Saturday, August 24, 2013

Star Trek - The Official Starships Collection Issue 1 Review

I'm not one for subscribing to magazines - after all, most of the stuff I want to read can be found on the internet for free.  In fact, the last magazine I did subscribe to was the Commodore 64 mag "Zzap 64" in the late 80's!  However, after watching an advert on TV last Tuesday about a new series of Star Trek magazines that come complete with a detailed model ship with each issue, I just had to subscribe...

Today I got my first issue of "Star Trek The Official Starships Collection", and with it came a fantastic model of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D from Star Trek : The Next Generation.  The magazine itself is nothing special - a glossy mag with a few original drawings by Andrew Probert, some other photos which can be found online or in other books, and a bit of information about the ship.  To be honest, the magazine is just a bonus extra as I'm sure most people will be buying this series solely for the models, although with the binder that will be available to subscribers I'm sure the magazines will become a nice library once complete.

The model itself is not very big and measures about 140mm in length, but what is impressive is the amount of detail on the ship.  You can see windows, escape pods, and texturing on the hull is fantastic.  Also, the model has been made using die-cast metal and ABS plastic, so it doesn't look cheap.  This is no toy, but it does seem strong (and heavy) enough to take a bit of punishment from young hands.  Fortunately it comes with a nice display stand which is individually numbered.

Issue 1 cost a silly £1.99, so for that price, you can't really complain.  Issue 2 comes with the USS Enterprise Refit from Star Trek The Motion Picture and will be priced at £5.99.  All subsequent issues will then be £9.99 each which does seem a lot, but if the quality of the models remain the same as this, then I think it's a price worth paying.  The publisher Eaglemoss Collections hope to release 70 issues at least (once a fortnight), not including specials, and have issued a tentative list of all issues and ships (which you can see below).  Personally, I can't wait for issues 8 and 11 (USS Excelsior and USS Reliant)!

Provisional list of issues

◾01 USS Enterprise-D
◾02 USS Enterprise (refit)
◾03 Klingon Bird-of-Prey
◾04 Enterprise NX-01
◾05 Romulan Warbird
◾06 USS Voyager
◾07 K't'inga-class
◾08 USS Excelsior
◾09 USS Defiant
◾10 Borg sphere
◾11 USS Reliant
◾12 Ferengi Marauder
◾13 Akira-class
◾14 Vor'cha-class
◾15 Prometheus-class
◾16 Valdore-type
◾17 USS Equinox
◾18 Bajoran Solar Sailer
◾19 USS Enterprise-E
◾20 Xindi-Insectoid starship
◾21 Raptor-class
◾22 Jem'Hadar fighter
◾23 Nebula-class
◾24 Suurok-class
◾25 Delta Flyer
◾26 Breen warship
◾27 Krenim weapon ship
◾28 USS Enterprise-C
◾29 Galor-class
◾30 USS Stargazer
◾31 Borg Queen's vessel
◾32 Jem'Hadar battle cruiser
◾33 Maquis fighter
◾34 Romulan Bird-of-Prey (23rd century)
◾35 Hirogen warship
◾36 T'Plana-Hath (starship)
◾37 Prototype Klingon Bird-of-Prey
◾38 USS Enterprise-J
◾39 Son'a Command ship
◾40 Runabout
◾41 D-5-class
◾42 Romulan drone-ship
◾43 USS Enterprise-B
◾44 Jem'Hadar battleship
◾45 Malon export vessel
◾46 Federation mission scoutship
◾47 Scimitar
◾48 USS Relativity
◾49 Tholian starship (22nd century)
◾50 Goroth's starship
◾51 USS Kelvin
◾52 Son'a collector
◾53 Xindi-Reptilian starship
◾54 Oberth-class
◾55 Suliban cell ship
◾56 Phoenix
◾57 Fesarius
◾58 Steamrunner-class
◾59 Xindi-Aquatic cruiser
◾60 Vulcan Long range shuttle
◾61 Saber-class
◾62 Hideki-class
◾63 USS Enterprise-A
◾64 Romulan Bird-of-Prey (22nd century)
◾65 USS Dauntless
◾66 Federation holoship
◾67 Scorpion-class
◾68 Norway-class
◾69 USS Enterprise
◾70 Species 8472 bioship

◾Borg probe
◾Cousteau (Captain's Yacht)
◾Borg cube

SPECIALS (available to Subscribers only)
◾Deep Space 9
◾USS Enterprise (alternate reality - ST2009 and STID)
◾Future USS Enterprise-D ("All Good Things...")
◾Space Stations

The mag. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Techy Post - Have you forgotten the local administrator password?

Ever had an occasion when you've removed a computer from a domain, and can't remember the administrator password to log on locally?  I've been guilty of this on several occasions (I had it last week when I removed a domain controller from the network, and was left with a file server that I could not log in to!)

I know there are various utilities that enable you to reset the password, but this is a useful way of doing it without any hacks, or third party tools.  This works with Windows 7 and Server 2008.  Although I haven't tested it on other versions of Windows, I don't see why it won't work on those.

  • Boot your PC from your Windows 7/Server 2008 installation Disk.
  • When you are prompted, choose your language.
  • Select partition and installation version and click next.
  • Select Repair your Computer
  • Select Command Prompt (Open a command prompt window)
  • Type the following :-
    • cd c:\windows\system32
    • move utilman.exe utilman.exe.bak
    • copy cmd.exe utilman.exe
  • Restart your computer
At the logon prompt, hold down the Windows Key and press U at the same time.  This will now bring up the command prompt instead of the Utility Manager.

From the command line, type :-
net user administrator P455word

Try logging on with the new password - Voila!

Don't forget to copy back the original utilman.exe file.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mastertronic - What if? : The Last of Us

Mastertronic brings you "The Last of Us" for £1.99, only for the Playstation 3, Commodore, Amstrad, Spectrum and Atari  - Available from all good newsagents, chemists and game shops!
If only..... :o)

Because I have WAY too much time on my hands, I thought I'd mess around with putting together some fake Mastertronic covers for modern computer games.

In case you are not aware (or can not remember), Mastertronic were big in the mid to late 1980s and were a major budget software label in the United Kingdom and produced a large number of cheapo games and re-releases for the Commodore/Spectrum/Amstrad/Atari 8-bit computers (and some 16-bit too) - most at a pocket-money-friendly £1.99!

Just a bit of fun really, but what would modern games look like if Mastertronic still released games like the good ol' days? Well, here you can find out!
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge - I bet this would be one hell of a mult-load game!
You can view more of my fake Mastertronic covers by clicking here

Monday, June 17, 2013

Busy, busy, busy....

Bit of a change to the usual posts here at the Captain's Blog.  These past few weeks have been quite busy at work, what with it being that magical time of the year when we all get our budgets for the year, and can start spending cash on some fancy new items for school. 

This year, we've kitted out two rooms with some fancy new computers and I thought I'd share some pictures with you of the finished rooms.  If only we had this kind of technology when I was at school.

The kids of today are extremely lucky!

Big thanks to the team for helping to get everything done during the May half-term holiday in time for when the staff and students returned the following week.

HU4 - Before
This room had some awfully slow Celeron desktops in it.
HU4 - After
They're not new, but we've placed some slightly better spec PCs in the room.  Looking good!
LU5 - Before
This room had the computers which are now in HU4.
LU5 - After
Now with some nice, and very quick i3 all-in-ones desktop PCs
LG1 - Before
This room wasn't too bad - It had a number of Core 2 Duo computers, but desk space was a problem.  They've been moved to another room, and....
LG1 - After
Now kitted out with some Acer Veriton Z2610 i3 all-in-one desktop PCs, like LU5
AND, just today we've had a delivery of a nice, shiny new server - an HP Proliant ML350 G8 with 2 quad core processors and 32Gb of RAM...  Perfect for my virtualisation plan.....  More on that in the near future.
Father Christmas (aka the UPS Courier) has arrived early this year!
Inside the beast!
So all in all... it hasn't been a bad couple of weeks.  Hard to believe that another school year has nearly reached its end.  Even harder to believe is that next year will be my 10th year at Evesham High School - gosh, where has the time gone?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 25 - Wouldn't It Be Good (Nik Kershaw)

Another song that reminds me of my childhood...  Nik Kershaws "Wouldn't It Be Good". 

In fact, I have chosen this song because a colleague at work was humming it today, which subsequently caused me to whistle and hum it continuously (probably annoying everyone else in the process too!).  It's stuck in my head and I can't get it out..... HELP!!!

Nik Kershaw was (still is?) one of my sisters favourite artists and like Howard Jones, was heard many times through the thin walls that separated our bedrooms.  Released way back in 1984, I was never really fond of it when I was younger, but as with many things from my childhood it has grown on me.  Perhaps it's the nostalgia that comes with listening to it?  Either way it is a really good song.  Modern musical artists should take note.
"Wouldn't it be good to be in your shoes
Even if it was just for one day
And wouldn't it be good if we could wish ourselves away
Wouldn't it be good to be on your side
The grass is always greener over there
And wouldn't it be good if we could live without a care"

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 24 - Live It Up (Mental as Anything)

Well, it's been a while since I posted a childhood musical memory.  Plenty going on in my life, but the biggest highlight was going to the cinema to watch Star Trek Into Darkness (More about that later).  For now, I want to share with you the next "Song that reminds me of my childhood"......

Live It Up was a big hit for Australian new-wave group Mental as Anything and was released back in 1986.  It reached number 3 in the UK charts, and was featured in the crap Paul Hogan movie "Crocodile Dundee".  Ok that does it no favours, but have a listen.  It's fun and lively - typical mid 80's pop.

As with Invisible Touch by Genesis, this is another song that reminds me of family nights out walking from Leigh-On-Sea to Southend.  Many of the pubs we visited would play this on the jukebox whilst I drank my drink (a pint of orange juice) and played classic arcade games. 

Ahhhhhhh the memories.