Xenophobic XenForo

So, since my last post on the subject of XenForo, very little has changed.  Everyone has been left wondering what exactly is going on behind the scenes at XenForo Limited.

I posted on their August Update discussion thread (as you might have guessed) and frankly I thought that my question about XenForo was reasonable.  My question was:

Would someone be willing to identify the cumulative number of hours that have been expended altering/amending/improving/patching/etc the codebase since the last announcement on 19 June 2012. Personally I’d sleep better having some proof that things are being worked on even if there is no scheduled time frame for a release.

Now on Wednesday this week it will be a fortnight since I posted that question and as of now it has not been answered.

Unsurprisingly the current moderators of the XenForo community were left with little option but to close the discussion thread as it degenerated swiftly.  Personally I did not find the moderators themselves particularly helpful because whilst I understand the logic behind telling people how they should interpret things at the end of the day that makes everything on the XenForo community hearsay.

I sincerely doubt that we are going to see anything back from XenForo Limited any time soon, in fact I predict that we will hear nothing whatsoever until they post a “September Update” or similar.

Personally I cannot see the problem with answering the question that I posed, many other projects freely allow people to draw down information and statistics on the amount of programming being done.  For an example you can take a look at the entry for Mozilla Firefox on Ohloh.net which notes that there have been 2525 commits in the period 09 August 2012 to 08 September 2012.

Is the current set of circumstances really so bad that XenForo Limited has to take this xenophobic approach to their own customers?

Staying Zen about Xenforo

I thought I would try being a bit more imaginative with the title this post, not sure if I have succeeded.

So, rubbish humour to one side for now, XenForo Limited has released an update for August 2012 about what is happening on their end.

Frankly it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

Whilst I’m sure that there is an awful lot that is happening behind the scenes which is affecting the development process, e.g. the often referenced personal issues of the developers, this blanket of silence that has appeared is absolutely awful.  It really just isn’t good enough to leave everyone hanging around waiting to see what happens next whilst paying their hard-earned money for the privilege.

Doubtless there is a limit on what can and cannot be revealed given the ongoing legal issues that have arisen around the product and the developers, however saying nothing at all does nothing to still the waters.  In fact I think that their latest post has only served to stir up the questions around what will happen to XenForo.

All this said, it will be a real shame if XenForo cannot manage to pick itself up after being taken to the canvas by the owners of vBulletin, since the software shows a fresh and innovative approach to hosting communities online which will be sorely missed if it disappears.

Back from the dead… (again?)

Well, I’ve been getting rather bored recently of not doing anything with my websites again.  So, having had enough of watching it sit there in ruins for far too long I’ve just switched Console Forums from phpBB3 to SMF.

As usual there isn’t a major reason for this.  The decision has been made purely on the basis that phpBB3 seems to be shit at preventing annoying bots from registering (100+ a day for over a year despite the board requiring activation by hand).  SMF on the other hand has been up for a couple of days with a nice little plugin that seems to have held all the spam registrations at bay 😀

The next one on the list is to try and get Akismet up and running on it.  That would be a bit more difficult as I have found a nice little plugin but it’s a bit out of date and I’m no wizard when it comes to code!

Ninty's gonna Wii on the PS3

Quote from EuroGamer article:

“£425 is definitely not a mass market price, no,” Maguire admitted.

“But you think about the price, think about the price of just a Blu-Ray player. It will be cheaper than a Blu-Ray player just by itself. So fundamentally we’re going to be great value just from that point of view without even looking at the games side.”

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.  What in the blue (excuse the pun) hell are Sony thinking?

Four hundred and twenty five notes for a console that isn’t what they said it was going to be. This is very shady.

When they first announced the PS3 it was a different beast afaic.  The beast that would have done everything.  Now it’s a shell of what it was and it’s being sold on the basis that it’s got Blu-Ray.

Who gives a fuck? Who even wants Blu-Ray anyhow? Nobody I know that’s for sure.

Sony are heading for a slaughterfest.

Backtrack?!? Moi?!? Never….. (ok Well Maybe)


Backtrack?!? Moi?!? Never….. (ok well maybe) | Comments (2)
Sunday, February 2, 2003, 01:36

Engine room, full reverse!
Anybody that knows me, knows for damn sure that getting me to admit that I was wrong is about as easy as getting blood from a stone…… using a cotton wool bud….. in a dark room….. while hanging upside down from the ceiling….. having small children beat you with sticks like you’re a piñata….. while naked. Basically it’s more effort than its worth.

So if it’s so damn hard, what am I about to confess to being wrong about?

Microsoft’s X-Box

Yes, that’s right. You didn’t read it wrong. The above line does indeed contain the words “Microsoft’s” and “X-Box”. They are not typos, this is the real deal. Yes I’m serious.

Now to understand my backtracking, you have to understand the history. When I first laid my eyes on the X-Box I literally started laughing. You know, like we all did when we first heard somebody had given the Cheeky Girls a recoding contract. Why? The usual reasons of course, I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about;

“You can’t be serious, that thing’s bigger than my house”….. “Will I need to reinforce the floor in my living room before buying that?”….. “Can I order mine now and pick it up in 2005, because by then I should have been working out long enough to `actually` pick it up”….. “No really, where is the actual controller?”

Anyway to skip forward, we’ve been through all the days in 2002 now. Those calendars have all been torn down, 2k2 is dead and buried, 6ft under, alongside all those john doe’s and right beside the Christmas console title releases. Frankly in my mind “stank worse than a rotting corpse” is the only accurate comparison for the Crimbo releases of 2002. Not a single gem, no diamond in this rough. Bad, bad, bad, bad, BAD!

So there I was, it’s January 2003 and, despite the `upcoming` (read as: taking too fucking long to arrive) release of the Sonic Mega Collection, the amount of dust gathering on my GameCube is making such a mockery of its beautiful design that I’m contemplating stamping on it to put it out of its misery. If only I could use it to play the spinky Red Dwarf – Season 1 DVD (if you’ve not got this, GO ORDER NOW & pre-order Season 2 while you’re at it) maybe I’d feel better. Then again, DVD playback was about all my PlayStation 2 had been doing. While I confess that Capcom vs. SNK 2 & Marvel vs. Capcom 2 had forced me to shower my PS2 with a minute amount of my attention, it simply wasn’t enough.

So in summary, Console Freakoid (moi) + Crimbo 2k2 (shite releases) = Loss of faith in Nintendo & Sony (shit, that is bad)

Then it happened, a mate of mine who had owned an X-Box for a while got a copy of MechAssault. I didn’t need to have somebody explain to me why the concept of “big killing robot style machines making pretty explosions” was such a winning one, I was hooked. Did it have something to do with me beating the crap out of my mate, was I under the influence of certain substances that shall remain nameless, I can’t be sure. The only thing that I do know is there and then I decided I was to become an X-Box owner.

So, now on my left as I type, sits my latest acquisition, it’s big, it’s black, it makes a whiney noise….. no it’s not a bloody Doberman for god’s sake! It is of course an X-Box, comprising the Console, DVD Playback Kit (so very gay), Controller S, Live! Kit and MechAssault, with an empty wallet thrown in for good measure.

So, what’s my backtrack? The X-Box is a good console. Yes, it’s fucking huge. Yes if you’re not American the original controller is gay. Yes uncle bill is still a wanker for making extra cash on a piece of shit remote control for DVD playback (what’s new). But the games are good, Live works & is good, Controller S is good. There you go, my piss poor backtrack. I hope you all enjoyed it more than I did, really I do.

Forums….. Consoles….. nah, that’s a shit idea
Started work on a new small project I’ve wanted to do for a damn long time. ConsoleForums.org is now up and running, admittedly in a half-arsed capacity but did you expect anything else. So if you like, Consoles and Forums, well erm click the link!….. woo!…. ok, I’ll shut up now.

Ch3tan`s Gone!
Good buddy of mine in real life, one of the more charismatic (?!?) Counter-Strike admins & all round “in the community” bloke, Chetan has departed from the shores of good ole blighty and headed off for an adventure (with his lass there to hold his hand should the big ole world prove too scary, obviously).

Read about his adventures on his website (which I have to keep fixing because he breaks!!!).

That’s all folks
And with that, I’m outta here.

Remember, watch the skies….. another space shuttle could explode :{
Rob / MYstIC G

Is Conflict The Key?


Is Conflict the Key? | Post a comment..
Saturday, June 30, 2001, 18:07

I`ve never really sat down and thought about this at any great length before but today this question has been running around my head over and over

Why do we all play computer games???

So for the past couple of days I`ve been sitting here trying to figure out why it is we all play computer games or at the very least trying to figure out why the hell I`m so addicted to playing them.
Me, Myself and I

Personally I`ve been playing computer games as far back as I can remember, —Warning Entering Flashback— ahhh my trusty old Sinclair Spectrum and Rolling Thunder —Flashback Ends—. Console gaming was where it truly kicked up a gear for me though. The first time I saw the “To be this good takes SEGA -> AGES” adverts I knew that was for me. My love affair with Sega began shortly afterward. Watching as I made Alex Kidd run around the screen of my TV all thanks to a little ole 8-bit Sega Master System filled me with glee. Then in what seemed a remarkably short time it happened, looking back on it now I didn`t even notice, I was hooked on games.

Then, as it always was in the good old days, Sega kept up there reputation for being able to do no wrong and the MegaDrive was born along with their most famous character ever Sonic the Hedgehog. In November 1990 I, along with no doubt many of you, drooled as that little blue hedgehog started running around.  Sega churned out top quality game after top quality game with it looking as though there was no end in sight.  The Sonic games went from strength to strength with Sonic 2, Sonic 3 and the worlds first plug through game ever, Sonic and Knuckles.

Of course Sonic wasn`t the only things I played.  I picked up rakes of great games including Streets of Rage 1 – 3, Atomic Bomberman, Mortal Kombat 1 & 2 but my favourite game was, like most peoples at the time, Street Fighter 2.  SF2 is a totally classic title that I still occasionally play to this day, smelly Vega doing that screechy Dooooooooooooooooo followed by a body slam rubbish on me again

After the Immense success of the MegaDrive Sega decided that it was calling off the love affair with its fans.  The company lost the plot completely releasing a number of bad machines which all served as nails in the coffins of Sega`s console business.  First came the MegaCD then the 32x and lastly and most fatally the Saturn.  Sega`s inability to provide a decent follow-up to the MegaDrive is what turned me onto PC gaming.

PC games started for me with the classic Wolfestein 3D by the boys at  ID Software. Then of course onward through Doom, Doom II & Quake until we finally arrive at Quake II (I know that`s a bit of a fat leap but I don`t want to bore you all to tears if I can avoid it).  Quake II, for a bloody long time, was my all time favourite game.  Nothing was more impressive than grabbing the flag in a CTF (my personal favourite being Lokis Minions) game and using that grappling hook to drag your ass back across the level as fast as you could.

Today I`m a Counter-Strike junkie.  Today the fun comes from driving that AM bullet right through the head of my opponent from half way across the map.  Along with Counter-Strike I also regularly play Tribes 2 and sometimes Quake 3 gets my attention (but compared to Q2 its a piss poor substitute).  My Nintendo 64 also receives its share of attention at times, with WWF: No Mercy being the current title I cant put down.

So ok by now I`m sure your thinking “So what? Who cares? What`s this got to do with why we play computer games” and a few days ago I was also uncertain.  The common link between Sonic 2`s ring grabbing antics and firing off a Rocket at somebody in Quake 2 evaded me for quite some time but now I believe they all have a common theme.

Yes I know, it seemed silly to me at first as well.  The thing is though the more you think about it the easier it becomes to understand why such a simple thing as Conflict can be the driving force behind me picking up my AM and you maybe picking up a Spinfusor.  In games like Sonic you fought to grab those, which now seem so ridiculously named the more I think about it, Chaos Emeralds.

In games like Wolfestein 3D and Doom you were at conflict with the Nazi`s and the Demons from Hell. I`m still not sure that those two groups aren`t one and the same.  Either way you ran around with your gun playing the hero in a “your the last hope” style.

In Quake the level`s were cranked up a notch.  Now you got to kick the shit out of your mates properly.  Ahhh the joy of using that good ole shotgun to decapitate your best mate.  Is there any sweeter feeling?  Well probably, but doing that still feels damn good.  Online gaming takes the conflict to another level, now its not just you versus some computer AI.  It`s you against everybody else you can find.  Online gaming allows people to get there adrenalin pumping by not only kicking one persons ass but maybe 2, 5, 10 or more all at once.  And that, for me, is the kick. Getting one up on as many people as you can lay your hands on.

It gets better now though as with sites like Csports.net you can actually know just how good you are. Below is my personal ranking bar provided for free by the guys at Csports.net knowing my luck by the time I finish this column my rating will have dropped from 59,063 all the way down to like 15,000,000 or something, I guess if I don`t play for a bit it cant get any worse though

To get one of those for yourself click here and read what is says.  You will obviously have to register with the chaps there but in my personal opinion this site is far better than any of the alternatives out there.  Anyways if you like you can stick your score for all to see in the forum thread that I`ve started by clicking here and following the instructions that I`ve given there

So peeps go out there and let conflict bring you together in harmony and please post your thoughts / opinions / flames in the forums over here

And now for something completely different…..

On Monday I finally decided to grab myself some new CD`s and so picked up a copy of Dido`s album No Angel which I totally recommend to anybody who hasn`t already got a copy, apart from being stunningly beautiful this lady is also stunningly talented so go pick this one up now.  Whilst your there I must also recommend that you get the new Muse album Origin of Symmetry.  As with pretty much every other artist on Mushroom Records these guys rock

As some of you may or may not have guessed I have now joined the ranks as a new Counter-Strike admin. I`m around loads so you guys have no excuse not to pop into IRC and find me if you spot something going on.  I`m also quite a night owl so don`t forget to check before you say there are no admins at 2am in the morning

Finally I`d like to apologise for my past few updates not really being all that good. I shouldn`t have let them slip as this column is something that I enjoy doing. Hopefully now they will pick up in terms of quality again as I get back into the routine of once again trying to write them regularly.

Right I think that`s covered everything as always feel free to drop me a line.

Until the next time…..