “beta participant” feeling, the second was amazement how good the GUI “feels”, the third one was: this will become BIG. It has a real natural “game” interface: just simple controls but it feels pefectly and it’s…. addictive.

It has some very good TV Channels on a variety of topics and undoubtly Joost™there will be gazillions more on there soon. The GUI is excellent, giving a real “game” experience, full screen modus and various widgets like chat on the TV channel, RSS feeds on the side etc… 

On the “football screen” above (a Football channel) you can see the controls, which disappear when you don’t move the mouse. It allows access to loads of channels, and all programs on each channel are directly selectable!

“My joost” is a widget overlay, where you can see on the left that I placed a clock on it, an RSS feed, a chatroom to chat live with other participants,etc…

 I am watching the channel “XL Recordings” here  and the programm is called  “Basement Jaxx – where is you heads at – Live recording at… ” etc… which I can see immediately via the infobox.  Via the programm selectors I can then select any live show or whatever they have in their programm list (like a zillion Prodigy recordings).

I think the content is important for Joost and the beta catalogue in there is really good. Here you can see a list of channels which are playing on Joost. Well… I’m going to watch some SciFi movies now on the SciFi channel… If you need an invite, just leave a comment and as soon as I get them I will distribute them (the first two will be for TsuiHark and Nepeta, who have already reserved the first two invites). THIS IS HOT!


Read Wikipedia for more background info on Joost.

update: first 3 invites sent to nepeta, tshuihark and victor (first commentator)

Retro: Moving from gmail to HoTMaiL

Now that I have discovered the real neat integration of the contacts stored in my hotmail, and the contacts stored in my PocketPC (in WM6 with the Live goodies), I made the decision that I will make my Hotmail account my primary account again.

This also means I’m going to enter all my contacts in HoTMaiL, which will take me a looong time! But at the end, it will finally give me a 100% correct contact list in my hotmail AND my PDA/phone. When they e-mail or message me, it appears directly on my “today” screen, which also is very handy.

p.s. cool to see that I registered my account before Microsoft bought hotmail! (yes, it makes me feel special to be one of the 8.5 million people having registered before December 1997).

So why “juniorpress”? Because Juniorpress was (recently stopped) the publisher of Marvel comics in the Netherlands, and around that time I was very active on the Internet around that scene. I remember the Marvel-NL mailing list and my geocities online comic catalogue, or my comic database system. Ah…those were the days.

upgrade to Windows Mobile 6

I found a Beta ROM to upgrade my HTC Universal / T-Mobile MDA Pro on the X D A Developers forum. I thought it would be funny  to just try it out. So… after about 30 minutes my PDA runs a nice Windows Mobile 6! On the forum you can find a HUGE list of stuff that is in there. Some things I noticed (just played with it for the past hour):

  • It runs faster than wm5, at least on my Universal, I really like the new found speed of the device, everything reacts on a single click
  • It has Skype build in, very handy, sits in my today screen, you can choose to auto-place internet calls when there is no phone connection
  • The new name of the modem function is “Internet Sharing” and works fabulous. Just “discover” the device via the bluetooth connection on your Laptop (I presume) and voila, you have UMTS/GPRS connection wherever you are. This is functionality I use every day when I am on client territory.
  • The new Windows Live integration is great. I have the Live thingie on my today screen, showing me my online messenger buddies and a mail notification thing. I found out that there is synchronization between Live “Hotmail” and my PDA. Whenever I enter contact information in Hotmail it automatically is in my list in the PDA. This is what I was looking for for some time! So this means that I have the strong urge of switching back again from gmail to hotmail.
  • The office package is now called “Office Mobile” and includes Excel Mobile, OneNote Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile and Word Mobile. Actually I never really used this functionality since I always carry my laptop along, however … it looks nice.
  • I see an icon called “USB HDD”, I know what it is, but I don’t use it since I have a zillion other usb sticks, watches and portable drives, still a nice feature.
  • There is a Virtual Earth Mobile on it, which looks very nice, interesting goodie.
  • The phone menu is much cooler, all in black

whoops..I’m getting a Live Messenger message … Publish!

Links for 2007-04-10

Most Controversial Films of All Time

1218doonesbury_lg.gif (GIF-afbeelding, 600×604 pixels)
intelligent design

Spb AirIslands

SMK Software official page – Products::Pocket UFO::Overview
Pocket UFO – kwijl again, this is going to take me much hours…sigh…

Pocket PC Elite
Elite for the PocketPC – kwijl

Jwrightmcps Crossbow ROM Update 2.02.00 WWE – xda-developers
windows mobile 6 for htc universal ROM

XDADeveloperWiki – Universal_Registry
MDA Pro Registry Hacks … VERY handy to know how I can change the default home page in pocket IE

T-Mobile MDA Pro Online Manual

I hate Microsoft Word

GRRR… I hate Microsoft Word, there are so  many things which take so much time to find out because they are plain WEIRD. *argh*

Notice this: I copied 2 objects from Visio into my Word document. Now I want to place a caption under each of them. However…WHERE is the caption option for the right one? NOWHERE.