Sunday, October 18, 2015

Retro Game Boys Episode 1 - Action Biker (Commodore 64)

Well, it's been a long time coming but episode 1 of Retro Game Boys is now online.

The idea of our new YouTube channel is for me to introduce Kieran to some of the games I was playing when I was his age and growing up, and to see what his opinion are of them in a world of XBoxes and PlayStations.

"Join the Retro Game Boys as they review and play games from yesterday.  In episode 1, Stuart introduces his son Kieran to the wonders of Action Biker - A classic Mastertronic game on the Commodore 64 from 1985.  Grab yourselves a pack of KP Skips and enjoy!"

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YOUTUBE : (we'll get a custom address when we have enough views)
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Monday, September 21, 2015

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 37 - Why (Carly Simon)

Listening to this song always brings back nostalgic memories of when I was a wee lad.  There's nothing special about the song that makes it stand out for me - in fact, the video is three and a half minutes of cringworthy footage of Carly prancing along a street (back in the days when music videos could be done on the cheap and still be successful).   Still, I remember listening to this song on the radio when it came out, and I guess that memory just stuck with me.  Released in 1982, it reached number 10 in the UK charts in August of that year....  I was only 5 years old.  Gosh I feel old. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Say Yes To The Dress

Interesting fact...  As I write this, it has been exactly 4432 days, 9 hours, 17 minutes and 55 seconds since our wedding

Enough of that.  Today, we managed to get Michelle's wedding dress out of storage from her Grandparents attic and have brought it to its new permanent home - ours!!  Obviously, the girls got excited and wanted to wear it.  Sophie has already said that she wants to wear it on her Wedding day.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Tis Good, Yar...

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, but as promised in my last post, here is a more in-depth reason to my neglecting the Captains Blog. 

It's been a bit of a whirlwind couple of weeks/months and lots of things have been going on that has meant I haven't had the time to concentrate on this blog.  It's not a shock to anyone who knows me that I've been suffering sever depression for quite some time, and although occasionally I have good days, the majority of them have been bad. 

However, things have been looking up recently and I genuinely feel as though we (the family) have been given a shedload of good fortune.  Of course, I haven't discovered a miracle cure for depression, and I do still have occasional lows but it's always nice when many things happen to work in your favour all at once.  It all started with a pay rise at work, then Michelle gaining her qualification to become an accredited nail manicurist a few months ago, leading to her starting her own business ( which is proving to be quite a success, to finally being able to afford a larger, bigger and better house and move away from the hell hole that is/was Coronation Street in Evesham.

Anyway, with the school summer holiday now in its 5th week, I've got 3 more weeks to get a ton of jobs done in time for when term starts on the 7th September.  Fortunately this year has not been as stressful as last year - as some of you may remember, last year was one hell of a nightmare getting the two school networks merged in to one on time.  I definitely lost a few years of my life (and some hair) from that one!

Anyway, there you have it.  Yes, I know life has its ups and downs, and the pessimist in me does not expect this to last, but life is fantastic at the moment.  Long may it last.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Commodore Plus 4 Gets a Service

Hello again!  Sorry for the lack of posts recently.  I will explain why in another post shortly.

Anyway, the reason for posting today is because of a little project I've been doing to restore my Mum and Dad's faulty Commodore Plus 4 (which they have so kindly given to me - Another one to the collection!).

This one only had a faulty 8501 CPU which I was able to replace thanks to a working spare that I fortunately had in another damaged Plus 4. 

Today, I got some more heatsinks to put on the chips. Stuck down with some thermal adhesive.... That should mainly keep the MOS8360 TED and MOS8501 CPU cooler. It's amazing how hot these old chips get. It's been on for nearly two hours now and the temperature is definitely cooler than usual. Hopefully it will prolong the life of this 30 year old computer.

Oh that, and a nice clean with some IPA solvent, leaving the motherboard a tad bit cleaner than it was too.

Happy happy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 36 - Battle in the Mutura Nebula (James Horner)

I was going to write a post today to celebrate the one month anniversary of us being in our new house, but that was before I woke up and heard on the news about the tragic death of James Horner (composer to many of my favourite movies) who died in a plane accident yesterday.

James Horner wrote and composed a number of scores that rank highly as some of the best written, including of course Titanic, Apollo 13, Cocoon and Aliens, but to me he will always be remembered for writing the music to the best Star Trek film ever...  Star Trek II : The Wrath Of Khan.

Listening to this score always brings back memories of me and my friend Steve pretending to be in command of the Starship Enterprise in his parents living room, battling Khan in the hijacked USS Reliant whilst pretending his coffee table was the helm of the Enterprise, and Star Trek II playing on the TV...  Hey, we were only 9 years old!  We must have worn out that old VHS video!

I actually think it was his score to this great movie that got me interested in movie soundtracks.

It's a tragic loss, but he always be remembered through his wonderful music.

Battle in the Mutara Nebula (Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan - James Horner)

It has made me think how easy it is for any one of us to go.....   Scary thought.

 James Horner in an uncredited acting cameo in Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan