Negative? What Negative?

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:35 pm
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[personal profile] ffutures
A plaque I found in a car boot sale (US="Swap meet") today.



Ignoring the slightly dodgy use of photographic terms, it occurs to me that we're already living in a world where a large percentage of photographers have no idea what a negative is...

Steaming ahead

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:14 am
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[personal profile] ffutures
Don't usually get up early on Sundays, but today I was making breakfast at nine, looked out of the kitchen window and saw this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNER_Class_A4_4488_Union_of_South_Africa

Needless to say I did not have a camera handy... It was hauling several carriages and for some reason there was a diesel engine at the tail end of the train, I suspect to provide a backup if it broke down or ran out of coal or something. I'm guessing that the summer steam excursions in and out of Paddington have started again - and it turns out to be The Cathedrals Express, on the route Paddington-Westbury-Yeovil Pen Mill, Weymouth-Southampton-Paddington

http://www.uksteam.info/tours/t17/t0723d.htm

Unfortunately it's £100+ per seat, I suppose worth it if you're a steam enthusiast but I made enough long steam journeys in my childhood to satisfy me, I think.

The Great Repeal Bill...

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:24 am
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[personal profile] ffutures
 ...seems to be an attempt to weaken most of Britain's human rights protection. There's a petition against it here:

https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/save-our-rights

spread the word.

gacked from [personal profile] history_monk 


Yongnuo 50mm f1.8

Jul. 19th, 2017 12:23 am
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[personal profile] ffutures
Picked up one of these lenses for my Canon a few days ago, took it out to the park and took some test photos on Tuesday. I think it's actually pretty good, and considering I got it for £30 I'm very pleased. One picture of berries is a bit out of focus, I think I simply got closer than the minimum for the lens without noticing, the rest are OK. Gallery here:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskZyx37y

I'm beginning to think more seriously about switching to Canon as my main system, but I'd want a better camera body, say 12 megapixels or better. The other thing I'd want to add is a longer zoom with some macro capability, the only other lens I've currently got is an 18-55. Whereas my most used Nikon lens is a 28-300 Tamron with macro capability. Any recommendations?

Another RPG bundle offer - Rifts

Jul. 18th, 2017 06:34 pm
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[personal profile] ffutures
This is one I'm fairly sure I'm not interested in, but it's supporting Doctors Without Borders and tastes do differ:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Rifts

Kevin Siembieda's Rifts® is set on a future Earth shattered by countless otherworldly invasions. This all-new collection, the debut of Palladium Books in the Bundle of Holding, is a well-rounded set of complete .PDF ebooks that give players and Game Masters everything they need for a campaign of mind-blowing, dimension-spanning adventure across a transformed North America.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Doctors Without Borders.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$82.50. Customers who pay just US$17.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $38.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 384-page Rifts® Ultimate Edition™ (retail price $20), plus the Rifts® Primer (retail $3), Rifts® Sourcebook One™ Revised Edition (retail $10.50), and the Game Master Kit with useful play aids and pregenerated characters (retail $5).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more supplements worth an additional $44, including three World Books -- Juicer Uprising™ (retail $10.50), Psyscape™ (retail $10.50), and New West™ (retail $12.50) -- and the location supplement MercTown™ (retail $10.50).

At least one more title will be added after launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.


I'll be honest - I own some of this system in dead tree format but I was never really that interested in the setting, and found it a bit rules-heavy. Having said that, it's one of the first true multi-genre RPG systems, and its take on putting the genres together is unusual, although not one I'd really want to run. As usual your mileage may vary.
 


13th Doctor is Jodie Whittaker

Jul. 16th, 2017 10:11 pm
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[personal profile] ffutures
Well, count nobody entirely surprised by this, after the Master = Missy thing of the last couple of series - The next Doctor will be Jodie Whittaker, an actress I know little about:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-40624288

Let's hope the plots improve a little.

Now I feel REALLY stupid...

Jul. 14th, 2017 09:28 pm
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[personal profile] ffutures
Suddenly thought of rebooting my iPhone, and immediately the phone network is working again, not a problem with Freedompop at all. I'm obviously an idiot - all I can say is that my previous mobile phones (nice dumb ones) never had this problem....

Freedompop again

Jul. 13th, 2017 11:06 pm
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[personal profile] ffutures
A while back I was fairly positive about Freedompop's free service. Unfortunately the last few days have been less than impressive; I'm getting no service, on my mobile or my separate mobile WiFi hub's SIM. And there is nothing on their site to explain what's happening.

I really don't want to start paying for cell service, but in case things don't improve - I make one or two calls and texts a month and use around 50-100mb of data. Is there a paid service for lower usage in the UK that won't break the bank?
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[personal profile] ffutures
Two more bundle offers, both aimed at FRPG games with a city setting, but adding some extras:

First, some golden oldies - the Flying Buffalo catalyst bundle, containing lots of stuff from the golden age of D&D (and in that spirit from later years):

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Catalyst

"This all-new offer highlights the Catalyst line and other RPG ebooks from Flying Buffalo. Along with four of the Grimtooth's Traps collections of devious dungeon obstacles, this offer presents, for the first time anywhere, new .PDF scans in Buffalo's CityBook series. Compatible with any fantasy RPG, the CityBooks present dozens of individual shops, establishments, and characters, geniercally written to be added smoothly to any urban fantasy setting. Originally published from 1982 to 1997, the CityBooks featured contributions by leading designers including Larry DiTillio, Liz Danforth, Mike Stackpole, Dave Arneson, Jennell Jaquays, Greg Gorden, and many more.

This collection includes all seven CityBooks, four Grimtooth's Traps books, and the complete RPG Mercenaries, Spies, & Private Eyes. We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, the RPG Creators Relief Fund.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$71. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all six titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $30) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the first three CityBooks (I: Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker, II: Port o' Call, and III: Deadly Nightside, retail price $5 apiece, total retail $15), plus the first two Grimtooth's books (retail $5 apiece, total retail $10) and Treasure Vault (retail $5), another new Catalyst scan.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with seven more titles worth an additional $41:

  • Mercenaries Spies & Private Eyes (retail $7): Michael Stackpole's classic action/espionage RPG inspired by Tunnels & Trolls. Includes the Adventure of the Jade Jaguar solo adventure (retail $4).
  • CityBooks IV-VII (retail $5 apiece, total retail $20): Four more sets of people and places you can easily drop into any city adventure -- IV: On the Road, V: Sideshow, VI: Up Town, and VII: King's River Bridge.
  • Grimtooth's Traps 3-4 (retail $5 apiece, total retail $10): Titled Fore and Ate (don't ask us why), these two books give you hundreds more traps to waylay dungeon delvers.

Next, one I don't know at all, the Great City Bundle

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/GreatCity

This Great City offer, a companion to the Flying Buffalo Catalyst offer now in progress, features the massive Great City Campaign Setting from 0one Games. Twice conquered by a distant empire, ruled by the incompetent son of a cruel emperor, the Great City faces upheaval. As its political factions scheme, and its monsters hunt from underground lairs, the city waits for heroes to guide its destiny. With 0one's near-systemless campaign guides, lightly ornamented with OGL/Pathfinder statistics, and its beautiful maps and bestselling blueprints (as state-of-the-art interactive .PDFs), you can easily add the Great City to any FRPG campaign.

Lou Agresta, co-designer of the Road to Revolution adventure path in this offer, wrote a July 2009 ENworld forum post about the design intent of the Great City: "The Great City Campaign Setting is specifically written as a plug-in city, so the surrounding areas (other than water to the left, mountains with monsters to the right, and dungeons under the mountain) are deliberately vague. The key aspect of the city is that it's been conquered by an overseas empire -- twice. The last time was 30 years ago, and resentments simmer, but are not presently aboil. The conquerors themselves are divided and playing factional politics. It's kind of a law-practical-serious-people conquer a chaotic-lively-deep-rooted-people sort of thing. Then there are the peoples left behind by the first occupation who did what they needed to survive. The Emperor's son rules, and he's a jackass. Nothing is in the open, but everything teeters on an edge. This is so (1) there's always lots of action and passion the player characters can interact with, and stances to either adopt or dispute, and (2) the PCs get to decide which direction -- or none -- the whole thing topples."

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, the RPG Creators Relief Fund.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$94. Customers who pay just US$8.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $38) as DRM-free .PDFs, including the complete 162-page Great City Campaign Setting corebook (retail price $13), the companion Player's Guide (retail $14), and the Backdrops collection of locations (retail $11) -- plus 0one's Blueprints: The Great City (retail $2).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $19.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with three more titles worth an additional $56, including the complete six-part Road to Revolution adventure path (Pathfinder version, retail $35), Urban Creatures & Lairs (retail $14), and the beautiful Color Map Folio (retail $7).

At least one more title will be added after launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.


OK - I might as well be honest, I don't have a lot of use for this stuff; I don't run fantasy campaigns, and I tend to do my own design work for my own settings. The Flying Buffalo stuff is fun but a little dated, unless you're running a really old school sort of game - I also own most of it in dead tree format and haven't looked at it in decades. The Great City thing looks OK, though "great" is possibly not how I'd describe the city - it's about the size of a medieval walled town, and not an especially big one, unless I'm missing something - but does again seem to depend on you wanting to run lots of predefined encounters which is an old school sort of thing. If you like this sort of stuff it may be worth it, but I'm not entirely convinced. As usual opinions may differ.