Monday, 22 March 2010

Steam Games Purchase Platform Dying?

I am a keen promoter of the steam platform - but encounter 2 barriers quite often
1. Navigation in the store is BAD - if I find a game demo, and like it, there is no link to go to the actual game on the demo page. I have to type it in as a search, why? Why can't I see all games from the same publisher on one page together either?
2. Too few games have ratings! how much work can it be to display the number of steam installs as a percentage over time when a rating is not available? I know it's missleading, but it's better than nothing.
Steam were innovators once, but Steam has not changed at all in the last 3 years, is Steam dying out?
3. Not a barrier, but a gripe - the reviews pasted into the store for games are not spell-checked - I can only imagine the same quality problems occur elsewhere?

Please raise your game.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

SHDC Cambridge hacker space meet #18

It is confirmed! We have the Shop on Jesus Lane for SHDC#18, Sat 27th March, from 7.30pm-late

If you don't know where the shop is, there is a link off

If you haven't been already been to a SHDC, it is basically a hackspace hacker meetup; an opportunity to get together in one place to work on your pet projects, be inspired by others, learn stuff and share ideas. The important thing is it is a *doing* shop rather than (just) a *talking* shop :) It is worth taking the time to come along with what you are going to work on (else procrastination may well be the primary activity!)

One rule, newbies have to bring cake. And we like cake. So if you are one, or know someone who should be encouraged to come along, pass on the message! You can never have enough cake! If you use twitter, you can pass on the message on

There is power and wifi and a fair amount of space, so bring your laptop, tools, hackable junk, snacks and a friend.

See you there!
(re-posted from the SHDC Google Group)

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Greenest Electronics Company

Check out this Ladder and see how your fave device lines up, happily Apple are pretty high up, and Toshiba even higher up the green list.

In other un-related yet current news - Would E-voting improve voter turnout at General elections?

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

God mode for Windows 7

Another windows tip here - there are dozens of really good techie blogs out there, and hundreds that some are just chessy, or covered in ads. Here is a tip that is not. It's been called the GMC (God Mode console).
There are literally hundreds of settings (I only took a pic of the bottom of the list as you see by the scrollbar) and once you work out how to open this explorer view, you will be finding a use for it. So want to do it yourself, surf once more over to Marks GMC post.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Windows 7 driver signing of UsbAsp

Humm - sometimes Microsoft just get you in the goat, I think this is mostly because we love to hate Windows, so here is a tip to get your home-built AVR-ISP programmer working on 64-bit editions of Windows7. (PS: windoze 7 rocks!)
Mark Minasi's Windows Networking Tech Page
This is a neat technique, and does not involve downloading any dodgy programs , all you need is the Windows SDK, which can you download without any catches (totally free) and install in under 20 minutes. Just follow the steps in Mark's blog, which are basically:
  1. Get your machine into developer mode, and reboot
  2. Create a signing key
  3. Store it in your Certificate store
  4. Sign your driver, and then re-load it.
Anyway, follow the link for the details :-)

You can spot my ISP center-back, just next to the headphones - it's obvious we are short of space.