St George’s Church .. Iraq

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas !!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very

Merry Christmas !!

Monday, December 22, 2008

funny face

I thought I would share this incredibly funny picture of our daughter, taken a good few months back.  I cannot believe she posed so well making this one of the best images! imho, of course ;-)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Duff Beer

I have to make this post! I've been meaning to for months but never seem to get around to it. Basically, a big thank you to the people behind Miller for finally bringing a twist-off cap beer to England. Sure, it's been out since around spring iirc but I finally found the time!

Why more companies don't do this is beyond me. Our times spent in North America where an eye opener as everything was twist-off. It's so much better, so my question is this: does anyone know of other beers in England with twist-off caps? :-)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A new BF1942 mod with Mac support!

Hey folks, here is a link to a new modification for Battlefield 1942. I'll no doubt want to mirror this at some point in the near future but, for once, there's not really much point.  The guys behind this great mod seem to fully support our Mac. They have Mac-specific client downloads from his site.

I'm always impressed when this happens. Perhaps because it happens so infrequent? My thanks to Bumble Bee & Co.

Urban Desert Combat needs the latest release of BF1942 to work. It requires that you've also got the classic mod 'Desert Combat' installed too. (and i think 'Desert Combat Final' too, although I've yet to verify this).

I'd like to thank Gumby for alerting me to news of this new mod. Click here for the Urban DC website and downloads. Enjoy modded BF1942 :-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Winter's come early!

Today didn't start very well at all. Woke up a little earlier than usual as I knew the weather was going to be pretty bad. Shocked to see it had snowed throughout the night (it never usually snows in this part of England!). Cleared off the car and set off for another dreary day in work.

I never made it - spent a couple of hours going nowhere before turning around to come back home and even that took almost an hour! Yep, good 'ol merry England proves itself once more by grinding to a halt simply because of slippy roads (lots of accidents on various motorways).

One question - why didn't the local councils grit the roads over night? Scotland never fails and England never learns!!

So I came home after nearly 3 hours of idling in only the next town.  But still, every cloud has a silver lining and our dog was more than happy to find my coming home early. We went out for a walk in the snow - I love winter!  The picture, above, makes me laugh. Those poor little ducks seem to have lost their pond.

Tomorrow I think I'll get up even earlier...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

all your favorite TV shows

Firstly, sorry all, as I should have given this a mention this in yesterdays blog entry.  If you're not living in the UK then this Mac wonder is perfect for something like the IT Crowd.  It's called 'TVShows' and enables you to download torrents of all your favorite...err...TV shows.  As and when they are broadcast - it's all automatically done for you in the background.

So load it up and search for, say, 'crowd' and up pops yesterdays mentioned tv show. Or just manually scroll down a huge listing of available shows...  Now click on subscribe and you'll get the latest episode the moment it's available!  Please note that 'TVShows' is not a torrent application, so you'll need something like Vuze or Transmission.

Of course, this works both ways, if you're in the UK and don't want to wait for Virgin, Sky or the BBC to show your favorite American tv show then this is life saver yet again. Go grab yourself the latest Dexter, Psych, Reaper, Chuck, Fear Itself, Bones, Fringe, etc, etc, etc!!

We have our MacBook connected to our TV via HDMI and the picture quality is awesome. Many episodes are HD anyhow but even the SD ones look great. I think it's advisable to grab a copy of VLC from MacUpdate as the playback is often better than the Quicktime player, especially for HD. (YMMV)

To download yourself copies of 'Vuze', 'Transmission', 'VLC' and of course 'TVShows'  simply use the search bar at MacUpdate :-)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

OMG it's like being back at work!

Looks like season 3 of the IT Crowd starts this coming Friday!   ( homepage )

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend breaks in the sun

I thought I would share a gorgous picture from our latest weekend away in the English Lake District.  This was a short break to celebrate my parents wedding anniversary and we all had a blast. Great laugh.  Instead of the usual mountainous photo I thought I'd be nice to have a change and show a nice, lovely image of the valley near to Force Crag.  This was also one of the rare moments that the sun came out!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

IN HELL finally arrives !

Today I finally manage to complete the Doom 3 maps collection.  At last I got around to uploading In Hell and the download links are listed  in the maps blog entry (along with everything else from A-Z).  Family life & ISP troubles have got in the way, but it's here to play! Hope you all enjoy every Doom3 A-Z map :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Babes, Fights, Zombies and then a movie!

My first posting for a long while - I'm impressed I could stay clear of blogging for so long! ;)

We've recently watched the latest Resident Evil flick. I completely love the games and I've had this DVD here for far too long.  Finally, we got to watch it last night and I was hoping it was going to be every bit as good as the second movie. Thankfully, we was definitely not disappointed!

What a fantastic, fast action paced, sci-fi, gore-fest this was! The action was intense all the way through with some amazing special effects thrown in for good measure. Never a dull moment and we'd both recommend watching RE3.

If I had to be picky then I'd have wanted more from Claire Redfield, she was a big name in the games of course but (as a gamer) I felt a little let down by her position in the film.  Also, the movie's ending could have been... well... a little longer.  After all the amazing stunts and sexy fight scenes throughout the entire film, the ending was a little weak.

Well, nothing is perfect. Right? I'm looking forward to the next Resi flick along with the next Milla Jovovich project too. (I'm in the mood to re-watch the Ultraviolet and Fifth Element again!!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

AppleCrypt Mods vote !

I decided to make my first poll for my website 'AppleCrypt Mods'. Due to the ongoing upgrade from dotMac to MobileMe, I still cannot update the actual content. So, I thought I'd create this little poll while I was bored..

Is AppleCrypt Mods a site that you use a lot? We're feeling a little bit lonely and wonder just how many people bookmarked us and visit regular. It sometimes seems Mac gaming is dying a slow death, which is very backward considering how many Macs are being sold compared to recent years!

So are there many players out t
here modding their favourite fps game???

Leave your comments too ! :-)

Feeling lonely
How often do you visit AppleCrypt Mods
every other day
whenever i remember!
i hardly ever visit here...
never, this is my first & only visit
i hate AppleCrypt Mods
i've no interest in this site. How did I get here? lol
View Result
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Saturday, July 12, 2008

.Mac finally gone. . .

The transition took a little longer than we all expected ;-)  But .Mac disappears forever from my computer today.  I hate the 'MobileMe' name as it's crap, but lets hope it works as good as the service it replaces.  Well, now I've got 20GB to play with, I just hope they make it a little faster and more responsive.  This was my only gripe with .Mac overall.

Goodbye forever .Mac !

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

R.I.P. .Mac

This week sadly sees the end of the troubled .Mac service that Apple's been providing since the days of iTools. It's had it's problems along the way and many have complained about speeds issues or the subscription fee. But i've always loved .Mac and it's been a fantastic service to me.

There's more to the new .me (urgh i hate that name!) than meets the eye. It's .Mac on steroids and comes with a whole host of cool features while still retaining the current ones.

Well, most anyhow. There's a few features that will be missing such as iCards & Web Bookmarks. I really cannot understand Apple sometimes..

I'm looking forward to trying out the new features, especially when I get an iPhone (maybe next year sometime). Until then I cannot forgive Apple for loosing the web bookmarks that's been incredibly useful over the years!

At least I'll keep my " .mac " email address ! haha

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Blizzard's pure Mac dedication

A few days ago I decided that I wanted to make a simple 'thank you' blog posting to one of the finest examples of a dedicated gaming company. One that supports the Mac platform as good as you could ever desire.

A company that makes their own original games and continues to support them with various future updates many years down the line. Always making sure that their collection is compatible with the latest Macs and always making sure bug fixes are dealt with. This alone makes the Blizzard team unique.

Not many companies make games for the Mac, especially original games rather than conversions of Windows titles.  Please note, that is no dig at the amazing 'Aspyr' who convert some of the best games for us to play. I humbly want to pay my respects to Blizzard for their amazing Mac dedication that's seen so little today compared to previous years in Mac gaming.

I checked out their web site the other night to see the upcoming Diablo 3. It looks incredible! Guess what, it comes out the same time as the Windows release. Amazing, I cannot wait to play this game!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Fourth of July !

Another celebration day all within the same week! This time it's America's Independence Day. So a very happy Fourth of July to you all!!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Canada Day !!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Canadians a very jolly & happy Canada Day for July 1st.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

CO-OP Gaming

This weekend looks likely to be a zombie free one and I'm not happy! As most people know, I don't spend a lot of time playing online games as I usually prefer a decent single player campaign any day. But lately I've (re)discovered the joys of coop online gaming that has more to it than any repetitive deathmatch game could ever offer.

There are a few coop games that you'll find me playing, Doom 3's Last Man Standing and FMJ 5.56mm are damn fine examples of games you should play!  Battlefield 1942's excellent total conversion Interstate Racing (aka IS82) is another I've played for years. (Okay, it's not really coop but everyone usually ends up messing about rather than actually racing against each other! It's fun - play IS82!).  Finally, the awesome Fraghouse Invasion 5 and Killing Floor for Unreal Tournament 2004.

Killing Floor is the game I play more so than any other at the moment. It's fantastic fun and feels like you're stuck inside a real B-Movie that would make Romero proud. The maps are amazing, play on 'Swamp' and 'Parking Lot' to see what I mean. You can use a variety of weapons but, of course, I choose the shotgun method! I like the faster Winchester over the traditional Shotgun and there is also a Hunting Shotgun that fans of Doom 2 *must* try out!

However, the thing that makings Killing Floor so addictive isn't the range of spooky maps, great weapons, perfect gameplay or even the great graphics. It's the players. Most nights I run my own server for the KF Community and there are often 5/6 of us all working together to rid the world of zombie scum! It's a great laugh and there are lots of cool characters too, along with some talented players too (hate those ppl!). ;-)

Hmm now for the bad part. I'm writing this blog today because I cannot play the game online. Apparently, the master servers are offline at the moment and they could be down for the entire weekend! Hence the reason I've updated my blog rather than actually playing the game!

Typical, I've got all weekend and the master servers are down! Bah..  Well, at least single player is also supported - but this is NOTHING compared to playing coop with your friends.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Uncle Strider !

Today we got to see our new nephew. Little Archie came quite a few weeks early due to some problems, but all is well overall and he's doing well. Perfectly well for his size and early condition. Congrats to the parents - you've done fantastic!!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

our Oslo trip

We're back from our Oslo trip and boy what a fantastic experience. We loved Norway!

Personally, it's a place that I've always wanted to visit and Oslo is a great start to begin any Scandinavian vacation. The city is clean and quiet whilst home to a ton of great sites to see and many things to do. The people are friendly and polite making this a great place for families and couples alike.

The strangest thing for us was the temperature. One of the reasons Oslo made it onto our shortlist was the expected cooler climate. Not so! Each day was damn hot but it peaked at around 30c on the Saturday. Scorchio!

The sun was still shining late into the evening but it never went completely dark. Even in the early hours of the "night" the Sun reappears after only a couple of hours of this half darkness! Very odd weather that we aren't used to here in England. We loved this and enjoyed the whole experience, of course.

I cannot recommend Oslo, or indeed Norway as a whole, enough to you all. Sure the Taxi's and eating out are expensive but everything else more than makes up for this. We loved Norway and hope to return one day. When we do, Trondheim is next on the list but first we have to visit other places.. what else do we go to work for? Enjoy life!

[ This posting is dedicated to my new nephew, Archie. ]

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My "Killing Floor", a UT2004 server

A quick post to let all know about my 'Killing Floor' game server.

It's a Unreal Tournament 2004 server running the total conversion mod 'Killing Floor'. This is a classic game aimed at action / zombie fans everywhere! You are all welcome to grab a shotgun and join us for a game sometime.

If you don't have this fantastic game installed, then you can download it from AppleCrypt Mods right now. If you'd like to visit the KF homepage then click here.

My server is simply called "Strider's KF Server" and it will be listed within the game's browser with all the others. It's running most evenings (GMT) during a typical weekday and also at various times over the weekends. (except this coming weekend - we're too busy!)

Join us, there's plenty of spare shotguns to go around :-)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lookout - The Brits Are Coming!

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I thought I would share an image from the game "Killing Floor", an Unreal Tournament 2004 modification. I had an hour today while everyone was out and this map had four of us all up against a war of zombies. What made this map even better was the server had two mutators running - low gravity and quad jump. Amazing fun! Before you ask, this mod is downloadable in a Mac-ready format for you at AppleCrypt Mods. **contact me for a coop game sometime**

I'm now testing out v3.2 of SAS: Into The Lion's Den. It's an old favourite of mine for a couple of years now and I see there are three online servers running! I'll have this on AppleCrypt soon.

Does anyone here play 'Fraghouse Invasion v5' online? I can only see the one server but I can never connect to it. It just sits there displaying the URL onscreen and nothing more. . . Yelp !

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hero... Bruce Boxleitner

Thanks to I recently learned the Bruce Boxleitner is to be a regular cast member of the hit show Heroes.  Being a huge Babylon5 fan I scream out in joy and then begin to wonder if the Vorlon race really do exist! Though I would always take the side of the Shadows!

There has never been a science fiction show that came close to Babylon5.  With it's powerful story, incredible characters and those awesome graphical scenes!  Captain John Sheridan brought power, passion, romance, humor and sheer strength to J. Michael Straczynski's masterpiece. Today is a good day indeed.

Captain Sheridan: Why am I here?
Kosh: You have always been here.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Today I learned that DOOM IV is in development!
Excellent news though there's no mention (yet) of a Mac release. But with ID I should imagine this won't be an issue. Click for more info -

Sunday, April 20, 2008

St.George's Day !

Hello again everyone. It's almost the April 23rd and although I know I'm a little early, I thought I'd make this posting today. I may not get the time on Wednesday, so I will wish every Englishman a very happy St. George's Day!

Click on this link and sigh the petition (

Thursday, April 17, 2008

birthday break

We're back from the Lake District in Cumbria. And I'm annother year older too !

The birthday weekend break in Dubwath went by pretty good. We went on many walks in various parts of the Cumbrian area, Uldale Common, Caldbeck, Loweswater and Winlatter are all now favorite places of ours. However, the B&B itself wasn't too great, we received a very cold greeting and then the evening bar was a huge disappointment. Try getting a drink when they are ignoring their reception bell. Hmm not very good at all :-(

So watch out if you want to stay in this town - I don't want to publicly knock these guys. Perhaps they had a bad week? lol yeah right! Contact me if you need to know the name...

Anyhow, they didn't spoil our time, I only wish we had longer... But isn't that always the case? Oh well only 7 more weeks until our next vacation!

The picture was taken from Winlatter Forest and is shows the Skiddaw mountain range with Dodds Woods at the foot. Quite a spectacular site.

Friday, April 4, 2008

feeling a little sad

This year, April is a strange month for us both. It's the first time in a long while that we cannot afford to visit America and have one of our fantastic road trip adventures. We are sad to think that this time last year we was in Las Vegas and began our vacation by heading south through Arizona and California... The previous year we started in Houston and enjoyed the start of that vacation traveling through central Texas heading west into New Mexico.

Sigh.... Happy times! Okay this year is very different due to our new family addition, our very own little baby girl. Life's changed so much and we're both very happy, but a little tiny part of us is still missing America!

The picture above is obviously from the Grand Canyon, taken last year just before we started an awesome day on Arizona's section of Route 66. This is an amazing part of the Mother Road and we got to visit many touristy places, like the Grand Canyon Caverns and many towns like Peach Springs, Hackberry, Truxton, and eventually Kingman.

Amazing times. We hope to go back sometime in 2010, possibly a road trip vacation of the state of Texas this time? Our fingers are crossed :-)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

topsy-turvy world !

This image was taken on our return home from the Lake District, last weekend. We where almost out of the Winlatter area and parked up to take this shot of a very odd weather condition. Very odd indeed, almost as if the world was upside down!

Take a click & a look at the image and you'll see that the valleys where flooded with thick fog all day while everywhere else was enjoying a clear blue sky day. The same happened in other places, like Crummock and Buttermere. So you can imagine our shock when we left for home only to  discovered that it wasn't really a foggy day after all!

We were glad to get a snap or two, I don't think people would have believed us otherwise ;-)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lakes break

We have just returned from a great weekend of walking in the lakes! Great weather on saturday, like summer! And foggy on sunday, all day. We stayed at coledale inn which is an old georgian and victorian inn, very nice indeed. Sad to be back as this was a break to celebrate our six years together! Happy anniversary diane x x x

Saturday, February 2, 2008

A real winter

Snow! At last winter finally arrives. Yesterday it started to snow a little and this morning it was everywhere :-) I decided to get up early (yeah like I've an option with a baby these days!) and take the dog out for a good walk.

Snow everywhere! And moments after taking this snapshot it started to fall from the sky. It was like a blizzard. We make the most of winter here, when it finally decides to arrive. Why? Well, we never seem to get a good cold icy season anymore. If we do wake up to a white world then it's usually gone later that same day and then it's another year to wait.. sigh..

Not like my good friend from Canada. They've just returned from a fantastic vacation in the South West, USA and returned to -27 temperatures! WOW :o

Well, I'm back home now and I decided to amend this blog a little. After all, it's not too good typing on the cell phone the best of times and today is even worse when it's cold. But guess what? The sun is out and the sky's (for once!) are blue. Bet you the snow has gone by the afternoon...


Monday, January 7, 2008

AppleCrypt Mods

Seeing as I've nothing new to post on this blog, I thought I'd mention my main web site that i've managed now for quite some time: AppleCrypt Mods. This is my digital baby that I've put many hours into for a few years now.
Basically, I convert many PC first person shooter (fps) modifications (mods) and single player maps (sp).
Almost all mods and sp maps are made by Windows people that know nothing of the Mac gamer. To make matters worse, their work often comes as an EXE file! Plus there could also be source code that needs to be compiled..  It's no wonder that Mac users never bothered (or never even knew) you could mod your favourite game!
Modding is cool. It allows you to change many aspects of a game, like the weapons or sound effects for example. Then there are the sp maps to test out, why re-play all the maps within the game when there's often a wealth of choice just waiting to be discovered on the internet?!!
Ok, so long story short. AppleCrypt Mods makes sure these mods & sp maps work on our Macs, for fps games like Doom3, Battlefield 1942, Soldier of Fortune 2, Quake 4 and many more. Check out our downloads server, there's thousands of surprises awaiting you!.
Please spread the word of AppleCrypt Mods!!!