Why? Because in case you hadn't noticed, there's a Kickstarter campaign happening for Digitiser The Show, and I thought this might encourage some more of you to pledge. It's like Children in Need, but instead of Pudsey the Bear you get the writer of Pudsey The Dog The Movie.
If this is something you'd like to see - an actual, proper, video game TV-style show in a Digitiser vein - then please pledge if you haven't already. You won't be charged until after the campaign finishes in a couple of weeks. And, of course, you don't just get a show, but potentially some cool merchandise and extra videos and stuff too.
You can bookmark the live event page right here. And ignore the fact it's saying 7pm. For some irritating reason it won't change to 8pm. Something to do with the clocks going forwards this weekend.
Ha ha. I can't do anything right!!!!!
It's what makes me so adorable.
As a warm-up to the live stream, you might like to listen to my interview with Maximum Power-Up, in which I discuss more of what you can expect from Digitiser The show.
But enough about that for the moment: if you'd like to appear here, or you've something you'd like me to give some attention to in our occasional Plug Zone, please send your filthy emails early to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a kid, I didn't get my first computer - a VIC20 - until 1984, so I was reliant on playing LCD style games. I started with Astro Wars and Nintendo's Godzilla Triple Vision (borrowed from my friend).
What other pre-computer games do you remember playing?
I had your Game & Watches, and a funny knock-off LCD thing my brother-in-law (an airline steward) bought me on his travels, in which a postman had to carry some packages without dropping them.
My earliest memories of gaming are mostly of arcades on summer holidays; old semi-mechanical arcade games, like that Sega one where you had to lob harpoons at sharks. And light gun shooting galleries, where if you hit a target a toilet door would open and you'd see a cowboy doing a poo, or an owl would spin around.
With the apocalypse imminent with the next 12 months I would like to know whether or not you would be in favour of rebuilding our economy based upon fish fingers. Fish fingers possess the same gleamy golden colouring of bullion whilst also coming in various grades of quality from the rancid ASDA own brand to the magnificent Youngs - with Birdseye being the medium standard.
Yours, locked in my cupboard by mummy,
Emily Green (Mr.)
Hello Paul. I think I speak for both of us when I say that 2018 will be defined by an explosion in the world of lifting equipment. I've penned this thought-provoking personal essay about how lifting equipment will revolutionise our lives over the next few months. No young person will be without a hoist or a crane.
What do you reckon? Have we got a deal? Let me know when you're ready to set the presses rolling and lets get to work!
LIFTING EQUIPMENT - SPRING'S HOT NEW CRAZE!
Lifting equipment is what is usually used to connect the load being lifted up to the hook of the crane that will be used to lift the load i.e. it fits ‘between the hook and the load’. Usually a ‘lif'in' rig’ is required made up of sevahal diffrunt items of lif'in' equipment assembled togither t'lif' th' load safely.
The danged-est simpless fo'm of lif'in' rig is usin' a set of slin's t'conneck between th' crane hook t'th' load, cuss it all t' tarnation. Th' Eckeefe-a Leenk is un innufeteefe-a nuu ind uneet system veeff un integreted lued cell, cumpeteeble-a veeff th' ixeestin' runge-a ooff Mudooleeff' spreeder beems. Um gesh dee bork, bork!
It veell prufeede-a vureless reel teeme-a deta by meesooreen' th' lued et ieeffer ind ooff th' spreeder beem un' is idea fu' but veeeghin' un' dynemeec lued muneetu'in'. Deta is trunsmeetted vurelessly t'a USB trunsceeefeh zeet mooss be-a curnnecked t'a Veendoos cumpooter oo' teblet veeff a spere-a USB pu't. Um de hur de hur de hur. Mu'e-a cumplex reegs is used vhee ther is a reqoourement t'hefe-a fehteecel sleen's curnneckeen' t'ff' lued t'efueed inny seede-a luedeen', right, boot ther is elsu a need t'leeff' foom oone-a seen'le-a pueent.
Um de 'ur de 'ur de 'ur. Leeff'in' Beems un' Spreeder Beems oo' Fremes is pooffffeeck fu' thees, right, un' veell reqooure-a sleen's un' sheckles t'cunneck sepereete-a ilements ooff f' reeg tublimeyeer. Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp! Oi! Es f' vu'ld's premeeer sooppleeer ooff mudooler Spreeder Beems un' oozeer beloo f' 'uuk 'eefy leeff'in' iqooeepment, Mudooleeff' prudoocks is cust iffffeckeefe-a, right, leeghtveight, un' fehseteele-a.
Oooor fooll runge-an 'es DNF type-a epprufel 2.22 ooff up t'1000t - yu' keen feend oooot mu'e-a ebuoot zeem oon oooor Spreeder Beem pege-a. Leeff' Munegemin Sehfeeces is f' cullebu'eshoon ooff Mudooleeff'; ixpehts in deseegnin' un' munooffeckooreen' ell munneh ooff cumblex leeff'in' sulooshoons fu' 'eefy leeff'in' prudgecks un' RRS (Repeid Repunse-a Sulooshoons); speceeelists in prufeedin' inspeckshoon, muneetu'in' un' iggeeneehin' sulooshoons, duuhhhh, init, duh...uh...?Um gesh dee bork, bork! Doihh, COOL! Rite! Doihh, COOL!
Et f' fu'effrunt ooff if'ry 'eefy leeff', ffees 'yeh dynemeec dgueent fentoore-a; LMS beell meeentein f' meeghty 'eeghess stun'ehds ooff 'eefy leeff' reesk munegemin un' insoore-a a seffe-a leeff'in' infurunmin. Um de 'ur de 'ur de 'ur. Beeff a teem ooff 'eegh tweeenid speceeewist in-huoose-a Weeff'in' Ingeeneehs, duuhhhh, Pwudgeck Cunsoowtunts, duuhhhh, Weeg Pwunneen' Sehfeeces un' Oon-seete-a Sooppu't, uh, wite, Weeff' Munegemin Sehfeeces keen deweefeh un ixtenseefe-a fehmeentewisid peckege-a bheech beeww gooeede-a yu' fwuoogh fu'm yeh ineetiew inqoouwy up t'ff' dey ooff yeh sooccessffoow weeff'.
Useen' emungst zee debguned-ist Qooeweety Essoowid pwudgecks in f' weeff'in' indestwy, WMS keen deseegn un' booeewd t'ff' meeghty 'eeghess gwubew stun'ehds. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! Right on! Um gesh dee bowk, bowk! Right on! Doihh, COOW! Right on! Oi! Right on! Doihh, COOW! Right on! Inhussd beeff some cestum integwetid sehfeece-a, WMS keen insoowe-a some seffe-a, wite, cust iffffeecient weeff' oon teeme-a, if'wy teeme-a. WORD!
Mudooweeff' 'eff un in-huoose-a Cumpwesshoon Tess Weeg cepeggwe-a ooff testeen' Spweedeh Beems down t'1650t un' spuns ooff 28 metwes (92f'). Duh. Lop some boogie.Itch indeefidguuw Spweedeh Beem seeze-a in Mudooweeff'’s Stun'ehd un' 'eefy wunges 'eff beee Pwuuff Wuid Testid et f' ineetiew deseegn stege-a t'2 x SBW.
Enjoyed the behind the scenes look at Lara Croft and all the twists, so I cast my mind back at all those nuggets from the last century:
1) Babylon 5 was meant to be a TV series based on Nick Faldo's Tournament Golf, but the Amiga's unreliable graphics processor churned out a crap sci-instead
2) The breasts of the lass in Barbarian were exactly as planned.
3) Katie Price has never dressed as a Cobra Mk III and by God I've looked
4) Peter Molyneux now works as a Phil Daniels impersonator attending popular Quadrophenia events at Butlin's, Minehead, where he capers for small change.
5) The WipeOut soundtrack was really quite ok.
These had been removed by the time I returned there for a couple of messy Marillion Weekends in the mid-00s, when it appeared to be appealing to the lowest common denominator.
Suffice to say, the assembled Marillion fans were well out of their element - mostly middle-aged, middle-class, white men, let's face it - and one year we were sharing the camp with a country music festival.
Which would've been fine, except that the Marillion concerts were held in a venue directly above the country concerts, so throughout you had the band's unique blend of lilting prog struggling to be heard over twanging guitars and songs about tractors. Why, it was like some unholy mash-up.
Thankfully, it had improved a little when we visited about a decade later, to have a go in their water park. They had a gourmet ice cream shop!
How good was the Sega six-button joypad?
That's rhetorical, by the way - I already know it was chuffing excellent. The only flaw was it wasn't included with the Mega Drive in the first place, but that's hardly the joypad's fault is it?
That's also rhetorical. Obviously, the joypad wasn't at fault, it didn't exist at that point in time.
Unrelated, my 'word-of-the-day' toilet roll is getting close to the end now. I'm feeling quite rueful.
ERE, BIFFO, RIGHT... IF YOU WERE ORDERED BY TRUMP, RIGHT, TO NAME ONE GAME, LIKE, FOR MILITARY TRAINING, RIGHT - COS IT'S SO LIFELIKE, YEAH - WOZZAT, THEN?
Long time fan, first time Friday Letters Page writer (to clumsily weild a phrase those across the pond seem fond of).
I'm moved to put virtual pen to digital paper to ask for a plug, not for myself, but on behalf of the creator of a true labour of love, a man who poured his heart and soul into a project in a manner I know you'll recognise from last year's Found Footage brilliance.
Eternal gratitude shall be yours, should you shine some Digitser2000 magic light upon the N64-themed mockumentary 'Going for Golden Eye', by first time film maker Jim Stallone (@jimstallone)
The BluRay is on sale now at https://goingforgoldeneye.co.uk
This means worlds to me because Jim, whom I didn't know at all, messaged me via Twitter during a particularly unpleasant week of my chemotherapy, offering me a private preview of the film three weeks before launch, after I'd enquired about the release date.
His kindness, and the brilliance of his incredibly professional, genuinely funny movie, saved me on a truly dreadful day.
Thanking you in advance,
Something that has become abundantly clear to me in the past three years is that a lot of you have affection for Digitiser which is entirely personal and unique. I dare say that was a consequence of it being a daily thing while you were growing up, but I wish I'd known at the time. I honestly had no idea... though I'm trying my best to make up for it now.
Bugger bugger bugger. I'm suffering this week. All of technology's demons and wizards have descended on me.
Yesterday, my laptop's RAM failed. No warning, it just went. It's a MacBook Pro, and up until yesterday, it's run like a trouper. Now, it's refusing to boot, only letting mechanically melancholy beeps out of it's speaker. The number of beeps tells you what the problem is. In this case, three, which means bad RAM. This morning, I tried reseating it, swapping them over (just in case), but to no avail. The thing's shot. I guess I'll be buying some more in a while.
This could not have happened at a worse time. My main Mac - a mini (which has run with no problem for many years) has been getting tad sluggish recently, spinning wheels on the screen. Today, it seems that the HD is giving up the ghost, to the point where the usual tools don't seem to be much use.
So I need a new HD for that. That's not really a problem, I can get one pretty easily. The problem with the Mini is getting to the HD to replace it. It's actually a fairly easy thing to do - remove the RAM, disconnect a few bits and swap the thing over. The problem here is the screw drivers needed. I find that I don't have the Torx drivers needed, and unless the collapsing Maplin in town don't have them, I'll have to order them in.
That's the headache. I've dug around inside Macs before. I've replaced hard drives in Macs where Apple have decided that their official tech people probably shouldn't. Those first G4 PowerBooks, and the first G4 iBooks were the worst. It was an almost complete disassembly to replace the drives in those. Fun to do, and I did it, and it all worked afterwards. I don't remember needing much more than a couple of small Phillips screw drivers for that.
Not this time, though. This is the way of things. As we move along the 21st century, those habits of just digging into a computer with a screwdriver you'd find in the kitchen drawer are long fast going. I lost count how many times I took my BBC Micro to bits to stuff more things inside it - and that traction continued with its successor the Archimedes.
Eventually, I'll have to get a new Mac, and when I do, I know I'll be buying an appliance - something that has more in common with an XBox or a PlayStation than a computer (and before anyone giggles "don't buy a Mac then" - this is a trend that is affecting all computers, especially the smaller, more portable ones). They are sealed snapshots of time, with limited upgradeability. My habit of not maxing the RAM at purchase, but buying it cheaper elsewhere will be over.
So, the next few days will be spent (hopefully) rebuilding the Mac (yes, backups exists, I have backups). Or waiting for screwdrivers to arrive in the post. That's the truly annoying part of all of this.
All the best,
It appears that not even interdimensional corporations are safe from brazen off-brand imitators. Witness the Popamazing 30cm/12" Infrared Remote Control Robot Talking Walking Dancing Slides RC Toy Gift For Kids DancingToy.
Beneath the dodgy paint job and flammable foam accessories, it's clearly the same little tin guy with no lungs. Popamazing have even skirted discordant clanking infringement by instead making this "incredibly loud but in an annoying way."
Next, the inevitable Amazon warehouse fire and product recall.
I'm so excited about Digitiser The Show that it's started to invade my subconscious. I had a dream where I helped you fund it by buying unusually large spanners (approximately 1m in length), melting them down and turning them into lots of normal sized spanners, which we then sold for a profit. I thought I should share this with you, in case it helps in some way?
I sincerely hope you do an ACTUAL playground fight over game systems. Like, grown men in their late 30's and 40's, dressed in ill-fitting school uniforms, having a rumble over the C64/Spectrum spat, in an actual playground. Then digitise it. And make it look like Pitfighter or something.
(C64 by the way).
If you choose to revive “Do You Remember This” AKA @MemoryAssistant, might I suggest sharing actual weird nostalgic events. Illustrated in your inimitable fashion, of course.
Now is the Time to Remember Things With Our Minds!
Hello you. Would you consider doing a full article on your brief time writing for EastEnders?
I’m hopelessly addicted to it even though it’s been truly awful for over a year now and only occasionally rising above mediocre before that.
From what you briefly said about it in a recent article I think it would be an interesting read.
I mean, at the time I was convinced by other people that it was all in my head, and that this was just how TV works and that I wasn't yet equipped to deal with it, but now that I am a proper veteran TV writer I can look back and go "Yeah, actually... no... that was a really bad experience".
To be honest, the number of truly awful misadventures I've had in my job is actually quite small, and mostly confined to the days when I was up-and-coming and wasn't as able to head off potential problems before they began.
Dear The Digitiser2000 Letters Page. The past couple of days have been a bit rubbish for me, because I get like that sometimes, but I'd just like to brag that people seem to like me so that's nice.
Also something else happened completely out of the blue that has cheered me up a fair bit as well.
So that's nice. Keep on going, if you stop, it can never get better.
Anyway. I'm glad you're feeling better. And I'm happy that you being you is working out.
If you're going to do a retro games stream to promote the Kickstarter campaign, there's really only one suitable choice of game - Kikstart.
You see, Kickstarter is actually an anagram of "rec Kikstart", or to put it another way, "record Kikstart".
It's like a message from the gods or fate or cosmic ordering or something. In fact, I really think you would be tempting disaster if you refuse to play Kikstart on your stream.
I like Digitiser and I like Digitiser characters and you're making a Digitiser show and will it have the Digitiser characters?
Dearest Biffo. I enjoyed your lovely pair of articles on vector graphics this week, but a feeling of unease has troubled me since your paean to the Vectrex. Why is no-one looking at the "exclusive built-in screen" in the advertising material you used as the header to your article? Why is Su Pollard screaming at a young boy? How are the words "THE VECTREX™ ARCADE SYSTEM!" suspended above the heads of this ecstatic family? Your readers have a right to know.
A man on the internet
I'm loving my Vectrex. I'm not going to pretend: I really like being given things.