Encore!


Well I reckon the world managed to put on a pretty decent show over the last couple of weeks.* Perhaps even more surprisingly the hosts haven’t been too shabby so far either, which is a relief. It’s even been nice to see journalists discover that positive stories sell more newspapers!

Ok so the pre-interval ceremony (as Channel 4 have been pointing out, we’ve just had the warm up so far!) had it’s ups (union flag stage, hats with light bulbs on, more of those amazing pixels, and taxis covered in LEDs) and downs (unseemly reappearance of the fashion industry before the flame had even gone out) but all in all things are going rather well. Definitely looking forward to getting back in the Copper Box in September.

* Imagine the world behaving itself better the rest of the time. Maybe one day.

Handball 2 – 1 Hockey


[If you’ve arrived here looking for the Stratford Gate bridge water feature, it’s called bit.fall according to the Art in the Park publication.]

What an amazing day. The Olympic queueing event had been cancelled so we arrived in plenty of time for the first Handball session of the day:

Handball was definitely a tactical selection in the first ticket lottery but it was an absolute winner. Hope we see more handball in the UK after the games finish. Next up was hockey (and, being open air, a quick shower):

After the excitement of handball, I nearly fell asleep in the first 0-0 bore draw. Thank goodness the second game was a tad more interesting. Ok, it was team GB so we weren’t completely impartial, but it was definitely a better game and there were even some goals!

The Olympic park was pretty good as well. There are plenty of quieter spots to escape some of the crowds, or at least there were before the athletics started! We found this difficult-to-photo water feature under the bridge from the Stratford gate (it’s better than it looks!):

Diamond Geezer has a handy guide to the Olympic Park if you’re going to visit.

Updated: added link to Art in the Park since people have been trying to find out about Julius Popp’s bit.fall (4th August 2012)

Olympic flash mob


Just caught a bit of Britain’s Olympic Torch Story on the TV which reminded me I meant to post about the torch relay after it came through Fareham:

I had suitably low expectations but it was actually quite entertaining. Just possibly not for the intended reasons! We were waiting opposite the bus station where people were playing chicken with buses while the road was still open. It was more amusing when the road was theoretically closed but no one had stopped the traffic- I don’t think the bronze control vehicle should have been in a medal position!

After the warm up acts, the main event got under way with random music and dancing about from the sponsors. There were also a whole bunch of support vehicles and police of varying degrees of jolliness to get the crowd cheering and waving their recently purchased flags. (Some of those flags looked suspiciously like they’d carefully avoided any protected expressions!)

After all the excitement, some random bloke (who seemed to think he was Usain Bolt) sprinted past with a fancy looking flame thrower.

Shortly afterwards the crowd dispersed in a distinctly flash-mob-esque style.

Good fun but I can’t help thinking it was a bit of a missed opportunity. The sponsors were pretty unlikely to influence my choice of soft drink, next technology purchase or current account provider, but one of them could have at least made some kind of effort to introduce the torch bearer. Maybe they could have pointed out he wasn’t actually in the Olympics and tried to slow him up a bit!

Talking of missed opportunities, it’s a pity that for London 2012 we couldn’t actually have run the Paralympics and Olympics in parallel, instead of weeks apart. That would have really been something.

Wii for sale


After doing a fine job collecting dust, I’ve decided to sell my Wii. Despite being a lot of fun, computer games still don’t keep my attention. The only chance they have is with multi-player games (I still remember the days of Micro Machines on the playstation and Golden Eye on the N64!), but that’s more the people than the games.

The other thing that puts me off computer games is the entertainment industry’s weird obsession with draconian restrictions on their hardware and software. Despite technology’s potential for connecting the globe, I can’t buy games for my Wii in this country because it was a gift from the US. Entirely artificially, that makes it different region.

Before selling I wanted to reset everything but formatting reveals more restrictions:

“If you remove your Wii Shop Channel account, all of your currently registered Wii Points and downloaded software, data, and services will be deleted and software stored on an SD Card will become unusable.”

“If you plan to transfer ownership of this Wii console to someone else, you cannot transfer the Wii Points you have purchased or the software, data, or services you have downloaded, so you will need to remove your Wii Shop Channel account on this screen.”

So that’s nice, everything I did buy is gone for good, whether I’ve saved it to an SD card or not. I might have got another Wii in the future, or I might want to give the games away with the Wii, but tough luck. And then there are our Miis. I’ve saved them on to a controller which I’ll be keeping, but they too are linked to the console they were created on; I can move them, but won’t be able to edit them any more. Thanks Nintendo, you guys really know how to make a customer feel special.

Still, don’t let all that put you off buying a second hand Wii- I doubt the competition is any better!! So what’s a good price for an as new boxed up US Wii? £120? I’ll be putting it on the Hursley for sale forum shortly.

Update: looks like the DRM obsession can cause issues when upgrading to a Wii U as well. Nice work Nintendo. (21 November 2012)