Archive for July, 2005

One week in Tokyo

It has been nearly a week since we arrived in Tokyo for our two week vacation in Japan. We had a slightly bumpy landing, which turned out to be caused by the earthquake that was happening at the time. The earthquake also caused transport links between the airport (Narita) and Tokyo to be suspended for a few hours leaving us stranded at the airport wondering what the hell was going on and our friend who was supposed to meet us stuck on a train half way between Tokyo and Narita.

We spent Sunday wandering around Asakusa and Ueno, taking in the Senso-ji temple and Ueno Pachinko parlours.

Monday was otaku (geek) day. We spent most of the day absorbing the tech bargains of Akihabara, otherwise known as Electric town. There is something for nearly every kind of geek in Akihabara – games, mange, anime, computers, music, usb memory that looks like sushi and tempura, cameras, televisions, robots and probably a whole lot of stuff that we didn’t even find. Needless to say, we brought a tonne of crap!

Since there was a typhoon scheduled to hit Tokyo on Tuesday we decided it was a museum day. We visited the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno. It was dedicated mostly to the arts from Japan, but seems to lack depth in that although there were many pretty things to look at it didn’t say much about life in Japan over the last few thousand years. We got a bit rained on when we left the museum but other wise the typhoon pretty much missed us. It was a bit of a let down. I was going to title this post my natural disaster tour of Japan. Godzilla still has a week to show up and trash the place before we return to NZ.

That’s all for now 🙂

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Must sell

If you live in Tokyo and want some furniture or whiteware, Psymeg and Chooch have got something for you 🙂 They are in Shiba, Tokyo. Pick-up only.

Muji couchShelf box thingDrawers

God of War

The real Kratos?

I finished playing God of War today. The final battle was very cool! One of the things I liked about this game is it was actually difficult, I died many times. I think a sign that it is a great game is I kept coming back for more! The game disc also includes a few behind the scenes movies on the making of the game which are all very interesting if you’re interested in the game development process.

On the topic of God of War, David Jaffle the man behind the game runs a blog of his own. It’s an interesting insight into the mind of a high profile game designer. A completely different God of War personality is this nutter who claims that he is in fact the real Kratos, the star of the game.

Audioscrobbler

I stumbled upon yet another cool website recently. In my never ending quest for new aural stimulation Audioscrobbler is a great source of musical recommendations.

The description from their website somes it up nicely:

Audioscrobbler builds a profile of your musical taste using a plugin for your media player (Winamp, iTunes, XMMS etc..). Plugins send the name of every song you play to the Audioscrobbler server, which updates your musical profile with the new song. Every person with a plugin has their own page on this site which shows their listening statistics. The system automatically matches you to people with a similar music taste, and generates personalised recommendations.

I’ve been using the plugin for iTunes on Windows. It works fairly well except it doesn’t pick up what I’ve been listening to on my iPod Shuffle. Once you have the plugin installed it’s all pretty transparent, you just listen to music and when you want a recommendation visit your AudioScrobbler home page.

Finally, I have entered the world of digital photography

Auckland's Sky Tower on a cloudy night

I recently brought a digital camera in preparation for our trip to Japan. It’s been raining here in Auckland ever since I got it, dashing my hopes of getting some good pics of the city before I move south again. Still, I managed to get this one of the Sky Tower shrouded in cloud.

New job

I’ve just got a job as a Senior Programmer at New Zealands largest game development company, Sidhe Interactive. Sidhe are best know for their game “Rugby League”, which was the top selling game title in Australasia over the Christmas period in 2003 and broke the EB Games store worldwide pre-order record.

Sidhe are following up “Rugby League” with “Rugby League 2” to be released September this year for PlayStation 2 and PC. They are also developing GripShift for PSP and Melbourne Cup Challenge for PlayStation 2 Xbox and PC for release later this year.

GripShift
High-flying stunt driving for the PSP

Rugby League 2
Rugby League 2

Melbourne Cup Challenge
Melbourne Cup Challenge