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Subject:Privacy issue
Time:11:56 am
 I just had an email from someone I don't know addressed TO my Livejournal account. The problem is that unless I'm missing something there is no way to send an email to a non-Livejournal address FROM Livejournal, so the only way to reply would be to use my private email address.

This wouldn't be a huge problem, except I deliberately don't have my email address on my blogs. It really isn't that hard to find it, but I prefer to keep them separate. For this reason I won't be replying - sorry, Kevin - and can only suggest that if you really need to contact me you get a Livejournal account I can reply to. Thanks for the kind words anyway!
Also posted at http://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2050682.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:iMac update
Time:11:04 pm
Finished the upgrade of the 1ghz 17" iMac G4, which is now 2GB RAM, OSX 10.5 250gb hard drive, with a fairly new DVD writer, camera, and Apple's Pro Speakers and iSight camera. Unfortunately it's the one with some stuck pixels (I think they are stuck rather than dead, since I can see the mouse pointer faintly if I put it there) and so far I haven't found a fix for this that will work on a G4 outside the area of a browser window. Anyone got any suggestions?

It all went well apart from one dead DIMM - a bit of a PITA to fix since it was the one inside rather than the user-replaceable one, but nowhere near as bad as swapping out the drives.

One annoyance - I was going to include a copy of office 2004, largely because it can be used as the "key" for Office 2008 Upgrade version, but it turned out that the box actually contained a copy of Office X, which is even earlier, and didn't have a valid install key. I'd complain, but since I think I paid 50p for it in a charity shop it's hardly worth the effort! Fortunately I've also got a copy of iWork 08 spare, I'll include that instead.

Tomorrow I'll clear up enough to take some photos without my back room looking like a tip and list it on ebay, at say a tenner off what I would normally charge because of the screen problem. Once that's done I just need to wait for the ram to do the 700mhz machine, and get that listed. And after that I really think I'm going to stop messing around with these machines, as I've said once or twice before...

Also posted at http://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2050426.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:USB charging stations?
Time:01:46 am
Can anyone recommend a multi-socket USB charger station? I would prefer at least four sockets, the main things I will be keeping charged all the time are my iPad and iPhone, plus occasionally my nook, iPad keyboard, portable Wifi hub, etc. so not a huge amount of power consumption but safety and clean power are essential.

Any recommendations that won't break the bank?

Update - following numerous recommendations I've bought one of the Anker chargers - I've gone for the 5-port version since I shouldn't need more than three or four at a time, and it's more compact than the 10-port one.

Also posted at http://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2050268.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Hunter: The Vigil
Time:06:53 pm
This is an offer for Hunter: The Vigil, White Wolf's game of monster hunting. The setting is the "Chronicles of Darkness" which apparently is a variant on their long-established World of Darkness setting (Vampire etc.). I read the first version of the rules in dead tree format many years ago, but never really got into it:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/HunterVigil

"This offer features White Wolf's 2008 Storytelling game from the Chronicles of Darkness, Hunter: The Vigil. Fans of Supernatural, Sleepy Hollow, and other monster-hunting tales can rejoice: No longer need ordinary humans be swept up in the machinations of the unknown. Hunter lets you take up the torch and fight -- often desperately -- against the darkness. This bargain-priced offer collects almost the entire Hunter line masterminded by gifted editor Chuck Wendig, now an acclaimed novelist (Blackbirds, Under the Empyrean Sky, and the Star Wars Aftermath trilogy).

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, the RPG Creators Relief Fund. The RCRF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization founded to provide financial assistance to tabletop roleplaying game creators suffering hardship due to medical emergencies, natural disasters, and other catastrophic situations.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$114. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $38) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Hunter: The Vigil corebook (retail price $20), the organizations book Compacts and Conspiracies (retail $9), and the Block by Bloody Block campaign framework (retail $9). As a convenience to customers who don't have the World of Darkness rulebook, we also include the 66-page adventure Nightmare at Hill Manor, released for Free RPG Day 2011, with all the rules you need to play Hunter: The Vigil.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $21.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more titles (retail value $76), including Chronicles sourcebooks about hunting vampires (Night Stalkers, retail $20), werewolves and spirits (Spirit Slayers, retail $19), mages (Witch Finders, retail $20), and just about every other supernatural creature (Mortal Remains Revised, retail $17).

At least one other title will be added after launch. "When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid higher than average. This is their reward for buying early."
 

It's an interesting offer if you're into horror RPGs and monster hunting - but as I've mentioned in previous posts, I feel a bit "monstered out" and probably won't bother to look at it, and to be honest I've never been a huge fan of White Wolf's game system. This probably has a lot more to do with me than with the actual merits of the system. Nevertheless I think you're getting quite a lot for your money, and certainly think it should be considered if you want a horror system.

Also posted at http://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2050020.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Today's boot fair stuff
Time:08:42 pm
A TV aerial and SCART splitter I need for my bedroom TV - the new Freeview receiver needs a boosted signal and doesn't have SCART passthrough.

Two sealed packs of fruit tea teabags (short dated, but I doubt it goes off) for 50p - that's 50p for the two packs, not each. I haven't tried it yet and it may be horrible, of course...

update - tea is OK, not wonderful - a bit like hot ribena but a bit weaker and less sweet. I probably should use two in a big mug, not one, next time.

A camera rangefinder for £1.50

And eight USB temperature recorders at £1 each - list is £39 new, these are used but I just finished testing them and they're all OK, so I've bunged them onto eBay at £9.99 each, offers considered, we'll see what happens.

Also posted at http://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2049650.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Never Say Never Again Again
Time:05:59 pm
On the 19th I said (re iMac G4 computers):

I think this is probably going to be the last one I do, unless something really cheap practically forces itself on me - they're a lot of work and I seem to be doing better with photographic stuff. But I find them fun to work on, so I'm not saying never again...

 
So needless to say today's car boot fair bargain was another 17" iMac G4, this time 1ghz and working as soon as I plugged it in. It isn't perfect, unfortunately, there's a dead area at the top left corner of the screen which fortunately will usually be over the menu bar rather than more important content, and a dead line one pixel high and about 2" long further down the screen. My guess is a dodgy connector somewhere inside the panel, which may be fixable but I really wouldn't know where to start. More positively, it already has a wifi card. I also picked up a 250gb IDE drive for a couple of quid, so that's the expensive part of the upgrade hopefully taken care of. Can't sell it as perfect, but if I knock twenty quid off my usual price for this model I think it'll sell.

Also got a MacBook Air / 13" Macbook Pro charger, which seems to be the real thing, and another Minolta 35-80mm AF zoom, both at a fiver, so reasonably happy despite the screen problem. And yet another FireWire ipod charger for £2!
Also posted at http://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2049470.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Today's eBay bargain...
Time:08:48 pm
...Really was, for a change.

About ten days ago I bought a job lot of old lenses and photographic stuff for about £24 including P&P. It finally arrived tonight while I was out (thank you, MyHermes, the world's worst and slowest couriers), and contains a staggering amount of stuff for the money, all in very good condition:
  • Chinon 135/2.8 with M42 T-mount (not the world's most useful fitting, but the T-mount can be swapped for most SLRs including modern ones for a couple of quid), caps, and case.
  • Optomax 200/4.5, same bat mount, caps, and case, boxed
  • Pentacon 30/3.5, M42 screw, with caps
  • Helios 58/2.0, M42 screw, with caps
  • Jessop optical slide viewer, M42 T-mount with box and instructions
  • A x2-x3 teleconverter, M42
  • Four filters including a 72mm polarizer
  • Set of M42 extension tubes (probably fairly worthless)
  • and various odds and ends including a box of flash bulbs, a bulb type flash that unfortunately uses different bulbs, two fairly crap electronic flashes, a large photo-viewing magnifier I'll probably keep for myself, and a pneumatic cable release.
Now all I have to do is write up the ebay listings...
Also posted at http://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2049146.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Third time lucky(ish)
Time:11:09 pm
Got another 17" iMac G4 yesterday, this time it's working! After a certain amount of panicking... Got it fairly cheap because the hard drive was dead, but I saw it power up and screen etc. were good so I bought it. The first bit of panic arose when I realised it was the FIRST 17" version, which means slower speed, no easy way to add modern WiFi , and the top OS X it'll run is 10.4, also that it's even more than a pig to work on than the usual iMac G4.

Then I tried booting from the DVD drive and found that was dead too. Again no great cause for alarm - they're VERY old and the DVD is usually the first thing to go. Though I did worry that there might be a fault with the disc controller or something! IDE DVD drives are like gold dust these days, so a while back I bought a couple of the little adapters that convert SATA to IDE that didn't have the connections upside down (see this post) at a couple of pounds, and I've bought a couple of SATA drives in readiness - most SATA drives are faster, cheaper, and MUCH less worn than IDE! This was my opportunity to see if one would work in a G4.

So I swapped out the drives and put in new ones, put it all back together again (which is the hard part because there are a lot of cables and weird connectors that have to go in the right places) and booted up... not. Twice... Third time, fortunately, I remembered to set the jumpers on the drives so that they didn't conflict, and things were OK. Finally got it running properly about 9 PM, finished installing and updating the operating system about eleven.

Next stage is to up the internal memory, put in a new PRAM battery, and do the finishing touches like heat sink paste, install some software, and hopefully !PROFIT!

I think this is probably going to be the last one I do, unless something really cheap practically forces itself on me - they're a lot of work and I seem to be doing better with photographic stuff. But I find them fun to work on, so I'm not saying never again...

Also posted at http://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2048871.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:And still the eBay idiots come
Time:12:39 am
I sent a small packet to Greece several weeks ago. It came back today, torn open in transit and the actual item (a focusing screen) missing, with a rubber stamp from the Greek post office which they conveniently didn't tick to show why it was returned etc.

So I contacted the buyer and told him so that he could make an item not received claim and I could give him a refund and claim it from the post office.

So he made the claim, I gave him a refund. He then sent me this email:

I am ebayer over ten year, this happened to me for the first time. I don't believe that the screen was stoled or broken in shipping. You never send it.

Ignoring the fact that if I was trying to scam him in some way I would have never contacted him in the first place.

So I sent him a scan of the padded envelope and suggested he complain to eBay if he thought he had a case. Somehow I doubt he will...
Also posted at http://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2048640.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Today's chairty shop bargains
Time:12:24 am
A Psion Organiser 3a, 1mb RAM and some dead lines on the screen, but including manual, chess datapack, and Berlitz interpreter datapack, for £2.99

A Sigma 35-80 autofocus zoom in Canon Eos fitting for £8 - works well on my 35mm Canon body, but like many older Sigma lenses has a horrible sticky rubbery coating - not as bad as some I've seen, but it's definitely going to reduce the price I can sell it for.

Both should be moderately profitable though neither will be a huge earner, and I walked a couple of miles in the course of finding them which is the main point of the exercise.

Also posted at http://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2048371.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Another case of mistaken identity
Time:04:43 pm
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina are sending me reminders to pay my bill on line. Since I am British (and we have Eviiiiil socialised medicine) and have never had any sort of account with them I suspect that this is related to the person whose medical test results were sent to me a few weeks ago.

Does anyone have a way to contact these idiots by email that doesn't involve being a registered customer or something?

Update - solved thanks to Livejournal's jgd; I contacted them via their "Report fraud" contact page, and hopefully they'll sort it out.

Also posted at http://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2048198.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Buffy fanfic question
Time:10:28 am
 Has anyone ever written a story in which the soul given to Spike is Tara's?

If not, why not?
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Subject:Yet another Dreamwidth / Livejournal question
Time:10:17 am
 I've noticed that some people who crosspost from Dreamwidth to Livejournal use a version of the footer discussed in earlier posts that is somehow updated to show if there are comments on Dreamwidth. I'd like to do this if possible, what's the procedure?

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Adventurer Conqueror King
Time:02:38 am
This is another "old school" RPG offer, basically dungeon crawling etc. - the big difference that the system emphasis is on constructing and running fantasy kingdoms.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/ACKS

"The Adventurer Conqueror King System is Autarch's sweeping FRPG that lets you build and run your own fantasy kingdoms. In other Old School Revival FRPGs your character's path to greatness is abstract, even undefined. ACKS adds a new wing to the Old School with its epic-scale domain construction rules, which help you develop an entire setting in the sandbox spirit of the hobby's earliest campaigns -- and then give your high-level player characters the challenge of conquering and running it. And many ACKS systems adapt easily to any D20-based FRPG or B/X retroclone.

This bargain-priced offer brings you pretty much the entire Adventurer Conqueror King product line. We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity chosen by Autarch owner Alexander Macris, the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. "It's a charity near and dear to me," says Alex. "My wife, Amy, was the first bladedancer in the Auran Empire, but she is now so sick with mito disease she can no longer even play tabletop RPGs. Her illness has no cure and limited treatments; the UMDF is trying to change that for her and other sufferers."

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$95. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $40) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • Adventurer Conqueror King System (retail price $10): The complete corebook with comprehensive, integrated support for play across all levels of a campaign. (Previously presented in the November 2013 Old School Revival offer.)
  • ACKS Player's Companion (retail $10): Add 19 new ACKS character classes, and get under the hood to create your own classes.
  • Domains at War: Campaigns (retail $7.50): Chart your heroes' rise to power with these rules for comprehensive military actions among kingdoms.
  • The Sinister Stone of Sakkara (retail $10): This ideal introductory adventure highlights everything ACKS brings to your gaming table.
  • Auran Empire Primer (retail $2.50): An introduction to the official ACKS campaign setting, a not-yet-fallen empire in late Antiquity ripe for conquest.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $18.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with seven more titles (retail value $55):

  • Dwimmermount (ACKS version, retail $10): Autarch's colossal 400-page science-fantasy megadungeon and campaign setting. Includes the Dungeon Tracker (retail $10), Map Book (retail $7.50), and Illustration Book (retail $5). (We presented the Labyrinth Lord version of Dwimmermount in the November 2015 OSR +4. The supplements are new to this offer and work with both versions.)
  • Domains at War: Battles and Troops and Terrain (retail $7.50 each): Conduct the landmark conflicts from your Campaigns actions as easily as you run character combats.
  • Lairs & Encounters (retail $10): More than 165 ready-to-play monster lairs, plus rules for creating and advancing monsters fit to challenge a kingdom.
At least one more item will be added after launch; "When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early."


I'll be honest, this isn't one that really interests me, but it looks like you get a lot for your money. Whether it's stuff you want is another matter, and one that's up to individual tastes.
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Subject:Another Day, Another eBay idiot...
Time:10:17 pm
This one was in Basildon and sold me an iMac G4 17", buyer collects, with keyboard and mouse. The fare to Basildon is only £5.50 for someone my age with Freedom Pass and Over 60s Railcard, so it seemed reasonable. Unfortunately it took me two hours to get there, it was bloody cold, and when I finally found his place it turned out to be a 15" one without keyboard or mouse - the idiot had used a stock sales template with a photo he'd found on line. The picture in his item description was also clean, the one he sold me was covered with cigarette tar etc.

So I refused to accept it and said that if he didn't cancel the sale I'd have to report it, and by the time I got home this evening it was cancelled. So I'm out £5.50 and time, could have been a lot worse.

Meanwhile the other one I didn't buy (the one that was my fault) has now been cancelled - I've now got an unpaid item strike, but I've never known them to cause anyone any problems so I'm not too worried about it.

I'm really hoping that this will end my run of bad luck with G4s, but I'll be honest, if I saw another on offer at a good price I'd probably go for it, I just find them fun to work with when they're OK.

This entry was originally posted at http://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2047004.html. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Fanfic - Jonathan Creek, Multiple Crossovers - Vanishing Act
Time:02:43 am
I've just posted a story called Vanishing Act on the Buffyverse crossover site Twisting the Hellmouth - https://tthf.me/kl7K

This is basically a Jonathan Creek mystery in a world with superheroes, the main fandoms being Jonathan Creek and an AU non-magical version of Harry Potter - and bits of several other fandoms.

I won't be posting it here because it's set in the Teraverse, a hugely complicated multiple crossover setting created by Diane Castle which must be getting on towards three million words by about twenty authors - the bits you will need to read for it to make any sense, at a minimum, are the first, third and possibly fourth stories of this series: A Brane of Extraordinary Women - together they're about 2 million words! I think it's a fair assumption that most people who read this will already be familiar with this setting from having read these stories over several years, so I'm not going to try to explain it here.

This entry was originally posted at http://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2046973.html. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Another weird lens
Time:12:52 pm
I picked up a job lot of filters and hoods, which included an Itorex 50mm f40 (and yes, I meant 40, not 4.0) lens. It's basically a very simple pancake lens which is about f2.8 and fits into a T-mount, with a removable disc that fits between the elements to stop it down. The disc was missing but I cut one from the black vinyl wallet an old multimeter came in, with the diaphragm burned through as a pin hole. Doesn't focus, but doesn't need to because the tiny aperture gives huge depth of field (but of course means exposures are VERY slow), but even stopped down it isn't incredibly sharp. Here's a quick test with and without the stop disk:

Read more...Collapse )

Unfortunately the T-mount it came with is the old Contax-Yashica fitting, which is fairly useless, but I had a spare Nikon mount to try it.

I don't think I'll be keeping it, but it was fun to play with.

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Subject:GIP - Caffeine!
Time:10:30 am
One of my Xmas presents was this nice mug, made of borosilicate (Pyrex) glass - they're a bit pricey at around £10 and up, considering you can get a beaker that size for under a quid, but the handle makes this more convenient than any beaker, and it does have a useful logo to remind you of one of the fundamental building blocks of the universe - the caffeine molecule. Larger photos behind the cut:

photosCollapse )

I also got some nice packs of coffee. Excellent!
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Subject:iPhone update
Time:05:35 pm
iPhone is now sorted - cost £25, on top of that I've paid £1 for a charging cable and ordered a Freedompop SIM, they seem to be OK if you don't need a huge amount of data a month. That costs £6 including activation - I could have got an extra sim for 1p but I completed the process before I realised that it wouldn't have been a bad idea to have a spare. Too late now anyway. It appears that the phone isn't locked, which is one less thing to worry about.

Thanks to coth for her help with this, it's greatly appreciated - sorry for wasting your time.

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Subject:Your Life in 2017
Time:11:18 am
Gacked from [personal profile] minim_calibre

 
MEME!

Grab the nearest book, flip to page 117, the second sentence is your life in 2017

There were three books on my kitchen table, marginally the closest was The Outsorcerer's Apprentice by Tom Holt:

"You'll have to buy a new one, or borrow one from somewhere."

Words to live by...
 
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Subject:Phone repairs?
Time:04:36 pm
Someone on freecycle has very kindly given me an iPhone 4S, in good working order except that the glass is badly cracked in the top RH corner. The actual LCD seems fine, everything works, etc., it's just the glass so far as I can tell. Having looked at the price of the kit (tiny) I was tempted to try DIY, but the web sites that show how to do it are scary - I've decided to chicken out and just pay for someone to repair it.

Can anyone point me at a phone repairer in central-ish London that can do this without messing it up and won't charge an arm and a leg?

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Murder Party Games
Time:07:47 pm
This is a new departure in these bundle offers - freeform murder mystery games for parties etc., in which each guest takes on the role of one of the suspects / detectives / whatever, and the plot is resolved by mingling, acting out various goals, etc. They're six players and up, with the largest providing for up to 32. I've played in a few freeform games in the past and they can be immense fun, especially if you're prepared to submerge yourself in a role, so this interests me a lot.

There's an article about this type of game here
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_107/1304-Murder-Parties

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/MurderParties

"This is a large and rich collection of live-action murder mystery party games from Freeform Games. Invite your guests to an evening of food, drink, and investigation of a murder. One guest did it -- but who? With no predetermined script, these party games put you and six to 32 friends in the heart of the action. Before the party, every player gets a detailed character background with goals, contacts, secrets, and costume tips. At the gathering, you all decide who to talk to, trust, or betray. In four hours or so, will the murderer be discovered? You won't know until the party's over.

With settings from Hawaii to Golden Age Hollywood to the Wild West, these .PDF kits include step-by-step instructions for the host, quick-start hints for guests, illustrated item cards, reference sheets, and much more. Many games provide versions for kids, extra "emergency characters" in case someone brings a friend, and other thoughtful touches. Check out Freeform's free introductory ten-guest Way Out West game, and then investigate this bargain-priced collection for groups of six to 30+ guests.

We provide each party kit complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these files have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Notes: Many Freeform Games party games have Standard and Extended versions; Extended versions support more guests. The games in this offer are all the Standard versions. And be aware, you print out all the guest handouts before the party. For the larger games you'll be printing a lot of pages.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Human Rights Watch.

The total retail value of the games in this offer is US$270 -- by far the richest offer in the site's history. Customers who pay just US$19.95 get all four party games in our Smaller Groups Collection (6-14 players, total retail value $120) as DRM-free .PDFs:

  • A Will to Murder (6-9 players, retail $30): In 1930s Britain, a wealthy family feuds over the last will of their murdered patriarch.
  • Lei'd to Rest (6-12 players, retail $30): A luau gone bad at a Hawaiian beach resort.
  • A Heroic Death (8-12 players, retail $30): The Superheroic Justice Doom Squad has to save the world, but first they must escape their volcano headquarters.
  • Way Out West (10-14 players, retail $30): The party's on at the Silver Dollar Saloon in Cactus Gulch, 1884.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $29.95 to start, also get our entire Bigger Groups Collection with four more complete games (retail value $150) for soirees of up to 30+ players:

  • Davy Jones' Locker (10-15 players, retail $30): In Tortuga, 1785, Caribbean pirates aim for the big haul -- or the keelhaul.
  • Spellbound (13-17 players, retail $30): At the Tremaine School of Magic, students must investigate a memory-loss mystery while also taking final exams.
  • Arabian Nights (18-24 players, retail $40): An hour after the Sultan announces his daughter's betrothal to handsome Prince Ala 'ad-Din, the young prince is found dead in the marketplace.
  • Hollywood Lies (16-32 players, retail $50): At the post-award party for Dazzled to Death, film stars and producers wheel and deal despite the sad death of the award-winning star.
There don't seem to be any surprise extras this time around.

I've looked at Hollywood Lies and everything seems to be very nicely presented, with 25 pages of instructions for the host, an eight-page briefing for each character, and various handouts etc. If you ran it for the maximum number of people you'd get through a LOT of paper, and if you're doing this a duplexing printer is possibly worth having - or get everything run off at a repo shop if you can afford it. The others are smaller in having fewer maximum players but you get the same number of pages per player, nearly as large a briefing, etc. Assimilating it all is going to be daunting if you haven't done something like this before, and I'd strongly recommend playing in someone else's game before running your own.

I'm not sure these are really my cup of tea - I generally feel happier running with smaller groups of players and a tabletop system - but as I said earlier, I've enjoyed this type of game enormously when I've played them. Given that these games often last an evening - say four to six hours - and sometimes longer they represent a LOT of entertainment, say 1000+ man-hours of fun for the host and players. The snag is that you can't really run them more than once unless you have more than one circle of friends. My interest is more from the point of looking for interesting ideas etc., and there ought to be plenty here. I think they're pretty good value for money, and I recommend them, but as usual I have to point out that I get them free if I want them. If you don't your mileage may vary.

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Subject:The Trumpster
Time:01:45 am
A bit late now, but fun (gacked from http://gonzo21.livejournal.com/ )

Donald Trump's New Year tweet - read by Mark Hamill as The Joker...

https://audioboom.com/posts/5471405-the-trumpster-quote-1

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Subject:Hail / Heil Hydra?
Time:05:43 pm
Is it just me that thinks that the National Television Awards trophy looks like a globe being crushed by a tentacle, e.g. a variant Hydra logo?

Read more...Collapse )

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Subject:Another test
Time:02:51 am
Hopefully adding a dreamwidth link on Livejournal courtesy of http://jedibuttercup.livejournal.com/ who spelled it out in nice small words for my limited brain.

But apparently not. Weird...

hopefully this'll add it...

OK, the trick is to change the default to "always show the footer"

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Subject:One more Dreamwidth Question
Time:08:56 pm
As I've previously said, I'm trying to go over to posting on Dreamwidth with everything re-posted here. At the moment Livejournal feels much more active for me, but I don't want to lose posts if things go pear-shaped here.

What I've noticed on other people's posts is that they have a link back to the Dreamwidth post, which looks like it's generated automatically. Can anyone tell me how to do that?
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Subject:Another RPG Bundle Offer - Elven Papercraft
Time:09:40 pm
I have to be honest, this is one that doesn't interest me much - print and assemble paper modelling kits, and stuff for making books for use as RPG handouts. There's a vast amount of stuff, over 2gb of files, but I tend not to use models much, and design my own handouts.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/ElvenPapercraft

"This is a collection of print-and-assemble .PDF models for fantasy tabletop roleplaying and 28mm miniatures games. Created by the master modelers at Lord Zsezse Works in Hungary, these full-color kits bring realistic High Elven style to towers, walls, mills, and furnishings. This bargain-priced collection of models from Lord Zsezse's June 2014 Elven Papercraft Kickstarter campaign includes exclusive "Dark Elf" textures, terrain tiles, and even book covers ideal for styling your RPG rulebooks. All the buildings are modular; combine them to make fantasy castles and steampunk fortresses. All kits are suitable for beginners and include detailed instructions.

We provide each model kit complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these files have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their computers. These interactive layered .PDFs let you easily change out building texturesw, place or remove windows, and add ornaments. (Note: The interactive features of these .PDFs are usable only with the free ree Adobe Reader software.)

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Doctors Without Borders.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$103.50. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $51.50), including the Elven Tower and Mill model kits, two Ground Sets of flat terrain tiles, and three Template Packs of beautiful book covers suitable for your RPG rulebooks or game props.
  • Elven Tower (list $20): A scenic site in multiple sizes and styles.
  • Elven Mill ($10): A beautiful mill in three styles, plus furnishings.
  • Ground Sets - Roads and Rivers ($6.50) Lay the groundwork for your Elven Towers and Mills.
  • Elven and Steampunk Book Templates ($15) Beautiful covers and interior pages for fantasy or steampunk props.
Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $18.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with ten more titles (retail value $52), including the Elven Wall interactive .PDF, the Steampunk Expansion, more Ground Sets and book templates, and exclusive Dark Elf versions of the Mill and Wall that are not for sale anywhere else. With all these sets, you can build and furnish your own giant castle in elven style.
  • Elven Wall ($15) All the walls and battlements you need for your fortress or castle.
  • Exclusive Dark Elf Mill and Wall ($12) Dark versions of the Elven Mill and Wall
  • Steampunk Expansion ($5) Bring your medieval buildings into the Age of Steam
  • Dark Section of the Lost Library ($5) Covers and page templates for books that cost Sanity to read
  • Ground Sets - Parks, Dead Land, Bog of Hope ($15)For when your heroes venture further afield from their tower
At least one more item will be added after the offer launches. "When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early."

This all looks very pretty and if you want to use it I'd think it's pretty good value for money - it just isn't something I particularly want. As usual your needs, and interest, may vary.
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Subject:Tonight's New Sherlock Episode
Time:11:28 pm
Started out OK, but it was way too easy to guess the villain in the main mystery, and I was VERY annoyed by some implausibility, e.g. a character who is supposed to be a highly qualified spy but spoilersCollapse ) The final denouement REALLY pissed me off, and unless they are planning to pull a MAJOR rabbit out of their hat to fix it there are huge problems ahead.

And finally, is it just me, or does everyone else look like they've aged a lot, and Sherlock like he's wearing a slightly unruly toupee? He is allowed to get old, despite the coat he isn't Jack bloody Harkness.
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Subject:Happy New Year...
Time:12:06 am
...Hopefully.

Best wishes for 2017!
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Subject:Another eBay problem
Time:08:19 pm
OK, in the first instance this is my fault: I bid on a faulty iMac G4 a week ago, intending to use the motherboard to repair another, which I've been trying to sell in faulty condition for several weeks. On Thursday afternoon someone paid the asking price for the one I already owned, which meant that I didn't need the other one and didn't want to spend £20 and several hours travelling to pick it up if I won it. So I immediately contacted the seller and requested bid cancellation, with apologies. In the past people have done this to me several times, and I've always agreed because there is really sod all you can do to enforce a sale on eBay. No reply, and nothing happened.

Tonight the auction ended, with the computer bid up to £19 and me still the winning bidder. I've contacted the seller to point out that I'd requested cancellation, and again asking them to cancel the sale; they've sent me an email saying I've won it, they aren't prepared to cancel.

So I've pointed out that they can either cancel the sale now and offer it to the second bidder for whatever their final bid was, probably £18, or wait a few days and open an unpaid item case and eventually cancel the sale. That'll leave me with an unpaid item strike and probably negative feedback, but to be honest I don't really care that much. It'll be interesting to see what happens.
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