Monday, 18 July 2011

Survival Tips for the Horror gamer

For those interested in the 'horror/suspense' genre of role-playing games, I can attest, despite my limited experience in the matter, that it can be a very engaging and memorable experience, especially when conducted with a suitable ambiance. That said, it's also worth mentioning that these sessions can be wrought with frustration, as the gritty, visceral combat typically provided by most systems can be quite hazardous to a player character's health. Which is why, in a game like 'Call of Cthulhu'* where the average lifespan of said character is comparable to that of a mayfly, some pointers are needed to stay on top of things. With this in mind, I, with the aid of a number of my tabletop gaming acquaintances, saw it fit to spend a uneventful evening compiling a list of general 'pointers' for lengthening what meager lifespan your Host has seen fit to provide your avatar in this world of fictional terror.

*Given special mention due to the fact that this list had originally been conceived to serve as a general guide to playing said game. Veterans of the Lovecraft mythos will no doubt spy quite a few quality tips born directly from this initial focus.

-Always carry one more magazine than you expect to use.

-Have you just inherited a mansion whose previous owner went mad, died horribly or simply vanished? Never ever sleep in the master bedroom, explore the unmapped caverns beneath the cellar and never try to find the source of that insane piping-sound going on at night. In fact, never ever visit the mansion in question.

-Wimps fondle guns. Real Men fondle Doomsday-devices.

-Conduct investigations while the sun is still above the horizon. The common idea that night is the proper time for sneaking around and committing B&E is even deadlier than The Thousand-Faced Rotting Bubble-Person From Beyond ever could be.

-The abandoned mine never is.

-Always bring a handgun, that way you can make sure that one of your friends will be in no shape to run when your group is chased by outer-dimensional hunting-creatures, thereby giving the horrible being something other than you to munch on. Hopefully.

-If in doubt, empty the magazine.

-Old Nazis never die. Period.

-Reading books is for the colleague you keep locked up in the nice room with soft walls.

-Never become good friends with University professors. They are the living embodiment of trouble. In fact, watch out for people whose job is to read books, specifically old books, or 'tomes', as they like to call them. They always want help after having summoned The Horrible Horror with a Shady Reputation. Helping them will get you dead right quick or, at the very least, insane. Surreal happenings or outer-dimensional summoning may be commonplace in their lives; better not make it commonplace in your life.

-Never let your less-than-sane colleague carry the explosives.

-Never go abroad. If you, for any reason, have to go abroad it better not be as a crew member on an expedition.

-An autopsy-room is not a "safe place".

-Egypt and Antarctica kills off more investigators each year than cancer does.

-Any dark strangers offering you gifts and favors should be avoided like the plague.

-Always bring explosives. Not pansy explosives like grenades, instead bring bundles of TNT. Going to your cousins wedding? Great! Just remember to pack the TNT. TNT is good for some many things, like blowing up blasphemous temples or horrible proto-masses. Failing that, TNT makes great firewood for your final bonfire.

-When contemplating ways to execute your mission: think "Overkill".

-Never join a cult or sect. Enough said.

-Sleep is only a bad substitute for caffeine.

-Curiosity did not kill the cat. Some unspeakable horror did. Not only that, it also turned the cat inside out, had pseudo pods grow from every orifice imaginable, gave it a taste for human blood and made it six times larger than before. Now the cat is coming for you.

-Any offer to let you "Experience the Other Dimensions" should be tactfully declined ... with a shotgun blast.

-Stay well away from mountain cabins. Every mountain cabin comes with an obligatory psychopath. Some cabin-retailers may allow for the psychopath to be exchanged for an Unknown Horror Existing in Far Too Many Dimensions. Beware cabins!

-If you have no social skills: try 'physical interrogation'.

-Try not to live your life in England or New England. In fact, you should probably move to Sweden, a country where Mythos activity seems to be quite non-existent.

-There is no such thing as "too many guns".

-Avoid anything that can be associated with the words 'ancient', 'elder', 'forgotten', etc. I cannot emphasize this enough. Contracting Ebola is far more enjoyable than being torn to pieces over the course of seven years by the Ancient Guardian-Monstrosity.

-Gasoline. Refueling cars is only its secondary use.

-When dealing with beings of incomprehensible power, tread lightly. If you suddenly decompose, burst into flames, explode or suffer otherwise along similar lines you know you have done something wrong.

-On the other hand, if you deal with beings of incomprehensible power you are a right git and deserve nothing less. Steer well clear of Outer Gods, Elder Gods, Old Ones, etc.

-When you enter a government facility and the toilet-doors are marked: 'Men', 'Women' and 'Other' you might want to reconsider your position.

-Always save the last bullet for the moron who got you into this.

-If that moron isn't you, aim for the legs. If you're going to be eaten alive, so are they.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Discovery Shuttle

Its sad that the Shuttle will now become a relic of the space age... I found a link to a 360 view of the cockpit of the Discovery. An amazing piece of kit, it'll be missed :(

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Battlefield 2142

This is a bit of an old game but i thought i'd share!

In an effort to find some games that would run on my laptop i dug through my old collection to find Battlefield 2142, by EA. Its part of the Battlefield franchise but set in the year 2142 where 2 factions are fighting over land during the next Ice age. There seems to be some sort of "timeline" to the campaign but i have not been able to find any site with this explained further.

You join a game when the game starts up and as you kill opponents or for full certain objectives (capture, defend, assault, etc) you gain XP, After every rank up you can chose an additional unlock and customise what your soldier will bring into battle for the next round.

If anyone plays this leave a comment below with your characters name and i'll add you as a buddy for a match or 2 :)

Monday, 4 July 2011

091 Labs moved!

Just in case anyone is wondering, over the past 2 months we've been space-less. We're in the process of moving to another, cheaper location.

Fun Fact: The place we just left (due to water that magicly got fixed when we moved out) was denied planing permission for a capsule hotel. I got a giggle out of that :)

I'll keep you informed on were we move to next, We're in final discussions among ourselves on where we're to move to!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Stretching my legs in Eve Online!

Incarna has been released and is up and running with only minor bugs to worry anyone! For the first time capsuleers can get out of their pod and stretch there legs, and what a job they did.

Granted your confines are cramped but this is just the beginning of a string of releases planned for the Incarna version. I personally can't wait to interact with other capsuleers at bars or in Corporate offices to discuss future operations and plans of galactic conquest.

One issue i do have is the pricing of clothing for capsuleers. Basically in order to get at these "elite" items you convert a 30 day Game Time Card known as a PLEX in exchange for a new currency called AUR, which is used to buy these clothing items on the new market called NeX - Noble Exchange.

Now, a 30 day Game Time Card normally costs about 390mil (which itself has been rising from 320mil when they came out) or about $20.
1 PLEX = 3,500 AUR
Most items in the store cost about 3,000 AUR so thats about $20 per item of clothing
HOWEVER - There is 1 item, the monocle, which does absolutely nothing for the character except puts a bug looking item over his eye, costs a whooping 12,000 AUR or 4 PLEX's, translate.... $80. Now my issue is i don't spend $20 a month on cloths for myself, never mind digital ones for my fucking internet spaceship character to wear.

I reckon its an experiment that CCP are running to test the water for that to charge DUST 514 players for the shiny upgrades. Because DUST 514 has been declared to be a free part of the Eve Online Universe (Read free MMO), bar the initial downlaod cover charge, it plans to make money by selling what i can only assume to be upgraded guns/vehicles/armor for RL cash, which can then be traded for ingame like any other items for ingame currency. That's only speculation, but its something CCP need to look at very closely and fix before people get more annoyed.

As always, to get your free 14 day trial for Eve Online, simple click HERE and maybe i'll see you in space soon!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Sunday, 19 June 2011

LulzSec's 1000th Tweet message.

Lulzsec, the anonomous group that DDoS'ed Eve Online last week reached there 1000th twitter and released this statement on the 17/6/11

"Dear Internets,

This is Lulz Security, better known as those evil bastards from twitter. We just hit 1000 tweets, and as such we thought it best to have a little chit-chat with our friends (and foes).

For the past month and a bit, we've been causing mayhem and chaos throughout the Internet, attacking several targets including PBS, Sony, Fox, porn websites, FBI, CIA, the U.S. government, Sony some more, online gaming servers (by request of callers, not by our own choice), Sony again, and of course our good friend Sony.

While we've gained many, many supporters, we do have a mass of enemies, albeit mainly gamers. The main anti-LulzSec argument suggests that we're going to bring down more Internet laws by continuing our public shenanigans, and that our actions are causing clowns with pens to write new rules for you. But what if we just hadn't released anything? What if we were silent? That would mean we would be secretly inside FBI affiliates right now, inside PBS, inside Sony... watching... abusing...

Do you think every hacker announces everything they've hacked? We certainly haven't, and we're damn sure others are playing the silent game. Do you feel safe with your Facebook accounts, your Google Mail accounts, your Skype accounts? What makes you think a hacker isn't silently sitting inside all of these right now, sniping out individual people, or perhaps selling them off? You are a peon to these people. A toy. A string of characters with a value.

This is what you should be fearful of, not us releasing things publicly, but the fact that someone hasn't released something publicly. We're sitting on 200,000 Brink users right now that we never gave out. It might make you feel safe knowing we told you, so that Brink users may change their passwords. What if we hadn't told you? No one would be aware of this theft, and we'd have a fresh 200,000 peons to abuse, completely unaware of a breach.

Yes, yes, there's always the argument that releasing everything in full is just as evil, what with accounts being stolen and abused, but welcome to 2011. This is the lulz lizard era, where we do things just because we find it entertaining. Watching someone's Facebook picture turn into a penis and seeing their sister's shocked response is priceless. Receiving angry emails from the man you just sent 10 dildos to because he can't secure his Amazon password is priceless. You find it funny to watch havoc unfold, and we find it funny to cause it. We release personal data so that equally evil people can entertain us with what they do with it.

Most of you reading this love the idea of wrecking someone else's online experience anonymously. It's appealing and unique, there are no two account hijackings that are the same, no two suddenly enraged girlfriends with the same expression when you admit to killing prostitutes from her boyfriend's recently stolen MSN account, and there's certainly no limit to the lulz lizardry that we all partake in on some level.

And that's all there is to it, that's what appeals to our Internet generation. We're attracted to fast-changing scenarios, we can't stand repetitiveness, and we want our shot of entertainment or we just go and browse something else, like an unimpressed zombie. Nyan-nyan-nyan-nyan-nyan-nyan-nyan-nyan, anyway...

Nobody is truly causing the Internet to slip one way or the other, it's an inevitable outcome for us humans. We find, we nom nom nom, we move onto something else that's yummier. We've been entertaining you 1000 times with 140 characters or less, and we'll continue creating things that are exciting and new until we're brought to justice, which we might well be. But you know, we just don't give a living fuck at this point - you'll forget about us in 3 months' time when there's a new scandal to gawk at, or a new shiny thing to click on via your 2D light-filled rectangle. People who can make things work better within this rectangle have power over others; the whitehats who charge $10,000 for something we could teach you how to do over the course of a weekend, providing you aren't mentally disabled.

This is the Internet, where we screw each other over for a jolt of satisfaction. There are peons and lulz lizards; trolls and victims. There's losers that post shit they think matters, and other losers telling them their shit does not matter. In this situation, we are both of these parties, because we're fully aware that every single person that reached this final sentence just wasted a few moments of their time.

Thank you, bitches.
Lulz Security

    They certainly have a unique sense of humor.....

    Tuesday, 14 June 2011

    Eve Online DDOS attack - no damage!

    A message from our COO.

    At 17:00 UTC today, CCP became aware of a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) against the EVE Online cluster and web servers.

    Our policy in such cases is to mobilize a taskforce of internal and external experts to evaluate the situation. At 17:55 UTC, that group concluded that our best course of action was to go completely offline while an exhaustive scan of our entire infrastructure was executed.

    While some may feel that such a drastic reaction was not warranted, it is always our approach to err on the side of caution in order to ensure the best possible service for our players and the security of their personal, billing and account information.

    We understand the effect this disruption has had for our players and apologize for not having been able to explain fully to the community what was going on. In these cases it can often be counterproductive to containment to give out information while we are in the process of evaluating the scope of any potential problem.

    Our taskforce concluded at 22:05 that neither the game servers nor the CCP infrastructure had been breached. Further, we can also confirm that no personal details such as users’ credentials or credit card numbers were exposed through this incident.

    The servers were brought back online at 23:00 and we will continue to monitor the situation closely.

    Again, we sincerely apologize for this disruption.


    Jón Hörðdal

    Chief Operating Officer

    UPDATE: Shortly after service was restored to the EVE Online Tranquility server, the CCP Security Task force became aware of ongoing traffic flooding which prompted them to take the server offline. At 00:30 UTC, Tranquility was brought online again and is being closely monitored. Please be advised that we are prepared to take the server offline again if warranted. We thank you again for your patience and apologize for any inconvenience and sincerely thank you for your continued patience.

    Monday, 13 June 2011

    Brewing in Galway!!

    I got a very interesting email the other day asking me if I'd like to join a group who are starting to brew in Galway as a medium size project.

    For my technical project in college i build a temperature control system (Brief explanation) which allowed me to cool a body of water. These guys basically wanted me to keep a system heated at about 40'C, so i looked at my system and adapted it very easily thanks to the awesome power of the Arduino Mega!

    The cool thing about all this is that I've been wanting to get involved in a larger project than what I've been doing up until now, this will be the first time someone else has relied on some of my original work! Exciting but a little scary, better make sure everything works lol

    For the first batch we plan on producing about 19 litres of Elderflower Champagne and a bit of Cordial to sell at farmers markets. And hey, who knows? Maybe a company will grow out of this :)

    Monday, 6 June 2011

    DUST 514 - BIG NEWS!

    DUST 514 will be released on the PlayStation 3! The confirmation comes today as the DUST 514 site went live and the PlayStation blog released this statement!

    DUST 514 will be a console FPS MMO based in the Eve Online Universe in which Mercs will fight on planets under the command of  Capsuleers (Eve Online Players). The battles on these planets will effect the outcome of Sovereignty wars on the PC game. DUST 514 players will have access not only to a primary market but also a secondary player run market to purchase upgrades such as amour, weapons, turrets and tanks.


    Eve Online Info :)

    ** Damage types ***

    Guristas - Kinetic / Thermal
    Serpentis - Thermal / Kinetic
    Blood Raider - Thermal / EM
    Sansha's Nation - EM / Thermal
    Angel Cartel - Kinetic / Explosive / Thermal
    Minmatar Fleet - Thermal / Explosive
    Amarr Navy - EM / Thermal
    Caldari - Kinetic/Thermal

    ***Enemy Weaknesses***

    Guristas - Kinetic
    Serpentis - Thermal
    Mordus - Thermal & Kinetic
    Blood - Thermal
    Sansha - Thermal
    Angel - Explosive
    Mercenary - Thermal
    Rogue Drones - EM

    *** Mission types ***

    Administration: 50% Kill, 50% Courier
    Advisory: 34% Kill, 66% Courier
    Archives: 5% Kill, 90% Courier, 5% Trade
    Astrosurveying: 40% Kill, 30% Courier, 25%
    Mining, 5% Trade
    Command: 97% Kill, 3% Courier
    Distribution: 5% Kill, 95% Courier
    Intelligence: 85% Kill, 15% Courier
    Internal Security: 95% Kill, 5% Courier
    Legal: 50% Kill, 50% Courier

    Wednesday, 1 June 2011

    Notice the Donate button?

    Yes, I'm afraid I've had to join PayPal to pay for some electronic parts I've had to buy online for the Quadrotor!

    If you feel like donating a small amount to help me get the Quad into the air it will not only be greatly received, but it will also help me get future UAV projects off the ground!

    Sunday, 29 May 2011

    Incarna Release date... RELEASED!

    21st of June folks, mark it in your calenders as the Incarna Expansion will be released for the MMORPG Eve Online! Get your Free 14 Day Trial HERE for a step up into the New Eden Universe

    Source from HERE

    Friday, 27 May 2011

    Birthday Presents!

    So it was my birthday during the week, starting to feel old already lol

    Hopefully be getting some motors for my Quad! I'll keep you all posted! :P

    Thursday, 19 May 2011

    EVE Online: Incursion 1.5 has been deployed!!!!

    This latest release from Team BFF contains many sought after changes and fixes to blueprints, agents and missions and a revamp of the ‘Connections’ skills which will result in players getting free skill points to spend. A full list of changes and fixes is available in the patch notes. More information about Incursion 1.5 can be found in the feedback thread here and an issues thread can be found here.

    Tuesday, 17 May 2011

    Beast Skills

    Something i've wanted to play around with for a long time are some basic gymnastics to improve functional strength. For example, i have never been able to do more than 3 pull ups which i think is pathetic! I found this website that give some seriously good tutorials on some technical moves! I should start training! :P

    Finished Year 2 college! Incursion 1.5 Patch Notes! YAY!!! :D

    Finished college for another year... well August anyway, i know i failed maths horribly!

    Anyway patch day coming up folks! Release date is 19th of May, be sure to have a long skill on!!! :P If you want to try Eve Online out, Click HERE for a 14 day trial account!

    • Unique icons have been created for Blueprint originals and Blueprint copies so you can visibly differentiate between them.
    Need for Speed
    • We have enhanced the profiling suite which gives us better eyes on the server and what it is executing. This functionality allows us to view what actions cause specific issues and provides us with graphical representations. In short, this is good for Team Gridlock who love to fight lag and keep hamsters alive.
    • The capabilities of the onboard scanner have been substantially increased. The range is now 64 AU and the delay to return results is only 10 seconds.
    • Ships with jumpdrives are now unable to use jump bridges with the exception of ships belonging to the Black Ops ship category.
    Agents & Missions
    • Agent Quality has been removed meaning that all Agents are now +20 in terms of payout and -20 in terms of access. Go forth, Capsuleers, and explore the world outside of Motsu and Dodixie.
    • Agent Divisions have been simplified from 20 down to just 3. The new Security, Distribution and Mining divisions now provide uniform types of missions instead of a mission type that was percentage based.
    • Accompanying the changes to Agent Divisions, seven ‘Connection’ skills will be removed. The skill books of the old connection skills will be replaced with their new equivalents which are listed below. Players who have the old skills already trained will have those skills removed and receive replacement skillbooks in the hangar of their home station and have the skillpoints reimbursed.
    • Bureaucratic Connections and Financial Connections will be replaced with Distribution Connections.
    • High Tech Connections, Military Connections and Political Connections will be replaced with Security Connections.
    • Labor and Trade Connections will be replaced with Mining Connections.
    Science & Industry
    • When attempting to start a Manufacturing job without all the required materials, the quote window now retains focus. A refresh button has been added so that you can add the correct amount of materials and proceed without having to restart the process.
    • The Incursion Global Report featured the label 'System Control', this has been renamed to the more accurate description 'Constellation Control'.
    • Incursion Encounters reward graphs featured the label 'Reward payout ratio' which has been re-named with the more accurate label 'Reward Multiplier'.
    User Interface
    • The scroll position in the fleet window now retains or returns to its previous position when fleet members join, leave or move.
    • When holding down ‘alt’, your probes will scale around the center, making it easier to adjust them. A green line has added to make it more intuitive.
    • The Fleet History tab has been re-worked and streamlined so that instead of multiple tabs, there is now a single tab with filter options.
    • When opening Fleet from the Neocom, you'll be taken directly to the fleet finder.
    • Information on a pilot's standings towards NPC corporations is no longer visible from 'Show Info'. You now see the standings information between you and the other pilot and the factions you each belong to.
    Exploration & Deadspace
    • Several Sansha agents had infiltrated cosmic anomaly locations in Serpentis claimed space. The Serpentis have now regained control from these rogue elements.
    • One anomaly site could not be detected from a type of Infrastructure Hub upgrade. This lost site can now be located properly.
    • The DED Complexes, Blood Raider 9 of 10 and Serpentis 8 of 10, have been examined and now work correctly.
    User Interface
    • The fleet icon that indicates that loot-logging is enabled has been removed since loot-logging is always enabled.
    • A re-sized contract window would reset to the default size each time a contract was opened. The contract window now retains the adjusted size.
    • Some entries in the Attributes tab in Show Info windows were previously formatted in unintuitive ways, such as ‘Can’t be activated in warp: 1’, or were missing their units, such as ‘Fuel required: 30,000’. Many of these have now been tidied up, so for example they now read ‘Can’t be activated in warp: True’ and ‘Fuel required: 30,000 units’
    • Several changes for consistency and linguistic issues have been made throughout the game for both the German and Russian clients.
    • The fleet UI has been revised for consistency and linguistic issues in the German client
    • The translation of ‘warp’, in the Russian client, is now complemented with the original term in parentheses wherever it has been deemed important for communication with English-speaking players.
    • For consistency and stylistic reasons, the terminology for Drones in the market categories has been revised in the German client. In addition, all drone related text has been revised for consistency and linguistic issues.
    • Terms changed are:
      • Fighters – Jäger
      • Fighter Bombers – Jagdbomber
      • Medium Scout Drones - Mittlere Aufklärungsdrohnen
      • Drone Upgrades – Drohnenupgrades
      • Combat Utility Drones – Kampfunterstützungsdrohnen
      • Logistic Drones – Versorgungsdrohnen

    Friday, 13 May 2011

    AeroQuad with GoPro???

    So i was thinking more about my Aeroquad project (still waiting for my parts :( ) and it struck me that if the quad was stable enough it could double as a nice platform to make some sweet videos. I saw a few on youtube using and small digital camera knows as a HD GoPro, used for bikers or surfers to make videos by attaching them to a helmet or to the board respectfully. This would let me capture some seriously high quality footage of irelands lovely countryside. I suppose the only downside is it relies on my being a half decent pilot :-S

    I'll keep ye posted on plans, there is no point spending more cash on cameras if i don't have the quad to build lol

    Check the Amazon links above for HD GoPro Deals!

    Wednesday, 11 May 2011

    Eve Online - Incarna

    About 2 weeks ago CCP, owners of Eve Online released a sneak peak of Incarna, the codename for Eve Ambulation project AKA Walking in Stations, onto one of its test servers. Now unfortunately for me i don't have the power to run it on this laptop but a friend of mine hoped on a sent me a video showing the sheer awesomeness of what CCP have done. Disclaimer: Not finished product

    Incarna will be a major stepping stone in the Evolution of Eve Online, last summer CCP CEO Hilmar Petursson released a clip of a game known as Dust 514 which will allow console users play in the Eve universe as ground troops for planetary warfare!

    CCP offer a 14 day free trial to allow new players to get a taster for the game before they subscribe, CLICK HERE if you want to give it a whirl.

    Monday, 9 May 2011

    1 Down 2 to go!

    1 exam down and now i have to get my head around Electronic Instrumentation in 2 days! Yikes! I'll never leave this cramming business to the last minute ever again!

    Sorry for the lack of updates, as you can tell I'm preoccupied.... Found a USB outside my apartment today, the CV is atrocious! How the fuck do polish get employed? Thinking of rewriting the entire thing for this person before i offer to hand it back...

    If your bored check out my other 2 blogs, plenty of different topics to read about :) 

    Hope everyone is well!

    Friday, 6 May 2011

    QR Codes

    Deadly new site for QR Codes, i was thinking how powerful these would be for advertising to a specific audience, like a Caption and then the Code below, or even for secret messages... With everyone having a smart phone now a days they could pass along any message!


    My new favourite running tune

    New tune i heard for the first time in the club last night, epic running tune!! WOOP!

    Tuesday, 3 May 2011

    Coach Troy will be my saviour!

    I just found this guy on youtube giving amazing hints and tips for training!

    Any fitness gurus out there, have a look, great stuff!!

    Galway Hackerspace

    I recently joined Galway hackerspace 091labs to have a place to go to fool about with electronics and computers. I've been a member for about 4 months and so far i like it. The space is massive and is also used for woodworking, art and meditaiton, you know the usual hippy stuff.

    I've done a few classes on programming, which i honestly don't know if i will continue, some LAN nights and some Linux intro nights.

    If your ever in galway, be sure to drop into us, here is our card ;)

    Monday, 2 May 2011

    Ding dong the witch is dead

    So i get in the door at 4 am last night and i'm looking at the BBC news and just as i'm about to switch off and go to bed we get BREAKING NEWS!

    So so the world biggest game of Wheres Wally comes to a close

    I'm taking the day off

    Sunday, 1 May 2011

    Pulsejet in construction!!

    I've just learned that my dad is gathering components to build a pulsejet engine! I wanted to have one built for my technical project module in college but the Umpa Lumpa (engineer) department didn't come through on there end of the deal!

    I might actually get it done before summer is up! :P

    A Pulse jet uses works when a spark is introducted to the fueled chamber of the engine, forcing hot gases out the inlet and exhaust. The explosion causes a void within the chamber and as fresh fuel and air (from the inlet) re-enter the chamber, hot gases from the exhaust also get drawn in and re-ignite the mixture. The process repeats until fuel or inlet air is removed.

    Heres one i made using a simple Jam Jar and a bit of model nitro fuel. If you wish to try at home, you will need a standard glass jar and a pan for water (coolant: important or the glass shatters before the fuel is spent). I drilled a 25mm hole in the centre of the metal lid (will differ depending on the size of your jar), add the fuel, shake and ignite.

    Have fun and be safe

    Team Hoyt!

    Heres a motivation video of 2 of the most recognizable faces of Ironman, in my opinion. Hell of a story!

    Saturday, 30 April 2011

    Friday, 29 April 2011

    Arduino Mega

    Since just before Xmas i've been playing around with a new bit of kit i got called the Arduino Mega 2560. Alot of you won't know what this is but it a rapidly growing community, any bit of hardware with the name "Arduino" will spark interest straight away. I genuinely get excited when i start to read about projects involving Arduino and my expectations have yet to be let down by an application utilizing one.

    So what is the Arduino?

    Well the short answer is its a open source electronic prototyping platform (according to the box). A more descriptive answer would be the Arduino is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega chip. The model i have is the Mega, which has 54 input/output pins which can be assigned for different uses depending on your particular needs. Anyone else see the versatility of this little board?

    Adaptability? In my workshop!
    What struck me as most unique about this piece of kit is the shear adaptability its open to. The way the Arduino is laid out it has opened a niche marketed for what have become known as "Shields" which get sandwiched on top of the microcontroller. All it needs to run is nifty coding and bobs yer uncle and fannys yer aunt!

    <insert coffee break>

    So when i got the Arduino i was also given a wonderful little book called "Beginning Arduino" by Michael McRoberts. It gives a brilliant foundation for the Adruino as a tool, because not only to you need an understand of simple circuit building (which i'm confident i can say i have) but also a breakdown of all the code that is associated with making the microcontroller tick (Which i don't have).

    For my technical project this year in college i wanted to build a Temperature control system that would keep a Pulsejet engine in check. Now i'll make a separate blog about that but needless to say the Arduino would be the brains of the operation. I chose a special type of temperature sensor, scripted the code (with some help) to include a set point and once the set point is reached, a trigger that would activate some pumps to begin a cooling cycle. I (eventually) got a working prototype just in the nick of time! I think the only thing that would let me down is my presentation and lab book, i was never one for sitting down and filling out a diary... I do physics not heritage studies for fuck sake!

    Future plans for my loverly Adruino?
    I've had my eye on the AeroQuad project for a veeeeeery long time so i suspect the next step would be to get it airborne. Most of the parts and senors have been bought and will be arriving before summer i hope. More updates to follow i'm sure ;) Another option is to build a submersible drone for some underwater exploration... You might have guested that robotics and autonomous control is a fetish of mine.

    On the subject of "getting in shape"

    This can be a complicated subject.. but ill give you some tips and over view.

    In essense looking in better shape is - Body Fat percentage Or gaining some more muscle

    to over simplify- losing Fat is done by burning more calories everyday then you take in
    one professor lost 20 pounds in a few months by only eating twinkies and some vegies.. making a point that counting calories Alone can help you lose fat. (although i wouldnt suggest a twinkie diet)

    The Quickest way to lose fat and get in Shape
    simply learning and reading about your options will give you motivation and even help you make subconscious choices
    stay away from white carbohydrates as a start
    bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta
    count your calories, dont have too many sugars, stay away form ice cream, soda, candy
    Eat Fruits and Veggies
    good for health, energy, and everything else
    when you substitute your food cravings with fruits and veggies, you lose your hunger, burn calories, and gain vitamins and energy
    Don’t drink calories
    we get a huge percentage of calories from drinks with sugar
    Soda has absolutely no nutritional benefits.
    Drink water
    cardio vascular exercises-  certain exercises that get your blood flowing and heart beating at a certain rate.
    Running, elliptical, quick set to set exercise stations, High Interval Training Sessions..
    Do Complex weight exercise (target many diffent groups of muscles at 1 time)
    Benching, squats, dead lifts, pull ups, military press (youtube them)
    Bulk up in order to lose fat
    simply making your legs more muscular will help you lose fat all over your body, and improve your build.
    same with any other musle.
    Working a muscle out will cause it to burn calories, recovering itself, for days.
    Eat high in protein so the muscles grow back faster, larger, and stronger

    Final Tips and specifications
    Figure out how many calories you take in on a given day.
    figure out how much someone your size and weight should be eating.
    eat 500 below it.
     Do Hight Intensity Interval Training after lifting sessions

    -when you lose fat, you lose it equally all over your body, in other words you can Not target areas.
    so you Can Not get a 6 pack by just doing a lot of situps - you obtain a 6 pack by losing enough body fat that your muscles are visible, throught the fat over your stomach area.
    -Eat foods that speed up the metabolism.
    -Eat less food more often, so your matabolism is always in motion.
    -Take one day off per week. You dont want your muscles getting used to the same exercises or they'll stop having an effect. if you're doing 50 push ups a day, it will get easier and easier and stop having an effect on your body. you want to come at them from different angles and different weights, with proper rest in between.
    -Take in more calcium, good effect on metabolism
    -i suggest going to chairopractors or physical therapists if youre having pain. they Are life savers
    making sure not to make one muscle in a given part of the body too strong for the others surrounding it.. having spine imbalance and having imbalances such as your thigh being too strong for your hamstring.. you can cause imbalances in hips, feet, and so on. which led to Many bad leg injuries, or muscle, knee, bone pain..
    -And if you want to Gain weight and muscles.. Take in more carbs and calories, lift heavier and take in More Protein!

    College Exams = pain in my neck

    3 exams coming up in the next 3 weeks

    Electronic Instrumentation - Relatively sorted
    Physics with Forensics - Haven't even started to study
    Mathematics -

    The class is getting together every few days for the next while to blitz past papers and the likes, should be a good help..

    My first Ironman

    The first time i heard about an Ironman was during a conversation about tattoos when i was in the Irish Defence Forces. The topic of "meaning" or something was brought up, and out PTI said the only one he had was the famous "M-Dot". I asked what this was and he told me about the triathlon. I was impressed, but not moved at that stage.

    A few months after that i dropped out of training and began looking for my own new direction. I toyed with moving abroad, doing marathons, signing up to training again... nothing really enthused me, the circumstances of me leaving the army shot my confidence quite a bit.

    On youtube one day i saw a video of Team Hott, a father and son Ironman team. It gave me the kick in the ass to stop feeling sorry for myself and get on with it. I enrolled into a fisheries course in the back arse of no where, which got me a spot in college in Galway to do science. Things were looking up. I got word from the interwebz back in Xmas '09 that Galway would be hosting Irelands first half Ironman, RESULT! So for my Christmas my mum signed me up.

    Up to now i've been maintaining my fitness, but with about 160 days till race day, i've decided to start documenting my progress and keeping a record of  what i do and when i do it, for your viewing pleasure of course.

    So if there are any trainers, athletes, Ironmen or endurance sportsmen (or women) out there with any input or advice, leave me a comment.

    I've a steep learning curve ahead of me...